Climbing wasn’t meant to be easy, but ace these champions and you’ll be rising up the ranks.
For a lot of players, ranked can be a frustrating experience in League of Legends. Between the teammates who refuse to coordinate, the vastly different skill levels, and the odd smurf or two, you can sometimes feel like you’re going backward. But there are a few champions, if mastered, that can help you beat the system and take you to the next level.
Below are five champions—one for each role—that will help you climb the ranks. They aren’t all easy to learn, but they’re the kind of champions you’ve probably already been demolished by and wondered “why are they so good?” Once you master these champions, it becomes easier to learn the mechanics of the lane (or jungle) itself and improve yourself as a player—and then the real climb can start.
With this in mind, let’s break down the top five solo que champions for League’s Patch 10.17.
Top lane – Wukong
- Strong one-vs-one duelist
- Exceptional sustain via passive
- High-impact ultimate
- High mana costs
The Monkey King is back in action after his recent rework. He has ascended to an insta pick-or-ban position from never being picked. The rework has kept the core aspects of his original kit and heavily improved them. The most notable change is the decoy, which did nothing before but now acts as an additional damaging tool, copying Wukong’s abilities and dealing a ton of damage.
His newly upgraded passive gives him health regeneration and makes him a terror both in one-vs-ones and team fights.
While the reworked Monkey King has been live only for a couple of days, most players figured out the best runes, items and skill priority.The Precision tree is core since it gives you additional damage via Conqueror stacks, which you can stack quite easily. The tree also grants additional healing via Triumph and Conqueror when fully stacked, Tenacity to reduce crowd control, and Last Stand to do increased damage when low on health. The secondary Resolve tree will grant you additional tankiness via the health gained from Overgrowth and prolonged sustain via Second Wind, which synchronizes really well with your passive
Wukong’s skill priority is R>E>Q>W. You want to max your E to be able to get onto targets more often and since it is the primary CS tool in your kit. Q max is second due to the damage granted and lower cooldown with each level, and W max is last since the increased damage from your clone doesn’t matter if your abilities don’t do damage. The clone will indirectly do more damage if you do more damage with your abilities since it copies them.
Wukong became one of the strongest early game champions after his rework. The new passive, which is much more useful on lane, grants him a stacking armor and health regeneration buff. This buff combined with the runes above will make you extremely tanky and hard to kill, especially if you get 10 stacks of Conqueror.
Once you get out of the laning phase, look for opportunities around the map when your ultimate is up. You can go for a fast combo, pop ultimate, and do your combo again once basic abilities are off cooldown then use ultimate again; this will unleash devastating amounts of damage on anyone.In mid to late-game teamfights, look for out-of-position carries and try to flank them before they can react. Use your clone wisely—you can knock-up enemies with it as well. If you position it properly, you could CC an entire team even if they’re split.
Jungle – Hecarim
- Strong duelist
- Easy to play
- AoE crowd-control ultimate
- Predictable playstyle
Hecarim rose in the jungle ranks of solo queue silently over the course of the past few patches. As more people realized how strong he is, his pick rate has suddenly increased alongside his win rate.
He is quite easy to play and can be picked up by any player, including non-junglers.
Hecarim has plenty of viable rune pages, but the most successful one currently is Precision primary with Domination as a secondary tree. Precision grants you access to Conqueror, one of the strongest keystones in the game, giving you a lot of attack damage and healing, on top of being easy to stack up. Other great runes are Triumph to help your low-health escapes, Legend: Alacrity to increase your attack speed and Last Stand to make you deadlier the lower your health is.
Domination is taken primarily for Ravenous Hunter, which synergizes very well with Conqueror. These two runes combined give you a lot of healing, making you deceptively tanky. Sudden Impact is taken since it will get easily activated with your E to increase your damage.
Hecarim’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. Maxing Q allows you to farm camps easily and do as much damage as often as possible. It is a primary requirement for this build, where you need to be spamming Q’s to proc Conqueror and Ravenous Hunter. E is maxed second for the movement speed and W is a pretty subpar ability, so is maxed last.
Hecarim is currently in a pretty good place in the jungle. Your goal as a Hecarim jungle is to clear your camps as soon as possible and then look for opportunities to gank any lane. If you see no such opportunities, focus on getting the crabs in the river for additional vision or the Rift Herald alongside the dragon. But remember to keep farming camps for the gold income to ensure you can get your core items as soon as possible.
Due to the fact that your gameplay is predictable, try to look for countergank opportunities instead of a gank. It’s much easier to get a kill in such cases instead of a gank.
As the game goes on, try to maintain good vision coverage for your team and act as an initiator for them with your ultimate. Remember to punish the champions who have no flash by jumping on them with E then following up with a R to push them into your team for an easy kill.
Mid lane – Twisted Fate
- Global ultimate
- Flexible build path
- High mana costs
- Regardless of AD/AP build, needs time to scale
Twisted Fate has been becoming more popular over the past couple of weeks even though he didn’t receive any significant buffs. High Elo players have found some hybrid builds that make TF extremely strong and more people have picked him up.
While the most popular buildpath remains the AP-focused one, the AD or the new hybrid build are seeing a lot of success as well.
Unsealed Spellbook is at the core of a good Twisted Fate player. It grants you access to multiple summoners spells, which can help you win lane or save a wounded ally at the right time. While there are other viable builds as well, the most popular one is focused around the Unsealed Spellbook.
The Stopwatch rune alongside Minion Dematerializer and Time Warp Tonic are taken to help you out during the laning phase and go through it unharmed. You can use the Dematerializer to kill cannons before going to base or help you thin the wave without wasting too much mana. Time Warp Tonic is one of the most busted basic runes, so it’s self explanatory since you want to start with the potion.
The secondary rune tree taken is usually Resolve to make you more tanky and less prone to dying early on. Demolish will help you snowball early and get your core items as soon as possible. Bone Plating is taken to help you out against those pesky assassins.
Twisted Fate’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>W>E. Q is your main ability for farming and poking opponents early on. Try to aim it so that you kill both the enemy wave and poke the enemy champions early on. This will help you secure an early lead and snowball. W is maxed second for the additional damage that should help you thin out waves as the game goes by. E is maxed last since Q and W are much more useful.
Use your Q early on to poke and last hit enemies. If the jungler wants to come for a gank, try to prepare your gold card beforehand so that you don’t scroll through it while the jungler is chasing the opponent.
Aim to farm early and get your core items depending on which build you go for. Once you’re level six, look for ultimate plays to help your other laners. As the game goes by, use your ultimate to your advantage to move huge distances of map while splitpushing.
ADC – Caitlyn
- One of the highest ADC ranges in the game
- Crowd control
- Dash which goes over walls
- Item dependant
- Gets outscalled by other meta ADCs
Caitlyn’s enormous range and headshots with a guaranteed critical strike always keep her in the meta as one of the best ADCs. It’s easy to last-hit minions with Cait while constantly poking enemies from a range that they can’t respond to. Her traps even provide zoning potential. She also makes positioning in teamfights simple since hitting enemies from the backline isn’t a problem. And in case one of them tries to escape, Ace in the Hole will get them. Caitlyn is simply one of the safest bot lane picks because she’s easy to play and rewarding.
As with most ADCs, the Precision tree is essential for Caitlyn. It grants you access to a mini-heal and movement speed buff via the Fleet Footwork keystone, which is severely underrated on most ADCs. The tree also gives you the lifesteal you need so that you can focus on other core items alongside Legend: Triumph to save you from low-health situations, both during the laning phase and in the mid game.
Sorcery should be your secondary tree. It grants you access to Nimbus Cloak to make you mobile after using a summoner spell and Gathering Storm to increase your scaling potential.
Caitlyn’s skill priority is: R>Q>W>E. Her Q is her bread and butter ability, allowing you to easily clear waves or unleash devastating amounts of damage on enemy champs. It’s best to sync it up with your trap from W, which is why W is maxed second to lower the cooldown and allow you to combo Q with W as often as possible. While E is the only mobility ability in your kit, it’s maxed last since the utility from W outweighs the cooldown reduction from E.
Your general goal as Caitlyn is to make the laning phase hell for your opposing bottom lane. Use your high range to harass your opponent on a consistent basis. Put traps down to stop them in their tracks and unleash devastating amounts of damage when they try to run away. If a jungler comes, you have both your trap and dash on E to deal with them. Your base damage is so high that you can easily turn on them with your support and kill them before they even reach you.
As the game goes by, keep farming well and get your core items to be the carry your team needs. In teamfights, don’t use your dash aggressively and use your traps wisely around neutral objectives or during a siege to stop the enemy from engaging.
Support – Senna
- Infinite scaling
- Strong utility
- Global ultimate
- No dash
Senna’s kit is unique since she’s a mix between a support and marksman. But she’s mostly been picked as a support since her release. She has high poke and all of her abilities offer protection and aggressive plays. Senna may be squishy, but she can lock down an enemy while keeping her team alive, which is an amazing combination to have.
he Inspiration primary tree is essential for Senna. Glacial Augment makes her extremely obnoxious for enemies to deal with and buys you enough time to keep doing damage or run away from the enemy. Biscuits will grant you additional sustain during the laning phase, while Approach Velocity alongside boots make you more mobile. The secondary Precision tree grants you the needed mana to spam your abilities, while Alacrity grants you the attack speed that you won’t get from items.
Senna’s skill priority is R>Q>W>E. Q max will grant you both healing and damage required to poke and sustain through the laning phase. It’s the perfect two-in-one combined ability. W second will let you follow up with a root more often on your Glacial Augment proc to get a pick or run away from enemies. While E is extremely powerful in coordinated play. It’s often rarely used by your solo queue allies, so it should be maxed last.
Senna is an infinite-scaling ADC support. She gains more damage and stats as the game goes on. Your goal is to poke early on and try to pick up souls to get to your power spikes as soon as possible. Use Glacial Augment to get easier W procs on enemies and allow your ally to poke without retaliation. If the enemy jungler comes to gank, use your E on yourself and your ally to escape safely since you can’t be targeted by ranged champions under the shroud.
Always keep an eye out for teammates with your ultimate once you reach level six. Act like a primary damage dealer once you get some items and stacks.