Bringing ADC’s to Other Lanes

ADC isn’t in the best place if you’re a solo queue player. The 30 health Riot bestowed upon us helped, but in the end, we’re still too far behind in levels and end up being munched by the Jungler or Midlaner when they decide to visit us.

So, if you’re an ADC player through and through, but you can’t keep queueing up for Bot, maybe there is a place for some of your mains in other positions?

Now, we’re not talking about Lucian Mid or Vayne top. That would be too reasonable. Today we’re exploring some ADC’s that don’t have a regular home in other lanes and seeing if we can move in. 

Caitlyn mid has a long and storied history, and by ‘Long and stories history’, I mean there was a MOBAFIRE guide written about it back in 2012.

That is the surest sign of quality.

Caitlyn mid is honestly the most reasonable thing I tried. Youtube has grabbed her as a meme pick before. Plus, her range, ‘escape’ and traps mean she’s safer than most ADCs when paired against an assassin.

The Build and Strategy

For the build, I went Dark Harvest as the keystone and opted to build Lethality items. Everything else was standard, no changes to my skill order.

The key to this build was to use my ult to try to match my opponent’s pressure. None of the ADC’s I could bring mid can keep up with roaming champions, so my ‘ganks’ needed to be done from about halfway down the river.

Game One:

I was against Leblanc, who was the champion I was going to ban if I didn’t feel the NEED to ban Zed. In the end, I think Caitlyn has a surprising advantage in the matchup. Caitlyn’s auto-attack range is the exact same as Leblanc’s dash, meaning that proper spacing and positioning will leave you outside her threat range. Even if she does come in, the delay on her dash means you can easily net backwards, catching her and dodging her combo.

Game 2:

Game two, I had a Kindred jungle, myself and the bottom lane Twitch, so we had 3 ADC’s.

The enemy team made up for it by having none.

Once again, I was able to leverage my long range into a lead in lane. Twice Ahri tried to get close, but dodging her charm with my net let me win every trade. That said, the game was not all sunshine and rainbows.

The enemy team ended up ahead, and even though I had won my lane, I couldn’t bring enough to the team outside of just ‘damage’. Eventually, the enemy’s ability to burst caught up with me, and we lost despite fighting hard.

Does it work?

Yes. Honestly, I will keep Cait mid as a pocket pick. It’s fun; it’s excellent if you leverage an early lead, and it’s not the absolute worst thing you could bring mid. That said, it suffers from the fact that you’re not the only ADC on the map. It’ll work best with a tanky team to back you up, so it’s not something you can pick blind.

I didn’t have high hopes going into this one. Quinn seemed like one of the better choices for an ‘untested’ marksman to bring into the support position, but I wasn’t under the impression that it would work well.

The Build and Strategy

For the keystone, I pulled out electrocute and relied on the Auto > E > Auto combo to trigger it. The only change to the skill order was that I was starting the game with E, so I could do the combo at level one.

The plan was to get level 6, and then play like Bard. Running around the map and being in every fight I could.

Game One:

It actually worked?

Quinn support did decent damage in lane, and as soon as I got level six, I turned into a second jungler. Yi, Vel’koz and myself ran around the map as the doom squad and snowballed out of control.

I’m not about to pretend that Quinn is the new support pick, but the roaming theory held up. I was able to help the entire map and I didn’t feed in lane.

Game Two:

We found the problem.

The second game I was paired up against a Swain support and a Lucian. I learned, very quickly, that going in aggressively like I could against Kai’sa and Sona cost too much health to be sustainable.

I didn’t die in lane and we actually came out ahead, but that was the jungler’s doing, not mine. When I couldn’t play aggressive, I was just a caster minion with a bird.

Does it work?

Technically yes, it wasn’t the worst champion I’d played as a support and it might even be a good pick against weak lanes.

But…

The entire time I was playing Quinn, I felt like I would have been better if I’d been playing Thresh or other champions that aren’t quite as good at roaming but have more tools for disruption.

I felt pretty confident going into this one. Varus was a commonly picked champion in the 1v1 competition at All Stars 2019, and he’s already found himself a spot mid. How hard was it going to be to move top?

The Build and Strategy

The main diversion from the traditional lethality Varus build was that I was taking Press the Attack. With mostly melee opponents in the Top Lane I had a good opportunity to get three attacks off, and was going to lean heavily into Varus’ blight stacks.

Does it work?

No.

Let’s put it this way, I skipping the game recaps.

Varus top was pretty terrible. My damage early wasn’t enough to dominate my opponents, and I was a very easy gank target. In the end I had no pressure and I didn’t have real game impact either time I attempted it.

It seems like the length of Top Lane means that you need to play an ADC with some form of escape. Vayne, Lucian and Kalista all have mobility tools that can keep them out of harm’s way; As Varus I only had my ult and the cooldown was prohibitively long.

In Conclusion:

Should you bring the ADCs to other lanes?

Sure! Caitlyn mid was legitimately good, and Quinn support was serviceable. Overall, there are already options for playing ADC’s in other lanes. Vayne top, Varus mid and Miss Fortune support are well known and tested flexes for your main.

Does bringing ADC’s into other lanes solve their issues right now though? I think that really depends. Mid Caitlyn absolutely more independent than a traditional ADC, but it was still extremely team reliant. In the end, playing in other lanes is a fun way to switch up your time on the rift, but it’s not going to magically solve the weaknesses champion class.

Let me know what your pocket picks are! Who should I try next in the wrong place?