GamingVerdict is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Table of Contents
As one of the most popular games of the last decade and arguably the hottest game on the planet right now, League of Legends by Riot Games is a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) where players matchup with others in teams of five, in a bid to barge in to the opposing bases and ultimately, destroy the nexus to claim victory.
You may already know this or you may not have ever played LoL before, but with most fantasy themed games that are personified by in-game characters, League is no exception to offering weird and wacky personas, shapeshifters, powerful mages and brutish juggernauts available to the player.
Of course, I am referring to the game’s playable characters, and in League of Legends, these characters are known as champions. Over the course of the decade that the game has been actively played by dedicated members of its community, the number of champions has significantly increased; there were 17 available to play when LoL’s beta was initially released in 2009.
Champions in League of Legends. (Image Credit: Deviant Art)
There are five positions on the main map that is used for competitive and ranked games. Summoner’s Rift houses three lanes, a huge jungle that separates the two sides, with turrets, neutral objectives and buffs from jungle camps in between. As well as this, you will also find both bases containing a Nexus at the very back of the Red and Blue sides.
The five roles in LoL are Top, Jungle, Mid, ADC/Bot and Support. Top is a solo lane at the very top side of the map, it is the longest lane and is usually home to bruisers, tanks and brawlers. Jungle is home to the junglers that have the freedom to roam wherever they choose, mid is another solo lane which sees exciting and close quartered dueling.
Bot or ADC, as the name suggests is located at the very bottom side of the map and is the only lane out of the three that is played as a duo lane, where the ADC, who is traditionally a marksman must lane with their Support who acts as an initiator, healer or tank to aid their ADC in the laning phases against the opposing bot lane, and beyond for the rest of the game.
Traditionally, there are champions for each of these roles but sometimes, a champion can be used in more than one role. Each champion has its own unique kit and therefore, develops its own playstyle that may also be characterized by the player. Players will often spend months on end attempting to master their champion of choice.
The reason for this is, especially nowadays, there are a ton of matchups for every champion and thousands of ways in which a champion may interact with another in any given moment, plus the hundreds of abilities that all champions have to offer, the role of items on damage output and much more.
According to the website ‘Moba Champion’, with two teams of 5 different champions, there are over 3.7 X 1021 total number of possible team-vs-team matchups. Additionally, due to the capacity of champions being playable in multiple roles, Moba Champions finds that it would take ‘everyone on earth more than 20 million years of playing LoL non-stop in 30-minute games’ to test every combination.
There are several primary categories and even some sub-categories which separate all 151 champions from one another. These are as follows:
- Burst Mage
The following descriptions may be found on LoL Wiki and credit for all of the following images is given to Riot Games.
Juggernauts are melee titans who relentlessly march down the opposition and devastate those foolish enough to get within their grasp. They are the only subclass who excel at both dealing and taking significant amounts of damage, but in turn they have a tough time closing in on targets due to their low range and extremely limited mobility.
Champions examples: Darius, Mordekaiser and Sett.
Tanks are tough melee champions who sacrifice damage in exchange for powerful crowd control. While able to engage enemies in combat, a tank's purpose isn't usually to kill opponents; rather, tanks excel at disrupting enemies and diverting focus to themselves, allowing them to lock down specific targets (or several targets at once), as well as remove (or peel) threats from their allies.”
Champions examples: Alistair, Malphite and Rammus.
Fighters (also known as Bruisers) are a diverse group of short-ranged combatants who excel at both dealing and surviving damage. With easy access to heavy, continuous damage (or DPS) and a host of innate defenses, fighters thrive in extended fights as they seek out enemies to take down, but their limited range puts them at constant risk of being kept at bay (or kited) by their opponents via crowd control, range and mobility.
Champions examples: Camille, Lee Sin and Wukong.
Skirmishers (also known as Duelists) aim to shred through any nearby enemy that approaches. Because Skirmishers lack high-end burst damage or reliable ways of closing in on high-priority targets, they are instead armed with situationally powerful defensive tools to survive in the fray, along with extreme sustained damage to cut down even the most durable targets.
Champions examples: Fiora, Jax and Master Yi.
Assassins specialize in infiltrating enemy lines with their unrivaled mobility to quickly dispatch high-priority targets. Due to their mostly melee nature, Assassins must put them themselves into dangerous positions in order to execute their targets. Luckily, they often have defensive tricks up their sleeves that, if used cleverly, allow them to effectively avoid incoming damage.
Champions examples: Ekko, Katarina and Zed.
Mages are champions who typically possess great reach, ability-based area of effect damage and crowd control, and who use all of these strengths in tandem with each other to trap and destroy enemies from a distance.
Specializing in magic damage, often burst damage, and therefore investing heavily in items that allow them to cast stronger and faster spells, mages excel at chaining their abilities together in powerful combos in order to win fights, though their abilities also tend to be difficult to land and can be mitigated, if not avoided completely, by their targets if they react in time.
Champions examples: Lux, Vel’Koz and Zoe.
Burst Mages aim to single out vulnerable targets by locking them down and following up with a devastating barrage of damage from range. Burst Mages struggle heavily against beefier targets who can shrug off their initial spike of damage.
Champions examples: Ahri, LeBlanc and Sylas.
Battlemages (also known as Warlocks) get into the middle of the fray, seeking to wreak havoc upon the entire enemy team with their overwhelming sustained area damage. Due to their relatively short (but not melee) combat ranges and the need to burn down their opponents over time, Battle Mages have significant defensive capabilities that range from sustaining endlessly to literally defying death for a short period of time.
Champions examples: Cassiopeia, Ryze and Vladimir.
Marksmen are ranged champions whose power almost exclusively revolves around their basic attacks using their reach to land massive continuous damage from a distance, marksmen are capable of taking down even the toughest of opponents when positioned behind the safety of their team, and excel at securing map objectives such as Dragon, Baron Nashor and Turrets.
Marksmen are tremendously vulnerable to burst damage, due to their fragility, and tend to be exceptionally weak early in the game, requiring high amounts of gold, mostly via minion kills (or CS: Creep Score) to acquire powerful, but expensive, damage-focused items.
Due to their potent reach and DPS, marksmen are particularly strong against more durable opponents, namely fighters and tanks, but fall quickly to the burst damage of assassins and mages.
Champions examples: Ashe, Caitlyn, Ezreal, Draven, Jhin, Kai’Sa, Lucian, Samira, Twitch and Varus.
Controllers assist their allies with potent utility and keep enemies at bay with crowd control. Weak when alone, supports are capable of massively amplifying their teammates' power to become the strongest class in group combat (or teamfights), supplying crucial utility or crowd control at clutch moments to save allies from death and enable takedowns on the enemy team.
Supports typically start out by assisting the marksman in lane, as their own power is less dependent on items to function well, but over time their contribution expands as they lend aid to their entire team with both their spells and effective, yet affordable, items.
Champions examples: Bard, Ivern and Rakan.
Wardens are defensive tanks. Wardens stand steadfast, seeking to hold the line by persistently locking down any on-comers who try to pass them. Wardens keep their allies out of harm’s way and allow them to safely deal with enemies caught in the fray.
Champions examples: Galio, Nautilus, Shen and Thresh.
Specialists are a diverse group of champions who do not "fit into a neat little box" in regards to other class/subclass specifications. The majority of these champions were once part of other subclasses but were reclassified in the V7.10 update, including a large number of champions from the former Zoner subclass of Controller. As a consequence, many Specialists exhibit "zone control" either as a dominant or secondary attribute, including many of the pre-7.10 Specialists.
Champions examples: Azir, Gangplank, Gnar, Heimerdinger, Nidalee and Singed.
Stay in touch
Sign up now for all the latest news, builds, and ideas for your PC gaming setup.