THIS BUILD IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, A WORK IN PROGRESS.
Hello, and welcome to my grand champion guide to League of Legends. I am writing this guide to encourage people who don't yet know all the champions and all of their abilities to learn, and to expand their knowledge in the League. Because in my opinion, the saying holds very true in League of Legends, "Knowledge is power!"
If this guide helps even one person escape from a single near-death experience, aides one summoner in laning against a difficult opponent, or helps a single person perform better in a teamfight for his team, I will consider it successful. If you found this guide helpful, let me know! Write a comment in the bottom section, and please upvote! :D
Enough of that! Let's begin.
Before I kick this guide off with the first champion in alphabetical order, I'd like to say a few words about how I'm going to be describing each champion. I will first list their abilities with MOBAfire's beautiful coding system, and then I will tag them with a few of my own tags, (in my opinion, Riot's champion description tags are a little less than descriptive), in hopes that you will get a basic understanding of what to expect from said champion. First, to ensure my descriptive tags are, well, descriptive, I'll explain each and every tag I'll be using right here!
A carry is a champion that has poor early game damage output, but continuously scales upwards into a peak in late game, providing the highest consistent damage output on their team through hard-hitting auto attacks and/or Auto-Attack like abilities (LOOKING AT YOU, Ezreal!!) A carry is not Mordekaiser when he's going 8/0. A carry is not that Katarina getting a pentakill at 25 minutes. That's not really what designates a specific champion to be a carry.
Akali, the Fist of Shadow
|Twin Disciplines||-||Mark of the Assassin||-||Twilight Shroud||-||Crescent Slash||-||Shadow Dance|
Tags: AP Assassin
Overview: Akali is a melee burst assassin, comparable to Poppy in that they both have extremely high burst, but only when in melee range. Akali is the kind of champion that can just eat low health or squishy champions, which makes her perfect for isolating the squishy enemy carry and pinning them down them before their team has time to react.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Akali!
- Her Twilight Shroud makes her invisible while she is inside, so keep in mind that you may need to get Oracle's Elixir or a Vision Ward if you're laning against her.
- Akali is incredibly damaging... but only in melee range! Pre-six you can kite her pretty easily if you get shoes before her.
- Post-six she becomes harder to kite, as her ultimate, Shadow Dance, allows her to quickly dash long distances. Keep in mind that it is on a charge system, so if you force her to pop ultimate charges to get to you, you will minimize her ability to combo you with her ultimate.
- IMPORTANT TIP~! Always remember that 75% of Akali's damage comes from Mark of the Assassin. A couple hints to help you abuse her lack of range:
1) If Akali lands a mark on you, do not let her get to melee range. This allows her to proc the mark, dealing much more damage than the initial hit. As said above, just kite her until the mark wears off.
2) Do not stop kiting!! Remember that the cooldown for Akali's Q is shorter than the actual mark duration. If she hits you with a mark, and waits for approximately 5 seconds, she can proc the mark, throw another, and proc that one, dealing broken amounts of damage. Be very wary of Akali if you have a mark on you especially if enough time has passed for her cooldown to finish.
- Katarina: High mobility with Shunpo harrass, and Akali has no CC capable of stopping Kat's ultimate, Death Lotus. Also, Katarina's ultimate hits Akali inside Twilight Shroud.
- Kassadin: Incredible range on his silence, Null Sphere, used correctly prevents Akali from ever landing a mark on Kassadin. Also, Kassadin's passive, Void Stone (that's incorrect, its actually called Void Stone), doesn't hurt against Akali's magic damage.
- Kennen: Excellent laning phase damage, and a lot of his abilities, namely the Thundering Shuriken+ Electrical Surge combo, can hit Akali while she is shrouded.
- Lee Sin: Amazing laning phase damage, coupled with two abilities that give sight while she's shrouded make Lee Sin a great counterpick for Akali.
- Urgot: Very skillshot based, he can land his Noxian Corrosive Charge on Akali while she is shrouded, and his Acid Hunter homes in on targets affected by it.
Alistar, the Minotaur
|Trample||---||Pulverize||---||Headbutt||---||Triumphant Roar||---||Unbreakable Will|
Overview: Alistar is a very beefy cow, sporting a lot of CC and an ultimate that reduces his damage taken by about 70% at max level. His laning phase mostly consists of him being able to heal himself, and his laning partner. If played correctly, he can chain his two abilities together, Headbutt and Pulverize to keep a lane opponent CC'd for a significant period of time. Alistar will usually be seen supporting an AD carry in the duo bot lane, possibly occupying solo top, and he is notorious for being able to roam/jungle. Roaming is when you never really make a lane your home, you just go nomad and gank lanes constantly. Its also common to jungle intermittently.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Alistar!
- Beware the bush!!
- If the enemy Alistar in your lane likes hiding in the bushes, buy a Sight Ward and place it in the bush in your lane. It allows you to simply harass him if he continues to camp your bush for lane dominance.
- Keep in mind that Alistar's abilities have an incredible dominance in the lane, but they have long cooldowns. If Alistar just busted a Pulverize+ Headbutt combo, harass him for it.
- Alistar doesn't do consistent damage. If you're in a duo lane with the cow plus a ranged AD carry, focus the carry down. Alistar can only beat up on you to a certain degree, most of his power comes from CC.
- Ezreal, Dr. Mundo: Significant skill shots that can disrupt Alistar while camping the bush are incredibly useful when laning against an Alistar that likes the bush.
- Olaf, Cho'Gath: True damage bursts through the 70% damage reduction from Alistar's ultimate. This can kill Alistar much faster than he expects after his ultimate is popped. Olaf is a harder conterpick, because while Olaf uses his ultimate, Ragnarok, he cannot be Headbutt'd, or Pulverize'd.
Amumu, the Sad Mummy
|Cursed Touch||---||Bandage Toss||---||Despair||---||Tantrum||---||Curse of the Sad Mummy|
Overview: Amumu is one of the most solid tanks in the game. His ultimate, Curse of the Sad Mummy, is game-changing. It can turn the tide of a teamfight with a single press of the R button. It can save your team from getting aced. It can turn a simple victorious teamfight into a all-out game-winning ace. Amumu has several viable placements, among which are jungling, solo top, or possibly supporting an AD carry in duo bot, although that's a rare placement.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Amumu!
- Do not forget about Bandage Toss!! It is a significant stun, and just because he does not use it to engage on you, it doesn't mean he doesn't have it.
- Amumu has surprising damage output in teamfights, and his damage not burst, its sustained. Despair does constant damage as a % of max health until Amumu deactivates it, and Tantrum has its cooldown reduced every time he is attacked. While this may make it seem worth it to focus him down, pick squishier targets first. Do not forget he is a tank, and if you leave the enemies carries alive and kicking, you will not even live to kill Amumu.
- When teamfighting against an enemy Amumu, unless you are a tank, or tanky DPS, be very wary of Amumu until his ult is popped. Curse of the Sad Mummy can CC you long enough for them to wipe you out.
- If the enemy Amumu is jungling, try taking his Blue Buff at the beginning of the game, as a team. Make sure to go as a group, since he may have people guarding him. If you can successfully take it, it forces him to change his route, and recall more often.
- Udyr, Shyvana, Lee Sin, Cho'Gath, Trundle, Nunu: Because Amumu is commonly jungling, an strong enemy jungler can put a wrench in his plans. A control jungler is essentially a fast jungler, someone who can attain control of their jungle, and counterjungle effectively. The reason this counters Amumu, one of the slower junglers, is because a control jungler could steal an important part of his jungle, such as Blue Buff.s
- Morgana, Nocturne, Sivir: Spell shields prevent all of Amumu's nasty CC. If you can get through the CC, his damage isn't substantial.
Anivia, The Cryophoenix
|Rebirth||---||Flash Frost||---||Crystallize||---||Frostbite||---||Glacial Storm|
Tags: Burst Mage
Overview: Anivia is one of the more bursty mages in the game but has enough CC to stick to you until her cooldowns are back up. One of her infamous moves, Crystallize, can split you from your team if you aren't positioning correctly, allowing her and her team to eat you.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Anivia!
- If laning against Anivia, the most secure way to win is to gain extremely early game lane dominance. She has a fairly poor early game, but once she hits 3, she can start bursting pretty hard. Once she hits 6, if you haven't been winning, its hard to turn it around.
- Watch for Flash Frost!! The particle for the effect is extremely slow moving, and its fairly easy to dodge if you don't run straight away from it, but instead strafe to the side.
- Flash Frost can be detonated manually by Anivia at any time after she launches it.
- All of Anivia's insane burst comes from her proccing x2 damage on Frostbite. Before level 6, the only way she can chill you is to hit you with Flash Frost. Keep in mind it chills you not only on detonation, but also as it passes through you. Dodge it completely.
- Post-6 Anivia can chill you instantly with Glacial Storm. This makes it incredibly easy for her to use Glacial Storm into Frostbite to proc x2 damage on it. It's an extremely devastating combo, and it makes it easy for her to zone you.
- The best way to deal with Anivia post-6 is abusing her insane mana costs. If you can bait out her Flash Frost or Glacial Storm, it's incredibly costly, especially if she misses.
- Don't skimp on the magic resist!! That's an important note!! Get magic resistance!! Especially if you're getting stomped by her!
- Kassadin: At the core of his void-filled heart, Kassadin is an anti-mage. Anivia is pretty much as mage as it gets. Kassadin deals with Anivia better than almost any other champion. He can zone her out of experience range constantly, and make the laning phase hell. His Null Sphere deals a very significant amount of damage, and also brings with it a nasty silence. Not only can Kassadin out-range Anivia, by the time Anivia is in range, she is silenced. Deal with it. *sunglasses*
- Vladimir: Not quite as hard of a counter, but a counter none-the-less. Vladimir's single target nuke, Transfusion, deals more damage at level 1 than any other ability I've seen, except for possibly Kassadin's Null Sphere. This allows Vladimir to zone Anivia early, and once the laning phase really gets heated, around levels 5-7, up to 9, a good Vladimir can literally out-heal Anivia's burst, provided he outlevels her.
- Galio: He gains AP based on his Magic Resistance, allowing him to stack MR and gain damage. This makes him a good counterpick for AP mages.
Annie, The Dark Child
|Pyromania||---||Disintegrate||---||Incinerate||---||Molten Shield||---||Summon: Tibbers|
Tags: Nuke Mage
Overview: Annie was League of Legend's first nuker. She is the definition of a nuke AP caster. The essence of a nuker is having one combo that can take someone from half to 75% health down to nothing. For Annie, its her Summon: Tibbers+ Pyromania, Disintegrate, Incinerate. That combo will leave someone stunned for 2 seconds, and if the Annie knows what she's doing, they'll be dead before that 2 seconds is over.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Annie!
- Keep in mind that Disintegrate has a very short cooldown, but costs a lot of mana if used to constantly harass. If she kills her target with Disintegrate, the mana cost is refunded.
- Keep a number of health potions on you at all times. If you can out-sustain her occasional harass with Disintegrate+ Incinerate, you will never get low enough for her to nuke you down with a full combo. If she harasses too much, she'll have to go back for mana.
- Get some magic resistance! It will greatly reduce her ability to nuke you to death with a single combo. And, unlike against burst casters, getting flat health items is not a bad idea either. If your max health is higher, it becomes harder for her to end you.
- Kassadin: Null Sphere out ranges Disintegrate. Deal with it. *sunglasses*
- Morgana: She can deal with Annie, because Annie gets fed by playing aggressively, and Morgana is all about countering aggressive play. Also, Morgana's Black Shield poses a serious problem for Annie's nuke.
- Galio: He gains AP based on his Magic Resistance, allowing him to stack MR and gain damage. This makes him a good counterpick for AP mages.
Ashe, the Frost Archer
|Focus||---||Frost Shot||---||Volley||---||Hawkshot||---||Enchanted Crystal Arrow|
Tags: AD Carry
Overview: Ashe is a very solid AD carry. Her attacks may be weak early game, but if she gets enough minion/champion kills, her auto-attacks can hit like a truck, and slow on every hit. Keep in mind she does insane damage late-game, as the AD carry she is. Her ultimate, Enchanted Crystal Arrow, has infinite range, and stuns up to 3 seconds, based on how far away you are from her.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Ashe!
- Ashe's first attack when she gets to lane is a guaranteed crit, because of her passive, Focus. Don't let her use her first auto-attack on you, force her to pop it on a minion.
- Ashe is a powerful AD carry, and as such does little damage early game. WARNING: Ashe's early game damage can be made much higher with AD runes. Make sure you check how much attack damage she has when laning against her, as she can gain up to +25 AD with a Doran's Blade and runes. Keep in mind that Armor Penetration runes offer higher late game damage, and Attack Damage runes offer better early game damage.
- If you're playing a melee champion without a gap closer, such as Garen or Udyr, ask for a lane switch. Ashe can kite you in the laning phase.
- Talon: He has a really good gap closer, and can get to Ashe before the kiting begins. Talon can also out-harass Ashe to a major degree.
- Urgot, Vayne, Caitlyn, Graves: These are all AD champions Ashe will commonly fight in duo bot. They can either out-range or out-harass her.
- Olaf, Irelia: CC reduction against Ashe puts her massive utility to waste, her stun and slows are mitigated.
Blitzcrank, The Great Steam Golem (AKA: Big Hand Grabby Man)
|Mana Barrier||---||Rocket Grab||---||Overdrive||---||Power Fist||---||Static Field|
Overview: Blitzcrank is an AD based tanky DPS. His signature ability is Rocket Grab. This ability shoots his arm out in a skillshot, and upon hitting a target, pulls it back to Blitzcrank. This ability catches people out of position instantly, and punishes for it extremely harshly. This robot is tanky DPS, and as such can go solo top, but due to Rocket Grab's potential for early game kills, he can also support an AD carry in bot.
Quick Tips for Playing Against Blitzcrank!
- Rocket Grab. Always expect it. Never forget about it. Never underestimate it. Never think you can just dodge it. Stand behind your minions during the laning phase. Stand behind your tank before a teamfight. Do not venture out alone into the darkness... Because Blitzcrank and his massive ****ing hand will find you, and grab you into a bush with their entire team. DO NOT VENTURE OUT ALONE INTO THE DARK. Stand behind other allied targetables, such as allied minions and your tank.
- Blitzcrank is much like Alistar if he is supporting, meaning that you should place a Sight Ward in your bush if he likes to hang out there and grab you into it.
- Always expect Rocket Grab. If Blitzcrank runs at you using Overdrive, JUKE, for the children, please JUKE. Running in a straight line away from him is a bad idea.
- When going solo top against Blitzcrank, smarter Blitz'es may not rely so heavily on Rocket Grab. If this is so, remember that he can still Rocket Grab you at point-blank for guaranteed extra damage.
- Expect Rocket Grab.
- If you're going duo bot against a Blitzcrank, start with shoes and 3 health potions. It will help you in maintaining evasiveness. If you're going solo top, all you need to do is out-sustain or out-damage him.
I don't know any true hard counters to Blitzcrank, because he hasn't been an integral part of the current meta. There hasn't been enough knowledge developed about him. But here I will list people who are good at juking his grab, and those who are better at dueling (1v1ing) than he is.
- Vayne: I've always assumed she'd be a good counterpick to a support Blitzcrank, because of her Tumble she can dodge and get away if she's been hit with Rocket Grab.
- Xin Zhao, Yorick, Garen, Vladimir: These are all champions that, though I haven't gotten the chance to test it out, I assumed would WRECK Blitzcrank solo top. Assuming that all of these champions have, first off, decent laning phase damage output, and second, a self-sustain mechanism. I just feel like they would be able to out-damage him and out-sustain him, as said above.
- Lee Sin: On the same note of untested ideas, I wanted to point out that, in my untested opinion, that general maneuverability is a counter to Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab. I feel like Lee Sin fits all of the criteria above, being able to beat Blitzcrank in a 1v1 situation, and being able to out-sustain him, given that Blitzcrank doesn't have a built-in sustain mechanism.