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The Rules of Trading: League of Legends Mechanics

Rules of Trading in League of Legends

Hello Summoner, knowing and following the rules of trading is a very good way to improve your laning experience. Trading can make or break a game right from the time both players meet in the lane. Before we check out the rules, let’s talk about this game mechanic for a little bit.

In League of Legends, trading simply refers to dealing damage to and taking damage from a lane opponent. It is an inevitable part of the game and it establishes the lane dynamic right from the start of the game.

In case you are wondering, trading is slightly different from harassing. You harass a lane opponent when you deal damage without taking any. The rules will cover both of these terms so be sure to pay attention.

This post will focus on the rules of trading. For knowledge on other mechanics, check out my article on League of Legends Mechanics.

Minion Wave

One of the important rules of trading is to take note of both minion waves (yours and the enemy’s). You always want to trade with or harass the enemy when you have more minions than them.

The reason is that whenever you attack an enemy champion, you pull minions aggro. That is, the allied minions of the enemy champion will leave whatever they are doing to attack you. Minion aggro works both ways, so if you get attacked while close to allied minions, the attacker will pull minions aggro too.

Now that you understand the importance of the minion wave, make sure you are always mindful of the number of minions around. A lot of players tend to underestimate the damage from minions and that makes them lose trades. 

Never forget; minions can make all the difference in a lane trade and even during a gank and dive.

Rules of Trading - Minion Wave

Level Advantage

A good time to trade is when you hit a significant level before the opponent. Most of the time it is usually levels 2, 3, and 6 because other abilities become available. Some champions have high kill pressures at level 2, some unlock dueling significance at level 3, and others can simply one-shot you at level 6.

Understanding the level-induced power spike for your champion is important if you want to dominate your lane. The moment you hit the desired level, engage the enemy and use the experience gap to seal the lane in your favor.

If you plan on using level advantages, make sure you start setting up the lane in anticipation.

Keep Track of Enemy Spells & Abilities

This rule simply requires you to time your trades to when the enemy summoner spell or ability is down. For example, an opponent with ignite uses it and you are still good to go in a fight, harass them since they don’t have as much kill pressure anymore.

The same rule applies to an enemy’s escape or dueling ability. Once they use it, their kill pressure will be lesser at that moment; feel free to engage.

However, it’s important to note that the same also applies to you. Whenever your abilities or spells go on cool-down, stay away from trades.

Jungler Position


You should always remain mindful of the junglers’ position; both yours and the enemy. To get used to this better, always ward well. A lot of players start trading with the opponent and end up walking into a gank.

Before you decide to trade or harass your lane opponent, you should always have an idea of where the enemy jungler will be. Also, if your jungler is close by, that’s a good time to trade although remember the rule about minion waves.


To wrap it all up, try to never take free damage from the enemy. Whenever your opponent damages you, return it in kind if you can. That doesn’t mean you should overextend in a bid to return damage though.

Also, feel free to always punish your opponent should they overextend. Finally, remember that the SenpAI Desktop LoL App will analyze your opponent. A good habit is to consult the SenpAI before your match begins.

Good Luck!

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