Champion Guides Power Picks and Meta Tricks Pro Builds

The best champions to help you climb the League solo queue ladder

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 10.19.

Top lane – Camille

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Great duelist
  • Can dash over walls
  • Game-changing ultimate

Cons

  • Item reliant
  • High skill-cap

Camille is a powerful pick in the current meta. She singles out immobile carries easily and can destroy them in the blink of an eye. While she has some weaknesses such as being item reliant and having a high skill ceiling, the glaring pros of picking her grossly outweigh all cons she currently has.

Item build

Image via Riot Games

Camille is flexible with her rune choices. The current most popular one is the Resolve primary tree with Precision as secondary. Resolve grants her access to the Grasp of the Undying keystone alongside Shield Bash, Bone Plating and, Overgrowth to make her deceptively tanky.

Precision as a secondary tree grants her access to Legend: Triumph for those pesky low health plays and Alacrity to increase your attack speed and overall DPS.

Ability priority

Camille’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>E>W. You want to max the Q since it is your main damaging tool. It will also allow you to get Trinity Force procs more often with the lower cooldown. After maxing Q first, focus on maxing E for the additional mobility. In some ranged match-ups you can max E first then Q or a couple of points in W for the additional sustain, and then Q. Camille’s entire kit is very good and you can max pretty much any ability you want in the long run.

Game plan

Camille is one of the strongest top laners currently. She scales well with offensive items, making her extremely annoying and difficult to deal with. Look to punish the enemy when they go for minion kills by doing a simple combo of Q, auto, improved Q to deny him the experience and gold.

With Trinity Force completed, look for offensive plays all around the map. Your base damage combined with the damage from Trinity Force makes you a force to be reckoned with. If you have enough gold for a Tiamat or Ravenous Hydra, you will become unstoppable and the enemy will have to send multiple members to stop you.

Remember to ward if you’re going to push aggressively and look for teleport plays in the backline of the opponent. A simple teleport behind followed up by a E into R on a carry can decide the game in the mid or late game easily.

Jungle – Hecarim

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Strong duelist
  • Mobile
  • Easy to play
  • AoE crowd-control ultimate

Cons

  • 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.

Item build

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.

Ability priority

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.

Game plan

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 – 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

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.

ADC – Caitlyn

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • One of the highest ADC ranges in the game
  • Crowd control
  • Dash which goes over walls

Cons

  • 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.

Item build

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.

Ability priority

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.

Game plan

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 – Blitzcrank

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Fun to play
  • Low cooldown hooks
  • Ultimate which breaks shields

Cons

  • Melee
  • High mana-costs

Blitzcrank has always been quite popular in solo queue due to his basic hook ability. Recent resurgence of support champions who rely on shields made Blitzcrank even more popular due to his ability to destroy shields with his ultimate.

He is also a great counter to squishy champions since a well-timed hook can delete them and turn the tides of the fight in your favor.

Item build

The Resolve tree is core on Blitzcrank because it makes him tankier, which is crucial for any melee support. Aftershock gives you additional armor and magic resist when you throw some crowd control on an enemy with your Q or E, and is easy to be enabled.

As with every melee support, you’re going to have issues with taking towers, but Demolish is here to help you. It allows you to get some early tower plates if you get close to the enemy tower. Bone Plating alongside Overgrowth’s goals are to give you additional health as the game goes longer and make you harder to kill by assassins and during the laning phase.

The Inspiration tree gives some additional early sustain via the Biscuit Delivery rune and the additional CDR is always welcome. You’ll be able to land hooks more often and  use your summoner spells more often as well, two great things combined in one rune.

Ability priority

Blitzcrank’s skill priority is R>Q>W>E. Q max is core since the lower the cooldown, the more often you can make game-deciding plays with Blitzcrank. Blitzcrank’s Q can win or lose the game on spot. If you hook an ADC, then your team will be happy. But if you hook in a fed Renekton then your team may have difficulties following up on the engage.  Be wary of how you use it, since it’s a game-deciding ability. 

W is maxed second for mobility and E is maxed last since it doesn’t increase a lot in power with each level, making it less useful compared to Q and W.

Game plan

As a melee support, you want to be careful during the laning phase. Try to land some hooks and punish the enemy bottom lane when they try to get some farm. With Blitzcrank, you are quite weak against ranged champions since you have no sustain, and the small passive shield on a high cooldown—so every small mistake adds up quite fast.

As the game goes by, invest as much as you can into vision and look for hooks over the entire map. If you see an overextending enemy in the mid or top lane, try to go for a roam and snowball that lane. Don’t stay with your ADC for the entire laning phase since you can easily pick up kills in other lanes if you land a hook.

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