Analyzing all Champions in League of Legends
Tue 9th Jul 2013 - 6:44pm
A (now long) while ago, I saw a request on reddit asking for a list of all early or late game champions, so I'm going to go into detail about why I categorize each as I did.
- Early Game: The laning levels, mainly the first 15 or 20 minutes, when it is most likely just between you and your lane opponent. Levels 1-9.
- Mid Game: After the laning phase. This is when you see more roaming occur, and the first towers should start to fall. One team generally has a clear advantage by this point. Levels 9-16.
- Late game: After about 30 or 40 minutes. This is when the carries start to get their fifth or sixth items and live up to their names. This is when death timers are high and one team fight can lead to disaster for one team. Levels 16+
Editor's note: These are the reflections of me, and not necesarilly that of Team Dignitas. Also, I realise that with enough kills early, every champion can wreck late game, please don't tell me how you went 18-1 with Vi and stomped everyone late game, I am aware it can happen, but this is talking about when a champion will do best when equal with the enemy.
Aatrox: Early Game. Despite looking incredibly overpowered when first anounced, Aatrox is actually pretty well balanced, and seems to shine as a lane bully against other melees. Aatrox's insane sustain lets him lane against almost anyone who cant harass him out of lane, and his passive is a good tower dive deterrent. However, it seems that in teamfights, Aatrox is good for diving opnto enemy carries, but if you don't land the knockup, its pretty hard to do anything that significant.
Ahri: Mid Game. Generally, post 6 she can have potential for a kill in lane if she can land her skillshots, but I feel she really shines in roaming with her ultimate and set up kills for her team. She has good base damages as well, and her charm is a good initiation through the whole game.
Akali: Mid Game. Like Ahri, is pretty reliant on her ultimate. Her jumping around makes her awful to lane against, and her W is great at escaping ganks, especially in mid lane. In the first teamfights, she excels as an assassin, jumping to the enemy carrys and bursting them down. Late game, her damage falls off a little bit and she can be burst down more easily, so getting some tanky items is generally a good idea, like Voyboy's Bruiser Akali.
Alistar: All game. In lane, his headbutt-pulverize combo, if landed, is incredibly deadly and a great set up for kills. As the game progresses, you can't really do anything than your headbutt-pulverize, as late game heal is neglible at best, but yor ultimate makes you a great tank. Buy Aura items to avoid being useless.
Amumu: Late game. Doesn't have an incredible clear time, especially with the smaller creeps in camps becoming weaker, which lengthens the cooldown on his E. As teamfights start to erupt, his ultimate becomes incredible though. A 2 second AOE stun is beautiful, and can set up some great fights for your team to clean face while the enemy team is facing the Curse of the Sad Mummy.
Anivia: Late Game. Her Ultimate, and E can do huge burst damage late game, and the Ultimate and her W can block off almost the entire river, or block off an entire jungle path. This makes her incredibly useful, and she has probably the best wave clear in the game. Shes also pretty good mid game, but her early game is pretty weak.
Annie: Early Game. She has huge burst at level 6, and her huge autoattack range makes her great at harassing and last hitting, especially with her Q passive restoring mana. However, all of her spells have very short ranges, which makes her fall off late game, because unless she can land an AOE tibbers stun, she'll probably be burst down quickly.
Ashe: Late Game. She has a good level 1 thanks to her passive, but her laning phase isn't incredible due to her long cooldown on W and no other damage spells besides that. Late game though, her ultimate can be used to great success, and can easily make or break a teamfight. Her Q is also decent at kiting, but she is weak to hard engage due to lack of escape.
Blitzcrank: Early game: It isn't really fair to class Blitzcrank into a category, as a sucesfull pull can make huge plays throughout any stage of the game. However, early game is when blitz shines, as pulling someone in laning phase when they only have a few luifebars can be absolutely devestating. In addition, probably has the best level 1 in the game, as a sucesfull pull into your team guarantees first blood. Also pulling a buff away from a jungler is so cruel its terrible.
Brand: Mid game. Has a decent laning phase, with some potantial to kill if he can land his E+Q. However, mid game teamfights, his AOE potential with a Q+E+W+R is incredible. However, isnt the best champion right now, as called by some pro gamers, he is a "skillshot version" of Ryze, with slightly longer range. If you can land his combo on a grouped up team though, its worth it. Falls off slightly late game as people get tankier and his damage doesnt increase.
Caitlyn: Early and Late game. Caitlyn is defined by her auotattack range and Q range. She is a sniper after all. Early game, her Q lets her put good poke on the enemy, and her autattack range lets her farm at a distance, and her E keeps her safe from ganks. She falls off some mid game, as she doesn't have great damage. Late game though, her damage still isnt incredible, but her range keeps her safe from a lot of enemies, and her passive scales great with damage.
Cassiopeia: Early and Late game. Early game, her Q+E damage is incredible at zoning lane opponents and doing ridiculous damage. Mid game, her damage falls off a little bit, but late game, her damage is disgusting, and a full ultimate is incredibly deadly. She is kind of risky with her ranges though, but her damage is great, just land her ultimate.
Cho'Gath: Mid Game. Thanks to his passive, Cho has one of the best laning/jungling phases in the game, and is very safe, letting him farm very effeciently, and his W is awesome for harass. However, unless you're dove, you probably wont get a kill. Mid Game is when Cho shines, as hes incredibly tanky due to items and his Ultimate. Your Q is great utility, and to fight effeciently, you pretty much have to walk up to the enemy carry, Q, W, Ultimate, and then autoattack them. Just walking up to a carry and ulting them for 500 or so true damage is probably enough to flash away in terror and allows you to zone them. Damge and tankiness fall off late game.
Corki: Mid Game. Corki has two major problems: mana, and autoattack range. This makes him best mid game, as his levels give him more maximum mana, and his E and R are great for damage. late game he will fall off due to his low attack range, so he needs to make mid game where he reigns dominant, and thanks to his high mobility with W, he can.
Darius: Early/mid game. Darius has great harass with his Q, a good gap closer with his E, and his ultimate is damn terrifying. He has great potential kill from 6 onwards, and is one of the best champions to snowball a lane. However, late game, he can easily be kited due to his lack of mobility.
Diana: Mid Game. Like Darius, has great potential from 6 onwards. Her Ult>E combo is incredible for starting team fights, and her damage is insane. The biggest problem I can see is that she can easily be zoned due to her melee range, but as Dignitas Scarra has shown time and time again in LCS, start with mass sustain, and leveling W twice early for a strong shield. Then, mid game she can facilitate teamfights incredibly well and wreck havoc, along with incredible 1v1 potential.
Dr. Mundo: Mid Game. Dr. Mundo has decent clear times, but is relatively squishy in the early phases of the game. However, once Mundo can get to mid game, when he has some health and resistances, he excels in popping his ult, and running into the enemy team for disruption, dealing high damage for a tank with his W and Q. Still does decent damage late game, and is incredibly tanky, but has no CC.
Draven: Early Game. Draven's Q is what makes him such a powerhouse AD Carry, but spinning axes is incredibly difficult. In a Late game teamfight, it can be incredibly difficult to catch your axes and not get focused. In the laning phase however, this is much easier, and the damage amplification is incredible.
Elise: Early and Mid Game. The reason that Elise got so incredibly popular is probably her good laning phase against melee bruisers in top lane. Her Q in Human form does % damage based on health, and at a low mana cost, this is great harass. Mid Game, she can build some magic penetration items, and then go tanky from then onwards, which gives her good assassination potential, and her Spider repell is one of the most unique abilities in the game, and used properly is incredible for baiting and escapes. Late game she falls off a bit, but her Human Q is still very good by dealing percent damgage.
Evelynn: Early/Mid Game. Evelynn makes plays by roaming. Post 6, she can move around the map very quickly, and pop her Ultimate onto the enemy when coming out of stealth. Late game, there won't be as many people farming unportected, so her assassination potential falls off and she can be burst down very quickly in teamfights. So focus on roaming in the laning phase and getting ahead through that, and popping an ultimate onto carries in the mid game is incredibly frightening.
Ezreal: Mid Game. Ezreal has one of the best laning phases of all the AD carries, as his Q is a great poke, and his E makes him almost impervious to ganks. This continues into mid game, and his E is probably the best skill in the game bar none, giving him basically a second flash every few seconds. However, late game, his damage falls off, and to maximize his skillset, he doesn't build straight damage (iceborn gauntlet/blue build).
Fiddlesticks: Late Game (AP/Jungler) Early Game (Support).
Ap/Jungler: In the early phase, Fiddlesticks wants to mainly just focus on farming, and keeping himself health with drain. His Roaming/Ganking isn't that great has he doesn't have a reliable gap closer, and his Q at level 1 is alright. However, late game, if you can land a full crow storm, your enemy will melt, and combined qith a zhonya's you have a lot of potential.
Support: Maxing Q gives you one of the best CCs in the game, and can lead to a lot of potential kills thanks to the 3 second fear at Level 9. Falls of late game as the only think useful you can do is one fear and have auras.
Fiora: Late Game. She has a good level 2, but from then on, isn't that great. A full ultimate on the enemy team is devestating though, but just isn't a great champion right now, doesn't deal much damage if builds tanky, and is only useful for her ultimate if builds damage, then crushed to death.
Fizz: Mid Game. Has huge burst potential with his Ultimate, and his E mechanic makes for some awesome plays. Has a great level 2, but afterwards, is incredibly dependent on landing his ultimate. If you miss shark, you lose all your CC and a lot of damage. Late game, can be burst down very quickly in teamfights for being melee, but still has huge assassination and burst potential.
Galio: Mid Game. Laning phase isn't spectacular due to him being Melee, and doesn't deal huge damage. From about level 7 though, becomes a great farmer by spamming Q, and can get tanky and naturally build AP with passive. The reason hes strong is because he has one of the best ultimates in a game, and landing one with a team to back you up is devastating. Isn't that strong overall though, as hes useless in teamfights without an ultimate.
Gangplank: Mid Game. Gangplank has a decent laning phase, as his Q is good harass and a last hitting tool, but dont expect to get any kills. Mid Game is when he shines in my opinion, as this is when he can be tanky enough to zone out the enemy carries, relying on his Q and passive to deal damage. His Ultimate is also very potent here. If you decide to build critplank, your mid game is pretty strong, because if you can land a Q crit onto an adcarry, you probably just took half their health. However, you are probably going to die as critplank is very squishy.
Garen: Early Game. He can pretty much fight and win every single Top lane in the game except for ones with kiting potential. His Q and E do great damage, but he really falls off late game by being kited and not doing that much damage, late game, Darius does everything better than him.
Gragas: Mid Game. His Laning phase is pretty decent, but has potential to be burst down or harassed. Really excels in Mid Game with his ultimate having huge catch potential. Late Game, he kind of has to get pretty close to maximize his damage, which can be deadly late game, but his ultimate is always incredibly strong for catching potential and damge.
Graves: Mid game. Like Ezreal, has a safe laning phase, but instead of good poke, has a great burst. His E is a bit unique by being an escape and steroid, but is a very safe ability. His Q is what make him shine though, he's incredibly deadly with it at close range, and does huge burst damage. That's the problem though, its only great at close range, which makes him fall off late game.
Hecarim: Mid/Late game. He has a pretty decent clear time, but his ganks aren't incredible, you have to come in at exactly the right angle with his E. But teamfights, he can become a powerhouse with his ultimate, and getting a five man ultimate is a great teamfight set up, and Hecarim can do a surprising amount of damage.
Heimendinger: Mid Game. His missiles in conjunction with his turrets do great damage, but has pretty short ranges on his abilities, and has a useless ultimate, which makes him fall off late game, unless you go for the beloved splitpush jungle Heimer we all know and love.
Irelia: Mid Game. Irelia has received some interesting changes as of late. Back in season 2, people loved building a Wit's End and an Ionic Spark on her, or an early triforce for damage. Now both of those build paths are no longer effective with increased phage costs and no more Ionic Spark, so it has become increasingly harder to ride the line between tank and damage like she did so well. Now, with the nerf of Warmogs recently, Irelia players such as Megazero from Team Complexity are playing damage Irelia by abusing the new Blade of the Ruined King on her, which makes her have insame damage, but she has to build tanky or she'll be burst down as the game draws out.
Janna: Mid Game (Support and AP). Janna is known for her CC, her shield, and her potentially game changing ultimate. Her shield is incredibly strong from level 9 on, giving her target 50 additional attack damage, and a rather hefty shield. She has great Crowd Control with her Q and Ultimate, but late game her shield falls off, and if you want a support that helps your AD do extra damage, Nunu is a better choice. Also, Janna is naturally squishy, but her CC can really make up for this, and her peel for the team is great. When built fully AP, she has strong poke and good range, but shes lacks the damage of other mages.
Jarvan IV: Early/Mid Game. Has a great jungle clear time thanks to his passive, and his ganks are terrifying if you can land an e>q combination. Falls off a bit due to his W being a terrible ability without scaling, but his Ultimate can be great at potentially zoning a carry.
Jax: Late Game. Jax has an alright laning phase, and can farm well under tower thanks to his W, and his E gives him very solid utility. Late game though, as he builds damage, he becomes one of the best duelists in the game, and scales very well. His largest drawbacks is being focused down potentially, but he has great mobility and a very unique dodge ability, and is great at snowballing a game, largest drawback is being shut down early game.
Jayce: Mid/Late Game. Thanks to his ability to transfer between ranged and melee, Jayce has a decent early game in the top lane, able to harass and farm from relatively safety, and have a good follow up with his hammer form. Jayce really seems to shine mid game with his poke from his Q and E. Bloodthirster/Manamura Jayce, which has recently grown in popularity, scales better into late game and works as almost a second AD carry for your team.
Karma: Late Game (AP). Right now, Karma has one of the lowest win rates in the entire game. As for her right now, Karma has good range and extremely good initiation, as her E is a very good ability. However, her damage is reliant on her Q, which is a skillshot, and her W, which is a leash into root, is similar to le blancs, but much worse mechanically. However, her E is great initiation and should not be underestimated, and is great with the mantra shield burst.
Support: Early Game. Most people agree Karma support is useless, but it does have a place. Karma suupport has good bush control with her Q, and her E is good for letting junglers gank with the speed boost. However, she needs damage to remain relevant, and its hard to get that as a support, resulting in her falling off.
Karthus: Late Game. In laning phase and early game, the only thing that Karthus counters in lane is minions. However, he does this very well, and he is one of the best farmers in the game. As the game draws on, as Karthus gets more items, he becomes ever more powerful, and he has great AP scaling, huge AOE damage, and a devastating ultimate.
Kassadin: Mid Game. Kassadin has a weak 1-5, as his melee range makes him susceptible to harassment from other mid laners. However, as soon as he hits 6, Kassadin has great burst potential, and huge roaming potential. This makes him incredibly deadly, and gives him huge map pressure. His short range does hurt him as the game drags on and AD carries become more powerful, but he still does ridiculous amounts of damage and has great pushing power.
Katarina: Mid Game. Very similar to Kassadin in her early game, but post 6 she has lots of burst potential, and has an awesome AOE teamfight. Falls of late game due to vulnerability to Crowd Control and can potentially be burst down unless she has a team that can dive into the enemy along with her.
Kayle: AD: Early/Mid Game. Popularized by Dyrus at 2012 MLG Anaheim, AD Kayle is one of the best lane bullies in the game, though has fallen off lately, especially with her Q no longer granting damage amplification. However, Kayle, with her E and Q scaling off of AD, is a great lane bully against melee champions, and was one of the best counters to shen. Never really falls off, and has an incredible ultimate, but doesn't scale as well as AP, and without CDR, will be forced into awkward melee at times.
AP: Late Game. AP Kayle is ridiculously strong, drawing the most bans out of all champions in the first split of LCS. Her Q and E both have solid AP scaling, and has a decent heal and a great utility ultimate. However, shes received a string of nerfs lately, but with the new Nashor's Tooth and her ultimate still being awesome, she may look for a comeback.
Kennen AD: Early Game. With his W boosting his every fifth autoattack, AD Kennen has great harass early, and is incredibly annoying to have to deal with, and he has a reliable stun with his ultimate, and an escape with his e. However, none of his abilities actually scale with AD, so he falls off late game with his abilities, and other AD carries are a better choice.
Kennen AP: Mid/Late Game. Has an alright laning phase, benefits a lot with AD runes for harass and last hitting. However, with AP items, Kennen has a very solid teamfight thanks to his ultimate. However, he is completely reliant on his ultimate, and is rather useless without it, but can stun pretty much the entire enemy team with great damage.
Kha'Zix: Mid Game. Doesn't really shine in the laning phase, but hashuge burst at level 6 with his evolved Q. From level 11 onward, he has a great team fight with his evolved wings, letting him get resets and have huge mobility. Doesn't really have a falling off point, but can get burst down if he builds straight damage, and he doesn't mix well with lots of defensive items.
Kog'Maw: Late Game. With his W dealing % health and granting him range, and passive attack speed on his Q, he has huge scaling into late game, and is really only outclassed by Tristana. However, he doesn't have a good early game, as he has no natural escapes, making him vulnerable to ganks, and reliable on summoner spells.
Le'blanc: Early Game. Has one of the best laning phases in the game, with huge burst on Q and R, and a silence that makes her impossible to trade with, with a strong utility root. However, he AP scaling and farming is rather terrible compared to most mages, so falls off rather hard late game, although if she can get to the AD carry throughout all times of the game, he will die. With a slight rework coming, we'll see what happens.
Lee Sin: Early Game. Along with a recent string of nerfs, Lee Sin is one of the most mechanically difficult champions in the game. His mobility and his ganks are devestating early, but late game, he can be burst down if building damage, and if building tanky, doesn't deal enough damage to be a threat, so Lee Sin relies almost entirely on getting a great ultimate engage for your team and then tanking.
Leona: All Game. Leona is a CC and aura bot, and thats how she should be played. Has a good early game if paired with an agressive ADC, and her teamfighting with her ultimate is excellent. However, she is vulnerable to being kited, and can be burst down quickly if she doesn't have defensive items yet, as she has to dive into the enemy team to be effective.
Lissandra: Mid Game. She has a decent laning phase, but with her teamfighting, she has to get to close to the enemies to deal damage. However, thanks to the recent buffs on her ult, she does huge damage and can dive into the enemy team and then CC all of them, and still survive! Pairs very well with AOE teams.
Lulu: Support: Early/Mid Game: Lulu is a champion with excellent poke and bush control as a support, mainly through maxing Q. Likewise, her polymorph ability is one of the best disables in the game, a blind and silence rolled into one, and her ultimate is a unique ability that coordinates very well with a champion that will plan on diving into the enemy team thanks to the knock up and slow.
AP: Mid Game. Like support Lulu, has great damage early, along with great brush control. As the game scales later, Lulu's decent AP scaling and great utility make her an awesome protect the carry, and her AP ultimate will give the target a huge amount of health. Doesn't have that much damage late game compared to other APs.
Lux: Mid Game. Lux's laning phase focuses on farming, and all throughout the early game, she doesn't deal that much damage. However, once she has either an Athene's or morellonomicon and a deathcap, she gets a huge spike in power with AP and CDR. It is generally at this point where Lux can start catching people out, and one shotting people, or a whole team. Lux has huge burst, and great AP scaling, and the cooldown on her ultimate is very short. However, late game, most champions get tankier quicker than she can build damage, and she rarely has enough burst to 1-shot someone.
Malphite: Late Game. Doesn't have a very strong laning phase, and can actually get bullied pretty easily. However, as soon as Malphite is able to get some armor and health, he becomes an unstoppable force, and his ultimate really IS an unstoppable force, and is devestating in teamfights, and probably the best initiation in the game, if you have a team following you up.
Malzahar: Early/Mid Game.Malz has a stellar laning phase, good poke and harass and deals ridiculous DoT, but very low mobility. His Ultimate is very strong post 6 in duels, but leaves you completely vulnerable to the enemy team's burst, and a quicksilver sash is a hard counter.
Maokai: Early and Late Game. This seems odd. However, Maokai has very reliable CC and his ganks are deadly as a result, giving him good pressure on the map, although his clear speed can be a bit lacking. However, after a while, his CC falls off, but its his ultimate, when ranked up a couple of times, gives him huge amounts of utility and is invaluable for any team, reducing incoming damage for his entire team.
Master Yi AP: Mid Game. AP Master Yi, generally played in the mid lane, relies on resets in team fights and cleaning up using his Q and a lich bane. However, Yi's damage needs AP to get to the point where it can deal enough damage to be a threat, but as the game gets later, his lack of reliable damage and vulnerability to CC makes him less threatening.
AD: Late Game. Master Yi is kind of an odd champion, but as shown by Crumbzz during a few memorable moments on his stream, the backdooring potential of AD Master Yi is absolutely ridiculous. Thanks to his heal, which recently had its base heal buffed, and an incredibly infuriating ultimate which makes him immune to slows, AD Master Yi can build straight damage, and with his Wuju Stye buff and a good gap closer, he can deal gigantic damage.
Miss Fortune: Early/Mid Game. Miss fortune, simply put, is a huge lane bully. Her double up Q and impure shots make for great harassment, and she can easily get a control of a lane, leading to early domination. As she scales into mid game, her lack of a good steroid and escape make her not as good as other ADCs, but her ultimate deals huge AOE damage, and when used in cunjuction with a team, is incredibly terrifying. She falls off late game compared to other ADCs in terms of damage.
Mordekaiser: Late Game. Similar to Karthus, Mordekaiser counters minions better than anyone else, and is one of the best farmers in teh gaem with massive AOE damage. As he scales into late game, his ultimate against an enemy ADC makes him terrifying against a back line, and lets him deal massive damage onto the enemy team.
Morgana: Mid Game. Early game, Morgana doesn't put much pressure onto the map, if any. However, she has a great teamfight presence, especially with Zhonya's Hourglass, and her Q makes her great for sieging a tower. She falls off late game though, as she doesn't have much damage outside her ultimate, and she gets outclassed by other champions.
Nami: Mid Game. Now, Nami hasn't really seen that much action since her release, but she does have her strengths and weaknesses. In the early phase, her Q is pretty deadly if combined with some other CC, which can make for a good pair up with certian ADs or Junglers for ganks. However, other than her Q, which has some problems with cast time, she doesn't offer much in lane. As Mid Game approaches, she can offer more with a nice teamfighting ult, but her Q is what makes her shine.
Nasus: Late Game. This dog is a late game terror due to him being able to build huge tank items while still managing to do absrd amounts of damage with his Q stacks and his Ultimate. However, this is offset by an incredibly weak early game, where you're susceptible to ganks or invades, and until level 13 when whither is maxed, you most likely will lose all duels, so get to late game and be fine.
Nautilus: Late Game. Offest by a slow start in the jungle and being relatively squishy early game, Nautilus is a powerhouse late game if he can build tank items, as his W gives him sufficient damage on autoattacks, and his CC is some of the most powerful in the game, and is incredibly efficient.
Nidalee AP: Late Game. Has a solid early game, but lacks any real damage until a few AP Items can be built. Once a Rabadon's and a Void Staff can be built, her Spears will be doing ridiculous amounts of damage that will destroy (if aimed properly). Downfall would be that as the game gets later, Nidalee will be punished more and more every time she attempts to use Cougar form, as the lack of resistances or health makes you squishy, you're better off throwing spears and trying to not fight.
Nidalee AD: Early/Mid Game. AD Nidalee has good poke with autoattacks in top lane, and once 6, can generally punish most top laners and is a farming machine that can build tanky while relying on Iceborn Gauntlent for damage. As the game goes on, her lack of AD ratios and CC makes her not as viable as other picks.
Nocturne: Mid Game. Nocturne as a jungler has a decent clear time, but really starts to shine when he can build a couple items and can initiate very hard onto his enemies. Doesn't necesarilly fall off as the game goes on, but lacks the CC and damage of other junglers.
Nunu: Early/Late Game. Wait for late game, Bloodboil your AD carry, snowball bruisers on your carry, and ut as many people as possible. In laning phase, bloodboil your carry and let them harass. As your ADC goes up in strength, you do too. Similar with jungling, except you deal more damage thanks to the Q buff, and you can steal literally anything on the map you want, and no one can stop you. Please ban Nunu.
Olaf: Late Game. Ever since the Nerfs, there really isn't a solid reason to play Olaf. However, if he can get to late game and build enough tank items with a Blade of the Ruined King, Olaf has enough stopping power to kill any ADC (except blue Ezreal. Because nothing can catch up to blue ezreal). However, his early game is just too weak to justify playing right now.
Orianna: Late Game. Is an excellent farmer in the laning phase, and with enough jungle pressure early on to get a lead, can actually 1v1 most champions sucesfully thanks to her shield and high damage. As the game goes on, her shield becomes rediculously strong on both your ADCs and initiators, and her damage with utility is incredibly strong.
Pantheon: Early Game. Pantheon's biggest strenght is his Laning Phase, his constant harass with Q paired with a reliable stun makes for a strong laning phase that can bully most other champions into the ground. As the game evolves to mid game, he can put pressure on the map thanks to his ultimate, but his damage falls off relative to other tops.
Poppy: Late Game. Poppy's early game is represented by abysmally high mana costs and a lack of reliable CS, which means she needs an extended laning phase to get where she wants to. As the game goes on though, her damage becomes incredibly high, and her ultimate and passive make her incredibly good at assassinating targets.
Quinn: Early/Mid Game. Quinn and Valor is a very all-in type of ADC, which makes her a good laning ADC, and her E is a terrible ability that puts her too close to the enemies for a gap closer. However, she can use the high damage and passive to punish enemies very hard in laning phase, and then use that to carry her later.
Rammus: Late Game. Rammus has an okay clear time as a jungler, and decent ganks with his Q and E. However, he really needs tank items to be able to deal damage with his passive and be the tanky annoyance he wants to be. Late Game, a taunt onto the ADC is incredibly effective, and with proper follow up can spell doom for your enemy.
Renekton: Early/Mid Game. Renekton has a good laning phase and is an excellent duelist, and once he gets a Sunfire Cape and his ultimate, deals a good amount of both Magic and Physical damage, which is hard to itemize against. As the game continues, other Top laners can do his job better, in either disrupting the enemy backline or dealing damage, but is an allaround excellent champion right now.
Rengar: Late Game. Rengar does terrifyingly high damage in the right postion, and his ult was an excellent engage. However, unless you can pull off the tripleQ trick highlighted on Reddit, you won't do that well. However, he can pretty much one shot anyone he wants with his ult and tripleQ.
Riven: Early/Mid Game. Riven is a good bully in top lane against other melee champions, and has a unique mechanic that she actually gets tankier as she builds damage. This gives her a huge powerspike with each damage item she gets, but late game can get locked down by CC and become completely useless due to her all in nature.
Rumble: Mid Game. Rumble has a rather sub-par level 1-5, but when she he gets his ultimate, he can duel pretty much anyone, and the powerspike at level 11 makes his teamfighting skills incredible. His Ultimate is just incredibly useful in terms of utility and damage.
Ryze: Late Game. Ryze has a decent laning phase, where he should focus on farming and leveling up his Tear of the Godess. As the game progresses, becomes tankier and deals more damage, thanks to all mana items giving heath or resistances. Late Game just becomes a QW machine gun that doesn't die.
Sejuani: Late Game. In a vein similar to Rammus, Sejuani has an okay clear time, but is too squishy and deals too little damage to be of any use in the early stages of the game. As the game drags on, Sejuani can build aura/tank items, become a dance soak, and then her incredible imitation techniques really begin to shine, using her constant slows, aoe stun, and gap closer.
Shaco: Early game. Being able to tank the jungle with his jack in the boxes, And using his stealth, slow, and situational fear, Shaco wreaks havoc on both the enemy jungler and the enemy lanes, being able to come in from behind at unusual angles. As an assassin though, Shaco relies on catching people out and abusing his stealth, but as the game gets later, oracles are bought, and people begin to group up, your usefulness fades away. This is when you can buy a stattik shiv and split push all day and be a constant thorn in your enemy sides at the downside of being useless in teamfights.
Shen: Late Game. Shen's power largely comes from his ultimate, which he doesn't really have in the early game. Shen requires lots of farm, and his ability to split push and then join a fight instantaneously let's him farm creeps for most of the game, and then suddenly emerge into teamfights with a trinity force and 4000 health.
Shyvanna: Early-mid game. Once Shyvanna clears her own jungle for be first time, at level 3 both jungles belong to her, and unless your team is great at collapsing on a location, there isn't much you can do about it. As the game wears on though, her jungling speed doesn't matter, and she doesn't have the hard CC that makes most junglers shine in the current meta, making other picks superior.
Singed: Late game. In the early phases of the game, singed can farm and laugh under turret at a failed gank, but that's about the extent of your power. However, as the game goes on, thanks to Singed's ability to build whatever he wants an still be effective and being able to completely destroy most back lines, his power is insane late game, even after the recent nerfs.
Sion ap: early game. Thanks to a shield that makes you tank and do damage at the same time and a click to win the lane stun, Sion is one of the most annoying champions to lane against in the lane. However, that's about it. In teamfights, ap Sion can stun and blow his shield for a little bit of damage, but since the DFG nerf forever and a half ago, AP Sion is completely useless unless used as a counterpick.
Sion AD: Late game. Unlike the other build, AD Sion is actually pretty terrible in the laning phase. However, once AD Sion can build a phantom dancer, a mercurial scimitar, and as many bloodthirsters as you're able to, AD Sion is an absolute beast, with aoe massive life steal and a shield, it's really hard to die, unless the enemy team has CC, which is why cleanse and mercurial scimitar is a must.
Sivir: Early game. Thanks to her ancient mana costs and abilities that hanker back to a simpler time in the League of Legends, Sivir is no longer able to compete with other adcs. However, she does have good lane harass with her q, even if it does cost about half her mana pool, but as the game gets to a point where adcs are supposed to reign supreme, Sivir's lack of range, escape, or a steroid that doesn't force her to stop and yell at nothing make her comparatively weak.
Skarner: Late Game. Although season 3 has shunned Skarner from one of the most contested picks to a champion that is lucky to see the light of day, Skarner is still a formidable pick late game once his squishy early game has been passed thanks to his hard initiation with his ultimate. Sadly though, until something is done, other tank junglers with better initiation (Sejuani, Volibear, Zac) will continue to outshine Skarner.
Sona: Early game. In the first 10 or 15 minutes of the game, Sona will deal more damage then most ad carries, as her q-powerchord poke is some of the strongest in the game. Due to her lack of building ratios, this doesn't last long, but her heal and her ultimate is powerful throughout all stages of the game, making Sona one of the strongest champions in the league right now.
Soraka: Late game. Soraka is good in making sure her ad carry never has to back in base for a reason other than buying. This makes her good with hyper carry adcs like Kog'maw or Twitch that simply need to survive to make sure they're relevant late game. Soraka can stay relevant late game by spamming starcall to reduce the enemies magic resistance, and her heal gives a nice armor buff, but her presence in laning phase is too little for her to be a relevant pick in professional play.
Swain: Mid Game. There is a reason why Swain has one of the lowest pick rates in both solo queue and competitive play, he doesn't deal enough damage to justify his short range and aggressive play style. His early game doesn't offer anything special, and late game he can be kited very effectively, which only leaves mid game, where he's at least alright.
Syndra: Mid game. Pre level 6, Syndra isn't anything special, but at level 6, she offers the most burst damage out of every ap carry in the game with no items. This one on one dominance continues throughout most of the game, but her while her burst potential is good, unless she is very farmed, her sustained damage is lacking, which means other champions will be doing better late game, and it's hard to kill the back line with her semi-short range, which is who needs to die late game.
Talon: Early-mid game. Talon is a great example of a lane bully and effectively counters most of the "farm until late game" ap carries that are strong in the current meta. He's a good roamed as well, but late game is similar to many assassins, and talons aggressive playstyle that forces him into the middle of the fight is ineffective late game, especially since Talon should focus on building damage.
Taric: Early game. Taric is a good burst support, able to stun an enemy, deal some small burst damage, and let the ad carry do the work. His stun is what really makes him shine in lane. As the game gets later though, Taric can offer a wide variety of auras with his ultimate and shatter ability, which means he’ll be more useful them some other supports, but has only a single target stun, compared to the aoe of Sona, Leona, or Nami.
Teemo AD: Early game. Teemo, in addition to possibly being Satan reincarnated, is an incredibly effective lane bully, able to use his ranged harass and kiting into bushes (that are full of shrooms) to make sure any Melee champions can't get CS, as AD runes and the base damage on poison can deal Huge damage. Late game, his short range and lack of extra damage on mushrooms make him not as good as his AP counterpart.
Teemo AP: Late Game. AP teemo is also a good lane bully, but not as good as AD since his AP ratios need a fair bit of AP until they're doing good damage. As the game gets later, once Teemo had bought a decent amount of AP and a Liandry's Torment, his Mushrooms will make your enemy want to break their keyboard, but his short ranges will make it hard to not get burst down late game in a teamfight.
Thresh: All stages. Although Thresh really shines in laning phases with his grabs and pulling in games from across the lane, Thresh never really falls off, as hooks are a great way to initiate, and he can build auras to stay relevant.
Tristana: Early and late game. Tristana in a weird ad carry in that her early game is decent, her mid game is abysmal, and her late game is one of the best in the game. Now, most people know how strong her late game is with her incredibly long range, and a steroid that gives her a ridiculous amount of attack speed, with a good escape. However, most people don't know her early game is actually pretty good, so why do I say this? Well, Triatana's E and W deal magic damage, and most bot lanes don't run flat magic resistance runes or masteries, instead opting for armor runes. However, mid game her magic damage is pretty low, and she needs items for her autos to do enough damage, so her midgame is lackluster.
Trundle: Mid game. Since his minor rework, Trundle has seen a slight resurgence in gameplay, but he still isn't played all that often. Trundle isn't really anything special in the early game, but when team fighting starts, his pillar an ultimate make him good at sticking onto a high priority enemy, but if his team helps that target peel, then trundles effectiveness is diminished. However, Trundle is excellent in poke compositions thanks to his pillar in more of a support role.
Tryndamere: Early/Late game. Tryndamere is a good lane bully, as his heal and natural crit chance make him a good duelist, but he doesn't really offer anything special. In teamfights, Tryn can deal good damage onto a high priority target, and his ultimate can buy him a few precious seconds, but his split pushing with his spinning slash and a Stattik Shiv is really what makes him strong, as he can just die until hes not worth gold and still push a lane until hell freezes.
Twisted Fate: Mid Game. TF's early game doesn't offer anything special at all, but once behind 6, his global pressure makes him very effective, and can punish the enemy all around the map. This continues for the rest of the game, as his global pressure makes him so strong, especially in competitive play. As it gets to late game, TF doesn't do nearly as much damage as other casters, but his ultimate is incredibly useful.
Twitch: Early and Late Game. Very similar to Tristana with magic damage carrying in laning phase, not a very good mid game, but then a huge steroid that can carry throughout late game. However, lacks an escape, but mid game is better than Tristana's, but late game is weaker for an even trade.
Udyr: Mid Game. Udyr has a pretty good laning phase, and a terrifying level one with tiger stance. Should focus on farming in both top and the jungle in this phase, and then emerging mid game to deal a suprising amount of damage while still being pretty tanky. Late game, has a lack of gap closer that results in him being incredibly vulnerable to getting kited.
Urgot: Early Game. Urgot is a lane bully, plain and simple. His E-Q combo does ridiculous poke damage that is hard to face up against, and can push most other AD carries out of lane. Late game, benefits from building tanky unlike most ADC's, but deals nowhere close to the damage of others.
Varus: Late Game. Unlike a lot of AD carries, Varus' poke lets him do a pretty good amount of damage and paired up with a Sona or other poke-heavy support, can dominate the laning phase. However, this isn't all that likely. Varus, like other AD carries, scales incredibly well with items, and his ultimate, when actually hit, is incredibly devastating and can lock up an entire team, and thanks to Varus' spells doing % damage, he does do a lot of damage, especially with good peel.
Vayne: Late Game. Like most AD Carries, Vayne is excellent late game, when she can kite any bruiser all day and every day with her Q, E, and Ultimate. Vayne has an exceptionally week laning phase though, thanks to her short range and lack of damage early.
Veigar: Mid Game. Now, most people will say Veigar is late game, when he can get upwards of 1000 AP and just one shot anything he likes. However, even in the mid game, Veigar can generally 100 to 0 the enemy AP carry, and that’s Veigar's job. Why I wouldn't classify Veigar as Late is because Veigar is completely useless for about the next 10 seconds after bursting someone down while he waits for his cooldowns to come back up. If this is abused by the enemy team, you're doing nothing, and you probably will die.
Vi: Mid Game. Vi has a good Early game, but needs to come in at the right angle to kill anyone, but in mid game, before the enemy is doing enough damage to burst Vi down completely as soon as she shows up, Vi can deal a ridiculous amount of damage, and with two gap closers, is an AD carries worst nightmare, is just to squishy late game to be useful.
Viktor: Mid Game. Viktor's laning phase is rather poor, and his short range on his stun and lack of sustained damage make his late game not optimal, so that kind of only leaves his mid game. Viktor has good burst which can surprise a lot of people, and his AOE ultimate can be pretty good in teamfights, but late game has one less item than everyone else which hurts.
Vladmir: Late Game. Vladmir's early game is all about sustaining himself, which he can do incredibly well, and has a good escape that lets him escape from ganks. The result of this, combined with his AOE E, means a farming machine that late game, can enhance his teams damage, and then do a whole load of damage himself, and his Troll pool lets him survive longer then he should in fights.
Volibear: Mid Game. Volibear has the same problem as a lot of other tanky support junglers do, he has a squishy early game and is susceptible to early aggression. However, at the drawback of no AOE cc, Volibear does a whole lot more damage than other tanky junglers, thanks to his ultimate and W. This lack of CC (comparatively) means he isn’t as good late game as other tanky support junglers.
Warwick: Mid Game. Although Warwick is very weak right now, his ultimate is still pretty good as a 2 second lock up, but pre6 he’s useless, and after 6, he really is only good for his ultimate, and thats the sad truth of it, Riot can't buff jungle Warwick without directly buffing top lane Warwick, which might be the definition of "anti-fun."
Wukong: Mid Game. Wukong has a decent early game, but can be bullied around by most ranged champions and quite a few bruisers. As the teamfights start, his ultimate is incredibly useful for an AOE knockup, and his W can ensure he almost never dies. However, he's pretty much only good for his ultimate, as he doesn't deal as much damage as other bruisers, nor is he as tanky as others, but somewhere kind of in the middle between damage and tankiness.
Xerath: Late Game. Xerath is a siege machine, and also an anti-siege machine, that can melt an enemy ADC as soon as he gets into range. Xerath, while kind of a boring champion, scales well with items, and when objectives are important, does very well at securing them. Xerath's laning phase is lackluster, and needs to focus on farming, and really begins to shine when he can put enough pressure on the enemy team to scare them away from important objectives.
Xin Zhao: Early Game. Xin Zhao has a decent clear time, but his ganks and pressure on the map is rather strong. His lack of CC and damage as the game continues makes him not as strong as other picks, but if builds damage, can use his combo to push an enemy ADC out of the fight.
Yorick: Early Game. Yorick is a lane bully, whose constant spamming of ghouls will force his lane opponent to be constantly spamming health pots and backing away from his creeps in fear of taking more harass. Especially once Yorick has his Tear of the Goddess, he can be spamming a whole lot of these ghosties too. However, late game, Yorick's basic spells are useless other than slows, and the only thing he can do is ultimate the carry on his team and try to act as a tank.
Zac: Mid-Late Game. Are we seeing a pattern with tanky support junglers bynow? Zac has a squishy early game, but once he gets some aura items and builds decently tanky, Zac's long range and absolutely devastating engages can carry a team, and with a Liandry's Torment, can even put out some kill damage onto the enemy in the earlier stages of the game.
Zed: Mid-Late Game. Once Zed hits level 6, he has huge potential to kill anyone without an escape. If Zed can do this enough times and begin to snowball, for the rest of the game in a teamfight, Zed can ultimate onto the enemy's AD carry, and without proper peel, they will die, and there probably won't be much to do about it. Drawbacks of this is that Zed is very vulnerable to CC, and is usually in the middle of the enemy team when he ults onto someone.
Ziggs: Mid Game. Zigg's is a unique champion that seems to still not really found a good niche. Ziggs has huge damage output at level 1, and a good laning phase where he can farm and stop ganks pretty effectively, but Ziggs sits awkwardly where he doesn't have the utility some champions do, the huge burst, or the huge sustained damage other champions do, or having strictly huge poke, but is somewhat a bastardization of all of these qualities, meaning he never really shines, but is never a bad champion to have in a teamfight. I really don't know how to properly explain Ziggs, he is a solid champion, but is kind of a jack of all trades and master of none for an AP carry.
Zilean: Mid Game. Zilean is a good farmer in the laning phase, and his mid game damage with Q>W>Q is some good burst damage. However, as the game gets later, his only one damaging spell is not enough, and Zilean becomes useful really only for his ult, and not much else.
Zyra: All Game. First, let me address that I don't think AP Zyra has been played as anything but a support since her first nerfs, and this is written for a support role. Support Zyra has a good laning phase, as her E is a great way to trap enemies so they can't trade back, and her plants and Q give her good poke. While this is good, it is Zyra's game changing ultimate that makes her shine, and the reason to play her.
Thanks for reading summoners, and please let me know in the comments below if you disagree with me. I will try to be updating this for patches as they roll out, so feel free to bookmark this or send it to new players. Good luck on the fields of justice!