Dread them, run from them; feeders still arrive. Bad teams can make games feel close to impossible in League of Legends. No matter how well you play or how hard you win your lane, sometimes there’s just nothing you can do to pull out the W. It’s a sad fact of League, but one we need to accept and learn to workaround.
One way many high-rank players choose to combat feeders is to play hard carries; Champions that can carry the game completely solo. If you don’t need to rely on your team to win, you will win more games. I’m a firm believer that good players will rise to the top if they play well, but they need to be on Champions that can reward their skills.
What Makes a Champion a Hard Carry?
- Early Game Kill Potential: Most hard carries need to be able to stomp their lane. This lets them get ahead in the early game and snowball their advantage by either split pushing or ganking other lanes.
- Insane Scaling: If a Champion does not have early game kill potential, they may still be a hard carry. If the Champion scales to god-mode levels in the late game, then it can be extremely easy to carry games if you can consistently drag games out.
- Not Reliant on Team: This is the big one. A hard carry cannot rely on their team. Champions like Malphite and Jarvan IV can carry games with huge ultimates, but only if they’re fed or their team follows up. A hard carry doesn’t need their team to win and can take a slight advantage and stretch it out into a win.
Shaco is my personal favorite Jungler because he controls the early game like no other Champion can. His damage is pretty good early game, but he can’t 1v1 many Champions. Where Shaco shines is in his ganks. Shaco’s Q turns him invisible and makes it very easy to position himself for free kills.
Shaco is also a proficient counter-jungling Champion. Counter Jungling can hard carry games on its own. Shutting down the enemy Jungler is a great way to secure objectives and completely tilt the enemy team.
When you play Shaco, your goal is to kill as many people as possible in as many lanes as possible. You want the enemy team to feel like you’re everywhere, all at once. Make sure not to forget about farming your Jungle, though, as it is easy to quickly fall behind on levels and become useless.
- Very Easy early game Ganks, thanks to Q and E damage
- Very Mobile thanks to Q. Can run the map
- R Lets him easily solo Drake at level 6 and beyond
- Team fights are difficult if the enemy team peels their carry
- Easy to fall behind on levels
- Red Trinket can shut Shaco down. Learn to play around its cooldown
Also read: What is Quick Cast in League of Legends
Ahri has recently received a powerful buff, which has made her the best assassin in the game. Her R now gains an extra charge with every single takedown she nabs while it’s active. This allows Ahri to dive in, kill someone, dive out (or kill someone else).
Ahri is so strong because of how versatile she is. She can fight and kite with her backline, dive enemy carries, or look for picks on enemy Champions that are caught out. Ahri is only so far up on this list because it can be a little challenging to find kills on her during the laning phase. Once she hits level 6, however, all of the doors swing wide open. She can roam bot lane, bully the enemy Jungler, or all in her enemy laner.
Ahri’s damage is another huge point for her. She’s an assassin, and her maxed-out W can quickly burst down enemies. It’s also on a very low cooldown, so she can constantly spit out damage while kiting around with her movement speed and her R.
- Ahri can play backline with her ADC or dive the enemy carries with her tanks
- Insane pick potential with her E – Q – W combo
- Very mobile thanks to R, which allows her to roam or engage
- Bad split pusher
- Cannot always bully lane
- Needs items for damage to come online
Alright, so I’m sure we’ve all seen a Tryndamere run it down in the Top lane. Tryndamere is so good at hard carrying games because he can demolish turrets and apply endless pressure. If Tryndamere gets in a sticky situation (1v3+), usually he’ll be able to nab a kill or two before being put down or escaping.
Tryndamere is a lane bully against most other Champions, and even when he isn’t, he’ll find his way. One of the hardest parts about playing Tryndamere is learning when to split push and when to back off. Most players make the mistake of trying to play with their team once they get fed and then accidentally throwing the game in a few bad team fights.
- His R and damage make it possible to win 1v3 situations
- Can bully most lanes
- Infinite split push potential in the mid-late game
- Useless if he can’t split push (if someone can 1v1 him)
- Needs great game sense and Macro decision making
- Split push strategy can tilt the team
Also read: Why Do Supports Take Ignite?
4. Master Yi
Yi is a notorious late-game carry. No one wants to see a Yi make it to his full build. This is because he becomes almost impossible to kill, thanks to infinite Qs and massive lifesteal. A fed Master Yi has many options, which is why he’s a hard carry.
He can play with his team, and Penta kill the enemy with a few right-clicks, or he can split push and take the Nexus if left alone.
Yi is also very good at taking objectives. He can solo Drake very easily and eventually Baron if he plays it well (Q the Baron attacks). This means he rewards macro-oriented players quite a bit, but there is plenty of room for micro-heavy players to carry.
Yi’s main weakness is in his early game. He has no real gank potential until level 6 unless his team sets him up, and he loses the 1v1 to many Meta Junglers. However, most solo queue games go pretty late, and there are usually opportunities to start your snowball early.
- Very easy to steamroll when fed (much more so than the typical Champion)
- Q and W give him insane 1v1 potential once he has items
- Can split push or team fight and solo objectives (Drake / Harold / Baron)
- Weak early game ganks
- Team fights are hard if not fed
- Needs to be fed to carry
I needed to put a Support on here and wasn’t sure if I should go with Blitz, Pyke, or Thresh. I also thought about Casters like Lux and Brand. However, in the end, I decided on the classic Blitzcrank. Blitz has a very simple carry concept. Hit hooks, get kills.
Blitzcrank is a hard carry because he can win a losing game with one simple ability. Good Blitzcranks will set up wards and clear enemy vision in order to set their teams up for kills. They will also look for roams to the Mid lane and work with their enemy Jungler to completely control the bottom half of the map.
Blitz’s main weakness is actually in his laning phase. If he misses a hook, he becomes a target dummy. If his ADC can’t be aggressive, then Blitz will be forced to sit in a bush and beep boop until his Jungler ganks.
- Getting picks with Q can win games
- Very good invade
- Can stomp lane if paired with the right ADC
- Not much going for him other than Hook
- Low damage output after the early-game
- He can be bullied in lane (if he misses hook)
Also read: The Best Rengar Combos
Caitlyn is my favorite hard carry ADC for one simple reason; it really doesn’t matter what your Support does. As someone with a lot of experience solo queueing as ADC, having a Support that doesn’t play how you play is one of the most frustrating experiences in all of League of Legends.
Having a Support that is too passive while you’re trying to be aggressive can get you killed—having a Support that is too agro while you’re trying to farm and play passive can get them killed (which will get the enemy ADC fed and get you killed…). On the other hand, Caitlyn can play as aggressively as she wants, and her range will keep her safe whether her support backs her up or not.
Cait is a hard carry because she is the biggest ADC lane bully in the game. Anytime the enemy ADC tries to auto-attack a minion, she can auto them. She can Q them, and she can trap them and nail headshot after headshot until she pokes them down to nothing. Good Caitlyns will win lane almost every game they play, with or without their Support.
- Range lets her bully almost every other ADC during the laning phase
- Can pump out damage whether fed or not
- Her range makes it very easy to siege turrets and take objectives
- Traps can be hard to use
- Susceptible to ganks and being camped (E is not the best escape)
- Low burst damage makes it hard to win 1v1s if not fed
Yasuo is number one on my list because I’m salty and because I don’t know enough about Yone to write about him. Yasuo is not the first king of hard carry, but he’s one of the most notorious along with Tryndamere. We’ve all had an enemy Yasuo 1v5, Windwalling every ability that could stop him and life-stealing more damage than we can deal. We’ve also all had a friendly Yasuo go 0/10 and continue failing at 1v5s.
He’s truly a Champion that is made or broke, depending on the player. Most Yasuo players have tasted both sides of the coin. The trick to hard carrying on Yasuo is consistency. Learn how to get to god-mode status every game.
Know which Champs you won’t be able to fight and how you’ll get fed if you can’t kill your lane opponent. It’s also important to know how to play once you are fed. When you should split push and when you should team fight.
- Insane 1v1 and 1v2 potential, especially with items
- Good split push and good team fight
- Windwall can shutdown enemy ADCs and Mages
- Only strong when fed
- Large learning curve
- Ranged Mids can bully him early-game