When Camille was revealed in late 2016 as League of Legends’ newest champion, we thought she might be an assassin with fast movement and attack speed and the ability to drop out of nowhere to surprise opponents. Well, she’s a bundle of fun who can lock someone in a cage for a duel to the death. But now, she’s settled into a role as the best AD bruiser in the game.
That’s turned her into a fearsome, split-pushing top laner that is a threat to take the enemy base all by herself. She still has that ability to solo out a single target, and her flanks over walls can be devastating in teamfights.
But to get the most out of her, you have to combine strong mechanics with good map and minion control in order to take objectives for free.
Camille’s major role right now is in the top lane. She’s viable as a jungler, with her combination of mobility and CC, but using her in the jungle feels wrong given how fast she can take down turrets as a split-pusher.
One reason she’s so good in the top lane is her passive, Adaptive Defenses. Basic attacks on champions grant her a shield against the type of damage that champion uses (physical or magic). This is a great ability to catch someone off-guard in trades: run up, auto, proc the shield, and then chase them off the wave. It doesn’t really help in the jungle.
An adaptive ability was pretty new to League at the time, but that trend has taken over the game. The overhaul to the rune system late last year gave us adaptive runes, and champions like Kayn and Kai’Sa both have ways to change playstyles on the fly.
Upon release, it looked like her Q would be the first ability to max. It’s a pretty standard attack ability that resets autos, gives her some range and movement speed, and has great AD scalings. Think of the Qs from other bruisers like Garen, Trundle, and Fiora. The difference is that her Q has two procs: she can recast for no cost a second time. The tricky part is timing—if she waits at least 1.5 seconds between procs, the second is more powerful and converted to true damage.
But now, Camille is going in a different direction. Her Q is still good for late game and taking turrets, and is the second non-ultimate ability to max. But good Camille’s have figured out that her E is super important.
Her E allows her to fly towards a piece of terrain, and then slingshot from that point. Think of Link’s hookshot from the Legend of Zelda series, because that’s what it’s named: Hookshot. The reason her E is so good is that it gives extra range to champions, deals damage, and also stuns them briefly. A super long-range stun with a 10 second cooldown at max rank? Yeah, you’ll want to max that.
That’s a lot for just two abilities and her passive. Let’s take a look at how we round out Camille’s kit.
Bullying the lane
Camille’s W (Tactical Sweep) is all about chasing people down. It damages enemies in an aoe cone. But enemies in the outer half of the cone are also slowed by 80 percent, take extra maximum health damage, and heal Camille for some of the damage dealt.
The slow on this ability has great synergy with the Arcane Comet rune, and for a while, that was the most popular keystone for Camille because it made her too oppressive in lane. But now, with many people prioritizing Press the Attack, her W has become less important.
Chaining her E and W together can make life hell for a squishy target. E over a wall, W for the slow, Q a couple times, and they’re dead.
And if they survived? Well that’s where her ultimate comes into play.
Nowhere to run
Her ultimate sets Camille apart as the queen of duels. It’s basically League’s version of the UFC octagon (though it’s hexagonal in shape). She leaps onto an enemy champion, knocks away their friends, and locks them in a cage for 2.5 seconds at first rank and 4 seconds at max. In the cage, her basic attacks deal bonus magic damage, plus a percentage of the target’s current health, which scales off Camille’s levels.
After the hexagon is thrown down, anyone can enter or leave, except for the targeted champion. The only ways out besides death are to wait out the effect or if Camille herself leaves. Once locked in the hexagon, the target is stuck—Flash, ward hop, Arcane Shift—no abilities work for the target.
Her other abilities give her creative ways to set up picks with her ultimate. It can be used in the middle of teamfight, but is best saved until she can find an isolated squishy target. She does have to watch out for abilities like Zac or Tristana ultimate that can take her out of the hexagonal zone and end it early.
The last cool nuance of her ult is its use as an escape tool. While she’s in the air jumping into the hexagon, she becomes untargetable. So in a pinch, she can ult to avoid CC, hookshot away to safety, and throw down a W for an additional slow if the enemy keeps chasing.
Putting it together
Camille follows a pretty standard bruiser build. The combination of Trinity Force and Sterak’s Gage is so broken that Riot has taken aim at fixing it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t abuse it now while it works.
Most Camille’s will also mix in a Tiamat, usually as a first item, which then builds into Ravenous Hydra after her TF. She has so many attack resets with her Q—which works on turrets—that the extra reset with Tiamat can give her some truly mind-boggling damage.
Later on, she can finish with a GA and another tanky item, depending on what the enemy team builds. She shouldn’t need much more than Trinity Force, Sterak’s, and Ravenous Hydra for damage. And her percentage health and true damage make armor shred from something like Black Cleaver somewhat extraneous.
Her playstyle is one of constant pressure: You’ll want to get into your enemy’s face right from the get-go, race them to level two, and punish them for any weakness. She should be playing forward a lot, relying on vision and her E to get her out of sticky situations. Late game, Camille wants to split push patiently and flank in key moments. She’s not as good in front-to-back teamfights, but can kite decently well.
But her home is the side lanes. Give her time and minions to push, and watch Camille go to work.