With a roster of 160 champions, League of Legends is a game with many variables. While this does result in exciting gameplay that never becomes stale or repetitive, it also means that not every aspect of the game is equal.
Champions are balanced around their role, power budget, purpose in their role, items, runes, etc. Every champion is unique in their own way, and today we will take a look at the champions who struggle the most to make an impact in the late game.
Everything in League eventually finds its way to the top lane, except your jungler. Apart from the usual crowd of tanks and bruisers, it’s not rare to see ADCs and mages there as well. One champion that is symbolic of ruining the gameplay experience for all players in the lobby in any meta is Singed. Plus, most of the statistics show that he is one of the worst top laners in the late game. Having the 52nd worst win rate past 40 minutes of any top laners with a pick rate of at least 0,5% doesn’t surprise anyone. Even if the player is trying to win the game, Singed’s kit makes it hard to succeed. He has no reliable engage except running at you, his damage can be dodged if you just don’t follow him, and he can’t tank the damage that late-game carries can dish out. A late game Singed is like the annoying mosquito in your room at night.
Honorable mentions: Tahm Kench
The innate purpose of the jungle role is to have a significant impact on the game from the early stages. Rek’Sai is the queen of early game skirmishes and ganks due to her passive, her tunnel, her knock-up, and her ultimate ability to execute. As Rek’Sai, you either end the game in less than 25 minutes or you are one mistake away from losing the game. All of the honorable mentions fall into a similar category but at least Nidale can chunk enemies with spears. Elise can make a pick with her Cocoon, steal Objectives and buy a lot of time, and J4 and Lee Sin can have game-winning ultimates that decide team fights. Rek’Sai does none of that.
Honorable mentions: Nidale, Elise, J4, Lee Sin
Most of the champions on this list fall under the same criteria. Too good in pro play, so they don’t scale at all. Twisted Fate can barely clear the wave in the early game using runes like Minion Dematerializer, let alone super minions in the late game. The entire power budget of his kit is in his global ultimate ability and his Gold card. If you don’t use them to win the rest of the map, you will have a hard time winning the game. Mid-lane Jayce also falls into a similar category. You have to get a lot of things done early game to create a lead and win off it. If you fail to do that or you miss your abilities, you will be a glorified cannon minion.
Honorable mentions: Jayce
ADCs are the glorified scaling champions of League, getting stronger with items rather than levels. Every ADC scales well but not all are equal. Some have abilities that allow them to dish out ridiculous amounts of AOE damage, but Kalista is not one of them. Just like the previous picks, Kalista’s ultimate ability, passive, and her single target damage to champions and monsters with her E make her a dominant pro play pick. There could be an entire documentary made about how Riot has failed to balance Kalista, but in the hands of 99% of the player base, she is a bad champion. Draven is the king of early-game aggression but the difficulty of catching axes in chaotic late-game team fights puts him on this list.
Honorable mentions: Draven
Pantheon support got seemingly removed from the game with the changes to his E, but stats show that he still has a 1% pick rate. Pantheon as a champion scales poorly in every role you can place him in, but since he can’t tower dive effortlessly anymore, he is especially bad in the support role. Pantheon is a glorified minion without gold income, a stun bot with a global ultimate, similar to Twisted Fate.
Honorable mentions: Pyke
Header: Riot Games