Posted by: innerfire | August 4, 2011

Intermediate League: Choosing the “Best Champion” Updated

While in the process of collecting video for tutorials, I’d like to offer a quick tutorial on choosing the champion that suits your interests. When I say “best champion” it’s good to note that the definition of best changes every day based on what creative tricks people pick up, what nerfs or buffs happen on patch day, etc. The best champion is the one that suits your play-style.

First step – every week on Tuesday there’s a new set of champions available for play. Play every one of them at least once: even if you don’t like them, you’ll learn how they play and thus how to counter them. More importantly, you’ll learn when they’re weakest and strongest – Mordekaiser is weak in early game, but makes up for it with a strong mid/late game. You’ll also learn good lane combos – and who to tear apart first. Don’t buy a champion before trying them, or you’ll likely end up unhappy.

Making it Real Simple For Beginners:

  1. Support – Soraka and Sona for healing. Janna for CC/shield. Taric is good too.
  2. Damage – Irelia, Ashe, Tristana, Talon, Vayne
  3. Tank – Leona, Rammus, Alistair, Sion
  4. The 5th Man – Amumu, Nunu (junglers), Teemo (teaches you awareness), Xin Zhao, etc whatever
Now, for folks who want it more detailed than that….
Based on cost (and how likely they are to be banned or nerfed):
  1. 450IP – Ashe, Nunu, and Kayle see a lot of use and are pretty fun to play.
  2. 1350 – Tristana, Annie, Poppy, Alistair, Sion, Morgana
  3. 3150 – Xin Zhao, Warwick, Udyr, Nidalee, Akali (even with the recent nerf, she’s still good.)
  4. 4800 – Orianna needs her Q fixed.
  5. 6300 – Caitlyn, Vayne, Nocturne, Irelia, Talon

Do people complain that your champion is hard to compliment? Twitch can be an excellent champion, but requires a lot of team support. Probably not good to pick unless you already discussed the plan with your team. Can another champion do a job better? Janna is superior to karma in what types of champions she can support and her lack of need to farm for effectiveness. If you want to play Teemo as a dps-tank, there’s probably better picks like Nunu, Amumu, and Mordekaiser.

Some champions are easily countered by others – the enemy team will usually immediately pick them, thus denying your team the champion. Soft-counters make it more difficult to play, and hard-counters make it impossible to play vs. them. Karthus’ ultimate is countered easily by Soraka’s ultimate – soft counter. Kassadin counters Anivia, denying her spells, ability to hit, and even life – hard counter. Janna can counter Fiddlesticks by pushing him out when he uses his ultimate. Many of these combos and counters can only be learned by playing – I’ve played amazing games with a Sona and Mordekaiser or a AP Janna with an Irelia that wouldn’t have occurred to me.

So, as the primary focus of this blog, we need to touch on countering as/against Support champions. Going to fight a Corki + Taric combo in the bottom lane? You should really field a Sona or Soraka because you’ll need the healing, or find yourself pushed out of lane early. This isn’t to say a good Janna can’t deal with it – simply that it’s easier as a full healer if you’re starting out. Janna’s shield can withstand a bit, and you should be able to get in position for a tornado to break the combo.

The third problem mentioned briefly above is that many champions are commonly banned in PvP battles. At low ELOs, Vlad, Soraka, Mordekaiser, Rammus, Shen, and Amumu are all banned quite commonly. Partly it’s because low ELO players don’t know how to effectively counter them – learn how they play and figure out what weakness you can exploit so you’ll be prepared to face them. My list above tries to offer very strong champions for a variety of playstyles that aren’t often banned in PvP or are considered ‘balanced’ by Riot and thus unlikely to be nerfed.

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