The Master Tactician
Swain is played mid
Swain is a zone control mage with extreme control over the area around him. He can slow and damage enemies in the zone around him with Decrepify, completely stop enemies in their tracks with Nevermove and cause enemies to take extra damage from him. He regains health on unit kills and if worst comes to worst, can use his ultimate to both damage and heal enemies near him, making him a surprising terror when it comes to duels. However, even someone with as much control over his immediate area as Swain has his weaknesses.
Passive – Carrion Renewal
Swain regenerates Mana each time he kills a unit. This amount increases each level.
Q – Decrepify
Swain sends Beatrice to cripple enemies within the target area. Crippled targets are slowed and damaged over time.
W – Nevermove
Swain marks a target area. After a short delay, mighty talons grab hold of enemy units, dealing damage and rooting them.
E – Torment
Swain afflicts his target, dealing damage to them over time and causing them to take increased damage from Swain. Enemies afflicted by Torment are focused by Beatrice while Decrepify is active
R – Ravenous Flock
Swain inspires dread in his enemies by temporarily taking the form of a raven. During this time ravens strike out at up to 5 nearby enemies. Each raven deals damage and heals Swain by a flat amount.
Swain has a lot of control over his immediate area, but everything outside, he is painfully weak. Staying out of his range hurts him a lot.
Buying something with Grevious Wounds, or taking ignite hurts Swains sustain quite a bit, given that his ultimate heals him. It can oftentimes turn a duel into your favor.
Swain, like most mages, is reliant on having his cooldowns available. If he uses Decrepify, and you escape the area, you can punish him safely for it.
Swains waveclear is lackluster on a good day, with only Nevermove and his ultimate as a good way to clear waves. If you push him under his tower, he will miss CS and you can develop a lead.
She just outranges him, and as a result, doesn't have to care about his zone control. She also controls larger areas with her E, and can punish his need to get close to the wave to farm with it, making this a lesson in pain and suffering for Swain.
The same as Lux for the most part. She controls comparable space, from further away, and can punish him for needing to be as close to things as he is to be effective. At worst she can force him to disengage with a stun/knockback, so she's guaranteed to be safe, even if she isn't absolutely demolishing him.
He's Galio, so he just beats mages. He gets stronger as he gets more resistances and adding shields and heals on top of that means that even if he has to be in Swain's range, he will win the fight that takes place there.
Magic resistance is essential in taking on Swain. Grevious wounds items are valuable against Swain, given his ability to replenish health with his ultimate.
Swain is a zone control mage with extreme control over the area around him. He can slow and damage enemies in the zone around him with Decrepify, completely stop enemies in their tracks with Nevermove…
The Dark Sovreign
Syndra is played mid
Syndra is a zone control mage with a massive amount of burst and damage. She is immobile, as is the trend with zone control mages, and packs a huge punch. Luckily, that's about all she does, and is about as one dimensional as champions come. While she has four abilities, all that you need to know is that she makes orbs for damage, throws them to do damage, stuns people with them (doing damage) and her ultimate pelts an opponent with all of her created orbs to do an extreme amount of damage.
Passive – Transcendent
Spells gain extra effects at max rank.
Q – Dark Sphere
Syndra conjures a Dark Sphere dealing magic damage. The sphere remains and can be manipulated by her other powers.
W – Force of Will
Syndra picks up and throws a Dark Sphere or enemy minion dealing magic damage and slowing the Movement Speed of enemies.
E – Scatter the Weak
Syndra knocks enemies and Dark Spheres back dealing magic damage. Enemies hit by Dark Spheres become stunned.
R – Unleashed Power
Draws upon Syndra's full cataclysmic power, harnessing Dark Spheres to deal magic damage to target enemy Champion. Unleashed Power manipulates the three Dark Spheres orbiting Syndra, in addition to up to 4 Dark Spheres previously created.
Syndra is strong but immobile, luring her down the lane can put her in dangerous situations, due to how easy she is to gank.
Scatter the weak has an absurdly long cooldown. You can punish Syndra for use of it, as long as you manage to dodge it.
Syndra's mana cost aren't very low. Simply playing respectfully until her mana gets too low for her to do more damage than you can lead to dominate lane positioning, as she realizes how vulnerable she is.
Syndra gets weaker the closer you are to her. If you bait out her Scatter the Weak, and move closer to her (If you're an assassin) she'll have no way to peel her off, and you can burst her easily.
You can just dodge everything except her ultimate, which, on it's own isn't that great. Then you can turn back onto her with your ultimate and kill her quickly. You become even more frustrating when you buy Zhonyas.
Can dodge her abilities? Check. Has a magic shield just in case he messes up dodging her abilities? Also check. Gains access to a whole other spell as a result of abilities being cast near him? Check as well. Builds Zhonyas to enable him to avoid her ultimate mid cast? Check.
You can dash around her skillshots and windwall her ultimate. As a bonus, she doesn't have a way to dodge your tornado aside from a really good sidestep.
You can deny her all in combo with your ultimate, heal through her Q damage and dodge her sphere toss. Doing all that along with keeping your blade on fire will oftentimes just hand you the lane.
Magic resist is important, on mages, a Zhonyas is a lifesaver for the active alone. Quicksilver Sash is a decent, perhaps even necessary pickup against Syndra, because her stun will ruin your entire team.
Syndra is a zone control mage with a massive amount of burst and damage. She is immobile, as is the trend with zone control mages, and packs a huge punch…
Taliyah is played mid
Taliyah is a zone control mage, with high mobility and low, situational, skillshot CC. She can traverse the map with her ultimate, gains movement speed when near walls and can cut off enemies escapes with her ultimate, making her ganks something to truly be feared and extremely difficult to run away from without the correct coordination, which is, of course, lacking in solo que--Er...Dynamic Que. However, she's been hit with several nerfs, and as a result, is much easier to fight than she used to be.
Passive – Rock Surfing
Taliyah gains movement speed near walls.
Q – Threaded Volley
Taliyah throws a volley of missiles in a target direction, moving freely as she does. This works the ground below her. If Taliyah casts Threaded Volley on worked ground, she only throws one missile.
W – Seismic Shove
Taliyah causes an area of ground to erupt and throws enemies within in a direction of her choosing.
E – Unraveled Earth
Taliyah creates a slowing minefield that explodes if enemies dash through it or are pushed/pulled through it.
R – Weavers Wall
Stone Weaver creates a very long wall and then surfs it.
Threaded Volley can only be fired in one direction. Dodge laterally.
Most Taliyahs will look for an Unraveled Earth into a Seismic Shove. When you see the Unraveled Earth, be on the lookout for the shove, avoiding both puts in in a good position to punish her.
As a result of several nerfs, Taliyahs waveclear isn't what it once was, pushing her under her tower can earn you a healthy CS lead.
Keep Taliyah pushed under her tower so that her ability to roam freely is hampered. If the wave is under her tower, she'll miss out on a lot on her return, especially if your teammates know she's gone and play accordingly.
The moment she misses her Seismic Shove you can jump on her and punish her for it. You also are manaless, so the pain doesn't ever have to end. You have the mobility to avoid her seismic shove, as well as the pushing power to keep her under her tower.
You can just make her hurt from outside her effective range, and pop her with your ultimate. As long as you avoid the Seismic Shove, you'll be fine against her.
Just like Syndra
If she misses her Seismic Shove, you can jump on her. She can't run if you get a fish on her. You just bring more damage than she does and if she doesn't play very defensively you'll eat her alive.
Magic Resist is all there really is to it. Otherwise, just wards to make sure you see her coming.
The Rune Mage
Ryze is played mid
Ryze is a high damage mage with high scaling and the unique ability to teleport himself and/or allies a distance away. He's known for building a lot of mana and prioritizing Cooldown Reduction so that he can spam his spells and do anti-fun amounts of damage. Still, even with these capabilities he has weaknesses, as do most champions that were released in the age of yore (See seasons 1-2) and we'll explore these today
Passive – Arcane Mastery
Ryze's spells deal extra damage based on his Bonus Mana, and he gains a percentage increase to his maximum Mana based on his Ability Power.
Q – Overload
Passively, Ryze's other damaging spells reset Overload and begin to charge a Rune that can be used to empower Overload.
On cast, Ryze throws a charge of pure energy in a line, dealing damage to the first enemy struck. If a Rune is fully charged, Ryze also gains a shield and Movement Speed.
W – Rune Prison
Ryze traps a target enemy unit in a cage of runes, damaging them and preventing them from moving.
E – Spell Flux
Ryze releases an orb of pure magical power that damages an enemy and debuffs them. Ryze's spells have additional effects against the debuffed enemy.
R – Realm Warp
Ryze creates a portal to a nearby location. After a few seconds, allies standing near the portal are teleported to the target location.
Ryze's spell ranges are low on everything except his skill shot Q. If you outrange him, abuse that, if not, just stay out of his circle of death, and he can't pressure you.
Ryze tends to be really good at one on one duels. Don't be afraid to avoid chancing a death by backing off from a fight.
Ryze can teleport. If you don't see him, be very careful, he can appear very quickly, and not alone.
Ryze will typically prioritize building mana early, do not mistake this as him having no combat stats, as his passive causes his mana to increase his damage.
Ryze is reliant on having a large mana pool, and he doesn't early, so you can punish him for overtaxing it.
Xerath just outranges him and can punish him really hard for being short ranged, will remaining out of the range of any sort of threat, beyond a ult in, which would only really work if the Xerath was overextended
Ryze doesn't push well early and Ziggs does, just push him under his tower, force him to miss farm and/or burn his mana pool on trying to pick up CS and develop a healthy lead over him.
The same as Xerath, but with more enthusiasm and cool puns about light.
Build Magic Resist and buy wards to keep an eye on him if he tries to teleport people in. That's really the best anyone can hope for when itemizing against Ryze. AD Carries can pick up a rapid fire cannon to help stay out of his range, but even that is only a periodic crutch, and they may be better of making sure they have a QSS for the MR and Rune Prison, or a Hexdrinker.
The Steel Shadow
Camille is new enough that she is played in multiple roles, but appears to be gravitating top.
Camille is a highly damaging, physical damage robot assassin-fighter champion. She's mobile and brings a fair amount of crowd control in the form of knock ups, slows and the ability to anchor enemies to an area with her ultimate. Even with all of these features, she is still more or less another mobile assassin champion, and thus, shares many of their weaknesses. Weaknesses we'll learn to exploit today.
Passive – Adaptive Defenses
Basic attacks on champions grant Camille a shield maximum health against their damage type (Physical or Magic)
This effect has a 20-10 second cooldown.
Q – Precision Protocol
Camille's next attack deals bonus damage and grants bonus movement speed. This spell can be recasted for a short period of time, doing significantly increased bonus damage if Camille delays a period of time between the two attacks.
W - Tactical Sweep
Camille blasts in a cone after a delay, dealing damage. Enemies in the outer half take are slowed and take extra damage, while also healing Camille.
E – Hookshot
Camille pulls herself to a wall, leaping off and knocking up enemies upon landing.
R – The Hextech Ultimatum
Camille dashes to target champion, anchoring them to the area. She also deals bonus magic damage to the target with her basic attacks.
All of Camilles abilities have extremely long cooldowns, even at max rank. Trading around her cooldowns can put her in a bad place, fast.
Camille's shield only works on one of the two damage types. Hit her when she is vulnerable to yours.
Camille's abilities are somewhat hard on the mana pool. Do yourself the favor of being patient against an aggressive Camille and punish her lack of mana.
Her Ultimate has a short range, stay further away from her, so that she can't use it on you.
You can stay out of her range, and crush her from outside her ability range, and when you land enough poke, jump in and punish her for having low health. He can also peel her off of him.
His damage isn't prevented by being anchored to an area, if she tries to take advantage of the extra damage he takes from her autos, she has to stand in his Judgment, and in his ult range. He can also stave off the extra damage with his W.
If she jumps on Illaoi, Illaoi is going to hurt her very badly. Pulling her soul out, then ulting, and then continually slamming her with tentacles.
Build armor, and a QSS if you really find yourself incapable of avoiding her CC.
The Blades Shadow
Talon is played mid
Talon is a burst assassin with high mobility, damage and invisibility. He has a weaker early game, but this is in exchange for being able to destroy squishier champions later in the game. Thanks to his ability Assassins Path, Talon can make his way to other lanes faster than before and come out of places you wouldn't expect him to be, making his ability to snowball higher than it was prior to his changes in the Assassin Update, still, Riot is a careful developer, and were sure to give him meaningful weaknesses to go along with his new strength.
Passive – Blades End
Talon's spells Wound champions and epic monsters, stacking up to 3 times. When Talon attacks a champion with 3 stacks of Wound, they bleed for heavy damage over time.
Q – Noxian Diplomacy
Talon stabs the target unit. If they are within melee range, this attack deals critical damage. If they are outside melee range, Talon will leap at his target before stabbing them. Talon refunds some health and cooldown if this ability kills the target.
W – Rake
Talon sends out a volley of daggers that then return back to him, dealing physical damage every time it passes through an enemy. The returning blades deal bonus damage and slow units hit.
E – Assassin's Path
Talon vaults over any terrain or structure, up to a max distance. This ability has a low cooldown, but puts the used terrain on a long cooldown.
R – Shadow Assault
Talon disperses a ring of blades and becomes Invisible while gaining additional Movement Speed. When Talon emerges from Invisibility, the blades converge on his location. Each time the blades move, Shadow Assault deals physical damage to enemies hit by at least one blade.
Mobile or not, Talon is a melee range champion with no kind of sustain. Poking him early in the game can get you a serious advantage in the mid game.
Play respectfully of Noxian Diplomacy's range, if you can stay out of it, you control the lane, since he cannot attack you.
Save your CC for when Talon is looking to get onto you.
Rake is Talons only ranged ability, look to punish him when he uses it to farm the wave.
If he tries to get onto you, you can stun him after your aegis blocks something, which will refresh it to block another thing, all while you beat on his face. He can only beat you if you're AFK
You can just punish him for being a melee champion and take extremely reduced damage thanks to your shield. There's nothing he can do about you as you spam E as he tries to farm, and shield minions or yourself.
Again, just punishing him for being melee. If he wants to jump on Swain, that's fine by him, he can just ult and cast all of his spells as he watches Talon die very quickly.
Riven has the shield to sustain through his burst and the damage to remove him from the game if she survives, as well as the CC and mobility to prevent him from escaping, even if he has flash.
Armor. Lifesteal if you're an AD Carry. A GA is good against him, since he'll use his burst and you'll come back to life in the late game, and it gives a little bit of armor too. Otherwise, just make sure to buy vision for ganks and his ultimate.
The Headsman's Pride
Urgot is played bot and occasionally mid
Urgot is a champion who has become something of a meme thanks to his disuse, however he does bring things to the table. High early-mid game damage, tankiness and a unique ultimate that brings CC and mispositions an enemy, effectively Insec-ing them at the press of a single key.
However, despite that he has glaring and obvious weaknesses, as do most champions that were designed in his era of League of Legends, and today we'll be looking at those flaws and uncovering how to defeat him.
Passive – Zaun Touched Bolt Augmenter
Urgot's basic attacks and Acid Hunters reduce his targets' damage by 15% for 2.5 seconds.
Q – Acid Hunter
Urgot fires an Acid Hunter missile that collides with the first enemy it hits, slowing the target if he has his Terror Capacitor up. Acid Hunter missile-locks on enemies affected by Noxian Corrosive Charge.
W – Terror Capicitor
Urgot charges up his capacitor to gain a shield. While the shield is active, Urgot gains slowing attacks.
E – Noxian Corrosive Charge
Urgot launches a corrosive charge that damages enemies in an area and reduces their Armor.
R – Hyper Kinetic Position Reverser
Urgot charges up his Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverser, swapping positions with the target and terrifying nearby enemies for 1.5 seconds. His target is suppressed for the duration of the channel. He gains Damage Reduction during and after the swap
Dodge the Noxus Corrosive Charge at all costs, Urgot loses a lot of potential damage if he has to aim the acid hunter.
Urgot is an AD Caster, which means that without his abilities he's far less effective. If his abilities are down (Namely his shield) you can punish him for it.
Urgot has to buy a tear, punish him for that power trough.
If worst comes to worst, just play the lane respectfully and wait for the mid-late game to come. Urgots damage falls off the later the game goes on.
When an Urgot uses his ultimate, use that time to kill him. Supressing someone else is also like stunning oneself in the way that you cannot move or cast other abilities.
Spell Shield the Corrosive Charge and dodge acid hunters or stand behind minions. Your spell shield is good against AD Casters, and Urgot is an AD Caster.
Bard can stun/slow him with his binding or simply prevent him from using his ultimate with his own ultimate. Bard also has the ability to heal any damage with his shrines.
He can never do damage to Soraka's laning partner as long as said partner doesn't run headlong into acid hunters.
Armor and health is what has value against him. QSS is good to stop his ultimate.
The Arrow of Retribution
Varus is played as an AD Carry and midlaner
Varus is a marksman with long range abilities and a slightly longer than normal range. He has CC in both his E and ultimate which is supposed to make up for his lack of defensive stats and mobility. Varus can do a lot of damage with his passive and abilities which stacks blight on targets, which his abilities can consume to do extra damage, causing extreme amounts of pain for anyone who's unlucky enough to get stacked and catch an arrow from him. However, despite his high damage he can still be beaten, and rather easily in comparison to a lot of the champions in the game.
Passive – Living Vengeance
On kill or assist, Varus temporarily gains Attack Speed. This bonus is larger if the enemy is a champion.
Q – Piercing Arrow
Varus readies and then fires a powerful shot that gains extra range and damage the longer he spends preparing to fire.
W – Blighted Quiver
Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight. Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage based on the target's maximum Health.
E – Hail of Arrows
Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed and reduces their self healing and regeneration.
R – Chain of Corruption
Varus flings out a damaging tendril of corruption that immobilizes the first enemy champion hit and then spreads towards nearby uninfected champions, immobilizing them too on contact.
Varus is an immobile champion, that means that picking someone with mobility gives you an edge over him. Running in or away is easier, since he has no way to chase or flee.
Varus is an AD Caster, when one of his abilities (His Q) is down, punish him for it if he missed you with it.
Varus's Q is his main ability and it costs a lot of mana. If you can force trades and cause him to use it and whiff it, or decrease the damage it does by standing in minions, you can get an extreme pressure advantage on him.
Dodge. Varus loses 9/10 duels if you manage to dodge any one of his abilities, as he has no auto attack steroids and is extremely dependent on landing them to do any extreme amount of damage.
Varus is easy to engage on and dies very quickly when it happens. If you have/are playing an engage support, engage on him mercilessly, given that one of his biggest plus sides is that he can do damage from range. Closing in on him is a death sentence.
She has constant pressure on him and will stun him for so long he'll never even be able to stealth to run away. She can also totally deny his teamfight strength by starting a stunlock combo with her ultimate.
Sivir can just deny one of his abilities, totally ruining duels for him, and, with the right support, can engage on him and tear him apart. She also makes ganks nigh inescapable for him with her ultimate.
If Blitzcrank lands a pull on Varus, Varus just dies. There really isn't anything to say. At best he has a wall to flash over, but even then, he has no other way to run away. Also Silence.
Armor and health, QSS if you're worried about his ultimate. There's no need for a thornmail unless you REALLY just need the 100 extra armor, otherwise buying a GA actually has a pretty heavy return since his quiver causes magic damage.
The Card Master
Twisted Fate is played mid
Twisted Fate is a mage who's most important tools are his ability to provide global vision and presence via his ultimate Destiny. He has the ability to stun, slow and regain mana, all on one ability and can clear waves quickly with a combination of his Q and W. He has decent laning presence and can pressure reasonably well, but has serious flaws in design that can be exploited if you know where to look, which is exactly what we'll be discussing in this guide.
Passive – Loaded Dice
Upon killing a unit, Twisted Fate rolls his 'lucky' dice receiving anywhere between 1 and 6 bonus gold.
Q – Wild Cards
Twisted Fate throws three cards, dealing damage to each enemy unit they pass through.
W – Pick a Card
Twisted Fate chooses a magic card from his deck, and uses that for his next attack, causing bonus effects.
E – Stacked Deck
Every 4 attacks, Twisted Fate deals bonus damage. In addition, his Attack Speed is increased.
R – Destiny
Twisted Fate predicts the fortunes of his foes, revealing all enemy champions and enabling the use of Gate, which teleports Twisted Fate to any target location in 1.5 seconds.
Twisted Fate has a clear weaknesses in the fact that he is immobile and has a tendency to push when he uses his Q. Hold the wave, and you'll force him into a bad position where ganking him is easy.
If you see that it's safe, push him under his turret. He can't safely teleport if he is stuck there, if he leaves, kill his tower. If you have mid-long range hard CC, you can interrupt his teleport instead.
Respect the Pick A Card, when the cards are running, realize that this isn't the time to play chicken. You need to fall back, at LEAST while he's picking a card. However, also bear in mind that the Blue Card does the most damage, while not offering any CC. If you're low, still fear the blue card.
Twisted Fate is still a mage. If one of his abilities is down, you can punish him for it, always punish him for it.
The classic counterpick. Fizz can solo kill Twisted Fate mercilessly, murdering him as he dodges his Pick-A-Card, and gains more kill pressure on him at 6, as he can now reliably CC him with the shark skillshot.
Dodge Q's and Wall W's. If your wall is down, play respectfully, otherwise you can dash around/on him and just kill him if he doesn't stay far enough back to not get killed.
Let me be clear about the fact that she doesn't really beat anyone before six. At 6+ if she hasn't been set so far behind that the game is a 4v5, she will force him to hold his Pick a Card, or she'll kill him over and over with her dashes.
Pretty much the same as Akali, except he has a magic shield to stop him from getting damaged to much and pushed out of lane, and he has extreme roaming power of his own.
Build Magic Resistance. QSS is justifiable on high priority targets like AD Carries, and Banshees Veils are good to avoid errant damage from Wild Cards or stuns/slows from pick a card. Wards are important for the sake of keeping an eye on him when he decides to roam.
The Lady of Clockwork
Orianna is played mid
Orianna is one of those champs that somehow always seems to make their way back into competitive League. Although you may never see her during your regular games, she’s always there in Worlds, making highlight plays, whether through her shields, her empowered attacks, or the classic, her ultimate.
Orianna is a high-utility mage. She can do huge amounts of damage if she gets plenty of farm, but she’s not normally as bursty as a Veigar or a Syndra.
In this guide, I’ll be teaching you to turn this Worlds star into an NA LCS star.
Passive – Visionary
Whenever Orianna continues to auto attack an enemy, each basic attack deals more and more damage.
Q – Consume
Orianna commands her ball to a target location, dealing magic damage to all enemies hit, decreasing after each hit.
W – Blood Boil
the Ball explodes, dealing magic damage to enemy units and creating a field upon which friendly units get movement speed and enemies are slowed.
E – Ice Blast
Orianna sends the Ball to shield an ally, dealing damage to all units it passes through and shielding them. They also gain armor and magic resist.
R – Absolute Zero
Orianna commands the Ball to unleash a shockwave, which pulls all nearby targets and deals magic damage.
Orianna is a jack-of-all-trades. She doesn’t excel in anything. She has a very safe laning phase, with pretty good damage in teamfights, good clearing power and the ability to save teammates.
This is a skill matchup for most control mages. Just scale up besides Orianna and try to do better in teamfights.
Be aware of where the Ball is at all times. If you’re between Orianna and the Ball, she can use E, shielding herself and dealing damage to you.
Orianna can flash ult with the Ball on her head.
If Orianna moves too far out of range of the Ball, it’ll go back to her head.
Try to roam and influence other lanes.
Assassins do decently against Orianna, but be very careful about diving, as she can burst you with her ultimate.
One of the strongest control mages right now, you can burst down Orianna if she’s used her shield recently. Just farm until you hit 6, then wait until Orianna throws out a Q. It’ll take time for her Ball to return to her, so you can ult her while she’s trying to cast E.
You have a bigger early-mid game impact through your higher damage and teamwide shields. You’re basically an easier version of Orianna.
You can push up against Orianna and roam often. Your contribution to the game is going to be affecting other lanes, not winning mid. Build Hextech GLP-800, and you can slow Orianna.
Orianna deals magic damage, but not so much that you have to rush resistances. Go a mana item like Morellonomicon first, in order to counter the push from Orianna.