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Carry in League of Legends

Updated on December 28, 2017

It’s two minutes into your solo-queue ranked game. You have your fingers crossed that this match might be “the one”—the match you finally get paired with teammates who aren't allergic to teamwork; who don’t cry to the enemy team all game; and who actually seem to have a clue what they’re doing.

It’s five minutes into the game. Your AD carry (who swears he called mid before you did) has been so busy leaking his butthurt into all-chat that he’s already died…twice. Your support is threatening to AFK and your top starting to rage.

It’s ten minutes into the game. Your game wishes it was a train-wreck. Suddenly you find yourself thinking "Screw League of Legends! I'd rather be doing my calculus homework anyway!"

Sadly, it's lame experiences like this that can make it really hard to get out of bronze. In fact, sometimes they keep people away from ranked play altogether. But what can a player do to prevent these low-ELO disaster-fests? Well, there's no easy answer (and certainly no magic solution), but one thing that will definitely help is learning how to carry a team.

Have you ever played a game where one player on your team is something like 18/0/0 (when almost nobody else has a kill)? He has virtually all of your team's kills, does crap-tons of damage, can totally obliterate enemy champs...and your team still manages to lose?

You probably know "that guy". He's the one who leaves the obnoxious note in the endgame chat that goes something like this:

"GG. Team does no damage. Couldn't carry."

Or this:

"This team just wouldn't let me carry them. Noobs."

Or this:

"Back wasn't big enough. Report troll team please."

But here's the real deal: the odds are really, really good that "that guy" wasn't actually doing any real carrying. Why? Let's think about this.

  • This guy got really fed and was way ahead of his teammates...but the skewed kill spread shows that he wasn't helping his teammates catch up.
  • This guy did tons of damage and had a major advantage over enemies...but clearly he didn't use that advantage (or his team wouldn't have lost all the critical team fights)
  • This guy got lots of kills...but evidently he didn't accomplish anything while the enemies were dead--otherwise the enemy team wouldn't have caught up and won.
  • This guy never died...and he also had zero assists, so either he wasn't involved in fights he should have been in, he wasn't playing aggressively enough (given his monstrous lead), or he was so busy nursing his precious KDR (kill-death ratio) that he hung his teammates out to dry..

Not as easy as you thought...

So many times, people think that getting all the kills, doing all the damage, and dying the fewest number of times is the same thing as carrying a team. Well, it's not.

Carrying a team has little-to-nothing to do with how many kills you get. In fact, sometimes a real carry won't get any kills at all (ever seen a good Sona carry a floundering team?) Being a carry is about being a leader--not just a "do-er".

Play like you have acute paranoia

I'm totally serious. Don't just "play safe". That's not good enough. Any knucklehead knows that with 100 health you can't tower-dive the enemy team and have a prayer of living. No, you don't just need to "play safe"; you need to play like your parents dropped you off in the woods at night and abandoned you while some chainsaw-wielding maniac in a hockey mask is calling for your blood.

Share the wealth (don't be a "farm addict")

"Once upon a time there was a Fizz mid. He utterly crushed his opponent, Katarina, during laning phase. After much QQ'ing, the 0/4/0 Katarina decided she didn't want to lane against a 4/0/0 Fizz anymore. So she left.

'Oh well,' said the Fizz, 'more minion farm for me!' And so the Fizz stayed mid and farmed, and farmed, and farmed. About ten minutes later, Katarina decided she wanted to cut herself a squid, so she came mid and utterly obliterated him.

'WAT!?' exclaimed the dying Fizz. 'HOW U DO ALL DAT DMGS?!?'

Katarina laughed and said, 'While you were so busy farming and being all useless to your team, I roamed, got my bot and top lanes fed, and picked up 8 easy kills for myself! TEE HEE!'

When you have a clear advantage in lane, you've gotten pretty fed, or your lane opponent leaves for whatever reason, don't just stay there in farm! Do something useful, whether that be:

  • Pushing down an enemy tower
  • Working with your jungler to gank another lane
  • Taking dragon or some other objective
  • Going to help a teammate who's pinging for assistance

I guarantee that most people you'll play against will build the same way over and over--whether or not it makes sense to do so. Guess how many Fioras I've seen rush a Hydra? Lots. Or how many Yasuos rush a Statikk Shiv? Lots and lots. As a general rule:

  • AP gets countered by Magic Resist
  • AD gets countered by Armor
  • Magic Resist gets countered by Magic Penetration
  • Armor gets countered by Armor Penetration
  • Health gets countered by % Health Damage (mostly from abilities / item passives)
  • % Current Health Damage gets countered by Resistances (whichever apply) and Health (% Current Health damage "falls off" the longer it's being applied to a champ; The less health you have, the less damage it'll do)
  • % Max Health Damage gets countered by Resistances (whichever apply)
  • True Damage gets countered by building crap-tons of health

Sometimes a team of five will do a phenomenal job in laning phase and then throw the whole game afterward just because they didn't have any sort of a plan. This happens more often than you might think. A team of five followers will often lose to a team with two or three followers and one or two leaders--regardless of how well laning phase went. Your laning phase victory doesn't count for a hill of beans if your whole team is just going to wander aimlessly until the enemy team takes your nexus.


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