In their post, Riot mentioned that being able to play a diversity of champions is one of the key components in becoming a greater player. I agree.

While watching LCK today, one of the casters stated the following.

The reason i think the lower placed teams don’t manage to excel is mostly due to players lacking champion pools. Take top laner X for example, having him on anything but a tank just doesn’t work. It’s those small gaps in their champion diversity that makes them lose out on the pick and draft phase.

I myself as well am a believer that if you want to excel at League, you’ll have to be able to play more than just a single champion. Diversity versus one-tricking champions has been a hot debate since years when it comes to success in solo queue.

Part 1: Knowledge
Part 2: Positioning
Part 3: Breadth of Roster
Part 4: Mechanical Execution
Part 5: Map Awareness
Part 6: Team Coordination
Part 7: Resilience
Part 8: Strategic Decision Making
Part 9: Reading Your Opponent

In today’s article, I will elaborate on the best ways you can diversify your champion pool step by step without stepping down on the quality of your play. You will learn how to pick up a new champion and adapt to it more quickly to not lose out on overall skill. I will also go over how to find out what exactly your team needs and adjusting your picks accordingly.

Branching out to other champions from where you are

Before you invest in a Champion, ask yourself the following questions. Not all of these might be relevant to you and if they’re not, ignore them:

  • Do you like the look of the Champion, or its skins?
  • Do you like the story behind the Champion?
  • Does this Champion’s playstyle sound interesting?
  • Am i proficient at the playstyle of this champion?
  • Would picking up this champion broaden my horizon?

If you answered yes to all relevant to you questions, then go for it, but remember that there’s no point in buying a Champion just because of their abilities or current balance situation. Riot is always on the lookout for necessary balance changes and adjusting heroes weekly, so don’t bet on abilities to be too strong or too weak forever.
Therefore, when choosing to learn a new champion, choose it based on playstyle, not their current strength.

My personal advice to this regard too is that you need to find what works best for you. Either try learning a champion thats similiar to what you already play or play a champion that’s far off  from your comfort zone but would allow you to adapt to multiple strategies. Try it and see what works best for you.

Learning a champion step by step

Picking up a hero requires many steps in my eyes. The game is too complex to just take a new champion and jump into ranked with it. Here are my recommendations on how to learn a champion from the ground until you’re proficient enough to jump into solo queue.

Study the basics. Gather information of how the champion works by reading through abilities on the client or watching Riot Games’ official champion spoglights. Grab an example item build from ProBuilds and inform yourself on the basics of the playstyle this hero sports.

Play a few normal games. This will give you an overall feeling on how the champion works and how you can perform on it. Will also serve as a good way of discerning if you actually enjoy the champion.

Learn the complexities. Here’s where you’re supposed to get into the more detailed things. Scalings, potential itembuilds, counters, potential damage range and output and many more things. Watch and read guides, use the practice tool for all sorts of experiments and keep on gathering knowledge on your champion. If you don’t learn all of the facts about your champion, it’s basically the same as using a hammer upside down. So really force yourself to make an effort here.

Take the time to become proficient. This is probably the longest period, but after this one, you should be able to say that you are able to play the new champ on a decent level. Play more games to practice and inbetween take yourself time to think about the champion as a whole. Compare similiarities between the new champion and champions you already play, judge their advantages and disadvantages. Keep on following learning ressources, find streamers who play the champ you’re picking up and keep on going. The most important part is that you do not autopilot. Keep on forcing yourself to not autopilot, be thoughtful during games and push yourself to improve more and more.

Adaptability in Champion Select is key

In champion select is where your vast champion pool is supposed to pay off. It’s recommended that you check out my first article on game knowledge if you wish to proceed here. Knowledge about having a game plan will allow you to choose a champion to suit the team’s plan.

The most important assessment to make is probably whether or not your team is able to team fight in the first place. In order for team fighting to work out, you’ll definitely want atleast 1 or 2 tanky frontliners in your composition. The thing about solo queue team fighting is that even up until diamond and in diamond, people still make a ton of errors, and the tankier you are, the more errors you can allow your team without it being fatal. So essentially, the team without tanks will just fall at first through their mistakes being punished.
Additionally, area of effect damage plays a large role in team fights of course. If your team has a Zed mid and Ezreal bottom and the enemy has Orianna and Caitlyn, aiming for Zed to splitpush and the remaining team to hold the enemy back sounds like a better plan.

Therefore, in champion select, going for an alternative win condition than forced team fights can be a valid option, like splitpushing on a powerful duelist like Jax, Zed or Fiora. Be creative and do not shy back from trying new picks. If you lose LP, you lost it to broaden your knowledge and you’ll gain it back eventually.

Lastly, there’s a special mention for botlaners. Your bottom lane synergy is extremely important, so understanding the varying heroes and their strengths is key. I recommend you to leave a comment below if you have any specific questions about any heroes strengths and weaknesses in particular. Alternatively, summonerschool’s Q&A thread or their discord are available as a free source of info on any support or ADC hero you dont know about.

This concludes another part of this new series. Make sure to check out the first part too! Next time i’ll be talking about general micro improvement. How to actually get good with mechanics. Good luck on the rift, summoner. 🙂