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How to Trade in Lane

Effectively trading in lane is one of the hardest things to master in League of Legends because it takes an immense knowledge of the game including your own champion, the enemy champion and his spells and so on and in this post we’ll break down all of those important things you need to know in order to come out positive in a trade with you enemy laner. 

Knowing the right time to trade with your opponent will make your laning phase much easier for you even if you don’t come out with 4 solo kills. Trading well against your enemy will make him lose farm and miss CS which is a big deal because that will lower his income and he won’t have the items needed to fight later on in the game.

What is Trading

When we say trading we refer to champions fighting each other, dealing damage or harassing. The damage can be done either by sneaking in auto attacks or casting your spells whenever you see an opportunity. It’s extremely important that you keep sneaking in attacks and spells whenever possible to waddle down your opponent’s health bar and make him scared of dying which will result in him losing some farm.

It seems quite simple so far but it’s crucial to know when you can go for a trade and come out with an advantage. That is exactly what we’ll break down in this post and following the tips we’re about to present will absolutely benefit your gameplay.

When to Go for Trade

There are a few scenarios in which you should go in for a trade because you’ll definitely come out reaping the benefits of either killing or lowering your opponent’s health bar after which he’ll think twice before coming close to you or near the minions to farm.


  • When your lane opponent just used his primary damaging spell


It often happens that an enemy will use his primary damaging spell to kill a minion or just try to hit you and completely whiff. While this ability is on cooldown you have the upper hand and you should definitely go in for a trade. Even if their cooldown is short, all you need is to go in for a couple of auto-attacks and a few spells and back away. There’s no need to finish the kill if it seems risky, chopping down the opponent’s health bar will make you win the lane through other means like farming and killing his turret.

It doesn’t always have to the primary damaging ability that the enemy uses in order to go in for the trade. It’s often advantageous to go for a trade if the enemy used a displacement ability like dash because that means his escape options are limited and you might end up burning his flash for example.


  • If you have a summoner spell advantage


Imagine that you just went in for a trade and your opponent had to flash away in order to avoid death. The next time you engage and go in for a trade you’ll have a summoner spell advantage which is a very big deal because it can get you out of a possibly sticky situation if you manage to misplay or misstep or it can help you close the gap if your enemy is just a hit away from dying.
This also applies if you have an aggressive summoner spell like ignite and your lane opponent has a more supporting summoner spell like teleport. This gives you a clear damage advantage in the 1v1 fight because you can always cast the ignite on your opponent which will lower his healing and deal true damage over time.


  • If you’re a higher level than your opponent


This is something you should constantly use in order to set your lane in the right spot for winning it early. When we say early we mean as early as level 2, since it’s quite easy to set up the minions and get level 2 before your opponent. What you want to do is to kill the first wave of minions (6 minions) and when the second wave arrives to try to kill the first melee minion as fast as possible in order to hit level 2 first. Quickly level up a spell and go in for the trade while your opponent is still just level 1. In most scenarios, you’ll come out ahead in the trade because you have a spell advantage as well as damage and health advantage. After chunking the enemy’s health bar down you can play more aggressive and zone him away from the minions in order to deny him from farming. Make sure you ward so you can avoid being ganked when playing aggressive in the lane.


  • When you have more minions


Many people forget the damage that lane minions are doing especially in the early phases of the game when you don’t have too many items. Managing your minion wave is not so easy but it’s a great skill to have and utilize to win the trades since your minions will deal tons of damage to your opponent if he decides to trade back with you in the middle of your stacked wave.
Mastering this skill requires you to know what will draw the minions to hit you and that is auto attacking the enemy champion or using a spell that is auto-attack based like Jax’s W. Using other abilities to damage the opponent won’t turn the enemy minions against you and this is important to keep in mind and use often to make your laning phase easier for you without taking too much damage from the enemy minions


  • Miss-positioning 


Pay attention to the opponent’s position in the lane and try to catch him when he’s too far forward or exposed to get hit by a skill shot. Make sure you keep your positioning right and stay behind your minions or out of skill shot line so you don’t take any damage for free. If you notice that your opponent is further up the lane, closer to your part of the minion wave, auto-attack him because his minions will take time till they get to you and start dealing damage while your minions will immediately turn on him if he tries to fire back.


  • Track the enemy jungler


The last thing that we want to mention and what you should always keep track of is where the enemy jungler is. It’s important to know because if the enemy jungler is nearby and you go in for a trade you will end up getting killed or at least burn a flash which will be a disadvantageous trade for you and you don’t want that. The easiest way to counter this is use your warding totem and place a ward to make sure the enemy jungler isn’t in your vicinity. You should also encourage your team to place wards on the map on different places in order to be able to spot the jungler which will give you the “go” button for the trade.
Of course if your jungler is close you can force a trade even if the other criteria we mentioned above aren’t met because you might be able to bait the opponent to over commit to the fight and allow your jungler to swoop in and help you clean out the kill which will often propel you ahead quite hard making you much stronger than your opponent.

It takes some time to be able to coordinate all of the previous tips we gave you and make them come naturally to you but if you put in some time into practicing you’ll be able to come out on top during the trades with your opponents.

An easier way to practice this is to sign up for free on the link here for the SenpAI app which is an AI-based platform that analyzes your gameplay and skill level and gives you actionable recommendations on what to do which is 100% personalized for you. It’ll help you turn your weaknesses into strengths and enhance your gaming experience by a significant margin.