Every champion in League of Legends is assigned a number of attributes, or tags, which describe their primary/secondary playstyles and capabilities.
The primary attributes are copied exactly from the game client, and will be listed on each champion main page. Though the attribute(s) usually describe a role for that champion within the team, they are not fully limited to that role.
We distinguish four distinct terms when referring to playstyle:
- A class is a predefined set of patterns in player's behavior, responses and reactions to environment (including but not exclusive to enemies and own team). This may also include preferred item and ability paths, summoner spells, stats, runes or masteries. Classes may be considered the abstract patterns, while roles and attributes being their actual implementation.
- A role is a class currently embodied by champion in game. A champion's role can dynamically change during the course of game and is a subject to player's building choices (itemization, masteries, runes).
- An attribute is a startup role, or default (primary/secondary) class. It is a synonym of class innate to champion. The creators bore that class in mind during the champion's design and this is how a champion is supposed to be played in early game with little influence of custom build-ups. A champion's recommended item set allows to actually make up the role from the primary attribute.
- A position refers to default player location in game rather than class. There are currently 5 positions in game- top, mid, bot, support, jungler and 6th archaic position of a roamer. All 5 positions occur only on Summoner's Rift. Except for jungler, positions usually disappear during match progress.
These positions and classes can be arbitrarily combined but natural suitability of classes for certain positions causes some meta-options to become much more common such as: support tank/controller, bot marksman, mid mage/slayer, top tank/fighter, jungler fighter/slayer
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. the official champion list will use both primary and secondary indiscriminately when filtering by attribute.
As of V6.8, new Champion Classes Categorization has been implemented. Most notable changes are the renaming of Assassins into Slayers, and Supports into Controllers as well as adding subclass to all classes.
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 most mages, but their vulnerability to continuous damage puts them at a disadvantage against fighters and marksmen. Subcategories of Tanks are vanguards, and wardens.
- Vanguards (Examples: , ) refer to as “offensive tanks.” Vanguards lead the charge for their team and are specialists at getting action started. Their explosive team fight initiation seeks to catch enemies out of position while allowing allies to follow-up to devastating effect.
- Wardens (Examples: , ) are “defensive tanks.” Wardens stand steadfast, seeking to hold the line by persistently locking down any oncomers who try to pass them. Wardens keep their allies out of harm’s way and allow them to safely deal with enemies caught in the fray.
- Fighter (also known as Bruiser)
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. Sub-classes of the Fighters are juggernauts, and divers.
- Juggernauts (Examples: , ), 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 (Examples: , ), also known as bruisers, are the most well-rounded of fighters: while not as tough as heavy juggernauts or as loaded with damage as light skirmishers, 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.
Slayers 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, slayers often struggle against the heightened defenses of fighters and tanks. Sub-classes of Slayers are assassins, and skirmishers.
- Assassins (Examples: , ) specialize in infiltrating enemy lines with their unrivaled mobility to quickly dispatch high-priority targets. Due to their mostly melee nature, Assassins must put them themselves into dangerous positions in order to execute their targets. Luckily, they often have defensive tricks up their sleeves that, if used cleverly, allow them to effectively avoid incoming damage.
- Skirmishers (Examples: , ), unlike Assassins, aim to shred through any nearby enemy that approaches. Because Skirmishers lack high-end burst damage or reliable ways of closing in on high-priority targets, they are instead armed with situationally powerful defensive tools to survive in the fray, along with extreme sustained damage to cut down even the most durable targets.
- Mage (also known as )
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 combos 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. Sub-classes of Mages are burst, battle, and artillery Mages.
- Burst mages (Examples: , ) 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 possess powerful crowd control that allows them to single out (or pick) select targets from the enemy team and take them out, though their kill potential is also often heavily gated by large cooldowns.
- Battle mages (Examples: shields, self-healing and innate mobility, and can shift from target to target far more easily. Due to their innate survivability, battle mages tend to be not as vulnerable to assassins as other mage sub-classes, and due to their DPS, they also tend to have an easier time dealing with tanks and fighters. , ) specialize in continuous damage (or DPS) via abilities that apply damage over time effects (or DoTs), short cooldowns, or both. In general, battle mages are more short-ranged than other mages, but also tend to possess defensive effects inaccessible to most other mages, such as personal
- Artillery mages (Examples: , ) possess greater range than other mages, though this often comes at a cost in increased squishiness. Typically, an artillery 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 via long-ranged damage (or poke), though they also tend to have inferior direct combat capabilities.
Controllers 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. Sub-classes of Controllers are enchanters and Catchers.
- Enchanters (Examples: , ) are the most selfless champions in the game, they focus on amplifying their allies’ effectiveness by directly augmenting them and defending them from incoming threats. Enchanters themselves are often quite fragile and bring relatively low damage to the table, meaning they really only shine when grouped together with others.
- Catchers (Examples: , ), initially called this subclass ‘control mages’, expanded to the entire group (that and ‘Utility Mage’ wasn’t a very good Class name). Catchers specialize in locking down opponents or, in some cases, entire battlefields by creating intense zones of threat that only foolish enemies would dare wade through. Although not as reliant on their friends as Enchanters, the fragile and immobile Catchers greatly benefit from allied presence - both to deter incoming danger and to help capitalize on targets they’ve locked down.
Marksmen (Examples: 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, and . 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 gold, mostly via minion kills (or CS: Creep Score) to acquire 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., ) are ranged champions whose power almost exclusively revolves around their
Specialists (Examples: V7.10 update, including a large number of champions from the former Zoner subclass of Controller. As a consequence of the above, many Specialists exhibit "zone control" either as a dominant or secondary attribute, including many of the pre-7.10 Specialists. A Zone Controller is a champion whose influence is limited either to telegraphed zones—such as and —or a persistent threat that is dependent on cooldown knowledge—such as , or . The latter type of Zone Controller is comparable in their psychological threat to a Juggernaut, except that this threat largely diminishes once the problematic ability is known to be on cooldown., ) are a diverse group of champions who do not "fit into a neat little box" in regards to other class/subclass specifications. The majority of these champions were once part of other sub-classes but were reclassified in the
The remaining Specialists are jack-of-trade champions who toe-the-line between multiple roles without fully encompassing any of them. For example:is a Marksman whose basic attacks can be intercepted and thus reduces his effective range in combat to be more similar to a melee champion; and , who falls somewhere between a Mage without a kill-securing ultimate and a Controller that lacks any meaningful way to assist his allies outside his ultimate.
The classes and their correlations can be simply concluded in a graph with essential class features as edge weights:
- Every class here is described by properties on its adjacent edges.
- Every outcoming edge points to the feature that class is strong against.
- Every incoming edge points from the feature the class is weak against.
- Every class on the boundary is weak against two preceding classes in counterclockwise direction.
- Every class on the boundary is strong against two consecutive classes in clockwise direction.
- Controllers have a special position in the middle because they are generally not designed to fight 1-on-1.
Example: Tank's characteristic properties are tankiness, team utility (so that enemy team indirectly perishes from not focusing it) and a possession of some sort of mobility or gap closer. Diagram further displays that tanks can easily deal with burst (of slayers and mages), but struggle against sustained damage (of fighters and marksmen).
The mutual counterability of all classes naturally leads to class diversity in gameplay (as there is no superclass to dominate all others) Every competitive team in higher ranks is thus incentivized to distribute its team composition more regularly throughout all the main class categories.
If this is not the case, as it often happens in non-competitive or recreational games (for example a team chooses to set up a heavy assassin composition), the game result can be determined by adaptability of enemy to counter the dominant class' natural weakness (as for assassins, tankiness). Hence the understanding of relations between classes is an advantageous tactical skill of a player.
The classification of champions by main attributes basically refers to their early game/innate properties. The runes, masteries and the itemization skill can "reengineer" the champion's primary attribute as the game progresses into late game. Common examples of such shift are tankor tank who start as assassin/fighter early but build into tank class late game (usually as a response to being behind or to fill a team role of tank). However such situations are rarer in pro-play.
While unofficial, the following attributes are often still used to describe and classify champions, even by members of Riot Games:
- Bully: A champion with such exceptional strength in the early stages of a match that they can seriously threaten, or bully, their opponents, and force them to play defensively. Typically, the term is used to describe lane bullies, champions who can harass or engage their opponents in lane with relatively little fear of retribution. In exchange for this power, however, bully champions also tend to become less effective as matches progress, a process also known as falling off. Hallmarks of bully champions include very high base statistics, especially health and attack damage, cheap, long-ranged damaging abilities, and mobility that increases with nearby units. Most bullies tend to be fighters, who often have several or even all of these characteristic features, but several members of every other class also qualify as bullies.
- 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. The term's use has significantly increased over time, to the point where "carry" and "hypercarry" often both designate the same set of late-game champions.
- Jungler: A champion who can successfully thrive on the jungle's resources. While more of a position, 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 and , 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 attribute 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 attribute is intended to show either an alternative role that the champion can take, or a role that complements the primary attribute.
- Despite this, you may freely build a champion the way you want, independent of the classes that have been assigned to him by Riot. Although this isn't often done, there are well known examples, such as , who despite being a fighter, 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.
- Most champions classified as tanks have either damage based on a percentage of the target's health, or damage scaling with their own defensive stats. They also tend to have high base damage. This allows them to have relevant damage late game, especially against enemy tanks. Their damage still fall off, however, as their scalings tend to be not very high and they usually build no penetration. There are exceptions such as and , which do not have either of those types of damage, and they rely solely on their crowd control and survivability to be relevant late game.
- Almost every mage has spells scaling with ability power. Offensive champions with attack damage-scaling abilities (AD casters) tend to be classified as fighters, assassins, or marksmen instead, as almost every one of them has either tankyness, mobility, or enough sustained damage via auto-attacks, respectively. One of the very few exceptions is , but he still isn't considered a mage by most people exactly because he is AD.
- Most assassins and marksman have little or no hard crowd control. The few hard crowd controls present in assassins/marksmen's kits, are often difficult to trigger and/or limited by long cooldowns. This is to counter-weight their extreme damage, requiring them to move and attack with care, especially during chaotic teamfights.
- Almost every tank and support has hard crowd control in their kits, to ensure their relevance late-game despite their damage-lacking kits and builds. These champions revolve around setting up advantages for their teammates using their crowd-controls.
- There are no ranged champions with tank as their primary attribute. In the same vein, there are no melee champions with primary attribute of marksman.
- Most mage champions are ranged, with few exceptions ( and ).
- Most fighter champions are melee. Exceptions are and (Specialists being excluded).
- and were the only primarily assassin champions that are ranged, still, has a melee form. All slayers (Assassins and Skirmishers) champions are purely melee.
- 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 attribute exists, it is very difficult to create a champion that would not be better classified as a fighter.
- There were also no champions classified as assassin and controller or marksman and tank.
- was once classified as an assassin and controller.
- was once classified as a fighter and controller.
- was once classified as a marksman and tank.
- was once classified as a marksman and controller.
is the first champion with controller as his only champion attribute. Before the classes and subclasses changes, other controllers always had a secondary attribute. There were few champions with just single attribute, usually either mages or marksmen:
- , , , , , , , , and were the only ones only having principal attribute as mage.
- , , , , , , , , and were the only ones only having principal attribute as marksman.
- , and were the only ones assigned to a single attribute of fighter.
- and were the only examples of pure assassin.
- and were the only pure tanks, however, Alistar didn't stay as long.
- Actually, very few champions has multiples roles:
- (burst) and (marksman) both have artillery as second role, due to their long ranges.
- is both a Controller (Enchanter) and a Tank (Warden).
- is both a Marksman and a Controller (Catcher)