Some champions in League of Legends are just flat-out stronger than others.
Mid lane is one of the game’s easiest roles to carry with, mostly because you have easy access to any other part of the map. Oh, and a lot of damage. Great mid laners are those that can effectively roam to other lanes while keeping good pressure on their own mid lane opponent. Champions that can do that well are indispensable.
This list of top-tier champions can be affected depending on a number of things. Sometimes the meta shifts for no apparent reason other than players’ tastes, but usually there’s some kind of balance change behind the whole thing. It can be difficult to keep up on the flavor-of-the-month champs, so let us do it for you.
Here’s our mid lane tier list for League’s season nine.
Champions in this tier are the strongest in the current meta and it doesn’t take much effort to carry yourself through the ranks of solo queue with them.
If you know how to play Yasuo, or even if you played against a good Yasuo, you know how painful this champion can be, which puts him at the top of this list. Yasuo goes into almost any matchup since he can easily deal with poke damage, has fast wave clear, and is highly mobile in lane, in addition to the absurd damage he deals. If there’s a champion that can solo carry a game, it’s Yasuo played by someone who put in the time to learn him. With just a few items and good positioning, Yasuo has the potential to wipe out an entire enemy team. His only downside is the low mobility he has when he isn’t around minions.
Zed has some tools that make him more attractive than most other assassins. Some may have a little more crowd control and defensive capabilities, but a mastered Zed puts out more damage than any of them, and he’s slippery as hell to catch. His shadow mechanics give him an incredibly high skill ceiling to practice and improve with, and outplaying three people at once with tricky teleports and your ultimate feels better on Zed than any other champion in the game.
Akali might not sound like a champion that belongs to the highest tier at first glance. She can struggle during the laning phase due to low wave-pushing powers and vulnerability to poke. But once you’ve put the time in to master this assassin’s abilities and mechanics, her potential becomes almost limitless. Akali makes roaming around the map and picking up kills almost easy, which gives the opportunity of a snowball that makes her unstoppable later in the game. Her damage burst is astounding and her abilities cost no mana. Pair all those in this highly-mobile champion and make sure to dodge the CC aimed toward you, and Akali can carry the game.
The second most powerful mid laners take a little bit more effort to play well, but when executed properly, they can carry a game just as hard as the best.
Like Zed, Fizz is extremely mobile. He can’t put out quite as much damage, but he does offer a little bit more utility than Zed to make up for that. His Playful/Trickster makes him untargetable for a decent chunk of time, meaning you can use it to block huge incoming attacks as well as bounce over walls and other structures. His ultimate ability has a lot of teamfight potential too, which means he scales well into longer games with a strong early start. But a poorly executed early game will drag Fizz far behind, enough for him to not be too big of a threat.
Another assassin that makes this list is Pyke. Even though he’s mostly played as a support, he offers a lot to the mid lane, too. If you’re getting ganked, you have a means of escape. If you’re engaging, you have CC and damage burst. In addition, Pyke is highly mobile, which opens the opportunity to roam and help other lanes, with his harpoon making ganks easier. The gold sharing from his ultimate also makes him a great unit to help the team grow stronger over time, and each successful gank gives a higher prize. But Pyke has very little pushing power and is vulnerable to champions with poke and damage, such as Zedd or Ekko.
Ahri is a very useful mix between an assassin and a control mage, offering high instant bursts of damage with some long-ranged crowd control on the side. Ahri’s Charm is an excellent teamfight tool later in the game, and her damage never really falls off, so she’s a strong and relatively easy-to-play choice no matter the situation. Ahri’s kit rewards better players, though, since her Charm, which is a skill shot that can be blocked by minions, boosts the damage of her other abilities. It might take some practice, but Ahri is a very rewarding champion to pick up if you’re inclined to do so.
This is an interesting tier because champions at this level aren’t exactly strong in the mid lane meta. But if you can learn how to play them well, you can still make them work to carry games. It might require a bit of extra effort to get there, though.
A fed assassin is about as close as you can get to a one-man carry in a game. If you’re fed enough and you know how to roam around the map, you can control the game almost by yourself, and Ekko roams around the map better than a lot of them. He has extremely high mobility, crowd control, and a failsafe ultimate. If you prefer the insta-nuke variety of carries over the slower, artillery-style mages, Ekko is one of the best choices. Mastering Ekko can be quite the process, though, and playing him can feel a bit chaotic. Ekko is lower on this list because his late-game scaling isn’t as efficient as the higher-tiered champions.
Unicorns of Love showed how powerful Heimerdinger can be during the Worlds 2019 play-in stage. An aggressive playstyle on this champion can make for a very frustrating laning phase for Heimer’s opponent. His turrets provide vision and zone control, he can push extremely fast, he can stun, and he can burst out a lot of damage. He does, however, have almost no mobility and escape mechanics, making him an easily-targetable unit. Heimer is also very mana hungry and the turrets that help with his push make last-hitting minions a lot harder. Many players don’t exactly know how to play around Heimer, and if you’re not feeling too confident in your skillshots, Heimer isn’t for you.
Malzahar seems to always mingle in the meta. Even if he’s not one of the very best, he’s still a high priority pick and that’s mostly due to how easy he is to be effective with. His ultimate is excellent even if you’re ridiculously behind, and his Malefic Visions makes farming and clearing minion waves very easy. For the most part, he’s a point-and-click mage, and his one skill shot has a very generous hitbox. That being said, if you want someone that’s easy to pick up and climb from the mid lane, Malzahar is probably your best bet. But channeling the ultimate leaves Malzahar frozen in a place, making him easy to counter. He also doesn’t scale into the late game too well.