Trading! The art form of exchanging blows and coming out ahead. So when we look at the laning phase, the first thing comes to mind is killing your opponent over and over again to establish dominance. However, killing the enemy should never be your highest priority, unless you are using a cheese strategy made just for that, but that is a topic for another video. So to demonstrate how trading works, I will be unleashing the inner devil and showing footage of where I play Teemo.
Now I am going to show you the secret of trading. Watch carefully. See how I attack Jarvan when he goes for the minion? I use my auto attacks to throw some toxic darts at him. But how does this work if both of you have the same range? In this game I am playing the mechanically very intensive champion Garen. Notice, how I use my Q “Decisive Strike” when the enemy attempts to last hit. By now you should have figured out what I am trying to hint by showing these clips. Minions are the basis of champion interaction when laning. It is a reliable way to gain gold and prepare yourself for the other phases of the game. Because both players know this as a fact, they can abuse it to their advantage. You can punish the greed of the enemy laner by using all of your resources when they are in kill range.
What do I mean with kill range? For one, obviously the distance, but it also has another meaning. Getting an opponent into kill range usually means, that his HP is low enough for a combo to kill him. Here in this clip lee sin gets greedy and I drop my ultimate, equalizer, on him and finish him with me flamethrower. A lot of kills in low elo fall into this category; they get greedy and are finished off. There are four steps when trading. Step one is the active decision of trading. This step is a purely mental one. Here you weigh your options and think whether it is a smart idea to trade. When trading think about the following stuff: How many minions are there? Don’t fight if the enemy has a minion advantage and they hurt quite a bit especially in the early game. What about the jungler? Could you get ganked if you attempt to attack your enemy with your spells? Can the enemy retaliate and deal more damage to you than you can to him? And lastly, am I in kill range? Can I get all in-ed and die? People tend to naturally learn if their opponent can retaliate or kill them if they risk a trade but they never think about the minions or the jungler.
Of course there are other factors like tower damage, bluffs but this is just a basic guide. The second step is to position yourself for a trade. There are two ways to do this. You can stand around a dying minion the opponent wants to last hit and start the trade if you wish to utilize your auto attacks or simply have a small spell range, like Annie for example. If you have no idea how to position yourself, play Annie in the midlane and you will quickly find out the way to trade is to stand around the dying minion when you have your stun up and the enemy wishes to last hit.
The other option is to simply use your range from where you are and predict the enemy movement to hit them. Getting a good position can be difficult, as champions with a good range, like Viktor or Ahri can punish you with their poke spells for taking such a position and still get the cs. The third step is executing the trade. Before we continue you should enable smart cast in the options. This allows you to cast your spells without having to confirm them with a left click. If you are playing a champion with targeting spells spam the ability you want to use on the enemy before getting in range to ensure it goes off as soon as possible.
Annie again is a good example for this. Step Four. Run away. After hitting the opponent they tend to be pissed and want to react by attacking you back. After getting your damage off, you should immediately retreat to avoid the enemy from getting his damage off. Again, Annie is the perfect champion to showcase this with, as after she has stunned the enemy she can use her W “incinerate” to get some extra damage off and back off safely. Be very careful though, as in this clip I overstay and yasuo all-ins me for first blood. In conclusion, what are the most important aspects to trade successfully? Don’t trade with the enemy if there is the potential of you dying. Make sure you are standing around an allied dying minion the opponent wants to last hit. Then execute the trade and make sure you get out of there quickly, or you will take damage back potentially making the trade go even or his way. That was my short tutorial to basic trading. Let me know if in the comment section below if you liked it or didn’t like it.
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