League of Legends – Jack of All Trades or Master of One?

Recently I had a rather interesting League of Legends game, one that I lost but I felt lied to by one of the players. This player, who had clearly more experience and game time than me, claimed he never played a specific role, in the team setup. You see, in League of Legends there is usually an assumption that a team has a specific number of players on each lane and role. These roles are Top Lane (usually a melee oriented, tanky sort of character, but not always), Mid Lane (usually a mage), Bot Lane, composed of a Support and an ADC (in other words, somebody who deals a lot of damage, but has little health, and somebody who helps him survive) and a Jungler (a player who has a number of roles, such as hunting down fleeing enemies, killing neutral creatures to earn gold and level up, as well as creeping up on enemies attacking one of the other lanes). At the end of this lost game the player claimed he never played as a Jungler, or rather, said it was hist first time as such. Now, I am just about to reach his level (he was Level 30, I am level 29) but I tried numerous champions, and I have played on ever single lane sufficiently to know what each role is about. So, what happened next?

League of Legends

Let’s get ready to rumble!

League of Legends – First Time Jungling!

I went to the forums and started a topic, trying to get a broader picture on the topic My first guess was that the account was sold, and that the new owner was a beginner with a high level account. Later I assumed that maybe the player had a bad day and wanted to tell us that this was his first time. I simply could not believe somebody who would need at least 300 games behind him would never play as this specific role.

The people’s responses were very surprising to me. People told me that this way of playing is very common. Some players focus on just one champion and play said champion from their earliest levels, all the way till they can play ranked games (so, those 300 games). Now, I know there are favorites, we all have them. We enjoy playing as one class, character or vehicle more than the other, but seemed surreal to me, at first, that somebody would play only as one character for such a long time!

This information, and some of the responses on the forum, made me write this opinion piece. The question of whether one should be a Jack of All Trades, like myself, or a Master of One? These are the two extremes, and I know people can have their in-between stances, but I would be of the stance that if you become a master of just one character, combo or skill (depending on the game) you could find yourself outsmarted by the enemy.

Allow me to explain. I have only twenty champions of different sorts, but sometimes I play other characters, and sometimes I read up on champions that I find interesting, because I might want to buy them or play with them in the future. Even if I do not play a champion against other players I try him once or twice against Bots. What does that give me? Internal knowledge of the champion’s limitations and strengths.

As an example, one of my first champions I ever played was Cho’Gath. Cho’Gath is a Mid-Lane champion, and it just happened that I was playing another Mid-Lane character, Veigar. I knew Cho’Gath inside and out, and thus I knew about his secret weapons. Namely, one of his abilities could throw me up in the air and slow me down, while also dealing some damage. If I was hit this way too close to Cho’Gath he could then use his ultimate ability and greatly weaken me, perhaps even kill me if I did not flee fast enough. Yet throughout that game I kept him at arms length, always dodging his attempts at charging me down. In a similar case I have played a number of games as one of LoL’s most infamous champions, Teemo. Before reading a guide, and trying him for myself all that I knew about Teemo was what abilities he had, but I never understood the extent of their power and how exactly they could be used most effectively. Thus, playing as Teemo, even for a couple of games, gave me a larger advantage than if I played against him, those couple of games.

In a similar fashion I could speak of such games like World of Tanks, War Thunder, Team Fortress 2 and many more. You could have those picks you enjoy playing as the most, but until you try them for yourself you do not know the extent of your enemy’s abilities. You might had played against them, and you might had learned a lesson or two, but that is hardly enough to consider yourself sufficiently knowledgeable not to be defeated.

This is what we would call an element of deep play, where you do not just “Play the Game” but also learn its inner workings. That’s true, it might look more like work than having fun, it might be considered being a try-hard, but I look at it differently. People do not like losing, nobody does. You might say “GG” and be happy that a game was indeed good and challenging but you might had preferred to win it, rather than lose. Following that logic, putting aside the characters, vehicle or tank to try something a bit different could be a relaxing change of pace. Instead of flying your Bf 109 F-4 in War Thunder you decide to give the Soviet plane line a go and learn what the I-153 is all about. Or maybe you use your knowledge of the Tiger I that you play the most with, to defeat them in your brand new IS-1?

It is almost like a banquet you have been invited to. You could just go for the food you know you like, but you could try a bit of everything. Who knows? Perhaps trying out something completely new and strange will give you ideas of your own? Maybe what you thought was delicious now became second place to something far better?

I would say, never stick to the same old thing. Do not try to master just the one thing, but always try to broaden your perspective, even if only a bit further. That way you could advance much further in the game, with very little investment, and much less stress.

Alex “WriterX” Bielski

About The Author

Aleksander "WriterX" Bielski
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Student of Psychology, he was identified as a Nut-Job even before he started the course. Having done some small work as a Modder for a number of titles, and worked as a Game Designer part-time, Alex now writes in third person. As Co-Owner and Editor of AlterGamer.com he aims high, while being armed only with a sling. In the future, he hopes to become a fully qualified Newspaper Editor, and purchase Google.

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