Laning is over, now what?

League of Legends Late-Game Objective Guide

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Here are the objectives to keep in mind in the late game. (Image credit: Riot Games)

The most important gold in League of Legends is the 50 gold you get from killing the enemy Nexus. However, getting there in the late game is often quite hard. We come to the rescue with some tips on how to close your game successfully.

A League of Legends game may unfold in countless ways, but it tends to go through three stages. The early game is dominated by the laning phase, where most players stick to their lanes and farm. The mid game begins once players start teaming up and roaming the map. Eventually, the game may reach the late game, where some or all champions reach full build.

There, planning and execution matter more than how much gold you have amassed. It is in the last two phases that most games are decided. So let's take a look!

Dragons

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Welcome to the late game. (Image credit: Riot games)

By the late game, individual dragons become less important as the soul buff comes into play. The first team to kill four elemental dragons secures the permanent dragon soul buff matching the last killed dragon and all four souls give big bonuses.

  • Cloud soul: gives the team a huge map and teamfight mobility advantage.

  • Infernal soul: increases your damage, especially your poke damage.

  • Mountain soul: gives you a shield that is exceptionally strong against poke or burst champions.

  • Ocean soul: gives you extra sustain in fights.

The dragon soul buff often decides the game, but just how important it is depends on the composition of both teams. An infernal soul is powerful in a teamfight composition but is absolutely incredible for poke-heavy champions.

However, once either team gets the dragon soul buff, the map will then spawn elder dragons – and that is usually game-ending. It not only adds true damage to any attack but immediately executes any enemy who falls under 20% health and is not invulnerable.

While the buff is temporary and lost upon dying, it is powerful enough that a team with this buff is almost guaranteed to win a teamfight. A dragon soul often decides the game, an elder dragon buff should end it. If you have this buff on more than one champion, you should group and push to end the game.

Barons

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Baron Nashor, standing tall. (Image credit: Riot Games)

Probably League’s most iconic monster, the Baron has been the late-game objective to play for nearly since its inception. To secure it, your team must devote multiple champions – often the entire team – and ensure the enemies cannot react.

Usually, the best time to get it is after a decisive fight when the opponents have fewer people, especially if they lose their jungler, as the opponents will almost always contest this objective if they think they can win. However, good vision control over the region often means you can at least start the Baron, especially if you see multiple opponents far away.

Securing this objective nets you the powerful Hand of Baron buff that increases your attack damage and ability power, as well as giving you faster recalls. More importantly, however, it supercharges minions around you and makes attacking the enemy base much easier – empowered cannon minions can target towers from outside their firing range.

While this buff is only temporary and lost on death, it still gives you a great power-up to siege and break in the enemy base with.

Towers and Inhibitors

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It's all about getting to the enemy base. (Image credit: Riot Games)

We already discussed the importance of towers in a previous guide, but later on in the game, the gold you get is a lot less important than the map control they give you.

After you destroy a tower, it becomes that much easier to move around the jungle and gank the enemy team. Destroying the inhibitor turret and nexus towers is particularly important, because it exposes the objective they guard.

Destroying the inhibitor is a big temporary advantage for your team and almost always worth trading for – unless the trade gives the opponents a huge advantage, like a dragon soul or elder dragon buff. Inhibitors respawn after five minutes and you can get a general idea of how soon they will respawn from the colored ring around them.

If an inhibitor is destroyed, the enemy minion waves in this lane will feature a super minion instead of a cannon minion. It is powerful on its own, but also buffs allied minions and makes minion pushes very powerful. Just as important, however, is that while at least one inhibitor is destroyed, the nexus turrets are vulnerable - and once they are down, the Nexus itself can be attacked and destroyed.

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We hope that this information will help you close the games you almost won. For more news and analysis, follow our League of Legends coverage at earlygame.com.

We leave you with a guide to the best champions on patch 11.1 . Good luck on the Rift!

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