I don’t always write about popular PvP games, but when I do, it’s because I’ve been pulled back into the tidelike appeal of League of Legends.
It all started in November of last year, as the Worlds 2022 series was wrapping up. Shane and I were fully invested in the outcome of the high-profile tournament for the game that thrives on causing the calmest of players to rage. It’s hard not to get invested when you’re watching the games, really; it’s not every sport that you can play along with your world championship team as you watch them dominate the map.
It wasn’t the first time I’d been drawn back into playing after a good amount of time away, but this time, things were a little different.
Taking on a new role
See, from the very first day I started playing League with Shane, I’ve had one very well-defined role. I play support to Shane’s ADC. We have great in-game synergy in most things we play, so taking the only two roles that consistently play together means we can help each other out and set up to carry later on.
At the time, though, we were feeling like we were in a bit of a funk with our comfort roles, and we were struggling to turn games into wins. So Shane decided to shake things up and play jungle instead; after all, he’s as much a Vi player as a Jinx player.
I tried for a few games to keep playing support, but as it turns out, I have trust issues with internet strangers and struggled to set up proper win conditions. After all, the first rule of playing squishy mages in a PvP game is that you don’t commit if you don’t know your teammate will follow!
So eventually I got fed up with being the bait in bottom lane and took my mage-y skills to middle lane instead.
It was scary at first, being out there in the open all on my own–especially since I was learning a new role, learning to play solo, and learning an entirely new set of champions, because a Seraphine mid would get laughed right out of Runeterra. But it did end up going well, especially when we also had our friend join us to play top lane. We could run half the entire map!
So today I figured I’d share my favourite mid champions so far and how it’s been learning them.
Though I usually gravitate toward either nice or silly champions, Swain became an unexpected outlier for me thanks to last year’s world finals. He’s an older champion who tends to fade into the background for most players—but last year, as part of Tiffany & Co. making the championship trophy for the LCS, they made a matching chroma for his Crystal Rose skin.
Then, by some burst of providence, I ended up getting the main skin through a loot box. All I could see was his little swarm of cockatoos, and I just had to try it out.
Now that I’ve gotten used to him, he’s a lot of fun and works well for my playstyle, so he’s become a signature of mine. He’s sassy, he’s rude, he does a lot of general utility and crowd control, and he’s a walking talking Poe reference.
He does take a while to get going, since he’s not huge on damage until about an item in, so it’s been a bit of a learning curve figuring out when to take him and play aggressive, when to play safe, and when to go another route altogether.
Most League players know that champions have counters, and lots of us try to play to that meta so we have a better advantage. But one thing no one ever tells you is that players have counters, too—champions that no matter what you do, you struggle to play against them.
Ryze was one such champion for me.
After far too many games of getting demolished by Ryze players, I finally had enough and tried learning him for myself. It took me some time to get the hang of him, especially since he’s such a fast-moving combo champion, and I do still struggle with the range of his R skill–but that hasn’t stopped him from becoming my record holder for farming and income!
Plus, his not-really-but-might-as-well-be-D&D skin (pictured in the featured image!) is pretty perfect, as is its description.
Though he makes more appearances in a support role than anything else, Ziggs can be a pretty scary mid laner, and I love him for it. This yordle, an explosive acquaintance of Jinx’s, brings pure, delightful chaos everywhere he goes—and he’s up there with Sivir in terms of his ability to force a lane.
I just love that I can continuously poke and be annoying to the enemy laner, get through objectives, and escape rogue junglers who decide to pay a visit.
Though he has a lot of counters, I like to pull Ziggs out when I’m on a team that has a lot of slow-build champions. Between his W skill, which blows up towers below 25%, and my aptly named ZIGGS SMASH rune page complete with Demolish, he’s just a bulldozer who helps everyone else win faster.
Another yordle who makes more appearances as bottom-side back-up, Heimerdinger is not a mid laner many enjoy facing. He’s annoying as heck, which is probably why I enjoy playing him so much!
Basically, Heimerdinger is a trap champion. He doesn’t want to start a fight; he wants to trick you into thinking it’s safe so you walk in range of his turrets and he can throw a beach ball at you, stunning you and making his turrets hyperfocus on you.
If you’re good with his skill shots, you pretty much never have to leave lane; you can just stun or melt anyone who comes close and keep doing your thing. I’m not great at them, but even still, it works out most of the time!
The last on my really-a-support list is Lux, actually one of my main support picks. With the right items (read: when she doesn’t have to use up a slot for a Spellthief’s Edge), she packs a massive punch, and can easily hold her own in mid.
The one thing I find with her is that her skills are really easy to dodge, so you have to get a little creative in how you use them. Luckily, a lot of people underestimate her, so it gives me a lot of time to watch their patterns and figure out how to win!