Mid lane is the most important lane in League of Legends (as any veteran Mid laner would tell you). Being located at the center of the map gives the Mid laner the potential to impact the entire map. A player can gank Top or Bot from the Mid lane, roam to objectives, and bully the enemy Jungler. Mid lane also has the advantage of garnering solo XP quickly, so in most games, the mid laner will be ahead of everyone on the map in terms of levels. There are many ways to carry the game from Mid.
One of the most popular ways is by dominating the enemy early. Winning early game allows a Mid laner to make the aforementioned roams and snowball the entire game. Not every Champ in League of Legends was designed to win the early game. Some Champs won’t come online until mid or late game and will require a substantial amount of farm or kills to do so.
If you plan on carrying your games from the Mid lane, you must choose the correct Champion for the job. That’s why we made this list of solid early game Mid lane Champs. Champs that will allow you to stomp your opponent, secure objectives, and make the Jungler/Side laners’ lives miserable. Now that you know our very loose prerequisites, let’s get started:
LeBlanc has always been a major bully in the early game. In the past, she was capable of melting almost anyone at level 2. Nowadays, she has been mellowed out by the Riot balance team, but fortunately, she still has her teeth. LeBlanc still comes online level 2, thanks to her Q-W combo. After level 3, she will have massive damage and a stun, which means she will be a favorite lane to gank for most Junglers. On top of her killing potential, her W means she will be untouchable if the enemy Jungler decides to show their face mid.
A fed LeBlanc won’t just win the game; she will dominate the map. LeBlanc’s W allows her to roam easily and set up ganks from many angles. She also has a highly versatile kit when played by someone that knows what they’re doing. Her abilities allow her to bait cooldowns, stun enemies (twice occasionally), blow up squishies, kite tanks, etc. She can do everything, which is why she is such a great Champion in general for players that want to put in the time to learn her. This versatility will allow her to win most fights and skirmishes that she participates in during the early game.
LeBlanc appears so high on this list because she needs to net kills to reach her full potential. If LeBlanc can’t find kills in the early game on her laner or through ganks, then she will become practically useless. Her waveclear is not great, so it will be hard to make up levels if she falls behind, so she is practically an all-or-nothing Champion.
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Fizz is a very deadly fish, even before he hits level 6. He is able to easily engage on his laner thanks to his Q. After his Q, he can get off massive damage with an auto-attack W combo, then he can E out to safety, or E on top of the enemy and potentially kill them or burn a flash. After level 6, Fizz can throw his shark, which will allow him to easily engage on enemy Champs and win almost every fight he gets in. Fizz’s R is also a handy tool when looking for roams, as you can nail the enemy from very far away, which will allow your team to capitalize.
Fizz’s laning is one of his potential weak points. He can be pretty mana-hungry and unable to get off many combos. When playing Fizz, you have to be sure to take your fights strategically. If you play too aggressively, you will find yourself on top of your lane opponent with no cooldowns or mana, entirely at their mercy. On the flip side, if you play too safe, then you will find yourself being poked down by auto-attacks and ranged abilities. After the laning phase, Fizz doesn’t fall off as hard as most early game assassins do.
His pick potential remains high throughout the game, and you can almost always find a route back into the game if you fall behind. Fizz also does not have a lot of options as far as game decisions go. He has a feeble split push, so he is forced to either team fight or look for picks. He is also very vulnerable once his combo is off, so if you engage with the fish, you better be ready to kill or be killed.
Also read: Best Mid Lane Players
Surprise, surprise, another assassin! Assassins are generally really good in the early game because they come online early and can kill the enemy side lanes and Jungler if they roam. Zed is not only incredibly cool, but he is also very deadly, especially in the early game. Zed’s W-E-Q combo is fantastic for poke and for waveclear. This combo allows Zed to poke the enemy laner down until they’re in kill range, and if he can’t, it allows him to push the lane fast so that he can roam and kill someone else. Zed’s passive turns his auto-attack into a pseudo-execute, which can catch a lot of players off guard.
So it isn’t unheard of for a Zed to get fed before he reaches level 6. Once Zed is level 6, he becomes a whole nother beast. Zed’s Ultimate gives him unreal kill potential in 1v1 situations. This 1v1 potential is only exasperated early game due to enemies not having the items or health to deal with his damage. Other than its damage, Zed’s Ultimate and his W allow him to outplay Jungler ganks and lopsided fights. Zed’s main weakness is in his difficulty. Zed is a mechanically challenging Champion and a Macro-difficult Champion.
He is a notorious split pusher, but if there is anyone on the enemy team that can answer his push (Fed Tanks or Bruisers), then he will be forced to team fight. While Zed’s team fighting isn’t terrible, it can be shut down by items like Zhonya’s Hourglass and Guardian Angel, which is frustrating. On the other hand, Zed is very suited towards picking off enemy Champs when they are caught out of position. A good Zed will try to ensure that every fight will be in his team’s favor by killing off one of the enemy’s primary carries before it even begins.
No, Xerath is not an assassin, but he is one of the strongest early game mid laners that you could pick up at the moment. His poke is unparalleled due to the range and low cooldown of his abilities. Any melee Champ will practically lose lane by default when they play against a Xerath, especially if he can consistently hit his Qs. Good Xeraths will be able to weave in auto-attacks with their abilities, dealing even more damage to the poor sucker that got stuck laning against them.
His kit also comes with a stun, in the form of his E, so if someone does manage to get on top of him, Xerath can just stun them and walk back to the safety of his turret. Like assassins, Xerath can roam a little thanks to his Ultimate. While he won’t run into the enemy lane and burst someone down like an assassin, he can still roam through the river and Ult low health targets from halfway across the map. Xerath is one of the most annoying Champs to play against, even for the players in other lanes. His team fight is solid as well, as he can spam abilities into the fray and deal massive amounts of damage while staying at an untouchable range.
Xerath’s main weakness is his low mobility. He does not have anything to escape a fight or 1v1 if he whiffs his stun. He’ll be left slowly running away while the enemy chases him down and kills him. Luckily, his kiting potential makes up for his lack of mobility a little bit, but veteran players will be able to dodge his skill shots most of the time. Speaking of skillshots, hitting them is a necessity if you plan to constantly carry on Xerath. You have to get very good at predicting enemy movements and gunning them down.
One major tip for hitting skillshots in the lane is to wait for your enemy to go for a minion and then nail them mid-auto-attack. Once you’ve had practice with Xerath’s abilities and develop a keen sense of when to roam and when to pressure your lane, you’ll be carrying a large portion of your games and mega-tilting 5 players at a time while you do.
Also read: Best Early Game Supports
Malzahar lands number one on this list because he is a very mechanically-simple Champion that can shut down most other Mid laners relatively quickly. Malzahar is probably the best pusher in the game, thanks to his E. This pushing power allows him to punish assassins that might roam to other lanes during the laning phase since they will miss waves of minions when they do. Those assassins will be forced to grab a kill from their roam or lose their entire lane due to the XP disadvantage they come back to.
Malzahar is also a relatively safe pick, thanks to his passive spell shield and his silence. It’s pretty difficult to kill a Malzahar that is playing safe, which makes it that much more frustrating when he’s constantly shoving lane in. Once Malzahar hits level 6 and unlocks his R, he becomes a significant threat. His lane practically becomes a free gank for his Jungler since he will be able to immobilize his opponent for 2.5 seconds. His Ult will also allow Malzahar to roam and net some kills for the rest of his team (all while his lane is still pushing). His pushing and roaming power post-6 allows him to snowball almost every game he’s in if he’s played correctly.
Malzahar is a very mechanically simple Champion, which means there will not be a lot of chances for him to outplay opponents. Instead, Malzahar has to outplay the enemy with his decision-making and positioning. A Malzahar being in the right place at the right time can swing a team fight and ultimately shift the momentum of the game. If you play Malz, you need to know when to split push, when to look for picks, and when to team fight. If you need to team fight, you need to know if you should be Flash Ulting the enemy squishies or if you should be kiting the enemy front-line.
Even if you win lane hard on Malzahar (which you will, often), you need to know how to translate that lane victory into a game victory. Modern League is very reliant on Macro play, and Malzahar is one of the best Champs to play in order to improve in that aspect which is why he landed at number one on this list.
A common theme you may have noticed with a lot of these Champions is that they are fantastic at roaming and have a versatile playstyle. You may have also noticed that other than Fizz and LeBlanc, most of these Champs can shove a lane extremely fast, meaning they can split push once they get ahead in levels. Like we mentioned with Malzahar, these Champs will win the laning phase in a large portion of their games, but you need to play post-laning correctly in order to win the game.
Understand how to get your team ahead and choke out every opportunity your opponents may get through the game. We recommend mastering an early game Mid laner because doing so will allow you to completely decimate the enemy team and leave them feeling like they never even had a chance to win (which they didn’t).