Throughout its journey that has lasted for over a decade and doesn’t seem to be stopping soon, League of Legends has given us many different Champions. One hundred fifty-seven of them, to be precise. Among these Champions are various Classes, roles, sub-classes, etc. There’s something for everyone, it seems, within the extensive and ever-growing League of Legends roster.
But not all Champions are made equal, and some have the edge over others in at least one aspect. Today, we will talk about one of these aspects, which I believe is the primary. That is – difficulty.
Difficulty in League of Legends is dynamic and varies significantly from Champion to Champion and between their roles. Everything comes with ups and downs, and some Champions require a few speed bumps along the way of learning them.
Of course, as with any other article I’ve ever written, we’ll be looking at their whole character and how well they perform and relate all that back to their difficulty. Here at LeagueFeed, we treat detail with great care.
So, with that out of the way, let’s begin with the top 10 hardest Champions to play in League of Legends.
Riven has, for many years, had the reputation of being the most demanding Champion in League of Legends, period. Her kit is, at first glance, so simple, and yet the complexity and difficulty it carries are immense. So immense is this challenge of gameplay that I don’t think there are a dozen good Riven players per server. Honestly, it takes so much time and effort to learn all the meticulously devised mechanics that I can’t even recommend you do it.
Her performance on and off the Lane directly depends on your ability to play her. I know that is usually the case with many other Champions, but it doesn’t hinder you as much as others. You might be learning along the way and getting better as you go. With Riven, it takes a ton of hard work and practice to get things done, as there are frame-perfect, split-second combos that you have to learn, and it does get tedious at times.
When in the hands of the right player, however, Riven becomes one of the most potent Champions ever to have graced the fields of the Summoner’s Rift. She can dominate the entire game singlehandedly and drive you insane with her might. She has everything she needs – CC, mobility, and a crapload of damage. At times, when a good Riven gets fed, I just wonder how that Champion even got made. Her power justifies her difficulty, and achieving those levels of might shouldn’t be an easy endeavor.
At the end of the day, Riven is a fantastic Champion with immense strength that is, fortunately, or unfortunately, locked behind a wall of challenging and excruciatingly tricky gameplay. If you manage to learn and master this Champion by some chance, you’re certainly in for a treat, and you won’t be needing my help any longer for anything.
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Irelia is a Top Lane Bruiser well known for her power and her difficulty. What makes Irelia different from the rest of the crew here is that you can so often be accidentally good with her. She also has a kit that is, at first, simple. There’s a lot of utility, damage, mobility, everything you’d ever need to be a good Fighter. However, the combinations, approach strategies, and everything else about Irelia makes her the most challenging Champions to play.
It takes a ton more to master Irelia than it does to play her regularly. To unlock her full potential, you will have to play her daily and for many, many games. She can be one of two things – either super powerful or super weak. This will depend directly on your ability to use her kit that is completely overloaded. I’ve sometimes wondered if this Champion was built to be immortal – that’s how crazy it tends to get with her.
Irelia is an excellent Champion who can go toe to toe with most Bruisers and Fighters on the Top Lane. However, she does fall short against a few of them, and her difficulty doesn’t justify this at all. I mean, who would want to spend 50 hours of their life learning a Champion only to be ravaged by some Darius or Teemo player. That’d for sure make me go insane.
I don’t know whether or not to recommend Irelia to you, as I don’t think her difficulty justifies her power. With Riven, there is inevitably a tremendous payoff with effort. With Irelia, I don’t think that the same applies. If you want to play her, that’s up to you, but I’d honestly just stay clear and look at something else in the same Class.
Aphelios is undoubtedly my most hated Champion in the game, save for Yasuo. He is the most overloaded, broken, dysfunctional stupid Champion ever to release. With how overloaded he is and how many different mechanics, spells, abilities, etc., he has, difficulty was warranted from the day he was released. I mean, I’ve never even seen a good Aphelios player, and it’s been so long since his release.
I find the Champion a poor attempt of Riot to copy DOTA’s Invoker, renowned for having a ton of spells and being the most difficult Hero in that game. When you look at everything in general, Aphelios really is the most challenging Champion of League of Legends. I mean, just look at how many different things you’re supposed to learn, master, and utilize to get to play normally.
And I’m not talking about any deep mechanical requirement – this Champion takes your entire brain just so you can use him for farming creeps. I swear, he is so laughably dumb that I cannot begin to describe everything I think about the guy. Riot’s poor man’s attempt to make something purposefully difficult and different has miserably failed and will continue to fail as long as they make Champions which are barred from being used if you don’t spend 100 hours on them.
I don’t recommend Aphelios to anyone, and this Champion is genuinely the worst of the worst in the game. He has a weak win rate and a small active player base, and I think no one actually mains him. People might say that as a meme, but they don’t really mean it. I’m sorry to any Aphelios fans that might be reading this. I have only one thing to say to you – please quit and move on to some other Champion.
Ezreal is, after Aphelios, the most difficult ADC in the game. He has a strict and total reliance on skill shots, which creates a Champion that takes a lot of practice and time to master. Learning Ezreal, as opposed to the previous entry, will help you get better at the game in general. Most Champions of the game have skill shots, and learning how to land them well will undoubtedly improve your general gameplay.
Ezreal’s difficulty is tied to these skill shots directly. His primary damage source is his Q, which more or less serves as a secondary auto-attack for him. Once he builds up on-hit effect items, Ezreal’s requirement for landing this powerful spell only grows. This especially holds true as he gains more power and can use his W for an extra damage buff. This damage buff can at times prove lethal for the enemy, and Ezreal for sure should be using it to his advantage every time he can.
I think he is one of the best ADCs in the game in general. Despite having an over-reliance on skill shots, Ezreal can and will dominate the Bot Lane without too much effort. Ezreal can be learned quickly, with ease, and the process is quite fun. Unlike most Champions on this list, Ezreal doesn’t take that much to get the hang of. It won’t drive you insane with some frame-perfect combo or similar crap, and it’s just regular old fun.
I recommend Ezreal to everyone who wishes to try out a more challenging form of marksman. These are extremely enjoyable Champions to play, and Ezreal reigns supreme among them. Trust me; it’s worth it.
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Gangplank is my number one favorite Champion in League of Legends. Ever since I first saw him in 2017. I fell in love with Tobias Fate’s channel with the character and everything about him. He’s an excellently designed Champion with so much to offer that I can’t even begin to tell you about it all. One article isn’t nearly enough to explain all the meticulous and exciting stuff surrounding this amazing pirate.
Gangplank is, however, quite difficult. It took me a while to get the hang of his barrels and how they function. Even today, years down the line, I struggle at times with proper barrel placement and utilization. It takes a lot of calculation and thought to place even a single barrel in the proper position, let alone combine a few of them.
His gameplay is dynamic and starts out relatively slow. As the game progresses, so does Gangplank pick up pace. This speed of gameplay increasing can be, sometimes, hard to adjust to. You will go from waiting for ages for a single barrel to refresh to having tons of barrels at your disposal at all times. You will immediately have a lot more on your hands to play with, and using that to your advantage is no easy feat.
Timing, positioning, placement, calculations, all of that, and more is required to be good at Gangplank. Everything about him, especially in the late game, has to be near-perfect to work. Yes, you can snipe people at random from time to time, but they won’t be letting you do it. Everyone will be focusing on you and your barrels, which makes things even more excruciating than usual. With other Champions on the list, drawing focus isn’t really part of their gameplay.
Gangplank, however, is different. Everyone will try to destroy and limit every barrel Gangplank places on the map. He draws direct focus and circumventing this will take some time to master.
I recommend you give him a try since I wholeheartedly believe that this is one of the best Champions that Riot has ever designed. And that’s saying something.
Zed is the king of Assassins in League of Legends. There are no two ways about it – he reigns supreme above all others in this category, and that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon. He is also pretty popular today, with so many different players mastering him daily. It’s insane to have a Champion with so many players with such a steep learning curve. But that just tells you how well designed he is and how enjoyable his gameplay can be.
Zed’s difficulty is directly tied to his mandatory utilization of his shadows. Controlling one Champion and character is complex enough. Having to pay attention to several others can be pretty challenging and hard to do since you need some exceptional micromanagement skills to be able to do it.
These shadows are some of the most potent abilities in the game. They allow Zed to do so much damage that sometimes I can’t fathom what the hell just happened. Zed’s Death Mark is notorious for doing thousands of attack damage in one pop, thanks to them. They can eviscerate an enemy’s health bar but have some other uses as well.
They serve as a mobility tool for Zed to move around. With the shadows, he can traverse terrain, get to places faster, has a great escape tool, etc. With so many different uses, I can safely argue that the shadows are among the most valuable mechanics ever designed. He can use them for whatever he sees fit, which I think is incredible.
Despite his complicated nature, I think you should give him a try. It won’t take you too long to get used to him, and the payoff is tremendous.
Yasuo is somewhat of an uncanny entry for a list of this nature. I’d like to argue that he isn’t difficult at all and that he is just a dumb, broken, and overpowered piece of crap that I hate. Unfortunately for me, however, that’s not precisely the case despite having everything on his side regarding damage, cooldowns, speed, etc. Yasuo still remains pretty challenging to get going in some more extensive capacity.
He is full of mechanics and strategies that no new player can either know or master. In my decade-long League adventure, I’ve met a few Yasuo mains who have done things I never could. It takes severe practice and effort to pull off some of the finest and smoothest Yasuo plays and moves, which I think deservedly place him on the list.
He’s one of the most powerful Champions in the game, period. I think that there’s nothing in place to stop him from snowballing. Even if you manage to kill him ten times, those only delays things. You can never completely prevent Yasuo from getting powerful. This is the case since he needs so little to be able to slice through your HP like it’s butter.
An item or two and Yasuo can rival even the most fed of Champions. This insanely strong nature makes Yasuo a trendy pick in League of Legends. Ever since he was released, he has enjoyed an immense player base, more significant than any other Champion I can think of. I hate Yasuo, and I hate Yasuo mains. If you’re reading this Yasuo mains, I’ll get you one of these days, bet on that.
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Nidalee is a Champion that I can’t recommend less, and here’s why. Her difficulty lies in her Q, the spear. This spear is necessary to do anything with Nidalee, as if you don’t land it, half of your damage is gone immediately. Your cougar form will have half of its power stripped away if you don’t consistently manage to land your Q. And it’s not an easy spell to hit either. It’s slow and relatively easy to dodge. It’s one of the most challenging skill shots to land consistently.
This direct reliance on a single spell makes Nidalee a curious pick. She has fantastic abilities, and her cougar form can do so much. But the damage buffs she gets upon landing her spear (or trap) is so insane that it doesn’t really pay off to attack anyone until you get them with it. Still, I find her pretty old-fashioned and outdated. If ever there was a Champion in dire need of a rework – that’s Nidalee.
I don’t recommend this Champion, and I think you should stay clear, at least for now.
2. Lee Sin
Lee Sin is one of the best Junglers that League of Legends has ever had. He is a blind monk specializing in invading the enemy, stealing all of their buffs and camps, and then annoying the rest of the map with constant ganking. He is a proactive, fun, and enjoyable Champion to play in a seemingly simple kit with lots of depth.
There’s not too much within his kit but what creates his complex nature is, you’ve guessed it, the reliance on skill shots. Not only this, however. Lee Sin requires a fair amount of methodical and surgically precise gameplay. His Q is a great spell, but it does take you close to the enemy. You’ll have to learn and adapt to these spells since you won’t be able to spam them just like that. Getting too close to the wrong enemy can prove a dire mistake, so learning how not to do that is the first step.
Lee Sin is full of various combinations, mechanics, tactics, strategies, etc. that I don’t even want to mention them all. We’ve all seen the YouTube compilation videos of Lee Sin players outplaying everyone on the map. There’s just so much that this Champion can do. It is all locked behind a wall of skill, yes, but the payoff is tremendous once you do get to that level. Lee Sin’s learning progression is an insanely fun ride to go on, and I think you should try it out.
His gameplay is unique and vastly different from most Champions in the game. He’s a fast, solid, and incredible Champion that everyone loves to hate. His omnipresence around the map will make the enemies cower in fear – something that you can use to improve your advantage further.
Orianna is an incredible Champion that is the queen of micromanagement in League of Legends. There are rarely any other Champions in the game that can get to the level of micromanagement that Orianna is on. This stems from her infamous Ball that she carries wherever she goes. It is her primary source of damage, and every spell she has revolves around it.
Having the Ball in the correct positions at all times isn’t an easy thing to achieve. It will take you so much practice and thought off gameplay to get things right. At first, you might find it a bit too difficult to do anything with Orianna. And I agree. She does have an intimidating first impression of newer players. However, I don’t think that you should be deterred by this quick glance at how the Champion works.
Once you start getting in-depth with Orianna, you will notice how powerful she can get. There is a ton of mechanical complexity in her kit that you’ll find exceptionally fun to use. Apart from being fun, it can get quite deadly. I’ve seen Orianna obliterate people’s health bars like they were made out of paper. A single Q and W combo can chunk even the healthiest of opponents, which already tells you something by itself.
Practice makes perfect, and Orianna’s main issue is overextension. People always throw the Ball too far or too close and never truly calculate the careful positioning it requires to be useful at all times. Make sure you iron out every little detail with this Champion since it will pay off in the long run.
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As we can see, difficult Champions in League of Legends are by no means few. Apart from these 10, many more haven’t made the cut. Still, we recommend you explore the world of challenging, demanding, and complex Champions since they will be the ones that teach you most about the game. Playing accessible Champions can be fun, but to improve as a player, you’ll have to study these detailed, powerful and difficult options as well. I hope this list has proven fun and informative, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift.
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