Our ranking of every League of Legends champion continues with this second installment. If you missed it, read part one first.
League of Legends has come a long way from the early betas. Champions have seen multiple reworks, items have been added and removed, and entire spells and maps have been changed to accommodate new shifts in the overall strategy of the game, or “meta.”
With a promising preseason patch just out and a number of changes on the way, we thought it would be nice to reflect on the game in the only way possible: ranking it! Through a complicated algorithm based on skills, emergent gameplay opportunities, design, playstyle, uniqueness and how good the author is with them (just kidding—I’m terrible with everyone), we’ve ranked every champion as of the addition of Kindred.
Here’s part two of our rankings of every champion in League of Legends.
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100. Warwick: The lycan hunter of the night loves to hunt squishy enemies in the jungle, prowling around and preying on those trying to flee fights. All of Warwick's abilities hinge on his prowess in the jungle—he can lifesteal from enemies, speed up his attacks, gains speed when a fleeing enemy is low on health and can pounce opponents and pin them down with his ultimate. Warwick suffers because his kit is one speed: if his ultimate is up, he's a brutally effective ganker. If not, he's sitting on the sidelines, unable to catch anyone because of his lack of non-ultimate mobility options. Warwick is training wheels for any aspiring jungler, but that role means he can't contribute much against higher level players.
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99. Cho'Gath: Cho'Gath does a lot of cool stuff. He makes spikes come up out of the ground, he yells at people, and every time he eats something, he grows in size. It's pretty awesome to play as a fully Feasted Cho and feel like a giant kaiju about to tear apart Summoner's Rift. Cho also runs into some strange issues in that he feels too retro-tanky in a game, for the past several years, mobility and execution have become king. He has massive cooldowns on his primary abilities (well, massive compared to most), and heavily relies on an unreliable knock-up to even get close to enemies. I love the theme, but the execution can feel cumbersome.
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98. Morgana: The fallen angel of League, Morgana's play is actually relatively passive. Most of her moves revolve around zoning and responding, rather than acting. She can create pools of damaging darkness, lock enemies down with her ultimate and protect allies from magic damage and stuns with her shield, but Morgana's lane presence has always been a little more reactive than proactive. Her role is to ensure her team can do their job, so it's a valuable gig—just not one I'm ever really chomping at the bit to play.
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97. Quinn: Originally, Quinn was a tag-team champ that had some interesting abilities. When you play as Quinn, you're a huntress with a crossbow, picking off enemies that your hawk Valor pinpoints for extra damage. When you tagged in Valor, you were a harrier jet, flying into the fight at high speed to maul enemies at melee range. New Quinn, however, removes the Valor options, and instead just makes it so Quinn can fly around at high speeds. It feels familiar, but less interesting—Quinn resided in the realm of marksmen who did something very out of the norm, and I would've rather seen her be taken further into new territory than to reduce her tag-team potential to an occasional speed boost.
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96. Swain: By himself, Swain is not that great—he's an old guy with a cane who can trap enemies with weird magic and zap them with little crow-lasers. Swain's ultimate, though, transforms him into a giant crow that shoots out smaller crows, which deal damage and then return to him to heal. It's pretty awesome, and probably the only reason people play Swain is to turn into a giant boogeyman crow monster. Well, and for that old-man cane swagger.
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95. Zyra: Zyra often feels like one of the forgotten supports of the League of Legends. Always residing in subtle obscurity, she adequately fills the role, but rarely stands out. Her plants are cool, but are popped pretty easily by any marksman who started with at least a Doran's Blade. She can make a really impressive plant that locks enemies down with her ultimate, but ultimately, her plants have a lot more bark than bite.
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94. Lucian: The gun templar has faded in and out of competitive popularity for a while, but as far as just playing him in solo queue goes, he manages to just feel like an average marksman. He doesn't have many unique tools beyond his ability to double-up attacks on enemies after casting. His ultimate is visually appealing, but usually tends to be a little disappointing in practice. He's capable and straightforward, but I've very rarely had a memorable or particularly interesting time playing Lucian.
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93. Rek'Sai: I really love the concept of Rek'Sai, a burrowing monster that uses tunnels to traverse the map and surprise enemies. It reminds me of Lurkers from Starcraft: Brood War, but sadly, Rek'Sai's tunnels are a little less intricate. All of her tunnels are fairly short ranged, meaning that it's basically another dash or gap closer. Her ultimate, which sends her screaming towards one of her tunnels at high speed, is really cool—only it relies on the enemy 1) not seeing your tunnel and 2) standing on top of it while you're hurtling towards it, so the ultimate becomes a "get back to lane" tool rather than a harrowing initiation.
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92. Twitch: Twitch is a sneaky rat with a penchant for pestilence, as he loves to go invisible, pop-up behind an unsuspecting enemy and plague them with poisoned bolts from his crossbow until they perish. It's really fun to catch people out with Twitch, but his role as a marksman sometimes feels like a crutch. There's a heavy drop-off for Twitch, once he stops being able to instantly crush unsuspecting opponents, and so he has to rely on the range of his ultimate and his team to both make space for him and group enemies so he can still effectively damage them. Pre-30 minutes Twitch is great, but late game Twitch just isn't the same.
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91. Vel'Koz: Billed as an alien that learns about different races by "deconstructing" them, Vel'Koz is fairly intimidating, but his abilities are often a little more miss than hit. There's some clever mechanics in his ability to bounce his skillshots to hit both an enemy and whatever is standing on either side of them, but most of Vel'Koz's skills are just lasers and flash without any big moment of awesomeness. His ultimate is cool, until you realize that being a stationary laser slowly rotating makes you a pretty prime target for an assassin. Ouch.