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Published February 27, 2013

This week brings yet another interesting group of champions to the free roster, so let's take a look!

If you're unfamiliar with any terms, consult our handy Beginner's Dictionary!

Volibear

Role: Bruiser/Tank, most commonly seen jungling or top lane

Build outline: Health! With both your passive and W scaling from your raw health, stacking it isn't a terrible idea. A Spirit Visage can give a boost to MR, health and your passive as well.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: When Volibear's health drops to a certain level, he gains massive health regeneration for a few seconds.
  • Q is a charge that gives Volibear a movement speed boost and causes his next attack to throw the target behind him as well as dealing extra damage.
  • W adds a stack of frenzy each time you attack, up to a cap of 3. Each stack increases your attack speed. Once you have 3 stacks, you can activate the ability to bite your target for an execution (does more damage when enemy is weak) that scales off his own health.
  • E emits a shockwave around Volibear that slows nearby enemies, as well as briefly fearing minions and neutral creeps.
  • R has Volibear channel lightning through his paws, which will chain to nearby enemies when he attacks.

Notes: With Volibear used quite a bit in last week's LCS, expect to see a few players doing their best to imitate the pros. Be sure not to get baited with his passive, ignite is your friend.

Wukong

Role: Bruiser, almost always seen top lane.

Build outline: Like most bruisers, you can lean towards building more damage or more tank. In my experience, building something like Trinity Force or Black Cleaver is all Wukong really needs for most games, so feel free to bulk up.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: Wukong's Armor and Magic Resist go up for every nearby enemy champion.
  • Q enhances Wu's next attack to deal bonus damage and reduce enemy armor by 30% for 3 seconds.
  • W stealths Wukong and leaves a dummy behind him that will deal some magic damage after a few seconds.
  • E makes Wukong lunge at his target, striking it and up to 2 nearby targets. He then gains increased attack speed for a few seconds.
  • R causes Wukong to spin with his staff, knocking enemies into the air and damaging them.

Notes: Be aware of Wukong's ult in a teamfight: it still does significant damage after the knockup. Also, be creative with Decoy. Tapping "S" will stop your character and look almost exactly like you used the skill. Enemies will often walk right on past. Also use it to block skillshots, like Caitlyn's ultimate.

Brand

Role: AP, midlane

Build outline: Stack AP, like most AP mids. Add Liandry's Torment for even more burns.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: Any enemy hit by Brand's spells loses 2% of their maximum health over 4 seconds.
  • Q is a fireball that will stun the target if they have been marked with Brand's passive.
  • W summons a huge pillar of flame at the target location after a few seconds. Units marked by Brand's passive take additional damage.
  • E deals magic damage to the target, and others nearby if the original target was marked by Brand's passive.
  • R has Brand throw an enormous fireball that bounces between targets. If the initial target is marked by his passive, it will prioritize champions.

Notes: A rather uncommon champion outside of free week, but not to be taken lightly. Boots are a must, as many Brands will start their combo with W. Be aware of positioning in teamfights to maximize/minimize damage from his ultimate.

Jax

Role: Bruiser/Carry, often seen top lane or in the jungle.

Build outline: One of the few currently viable hybrid (AD and AP) champions.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: Jax's consecutive attacks grant him bonused attack speed.
  • Q leaps to a target, dealing damage to an enemy. Can be used on wards or allies as well.
  • W improves Jax's next attack with bonus damage.
  • E causes Jax to dodge all incoming attacks and take reduced damage from AoE damage for 2 seconds, then riposte and stun all nearby enemies.
  • R grants Jax a new passive; every third strike deals bonus magic damage. In addition, the ability can be activated to grant bonus Armor and Magic Resist.

Notes: One of League's pubstomp champions. Deny him early game and it will make your life much easier. As Jax, use wards with your Q to escape precarious situations.

Anivia

Role: AP Carry, mid lane.

Build outline: AP is always good, but building additional mana to help run your ultimate is never a bad idea.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: When Anivia would die, she activates her passive and transforms into an egg. If the egg survives, Anivia is reborn and no gold is awarded. This has a long cooldown.
  • Q emits a ball of ice skillshot that can be detonated in flight to stun enemies in the blast..
  • W creates a wall of ice. This (literally) separates the good from the bad. 
  • E throws an icicle at the target that does double damage if the target has been recently hit by another of Anivia's abilities.
  • R creates a localized blizzard, slowing the move and attack speed, as well as damaging enemies within. Anivia can leave this on for as long as she has the mana available.

Notes: Anivia excels at clearing out large waves of enemies, try to deny her blue buff if you need to push. You can check the status of her passive by clicking on her. If the icon is grayed out, she will die normally, but it it's blue, you'll have to burst the egg as well.

Caitlyn

Role: AD carry, usually seen bottom with a Support.

Build outline: Attack Damage is your friend. Runaan's Hurricane has interesting synergy with her passive as well.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: After several basic attacks, Caitlyn's next attack deals bonus damage. This charges faster when firing from brush.
  • Q fires a bladed shot that does damage to all targets it hits, although later targets take reduced damage.
  • W lays a trap that will immobilize and reveal any enemy that steps on one.
  • E fires a net, and propels Caitlyn in the opposite direction. Handy for escaping over small walls.
  • R lines up a long range shot on a single target, but this bullet can be intercepted by other enemy champions.

Notes: Caitlyn has the highest base range in the game, allowing her to poke at her lane opponents with impunity. 

Olaf

Role: Bruiser, can be seen top lane or jungle.

Build outline: Another flexible champion. Olaf does plenty of damage on his own, so feel free to build bulky. Shurelya's Reverie can help you engage a fight.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: As Olaf's health gets lower, his attack speed increases.
  • Q throws an axe that damages and slows all enemies it hits. The axe remains in the ground for a few seconds afterwards, allowing Olaf to pick it up and reduce the cooldown.
  • W grants Olaf extra Attack Damage, Lifesteal and Spell Vamp. 
  • E costs Olaf some health, but deals true damage to the target.
  • R removes all disables from Olaf, grants him immunity to disables, and has increased Armor and Magic Resist for a few seconds. 

Notes: Olaf is a very strong champion, and commonly seen at the highest level of play. 

Taric

Role: Support, usually seen bottom lane, but rarely seen as an AP carry or bruiser.

Build outline: Support items, especially Aegis of the Legion, work very well with Taric's innate tankiness.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: Whenever Taric attacks an enemy, he gains a small amount of mana.
  • Q heals a target ally. If cast on himself, Taric is healed for more. Basic attacks reduce the cooldown of this ability.
  • W grants nearby allies a large Armor bonus (Taric gets double), and can be activated to deal damage and decrease the Armor of nearby enemies.
  • E stuns a target, dealing more damage the farther the target is from Taric.
  • R: Taric radiates energy, dealing damage to nearby enemies and boosting the Attack Damage and Ability Power of nearby allies.

Notes: Taric is a well rounded support, and can be very powerful due to the heal, stun and armor buff. Take advantage of this and play aggressively early on.

Rammus

Role: Tank, usually seen in the jungle.

Build outline: Tank. Warmog's is your friend, along with Sunfire Cape. You are going to be the center of attention. Lucky you.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: Rammus converts 25% of his Armor into bonus Attack Damage.
  • Q rolls Rammus at increasing speeds across the battlefield. When he hits an enemy, they are slowed for a few seconds.
  • W curls Rammus into a defensive posture, granting a large bonus to Armor and Magic Resist while returning damage taken from attacks.
  • E taunts an enemy into attacking Rammus, and reduces the targets armor for a few seconds.
  • R emits shockwaves around Rammus, dealing damage to enemies and structures every second.

Notes: Rammus is reliant on his Q to close distance, so positioning yourself on the other side of minions or a friendly tank can help.

Ashe

Role: AD carry, usually bottom lane

Build outline: Ashe works best with the Infinity Edge AD carry route, due to her passive.

Abilities Summary

  • Passive: While out of combat, Ashe gains massively increased probability that her next attack with critically strike.
  • Q toggles mana-consuming slowing arrows for Ashe's basic attacks.
  • W fires a cone of 7 arrows that damage and slow all enemies they hit.
  • E summons Ashe's spirit hawk to scout a location. Additionally, Ashe gains extra gold for every kill.
  • R fires an enormous magical arrow across the map. Enemies struck are stunned, and nearby foes are slowed. The durations of the crowd control depends on the flight time of the arrow.

Notes: If you like Ashe, it's worth practicing the timing on her ultimate. Look for enemies that are going to be stationary, or headed through a narrow chokepoint for easy targets.

 

Twyn
Pirate, frigate enthusiast, wanderer, and general scallywag. In-game name is Twyndyllng, strike up a conversation anytime, but be warned, I tend to shoot first and then ask a ton of questions later.

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