Every champion is playable in League of Legends Solo Queue. Champion proficiency is much more important than only using the most played champions in the meta — and even then — the meta can change quickly and elevate or bury some champions.
However, over the course of League of Legends, some champions have remained relevant over numerous metas because they work very well in a team game populated by players queueing up alone or with only one friend.
Below are some of the recommended champions to rank up in Solo Queue. Some themes you might notice being repeated are early game power, versatility, and the ability to roam quickly and effectively.
No champion truly wins every lane in every meta, but Pantheon is probably the closest. He has high base values because he is a melee champion, but also gets the benefit of a spammable ranged attack and targeted ability in his Spear Shot. Even if an enemy can out-range him in trades, he has a targeted stun that leaps to his enemy in Aegis of Zeonia. His passive Aegis Protection allows him to block auto attacks and turret shots and can be reset by using Aegis of Zeonia. Suffice to say, his early laning phase is dominant.
Things only get better for Pantheon when he hits 6. Grand Skyfall allows him to take the lead he generated early and use it to affect the rest of the map. Bot lane is generally two levels down when solo lanes hit 6, so Pantheon can roam there for easy pickings, even diving turrets with the use of Aegis Protection. In the worst case scenario, Pantheon has a mini teleport to get back to lane after an ideal back timing and continue bullying his lane.
You primarily see Pantheon in solo lanes, but he can also be played jungle and bot lane too. This versatility allows players who main this champion to use him in basically any role in the game even when they get auto-filled.
In terms of weaknesses, Pantheon does fall off as the game progresses. Building full damage makes him too weak to jump into fights without getting blown up, and building full tank makes him a non-threat to enemy carries. Hybrid bruiser builds are thus most common, but anyway you build him, he is less effective as the game goes on.
Pantheon can also suffer from an all physical damage composition, especially if he is played mid lane, but the reverse is also true and he can thrive if the rest of the team is primarily magic damage.
Because Solo Queue is so early game focused, Pantheon’s weaknesses are outweighed by his strengths. He can dominate a game before champions that rely on scaling even get the opportunity to affect the game themselves.
Another primary solo laner with a global ultimate, Twisted Fate is another excellent Solo Queue pick. He is not the same dominant laner that Pantheon is, but it is also very hard for Twisted Fate to be punished in lane. The range on his Wild Cards and Pick a Card combined with their ability to clear waves means Twisted Fate never has to put himself in harm’s way during the early laning phase. Further, the easy waveclear makes it so that he has little trouble creating an opportunity to get the wave pushed and use his Destiny to gank sidelanes.
An underappreciated part of Twisted Fate’s Destiny is that it reveals all enemy champions on the map. This is especially useful against champions with forms of stealth and to scout whether the enemy is attempting Baron or Elder Drake. Even incidentally, it reveals the enemy jungler when used for ganks in the early game as well and can save yourself or your teammates from a gank or countergank.
Twisted Fate does not dominate 1v1 like other champions can, so he is reliant on making plays with his team. This can be a problem if the other lanes fall behind so quickly that not even a roam with Destiny can turn it around, after which there is not the fallback option of trying to create advantages solo.
Fortunately, waveclear is of course not only useful for roaming, but also for stalling out games. Twisted Fate can protect turrets like most mages and his ability to regain mana from his Pick a Card means that he can do it without the use of blue buff or without the need to recall for mana.
So despite his inability to create advantages by punishing his enemy laner, Twisted Fate has enough options to be useful in every game state. This combined with the advantage that roaming generates in non-premade games makes Twisted Fate a top Solo Queue pick.
Although Aurelion Sol does not have the near-instantaneous teleport that Twisted Fate and Pantheon have, he may be the best roamer of the three. This is because it is much harder to predict an Aurelion Sol roam. Starting as soon as level 2, he can level up Comet of Legend and is immediately a threat to roam because his passive Center of the Universe combined with Celestial Expansion clears waves so quickly.
Much like Twisted Fate, that waveclear that allows him priority in lane and roam timings also is great for stalling games by preventing enemy turret pushes. Even if it gets too risky to get in range of the wave with his stars, Aurelion Sol can use his Starsurge to help clear the waves or hold it as a threat for enemies that walk too close to the turret.
Aurelion Sol does not typically dominate 1v1 situations, but he has a couple things going in his favor. Because he is such a unique champion, some players do not understand how to play against him and can be abused by a player with a strong mastery of Aurelion Sol. His ability to push waves and roam quickly also allows him to be a very good skirmisher with his jungler and Aurelion Sol has the crowd control to follow-up with Starsurge and Voice of Light.
To do his damage, Aurelion Sol will typically have to throw himself in the middle of the fight, which can be a problem. Comet of Legend is great for roaming and making it to fights, but Aurelion Sol has no mobility to get out of fights once in them. His only disengage tool is Voice of Light and it is preferably used for damage and to set-up more passive damage with his stars.
However, when roaming effectively and taking fights with your jungler, Aurelion Sol should be able to create a large enough lead to alleviate the risk in jumping into a fight. If the enemy is not strong enough to kill him quickly, Aurelion Sol has incredible sustained damage in fights.
AD Carry has had a lot of turnover in the meta based on whether critical strike builds are strong or weak. Ezreal is the one champion that is seemingly immune to this because he does not build critical strike but is always a viable pick because of his unique play pattern. He can farm in any lane with his Mystic Shot, so he has no truly terrible matchups and landing enough poke also allows him to play aggressively.
Having to go Tear of the Goddess early makes him weaker in the early laning phase, but that is why Mystic Shot is so important. It allows him to sacrifice early power from damage items for a mid-game spike when Muramana is completed. His big spike in power comes when he completes Trinity Force in addition to Muramana but he is versatile enough that he can build Iceborn Gauntlet instead of Trinity Force versus heavy physical damage teams.
The ability to farm safely from a distance and to have a short cooldown blink in Arcane Shift that allows him to self-peel makes Ezreal a great Solo Queue champion. As much as you want to be able to rely on teammates and it helps to have great teammates, it is good to be able to play for yourself regardless of ally skill.
As mentioned, Ezreal does have a weak point early when he builds Tear of the Goddess on his first recall. It allows him to spam spells and farm from a distance but he is susceptible to being pushed in because he has no stats to trade effectively with, leaving him vulnerable to poke damage and being dove under turret. Again, this is when having Arcane Shift on a short cooldown helps.
Overall, you sacrifice some early power on Ezreal to make sure you can farm up and hit a two-item power spike of Muramana and Trinity Force/Iceborn Gauntlet. From there, you can be a self-reliant damage machine that excels in teamfights.
Like Ezreal, Janna is a bot laner and in a role that relies on coordinating with a second player. So, while Ezreal wants to be able to peel for himself, Janna is an excellent champion to peel for her carry. Howling Gale and Monsoon are incredible peel abilities, and Eye of the Storm gives bonus attack damage in addition to the shield on her carry. There have not been any metas so far that have lacked a carry champion who could use protecting.
In addition to protection, Janna can also be a great laning partner. Just having range on her auto attacks gives her more harass than half the support pool, and she additionally has Zephyr that can be maxed early for even more aggressive lane play. Throwing Eye of the Storm on herself also allows her to step up and trade even more effectively.
All of the peel Janna provides makes her excellent at preventing ganks. Something as small as her passive Tailwind giving her lanemate bonus move speed near him cannot be underestimated in terms of kiting enemies.
Janna is very squishy and can be instantly blown up if crowd controlled and unable to get any of her peel off. Janna does not have a great way to engage aside from walking up to an enemy and hitting them with Zephyr, which means engage will have to come from a teammate.
Overall, Janna fits almost any composition because there is almost always at least one champion that needs peel and Janna has elite peel. Solo Queue tends to see a lot of assassin players, and Janna thrives at shutting assassins down.