Best LoL Champions to Climb Ranked with in Season 12
League of Legends Season 12 is now fully underway. As such, the ranked ladder has been reset and everyone is scrambling to get back to where they were, or hit new peaks. The meta has changed a decent amount due to the preseason patches adding new items and rebalancing runes. Here is a list of three champions per role that are amazing for climbing the LoL ranked ladder Season 12.
With the change to Teleport that prevents using it on wards or minions pre-14 minutes, Shen is now the best Top laner at making cross map plays. Once he hits level six, Shen’s ultimate is the fastest way to join your team for a fight. Shen still maxes Q, Twilight Assault, as it’s his main damage ability. After that, max E, Shadow Dash, for the lower taunt cooldown.
Shen can viably build any of the Bami’s Cinder tank Mythic items. Frostfire Gauntlet, Turbo Chemtank, and Sunfire Aegis all work on him depending on the game. Afterwards, you can either build more tank items, a Titanic Hydra for damage, or even a Redemption for utility and more shielding. Shen’s Keystone is always Grasp of the Undying, as it synergizes perfectly with his Q auto attacks.
Tryndamere is still as much of a threat in season 12 as he was at the end of last season. The Barbarian King excels in farming up a storm, providing heavy split push pressure, and one shotting squishy champions when he decides to group. Start with a point in E, Spinning Slash, then max Q, Bloodlust, for the greater healing and AD.
The Lethal Tempo rework did wonders for Tryndamere and should always be taken as his Keystone. As for items, Tryndamere primarily builds things that help him stick to his targets more. Galeforce is the best Mythic for this due to the dash. Nab a Navori Quickblades second which will drastically reduce the cooldown of his Spinning Slash.
If you can get him through the ban phase, Akshan is the best ranged top laner in the game. Not only does he deal tons of damage, he’s also incredibly difficult to gank and lock down. And of course, his teamwide revival can be game changing. Akshan maxes Q, Avengerang, first, followed by E, Heroic Swing.
Akshan’s best Mythic item is Immortal Shieldbow as it lets him brawl without fear of getting one shot. The rest of his items are situational. Lord Dominik’s Regards is good against tanky teams while Wit’s End can be built into heavy AP. You can also get a Guinsoo’s Rageblade to forgo crit altogether and go for more on hit damage. Akshan should always go Press the Attack, as it synergizes with his double hit passive.
Nunu & Willump
Nunu is back in the solo queue meta as the tank and gank master that everyone loves (hates). He clears fast as usual and has the ability to impact the map incredibly often. Nunu maxes Q, Consume, as his main damage tool, followed by E, Snowball Barrage.
Nunu’s new Keystone of choice is Phase Rush. It allows him to kite around fights much better once his snowball train lands him in the middle of the opponents. Celerity, Water Walking, and Nimbus Cloak also all tie in to Nunu’s need to go fast. For items, Frostfire Gauntlet and Sunfire Aegis are both fine Mythics. After that, just build whatever tank items suit the game best.
Where there are tanks, there are tank busters. Trundle is an amazing answer to popular beefy picks and engage champions such as Hecarim, Rammus, Tahm Kench, and Sion. He also crushes AD bruisers like Kayn, Olaf, and Rek’Sai. Trundle maxes Q, Chomp, for the damage. He can then choose between W, Frozen Domain, and E, Pillar of Ice, depending on if he needs more dueling power or team utility.
Trundle builds Divine Sunderer to beat people up better. He can then spec into more damage with a Sterak’s Gage or Titanic Hydra, or decide to build tanky with items like Thornmail, Anathema’s Chains, or Spirit Visage. Press the Attack or Lethal Tempo are his two Keystone options and both can bring tons of value.
If you want to take charge of a game, Xin Zhao is still a premiere option. He is nearly unrivaled in early game power. Additionally, Xin Zhao’s ultimate sweep ensures that he can stay relevant in the mid and late game. Xin should start E, Audacious Charge, for the bonus attack speed. Then, max W, Wind Becomes Lightning.
Xin Zhao should rush a Goredrinker into a Sterak’s Gage for more survivability. His build can be rounded out by Guardian Angel or tank items. While Conqueror is Xin’s most common Rune choice, he has the option of taking Lethal Tempo if the fights will drag out and let him DPS.
Viktor is the king of Mid at the moment. Due to the new Crown of the Shattered Queen Item, mages can stay alive and deal damage much easier than in prior seasons. In addition to his scaling threat, Viktor can also bully his lane opponents very hard. Start Q, Siphon Power, then max E, Death Ray to get the most poke, waveclear, and damage potential. Make sure to evolve E, then Q when you get enough passive stacks.
As mentioned, Viktor should go Crown as his Mythic in most games, followed by a Shadowflame for the raw AP. Viktor’s Keystone should also help him abuse his laning phase. Either Summon: Aery or First Strike can be taken.
Qiyana is currently the best AD assassin in Mid lane for solo queue. She is unique in that she can provide team fight power and utility in addition to the roaming assassin play style. Start with a point in W, Terrashape, then max Q, Elemental Wrath/Edge of Ixtal, then E, Audacity.
Qiyana, like most assassins, has a powerful early game then falls off. Your items and runes should reflect this. Prowler’s Claw into Youmuu’s Ghostblade help Qiyana move quick and clean up enemies easily. Electrocute is her main Keystone, but it should be noted that First Strike can be run on Jungle Qiyana which is also pretty good.
Who better to take advantage of a scaling meta than Kassadin. In addition to the meta being in his favor, Kassadin absolutely abuses the new items to become a hyper mobile unkillable monster. Take a few points in Q, Null Sphere, for the laning phase. His E, Force Pulse, should then be maxed before finishing Q.
Crown of the Shattered Queen is phenomenal on Kassadin, although Everfrost can be an option. After Mythic, Kassadin can turn his Tear of the Goddess into an Archangel’s Staff, or a tanky option in Fimbulwinter. Frozen Heart or Zhonya’s Hourglass can be purchased for even more bulk against heavy AD teams. For Runes, Kassadin can use Fleet Footwork for lane sustain, Conqueror for scaling, and even Unsealed Spellbook for utility.
Jhin is the best ADC at providing support to your team while also dishing out good damage. His ranged crowd control with W, Deadly Flourish, and R, Curtain Call, are great at finding picks. His Q, Dancing Grenade, should be maxed first for wave clear. While Jhin is very prevalent in damage against squishies, he can still struggle into tanky teams.
Jhin should always go Galeforce as it’s the only ADC Mythic that synergizes with him. Rapidfire Cannon, Collector, Infinity Edge, and Lord Dominik’s are items that can round out his build. Jhin also always goes Fleet Footwork, again, because no other Keystone synergizes with him.
Jinx has risen to prominence as the premiere hyper carry ADC this off-season. Her laning phase is relatively safe and with three items, no one will stand in her way. Max Q, Switcheroo!, first for the highest DPS possible.
Jinx’s main problem has been her lack of mobility before she procs Get Excited! With Galeforce, she gains a dash that can be crucial to her survival. If that extra mobility isn’t needed, Kraken Slayer is her best bet. Always go Lethal Tempo on Jinx, as she will stack it very quickly leading to incredibly high rocket range.
The Sheriff of Piltover is back in action in Season 12. Her oppressive laning phase is the same as ever, easily comboing with Supports like Lux to make life hell for her opponents. Her Q, Piltover Peacemaker, is her best max for both poke and waveclear.
Caitlyn’s problem used to be her lack of scaling compared to other ADC champions. However, she deals enough damage now to stay relevant in mid game and close out before getting outscaled. Galeforce is her Mythic of choice, followed by Rapidfire Cannon and Infinity Edge. Her Keystone is split between Fleet Footwork and Lethal Tempo, so take whichever feels better in the game.
Enchanters are all the rage right now in the Support role. Of all the many enchanter champions, Nami has the best combination of utility and damage. Her E, Tidecaller’s Blessing, should be maxed first as it brings a ton of damage and a base 35 percent slow which will easily hit 40 percent with one item. After that, max W for the extra healing it provides.
Nami’s Mythic item of choice is Imperial Mandate, as it applies whenever she hits a bubble, tidal wave, or her E procs. For runes, take Electrocute with Inspiration secondary. You want to dominate the lane as Nami, so things like Biscuits, Taste of Blood, and Time Warp Tonic are all good.
Soraka is one of the best enchanters at enabling her team. The sheer amount of healing that she can pump out with a maxed W, Astral Infusion, and her ultimate, Wish, is incredibly oppressive. Soraka can still be a lane bully, but won’t have as much early power as other picks. Instead, Soraka is a huge scaling threat. With more points in her ultimate and more healing and shielding power items, she can easily solo carry a game later on.
Soraka should go Moonstone Renewer as it boosts her healing output even more. Her main keystone rune is Summon: Aery. She should take scaling runes like Gathering Storm and Absolute Focus, as well as Revitalize from the Resolve secondary tree.
As always with enchanter metas, Blitzcrank will be waiting in the wings for his chance to shine. The pick focused support is great at punishing passive lanes and squishy team compositions, as well as outputting tons of map pressure while the enemy enchanters just sit and scale. Max his Q, Rocket Grab, then W, Overdrive, for the most kill pressure possible.
Blitzcrank’s most important item is actually Mobility Boots, since it lets him roam and threaten hooks much easier. His Mythic item is flexible. Locket, Evenshroud, and Shurelya’s can all be good depending on the team compositions. Aftershock is Blitzcrank’s most common rune as it gives him an extra burst of tankiness which can help him survive running forward.
And those are 15 champions who can help you gain LP in Season 12. One of the pieces of advice frequently given for how to climb is to keep a small champion pool. Having a few comfortable champions who will allow you to play against anything in the lane is key to your success in ranked. As always, things can change with new patches. Champions can fall in and out of meta. Still, if you master these powerful picks and stay flexible in the future, you’ll find your ranked grind to be much easier.