1. What do AD, ADC, AP stand for, and what do they mean?
AD means attack damage. That’s usually damage dealt by physical attacks, but some spells scale off attack damage (shown by an orange +x when you mouse over the skill and read the description)
ADC is an attack damage carry. These are champions who scale well with attack damage items, often having some sort of innate boost to their auto-attacks and skills which scale off attack damage. They are generally ranged, or have some way of cheating death, so that they can build almost fully offensive items for maximum damage potential. They are generally weak early game, but are extremely strong late game once they manage to buy the items they need.
AP is ability power. It is used to calculate the effect of most spells (shown by a green +x when you mouse over the skill and read the description). AP champions are generally strongest mid-game, since their damage output increases greatly with skill levels as well as with ability power, wheras an AD champion doesn’t have so much damage scaling on their abilities with level.
CC is crowd control. Basically something which stops opponents from doing exactly what they want. It covers everything from slowing the enemy’s movement speed and attack speed to stopping them from doing anything for a few seconds.
2.Why does it matter which lane you pick?
Generally, since around season 1, people have taken “1 top, 1 mid, 2 bot, 1 jungler” to be the “best way to win”, since it’s how the pro players in the first few tournaments of season 1 won. This has gradually filtered down to the so called “Meta”. People are generally more comfortable with playing according to the meta rather than trying out a completely new strategy, and so that’s generally just how people play. It’s possible to do other strategies, but it’s generally best to stick to the meta or you risk getting flamed if you’re not with a full team of friends.
To go more into depth about the meta, the player going top is generally a hard to kill champion who can hold their own for long periods of time. Since this is a solo lane (i.e. 1v1) the champion gets large amounts of experience and a lot of gold from minions.
The player going mid generally takes an AP champion, or now that season 3 preseason has started improving AD assassins, AD assassins are becoming quite popular there too. These champions are generally less well armoured, and more offensively geared. They take mid lane rather than top due to the fact that the distance to mid is shorter than the distance to top, so they can recall and heal more easily. Mid lane is also the best lane from which to move to and gank other lanes for a quick kill. Since this is a solo lane, the champions here gain full experience, and so get to their mid game power much more quickly, and the level advantage over bottom lane gives them the ability to quickly destroy champions in bottom lane when ganking, to get them more gold and give their team an advantage.
Bottom lane generally contains two champions: The ADC, and their support. The ADC takes all the gold in the lane. All the minion kills, and preferably all the champion kills too, so that they can get to their powerful endgame as quickly as possible. The support protects the ADC with healing and shielding, or in some cases uses powerful CC to set up easy kills for their ADC. Essentially, their job is to get the ADC to endgame as quickly and as easily as possible. Since the ADC is as squishy as the Mid laner, the support is there to protect them since the distance to the bottom lane is longer than the distance to the mid lane. The support also buys wards to help protect themselves and the ADC from ganks from jungle, mid, and occasionally top. Since this is a duo lane, the ADC and support are lower level than the rest of the team.
A couple of frequently asked questions are :”Why is the AP mid and not the ADC?” and “Why is the duo lane bot and not top?” The answer to the first one is that the enemy AP would be higher level than the ADC and support and would nuke them down extremely quickly, and the answer to the second one is that controling the Dragon is worth 950 gold every 6-7 minutes to the team, so having more people in the bottom lane is extremely useful to contest, steal or take Dragon.
3. What’s the difference between energy and mana, what things/champions/abilities use energy?
Energy and mana are both balancing systems to limit champions power, they just work in slightly different ways. Energy has a very small maximum amount (200-220 depending on runes and masteries), and replenishes very quickly, but can’t be increased by items, while mana has a much larger maximum amount, replenishes more slowly (at least percentagewise), but can be increased by items. (I’ve seen champions with almost 4000 maximum mana and I’m sure you could get even more)
The best way to describe it is that Energy is like filling a teacup with water from a tap, Mana is like having a bucket of water, and Manaless champions are those who say “Screw your bucket, I’ll do what I want when I want to!”. Then there’s Fury, which is similar to manaless, only more “GRAAARGH”, and what fury does depends on the champion.
Every champion only uses one resource system, so you can’t have a champion running on both mana and energy, say.
4. What exactly is jungling and why can’t you do it without smite?
Jungling is the 4th gold source for your team. One team member wanders through the jungle, killing the neutral monsters for gold and experience. Good jungle champions generally have a few qualities that make them good for jungling. Firstly, they can get through the jungle quickly and relatively safely. Secondly, they have an ability which allows them to cross distances and gank unsuspecting laners extremely quickly and brutally. Essentially the jungler appears in a lane which has pushed itself into an unsafe position, and attacks the enemy laner, temporarily turning the lane into a 1v2 or 2v3, and preferably killing the enemy laner for gold, experience, and the gratitude of whichever lane they saved.
Smite is a summoner spell which deals a large amount of damage to a single jungle monster or enemy minion. It makes you clear the jungle faster, more safely, and allows you to contest Dragon or Baron far more easily, since you can “steal” it instantly when it drops below a certain amount of hp using smite.
5. What is a Red monster and Blue monster(I think that’s what they’re called)?
The Red Lizard and Blue Golem are the most powerful monsters found in the jungle (not counting Dragon and Baron, since they’re technically in the river). They each provide their special buff to their killer. The Red Lizard gives its killer an effect which causes their attacks to slow their target and deal extra damage. ADCs ,most junglers and bruisers love this buff. the Blue Golem provides massive mana regeneration and allows you to cast more spells in any given period of time. AP mids and champions who benefit from reduced spell cooldowns love this buff. It’s also the only way of increasing energy regeneration. Needless to say, stealing an enemy red or blue gives you an advantage.
6. What do all these other acronyms mean?