Let's Rank: Best League of Legends Champs for Beginners
For this edition of Let’s Rank, we’re talking about League of Legends, a multiplayer online game that requires teamwork, technique, and strategic thinking. In simplest terms: you’re on a team of 5 people trying to get to the other team’s base and destroy it before they do the same to yours.
League of Legends can be a complicated game, but if you start slow and learn a little bit more every time you play, you’ll be pentakilling your way to victory before you know it.
Today’s rankings: which of the 140+ characters (or “champions”) are the best for beginners? We’ve broken down some of our top recommendations for each role/position below.
ADC stands for Attack Damage Carry. You can think of them as the team’s gunslinger—they’re here to lay down fire and wait for the right moment to go in for the kill. Of the three main “lanes” that lead to the enemy’s base, the ADC lives in the bottom lane, or “bot lane”. Your job is to get stronger by killing little mini-enemies called “minions”, upgrade your weapons and abilities, and duel with the other team whenever they get in your way.
Ashe is one of the classic starting champions. She’s old school, but she makes this list for a reason. If you’re trying to learn the game, she has a lot of things that can help you out: a passive ability that makes your attacks slow down enemies, a way to check the bushes and shadows to avoid ambushes, and a giant long-range arrow that can make you feel like you’re the best sniper in the world. Straightforward, satisfying, and balanced.
The thing about ADCs is that they’re “squishy”, meaning they don’t have a lot of health to spare. Caitlyn is awesome because the range of all of her abilities is super long, so you never have to get in danger if you play your cards right. Plus, like Ashe, she’s got a long-range “ultimate” move that homes in on one very unlucky target. Lock and load.
Playing a support character is like being the team mom—you’re the one that runs around healing people, making sure everyone is where they’re supposed to be, and giving them some game-winning encouragement when they’re feeling down. For a lot of the game, you’ll be sticking by the ADC in bot lane and protecting them while they do their thing. After all, their success is your success.
Soraka has everything a good support champion needs: several different healing abilities, some “crowd control” abilities (a.k.a. ways to slow, stun, or otherwise hinder the enemy with annoying condition effects) and on top of all that, her passive ability literally makes her run faster toward allies that have lower health. She’s like a super-nurse, and she’s here to save the day.
Sona is basically a bard. Each of her abilities is a different song, and when she plays them, they do different things: heal, stun, speed up, or make someone stronger. She’s a simple character who doesn’t require a lot of button mashing, but she also feels very impactful once you get the hang of it.
Middle lane, or “mid”, is the lane for mages. Just like the ADCs in bot lane, mid lane characters are here to bide their time killing little minions (“farming”), upgrade their spells, and duel the other mid lane character, trying to turn any of their small mistakes into openings for a bigger advantage. Do you like doing a lot of flashy damage all at once? Mid might be the right role for you.
Lux is your classic good witch/light mage. She can slow enemies down, stun them in place, give allies a nice little shield, and when all else fails, shoot a giant laser beam to cut through enemies like they’re nothing. She’s very well-rounded and perfect for learning the ropes.
On the flip side, there’s Morgana: your dark magic user, the queen of the shadows. Another very well-rounded skill set: binding an enemy’s feet, creating a cursed circle to do damage over time, and blocking enemy abilities are all part of her bread-and-butter. Her ultimate move chains nearby enemies and does a second wave of damage if they can’t get away fast enough. Her abilities all have a very intuitive feel, so we recommend trying her out if you have your eye on mid.
Top lane, or just “top”, is for the player that feels confident and independent. It’s a self-reliant role that takes place in the lane at the very top of the map, away from most of your teammates. The characters that do best up here are resilient, whether they’re a “tank” (lots of health and defense) or a “fighter” (built to give more damage than they take).
Demacia! Garen is a determined and valiant knight. He’s got plenty of abilities that help him shake off small amounts of damage or crowd control, take less damage overall, and give it right back to his enemies. Playing Garen will make you feel strong and unstoppable, so give it a shot.
Nasus’ kit does nearly the opposite: many of his abilities are meant to limit his enemies rather than enhance himself: he can steal a little health, slow them down, or even make them more vulnerable to his next attack. The one exception to this rule though is his ultimate: he instantly gets bigger and beefier and infinitely more terrifying. Ever wanted to play as the monster instead of the hero? Nasus is the champion for the job.
Okay listen, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs without this disclaimer: Jungle is a unique role, and it’s tough for beginners. But if you’ve got your heart set on it, or you’ve tried one of the other roles first and now you want to expand your repertoire, we are here to help you out. In between each of the three lanes is a wild area called the jungle. It’s filled with neutral enemies to fight and get stronger from. Jungle characters spend the majority of the game in that wild area, farming the enemies and making surprise visits to the other lanes to try to gang up on the enemy players, which is called “ganking”. These characters are skilled at hiding out on their own and biding their time, waiting for the perfect moment to make a game-changing play.
Rammus is basically a cross between Sonic and Bowser. He can do pretty much exactly what that sounds like: stomp around, hurt people with spikes, and even roll around the map. Rammus excels in the jungle because many of his skills are based on payback—damage that gets dealt to him punishes the attacker too. Plus, he has multiple ways to pull people in or stun them in place, making him a very scary champion to come spinning into your lane when you’re not expecting him to.
Warwick is a werewolf so the whole jungle thing is kind of a no-brainer. He’s self-sustaining, so he can heal up and stay out of view for as long as he needs to. And then when it’s time to strike, he can literally sense low-health enemies, making it easy to chase them down and eat them for lunch. If you like being the hunter and not the hunted, Warwick is the champion to try out.