The best League of Legends champions
Who are the best League of Legends champions? There’s never a bad time to experiment with a new role or expand your personal roster of characters. But, with nearly 150 to choose from, it can be difficult to decide who you’re going to take into the Rift, even if you know your desired role.
To help you decide, this guide breaks down the top LoL champions you can play right now, whether you’re looking to play in the top lane, mid lane, bottom lane, or in the jungle. Some champions have a higher skill ceiling than others, so the following list features potential picks for both experienced players and those just starting out. It also includes multiple playstyles and subclasses to help you find your niche.
Note: this is far from an exhaustive list. League of Legends’ huge roster continues to grow, and while the champions mentioned above are a good starting point, personal preference plays a big part in finding a main.
The best League of Legends champions are:
- Lee Sin
- Twisted Fate
Top Lane is often seen as an isolated part of Summoner’s Rift. As a result, champions who dwell here must hold their own throughout the laning phase and rarely leave the lane to contribute to fights until the middle stages of a game. This relative seclusion makes top lane one of the most competitively diverse areas of League of Legends, but a choice few subclasses tend to make the biggest impression.
Trading—brief, non-fatal skirmishes between lane partners—is an integral part of League of Legends, but nowhere is it more important than the isolated reaches of top lane. If you’re new to it, few champions embody the concept more effectively than Renekton.
His simple combo lets him close the gap on his opponent, incapacitate them, heal, and escape. He deals plenty of damage while not taking much himself. His ultimate, Dominion, is effective for lengthier fights, while his passive emphasises the importance of resource management and playing around personal power spikes.
Alternative pick: Garen
If you’d rather not worry too much about your health bar, tanks with strong offensive and defensive capabilities are a good choice. Sion’s W, Soul Furnace, produces a shield that’ll keep you out of trouble and damage nearby enemies after it expires, as well as offering an extra incentive for good last-hitting. In a tricky encounter, Roar of the Slayer lets you whittle down enemy health bars before launching into battle with plenty of crowd-control thanks to Unstoppable Onslaught and Decimating Smash.
Alternative pick: Malphite
Top lane has traditionally been the hangout of bruisers who thrive on physical damage, but it’s also been home to a handful of mages. Vladimir is the quintessential battlemage: he can wade into a fight, dealing huge amounts of area-of-effect damage, and use his blood magic to heal. Mastery of his Q and E are central to a successful laning phase, but get them right and The Crimson Reaper will becomes a potent late-game threat.
Alternative pick: Kennen
Juggernauts are a relatively safe bet as they both take and deal large amounts of damage, but their weakness lies in their lack of mobility. Thanks to his passive and his W, Mordekaiser can give and take a beating. His E, Death’s Grasp, drags players towards him in a wide area to prevent their escape. Mordekaiser’s ultimate, Realm of Death, plays a massive part in team fights: it removes the biggest threat from the battle by forcing them into a 1v1 duel.
Alternative pick: Yorick
While other roles gain gold and experience from the minions that march tirelessly down their lanes, the jungler dwells in the forests between lanes, gaining power from neutral monsters that confer powerful buffs. As well as slaughtering the local fauna, jungle champions are responsible for major objectives like Baron and the Dragons. Then there’s ganking—diving into lane to ambush opponents.
Shyvana’s speed and AoE damage make her particularly good at surviving. Once you’ve burned through monster camps with Burnout and Flame Breath, Shyvana can use Dragon’s Descent to transform into a higher damage-dealing dragon, which expands her possible build paths.
Alternative pick: Olaf
Once you’ve learned to survive, go on the offensive. A successful gank often comes down to good timing, but you can improve your odds by picking a character with good crowd-control and mobility. Vi excels at both: use her to dash into lane with Vault Breaker before unleashing Assault and Battery.
Alternative pick: Amumu
The Blind Monk is a difficult League of Legends champion to master. While most champions have four active abilities, Lee Sin’s Q, W, and E all have secondary casts. The payoff is significant, however, as Lee Sin is one of the most effective early-game junglers. He’s adept at clearing camps, ganking, and even counter-jungling his opposite number.
Alternative pick: Nocturne
Many junglers use physical damage—particularly in the early game—but there’s room for the occasional mage. Ekko requires preparation for effective ganking, but he offers impressive damage and potent CC if you can get everything lined up. His ultimate makes him relatively low-risk, as he’s able to dive under a tower before rewinding back to safety.
Alternative picks: Nidalee, Elise
The mid lane has traditionally been dominated by high-damage mages, although a few blade-wielding assassins also call the lane home. Map awareness and lane management are key to success here: ganks can be prevalent, but pushing in your minion wave and then ‘roaming’ to assist another lane is often a route to success.
Twisted Fate has a number of tricks up his sleeve with just one ability: Pick a Card. The spell’s three effects let him keep tabs on his mana, clear minion waves, or stun enemies before following up with other spells. His ultimate, Destiny, teleports him across the map, making it easy for him to roam other lanes.
Alternative pick: Lux
Annie is an easy-to-learn Burst mage, whose strength is stunning opponents before obliterating them with fire magic. Her long range and her Q lets her farm with relative ease without worrying about mana cost. But if not prepared, she’s susceptible to ganks.
Alternative pick: Veigar
Ryze’s high skill ceiling makes him a solid competitive pick. Getting him right requires a solid understanding of both his Flux and Rune systems, but when everything comes together, Ryze gains Area of Effect damage, enhanced crowd-control, and speed boosts. His ultimate, Realm Warp, allows for everything from the simplest roams to game-winning plays, even at professional level.
Alternative pick: Aurelion Sol
One of the slipperiest League of Legends champions, Akali is the embodiment of the mid-lane assassin. Capable of flipping back and forth across the entire map seemingly at will, she deals an impressive amount of both physical and magic damage. She can use Twilight Shroud to temporarily disappear to initiate daring escapes or strikes from the shadows.
Alternative pick: Fizz
ADCs tend to be weak early game, but their high range and damage helps them thrive later on. ADCs—or Marksmen, as Riot prefers to call them—tend to split into two camps: some rely on traditional auto attacks to unleash damage, while others alternate their basic attacks between powerful spells.
Caitlyn boasts one of the longest ranges in League, which lets her deal plenty of damage while staying far from potential threats. Her Q allows her to poke enemies and kill minions from a distance, while her W and E creates safe zones in which Caitlyn can trap enemies and deal bonus damage.
Alternative pick: Ashe
Spellcasting ADCs are generally more complex than their auto-attacking counterparts, but Ezreal is a good place to start. His W and Q offer an easy, long-range combo, while Arcane Shift lets evade incoming enemies or close the gap on vulnerable foes. His ultimate, Trueshot Barrage, contributes to skirmishes from across the entire map, too.
Alternative pick: Jhin
Xayah is a popular competitive pick, thanks in no small part to her ultimate, which makes her impossible to target and offers her a few seconds to escape. She also offers some of the most potent crowd-control of any ADC, but you’ll need to pay close attention to your position to optimise the synergy between Double Daggers and Bladecaller.
Alternative pick: Vayne
Kai’Sa is another highly contested pick at professional level. She’s something of a hybrid: Kai’Sa can use physical and magic damage depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the other players on the Rift. Her ultimate, Killer Instinct, lets her dash into the middle of the fight, which makes her a high-risk pick. However, the power in the rest of her kit promises a high-reward if you can get her right.
Alternative pick: Lucian
The primary role of a support champion is to prop up the ADC by helping facilitate their kills or keeping them alive into late game. It’s a broad role, but there are four key archetypes; defensive Enchanters, offensive Vanguards, tanky Wardens, and high-damage Burst supports.
Enchanters like Janna are defined by heals, shields, and low-level disruptive crowd control. Janna’s shield helps her fit along most ADCs, which grants bonus physical damage on whomever it’s placed. Zephyr and Howling Gale help keep threats off Janna’s carry, while Monsoon scatters entire teams.
Alternative pick: Sona
Lots of supports thrive on their ability to grab or snare enemy champions. Nautilus’ Q, Dredge Line, helps him do both, with crowd-control potential found in the rest of his kit. As an added bonus, he’s pretty tanky.
Alternative pick: Blitzcrank
Wardens are defensive tanks best used to keep enemies away from their carries. Galio’s Q and E make him a little more aggressive than other members of his subclass, but his E gives him greater coverage in a team fight. His ultimate agives him presence throughout the map, something with which many other supports struggle.
Alternative pick: Taric/Tahm Kench
If you prefer to be the one dealing the damage, Pyke is an intriguing blend of assassin and support. His passive and W keeps him healthy and out of sight, which gives him the opportunity to pick off unwitting enemies with Bone Skewer and stun them with Phantom Undertow. If Pyke gets a kill with Death from Below, the assisting ally gains extra gold, which prevents too much disruption to the traditional League of Legends economy.
Alternative pick: Brand