I’ve seen this question pop up so many times in so many different ways. Many people who start playing don’t really know who to play, who’s fun and who’s strong. The answer is always that it depends on how you want to play. Each champion has a unique kit and a different purpose. Some champions do sustain over burst, are tanky or squishy, are meant to disengage or engage, it all depends. I’m not going to go through every champion in game rather give you different types of play styles, some examples of champions that fit them and then let you choose what you think is best for you. Do a little research on a champion before you decide. Just make sure you make that decision for yourself.
So let’s look at one style of champion: The tanky, engage champion(top, jungle, bot lane support). This type of champion is meant to be in the front of the fight, soaking up damage and giving his or her life for the better of the team. Their early game isn’t usually too strong til they get a few items, but they become real terror late game. Though they don’t really do damage, they usually have some cc or way to be a nuisance in order to buy your team’s carries enough time to kill things by either peeling or keeping the enemy carries away from the fight. Without the tank the carries would in most situations just die instantly.
Ex. of strong tanks: Dr. Mundo, Leona, Thresh, Malphite
Next is the ADC. You hear this term a lot. The adc is meant to thrive in the mid to late game. They wait and get babysat by a support early game while they cs and then proceed to try and rip everyone apart. The adc is very squishy and is meant to sit in the back and try to kill whoever they can reach. Unless you get extremely fed you will not be 3 hitting people with autoattacks. Some people think it is the most important thing for the adc to be immediately be diving for the enemy adc. This is wrong. Positioning and mechanics are strong components for the adc. You should be able to cs and focus in team fights because that is where you thrive.
Ex of strong ADCs: Lucian, Draven, Sivir
So the next squishy type of role is the bursting APC(mid lane). Your job is to help snowball the team in the early game. You’re at your best in the early-mid game so that’s when you need to take advantage of your power. You should be helping top and bot depending on what is happening as well at helping out your jungler occasionally. You’re meant to be able to burst someone from 100-0. Many APCs are high risk high reward. It’s very satisfying to watch someone go from full hp to none, but if you get caught you’re very likely to die. APCs have less sustain and therefore being able to dodge skill shots is very important for you.
Ex of good APCs: Ziggs, Gragas, Syndra
The other side of mid lane is the assassins. Rather than team fighting your job is to wait in the sides and pick off people when you can. You’re much more mobile than most APCs and you’re meant to get in then get out. Assassins do an insane amount of early burst damage but it comes with the cost of usually being generally short ranged and squishy. If you position yourself wrong as an assassin you will be useless to your team. You need to know how much damage you can do and when in order to be successful. They thrive in the early-mid game when you can still pick off people. Most assassins are known to be able 100-0 with few items. The hardest part of an assassin is knowing when you can get a kill and when you would just die and make your team’s job harder.
Ex of strong assassins: LeBlanc, Kha’Zix, Zed
Next is a little special type of category that I’m going to call the lane bullies (generally found top). Lane bullies generally have base damages but rather unimpressive scaling on their abilities. They’re meant to shut down their lane opponent and snowball into late game. They will usually always win lane but if you don’t it’s extremely hard to get yourself back into the game. Most lane bullies will end up building tanky after 1 or 2 damage items in order to be useful in the late game.
Ex of lane bullies: Renekton, Darius, Yorick
Another type of style of champion that I mentioned in other post was the bruiser(top/jungle). Bruisers have a mix of damage and of tank. They are generally champions with a less stellar early game but have the chance to snowball insanely well into the late game due to the fact that they build damage to kill and some tank to survive. They are meant to outright kill the opposing carry and live to tell the tale afterwards. A fed bruiser is hard to accomplish but if done so can carry a team very hard. If they cannot not then they provide peel for the allied carry. Most champions that are bruisers can be built in multiple ways(I.e go all damage or go all tank if they start falling behind) making them safer picks.
Ex of strong bruisers: Shyvana, Vi, Xin’Zhao
Opposite of the engage style is a champion who has strong disengage/kiting potential. This type of champion goes well with teams that would rather stay back and kill from a distance, or who has a team that does better with poke (poke, or poking, refers to the act of weakening the enemy team with long range spells, while never actually having to engage). Due to the current meta this type of champion is seen much less. Most teams now prefer to dive in rather than waiting back. Note that champions with high CC can use their CC to disengage if needed.
Ex of disengage/kiting champions: Janna
Next is champions with high poke. These champions excel by hitting one hard skill shot that will chunk to half or more and then use that damage to engage and execute. They work well with other poke champions and rather than getting kills they usually intend to push their opponent out of lane, and then take towers.
Ex of champions with poke: Nidalee, Jayce
Then there is sustain champions(top or mid, sometimes jungle). These champions can be ap or ad. Their intent is not to burst someone immediately from 100-0 rather they deal consistent damage over time in order to take down their opponents. They’re usually more useful than the bursting APC style champions in the late game as they can continuously deal damage
Ex Ryze, Cassiopeia, Evelynn
Last is the champions with an inherently good late game. Most ADCs are known for being useful in the late game but these champions just tend to have a known terrible early game and a known terrifyingly well late game. Their goal in early game is only to not die and get cs then deal scary amounts of damage when the late game hits.
Ex of late game champions: Nasus, Vayne