Our ranking of every League of Legends champion continues with this fifth and final installment. If you missed them, first read parts one, two and three and four.
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 the conclusion of our rankings of every champion in League of Legends.
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26. Ryze: The machine-gun mage of the mid lane, Ryze operates on a different range of power than most others. He relies on his massive mana pool and ability to lower his cooldowns with each spell cast to drop an onslaught of magic. To some, it may look like slamming your keyboard, but perfecting the right spell rotations starts to feel like second nature. Playing Ryze properly makes you feel like the seasoned magus himself, effortlessly rotating through skills as you dominate those foolish enough to get close.
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25. Azir: This Egyptian-themed god doesn't do his own dirty work, but leaves it to his sand soldiers to assert control of the battlefield. Azir is all about gradually establishing presence, and he has a number of tools to control where the enemy can and can't go. Between his ultimate's ability to halt an initiation in its tracks, and being able to construct new turrets from the crumbled bases of old ones, Azir can assert a measure of influence few can match. Getting caught out without a plan means sudden death, but played slowly and methodically, Azir is a slowly advancing and unstoppable army.
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24. Bard: Bard's greatest strength comes from the wealth of choices he has. A mixture of support and a roaming lane ganker, his ability to pick up chimes around the map encourages him to occasionally leave his designated carry in order to help the whole team out. Bard's tunnel is his biggest boon—the ability to create one-way passages through otherwise impassable terrain opens up a ton of interesting engages or escape opportunities, and his ultimate lets him stop a fight gone wrong and give your team time to reset. Bard changes the game on many levels just by playing him, and turns the support game into one of choices and activity rather than passive babysitting.
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23. LeBlanc: The League's deceiver, LeBlanc is an assassin who relies on trickery. At low health, she spawns a replicate of herself to fool enemies, and her dash can be recast to pop her back to the original location instantly. She can bind enemies and detonate marks of her Q, even replicating her own spells with her ultimate. LeBlanc always has a number of abilities and choices to make in any given situation, creating an assassin that is as much about individual playstyle as it is about optimal play. LeBlanc allows for emergent play and really engaging moments of player innovation, and so she's one of the more exciting mids to master.
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22. Twisted Fate: Twisted Fate is a strange amalgamation of Gambit from X-Men and an old Western poker player. His Pick-a-Card lets you rotate between three cards to throw at your enemies, offering you the choice between an area slow, a targeted stun or regenerating lost mana for more cards. His ultimate gives vision of the entire enemy team and lets you teleport across the map, opening up tons of offensive or defensive plays. Those who play Twisted Fate favor aggression, often recklessly so, but it's the kind of aggression that's impressive to watch and difficult to master. One wrong card pulled means the difference between a kill and a waste of time, and you have to juggle your card selection and targets while dodging hits, because TF can't take many of them. A deceptively simple champion that opens up a ton of opportunity for early play and aggression.
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21. Zed: There's a sense of mastery that comes with playing so many mid lane assassins, as their need to perfectly execute in order to fulfill their role on the team has become their defining attribute. Zed embodies this, as one of the best in the class at instantly annihilating his target, but only if played intelligently and with skill. Being able to create and move between shadows that mirror his moves sounds like a huge deal, but managing your cooldowns and which shadow to jump to is key—one wrong jump has you sitting out like a sore thumb for the enemy team to clobber. Still, just watching two high-level Zed players face off is uniquely impressive. The way they use their skills and count cooldowns is impressive, and especially solo matchups show the amount of potential the champion has in creating unique states of play.
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20. Kassadin: The former king of the mid lane, Kassadin has been a little forgotten as of late, but it's hard to deny the unique role he's always held. His ultimate is one of the biggest game-changers in League—the ability to blink (short-range teleport) around the map turns him from a slow, trodding bruiser into a tricky assassin. Knowing just how to dive in, do your damage and get back out for another rotation is key to playing Kassadin, and being able to hop walls and terrain forces you to be aware of the entire map for when openings pop up. As one of the few anti-magic mages, Kassadin continues to fulfill a unique role that few can match.
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19. Teemo: What else is there to say about Teemo? Everyone knows him, and everyone hates him. The little critter plants explosive 'shrooms all around the map, just waiting to kill you while you run back to base with only a fraction of your life left. He pokes and prods you with poison, then skitters off when you get close. He's annoying as all hell, but there's really no one else like him. Teemo is endearing, the way that you get a little fond of that dog that keeps tearing up your lawn. If that dog stopped, you'd be glad, but then a few weeks later you might sigh and think fondly of it. Teemo is like that, only at the end, you step on an explosive mushroom and die, cursing his name. Plus, he's already a lot like a dog, in that most of his skins involve dressing him up in dumb outfits. Teemo, the Instagram puppy of League.
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18. Elise: This spider queen might be one of the more formidable foes when it comes to jungling simply due to her number of abilities. While her three normal skills all do one thing when she's a human, she can also transform into a spider for another set of devastating skills. Switching between the two forms for different tools and sources of damage is key to playing Elise, and makes her one of the more engaging junglers to play. Cocooning someone and then leaping up into your web, only to descend down on the victim and start mashing away at them with your pincers is not only fun, but downright terrifying. A few jungle ganks from an enemy Elise will likely instill you with a mild case of arachnophobia, but she's still a great jungler that always keeps things interesting (and horrifying).
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17. Yasuo: Yasuo is all about calmly observing and reacting to the enemies' moves. Most of his skills are built around quick bouts of movement, and both his wind wall and his ultimate rely on reaction time more than most others. Playing Yasuo is a bit more challenging than most, but the reward is learning a nuanced, interesting mix of a mage and carry. Blocking massive skillshots with your wind wall is really satisfying, especially if it's something like Ashe's arrow or Jinx's missile, and his ultimate rewards those who draft and play around Yasuo's strengths. A niche pick at times, but one that is extremely and uniquely entertaining to play as and against.