One of the best strategies you can do in League of Legends right from the very start of the game is knowing which LoL champion to pick in which situation. Depending on the enemy champion that will go against you in your lane you can gain an advantage even before the game starts by picking a champion that is naturally stronger than the one enemy picked because of range and the kit that the particular champion has. That is called counter picking the enemy and it will give you a massive advantage that you can exploit when the game starts.
A simple example would be counter picking a toplane fighter champion like Darius with a champion that has a ranged advantage like Jayce. The range advantage makes it easy for you to sneak in auto attacks in between farming which will soften up his health and you can eventually go for an all-in trade and kill him in a 1v1 scenario. So the laning phase for Darius, in this case, will be much harder to play and survive than it will be for you and you should be able to come out of it with a significant advantage over your opponent.
Counter picks vary depending on the current LoL meta because in different metas, different LoL champions are being played and different item builds are being utilized but there are some essential things that never change and that’s what we’ll focus on this post.
What is LoL Counter Pick?
A LoL counter pick is a champion that has an advantage over another champion because of his spells, the items that you’ll build and the scaling of the champion. This doesn’t necessarily means that you’ll absolutely win the lane or the game but you’ll definitely have a significant advantage. You’ll still have to take into consideration their jungler and roaming midlaners or supports that might swing the lane in your opponents favor. Sometimes even a small misstep on your side can cause the lane to swing completely in your enemy’s direction.
You should also keep in mind your champion pool and not pick a champion that you are not too familiar with just because he’s the best counter in that particular situation. It may backfire if you haven’t practiced the champion enough and it’ll end up in getting frustrated and losing the lane for sure.
You can counter pick in any lane and any position but right now we’ll focus on countering the solo lanes which are midlane and toplane and we’ll go more in-depth to explain how to counter picking works.
How Does LoL Counter Picks Work?
There are basically three types of champions and they all excel in different scenarios because of their specific set of abilities and range. These types can be divided into three categories which are:
Duelists: LoL champions that have quite short cooldowns on their spells or spells that allow them to empower their auto-attacks. This type likes to fight for longer periods of time rather than kill someone extremely fast by pressing a few buttons. Irelia, Fiora, and Udyr are classic examples of this type of champions. They won’t kill you in an instant but it’s very hard to out-damage or even escape them when there’s a longer fight going on.
Harassers: LoL champions that are able to do damage from a distance without an easy way for the enemy to return the damage. We already mentioned one champion from this category and that one is Jayce. Jayce is the best example of this category because he can change forms from melee to ranged and can easily harass from a distance with auto attacks and spells as well as go in melee range and inflict huge amounts of damage before using one of his spells to knock the enemy back and exit the fight.
Traders: LoL champions that have huge amounts of burst damage or spells that can deflect or negate some of the damage that the enemy is doing to you. These champions are really hard to counter, especially for someone who’s just starting to play League of Legends because they actually do lots of damage very quickly but once that’s done their damage falls off and they have a hard time finishing the kill in most cases. This is where most people just run away scared of dying instead of returning fire and attacking while their spells are on cooldown. They are the hardest type to be counter picked and it takes a lot of practice to execute it well enough.
Since we explained the three basic types of champions available let’s explain how they counter each other.
Duelists are often good against harassing champions and the reason behind that is that they are low on damage when the duelist actually closes the distance and starts using his short cooldowns to inflict some pain on your health bar. The only way that a harassing champion can win a lane against a duelist is if the duelist takes a massive amount of poke damage while farming and before he’s able to effectively close the distance and duel.
Harassing LoL champions are really good against traders because they can keep a safe distance and avoid the burst of damage the trader is able to do because of their lack of range. It’s quite hard for the traders in this scenario but not impossible because harassing champions are usually very squishy and low on maximum health that if they make a small misstep and the trader is able to close the distance, they will probably kill you in an instant or bring you down to critical health and you’ll have to go back to base to heal.
The hardest to counter are the duelists and it’s only done by really knowing the duelist champion inside and out, meaning knowing all the spells and cooldowns and how to play around them. They are quite hard for anyone that is new to the game and often frustrating when you get a skilled duelist player that knows his way around the champion and the specific matchup. Basically duelists are easiest to counter by another duelist or a hybrid of both harasser and duelist or trader and duelist.
This is applicable for basically every lane with a small tweak in the bot lane because the ADC and Support have to communicate with each other and play as a duo in order to be able to harass, duel or trade with the enemy champions effectively.
Current Meta Champions and Their Counterpicks
We’ll start with the top lane and proceed to the other points of the map. Basically the current LoL meta for top lane are bruisers and fighters with sometimes mixing in some harassing and assassin champions like Jayce and Akali up there but here’s a list of the 10 most picked recently and their strongest counters.
- Renekton – Trundle, Olaf, Shyvana, Kennen, Gnar
- Jayce – Yorick, Fiora, Irelia, Aatrox, Riven
- Aatrox – Renekton, Jax, Riven, Fiora, Irelia
- Gangplank – Fiora, Riven, Irelia, Renekton, Darius
- Gnar – Irelia, Fiora, Jayce, Riven, Darius
- Irelia – Renekton, Darius, Fiora, Yorick, Jax
- Kled – Fiora, Renekton, Shen, Jax, Gnar
- Akali – Annie, Rumble, Renekton, Kennen, Garen
- Shen – Yorick, Jayce, Jax, Vladimir, Darius
- Camille – Riven, Fiora, Kled, Poppy, Garen
Jungle picks can also be countered even though they aren’t really playing against each other in a lane directly. Basically the counter comes into fruition if you meet somewhere in the jungle due to an invade by either jungler. Some of the most popular picks and their counters in this LoL meta are:
- Lee Sin – Trundle, Xin Zhao, Jax, Udyr
- Gragas – Lee Sin, Rengar, Kha Zix, Elise
- Sejuani – Xin Zhao, Vi, Lee Sin, Elise
- Elise – Lee Sin, Kayn
- Trundle – Jax, Lee Sin, Elise, Xin Zhao
- Sylas – Olaf, Wukong, Lee Sin, Jarvan IV
- Skarner – Lee Sin, Kha Zix, Kayn, Camille
- Xin Zhao – Rek Sai, Lee Sin, Kha Zix, Jarvan IV
- Jarvan IV – Lee Sin, Kayn, Kha Zix
- Olaf – Camille, Lee Sin, Kha Zix, Jarvan IV
In the mid lane we have mainly control mages and assassins lately so counter picking in the mid lane isn’t as crucial as it is in the top lane for example. Anyway, the most picked champions in the mid lane lately are:
- Akali – Twisted Fate, Taliyah, Morgana
- Sylas – Kassadin, Morgana, Diana, Katarina
- Azir – Vel Koz, Rumble, Yasuo, Ahri
- Corki – Annie, Fizz, Akali, Ahri, Yasuo
- Syndra – Vladimir, Ahri, Yasuo, Akali, Talon
- Twisted Fate – Ahri, Akali, Zed, Karma
- Neeko – Zoe, Akali, Yasuo
- Qiyana – Akali, Kayle, Garen, Camille, Yasuo
- Yasuo – Zed, Kennen, Rumble, Wukong, Ahri
- Ryze – Yasuo, Akali, Ahri, Rumble
The counter picks in bot lane usually don’t matter too much because there aren’t very strong counter picks between ADC’s but you can still gain some range advantage picking the right champion.
- Ezreal – Twitch, Vayne, Caitlyn, Jinx
- Xayah – Jinx, Ashe, Kai’Sa, Caitlyn, Draven
- Kai’Sa – Kog Maw, Draven, Ezreal, Lucian
- Lucian – Draven, Twitch, Caitlyn, Ezreal
- Sivir – Kai’Sa, Ezreal, Jinx, Draven
- Varus – Jinx, Draven, Twitch, Ezreal, Kai’Sa, Caitlyn
- Draven – Ashe, Twitch, Ezreal, Caitlyn
- Cailyn – Jhin, Ashe, Twitch, Jinx, Kai’Sa
- Tristana – Draven, Ashe, Twitch, Caitlyn
- Vayne – Xayah, Jinx, Caitlyn, Twitch, Ashe
The support role is interesting for counter picking because often the lane that has ranged support that can easily poke is winning the early game. Some of the most popular supports and their counters are:
- Rakan – Pyke, Thresh, Jana, Brand
- Braum – Alistar, Vel Koz, Brand, Karma, Morgana
- Tahm Kench – Nautilus, Blitzcrank, Thresh, Pyke, Morgana, Karma
- Pyke – Rakan, Yuumi, Thresh, Morgana
- Thresh – Brand, Zyra, Bard, Nami
- Lux – Pyke, Nami, Morgana
- Morgana – Zyra, Bard, Soraka, Thresh
- Shen – Alistar, Thresh, Pyke, Nautilus, Braum
- Volibear – Lulu, Alistar, Rakan, Morgana
- Nautilus – Morgana, Thresh, Pyke, Taric, Soraka
These counters that we mentioned are not set in stone and they tend to change a lot as the game evolves and the meta changes so make sure you use the free sign up to get access to some exclusive content that is constantly updated by clicking here.
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