What’s up guys it’s me Jeremy!
Today we’re back with another design corner episode, focused on the tips and tricks you
can use when it comes to skillshot mechanics in League of Legends.
A lot of players don’t really put much forethought into when and how to use skillshots to get
the maximum value out of them, so hopefully these tricks will help you guys both dodge
and land a lot more abilities in your future games!
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Staying alive is one of the most important things to do when playing League, so we’ll
kick things off with our first two tricks which are both focused on helping you dodge
The first one is all about predicting what your opponent is about to do, such as when
he’s going to actually fire a skillshot.
Players often fall into the trap of treating evasion as a really reactionary thing; they
wait to see a skillshot being launched, and then they try to sidestep it.
Although sometimes you have no choice but to react and try to dodge, there are a lot
of situations where you can definitely see a skillshot coming before it happens.
In those situations, you should think carefully about the enemy champion and how they are
going to aim the skillshot.
By anticipating the skillshot, you remove the need for reaction time—after all, you’re
simply waiting for what you know is going to happen, and you already know where to move
to so that you can avoid the skillshot.
This is one of the reasons professional players can be so consistent with dodging, it’s
because they start avoiding the skillshot in their head before it even gets thrown out.
Our next trick is pretty micro-intense, and it can be a really hard habit to get into,
especially if you’ve been playing a long time.
Something that you can often see on pro player streams is how close to their champions they
issue their movement commands.
If you click half a screen, or even a quarter of your screen away from your champion, you
actually have slower direction turns which means your champion won’t respond to the
command as quickly as they could.
Clicking closer to your character speeds these turns up, which means you can change directions
really quickly when moving around.
This gives you two advantages; firstly you dodge a little faster, giving you the extra
time you need to shift your champion’s hitbox out of the path of an incoming skillshot.
Secondly, it allows you to twitch around at high speeds, which means it’s a lot harder
for enemy players to predict which direction you are going to move in.
This means you can often bait an enemy into firing his skillshot in one direction, while
you move the other way.
Next up we’ll be focused on tips to help you land your skillshots, the first of which
is known as ‘slow rolling.’
Unlike in Poker, where it’s pretty bad etiquette and involves slowly revealing a winning hand
to taunt your opponent, in League of Legends slowrolling is an effective technique that
gives you a way to mindgame players that are trying to anticipate your skillshots.
As we discussed in the first point, one of the best ways to evade a skillshot is to predict
when and where it’s going to be used, so that you don’t have to play reactively.
Slowrolling is a way to combat this, and it basically means holding on to your skillshots
for as long as possible against players that are actively trying to dodge you.
Let’s say you are chasing down an enemy with Blitzcrank, and they are constantly moving
from side to side and trying to predict your Rocket Grab.
Slowrolling in this situation is great for two reasons, the first of which is that is
messes with your opponent's attempts to predict your skillshot.
If a player is trying to evade a skillshot that for some reason isn’t happening, he’s
more likely to make a mistake or do something predictable, allowing you to land the skillshot.
The second benefit to slowrolling is that it can give you time to close down the distance
between yourself and your enemy.
In our previous example of Blitzcrank chasing down a lone enemy, if that enemy was constantly
trying to sidestep a Rocket Grab, they wouldn’t be moving away from Blitzcrank in a straight
If both champions had the same movement speed (or if Blitzcrank was speed boosting), Blitz
would eventually start catching up to the enemy because he’s not sidestepping, he’s
moving in a straight line.
The closer you are to an opponent, the more likely you are to land your skillshot, so
you are essentially turning an opponent’s attempts to anticipate your skillshot into
a way to make it more likely for you to land that skillshot.
Although players will be try be unpredictable when you are out in the open and trying to
hit them with a skillshot, there are lots of predictable movements that you can take
Some players call these ‘timing attacks,’ because it’s all about exploiting a window
of time where you will know almost exactly where an opponent is going to be.
There are a few key examples, such as when they are going for a cs, if they are standing
near a wall or choke point, or when they are chasing someone.
In these situations, any movement is going to be very predictable, and that makes it
a great time to line up a skillshot.
Our next trick is something that you’ll start to get the hang of as you play more
and more of a single champion, and it’s all about understanding your own champion’s
Many abilities in the game aren’t necessarily tied to the direction that your champion faces,
but this can heavily influence the way your opponents dodge.
A good example of this is Thresh’s Q—during the windup, he’ll face whatever direction
you were facing from your last movement command, but once the hook is thrown, he’ll change
to face the direction that the skillshot was aimed.
This can be an effective tool for taking enemies by surprise, especially if there are two enemies
to aim at.
Simply face one of them, and aim the skillshot at the other.
The enemy players will expect the hook to fly out at one you are facing, so they’ll
be pretty surprised and have little time to react when the hook flies out in the other
Some champions work the other way around; instead of changing direction when the ability
actually fires, they face the direction the ability is fired right at the start of the
For champions like that, you should face a different direction and then change direction
right as you start to cast the ability—our trick about faster direction turns will help
In the same vein as our last trick, you can also take advantage of your opponent’s animations—such
as when they use an ability that forces their character to stand still during the cast.
If you know you’re up against an enemy character that has an ability like this, it’s a great
time to try land a skillshot.
A good example of this is Ezreal’s Ultimate; he can’t move while he channels it, so he’s
a sitting duck for any of your own skillshots.
Our final skillshot trick today is all about good old hitbox abuse.
Skillshot detection works on an edge-to-edge system, that means if the very edge of your
ability hits the edge of a champion, it’s counted as a hit.
This is what allows so many skillshots to seem like they miss when they actually hit.
On top of that, abilities actually gain an extended hitbox at max range.
Riot Zenon mentioned that most missiles in League of Legends have what’s called ‘lollypopping.’
It means that if the ability didn’t hit anything, they check in a small circle at
the end position for any targets.
It’s a trick that helps abilities feel more accurate for both the attacker and the target,
especially in cases where the camera angle can suggest that you would have missed.
The idea behind its implementation is that although it feels great to sidestep an ability,
barely walking out of range feels pretty cheap.
Meddler commented that ‘most’ was a bit of an exaggeration, but he did note that a
fair number do, with Nautilus’s Q being one of the most clear examples.
Anyway, what you should take away from this is that if you take the time to learn the
hitboxes for different champions and abilities, you can often find ways to land abilities
that your opponents would expect to miss.
On top of that, don’t be afraid to try go for a max range skillshot now and again, especially
if the target doesn’t see it coming.
You might be granted the hit thanks to lollypopping!