League of Legends mid lane tier list

These are the best mid lane champions of season 11.

Image via Riot Games

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Mid lane is one of the easiest roles to carry within League of Legends, mostly because you have easy access to any other part of the map and can dish out a lot of damage. Great mid laners can effectively roam to other lanes while keeping good pressure on their own mid lane opponent, and champions that excel at it are indispensable. 

This list of top-tier champions can change 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 adjustment 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 are our top five mid laners for League’s Patch 11.16.

Talon

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Low counter play
  • Small mana costs
  • One of the best mobility spells in the game

Cons

  • Need to know when to roam to obtain maximum advantage
  • Weak against tanks

Talon is one of the best attack damage-oriented mid laners in the current meta. The meta favors early skirmishes and roams from mid to help the bot lane extend their lead, which leads to tower plates and drake control.

His E ability is potent for roaming and helps him travel huge distances in the blink of an eye. Coupled with his assassin kit, which focuses on snowballing early, Talon perfectly fits into the current meta.

Item build

Screengrab via Riot Games

There are two viable routes for Talon right now. This is the most popular one that seems to be more successful. Precision primary grants you access to Conqueror, which is easy to stack as Talon. Once fully stacked, the damage increase coupled with the healing granted makes you a nightmare even for tanks later on in the game. Legend: Tenacity is taken alongside Last Stand to make you less vulnerable to crowd control and deal more damage if you get caught. 

The Domination secondary grants you extra healing to help you out during the laning phase and increases your teamfight potential by being harder to kill.

Ability priority

Talon’s skill priority is R>Q>W>E. While W is your AoE ability and should help you farm during the laning phase against ranged champions, Q is your primary ability if you’re in melee range. In most games, you’re going to be against melee champions, so it’s advised you max it. After that, focus on the other damaging ability and level E last.

Game plan

Talon is an early to mid-game champion. He excels at pushing his lane with his low cooldown W. Once you acquire Prowler’s Claw, you can begin roaming to the top and bottom lanes for kills every time your ultimate is up. You aren’t a great laner and shouldn’t focus on laning. If you sit in a lane and farm evenly, you’ll most likely lose later on. Your goal should be to roam as much as possible and use your E to its maximum potential.

With your side laners having some advantage, you can focus on getting towers, drakes, and easier kills once some towers are down and enemies start to overextend. Keep up an aggressive playstyle around the map and don’t let your opponent’s carries pick up free farm.

In the later stages of the game when you group up with your team, look for creative flanks to ambush the opposing carries with your huge burst damage.

Katarina

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Powerful burst damage
  • Can take over games alone
  • Rewarding if mastered
  • Flexible build

Cons

  • Relies on a roaming playstyle
  • Squishy

Katarina is one of the most powerful mid laners after having received multiple buffs in recent patches. She is becoming a menace in the solo queue due to her flexible build, which allows her to counter various champions easily. If left uncontrolled, she can snowball and take over games with her roaming playstyle. Her dash allows her to bypass terrain easily and gank from unexpected angles, giving her team plenty of opportunities to set up ganks.

Item build

Screengrab via Riot Games

The two core rune builds for Katarina are either Domination primary with Precision secondary or vice versa. The most important aspect is to decide whether you need the burst from Electrocute or the sustain from Conqueror. 

The rune page with Electrocute gives you access to more damage early on via Sudden Impact and Eyeball Collection on top of sustain with Ravenous Hunter. The secondary precision tree is picked up for Triumph and Coup de Grace. The first one is aimed to help you escape after low-health plays, while the second is picked up for the additional damage to secure the kill against your opponents.

Ability priority

Katarina’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. Maxing Q first is your priority since it gets a lower cooldown with each rank up and is your main damaging ability. It also helps you by putting a dagger on a location, to which you can jump with E. Your mobility spell therefore should be maxed in accordance with Q to be able to jump around as much as possible and be a huge nuisance for the opposing team. W is maxed last since the utility and power of Q and E are much higher.

Game plan

Katarina is one of the strongest mid lane assassins and excels at taking over games with a couple of early-game kills. Your low cooldowns combined with your high base damage give you plenty of opportunities to snowball. You should use this to your advantage and look for proactive plays during the laning phase.

If you try to adapt a passive playstyle, you won’t be useful in the long-run and the enemy can outscale and shut you down. Keep up an aggressive playstyle and try to win your lane. After you do, you’ll be able to freely roam the map and either kill the opposing jungler or help your side laners.

With plenty of viable build paths, build accordingly to what you need. Don’t rush the same item every game and adjust to various game states. There are a couple of strong first rush items, such as Hextech Rocketbelt, Nashor’s Tooth, and Blade of the Ruined King. All are great in various compositions. Some are good for the additional mobility while others are good for sustained fights. Keep an eye on the enemy buildpath to know what to build and look for proactive plays throughout the entire game to increase your winning chances.

LeBlanc

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Strong roaming capabilities
  • Lots of burst damage in kit
  • Rewarding to master

Cons

  • Doesn’t scale well into the late game
  • Weak against tanks

LeBlanc is one of the best mid lane mages in the current meta since she has a roaming playstyle, which is heavily rewarded in solo queue where you need to constantly help your teammates to win games. Her high burst damage in her kit allows her to kill most meta mid laners with ease, especially if they’re not running magic resist runes or items. While she is fun to play and rewarding to master, she does have a downside that she’s not the best champion in the later stages of the game.

Item build

Screengrab via Riot Games

The Domination primary tree is essential on LeBlanc. It has the extra damage needed from Electrocute with Eyeball Collection, alongside additional sustain from Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter. Inspiration secondary allows you to remove some weaknesses during the laning phase by having more sustain and allowing you to spam your abilities more often. Time Warp Tonic in particular is one of the strongest early-game runes and gives you plenty of kill opportunities against your laner by running them out of resources. If you burn their health potions and you still have a stack or two of the Corrupting Potion, you can easily go for kills if they’re at around half of their healthpool.

Ability priority

LeBlanc’s skill priority is R>W>Q>E. W is your only AoE ability and should be maxed first to be able to waveclear. Without it, you’re going to have huge issues to keep up in CS with the opposing laner. Q is maxed second since it’s a targetable ability and easy to land, and E is maxed last since it’s the toughest ability to land in your kit.

Game plan

LeBlanc is an early to mid-game champion and doesn’t transition well into the late game. As a result, you need to apply pressure early on. Use your potions to harass your laner and try to run them out of resources before trying to go for a kill. If the enemy is playing defensively, you can easily look to roam around the map with your jungler to secure kills on side lanes. But remember to also keep up with CS, otherwise you’re going to fall behind on experience and gold, which will bite you later on.

Keep up an aggressive playstyle and try to finish the match during the mid game since later on you’re going to fall off and have a hard time killing targets without getting blown up whenever you jump for a kill.

Zed

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • No mana
  • High skill cap
  • One of the rewarding mastered champions in the game

Cons

  • Weak against tanks
  • Hard to come back if behind

Zed is one of the most popular assassins on the Rift with whom the arguably best League of Legends player Faker became known for. The skill cap is tremendous and the difference between a one-game Zed and a one-hundred-game Zed can be easily seen. He is fun to play and one of the strongest mid laners in the current roaming meta.

Item build

Zed excels at dealing huge amounts of damage in short periods of time and getting out unscathed before the opponents realize what happened to them. The Domination primary Keystone aids his goal considering it gives you Electrocute which you can proc easily, Cheap Shot to ensure you have enough sustain to reach your power spikes, Eyeball Collection for the additional AD and Ultimate Hunter for that low cooldown on your ultimate.

There’s a couple of viable secondary rune pages, with Sorcery being the most popular one for the additional cooldown reduction and Scorch for additional damage.

Ability priority

Zed’s skill priority is: R>Q>E>W. You want your main damaging ability in Q to be maxed out as soon as possible. Afterwards you want to focus on maxing E to increase your burst potential. The additional damage from Q and E outweigh the utility from the W.

Game plan

Zed is an early to mid-game assassin who excels at getting in and out in a couple of frames before enemies realize what happened. You have a lot of damage early on but you become vulnerable if you use your shadow aggressively.

Balance out aggression with safe plays during the laning phase and look for opportunities to land a deadly W>E>Q combo on the enemy when he tries to last hit. Once you reach level six, start looking for opportunities to kill your opposing laner or go for a roam on the side lanes.

As you slowly grow in power with your lethality item spikes, you’ll reach a plateau in the mid game unless you are fed. It’s important to look for opportunities by split-pushing and ambushing opponents to end the game before that point, otherwise you’ll get out-scaled and lose the game.

Yasuo

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Double crit chance passive
  • Highly mobile
  • Can carry games by himself

Cons

  • Targeted dash
  • Needs time to get going

Yasuo is one the most infamous champions in the game. Those who play him are presumed to be toxic players who rage quit if something goes wrong. Not a lot of champions have this presumption, but Yasuo is one of them alongside Riven, Vayne, and Shaco.

Yasuo’s had a  high ban rate for some time, and  he disappeared after a multitude of buffs to his counters. After nerfs to most of his known counters, however, , he’s back with a vengeance to reclaim the meta.

Item build

Screengrab via Riot Games

The Precision primary rune page is the best on Yasuo. It grants you access to three keystones you can use well: Press the Attack, Fleet Footwork, and Conqueror. Overall, Conqueror scales the best and allows you to slice through tanks with ease. There’s Triumph to help you survive the low-health encounters, Legend: Alacrity to make you strongest in both short and long trades, and Coup de Grace to secure those early kills.

The secondary rune page is more flexible, with Domination holding superiority over others due to the extra healing granted via Ravenous Hunter. Taste of Blood also helps you survive the laning phase and get your core items.

Ability priority

Yasuo’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. While in the previous seasons you could get away with the E max, this tactic is no longer viable. Therefore, maxing Q is usually the correct play in every case. You want to max E afterwards and W as the last one. Even though W is one of the strongest abilities in the game, it’s important to have the reduced cooldown on dash, which is more reliable.

Game plan

Yasuo scales well with attack speed and critical chance. Your goal is to get either of those stats as soon as possible. Your core early item is Immortal Shieldbow since it gives you both of these stats alongside the old Phantom Dancer passive, which was crucial in helping Yasuo thrive in skirmishes.

With the Mythic item and attack speed boots completed, you should start looking to roam or invade the opposing jungler to snowball the game. With a small lead, you can quickly acquire Infinity Edge and become an unstoppable killing machine, capable of taking down entire teams. The toughest tactic for Yasuo is to reach this point by avoiding overextending early on since even a single death can mean a lost lane and cost teamfights or even the game.