ARAM (All Random All Mid) is a League of Legends game mode where players are placed in the Howling Abyss, a smaller map with a single lane where two teams of five champions face off. The goal is to destroy the enemy turrets and eventually their Nexus to win.
Picking your Champion
This is a crucial part of the game. If your team picks five ADCs or five tanks the likelihood of winning goes down drastically. Having a balanced team composition can make your team seem unbeatable. Each player has 1 or 2 rerolls that they can use to add one more champion to the bench. Rerolling at least once is always recommended since it increases the pool of champions you and your team can play and it makes it more likely that everyone can play a champion they are comfortable playing.
To maximize your chances of winning, you can also check if your champion is good on ARAM specifically. Some champions win up to 60% of their games while others can only do so in 40% of them. You can find a complete list of champions and their win rate in ARAM Zone, a website focused on stats and builds for ARAM.
A good team composition is usually formed by one tank, one ADC, one AP carry (usually a mage), one support, which can be more engage based or shield based, and one other champion that can be picked freely. Having a mix of AD and AP damage in the team is important so as not to make it too easy for the enemy team to itemize against you.
The Early Game
The most important and often overlooked aspect of the early game in ARAM is who gets to push the minion wave first. The team that manages to do this gets a huge advantage over their opponents, which is due to several reasons:
- Your tower doesn’t take damage. The goal is to destroy the enemy towers, so having the minions damage the opponent’s and keeping yours safe is obviously beneficial.
- It’s easier to hit your spells on the enemies if there are no enemy minions in the way and similarly it’s harder for them to hit you if you have your minions to protect you.
- Whoever pushes first has access to bushes, which gives you a position to do damage from safety.
- You level up first. Killing minions gives experience, and whoever gets enough experience to get level 6 first gets a huge advantage since level 6 gives access to ultimate abilities, which are usually very strong. Fighting while you are level 6 and the opponent is level 5 gives you a massive advantage.
- You get to heal off from the enemy’s relic and you might even deny them from them. This way you can stay healthy while they struggle to farm minions and avoid skillshots under tower.
The Mid and Late Game
This is where ARAM games become very chaotic and there are a lot of uneven fights. Death timers become longer and fights are unavoidable so there are a lot of 4v3, 2v4 and other fights. Dying in a bad position late game can leave your team 4v5 for an important fight, so try to be a bit more careful when it seems like a single fight can end the game.
Here is where keeping the push going is important. If you lose a teamfight at the enemy’s inhibitor they are unlikely to be able to punish your team by taking towers or your own inhibitor until your team respawns. If you lose a teamfight at your own inhibitor however you might lose the game if the enemy has champions that destroy towers like Tristana or Ziggs.
There are a few things about ARAM that are quite different from the normal Summoner Rift experience.
For one, you can only go back to base to heal up and buy items when you die. This means that it’s not worth it to use important spells such as Flash when you are very low on health since you are likely to end up dying to errant poke anyways, wasting the summoner spell.
For safe champions such as enchanter supports or some artillery mages you might find yourself not dying for too long, which means that even if your score is good you have worse items than your opponent. You might want to let a tower take you when pushing in those cases in order to be able to buy items and keep your strong position.
There’s also an extra summoner spell to take in ARAM called Mark. Mark throws a snowball that gives vision and does damage to any enemy hit. Once hit, you can reactivate it to dash to them. This gives a powerful tool to a lot of champions that otherwise have difficulty sticking to their targets. It’s a must-take on most melee champions like Malphite to remain competitive and some ranged ones as well that benefit from being close-range like Karthus.
The optimal build of many champions is also different from their Summoner Rift optimal build. For example, Kog’Maw does really well building AP for his long-range poke. Dark Harvest is in general a really strong keystone in ARAM for many champions since there’s constant fighting and opportunities to proc it from the early game. You can find detailed build alternatives for all champions in ARAM Zone which helps you find fun alternative builds for champions and see what’s good.
ARAM is considered a “fun” gamemode by many people but there’s also a big set of players that take it seriously and you can definitely make a difference in your win rate by doing so. If you make sure your team is constantly pushing minion waves, use the Mark summoner spell effectively and build the right items on your champions you will certainly notice a difference in your results!