With the massive variety of champions offered by League of Legends, it is expected that some of them would have different secondary resource bars. While a lot of champions in the game have mana as their secondary resource, some of them are balanced around a different resource.
Energy Champions usually have abilities that synergize well with each other. Energy prevents these champions from constantly spamming such strong abilities. The Top 5 Energy Champions in League of Legends are Lee Sin, Kennen, Shen, Zed, and Akali.
Energy champions are extremely strong and energy as a resource limits them from overpowering their opponents through their strong abilities. At the same time, Energy is constantly recharged so a champion can never be forced to recall for this resource. Let us look at some of the best Energy champions.
Lee Sin is probably one of the most popular champions in the entire game. If you are an avid fan of League of Legends esports, then you have probably seen the presence this champion has had in professional play in the last decade. Lee Sin seems to be a Meta-proof champion that has seen presence in every tier of the ranked ladder and professional play.
Lee Sin’s passive provides him with a decent attack speed boost whenever he uses his abilities. All of his basic abilities can be recast for an additional effect. Sonic Wave allows him to reach targets over terrain and obstacles by simply hitting them with a skillshot, and recasting the ability to automatically leap to them. His ultimate is a great setup tool that can be combined with Flash or Ward Jump to kick the target in any desired direction (Insec).
His W provides a small shield to him and his ally, simultaneously jumping to melee range of his ally. He can also recast his W to gain lifesteal. This ability allows him to mitigate poke if he is laning, and remain healthy during his clear if he is jungling. Lee Sin’s E deals AoE magic damage, making it a strong waveclear tool in lane. It also allows him to clear camps like Raptors faster. When used on champions, his E also slows down the target, allowing him to stick to champions until his Q comes back up.
While performing an Insec looks cool and is very effective, it does leave Lee Sin in the middle of the enemy team. He can Q the target he kicked to book a ticket back if he does not get immediately crowd controlled. Missing Q, however, will lead to the death penalty. Lee Sin relies on his play-making ability to set his team up for success, if he doesn’t utilize his Q and R properly, he can be a sitting duck in a lot of teamfights.
Kennen is a teamfight-focused champion, heavily relying on his ultimate to make big plays. During the laning phase, Kennen can poke his opponent using his passive auto attacks and Q. His early game is fairly weak, but he makes up for it in the teamfights where a good ultimate can melt 5 targets at once.
Kennen can poke his opponents in the laning phase using his Q and auto attacks. Once he gets 1 or 2 passive charges on the target, he can then use his W on them for free damage. Kennen’s Q gains a lot of damage with each level. He can chase a target with his E, allowing him to restore some energy if it connects. It can also serve as an escape ability.
Kennen’s Ultimate is a massive teamfighting ability. It has a fairly long cooldown, but as Kennen starts to gain some AP/Magic Penetration items, it becomes extremely deadly. Kennen can combine his ultimate with Flash or Hextech Rocketbelt to close the gap quicker. His ultimate also provides a great setup for the rest of his basic abilities.
Kennen has very poor waveclear in the early game and can lose priority in a lot of matchups. He must use his E and W to properly clear waves, leaving him vulnerable to ganks. His Q is his major poke tool and can be blocked by standing behind enemy minions. His ultimate has a fairly long cooldown, so he must play safe when it is down.
Kennen can run out of energy easily if he does not hit any target with his E, making it hard to set up his stun. During teamfights, his ultimate is his main strength. Any flash or escape ability that saves the enemies from his ultimate will massively reduce his impact in teamfights.
Shen is a unique pick among the rest of the entries in this list. He is normally played in the top lane and acts as a supportive champion because of his E and R. He has a strong laning phase against melee champions, but his main strength comes from his ultimate that grants his allies a massive shield.
Shen is a tank champion with a fairly strong laning phase. While he can struggle against ranged poke champions, he does just fine against melee champions because of his Q. His empowered auto attacks win him most trades. He can use his E aggressively or defensively depending on the situation. His W allows him to mitigate auto attack damage.
Shen’s biggest strength lies in his ultimate. Shen immediately provides a large shield to an ally anywhere on the map, increased based on their missing HP. After a few seconds of channeling, Shen teleports himself to the ally’s location, turning the fight around with his taunt.
Shen lacks the ability to CS from a distance, so he can be bullied in the lane by ranged champions. His W has a massive cooldown and can make him vulnerable if misused. Shen’s E is the only mobility he has, so if it is used aggressively, it can leave him in the middle of the enemies with no way to survive. Shen’s ultimate may take him very far away from his lane, making him miss gold and experience and letting the enemy top laner take free tower plates.
Zed has been a classic assassin pick in the mid lane since the early years of League of Legends. One of the most watched clips in League of Legends esports history is of Faker outplaying his opponent on Zed. Zed struggles with energy more than any other champion on the list. His ultimate requires planned ability usage, otherwise, you might find yourself in the middle of the enemy team with no energy left to finish your target.
Zed’s laning phase is fairly weak because he does not have a massive damage threat in the early game. However, his Q allows him to CS from a distance and also poke his opponents in the process. His E slows his opponents, setting up easier to hit Qs. Once he hits Level 3, he unlocks his Shadow, which can be used to fully combo an enemy champion from a distance to proc Electrocute. It can also be used as an escape.
Zed’s passive allows him to deal massive damage to low HP targets with his auto attacks, making it easier to CS. It also assists him in finishing off enemy champions at the end of his combo. His ultimate is the strongest part of his kit, it bumps his kill pressure by a ton. As long as Zed makes sure to hit his abilities, he can assassinate most targets with his ultimate.
Zed does not have any source of mobility outside of his W and R. His W has a very long cooldown in the early game, so he can get punished for using it aggressively. His shurikens are skillshots that can be missed/dodged, negating most of his damage. His ultimate can be countered easily by Exhaust, Zhonya’s Hourglass, or any other form of damage mitigation. Zed’s position becomes quite predictable because of his stationary shadows.
Akali is a very popular assassin and remained relevant in the meta for multiple years following her rework. Akali’s popularity was sky high in Solo Queue, and she was a priority pick in professional play until about a couple of years ago. Her energy costs have been adjusted a lot to prevent her from spamming Q in lane for free poke damage and easily CSing.
Akali is a very slippery assassin, her kit allows her to jump into the action from nowhere and get out before the enemy can respond. Akali’s Q proves to be a great waveclear tool in the lane, and can also be used to poke out champions. Her passive has been nerfed a lot but remains a great source of additional damage. Akali’s Shroud is an amazing ability as it allows you to win trades in the lane and dip out of the scene in the middle of a teamfight.
Akali replenishes her energy when she pops her W and can continue to harass her opponents from its safety. Akali’s E is her biggest threat right now. Hitting her E on a target sets her up for a free passive and all-in with her ultimate and W. It deals a lot of damage and can carry her over terrain. Akali’s first ultimate cast is targeted and throws her across her target. She can recast her ultimate to instantly dash in the target direction, dealing massive execution damage.
Akali’s mobility depends on her ability to land her skillshots, namely her E and R2. She cannot cast her R1 without a valid target in range, which means she can be outranged by champions that can damage her from outside this range. Her W is a very long cooldown and her only real defensive tool, using it at the wrong time can result in her death.
Akali’s entire damage combo relies on her E, if you can dodge it, she has no way to gap close or dash. Akali’s Q has lost a lot of its original strength and can be tanked by a lot of bruisers/tanks in the lane. She has no way to mitigate damage, making her vulnerable to champs that can tank her damage and still beat her in an extended fight.
League of Legends contains all kinds of champions, and energy champions are simply a part of this system. These champions are balanced around a resource bar that prevents them from spamming their abilities but at the same time, prevents them from ever running out of resources to cast abilities given enough time to recharge the energy.