Stop Risking the Game on Baron: Things to Do Before You Baron

Apr 11, 2016

Stop trying to burn down Baron. Trying to secure Baron is a high-risk play that even professional teams struggle to pull off in games that aren’t a complete blowout. If you think you and your rag-tag group of 5 Gold IV teammates can get away with a 5v5 Baron, you should probably think again.

There are safer times than others to attempt securing a Baron for your team. Killed both the enemy carries? Go for it, but make sure you zone the enemy jungler. Three enemies on the bottom side of the map without teleport? Rush the Baron. Anytime the odds are stacked in our favor we can look to take Baron. It’s the times where our chances are below 80% where we should go with plan B.

80% might seem too safe for your aggressive ‘go go go’ play style, but it’s solo queue. Unless you’re playing with 3-4 friends and communicating over voice, things can get messy very quickly. There is no reason to risk getting aced and/or potentially handing over the Baron to the enemy team. There are other things we can do to continue snowballing the game.

Plan B: When Baron Isn’t A Guaranteed Secure

When we don’t have an 80% chance of a perfect secure, it’s time to roll out plan B. Plan B is essentially ‘anything but Baron’. There are other ways to push our advantage without risking a significant portion of our lead, and it all starts with vision.

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Warding your enemy’s jungle is step 1. When your team has a large advantage over the enemy team you should limit them to only 1/4 of Summoner’s Rift. Take over one side of their jungler by ensuring you have better vision of it than they do. Stealing one half of the enemy jungle creates pick opportunities and cripples the enemy jungler.

After you have denied enemy vision you can control the pace of the game. The opposing team is forced to face check, or sit back and turtle. This means your team can further their lead by getting picks, or cleaning out the jungle respectively.

Don’t underestimate how powerful either of these options are. Constantly contesting jungle monsters can force the opposing jungler into a supportive role, and force the entire enemy team to share the minion waves crashing into their turret. You should already know how it feels to play a game from behind with no vision. It’s terrible. You can’t do anything when blue trinkets are on cooldown, and even then, they’re usually cleared within seconds by the enemy team roaming around in your jungle.

Throw less games by taking less Barons. Only Baron when you have an 80%+ chance of securing.

Good luck, and have fun!

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Jamie Jacobs is a bot lane main who once won 17 consecutive Janna games. His favorite champions are Thresh, Kalista, and Bard. Jamie writes about competitive League of Legends and the professional gaming scene every week at Esports Edition.
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