Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Mid Lane is arguably one of the most difficult and skill intensive roles in all of League of Legends because you are effectively dueling a player from the other team. It is also one of the most important. Due to the fact it is located smack dab in the middle of the map, controlling mid can help sway the game in your favor on the bottom and top lanes as well.
A big part of being a successful mid-laner is being able to farm minions better than your opponent. This means you will need to keep your "last hit" skills up to snuff. When all else is tied (i.e. you and your opponent have the same number of kills/deaths and your towers are still equally healthy), then comparing your creep score to your rival mid-laners is how one can judge which of you is actually doing better. If you are playing a champion with area of effect spells, such as Brand, don’t be afraid to use them on minions. Most of your gold will likely come from minions so get all you can!
Combating Your Opponent
When combating your opponent in mid, you'll find there are two types of mid-lane players. The first type are meek and passive players who are content to sit back in relative safety and farm minions, waiting for you to make a mistake or come out too far so their allies can gank you. The second type is aggressive players that will prioritize targeting you over minions in an attempt to slay you first and foremost.
Each of these types actually counters the other. If you see your opponent is sitting back and farming, get more aggressive and try to poke and harass him away from minions to prevent him from getting the gold and experience. Doing this enough may even cause a disparity between your champion levels and give you a big advantage later on in the game. Since mid-lane champions are usually big damage dealers, getting ahead of your rival can prove to be a huge difference maker later on. If your opponent is more aggressive, there are lots of options available to you. For example, you could try to lure him closer to your tower before standing and trading damage with him. Or you could even call a teammate for an early gank and teach your opponent a hard, hard lesson.
If you do stand and combat your opponent, keep in mind your mind goal isn't necessarily to slay him (if the opportunity presents itself then go for it, but don't get bloodthirsty or chase him as that usually ends up badly). Your goal is to cause as much damage to your opponent as possible while taking as little damage as possible. If successful, this will force him to have to go back to heal whereas you can stay and push the lane in his absence, damaging his tower and perhaps even taking it down. Remember, the majority of your gold should probably be coming from farming minions, not necessarily slaying your opponent. Your main goal here is to bring down your opponent's tower.
Your opponent going back to heal also gives you the opportunity to go back to heal and shop yourself if you have a lot of unspent gold. The choice of pushing lane or going back is yours. If you really need to heal or shop while your opponent is still there, don't just leave the lane. Ask your jungler to cover the lane for you temporarily until you return.
Ganking & Roaming
Since it is in the middle of the map, mid lane isn't a very far journey for any of your allies and so it is easy to attempt ganks. That goes both ways! For this reason you should try to ward both bushes on each side of the river to prevent nasty surprises from your opponent's friends. It may also be in your best interest to ward the choke points on your opponent's side of the river so you can tell if they leave mid to gank another lane. Your jungler should be warding the key places in your jungle but if he doesn't, you might want to invest in a couple more wards and ward up the entrances to your jungle, too.
Mid lane is a tough position to play because you really need to have a high degree of map awareness to be successful. In addition to actually playing your lane, you should keep an eye on your mini-map and wards. If you see an enemy trying to set up a gank against you, you can counter-gank them by coordinating with your jungler. The same goes for an enemy who is trying to sneak into your jungle. If you can identify them quickly, you and your jungler can set up a 2v1 ambush for him that will make him think twice about trying that maneuver again. Obviously, the jungler and mid-lane player should remain in constant communication with one another.
If you happen to see your opponent wander off, he pops up in another lane during a gank attempt, or he has been missing for a good chunk of time, consider aggressively pushing the lane and taking down his tower. If he is simply missing and you don't know where he is, that could end up being a trick, but if you have enough wards set up then you should be able to identify any potential ganks fast enough to escape before they get you so it is worth the risk to accomplish your mission.
While ganking is usually the jungler's job, mid lane champions can also gank other lanes to help their allies. If you decide that you should help gank another lane, make sure you push your lane first before doing so or else your opponent will take advantage of your absence and you might lose your tower. No bueno.
Depending on your individual play style, you should take one of the following bundles as starting items:
- Boots of Speed and potions.
- Faerie Charm and a combination of wards and potions.
- Crystalline Flask and potions for sustainability.
- Doran's Ring.
- A combination of just wards and potions.
Some Miscellaneous Tips
The teleport summoner spell can be very useful for mid-laners since it gets you back to the battlefield right away or can even be used to teleport to another lane for a gank.
Ask your jungler if you can take the blue buff early on. Blue buff gives mana regeneration and cooldown reduction and can give you a significant advantage over an opponent that doesn't have it.
Keep an eye out for the dragon as you can be the difference between your team slaying the dragon or getting owned by the other team in a fight over it. The dragon first spawns at 2:30 on the game clock and then six minutes after death.
Good mid lane champs are typically AP-based champions with good ranged abilities or AD assassins. Some popular and effective mid lane champions include: