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League of Legends mid lane tier list

These are the best mid lane champions of season 10.

Some champions in League of Legends are just flat-out stronger than others.

Mid lane is one of the game’s easiest roles to carry with, mostly because you have easy access to any other part of the map. Oh, and a lot of damage. Great mid laners are those that can effectively roam to other lanes while keeping good pressure on their own mid lane opponent. Champions that can do that well are indispensable.

This list of top-tier champions can be affected depending on a number of things. Sometimes the meta shifts for no apparent reason other than players’ tastes, but usually there’s some kind of balance change behind the whole thing. It can be difficult to keep up on the flavor-of-the-month champs, so let us do it for you.

Here are our top five mid laners for League’s Patch 10.20.

Galio

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Max percent health damage
  • Innate tankiness
  • Global ultimate

Cons

  • Melee mage
  • Predictable movements
  • High mana costs

Galio was one of the most contested picks in the past after his rework. After countless nerfs, though, he disappeared from the meta. He’s back to dominate it now after recent buffs that make his laning phase stronger and allow him to roam more often. 

His kit is perfect against magic damage compositions or melee-oriented squads due to his ability to taunt entire teams or absorb magic damage with his passive from W. While Riot was cautious to buff him before due to his pick priority, the recently-released champions in the mid lane have kept him in check.

Item build

Image via Riot Games

Resolve is the most-picked tree on Galio because he needs the additional resists to be played effectively. Aftershock enables you to survive after your initial engage and be a beacon of crowd control for your team without exploding in the first second of a teamfight. Shield Bash syncs well with your passive and W, allowing you to do huge amounts of damage in the short trades during the laning phase. Bone Plating makes you even harder to kill both in the laning phase and afterward. Overgrowth is a staple rune for most tanky champions, granting you free health as you farm.

Nimbus Cloak will make you faster in teamfights since flashing will grant you movement speed, which will allow you to catch unsuspecting enemies off guard and crowd control them. Transcendence is taken for the additional cooldown reduction since Galio’s base cooldowns are quite high due to their power.

Ability priority

Galio’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>W>E. Q is your wave clear and poke spell, so it should always be maxed first. There’s some flexibility with the second basic ability max, but W is usually taken more often than E due to needing to taunt enemies more often than dashing away with E. If you find yourself in a game where you need mobility more, max E after Q instead.

Game plan

Farm and poke early on with your Q. Use the additional AoE damage from your passive to clear waves without wasting too much mana. Galio has high mana costs, unlike other mid lane mages, so you should be wary of every spell cast. It’s better to use spells to clear one wave instead of attempting to poke an enemy hiding behind the wave.

Once you reach level six, start pushing your wave and look for roam opportunities around the map. Your ult range is high and you should look for plays as often as possible when it’s up. The cast time is slow, but it can quickly turn the tides of battle in your favor.

As for items, build depending on what your team needs. Galio is flexible in this regard and has multiple viable build paths.


Talon

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Low counter play
  • Small mana costs
  • One of the best mobility spells in the game

Cons

  • Need to know when to roam to obtain maximum advantage
  • Weak against tanks

Talon is one of the best attack damage-oriented mid laners in the current meta. The meta favors early skirmishes and roams from mid to help bot extend their lead, which leads to tower plates and drake control.

His E ability is extremely potent for roaming and helps him travel huge distances in the blink of an eye. Coupled with his assassin kit, which focuses on snowballing early, he fits perfectly in the current meta.

Item build

Image via Riot Games

There are two viable routes for Talon right now. This is the most popular one, which seems to be more successful. Precision primary grants you access to Conqueror, which is extremely easy to stack as Talon. Once fully stacked, the damage increase coupled with the healing granted makes you a nightmare even for tanks later on in the game. Legend: Tenacity is taken alongside Last Stand to be less vulnerable to crowd control and deal more damage if you get caught and have to turn on them.

Domination secondary grants you extra healing to help you out during the laning phase and increase your teamfight potential by being harder to kill.

Ability priority

Talon’s skill priority is R>Q>W>E. While W is your AoE ability and should help you farm during the laning phase against ranged champions, Q is your primary ability if you’re in melee range. Most games, you’re going to be against melee champions, so it’s advised you max it. After that, focus on the other damaging ability and level E last.

Game plan

Talon is an early to mid-game champion. He excels at pushing his lane once he acquires Tiamat and roaming to the top or bottom lane for kills every time his ultimate is up. You aren’t a great laner and shouldn’t focus on laning. If you sit in a lane and farm evenly, you’ll most likely lose later on. Your goal should be to roam as much as possible and use E to its maximum potential.

With your side laners having some advantage, you can focus on getting towers, drakes, and easier kills once the towers are down and the enemies overextend.

Look for creative flanks during the mid to late game to avoid getting blown up from the beginning.


Kassadin

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Low-cd flash with ultimate
  • Strong AoE damage
  • Scales really well

Cons

  • Weak laning phase
  • Melee
  • Requires constant jungler attention vs ranged AD matchups

Kassadin is one of the best mid laners to carry with once you have items and have reached your power spike. While his weaknesses can be minimized with proper rune and item builds, he still needs time to scale to be effective. Once you reach level 16, you become completely unstoppable and your chances of losing are slim if you juggle around a teamfight properly.

Item build

Image via Riot Games

This is a self-sustaining rune build. Kassadin is flexible and can use all trees effectively. We recommend going with this since it’ll help out in most matchups and won’t need much tweaking.

The Precision primary tree is strong on Kassadin. Fleet Footwork grants a lot of needed sustain and some movement speed to avoid ganks. Presence of Mind allows you to dominate teamfights by giving you the mana to spam your ultimate, Coup de Grace grants extra damage to finish off opponents and Legend: Alacrity allows you to do your combo faster. 

Domination as a second tree helps you out tremendously during the laning phase by giving you additional healing capabilities, which are amplified when you get some kills on the enemy champions.

Ability priority

Kassadin’s skill priority is the following: R>Q(rank three)>E>Q(rank five)>W. While Q is the only ranged ability and allows you to farm single minions or poke out the enemy champion, E is your primary wave clear tool and you need to max it as soon as possible. If you’re facing a heavy AP-focused team, you can max out Q first instead. If you’re facing a heavy AD-focused team, you can max out E while keeping Q at rank one until level nine. W should be maxed last regardless of your situation because the damage and utility from Q and E grossly outweigh the damage bonus from W.

Game plan

Kassadin scales well with items and experience. He’s weak before level six, and as a result, you need to pay attention to the trades you take. It’s fine to let minions die without last-hitting them, as long as you get the needed experience to survive the laning phase. Once you reach level six, you can switch to an aggressive playstyle and engage on enemies with your ultimate. But without your ultimate, you’re walking bait for the enemy jungler. Your main goal should be to get Rod of Ages as soon as possible, alongside Archangel’s Staff. These two items will make you insanely strong and hard to deal with.

A third important item to make you an unkillable machine is Zhonya’s Hourglass. You can engage then use it to bait out enemy ultimates and come out of it unscathed to clean up your opponents.

If the game doesn’t go too well early on, you can focus on getting to level 11 or 16. These levels grant you access to the second and third levels of your ultimate, respectively. A level 16, Kassadin usually never loses the game since the mobility granted with your rank three ult is unmatched by most champions in the game. The damage on it is just a bonus to how overpowered he becomes.


Pantheon

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Immunity on a basic ability
  • King of laning phase
  • Global ultimate

Cons

  • Melee
  • Scales poorly into later stages of the game

Pantheon has become more popular recently in the mid lane following his success in the support role. He’s picked up the mantle and come back to reclaim his glory in the middle lane with his oppressive kit that makes life hell for any mage. He has his E which helps him block all incoming sources of damage from one direction, which makes him the perfect teammate if you’re a jungler. Dives are easy with a Pantheon on your team, so be ready to have a lot of jungle intervention early on that should help you snowball out of control.

Item build

Image via Riot Games

The Precision primary rune page is the best on Pantheon. It grants you access to three keystones that you can use well: Press the Attack, Fleet Footwork, and Conqueror. Overall, Conqueror scales the best and allows you to slice through tanks and squishies with ease. Triumph will help you survive in low-health encounters, Legend: Tenacity will reduce crowd control duration on you, and Coup de Grace acts as the perfect finisher, especially when combined with your Q ability. 

Pantheon’s secondary rune page is more flexible, with Inspiration holding superiority over others due to the extra sustain from Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic.

Ability priority

Pantheon’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. Maxing Q is essential on Pantheon since it acts as your primary tool to wave clear and poke the enemy down. E is maxed second due to how broken it is as a basic ability. It allows you to deny crucial spells and execute early dives without issue.

Game plan

Pantheon has a clear game plan. He wants to snowball as soon as possible and finish the game before it gets to a stage where he’s useless. He scales well early on with Lethality items, making him a huge threat in the mid stages of the game where he has two Lethality items.

You want to shove the mid lane and look for opportunities to roam around the map—that’s the easiest way to snowball and get early kills. Once you secure a couple of early kills, get Youmuu’s Ghostblade and keep roaming around the map, getting objectives in the process of killing enemies as well.


Zed

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • No mana
  • High skill cap
  • One of the rewarding mastered champions in the game

Cons

  • Weak against tanks
  • Hard to come back if behind

Zed is one of the most popular assassins on the Rift with whom the arguably best League of Legends player Faker became known for. The skill cap is tremendous and the difference between a one-game Zed and a one-hundred-game Zed can be easily seen.

The recent revert of his nerf from Season 3 brought him back to terrorize the Rift once again.

Item build

Image via Riot Game

Zed excels at dealing huge amounts of damage in short periods of time and getting out unscathed before the opponents realize what happened to them. The Domination primary Keystone aids his goal considering it gives you Electrocute which you can proc easily, Cheap Shot to ensure you have enough sustain to reach your power spikes, Eyeball Collection for the additional AD and Ultimate Hunter for that low cooldown on your ultimate.

There’s a couple of viable secondary rune pages, with Sorcery being the most popular one for the additional cooldown reduction and Scorch for additional damage.

Ability priority

Zed’s skill priority is: R>Q>E>W. You want your main damaging ability in Q to be maxed out as soon as possible. Afterwards you want to focus on maxing E to increase your burst potential. While W is an amazing ability, the additional damage from Q and E outweigh the utility from the W.

Game plan

Zed is an early to mid-game assassin who excels at getting in and out in a couple of frames before enemies realize what happened. You have a lot of damage early on but at the same time you become vulnerable if you use your shadow aggressively.

Balance out aggressive with safe plays during the laning phase, look for opportunities to land a deadly W>E>Q combo on the enemy when he tries to last hit. Once you reach level six, start looking for opportunities to kill your opposing laner or go for a roam on the side lanes.

As you slowly grow in power with your lethality item spikes, you’ll reach a plateau in the mid-game unless you are extremely fed. It’s important to look for opportunities by split pushing, ambushing opponents to end the game before that point, otherwise you’ll get out-scaled and lose the game.

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