How to Play Ranged Versus Melee Top Lane Match-Ups

Jul 25, 2016

One of the most common misconceptions beginner League of Legends players have about laning is that the ranged champions should always beat the melee champions. Although in some cases it can be difficult for a melee champion to earn an edge, this is far from the truth. By using proper positioning and understanding power spikes melee champions can create dangerous all-ins to dominate their ranged opponents.

Playing As a Ranged Champion Versus a Melee Champion

Graves can become a uniquely tanky ranged champion when he gets ahead. 

When playing as a ranged champion you want to maximize the amount of value you can squeeze out of your auto-attacks. Free damage is the best possible damage you can hope for, and your range advantage allows you to land a lot of that. Any time your opponent looks to last hit a minion, auto-attack them. These attacks will add up and significantly reduce the amount of pressure your opponent has on the lane.

Don’t get too carried away – ranged champions tend to be squishier than melee champions, so it’s important you maintain your distance and stay aware of when your melee counter-part has his gap closer on cooldown. Always try to kite the charging melee champion instead of standing in place. Be patient, and contest as much CS as possible until you believe the enemy is low enough to finish off with a full rotation of your abilities.

How to Beat a Ranged Champion as a Melee Champion

When you are playing into a ranged champion as a melee champion you also need to be patient. You will likely have to give up CS that would cost you too much HP from your opponent auto-attacking you. You are going to want to play conservatively until you see opportunities to walk forward and attempt to engage your ranged opponent.

For example, if you are playing Darius into Graves you can start looking for a chance to trade around level 4. Did the enemy Graves use his End of The Line (Q), his primary damage ability, to farm? You now have about 10 seconds to create a favorable trade.

Who fed Darius…

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You should be even more aggressive when your ranged opponent blows his mobility spells. If Graves used Quickdraw (E), and he blew Flash a couple minutes ago, you may be able to flash on him the second you hit level 6 for a lethal all-in.

Don’t Be Greedy

The most important thing to remember when playing either side of a ranged versus melee match-up is not to get greedy. These match-ups tend to snowball pretty quickly once either side gets an advantage. When a ranged champion is ahead they can deny the melee champ a ton of farm and make laning impossible. When a melee champion is ahead they can constantly dive the ranged champion, making laning impossible.

Also, beware of the enemy jungler, who will certainly be looking to tilt this match-up in their favor!

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Jamie Jacobs
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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