I have been around League of Legends long enough to take a look back at how I started playing the game. I realize now that I would not have hated getting some advice on which champions might be best to learn to play first. With that in mind, here are five champions that I think everyone, regardless of skill level, cannot go wrong knowing how to play.
Click on the names of any of the champions below to be taken to Mobafire’s info and list of guides for the champion. Mobafire is not the best site for guides, but they are decent for those who are looking to get started.
Ares, himself, come to dominate the Fields of Valor. Pantheon has an excellent group of abilities that allow him to succeed wherever he is placed. He can poke with his Javelin Toss (Q), stun with his W, damage with his E and hop around the map with his ultimate. It can take a little bit of practice to land his “Mandrop” on actual human targets, but when you do, you will feel a god. He tends to be a little bit squishy in the early and late game, so content yourself to poke with your Javelin Toss, until your opponent is low health, before going in for the kill. Later, you will want to build some defensive items so you can survive fights. You will mainly see this champion playing in a solo top lane, but he can also thrive in the jungle or the mid lane. I would not first pick him for support, but he can fill this role better than a lot of other champions – if he absolutely has to.
Sometimes the biggest enemy you will face in LoL is the frustration that the game can cause. What better way to combat this than by playing a constantly cheerful Faerie Sorceress. Seriously though, this little lady can be a major annoyance to your opponents. Her Q is a skill shot, but it is fairly simple to learn and does a lot of early damage. Where Lulu really shines is with the crowd control (cc) she brings to the fight. She can slow, knockup and turn opponents into squirrels and cupcakes. Her ultimate is great at taking yourself or a teammate and making you very tricky to kill in a team fight. With so many different things she can do it can be difficult to remember to use all of Lulu’s abilities, effectively, in a fight. Keep working at it, and you will be rewarded by being able to play one of the best sources of CC in the game. Lulu is considered to be one of the best support champs, but she can also be used in the mid or solo top lanes.
I do not want people accusing me of not including any assassin style champions. Assassins can be tricky to play, because they are so squishy, but are also the most fun when you can absolutely blow up anyone on the other team with a few abilities. Diana gives you a taste of what it is like to be an assassin without being so squishy that you cannot survive fights. With a ranged poke, a shield, a slow and a powerful dash, Diana has everything an assassin needs to succeed. Her Crescent Strike (Q) can be a little difficult to land when you are starting. I have been advised to aim slightly behind the target you are trying to hit so that it passes through them and can’t miss as easily. Even if you do not land the Strike, you can still dash to the target and brawl with them the old fashioned way! Diana will most commonly be seen in the mid lane but can also be used as a solid jungler or solo top.
There is very little that this ambitious Yeti cannot do. You can run him everywhere except ADC, and no one will judge you for doing it. Not only that, there is a great chance you will beat your opponent. Nunu’s only problem is that all of his damage is limited to his Ice Blast (E) and ult. Both can do tons of damage, but his ult is easily to interrupt and he does not have much else to offer when those abilities are down. With that said, there are many creative ways to build Nunu that can overcome this. Instead of focusing on building AP, you can build him tanky or even as a bruiser who takes advantage of his attack speed buff to beat enemies down. Nunu may not be the most exciting jungler in the world but he might just be the safest. His Consume (Q) functions as an extra smite that also heals you. If you are looking to start learning how to jungle Nunu is a very good choice, especially if you are looking to avoid those embarrassing “I just died to my jungle creeps” moments. No one will ever say that Nunu is a sexy pick, but he will give you a solid champ that you can plug into almost any role your team needs filled.
One of the best all around champions in the game. You can build her AP, AD, both, whatever you want and she still does great damage. Reckoning (Q) is one of the heaviest hitting single target spells in the game, and it slows opponents as well. What makes her combat style truly unique is her E (Righteous Fury) that allows her to attack from range instead of just being a melee champ. Oh, and you cannot forget her ult which makes you or a teammate immune to damage for 2 seconds or more. No matter how you build her, Kayle will need some attack speed items to succeed and will be somewhat week in the mid game until you build those AS items. Just be patient, keep farming and you will eventually be able to buy the items you need to turn her into a late game killing machine. You cannot go wrong learning Kayle. She is most commonly seen in the mid or top lanes, but you can also run her as a support. Once you get the hang of her, you can even take her in the jungle.
The above are five champions that, in my opinion, you can’t go wrong learning how to play. Now would be a great time for you to stop reading and go try out some of those champs. I won’t blame you, because I still think trying out new champs is one of the best things in LoL, and it is a lot more fun to just play than listen to someone tell you why to play something. If you DO find yourself thinking, “why the heck did he choose these guys and not those guys,” then by all means, read on!
So what was I looking for when I made my list. Naturally, I wanted to provide you with some champions who can make a solid impact on your match. It’s no fun to play champions that cannot get kills or leave you feeling like you did nothing all game. I wanted to include champions that you will have some fun playing and are reasonably powerful, but this is not the only thing I looked at.
League of Legends is as much about filling roles as any team game. I know it might not seem this way at the beginning, but trust me, you will see the meta (how the pros play the game) style of game play begin to creep in as early as player level 20. One of the biggest things I looked at in determining what champions to recommend was whether or not they can fill, successfully, multiple roles. They may not always be considered orthodox picks for those roles, but they can do the job well enough to not cost you the game just by picking them to fill a certain spot on the team.
I also tried to consider the skill required to learn and succeed at the champion. A champion like Cho gath fits a lot of my criteria perfectly. He fills multiple roles, he is extremely difficult to kill and he can absolutely dominate a game. This all sounds very good, but it does not take into account that he only really succeeds if you can land his Rupture (Q) knock up ability.
For those of us who have been around the game, and have developed a good understanding of how people behave in certain situations, it can be fairly easy to predict where your enemy is going and actually land Rupture. For someone who is just starting out, landing Rupture can be a huge frustration. I would like to tell you that the LoL community will be cool with you missing the majority of your skill shots, but that is really not true. This list also strives to provide you with a bunch of champions who are fairly easy to use and will not leave you the victim of frustrated teammates.
One final note, my list does not include any Attack Damage Carries (ADC’s). I have nothing against ADC’s. They are a crucial part of the game. If you are looking to play LoL so you can kill champions from far away, while doing tons of damage, this is the role for you. There are two main reasons I left them out. First, ADC champions often do not fill other roles well. Learning ADC can limit what roles you will be able to play, which can be a problem when someone else on your team locks in the ADC role before you can call it. Secondly, ADC champions do a lot of damage but are often fairly easy to kill. When you are just starting the game, playing an ADC can lead to quite a few deaths and quite a bit of frustration. If ADC is something you want to learn you should definitely go for it but those champs were not included in this list.
If you made it to the end, thank you for hearing me out. I hope you are able to find some success with these champs, no matter how far along your journey into LoL is. Also, big shout out to @i_Murf for giving me the idea to write this post. If you want to see what other brilliant ideas this gentleman can come up with, check out his blog here. If there are some champs that you think should be on this list, and you are curious why I didn’t pick them, let me know and I will try my best to offer an explanation. I believe I have a good reason for all of my choices/exclusions, but I have been known to simply forget that a certain champ even exists, so it never hurts to check!