How do I trade damage effectively?



  • Especially as an AD Carry in bottom lane. It's really difficult to understand how/why/when to do it.



  • It really depends on the matchup.

    Note:

    • Long Range means ADs like Caitlyn or Ashe
    • Short Range means burst ADs like Graves, Corki or early-game Tristana

    As a rule of thumb for lanes that are not kill lanes:

    • Long Range vs Short Range AD You want to auto attack him whenever he tries to last hit one of your caster minions and is in a range where you can hit him but he can't hit back. You can be a little more aggressive if you have a skill/passive that does more damage - like Caitlyns Headshot or Ashes Volley - but just move into his range, get the shot off and go back again.
      Don't go for direct engagements as most short range ADs have better burst than the long range ADs. Go for the long term, it's better to hit him 5 times over 30s without taking damage instead of going in, hitting him 10 times in 10 seconds and you both being at half health.

    • Short Range vs Long Range Whenever the opponent used a burst skill, for example to clear minions, go in and do as much burst damage as possible. Once your burst is over, get out and continue to CS. If the opponent doesn't use his skills for CS - which means he actually knows what he is doing - coordinate the bursts with your support, for example with Jannas shield, Alistars combo, Sorakas Silence, etc. You need to have a hit and run mindset.

    • Long Range vs Long Range Whenever the opponent tries to last hit, shoot him. He can either get the last hit or shoot back, which means it's basically a lose-lose situation for him. Try to get an eye for those situations so you can see them as often as possible while not falling for them yourself.

    • Short Range vs Short Range Try to get a feeling for the opponents cooldowns. Once the opponent used one of his skills, go for the trade since for a short duration you will be able to do more damage than he can do. Go out before his skills come out of cooldown.

    Other factors to consider:

    • Always have an eye for the opponents items and level.
      • If you hit level 6 before him you can often go for a very powerful burst, for example with Ashes Arrow or Graves Ultimate.
      • If you just came back from base and already have your berzerker greaves and 1+ dorans blades while he decided to stay and is still on boots, go for a straight up fight.
      • If you just finished a core item, for example B.F. Sword, Infinity Edge, Zeal, etc. and he doesn't have it, go for a direct trade, you can often finish him or at least force him out of lane.
      • If you are behind in items or levels, don't take any shots, don't try to trade, just get as much CS as possible.
    • Don't forget to factor in the support.
      • If your support has weak sustain while the opponents support has good sustain, for example Nunu vs Soraka, don't go for auto-attack trades. Always combine your burst damage with your support so you can get as much damage off as possible before the opponents sustain kicks in.
      • On the other hand if the opponent has a weak sustain support like nunu, play aggressive, force them back with auto-attack trades while avoiding their bursts. Go for the long term, the damage they take is basically permanent while yours is temporary so you can take a lot more damage in the long term.

    There are still a hundred more factors to consider for every duo lane matchup but this should give a good rule of thumb.


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