When you are just starting out in League of Legends, the concept of ganking might seem weird at first. Describing it as a coordinate ambush does not do it justice; there is so much that goes into a proper gank, you probably wouldn’t know where to begin. This is OK for newcomers, but now that you’re here it’s time to learn.
First, let’s determine where you will be spending the laning phase, as that is one of the most crucial factors.
How to set up a gank on…
Top is the place for tanks and melee champions, so a ranged jungler can make all the difference. It’s one of the most difficult places to set up a gank in, as there aren’t many good places for it. We have the river and if you are on the blue side, a tribush right beside the enemy’s turret.
If you are playing on top and want to set up a gank on the opposing laner, then you need to start trading with them, slowly chipping away at their health. But in the meantime you need to watch out, because if they get too low, they will go back to base, which is obviously not your goal. It’s best to aim to bring them to about 50% of their health. After that you need to start pulling back, inching closer to your turret with each wave. This gives you plenty of space to chase them afterwards, which makes sure that they burn their flash at the very least.
Mid is the best lane when it comes to ganking in League of Legends. It is almost completely open and therefore, hard to ward. There are two long bushes on each side, which lead to the river, but there are also 4 openings to the jungle. If you are playing on mid lane, you only need to do one thing to set up a gank: not push.
Getting pushed up against your turret certainly helps a lot, but you don’t really need to do it. Usually, you can just stay where you are and farm. If you have a good jungler, they will see a way to gank, as long as your target isn’t standing under their turret.
Here you have access to a tribush and a small bush in the river. There will usually be two enemy champions present, out of which one regularly warding the entire place. It can get really hard to set up a gank in this area, because if the enemy support knows their job, they won’t let your jungler anywhere near them. But of course, mistakes can always be made. And when an enemy makes one, you can find your opportunity.
The best tactic to use for ganks in the bot lane is quite simple: baiting. Start getting pushed back against your turret, and take some extra damage. If the enemy feels like they can easily kill you, they will try to go all in. This means taking some turret damage, and not paying enough attention to the map. Easy gank.
How to set up a gank as a jungler
Laners in League of Legends have it a little bit easier. Pull back, bait and help out the jungler when they come. But let’s be honest, this cooperation isn’t a true 50-50. A jungler needs to watch out for wards, hit their skillshots, and manage crowd control intelligently. That’s a lot of responsibility, and if you haven’t been in this role for a long time, it will be very difficult. There are a couple of things you can do to make things easier.
The first one would be to use your pings! If you don’t signal your laners that you want to come and help them, then they won’t be able to create the necessary circumstances. And don’t just tell them in the chat. People don’t look there if they are concentrated on farming and trading. Ping their lane once, and if they don’t react don’t be afraid to spam them. People get tunnel vision all the time.
Secondly, remember that your teammates might not know what your playstyle is like. Players have very different tactics, so there is a good chance that your laners won’t do the exact things that would be necessary. Communicate, so they will know what to do and when.
Setting up a gank in League of Legends is a difficult job most of the time. But if you develop some good habits, it can gradually turn into a second nature. Remember to buy pink wards and place them where the enemy jungler tends to be. Keep communication channels open: ping, and respond to pings. And of course, pay attention the map.
If you practice long enough and devote the time to get better at ganks, then nothing will be able to stop you. You will be able to start the snowballing in the laning phase, which will usually lead to a quick victory.