Ah, the mid lane! One of the most coveted roles in Summoner’s Rift, and for good reason! Mid lane is definitely one of the most exciting roles, especially because it really feels like a duel with the enemy champion.
You are relatively close to everything and have access to most objectives. While the Jungler has to constantly be moving around the map to make an impact, the mid laner has the option of being reactive, focusing more in the lane, and responding when he or she needs to.
While it really does depend on what you do with your champion, some mid lane champions work better in certain situations than others. Some are also what we like to call safe picks, meaning, you generally can’t go wrong with them as long as you do your part.
The champion pool for League of Legends has ballooned to a whopping 159 in number, so choosing who you want to play may be a daunting task at times. For now, let’s look at some of the most popular and effective champions for mid lane this season.
Starting off this list is Zed. Unsurprisingly, Zed is one of the champions that have consistently been good throughout the past couple of years. His kit has everything: an escape and initiation tool through Death Mark and Living Shadow, a lane poke during the early game through Razor Shuriken, and consistent burst damage throughout the game.
As someone who manages mana really poorly, I also find it amazing to not have to worry about it because of his energy system. Where he really shines though, is during the mid to late game, and it wouldn’t be far off to say he is one of the best scaling mid laners during that phase.
By now, a good number of us already know the power of Lethality. It’s the reason why Pyke, a champion meant to be a supporting role, has seen a rise in the mid lane recently. Combine Lethality with Zed’s Contempt for the Weak, and you have someone who can basically delete squishy heroes instantly. His shadows also allow him to zip in and out of a fight after he assassinates someone. Truly a ninja of the highest caliber.
This season has been a boon for Viktor-mains, and this champion has been doing particularly well lately. He is a champion who is unique in the sense that he moves around a lot while throwing around his skills.
For that reason, we’ve been seeing more and more pick up Ghost as a Summoner’s Spell in season 12 while he mostly focuses on damage items to throw around spells from a distance. His kit is excellent for zoning and controlling the flow of a clash, particularly with his ultimate, Chaos Storm.
That’s not all he has going for him, however, because his passive skill Glorious Evolution lends him some adaptability on the fly by augmenting his different abilities when he kills an enemy. All the more reason for you to… ehem, SECURE that kill.
Also read: How to Play Against Hecarim?
For people who play Anivia in mid, you may have noticed something very important. Compared to other mid lane champions, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to itemize her and be effective. Everfrost is relatively cheap, and Anivia is one of those champions that aren’t dependent on flashy items, but greatly benefit from them.
Crystalize and Flash Frost work great together, and work well regardless of what you build. Frostbite just plain hurts, and works as a painful poke that is especially annoying during mid-game. Glacial Storm is great for clearing waves and kiting enemies, even ranged ones.
While her weakness would arguably have to be her mana and movement speed, good management and positioning should remedy that to a certain degree. Archangel’s Staff is generally also a pick on her anyway, so it solves the former problem.
Rebirth is also great for dissuading strong divers from just tackling you under tower range or even during a chaotic clash. Overall, Anivia has a well-rounded kit that works very well during Season 12.
It’s nice to see some traditional mid lane champions on this list, especially because we see a lot of shifting roles these days due to the meta and changing itemizations. While Ahri has seen a lot of changes in her kit recently, she’s still very, very effective in the mid lane.
She is a very squishy champion, but sort of makes up for it with her mobility and range. Essence Theft also helps a lot with sustain, which we know she sorely needs.
Orb of Deception works great for poking and basically being part of any combo. Fox-fire is excellent for kiting, chasing down fleeing enemies, or even escaping through the movement speed burst. Charm is basically a pull or stun, depending on how you look at it.
Spirit Rush is great for the same reasons her W is great, but even better because of the fact she can recast it multiple times, which increases even more when she takes down enemy champions. Basically, good positioning and her mobility make her a very slippery champion.
It’s tough to believe so much damage can be pumped from someone so small. Veigar’s burst is so ridiculously overpowered, he can burst down tanks in the late game with ease. He owes a lot of that from Phenomenal Evil Power, which basically grants him unlimited AP growth potential throughout the game.
Simply hitting enemy champions with a spell – which you should be doing anyway – and scoring takedowns gives him permanent AP. It’s very similar to Nasus (damage from his Siphoning Strike) and Sion (health growth potential from enemy kills through Soul Furnace).
However, unlike Nasus who only enjoys stack growth through his Q, and Sion who enjoys incremental HP growth per kill, an argument can be made that every point of AP Veigar gains holds more impact.
The Tiny Master of Evil also has a spammable skill through Baleful Strike, which is great for last hitting enemy minions because that also grants him permanent ability power. Dark Matter is a skill that starts off slow but really hurts.
As the game goes on, it gets more spammable because stacks of Phenomenal Evil actually lower the cooldown. With your AP stacks, it makes clearing waves of minions effortless. Veigar’s most obvious weakness would have to be his mobility. Because of this, using Predator from your boots may be a viable option.
Luckily he has Event Horizon, an area-of-effect ability that either stuns or traps your foes within its confines for fear of them being hit by your Dark Matter. This is especially useful when fighting and contesting key objectives. Later on, landing it becomes much easier.
His ultimate, Primordial Burst, is basically what makes him so scary in the late game. It isn’t just a ranged execute, because the base damage it does is already very painful. Finally, Veigar benefits from items like Rabadon’s Deathcap more than others, not only because of the sweet 120 AP, but because it gives you a percentage bonus of AP. While other champions are limited by their innate growth and itemizations, this effect is exponentially increased on Veigar to ensure more damage.
Also read: How to Play Against Teemo?
Yes, you heard that right. While the Rogue Sentinel was originally (and still is!) a ranged marksman, he does wonders in the mid lane. Let’s break it down. Akshan’s kit is pretty sweet, he has a lot of mechanics baked into it.
He trades well because of his passive, Dirty Fighting, which gives him an extra shot in for hit-and-run guerilla tactics. Similarly, he can cancel that extra shot for a burst of temporary movement speed that he can use to retreat or reposition himself. Avengerang is great for poking behind minion waves and just overall harassing.
He plays very similar to an assassin, and a lot of that is thanks to his amazing mobility through Going Rogue and Heroic Swing. Personally, the former would have to be my favorite because of all the goodies it brings. Going Rogue is an all-in-one skill that makes his early roaming absolutely terrifying for the enemy team.
This is one of the reasons he works very well in the mid lane, because he has access to both lanes. Nothing short of a control ward will help either, as Going Rogue gives him indefinite stealth under the right conditions.
It also resurrects allies if he manages to kill the scoundrel responsible, which is particularly invaluable during a clash or clutch moments in the late game where having teammates alive is of the utmost importance. Heroic Swing also refreshes every time he takes down enemy champions.
By now, you must have noticed that Akshan benefits greatly from frequent skirmishes, and it really shows. Mostly though, he has the ability to abuse these advantages in the early game to snowball into the late game with a huge gold gap.
Because of the buffs he has received over the recent patches, he not only makes a strong jungler, but one of the best AD mid laners this season. Before proceeding, it is important to note that picking Talon holds a higher risk compared to other champions, mainly because failing to secure any significant kills early on is more punishing to him as opposed to others.
With this in mind, he is still designed to do massive amounts of damage and subsequently secure early kills with relative ease. He enjoys early game base damage and has burst potential earlier than most other champions.
He is also one of the better roamers in Summoner’s Rift. Assassin’s Path allows him to vault over walls like a true assassin, and keeps enemies guessing where you might pop up to kill unsuspecting victims.
When you consider the nerf that the summoner skill Teleport received not too long ago (only being able to teleport to towers), then the ability to roam around it becomes all the more invaluable.
At the time of this writing, the Talon bruiser build (Goredrinker) has been picking up a lot of steam because of how some tankiness works well with how much innate base damage he has already.