LoL Mid Macro - Carry all lanes from Midlane
Midlane is a troublesome lane. There’s a lot of poking, farming, dodging, and positioning. For some champions even trading. This lane is somewhat similar to Toplane, but there are some major differences. Midlane is where you will most likely be the main carry of your team. Stakes are really high, there are lots of roaming, risky or calculated plays, following your jungler, and looking after all lanes. You not only have to win mid lane, but you also have to go to other lanes and help them win as well without losing the advantage in mid lane. It’s really complex, but it will get a little bit easier after reading this guide. So... let's improve your macro game so you can be just a little more useful than your standard minion wave.
We start again in one of the most critical spots when it comes to the League of Legends. Champ-Select. While this lane is a very similar lane to Top Lane, it has some significant differences when it comes to presence, responsibilities, and possibilities.
How important is your pick? Well, most of the time, you'll want to be the one who deals most of the Magic Area of Effect damage. There are some exceptions for AD and AP Assassins, but mostly you will end up as an AP Mage. You should pick something that will complement your team, something that will play into your team's strengths.
Roamers will want to snowball hard into the Mid-Game. They have to gain lane priority, push the wave, so it crashes into the enemy tower. It will give them enough time to move around the map, create pressure by ganking another lane, or simply disappearing from the map. They can easily carry the game, but if they fall behind or play like any other control mage - they will be mediocre through the majority of the game.
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Scaling control mages are way different. While they can surely try to follow their jungler and roam a little - they don't have a kit that complements early roaming. These champions are better off farming, pushing, and scaling hard into the mid and late game. A classic example of this is Viktor, Xerath, and Azir. Weak under farmed Xerath will be like a long-range cannon minion. The damage will be insufficient to apply pressure from the long-range. Azir has to farm a lot since he gets stronger during the mid-late game. The faster he scales, the less time it will take for him to apply his damage (crucial thing in Teamfights for Azir, as it's easy for him to be useless without proper items).
These two archetypes of Midlane champions are two natural enemies. While roamers and assassin-like champions can try to engage onto much weaker opponents early on and roam around the mid lane - control mages become quite decent in pushing the lane and scaling without kills the longer the game goes.
There are two different early-mid win conditions. Roamers have to kill their opponents and roam, as they are much better in the early game. Control mages have to survive through that, giving away no kills, and pushing the lane heavily when their enemies roam to punish them farm and tower-wise. It's a game of time for both sides. Control Mid laners have to wait and take their time. Roamers and assassins have to put in work as soon as possible. Everyone knows that Katarina without advantage is close to useless. And Vladimir, without lead, can still do amazing things as soon as he reaches two main items.
When it comes to practicing mid macro (which will be mentioned a few times in this section), it's better to play as macro mages or pure non-assassin-like champions. Going for someone like Katarina or Talon - sure, they are amazing roamers, but they depend heavily on mechanics, micro-play, and very calculated engages before level 6. So Macro-wise, it's better to play someone like Ahri, Aurelion Sol, Taliyah, or Lissandra when it comes to roamers.
Azir, for example, is a fantastic pusher, that can do everything if you give him time. He melts towers. He can control the battlefield from a distance with a beastly DPS output. He can both engage and disengage. An actual Deus Ex Machina that can show up with basically every playstyle his team needs.
Champions like Ahri, Aurelion Sol, or Talon will be amazing at clearing the wave and roaming. They have the most tools necessary to shove the wave (Talon will be much weaker early at it unless he gets Tiamat) to create roam timers and help around the map. Midlane has easy access to other lanes, and these champions will be great at spreading some advantages across the map.
Ziggs, Orianna, and Zoe make great lane bullies that can reliably push the lane, clear the wave, or control the enemy by zoning and harassing constantly. Ziggs also happens to be a true demolisher when it comes to taking down towers.
Lux, Syndra, and Xerath will be great at sieging and picking off targets unexpectedly before the fights. Lux has a great combo setup, Xerath has hard-hitting long-range spells, with Syndra being an absolute powerhouse that can set up kills with her stun, disengage, or burst down single targets.
As for practicing Macro play - you should roll with Twisted Fate. It's a champion that lacks any advanced mechanics. He has close to no outplay potential and will rely mostly on right-click movement to dodge skill shots and "outplay" opponents that way. Twisted Fate is all about minion wave control, pushing, advanced map play, and ult roams. He scales hard, and with the right itemset, he will be able to eventually become a bursty control mage that will swipe the enemy team with his Q ability. And due to his powerful stun, he can set up kills by himself, especially with an AP build with a Rapid-Fire Cannon addition.
Kassadin will work similarly. He has a weak early laning (Fleet Footwork will make it easier), but as he goes into the Mid Game and Late Game - he becomes most likely the strongest AP Assassin Burst Mage in the entire game, that is also relatively tanky and hard to catch.
Macro-altering Summoner Spells
It is a critical aspect of the laning phase and within the whole game spectrum. It can shape the way you play your champion in and out of the lane. Depending on your choice, you will be able to shut down burst champions, finish off dying enemies more quickly, defend yourself from danger and control lanes more easily. Always take Summoner Spells that will complement your hero in some way. Taking Ignite is not a good idea if you don't have high kill pressure, same as it's not a good idea to go for a Teleport as an assassin and lose that extra advantage in fights. Let's take a look at Summoner Spells.
Ignite - Holy grail for champions that go for those single kills through the entire game: Zed, Talon, Katarina, Ahri, and arguably Akali - absolute must-have. Ignite can deal devastating amounts of damage, allowing you to dominate your enemy more easily. Sometimes fights will be decided by pure numbers, and ignite adds a lot of free damage onto your enemy. It also reduces healing, so someone like Sylas or Vlad will suffer greatly because of this Spell. Perfect choice for any champion that focuses on snowballing the game through early kills and roams. In general, it widens the damage threshold and kills pressure in a name.
Ghost - Very niche Spell rarely used on Mid Lane. Most of the time, it will be taken by immobile and kiteable champions that can hold their own without any damage or defense boosters (like a barrier, exhaust, cleanse, or ignite). It's also used on Hecarim. It's very rarely used on champions that have low mobility, like Lux or Xerath. You should ask yourself a simple question. Is there a good reason for taking it? Many players will tell you that this is a trash spell used on only three or four champions who can benefit from it. But there's one different idea when it comes to Ghost. This Spell works like a mini-teleport during the early game, and it can be extremely valuable for any ranged immobile champion.
The Ghost adds some extra movement speed for quite some time. It can be a great addition to champions like Twisted Fate, Lux, Vladimir, or Xerath. Before you claim this Spell useless - realize what you gain from taking a Ghost. With teleport - you can get to your lane faster. That's true. Ghost also enables you to get into the lane more quickly due to increased movement speed, while also being very useful in any upcoming fights and roams. You move faster in battles and teamfights - you can reliably dodge skill shots, you can reposition yourself quicker than other champions. Melee champions have a harder time reaching you, and if you have to clean up - you can easily outpace the running enemy.
The real strength of this Spell lies entirely in teamfights and group play. Suddenly your squishy Lux or Xerath becomes hard to focus. It's not only harder to hit you, but it's also harder to stick to you. Jax, Tryndamere, Darius, Nocturne, Aatrox - they will have a much harder time getting to you. And as they try to focus you - your team can shred them. It's truly amazing what a single movement speed bonus can do if you know how to position yourself properly.
Exhaust - Even more uncommon than Ghost and for a good reason. Exhaust lowers the damage output and speed for a short while. Great for early fights against ADCs, trash for late fights against ADCs. However, this spell will be consistently potent against burst champions that tend to all-in-a lot. Mainly Zed, Talon, and Katarina. In that exact order, Katarina can still do some things after burning her skills due to reset. But Zed - the only thing he can do after burning spells is auto-attack and back away. It's the best Spell to have against enemy Zed and Talon as long as you are not in a losing matchup, in which you will most likely end up going with…
Barrier - The best selfish defensive Spell that you can bring to your lane. The shield is pretty big, and it can discourage some players from going all-in on you, or take them by surprise.
Base your spells on one of those combined with Flash, and you are good to go.
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Picking the right champion against your enemy laner will be crucial. Of course - after it comes to the mid or late game-specific picks, and your lane matchup will not matter. However, no mid laner can afford to hug the tower and stay back for the majority of the lane (Unless you are Kassadin). If you are forcing yourself to do this, you are relying entirely on other lanes and your jungler to get to a stable or advantageous Mid Game. In Solo Queue, that's a big no-no. What makes things much worse is that your enemy will have the lane priority for the majority of the time. It allows them to push the tower, zone you out of farm even under your turret (especially if you are in a horrible melee matchup), and of course, to aid their jungler or other lanes when needed.
You can't afford that, so you should choose a champion that will pull its weight on the lane. If you have a good champion that also compliments your team composition as well, you should consider going with them. Powerful Sieges? Lux or Xerath. Engage Comp? Orianna. Control Mage? Twisted Fate or Anivia - perfect choices. Pure snowball rollover? Katarina, Akali, or Zed. Assassin counter? Lissandra or Fizz. Need a guy for basically everything? Azir will work with anything or go with AP Malphite as he is in his best shape lately.
Keep in mind that not only your lane matchup will matter in the early-mid game. Junglers have a lot to say when it comes to Middle Lane. Mid Lane is quite tricky to gank due to the length of the lane, but it's a lane of easy access for basically any jungler. Place a jungler on any jungle camp, and most of the time, they will have some way of reaching the mid lane fast. If you are playing as Twisted Fate (against Vel'Koz and jungle Karthus) and your jungler is a Rengar - you will be able to finish off your enemy quickly thanks to the Golden Card and Enhanced Bola Strike. And you don't have to worry about any counter ganks since your duo is superior. On the other hand, being immobile, having Fizz and Rammus as your main two enemies - you're going to have an awful time. It's best to avoid situations like this. Of course, with experience and predictions even crazy-hard matchups will become more familiar and safe for you, but before that - count on, and improve your macro.
Three initial levels will most of the time dictate how the lane goes, whether it goes in your favor or not. Most champions will try to reach level 2 as soon as possible to immediately use the level and ability advantage to gain some priority. LeBlanc will try to Set up a QW combo, Azir will set up a slow-push and harass the enemy immediately at level 1, Ziggs will keep pushing. Multiple scenarios can happen during the first levels of your match. Some will even involve your junglers.
During those first three levels, the pace of your lane will be decided. It will be up to you to make sure that you start on the better end so you can gain an advantage and use it to create opportunities for snowballing.
Figure out what do you need to do with your champion to win the lane. Will you go for constant harass, pushing power, tower shredding, quick or long trades, or will you shove the lane and roam? Everything will depend on your champion and situation on the map. LeBlanc will want to play aggressively from the start, same as Azir, Syndra, Katarina, or Orianna. While someone like Anivia or Ryze will most likely focus on farming. Zoe will try to catch her enemy off-guard with long-range nukes, and Ekko will try to shove the lane to set up his stun or gain roam timers.
Multiple win conditions will depend on your champion and current matchup. So even if you didn't kill your opponent, but you scale much harder, and you are even in CS, you can consider your lane won to some extent, especially when your teammates are doing fine.
You don't need to kill on the mid lane to be effective and eventually carry the game. Look at Twisted Fate. You will rarely get kills in the lane. But because of his map control and toolkit - he can easily carry the game with pure macro play. So don't pay that much attention to kills. They are nice and all, but it's important to remember the fundamentals. CS, Wave Management, Roam Timers, Tower Pressure, visiting the river and wasting enemy's time are all way more important than a big set of kills. At least when you don't exactly know how to turn those kills into an advantage that pushes your team forward.
Managing minions on this lane will be slightly less effective when you want to set up a freeze. The lane is very short, and you will be able to freeze it mainly when enemy laner is on the lane as well, and you are reacting to their push attempts properly to freeze the lane. In any other instance - a slow push with a one minion advantage will be the best.
Slow Push will be a fantastic way of forming up a huge wave, giving you a major roam timer to do some things around the map without much loss or risk. It will be especially effective against champions that can't clear the lane fast enough to make you roam a bit more punishing if you don't succeed. Champions like Fizz or LeBlanc can't reliably and consistently clear waves due to their lack of some spammable AoE abilities. Creating a slow-pushing minion wave and zoning them out of clearing it before it crashes the tower is the best tactic to create roam timers. Just make sure that your slow push doesn't get contested by a gank from the enemy jungler or support (as it tends to happen a lot these days).
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As a Mid Laner, you also have easy access to your jungle. Don't be selfish, and when you can afford it, knowing that you can make a difference - aid your jungler if they end up in a fight or a chase. Don't overcommit, and don't waste time on something that you won't reach in time, for it's a waste of resources. But as long as you can make a difference in a fight, you should at least consider moving out of the lane. You are in the center of attention, and a considerable part of your map is also your responsibility. So make sure that you are doing everything to advance your strategy and reach your win conditions. Warding will also be helpful when it comes to this.
As you slowly transition into the Mid Game, turrets should be damaged to some point depending on your playstyle. A strong Ziggs will push hard, and his tower will most likely remain nearly untouched if he ditched the roams and just focused on pushing.
While your early lane was dependant on your skill, wave management, and the two junglers - the pace of the Mid Game will depend on a few things. Did you roam? How is the jungler doing? Which tower is falling at the Bot Lane?
If you roam, you might become the main carry in your game. You will lead small skirmishes with your jungler. You will play around the main objectives, picking out enemies. Your damage will be invaluable in any fights. It's not uncommon for a Mid champion to have the most damage dealt at this point in the game. It's easily noticeable when you look at games that tend to end before 25 minutes. A lot of Mid laners will end up with the highest damage dealt in the game.
Champions like Ahri and Talon have to snowball to do their job correctly in the mid-game. It will allow them to either finish the game fast or smoothly transition into the late-game if enemies are not surrendering. It's mandatory to roam around the map so they can get their much-needed advantage in gold, XP, and items. Ahri becomes just a control-catch mage if she doesn't do that. But when she does - she becomes a powerful and mobile assassin with massive damage output.
Your jungler has a considerable impact on your lane throughout your entire laning phase, and it will translate into objectives at the end of it. In the best-case scenario, during the mid-game - your jungler will set up a gank that will do some things. First thing - if you do it out of slow-push enemy player will lose a lot of resources that way. Second thing - with that huge minion wave - you two will take the tower easily. And the third thing - it will open up some major vision spots making it more difficult for enemies to move around their half of the map, as long as you and your team place some wards. So make sure that quite a few zones are well-warded.
Of course, Jungler is not the only role that can impact your lane effectively. Bot lane is most likely the best lane to gank as a roamer since they can carry your team objective and macro-wise.
Bot lane is the best lane currently to gank as a mid laner. Top Lane doesn't have much impact on the game at the moment, and roaming towards bot lane will have some significant benefits when it comes to macro. First of all, you are impacting two champions instead of one, which is huge if you manage to get them some free kills. Strong ADCs will completely melt enemies and towers in the mid-game, while weaker ones will need to farm heavily through the mid-game, so they can reach at least 3-4 items and be competitive.
It already means a lot, for it enables your ADC and Support to move around the map and aid your team in establishing the vision and taking objectives instead of farming. Strong bot lane will secure Drakes with your jungler, and they can melt that first tower quickly. Since you are a roamer, and you couldn't spend time downing the enemy turrets - a good bot lane will do it for you. It's ubiquitous for a good bot lane with a gameplan - to melt the Tier 1 Tower and move elsewhere on the map. They will either switch lanes with the Top Lane or prepare a mid lane siege, so they can not only take the mid turret but to also have easy access to the bot lane if they need to claim some farm or stop a push there. If you are at the point in which your tower is still up, and your successful roams caused bot lane to take both bot and mid towers easily - you control the pace of the game. Now it's a perfect time to play around objectives, put deep vision, set up slow-pushes on the other side of the map to prepare for Neutral Objectives or Towers.
It's a little bit different for scaling control mages who really shouldn't spend a lot of time roaming. They will be the ones to punish roaming throughout the game. In theory, if you do this right, you should have an item and level advantage over your counterpart. Early game is their time to shine, but near the end of the laning phase - you are the boss of the mid lane. You can shove the lane and melt the tower, sometimes completely obliterating your enemy. But be careful. If they've roamed a lot - some friends will join them in skirmishes to take your advantage away, especially if your Tier 1 Bot Turret is down. You can also expect some enemy bot presence on your lane as they will most likely want to take your tower.
At that point, you will mainly count on your team, particularly the jungler and your bottom lane. You won't be able to do much, but if you have a champion with a fantastic wave clear, you can stall the lane for quite some time. Anivia, Ziggs, Vel'Koz, or Xerath can melt waves easily, denying a quick push for the enemy team. But that will significantly depend on the situation. As sometimes impatient enemies will most likely end up attempting a dive. It can get terrifying against Supports like Pyke, Leona, or Thresh, and it will be best if you have both your summoner spells up and a stopwatch from runes (or whole Zhonya if you rushed it because of your enemy AD Mid.
Late Game won't be much different from the mid-game, but there are some strategies that change it significantly, but it doesn't really happen in solo queue. In solo, the most common tactic is to either split or to group. Most likely, there are fewer towers on the map. Both teams have to fight for vision in the jungle to fish for favorable skirmishes and 5v5 fights.
Every step can be that bad, last one, and every choice can be the deciding factor for winning or losing the game. Just keep doing what you were doing for the majority of the mid-game, where you start grouping up.
Teamfights will open up possibilities of ending the game. A simple won teamfight with over 50-second death timers can turn three towers, inhib, and nexus into dust, meaning victory. And of course, the playstyle will depend on your role.
Champions like Xerath, Ziggs, Lux, or Syndra are based around pressuring other people with their range and catching potential, and lots and lots of pokes. A single Q from Lux can easily win the game at this point. So even though AD Carries are the most powerful units on the map, the Midlaner will usually be the one who can set up picks, catching enemies off guard. Of course, not every Midlaner can do it. Lux, for example, is one of the best champions to play from the brush, as her AoE combos can be devastating to 2 potential targets caught in Q. Those 2 champions, if not tanky enough will be completely deleted, like citizens of Korea in real life.
Zed or Talon, for example, will try to win the vision fight, to then flank their enemies. Zed in front of everyone - is very easy to put down. But the scenario turns upside down when Zed comes out of nowhere, and bursts your carries down from 100 to 0.
And there are teamfight oriented champions that will try to control the space and set up their team for a win with the smart use of their kit, with Orianna and Azir coming to mind. They can completely own the battlefield, either by being out of reach, dealing with damage, or getting inside and setting up huge combos.
There's a straightforward thing every mid laner should do, and it's to stay close to your team. It doesn't matter if you are clearing some camps, want some extra gold, or you want to ward beyond your vision alone. If both teams are equally skilled, you should never be in a position in which you can't get to your team in approximately six seconds. Trust me, you don't want to leave your team in a 4v5 scenario. It will end up badly, because it's a solo queue, and if that scenario isn't clicking in your head right now, you haven't experienced the dangerous side of League of Legends just yet. It happens in low elo, in the plat, in high diamond, even in grandmasters. You can't escape that.
This is the end of our League of Legends Mid Macro Guide for this season. Feel free to proceed to our other guides - League of Legends Top Chad Macro, League of Legends Support Macro-Aid, and League of Legends Hyper-Carry ADC Macro, so you can learn some more. Those guides will be useful even when you don't play on these roles, as you will be able to understand even those little things about their gameplay, that has a huge value macro-vise. Share our guide between your friends and on the forum thread, and websites' boards, or in posts on Facebook! Report back to us, give us feedback and tell us how you've managed to improve! And if you've got any questions - feel free to ask them right here, or just give some interesting topics to talk about, so we can read them, and have some valuable discussion as well! See you on Summoner’s Rift is the next ranking season.