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Why would you read this?
This guide is currently being improved and revised, if you would like to leave a request for a suggestion go ahead, but be prepared to wait a while.
For so long people have been picking their champions saying "Well... I feel like playing talon"
Sometimes talon is not the right pick for YOU. Maybe you have been playing a tank for the last few days and now you have the idea in your head that you are invincible. You need to learn what champion to play, and when to play it.
This guide will help you realize the best pick for YOU as often as possible.
Champion Attributes: What defines a champion
First off, we need to understand what classifies each champion. Below is a simple explanation of Champion attributes.
Primary Attributes: What is your champion?
Assassin: Champions with Strong burst damage based on abilities. Strong initiation and some form of ability to close the gap between them and their targets including: jumps, invisibility, or movement speed increase.
Carry: Champions based heavily on basic attacks for dealing damage. These champions rely heavily on their builds for powerful late-game damage used to "carry" their team to victory.
Fighter/Brawler: Champions that combine defense and offence together for a hybridized game-play that takes the best of both worlds for a hard to kill damage dealing carry.
Mage: All or nothing Champions that use strong magic based abilities to deal tons of damage to enemy teams. Generally they have lower defenses and require teamates to protect them in a larger fight.
Tank: Champions with extremely high defense, hp, and crowd control abilities, but low attack damage or poor ability power scaling. Tanks are usually champions that are used to initiate fights and distract enemies from attacking their team's carry.
Secondary Attributes: What can your champion do?
Jungler: Champions that can easily farm monsters in the jungle at an early stage in the game and can typically take out minions waves quickly. They usually excel at taking down opponents when they can catch them off guard in lane.
Melee: Champions that have a melee basic attack, so they have to be very close to their target in order to do damage. Vulnerable to ranged attacks.
Pusher: Champions that can quickly kill minion waves and/or destroy turrets/inhibitors in a short amount of time.
Ranged: Champions whose basic attack can cause damage at a distance, allowing them to avoid many harmful risks and increasing their flee capability. However they are relativley weak to all forms of damage so it is important to stay at a distance from enemies.
Recommended: Champions whose skills don't involve any complicated mechanics and playing them effectively does not require extensive knowledge of the other champions.
Stealth: An ability that lets the Champion become invisible to enemies.
Support: Champions whose skills are meant to directly aid the rest of the team. They can either babysit a champion to make laning easier for them by providing healing, buffs, or map control, applying de-buffs to the enemy team, or a combination of the above.
Terms that apply to champions:
Squishy: Low health or low defense champions are considered squishies (due to how easily they can be "squashed"). For example: Vayne is a naturally low health champion so she stands the chance of being "squished" without added health or defense; Vladimir on the other hand ends up with a decent chunk of health end game thanks to Crimson Pact, but even with all that health he is still a squishy due to his lack of defense.
Nuke: When you think "Nuke" obviously a giant mushroom cloud comes to mind. Essentially, nukes do tons of damage in less then 1-2 seconds. Nukes are usually ability power mages with spells designed to combo for more damage when used consecutively. (much like assassins, but less sneaky; take Annie for example.)
Glass Cannon: Typically this applies to a either a Mage or Melee carry that focuses entirely on damage output, forgoing any form of defense such as health or armor/magic resistance.
Finding your fit in the Current meta-game team: Establishing your roles
Currently there is a very simple and straight forward team composition:
-Attack damage Bruiser solo top lane
-Ability power carry solo mid lane
-Gap-closing initiator jungle roamer
-Attack damage ranged carry bottom
-Aura buff and support/tank bottom
Each one of these roles is generally very specific and unless you have a pre-made team of 5 people it is not advised to deviate from this pattern due to the expectations that come from others in 5v5 solo games.
Let's break down the exact jobs of each lane.
Survival and general out-playing your opponent in-lane with assistance from your jungler's ganks should allow you to pull ahead in levels and help push a tower. At this point you should be a little fed and ahead in levels giving you a slight advantage over the other lanes. After your tower is pushed you should re-adjust to another lane to help give them an advantage. Your end goal is to build somewhat tanky but not sacrifice too much on over-all damage output. Many top laners will stick to a two offensive item maximum before building more tanky items.
Survival and general out-playing your opponent in-lane with assistance from your jungler's ganks should allow you to pull ahead in levels and continue to shut-down the opposing teams Mid laner. After securing a kill take a tower or gank a side lane, help your team and yourself by successfully ganking other lanes to give them a slight advantage. Although kills are nice, what really matters is that you give that lane a long-term advantage. Your end goal is to be able to provide your team with high ability power damage in the form of burst damage, to easily destroy enemies with low health.
Rapid and efficient travel through the jungle to gank lanes with effective results is what will give you and your team a huge advantage. Making quick work of jungle camps and ganking with crowd control will allow your team to gain massive advantages in-lane and eventually lead to a strong end-game for your whole team and yourself. It is important to learn when to transition from roaming the jungle to pushing a lane. After a successful gank, try to push a turret with that ally. After lanes have been pushed, join up to assist in team-fights. Your end-goal is to continue to control not only your jungle, but your enemies jungle camps, secure Dragon and Baron using smite, and assist in team-fights.
Positioning for proper poking on enemies, last hitting minions to build up income, and survival will allow you to bully your laning opponents. Poke your enemies down while avoiding unnecessary damage until you are able to get a gank or straight up kill in-lane. Once the lane is cleared of its tower, move around the map increasing your gold income until you are powerful enough to make a difference in team fights. Your end goal is to have enough constant damage output at range to deter enemy movement, bring down enemies health, and take objectives quickly.
Careful protection of your allies, placing of wards to see enemy movement, and buffing allies through your item build will lead to victories in team-fights. In the early game focus on keeping teammates alive as well as yourself, while gaining gold through assists and items with gold generating buffs. As the game progresses focus on placing wards to watch enemy movement and safeguard your teammates with your abilities and item auras. Your end goal is to have a slightly tanky aura build with the ability to provide vision around the map and constant support in team fights.
Champion selection: Dealing with how you Feel
As mentioned above, how you feel in the real world can have a significant effect on your LoL playing. Let's cover the basic problems almost everyone will run into and find a way to work around them, or even use them to thrive.
Tired: When you are tired your reactions are going to be slower and your ability to respond to actions such as ganks, pushes, and simple positioning are going to become very hard to do well.
Angry: Anger is an interesting emotion that causes us to be overly aggressive and careless. Being aggressive in LoL can lead to over-extending and over-committing.
Sadness: This feeling will cause you to care less and less about the game. Sadness creates a combination of apathy and care-free decision making.
Caring: (Obviously this is something you rarely run into with an aggressive game like LoL; but this can be just as destructive as any other feeling.) Being overly caring will cause you to be so focused on being generous to other that you forget about your own game. This feeling will usually cause you to want to play a support champion on a team that does not need one. After a few minutes of game-play your will find yourself 0/4/1 and slowly slipping into feeding an enemy carry.
Losing: Ok, it happens to the best of us! Everyone is going to have a bad day here and there and you are going to lose a ton of games in a row. It doesn't matter if it's "jungle Malph feeding Darius" or "TF totally DC'ed" or "soraka said she 'couldn't save me from myself' and then rage-quit" sooner or later you are going to have a bad time.
Impaired: This has to do less with feelings but more with physical interference. External factors that impair playing to the best of your ability:
-littering and... littering and... littering and... "smokin the reefer"
Recommended Champions: Your bread and butter
To some degree I disagree with Riot's selection of "Recommended" Champions due to the creativity some of the champions have; but here are some of the easiest champions to play with.
So why have I thrown these champions on here?
It's pretty simple actually... These champions are easy. No matter what condition you are in, these champions are easy to do well with. You might not get 20 kills and have no deaths, but you won't be making technical mistakes over and over again (like using Destiny to jump into an enemy team without any support).
Pick one champion from this list to make your go-to champion. If you like to be an AD Jungler, try using Xin Zhao; alternatively you might prefer an AP Mage such as Morgana. Pick one and stick with it, practice makes perfect.
"But why would I use a Recommended champion?"
The idea behind this is that sometimes you are not capable of playing to your full potential.
-You just got your wisdom teeth pulled and all those pain-killers are making you a bit woozey
-You are angry because you got in a fight with your boy/girl friend
-you just had a beer or "lit up" and now you cant keep focused on the mini-map to watch teammates and ganks (you might not want to play at this time anyway)
-You are very tired and keep yawning in the middle of the match
Try to play at least one game per day with yout preferred champion. After a while you will understand how safe it is to have them as your fallback champion when you are at less then perfect LoL potential.
When things go wrong, go to your bread and butter, they are simple but effective.
My preferred fall-back's are support/tanks that focus more on helping someone else succeed. Less worry about yourself makes it easier to focus on the end-game.
Champion Choice: Common Issues
So after helping about a hundred people or so I've noticed a few common problems that pop up over and over again so for the sake of future readers I will put a few of them here.
"So I'm having this problem with solo queue where I can never play the role I want to because someone else always takes it, how do I deal with this?"
The easiest way to deal with this is to be prepared to play every role. Have at least 1 go-to champion for each role so that if you can't get the lane you want, at least you can play something you are comfortable with.
"So I've pretty much only played one type of champion and I'm having trouble switching to another role, what should I do?"
Changing from one role to another can be a very hard play-style to pick up. The easiest way to learn is to try champions that can play multiple roles, here are some examples:
(Ranged ADC is a non-comparable role, so it is not included in the match-ups)
Top/Mid - Elise, Mordekaiser, Nidalee, Vladimir
Top/Jungle - Cho'gath, Fiora, Gangplank, Jax, Malphite, Nasus, Olaf, Riven, Trundle, Tryndamere
Top/Support - Alistar, Cho'gath, Nidalee, Shen
Mid/Top - Elise, Mordekaiser, Nidalee, Vladimir
Mid/Jungle - Diana, Fiddlesticks
Mid/Support - Lux, Morgana, Nidalee, Oriana, Veigar, Victor, Zilean, Zyra
Jungle/Top - Cho'gath, Fiora, Gangplank, Jax, Malphite, Nasus, Olaf, Riven, Trundle, Tryndamere
Jungle/Mid - Diana, Fiddlesticks
Jungle/Support - Alistar, Cho'gath, Maokai, Nautilus
Support/Top - Alistar, Cho'gath, Nidalee, Shen
Support/Mid - Lux, Morgana, Nidalee, Oriana, Veigar, Victor, Zilean, Zyra
Support/Jungle - Alistar, Cho'gath, Maokai, Nautilus
These are not they only ones that can hold these roles, they are just ones that do well in them.
"Who are the best champions to play for each lane?"
Many Champions can excel in whatever lane they are in when they are played by someone who knows the champion inside and out. Granted there are some champions that tend to do better in roles or can easily counter opponents, but those are usually dependent on champion selections of your teammates and your opponents.
"What champions should I learn to improve my skills?"
This is a very good question that comes up every so often. Certain Champions can really help over-all game-play I would even go so far as to call them Essential Champions due to their effect on any players over-all skill.
Nasus - teaches patience and build progression. Learn to focus on the end game via your Q stacks then use what you have built up patiently throughout the game to push objectives.
Nunu - teaches how to make regular lane presence, Clear your jungle creeps as well as counter jungling enemies, and secure large objectives (dragon, baron, turrets)
Soraka - teaches how to value stronger allies, she will teach you how to wait patiently until you are of use, and will greatly improve map awareness.
Ezreal - teaches how to last hit minions, how to position properly, and very excellently master skill-shot abilities.
Braum - teaches how to protect your allies, peel away enemy attacks, and select enemy targets for an entire team to attack.
Katarina - teaches you to poke patiently, anticipate enemy crowd control, and how to assassinate with deadly purpose.
Need help finding your fit?
I don't want this guide to be a stagnant and "read only" guide. If you or a friend is having problems finding the perfect champion for you, don't be afraid to leave a comment on here.
If you would like help please fill out these questions and post them in the "Guide Discussion" section, I will answer as quickly as I can.
Current most-used champion(s):
Commonly used champions of teammates (1 champ per person):
What roles do you prefer:
If you have jungled how did it go:
What are some common problems you are having with your champion selections:
What are some Champions and abilities that you prefer:
Sometimes Champion selection isn't the issue. Don't be suprised if I have other advise for you besides who your best champion match is.
Please stop back by and tell me how things went.
If you are more then satisfied with the guide it would be nice if you would +1 the guide and give me some rep. It's nice to see how much I am helping.
Alternatively, if this guide has not fulfilled your needs, tell me why so I can make changes/additions.
OVER 500 CASES SOLVED!
(1 day later)
First pvp match with Riven was solo top against another Riven. 5/0/3 :-) but it helped that I got a lot of good ganks from my jungler. But a lot of it I still did too haha. They surrendered at 20. Def buying her.
I really like that you help people finding new champs, more people like you are needed in the LoL community!