Have you put in hours and hours in Classic Mode of Mobile Legends Bang Bang (MLBB) and want to start Ranked matches? Before you do that, there are some things you have to prepare for. In this guide, we will look at some of the preparations needed before you start your Ranked journey. Some of these are essential and absolute while others are what I found through trial-and-error specifically in this game. But first, a look as to why Ranked games are important.
[Note: To unlock Ranked mode, the player’s account level must reach Level 8 with 6 or more Heroes on their roster.]
Why Is Ranked Important?
Ranked games usually benefit the player through the increased stimulation of the brain. Players who want to improve their game do so against players within their skill range. For example, I have been grinding Ranked using Layla or Nana. In my current rank (GM 5), my win rate with Layla is around 60%. This is due to my knowledge of the mismatches and my own limitations as a player. Having to grind Ranked gives my brain the needed stimulation to adapt to these and push myself further to think of ways that my main Heroine (Layla) be viable in my Ranked push.
This goes with any game that has a Ranked mode. Players will often adapt to the situations they are in and improvise on the spot.
The following question-based “checklist” should mentally prepare you for some Ranked matches:
- A clear mental image of what you want to achieve. For example, do you want to rank or star up within ten games?
- Do you have a backup Hero in the event your main Hero gets picked?
- Are your Hero Builds, Spells, and Emblems optimized to your gameplay?
- Do you want to grind with friends or solo?
Having answers to these will help you prepare for Ranked games.
Understanding the Basics
Before we dive in, we have to understand the basic mechanics of MLBB. By learning the various roles of Heroes, where they are optimum, and how they interact within the map gives us a clearer view of how you can prepare for a Ranked push.
First, we have to understand how Heroes work by providing their overview from roles to the general idea of how to play them.
There are 6 main Hero roles with some Heroes overlapping their main roles with another. The six roles are Fighter, Mage, Assassin, Marksman, Support, and Tank. Each role has a specific area in the map that is optimized for them. For example, Marksmen always take Gold Lane so they can farm equipment faster, while Assassins take the jungle to level up faster and ambush enemies from their location. Knowing what each role does and how they should be played will be the key in all ranked matches.
In a nutshell, the roles are defined as such:
- Fighters are almost always durable and powerful. They are at the frontline taking and dealing damage to opponents. Examples of Fighters are Zilong and Chou.
- Mages do a lot of damage using Magic Damage. Their basic attacks are weak even after leveling up. They are often overlapping with the Support role. Examples of Mages are Eudora and Nana.
- Support Heroes provide shields, heals, or buffs to their team. Some Support Heroes overlap with Mages and Tanks. As such, Nana is also considered as Support.
- Assassins roam around the jungle to gain experience and gold. The faster they level up, the better. Their main gameplay revolves around high damage output abilities and an escape option. Examples of Assassins are Saber and Benedetta.
- Tanks are defensive specialists that are also employed in the frontline. Some tanks overlap with Fighters and Support. Examples of Tanks are Tigreal and Fredrinn.
- Marksmen are long-range Heroes who keep their distance in order to be optimal as they deal high damage the farther they are from their opponents. They are really slow and rely on teammates to be impactful. Their builds rely on attack speed and critical hit bonuses. Examples of Marksmen are Layla and Bruno.
How to Farm Gold and Experience
Farming gold and equipment is different between roles. As mentioned, Marksmen take the Gold Lane, denoted on the map with the “$” sign, to farm gold and experience. The faster they farm their needed equipment, the more they become valuable in team fights. Inversely, Assassins take the jungle to gain gold and experience. Mages and Support usually roam the map while Fighters and Tanks may focus on any Lane. However, whenever necessary, helping teammates should also be a priority. Defeating enemies also gives gold and experience points.
There are 5 main map objectives aside from destroying enemy turrets and defending own turrets. The first is taking the Turtle for team experience points, gold, and a bonus shield for the last hitter. The Turtle spawns after two minutes of the match and is positioned close to either the Gold or Experience Lanes.
The second objective is Lord. This late-game objective gives them the power of Lord who will help them push a Lane specified by the team, and it gives an attribute boost to the first wave of Minions that appear after slaying Lord. After 12 minutes, Lord will be Enhanced, who now deals True Damage to enemy turrets. The last iteration of Lord, Lord Evolved, spawns after 18 minutes of slaying Lord Enhanced. This last version of Lord deals Damage Reduction and gives nearby allies Magic Damage on their attacks with a cooldown of 2 seconds. Lord can be found in the same location as Turtle.
There are two role-based objectives that can be seen on opposite sides of the jungle, denoted by a purple mark. The Red Buff and Blue Buff offer specific buffs beneficial for the different Hero roles. The following table shows the various effects of these buffs on a given Hero role. The last buff, Gold Buff, found on the Gold Lane is also listed.
|Red Buff||[Assassin, Fighter, Tank] Deals 50 (+20% Total Physical Attack) (+30x Attack Speed) True Damage and slows the target by 60%. Gains 5% Physical Penetration / Magic Penetration.
[Marksman, Mage, Support] It deals 50 (+30% Total Physical Attack) (+50x Attack Speed) True Damage and slows the target by 20%. Gains 10% Physical Penetration/Magic Penetration.
|Blue Buff||Reduces Skill cooldown by 10%, Mana Cost by 40%, and Energy Cost by 25%. Restores HP upon killing enemy type (3% for Minions, 8% for Heroes, 10% for Creeps).|
|Gold Buff||Killer gains Gold Buff that lasts 10 seconds and provide 100 Gold. Smaller Gold crab gives 30 Gold in 9 seconds.|
Drafting and Team Composition
After knowing the different roles of each Hero, the next step is to know which team composition is optimal. While there are at least a hundred compositions due to the 6 different roles, having a balanced team composition will go a long way. Does also entails that you have to learn at least one Hero per role to adjust to your team’s needs. A balanced team composition depends on the game’s meta but for the sake of uniformity, the Hero select screen often displays which Lane needs to be filled, which hints at which role is also needed.
A unique aspect of higher-rank matches from Epic – upwards is the ability to ban and draft Heroes. This is intended to deter players from picking their main Hero(es) and diversify Hero picks, giving teams improvised strategies and adjustments. This system is not implemented in lower ranks.
While I recommend learning one Hero per role, focus on one that you will grind until you reach Master. If your matchmaking rank is already at Elite or Master after unlocking Ranked mode, pick one more Hero to grind. You can choose some Heroes in this Best Heroes for Beginners and the Best Heroes to Use for Solo Ranking. It is also necessary to know how matchmaking fares in your Ranked games. We also have a guide for that: How Mobile Legends Matchmaking Work.
Core Game Strategies
For this section, I will mention three different strategies for the three different phases of each match: early, mid, and late. The early game is universal and absolute while the mid and late game will be based on how you read the situation; I will only suggest what to do for those parts of the match.
In the early game, focus on earning gold and experience by farming them on the Lane you are assigned to. It’s better to have equipment early to engage in battles to help your teammates. This also means getting the buffs early and poking enemies within your Lane. First engagements should not always end in elimination, especially on your end. The Hero who killed you will get gold and experience if you get eliminated. So choose your battles wisely in the early stage of the match.
The tricky part during mid games is figuring out which Lane to help or if you want to engage in slaying the Turtle. This highly depends on which Lane(s) the team has difficulty with or when a specific teammate calls for backup. One of the main priorities mid game is slaying the Turtle so, as much as possible, gather your teammates or help the one already engaging the Turtle.
You may notice that in the mid stages of the match, your priorities will be messed up. Remember to help your team whenever needed, then farm for gold and better equipment.
Same as mid-game, the late game requires more attention to the team’s needs. Since Lord comes out late in the game, prioritize slaying him and gaining his buffs. Even if Lord does not reach the enemy base of any of the remaining turrets, his push will benefit the team if called out strategically. (Yes, even calling out Lord requires some thinking for him to have a positive impact.)
While I recommend pushing as a team in this particular stage of the match, it is situational what you must do to have positive value for the team.
Communication = Better Teamwork
I think this is more of a tip than something I must break down. Whether voice, text, or Smart Commands, communication can do wonders for team play. In the video provided, you will see how even with the Smart Commands, our team had an idea of what to do at specific points in the match. The moment I asked for help in the opening minutes when our Tank called out to defend a Lane after helping me and even calling out to attack Lord were all through the Smart Commands. Pay attention to the pings of the Smart Command, though. They are often activated as soon as you tap on any command.
For coordinated team play, using voice chat is recommended. However, if you are uncomfortable discussing strategies with strangers, you can always play with a friend so they can also help you with what you have to do. Or, like me, use the Smart Command located at the right side of the screen during matches.
Here are some tips to help you get your groove when playing Ranked:
- Keep a positive attitude: losing is part of the game.
- You can blame your teammates if you did your role perfectly. There is no excuse for being an uncooperative teammate either.
- As much as possible, do not tilt.
- Learn from your mistakes.
- Watch high-rank players and learn from them.
- Implement strategies specifically for your chosen role.
- Learn the meta.
- Drink water and eat some food. You’ll never know how much brain power is used when playing Ranked. Yes, you’ll enjoy the games, but the fatigue wears you down easily. Take care of your well-being, too.
Playing MLBB Ranked should not be stressful. With the right attitude and a clear goal, you can breeze through the ranks and learn what you’re lacking. Remember always to have fun and remember what you learned while playing. There is always room for improvement.
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