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 10.3.
Top lane – Ornn
If you’re a top laner looking for a champion that can carry a game, look no further than Ornn. His kit alongside his free item upgrades makes him extremely valuable in the current meta, where top lane dominance doesn’t necessarily ensure a victory. With all the action focusing mostly on the bottom lane, you need to pick a champion who can assist and provide utility to your mid and bot laners to carry.
- Strong kit
- Free item upgrades
- Can 100 to zero squishy champions
- High skill floor
- Mana issues early
Ornn is one of the best tank champions to play. His kit is good for a tank. He has mobility, slow, burst damage, damage based on maximum HP of enemies, and a lot of crowd control. While all of this sounds great, the best thing about Ornn is the free item upgrades, which are valued between 500 and 2,000 gold. While you need to reach a certain level to upgrade you and your allies’ items, it won’t be a big problem since Ornn can easily farm and scale into the mid to late game.
The Resolve tree is core on Ornn since it grants him additional health, damage, and tower pressure. If the enemy backs without proper timing, you can get a fast lead by taking tower plates by using Demolish. The Inspiration secondary will grant you additional lane survivability via biscuits and the free Stopwatch can be used to save you from a sticky situation and later convert it into a Gargoyle Stoneplate.
Ornn’s skill priority is R>W>Q>E. You want to max W for the maximum amount of damage, wave clear and lane pressure. Afterward, you want to max Q to be able to clear waves in mid-game and have terrain to collide with more often. While his E is his primary mobility spell, the scaling of Q and W is much more efficient and should be maxed first.
Your goal as a tank in the top lane is to not lose the game, scale into the mid-game, and purchase your core items. You can bully people in lane if they’re aggressive, but overall as Ornn, you should sit it out and farm to reach level 12 as soon as possible for the free item upgrade. Once you get your ultimate at level six, look for a Teleport play around mid or bottom lane to secure objectives.
Remember to communicate with your team and insist they purchase Ornn items so that you’ll get maximum efficiency from your passive.
Jungle – Lee Sin
- Extremely mobile
- Insec combo
- High skill cap
- Gets outscaled mid to late game
- Useless when behind
Lee Sin is the epitome of skill for many jungle players. Even though he received multiple nerfs, he’s always found a spot in the meta. His current role is mostly focused on being an aggressive early game jungler, who secures leads for himself and his team and snowballs them to obtain even more advantage. While some junglers can just AFK farm the jungle and come out quite strong, Lee Sin needs to gank lanes to be efficient.
The Precision tree is essential on Lee Sin. It grants him damage, healing, execute damage, and attack speed, providing all-around great stats for the blind monk. The Inspiration secondary tree is taken for the additional CDR on abilities and the free boots at around 12 minutes, furtherly decreased by takedowns on enemy champions.
Lee Sin’s ability priority is R>Q>W>E. His mobility and damaging tool is Q and should be maxed first. While some aggressive Lee Sin players go for E max second, W provides additional sustain for you and an ally and is much more beneficial, especially in games where you’re behind.
Lee Sin is one of the most mobile junglers in League. You should use this to your advantage and try to gank lanes from unexpected angles. Always carry a Sweeper Trinket to clear wards before you come for ganks. If enemies don’t see you, you can easily land a Q>R onto an enemy and kick him into your teammates so that they can finish him off. While Lee Sin doesn’t have the worst scaling in the world, he does get outscaled in the mid to late game, so you should focus on getting as much of an advantage as you can early on.
Mid lane – Syndra
- Great burst damage
- Strong AoE control (slow/stun)
- Can make the fight five-vs-four with a single combo
- Skillshot reliant
- Requires good positioning and awareness
Syndra is one of two mages in the top five mid-tier list who has no mobility spells. But that doesn’t stop her from competing with mobile champions in the current meta. She has an extremely flexible kit, which allows you to initiate a fight or disperse it. Once you reach level six, you’ll have kill pressure on most mid laners outside of tanks. If you land a good stun, you can easily follow up with a Q/R to finish them off.
The Domination primary tree is a staple on Syndra. It grants everything you need: extra burst damage with Electrocute, healing to sustain yourself via Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter, and additional ability power after you get kills from Eyeball Collection. The secondary tree is more flexible, with some players going for Inspiration for the improved potions and biscuits, while most go for Manaflow Band and Transcendence for the increased mana and CDR required to spam your abilities more often.
Syndra’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>W>E. Her ultimate allows her to blow up squishies instantly. Q is your core ability, which allows you to poke safely and set up good stuns for your E, while E max second will give you a lower cooldown on your stun. When maxed, it’ll have an increased width as well. W max is last since the maxed-out E is powerful and allows you to set up fights easier.
Last hit minions with your auto attacks and use your Q on enemy mid laners when they get close. Try to reach level two before them so you can throw out a Q>E>auto combo to get a good trade without losing any health. The game plan is to poke the enemy constantly. When they get in a bad position, throw your E then follow it up with your ultimate to finish them off.
In team fights, try to be aware of your ball positioning. They’ll decide if the fight is in your favor. Try to not waste your E instantly. Wait for the enemy to engage or be in a choke point and keep your ultimate for squishy targets.
ADC – Lucian
Lucian has been going in and out of the meta over the seasons, but his high mobility and damage potential makes him a great ADC, as often seen in pro play. Although he has a shorter auto attack range, Lucian’s kit allows him to quickly reposition and dodge CC aimed toward him. He works with most supports and can go against most matchups. Lucian’s biggest downside is hard scaling back into the game when behind, combined with the low range that makes poke in the laning phase reliant on a skill shot. He can also struggle with taking down tanks.
- Lane bully
- Flexible build path
- Low range
- Gets outscaled by other meta ADCs
Lucian is one of the most satisfying ADCs to play. His kit feels cohesive and fluid. He has a low skill floor, but a high skill cap. You can easily tell the difference between a player first-timing this champion or playing him for the 100th time. His build paths are flexible and can be adapted from game to game. His kit synergizes extremely well with multiple items. He’s your go-to ADC if you’re new to the role.
The Precision primary is core on most ADCs. Press the Attack grants you additional burst during your trading window. Triumph gives you back some health after going for a kill, which allows you to barely survive in some fights instead of straight up dying. Alacrity will give you one of the most important stats for ADCs, attack speed, while Coup de Grace grants you the additional damage against lower health targets. The Inspiration secondary grants you more sustain during the laning phase and free boots with increased movement speed.
Lucian’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. You want to max Q as soon as possible since it’s your bread and butter ability, allowing you to wave clear and poke enemies down. You want to max E second to get a reduced CD on your dash, allowing you to be hard to deal with in team fights. The damage per level from W isn’t as high and impactful as the other two abilities, so max it last.
Your general goal as an ADC is to reach your power spike and then assist your teammates in taking objectives. During the laning phase, you need to focus on forcing good trades for you and your teammate. Try to poke enemies down with Q when they go for the last hit. If they’re in a bad position, try to dash in and then use your passive alongside your skills to deal a lot of burst damage in a short window without retaliation from enemies.
In the mid-game, stick around your team and be aware of your positioning. Try not to expose yourself to enemies and let them engage on your tanky allies instead, which will allow you to do damage instead of dying.
Support – Leona
- Great initiator
- Innate tankiness
- Lots of crowd control in her kit
- Relies on follow-up from teammates
- No get-out abilities once engaged
Leona is the epitome of an all-in champion. Once you’re in, you can’t back out. You get dragged into the fray with her Zenith Blade, and if it was a bad engage, you’ll pay the price. But her presence is terrifying and her crowd control gives you an opportunity to keep enemies at a safe distance from the carry. Leona is the kind of support that can play the lane both aggressively and defensively. Her mere presence in the lane can force enemy laners into playing safer.
Aftershock is the go-to rune for tank supports, especially those who have no way of getting out. Once you go in, you need to commit to your plays. The amount of CC you have should keep a target locked down and allow your team to burst it down. Font of Life will grant some additional health to your allies, especially your ADC during the laning phase, while Bone Plating combined with Overgrowth will make you difficult to kill for the first couple of seconds of your engage. The Inspiration secondary helps you have some extra sustain from biscuits and less cooldown on your abilities and summoners.
Leona’s skill priority is the following: R>W>E>Q. Her W is one of the most powerful basic abilities a tank could want. It grants her damage reduction, armor, magic resist, and has some decent damage for the laning phase as well. Maxing E second will allow you to have your engage tool on a lower cooldown. You max Q last since it doesn’t reduce its cooldown with levels. It only increases damage, which Leona doesn’t lack at all.
Try to understand your matchup. If it’s defensive, try to stay in between your ADC and the enemy support and ADC to allow him to farm up safely. If it’s an aggressive matchup, try to look for ways to catch them off guard and engage on them when they go for last hits. You should aim to get to level six as soon as possible and look for ways to help your jungler gank other lanes or set up a gank in the bottom lane to secure a drake. In team fights, either be the initiator if required or peel for your carries by sitting behind and locking down divers.