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The Best Mid Lane Champions in LoL: Tiered Ranking List for Patch 10.12

Cristian Lupasco

Some champions in League of Legends are just flat-out stronger than others.

Mid lane is one of the game’s easiest roles to carry with, mostly because you have easy access to any other part of the map. Oh, and a lot of damage. Great mid laners are those that can effectively roam to other lanes while keeping good pressure on their own mid lane opponent. Champions that can do that well are indispensable.

This list of top-tier champions can be affected depending on a number of things. Sometimes the meta shifts for no apparent reason other than players’ tastes, but usually there’s some kind of balance change behind the whole thing. It can be difficult to keep up on the flavor-of-the-month champs, so let us do it for you.

Here are our top five mid laners for League’s Patch 10.15.

Galio

Pros

  • Max percent health damage
  • Innate tankiness
  • Global ultimate

Cons

  • Melee mage
  • Predictable movements
  • High mana costs

Galio was one of the most contested picks in the past after his rework. After countless nerfs, though, he disappeared from the meta. He’s back to dominate it now after recent buffs that make his laning phase stronger and allow him to roam more often. 

His kit is perfect against magic damage compositions or melee-oriented squads due to his ability to taunt entire teams or absorb magic damage with his passive from W. While Riot was cautious to buff him before due to his pick priority, the recently-released champions in the mid lane have kept him in check.

Item build

Resolve is the most-picked tree on Galio because he needs the additional resists to be played effectively. Aftershock enables you to survive after your initial engage and be a beacon of crowd control for your team without exploding in the first second of a teamfight. Shield Bash syncs well with your passive and W, allowing you to do huge amounts of damage in the short trades during the laning phase. Bone Plating makes you even harder to kill both in the laning phase and afterward. Overgrowth is a staple rune for most tanky champions, granting you free health as you farm.

Nimbus Cloak will make you faster in teamfights since flashing will grant you movement speed, which will allow you to catch unsuspecting enemies off guard and crowd control them. Transcendence is taken for the additional cooldown reduction since Galio’s base cooldowns are quite high due to their power.

Ability priority

Galio’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>W>E. Q is your wave clear and poke spell, so it should always be maxed first. There’s some flexibility with the second basic ability max, but W is usually taken more often than E due to needing to taunt enemies more often than dashing away with E. If you find yourself in a game where you need mobility more, max E after Q instead.

Game plan

Farm and poke early on with your Q. Use the additional AoE damage from your passive to clear waves without wasting too much mana. Galio has high mana costs, unlike other mid lane mages, so you should be wary of every spell cast. It’s better to use spells to clear one wave instead of attempting to poke an enemy hiding behind the wave.

Once you reach level six, start pushing your wave and look for roam opportunities around the map. Your ult range is high and you should look for plays as often as possible when it’s up. The cast time is slow, but it can quickly turn the tides of battle in your favor.

As for items, build depending on what your team needs. Galio is flexible in this regard and has multiple viable build paths.

Twisted Fate

Pros

  • Global ultimate
  • Flexible build path

Cons

  • High mana costs
  • Regardless of AD/AP build, needs time to scale

Twisted Fate has been becoming more popular over the past couple of weeks even though he didn’t receive any significant buffs. High Elo players have found some hybrid builds that make TF extremely strong and more people have picked him up.

While the most popular build path remains the AP-focused one, the AD or the new hybrid build are seeing a lot of success as well.

Item build

Unsealed Spellbook is at the core of a good Twisted Fate player. It grants you access to multiple summoners spells, which can help you win lane or save a wounded ally at the right time. While there are other viable builds as well, the most popular one is focused around the Unsealed Spellbook. 

The Stopwatch rune alongside Minion Dematerializer and Time Warp Tonic are taken to help you out during the laning phase and go through it unharmed. You can use the Dematerializer to kill cannons before going to base or help you thin the wave without wasting too much mana. Time Warp Tonic is one of the most busted basic runes, so it’s self explanatory since you want to start with the potion.

The secondary rune tree taken is usually Resolve to make you more tanky and less prone to dying early on. Demolish will help you snowball early and get your core items as soon as possible. Bone Plating is taken to help you out against those pesky assassins.

Ability priority

Twisted Fate’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>W>E. Q is your main ability for farming and poking opponents early on. Try to aim it so that you kill both the enemy wave and poke the enemy champions early on. This will help you secure an early lead and snowball. W is maxed second for the additional damage that should help you thin out waves as the game goes by. E is maxed last since Q and W are much more useful.

Game plan

Use your Q early on to poke and last hit enemies. If the jungler wants to come for a gank, try to prepare your gold card beforehand so that you don’t scroll through it while the jungler is chasing the opponent.

Aim to farm early and get your core items depending on which build you go for. Once you’re level six, look for ultimate plays to help your other laners. As the game goes by, use your ultimate to your advantage to move huge distances of map while splitpushing.

Kassadin

Image via Riot Games

Pros

  • Low-cd flash with ultimate
  • Strong AoE damage
  • Scales really well

Cons

  • Weak laning phase
  • Melee
  • Requires constant jungler attention vs ranged AD matchups

Kassadin is one of the best mid laners to carry with once you have items and have reached your power spike. While his weaknesses can be minimized with proper rune and item builds, he still needs time to scale to be effective. Once you reach level 16, you become completely unstoppable and your chances of losing are slim if you juggle around a teamfight properly.

Item build

This is a self-sustaining rune build. Kassadin is flexible and can use all trees effectively. We recommend going with this since it’ll help out in most matchups and won’t need much tweaking.

The Precision primary tree is strong on Kassadin. Fleet Footwork grants a lot of needed sustain and some movement speed to avoid ganks. Presence of Mind allows you to dominate teamfights by giving you the mana to spam your ultimate, Coup de Grace grants extra damage to finish off opponents and Legend: Alacrity allows you to do your combo faster. 

Domination as a second tree helps you out tremendously during the laning phase by giving you additional healing capabilities, which are amplified when you get some kills on the enemy champions.

Ability priority

Kassadin’s skill priority is the following: R>Q(rank three)>E>Q(rank five)>W. While Q is the only ranged ability and allows you to farm single minions or poke out the enemy champion, E is your primary wave clear tool and you need to max it as soon as possible. If you’re facing a heavy AP-focused team, you can max out Q first instead. If you’re facing a heavy AD-focused team, you can max out E while keeping Q at rank one until level nine. W should be maxed last regardless of your situation because the damage and utility from Q and E grossly outweigh the damage bonus from W.

Game plan

Kassadin scales well with items and experience. He’s weak before level six, and as a result, you need to pay attention to the trades you take. It’s fine to let minions die without last-hitting them, as long as you get the needed experience to survive the laning phase. Once you reach level six, you can switch to an aggressive playstyle and engage on enemies with your ultimate. But without your ultimate, you’re walking bait for the enemy jungler. Your main goal should be to get Rod of Ages as soon as possible, alongside Archangel’s Staff. These two items will make you insanely strong and hard to deal with.

A third important item to make you an unkillable machine is Zhonya’s Hourglass. You can engage then use it to bait out enemy ultimates and come out of it unscathed to clean up your opponents.

If the game doesn’t go too well early on, you can focus on getting to level 11 or 16. These levels grant you access to the second and third levels of your ultimate, respectively. A level 16, Kassadin usually never loses the game since the mobility granted with your rank three ult is unmatched by most champions in the game. The damage on it is just a bonus to how overpowered he becomes.

Fizz

Pros

  • Zhonya’s-like basic ability
  • Can 100-0 in the blink of an eye
  • Can solo carry games

Cons

The Tidal Trickster is back in the meta after a long hiatus. He is an answer to many popular mid lane picks, such as Twisted Fate or Zed. His ability to easily roam to side lanes is also unmatched due to the low cooldown on his jump ability, which allows him to shave off crucial seconds from the road to the bottom or top lane.

Item build

Fizz is quite flexible with his rune choice. He can go Precision for Conqueror, Resolve for Grasp or Domination for Electrocute or Hail of Blades. The most reliable one and easiest to play is Domination with Electrocute. It grants you access to additional magic penetration via Sudden Impact, additional AP via Eyeball Collection, and additional healing via Ravenous Hunter.

Secondary Precision tree is taken for the Tenacity and additional mana to avoid going into inefficient mana items. Tenacity from runes gives you the possibility to get offensive boots such as Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Sorcerer’s Shoes. If you forego the Legend: Tenacity rune, you might need to invest in Mercury Threads to avoid getting blown up

Ability priority

Fizz’s skill priority is R>E>W>Q. E is maxed first since it is one of the most overpowered abilities in the game. On top of the untargetable effect, it deals quite a lot of damage allowing you to waveclear without getting punished for it. Once you reach level 6, it allows you to easily dive and get out of tower aggro range on top of that as well.

W is maxed second for the additional damage on the Damage-over-Time effect and Q is maxed last since the utility from E and W outweigh the Q effect.

Game plan

Fizz is a mobile assassin who excels at deleting targets before they realize what happened to them. He is the strongest during the early and mid stages of the game, where enemies don’t have vulnerabilities or shields bought. 

Your goal should be to shove waves in the mid lane and then look for roams in the top or bottom lane. This will allow you to get small leads and become stronger than your opposing mid laner. Once you get your core items of Protobelt or Lichbane, you should be able to take out most champions in the game, with the exception of tanks. Look for such opportunities and keep snowballing until the game is out of your enemies control.

Zed

Pros

  • No mana
  • High skill cap
  • One of the rewarding mastered champions in the game

Cons

  • Weak against tanks
  • Hard to come back if behind

Zed is one of the most popular assassins on the Rift with whom the arguably best League of Legends player Faker became known for. The skill cap is tremendous and the difference between a one-game Zed and a one-hundred-game Zed can be easily seen.

The recent revert of his nerf from Season 3 brought him back to terrorize the Rift once again.

Item build

Zed excels at dealing huge amounts of damage in short periods of time and getting out unscathed before the opponents realize what happened to them. The Domination primary Keystone aids his goal considering it gives you Electrocute which you can proc easily, Cheap Shot to ensure you have enough sustain to reach your power spikes, Eyeball Collection for the additional AD and Ultimate Hunter for that low cooldown on your ultimate.

There’s a couple of viable secondary rune pages, with Sorcery being the most popular one for the additional cooldown reduction and Scorch for additional damage.

Ability priority

Zed’s skill priority is: R>Q>E>W. You want your main damaging ability in Q to be maxed out as soon as possible. Afterwards you want to focus on maxing E to increase your burst potential. While W is an amazing ability, the additional damage from Q and E outweigh the utility from the W.

Game plan

Zed is an early to mid-game assassin who excels at getting in and out in a couple of frames before enemies realize what happened. You have a lot of damage early on but at the same time you become vulnerable if you use your shadow aggressively.

Balance out aggressive with safe plays during the laning phase, look for opportunities to land a deadly W>E>Q combo on the enemy when he tries to last hit. Once you reach level six, start looking for opportunities to kill your opposing laner or go for a roam on the side lanes.

As you slowly grow in power with your lethality item spikes, you’ll reach a plateau in the mid-game unless you are extremely fed. It’s important to look for opportunities by split pushing, ambushing opponents to end the game before that point, otherwise you’ll get out-scaled and lose the game.