Blogs

The Best Champions for Each Role in League of Legends

Taeh

Taeh

Sat 10th Oct 2020 - 11:00am

As the 2020 Ranked Season comes to its twilight patches, you might be looking to reach that new rank you’ve been grinding all year for. Or you might be getting into ranked for the first time, looking to climb as high as possible in the few patches you have left. Either way, one of the major keys to success in League is having a small pool of Champions you know like the back of your hand to lead you to victory. And if you’re feeling a little lost on what Champs you should choose for your all-star list, you can’t go wrong on with what’s meta. So here’s the top 3 Champions for each role based on win rate (win rate stats courtesy of U.GG). Also, one quick disclaimer: in a few of these spots, a Champ with a top 3 win rate is replaced by a Champion with a slightly lower win rate but a much higher play rate; as a Champ with a high win rate but low play rate is usually indicative of it being mostly played by one-tricks, and as this isn’t a list of the best Champions to one-trick, these adjustments feel appropriate. Let's get started!

TOP LANE

Maokai

Would it be a top Champions list without the Twisted Treant? If you’re looking for a reliable, simple, and extremely powerful tank to play, Maokai is your way to go. At most points in the game, Maokai has a basic and risk-free gameplay pattern of dishing out some fat damage as well as soaking up fat damage; but he is rather exploitable in the early laning phases, so if you’re playing Maokai in an even remotely difficult matchup, try not to go for any fights until you get some tank stats under your belt. Maokai specifically shines against Top Lane Champs who struggle to put out sustained damage, as they won’t be able to kill a beefy tree before he kills them. But watch out for sustained damage duelists like Fiora, Jax, or Irelia, as they have the means to methodically shred through Maokai’s tough bark and stay alive in the process. But you generally don’t have to worry about your one-on-one chances against enemy Champions; as your true goal mid to late game as Maokai is to be a strong frontline for your team and peel for your carries.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> W -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Teleport AND Flash

   

Items

Starting:   

Core:   

Boots:   

Situational:    

Quinn

Unlike Maokai, whose mission is to play safely in laning phase and become a tanky monster in the late game, Quinn’s mission is to play aggressive in laning phase and fall off like a bag of bricks in the late game. There are very few Top Laners that Quinn can’t walk all over in the laning phase, and she especially walks all over Tops that excel at doing the walking. Lane bullies like Renekton and Darius have a very rough time against Quinn because of their lack of sufficient lockdown or burst, making it very easy for Quinn to just wail on them. Because of this laning strength, the ideal game plan as Quinn is to get a snowball going from your lane dominance, and transition to roaming and sidelaning in the mid-game, spreading your lead. If You’re not able to close the game out from that blueprint, Quinn can move into being a backline carry in the late game; but try your best to close the game out before this point, as Quinn is rather lack-luster in this point of the game. If you’re willing to consign yourself to a life of sin by playing a ranged Top Laner, Quinn is 100% the way to go.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> W -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Ignite OR Cleanse AND Flash

                                Items                                 

Starting:   OR  

Core:    

Boots: 

Situational:     

Wukong

  

Ever since his mini-rework in Patch 10.6, the Monkey King has been one of the top dogs of the Top Lane. Even after extensive nerfs over the season, Wukong, while a bit powered down, remains one of the best options for climbing in Top. One of Wukong’s biggest strength is his strength throughout all stages of the game. If he’s in an even or easy matchup, the spinning simian has the damage to establish some early dominance in the laning phase, but also dish out some serious damage mid to late game. Wukong’s gameplay in the early game is rather matchup dependent. If you’re in a difficult matchup, your best bet is to just sit back and get items; but if you’re in a matchup with some kill pressure, you can go hog wild, getting a snowball rolling. One quick thing to remember for matchups where you can get kills: use Wukong’s clone to get that added damage from your R and Q empowered auto, it’s often the difference-maker. Once you get a lead in lane, try your best to spread it around by roaming, as Wukong excels at diving other lanes because of his high burst and mobility. If you find yourself in a position where you’re behind or having to take the backseat in the early game because of an unfavorable matchup, that’s also okay. Fed or not, Wukong still wreaks havoc in teamfights in the mid and late game, and if you’re ahead enough, the monkey man can definitely take over a side-lane. If you’re looking for a hard carry Top Laner to guide you to your goals this season, Wukong has you covered at every stage of the game.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> E -> W

                                            Runes & Summoner Spells                                            

 Teleport OR Ignite AND Flash

Items 

Starting:   OR   OR 

Core:    

Boots:  

Situational:     

JUNGLE

Hecarim

With Runes like Phase Rush and Nimbus Cloak emerging as completely overpowered, as well as the very generous buffs to Ghost, the speed demon horsey has awoken from his deep slumber to conquer the Rift once again with his new vroom-vroom tools. Playing as Hecarim, your goal should be getting your Trinity Force as fast as possible, and from there, taking over the game. Do your best to just power farm in the early game, but still go for ganks if your laner has good CC or the enemy is over-extended. Once you get your Trinity Force, you should be the strongest Champion in the game if none of your lanes have spun out of control. In teamfights and skirmishes, Hecarim is an excellent diver, you can run into an enemies’ backline and one-shot their carry. From there, you can clean up the rest of your enemies through the sustained damage of your Q. Try your best to find opportunities where the enemy has used some of their CC or they’re separated; if Hecarim gets CC’ed he can be easily dealt with. Now go speed-run Summoner’s Rift!

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> E -> W

Runes & Summoner Spells

Smite AND Ghost

Items 

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots:   

Situational:     

Nunu & Willump

If hard carry Junglers aren’t up your alley, I’ve got someone real spicy rolling up for you. Nunu & Willump might not provide a lot of damage, but they provide quite possibly the best objective control and invading power of any Jungler. Unlike some other Tank Junglers, you should look to be extremely active in the early game as Nunu. The Boy and his Yeti are extremely potent at ganking early on because of their hard CC and the attack speed steroid from their passive. Not only are your early ganks on Nunu strong, but if you spot the enemy Jungler on one side of the map, you can nab so many of their camps on the opposite side; as Willump’s Consume (Q) lets you steal away camps extremely quickly. This clear speed also extends to contesting Scuttle Crab, you should try and take both Scuttles early on because of your early utility. Make sure to ping your Laners to help you though, as Nunu & Willump are pretty useless by themselves in fights. If you don’t see any openings to make plays, it’s also okay to power farm, as I previously mentioned, Nunu’s fast clear speed makes farming on them really efficient. Moving into the late game, you should be focusing on playing around objectives, just like the early and mid-game. Absolute Zero, Nunu’s ult, is amazing for zone control, forcing the enemy team off the objective. On top of this, if you stack Consume with your Smite, it should be close to impossible to get a Dragon or Baron stolen from you. Nunu & Willump provide some amazing utility, but remember that just like every other utility Champ, they require cooperation with your team to work.

Skill Max Order

 R -> Q -> E -> W

Runes & Summoner Spells

Smite AND Flash

Items 

Starting:  

Core:    

Boots:   

Situational:     

Fiddlesticks

A lot of the time the best Junglers for solo queue are ones with a lot of agency early on, able to snowball themselves and their laners. But even if this playstyle can break open games quickly, it can also be unreliable; if you aren’t able to close out games quickly, you’ll find yourself stuck in a hole where you’re just the Smite bot and nothing more. If you find the idea of relaxing in the early game by farming it up, and stomping the poor enemy Jungler when they fall off in the late game, Fiddlesticks is your guy (or demon or scarecrow or whatever). Fiddlesticks’ greatest strengths lie in his strong scaling, as well as the strong vision control he provides, letting your team set up well around objectives or get the jump on the enemy team. But with this strong scaling also comes a weak early game. The Scarecrow Guy (official title) is very slow and lacks damage without items, and with the dynamic, vision-lacking early game climate, Fiddle struggles to get effective ganks off pre-6 and is rather vulnerable to invades. Because of these weaknesses, it’s your best bet to do a lot of farming and nothing else pre-6, also buying lots of Control Wards to ward off the enemy Jungler’s advances. Once you get your ultimate, you can start looking for ganks or skirmishes around Dragon or Rift Herald, taking advantage of the vision clearing upgrade you get on your Effigies at level 6. In the mid and late game, you should be getting and clearing vision with your Effigies and Control Wards. If you take fights around the areas you’ve locked down and get the jump on the enemy with your Crowstorm (R), it should be an easy teamfight win. Mr. Sticks has great survivability in teamfights if you’re able to get full channels of your Bountiful Harvest (W) off. However, Fiddle is just as slow as ever even with his late-game power, so don’t extend too far into the fog of war to get vision without backup. If you act scared of the enemy Jungler in the early game, you’ll be ten times as scary later on.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> W -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Smite AND Flash

Items

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots: 

Situational:     

MID LANE

Kassadin

If you enjoy rags-to-riches stories, tales where the underdog comes from a really rough and vulnerable spot to end up as the top dog, you’ll love Kassadin. Because of his rather poor base damage and lack of mobility or CC, there are very few matchups that Kassadin wins in the laning phase. But your goal as Kassadin isn’t to make Mid your lane kingdom, it’s to make Summoner’s Rift your game kingdom in the late game. Before level 11, you should be playing to simply survive laning phase without giving your enemy laner a huge lead. Sometimes this means giving up CS to preserve your HP, or letting your enemy push you in so you’re not vulnerable to ganks; but the reward for surviving to level 11, and eventually level 16, is the ability to completely take over the game, controlling every side-lane and teamfight with insane damage. To utilize Kassadin’s insane late-game damage to its fullest, stack up your Riftwalk (R) before fights. This is because each subsequent cast of Riftwalk 15 seconds after the last stacks its damage by rather large amounts, meaning the more stacks you have, the more damage you get. Because of this damage, try to use your Riftwalk for damage, not just gap closes or escapes. If you remember these things, you should be stepping all over your enemies with the Void Walker.

Skill Max Order

R -> E -> W -> Q

Runes & Summoner Spells

Teleport AND Flash

 

Items

Starting:   OR 

Core:  

Boots:    

Situational:       

Zed

Despite Zed’s infamous reputation for being picked by some of the biggest feeders that League of Legends PC Edition has to offer, he’s currently sitting at a 52% win rate with a whopping 13% play rate (that’s by far the highest play rate in Mid, 3 percent higher than Yasuo and Yone). This shows how strong Zed is; that he can have one of the highest win rates and THE highest pick rate while also having such a high skill requirement to do well on him. This being said, the Master of Shadows does indeed demand a good bit of practice to perform well with him, so I’d only recommend picking up Zed if you’re committed to learning him through and through. So, if that sounds like a plan to you, let’s move into his laning phase. For the first few levels, you’ll want to play extremely safe, as Zed doesn’t have the means to trade effectively until he gets all 3 abilities. Once you hit level 3, you can start chunking your enemy by tossing your Shadow out, throwing your E and Q at your enemy, but don’t all-in quite yet. If these last 5 levels went by without a hitch, you should all in your opponent at level 6, as they should be chunked out by your previous poke, and Zed’s ult is extremely potent for burst. Once you establish a lead in your lane, you should focus on spreading it to other lanes through roams. Zed’s high burst and mobility makes for great roams, and it helps you get an even bigger snowball going. Even if you weren’t able to get a lead in lane, you can remedy that by bullying the side-lanes. Your main goal in the mid-game should be the same as the laning phase, getting as many picks as possible, bursting down vulnerable stragglers, but now you can transition those picks into objectives. Zed struggles a bit more in the late game compared to earlier phases because enemy carries will have more ways to escape your clutches, but if you’re fed enough it shouldn’t matter. You can either teamfight or splitpush in the late game, you should be able to win most 1v1s in the side-lane, and your team can take objectives if the enemy team sends multiple people on you. In teamfights, you should try your best to find surprise flank angles, assassinating a carry and getting out as quickly as possible. Cling to the shadows, and you’ll grab that win.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> E -> W

Runes & Summoner Spells

Ignite AND Flash

Items

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots:   

Situational:      

Katarina

If you’re having a hard time solo-carrying your teammates in Mid, or aren’t feeling impactful enough in teamfights, Katarina is the cure to all that ails you. Katarina is a bit of a special case compared to other Mid Lane Assassins, as she struggles a bit more than others at 1v1s and splitpushing, but excels past her peers in teamfights and skirmishes. Just like other melee Mids, it’s best to play the first few levels extremely safe, giving up lane priority in order to preserve HP. But once you get your Shunpo (E) at level 3, you can start trading, especially against immobile Mages. When trading, pay attention to your dagger placement, if your enemy steps too close to one from your Q, you can often dash to it and get a kill. Even if you don’t get a huge lead early on in lane, where Katarina shines is her roaming, letting you get a snowball going through more than just Mid. If you do manage to get a lead going and you’re laning against an immobile Champion, feel free to all in as long as you have your ult up and you if you have sufficient vision set up around your lane. Kat’s Shunpo resets give her incredible sticking power, often letting you 100-0 someone in lane with your full combo; it’s extremely vital that you maximize your dagger damage, so make sure you get a lot of practice with landing all your potential damage. Going into the teamfight phase, you should try to find a good flank angle, but wait for one of your teammates to engage, as you can very easily be CC’ed and burst down. If you get one kill on one of the enemy carries, you can often take over a fight from that takedown reset. Katarina is one of the most effective Champions at carrying with a lead, if you focus on roaming, and get optimal teamfights, it should be an easy 1v9.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> E -> W

Runes & Summoner Spells

Ignite OR Teleport AND Flash

Items

Starting:   OR  

Core:   

Boots: 

Situational:      

BOT LANE

Jhin

(Horrible Puns Incoming)

If you’re search-Jhing for an ADC that can either solo-carry or play supportive, that can stomp lane phase AND be a scaling monster, look no further than Jhin. Jhin-erally, the Virtuoso does really well with Supports with strong lockdown; as it sets him up for an easy root into potentially a kill with your full combo. Because of this strong and reliable gameplay pattern, Jhin can steamroll the laning phase if picked with an engage Support like Leona or Thresh. Alternatively, if you’re paired with an Enchanter Support like Janna or Soraka, you won’t have as much kill pressure in lane; but it will give you a safer path to scale into the late game. To avoid Jhin-ting, try to stick with a teammate who can bail you out in the mid to late game, as Jhin is extremely squishy and can be easily caught out. If you position safely and play aggressively in the laning phase if you have CC to back you up, you should have a very fun time with Jhin.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> W -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Heal OR Cleanse AND Flash

 Items

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots: 

Situational:       

Miss Fortune

Unlike Jhin and Ashe, who are recently emerging as top Bot Laners after a recent shift in the meta to more utility-based ADCs, Miss Fortune has been around as a gold standard Marksman for a while. And while Miss Fortune may be a less utility-focused ADC and more of a damage-heavy one, she does share one thing in common with her CC-dispersing brethren: she has the ability to completely crush a laning phase. However, MF can get crushed in a lane just as easily as she could win one, depending on the matchup. Against certain lane-dominant Marksmen, Captain Fortune can have a very, very, rough time. As such, the Support you’re laning with is vital for early game success, with aggressive and beefy Champions like Nautilus pairing quite well with MF in the laning phase. Transitioning into the mid-game, you should encourage your team to play heavily around neutral objectives like Elemental Drakes and Rift Herald; as Miss Fortune’s R and item spikes of Essence Reaver and Infinity Edge give a perfect window to win some skirmishes. If and when you get into the late game, your goal as Miss Fortune is the same as pretty much every other ADC, staying alive and dishing out as much damage as you can while staying safe. While it’s tempting to look for a juicy, max-damage Bullet Time, looking for that perfect ult often puts you in a compromising spot. Just try your best to stay alive, and only unleash that face-melting cone of bullets when you feel confident that you’re in a safe position. Stay safe, and take advantage of favorable lane matchups, and you should be riding the waves of victory very soon as Miss Fortune.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> W -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Heal OR Cleanse AND Flash

Items

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots:  

Situational:       

Ashe

Are you tired of getting crushed by unwinnable lane matchups? Are you fed up with having to rely on your solo queue support to make plays happen? Well, fret no more! For one quick payment of 450 BE, Ashe is the answer to all your woes! As I just stated in the corniest way possible, Ashe is a very unique ADC to play because of the engage ability and blind-pickability that’s uncharacteristic of a Marksman. And with the current supportive ADC meta we find ourselves in the midst of, Ashe’s utility makes her a top-tier pick. However, with Ashe’s strengths also comes weaknesses. Namely, she is one of the most squishy and immobile Bot Laners out there, requiring you to pay a lot of attention to where the enemy Jungler and Mid are on the map for fear of getting one-shot. To help you keep an eye on the map for the sake of safety, Ashe has her Hawkshot (E), which is quite possibly the most powerful ability in her kit. Having the ability to see where the enemy Jungler is every minute or so as an ADC is an extremely powerful tool. Hawkshot can give you the information you need to make plays happen in your lane without fear of getting ganked because once Ashe hits level 6, her kill pressure skyrockets. If you can be confident that the enemy Jungler or Mid Laner is nowhere nearby, feel free to exploit the enemy Support or ADC stepping up too far, probably netting you a kill with the stun from your ult. Moving into the late-game, just like every other ADC, your aim should be to avoid getting picked off and to stay alive in teamfights. Ashe scales incredibly well but is very vulnerable to dive Champions, so make sure to get your kiting skills down pat and tell your Support to peel for you. Stay aware, dish out the stuns, and get your kiting on!

Skill Max Order

R -> W -> Q -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Heal OR Cleanse AND Flash

Items

Starting:  

Core:  OR    

Boots: 

Situational:       

SUPPORT

Janna

Heal and shield Supports with simple gameplay like Janna always tend to find their way to the top of the tier lists, and right now is no exception. Janna is known as the queen of peel, having the ability to get her teammates out of the stickiest situations. Peel is not the only thing Janna is good for, in fact, one of her biggest strengths is the breadth of utility she has in her kit; having an AOE knock-up, large shield with an AD steroid, an AOE heal plus knockback, AND a movement speed buff on her passive, Janna has something in the toolbox for almost any situation. But make sure to stick with your team throughout the game, as Janna may be helpful for bailing out others, but the same strength does not extend as much towards herself. Depending on the ADC you’re paired with and your team comp as a whole, you might need to play more aggressively or more safely. If you’re laning with a scaling carry like Jinx or Twitch, it’s best to play more safely in lane, ceding lane priority and only taking all-ins if it’s a super easy kill. On the flip side, you can play much more aggressive and forward in the lane if your ADC is something more lane dominant like Draven or Jhin. But remember that if you’re playing more aggressive, pay attention to where the enemy Jungler and Mid are on the map because even if your ADC has more early power, it doesn’t make Janna any less squishy or immobile. In the mid and late game, your job as Janna is to establish vision, stay alive, and protect your carries; all three of these duties require that you play in tandem with the more beefy Champions on your team, as you can’t accomplish any of those jobs if you get caught out warding or get one shot at the beginning of the fight, so stick with your frontline like glue. Shield up your allies, stay alive, and the winds will guide you to victory.

Skill Max Order

R -> E -> W -> Q

Runes & Summoner Spells

Exhaust OR Ignite AND Flash

 

Items

Starting:  

Core:    

Boots:  

Situational:   

Lulu

Lulu is a very special kind of Support, while most Supports in the game have some sort of focus on empowering their carries to pop off, Lulu takes that and cranks it up to 100. I also want to quickly note the raw stats showing Lulu’s power, she currently has a 51.79% win rate with 16.8% play rate, that is absolutely ridiculous to have a win rate that high with a pick rate also that high; so if you needed any convincing about Lulu’s power level, hopefully, those stats have you won over. Like I already mentioned, where Lulu excels is powering up one of her carries to take over the game. However, Lulu’s buff potential is much higher when paired with an auto-attack based hyper-carry like Kog’maw or Master Yi compared to something like a Senna or Syndra. There are two main reasons for this synergy. Firstly, Lulu has an attack speed buff on her W, and an auto-attack empowerment on her E, meaning that carries that deal their damage through a lot of autos make much better use of her buffs. Secondly, high damage hyper-carries tend to have less safety built into their kit, being very immobile, squishy, or both; and Lulu is able to remedy this weakness through her gigantic shield and health buff from her ult, she is also able to deter would-be divers with her Polymorph (W). Something else to take into account is how fragile Lulu is herself, and she usually doesn’t want to be using all her saving power on herself. Because of this Lulu is best when there’s at least one Tank on your team who can frontline for Lulu and escort her when she needs to establish vision. Lulu isn’t perfect for every game, but if you pick her with these types of Champions, you won’t find a better Support.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q (3 points only) -> W -> E -> Q (Finish Q)

Runes & Summoner Spells

Exhaust OR Ignite AND Flash

Items

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots:  

Situational:    

Bard

While Lulu and Janna are very powerful in their own right, sometimes as the Support you need a Champion with a bit more agency and playmaking potential in order to carry your teammates. Luckily, Bard has you covered. The ability to carry games isn’t something you associate with the Support role, but Bard’s game-changing ult and his strong roaming power enable the Bard player to 1v9 through big plays and map pressure rather than damage. With these strengths also come a few weaknesses though. Namely, Bard has a pretty lack-luster laning phase; this is due to him only having three abilities that have combat application: Cosmic Binding (Q), Tempered Fate (R), and his passive, Traveler’s Call. On top of this, Traveler’s Call is a scaling passive that stacks through getting Chimes, and you obviously don’t have access to Tempered Fate until level 6, so for the first early bits of the game Bard is only left with Cosmic Binding for combat. Because of these weaknesses, it’s best to cede the early lane to your opponents and spend as much time as you can outside of lane, pressuring the enemy Mid Laner and establishing vision. Bard’s roams only get stronger once he hits level 6, meaning you should pick up the pace even further on the map pressure, helping your Jungler secure objectives or steal camps, or just ganking other lanes. Because of this roaming playstyle, Bard is best when paired with a more self-sufficient Bot Laner who can also follow up on his engages well. Champions like Caitlyn and Jhin are excellent with Bard, as they have hard CC to follow up your plays and have relatively safe laning phases, making it easier for them to survive in lane while you’re taking your magical journeys. In the mid and late-game, you should be the one engaging fights or finding picks. Tempered Fate is an excellent long-range tool for catching enemies out. Just like other Supports, your job is also to get vision and set up objectives for your team. Basically, as Bard you’re the spark plug for your team and should be the one setting up and making plays.

Skill Max Order

R -> Q -> W -> E

Runes & Summoner Spells

Exhaust OR Ignite AND Flash

Items

Starting:  

Core:   

Boots:  

Situational:      

 

Closing Words

If you’re looking to win as many games as possible, your best bet is to play the best Champions in the current meta. With that point in mind, these Champs listed should be your best bet for whatever role you’re interested in. I hope you found what you’re looking for, good luck on the Rift!