Best Untraditional Bot Lane Carries
Traditionally, the bot lane in League of Legends is reserved for marksmen and their respective supports, whether it be mages, tanks, or enchanters. Although marksmen and supports enjoy the privileges of bot lane on a regular basis, bot lane is not explicitly limited to marksmen and supports.
What’s more, the bot lane rather welcomes other carries such as mid lane mages, power-farming junglers, and mechanically intensive melee carries. Even though these untraditional carries cannot downright replace marksmen, they share more than enough qualities, such as consistent damage output, scaling, and swift tower destruction. Given that untraditional bot lane carries can provide similar value to marksmen and that they are drastically stronger early game than marksmen, they are a perfect fit for bot lane.
Designed as both marksman and support, Senna, the Redeemer, is the archetype of an untraditional bot lane carry. Due to her infinitely scaling passive, Senna isn’t limited only to being either marksman or support. If paired with a bruiser or tank such as Tahm Kench or Wukong, Senna can take the role of both marksman and support.
Having a farming bruiser or tank by her side, Senna is free to collect the souls from dying minions and enemy laners. Since Senna’s passive gives her additional AD each time she collects a soul, she can comfortably scale with little to no need for pricey items such as Kraken Slayer, Guinsoo’s Rageblade, or Rapid Firecannon.
On the other hand, since Senna doesn’t farm, she begins with a support item that tasks her with warding, clearing wards, and setting up vision for the team. Senna is always a great asset to your team since she provides a ton of utility with her healing, shielding, global ultimate, CC, and movement speed.
Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil, has had infinite scaling long before Senna was even in the game. Commonly played in the middle lane, Veigar can find his home in the bot lane, too, since assassins and burst mages rarely give him an opportunity to reach his full potential in mid lane. Besides, the current push-and-roam meta doesn’t compliment Veigar’s playstyle, since Veigar is an immobile mage champion that is highly vulnerable if he’s caught out or doesn’t have a Flash up.
Alongside a lockdown support such as Nautilus, Blitzkrank, Rakan, or Pyke, Veigar can safely scale and even pick up a few kills. In the later stages of the game, Veigar becomes a one-shotting monster that clears waves in just two spells and takes down turrets in just a few auto-attacks. Besides, Veigar’s Event Horizon is both an excellent zoning and teamfight controlling tool that allows him to force Summoner Spells or punish mispositioned enemies.
Although designed as a mid laner and support, Seraphine has been known as an APC extraordinaire since her release. Having strong base numbers and scaling, Seraphine can opt for both a mage build and an enchanter build.
With the mage build, Seraphine can sweep Summoners Rift effortlessly as soon as she completes three items. However, with the enchanter build, Seraphine can buff, shield, and heal her teammates for days. On top of that, APC Seraphine is a highly flexible pick that can be coupled with engage, poke, and even enchanter supports.
Even though Seraphine is a lane bully, her playstyle varies depending on the support. While Seraphine acts as a follow-up DPS mage with an engage support, when paired with another mage, Seraphine takes the role of a lane-controlling poke mage. In case Seraphine is laning with an enchanter support, she aims to survive the laning phase and group with her team as soon as possible to buff, shield, and heal them.
Previously played as a support, Swain, with his recent minor rework, solidified his role as an APC. Like Senna and Veigar, Swain also infinitely scales due to his passive, which gives him bonus HP and damage. Swain’s peculiarity as an APC is his tremendous flexibility in both builds and runes. Even though Swain’s typical build and runes are burst-oriented, Swain can always resort to a tank build that enables him as a frontliner.
Swain is at his best when paired with an engage support such as Pyke, Nautilus, Leona, or Alistar that proc his Nevermove. With this in mind, Swain excels at playing against short-range ADCs such as Kai’sa and Samira, since he can painlessly survive their damage with his healing. Swain is a great asset to a team since he brings almost global map presence, sustainability, and crowd control to the table.
Ziggs, the Hexplosives Expert, is yet another middle lane hyper-scaling mage that picked his Lost Chapter and Rabadon’s Deathcap and moved to bot lane to scale safely. Although Ziggs is an excellent weak-side pick since he’s a high DPS artillery mage that can farm without effort from afar, he can excel in bot lane if coupled with a poke and lockdown support such as Morgana, Zyra, or Lux.
Since Ziggs has a strong early-game poke, Ziggs can easily establish both lane and objective priority. With his passive, Short Fuse, which empowers his next auto-attacks, and his Satchel Charge, Ziggs can take platings and towers even faster than some marksmen. Since Ziggs is a high DPS artillery mage, he excels in teamfights around objectives. Although Ziggs doesn’t have any utility or CC, he’s an excellent risk-free AP pick for the bot lane with an outstanding laning phase.
One of the most notable untraditional bot lane carries is, without a question, Yasuo, the Unforgiven. Since Yasuo scales exceptionally well, he, too, enjoys the calm and the comfort of bot lane. However, unlike the other untraditional bot lane carries featured in this list, Yasuo is the only melee carry. Even though Yasuo has Wind Wall, a projectile-blocking wall, he still usually faces numerous problems in the early game, such as poking, CS denying, and lack of farm. However, as soon as Yasuo reaches level 6, he’s more than ready to have his revenge.
The best supports for Yasuo are generally engage supports like Nautilus, Malphite or Blitzcrank, or simply supports with knock-up in their kits like Janna or Nami. Similar to marksmen, Yasuo’s strengths include high DPS and rapid turret destruction. In addition, a fed Yasuo can easily become a menace in the sideline while his support helps his team.
Predominantly a power-farming jungler, Karthus is a high-damage mage who found refuge in the bot lane, where he can finally scale in peace. With aggressive supports such as Pantheon or Nautilus, Karthus can freely land his Lay Waste, and with an enchanter supports like Soraka or Yummi, Karthus can focus on farming and later overtaking the late-game with his ultimate, Requiem.
Due to his unique ultimate, Karthus plays the role of a second jungler as he farms in the bot lane. When he’s not power-farming for a few more Amplifying Tomes or Blasting Wands, Karthus excels at grouping with his team to secure objectives.
Besides his overwhelmingly high DPS, the trait that sets Karthus apart from marksmen is that he can still significantly contribute to a teamfight even while dead, since his passive allows him to cast spells for eight seconds after dying.