League of Legends' Summoner’s Rift map is a confusing place for those starting out on their MOBA journeys. With over 130 champions in the game, the freedom of choice can feel overwhelming. It’s going to take time to get to grips with how they all play, how they work together, and how to play against them. Luckily, the best way to learn all of this is to play the game and have fun!
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Hopefully you’ve gone through League of Legends’ basic training and are familiar with the game’s broader concepts, such as minion waves, towers, skills, and items. Armed with this knowledge you’re now ready to start experimenting and finding the League of Legends champions that click with you. To help you, we’ve put together a list of characters that are considered both strong and newbie friendly.
What are League of Legends champions?
A champion or hero in any MOBA is the character on the map that the player controls. Each one is unique, and possesses at least – but is not limited to – four abilities which are triggered by the Q, W, E, and R keys. All champions possess one ability that is stronger than the others, known as an ‘ultimate’, which has a long cooldown and can only be used occasionally.
In League of Legends there are over 100 different champions to choose from. Much like an MMO or class-based shooter, these can be divided into categories which pertain to the unit’s purpose within the team. Some are marksmen, some are mages, others are damage-absorbing tanks, and some champions don’t comfortably fit into any of these descriptions.
In a standard League of Legends match there are five champions per team. Each champion’s abilities are steadily unlocked and then upgraded by earning experience and buying items using gold. Key to both of these enhancements is the killing of minions – AI-controlled monsters that attack enemy fortifications and champions. Kill scores of minions in addition to racking up kills against the enemy team and your champ will become extremely powerful in no time at all.
What are roles in League of Legends?
On League of Legends’ main map, Summoner’s Rift, there are five main roles, all of which play very differently. These are based on your physical location in the map, whether that’s in the top lane ('top'), middle lane (referred to simply as 'mid'), bottom lane ('bot') or jungle.
But that’s only four roles, surely? Well spotted. For various reasons, the bot lane is home to two players, rather than just one. One of these is called the AD Carry (short for Attack Damage Carry), and the idea behind this guy is that they'll eventually carry the team to victory using their overwhelming attack damage. In order to do this, however, they first need to be protected through the early game in order to level up and buy the items needed to hit their power spikes.
Which is why the AD Carry is always joined in the bot lane by the support. This is the only character on the Rift whose job isn’t to murder people, but to set up kills for the AD Carry and keep them protected and well fed so they can get strong as soon as possible. This allows the AD Carry to last hit minions and farm gold, knowing that the support has their back should anything untoward happen.
The Summoner Spells most commonly used with these roles reflects this.
Flash is a spell that almost everyone uses. It’s an instant blink teleport that can quickly get you out of trouble, or get your enemy into trouble by closing the gap between you. It has a long cooldown so use it wisely.
The AD Carry will almost always take Heal, too. Their biggest job in the early game is to stay alive and not let the enemy AD Carry kill them, because that will feed them gold and hasten their ascent to power. Heal gives you a burst of healing (obviously), but also dramatically increases your movement speed for a short period, allowing you to hopefully manoeuvre away from danger.
Meanwhile, the support will take Exhaust, which does basically the opposite. It lowers an enemy’s movement speed to a crawl and drops their defensive stats, attack speed and damage output significantly. Use this to slow an escaping enemy or to turn a losing battle into a victory.
While the AD Carry and support buddy up in bot lane, on the other side of the Rift the top lane can feel like a lonely place, far from the action. It’s here that the top laner bruisers live. Tanky melee fighters who can give a beating as well as take one.
Because of its secluded location, top laners tend to take Teleport as their secondary Summoner Spell alongside Flash. This allows them to jump into team fights anywhere on the map at a moment’s notice, lending some front-line damage output and acting as a meat shield. Or just to go in search of a friend should they feel too isolated.
In the mid lane you’ll meet the mid laner mages. Spell slingers with high damage output that comes from accumulating large Ability Power stats, which increases the potency of their skills.
The most common Summoner Spell for mid laners, alongside Flash, is Ignite. This deals burn damage over time, which is handy if you get into a scrap with your lane opponent and they manage to sneak away with not much health. There are few things more satisfying than watching an ignited player scurry under their tower to safety, only to die to the inevitable ticking of Ignite’s damage.
For mid laners who are less interested in playing aggressively, Teleport is a decent alternative to Ignite. Some mages do scary amounts of damage and can jump in and out of combat nimbly, so suddenly having them Teleport into your lane can be unnerving at best and terminal at worst.
Finally, the jungler lives in the spaces between lanes, where neutral monsters roam. Their job is to hide away in the shadows, farming money from the Rift’s more aggressive fauna and jumping out to surprise enemies in each of the three lanes. This is called ganking. There are also some neutral objectives that the jungler is expected to keep under their control.
Each side of the jungle has a blue buff and a red buff – these are large monsters that grant you temporary boosts when you kill them. Blue buff grants cooldown reduction for your abilities, increased MP regeneration, and additional Ability Power. While the red buff slows enemies hit by your basic attacks, as well as deals additional damage over time to them. It also heals you if you stay out of combat. They’re pretty powerful buffs so make sure you use them.
As a jungler you’ll need to take Smite as a Summoner’s Spell, otherwise you’re going to have a really hard time. That and Flash should sort you out.
As with all of this, there are exceptions to everyrule, but consider this a solid groundwork on which to build more specialist knowledge as you play.
What role should I play?
All of them! There’s so much choice in League of Legends that the best way to play is to experiment with as much as possible. Different roles, different champions, different builds. You’ll soon find out which play styles you click with. Sticking with a single character is a surefire way to get stuck in a rut. Plus, it’s a great way to become enraged should your only main get banned out in champ select.
Top tip: Sometimes you’ll find that you have difficulties when faced against a specific champion time and time again. You don’t understand how they work and they’re consistently getting the best of you. When that happens, try playing as that League of Legends champion. Doing so will give you insight into their abilities and play style, so you’ll know what to expect when you face them next time.
The most important thing is to have fun. If you’re not, then you should try changing something up. Sometimes playing a different champion can feel like you’re playing a totally new game.
Best League of Legends top champions
Ekko - The Boy Who Shattered Time
Ekko is a really fun champion to play, which makes him a great choice for newcomers. His spells are pretty eclectic and using them is a great way to develop your skillshot, positioning, and timing skills. His tank build, which is commonly used by him in the top lane, also means you won’t be easy to kill once you’ve got a few items.
- Q - Timewinder: A skillshot which lets Ekko throw a boomerang-style weapon that returns to him after a short time, dealing damage to anything it hits. On its return journey it also slows enemies. This is your standard farming tool, as it’s great for clearing waves while simultaneously harass your lane enemies.
- W - Parallel Convergence: A tricky one to master, this creates a field in a small area of the map which, after a few seconds, will slow any enemies caught inside. If Ekko enters the field while they are slowed, any enemies still inside will also be stunned for a short time. It’s great for zoning enemies away from you, or from minions so that they can’t farm. If you can land the stun it’s time to go all in and take the kill.
- E - Phase Dive: One of the most fun skills in the entire game. Ekko dashes a short distance, plus his next basic attack will teleport him to his target, dealing extra damage. At later levels the damage output on this skill is considerable. Phase Dive is the key to Ekko’s mobility and stickiness. A dash and a teleport in one means you can chase down enemies and close gaps like a pro. Added bonus: it works on towers, too.
- R - Chronobreak: Ekko’s ultimate ability allows him to rewind time, sending him four seconds into the past, dealing damage to any enemies near where he lands and healing himself. It’s a great way of escaping danger, after jumping into a fight with Phase Dive and then zipping out of trouble with Chronobreak. Alternatively, if you can time it right and survive in a team skirmish for more than four seconds, this can act as a big time bomb that can have devastating effects on the opposing team. Tricky to master, but very satisfying when you land it right.
The strategy with Ekko is to farm up with your Q and keep your lane opponent away from your minions with W. Keep harassing the enemy like this, getting some damage onto them while farming with Q whenever possible, to get the gold advantage. If you ever get into trouble, dash away with Phase Dive to stay alive. With this extra gold you’ll want to invest in two items which will make you an annoying, sticky tank.
The Sunfire Cape means that you’ll be constantly dealing damage to anyone standing near you, while the Iceborn Gauntlet improves on Ekko’s substantial agility by giving you more ways to slow your enemy and stay close to them. Once you hit this two-item power spike you’re going to be in a strong position. Seek out opportunities elsewhere on the map to teleport into. Don’t forget that your ultimate can be used as a powerful weapon and as an escape tool. Sometimes, even simultaneously.
Ekko’s equally at home in the mid lane or jungle as he is in the top lane. His jump-in, jump-out style of gameplay can be lethal when he builds full AP, which compensates for his lack of tankiness.
Maokai - The Twisted Treant
Maokai’s varied skillset teaches the importance of vision and damage reduction, while also doing some decent damage as you harass your opponents. He’s one of the strongest top laners right now and once he starts getting tanky, he’s super tough to kill. A fun champion for beginners to try out.
- Q - Arcane Smash: Maokai sends a shockwave through the floor, damaging enemies hit by it while slowing them. If an enemy is close to Maokai when he casts Arcane Smash, they are also knocked back. This is quite an annoying move for players trying to lane against Maokai, particularly when combined with Twisted Advance.
- W - Twisted Advance: This skill allows Maokai to dash to a target enemy, dealing damage against them and rooting them to the spot. Use this to punish your foes for overextending and to quickly get into range to knock them away with Arcane Smash.
- E - Sapling Toss: Possibly his most unique ability, this lets him throw a mini-Maokai, which grants vision of an area for a short time (useful for throwing into those top lane bushes!). They also deal damage to anyone they land on. These baby treants keep watch for Maokai and, should anyone be in their vicinity, they’ll chase them down and explode, dealing damage and slowing them. If there’s no-one around, they’ll sit for a while until someone comes close enough for them to take notice. Then the chase begins anew. Use this ability to get vision around the top lane, and to harass your opponents from a distance.
- R - Vengeful Maelstrom: A large whirlwind is created around Maokai which lowers the damage taken by him and all other team mates inside the vortex. The more damage that is reduced, the more enemies caught in the Vengeful Maelstrom will be damaged once the spell ends. Turret damage is the only thing not reduced by this spell, so keep that in mind before conducting any ill-advised tower dives. This ability is great in lane, but even better during team fights and can help keep your friends alive before dealing considerable damage against nearby foes.
Tanks are king in the top lane and that suits Maokai just fine. Just being hard to kill isn’t enough, however, you need to punish your enemies for even daring to stand near you. That’s where the Sunfire Cape comes into play. It should be your first item, followed by a Spirit Visage, which helps add to his tankiness while also giving some hefty health regeneration and a bit of cooldown reduction. It buffs Maokai’s natural healing abilities too, increasing the amount of health he gets back whenever five abilities are cast by/around him, thanks to his passive.
During the laning phase, focus play safe and throw your saplings out to harass your opponent. If you find they’re overextending a bit, push them back towards their tower with a Twisted Advance/Arcane Smash combo. Once you hit the late game, your usefulness improves greatly as a Vengeful Maelstrom will help keep your teammates alive, while also dealing some nice damage to any enemies stupid enough to step inside your whirlwind.
Maokai is most at home in the top lane, thanks to his tankiness and ability to output some chunky damage, but he’s also been known to frequent the bot lane from time to time as a support. His crowd control is limited, but what’s there can be quite effective when push comes to shove. It’s his ult that really makes him a great support, however. Pull out Vengeful Maelstrom and suddenly not only is your AD Carry less killable, but your lane opponents are suddenly going to be trying to back away, or risk taking damage once the spell ends. Maokai’s Saplings also help, by essentially giving him some free early wards.
Best League of Legends mid champions
Ahri - The Nine-Tailed Fox
Ahri is a popular champion, for many reasons. She’s relatively easy to get to grips with, despite a couple of her abilities being skillshots. Once she hits her power spike she can deal a lot of burst damage and can come out of nowhere to instantly kill you, before darting back into the shadows.
- Q - Orb of Deception: A skillshot which allows Ahri to throw a ball of energy in a given direction that returns back to her, dealing damage to anything it passes through. Ahri is faster when her energy ball is travelling and she gets bonus movement speed. Much like Ekko’s Timewinder, this is your classic minion farming/enemy harass spell. Learn its quirks and it’ll be your best friend, like the way it hovers slightly at the apex of its trajectory before returning to Ahri.
- W - Fox Fire: A protection spell that summons three flames that circle Ahri until she gets into range of an enemy, at which point the flames will home in on them, dealing damage. They’ll prioritise enemy champions over minions, which is especially handy during the laning phase. When used in conjunction with Ahri’s ult, Spirit Rush, it can give a handy extra bit of damage when chasing down your foes.
- E - Charm: Crowd control at its finest. Charm is another skillshot that, if it lands on an enemy, will deal a small amount of damage and force them to stop what they are doing as they walk slowly towards Ahri. If that enemy is a champion, then its player loses control for the duration of the charm. While this is happening, you’re free to pummel them with the rest of your skills and spells. Learn to land Charms and your time with Ahri will be much more pleasant.
- R - Spirit Rush: Ahri is a fairly immobile champion until she hits level six. It's at that point she gains access to Spirit Rush. This ability is a dash that can be used three times in quick succession, shooting out three energy bolts at her nearest enemies each time she dashes. Very useful for chasing down foes or escaping danger. Or dashing in under a tower to secure a kill before scurrying away to safety. You might want to get a few games with Ahri under your belt before trying that one.
When playing as Ahri it's best to try to play it safe for a while. She can get some early harass on her lane opponent, but the temptation to go all-in can be a mistake before you’ve got an item or two.
Speaking of which, you’ll want to be building a Morellonomicon first, which gives you a nice chunk of Ability Power, but also heavily reduces the cooldowns of your skills. That means you’ll be spamming Orb of Deception a lot more often, helping you farm and deal even more harass damage. At this point you can think about roaming around the map. Use Spirit Rush to sneak out into and gank the other lanes, and help secure towers and dragons for the team.
After that, a Luden’s Echo gives another great AP boost and adds area-of-effect damage to all of your skills, which is great for a character like Ahri who has a long range poke move. After that, simply go full AP with a Rabadon’s Deathcap (huge AP boost, plus an extra 30% of your current AP on top of that) and a Void Staff (your spells will ignore a big chunk of your enemies’ magic resistance).
In team fights, try to stay behind your tanky team mates so that you don’t get burst into nothing (Ahri is annoyingly squishly, even in late game). Try to dart in and out of cover with Spirit Rush to focus your damage on their damage dealers (mid laners and AD Carries). Orb of Deception is great for getting to the enemy team’s backline, and a well-aimed Charm can lead to a victorious dogpile for you and your team mates.
Ahri is rarely (if ever) picked outside of the mid lane. Her skillset means that she needs that full AP build to do anything substantial. She’s a strong pick for the mid lane, so she’s still worth playing, despite her inflexibility.
Morgana - The Fallen Angel
Morgana has a very strong skillset that’s a mixture of offensive and defensive. Her Q is a skillshot, but if you can learn to aim it can be one of the most devastating abilities to pull out in a duel.
- Q - Dark Binding: Not only does Dark Binding do a considerable amount of damage that scales greatly with AP, but it’s one of the best, most reliable crowd control skills in the game. It’s a skillshot that roots the first enemy it hits, preventing them from moving. This is a great ability to train your skillshotting and if you get good at landing these abilities during clutch skirmishes or late game team fights, you’ll be a huge boon to your team. It’s not a great skill for farming in lane, but its range and that frustrating root effect makes it great for harassing your lane opponent.
- W - Tormented Soil: This ability makes up for Dark Binding’s lack of wave clear and farm potential. It temporarily poisons a section of the ground with dark magic, repeatedly dealing damage to anything caught inside it until it disappears. If you’re not feeling aggressive, this should be the first skill you buy, since it will help you farm creeps and zone your opponent away. Infecting the ground underneath an enemy you’ve caught with Dark Binding is a great way to get some extra damage on them without them being able to escape.
- E - Black Shield: It will take some time before you get a feel for when to use the Black Shield, as it relies on you having some knowledge of your enemy’s skillset to predict their actions. This ability allows you to shield yourself (or an allied champion), protecting against magic damage and, more importantly, allowing them to ignore all crowd control effects. Time it right and you can negate an Ahri Charm, or a Blitzcrank hook, sending your foe into a frustrated frenzy. It’s one of the most tilting spells in the game.
- R - Soul Shackles: Morgana deals damage to any enemy champions within a certain radius around her. They are slowed and, if they don’t escape her circle of pain within a few seconds they will be stunned and dealt another chunk of damage. Great for team fights where the entire enemy team is grouped together; you can get a five-man stun with this if you’re lucky. It’s also useful for escaping from ganks, as pursuers will be persuaded to either stop chasing you or be stunned.
Not only does Morgana have two hard crowd control skills in her repertoire, but with Black Shield she can completely ignore stuns, slows, and roots coming from her enemies. She’s a popular pick for that reason and a great champion for new players who will be playing against other low level players who won’t expect it (unless they too are reading this…). She’s a great way to learn timing and skillshots, and between Tormented Soil and Dark Binding, she has wave clear and annoying crowd control harassment in spades.
Morgana’s build is similar to Ahri’s, as you’ll be going Morellonomicon first for the AP boost and cooldown reduction. After that it changes a bit, as a Zhonya’s Hourglass has a greater benefit for Morgana than the Luden’s Echo (she already has decent area-of-effect damage and wave clear). Zhonya’s Hourglass gives AP, but also gives armour and has an active ability that works nicely with her ultimate ability. Using it turns you invulnerable (and untargetable) for a short time, so if you find yourself backed in a corner you can activate both Soul Shackles and the Zhonya’s to hopefully stun your would-be assailants, allowing you either to escape or get the drop on them instead.
Morgana is actually more commonly seen in the bot lane as a support champion than in the mid lane, but she’s equally at home in either. Her crowd control abilities make her a fantastic pick as a support, but it’s her Black Shield that really helps out. It allows her to protect her AD Carry against incoming attacks at the press of a button. Try her in both roles and see which you prefer.
Best League of Legends jungler champions
Graves - The Outlaw
Graves was never traditionally much of a jungler, but after his skillset was changed during the Marksmen update before the start of the 2016 Season, his jungle viability suddenly skyrocketed. He’s still a popular, powerful jungler thanks to his ability to clear creeps while taking relatively little damage.
- Q - End Of The Line: A skillshot which sends out an explosive shot in a letter T shape in front of Graves. After a short time the shot makes a return journey back to Graves and deals damage to any enemies it hits. The damage dealt on the way back is greater than on the way out, so the real skill comes from timing it so that you can maximise the damage against your foe without risking an out-and-out miss. Since Graves is a Marksman (another name for AD Carry), his main damage output comes from his auto-attacks, but the extra range and zoning potential from End Of The Line comes especially in handy in the jungle.
- W - Smoke Screen: Perhaps the least useful skill for clearing the jungle, Smoke Screen has its uses when ganking lanes. It shoots a gas cannister that deals damage and slows enemies on impact, while also creating a small patch of smoke which greatly reduces the visibility of anyone caught inside it. The extra little bit of damage and the slow effect means it’s still worth using against jungle camps.
- E - Quickdraw: The main reason Graves is so great in the jungle is that he can reliably stay out of reach of jungle creeps. Quickdraw contributes to that as it’s a short dash that gives Graves bonus armour and magic resistance which stacks up to four times. Not only that, but it reloads one of Graves’ shotgun shells, allowing him another basic attack before he has to reload. These basic attacks do damage in a cone and knock enemies back, further increasing the distance between him and jungle creeps. Each basic attack reduces the cooldown of Quickdraw slightly, so the two feed into each other in a nice ouroboros of balletic, ballistic death.
- R - Collateral Damage: Graves fires a giant shot towards a target, while dashing away in the opposite direction. If the shot hits a champion it explodes, exploding and dealing damage in a cone. Otherwise it damages any enemies it passes through. Useful for escaping an approaching enemy while simultaneously dealing them a hefty blow.
Playing Graves in the jungle is pretty simple. Learn the quirks of his basic attacks (Graves is the only champion in the game who has to reload his auto-attack) and make liberal use of Quickdraw to clear jungle camps while taking as little damage as possible.
Build the Warrior jungle enchantment on him to improve his attack damage and, again, take advantage of Quickdraw to dash out of bushes into unsuspecting lanes. Catch escaping enemies with End Of The Line and deal the killing blow with Collateral Damage. If all else fails, fire your shotgun directly into the enemy’s face and watch their health bar quickly empty. Congratulations, you are now a beast.
Graves is first and foremost an AD Carry but he’s not necessarily one of the best. He’s better off in the jungle, where he has one of the strongest creep clears of the entire League of Legends roster. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take him into the bot lane (or even top!) once you’ve got to grips with him, though. In fact, that sounds like something you should definitely experiment with to see where he’s the most fun for you.
Vi - The Piltover Enforcer
Vi is a made-to-measure jungler, who can be extremely fun to play thanks to her ability to clear out the jungle and her punishing skillset. Punishing for the other players, that is. They offer her enough mobility and power to take out her foes before they even realise she’s there.
- Q - Vault Breaker: A long-range charged dash that sends Vi barreling through minions until she hits an enemy champion, who gets knocked back. A great way of quickly entering a skirmish, or chasing down escaping champs. Also works as a way to run away from trouble, should it come to that. Later in the game, when you’re roaming lanes more than clearing the jungle, Vault Breaker can be comboed with Excessive Force to clear minion waves with delicious ease.
- W - Denting Blows: Denting Blows is a passive ability which is vital to Vi’s early jungling success. Put a point into this skill right at the start of the game and it’ll help you beat up those early jungle creeps with swiftness. Every three basic attacks on the same target will deal extra damage, lower their armour, and increase Vi’s attack speed for a short time. As if to add insult to the considerable injuries already caused by her brutally large fists.
- E - Excessive Force: Using Excessive Force modifies Vi’s next basic attack, giving it extra range and dealing extra damage to the target, as well as anyone standing in a cone behind them. Vi can stack up to two Excessive Forces, which can be used in quick succession before going on cooldown. One for each fist, you see. This skill is a great boon for one-on-one duels, or for clearing waves of minions. In the late game you’ll be one-hitting creeps and really racking up the gold as you push waves into enemy towers. Speaking of which, Excessive Force works against towers, dealing extra damage and making Vi a solid split-pushing machine.
- R - Assault and Battery: A point-and-click automatic gank, Assault and Battery sends Vi zooming towards an enemy, knocking them up, and dealing a nice chunk of damage as she pummels them into the ground. If Vi gets an enemy in her sights with this skill, there’s no escape. She will always catch up. Use this in conjunction with Vault Breaker (and Flash, if necessary!) to quickly close the distance and take the enemy by surprise. Vi is a ganking machine.
Once you’ve got to grips with Vi’s skills, she’s pretty simple to play. An early lead can allow you to snowball hard and finding the enemy jungler on your travels around the Rift can gift you some easy kills if you’re prepared. Start at Gromp and ask your bot lane (nicely) if they can help you take him out, before moving onto the blue buff. The cooldown reduction and extra ability power will really come in handy as you move through the rest of the jungle taking out creeps.
Make sure you save a Smite for the red buff, as using it on him will heal you a significant portion, should you be low on HP. Use this and the free lifesteal gained against the Rift Scuttler (the only living thing on the Rift that won’t fight back) to keep your health topped up.
In terms of build, you’ll be safe with the Warrior Enchantment for your jungle item. This improves Vi’s attack damage, which is easily her strongest asset. After that, aim for the Trinity Force and follow it up with Sterak’s Gage and Dead Man’s Plate. You’ll soon be a hard hitting, tanky beast in no time. Make sure you keep an eye on your teammates’ lanes for opportunities to gank, especially once you hit level six and get your ult.
Vi lives in the jungle. It is her calling and her purpose, since her skillset is so brilliantly attuned for ganking and clearing the jungle in the early game. That’s not to say that she never could be played in a lane, just that she never is...
Best League of Legends AD carry champions
Caitlyn - The Sheriff of Piltover
Caitlyn is a great introduction to AD Carries thanks to her range, her manoeuvrability, and the ability to set literal traps for your enemies. Hefty damage and an inescapable ult (within reason…) mean you’ll be feeling her worth long before late game arrives, which should limit some of that frustration new players feel with other AD Carries.
- Q - Piltover Peacemaker: A skillshot that fires in a straight line, dealing damage to any enemies it passes through. It takes a second to channel this ability before it fires, so make sure you get used to how that feels. You’ll soon get to grips with it.
- W - Yordle Snap Trap: Caitlyn is able to set traps on the Rift that root enemies caught in them, while giving Caitlyn’s team vision of them and increasing the damage done by Caitlyn’s basic attacks. She’s also able to attack them from further away, increasing her already quite substantial range. Place these in bushes around the river during the laning phase as an extra early warning system against ganks.
- E - 90 Caliber Net: This skill is a double whammy, as Caitlyn fires a net that slows the first enemy it hits, while simultaneously sending her dashing in the opposite direction. A handy way of escaping trouble and slowing approaching enemies. Champions slowed with 90 Caliber Net will take extra damage from Caitlyn’s basic attacks and give her increased range, just like the Yordle Snap Trap. Using both of these skills in tandem with your auto-attacks is the key to victory as Caitlyn.
- R - Ace In The Hole: Caitlyn marks a target champion, locking on to them, and channeling the ability. After the channeling has completed, she shoots a powerful shot towards the enemy, which cannot miss. The only way to prevent the substantial damage is for another enemy to stand between Caitlyn and the marked enemy, taking the damage in their stead. That’s the support’s job, essentially. This is a great way of getting the killing blow on an enemy who is managing to escape. Save it for someone who is relatively low on health.
When playing AD Carries the most important thing you can do in the early game is to farm. Focus on last hitting those minions while your support keeps you safe. Money is power, and nowhere is that any truer than in League of Legends. In the early game your basic attacks are going to be weak, but once you’ve got your first item or two, you’re finally up and running. After a while you’ll get to grips with the strength levels and learn when you can pick a fight with your lane opponents. Kills are great, but taking a risk and dying only benefits your enemies. There’ll be plenty of opportunities to kill people once you’ve farmed enough gold for a few items.
When team fights break out, you’ll want to stick behind your tanks and use your range to deal heavy damage against the other team’s damage dealers (usually their AD Carry and mid laner). In terms of build, you’re looking to get an Infinity Edge as your first item, because as an AD Carry critical hits are your best friend, and this item practically guarantees that one in every five auto-attacks will deal critical damage. It also increases the damage of critical hits by half.
After that you’re going to grab a Runaan’s Hurricane, which improves your crit chance again, as well as your attack speed and a little boost to your movement speed. Even better than that, though, it means for every auto-attack you’ll be firing three bullets instead of one. Good for wave clear and easy farming. You’ll be printing money after this.
Caitlyn’s uses outside of the bot lane are slim to none. She’s squishy, so needs the help of a support to get to her power spike, just like most AD Carries.
Lucian - The Purifier
Lucian differs from Caitlyn in that he’s focused on persistently getting damage down on his foe, rather than dealing large critical hits. His mobility helps with that, as does his passive which grants him two basic attacks instead of one every time he uses one of his abilities. If you’re looking to learn to dash and harass, Lucian’s a good place to start.
- Q - Piercing Light: A beam attack with a fairly decent range that deals damage to anyone caught in the laser. Great for farming and for getting some harass damage onto your lane opponents. The laser is dodgeable, but only by quick-witted foes with a Flash or a dash and, frankly, if your enemy wastes their Flash to dodge Piercing Light then that’s only going to work in your favour anyway.
- W - Ardent Blaze: Lucian shoots out a bullet that explodes in a cross shape, dealing damage to anyone hit by the blast and giving Lucian’s team vision of the targets, who are now marked. Marked enemies will grant Lucian bonus movement speed if he or his allies hit them with basic attacks. Use this to check whether your foes are hiding in bushes, or to get some area-of-effect damage on minion waves. The movement speed bonuses can be useful for chasing down enemies. Mark them with an Ardent Blaze, and you’ll be soon catch up with them after a few auto-attacks.
- E - Relentless Pursuit: All the cool kids have a dash ability, and Lucian is no exception. Relentless Pursuit makes him one of the most agile AD Carries, as it combos well with his passive to make him a nimble, persistent threat. It’s just a simple dash, really, but it resets his auto-attack (meaning he can instantly attack after its cast) and his passive means that every time he casts a spell his next basic attack will fire twice. Not only that, but for each of those two shots that hit a target, Relentless Pursuit’s cooldown is reduced. See why they’re such a lethal combo? Get to grips with this move and you’ll soon be dancing rings around your opponent until they have no alternative but to die from exhaustion.
- R - The Culling: Lucian fires a barrage of shots in quick succession in the target direction, dealing damage to the first enemy they collide with. Even the tankiest champions would rather avoid taking a full Culling to the face, and squishier characters can easily lose their entire health bar from doing so, especially during the late game. Minions take greatly increased damage from this skill, which not only means that it’s great for wave clear, but also for carving a path through the lane to the enemy AD Carry. While The Culling is active, Lucian can’t use his other abilities, except for Relentless Pursuit, allowing himself to reposition as his target tries to dodge and weave out of The Culling’s path.
Lucian’s relatively low auto-attack range is balanced out by his mobility and his ability to get an extra hit in every time he uses one of his skills. As with all AD Carries, you’ll need gold to hit your true potential, so keep farming away while harassing the enemy with Piercing Light and Ardent Blaze. The Culling is a tide changer, so once you hit level six your ability to play aggressively skyrockets, and by constantly dashing around the lane you’re able to outplay your foes in duels by dodging their skillshots. This takes practice, so for the first few games at least stick to farming and getting to know the feel of his kit.
Since Lucian is focused on agility, his build can be a little different to other AD Carries. A Youmuu’s Ghostblade can be a good first item because it lowers the cooldown reduction on his abilities (handy for Relentless Pursuit) and grants attack speed and armour penetration. It also has an active ability that greatly increases his movement and attack speeds for a short time, making him even more agile and even more deadly. After this, a Black Cleaver will round out his early game items, further reducing cooldown times and giving him some health and a large attack damage boost.
It’s probably best not to try to use Lucian in any other lanes. He’s at his finest in the bot lane with a support buddy, so try to take advantage of that by learning his quirks and outmaneuvering the enemy.
Best League of Legends support champions
Braum - The Heart of the Freljord
Braum is a great example of how support champions differ from the rest. His skillset focuses on protecting his teammates and slowing the opposition, which takes a lot of the pressure off having to get kills. It’s an entirely different style of play, but one that can be hugely rewarding once you get to grips with it.
- Q - Winter’s Bite: Braum shoots ice out of his shield, slowing any enemy it hits and dealing damage. This damage scales with Braum’s maximum health, which is handy since you’re going to be building him pretty tanky to soak up the enemy AD Carry’s damage. This skill also stacks with Braum’s passive, Concussive Blows. With every basic attack (or Winter’s Bite), the enemy will receive one stack of Concussive Blows. At four stack the enemy will be stunned, giving your AD Carry the opportunity to jump on them and secure the kill.
- W - Stand Behind Me: Braum sure is agile for such a large man. With this skill he will jump straight to a nearby ally (including minions), giving himself bonus armour and magic resist for a short time. If the ally you leap to is a champion, they gain the bonuses too. This can be used to move around swiftly, too. Use it to get back into lane quickly by leapfrogging to minions. It’s also very handy to use in conjunction with Unbreakable, to launch yourself at your AD Carry to protect them from incoming attacks.
- E - Unbreakable: Braum raises his shield in a target direction, completely blocking the next attack or skill that hits it. All subsequent hits are reduced by a decent amount until the ability ends. During this time, Braum’s movement speed is increased and he is able to move through units. Become adept at using this skill and your AD Carry will be your new best friend. Saving your lane buddy’s life with a clutch Stand Behind Me + Unbreakable combo can feel incredible, and that’s before your team starts singing your praises in the chat.
- R - Glacial Fissure: Braum slams his shield into the ground, opening up the soil with an icy chasm that travels in the target location. Any enemy champions caught in the fissure are knocked up and take a chunk of damage. The chasm remains on the Rift for a short time, slowing any opponents who walk onto it. This skill is most useful during team fights, when the enemies are tightly grouped against you. Landing the knock-up can turn the tide of battle and allow your damage dealers to quickly secure some kills without fear of immediate reprisal.
Braum is the friendliest, most selfless character in League of Legends history, and he works best when you play him as such. Protect your AD Carry – that’s your main goal. Using Stand Behind Me you can literally leap to their aid, blocking any incoming attacks with Unbreakable. Something important to note about your Concussive Blows is that once you’ve landed the first stack, any attacks on that target by fellow team-mates will add more stacks. So a well-timed Winter’s Bite could make the difference between your AD Carry winning and losing a duel.
In terms of build, you’ll want to grab a Relic Shield to begin with. This allows you to last hit minions and get yourself a bit of gold without making your AD Carry lose out. Save this for the cannon minions to maximise your income. You’ll also want a Sightstone, as you’ll be expected to litter your lane with wards to protect your AD Carry from incoming ganks. Keep that river warded all the way up to the Dragon, if you can.
Don’t expect Braum to be a legitimate flex pick during champ select. He’s built for the support role, with his big muscular frame and friendly demeanour. If he’s not protecting his fellow team-mates, he’s looking after the poros over on the Howling Abyss. Basically, what I’m saying is: Braum is a support champion. Trying to use him in any other role can only end badly.
Leona - The Radiant Dawn
Braum’s disengage skillset is balanced out nicely by Leona’s heavy crowd control, initiate kit. Going full YOLO can be super fun and if that’s something you enjoy then Leona is definitely a support champion you should try out.
- Q - Shield of Daybreak: A move which empowers Leona’s next basic attack, dealing bonus damage and stunning the enemy for a short period of time. It also resets Leona’s auto-attack timer, allowing you to get in a swift one-two-stun sucker punch. Use this to get enemies off your AD Carry or to hold them still while your AD Carry gets in some sneaky hits.
- W - Eclipse: Leona gains bonus armour and magic resistance for a few seconds before exploding with sunlight and damaging all nearby enemies. If any enemies are caught in the blast these defense bonuses are kept for another few seconds. This lets Leona get right into the thick of battle (which is one of her favourite things) without being too killable. Use it in conjunction with Zenith Blade to zoom into the middle of a team fight, deal a bunch of damage, and live to tell the tale.
- E - Zenith Blade: Leona players sometimes get some stick from their AD Carry friends and this move is the reason why. Leona shoots out a “solar image” of her sword, damaging any enemies it passes through. If it hits a champion, Leona will dash straight to them and root them to the spot. While Braum is great for disengaging from fights, Leona’s raison d'être is to engage, engage, and engage some more. With three crowd control abilities it’s no wonder why, but if you’re going to go in on the enemy AD Carry, for god's sake let your lane buddy know what’s about to happen.
- R - Solar Flare: This is an area-of-effect spell that deals damage in a decent radius, slowing anyone caught by the blast unless you’re lucky enough to catch someone directly in the center of the blast. These poor souls are stunned instead of slowed, but even if you miss a little you can always Zenith Blade towards them and/or whack them with the Shield of Daybreak. Leona has crowd control for days and your AD Carry is gonna love you for it.
As a tanky support, Leona does best with a Relic Shield as her support item, just like Braum. Boots of Mobility are also a great early purchase on her as positioning her into spots where she can hit one of her many stuns on the enemy is vital for protecting your AD Carry. Once you’ve helped your lane buddy feed up on minions a bit (don’t forget to take those cannon minions with your Relic Shield stacks for some extra gold income), you can start coordinating with them to initiate and hopefully get a kill or two. Leona is best played with an aggressive AD Carry who wants to get into skirmishes often. Lock down the enemy AD Carry (or ganking jungler) and let them go to town.
In team fights, using Zenith Blade to get right into the thick of the action can be a great way to deal a bunch of damage alongside your other skills, and to lock down the opposing team with some stuns and slows.
Her tankiness and crowd control is great alongside a heavy damage dealer, but Leona’s kit doesn’t really extend out to the solo lanes very well. Keep her in the bot lane, where she can infuriate her AD Carry by going full ham without telling them.
Phew! That should keep you going for a while. What do you think? Have we helped propel you to eSports glory? Let us know in the comments below!