I am by no means a League of Legends expert, I have only played the game for 1 year and have never had someone to teach me anything about League. Therefore everything written in this guide is based on my personal opinion and experience. However, I always think about the game as thoroughly as I possibly can and felt like I might know about some commonly made mistakes in bot lane which should be avoided by you and punished if done by your enemy.
1) Picking yourself into the wrong lane matchup
This is a very common mistake that is already made in the Picks and Ban phase. You always want to pick a duo that works versus the enemy duo. Whether a duo works versus another or not depends on quite some factors and is only true if the enemy laner bullies as much as he could (which from my experience doesn’t happen until at least Platinum, but I will come back at this later). Therefore you can say lane machtups are more important the higher the elo but yet still should be taken into account in lower elo’s.
A winning lane is able to outtrade the enemy in order to zone them off CS and/or EXP, or is able to outscale the enemy while being able to outsustain the enemy harass without missing more CS/EXP than it outscales the enemy. A losing lane gets outtraded and doesn’t have enough sustain/scaling. If you can’t sustain/outscale while getting outtraded AND also have no waveclear, it’ll be even worse.
An even lane: is anything other than that, it all comes down to skill.
Your main goal in the Picks and Bans phase should be to pick a winning lane at best and an even lane at worst, otherwise, versus good opponents you will have (almost) no chances to do anything and you will most likely lose (without jungler help). So don’t pick all-in melee support champions (Leona, Alistar, etc.) if your goal is to outscale the enemy bully lane (with hypercarry ADC’s like Vayne, Kog’maw, Twitch, etc.), rather pick a ranged sustain support like Nami, Sona which is also capable of trading and safely pushing the wave back, which I will tell more about now on point 2.
2) Not maintaining the creep wave
It’s very important to maintain the creep wave (for both the ADC and the support). This way you can get and prevent easy advantages which can quickly change a winning lane into a losing lane and vice versa. This is the main reason why lane matchups are getting more important the higher the elo you are playing in.
You never want the enemy to push their minions into your turret, if they push hard you should always try your best to push back the wave (both ADC and support!). Otherwise you’ll be stuck under your turret and have to last-hit more frequently which gives the enemy lane a lot of windows to make you low and force you to back.
At the start of the game, once you get in the lane you want to push the wave as fast as you possibly can to get the level 2 advantage (kill first wave, then 3 melee of second wave). If you get level 2 earlier versus a bully lane you can mainly always keep the lane pushed so that the bully has to either fight in your bigger minion wave or use their abilities to push it back, which also prevents them from bullying you. Not only can you keep the lane pushed to prevent bullying, but you can also use the level 2 advantage (+1 ability, increased base stats, health, mana) to try and go for a play.
Also, never push the lane if you’re behind a lot. This will force you more to the enemy territory, allowing him to freeze the wave and zone you, it also makes you vulnerable to ganks. This is a typical no-no, while behind, rather freeze and farm the jungle or back once the lane is pushed too heavily for you to be safe.
3) Randomly trading
People often randomly trade, bringing them into dangerous situations, missing creeps or losing the trade. The only times when you should trade is when the enemy can’t possibly outtrade you: This could be when the ADC is going for a last-hit, when either of the enemies their ability is on cooldown, or when you and your support can get on either the ADC or the Support without the other one trading back, so that you are shortly in a 2v1 situation. As an ADC, always prioritize farm over trading, unless you can force the enemy go back to base and miss more farm than you will.
4) Taking creeps resulting in taking a lot of damage
Don’t ever go for a creep if you’re having less HP than the enemy AND they’re not farming, rather wait for the wave to push and farm safely under your turret. If you go for creeps out of your reach, it’s a mistake and the enemy could easily punish you for it, forcing you back once the wave is under your turret and denying you even more creeps.
5) Randomly using abilities
The only time you should be using abilities is when you have to push back the lane, if you’re otherwise going to miss a farm and can maintain safe or if it’s meant for outtrading the enemy. You always want to take a look at your mana though, cause you will need it to push the incoming wave in order to go back, which I will come back at at point 8: Knowing when to base.
6) Lane positioning
Positioning in lane is very important to keep control of the lane. If you’re an ADC and outtrade the enemy ADC you always want to position yourself so that you can trade with the enemy ADC but his support has no chance to damage you. As a support you always want to control the bush, so that you (and your ADC if not farming) can always hit the opponent for walking up too far. Ofcourse if you’re playing versus champions like Blitzcrank, Morgana this might not be smart, in that case you could put down your trinket ward whenever they walk towards your bush and punish them. Also position yourself in a maximum range of your lane partner so that the enemy can never go 2v1 on your lane partner.
7) Zoning too far away from your own creeps
This is often done by the support, while the ADC is freezing. While zoning you never want to walk further than your ADC can come to help you, this will allow the enemy to trade with you 2v1 and you will end up being unable zone. Instead, just stay in range of your ADC but just so that the enemy doesn’t get EXP, this way you’re at less risk wasting health potions or zoning potential and ofcourse you’re less vulnerable to jungler ganks.
8) Knowing when to base
Always back once the wave is pushed in the enemy turret and you have enough money for an item that will help you get a powerspike. It’s ideal if both the ADC and the Support back at the same time, unless the ADC is forced back due to being low HP and the support can safely stay under the turret to soak up some solo EXP until the ADC has time to back. This is to prevent 2v1 situations and this way the enemy can’t easily zone either one twice. I want to add that it’s never smart to base while you have more HP than your lane opponents, as you can easily keep them zoned away from the minions and not give up your health advantage.
9) Buying fast to not miss out on EXP and CS
This is something that is really underrated, some people buy really slow, which makes them lose out on a lot of EXP and CS. Just buy fast and walk to the lane once you’re full health (sometimes earlier, if you have sustain, can stay safe and the wave is pushing towards your turret).
10) Realising powerspikes
Powerspikes are pretty easy to realise and see, everytime your opponent has based, just check his items and compare these with yours. Some champions spike more from items than other champions. A Tristana with only a BF Sword is weaker than a Lucian with a BF Sword due to Lucian having more AD scaling on his Q and ofcourse his passive. Consider these kind of stuff and you’ll start to know whether you can outtrade the enemy or not and shouldn’t be fighting.
EDIT: Bonus tip) Helping CS under turret
This is not truly a mistake as this sometimes requires a lot of synergy, but as a support you could always help your ADC where needed. It’s dependant whether or not the ADC has enough AD to last-hit after the turret shot(s).
- Melee minion: 2 turret hits, 1 ADC auto attack will pretty much ALWAYS do the job.
- Ranged minion: 1 turret hit, 1 ADC auto attack will NOT ALWAYS do the job. The ADC usually needs help from a minion or the support, so you don’t have to do anything if the ranged minion is attacked by a minion, otherwise you could help the ADC get the farm by auto attacking it once. This could be also done BEFORE the minion wave is arriving the turret because the ranged won’t be aggro’d by your wave, so that you’re in less risk of getting damaged under the turret. Supports with Relic Shield could also save their stack to execute the minions that can’t get last-hitted under the turret.
I hope this helps you understand the bottom lane more in order to improve, feel free to ask any bottom lane related questions and I will try my best to answer.