League of Legends’ Patch 8.18, the patch before the Worlds update, arrived last week. It brought some pretty hefty balance changes to a few mid laners, and we’d definitely consider some of them to be significant enough to change the meta—even if only a little.
Viktor’s Hex Core cost was lowered, throwing him into contention for a spot in the meta, and Akali’s ultimate was nerfed. Ryze, another popular pro mid laner, was also nerfed, but this shouldn’t affect solo queue much, as no one really plays him.
Five strongest mid laners to play in Patch 8.18
Ahri is the closest thing these five champions will get to an assassin, thanks to her pseudo-mobility and high burst damage. We call it pseudo-mobility, because she only has it every so often with her ultimate, but it’s still significant. She’s similar to LeBlanc in terms of damage output, but her crowd control is more immediate and she’s much easier to play, making her one of the strongest champions in the current meta.
Kassadin could possibly be considered an assassin, too, but the amount of ramp-up time required to reach one-shotting carries sort of ruins the idea. He needs items, time, and kills to transform into the terror he’s meant to become, but until then, he’s hard to kill, counters other mages, and overall is really effective as a sort of melee control mage.
Lux is currently one of the safest mid lane picks in the game thanks to her long range and easy-to-land harass. With a potential double-snare on her Q and a cooldown refunding ultimate, she scales obscenely hard into the late game when team fights kick off, too. Lux is one of the few easy champions in the game that still feel really satisfying to land a kill on, making her both a fun choice and a powerful one.
Like Lux, Malzahar is a very safe pick—perhaps the safest pick in the role. He can shove minion waves with his Malefic Visions, trade damage with his silence, and halt an enemy carry with a devastating point-and-click ultimate ability. If you learn how to roam properly, you can get the most out of him by running to side lanes, casting your ult, and walking away with an easy kill.
Twisted Fate is similar to Malzahar in the sense that learning how to roam really takes him to the next level, but he’s even better at the act of roaming than almost anyone else. His ultimate allows him to surprise side laners or junglers, and in a pinch, it can be used to get vision if you think the enemy team is on a major objective.