An ability is a unique action (as opposed to summoner spells / active ability items) performed by and only available to a champion (Baron Nashor Baron Nashor and Vilemaw Vilemaw are currently the only examples of non-champion units with abilities) Each of these special moves make up a portion of a champion's 'kit'.

Champion Kits

Every champion kit (with some exceptions) follows the same basic structure: an innate with no ranks, three basic abilities with five ranks each, and an ultimate with three ranks.

  • Innate: Available as soon as the game starts, innate abilities passively affects a champion for the entire match but cannot be ranked up at will, often scaling with their owners' level to compensate.
    • Innates sometimes feature a unique mechanic that helps define a champion's playstyle.
  • Basic abilities: Available from level 1 and controlled by the Q - W - E keys, basic abilities are learned over the course of the game by ranking them up after every level-up, the earliest for maxing one out being level 9 (current rank cannot be higher than half the champion's rounded out level, limiting each new new for the same ability to every odd, single-digit level)
  • Ultimate: Available from level 6 (can only be ranked up again at levels 11 and 16 at the least) and controlled by the R key, ultimates are considered a champion's strongest, most characteristic, and most game-changing ability.
    • Ultimate abilities feature a HUD indicator attached to the champion's portrait (can be set to appear on top of the minimap or on the left of the screen) letting allies know the state of each other's ultimate cooldowns (black if not learned yet, gray when on cooldown, green when ready to cast)

Components

Any given ability can possess one or more of the following components (combinations may vary)
  • Scaling: Abilities increase in potency and/or strength through a portion of a certain stat champions acquire via items, runes, and/or masteries.
  • Cost: Most abilities require the champion to expend a resource cost (mana, energy, health, or others) in order to be cast, becoming unable to do so if they possess than the required amount (the ability's HUD icon will turn gray)
    • Toggles continuously consume a resource until the ability is toggled off manually or does so automatically upon resource depletion.
    • Resourceless champions only have cooldowns as their ability 'costs'.
  • Cooldown: Champions must wait a certain length of time before they can use the same ability again. This wait can be shortened by purchasing cooldown reduction (maximum 40%, increased to 45% with Intelligence mastery 2016.png Intelligence)
  • Ammo: Some abilities run on charges (as opposed to a cooldown) in order to be used.
    • Stock: Charges are generated one at a time and up to a maximum (recharge time is affected by cooldown reduction)
    • Barrage: Charges are generated upon casting the ability and available for a limited duration (all unused charges are lost when it ends) and each used charge incurs no additional resource costs while triggering a brief cooldown in-between each other.
  • Range: How many units the caster and the target (unit / location) must be from one another in order for the ability to be cast / to hit (hitbox collision detection determines if the range used is Range center center-based or Range model edge-based)
    • In-game tooltips do not display either range or targeting (can only be seen by placing the cursor over an ability's icon on the HUD)
    • Some ultimate abilities feature an unlimited global range, allowing champions to be a threat to their enemies from anywhere on the map and/or to assist their allies from afar.
  • Cast time: The champion is unable to perform any other actions for a brief period of time until the ability takes effect (can only be interrupted by the champion's death or by some crowd control effects)
  • Channel: The champion must not perform any other actions for a brief period of time in order for the ability to take full effect (can be interrupted by the caster themselves or by most crowd control effects)
    • Interrupted channels will not refund the ability's cost but may have it go on a reduced cooldown (happens with some point-and-click abilities if the affected enemy dies or becomes untargetable during the channel)
  • Active: Must be cast at a target unit / location / direction in order to be used (innate abilities never feature this component)
  • Passive: Affects the champion without any specific input required on their part.
    • Auras passively affects nearby units (allies, enemies, both) within a certain range.
  • Toggle: Allows the champion to cycle the ability between 'on' and 'off' status, activating and (willingly/forcefully) disabling it or swapping an effect for another.
  • Stance: The champion 'shapeshifts' themselves and/or their abilities, gaining persistent effects (mutually exclusive) and/or temporary ones (may overlap by gaining high cooldown reduction) while losing others.
    • Rapid stance-swapping is usually regulated by a brief global cooldown in order to prevent a champion from continually accumulating temporary effects.
    • Some stances replace temporary effects by granting completely different basic abilities based on the active stance.
  • Summon: Champions can bring forth other units to assist them and/or their allies.
  • On-Action Effects: Abilities within a champion's kit can interact with certain actions and/or each other for synergistic effects and results.
    • Most abilities apply spell vamp and/or spell effects from items.
      • A select few apply on-hit effects (but only if specifically stated to be able to do so)
    • Stacking allows to permanently / temporarily increase an ability's potency and/or strength by repeated uses, unit kills (their health reduced below 0, other conditions may apply) and/or combining them with basic attacks.
    • The caster's death can allow them to trigger revive and/or 'revenge' effect.

Effects

Any given ability can possess one or more of the following effects (combinations may vary)
  • Combat: Enhances offensive and/or defensive aspects.
    • Damage allows champions to kill minions, monsters, and each other in order to obtain gold to become stronger.
      • A champion can temporarily take reduce damage in response, enhancing their own durability and gaining protection from physical and magic attacks (but remaining vulnerable to true damage)
    • Crowd control effects hinder and/or disable a champion's fighting capabilities.
      • A champion can become temporarily immune to some or all these effects in response.
    • Buffs affect the caster and/or their allies for their benefit.
    • Debuffs affect the caster's enemies for their detriment.
  • Utility: Enhances non-combat aspects.
    • Blinks and dashes allow champions to move through otherwise solid obstacles/terrain in the same way as using Flash.png Flash does.
    • Healing provides a means of sustains through combat.
    • Shields enhance survivability by absorbing damage to prevent health loss.
    • Stealth grants Twilight Shroud invisibility or Ambush 2 camouflage to avoid enemy detection.
    • Invulnerability gives immunity to enemy damage sources (crowd control is still effective)
    • Untargetability gives immunity to enemy focus fire (damage over time and delayed damage debuffs can still apply if durations and circumstances permit)

Trivia

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Gameplay Elements

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