Choosing Champions Series: AP CarriesTue 17th Jul 2012 - 6:06pm Category: League of Legends
Choosing a mid champion can be a pivotal part to your success in lane and in the game as a whole. As I have said in my other “Choosing Champions” Guides, the strategy you take to selecting your champion must vary depending on the game type you choose. Picking a champion in a normal game works very differently from picking one in normal draft mode or ranked.
Because you do not have the ability to see the other team’s composition in the Normal Game Mode, you do not have the ability to counter-pick their mid player. Instead, you must focus your pick around your own team’s makeup and hope for the best regarding your lane matchup. Several factors most heavily influence your efficacy with the team you have arranged or been matched up with:
When playing with a jungler, whether one you know or one you have been randomly matched with, it is important to consider their ability set carefully when selecting your own champion. The strongest example of this is if you have a jungler with little to no crowd control (CC), or unreliable and skillshot based CC. Two popular junglers who fit this description are Shyvana and Mundo, though this list is not limited.
If you see a jungler like this on your team, it may be wise to choose a champion with hard reliable CC such as Ryze. Ensuring that some kind of slow, stun, snare, or bind lands on your opponent can greatly increase the efficacy of ganks to your lane. This will make the jungler feel it is worthwhile to come back to your lane, and put you ahead of the enemy team.
If you have a jungler like Udyr, who has a built in stun, it is less important for your CC to be so reliable, though it never hurts.
Always consider the overall composition of your team when selecting your champion as well. Certain mid-oriented champions may operate better when surrounded by a tanky team, while others can capitalize well off of a CC heavy team. Xerath, for example, arguably requires a firm front line to stand behind in order to be successful.
While the champion’s kit will have a large determining factor, as mentioned above, you must also consider your personal playstyle. If you tend to play more defensively, make sure you have the tanks to back it up. If you want to go very aggressive, then make sure you are a good initiator, or have one on your team. If you plan to poke as much as possible, then your team composition might not matter as much, though you may synergize well with other champions that have good poking abilities.
Ranked and Normal Draft:
When able to see the other team’s picks as well as your own, you often have the opportunity to counter-pick the opponent as well. The pick order will determine how much of the enemy team you can base your choice off of when your turn rolls around.
The earlier on in team select that you are, provided that you aren’t trading champions with your teammates, the more difficult it will be to choose a champion based on the enemy team. At this point, it may be wise to pick a champion that you are comfortable with, and that synergizes with your team composition like in normals. Additionally, you may wish to select a versatile champion that can switch lanes if counter-picked well. Great examples of champions that can go top or mid are Vladimir and Kennen.
If you can make your decision after the enemy carry, then do your best to select a champion that will match up well against theirs. As I will state in each of these guides, there are many resources that can help you learn how counter-picking works, but make sure you use these to learn and shape them to your own abilities and experiences for the most positive impacts on your game.
Some general guidelines to consider while counter-picking, however, are how two champions match up regarding: harass, sustain, damage output, and escapes. The best way to learn good matchups is simply to play them. Since ranked games come after a fairly hefty amount of custom and normal games, you should have a decent idea about what champions you just love or hate seeing mid lane when playing your best champion.