Team Composition and You
It’s important to know, and to keep checking as the game goes, as to whether the enemy team’s damage output is sourced primarily from Ability Power or Attack Damage (and to somewhat of a lesser extent of importance: whether the damage is coming from up close or from range). Of course, it’s possible that a team may be going a combination of AD and AP. In fact, as the game goes on, the higher the chances of the damage being spread between Ability Power and Attack Damage becomes.
As soon as the game starts, it’s an extremely good idea to take a few seconds to analyse the team composition of both your own team and that of the enemy. Try and take notice of where and how the enemy team’s primary (early-game) damage will be delivered, as well as what your role will be early game, and how much of this damage you will probably end up soaking up.
For instance, if you notice the enemy team is composed of Fiddlesticks, Lux, Lulu, Volibear and Diana, there’s no way you should be building Armor first. Of course, you’re going to want to begin building some Magic Resist. There’s a high chance you’re going to be hit by something that does Magic Damage, and in this case, it may be wise to sacrifice early game damage for survivability, as heartbreaking as this usually is. This is especially important if you rolled a melee champion.
Building a Better Team
In the same vein as above, it’s not wise to build a champion in the typical and recommended way each and every game. Builds that work well in Summoner’s Rift will most likely be adjusted to fit ARAM, to ensure maximum bang for your buck.
Just because rushing a Rabadon’s Deathcap on Lux ups her damage potential by a lot, it may not be a wise choice for every game, and it may not be a wise choice in terms of helping out your team. For example, if you were to find that the opposing team is resisting the majority of your damage and has the upper hand when it comes to mobility, and due to this is dominating, it may be wise to instead build a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter in order to hamper the opposing team’s strengths.
This logic applies to all champions and to all items. Playing on your own strengths is very wise, but playing against the enemy’s strengths, and subsequently taking them down a proverbial notch is something that can aid your whole team and lead to a win.
When you play ARAM, you’re going to be in some kind of team-fight for the large majority of the game, and because of this I’d strongly recomend buying items that give your team buffs. What may seem like small advantages from these types of items quickly stack up and have the ability to dramatically change the direction of the game.
Designate, Deliberate, Dominate
In ARAM, team compositions can sometimes (ie. more often than not) end up being ridiculous, and would never, ever work if chosen for an actual, competitive game of League of Legends.
There’s a good chance you’re going to end up with all tanks, or all damage-dealers. Sometimes you might even end up with all supports.
Whatever the case may be, I’ve found it’s an extremely good idea to designate at least one or two players a specific role. For instance, if you have a team of all tanks, pick someone to be a primary damage dealer, building items purely for damage purposes whilst relying on the rest of the team to assume their typical role of tanking.
Similarly, if your team has a ridiculous amount of damage-dealers but no one tanky, it’s often wise to designate one or two people to build tanky, forsaking damage (almost-)entirely.
Having incredibly specific strengths on your team means that you also have easily identifiable, exploitable weaknesses.
Designating roles on your team to make sure your overall composition is more balanced ensures these weaknesses are much less easy to exploit.
Of course, we’re still talking about League of Legends here, a game where ego tends to get in the way. Your number one problem in employing this strategy will be selfish players. Speaking of selfishness...
Constructive, not Corrosive
It’s so often the case that arguments or straight-up flaming occurs within the team you’re on. Badmouthing the enemy team is one thing, but creating drama within your own team, where idealistically only productive dialogue should be taking place, is absolutely pointless. Constructive feedback is obviously fine, but taking out your frustration on your teammates will get you nowhere.
You don’t want to be typing out an insult to your team’s Soraka on her terrible healing skills (despite how hilarious and witty it may be to you) and have the enemy Twitch appear and burst you down while doing so.
One of the best methods of coping with your in-game frustrations for when your teammates aren’t meeting your expectations is to ask yourself: will this game matter tomorrow? In ARAM, the answer is always no.
Bonus Tip/Life Lesson - Have fun; be creative!
One of the best things about ARAM is that you’re a lot more free to experiment with item builds, as the game type differs quite a lot from a standard Summoner’s Rift game, and you’re not as likely to get abused by your teammates.
There are a lot of builds that, although completely unfeasible in a standard game, actually work quite well in ARAM. This tip goes hand-in-hand with the earlier tip of designating a tank, as well as just generally being aware of the opposing team’s composition.
If you see a weakness worth exploiting, then by all means exploit it! Provided you’re sure your wacky build isn’t going to impact your team too negatively, then it’s not insane to try building and Attack Damage/Attack Speed Lulu, if you’re missing a Marksman on your team, or building Leona solely as a big damage-dealer, if your team’s already loaded with tankiness.