[box]Every week, Riot announces a new rotation of champions that each summoner may use for free. Not everyone is familiar with the champion featured that week, though. That’s where we come in. Check below for quick tips on how to play each champion, complete with notes about the most recent patch changes that may not show up on guides.[/box]
Cho’Gath, The Terror of the Void
MASTERIES: 9/21/0, getting magic penetration in the offensive tree
RUNES: Magic Penetration (Top) or Attack Speed (Jungle) Marks, Flat Armor Seals, Magic Resist per Level Glyphs and Move Speed Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Smite (Jungle) or Teleport (Top) and Flash.
CORE ITEMS: Philosopher’s Stone into Shurelya’s Reverie, Wit’s End, Frozen Heart, Ninja Tabi or Mercury Treads
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Force of Nature, Guardian Angel, Thornmail
EARLY GAME: Take Rupture first to help or hinder any early invades, as well as to prevent early ganks from an opposing Jungler. Get one point in Vorpal Spikes at level two, and then max out Feral Scream, followed by Rupture, followed by Vorpal Spikes. In the jungle, start at Wolves with Cloth Armor and five Health Potions along with your first point in Vorpal Spikes, and move to Blue Buff with a good leash from your teammates. Run a standard Jungle path to Wraiths, Little Golems, and Red Buff, and try to build into some gold per 10 second items like Philosopher’s Stone and Heart of Gold. Max Vorpal Spikes first in the jungle to help your clear times.
MID GAME: While in lane, focus on last-hitting with auto-attacks instead of your spells, saving them in case you need to make a getaway from a gank. Stack your Feast on minions when possible, as the extra HP is more important to your team than saving it to finish off an enemy champion in a teamfight. As a jungler, you want to save Rupture during ganks for after you’ve engaged the enemy laner, since you can more frequently force a Flash or secure a kill.
LATE GAME: You should try to keep as many stacks of Feast on yourself as possible. Use your enlarged size to your advantage, soaking up skill shots and preventing the enemy from clicking on your squishies. Remember: a Feast-Smite combo can outburst anyone at baron, so as long as you time it correctly, you’ll never get it stolen.
COMMENTS:One common item people get is Rod of Ages, but it’s actually not a great item on him. You already get a lot of health from your Feast, so you should prioritize defenses to maximize your tankiness. Just a Wit’s End will help you do enough damage, and your purposes really is to be the tank, as is evident in the way your ultimate makes you larger and more targetable.
Darius, The Hand of Noxus
MASTERIES: 9/21/0, taking the attack damage masteries on the offensive tree
RUNES: Armor PenetrationMarks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist per Level Glyphs, Armor Penetration Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Ignite and Flash
CORE ITEMS: Frozen Mallet, Atma’s Impaler, Bloodthirster, Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Maw of Malmortius, Guardian Angel, Frozen Heart, Randuin’s Omen
EARLY GAME: Take Q first, maxing it first. You’ll want E next for the utility it provides, but max it last. This should allow you to be pretty aggressive in lane, getting harass in with Q while using Apprehend if they try to back off. Apprehend is also good for helping your jungler out if they do decide to gank your lane. Darius scales pretty well with attack damage as well, so getting one or two early Doran’s Blades could be useful in lane.
MID GAME: Once you have your ultimate, you’re ready to execute some people. You do a lot of damage, especially if you have any attack damage items, so be aggressive and go for kills. Your ultimate is a finishing move, so try to save it for last. Check how much damage it does, and you should able to time it since it is true damage.
LATE GAME: Team fights are where Darius can really shine. Again, remember to use your ultimate only as a finishing move. That way, you can jump from target to target, taking them out as you deal lots of true damage. Apprehend can also help you lock down an enemy carry if you manage to get to the back lines.
COMMENTS: Darius’ unique ultimate makes him an incredibly scary champion in team fights. He is almost like a tanky Katarina, able to get in the fray and deal a lot of damage that resets upon a kill. You’re going to have to rely on Apprehend and Crippling Strike to stick to people, but hopefully, you’ll be doing enough damage that they won’t even have a chance to escape the falling axe of the Noxian Guillotine.
Galio, The Sentinel’s Sorrow
RUNES: Magic Penetration Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs, Ability Power Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Teleport and Flash
CORE ITEMS: Chalice of Harmony into Athene’s Unholy Grail, Rod of Ages Abyssal Scepter, Banshee’s Veil, Mercury Treads
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Rabadon’s Deathcap, Guardian Angel, Frozen Heart
EARLY GAME: Grab Resolute Smite first, as it’ll be your main spell. Righteous Gust is next, making your W the last skill you max after you take it at level 4. There are situations where you might want to take it earlier, though (for example, when against a Cassiopeia who can harass you with poison). You’ll have some mana troubles early, but you should be able to clear waves with your spells soon enough.
MID GAME: You can use Teleport to go to other lanes and gank with your ultimate. The ultimate is an excellent form of CC, not to mention a decent source of damage. After you get your Chalice, and with blue buff, you’ll be able to clear waves instantly with your Resolute Smite and Righteous Gust.
LATE GAME: Using your ultimate correctly is crucial in team fights. Try to get as many people as possible, as the CC is incredibly useful. A good Galio ultimate can win fights for a team, so make sure you have good positioning for it. It’s on a long cooldown, too, so make sure you don’t waste it.
COMMENTS: Keep in mind that Righteous Gust can make you move faster, so use it when you need to get away. Galio scales well with magic resistance because of his passive, but remember that you need to get armor as well. You’re a tank, which means you’ll have to be able to take damage of all types, not just magic damage.
Gangplank, The Saltwater Scourge
RUNES: Armor Penetration Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist Seals, Attack Damage Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Smite (Jungle) or Teleport/Exhaust (Top Lane) and Ghost
CORE ITEMS: Wriggle’s Lantern, Warmog’s Armor, Atma’s Impaler, Mercury Treads
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Ninja Tabi, Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Aegis of the Legion, Maw of Malmortius
EARLY GAME: Gangplank’s Parrley harass is (or was) legendary, but because of his itemization dependency, it’s often a better idea to use it to last-hit minions, nabbing extra gold along the way. The removal of early-game critical hits via masteries and the increased mana cost has somewhat diminished its threat, but the gold advantage can become extremely noticeable over time. In the jungle, you’ll want to start with W and go from wolves to blue, then the rest of your jungle. You have a natural slow with your passive, so it’s not absolutely necessary to have red buff to gank, but it certainly helps.
MID GAME: Cannon Barrage is a game-changing ultimate. Keep an eye on the minimap – whenever a fight is initiated, get ready to pull its trigger. Meanwhile, keep farming. Thanks to your ultimate, you don’t really need to be near your teammates. And all the gold you’re reaping will make you that much more devastating later on. Get a Warmog’s Armor along with an Atma’s Impaler to help with your tankiness and your damage. Because of your Parrley, you should be able to farm up the gold faster than other champions, so rushing Warmog’s is easier to do.
LATE GAME: By now, you’re very nearly unstoppable. Prove it to the enemy team. Don’t be shy – charge into the fight, initiating with Cannon Barrage at close range. Between Raise Morale and Grog Soaked Blade, it should be fairly easy to close range and stick to their carries.
COMMENTS: The build described here is commonly referred to as “Tankplank,” taking advantage of his capabilities to soak damage, ignore CC and stick to priority targets. The excellent attack damage ratio on Parrley and attack speed bonus from Raise Morale, however, allows him to be effectively built as a melee carry, often emphasizing critical strike bonuses for the devastating, if notably fragile, “Critplank” build – there are few things in the game quite as unnerving as seeing most of your health bar disappear from a single gunshot.
Heimerdinger, The Revered Inventor
RUNES: Magic Penetration Marks, Mana Regeneration per Level Seals, Ability Power per Level Glyphs, Ability Power Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Ghost and Flash
CORE ITEMS: Tear of the Goddess into Archangel’s Staff, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Sorcerer’s Shoes
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Void Staff, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Zhonya’s Hourglass
EARLY GAME: Grab W first, since the rockets will give you good poking capabilities. The turrets should be next, and you’ll want to alternate putting points into rockets and turrets. The more points you put into turrets, the better they are, but the rockets will be your main source of poke, so there’s a bit of a trade off. Put down turrets in lane, and you should be able to push without a problem.
MID GAME: One of the nice things about Heimerdinger’s ultimate is that it allows him to punish people who try to dive on him. With turrets down, if someone decides to try to take you out, you can pop the ultimate, then watch as the turrets blast away. The rockets should also help keep your opponent on their toes and prevent them from free-farming.
LATE GAME: Heimer doesn’t offer too much in the late game, which is partly why he isn’t seen as much. With any luck, you’ll have been able to beat your opponent in laning phase, putting you at enough of an advantage that you can poke at them with rockets and put down turrets to help out during team fights.
COMMENTS:To play Heimerdinger, you need to have a very laning-centric approach. Make sure you win against your lane opponent, because that is where he is strongest. The rockets do a lot of damage and have good range, so using them effectively to whittle away at your enemy’s health is crucial to success with the Revered Inventor.
Janna, The Storm’s Fury
RUNES: Armor Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist per Level Glyphs and Gold per Ten Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Exhaust and Flash.
CORE ITEMS: Philosopher’s Stone into Shurelya’s Reverie, Aegis of the Legion, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, Sight Wards, Oracle’s Elixir
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Zeke’s Herald, Heart of Gold into Randuin’s Omen or Locket of the Iron Solari
EARLY GAME: You can start with either Q or E first. Regardless of which one you choose to grab at level 1, max E first. The shield will help your AD carry win trades immensely, as it also gives an attack damage bonus on top of the extra protection.
MID GAME: You have great peeling power with a knock-up, slow, and a knockback, so use it to protect your AD carry. If someone gets caught or a team fight seems to be going badly, you can use your ultimate to essentially reset the fight or to escape if need be. Just make sure you know where people will go before you use it – you don’t want to accidentally blow a Kennen into your own team, for example.
LATE GAME: Again, you provide good team fight presence with your abilities, so use them well. At this point, your shield is adding a lot of extra damage, though it’s only for when the shield isn’t broken. Make sure you use the shield on your AD carry as much as possible, though you might need to throw it on someone else to save their life.
COMMENTS: Janna, after seeing some time as the premiere support in the league, has fallen off somewhat due to the nerfs to her ultimate, shield, and tornado. This doesn’t mean she’s a bad support by any means, though. With the skills she brings to team fights, she is still very viable, and very capable of blowing you away.
Kassadin, The Void Walker
MASTERIES: 21/0/9, with ability power masteries in the offensive tree.
RUNES: Magic Penetration Marks, Magic Regeneration per Level Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs, Ability Power Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Ignite and Flash
CORE ITEMS: Rod of Ages, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Sorcerer’s Shoes
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Archangel’s Staff, Abyssal Scepter, Void Staff, Guardian Angel
EARLY GAME: You’re weak early game, since you have a melee auto attack, so just do your best to keep up. You’ll miss last hits, but that’s ok, as long as you do your best to farm up when possible. Get your Q first, maxing it first, and your W at level 2. You’ll get E at level 4, maxing it second. Kassadin’s passive is very good for mid lane, though, so after you get a couple levels, you should be able to win trades. use your Q to harass, as the silence will help ensure that they can’t return the damage.
MID GAME: After you hit level six, you’re ready to gank. You’re a roaming force. You’ll be limited by mana, though, so try to get blue buff as much as possible. You have a blink on a six second cooldown, so use it to jump in and get kills. Flash can help you tower dive, because even though the ultimate is on a low cooldown, you’ll want to minimize the tower shots you get.
LATE GAME: You lose some of your power in the late game. Kassadin is more of a single target ganker rather than a team fighter. You’ll want to get positioning with your ultimate, and stay on the fringe of the fight while your spells are on cooldown.
COMMENTS: To get the most out of Kassadin, you need to gank other lanes after you get your ultimate. This, combined with the fact that his passive and Q allow him to win trades against essentially any AP mid, means that he is a very common ban. If you can get him, though, Kassadin is an incredibly strong mid laner with the power to shut down the enemy mid and instill fear in the hearts of the enemy top and bot lanes.
Urgot, The Headsman’s Pride
MASTERIES: 21/9/0, with attack damage masteries in the offensive tree.
RUNES: Armor Penetration Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs, Armor Penetration Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Ignite and Flash
CORE ITEMS: Manamune, Brutalizer, Frozen Heart, Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Guardian Angel, Force of Nature, Quicksilver Sash
EARLY GAME: Grab Acid Hunter at level 1, maxing it first. Noxian Corrosive Charge will be your second skill, though it’s maxed last. You want to harass as early as possible by landing that E, then hitting Q at the champion. This should do a lot of damage, and after you hit the E, your range is very long, so they’ll be hard pressed to get away before you land at least a few of them.
MID GAME: You need to build tanky as an AD carry because your ultimate will help you initiate fights, but it will also place you smack dab in the middle of their team. Keep using your E-Q combo to harass, putting up your W to give your attacks some slow.
LATE GAME: In team fights, use your ultimate to catch people out of position. You won’t do as much damage late game as other AD carries, but you should be able to take far more punishment.
COMMENTS: Your strength is in your laning. If you can manage to land an E, you can easily drop the enemy down to half health or below. Use it to your advantage and zone them out as much as possible. Since you’re an AD caster, you’ll want to get armor penetration and cooldown reduction rather than attack speed, making Brutalizer a great item to rush. This also means that you don’t scale as well into the late game, though, so make good use of your skills early to get ahead and stay ahead.
Vayne, The Night Hunter
MASTERIES: 21/9/0, going for the AD masteries.
RUNES: Armor penetration marks, Armor seals, Magic resist glyphs, and Attack damage quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Ignite/Heal and Flash.
CORE ITEMS: Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Bloodthirster, Berserker’s Greaves
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Black Cleaver, Quicksilver Sash, Guardian Angel
EARLY GAME: You have a weak early game, especially considering your short range, so you want to farm up as much as possible. Your Tumble gives you good mobility, though, so take advantage of it in the laning phase. Despite being the skill that defines her, Silver Bolts should be taken at level 4 and maxed last. Remember, you’re playing for the long game here, and the utility offered by Tumble and Condemn in the earlier phases of the game will outweigh the extra damage that Silver Bolts might provide.
MID GAME: Continue to farm up, building a Zeal and Bloodthirster first. Unlike other AD carries, you don’t need the extra damage provided by Infinity Edge as much as you do the sustain from the Bloodthirster, and Zeal into Phantom Dancer will help get more Silver Bolts off. If you get the chance, you can use your ultimate to chase down kills. Remember that while activated, you get an extra 120 move speed when chasing an enemy as well as stealth after Tumbling, so you should have no trouble hunting down those pesky champions.
LATE GAME: This is where you really shine. In team fights, make sure you don’t get focused down by using your ultimate as well as Tumble to position correctly. Make sure you focus someone to get those Silver Bolts procs off. Your range isn’t great, but your damage is, so just attack who you can and watch as you melt anyone that dares stand in the way of the Night Hunter.
COMMENTS: It take a little while to get used to Condemning someone into a wall, but doing so can really help turn the tide in a battle early on. Getting the stun off during a gank can mean the difference between a kill and a narrow escape, so practice Tumbling into position (or even Flashing, if necessary) to pin your enemy to the wall.
Wukong, The Monkey King
MASTERIES: 9/21/0, going for attack damage and armor penetration in the offensive tree.
RUNES: Armor Penetration Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs, Armor Penetration Quintessences
SUMMONER SPELLS: Ignite/Teleport and Flash
CORE ITEMS: Wriggle’s Lantern, Frozen Mallet, Atma’s Impaler, Trinity Force, Mercury Treads or Ninja Tabi
SITUATIONAL ITEMS: Frozen Heart, Force of Nature, Maw of Malmortius
EARLY GAME: When trading, remember that your Nimbus Strike gives an attack speed buff, while your Crushing Blow reduces armor. In other words, follow up these abilities with autoattacks! Grab Crushing Blow at level 1, but max it second. Nimbus Strike is your second ability, but max that first. You’ll want Decoy at level 3, maxing it last.
MID GAME: Your ultimate can be very useful in enclosed areas such as the dragon pit or in the jungle, as you’ll be able to catch a lot of people with the knockup. Remember that Decoy isn’t always just an escape tool – you can use the stealth provided by the skill to start a fight while they can’t see you as well.
LATE GAME: Wukong can gap close with his Nimbus Strike, then use his ultimate to knock people up, making him great at getting at those back lines and attacking the AD carry. You can also help protect your own AD carry by using the disruption that your ultimate provides.
COMMENTS: Wukong’s Decoy is one of the more interesting skills in the game, as you can use it to pull off some great jukes. Remember that you can also press ‘S’ to stop, tricking the enemy into thinking that you’ve used Decoy.
About the Author (Author Profile)Brian "ZeroCardinality" Kim is a caster and writer, as well as the host of Meta Musings, for ggChronicle. In the real world, he fashions himself somewhat of a statistician in the sense that that's what he's going to school for.
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