A platinum players opinion on every midlane champion

So, before we get into this shitshow, let me give you my credentials. I've been playing league on and off for about 3, maybe even 4 years. I've been platinum for all those years, and is currently climbing back up after a bit of a break. So, I am currently feeling a bit inspired, so to speak, and therefore felt like I wanted to write a guide on every single champion that is played mid, as one does. Hopefully, this'll help some of you that are either new to the game, or are switching roles, or just looking for a new main find a good champion to choose. Note however that this is ofc only my opinion on these champions, and that I am by no means an expert on everything to do with league. I might make some mistakes, or you might just have a differing opinion than me. Also note that I am more experienced with certain champions than with others, and also like certain champions or playstyles more than others. Also, because of the sheer size of the thread, this'll be in two parts. Secondly, I'll be using a grading system of D-S, where D is pretty bad, and S is really good. This grading system will not be grading how good they are right now, in this very moment and patch, but rather how good their kits are on the whole. For example, {{champion:131}}. Diana is a champion with a lot of problems holding her back in lane, and that's because her kit as a whole lacks a lot of attributes assassins traditionally need. That being said, if Diana's shield had 10000 hp and her Q did a million dmg, ofc she'd be top tier. But her kit would still be lackluster, it's just that the numbers are op. So, even if Diana was op, I wouldn't give her a good grading here. Another way to think about my grade-system is in terms of meta-resilience. A character with a very high rating will pretty much always be good, no matter what the meta or their stats, because the mechanics of their kit themselves are so effective. On the other hand, a character with a low grade will pretty much never see much play, even in metas that should favor them because of the inherent flaws of their kits. S - Excellent kit with very few flaws, and a lot of strengths that make them good in pretty much all metas, and also has the ability to at least survive most matchups, making them blind pickable. A - Very reliable and all around well-rounded, but might do somewhat worse in very specific metas. B - Works most of the time, but might have certain metas or matchups that greatly effect their viability. C - Works, but is probably below average, or at least worse than other, available options. D - Is pretty bad, but might work in specific match-ups or during very specific metas. {{champion:103}} B Ahri has a few strengths that are very notable. She is quite flexible, for one, being able to play both as a kiting-poke mage, or as a bursting engager. She is also rather mobile and has decent, easy-to-land cc that makes her safe, and she has decent - But not great - waveclear, as well as pretty good and reliable burst. Ahri's main problem, though, is that she does none of these things great. She isn't nearly as good a burst-engage mage as for example {{champion:99}} or {{champion:1}}, nor is she nearly as good at poking and kiting as {{champion:101}} or {{champion:115}}, nor is her waveclear that great compared to most other mages. The thing is that in most cases, you just need the one. It's very rare that you need to be able to both poke and burst somebody in the same game, and with the same poke, so in most cases you'd rather just want one of the champions that can do one of the things very well. Combine that then with the fact that she kinda falls off, as, though not terrible, she isn't the greatest teamfigher out there, and you can see why she is only B. That being said, she is still very good at a few things. She snowballs very well, due to her mobility, and she roams very well too, making her a good pick for a player that wants to be very active in the early game, while not going all-out on that strategy. In the late game, she is a pretty decent pick mage, being able to catch people off-guard in the jungle pretty well, though again, there are better options for that too. {{champion:84}}: S Akali is one of the new gods of mid lane, and I consider her the best assassin. She does suffer from a lot of the same problems as other assassins, such as bad wave clear and being generally squishy and vulnerable when caught out. But, she also minimizes them. Not only does her q give her some amount of waveclear, it also gives her sustain to survive in harsh lanes. And, beyond that, her kit is very, very safe. A champion like {{champion:238}} or {{champion:91}} is very risky because they have to commit to their engage to actually kill somebody. And if Zed somehow fucks up, then he's dead. Akali does not suffer from this problem, because of how her E works. If she misses, she'll just not jump in. If it hits, then she's guaranteed an engage you can't flash away from. And it's cooldown is short enough that she doesn't have to worry about missing it. It's range is also long enough she can abuse the fog of war or such. Beyond that, her W Is also an insanely good ability for survival. Sure, she isn't immune to AOE, but the amount of dmg that needs a target in league is actually quite insane. Zed's ulti, Vladimir's Q, any Adc's auto-attacks, and so on. The fact that she's immune to towers too is just icing on the cake, that makes her one of the best divers in the game. Couple this with her R for extra sticking potential if she wants to commit further, and she is very elusive, while also being hard to get away from. This ability to get onto you while not letting you retaliate is why she is so insanely good. In conclusion, she is an amazing carry that has a pretty easy time getting into fights in the early game and winning them, as well as roaming and abusing the fog of war. I would recomend her if I didn't hate her and never want to see her in my games again. {{champion:34}} C It pains me to put my favorite birdie here at such a low rank, but it is true. Anivia does have strengths, but she also has flaws that are bone-deep, and very serious in the current state of the game. The main problem, though, is her strengths just aren't that relevant in the current state of the game. Anivia is a control-mage, meaning she doesn't necessarily deal a ton of dmg, but rather carry through disruption and zone-control. I.E blocking off people with her wall, or using her ultimate to discourage people from walking on certain areas. The problem is that with how prevalent mobility is in the game now, those abilities are just not as good as they used to be. Her wall is pretty lackluster as zone-control go, as many champions can just jump over it, or walk around it with minor hinderance, unless you can manage a choke-point in a jungle. Her R is a bit too short-ranged and takes a bit too long to charge up to be effective. She is also a lot more vulnerable than most other control mages, for the mentioned reasons. Her wall doesn't do much vs a {{champion:59}}. That being said, she's not awful. She fulfills her role... Okay. But other weaknesses she has includes a slow early game, where she can't really push or trade effectively cause of her short range and unreliable q. This becomes better after lvl 6, but even then she is mostly a farm-animal. This makes it so that she has minimal impact on the game early, including roaming and killing the lane opponent, which in turn makes snowballing and carrying very difficult. Add on to that that she is actually pretty easy to kill, as her egg is pretty bad self-defense unless you're under a tower, and she becomes simply sub-par. {{champion:1}} A This might seem like a meme, but Annie is genuinely a really good champion. This is, simply put, because she does one thing and she does it insanely well, namely burst and engage. And while she is pretty bad at everything else, as she has no mobility, short-range, lackluster waveclear and so on, that one thing she does is so important that it makes up for it. There has been almost no metas in the history of league where Annie hasn't played somewhat of a role, especially in solo queue, where death-ball metas where two teams just smash into one another is always common, and she is a very good roamer, with a lot of kill pressure in lane, that also has the possibility to push if necessary. There is always value in one-shotting the enemy carry, there is always value in a 3-man bear stun, and that's why Annie is so high on the ranking. Her problems, though, are mainly in her matchups, and specifically against champions like {{champion:101}} or {{champion:268}}. While she will most likely just one-shot them, actually getting to them is the problem. Due to her lack of mobility, doing that without using the fog of war or {{summoner:4}} is pretty hard, and her only real limiter. However, even in those matchups, once out of the laning phase, she will always have a presence. Face-checking any bushes will always be spooky when against Annie, and she will always be threatening as an engager, and that's why she's A tier. {{champion:136}} C Aurelion is... Interesting. He does a lot of things decently well, but not amazing. He has decent burst under the right circumstances, but not amazing. He has pretty good dps, but not to the level of {{champion:268}} or {{champion:69}} . He's great at roaming though, and has decent engage, and decent disengage. But, and this'll become somewhat of a trend on this list, being good at one specific thing is generally better at being a jack of all trades, because in most situations you only need one thing. You very rarely need both hard engage and good poke, you'd rather just have one or the other, in most cases. Couple this with the fact that he is hard to pilot, and is very weak to ganks and assassins, and you have a lot of problems to overcome. That being said, Aurelion Sol is by no means an awful champion. He is a champion that has no real weak point during the game, meaning he is pretty effective in the early game, mid game and late game. He has decent kill pressure in lane, and is a great roamer. In mid game, has an easy time getting picks or getting fights started, and in the late game, he has pretty good dps and cc for teamfights. This makes it so that he's generally a pretty safe pick, as you're not completely screwed if u get a bad start, but neither are you excluded from getting a good start. Though, he is vulnerable, as his range is rather short and he has no sustain, making him vulnerable in lane in a lot of matchups. This means he's best vs short-ranged people. The problem is that most short ranged people have a ton of mobility and/or burst, both of which Aurelion Sol hates. But, on the other hand, he does have pretty funny voice-lines, so really he is the best champion in the game. {{champion:268}} S Azir is a very, very strong champion, and arguably the best DPS mage out there. While his burst isn't the best, even when compared to other dps/control mages out there, he makes up for it in other areas. Whereas other champions that can do a lot of things, but none of them amazingly, Azir does do one thing great - Namely consistent dmg - with things like his amazing mobility and disengage as gravy on top. His mobility, while not on the level of somebody like {{champion:105}} is really good for a mage. His area of control is similarly good, with his ultimate being able to just completely put a halt to engages, and his soldiers acting like area of denial-tools, as no-one wants to go near them in fear of getting spanked. In terms of pure late game carry, he is arguably the best out there, as he melts both tanks and squishies alike. His main problem, ofc, is a lackluster - Although not necessarily bad - early game and mid game. He can stand for himself in lane, particuarly against mages, but falters vs assassins who can outburst and outmaneuver him. His roaming is fine, but not great. Come mid game, he does spike, as his shurima shuffle - Where you E-slide in, then ulti them into your team - is a powerful form of engagement, but somewhat unreliable, and it leaves him out in the open to get killed. His damage does start to pick up, but it's not quite there yet. In the late game is where he hits his stride ofc, and when he'll start to hard-core carry. Another aspect to consider is that Azir is quite difficult, one of the most difficult champions to pilot in fact, strictly because of how unique and finicky his mechanics are, requiring constant focus and management. That's not to say he's impossible to learn, but I would not recomend him to a beginner, or somebody who's new to mid lane in general, as focusing on learning the lane is more important than Azir's mechanics. {{champion:63}} C Brand, oh Brand, how far we have fallen. You know, if you click on the lane-tab to show only champions who show up in specific lanes, Brand doesn't even show up anymore as a mid-laner. As a long-time player, that does quite hurt my heart. Nostalgia aside, Brand is a fine mid-laner, still. Not great, and surely sub-optimal, but fine. In the early game, his wave clear is not bad, but not great. His all in is pretty shit, and so is his poke. He has no mobility, or sustain, making him easy to gank or kill with an assassin. His main draw is massive mid/late game team fight damage, and that he does amazingly well. The sheer amount of AOE he can pump out with his ulti in the perfect deathball scenarios is actually insane, if you build him full ap, while also having fine, but not great burst and poke. However, the problem is that, unlike {{champion:1}}, his main draw is not quite relevant enough. The times when you'll get a perfect 3-man ulti, where you can spread your passive to plenty of people is just not common enough to warrant picking a champion that is so subpar at most other things. Another problem with this is that he has no real set up of his own. He can stun at most 1 person, and even that's unreliable. So hoping to get such a team-wide effect is little more than a pipe-dream in most cases. In that regard, he's very much like {{champion:420}}, but without the lane dominance, which is pretty much exactly what makes Illaoi so dominant. In short, there are simply better champions that do more than Brand offers, without his many weaknesses. {{champion:69}} A {{champion:268}} Was mentioned earlier as the possibly best mid lane dps champion out there. Cassiopeia is the possible contender. The reason that it's a close call isn't because one of them deals more dmg than the other. In fact, their dps, at top performance, is very, very close, to the point where the difference is negligible. What matters is that they both fulfill very different roles outside of their dps. Azir is more of a control-style sieger, who excels at keeping people at bay while wearing them down. Cassiopeia is much more of a duelist and a skirmisher, with more tools that outright help her in a direct fight, but with less tools to control when or where said fight happens. Essentially, what I mean is that Cassiopeia is probably better at fighting. But Azir has a better ability to make sure that a fight does or doesn't happen. Another big difference is that Cassiopeia trades range for more cc, and mobility for sustain in lane. While she doesn't have a wall, her ultimate and purple aids-field are both very good forms of cc, better than Azir's wall arguably, at least for the explicit purpose of cc'ing people. On the other hand, she can't engage very well, and therefore relies on other people to do it for her. While this might not seem like a big weakness, the lack of control it brings with it can seriously hamper your ability to carry, as you can't force fights when you want, and you can't roam either. On the flipside, neither can she defend herself, and she also relies on her team to keep her alive. On the other hand, Cassiopeia is a really good duelist in lane, and loses very few matchups, save for poke lanes that can stay out of said short range. This makes her one of the better options for a splitpusher, a role she fulfills pretty well, and possibly best out of any mage. All that being said, I do recomend her for anybody who likes intensive mechanics, and hard-core scaling. I would recomend her over Azir in solo queue, as - Even though she's not simple by any means - she is quite a bit easier than Azir is. And also, in the hard-core deathball games that often happen in solo queue, she does perform very well. {{champion:42}} B Corki is a simple champion. He deals a lot of dmg. He deals a lot of magic damage. He deals a lot of physical damage. He deals a lot of true damage. He deals a lot of poke dmg. He deals a lot of burst damage. He deals a lot of consistent damage. I believe that quite covers him... On a serious note though, that is his main draw. Corki is one of the few mid-laners without any utility what so ever in his kit, and the only thing he provides is pure, raw damage. That, however, he is really good at. He's good at fighting and poking in lane, getting an advantage and then just steamrolling the game. He doesn't have the best roam, but with his package that changes, and he becomes one of the best in the game. Outside of that, the sheer amount of dmg he pours out in lane can be hard to contend with. His W also provides pretty good mobility for a mage, that makes him very dangerous when fed as he can get up in your face without much trouble, and hard to punish as it's a good escape. That being said, Corki is not a great champion if he does not snowball. The fact that he provides nothing outside of damage in all its forms starts to show around mid/late game, where stuff like cc and shields become overall more important than raw damage. While he can pump out lots of it, he exists in a limbo between dps, poke, and burst, where he does none great, but all decently well, which, as I've said before, is generally not a good thing. Also, his main strength is that he deals a lot of mixed damage, which is hard to itemize against. If you build an armor item first, then his magic dmg will shred you. The reverse if you build an mr item first. But, once tanks start to get both armor and mr items, that strength fades. Beyond that, his lack of cc makes it hard to actually start a fight. While his R poke is fine, it's not the type of thing that'll win you a match, and neither is it usually good enough to siege with. This makes it so that he'll have to rely on his team to make the engage for him, which is always a big weakness in solo queue. {{champion:131}} Diana - D Everybody, rise and welcome our first d-tier champion on the list. Diana, put simply, is a simple champion, about as straight forward as they come. Sometimes, that's a good thing. Doing one thing simply and straightforwardly is good. In Diana's case, not so much. The thing about Diana is that her thing is very predictable. She tries to hit q. If success, use r. If fail, don't use r, and die. Everything relies on her hitting that q, and she can't get anything off without it. Her shield does nothing but keeping her alive, which is pointless if she isn't in range to hit you. Her pully-thingy is similarly useless unless in range, and ofc her r is pretty shitty without the reset. This makes her the literal definition of a feast or famine champion, where she can do literally nothing if a single skill doesn't hit. Ofc, the problem is that even when she does hit her skill, the rest of her kit is rather subpar at actually killing people. She doesn't have any real avoidance skills, such as stealth or mobility, and rather relies on tanking the dmg and cc with her shield. Beyond the early game, this doesn't really work, because a single-shield is not enough to survive the damage you'll take diving so deep into the backline, without building so tanky you lack the damage to be effective anyways. Her sticking potential is fine, but for some reason she synergies with attack speed, a thing the rest of her kit just does not work with at all. Take with that that her pre-level 6 is one of the worsts in the game, and that she has a super bad time laning, and she surely deserves this spot. {{champion:245}} B And here we find the better Diana. They do pretty much the same thing, except Ekko does it better. He has more mobility, he has better CC, he has a more reliable combo, and a better escape plan. And, that's pretty much it. For an assassin, Ekko actually has a surprising amount of utility. His q gives him good waveclear, on par with most mages, and is an all around reliable tool for damage. His w is a good zone-control ability with the potential for mega awesome plays, which is always appreciated. He has some of the most annoying sticking potential you can find in the mid lane, with a spammable dash + blink and a bunch of slows. And, ofc, his ultimate is one of the best 'get out of jail-free cards' out there. Ofc, all of this utility has to come at a cost, and that cost is raw damage. Ekko, unless he pops off, won't ever get to the raw damage numbers other assassins like {{champion:238}} or {{champion:91}} might be able to pump out. This is because a lot of his damage is uncertain, so to speak, and unreliable. His q going out deals very little damage, and it deals it's a majority of its damage going back to him. His passive dmg packs another big part of his punch, and that can take a second or so to get off, which gives time to respond, and his ultimate is also a lot of his damage, and that is ofc also hard to reliably get off. This means that Ekko doesn't scale all that well, and come late game, you'll often find yourself unable to burst the backline, assuming you don't get the perfect circumstance. That being said, Ekko excels at early game skirmishes, more than pretty much any other assassin. His consistent damage is a lot higher than other assassins, due to his low cooldowns, his W can be used to close off chokepoints, or to tank, and his ultimate is a lot more useful in the early/mid game skirmishes, where the damage is generally lower and you're more likely to survive long enough to get it into a good position. Beyond that, he's also a good fighter in lane for the same reasons. When snowballing, he's a really good splitpusher in fact, due to how good lich bane is on him, and that his e works on towers. Beyond that, his safety and mobility makes him hard to pin down and gank too. I'd recomend him if you like fighting a lot early together with your jungler, or such. {{champion:81}} C Ezreal is an interesting case, because he's like the lovechild of a mage and an ADC, and has always been in a weird limbo between the two. One of Ezreals greatest strengths is his flexibility, and unlike other champions that falter because they choose to have options instead of focus, Ezreal has the ability to focus on several things. He can either be a sort of dps champion, with the more traditional adc build, that focuses more on dps and poke, or a full ap build that focuses more on burst. Either way, his strengths are the same. He's a very safe champion, with one of the best mobility moves in the game, that being an instant blink that is pretty much flash, except with like a 0.5 sec cast-time, alongside insanely long range. While those two strenghts might not seem like much, I do not want to understate just how effective Ezreal can be at the poke/kite-back playstyle. Compared to most other longed ranged pokers, like {{champion:101}} or {{champion:99}} , Ezreal is even safer, due to his blink, and thanks to {{item:3078}}, he becomes strong very quickly, allowing him to begin sieging fast. However, his flaws are also the same, regardless of his playstyle. And those flaws are pretty bad, for a mid laner to have. Firstly, his waveclear. The fact that he has none - Outside of his ultimate - is much worse than it may seem. It means that other mid laners can easily push him in, and then roam bot, or go take drake or fuck with your jungler, with your lane being in a bad spot. If you follow, you'll lose farm, after all. It also means that if the enemy team gets baron, he'll be fucked. If he needs to push after an ace, he's fucked. Lacking wave-clear, which is traditionally the mid-laners job, is a big deal. Another weakness is the fact that, come late game, he has a hard time getting through tanks. I don't just mean that he has a hard time killing them, but he literally has a hard time getting damage through them. Again, compared to somebody like {{champion:101}}, Xerath can use his Q to hit the enemy adc or mid laner through the tank, so that his damage can't be blocked. Ezreals q's and w's do not have that privilege. Because of that, even though his late game damage is fine, he falls off compared to other mid-laners. With a lack of utility in the form of stuns or shields, or any aoe, he earns his spot as a C-tier mid laner. {{champion:105}} B Fizz is a fine solo queue champion. Specifically, low solo queue. That's because his weaknesses, which there are a few off, are less likely to be punished in the lower ranks than in the higher ones. Those weaknesses are mainly no waveclear what so ever. That might not seem like a problem, but it is, because it makes him lose control over mid lane. He can't roam as fast as he would like to if he can't push in as fast as he would like to. Neither can he stop himself from getting pushed in. And, if, for example, bot rotates mid and starts to 1v3 siege him, he has no real way of stopping it. In low elo, these factors, where people don't know how to play the map very well, this doesn't matter all that much. But the higher up in the ranks you go, there more these flaws start to show. Another flaw is the reliance on hitting his ultimate, which becomes a lot more difficult in the late game, when the carries are constantly surrounded by tanky big bois that'll stand in the way. While it's still valuable as a zoning tool, you need more from such a big ultimate that you rely so much on. This means that Fizz has to snowball early, because his all-in potential falls off quickly as the game goes on. Luckily, he is good at roaming, and good at all-inning people. Unluckily, people who are aware of this reliance on early kills will play defensively, and ward up a lot to prevent roams and ganks, which, again, is why he scales so badly. And in metas with a lot of shielding, or that is generally slower, he will always be more subpar. This reliance on the early game, and the risks that brings with it is what places him in B-tier. {{champion:3}} A Galio is another interesting case, and a champion I find underrated. He's essentially a mage-tank, a combination that we haven't seen elsewhere, say for maybe {{champion:8}} or {{champion:50}}. Though, he plays very differently from any of those two. Rather than being drain-tanks, more like a bruiser than anything, Galio resembles a good ol' CC-focused frontliner. He's a simple case, really. Decent damage, but not so much that he'll one shot you. On the other hand, you'll never one shot him either. And though he lacks range, he has the cc to keep you in range once he gets onto you. He ovbiously excels against mages, but that's not to say he's useless vs melee either. His bonuses against mages are a cherry on top mostly, not the entire value of his kit. And that value is as an off-tank. Remember, you're still a mid-laner, and your job is to do damage first and foremost, but you also have the tankiness to take a bit of a beating if you're in a bad spot. This allows you to play a bit riskier than you normally would be able to on a mid laner without getting punished, which is always fun. Secondly, his value lies in his ultimate. His ultimate would perhaps imply that he's a good roamer, but not actually. Because of how it works, with him having to target somebody, it requires either good coordination from perhaps a {{champion:412}}, to combo your engages. While this is not exactly a hard combo, any amount of reliance on other people will make it more difficult for you. Alternatively, the enemy team has to collapse on your team, but the fact that your ultimates range isn't long enough to reach other lanes from mid lane means that you need to be proactive and rotate before the collapse happens, which takes some skill of its own. That being said, his ultimate is still an excellent ability, and his ability to engage is really good, which is always a good thing to have. If you like to make things happen, and if you like being balls deep in fights, I'd recomend Galio. {{champion:41}} B This might sound odd, but Gankplanks biggest strengths are actually as a sort of control mage... Except that he's not a mage, I guess. What I mean by that is that Gankplank doesn't really carry through his damage, but rather the threat of his damage. It's very hard to peel against his barrels, especially in the thick and chaos of a fight, and that's where he can use his barrels to zone carries, at the threat of massive damage. His ultimate fulfills a similar purpose, acting as a zone of control to restrict his opponent's movement, while also being cross-map, which is always nice ofc. His potential for team-wide burst damage is insane, and his range + oranges make him pretty safe while doing it. The same goes for the lane, in which he is pretty safe, though he has some mana troubles. Mostly, Gankplank wants a dull-farm lane, until he can pop off. That being said, what puts Gankplank at B-tier is that he's not really a good carry. His barrels, even when fed, is not really a reliable source of damage, unless you use tricks like fog of war or allies CC, and just shooting people with q - Even when fed - isn't enough to carry. He essentially requires a lot of set-up from his team. 1, he needs a frontline, because setting up his barrels takes a few seconds, and 2, getting them off on a key-target can be difficult even in the best scenarios. And, relying on people in solo queue is always a risk. Another problem is his poor early game. Because of how his barrels work, and the fact that how fast they tick down is decided by level, he is essentially doomed to being sub-par until mid-game, at which point he starts to unlock. And that is a fact that can not be understated, because Gankplanks mid-game is excellent. That's when a lot of skirmishes are happening around dragon, and he can abuse the bushes and fog of war, and he can use his cross-map plays to help affect two fights at once. His barrels are also harder to destroy when you're 2 or 3 people, as opposed to 5. Toward the late game, he falls off somewhat, mostly due to how hard his barrels are to get off in a large scale teamfight, but he is by no means bad, and he can certainly be effective. Just be prepared for a lot of up and downs. That is the end of part one. I'll try to come out with part 2 in a day or so, where I'll be covering the rest of the circa 20 or so mid laners.
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