Champions generally fall into certain categories based on their skills. These are also called tags and are used on the attributes space on each champion main page.
Those categories are copied exactly from the game client, and will be listed on each champion normal page. Note that some champions are capable of more than just the role or roles they are listed under. A champion's abilities, items they gain throughout the game, and one's ability to fulfill that duty determine what role they assume in gameplay.
As of V3.10, a champion's primary and secondary tags are now listed separately in the client's champion overviews. However, the in-client Summoner Profile and champion select only feature filters by primary attribute. LeagueofLegends.com's champion list will use both primary and secondary indiscriminately when filtering by attribute.
Champions with mediocre auto-attacks or defense, who specialize in killing their enemies quickly. These champions usually are physical attackers and are DPS-based (damage per second) or are AP (ability power) burst oriented. Many of them have some form of invisibility or blinking ability which lets them choose the right moment to step in or out of a fight. They should focus on items that will increase the damage they put out over a short period of time. In fights, they play a role as sneak attackers of key targets (like the Marksman or the Mage), who pick off weak enemies and carry champions at the right time. They should not be played for frontal engagements in team fights since they lack good defense compared to Fighters and Tanks. Assassins focus on timing and positioning, rather than brute strength or defense, to ensure their kills.
- Assassins usually kill Marksmen, Supports, and most Mages with ease, but perform worse against Fighters and Tanks.
- Fighter (also known as Bruiser or Off-tank):
Champions that blend the attributes of a carry and tank, combining moderate to heavy survivability with a portion of the damage of an Assassin or Marksman (essentially half tank, half DPS). They lack the front-loaded, destructive damage of their pure DPS counterparts, but usually have abilities which increase their damage output or abilities with high damage bases, making them deadlier in the early game. Fighters can build to be extremely survivable, but the key distinction between tanky fighters and true tanks is that tanks are designed to draw damage and disrupt enemies, while fighters deal damage. In a team fight, Fighter champions can surrogate the role of a Tank or Assassin, and many have powerful fight-initiation abilities. With their special blend of defense, damage, and mobility, fighters can pierce through enemy lines to reach and destroy squishier targets while withstanding moderate damage.
- Fighters can usually take almost any other role, however their weakness is that they can't dish out damage as reliably as a Marksman or as quickly as a Mage or help as Support; usually, their role in late-game is more to defend or back up the primary damage dealers in a team fight.
- Most fighters fall off in late game due to their abilities having low scaling ratios (but very high bases).
- Mage: (also known as APC: Ability Power Carry)
Mostly ranged champions with powerful magic damage skills, good crowd control or a combination of both, but low defense and weak auto-attacks. Some are meant to deal a high amount of damage in a short period of time (burst casters/burst mages) while others usually deal damage over time; however, even DoT mages tend to have at least one nuke. Most mages present the user with a flexible, versatile, and powerful skillset. Like marksman champions, they can bring their team to victory due to their ability power, but burst based mages tend to fall of a bit at late game. They require tanky teammates for protection as they are only capable of dishing out tremendous damage while lacking durability. Otherwise, enemy teams can easily pick them off, especially since few mages have outstanding mobility.
- Mage champions easily kill Marksmen, other Mages and Supports (Assassins too, but they have to get caught out of position or by surprise), and a few Mages with supreme bursts can even kill Fighters, however, the large majority of Mages can't hit hard enough to kill a Fighter and those who can have to channel a combo( Malzahar) or take a while to fully execute their skills ( Syndra, Xerath)
- Some Mages work more like Marksmen, having high sustained damage rather than the "burst", normally associated with Mages; this trait allows them to take on Tanks and Fighters more effectively, though Mages with this trait are less effective against quick damage dealers like Assassins.
- Some Mages have abilities with high base damage, and if they are doing well, they can get somewhat tankier or supportive without sacrificing much damage.
- Range between Mages is very defining; low ranged Mages have to build tanky ability power items, otherwise they would die as soon as they enter their damage range. The short range comes with rewards however, higher-than usual damage (either sustained or up-front but extremely high) ( Cassiopeia, Swain, LeBlanc, or Vladimir), outstanding crowd control ( Lissandra) or naturally increased tankyness and survivality ( Swain, or Vladimir).
- The long ranged ones on the other hand, can freely build "glass cannon" as they have either extremely long range ( Xerath) or are very hard to catch or kill ( Lux, or Nidalee).
- Marksman: (also Known as ADC : Attack Damage Carry or just Carry)
Champions with high auto-attack damage, but low defense. Most marksmen have skills, passive or active, that scale with their stats, such as an increase in Base Damage and Attack Speed or allowing them to keep themselves safe, and rely on their auto-attack to dish out damage. Marksman champions are extremely effective late-game at "carrying" the team to victory, either by killing off key players on the enemy team or dealing large damage in team fights because they have tremendous damage output, but low defense. Due to this, they are key champions and are primary targets for enemy team. As a result, they require tanky teammates like Fighters and Tanks for protection as they lack survivability.
- Some marksmen function more like ranged AD casters that are more dependent on casting skills that deal high amounts of burst damage than autoattacking ( Ezreal, Miss Fortune, and Graves). Other marksmen are more reliant on autoattacking and more focused on building attack speed, Critical chance, items that boosts their autoattacks (e.g. ), and life steal instead for damage per second ( Tristana, Vayne, and Kog'Maw)
- Marksmen can have a hard time killing tanky targets, but stand a better chance when under good protection.
- Due to their low defensive capabilities, Marksmen are very vulnerable to Assassins and champions with high burst damage.
- Due to (most) Marksmen not being all too reliant on abilities, rather using autoattacks to deal damage, they are capable of dealing a lot of damage over a longer period of time compared to Mages.
Champions whose skills are meant to directly aid the rest of the team. They can either babysit a champion to make laning easier for them by providing healing, buffing allies, applying debuffs to the enemy team, or a combination of the above. The most common ability for a support champion is providing an ally with a shield of some kind or hitting the enemy with some form of strong crowd control. One of the main goals of a support is to let their lane partner farm minions for gold, as supports can buy key gold+ items to get gold for themselves, as well as controlling the map with wards, warding all key areas of the map. These champions usually rely on their skills more than their auto-attack.
- Supports can't really kill anything but other supports on their own, but their buffs and harsh CC makes them deadly when paired along with any other role but Tanks.
- A few supports have ability power ratios high enough to let them become Mages, and a few Mages have supportive abilities/aggressive crowd control which lets them become supports.
- Supports can often use their CC to interrupt Assassins and protect nearby Mages and Marksmen.
Champions with extremely high defense, health, and crowd control abilities, but low attack damage or poor ability power scaling. Tanks are usually champions that combine high amounts of health, armor, and magic resistance. If left alone, tanks are able to absorb high amounts of damage or create disables on their foes, which make them great harassers as well. In battle, this type of champion is usually expected to start/initiate (or at least be in the front of) the team fight; soaking up damage, and helping focus certain enemies (Marksman and Mage champions). Due to their low damage output, they must rely on their Assassin, Marksman, Fighter, and Mage champions to finish the enemy off or chase them down when they initially weakened them. As a result, Tanks are not expected to gain high kills but more assists. Tank champions should be able to initiate teamfights and CC the enemy team since they are generally the frontline. They are also meant to be a protector of the team, and must be willing to sacrifice themselves for vulnerable allies if necessary.
- Tanks can usually kill Mages, as a Mage's full burst will rarely take the Tank below 50% health, and are left open for the Tank's slow, steady damage output; however, DoT Mages might be harder to deal with.
- Some Tanks have very high ratios on their abilities and if they are doing well enough they can leave a bit their tankiness to get damage.
- In a manner similar to many supports, most Tanks can use CC to interrupt Assassins, but they can also use them to lock down Mages or Marksmen using their defenses to be able to safely position themselves within the enemy lines.
- Carry: Champions with high auto-attack damage. Ranged carries sacrificed defensive abilities, while melee carries all featured some means of innate survivability. At the time of its removal - no melee carry featured movement inhibiting crowd control. The carry class was composed of all Marksman, as well as Fiora, Gangplank, Master Yi and Tryndamere ( Aatrox was originally classified as a carry when revealed on the PBE). When the term "Carry" was rebranded as "Marksman", the "Melee carries" were reclassified as Fighters and Assassins.
- Jungler: Champions that can easily farm monsters in the jungle at an early stage in the game and can typically take out minions waves quickly. They usually excel at taking down opponents when they can catch them off guard in lane. Some champions jungle because their lane phase isn't that strong (easily harassed, high mana dependency early on) and others are capable of both. Many Fighters, Assassins and Tanks can take the role of jungler; though it is generally expected that the champion will have some form of self sustain .
- Melee: Champions that have a melee basic attack, so they have to be very close to their target in order to do damage. They usually have more health, armor and magic resistance than ranged champions as well as heals. Most Tanks and Fighters are melee combatants, although melee Mages are not uncommon.
- Pusher: Champions that can quickly kill minion waves or destroy turrets in a short amount of time. Typically, pusher champions have pets, AoE abilities, or a high amount of attack speed.
- Ranged: Champions whose basic attack can cause damage at a distance (see range), allowing them to avoid many harmful risks and increasing their flee capability. Ranged Champions are divided into two sub-categories: Mage and Marksmen champions. Mages have a weak auto-attack and focus on high damage spells or Support, while Marksmen tend to focus more on frequent, powerful auto-attacks.
- Recommended: Champions whose skills don't involve any complicated mechanics and playing them effectively does not require extensive knowledge of the other champions. They are all 1350 or lower, with the exception of Sona, Rammus and Katarina, who cost 3150 . There is usually at least 1 recommended champion every free week.
- Stealth: Champions that possess at least one ability that allows them to become invisible to enemies (other than when near turrets and vision wards). This attribute is mainly for assassin champions.
These categories aren't copied from the game. They have been discussed on the wiki and will be listed on each champion ability detail page once it is created.