How to Play Against LoL Lane Counters During the Laning Phase

LoL lane counters are the most annoying thing to deal with when playing the game. If you are forced to pick your champion too early, your lane opponent will most likely choose the best unit to make your life miserable in the laning phase. Instead of whining about your opponent countering you even though it’s a smart strategy, it’s better to learn how to play the game against a losing matchup that allows you to stay relevant for your team.

How to Play Against LoL Lane Counters

Picking LoL lane counters is one of the best ways to ensure that you succeed in the early stages of the game by dominating the laning phase and securing an advantage that will translate into the late game. This is a great strategy that will help you get an easier chance to carry the game. However, it’s not as fun if you’re the other side of the spectrum. Having to play against lane counter feels absolutely horrible and it makes it difficult to perform well.

The ultimate way to overcome a lane counter is to simply outplay them with better mechanics and mastery over your champion. However, not everyone is able to do that and some champions simply have too much of a hard time playing against certain picks that it’s almost impossible to overcome the gap. Instead, we’ll be learning how to play against LoL lane counters so that you don’t fall off as bad during the laning phase.

Tower-Hugging and Proper Wave Manipulation

The ultimate goal when playing against a lane counter is not to die and not to give them resources to succeed. This means not giving them tons of gold by allowing them to kill your champion or get turret plates for free. Staying close to the tower allows you to retain a sense of safety but if the enemy minion wave constantly crashes on your turret, the opponent will still secure a heavy advantage that will translate into them getting fed despite not getting any kills.

Gnar hiding under the tower against lol lane counters
They can’t kill you under tower!

The best way to stay safe when playing against a lane counter is to clear the wave before it reaches your turret. However, you never want your own wave to start pushing towards the enemy turret because the enemy player can simply freeze the wave on their side, making it impossible for you to kill minions without constantly being in range for a kill. Instead, try to match the number of minions your lane opponent kills to make sure that the wave is always pushing towards you.

Lane Swapping

Lane swapping is the ultimate way to get out of a counterpick. Top laners have it worst when the enemy player counterpicks them, more so than any other laner in the game. The best way to get out of the horrible situation is to ask your mid laner to swap lanes with you (or vice versa) to make the matchup a lot easier. This isn’t really an applicable tip for the bot lane since it’s more efficient to stick to the bottom since it is the safest position on the map.

Gnar avoiding his lol lane counters
The mid lane is the best place to go!

The problem with lane swapping is that there is a very high chance the opposing laner will follow you to the lane you went. Fortunately, it’s very difficult to abuse a counterpick when playing in the mid lane since the lane distance is very short. This means that a top laner that got counter-picked will have a better time going to the mid lane if they think that the matchup is getting too difficult to manage.

Securing an Item Advantage

Another good way to stabilize a matchup against a LoL lane counter is to make sure that you are always in equal footing against them. If you’re playing against a lane counter, make sure to always take the Teleport summoner spell since there is always a high chance that the opponent will always have the health advantage when you take trades.

Gnar buying items for lol lane counters
Equalize the matchup!

Use the Teleport summoner spell to equalize the matchup by recalling when you farmed enough gold to buy combat item that either gives offensive or defensive stats. Avoid buying movement speed early and you especially need to avoid buying a ton of health potions since those are simply a waste of money. Instead, buy helpful combat items that will stabilize the lane state and keep up with your opponent’s aggression.

Coordinated Ganks

When an opposing player picks a lane counter, they almost always play aggressively to try to press their advantage. This isn’t necessarily a wrong strategy since it will give them the opportunity to force the opponent into their tower and lose minions. However, if the enemy is careless, they are almost always open to ganks from your team so make sure to coordinate with your jungler to help stabilize your lane by constantly ganking your opponent when they are overextended.

Gnar hiding in the bush against LoL lane counters
Ask you jungler to help you!

The opponent will most likely expect a gank when they’re playing aggressively so you need to help your jungler find the right moment to execute a successfuly gank. On the other hand, even if a gank won’t be successful, it’s still a good idea to have your jungler walk up to the lane to force your opponent to run back and allow you to gain precious gold and experience safely.


Weaksiding is a strategy that experienced laners do. This is done by taking extremely punishment from the opponent while keeping up with the resource trade. The main purpose of weaksiding is to draw the attention of the enemy jungler since you are trying to appear as an easy target. Even if you don’t succeed in the lane, you ensure that the two other lanes in the game receive fewer ganks from the enemy team.

Gnar playing the weakside against lol lane counters
Play for the team!

When weaksiding, there is an increased chance to die with a certain threshold for acceptability. It’s okay to die as a weakside top laner but it’s never okay to feed the enemy champion, making it difficult for your entire team to play the game. Just because you’re playing against a LoL lane counter doesn’t mean you should concede your fate.

Become a LF minion

Subscribe to our mailing list and never miss the secret sauce on LoL or Promos on LF!

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

Join the action


Other posts you may like