Surviving Against Assassin Champions: How to Beat the Antagonists of League of Legends

Assassins run amok throughout the League, but what can you do to survive?
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Everyone knows that an assassin champion will ruin your day quicker than any other type of champion in League of Legends – but some still don’t know how to properly deal with them yet. What I would like to go over are some basic tips and tricks to get you on the right track of avoiding an untimely death.

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Throughout this guide, I’m going to be talking about the different tactics most of the top ranked players use (and let’s face it, more should) to keep themselves alive when faced against these tricky murderers. We’ll discuss strategies including facing them directly, countering their jungle tactics, and what you can do to gain advantage even when they’re not in your lane.

When the Assassin is in Another Lane

Warding is one of the best things you can do to keep an assassin from another lane out of yours. If there’s no easy kill, why would they go for it? It’s common knowledge, I know: but all too often we’ll forget our wards have died and we’re running blind. It’s alright, it happens when you’re having fun and concentrating. But when your lane is pushed, you’re an easy assassination target – no matter which lane you’re in.

Warding Top
  • When you’re sitting top in a lane that’s losing, it’s best to ward the river bush. That way when you go to stabilize the lane, you know if there’s someone waiting for you or not.
    • Don’t ward at the very top of the bush either, you want it right at the bottom for the best view of what’s down the river.
  • If you’re ahead, it’s best to place the ward in the opponent’s tri-bush just below their turret. This way you see ganks coming from both river and the enemy jungle. However, if this is the case I always suggest double warding with the upgraded yellow trinket.
Warding Mid
  • It may come as a surprise to you that there are two perfect spots to ward that will give you an advance notice of the enemy, as well as remaining inconspicuous early game – the mini bushes in the river. Right by both of the long bushes on either side of the lane are two tiny bushes, perfect for your wards whether you’re behind or ahead.
  • Another place junglers and assassins will come from would be the side path right beside your turret – and it really is an easy kill if they get you from there. The best warding spot to prevent this would be the side bush just past that single bush I mentioned a moment ago.
Warding Bot
  • Any support who’s worth their chops knows the warding spots for bot, but just in case your support is D/C’d or just AFK, there are a few spots to know. The tri-bush right by your turret is the best. If you’re in a single lane, it really should be the most important ward you place, the enemy will not be forgiving that your support decided to rage quit and they will do everything possible for easy kills.
  • If by some grace of skill you outplay the lane and you’re ready to push up – keep that tri-bush warded! It doesn’t matter if you’re doing well or not, an assassin can and will still come right behind you uncontested otherwise.
    • The next best place to ward is right in front of Dragon, this lets your entire team know when the enemy is going for it and also gives you warning when the enemy is coming from mid lane or jungle as well.

Warding alone will not save the day, but it is highly important to do. It allows you to keep an eye on that mini-map, making sure you’re ahead of the game, not just a part of it.

The next best thing you want to do is help your jungler! If you’re doing fine mid and you know your jungler just isn’t coming up to par, pay attention to his actions and watch for the enemy jungler. This ensures your jungle remains unmolested and your jungler has a chance to be effective.

A happy jungler will help to take down any assassin from any lane, if they’re effective enough to do so. The ward map below should give you a good idea of where the most effective warding places are, but remember certain locations are more situational than others.

If the Assassin is Your Lane Opponent

Alright, we know what we can do if the enemy assassin is in another lane, but what if you’re going head to head? There’s a few things you can do and most are the difference between life and death.

Activated Items
  • Zhonya’s Hourglass is the best idea against an assassin (or really almost any mid lane matchup for an AP champion). Take Zed for example, we all know his Death Mark will probably kill us if he can get it off properly. When you see that mark on your champion, press the key you have associated with the item and you’ll go invincible momentarily – ensuring his ultimate doesn’t trigger your demise.
  • Mercurial Scimitar is AD version of Zhonya’s and a highly suggested item if you’re the one being targeted. Exact same instructions as before as well, it’s that simple!

Another great way to avoid death is to play passively and harass from a distance. It can be very tempting to go up in range of the enemy abilities, but if you’re behind it’s not the best idea unless you’re sitting under turret (make them work for it if they get the kill). If your dodging isn’t on par with what you’d like it to be, you’ll probably end up as food.

Remember to wait for your jungler, and get assistance – if you’ve gotten stronger, so have they. 

When the Assassin is the Enemy Jungler

When they’re coming out from the trees you may be in a little trouble, right? Wrong. There’s no more to fear from a wandering assassin jungling than there is when they’re from another lane. The best option is again to ward. It’s been proven to be the most effective protection against “ff at 20” posts from the rest of the team. Activated items are also a big help if you notice the continual presence somewhere close by, they’re more than likely waiting you out.

The next best thing you could possibly do against an assassin jungler is to freeze your lane. That means keeping the lane either close to your tower or right in the middle by last hitting enemy minions.

Keep in mind that last hitting is all about hitting a minion when it’s at the very last remainder of it’s health, not when there’s just barely enough health left to one shot it. Believe me, this makes all the difference when you’re looking to freeze out the enemy.

TL;DR: Stay Calm

Overall, the best way to prevent death from an assassin would be to ensure you keep an eye on your team and the mini-map at all times! Without that, you’re just a little fish in a much bigger pond – regardless of how fed you may be. If you are fed, help your team! Sure it’s fun to keep killing someone over and over again (cruel, but fun), but there’s no better feeling than pulling a win out of a losing match by helping your teammates get caught up.

The lesson here, if you manage to keep a cool head on your shoulders and your wards up at all times, you never have to unsuspectingly fall victim to an assassin again.

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