Everything you should know about the Howling Abyss map

abyss map banner

ARAM (All Random All Mid) is one of the game modes in League of Legends that features a new map called the Howling Abyss. This map is situated in the frigid northern areas of the Freljord and is one of the first lore-accurate in-game assets to appear in League of Legends.

The Howling Abyss comes with a lot of interesting gameplay elements but it’s difference from the Summoner’s Rift can be jarring for new players. Here is everything you need to know about the map and its contents.  

Game concept

The Howling Abyss is a map for a casual game mode in League of Legends. Just like the normal game mode, the two bases are situated on two opposite corners of the map (upper right and lower left). Unlike Summoner’s Rift, this map only has one straight line, the stone bridge that connects the two bases.

ARAM is popular among casual players who are looking forward to exciting skirmishes but don’t want to deal with the complexity of map control in the Summoner’s Rift. It is also the perfect place to try new champions that you would otherwise never try in a serious game with strangers. 

Matches also end quickly because every element of the game is adjusted to encourage aggressive gameplay. This includes buffed magic resistance for melee champions, fast gold income every second, and a high starting budget to get important items immediately. 

Gameplay mechanics

There are only a total of four turrets on each side. The two strongest ones guard the Nexus and a slightly weaker one guards the inhibitor. Outer turrets guard the vicinity near the centre but it’s the weakest out of all the structures in the game. Minions spawn within the first 15 seconds then respawn every 25 seconds. Their spawn cycle shortens as the game progresses until 13 seconds per wave. 

Champion selection

The system chooses a champion randomly for every player in the game. It chooses from among the champions that each player owns plus the week’s free champions. If you got a champion that you do not wish to play or never liked, you may use a reroll to have the system choose another champion randomly. 

The system won’t give you champions that are already generated for the enemy’s side so everyone gets to play with a unique character.  Whenever a player rerolls, their current champion is moved to the bench and everyone is free to pick it if they want to. You may also switch with a teammate if you like the champion they chose but they have to agree to the exchange.

Summoner skills are also changed as the game removes Teleport and Smite then replaces them with Clarity and Mark/Dash. Baron laners and junglers have to double check their summoner spells because of this. Items are also changed with the addition of Guardian-themed items inspired by the Freljord’s lore. For this reason, your experimental strategy in ARAM cannot translate accurately to the Summoner’s Rift.

Howling Abyss map mechanics

The Howling Abyss works very differently from the Summoner’s Rift. Firstly, there is a gate that prevents champions from leaving the base within the first 15 seconds. Everyone is encouraged to buy their starting items because they cannot come back to buy new items. You have to be eliminated then respawn before the shopkeeper entertains you. 

Respawn and ability cooldown are reduced in the Howling Abyss compared to the Summoner’s Rift. This hastens team fights and the match. Every champion also gets individual changes for this game mode to compensate for their advantages and disadvantages in a narrower area. Champions with mechanics that depend on certain parts of the Summoner’s Rift are changed to work with what is available in the Howling Abyss.

Winning strategies for the Howling Abyss

The unique conditions of the Howling Abyss eliminate some tactics that should work in the Summoner’s Rift. Likewise, the strategy that you can use here can’t work elsewhere. Here are some of the basic strategies that help players win in the Howling Abyss. 

Have at least two controllers

It’s hard to build a reliable team composition in ARAM because of the random pick mechanic. If possible, you should have at least two champions in the team with good crowd control. That includes controllers who can stun or cripple a crowd or an initiator who can set the field for your team. Just stick to two because adding another would risk not having enough damage output. 

Stall your death in the early game

Money is earned fast in the Howling Abyss so eliminating an enemy champion once ensures that you get at least one core item when you return to the shop. This is why so many players are aggressive in ARAM. You should try to avoid engaging the enemy if you know that you can’t win a skirmish while controllers prioritize saving their allies rather than securing a kill.

Let yourself get executed by the turret after a successful skirmish

If you have enough money to get your items, you should consider dying to return to base. However, letting the enemy kill you might tip the balance to their favour. You can respawn to base without giving the enemy your bounty by letting yourself die from turret or minion damage. You have to make sure that no enemy champion has harmed you in the last 15 seconds to count as an execution rather than a slay. 

Lore details

The Howling Abyss is a stone bridge that leads to the entrance of the Frostguard Citadel. It belonged to the Three Sisters, the three Iceborn of the Freljord. The descendants of the other two sisters, Ashe and Sejuani, are fighting for leadership in the Freljord. Lissandra of the Three Sisters remained guarding the Howling Abyss to keep the forces that defeated her sisters thousands of years ago. She was able to do this because she subscribed as their seeker to gain power in exchange for her sight but she uses this power to delay their eventual invasion. Until then, the Howling Abyss remains standing to witness the endless wars in the world of League of Legends.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *