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Picking Your Main Role in League of Legends

League of Legends has a huge range of champions, and getting to know and play them all to a high standard takes a lot of a time and effort. You’ll rarely see players take on all roles of the game, they will choose a role and stick with it, mastering a few champions at a time.

Why should I specialise in a role?

There are a few good reasons to specialise in a role and not many reasons against it (and even those reasons can be avoided). As of patch 8.7 there are 140 playable champions, and 5 roles in the current meta; Top Lane, Jungle, Mid Lane, Carry and Support. Playing 140 champions to a consistently good standard is almost impossible. But if you knock that number down to about 2-4 in a specific role, it’s a bit more realistic.

Playing a small handful of champions can be very beneficial, especially when climbing solo queue. You’ll gain a higher insight to the ins and outs of the champion and the role they’re in. It’s almost like learning to play an instrument, if you keep switching your instrument, you’ll never master one, but sticking with one means you can become proficient with it.

Lets take a look at the pros and cons of role specialisation (seriously though, there’s not many cons).

 

The Pros

  • You will have utmost knowledge in the role, know the ins and outs and start to develop your own play styles.
  • You will become way more consistent in your games.
  • Builds and skill orders will become second nature to you, meaning you can focus on learning fundamental skills, such as CS’ing, map awareness and knowing when to roam or stay in lane.
  • You develop a higher understanding of the limitations of your champion pool. Knowing when to dive or back off will be more clear to you, meaning you will make less mistakes and create more opportunities for your team.

 

The Cons

  • Riot suggests you learn how to play every single role so you will always know what to do in each of the lanes.
  • Even though it’s good to specialise, don’t be a one trick pony – You’ll find that you hit a ceiling at a certain level where you need more knowledge in the other roles to be able to counter it.

 

Now, you as a player can avoid the cons, simply by playing a different role from time to time. Queue up a couple of normal games, and just dive into your uncomfort zone. If you’re specialising in jungle, lock in Ahri mid. If AD carry is your thing, ditch your support and perhaps lock in Teemo top (please… don’t).

Now that you have been convinced, you’re going to have to do some decision making. How do I pick my main role?

We’ll take a look at each role and point out the play style of each role so you can match yourself to the role, or the role to yourself… how many times did I type role? don’t check.

 

Top Lane

Play Style

  • Top laners mostly stick to themselves in the top half of the map for the majority of the laning phase.
  • 1v1 combat, so excellent knowledge of your champion is required.
  • Tends to only shift from lane after tower is pushed.
  • Does not worry about other lanes until end of laning phase (unless enemy is getting destroyed).

Riven vs Shyvana Top

How to know if you should play this role

  • You like being a lone ranger.
  • Solo survival is something that excites you.
  • You enjoy playing generally tanky/off-tanky champions.

Check out the top champions in the tier list for Top Lane

 

Jungle

Play Style

  • Constant roaming across the map.
  • Ganking/helping lanes to gain an advantage in your game.
  • Keeps tabs on all objectives and communicates it with the team.

 

How to know if you should play this role

  • You have an excellent sense of game knowledge.
  • You know when a lane will need help and when it wont’t.
  • You have thick skin because you’ll be blamed for a lot of stuff, even if you’re doing the right thing.
  • Solid timing skills and reflexes for hitting those smites.

Check out the top champions in the tier list for Jungle

 

Mid Lane

Play Style

  • 1v1 combat but generally gets more action than top.
  • Roaming when possible during laning phase, even participating in jungling.
  • Builds mainly offensive items to nuke enemies.
  • Highly reliant on correct spell rotations.

Morgana vs Ahri Mid

How to know if you should play this role

  • Blue buff is your FAVOURITE buff.
  • You’re a confident player, but know your limitations. Eyes will be on you most of the game.
  • You love sniping champions and having the ability to one shot.
  • You can perform spell rotations effectively and manage resources while in lane.
  • Being star of the show is everything you ever wanted.

Check out the top champions in the tier list for Mid Lane

 

AD Carry

Play Style

  • Usually plays with a support that synergises to min-max chances of success in lane.
  • Long ranged heavy damage with low defense means positioning is a must in terms of play style.
  • Last hitting is a key job of the role.

 

How to know if you should play this role

  • You’re capable of staying composed/alive in stressful encounters.
  • Last hitting and learning to last hit is enjoyable and relatively easy for you.
  • Positioning and spacial awareness is something you can handle.
  • Penta-kills are your main goals in life.

Check out the top champions in the tier list for AD Carry

 

Support

Play Style

  • Sadly doesn’t receive much glory, but works hard in lane and protects the AD Carry at all costs.
  • Controls map vision.
  • Buys supportive items to benefit the whole team.
  • Varied play styles depending on support champion, it can range from tanky and initiative to squishy but highly dangerous.

Janna Splash

How to know if you should play this role

  • You find getting any other role is too difficult.
  • You don’t mind sacrificing glory for under-appreciated support (not always the case!).
  • Your awareness is second to none and you love being supportive to the rest of your team.

Check out the top champions in the tier list for Support

 

Do any of the roles fit your play style?

The list here is only bite-sized exploration of each of the roles. The best way to go about it is just to jump into the game with a slight idea of your play style, choose a champion in the role you’re picking — you can find a tier list of champions to play on our homepage, tierlist.gg — play a few games, switch roles until you’ve played at least a couple of each, and then decide which you feel works best for you. There are a ton of other resources online to help you further develop inside of those roles. We will also be rolling out a few guides in time so stay tuned!