The best champions to help you climb the League solo queue ladder

Climbing wasn’t meant to be easy, but ace these champions and you’ll be rising up the ranks.

Photo via Riot Games

For a lot of players, ranked can be a frustrating experience in League of Legends. Between the teammates who refuse to coordinate, the vastly different skill levels, and the odd smurf or two, you can sometimes feel like you’re going backward. But there are a few champions, if mastered, that can help you beat the system and take you to the next level.

Below are five champions—one for each role—that will help you climb the ranks. They aren’t all easy to learn, but they’re the kind of champions you’ve probably already been demolished by and wondered “why are they so good?” Once you master these champions, it becomes easier to learn the mechanics of the lane (or jungle) itself and improve yourself as a player—and then the real climb can start.

With this in mind, let’s break down the top five solo que champions for League’s Patch 10.13.

Top lane – Wukong

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Strong one-vs-one duelist
  • Exceptional sustain via passive
  • High-impact ultimate

Cons

  • High mana costs

The Monkey King is back in action after his recent rework. He has ascended to an insta pick-or-ban position from never being picked. The rework has kept the core aspects of his original kit and heavily improved them. The most notable change is the decoy, which did nothing before but now acts as an additional damaging tool, copying Wukong’s abilities and dealing a ton of damage.

His newly upgraded passive gives him health regeneration and makes him a terror both in one-vs-ones and team fights.

Item build

Image via Riot Games

While the reworked Monkey King has been live only for a couple of days, most players figured out the best runes, items and skill priority.The Precision tree is core since it gives you additional damage via Conqueror stacks, which you can stack quite easily. The tree also grants additional healing via Triumph and Conqueror when fully stacked, Tenacity to reduce crowd control, and Last Stand to do increased damage when low on health. The secondary Resolve tree will grant you additional tankiness via the health gained from Overgrowth and prolonged sustain via Second Wind, which synchronizes really well with your passive

Ability priority

Wukong’s skill priority is R>E>Q>W. You want to max your E to be able to get onto targets more often and since it is the primary CS tool in your kit. Q max is second due to the damage granted and lower cooldown with each level, and W max is last since the increased damage from your clone doesn’t matter if your abilities don’t do damage. The clone will indirectly do more damage if you do more damage with your abilities since it copies them.

Game plan

Wukong became one of the strongest early game champions after his rework. The new passive, which is much more useful on lane, grants him a stacking armor and health regeneration buff. This buff combined with the runes above will make you extremely tanky and hard to kill, especially if you get 10 stacks of Conqueror.

Once you get out of the laning phase, look for opportunities around the map when your ultimate is up. You can go for a fast combo, pop ultimate, and do your combo again once basic abilities are off cooldown then use ultimate again; this will unleash devastating amounts of damage on anyone.In mid to late-game teamfights, look for out-of-position carries and try to flank them before they can react. Use your clone wisely—you can knock-up enemies with it as well. If you position it properly, you could CC an entire team even if they’re split.

Jungle – Fiddlesticks

Pros

  • CC loaded kit
  • Strong sustain via AoE W
  • Mind games via passive
  • Game-changing ultimate

Cons

  • Needs time to scale
  • Weak vs early invades

Fiddlesticks has been rising in play and win rate over the past couple of weeks after his latest hotfixes. He had several impactful bugs after his rework, which artificially diminished his winrate alongside some huge weaknesses in his kit.

He has been terrorizing the solo queue and will most likely appear in professional play as well due how strong he has become.

Item build

The Domination Tree has been a staple of Fiddlestick’s kit after his rework. The Predator keystone is crucial for his early ganks. Cheap Shot increases your damage every couple of seconds due to how much CC you have. Zombie Ward acts as additional vision coverage for you and your teammates. Ingenious Hunter is one of the best runes in the last row for Fiddlesticks, granting you additional CDR for your Zhonya, which is crucial to keep you alive in teamfights.

Due to your early weaknesses, taking the secondary Sorcery tree is required to get access to Nimbus Cloak alongside Waterwalking. Without them, it’s going to be hard to take the crab without dying. Nimbus Cloak transitions really well into the later stages of the game, granting you the needed movement speed to chase down opponents.

Ability priority

Fiddlestick’s ability priority is: R>W>Q>E. W is maxed first to allow you to clear camps without losing too much health. It’s your bread-and-butter ability for both farming minions and ganking opponents. The Q utility is higher than E so that is maxed second for longer fears.

Game plan

Fiddlesticks acts as an ability power-focused assassin. Your goal is to farm camps early on and get your Stalker’s Blade as soon as possible. Without it, you’re too vulnerable and easy to be killed by the opponent jungler.

If you do a full clear of the jungle without getting invaded by the enemy jungler you should have enough gold for it, so try to avoid fighting the enemy jungler in this period. Once you have it, you can start using Predator alongside the Blue Smite to gank for your laners and help them grow a lead.

Don’t forget to farm minions to reach level six as soon as possible to get access to your ultimate and focus on getting Zhonya afterwards. Look for creative angles in the teamfight since your ultimate acts as a blink and you can use it behind walls to surprise your enemies.

Mid lane – Twisted Fate

Pros

  • Global ultimate
  • Flexible build path

Cons

  • High mana costs
  • Regardless of AD/AP build, needs time to scale

Twisted Fate has been becoming more popular over the past couple of weeks even though he didn’t receive any significant buffs. High Elo players have found some hybrid builds that make TF extremely strong and more people have picked him up.

While the most popular buildpath remains the AP-focused one, the AD or the new hybrid build are seeing a lot of success as well.

Item build

Unsealed Spellbook is at the core of a good Twisted Fate player. It grants you access to multiple summoners spells, which can help you win lane or save a wounded ally at the right time. While there are other viable builds as well, the most popular one is focused around the Unsealed Spellbook. 

The Stopwatch rune alongside Minion Dematerializer and Time Warp Tonic are taken to help you out during the laning phase and go through it unharmed. You can use the Dematerializer to kill cannons before going to base or help you thin the wave without wasting too much mana. Time Warp Tonic is one of the most busted basic runes, so it’s self explanatory since you want to start with the potion.

The secondary rune tree taken is usually Resolve to make you more tanky and less prone to dying early on. Demolish will help you snowball early and get your core items as soon as possible. Bone Plating is taken to help you out against those pesky assassins.

Ability priority

Twisted Fate’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>W>E. Q is your main ability for farming and poking opponents early on. Try to aim it so that you kill both the enemy wave and poke the enemy champions early on. This will help you secure an early lead and snowball. W is maxed second for the additional damage that should help you thin out waves as the game goes by. E is maxed last since Q and W are much more useful.

Game plan

Use your Q early on to poke and last hit enemies. If the jungler wants to come for a gank, try to prepare your gold card beforehand so that you don’t scroll through it while the jungler is chasing the opponent.

Aim to farm early and get your core items depending on which build you go for. Once you’re level six, look for ultimate plays to help your other laners. As the game goes by, use your ultimate to your advantage to move huge distances of map while splitpushing.

ADC – Varus

Pros

  • Percentage of health damage
  • Crowd control
  • Attack speed steroid

Cons

  • No dash or blink
  • High mana costs

Varus has resurged as one of the most-picked ADCs in the bottom lane after recent nerfs to Aphelios and Senna. The meta is constantly evolving and some forgotten champions come back once their counters have been nerfed. Varus seemed to be a counter to Senna in the bottom lane but has recently become even more popular once players realized how strong he is.

Item build

Varus has two strong rune pages defined by the build path that you choose. The rune page above is for the most popular build at this time: the lethality-focused one. Sorcery, therefore, is core with this build since it increases your poke damage and fixes some mana issues, allowing you to poke more often and harder.

Inspiration as a secondary rune page is quite strong since it will increase your mana and health regeneration during the laning phase, allowing you to have enough mana for a couple of extra Qs, which could be the difference between life and death during the laning phase.

Ability priority

Varus’s skill priority is: R>Q>W>E. The most popular build right now is the Arcane Comet, lethality-focused build, so maxing Q is your goal. It will make your poke extremely hard to deal with and you can take advantageous fights if the enemy is poked down to low health. Max W second to increase your DPS against tanks since the spell does maximum health percentage damage. Max E last because you should never be in a position to spam E in a teamfight. You want to use it to give you some time to kite the champion that’s diving you and kill them before they can reach you.

Game plan

Your general goal as Varus with the lethality build is to poke enemies down, both during the laning phase and outside of it. Try not to waste your mana during the laning phase and synchronize your Q with the Arcane Comet when it comes off cooldown alongside Manaflow Band to maximize the damage and increase your mana pool faster.

Try to combine your kit with your support. If they have abilities that can CC enemies, wait for them to use some CC before throwing out your Qs if you miss them. This will make you a bigger threat to deal with.

In the mid to late game, your goal should be to spam your Q off cooldown. Initiate with R if you see someone out of position or save it when they try to engage you instead. Unlike Attack Speed Varus, who needs to be in close proximity to opponents, you can sit behind and spam your Qs for insane amounts of poke. You are much weaker in close combat, though, so pay attention to your positioning.

Support – Yuumi

Pros

  • High utility
  • Untargetable via attachment ability
  • Adaptive playstyle

Cons

  • Can’t initiate fights by herself
  • Squishy
  • Relies on having a fed carry on the team

Yuumi is one of the most popular picks in solo queue after recent buffs. When she was released, she became one of the most picked supports since many players found her innovative playstyle fascinating. After receiving multiple nerfs Yuumi disappeared from the scene but has recently made her resurgence after the recent buffs in the latest patches. She became highly contested in both pro play and solo queue.

Item build

The Sorcery primary is essential on Yuumi. The tree grants her increased poke potential, the additional mana that she heavily requires, and additional CDR, which is always welcome for a champion whose job is to spam her abilities on CD to amplify the power of the carry she is attached to. The Precision secondary tree grants you more mana to spam your abilities and cut down allows you to be deadly even against tanks by doing more damage the more health they have.

Ability priority

Yuumi’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. You want to max Q since it increases your poke damage and allows you to punish enemy champions out of position more often. E max is second to make your carry more mobile and deadly with the additional attack speed. W max is last since the impact of this ability is not felt as much as the other two.

Game plan

Yuumi is one of the more fascinating supports to play. You will spend most of your game attached to a champion and will rely on their movements. You need to have trust to be able to play this champion. Without trust you’re better off playing other champions who can move by themselves. 

During the laning phase you want to proc your support item as often as possible. You can detach from your carry to auto attack enemies to proc it faster. But be aware that if they have Crowd Control, they might engage and kill you swiftly since you’re squishy.

While other champions can roam and impact other lanes, your job is to sit on your carry and help him grow stronger as the game goes. Be careful when warding since you might get caught and blown up before you can react. Always try to swap between allies in team fights, since your healing with the core items is insane and can be the difference between a won teamfight and a lost one.