Being the Lane Bully: Mind Mechanics

Winning lane is always good, but this post will show you how to make the most of winning a lane and show your opposition who wears the pants in the relationship!

(Important to note: that this is not about winning lane, but how to push your advantages.)


Denying CS

First, one of my favorite and lesser known tricks of the trade is blocking your minions HP bar with your own, evidenced in the following snippet from InvertedComposer’s Singed guide. To do this you stand in a position to where you’re health bar covers a minion. This will make CSing a pain for your enemy. No, actually it will be like holding your hands over their eyes, them having to pull your hands off, and then trying to not miss the CS every time. Abuse this, but be careful you don’t take too much AA harass though when it’s early.

Feigning Jungler Presence

Pretending like your jungler is there is one of the most commonly known, but underused methods, and here’s how it is done:

    1. Have your jungler run to your lane, just to show some presence. Have them gank from lane or an area without vision, and if you can pick a kill great, if no, that is okay.
    2. Now ask your kind jungler to stay for a few more seconds, come back into lane, and then back from a vision-less area. BOOM. Your opposition is scared out of their minds.
    3. This is the tricky part:  Now, replicate how you played when your jungler ganked (i.e. random aggressiveness).
    4. Now that your enemy is convinced your jungler is in their lane 24/7, they will start buying wards. Retaliate with pink wards to keep them in the dark, and scared. They will play a lot more passive, which will allow you to run all over them.

Managing Auto-Attacks and Abilities

Keeping their life-low and not missing CS is the perfect situation, but that’s almost never the case. So, in lane, you have to judge what’s more important between three factors: Kill Potential (KP), or your ability to kill your opponent based off of their health and your damage; Creeps Missed (CM), simply how many creeps (little moneybags also known as minions) you potentially might lose in a trade; and Personal Resources (PR), or your health, mana, and level.

An equation of sorts works like this:

PR(C >= KP)

As long as you have PR, you can go for creeps and kills.

Harassing Under Their Turret

Poking under turret is one of the easiest ways to get ahead and stay ahead. Here are some rules of thumb match-up wise to effectively bully your lane opponent under their turret:

(Note: These are general, do not apply to all match-ups.)

Melee vs Melee:

You can only hit them damage-free, so when they are going for ranged creeps and immediately after a turret fires a shot.

Melee vs Ranged:

If you have ranged abilities use them when they go for ranged creeps, or, like in a Melee vs. Melee match-up, you can jump on them after the turret first fires a shot and then get out.

Ranged vs Melee:

Go to town. Hit turret when they are going for melee creeps; pound them when they go for ranged creeps.

Mind Games

We’ve already went over the jungler fake-out but I feel it’s worth at least re-mentioning the toll it takes on the enemy laner. They fear that every CS they take, they are going to die. Put that into perspective:  You’re behind in lane and if you do not go for the CS, you fall behind, but if you do, you can fall further behind by dying. Needless to say, this mind-game can push advantages to new pinnacles.

Also, if you counter your opponent, get a kill off an invade, or just have some sort of lead early, igniting the enemy in the first trade will force them to play passively and will deny a lot of health if they have a health pot ticking. Do this if you want a passive lane or don’t have a ward.

Lastly, do you like to roam? Make your opponents understand you roam a lot. Go for a fake roam, then sit in the brush. Ninety-nine percent of the time, one of two things will happen:  they will either push or go for a counter roam. If they push you can 1) come behind them for a favorable fight, or 2) take the CS you tricked them into sending your way. If they go for a counter-roam, then you just lured them into the good ol’ bush gank.


Special thanks to ggLA Umashi and The Blind Monk.

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Prominent in the frontier of game theory, currently just finished interning as the analyst for ggLA and only looking to get more involved in eSports.

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