Map pressure and lane pressure are two of the most high-level aspects of League of Legends gameplay, and their significance is often overlooked in the lower brackets. However, despite being high-level, these tactics are not complicated at all!
If you’re interested, skim through the guide below and go wreck those noobs in your matches and gain free LP!
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What is Map Pressure?
Map pressure is a broad term used to describe the methods and strategies you can employ to push your enemies back and limit their farm. This can be done to secure a variety of objectives such as the Drake, Herald, Baron Nashor, and even enemy jungle buffs!
“Pressuring” can be anything from having vision in a certain area to completely dominating a lane to limit enemy movement. Every lane can employ different methods of map pressuring, so keep reading!
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Best Ways to Apply Map Pressure:
There are certain simple and effective techniques that you can reliably abuse depending on the state of your game in order to pressurise your opponents. The best of these are given below.
Yes, the concept of pressure comes into play the second you enter the champion select phase! You can dominate your lane simply by picking a champion that works well against a certain champion i.e. if both bot laners are melee, you can simply dominate them by picking a ranged champion!
It’s really THAT simple. Just know what to pick to counter a certain champion, and you’re all set for phase one of map pressure. If you aren’t sure what to pick to counter your opponents, you can always use one of the many counter-picking suggestion websites available.
An example of a great counterpick would be if the enemy picked some slow or immobile champion such as Ryze, you could go for something like Yasuo to completely wreck him. You should focus on important traits such as mobility and lockdown potential while considering your counterpicks.
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Securing vision is one of the most important jobs of the support, but if you don’t know where to ward, it’s as good as having no vision. The purpose of wards is to allow your team to remain aware of the movements of the enemy team.
This also extends to observing important locations such as the drake pit, Baron Nashor, and the red and blue buff camps. If you have wards on the locations listed above, you can see the jungler during their weakest moments.
If you have vision on the buffs early game, you can easily swoop in for a free kill when the jungler is barely level 3 and critically low on health. Your teammates with global abilities can also snipe low HP champs this way.
You can also swoop in for Drake or Baron steals if you have reliable vision. If you time your abilities right, you might even be able to get a couple of kills while you steal the Drake!
However, the opposite is also true – the enemy team could have wards in these locations too. So it is important to deward whenever you can to pose even more pressure on their poor starving support!
In this way, by simply knowing when and where to ward, you can shove your enemies into uncomfortable situations and make them stress out. And we all know that once you start to stress out in LoL, you’ve already lost!
The Rift Herald
The Rift Herald charging at your turret is one of the most terrifying and panic-inducing things to witness in League of Legends, apart from your ADC’s farm at the 10 minute mark. This bad boy can cripple a perfectly full HP tower in seconds. Because of this, it is very important to secure the Herald before the enemy team does.
Ensure that you already have wards near the Herald, so you know when the jungler goes in to kill it. You should immediately rush in to kill both the jungler and the Herald, and push some lane by releasing it.
It is better to unleash the Herald in a losing lane to reduce some of the pressure on your team, but you could always use it to further cripple an already winning lane.
Since League of Legends is all about taking towers, taking the Rift Herald before your enemies acts as the perfect pressure point to exploit the induced panic in the enemy team.
You can also release it in a lane when you want to secure an objective like drake or baron. This way you can force your enemies into a lose-lose situation, they’ll lose a tower or two, or the drake or baron, or both!
Take the Herald and push away!
Again, since League of Legends matches are won much more by pushing than fighting, split-pushing is a great way to exert map pressure. By simply constantly nagging enemies to choose between fighting somewhere like bot lane to secure the dragon and defending their top inhibitor, you can produce significant map pressure.
At the very least, you force your enemies to return to base or walk constantly between lanes desperately trying to defend their towers while also trying to secure objectives. And if you have the Rift Herald with you, well they will lose at least one tower before they can kill you or even get to you!
Split-pushing is generally done by fleet-footed top laners such as Trundle and Jax, and boy oh boy, they can take enemy inhibitors faster than they can surrender.
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Map Pressure is one of the best strategies to win your games, but it tends to be overlooked by most players. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to play against players who have absolutely no idea what map pressure is or that it is even being exerted on them.
But they WILL feel the sense of dread and stress that this pressure produces in them! Now you know how to do it, so go and have fun! We also look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments below.
Have a look at our tips on how to get dragons in LoL.