Welcome to LoLPro's in-depth guide on Dragon and Baron control on the Summoner’s Rift. In this guide, we will clarify strategies for defending and capturing Baron and Dragon, while offering insight as to how valuable each target is and when the optimal times are for challenging them. Control over the Dragon and Baron will net your team global gold and experience, providing a series of advantages which will inevitably allow you to win the game. Mastery of spawn times and buff control will gain you more victories and higher rating. Enjoy!
2/25/13 - Polish/ re-placed information to make less confusing -Skyblade
The dragon (drake on EU) is a neutral monster that spawns in the cave located by the river, between middle lane and bottom lane. It has 3030 + 220* (highest champion level) HP, 190 damage, 21 armor, 30 magic resist, 0.658 attack speed, and 330 movespeed. In addition, its ranged attacks debuff the target’s attack speed and cause damage over time. Upon death it provides experience for the team that slays the dragon, plus 190 gold to every member of the slayer’s team and an additional 25 gold to the slayer. It spawns at 2:30 and respawns every 6 minutes past its time of death.
Why should I defend the dragon?
The dragon is highly sought after target because it provides a large (5*190=950) sum of gold for the team that slays it. The gold amount that is provided is worth around 40 minion kills (3 or so champion kills) evenly distributed amongst teammates. This amount lessens as the game goes on as the gold value for last hitting minions increases as the game goes on. The gold can be put use into buying stronger items thus giving the dragon slayer’s team a slight edge on the opposition.
When should I kill the dragon?
Attempts at dragon are usually made by the full team of players, but after either teams' jungler gets a Madred’s Razor or Wriggle’s Lantern, anything is possible. Certain champions are especially good at slaying dragon, which we will go over later in the guide. Ideal champions have either percent damage (i.e. damage that is dealt based on total health of the target), high burst, or high DPS / sustainability.
The best time to go for any objective is when you know exactly where the enemy team is located. If the other team is all dead, or they are on the mini-map past mid lane, you can safely go for dragon. Otherwise, you need to have adequate ward coverage, with vision of the other team's entry points.
Entry Points for Blue and Purple Ward Placement for Dragon
The blue team has a harder time of entering the dragon area without being seen, as there are only two entry points for them. Both points rely on access to the river, which can easily zoned by the opposing team. The opposing team can also control points with good ward placement. Due to the lack of direct entrance into the dragon for the blue team, offensive and defensive play around the dragon is difficult.
The purple team has a more dominant position for capturing the dragon. They can easily maneuver into and out of the dragon spawn point, and have better access points than the blue team. Ward coverage must be excellent on the blue team’s part to prevent capture by the purple team.
.Ward Placement for Dragon
Defensive Strategies (Stealing / Defending Objective)
There are 3 ideal outcomes: Your team can steal the last hit of the dragon, kill some of the other team, or push them away and delay a team fight.
If you have vision of dragon, try to approach as 5 and engage the enemy team if they are low on hit points / focused on dragon. If they used their skills / ultimates on dragon, engage ASAP. Your goal is to look for a weak point in the enemy collective – if their ranged carry, AP carry, or support is out of place, pick him off, and engage a 4v5, if possible.
If you are less than 5, use your best judgment in your approach. In certain circumstances where the 5th player can contribute from across the map (Twisted Fate, Pantheon, Soraka, Ashe, etc.), engaging 4v5 is OK. Sometimes you will be stronger than the enemy 5 with your 4 – use your best judgment.
Offensive Strategies (Killing / Fending Off Opponents)
There are 2 ideal outcomes: Your team can capture dragon, or kill some of the other team.
Getting pushed off of dragon after starting it is not ideal – your team will be weakened, and as a result, the opposing team will likely make an attempt for dragon, or worse: Baron or a push. The amount of players you bring to an objective depends on the timing of the attempt – if you are trying before 8 minutes, you should have 4+ people. If you are trying from 8 – 16 minutes, you should have 3+ people. If you are trying from 16 minutes onwards, 2+ people are advised. These numbers can quickly change if your opponent tries to challenge you at the spawn.
If you have vision of the opposing team’s entry points, be aggressive. Try to complete the objective as fast as possible: spend as many skills and high-burst spells to lower the dragon’s HP quickly. If you see that the enemies are approaching, try to save all burst for one coordinated strike to claim the global gold for your team.
You should only commit if you know that you can finish. Every action that you make in this game must have a reason, and if you’re pushed off of dragon after a half-assed attempt, you’ll lose a lot of momentum and potentially lose the game.
The team that starts an objective puts themselves at a significant disadvantage, especially early on in the game. Unless you have dominant control (vision & team-fight strength) of the map, don’t attempt an objective!
- Controlling and killing the dragon can lead to a gold advantage for your team
- The 190 global gold is equivalent to approximately 7-10 minion kills for everyone on your team, depending on the stage of the game. So killing the dragon is roughly equivalent to killing 38 creeps (~ 6 whole waves) and distributing the gold equally. It is generally considered to be worth as much as 2 champion kills, making it a very high value target.
- When killing the dragon, check that the enemy team has not warded the area to avoid ganks
- Ganks at the dragon are in fact pretty frequent, as your team will be weakened by it and with limited escape paths. A good gank at the dragon may result in a lot of deaths for your team, with the dragon kill being stolen by the enemies.
- Try to keep a ward in the river near the dragon to know if it has spawned or is being killed.
- This ward also provides vision of enemy champions switching between the middle and bottom lanes
- Consequently you should consider pink warding or sweeping with oracles before attempting dragon
- Killing the dragon is one of the jobs of the jungler. He may require help from the team, especially from the bottom or the mid lane
- This is one of the reasons why there are usually 2 champions in the bottom lane, with the top lane being solo, when there is a jungler on your team.
- Fiddlesticks, Lee Sin and Shaco are examples of junglers that are capable of killing the dragon alone at early levels
- Trying to kill the dragon before level 5 as a jungler is generally a bad idea. Try enlisting the help of your bottom lane allies temporarily for an earlier and easier kill.
- Pulling dragon" (attacking it and then backing away to lead it out of its lair) can be vital, as if it remains in its lair it is possible for an enemy champion to Smite from across the back wall and steal the last hit if they realize that your team is attempting to defeat the dragon.
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