Black by Popular Demand – Activist by Choice

10 Champions for New Players

I’ve been playing since early Season 1, and I play this game a lot. So for me, the idea that you might have to choose which champions you owned never even crossed my mind. I’ve never had all of the champions (I will never buy Fiora), but I never really wanted a champion for lack of IP. It’s only recently, as I’ve met players who are newer to the game, that I’ve realized how significant the amount of IP you would need to catch up on! A new player now would have to play maybe 4000 games to afford all of the champions? While I had about 4 years to do that, a new player would have to do that in a year (and still find themselves behind all of the champions that come out this year!)

As such, I’ve compiled a short list of champions to learn the game by.

I’ve tried to prioritize a few things:

  1. The list of champions should fill every role.
  2. The champions should fill as many roles as possible, to maximize flexibility.
  3. The champions should be as different as possible, to maximize flexibility.
  4. The champions should be relatively competitively viable; they don’t need to be top-tier champions, but they shouldn’t be niche.

With all of that in mind, here are a few potential bundles.

The Beginner’s Bundle

  1. Tristana (free) – ADC
    An ADC with a dash and high damage
  2. Annie (450 IP) – Support/Mid
    A bursty support who can initiate with her ultimate
  3. Kayle (450 IP) – Mid
    A melee mage with a bursty combo
  4. Ashe (450 IP) – ADC
    An ADC with long range
  5. Garen (450) – Top
    A top laner with a stronger laning phase but a weaker late game
  6. Amumu (1350 IP) – Jungle
    A jungler with strong initiation
  7. Nasus or Dr. Mundo (1350 IP) – Top/Jungle
    A top laner with a strong late game but a weak laning phase
  8. Morgana (1350 IP) – Mid
    A ranged mage with good utility
  9. Alistar or Janna (1350 IP) – Support
    A support with lots of peel
  10. Pantheon (3150 IP) – Jungle/Mid/Top
    A jungler with strong early game pressure

First, these champions give you (at least) two champions at each role.

Second, all of these champions are extremely cheap; you can afford the whole bundle with 10350 IP, or about 3 games a day for 4 weeks. Unfortunately, this bundle is aimed mostly at cost and role diffusion; it’s lacking significant competitiveness.

Finally, none of these champions is particularly mechanically difficult — Morgana and Amumu have skill shots, while Alistar has a combo that can be difficult to pull off, but the rest are mostly point-and-click — making them perfect choices for players who may be playing their first MOBA/RTS/FPS. If you have experience in precision-clicking games, this won’t be a huge concern, as League of Legends is mechanically simple, by comparison.

I recommend this bundle for players new to the genre, who aren’t sure if they’ll like LoL enough to keep playing it, or want mechanically easy champions to ease into the game.

The Competitive Bundle

If you know you’re going to want to settle into the game, and have a bit  more time to grind IP, this may be a better choice.

  1. Jinx (6300) – ADC
    An ADC with high damage
  2. Annie (450 IP) – Support/Mid
    A bursty support who can initiate with her ultimate
  3. Gragas (3150 IP) – Mid
    A melee mage with a bursty combo
  4. Caitlyn (4800 IP) – ADC
    An ADC with long range
  5. Renekton (4800) – Top
    A top laner with a stronger laning phase but a weaker late game
  6. Vi (6300IP) – Jungle
    A jungler with strong initiation
  7. Jax (1350 IP) – Top/Jungle
    A top laner with a strong late game but a weak laning phase
  8. Orianna (4800 IP) – Mid
    A ranged mage with good utility
  9. Thresh (6300 IP) – Support
    A support with lots of peel
  10. Elise (6300 IP) – Jungle/Mid/Top
    A jungler with strong early game pressure

This list is basically just all of the above champions replaced with harder versions of themselves champions who take more time to master but are either more versatile or strong, when executed correctly (although a few of the champions on the Beginner’s list are already competitive, they are mostly competitive via the current meta, while these champions have generically strong kits which are unlikely to ever fall entirely out of favor.

For example, Pantheon lacks jungle sustain, which has made him weak in the past, but the change to the spirit stone items vaulted him into competitive jungler status. Elise, on the other hand, has natural sustain, and will probably always remain a viable jungler.

However, this list is not without its drawbacks: it cost about 4 times as much as the Beginner’s List. On the other hand, it is a list of champions whose kits are solid enough that they will pretty much always be viable, no matter how long you play LoL for.

With exception of Jinx/Annie/Orianna, all of the champions have mobility tools. With exception of the ADCs, they all have some form of CC. They all have some early game some strength and some late-game scaling, and none of them is particularly niche (with perhaps Jinx as an exception – she requires some protection).

By the time you have 10 champions, you should have a good idea of what you like, whether it be bursty champions, sustained dps, tankiness, or CC. Tailor your future pickups to those specifications!

Free Week Champions

Don’t forget that 10 champions are free every week. Play them all, to get a feel for every champion. If you were considering buying them, testing them out can help you decide. If you weren’t, you might find that you want to after a game or two! Trying a champion for one game and not liking them is a far better position to be in than spending 6300 IP on a champion you end up not playing.

Buying Champions on Your Own

Of course, you should never just buy champions on a list because somebody told you to. If you’re just absolutely in love with Kha’Zix, go ahead and buy him. Or better yet, wait until he’s free, try him out, and then buy him. Me, I bought Veigar because he reminded me of Final Fantasy, Cho’Gath because he’s a dinosaur, Warwick because I thought he’d be like Strygwyr from DotA, Karthus because I thought he’d be like Zeus from DotA, Brand because his spotlight looked cool, and Lee Sin because he was a blind monk. I don’t remember what other champions I bought pre-30, but I didn’t have any idea of what I wanted to buy, or roles, or the game’s meta, and I turned out fine, so don’t feel like going in haphazardly will screw you over.

Most important, just remember that you can unlock more champions by playing more games, which shouldn’t be that hard if you like the game (and if you don’t, maybe reconsider playing it!)

What methods did you use to decide what champions to buy?

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Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.

You can see his other work here:

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2 Responses »

  1. Prolly a really late reply to this… But may as well. My first champion purchased was Soraka because she was cheap… but moreover she was female and not human. That was kinda awesome, even if her model was awful I really liked her legs (and still miss them, honestly) She was also pretty much the only champion I played for a year.

    My second champion was Warwick, and my third was Chogath. Warwick because I’m a furreh and he was cheap, and Chogath because he was cheap and wasn’t incredibly bland looking. I was awful with both, and aimed to save for my next few champions… (after a brief Sivir purchase…because i heard I needed an ADC and everyone played Ashe..)

    Which were Cassiopeia and Twitch. I know i picked up a few other pre-30 champions, but those were the ones that really stood out. Though between about 25-30 I began buying most supports.

    Like

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