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

Dot Esports logo Dot Esports 1 day ago Cristian Lupasco
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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 queue champions for League’s Patch 11.12.

Top lane – Gwen

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Pros

  • Great kit
  • True damage with a basic ability
  • Basic ability makes Gwen untargetable
  • Fun to play

Cons

  • Squishy, forces your team to pick a frontline in other positions

Gwen is the latest champion addition in League. She has a powerful kit, allowing her to play successfully in three different roles. She is one of the best flex picks in the game in both solo queue and competitive play, making it hard for enemies to counter her.

She lanes really well against most meta champions in the top or middle lane and has a great time in the jungle against other popular junglers.

Item build

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The Precision tree is core on Gwen, granting her a lot of ability power, mana regeneration, attack speed, and additional damage when low on health. The only rune which is flexible in this tree is Legend: Alacrity which could be swapped for Legend: Tenacity if you’re facing a composition with a lot of crowd control.

The secondary tree is Resolve for the additional tankiness via Bone Plating and additional healing via Revitalize. Unflinching is a great alternative to Revitalize if you need the additional tenacity and slow resist.

Ability priority

Gwen’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. Your Q is maxed first for the wave clear and trading potential. Without it, you’re going to have a hard time killing anything. E is maxed second for the additional damage potential it gives you. W is maxed last even though you can use it to avoid important damaging spells coming outside the zone. Its utility in trades compared to Q or E is lower and won’t be that beneficial until the later stages of the game.

Game plan

Your goal as an AP bruiser is to go for early trades and try to snowball the lane. Your utility later on in teamfights or during split pushes depends on how far ahead you are of your opponent. If the opponent laner is playing a tank and keeps you under control, he will have much more impact in teamfights even if he doesn’t get ahead. As a result, you want to take early trades and look for opportunities to get leads, otherwise you’ll be rendered useless.

Jungle – Xin Zhao

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Pros

  • Easy to play
  • High base damage
  • One of the fastest clears in the game

Cons

  • Forces your team to pick a frontline in other positions
  • Can be hard to come back if behind

The recent buffs to Xin Zhao helped him achieve a dominant top-five spot in the jungle. He benefits a lot from various season 11 items, making him a flexible champion depending on the game state. He fits into various compositions and works great as an early draft pick without opening your other roles or as last pick to round up a composition that needs an initiator.

Item build

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The Domination tree is core on Xin Zhao due to a couple of runes that increase your early-game damage, while others help you scale better into the later stages of the match. Hail of Blades and Sudden Impact increase your early-game damage and can be the difference between life and death. Eyeball Collection and Relentless Hunter give you additional attack damage and movement speed to quickly move around the map.

The secondary is more flexible with Precision being a good choice. Triumph is picked up to help you survive those early-game dives, while Legend: Alacrity is taken to make your attacks feel more fluid.

Ability priority

Xin Zhao’s ability priority is R>W>E>Q. Your W is your primary damaging tool in the jungle and allows you to be one of the fastest junglers in the game. Afterwards, max E for the increased mobility to help you gank more often. Q is maxed last since its utility is much lower compared to the other two abilities.

Game plan

Xin Zhao is a power farmer who can take over the game quickly if left uncontrolled. Recent buffs made him one of the fastest clearers in the game so you should aim to always clear your jungle camps to build a huge lead over the opponents. Look to get priority over the Scuttle Crabs in the river and try to gank opponents when they overextend. Your Determination passive will help you win most trades early on against other meta junglers due to its additional damage and healing effect on every third attack.

After you get level six, watch the map and look for teamfight opportunities where your ultimate can make you immune to damage outside your circle while you destroy the backline. Keep farming as the game goes on and acquire more items. Don’t fall off or you’ll have a tough time staging a comeback.

Mid lane – Qiyana

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Pros

  • Flexible playstyle
  • Strong roaming capabilities
  • Stealth
  • Low cooldowns

Cons

  • Doesn’t scale very well into the late game
  • Weak against tanks

Qiyana’s kit allows her to push mid lane without getting punished easily, then roam to a side lane for a gank or objective. Her low cooldowns enhance her capability to poke, root, and juke enemies depending on nearby elements. She does really well in the current meta which doesn’t have that many tanks to absorb her damage, easily deleting most squishy meta champions in the blink of an eye with the proper item build and runes.

Item build

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The Domination primary is essential on Qiyana. It has the extra damage needed from Electrocute with Eyeball Collection, additional armor penetration, and movement speed needed for quick roams. Inspiration secondary allows you to remove some weaknesses during the laning phase by having more sustain and allowing you to spam your abilities more often. Time Warp Tonic in particular is one of the strongest early game runes and gives you plenty of kill opportunities against your laner by running them out of resources. If you manage to burn their health potions, and you still have a stack or two of the Corrupting Potion, you can easily go for kills if they’re at around half of their healthpool.

Ability priority

Qiyana’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>E>W. Q is the bread and butter ability enhanced by the elements picked with W. By maxing it, you get the needed damage to farm safely and poke opponents. E second allows you to get in and out of fights more effectively by having a lower cooldown on the dash.

Game plan

Qiyana is an early to mid game champion and doesn’t transition that well into the late game. As a result, you need to apply pressure early on. A core item to rush on her is Boots of Mobility. They’ll allow you to base and move to a side lane without losing much pressure in the mid lane. Rushing lethality items will increase your mid-game power spike and allow you to have one-shot capabilities on squishy champions. Focus on snowballing yourself and your teammates before the game goes into the late game where Qiyana is weaker compared to other meta champions.

ADC – Ezreal

a person sitting on a stage: Dark Cosmic Jhin – Screengrab via Riot Games © Provided by Dot Esports Dark Cosmic Jhin – Screengrab via Riot Games

Pros

  • Rewarding gameplay
  • Flexible build path
  • Fluid, synergizing kit

Cons

  • Skillshot reliant
  • Needs time to scale

Ezreal is one of the best ADCs currently in solo queue and competitive play. He has a high skill cap, which allows you to easily tell a professional Ezreal player from your Gold-ranked teammate in a solo queue game.

The latest item rework made Ezreal a great pick in the current meta. He can adapt his build path based on the game state and serves as a great source of damage throughout the entire game overall. He’s one of the most rewarding ADCs to play since the skill cap of the champion is high and allows you to carry games alone if mastered.

Item build

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The core Ezreal tree is Precision due to how many useful runes it has for the champion. Conqueror allows you to gain additional damage and healing when fully stacked. Presence of Mind grants you additional mana regeneration, Legend: Bloodline is for sustain to keep you healthy before you get your lifesteal items, and Cut Down helps you deal with tanky champions.

The secondary Sorcery tree grants you additional ability haste. Manaflow Band gives you additional AD via Muramana and makes sure you never run out of mana. But if you need more sustain early on, go for the Biscuit Delivery rune from the Inspiration tree alongside the free Magical Footwear.

Ability priority

Ezreal’s skill priority is: R>Q>E>W. His Q needs to be maxed first regardless of AD/AP build since it reduces his other cooldowns if a target is hit. It’s your bread-and-butter ability for farming, poking, and helping you proc your Sheen item. E is maxed second after Q since mobility is much more important than the additional damage scaling from W.

Game plan

Ezreal is one of the strongest mid-game ADCs. To reach the mid game, you should have a simple game plan. Farm efficiently during the laning phase to purchase Manamune and a Sheen item, such as Trinity Force or Essence Reaver. With Manamurne converted to Muramana at around 20 minutes and Sheen completed, you’re at your strongest point in the game.

At this stage, your goal is to group with your teammates and push for objectives. You’ll fall off compared to other ADCs, but you’ll still be a reliable damage dealer even in the later stages of the game. Remember to weave auto attacks between your abilities to maximize your damage output.

Support – Lulu

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Pros

  • Lots of CC
  • Strong utility for teammates
  • Easy to play

Cons

  • Squishy
  • No dash

Lulu’s rise to the meta is a result of recent nerfs to other supports who were dominating the bottom lane, in addition to some buffs to her kit. Speaking of her kit, it elevates the power of your carries and allows them to take on risky plays, knowing that you can protect them from imminent death. She synergizes really well with the new items, making her one of the best support picks in the current patch.

Item build

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The Sorcery tree is core on Lulu since it grants her additional healing and damage via the keystone Aery. Manaflow Band allows you to keep your mana topped up and keep on damaging or assisting your allies. Transcendence will give you a lot of ability haste as you level up. Scorch is taken to increase your poke potential during the laning phase, but Gathering Storm can be an option as well.

Inspiration is taken secondary for the additional ability haste and biscuits to help you out during the laning phase. If you need additional utility, you could go Domination for the Zombie Wards as well.

Ability priority

Lulu’’s skill priority is the R>E>W>Q. E is maxed first to have the maximum amount of shield potential to ensure the safety of your team members who will carry. W is maxed second due to how strong the targeted polymorph can be on enemies. Every second matters in a team fight so having the additional duration helps you and your team out tremendously. Q is maxed last because you don’t really need the additional damage compared to the utility on E and W.

Game plan

Lulu is one of the best utility supports that amplifies the power of your carries. She excels in composition with hyper carries such as Jinx, Vayne, or Tristana, who become monsters with the power of Lulu behind them. While she indeed has a strong utility kit, she is prone to dying often due to how squishy she is. You need to be extra careful especially during the laning phase not to waste your abilities.

Once you get going and finish the laning phase or you get your first core item of Shurelya’s Battlesong or Moonstone Renewer, Censer, you should look to roam and help your other lanes as well when you see a possibility. If the bot lane is pushed and going down won’t do much then try to look for an opportunity on another lane for a surprise gank alone or with your jungler.

Remember to keep acquiring Control Wards as a support and give your team a lot of vision around the map. This will be crucial in acquiring a victory.

The post The best champions to help you climb the League solo queue ladder appeared first on Dot Esports.

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