Tips From High Elo ADC Players

May 23, 2024

The role of an ADC (Attack Damage Carry) is crucial to a team's success. However, playing this position effectively requires a keen awareness of the enemies' abilities and the potential threats they pose. Many aspiring ADC players struggle with this aspect of the game, often finding themselves caught off guard by abilities like Pantheon's ultimate or Akali's engage. So, how do high elo ADC mains keep track of these abilities and excel in their role?

The Power of Planning

One approach that has proven effective for many top-tier ADC players is to form a plan during the loading screen. Cookie, a well-known ADC streamer, exemplifies this strategy. Before each game, he announces his plan based on the enemy team composition. For example, if the opponents have a Rakan, Twisted Fate, and Darius, he might say, "Okay, this game, I need to be mindful of 4 abilities - Rakan W and Charm, Twisted Fate W Stun card, and Darius E pull. I flash Rakan W, I have cleanse for TF's card, and I need to be far away if Darius is in the area."

By identifying the key abilities to watch out for, Cookie can focus on positioning himself safely in teamfights, even if it means sacrificing some damage output. However, the moment an opportunity arises, such as Darius wasting his E on another ally, he goes all-in, knowing he has the tools to deal with the remaining threats.

Prioritizing Threats

Another important aspect of mastering threat assessment is understanding that not all enemy abilities are equally dangerous. As another commenter pointed out, you don't need to keep track of every single ability – just the ones that directly threaten you. For example, when laning against a Blitzcrank, his Q (Rocket Grab) is the primary ability to watch out for.

During teamfights, it's essential to identify the CC abilities and high-damage spells that can quickly take you out of the fight. By making a mental note of these abilities during the loading screen, you can play more passively until those threats have been expended, and then ramp up your involvement.

The Role of Experience

Developing the skill of threat assessment takes time and practice. High elo players have often played hundreds or even thousands of games, encountering a wide variety of champion combinations and situations. Through this experience, they have developed a sixth sense for what abilities to be wary of and how to position themselves accordingly.

As you continue to play and focus on tracking enemy abilities, you'll start to build up this instinctual understanding. Don't expect to master it overnight – it's a gradual process that requires consistent effort and reflection.

Expanding Your Champion Knowledge

Finally, playing a diverse range of champions can greatly enhance your ability to assess threats. By understanding how different kits work, you'll be better equipped to predict and counterplay enemy abilities. ARAM (All Random All Mid) games can be an excellent way to gain exposure to a wide variety of champions in a teamfight-oriented setting.

Remember that you can always get additional help, for example a Duo Carry. A high elo player will play by your side and give you some useful tips during the game.

Mastering the art of threat assessment as an ADC main requires a combination of planning, prioritization, experience, and champion knowledge. By focusing on the most dangerous abilities, positioning yourself safely, and seizing opportunities when they arise, you can elevate your gameplay and climb the ranks. Remember, it's a journey that requires patience and persistence – but with dedication, you too can develop the instincts of a high elo ADC main.

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