Worlds-Level Tactics: The Tower Dive

It’s hard to tune into a League of Legends game without hearing a lot of jargon thrown around: rotation, objective, scaling. In this series, I’ll try to clear up some of the jargon one term at a time, by explaining just what it is and showing how teams execute it in game. Without further ado, let’s get to it. The topic of the hour is one of the most simple – and yet powerful – plays in League of Legends: The Tower Dive.

When a player is behind, or simply low health, he will often simply stay under tower and farm minions.  However, one of the best ways to grow on an already-present lead is to dive him. Killing him not only gives you gold and experience for the kill, but also denies your opponent gold and experience for the wave he’s been waiting to farm, not to mention demoralizing your opponent. A well executed dive is reliant on two things, although having enough of one can make up for a lack of the others:

  1. AlistarSome way of mitigating tower damage
    • A champion who can tank the wave
      • e.g. Alistar/Maokai/Lulu/Kayle/Braum
    • CC to mitigate the return damage of your opponents.
      • e.g. Alistar/Maokai/Syndra/Fizz/Elise
    • High mobility champions who Fizzcan juggle the turret aggro between them.
      • e.g. Elise/Lee Sin/Zed/Fizz/Lucian
  2. Burst damage to kill the target quickly.
    • e.g. Syndra/Zed/Fizz/Lee Sin/Elise/


In this dive, Janna’s tornado knocks Vayne up, preventing her from outputting any damage. This is the sign to Lee Sin and Lucian to go, and they both immediately target their burst onto Vayne, killing her. Note that Janna’s tornado draws the tower attacks to her, tanking three before stepping out of tower range, allowing the tower to switch to Lee Sin, and then re-entering the dive. Lee Sin and Lucian are also both champions well suited to dive, as they can use their dashes to get out of tower range quickly, if need be.

In 2v2 lanes, dives are inherently riskier: there are two targets to damage or CC you back. In a 2v1 lane, it’s simply more important that the healthiest target tank the damage. In this dive by Cloud9 onto Dyrus’ Alistar, the highest health is on Tristana, the AD Carry, and so he makes sure to land the first attack. Notice how he walks to the very edge of tower range before attacking Alistar, so as to not be caught deep under tower when it attacks him:

Elise is an exceptional target for tanking the tower during dives, as she can use Rappel to break tower aggro. Notice how the tower originally targets her because she jumps up after Fizz, then switches to Zed. By chaining abilities that break tower aggro and mobility abilities, a tower dive can be extended to be much longer without being too risky.

However, while the pros may make it look easy sometimes, it’s important to note that tower dives onto tanky targets with heavy CC can be extremely dangerous, as LMQ learned the hard way.


What do you think, who are the best champions for diving towers? Share your favorite videos of tower dives!





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