10 Champions That Are Not Newbie Friendly (Includes Tips!)

Right now, League of Legends is boasting 126 Champions, and you bet that their skill caps range from “I can get this right on the first couple of games” easy to “it will take me days to learn how to use this properly” difficult. In the previous posts, I showed Champions that were easy enough to understand and play for those just getting into the game. Now, allow me to introduce to you 10 Champions that take more skill than the average beginner to master, and some helpful tips if ever you do want to pick them up and learn them!

(Note that these are in no way sorted according to difficulty, they all equally take practice and patience to learn and master)

1. Cassiopeia, the Serpent’s Embrace

Cassiopeia (2014)

Our resident snake lady likes using people as pawns and spitting out poison. But landing said poison then spamming the hell of out your Twin Fang is easier said than done. That, and her ultimate requires enemies to be staring at you in the face for them to get stunned (and it only stuns enemies in front of her). Late game, Cassiopeia can rip apart an enemy team if you have full stacks of her passive.


  • Observe your opponent and try to hit your Q (Noxious Blast) where you think they’ll go. Usually they’ll move back when you slither towards them so aim your Q slightly behind them.
  • Remember that your E (Twin Fang) refunds it’s mana cost and part of your missing mana when you kill a unit. Early game, you’d want to use E to last hit minions and use Q to harass your opponent.
  • Also remember that your E has a 0.5 second cooldown when an opponent is poisoned. So, if someone is poisoned, SPAM E! (Don’t forget to reapply your poisons)

2. Orianna, the Lady of Clockwork

Orianna (2014)

Orianna, like Cassiopeia, takes a few mind games with your opponent. Using Orianna’s Ball takes a bit of practice to get it in the right position, but she is a very rewarding Champion when mastered. With insane amounts of burst from her spells, she’s personally one of my favorite Champions to take to the mid lane. Also, she’s one of the few Mages whose auto attacks actually quite hurt (thanks to her passive).


  • Be mindful of where the Ball is placed on the battlefield. You can use it to zone your opponent by placing it by their minions (they don’t want to be anywhere near it in case you cast W.)
  • You can shield your initiator before a clash so that when he/she goes in, you can follow up with your ultimate.
  • Predict where your opponent is going to walk so that you can quickly cast Q (Command: Attack) at them, followed up by a W (Command: Dissonance).
  • You can make the Ball return to you by walking far enough from it. This is better than spending mana to call it back by casting E (Command: Protect) on yourself.
  • Your shield (E) damages enemies it passes through while traveling to the target of the shield.

3. Zed, the Master of Shadows


And here we have Shredder – I mean, Zed. Think of him as an AD counterpart of Orianna, in the sense that you need to keep track on where you place your shadows. He also bursts an insane amount of burst when he’s fed, and he’s generally a very annoying lane opponent. His skills also eat up a lot of his energy, and while energy is the fastest resource to regenerate in the game, it’s a bad thing when you find yourself out of energy and in need of an escape. His ultimate is also hard to pull off, as you need to keep track of who you used it on, where the shadow you left behind is, and whether or not you’re dealing enough damage to actually kill your opponent when your ultimate pops.


  • You can use Q (Razor Shuriken) to last hit minions.
  • Double tapping W (Living Shadow) will cause you to switch places with your shadow instantly.
  • Keep an eye on your opponent’s items. If you see them with a Zhonya’s Hourglass, don’t use your ult on them (the Zhonya will just cancel the burst at the end).

4. Bard, the Wandering Caretaker


I’ll be honest – I can’t play Bard. I’ve tried and tried, and each time I just want to just bang my head on my desk. His mana costs for his heal and his ultimate will drain your reserves quickly, and most of the time, if you’re not hitting his Q, you’re going to feel useless. Not to mention that you can mess up the timing of his ultimate (since it’s an AoE Zhonya’s Hourglass) and could either save your teammates or save your opponents. If you manage to hit the 10% of usefulness out of the 90% of thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing”, I swear to you, you will feel like a god. Not many people can actually pull off playing Bard, and if you’re a competent one, kudos to you.


  • Learn where and when to use your E (Magical Journey). It could prove to be a good escape tool, but enemies can follow you through it. You can also use it to lead your enemies into an ambush if you have teammates waiting for you at the other end.
  • Don’t wander off and leave your lane partner alone just to collect Meeps for your passive. Stay if you know they can’t handle fighting two people at once.
  • Learn when to stay or go to another lane to help a teammate.
  • You can use Bard’s ultimate (Tempered Fate) to freeze opponents who are trying to take objectives like Dragon and Baron

5. Vayne, the Night Hunter

Vayne (2014)

Vayne is a favorite among those in solo queue because of her reputation as a hyper carry (a carry that’s weak early game but near unstoppable late game). Most think they can 1 v 5 a team as Vayne because of the amount of damage she can dish out, but quite honestly, she’s quite difficult to master. Not only does she have one of the shortest ranges in the game for a Marksman, but she requires good positioning so she doesn’t get caught out. The rewards are high when you have a fed Vayne, but again, getting there is not easy. A good Vayne will just kite you forever until you die.


  • Do not Q (Tumble) towards your enemies, especially during a clash
  • Save a Tumble for getting out of the way and to reposition yourself during a clash.
  • You can Tumble out of Jarvan IV’s ultimate.

6. Gnar, the Missing Link


Gnar doesn’t look like it, but he’s a Fighter/Tank. That’s because he transforms into a scary monster once he gets his Rage Bar full. And therein lies the difficulty. When you’re an adorable bundle of orange fluffiness, you are squishy as hell. And though you’re huge when you transform, it doesn’t last forever. You only have a small window (15 seconds) to be a big, beefy monster who hits like a truck before you shrink again. And after that, you have to stay alive for 15 seconds before you can build up Rage again to be able to transform.


  • Manage the Rage you’re building. Constantly attacking will build it faster, but will also send visible signs to your opponent when you’re about to transform, so they’ll back off.
  • Jump in the fight just when you’re about to transform so that you can take your opponents by surprise.
  • Time your ultimate. You can only use it when you’re Mega Gnar, and remember it only stuns when your enemies hit a wall.

7. Kalista, the Spear of Vengeance


Kalista rose in popularity among those in the professional scene when she was released since her passive basically allows her to be extremely hard to kill because of her slipperiness. Recently, she’s been nerfed, so it’ll take a little more skill and practice to be able to spear people to death. Her passive makes it a little difficult for beginners to learn her, as she can’t cancel her auto attack animations, and her ultimate requires some coordination between teammates to be used effectively.


  • Learn the ins and outs of her passive by clicking to move to another place just as you’re winding up for an auto attack or her Q (Pierce).
  • Communicate with the Champion you made your bound ally on when to use your ultimate. It could be a powerful initiation tool when used properly.
  • Gauge how much damage you’re going deal with E (Rend) by looking at how many spears are lodged into your opponent and how much health they have left.
  • You can use her W (Sentinel) to patrol objectives (like Dragon) and other dark parts of the map.

8. Twisted Fate, the Card Master


Twisted Fate is the Champion that’s going to teach you how to micromanage and how to look at the map, and that proves to be a difficult task for beginners. His W (Pick a Card) gives you three different cards with different effects, and learning when to lock on to a type of card and using it is quite a task (mostly because you have to memorize their order and then you have to time hitting W again to lock in your chosen card). His ultimate makes him a good ganker, since he can teleport to far areas of the map to aid his teammates, but before that you need to learn to prep the right card and where to gank (many players will tell you tales of TF’s using their ultimate then using the Blue Card instead of the Gold Card on the opponent).


  • Practice glancing at the map every few seconds after you hit Level 6 so you can see where you can set up for a gank.
  • Watch either the top of TF’s head or your HUD to keep track of the colors of the cards when you press W. But also don’t stand still while you’re doing this and don’t take too long picking a card.
  • Remember: Red = Slow and AoE damage, Blue = mana, Gold = Stun. You’d want to use the Gold Card when you cast your ultimate.

9. Anivia, the Cryophoenix


Her Q (Flash Frost), which happens to be a stun when it hits, is a slow moving projectile. She’s extremely squishy, and positioning her W (Crystallize) can be tricky. Her ultimate (Glacial Storm) also drains your mana fairly quickly. But don’t underestimate this bird. Her sustained damage with her ultimate, coupled with the sudden burst of her E (Frostbite), makes her a powerful Mage that is difficult to kill (her passive turns her back into an egg that, if it survives for a few seconds, will revive her).


  • You can pop your Q early by pressing Q again as it travels.
  • You can use W to trap enemies or to cut off those trying to chase you
  • Keep track of your mana when you cast your ultimate as it’ll drain quick if you leave it unchecked.

10. Yasuo, the Unforgiven


Many nerfs since his release have not been forgiving to our resident ronin (see what I did there?). And while he still has the capacity to make entire teams cry when he gets rolling, Yasuo now needs a little more practice and knowledge of who you’re up against before you can go crazy on him. Knowing when to go in and out, when to use your ultimate or just hang back, and when you’re overusing your E (Sweeping Blade), those are some of the things you have to consider when you’re playing him. Also, when there are no teammates of yours with a knock-up, you’re pretty much going to have a hard time as yours is kind of hard to hit (and you have to cast Q twice before you actually get a tornado).


  • You can use E on enemy minions to close the gap between you and your opponent and also to escape when you’re done harassing your opponent.
  • Timing your W (Wind Wall) right can save you and your teammates from taking large amounts of damage.
  • You don’t always have to ult when an enemy gets knocked up. Gauge to see if that enemy has teammates to help or whether or not you have back up. Also, don’t ult the Tanks. Go for the carries.

If ever you do want to try your hand at any of the Champions listed here, don’t let their difficulty get you down! Mastering a Champion takes time and several games before you start having a feel of them, so don’t be afraid of failing a few times before you get it right. These may take longer than others, but trust me, they’re well worth the effort.


Champions for Newbies: Sona, Maven of the Strings (Support)

And so, finally, we’re down to our last role. The hardest role to play and master, being a Support carries the most responsibilities. Not only must you babysit your Marksman at botlane and ensure that he/she gets fed enough, you’re the primary team warder, timer-keeper (for objectives like Baron and Dragon), and “Champion who make sure that no one dies on their team.”

And so, without further ado, allow me to introduce to you one of the League’s prime musicians and easy-to-learn Supports – Sona.


Sona (2013)

“Only you can hear me, Summoner. What masterpiece shall we play today?”

Born without the ability to produce any sound whatsoever, Sona was left on the steps of an Ionian adoption house when she was a baby. With her was the strange musical instrument that seemed to always come back to her, no matter how many times it was sold or given away. It was when she was a teenager that a Demacian woman named Lestara Buvelle adopted her after hearing about the instrument, and it was under her guidance that Sona began to master what Lestara called the Etwahl. Sona also learned another ability for her stringed companion – the ability to slice objects at a distance.

With her songs and auras, Sona makes sure that her teammates keep fighting, while disabling her enemies.


Keep in mind that whenever Sona casts any of her basic abilities, she will produce an aura that lasts 3 seconds. You can extend the duration of her aura by 0.5 seconds if an allied Champion enters its radius. However, allies can only receive the aura effects once per spell cast (which means Sona needs to cast another spell or recast her previous spell).

Power_Chord Passive – Power Chord

After casting 3 basic abilities, Sona’s next auto-attack will deal (13-192)(+20% AP) bonus magic damage and apply an extra effect based on the spell she cast last.

Hymn_of_Valor Q – Hymn of Valor (45 mana at Level 1, 65 mana at max rank; 8 seconds cooldown)

Sona will send out two bolts of sound to strike nearby enemies, dealing magic damage. The bolts will prioritize enemy Champions.

Aura: Sona and allied Champions tagged with the blue aura after casting Hymn of Valor will deal bonus magic damage on their next auto-attack within three seconds.

Power Chord Effect (Staccato): If this was the last spell cast when Power Chord is ready, Power Chord will deal 40% bonus damage.

Scaling (bolt magic damage): 40/80/120/160/200 (+50% AP)

Scaling (auto-attack bonus damage): 20/30/40/50/60 (+20% AP)

Aria_of_Perseverance W – Aria of Perseverance (80 mana at Level 1, 100 mana at max rank; 10 seconds cooldown)

Sona will heal herself and the nearest allied Champion with the lowest health. Healing is increased by 0.5% for every 1% of the ally’s missing health.

Aura: Sona and allied Champions tagged with the green aura after casting Aria of Perseverance will receive a shield that lasts for up to 1.5 seconds.

Power Chord Effect (Diminuendo): If this was the last spell cast when Power Chord is ready, Power Chord will reduce the target’s damage output by 20% (+2% per 100 AP) for 3 seconds.

Scaling (heal): 30/50/70/90/110 (+20% AP)

Scaling (shield): 35/55/75/95/115 (+20% AP)

Song_of_Celerity W – Song of Celerity (65 mana; 12 seconds cooldown)

Sona gains movement speed that decays down to the aura bonus over 3 seconds. Movement speed duration is increased by 0.5 seconds for each ally she tags with the aura.

Aura: Allied Champions tagged with the purple aura after casting Song of Celerity will gain movement speed for 1.5 seconds.

Power Chord Effect (Tempo): If this was the last spell cast when Power Chord is ready, Power Chord will slow the target by 40% (+4% per 100 AP) for 2 seconds.

Scaling (Sona’s movement speed bonus): 13/14/1516/17% (+7.5% per 100 AP)(+ 2% x Crescendo’s rank)

Scaling (aura movement speed bonus): 10/11/12/13/14 (+3.5% per 100 AP)(+2% x Crescendo’s rank)

Crescendo R – Crescendo (100 mana; 140 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 100 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Passive: Each rank of Crescendo improves Sona’s aura bonuses (by adding 10/20/40 to their scaling) and Aura of Celerity’s buffs.

Active: Sona will play a chord in a line, dealing magic damage and stunning them for 1.5 seconds (forcing them to dance).

Scaling: 150/250/350 (+50% AP)

Building Sona

Like a Tank, Supports need to build to adapt to what their team needs and what their enemy team has.

Laning Phase

There’s two build paths you can start with as a Support.

1. Spellthief's_Edge_item Total_Biscuit_of_Rejuvenation_itemTotal_Biscuit_of_Rejuvenation_itemSight_Ward_itemWarding_Totem_item

The blue item is called Spellthief’s Edge.

As a Support, you must not farm. Give all the minions to your Marksman as he/she will be the one who needs the money the most. But worry not, as Supports have special starting items that give them gold over time as well as giving them gold when they meet certain requirements that the item has. One of these Support items is Spellthief’s Edge.

The small blue item will give you:

  1. +5 ability power
  2. +2 gold per 10 seconds
  3. +25% base mana regeneration
  4. Unique Passive: each damaging ability or auto-attack against an enemy Champion or structure will deal 10 additional damage and grant 5 gold. Doing this will consume 1 charge. You gain 1 charge every 10 seconds, up to a total of 3. Killing a minion disables this passive for 12 seconds.

Poke away at your enemy and gain gold while doing so.

The second thing I would like to talk about is the Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation:


This item replaces your Health Potions and can only be obtained by getting the Culinary Mastery in the Masteries Page (it’s under the Utility section). Eating it will immediately give you 20 health and 10 mana, then proceed to heal you for 150 health over 15 seconds. Very useful item for staying in lane.

And, of course, a Stealth Ward:


You can prevent ganks by putting these in the bushes. Wards are very important (but you can only place 3 green wards down at a time, so watch your ward limit).

Wards last for 3 minutes if they are not destroyed.

2. Ancient_Coin_item Total_Biscuit_of_Rejuvenation_itemTotal_Biscuit_of_Rejuvenation_itemSight_Ward_itemWarding_Totem_item

The only difference between these starting items and the previous one is that instead of Spellthief’s Edge, you have Ancient Coin. Another of the special Support items, Ancient Coin gives you:

  1. +25% base mana regeneration
  2. Unique Passive: Being near a minion death without last hitting it grants 3 gold and heals you for 5 health.

This one’s for a little more sustain in lane.

Note: You can only have 1 gold income item. So, you can’t start the game with both Spellthief’s Edge and Ancient Coin.


When you have 800 gold, get this item:


That is the Sightstone, the most important Support item ever. Why? Because this little thing is a Ward bag. It holds 4 charges of Stealth wards and will refill each time you recall to base. It also gives you +150 health. Once you get this item, you don’t have to keep buying the green wards in base, and you could switch your Warding Totem trinket to the Sweeping Lens trinket (since it’s kind of redundant to have both the Sightstone and the Warding Totem):


This red trinket will reveal any stealthed units in an area for a few seconds. This is especially useful in getting rid of enemy wards.

The Two Build Paths:

Picking up from your starting items during laning phase, there are two items you can build into.

1. Frost Queen’s Claim


This one builds out of Spellthief’s Edge. It gives you;

  1. +10% cooldown reduction
  2. +50 ability power
  3. +2 gold per 10 seconds
  4. +50% base mana regeneration
  5. Unique Passive: each damaging ability or auto-attack against an enemy Champion or structure will deal 15 additional damage and grant 10 gold. Doing this will consume 1 charge. You gain 1 charge every 10 seconds, up to a total of 3. Killing a minion disables this passive for 12 seconds.
  6. Unique Active: fires an ice lance at the target nearby location, dealing 50 (+5 per level) magic damage to enemies and slowing them by 80%, decaying over 2 seconds. This item has a 60 second cooldown.

It requires a little practice to aim and fire the lance, but you’ll get used to it after a few tries. Useful for chasing or running away from enemies because of the strong slow.

2. Talisman of Ascension


This item, on the other hand, builds out of Ancient Coin. It gives:

  1. +10% cooldown reduction
  2. +100% base health regeneration
  3. +100% base mana regeneration
  4. +20 movement speed
  5. +2 gold per 10 seconds
  6. Unique Passive: Being near a minion death without last hitting it grants 4 gold and heals you for 10 health.
  7. Unique Active: Grants you and nearby allied Champions +40% movement speed for 3 seconds. This item has a 40 second cooldown.

If you want to zip around like a racecar and chase down your enemies, or even set up for an initiate, this is the item to build.

Other Support Items You May Want to Get

1. Mikael’s Crucible


If the enemy team has a lot of disables that could be used to blow up your Marksman/ AD Carry, you can build Mikael’s. It gives you:

  1. +10% cooldown reduction
  2. +40 magic resistance
  3. +100% base mana regeneration
  4. Unique Passive: Restores 2% of missing mana every 5 seconds.
  5. Unique Active: Removes all stuns, fears, slows, taunts, roots, and silences on an allied Champion and heals them for 150 (+10% of the target’s maximum health). This item has a 180 second cooldown.

This one requires proper timing. But it can save lots of lives because it cleanses all disables on your ally.

2. Locket of the Iron Solari


Usually, it’s the Supports who build this item, not the Tank. I already brought this up in the Garen guide, but in case you’ve forgotten, this gives you and your allies magic resist and an active that shields you all for a few seconds. Pile this with Sona’s W aura shield and you will have a very thick shield indeed.

As for the rest of your item build, think like a Tank: what does my team need? What kind of damage is the enemy team dealing? You can actually build a little tanky if you wish, as Sona is really squishy.


Based on your preference, you can opt for two types of boots.

1. Boots of Mobility (also known as Mobi Boots)


Your movement speed increases to +105 from +25 when you’re out of combat. If you want to zip around the map and lay down wards in key areas quickly, use these.

2. Ionian Boots of Lucidity


Aside form giving you +45 movement speed, it also gives you +15% cooldown reduction. With these, you can make your spammable spells even more spammable.


You can opt for either Homeguard or the Captain boots enchantment if you want to be more helpful.


Captain grants +10% movement speed to allies running towards you. So, you can basically say: “RUN TO ME IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!” when you have this enchantment.

And now, back to Sona.

Get in the Snuggle Zone!

I affectionately call Sona’s aura her “snuggle zone.” The aura size isn’t very big and requires you to move around to tag allies with it (or have them group up around you, hence “snuggle zone”). Always make it a point to take at least one or two people with your aura when you cast a spell, but be careful with your movements. Some enemy Champions might take advantage of your intent to buff an ally and move to deal damage or disable you.

Also, be mindful of the snuggle zone you are casting. Remember that each aura gives a different type of buff.

Sona’s Pros and Cons


  1. You don’t need to aim any of your skills except for your ultimate
  2. Her low cooldowns make her abilities spammable.
  3. High sustain with her W heal and shield.
  4. Her ultimate can decide the fight if used properly. It’s also a good initiate. (You can catch all 5 enemy Champions if you time it right.
  5. Sona has high poke skills with her Q + Power Chord.


  1. You’re squishy as hell. You’re squishier than most Champions. It doesn’t take a lot to blow you up.
  2. Your abilities are spammable, but your might find yourself always low on mana if you keep spamming everything, especially your heal.
  3. You will lose to aggressive Supports that can catch you, like Blitzcrank, Thresh, and Leona. Again, you’re squishy as hell.

Playing Sona

Sona’s only targeted spell that requires practice to land is her ultimate, Crescendo. Her other abilities don’t require you to aim at anything, so feel free to play piano on your keyboard.

Her basic harass in lane is:

  • Go a little close to the enemy Champions (or hide in the bush and pop out), cast Q so it hits them, then immediately follow up with an auto-attack (your aura after casting Q will cause your auto-attack to be empowered).
  • If you have two charges of your passive (by casting any of her spells or just by using the Q + auto-attack), go a little close to the enemy Champions, cast Q then immediately auto-attack them. Watch as the Power Chord takes a chunk of health.
  • Rinse and repeat.

Running away as Sona:

If you’re being chased by enemy Champions:

  • Cast E and W until you get to safety. If you have allied Champions running away with you, don’t forget to tag them with the snuggle zone!

And there we have it! I hope this helps in your path towards the Support role and have fun making music with our silent musician! Good luck on the Rift!

Oh, and if you need any more convincing to play Sona, she currently sports the best Ultimate skin in League of Legends:

Worth every single RP.

Worth every single RP.


Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Sona


Champions for Newbies: Xin Zhao, the Seneschal of Demacia (Fighter)

Though sometimes played and built like an Assassin, Xin Zhao (sometimes affectionately called Win Zhao) is an pretty easy fighter to pick up. Though not from Demacia (no one actually knows where he comes from), Xin Zhao has pledged his loyalty to serve the ruling dynasty, the Lightshields. Any opponent that dares to stand against him will be poked very hard in face with his pointy spear.



“Fine me an immovable object and I’ll put this question to rest!”

Once a gladiator for the Noxian event, The Fleshing (a cruel event where each victory won meant more and more opponents in the next match), Xin Zhao was saved by Jarvan IV’s grandfather, Jarvan II. Grateful, Xin Zhao has served him and his descendants ever since.

It also makes you wonder how old this guy is, because the current ruler right now is Jarvan III and Jarvan IV is like…in his late twenties or early thirties.

Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV is also Lu Bu

Warring Kingdoms Jarvan IV is also Lu Bu

Xin Zhao’s raw power and low cooldowns in game makes him a great Fighter, and one not to be underestimated.


Challenge Passive – Challenge

Xin Zhao’s auto attacks and Audacious Charge shred a target’s armor by 15% for 3 seconds. Only one target can be Challenged at a time.

Three_Talon_Strike Q – Three Talon Strike (30 Mana; 9 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 5 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Xin Zhao’s next three auto attacks deal bonus physical damage and also lowers the cooldown of his other basic abilities by 1 second each. The third attack will knock the target in the air for 1 second.

Scaling (bonus physical damage): 15/30/45/60/75 (+20% AD)

Scaling (total bonus damage): 45/90/135/180/225 (+60% AD)

Battle_Cry W – Battle Cry (40 Mana; 16 seconds cooldown at Level 1; 12 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Passive – Xin Zhao will heal himself on every third auto attack.

Active – Xin Zhao gains increased attack speed for 5 seconds.

Scaling (heal): 30/35/40/45/50 (+50% AP)

Scaling (attack speed): 40/50/60/70/80%

Audacious_Charge E – Audacious Charge (60 Mana; 14 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 10 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Xin Zhao charges at an enemy, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies and slowing them for 2 seconds. This will trigger Challenge on the targeted enemy.

Scaling (magic damage): 70/110/150/190/230 (+60% AP)

Scaling (slow): 25/30/35/40/45%

Crescent_Sweep R – Crescent Sweep (100 Mana; 120 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 100 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Xin Zhao sweeps his spear around him, knocking all non-Challenged enemies back and stunning them for 0.75 seconds. The sweep also deals physical damage equal to a base amount plus 15% of their current health. Xin Zhao will also gain bonus armor and magic resistance per Champion hit by the sweep, lasting for 6 seconds.

Scaling (physical damage): 75/175/275 (+100% bonus AD)(+15% of enemies’ current health)

Scaling (bonus armor and magic resist per Champion hit): 15/20/25

Building Xin Zhao (as a Fighter)

You can actually build Xin Zhao as either a glass cannon Assassin or as a Tank (pretty much like Garen). But the build I’m going to recommend here is one for Fighter Xin Zhao.

Laning Phase

There’s actually three ways you can start with.

1. Doran's_Blade_itemHealth_Potion_item Warding_Totem_item

If you want to go straight up AD with some lifesteal (this stacks with his W passive).

2. Doran's_Shield_itemHealth_Potion_item Warding_Totem_item

This one if you want to be a little more tankiness in lane.

3. Long_Sword_itemHealth_Potion_itemHealth_Potion_itemHealth_Potion_itemWarding_Totem_item

Long Sword doesn’t give as much AD as Doran’s Blade, but you have more survivability with the 3 Health Potions and Long Sword builds into a number of items you’ll need.

A Sample Xin Zhao Build

Fighters are known to both hurt and be tanky, so this build is to cater to that. Xin Zhao is a good duelist, and some added tankiness will make sure that he lasts long in fights.

Blade_of_the_Ruined_King_item Trinity_Force_item Randuin's_Omen_item Spirit_Visage_item The_Black_Cleaver_item

As for boots, you can either go for:

1. Mercury’s Treads


This gives you +25 magic resist and increased movement speed (+45) as well as a Unique Passive that decreases the duration of Crowd Control effects by 35%

This is especially effective if the enemy team has a lot of magic damage and disables.


2. Ninja Tabi


This gives you +25 armor and increased movement speed (+45) as well as a Unique Passive that blocks 10% damage from auto attacks.

This is effective if the enemy team has a lot of AD.

Now, moving on to the build. We’ve already discussed Black Cleaver, Spirit Visage, and Randuin’s Omen in the previous articles, so let’s talk about the 2 other items.

The first is Blade of the Ruined King:


Also known as Botrk or Bork, Blade of the Ruined King gives you:

  1. +25% attack damage
  2. +40% attack speed
  3. +10% lifesteal
  4. Unique Passive: auto attacks deal 8% of the target’s current health in bonus on-hit physical damage.
  5. Unique Active: deals physical damage equal to 10% of the target Champion’s maximum health. heals for the same amount, and steals 25% of their movement speed for 3 seconds. (This has a 90 second cooldown)

This item synergizes well with all of Xin Zhao’s abilities. More attack speed = more heals = more pain. And the Unique Active makes sure that your target doesn’t get away.

The second item is Trinity Force (also known as Triforce):


Trivia: you can type “tons of damage” in the search bar in the shop to search for this item. This is a reference to Rioter Phreak’s catchphrase (and not to mention that Triforce is his favorite item).

And tons of damage it does give:

  1. +30 attack damage
  2. +30% attack speed
  3. +30 ability power
  4. +10% critical strike chance
  5. +8% movement speed
  6. +250 health
  7. +200 mana
  8. Unique Passive: Auto attacks grant 20 movement speed for 2 seconds. Killing a minion, neutral monster, or Champion grant 60 movement speed for 2 seconds. Movement speed bonus is halved for ranged Champions.
  9. Unique Passive: After using an ability, your next basic attack deals 200% of your base AD as bonus physical damage.

Tons of damage.

Other Items You May Want:

You can actually get other tank items to adapt to what kind of composition the enemy team has. You could could even opt for a Guardian Angel as your last defensive item.


Feel free to experiment on the enchantment that you want.

How to Play Xin Zhao

His ability rotation is actually pretty simple.

The moment you press E to go in on an enemy…press all your ability buttons. I’m not even kidding. The secret to playing Xin Zhao is to press all the buttons. The most difficult thing to time is actually his ultimate. But if your target is already Challenged, no worry about them getting knocked-back.


  1. He’s sticky. With E, his Q knock-up, and his items, it’s hard to shake him off.
  2. Fast pusher. Your heal also procs on turrets. You can apply the W attack speed buff and use the Q for the bonus damage – turrets will not stand a chance against you.
  3. The heal ensures that you will be very difficult to kill.
  4. You can use your ultimate to either push people away from you when you’re running away, or you could use it to scatter an enemy team. You can also use it as an initiate – go in on the enemy team and hit R to push some of them towards your team.


  1. If the enemy piles their CC on you, you can’t do anything.
  2. If the enemy buys anything to reduce to your attack speed, you won’t be as effective in a fight.
  3. The above holds true if they build armor as well. Thornmail will make you cry.
  4. No reliable escapes. You go into an enemy team, you stay in.

And that’s it for our beloved Seneschal of Demacia! Always remember – go in and press all the buttons. Rinse and repeat. Good luck on the Rift!

Seriously, how old is this guy?

Seriously, how old is this guy?


Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Xin_Zhao


Champions for Newbies: Katarina, the Sinister Blade (Assassin)

Back to Mid Lane. Assassins thrive in the same lane as the Mages, and one of the most well-known Assassins in Valoran (and in game) is our red-haired beauty, Katarina, the Sinister Blade. Agile, fast, and capable of decimating entire teams, the slippery Noxian will teach you the ways of “go in, kill one to two people, get out. Rinse and repeat.”

Except in Kat’s case, she can kill three in one go. We’ll get to that in a bit.



“Violence solves everything!”

Katarina Du Couteau comes from Noxus, Demacia’s rival city state. While Demacia is ruled by the monarchy (the Lightshields), Noxus is ruled by the Noxian High Command (lead by the Grand General), who also heads the military. Daughter of Marcus Du Couteau, a former general and was last reported to be missing, Katarina is driven by strong killer instincts, making her an indispensable asset. Because in Noxus, only the strong survive.

Katarina brings these killer instincts into the Rift in the form of fast combos and her ability to move quickly between targets.

Though she uses blades, this lady is an AP Champion. And did I mention that, like Garen, her abilities cost no mana?


Voracity Passive – Voracity

If a Champion dies within 3 seconds of Katarina dealing damage to them, her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.

Bouncing_Blades Q – Bouncing Blades (10 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 8 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Katarina throws a dagger that hits one target and bounces up to 4 other units, dealing magic damage. Each bounce deals 10% reduced damage after the first. Enemies hit will also be marked for 4 seconds. Basic attacks or skills will trigger the mark on the target and deal additional magic damage.

Scaling (dagger damage): 60/85/110/135/160 (+45% AP)

Scaling (mark trigger damage): 15/30/45/60/75 (+15% AP)

Sinister_Steel W – Sinister Steel (4 seconds cooldown)

Katarina whirls around, dealing magic damage to enemies around her. If she hits an enemy Champion, she will gain movement speed for 1 second.

Scaling (damage): 40/75/110/145/180 (+25%AP)(+60% bonus AD)

Scaling (movement speed): 15/20/25/30/35%

Shunpo E – Shunpo (12 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 6 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Katarina teleports to a target unit, gaining 15% damage reduction for 1.5 seconds and dealing magic damage if the target is an enemy Champion.

Scaling: 40/70/100/130/160 (+25% AP)

Things that Katarina can Shunpo to:

– Your team’s Wards

– Allied Teemo’s traps/mushrooms

– Allied Jarvan’s Demacian Standard

– Allied Thresh’s lantern

– Allied Rek’sai’s Tunnels

– minions

– neutral monsters (including Baron and Dragon)

Death_Lotus R – Death Lotus (90 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 45 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Katarina spins in place for 2.5 seconds, throwing daggers to up to three nearby enemy Champions. Each dagger will deal magic damage and apply Grievous Wounds for 3 seconds.

Scaling (damage per dagger): 35/55/75 (+25% AP)(+37.5% Bonus AD)

Scaling (maximum damage to each enemy Champion): 350/550/750 (+250% AP)(+375% Bonus AD)

Building Katarina

Since Katarina’s skills deal magic damage, she can be built like any mage, except for a difference of two items.

Laning Phase

Firstly, Doran’s Ring will be useless to you, since you have no mana to restore. Katarina’s base damage on her skills are actually high, so you can opt for:


With Boots of Swiftness, you can dodge enemy skillshots and AoE effects, and 4 Health potions ensure you stay long in lane.

You can farm minions by last-hitting them with Q. Q is a great harass tool as well, since you can throw them at enemy Champions and the cooldown is fairly low. You can poke away at your enemy from relative safety. You can also use W to clear away minions after you’ve hit them with Q. W will trigger the mark damage.

If you want to go ham a little more, you can harass an opponent this way when you’ve hit level 3 (and have all three of your basic skills up:

  • Hit them with Q
  • Shunpo to them
  • Cast W
  • Run away with help from W’s movement speed boost

You can also do this with minions to clear the wave. Be careful when using this combo, however, since it leaves you with little options after and your opponent can counter harass. What you can also do is Q them (or the minions, watching if the bounce will hit your opponent), E to a minion near them, then W, making sure you hit them.

A Sample Katarina Build

Even though she does have some AD Scaling on some of her skills, notice that they only take from her bonus AD. Building full hurts more, since her skills take from her total AP. 

This build is similar to the Annie build I posted a few days ago, though you’ll notice the lack of Morellonomicon or Rod of Ages:


The only difference from Annie is one item – Liandry’s Torment.

With Luden’s, Rabadon’s, and Hourglass, Katarina’s Death Lotus is guaranteed to melt. But let’s talk about Liandry’s Torment:


Pretty cheap to pick up compared to the other AP items (3000 gold), and it gives you:

  1. +80 ability power
  2. +300 health
  3. Unique Passive: +15 magic penetration
  4. Unique Passive: Dealing spell damage will burn enemies over time, dealing bonus magic damage equal to 2% of their current health per second for 3 seconds. This damage is doubled against movement-impaired units.

You get health, AP, and magic penetration (which will make you hurt more). Plus the burn passive will also help in wave clearing and ticking someone’s life down. Do note, however, that enemies can’t die from the burn – someone will have to land the killing blow.

Other Items You May Want:

Of course, you can discard magic penetration entirely and go for some of these if you feel like it:

1. Rylai’s Crystal Scepter


Actually not a bad item on Katarina. When you ult, each dagger will slow. Which means they can’t get away.

2. Guardian Angel


Double survivability with Zhonya’s Hourglass.


Like Annie, you can opt for either Furor or Homeguard for your boot enchantment.

The Combo

As Katarina, you’re job is either clean-up or, if you’re that ahead, the face-melter. Here’s what to do during a clash:

  1. Wait for someone to initiate on the enemy team. Don’t go in first, that makes you an easy target.
  2. While everyone is distracted, Shunpo in the middle of the fray and press R to unleash your Death Lotus. If you’re not interrupted, enemies should be dying all around you.
  3. Shunpo to the stragglers and either press W to try to finish them off, or press Q
  4. If you’re low on health, Shunpo to safety.

Getting that ult off is the most satisfying thing in the world. The resets are just…insane. And it only takes 3 kills to fully reset your ult!


  1. High burst, she only needs to get 3 kills to start rolling.
  2. You’re slippery. A good Katarina will always time her Shunpos so that she will never be caught.


  1. You’re squishy. Getting caught out by yourself will mean your death.
  2. Your ult can be interrupted by any CC (except for roots). Stuns, slows, polymorphs, silences, anything that will nudge you one pixel when you ult, it will be canceled.

She may take some getting used to, but as long as you remember her combo and remember not to go in first, you’ll be face-rolling in no time. Good luck on the Rift!

Katarina, Sandstorm


Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Katarina


Champions for Newbies: Garen, the Might of Demacia (Tank)

From bot and middle lane, let’s move to the Top Lane. Right now in Season 5, the Tank meta has been the way to go, and what better way to learn to charge into the front lines than with Garen, the Might of Demacia?

Apparently, he’s officially classified as a Fighter, but his secondary role is Tank…but admittedly, Garen exudes Tank. Unless you watch the cinematic, and you see that he looks like this:

They made the pauldrons smaller here. You'll see what I mean in the next picture.

They made the pauldrons smaller here. You’ll see what I mean in the next picture.

Nah, the armor’s still huge. The man is a Tank.



“I bring justice!”

Garen Crownguard hails from Demacia, one of the more famous city states in Valoran. The leader of the military unit the Dauntless Vanguard, and the one most leaders look up to, Garen is a true warrior – he thrives on the battlefield and is always in pursuit of someone worthy to oppose him. That opposition came in the form of Katarina, the Sinister Blade, who hails from Noxus, Demacia’s rival:

(Warring Kingdoms Katarina skin)

(Warring Kingdoms Katarina skin)

Since then, he has always sought to clash with her. And since then, Summoners in game and out of it have always shipped them. Even Riot Games ships them: if you’re playing Garen, type “/taunt” if you’re near an enemy Katarina (or press ctrl + 2). He’ll try flirting with her.

(Not to mention if Tahm Kench taunts an allied Katarina or Garen, the shipping is more prominent)

In game, Garen can either be used to charge in the frontlines or zone enemies. Or you can always use the bush tactic (which has been a famous meme since time immemorial). He’s also one of the sibling pairs in the League (his sister is Lux, the Lady of Luminosity). Other sibling pairs include: Katarina and Cassiopeia, Draven and Darius, Kayle and Morgana, and Nasus and Renekton.

Oh…and did I mention that Garen doesn’t have or use mana for his abilities?


Perseverance Passive – Perseverance 

If Garen has not been hit with an enemy ability or taken any source of damage (minions don’t count), he will begin regenerating a percentage of his maximum health every second.

Non-epic monster damage will not stop Perseverance from Level 11 and above.

Regeneration Scaling: 0.4/0.8/2.0% of Garen’s maximum health

Regeneration Trigger: If Garen hasn’t been hit in the last 9/6/4 seconds

Decisive_Strike Q – Decisive Strike (8 seconds cooldown)

On activation, Garen will break free from all slows affecting him and gain 35% movespeed for a few seconds. His next basic attack within 4 seconds will deal additional physical damage and silence his target.

Scaling (movement speed): 1.5/2.25/3/3.75/4.5 seconds

Scaling (bonus physical damage): 30/55/80/105/130 (+40% AD)

Silence Duration: 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds

Courage W – Courage (24 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 20 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Passive – Garen’s bonus armor and magic resistance are increased by 20%

Active – Garen gains a defensive shield for a few seconds, reducing incoming damage by 30% and 30% crowd control reduction for the duration.

Duration: 2/3/4/5/6 seconds

(Activating the skill will not make Garen lose the Passive effect)

Judgment E – Judgement (13 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 9 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Garen will spin like a beyblade, dealing physical damage each second to enemies caught in his range. Garen will ignore unit collision while he’s spinning, but moves 20% slower when moving through minions.

Judgement can critically strike.

Reactive the skill again to make Garen cancel it early.

Scaling: 20/45/70/95/120 (+ 70/80/90/100/110% AD) physical damage per second

Demacian_Justice R – Demacian Justice

Garen drops a big sword on an enemy Champion’s head to execute him/her, dealing magic damage and additional damage that increases based on the target’s missing health.

Your screen will also shake if he manages to kill you with it.

Your screen will also shake if he manages to kill you with it.

Scaling: 175/350/525 (+ 28.57/33.33/40% of target’s missing health)

Building Garen (as a Tank)

The one thing you need to keep in mind when you build Garen is what kind of damage the other team is dealing. As a Tank, you have to adapt to them.

If the enemy team is mostly dealing AD? Get more armor items than magic resist.

If the enemy team is mostly dealing AP? Get more magic resist items than armor.

Enemy team dealing a mix of both? Find a way to balance your items.

Laning Phase (With Brushy Brushy Tactics)

The basic items that Garen should start with:

Doran's_Shield_itemHealth_Potion_item Warding_Totem_item

That item on the far left is Doran’s Shield, a basic Tank item. It’ll give you health and health regeneration, and a passive that blocks 8 damage from single target attacks and spells from enemy Champions. Good item if you want to stay in lane and it syncs well with his passive.

Now, since Garen has no mana, you are free to spam your spells whenever they come off cooldown. One of the infamous tactics that people like to use is that they’ll hide in the bush, wait for the enemy to come close, then activate Q and run in to silence them. Once the enemy is silenced, activate E and start spinning in their face (activating W is optional). This brushy brushy tactic is what spawned the famous meme.


That’s another reason why you don’t face-check bushes. Because Garen could be in there.

You don’t have to hide in the bush to harass your opponent, however. You can just activate Q and run up to them, then activate E when they’re silenced. You can also farm and clear waves with E or last hit minions with Q.

Your Single Damage Item

Garen doesn’t need to build a lot of damage items to hurt because of his high base damages. Actually, all he ever needs is this:


The Black Cleaver.

This item is just so good on Garen, because it gives you:

  1. +20% cooldown reduction
  2. +40 attack damage
  3. +400 health
  4. Unique Passive: dealing physical damage to enemy Champions reduces their armor by 5% for 6 seconds. This effect stacks up to 6 times.
  5. Unique Passive: dealing physical damage grants 20 movement speed for 2 seconds. Assists on Champions who had their armor reduced by Black Cleaver and kills on any unit grants 60 movement speed for 2 seconds instead.

(Note: the movement speed bonus is halved if your Champion is ranged)

The item gives you added tankiness because of the health and cooldown reduction. Giving cooldown reduction on a manaless Champion like Garen makes him very happy. He can just go in, spam his spells, wait for a few seconds, then do it again and again. If you get caught in his spin zone, that Black Cleaver is shredding your armor every second, and you lose 30% armor if you take the whole thing in the face. Ouch.

A Sample Garen Build

Since you need to adapt to the enemy team, you actually have a wide range of Tank items to get. This sample build is if ever there’s a mix of both AD and AP Champions in the enemy team that could potentially melt you.

Sunfire_Cape_item The_Black_Cleaver_itemBoots_of_Swiftness_item Spirit_Visage_item Randuin's_Omen_itemBanshee's_Veil_item

From left to right: Sunfire Cape, Black Cleaver, Boots of Swiftness, Spirit Visage, Randuin’s Omen, and Banshee’s Veil.

Let’s go through them one by one.

Up first is Sunfire Cape:


Sunfire Cape doesn’t give you a lot for a tank item (compared to Randuin’s Omen), but it’s still very useful. It gives you:

  1. +450 health
  2. +45 armor
  3. Unique Passive: Deals 25 + (1 x level) magic damage per second to nearby enemies

So, while you’re spinning at enemies, you’re burning them too. It’s also funny to just walk around a low-health enemy without touching them and watch them die due to Sunfire Cape.

We’ve already talked about the benefits of Black Cleaver, so let’s move on to Boots of Swiftness:


Boots of Swiftness stacks well with Garen’s W and his Q, because it gives you:

  1.  +60 movement speed
  2. Unique Passive: Movement slowing effects are reduced by 25%

Garen can basically chase after you with bloodlust and there’s little you can do to stop him (well, you can stun him, but stuns don’t last that long. So as soon as you do, you better start running and hope his Q isn’t off cooldown).

Next is Spirit Visage:


The best magic resist tank item, Spirit Visage gives you:

  1. +10% cooldown reduction
  2. +400 health
  3. +100% base health regeneration
  4. +55 magic resistance
  5. Unique Passive: All healing sources (including health regeneration, lifesteal, and spell vamp) have increased effectiveness (20%).

Stacks well with Garen’s Passive? Check. (You’re basically Wolverine/Deadpool with the amount of health regen you have)

Makes him tanky because of health and magic resist? Check.

More spamming of spells because of the cooldown reduction? OH YES. (Coupled with Black Cleaver, you now have +30% cooldown reduction. All you need now is something that gives you the last 10% and you’ll be at the max amount).

Time for more armor. And for this, we have Randuin’s Omen:


AD Carries, especially Marksmen, do not like this item. It gives you:

  1. +500 health
  2. +70 armor
  3. Unique Passive: Getting hit by basic attacks will reduce the attack’s attack speed by 15% for 1 second.
  4. Unique Active: Activating this item will slow the movement speed of nearby enemies by 35% for 2 (+0.5% armor)(+ 0.5% magic resistance) seconds. This has a 60 second cooldown.

You can’t run away from the spinning beyblade of doom if he gets this item.

And finally, we have Banshee’s Veil as our last magic resist item. I’ve already discussed this in the Ashe post, but in case you’ve forgotten or didn’t read one, Banshee’s Veil gives you:

  1. +450  health
  2. +100% base health regeneration
  3. +55 magic resistance
  4. Unique Passive: Gives a spell shield that will block the next enemy ability. The shield will refresh after taking no damage from an enemy Champion after 40 seconds.

More tankiness. More health regeneration. Yep, Garen has officially turned into Wolverine/Deadpool.

So there you go. 2 armor items, 2 magic resist items, and 1 boot. A pretty good balance if you’re trying to adapt to a mixed damage type of team.

Other Tank Items

There are other Tank items you could opt to get, and here they are.

1. Thornmail


Use this when the AD Carries on the other team are starting to hurt a little too much. Thornmail gives you:

  1. +100 armor
  2. Unique Passive: Getting hit by basic attacks will return 30% of that damage as magic damage (applies before armor and magic resist)

Having this plus other armor items will cause an AD carry or Fighter to kill themselves with the return damage.

The other item you could opt in getting is:

2. Locket of the Iron Solari


This is for more magic resist. Locket gives you:

  1. +10% cooldown reduction
  2. +400 health
  3. +20 magic resistance
  4. Unique Passive: nearby allies and minions gain +20 magic resist and 75% base health regeneration
  5. Unique Active: Gives you and nearby allied Champions a shield that absorbs 50 (+ 10 per level) damage for 5 seconds.

If you want to help your team and there’s a very painful AP Carry on the other team, it might be worth getting this. The shield and aura aren’t to be underestimated.

3. Warmog’s Armor


I consider this a luxury item. If you’re extremely ahead and you want to get really beefy, go ahead and grab Warmog’s. It gives you:

  1. +800 health
  2. Unique Passive: Gain health regeneration equal to 1% of your maximum health. This increases to 3% of your maximum health if you have no taken damage within 8 seconds.

The problem with getting Warmog’s Armor is that it offers no defenses, and anyone who gets Blade of the Ruined King can take you down (Blade of the Ruined King deals damage to you based on your maximum health). So, fair warning, only get this item if you’re confident that no one is going to get Blade of the Ruined King and if you’re really ahead.


Garen can actually benefit from all the enchantments in the shop, so feel free to experiment. Though, I think he won’t benefit much from Furor, since most of his damage comes from his E than Q.

And now, let’s talk more about our beefy Tank.


  1. Natural tankiness (not only are his base stats good for a tank, he has his W to help)
  2. High base damage on his skills (you can actually not build any damage items on him and you would still deal a significant amount of damage)
  3. No mana (you’re only gated by your cooldowns)
  4. You can zone enemies with your presence. The knowledge that you can just hit Q and run up to them then spin like no tomorrow makes enemies wary.
  5. Your ultimate is an execute. The lower the enemy’s health is, the more they should stay away from you. If you see someone with low health, DROP THAT SWORD ON THEIR HEAD.


  1. You don’t have any CC of your own
  2. Your function in a clash is to zone and to try to soak as much damage as possible and to deal as much damage as possible. You cannot peel enemies off your teammates if they’re being attacked, the best you can hope for is that you deal enough hurt that they turn on you.
  3. You work more in a 1 v 1 situation. Garen’s abilities work best if he’s facing a lone enemy. He can only silence one person and if you start spinning, people can just avoid you or disable you.
  4. If people pile on the CC’s on you, you can’t do anything. An enemy team can just time their abilities right and you won’t be able to silence and spin your way to victory. You break free from slows with your Q, but you can still be stunned, polymorphed, rooted, etc. etc. And if you mistime your Q, they can just slow you again.

Garen’s fairly easy to pick up and learn, and his tanking abilities are really good. Good luck on the Rift!

Warhammer fans could also make play him as a Space Marine!

Warhammer fans could also play him as a Space Marine!


Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Garen


Champions for Newbies: Annie, the Dark Child (Mage)

Now that we’ve tackled the Marksman role, let’s move on to the other carry role – Mage. Let me introduce to you the League’s version of the evil, scary children that you find in horror movies…Annie. Okay, maybe not evil, but still scary.


Annie (2013)

“Would you like to play too? It’ll be fun!”

The daughter of Gregor and Amoline Hastur, the Grey Warlock and the Shadow Witch, Annie’s heritage gives her unimaginable power. And that demon bear behind her? That’s Tibbers, a shadow bear that she managed to trap and make into her pet when she was just two years old. When Tibbers isn’t a gigantic burning bear, he’s in Annie’s arms in convenient teddy bear form.

Annie likes setting things on fire. Including you if she thought it would be funny.

Though one of the easier Champions to play, Annie is one of the burstiest Mages in the game. And her utility is so good, she’s still sometimes used in professional play.


Pyromania Passive – Pyromania

After casting 4 spells, Annie’s next offensive spell will stun all enemies.

Duration: 1.25/1.5/1.75 seconds

Disintegrate Q – Disintegrate (60 Mana at Level 1, 80 Mana at max rank; 4 seconds cooldown)

Annie throws a fireball at an enemy unit. If it kills the target, the mana cost is refunded and the cooldown is cut by half.

Scaling: 80/115/150/185/220 (+80% AP)

Incinerate W – Incinerate (70 Mana at Level 1, 110 Mana at max rank; 8 seconds cooldown)

Annie burns all enemies in a cone in front of her.

Scaling: 70/115/160/205/250 (+85% AP)

Molten_Shield E – Molten Shield (20 Mana; 10 seconds cooldown)

Annie gains a shield of fire that gives her bonus armor and magic resistance, and enemies who attack her with basic attacks will be dealt damage.

If Tibbers is on the field, he will also gain the shield, plus a 300 movement speed bonus.

Bonus Armor and Magic Resist: 10/20/30/40/50

Scaling (damage): 20/30/40/50/60 (+20% AP)

InfernalGuardian R – Summon: Tibbers (100 Mana; 120 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 80 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Tibbers appears in a burst of flame at a targeted area, dealing magic damage to all units within range. He then stays on the battlefield for up to 45 seconds as a controllable pet. Tibbers also has a flaming aura that deals magic damage per second to nearby enemies.

Pressing R again will make Tibbers walk towards the location of your cursor.

Scaling (Tibbers initial burst damage on summon): 175/300/425 (+80% AP)

Scaling (Tibbers aura damage): 20/30/40 (+20% AP) per second

Building Annie

As a burst Mage, there’s actually two ways to build Annie: glass cannon and slightly tanky.

But before going into that, let’s start with the items that you should get at the start of the game:


Doran’s Ring, two Health Potions, and our trusty Warding Totem trinket!

Tips in Laning:

– Use Annie’s Q to last hit minions. Your mana cost will be refunded and the cooldown will be cut in half, thus, making farming easier.

And once you’ve farmed up enough gold, here’s the two paths:

1. Glass Cannon (Full Burst)

The glass cannon build is precisely what it is – you’ll get lots of raw power, but you sacrifice survivability. Usually, a glass cannon build will look something like this:


From left to right: Morellonomicon, Luden’s Echo, Sorcerer’s Shoes, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff, and Zhonya’s Hourglass.

Let’s go in depth about this build, starting with Morellonomicon (Also known as Morello’s):


This item gives you:

  1. +20% cooldown reduction
  2. +80 ability power
  3. +100% base mana regeneration
  4. Unique Passive: Dealing magic damage to an enemy Champion below 40% health will inflict Grievous Wounds for 4 seconds.

Annie may seem like she has few mana problems, but notice that her Q and W have higher mana costs as you rank them up. Morellonomicon’s mana regeneration helps her in that regard, and the +80 ability power and 20% cooldown reduction isn’t bad either. The higher your ability power, the more powerful your spells are, and the more cooldown reduction you have, the more you can spam your spells.

(Note: Cooldown reduction caps at 40% and can’t go any higher than that.)

Grievous Wounds is a debuff that cuts all health regeneration and healing sources by 50%, so the unique passive is great for trying to kill someone with high health regeneration (or taking out tanks).

Up next, we have Luden’s Echo:


Luden’s Echo is a pretty new item in League and has gained so much popularity because of what it does. Remember Statikk Shiv in the previous article? Well, Luden’s Echo is the AP version of that. The effects it gives you are:

  1. +100 Ability power
  2. +10% movespeed
  3. Unique Passive: You gain charges by moving or casting spells (the spells don’t have to hit anything). When you hit 100 charges, the next instance of ability damage you deal will consume all charges to deal bonus damage to an enemy and fire 3 small bolts that will hit nearby enemies (prioritizes Champions over minions and enemies hit by the ability)

Scaling (Initial damage and smaller bolt damage): 100 (+10% AP)

Nearly every AP carry gets this item because of not only the amount of AP it gives you, but it also gives you a good amount of wave clearing because of the bolts. And the AP scaling on it is really good (having only that as your item means you deal 110 bonus damage on top of the spell that you hit an enemy with. That’s insane.

And then we have Sorcerer’s Shoes (also called Sorc Boots):


A good number of AP carries get these boots too, as it gives you +45 movement speed and +15 magic penetration. The magic penetration will be very useful, as it ignores 15 of your target’s magic resistance, and many carries will not be able to pack a lot of magic resistance items early in the game. In Annie’s case, this helps her fire burn you more.

Next is Rabadon’s Deathcap, the one AP item that every Mage should get:


The crown of all AP carries, Rabadon’s Deathcap gives you (also known as Raba’s, Rabadon’s, or Deathcap):

  1. +120 ability power
  2. Unique Passive: +35% ability power

The AP equivalent of Infinity Edge, Rabadon’s Deathcap blesses you with an immense amount of ability power. If you want to lay waste to your enemies with your magic, you need this item. Some tend to rush it first, if they have the gold (the whole thing costs 3500) so that they can have a damage spike early in the game.

And then we have Void Staff, the AP equivalent of Last Whisper:


Void Staff gives you:

  1. +80 ability power
  2. Unique Passive: Magic damage ignores 35% of the target’s magic resist (this applies before magic penetration)

I think I can hear the screams of your victims as you roast them into oblivion. This item plus your Sorcerer’s Shoes will make sure that they will feel just how strong and devastating your magic is.

Ah, but even a glass cannon needs a hint of survivability, hence we have Zhonya’s Hourglass:


Hourglass gives you:

  1. +100 ability power
  2. +50 armor
  3. Unique Active (Stasis): Activating this item will put your Champion in stasis for 2.5 seconds, making you untargetable and invulnerable but unable to cast spells, use items, move, or attack for the duration.

Activating Zhonya’s will turn you into this golden statue:

And the award goes to...

And the award goes to…

The important thing to note here is that you’ll be untargetable and invulnerable for 2.5 seconds. That’s a lot of missed opportunities for the enemy to try to kill you if there’s a clash going on. It buys you time for either your teammates to help or for your spells to come off cooldown. You can even use it to avoid otherwise lethal damage.

And there you have it, the glass cannon, full-on burst build for our Fire-Bear Mage, Annie. Let’s move on to option number 2

2. Slightly Tanky 

The slightly tanky Annie build is the build I usually go for, and it doesn’t really differ much from the Glass Cannon build, except for a couple of items. A sample build would look like this:


The only items that are different is Rod of Ages and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. These are the items that give you a little bit of tankiness.

Now, first up, let’s talk about Rod of Ages (also known as RoA or Roa):


The difference between the tanky build and the bursty build is that it takes a littlebit of time for Annie to get tanky. If you want to start getting tanky immediately, it’s important to get Rod of Ages before around 10 minutes into the game or slightly more. That’s because it gives you the following effects:

  1. +60 ability power
  2. +300 health
  3. +400 mana
  4. Passive: RoA gains 20 health, 40 mana, and 4 ability power every minute, stacking up to 10 times. (Note that it only says “Passive” so if you want to get 5 RoA’s, go ahead.)
  5. Unique Passive: On leveling up, restores 150 health and 200 mana over 8 seconds.

Look at the passive on this thing. It takes 10 minutes for it to fully stack and give you all that health, mana, and ability power. That’s why if you want to go tanky, get this as soon as possible (the entire thing costs 2700 gold). But in return for your patience, you get tanky, have more mana (thus negating the need for Morellonomicon), and have a lot of ability power.

Now, let’s look at the other item that gives you tankiness, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter:


If you’re familiar with Rylai the Crystal Maiden from Dota, it’s easy to see why this item was named after her. Rylai’s gives you:

  1. +100 ability power
  2. +400 health
  3. Unique Passive: Damaging abilities slow affected enemies based on the type of ability used.
  • Single Target: slows for 40% for 1.5 seconds
  • Area of Effect: slows for 40% for 1 second.
  • Damage Over Time, Multi-hit, and Pet attacks: 20% for 1 second.

Combined with RoA’s statistics, Rylai’s +400 health gives you that added tankiness. With Annie, the results of using Rylai can be devastating for the enemy team. Not only will her abilities stun you, but they’ll slow you. Imagine having Tibbers chasing you around and Annie has a Rylai’s, his burning aura will slow you every second. You can’t get away from the bear…and Annie will merely laugh at your misfortune.

Enchantment! And Trinkets too! 

Like Marksmen, Mages like Annie have the choice between the Furor enchantment and the Homeguard enchantment. You can also upgrade your Warding Totem for a Greater Stealth Totem or any of the other trinkets if you so wish.

And now that we’ve talked about builds, let’s get back to Annie.


  1. High burst and good utility because of her CC (stuuuuuns)
  2. You can zone your opponents and make them afraid of you, just by showing that you have your stun up (A white, swirly aura will be around Annie, which can be seen by everyone)
  3. Good initiate with Tibbers (wait for your stun to be up then drop Tibbers down on a group of enemies. They will all be damaged and stunned.)
  4. Low cooldowns on all her spells


  1. No reliable escapes. You could probably burst someone or even kite a pursuer with your stuns, but if you get caught by at least 3 people, there’s no getting away.
  2. You are at your most vulnerable when your stun is down. All an opponent has to do is back off when he sees you have your stun ready and harass you when you use it on something else (like a minion).
  3. People can just click on you to see how many stacks of Pyromania you have.

Tips for Using Annie:

  1. In lane, one of Annie’s ways to harass an opponent is to build stacks of her passive with her Q by farming, then stun the opponent when they come close. Follow this up by walking up to them and casting W in their face before backing off. You can then get back the mana from using that combo by farming again with Q. Rinse and repeat.
  2. Take her E at Level 3 (Q at Level 1, then W at Level 2). You can cast it just to build up stacks for her passive and the mana cost and cooldown are low.
  3. Don’t forget to use Tibbers after you’ve dropped him on the battlefield! You can move him by pressing R again and pointing with your cursor. Tibbers is pretty beefy and can tank turret shots when you want to push.
  4. Always keep track of how many stacks of Pyromania you have and tell your teammate if you have your stun up or not.
  5. You an use W to stun multiple enemies if Tibbers is on cooldown. This is useful if you are being chased.

And there you have it. Whether you want to go full-on burn-and-destroy-everything mode or settle to being a little tanky, I hope this post has helped! Good luck on the Rift!

Reverse Annie is just so adorable :D

Reverse Annie is just so adorable 😀


Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Annie


Champions for Newbies: Ashe, the Frost Archer (Marksman)

League of Legends boasts 125 Champions, each with their own difficulty level and special set of abilities. In this post, and in the next few posts, I’ll introduce some easy-to-learn Champions for those starting out, going from role to role. I’ll start with Marksman, the easiest role to play. And what other Marksman could teach you basic mechanics better than our resident Queen of Freljord, Ashe?



“One tribe, one people, one Freljord.”

Ashe hails from Freljord, the frozen region on the northern part of Valoran, and is the leader of the Avarosan tribe. Though she has been elected as its Queen, there is still unrest among the other tribes who refuse to see her vision of a united city state. Locked in a civir war with the barbaric Winter’s Claw tribe led by Sejuani, and the mysterious Frostguard led by Lissandra, Ashe still has a long way to go before she achieves her dream of peace.

*Cue Game of Thrones theme*

The first Champion you ever play in League of Legends (hello Tutorial), Ashe is a great basic Champion if you want to learn the role of a Marksman / AD Carry.


Frost_Shot Passive – Frost Shots

Ashe’s basic attacks and spells slow enemies for 2 seconds. The slow increases as you level up and Ashe will always critically strike frosted enemies for modified damage.

Scaling: 110 + (%Critical Strike Chance × (1 + Bonus Critical Strike Damage)) %AD

Q Q – Ranger’s Focus (50 Mana; 18 seconds cooldown)

Passive – Ashe will gain a stack of Focus whenever she slows an enemy to a max of 5 stacks.

Active – Ashe gains increased attack speed and her Frost Shots also gain a more powerful slow for 4 seconds.

Active (with max Focus stacks) – If you activate this ability with 5 Focus stacks, Ashe will consume all Focus stacks, gain her increased attack speed and empowered slow, and will also cause her to fire a flurry of arrows (each arrow dealing modified damage).

Machine gun arrows are the way to go

Machine gun arrows are the way to go


Flurry damage per arrow per level: 23/24/25/26/27% AD

Bonus Attack speed per level: 20/25/30/35/40%

Volley W – Volley (50 mana; 12 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 4 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Ashe will fire a volley of arrows in a cone, dealing damage and slowing enemies. Volley will only apply one stack of Focus. Enemies can also intercept arrows, but will only take damage from the first arrow that hits them.


Physical damage per level: 20/35/50/65/80 (+100% AD)

Hawkshot E – Hawkshot (1 charge of Hawkshot; 5 seconds cooldown; 90 seconds recharge time at Level 1, 50 seconds recharge time at max rank)

Passive – Ashe will store a charge of Hawkshot, up to a max of two charges at once.

Active – Ashe will send her hawk out to scout any area on the map, revealing anything in its path for 2 seconds, and finally revealing the targeted area in a large radius for 5 seconds. Hawkshot will not reveal any stealthed units.

This ability also has a global range, so you can be anywhere on the map and it will reveal to you any area on the map that you wish to see.

Enchanted_Crystal_Arrow R – Enchanted Crystal Arrow (100 Mana; 100 seconds cooldown at Level 1, 80 seconds cooldown at max rank)

Ashe fires a gigantic arrow in a straight line. If it hits an enemy Champion, it will deal damage and stun them. The stun increases based on the distance traveled by the arrow (from 1-3.5 seconds) and enemies around the stunned unit will take half damage. This ability, like Hawkshot, also has a global range, which means you can fire it from anywhere and it will travel across the map.

Enchanted Crystal Arrow also provides vision as it travels, so if you want to use it as a more expensive Hawkshot, go for it.

Scaling per level: 250/425/600 (+100% AP)

Building Ashe 

Ashe is a standard Marksman, so the build I’m going to state for her could go for any other Marksman (with some exceptions).

Laning Phase (Starting out)

Grab a Doran’s Blade and a Health Potion. Don’t forget your Warding Totem trinket!

Doran's_Blade_itemHealth_Potion_item Warding_Totem_item

Now go farm some minions. After a while, check how much gold you have.

Do you have at least 1550 Gold? 

Recall and get a BF Sword (I have no idea what BF stands for but some people in League call it the Best Friend Sword. Because all that AD is your best friend.). This hefty thing gives you +50 Attack Damage, worth every coin you spend for it.


Do you have less than 1550 gold but at least 1000 gold?

If you’re a little short on money when you first Recall for any reason at all, get yourself a Pickaxe. Though it doesn’t give you as much AD as the BF Sword (+25 AD), it’s still a good item for an early damage spike.


Really behind on gold and can’t buy either a BF Sword or a Pickaxe? 

Grab a Vampiric Scepter. It only gives you +10 attack damage, but it does give you +8% lifesteal, which helps you sustain in lane so you can farm up for the more expensive items.


If you have some gold to spare after you buy any of the above, grab some Boots of Speed:


It makes you run faster (+25 movement speed) and you can upgrade it into a Tier 2 boot when you have money.

When you’ve farmed up enough, you should have at least these items:


The one to the left is Infinity Edge (also known as IE), which builds out of a BF Sword, Pickaxe, and a Cloak of Agility. The one item that most Marksmen want, IE gives you the following effects:

  1. +80 attack damage
  2. +20% Critical Strike chance
  3. Unique Passive: +50% Critical Strike damage (Unique passives do not stack. So don’t even think about getting another Infinity Edge.)

This item will make you hit like a truck. Having it alone will cause you to shave off chucks of health from squishier targets, namely other unfortunate Marksmen and even Mages.

The item to the right is Berserker’s Greaves, which you upgrade from Boots of Speed. The go-to boots for most Marksmen, it gives you increased attack speed (+25%) and +45 movement speed (This is also a unique passive, so no, having two boots won’t make you run faster).

For Ashe, having the Greaves will go nicely with her Q, as it’ll stack with the skill’s increased attack speed, and having Infinity Edge will ensure that not only will you attack fast, but you’ll hit like a truck while doing so.

And now, here’s where we get a little tricky. Do you want to hit like a truck some more or do you want to attack faster and lay on the crits?

If your answer is yes to the former, build the Bloodsthirster.


Built out of another BF Sword and the Vampiric Scepter, Bloodthirster (also known as BT), gives you the following effects:

  1. +80 attack damage
  2. Unique Passive: +20% Lifesteal
  3. Unique Passive: Lifesteal can overheal you, giving a shield that absorbs up to 50-350 damage if you have excess healing. (This shield decays when you’re out of combat for 25 seconds)

Sustain and damage rolled into one. Paired with IE, your attacks are sure to rip a hapless squishy apart.

Now, if you answered that you wanted to attack faster and lay on crits, you have two choices.

The first is Phantom Dancer:


Phantom Dancer (also known as PD), gives you:

  1. +50% attack speed
  2. +35% critical strike chance
  3. +5% movement speed
  4. Unique Passive: your Champion ignores unit collision (so you can pretty much move like a ghost through units)

Personally, if I’m extremely ahead in gold and creep score, I’d like to get PD because not only will I get movement speed, crit chance, and attack speed, but the unique passive helps in chasing down those that try to run away. You can move through other Champions and minions, which is a big help (unit collision gets annoying, trust me).

Your second choice is Statikk Shiv:


You can now make like a little lightning rod and zap away at enemies with this item. Statikk Shiv (also known as Shiv) gives you the following effects:

  1. +40% attack speed
  2. +20% critical strike chance
  3. +6% movement speed
  4. Unique Passive:  Moving and attacking gives you Static Charges. At 100 charges, your next attack consumes all charges and deals 100 magic damage to up to 4 units. This damage can critically strike.

Some like getting shiv for the lightning effect. It provides wave clear when you’re trying to farm down a lane, and the damage bounces to 4 units. Imagine in a clash and you attack one Champion. You get to electrocute 3 other Champions standing near your victim.

Once you have your IE, PD/Shiv, and BT, your next agenda should be trying to rip the enemy tanks apart. 

And what do enemy tanks build to try to live through your attacks? Armor. Lots and lots of armor. We need a way to get past all that armor.

Your answer comes in the form of Last Whisper:


Last Whisper (also known as LW), is one of the banes of tanks, because it gives you:

  1. +40 attack damage
  2. Unique Passive: Physical damage ignores 35% of the target’s armor.

What type of damage do you deal as Ashe (or any other Marksman)? Physical damage. 35% may not seem like much, but trust me, it is. Every percentage matters in the numbers game, and 35% is already a lot when we’re talking about how much AD you’re already packing.

And did I mention that this item is very, very effective against squishier targets? Say, for example, another Marksman or a Mage, who both don’t have a lot of armor to begin with.

So far, on a regular day, your build should be something like this:

Last_Whisper_item Phantom_Dancer_item The_Bloodthirster_item Berserker's_Greaves_item Infinity_Edge_item

Not counting your trusty Trinket, you have one item slot left. You already hit like a truck and attack with the speed of a machine gun. What else do we need?

A little bit of survivability.

As a Marksman, you don’t have a lot of defense on you like a Tank or Fighter. And since you’re a carry, expect the other team to try to kill you as fast as possible. So, we need to be a little more durable.

On this, you have three options.

The standard survivability item, Guardian Angel:


This item gives you +50 armor and  +50 magic resistance, but the important effect that Guardian Angel (or GA) gives you is that when you die, you will be put into a 4 second statis. After the stasis, GA will revive you, giving you back 30% of your maximum health and mana. The downside? It can’t revive you again for 5 minutes. So, try not to die for the next 5 minutes of GA triggering.

If the enemy team has a lot of disables (stuns, slows, etc. etc.) and has a lot of magic damage, you might want to go for Banshee’s Veil or a Quicksilver Sash:

Let’s talk about Banshee’s Veil first.


Banshee’s Veil (sometimes known as Banshee’s) gives you:

  1. +450 health
  2. +100% base health regeneration
  3.  +55 magic resistance
  4. Unique Passive: gives you a spell shield that blocks the next enemy ability used on you. The shield refreshes if you have not taken damage from enemy Champions for 40 seconds.

I usually go for a Banshee’s Veil if the enemy team is packing a lot of stuns and disables that could lock me down. The spell shield saves many lives. The reason why this is better to get than a Guardian Angel is because if you die, the enemy Champions could just stand around your helpless corpse and pile on the CC when you revive.

Now, you could argue that they could just pop the spell shield with an insignificant spell then pile on the CC. Which is precisely what I’ll do if I see your Champion walking around with a Banshee’s Veil. But, that forces me to waste an ability on you. And you don’t even take damage. As opposed to a Guardian Angel, where you actually take damage, die, then come back. A Banshee’s Veil can get very annoying, because you actually have to waste a skill just to pop the damn thing.

Your second option is Quicksilver Sash:


Also known as QSS, it gives you:

  1. +30 Magic Resistance
  2. Unique Passive – Removes all debuffs from your Champion (90 second cooldown)

I consider QSS a very situational item, because while it does remove a stun or slow, it won’t remove a number of effects like Summoner Spell Ignite and some Champion abilities. The only reason I actually get this item instead of Banshee’s is because there’s an enemy Zed on the team who likes to pick you off with his ultimate, Death Mark. QSS removes the Death Mark debuff, and thus negates Zed’s combo.

The other problem is that it’s also difficult for you to gauge when to use it. Do you wait for all the debuffs to pile on you then use it? But in that time, you might already be dead. Do you use it after one debuff has been applied to you? But then they could just debuff you again.

Long story short – just buy QSS if there’s an enemy Zed on the team.

Enchantment? Enchantment! 

You may have noticed that once you upgraded your boots in the shop, you can enchant it in different ways for some gold. There’s only 2 enchantments there that matter if you’re playing a Marksman.

  • Furor


Having this enchantment will give your Champion +12 movement speed that decays over 2 seconds whenever you deal damage with a single target spell or attack. Chase your enemies into oblivion!

  • Homeguard


Use this if you want to get back out in the battlefield as quickly as possible. Having Homeguard will give you increased health and mana regen when you visit the item shop in your base, plus a 200% movement speed bonus that decays over 8 seconds. This is good if the enemy team is at your door and you have to rush to defend, or just to get back out there really quick. Do note, however, that the bonus regen, health, and movement speed are disabled if you’ve taken or dealt damage in the last 6 seconds.

Tips on Enchantments:

  • Enchanting your boots should be one of the last things you should do. It’s not efficient if you waste money enchanting your boots when you could just get your damage items. Personally, I enchant my boots when I have at least 3 or 4 completed items and just have some money to spare.
  • You can switch enchantments whenever you visit the shop without having to sell your boots.

Oh, and before I forget, don’t forget to either upgrade your Warding Totem into the Greater Stealth Totem (or Greater Vision Totem) or switch to the Scrying Orb trinket (the blue one) and upgrade it into the Farsight Orb! Trinkets are free, so you don’t have to spend money to switch between them, but you need to spend money to upgrade them.

Upgrading into the Greater Stealth Totem will give you two ward charges, which means you can place down two wards from the trinket. Or you can also upgrade it into the Greater Vision Totem, which lets you place one Pink Ward down.

Warding_Totem_item   into   Greater_Stealth_Totem_item  or   Greater_Vision_Totem_item

The Scrying Orb trinket is useful for scouting, as it reveals a targetted area for a few seconds. Upgrading it into the Farsight Orb will place a ward with 1 health in the area that you scout (the ward can be seen by enemy Champions however).

Scrying_Orb_item   into   farsight-orb

A more or less example of a completed build:

Infinity_Edge_item Phantom_Dancer_itemThe_Bloodthirster_item berserkers-greaves-homeguardLast_Whisper_itemGuardian_Angel_item  farsight-orb

Back to Ashe: Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve settled on a basic build, let’s talk about Ashe.


  • Great utility for the team because of the long-ranged, global stun, global scouting tool (Hawkshot), and constant slows
  • Low mana costs for her basic skills (E does not have a mana cost)
  • Good kiting potential (I’ll talk about that in a bit)


  • No reliable escape. You get locked down, you will die. Vayne has her Tumble, Ezreal has his Arcane Shift, Graves and Lucian have their dashes, but Ashe has nothing to save her if someone gets too close. Unless you stun that someone in the face point-blank and run away, but that only gives you a second head start.
  • She has one of the lowest movespeeds in the game (325 units per second)
  • You can easily dodge her ultimate by running to the side (or not running in a straight line).

Ashe is actually one of the best Champions that could teach you basic mechanics, not just for Marksmen, but for a lot of Champions. By using her, you can learn:

  • Kiting – Because of her slows, she can deal damage to a Champion chasing her (as long as they don’t have a gap closer) by casting W behind her, or by attacking once then running, then attacking again and running (rinse and repeat). Her slows will make sure that those who are chasing her will have a hard time catching her and will get punished for doing so.
  • Positioning – You need to have good positioning to ensure that while you’re doing damage, you’re in no danger of getting hurt. A bad position would be you standing in the middle of a clash or standing in the front lines (you’re not a tank). With Ashe, who has no escapes but is blessed with good range and CC, you will learn where to stand in a fight and just hit things. (Hint: stay behind the tank)
  • How to land skillshots – A skillshot is an ability that requires you to aim a projectile that can miss. Many Champions in the League have skillshots or have abilities that are made up of skillshots (*Cough* Ezreal *Cough*). Ashe just has one skillshot that matters – her ultimate (R). If you can consistently land that stun on someone’s face even from a distance, then you’re ready to move on to more skillshot-based Champions.
  • Vision control – this one is a little arguable, but I say you can learn vision control because if you learn which areas of the map to scout with her Hawkshot, you’ll slowly learn when to push a little further in your lane, when to watch out for ganks, and when to take an objective. Also, if you’re using your Hawkshot to keep checking an area for enemy Champions or the like (like the Dragon pit to see if they’re taking it or the bushes near the river to see if you’re going to get ganked), you should probably plunk a ward down in there.
  • Initiating and Setting Up a Clash – Initiating is when a Champion does something that acts aa signal for everyone else to attack. Ashe’s ultimate is a very good initiate. You can stay in the back line and fire an arrow into the enemy team and the one who gets hit is the one most likely to die first because that signals to your teammates that they should attack the stunned Champion. But also know when to back off. If you miss, do not go in. If your teammates aren’t nearby to follow up on your initiate, don’t initiate.

And there you have it. I hope that this helps you in improving your game on the Rift and have fun with our resident Frost Archer!



Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Ashe


Your First Steps in League of Legends: Objectives and Tips for Taking Objectives

Killing isn’t everything in League. Sure, your team can have 20+ kills but if the enemy team has taken down way more turrets than you and is destroying your Nexus…suffice to say, you’re going to lose. So, you need to learn to take objectives.

But wait! What are objectives?

Objectives are the things on the map that will give your team an advantage and one step closer to victory. Objectives include:

  • Turrets 


These structures are what prevents you and your team from destroying the Nexus in their base. There are three turrets in each lane – the outer turrets (the ones furthest from your base), the inner turrets (the ones in the middle), and the inhibitor turrets (the ones guarding the entrance to your base and your inhibitors). The Nexus has two turrets guarding it. Destroying a turret grants 125 gold to all members of your team, while those who helped destroy a turret get 100 gold split among them.

  • Inhibitors


The three smaller crystals in your base. Destroying an inhibitor will cause your base to start spawning Super Minions in that lane, and will cause the Nexus and its turrets to be vulnerable to attack. Super Minions are tankier, stronger, and generally more annoying to deal with than regular minions.

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

Destroyed inhibitors will respawn after around 5 minutes. The Champion who gets the last hit on an inhibitor receives 50 gold (and apparently, the Nexus counts as an inhibitor, so the one who destroys it gets 50 gold).

  • Dragon


In my opinion, one of the most important objectives in the Rift, next to turrets and inhibitors. The Dragon spawns at around 2:30 minutes in game and will respawn 6 minutes after being killed. You can find our not-so-friendly dragon at the bottom part of the river, near Bottom Lane.

Killing Dragon provides powerful buffs to your team, with 5 different effects for each successive time it was killed. 4 of these effects are permanent, while the last only lasts for 180 seconds.

1. Dragon’s Might – increased attack damage and ability power for all members of your team.

2. Dragon’s Wrath – increased damage to towers and buildings

3. Dragon’s Flight – increased movement speed

4. Dragon’s Dominance – increased damage to minions and monsters

5. Aspect of the Dragon – Doubles all previous bonuses and your attacks will burn and reveal enemies for 150 true damage (damage that cannot be reduced by armor, magic resist, shields, etc.) over 5 seconds. This buff only lasts for 180 seconds.

Be warned, however, that Dragon packs quite a punch, so don’t try taking it alone at early levels. He hurts. Really.

The one who kills Dragon gets 25 gold.

  • Baron Nashor


The most powerful neutral monster in the Rift, Baron Nashor could be found in the upper part of the map, near the Top Lane. He spawns 20 minutes in the game and will respawn 7 minutes after he has been killed. Killing him will grant the Hand of Baron buff to all allies alive at the time, which gives a shortened recall time, increased ability power and attack damage, and will empower any minions near you. This buff will last 3 minutes.

While Dragon does pack a punch with his attacks, Baron’s attack is like taking a sledgehammer to the face. It would be wise not to attempt to take on Baron alone and not early game either (unless you’re absolutely confident that you won’t die while trying to kill him – either by his hand or the enemy team’s).

Killing Baron Nashor will grant 300 gold to all allies.

Tips for Taking Objectives

Knowing when to take an objective could be quite confusing. But there is a method to all this madness, and here are some helpful tips in taking the objectives in Summoner’s Rift.

  • Once a lane has taken a turret, the person in that lane is free to roam to the other lanes to help take the other turrets or secure Dragon. Or you can stay in that lane and push some more. It’s important to adapt according what your team needs.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

1. Are other lanes having trouble? Go roam.

2. Is a turret on another lane about to go down and they just need a little more to destroy it? Go roam and help.

3. Is Dragon up? It’s better if you go roam and help your team to secure it.

4. Are the other lanes doing really well and there are no objectives you need to take immediately? You can stay in your lane, farm, and push some more.

  • Ward around Dragon and Baron pits if you want to take them (so you can prevent ganks), and use your Sweeper Lens trinket and Pink Wards to get rid of any wards left there by the enemy team.
  • Dragon > Baron. You want those permanent effects from Dragon more than Baron’s buff.
  • Don’t force yourselves to take an objective. If you know you can’t do it, or if you know that you’ll get jumped by the enemy team, don’t do it.
  • Sometimes it’s worth sacrificing your life for an objective. If a turret is going to go down but you know you’ll die in the process, CHIP AWAY AT THAT TURRET LIKE NO TOMORROW. It is not worth, however, for everyone in your team to die for one objective. The enemy team could easily take objectives of their own if you’re all dead.
  • Learn to bait an objective, especially Baron and Dragon. What your team can do is gather at the pit area (you can hide in the bushes there), wait for the enemy team to respond, and try to pick someone off or force a clash. Do remember though, that the one who wins the clash gets the objective, so only do this if you’re sure you can take out most if not all members of the enemy team.
  • If everyone on the enemy team is dead or is otherwise occupied, you are free to do any or all these things:

1. Push and destroy a turret or inhibitor.

2. Take Dragon.

3. Take Baron.

  • If you decide to take Dragon and Baron and your health is low, don’t try to clash or fight. Recall, recover and buy items, then get back in the battlefield.
  • DO NOT FIGHT A TEAM WITH BARON BUFF. Not only are their minions empowered but they have increased attack damage and ability power. Stay in your base and try to bait them into diving you if you have a turret. The turret can help in taking chunks of the enemy team’s health.
  • That being said, if you see someone with Baron buff on and you know for sure that that person does not have back up, JUMP HIM AND KILL HIM. That’s one less Baron buff and one less person you need to worry about.
  • Work out what you need to do by talking to your team. Communication is very important. Look at what’s happening in the game and work out the best strategy to do or if it’s safe to take a particular objective.
  • A Champion is not an objective. Like I said before, it doesn’t matter how many kills your team has, if the enemy team has secured more objectives than you, it’s more likely that they’re going to win.
  • If you see that the enemy team is trying to take an objective like Baron or Dragon, try to respond to it as much as possible. Do not do this, however, if you have two inhibitors down and super minions are crawling into your base. It’s more important to defend.


Sources: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/League_of_Legends_Wiki

Your First Steps in League of Legends: Runes, Masteries, Leveling

I’m sure the first time you looked at your profile in the in-game client, you went: “What the hell are these?!”

“What the hell are runes?”

“What the hell are masteries?!”


“Why do I have a level?! What is this, an RPG?!”

In a way, yes, the way your Summoner profile works is kind of like an RPG. Let’s get in depth and try to make sense of what all these are and how to make the most of them so you can play efficiently.


Runes are magical blessings you can give to your Champion before they go into a match. They can only be purchased in the in-client Store with Influence Points (you earn IP by playing games, so if you want a lot of IP, play more games!). You can’t spend RP (Riot Points, or as we all know it…real money) to buy Runes, so if you want really good ones and a complete set, you need to prepare yourself for the grind.


Runes have four types, and each type has an attribute that give you an idea on which to buy for your page:

  • Marks – the red ones. You can buy a total of 9 Marks, and these are mainly for boosting your Champion’s offensive abilities. Buy Marks that boost attack or ability power or even armor or magic penetration, depending on your preference.
  • Seals – the yellow ones. Like Marks, you can buy 9 of them, and these are mostly for boosting your Champion’s defensive capabilities. Health and Armor are mainly the types of Seals used.
  • Glyphs – the blue ones. Like Marks and Seals, you can buy 9. These are mainly used to boost your Champion’s magical abilities. Cooldown reduction and magic resist runes are the ones that come to mind when you’re thinking of Glyphs.
  • Quintessences – the large goldish-brown ones. Unlike Marks, Seals, and Glyphs, you can only have 3. These give a big boost to any attribute you want.

Why Do I Need Runes and When Do I Start Buying Them?

Starting Summoners will only get 2 Rune pages, though you can buy more in the store with either RP or IP. Runes are important because they give a significant boost to your Champion. As you level up, you start unlocking the better tier Runes. Personally, here’s my piece of advice:

Do not, I repeat, do NOT buy Runes until you are Level 20. At Level 20, you unlock the Tier 3 Runes, the best ones. Save your IP and grind to Level 20 so that when you unlock the Tier 3 Runes, you have a lot of IP to get them.

When you’re starting out, don’t think too much about investing in Runes. You’re still learning the game and your Champion. And you’ll just waste IP buying the lower tier Runes. So, heed my advice. Don’t buy Runes unless you hit Level 20.

If you want to save IP for buying Champions, you can keep the two rune pages and just switch your runes around before a game. But if you’re the type who has a variety of Champions with different roles or if you want to experiment, you might want to also invest in additional rune pages.

I have 11 Rune Pages.


(Also, you can name your Rune Pages. Just click on the flame-like thingy at the upper left. I change the names of my Rune pages when I feel like it, but right now, most of them are inspired by Cardfight!! Vanguard.)

You can have a maximum of 20 Rune Pages. I have 11 because after 4 years of playing the game, I realized that I needed to have Runes for all the types of Champions and roles I play (and I was sitting on a lot of IP because I bought all the Champions I wanted already). So, I have Rune Pages for:

– Manaless AP Champions

– Mana AP Champions

– AD Champions

– AP Tank Champions

– AD Tank Champions

– Bruisers/Fighters

– Champion-specific pages

Depending on your preference, you can have a Rune Page for one Champion, or you can have one Rune Page for a general role. It’s all up to you. But again, don’t think hard about Runes until you hit Level 20. Runes can’t be refunded, so don’t waste IP with the lower tier ones. (I made that mistake and had to grind for more IP to complete my 2 Rune Pages.)


Masteries are the mini version of runes. They have the same function, which is to give a boost to your Champion before a game. Masteries are more specific and they have three types, which come in the form of trees (think World of Warcraft or any other MMORPG where you had to spec your character). I recommend reading what each Mastery does (there’s a lot, I know, but it’s better to know than to not) and spec your Champion accordingly. You can only spend 30 Mastery points per page and you unlock 1 point per level.

You don’t have to buy Mastery pages, unlike Rune pages, and you can revert points and re-spec whenever you wish. You can have a total of 20 Mastery pages. I have 13 Mastery Pages, because, like my Runes, I have to spec my Champion according to role.


(You can also name your Mastery Pages! I name mine according to role or the Champion I made it for.)

Mastery Tips According to Role:

Depending on the role that you’re playing, here’s the general gist of where you need to invest your Mastery points.

  • Mage/Assassin/Marksman – Pour most into Offensive and a bit into Defense. If you want to go full Offensive, then go ahead, but keep in mind that you’re already squishy, so a bit of survivability is good.
  • Fighter – A balance of both Offense and Defense.
  • Tank – A bit of Offense and more into Defense. You can put a bit of Utility too, if you want.
  • Support – Pour more into Utility and a bit into Defense. If you want to go aggressive, you may want to invest a couple of points in Offense.


Like any RPG, we all started at Level 1. You are an apprentice Summoner and given the tools of one, namely: 2 empty Rune Pages, 1 Mastery Point, and a small selection of Champions that are free for the week. Level 30 seems like ages away. There are two ways you can go about this.

1. Buy Exp boosts in the store for RP (you can either get the one that lasts 3 days or the more expensive one, which lasts for 10 wins.), and grind away at a somewhat quicker pace.

2. Grind away like you’d do in any MMORPG.

Personally, I never used any boosts aside from IP Boosts on my account (because IP is awesome and you earn more when you win) and it took me two months to hit Level 30. But in those two months, I was also put through the hardest bootcamp I could ever go through…

*War flashbacks*

*Goes into a corner and rocks back and forth*

All the pain…all the deaths…


Excuse me.

Long story short, I had a friend who was already good at the game and he basically pounded us in game until we learned the basics without being reminded. So, I owe it to that friend who not only helped me grind to Level 30, but actually taught me the game. And I had to admit, I had fun playing, despite the bootcamp.

Which brings me to an important piece of advice:

Don’t think about leveling. Just play and have fun learning the game and your Champion. And before you know it, you’re Level 30. And when you look back, you’ll be proud that you made the climb.

Your First Steps in League of Legends: the Summoner, Champions, the Rift, Terminologies

The Summoner

I’m going to pull something out of Magic: the Gathering and be all lore-like about your role in the game. So, here we go.

You are a Summoner, a powerful mage.

In the old lore, Summoners study and work in the Institute of War, a special academy in the middle of Valoran in the land of Runeterra. As a Summoner, you summon and control the various Champions in the League of Legends and do battle in arenas called the Fields of Justice. This is how the land of Valoran settles political disputes between the various city states.

Now, recently, Riot Games (our lords and saviors, the makers of the game) has retconned the lore, removing Summoners and the Institute of War, and stated that the League and the Fields of Justice are basically their version of Super Smash Bros. All Champions are entities and inhabitants from Valoran, and are fighting in Summoner’s Rift (and the other maps)…for some reason. I personally didn’t like this change in lore, but Riot has their reasons. (It also kind of stopped people from asking “Why did x Champion join the League?” from then on, because all Champion before had a reason to join the League of Legends.)

Whether you still subscribe to the old lore or not, whenever someone says “Summoner” in game or is talking about League, that someone is talking about you, the player.


Champions are the playable characters in League of Legends. Currently, there are 125, the newest being Ekko, the Boy Who Shattered Time, with the next one being Tahm Kench, the River King. In the world of Valoran, Champions can range from being soldiers or mercenaries, or otherworldly beings with mysterious goals and origins. Champions are sorted according to role for various play styles, and also give you a good idea on where to go. The roles are:

  • Tank – You get beefy, stay in front of your team, and soak all the damage. What you lack in attack/ability power, you make up for in high amounts of defense and crowd control.
  • Assassin – Go in, kill one or two people, then get out. Rinse and repeat. You have insane amounts of power and short ability cooldowns, but expect to melt into nothing if you get caught.
  • Fighter – Also known as Bruisers or Off-tanks, you blend the beefiness of the tank with the power of the carries. The downside is that you won’t be able to dish out as much damage as a true carry, and you can’t soak up as much damage as a true tank. Your role is to break through defenses and reach the very, very squishy carries at the back line.
  • Support – The most underestimated role in the game (You won’t find many players who main Support), Supports are dedicated into making sure their team does not die. This is by far the most difficult role to main, because not only do you have to make sure that your team does not die, you’re also the primary Warder (laying down wards on the map to provide vision for the team). A Support, however, could make or break a team fight.
  • Marksman – Also known as ADC (attack damage carry) or AD Carry, you rely on taking down opponents with your auto attacks, and your skills help you in dishing out damage. Like the Assassin, however, you get caught, expect to explode into nothing because of your low defenses. You’re usually the one with the target on your back and the first one the other team will try to kill.
  • Mage – Also known as APC (ability power carry) or AP Carry, you rely in using your magic skills to burst opponents into oblivion or using them to disable and zone. Your auto attacks don’t do damage (who needs attack damage when you have magic?), and like the Marksman and Assassin, you also have low defenses and will quickly die if you get caught.

A Champion is not necessarily locked into a role, and there are Champions that could switch between roles.

The Rift

Summoner’s Rift is the primary arena wherein you will do battle. There are 5 people in a team and spawn in opposite ends of the map. There are three lanes in Summoner’s Rift (indicated below as the yellow lines): Top Lane, Mid/Middle Lane, and Bot/Bottom Lane. The role of a Champion is usually tied to a certain lane, following the popular meta currently in play.


Top Lane – usually the lane of Fighters and Tanks, Top Lane is the most isolated. Top Laners nowadays grab the Summoner Spell Teleport so they could quickly respond to their teammates on the other side of the map.

Middle Lane – usually the lane of Mages and Assassins. Those playing in Mid usually roam to the Top or Bottom Lanes to help secure kills, take down towers, and even secure objectives.

Bottom Lane – usually the lane of Supports and Marksmen. Most of the action occurs in the vicinity of Bot Lane, as it’s where the Dragon spawns (I will discuss the Dragon and other objectives in depth in another post).

The Jungler and the Jungle

The winding paths around the three lanes is called the Jungle (this also includes the river running horizontally down the middle). The Jungle is home to neutral monsters that you can kill to gain some gold and experience. Higher level players will usually have one person take on the role of Jungler. Junglers are usually Tanks, Fighters, or Assassins that kill the monsters in the Jungle and roam to the three lanes to catch the opponents off-guard and secure kills. If you’re new to game, don’t think too much of Jungling just yet, as you need a good set of Runes and Masteries to be able to Jungle efficiently. An inexperienced or careless Jungler could easily die to the monsters in the jungle as easily as getting killed in lane.


In the lanes and the jungle, you’ll find the clumps of tall grass called brushes (some call it bushes). Entering brush will make your Champion invisible to the enemy, unless they plant a ward into it or enter it themselves. No matter how small the brush is, keep in mind that there could be 5 people hiding in it. Learning how to utilize the brush is an indispensable skill in League, so here are a few tips:

  • Ward a bush first, so you can see if there’s an enemy inside. Look before you leap, as they say. It’s better than sticking your head in there and then realizing that there were 5 people hiding there and waiting for you. Unless you’re really confident that there’s no one in the bush, don’t stick your head in there.
  • Bushes are your friends. You can hide it in it as a group to wait for a clueless enemy to pass by or you can use it to make enemies lose sight of you while they’re chasing you. Some Champions can plant traps so the bushes are good for those too.
  • Sometimes bushes are not your friends. The previous bullet point can apply to your enemies too, so be careful. There are also Champions that use the bush to their advantage as part of their skills.


There are a lot of keywords that you pick up when you start playing LoL, so I’ve listed the important ones that you should know and could use when you play.

CC – “Crowd Control.” Any disable (slow, root, stun, polymorph, knock-up, etc.). Usually this term applies to AoE (Area of Effect) spells, but even if a disable is single target, it could be called CC.

Buff – Any effect that gives a positive effect on a Champion. Commonly used when reading patch notes and finding out a certain Champion has been made stronger. (“Shyvana’s Burnout now deals 25% of it’s damage when you auto attack enemies for its duration” is an example of a buff as it didn’t use to do that.)

Nerf – Opposite of buff. Commonly used when reading patch notes and finding out a certain Champion has been made weaker. (“Kalista’s auto attacks now deal 90% of her attack damage” is an example of a nerf as she used to do the full 100% of her attack damage.)

AD – “Attack damage.” The physical damage a unit can deal to another unit or structure. Having higher AD means more power auto attacks, or more powerful spells (if they scale off AD).

AP – “Ability power.” The magical damage a unit can deal to another unit. Having higher AP means more powerful spells for most mages as their spells scale off AP.

Scaling/Scale – could refer to the type of damage that a spell or ability gets stronger from. Mages usually scale with on ability power, Marksmen usually scale with on attack damage. Some Champions scale with health or armor (usually Tanks).


– Ezreal’s Mystic Shot (Q) scales off both attack damage and ability power.

– Sejuani’s Flail of the Northern Winds (w) scales with bonus health

Early Game – The first 15 so or minutes in the game. Typically laning phase where everyone is still in their respective lanes.

Late Game – Around 30 or so minutes in the game. By this time, laning phase should be well over with and everyone is already around level 17-18.

/ff – Surrender (Forfeit). Typing “/ff” in chat after 20 minutes will bring up the surrender screen.

GG/GGWP – “Good game” or “Good game, well played.” Usually typed in all-chat after a game.

CS – “Creep score.” A term borrowed from the old Dota days, it means how many minions/creeps you’ve killed. The higher your CS during laning phase/early game, the better. (Because you have more money!)

Farming – Killing minions in your lane.

Last hitting – Landing a killing blow on a minion/monster/Champion. Usually applies to minions during laning phase.

Meta – the trend in the game. In the context of lanes, the meta since Season 3 has been 1 Top Laner, 1 Mid Laner, 1 Jungler, and 2 in the Bottom Lane (Support and ADC).

The reason for this is because mid laners can respond faster to either top or bottom lane (usually the ones in mid lane are Assassins and Mages and can help burst an opponent down), and having a Jungler gives the element of surprise for other lanes (Junglers also help in securing objectives). Supports and ADCs are usually in the bottom lane because of the Dragon in the vicinity, and having more people there at bottom usually means you get to secure that particular objective (faster too, since the ADC is there). Supports are always paired with ADCs so that the ADCs can freely farm minions, since Supports do not need to farm very much.

Depending on the flow of the patch notes and how Riot buffs and nerfs Champions or items, the meta may shift several times in a season. In the time of writing, the meta for the season is League of Tanks (Tanky Champions are more in favor than damage ones in the Top Lane and Jungle).


For more info, visit: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/League_of_Legends_Wiki