League of Legends solo queue tip: playing around Baron

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /
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Baron Nashor. League of Legends.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

At some point in a game of League of Legends, someone will make the call to do Baron. How you play it can make or break the game, so make sure you play it well.

Once you’ve reached the mid-to-late game phase of League of Legends – usually post 20-minutes – you’re going to start looking at a Baron take for a potential game-ending push. Baron is also an option if you’re a team behind that needs a way back into the game, either by taking it or forcing an advantageous fight around it.

In solo queue, though, taking Baron Nashor in an uncoordinated environment can be a risky endeavor. While pros do this with proper vision, communication, and coordination, even they can throw the game with a poor Baron play (Dignitas fans in the back all nod solemnly).

In your game, you’ll have none of these benefits, making almost any Baron take something of a risk. Here are some guidelines and (general) directives for how you and your team should be taking baron.

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Role of the jungler…

Your job is to make the determination when to do Baron, when to turn off Baron, and/or when to finish Baron. As far as when to do Baron, any time that you see the enemy jungler’s position is nowhere near, you feel confident that the enemy team lacks vision (or can’t contest even with their vision), and your team has enough damage to take Baron before the enemy jungler gets there, you should think about calling for Baron.

Once that call is made, however, you need to be paying attention to only two things: the minimap and the health bar of Baron. The health bar needs no explanation, because you’re trying to time your smite. The minimap, though, is to monitor where the enemy team and jungler are to make that decision if you are going to stop doing Baron and run, turn and fight, or finish the Baron off.

You should be making this decision before that Baron gets down around 2,000 to 3,000 HP. Any later and the enemy team can freely sweep in to contest it with your team having taken a bunch of free damage from Baron and finish off Nashor thanks to your team’s leash. Once that Baron is down to 2,000 HP, you’re basically committed to finishing it off regardless of what the enemy is doing.