IT’S COMING! IT’S FINALLY COMING! While the upcoming League of Legends practice tool isn’t the fully customizable sandbox mode we’ve been yearning for, it’s good enough to fulfill the demand that the sandbox mode was meant for in the first place: a bunch of ways to tweak and change game settings to maximize our practices and get better on the actual Summoner’s Rift.
More tools will probably be added later as Riot gathers data on player usage of the new feature, but here’s the options set we get to start with:
- Auto-refresh cooldowns
- Auto-refresh HP
- Auto-refresh mana (energy, rage, etc)
- Add gold
- Level up
- Lock level (locks your current EXP level)
- Teleport to target
Game state commands
- Enable/Disable turrets invulnerable
- Disable/enable turret fire
- Disable/enable minions
- Fast forward game time 30sec
- Reset game
- Spawn enemy target dummy
- Spawn allied target dummy
- Remove all spawned target dummies
- Respawn jungle
- Spawn Dragon (can choose)
So that just leaves one question: what’s the best way to use all of these?
Jab Jab Jab Straight
Last-hitting is a fundamental skill in most MOBAs, and is definitely so for League of Legends. It’s your only reliable source of gold, outside of the base accumulation per second (no, nobody’s so good that “other players” count as a reliable source). It is, in fact, one of the two examples of Practice Mode usage directly given by Riot, and their basic setup isn’t terrible:
But it could stand a few tweaks for really in-depth practice. Under Game State Commands, push that clock up 90, 180, 270 or more – 90 second increments past 1:15, when minions spawn. That’s the rate in which minions increase in strength over time, gaining more HP and resistances while also dealing more damage to each other.
You, however, will stay locked at level one, without items, and preferably without runes and masteries. That thin, last sliver of health will require focus and attention, even careful tracking of how fast minion projectiles are moving relative to your own.
If you can last-hit consistently under such conditions, bumping back to default settings will be like dropping weights.
Riot’s second recommended practice setting’s for that early jungle clear, but given that a lot of jungle options kinda depend on whether or not your teammates help you with that first clear into level two at high health, its applicability to actual gameplay is somewhat questionable.
What isn’t questionable is the utility in dropping that Flash cooldown to zero. Zilch. Nada.
Do you really know your Flash ranges? Do you really know how close you have to be to the wall to get over it and escape pursuit? No, because the exact identifiers for that is kind of obscure and Flash’s deliberately high cooldown makes it incredibly hard to distill it into muscle memory.
Until now. Set Player Commands: Auto-Refresh Cooldowns on, and have at it. Test out every wall, on both sides of the map, until you know exactly what you can get away with – and from where.
I Spy with My Little Eye
I’m hoping that Auto-Refresh Cooldowns includes item cooldowns, or it should be added to the next patch. Otherwise, that’s a lot of recalls and Teleport to Target commands you’re using – after, of course, using Add Gold to get yourself a Sightstone.
Why a Sightstone? Easiest way to spam out wards. And you’ll want to spam out wards, because sometimes it takes pixel-perfect precision to make sure you don’t accidentally Scarra the warddrop a bit too far to the left or right, missing the tribush when you’re warding over the wall.
There’s an interesting thing going on with the logic behind ward placements and obstacles. Based on the geometries involved, the game engine can “push” that ward farther out than its in-game indicators would suggest. Knowing how to abuse this – and, of course, practicing how to – is an excellent usage of your time, potentially giving you a significant informational advantage over teams and players that didn’t commit practice sessions into it.
“But all of this is just boring and difficult fundamentals” you say?
Those boring, and especially the difficult, fundamentals are very, VERY often the reason why you’re not in the next tier already. Level them up and leave the losers behind.