Updates to this guide will come later, but this is just a first draft. I purposely left out Master Yi in the favored champions pool due to his upcoming rework. I also left out the good "combos" because champions are randomly selected and it is not possible to always get one anyways. Itemization will also come in a later update.
So I was asked to write a guide about League of Legends, but I do not consider myself to be anywhere near the level of the professional players. I am only at the lower end of the gold rankings, so I am by no means a top player. However, I have been playing many ARAM games. ARAM stands for “All Random All Middle.” This mode takes place on the Howling Abyss, a map with only one lane and some brushes. There are also two lane turrets, an inhibitor and two base turrets for each side, none of which are very strong. However, champions are automatically given experience over time and the mode is more team fight based than the other modes.
Some people say that if it is random, then there is no strategy. However, this is not true. There are strategies regardless of game modes. The champions you get will determine the core of your strategy. You can have up to two chances to reroll. The more champions you own, the faster these chances come up. The most important aspect of the game is survival. The longer the game goes, the more likely that the game will be even. Poke heavy champions like Jayce and Nidalee are favored because of their ability to deal damage over long distances, but it becomes less effective at higher levels. The favored champions list is based on the idea that it is possible for that one champion alone to greatly change the outcome of the game due to the abilities of the champion. It is also possible to manipulate the game in your favor by creating another account with champions favored for ARAM.
The list of champions that I believe are favored for ARAM is as follows
1) Heimerdinger has extremely long range poke and is great for pushing down towers and defending towers due to his turrets. He can also silence and stun and if you build pure ability power, his damage late game is insane. The rockets from his Hextech Micro-Rockets (W) deals insane amounts of damage, but it drains your mana quickly. Activating his ultimate also adds slow to his turrets. With high cooldown reduction, mana regeneration, and high AP, magic penetration does not matter as much. If you are losing, build the turrets to make pushes harder. You can also hide turrets in brushes and make the enemy take damage as they approach.
2) Sona is a bit odd considering that she is usually a support. However, on an ARAM map, sustain can greatly deter enemies from diving if they do not have sustain themselves. You will be able to outlast them under many situations as long as you have Sona on your team. As she builds ability power, her Hymn of Valor (Q), her damage greatly increases and the fact that it is also auto target makes your damage extremely high. Even though she has low HP, having high ability power will still make her Aria of Perseverance (W) heal high amounts of HP. If the enemy does not heal, your team will outlast theirs and give you a high chance of winning.
3) Although Teemo is normally a very weak champion, the difficulty in detecting stealth and healing up makes him extremely powerful in ARAM games. His Blinding Dart (Q) can make the enemy carries (heavy damage dealers) unable to land any basic attacks for a few seconds, giving you an advantage. His Noxious Traps (R) combined with Liandry’s Torment greatly decreases enemy HP. You can even put his Noxious Traps (R) on where the heal items spawn to drain enemy HP whenever they try to approach. This forces them to invest into a Hextech Sweeper or Lightbringer to reveal your hidden mushrooms and you can attack them as they try to destroy them.
4) Nidalee has the two most important things needed in ARAM, pokes and heals. Using Liandry’s Torment on her also allows the Bushwhack (W) traps she places to weaken enemies before the fight even starts. Unless the enemy has someone who can spam heals like Sona, it is very difficult to deal with a Nidalee since her Javelin Toss (Q) can take away large parts of your HP in a single shot. Aspect of the Cougar (R) also allows you to build up your Tear of the Goddess quickly to transform it into a Seraph’s Embrace.
5) Jayce is also another champion that specializes in poke. Shock Blast (Q) combined with Acceleration Gate (E) gives you huge range and damage. He can also use To the Skies (Q) to slow enemies and Thundering Blow (E) to deal percent HP damage. He also gets more abilities quickly due to his ability to switch between melee and range forms. This gives him extremely high damage early on.
6) Blitzcrank’s grabs are extremely powerful in ARAM. Due to the tight space, it is far easier to grab someone than in a regular game. As long as you have a Chalice of Harmony, you can just build cooldown so you can try to Rocket Grab (Q) more often. A single grab can be a game changer.
7)Although some people do not like Singed in ARAM very much, he is a very strong late game. The single lane makes chasing extremely dangerous and can severely weaken enemy teams that lack good HP regeneration or heals. Singed’s high HP and ultimate allows him to run interference on the enemy back line and it is extremely hard to stop him unless many people have percentage HP damage. Poke teams are forced to disengage when they are dived on.
8) Dr. Mundo does the same job as Singed, run interference. His naturally high HP regeneration allows him to take risks and run interference very easily. Infected Cleaver (Q) also does good damage while his ultimate allows him to heal up quickly. In an ARAM game where heals are extremely limited, his HP regeneration makes him very strong and hard to deal with. His ability to just get in your face and force you away is powerful in team fights.
Other champions of note (but are generally hit or miss) are
1) Ashe – Volley spam make it hard to engage and disengage
2) Amumu – just a natural tank
3) Xerath – great magic damage and long range
4) Tristana, Kha’Zix, and Katarina – resets only work well when you are dominating the game
5) Nami – heals and great crowd control, but extremely hard to use
6) Ryze – his ability to build armor yet still get damage with mana is extremely powerful
What determines your overall strategy is the type of champions that both you and your opponent have access to. You can have up to two rerolls to improve your overall odds, but you should never rely on having a favored champion. ARAM favors those who can poke and have sustain their HP. If you have neither, then you need to dive, which is the option if you have tanky champions and the enemy has squishy pokes. No matter what, you need at least one person to build Attack Damage, one to build Ability Power, and one to build defense in order to force the enemy into build different items.
In ARAM, you can only buy when you die, so some people die to turrets after winning a team fight to prevent the shutdown gold from going to the enemy team. This is difficult to do since turret damage is much lower in ARAM.
The first battle will usually take place in the middle of the lane at a level 3 engagement, so most champions will already have learned all 3 of the abilities. Early game favors those with stuns and some teams can chain their stuns and slows to kill quickly. Skill shots are favored here because you can attack the enemy in the brush. Be careful if the enemy team has a powerful hook like Blitzcrank because it can immediately cause you to lose someone early on. Items like Lightbringer and Hextech Sweeper will help you keep the brushes safe and to stop Teemo’s Noxious Traps if he is present. Those items will also make it easier to fight if the enemy is abusing the brushes.
If you are on the offensive, abuse the brushes. They cannot target what they cannot see, so running between them and only showing yourself for a second and a time is a good way to keep the poke going. Do not stay in one for too long because they will start throwing skill shots into the brushes as well. It forces them to gather at the tower where it is much harder to evade. Eventually, they will be low enough to attack. There are brushes everywhere except at the base turrets.
If you have a late game team with tanks, you have to be very careful until you can reach late game status to become a powerful tank. It is hard to avoid tanks that can run interference with crowd control such as Mundo and Singed, but that is only possible if they reach late game. They tend to do a lot better later in the game than teams that are based around being able to poke and deal damage.
If your team is full offensive, you are essentially building an early game team. You must win by the 20 minute mark otherwise it becomes extremely difficult to do so once the enemy team starts getting more HP and defensive items. Without a tank, if the enemy can run into your team and not die in 5 seconds, they are able to prevent a lot of people from attacking.
Diversity of builds is important in ARAM. Auras such as Will of the Ancients and Runic Bulwark are extremely powerful since everyone will usually be in range of it. Most importantly of all, it prevents the enemy from just stacking one kind of defense to counter your team. Even though a team of all ability power is extremely strong, the enemy team will quickly build an Aegis of the Legion and add some Negatron Cloaks to counter your team. If this does happen, someone on your team with a long auto attack range, such as Ahri, Leblanc, or Zilean should try to build as attack damage instead to add a little more diversity to your team. This will at least prevent them from building just one type of defense to counter your entire team.