4 Tricks to Scoring an S+ Grade

Apr 14, 2016

A lot of players tend to see quite a bit of positive feedback from Riot’s safe-spaces style grading system, which gives out A’s more liberally than a GPA boosting prep school. Despite this fairly positive system of feedback, people have consistently stated the difficulty of getting that coveted S+ grade. Sometimes, dominating the game and killing your opponent 20 times just isn’t enough to make the cut, so you’ve got to resort to some other ingenious tactics. Here are my 4 dirty tricks.

Pick Farming Champions

Part of the formula for achieving an S+ score comes from having really good creep score. You want to be aiming for about 9 minions/minute, so in a typical 30 minute game you’d have about 270 CS. Some champions that really get the farming job done in lane include Ziggs, Mordekaiser, Karthus, Heimerdinger, Gangplank, Tryndamere, etc… For junglers, if you build Sated Devourer, you’re probably on a farm jungle – Master Yi and Shyvana spring to mind.

All of these champions have the ability to rapidly clear massive waves of minions, able to push their lane with ‘a flick of the switch.’ Even better, some of these are mana-less champions, so you can rinse and repeat forever.

Every Minion is Yours

So now that you’ve got one of these power-farming machines, it’s time to think about where you might be able to find some crops to harvest. Start out with your own lane, trying to last hit as best you can. From there, you can slowly transition into stealing your jungler’s small camps (as if mid laners taking Blue Buff every single game wasn’t already enough). Don’t worry too much about the farm of your jungler; they should all be building Skirmisher’s and a Sightstone on the side anyway.

If you’re a jungler, tax like a real socialist. After you complete your full clear, walk into whichever lane is closest, and ‘gank’ it. Sometimes you’ll get some kills, and other times it’ll seem fruitless. What’s most important is that afterwards you clear the 2+ waves of minions stacked up in the lane. Your teammates were going to miss all of the last-hits anyways. Bonus points here if you decide to proxy an additional wave, which gives your laner the added benefit of having a punishment-free recall.

Towards the midgame, if you’ve got a global ultimate, just toss it into a sidelane. I couldn’t think of a better use for Ziggs bombs or Gangplank’s Cannon Barrages. Ezreal’s Trueshot Barrage is another one of these tools, but his waveclear through the game makes him a poor S+ candidate.

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What are Assists?

Sadly, the grading systems values kills with much greater weight than assists. This means that you need to make sure that every skirmish that you involve yourself with results in a monopoly of kills. Assists are basically worthless, so make sure you guarantee every champion kill for yourself. The same principles of last hitting that applied in earlier sections are even more important here.

Heroes Never See Tomorrow (or S+’s)

If you see your teammate about to die, and there’s a 50/50 chance that you could successfully save them, don’t. Forget about the fact that you might not even save him/her, it’s just not worth putting your much more valuable life unit on the line. The praise from your teammates and potential long-term friendship as a result of potential heroics are hardly worth sacrificing for a chance at an S+ score. Use your head, not… whatever else people might use to think.

The truth is, the trying to achieve this score means sacrificing your philanthropic tendencies. Adopting the ultimate carry/selfish play style is pretty much the only way you can have a chance at getting this score, aside from being basically perfect in all regards.

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Jungroan Lin
Jungroan "Jezie" Lin is a Challenger League of Legends player, former top lane player for Complexity Gaming, and former jungler for Team Green Forest. He spent 6 months of his life playing only Renekton, Shyvana, and Dr. Mundo while failing to qualify for the LCS. Jungroan is currently pursuing his M.A. in Political Science at UBC.
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