by Esports Pocket in
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Original article by : Dot Esports

These are the best mid lane champions of season 11.

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 11.12.

Talon

Pros

  • Low counter play
  • Small mana costs
  • One of the best mobility spells in the game

Cons

  • Need to know when to roam to obtain maximum advantage
  • Weak against tanks

Talon is one of the best attack damage-oriented mid laners in the current meta. The meta favors early skirmishes and roams from mid to help the bot lane extend their lead, which leads to tower plates and drake control.

His E ability is potent for roaming and helps him travel huge distances in the blink of an eye. Coupled with his assassin kit, which focuses on snowballing early, Talon perfectly fits into the current meta.

Item build

There are two viable routes for Talon right now. This is the most popular one that seems to be more successful. Precision primary grants you access to Conqueror, which is easy to stack as Talon. Once fully stacked, the damage increase coupled with the healing granted makes you a nightmare even for tanks later on in the game. Legend: Tenacity is taken alongside Last Stand to make you less vulnerable to crowd control and deal more damage if you get caught. 

The Domination secondary grants you extra healing to help you out during the laning phase and increases your teamfight potential by being harder to kill.

Ability priority

Talon’s skill priority is R>Q>W>E. While W is your AoE ability and should help you farm during the laning phase against ranged champions, Q is your primary ability if you’re in melee range. In most games, you’re going to be against melee champions, so it’s advised you max it. After that, focus on the other damaging ability and level E last.

Game plan

Talon is an early to mid-game champion. He excels at pushing his lane with his low cooldown W. Once you acquire Prowler’s Claw, you can begin roaming to the top and bottom lanes for kills every time your ultimate is up. You aren’t a great laner and shouldn’t focus on laning. If you sit in a lane and farm evenly, you’ll most likely lose later on. Your goal should be to roam as much as possible and use your E to its maximum potential.

With your side laners having some advantage, you can focus on getting towers, drakes, and easier kills once some towers are down and enemies start to overextend. Keep up an aggressive playstyle around the map and don’t let your opponent’s carries pick up free farm.

In the later stages of the game when you group up with your team, look for creative flanks to ambush the opposing carries with your huge burst damage.

Katarina

Pros

  • Powerful burst damage
  • Can take over games alone
  • Rewarding if mastered
  • Flexible build

Cons

  • Relies on a roaming playstyle
  • Squishy

Katarina is one of the most powerful mid laners after having received multiple buffs in recent patches. She is becoming a menace in the solo queue due to her flexible build, which allows her to counter various champions easily. If left uncontrolled, she can snowball and take over games with her roaming playstyle. Her dash allows her to bypass terrain easily and gank from unexpected angles, giving her team plenty of opportunities to set up ganks.

Item build

The two core rune builds for Katarina are either Domination primary with Precision secondary or vice versa. The most important aspect is to decide whether you need the burst from Electrocute or the sustain from Conqueror. 

The rune page with Electrocute gives you access to more damage early on via Sudden Impact and Eyeball Collection on top of sustain with Ravenous Hunter. The secondary precision tree is picked up for Triumph and Coup de Grace. The first one is aimed to help you escape after low-health plays, while the second is picked up for the additional damage to secure the kill against your opponents.

Ability priority

Katarina’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. Maxing Q first is your priority since it gets a lower cooldown with each rank up and is your main damaging ability. It also helps you by putting a dagger on a location, to which you can jump with E. Your mobility spell therefore should be maxed in accordance with Q to be able to jump around as much as possible and be a huge nuisance for the opposing team. W is maxed last since the utility and power of Q and E are much higher.

Game plan

Katarina is one of the strongest mid lane assassins and excels at taking over games with a couple of early-game kills. Your low cooldowns combined with your high base damage give you plenty of opportunities to snowball. You should use this to your advantage and look for proactive plays during the laning phase.

If you try to adapt a passive playstyle, you won’t be useful in the long-run and the enemy can outscale and shut you down. Keep up an aggressive playstyle and try to win your lane. After you do, you’ll be able to freely roam the map and either kill the opposing jungler or help your side laners.

With plenty of viable build paths, build accordingly to what you need. Don’t rush the same item every game and adjust to various game states. There are a couple of strong first rush items, such as Hextech Rocketbelt, Nashor’s Tooth, and Blade of the Ruined King. All are great in various compositions. Some are good for the additional mobility while others are good for sustained fights. Keep an eye on the enemy buildpath to know what to build and look for proactive plays throughout the entire game to increase your winning chances.

Qiyana

Pros

  • Flexible playstyle
  • Strong roaming capabilities
  • Stealth
  • Low cooldowns

Cons

  • Doesn’t scale very well into the late game
  • Weak against tanks

Qiyana’s kit allows her to push mid lane without getting punished easily, then roam to a side lane for a gank or objective. Her low cooldowns enhance her capability to poke, root, and juke enemies depending on nearby elements. She does really well in the current meta which doesn’t have that many tanks to absorb her damage, easily deleting most squishy meta champions in the blink of an eye with the proper item build and runes.

Item build

The Domination primary is essential on Qiyana. It has the extra damage needed from Electrocute with Eyeball Collection, additional armor penetration, and movement speed needed for quick roams. Inspiration secondary allows you to remove some weaknesses during the laning phase by having more sustain and allowing you to spam your abilities more often. Time Warp Tonic in particular is one of the strongest early game runes and gives you plenty of kill opportunities against your laner by running them out of resources. If you manage to burn their health potions, and you still have a stack or two of the Corrupting Potion, you can easily go for kills if they’re at around half of their healthpool.

Ability priority

Qiyana’s skill priority is the following: R>Q>E>W. Q is the bread and butter ability enhanced by the elements picked with W. By maxing it, you get the needed damage to farm safely and poke opponents. E second allows you to get in and out of fights more effectively by having a lower cooldown on the dash.

Game plan

Qiyana is an early to mid game champion and doesn’t transition that well into the late game. As a result, you need to apply pressure early on. A core item to rush on her is Boots of Mobility. They’ll allow you to base and move to a side lane without losing much pressure in the mid lane. Rushing lethality items will increase your mid-game power spike and allow you to have one-shot capabilities on squishy champions. Focus on snowballing yourself and your teammates before the game goes into the late game where Qiyana is weaker compared to other meta champions.

If you, however, do reach the late game, always look into flank opportunities against squishy carries so that you don’t get blown up by the opponent’s carries.

Sylas

Pros

  • Flexible build path
  • Low cooldowns
  • Exceptional teamfighter
  • Adaptive ultimate

Cons

  • High skill floor

Sylas is one of the best flex picks in today’s meta. He can play in the top and middle lane and be a great threat in either. In the middle lane he’s going to be facing various mages and will usually have an easier time scaling compared to the top lane. He has a wide variety of items to choose from to become stronger.

Item build

The Precision tree is core on Sylas due to Conqueror. It grants you adaptive force stacks, which you can build quite easily, and it starts giving you a lot of healing when fully stacked. Presence of Mind will solve your mana issues in and out of the laning phase. Tenacity will reduce crowd control, and Last Stand is taken to do increased damage when low on health. The secondary Inspiration tree will increase your lane sustain by improving your Corrupting Potion and by giving you Biscuits to last longer until you get more gold.

Ability priority

Sylas’s skill priority is R>W>Q>E. Your W is the reason why the champion is so strong even when behind. It deals a lot of damage while also returning a huge chunk of health back. Maxing it first is your main priority. Afterwards, you want to max Q to aid with your wave clear since you’ll be needing all the help you can get to clear waves quickly after Sylas’ passive was nerfed. E is maxed last due to it not having a huge impact overall on the game.

Game plan

Try to poke your opponent with your Q and follow up with an E and W to give yourself a lot of passive stacks, which will increase your damage output during the early trades. While the base damage of your abilities might not be that high, when combined with a couple of auto attacks, you can easily run opponents down.

After a couple of short trades, your opponent should either be forced to back or risk dying during the laning phase. If you get a kill, you can snowball out of control due to how well your abilities scale with levels. Aim to get Everfrost and start roaming around the map. Use your Hijack ultimate to steal game-changing ultimates and win teamfights for your team.

Viego

Pros

  • One of the strongest passives in the game
  • Execute ultimate
  • Fun to play

Cons

  • Requires knowledge of multiple champions for maximum efficiency

Viego is slowly growing to become one of League’s most popular mid laners. He has a powerful kit and is fun to play, attracting all sorts of players. The biggest downside is that you need knowledge of multiple champions since your passive allows you to possess dead opponents for a small period of time. If you don’t have the required knowledge on how to play other champions, you’ll end up wasting abilities left and right to no effect and making suboptimal plays with his passive.

Item build

The Precision primary rune page is the best on Viego. It grants you access to three keystones you can use well: Press the Attack, Fleet Footwork and Conqueror. Overall, Conqueror scales the best and allows you to slice through tanks with ease. There’s Triumph to help you survive low-health encounters, Legend: Alacrity to make you stronger in trades, and Coup de Grace to secure those early kills.

The secondary rune page is more flexible with Domination holding superiority over others due to the extra healing granted via Ravenous Hunter. Taste of Blood also helps you survive the laning phase and get your core items.

Ability priority

Viego’s skill priority is R>Q>E>W. The first spell is your bread and butter, allowing you to farm and poke the opponent during the laning phase. E is maxed second for the lower cooldown on your camouflage and W is maxed last since its cooldown is flat and doesn’t scale with levels.

Game plan

Viego has multiple viable build paths. He can either be a bruiser or an assassin depending on what your team needs. If your team wants a tanky frontline, you should adjust your runes and play defensively during the laning phase to avoid falling behind. If you are forced playing the assassin build, then look for proactive plays during the laning phase to get early leads and dominate your opponents.

If you’re going for the assassin build, always rush The Blade of the Ruined King since the damage and stats granted by it are superior to Mythic items. Afterwards, you can adjust the second item to be a Mythic such as Kraken Slayer, Immortal Shieldbow, or Divine Sunderer. With your first two items completed, look to group with your team and begin using your passive to dominate teamfights and destroy the opposing team.

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