“Anatomy of a Champion” Sneak Preview

Posted: August 13, 2011 by xenocidebrm in Champions, General, Guides, Metagame

In “Anatomy of a Champion,” I will be breaking down selected characters completely. Each champion will be given six easy-to-read ratings that actually matter for team composition (Riot only rates champions on 4 categories – Attack, Spells, Health, and Difficulty) along with tips that you can use to improve your play in every stage of the game.

Here’s why I’m doing this – the things we think about during team selection have very little to do with how “powerful” spells, health, and attack are and even less to do with how “hard” a champion is.

What we do think about is how our choice of champion can make a complete team. A complete team has crowd control, a way to initiate fights, a good mix of magic and physical damage, and a way to dominate early, mid, and late-game. A lot of low-ELO ranked games end before they start because of rigid adherence to mistaken notions of what team composition really is.

One common misconception, for example, is that every team in every ELO must have a champ with the “tank” tag, or the game is lost. However, what most teams actually need is someone who can initiate fights; Singed, even though he’s labelled tank, doesn’t have a really great way to start fights other then running in and flinging one person. On the other hand, Annie has a fantastic initiate in Tibbers, who can stun whole teams at range and do huge amounts of damage. There are soft tanks like Tryndamere as well, who demands the enemies’ full attention and can use Endless Rage to survive.

Malzahar ratings

For all of this, I’ve divided champion ability into six different categories that more accurately reflect how they perform in the early, mid, and late games.

In the early game, Creeping and Zoning are two of the most important skills. Some champs excel at one, the other, or both, and some don’t bloom until late game. For example, LeBlanc is amazing at Zoning since she can dominate her lane with Deception and the rest of her spells; she’s not very good at Creeping, however. On the other hand, Nasus is good at Creeping but can’t Zone very well.

Mid-game, Mobility and Tankiness become more important as teams struggle to control buffs, dragon, and lanes as a team. Malzahar is a good example of a champion with good early-game potential, but very little Mobility and Tankiness, though the latter can be built through items. High Mobility characters usually have a built-in Flash ability, invisibility, or some sort of CC-reduction.

Towards the late-game, the ability to Initiate and Teamfight are among the most important things. Initiation works on a gradient – some champs are ideal, like Annie, while others will do in a pinch, like Tryndamere. On the other hand, Teamfighting ability measures the contribution a champion makes to the teamfight. Sona is an amazing support champ and excels in teamfights, where more 1v1-based champions like Evelynn might rank lower.

The tips included in each article are tricks and tactics for making the most of each and every champion. Lux, for example, zones best when using her pool to mark a target with Illumination and then following up with an autoattack, since her actual spell damage is low. Malzahar should never use anything but his Malefic Visions to farm, and shouldn’t cast it until level 2 on a full-hp minion. At that point, Malz’s autoattacks plus the spell damage should be enough to kill a minion and transfer the spell.

  1. This is a pretty cool idea. My one comment is that the teamfight category is a little vague. It’d be interesting to look at specific parts of teamfights i.e. crowd control, burst, etc. One other thing I thing would be good to see is some sort of chart that shows how to counterpick – i.e. pick Soraka if you see a Karthus.

    • xenocidebrm says:

      Yeah, the Teamfight category was intentionally vague – I needed to balance useful information with ease of access to the information. In the first actual article, there will be textual breakdowns of each category with more information.

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