Opt for the mid lane and you'll be the centre of attention, quite literally. It's an area of the map which can make you feel particularly vulnerable, considering champions from other lanes or roaming junglers can pop in from almost any direction.
AP (magic oriented) champions usually thrive in the mid lane, though there is some flexibility in the position which has seen the likes of bruisers and other champion types begin gaining popularity.
Below we've put together a guide which will take a look at some of the best mid lane champions you can play right now. On top of this, we've highlighted some of the skills which make them perfect for the position and how you can use them to their full effectiveness.
Syndra’s a great midlane choice right now, thanks to her brilliant range and burst potential. While you’ll have to watch your positioning when playing her, she can often catch opponents off guard with stuns, then follow up with some big damage.
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Her greatest asset is zone control, as her Dark Spheres remain on the ground for up to 6 seconds and can be manipulated by her other abilities. This means you can set down orbs to bait your enemies into unfavourable positions, and have them stroll into ganks or poke damage before they realise what’s hit them.
Even if you do get caught out, her Ultimate Unleashed Power can chunk an enemy’s health bar enough for your allies to finish them off, or for them to fall to an Ignite - or tower shot if they’ve gone for a dive. What happens if you’re behind? Well, her Scatter the Weak has huge range for a stun, which brings huge value to team fights and has great pick potential too.
An absolutely terrifying force at the moment, Diana is definitely worth locking in. She’s great at diving on single targets and blowing them up in seconds, so much so, you can start to snowball if things are going well, roam around the map and carry the game from there.
Her first ability Crescent Strike is her poke damage dealer, and her initiator. Land this on an enemy and afflict them with Moonlight - your combo tool. If you want to pursue the enemy and go for the kill, you’ll look to pop Pale Cascade. This surrounds her with three orbiting spheres that detonate on contact with enemies, and she also gains a temporary shield that absorbs damage too. Oh, and if the third sphere explodes, her shield gains additional strength.
To close the distance with rapid speed, Lunar Rush is the next ability to activate. It has no cooldown when used to dash to an enemy afflicted with Moonlight, although when used once all other enemies afflicted with Moonlight will have their debuff removed, so she can’t chain between multiple targets sadly.
Finally, her Ultimate Moonfall reveals and draws in all nearby enemies, slowing them. If she draws in multiple enemies, extra AP damage comes crashing down around her. It’s a great tool for locking down pesky enemies trying to escape, or for delivering that extra burst of damage needed to finish off an enemy.
Ah, Yasuo. The bane of all solo queuers, but, if played well he can be exceptionally strong. It’s because he essentially has all the tools he needs to have an impact and carry games. Dash? Check. Damage? Check. A Wind Wall that blocks all enemy projectiles for 4 seconds? Check.
Joking aside, a good Yasuo can assert an enormous amount of pressure on opponents, both in lane and out of lane. His Sweeping Blade ability allows him to dash through enemy targets (including minions), meaning you can dance around your enemies, escape or close the distance with frightening speed.
If his Steel Tempest ability strikes an enemy twice, a third strike will send out a whirlwind which knocks opponents airborne. If it’s cast while dashing, Steel Tempest will strike as a circle, which is perfect for catching enemies off guard or knocking multiple enemies airborne if you’re in the centre of a teamfight.
Someone airborne? Use Last Breath and you’ll blink to an enemy champion, deal damage and hold them in the air for a couple of seconds. This is fantastic for comboing after a whirlwind, or off an allies’ ability, like Malphite’s ultimate.
Yasuo’s outplay potential is insane, and if you can dash in and around your Wind Wall you can block projectiles while dealing damage at the same time. Put the practice in and you could reap the rewards!
Zed is currently at the top tier of mid lane champions thanks to his skill at killing minions and harassing the enemy laner effectively and safely in the early levels. However, once more of his abilities become available he can start to up the aggression, looking for takedowns in his own lane while also roaming to others as a volatile assassin.
Play cautiously in the early game, using Razor Shuriken to last hit minions and get a little poke damage on your lane opponent. Take full advantage of this, as many of your rivals in mid lane are ranged attackers who will be able to get some easy chip damage in on you. Once you acquire both Living Shadow and Shadow Slash you can pull off a more effective harass combos that can deal a significant chunk of damage to your target, and even leave them open for a kill. However, you’ll also want to balance saving Living Shadow to use as an escape move in case anyone attempts to gank you from the multiple potential avenues in mid.
If you start to take control of the mid lane you can look to roam across the map to find some extra kills. Zed’s assassination skills are nigh-unrivalled when you gain his Death Mark ultimate. Whether you’re just looking to create an advantage in bot or are looking for a team fight in the late game, aim to use it on a squishy ADC and you can deal some ludicrous burst damage that will take them out of the skirmish before they even have a chance to respond.
LeBlanc claims a spot on this list thanks to her incredible poke potential, surprising burst damage and a skill set that allows her to play very safely in such a dangerous lane.
Her laning phase may be slightly difficult at first as she has very weak wave clear to begin with, but where LeBlanc shows her most potential is with strong harass through her ability combos. You can start with something simply like Sigil of Malice, which damages and marks a target, and then follow it up with Distortion to teleport onto the target for more damage while also detonating the sigil. All of that usually happens so fast that your opponent will be unable to trade any damage back in return.
Although it’s one of your most powerful damage abilities and an important part of that combo, always consider whether you need to save Distortion to make an escape from a roaming ganker. Vision wards can give you a bit of a heads up, but if you sense the jungler or another lane is moving in then get ready to flee quickly.
Get ahead in the laning phase and you can start snowballing, hard. Once you have full access to your abilities her blow-up combo expands even further to include Ethereal Chains, which can slow and lockdown a target. Meanwhile, Mimic allows her to repeat her previously cast spell, so you can land double chains on an opponent, or double warp to the back of a team fight and take out a squishy target before immediately resetting yourself in a safe location. She's an incredibly powerful champion, albeit one that can be quite challenging to master!
Finding someone who excels in a one-on-one duel can make an excellent mid laner – and that’s exactly what Karthus can offer. Offering huge damage potential, strong crowd control, impressive sustain and even an ability that can impact other lanes from afar, Karthus is an all-round top tier pick for mid lane.
A key ability that gives him much of his strength is Lay Waste. It’s a fairly straightforward blast of magic damage, but it deals double the standard damage if it only hits a single target. That’s something you’ll want to make the most of during the laning phase where, oh look, you’ll be up against another solo champion, so your poke damage will be quite excellent.
You can also control the lane exceptionally well with Wall of Pain. This giant, lane-encompassing barrier will reduce the movement speed and magic resistance of whoever passes through it, which can help you land more hits from Lay Waste and deal more damage with them too. It can also be used brilliantly as peel if you are ganked by the opposing team.
You have some good sustain in mid lane too, thanks to the passive effect from Defile. This will generate mana for you whenever you kill a unit so as you clear minions you can pump out more hits from Lay Waste to outvalue your opponent even more.
Speaking of outvaluing opponents, Karthis comes with a extremely handy trait that allows him to cast spells for up to seven seconds after he dies. Meaning if you’re caught out in a fight or an opponent tries to slip away with minimal health after killing you there’s a chance you’ll finish them off. It’s even better when paired with his ultimate, Requiem, which deals a chunk of damage to all opponents across the map. It’s not only good for finishing targets but also making your presence felt in lanes you aren’t even close to!
- 1. Best Early Game Champions
- 2. Best Support Champions
- 3. Best ADC Champions
- 4. Best Carry Champions
- 5. Best Beginner Champions
What’s a good way to beat all these AP-heavy champions in mid lane? How about play another champion who has a set of skills that allow him to counter many mage champions and who also can utterly destroy anyone in the late game if he gets fed enough.
Kassadin is absolutely the champion you’re looking for here. It starts with his passive, which grants him a 15% reduction in all magic damage taken, so the likes of anyone above is not going to be hitting quite as hard as they would expect against him. Meanwhile, many of his other abilities work against magic or exploit an opponent’s skills to further empower Kassadin.
Null Sphere, for example, interrupts channelled abilities and also grants Kassadin a temporary shield that blocks incoming magic damage. There’s also Force Pulse – an ability that draws from the spells you and nearby targets cast to allow you to use it more often. So, when you’re surrounded in a team fight, this ability should regularly be available for you to use and dish out some serious burst damage.
Many of Kassadin’s other abilities have that goal in mind too. Nether Blade gives you a quick damage boost on your next auto-attack, while also returning a bit of mana for good measure. His ultimate, Riftwalk, enables you to jump around the battlefield, focusing in on squishy targets you can assassinate while also avoiding any of the threats that can lock you down and kill you.
Kassadin may start off quite slow and not have the safest laning phase compared to many mid picks, but there’s little else that can contest with one fully-powered up when the late game rolls around.
Combining some of the anti-mage power of Kassadin with the crowd control abilities of a champion like LeBlanc, Malzahar is another strong choice for the mid lane. He offers some powerful damage and crowd control reduction, some assistance from the minions he can summon, plus some considerable firepower of his own that’ll help you win the lane and scale into the late game.
Malzahar starts with a very strong laning phase. A big part of that is Malefic Visions – a damage over time effect that can be refreshed by his other skills and spreads to a nearby target if an enemy dies from it. That’ll give you good wave clear, while Void Swarm allows Malzahar to summon his own Voidlings to push the lane into the opponent’s tower even faster.
His viability extends into the later stages of the game too. A big part of that rests in the power of Malzahar’s ultimate, Nether Grasp. This takes you out of the fight for a short while but does allow you to channel a suppressing beam on a single key target which prevents them from using any abilities and locks them in place. Enemies nearby the chosen target also take some damage over time. Combine that with Call of the Void and you have multiple ways to prevent enemies from using their skills, giving you more than enough time to take them down yourself or with allies. Oh, and Malzahar can be temporarily immune to crowd control effects himself if he hasn’t been damaged for a short period of time. It's safe to say, he's a bit of a monster right now.