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Every champion in League of Legends is associated with a certain class of champions, all of whom share common strengths, weaknesses and contributions to their team. This also allows sorting of champions according to their attributes, or tags, and each champion is assigned up to two official class tags: while champions in the game client can only be searched through their primary tag, they can be searched through both their tags in the official site.
Worthy of note is that champions do not always perfectly fit their class definition: many champions can be perceived as more than their assigned classes, whereas some do not fit their official primary or secondary class at all. Individual class definitions are also not absolute, and the rules defining each class are often bent or broken by the champions they cover.
Assassins are highly mobile champions specializing in single-target burst damage. What they generally lack in resilience, they more than make up for in their potential to cover large distances, quickly kill priority targets and retreat just as fast. Epitomizing a high-risk, high-reward playstyle, assassins are natural opportunists, and prefer to strike when their targets are alone and vulnerable, rather than engage them in a direct assault, favoring damage-oriented item builds to capitalize the most on their offensive capabilities. While particularly effective against softer (or squishy) targets, especially mages and marksmen, assassins often struggle against the heightened defenses of fighters and tanks.
Fighters are a diverse group of short-ranged combatants who excel at both dealing and surviving damage. With easy access to heavy, continuous damage (or DPS) and a host of innate defenses, fighters thrive in extended fights as they seek out enemies to take down, but their limited range puts them at constant risk of being kept at bay (or kited) by their opponents via crowd control, range and mobility. Fighters tend to be advantaged against assassins, whose burst tends to fall short of killing them when unaided, as well as tanks, whose inferior damage allows fighters to eventually defeat them in duels, but often struggle against mages and marksmen, whose superior reach allows them to kite approaching fighters. Within these large parameters, fighters also tend to fall into one of three sub-classes:
- Juggernauts (also known rarely as Off-Tanks) are the toughest (or tankiest) of fighters, but also the least mobile. These heavy-duty champions boast powerful defenses in addition to tremendous natural resilience (or tankiness), and while entering a fight is particularly difficult for a juggernaut, actual combat heavily favors them once they are in range. Juggernauts tend to favor heavily defensive builds, though what few offensive items they purchase significantly enhance their already potent innate damage.
- Divers (also known as Bruisers) are the most well-rounded of fighters: while not as tough as juggernauts or as loaded with damage as light fighters, divers blend the best of both worlds, mixing in natural toughness and damage with powerful bursts of mobility. While still short-ranged overall, divers excel at entering fights and initiating combat, though once in they have only their natural defenses to protect them against incoming damage. Divers tend to build equal parts damage and defense, allowing them to remain a constant threat without sacrificing too much survivability.
- Light Fighters (also known as Melee Carries) are the most offensively oriented fighters: favoring damage-heavy ability sets and builds, light fighters possess situational defenses that allow them to dodge, mitigate or block incoming attacks as they unleash a tremendous stream of damage against their opponents. However, they are also innately fragile, and failure to activate their defenses at the right time usually results in their death. Light fighters tend to be highly mobile, and while they are still vulnerable to kiting, it is nonetheless difficult to keep them completely out of a fight, short of killing them. Some light fighters also possess burst damage approaching that of assassins in both kit and build style, allowing a bit more room for more defensive items at the cost of escape potential.
- Mage (also known as APC Ability Power Carry):
Mages are champions who typically possess great reach, ability-based area of effect damage and crowd control, and who use all of these strengths in tandem with each other to trap and destroy enemies from a distance. Specializing in magic damage, often burst damage, and therefore investing heavily in items that allow them to cast stronger and faster spells, mages excel at chaining their abilities together in powerful comboes in order to win fights, though their abilities also tend to be difficult to land and can be mitigated, if not avoided completely, by their targets if they react in time. Though mages tend to focus on killing prime targets in combat, they can also fall back to their innate crowd control and utility to manipulate key opponents, protecting their team from them or setting them up for a takedown, and in the right circumstances can damage and control multiple enemies at a time. In spite of the influence they exert, mages tend to be innately fragile, and fall quickly to direct strikes. In general, mages are capable of dealing well with marksmen, as their burst can kill them before they can return the same amount of damage, and fighters, as their crowd control tends to make them excellent kiters. However, they are easily shut down by assassins who can often bypass their reach and spells completely, and tanks, who can lock them down and soak up their abilities better than other classes. Mages are often separated into four subclasses, though many mages often fit into more than one of these:
- Burst mages focus the most heavily on laying down direct damage, often sacrificing reach or utility in their ability sets. The most kill-focused of all mages, burst mages often use whatever crowd control they have to set up kills for themselves, and less frequently in the service of their team.
- DPS or DoT mages are also damage-focused, but their damage tends to be more spread out over time via abilities that apply lesser amounts of damage multiple times over. In general, DPS mages are more short-ranged than other mages, but also possess effects inaccessible to most other mages, such as self-healing, and can shift from target to target far more easily.
- Poke mages possess greater range than other mages, though this often comes at a cost in increased squishiness. Typically, a poke mage will hang back as far as their spell ranges allow them, entering lower ranges only when absolutely necessary, and excel at wearing down opponents on the enemy team before combat, though they also tend to have inferior direct combat capabilities.
- Utility mages possess high amounts of crowd control and less conventional means of laying down power, such as the ability to shield themselves or allies or create terrain. Utility mages tend to be the least kill-focused mages, often lacking in damage relative to their other counterparts, and most often focus on controlling the battlefield instead of aggressively pursuing kills.
- Marksman (also Known as ADC : Attack Damage Carry or just Carry):
Marksmen are ranged champions whose power almost exclusively revolves around their basic attacks: using their reach to land massive continuous damage from a distance, marksmen are capable of taking down even the toughest of opponents when positioned behind the safety of their team, and excel at securing map objectives such as turrets, Dragon and Baron Nashor. However, they are also tremendously vulnerable to burst damage due to their squishiness, and tend to be exceptionally weak early in the game, requiring high amounts of minion kills (or CS: Creep Score) to unlock powerful, but expensive, damage-focused items. Due to their potent reach and DPS, marksmen are particularly strong against more durable opponents, namely fighters and tanks, but fall quickly to the burst damage of assassins and mages.
Supports are the most selfless champions in the game, forgoing personal power to assist their allies with potent utility and keep enemies at bay with crowd control. Weak when alone, supports are capable of massively amplifying their teammates' power to become the strongest class in group combat (or teamfights), supplying crucial utility or crowd control at clutch moments to save allies from death and enable takedowns on the enemy team. Supports typically start out by assisting the marksman in lane, as their own power is less dependent on items to function well, but over time their contribution expands as they lend aid to their entire team with both their spells and effective, yet affordable, items.
Tanks are tough melee champions who sacrifice damage in exchange for powerful crowd control. While able to engage enemies in combat, a tank's purpose isn't usually to kill opponents; rather, tanks excel at disrupting enemies and diverting their focus to themselves, allowing them to lock down specific targets (or several targets at once), as well as remove (or peel) threats from their allies. In addition to strong base defenses, tanks generally have a means of amplifying their tankiness even further with their abilities, and tend to fully invest in defensive items to maximize their resilience. However, tanks lack the tools to truly succeed in single combat, and their influence is limited by their low overall mobility, preventing them from constantly staying on top of their targets. As tanks can handle burst damage very well, they tend to succeed against assassins and mages, but their vulnerability to continuous damage puts them at a disadvantage against fighters and marksmen.
While unofficial, the following attributes are often still used to describe and classify champions, even by members of Riot Games:
- Carry: A champion who becomes powerful enough as a match progresses so as to be able to seemingly win games single-handedly, thereby "carrying" the rest of the team on their back. Typically, this has been used specifically for basic attack-dependent champions, due to how autoattack-based builds tend to scale the hardest into the late game, but the term has also applied to mages.
- Hypercarry: A more extreme version of a carry, a hypercarry is a champion whose late-game strength is assumed to be so powerful that they eventually eclipse any other non-hypercarry in power. While a very subjective term, it is one that has been applied with some level of consistency to Azir, Cassiopeia, Jinx, Kog'Maw, Nasus, Vayne and Twitch.
- Jungler: A champion who can successfully thrive on the jungle's resources. While more of a position, or role, the jungler attribute is dependent on certain champion characteristics, such as innate toughness, sustained early damage, self-healing, mobility, crowd control or burst damage. Not all of these traits are required, but all successful junglers possess several of them.
- Melee: A champion with basic attacks defined as melee. Melee champions typically have a short combat range, but tend to make up for it with bolstered innate defenses and unique advantages to their abilities. Most assassins, fighters and tanks are melee.
- Pusher: A champion who can quickly kill minions and clear minion waves, thereby "pushing" their lane towards enemy structures and enabling their destruction, which they can also typically achieve better than non-pushers. Pushers typically have area of effect damage, rapid attacks or abilities and, occasionally, pets.
- Ranged: A champion with basic attacks defined as ranged. Ranged champions tend to have the most reach out of all champions, but are also more fragile on average. Marksmen and most mages are ranged.
- Recommended: A champion who is exceptionally easy to learn, and thereby recommended for newer players. Recommended champions are also exceptionally cheap to purchase, each costing 1350 or less, with the exception of Sona, Rammus and Katarina, who cost 3150 . There is usually at least 1 recommended champion every free week rotation.
- Stealth: A champion who can enter stealth, thereby becoming invisible to their enemies. Stealth champions tend to be either assassins or marksmen.
These categories are internal to the wiki for purposes of categorization and classification, and aren't copied from the game.
- The primary role of a champion is intended to show the main role of a champion and the way he or she is meant to be played. The secondary role is intended to show either an alternative role that the champion can take, or a role that complements the primary role.
- Despite this, you may freely build a champion the way you want, independent of the roles that have been assigned to him by Riot. Although this isn't often done, there are well known examples, such as Diana, who despite being a Fighter/Mage, is often treated as, and built as an Assassin.
- The champion's recommended items usually reflect the role that a champion is intended to be played.
- There are no ranged champions with Tank as their primary role. In the same vein, there are no melee primary Mage and Marksman.
- There has never been a champion that was classified both as an Assassin and a Tank at same time.
- This is probably because both roles are the complete opposite from each other in terms of gameplay, and because the Fighter role exists, it is very difficult to create a champion that would not be better classified as a Fighter.
- There are also no champions classified as Marksman and Tank, or as Assassin and Support.
- Also, there isn't any champion that has Support or Tank as their single champion role. Every champion with Support or Tank as its primary role also has a secondary role.
- Alistar was once classified as solely a Tank.