The best League of Legends champions for ranked play in 2021

Looking to increase your win-rate? These League of Legends champions should help

A blue mythical figure draws on his weapon

Want to know what the best League of Legends champions to climb ranked with are? Well, you’re in the right place. Looking at the recent buffs in Patch 11.9, the highest win-rates, and which champions can have a major impact on the game, the champions below are the ones you need to take into ranked.

We all know League of Legends ranked matches can be quite the rollercoaster. The idea of solo-queuefills LoL players with both excitement and dread. From the heroic game-winning moments to the soul-crushing defeats, each and every match keeps you on your toes. To avoid more of the latter, you need to be smart in picks and bans. Especially if you pick before your lane opponent, you need a champion that will be good in almost any scenario.

But you also need a powerful champion that can take over the game and produce clutch plays – coasting and relying on teammates won’t always work out. You have to take matters into your own hands. And you can do just that with this list of strongest champions in ranked in every role. Whether you’re looking for a champion to main or simply the easiest way to gain LP, this article has everything you need.

Here are the best League of Legends champions for ranked play in 2021: 

  • Darius
  • Shen
  • Morgana
  • Zac
  • Katarina
  • Galio
  • Jinx
  • Tristana
  • Leona
  • Thresh

Darius, with a wolf pelt on his shoulder, charges towards a wolf, axe raised

Best League of Legends Champions

Darius (Top)

If you’re the type that wants to take on the world by yourself then Darius is the pick for you. The juggernaut is terrifying to play against as he bullies his lane opponent with the stacking damage-over-time of his Hemorrhage passive.

While ranged-champions can give him a hard time early on, the healing from his Q gives him enough sustain to stay healthy while the dash from new mythic item Stridebreaker has added huge range to his engage. He can now easily close the gap before pulling opponents in with his E, so there really is no escape.

Darius can continue to stick to the top lane and split push while daring anyone to try and fight him. He will eventually force multiple members of the opposing team to waste time chasing him, so the rest of his team can pressure more meaningful objectives. And Darius isn’t a slouch in team fights either. In fact, he is a pentakill machine as his ultimate ability deals true damage and resets if it kills the enemy.

Shen (top)

However, if you want a pick that doesn’t put all the pressure on all your shoulders,but is still really effective, Shen is a great pick right now. The ninja is incredibly solid at every stage of the game and will always make a difference around the map.

His early game is very stable, so much so in fact that he can be a bully in most melee match-ups. The bonus damage from his Q and the ability to block basic attacks with his W means Shen comes out on top in most trades. Shen can also use the taunt of his E to force opponents to take minion aggro or turret shots.

Shen’s win-rate has shot up to a 52.25% at all ranks after a huge buff to his ultimate in the last patch. His R allows him to teleport to an ally from anywhere on the map while giving them a massive shield in the process. That shield is much bigger now as it scales with bonus health, making Shen much more effective in the late game.

The global aspect of his ultimate can be abused in lower Elo as a lot of players won’t consider the threat of a teleporting Shen in every fight. You can catch your opponents by surprise by keeping a teammate alive and forcing a numbers advantage in what started as a small skirmish.

A thorny woman with power coming out of her hands creates a storm

Morgana (Jungle)

Despite nerfs to the damage her Tormented Shadow deals to monsters, Morgana is still one of the strongest junglers in LoL on Patch 11.9. The pool still deals 180% damage to jungle camps which, along with her passive healing, gives her one of the strongest clears in the game.

Morgana is incredibly simple too so she works fantastically at all Elos, hence her 53.80% win-rate – the highest in her role. Along with her powerful clear, Morgana has fantastic ganks too thanks to her Q, Dark Binding – the ability every LoL player fears. The projectile can be dodged as it moves fairly slowly but the hit box on the ability is huge and the root lasts between two or three seconds which is an incredibly long time to be crowd controlled (CC’d).

In team fights, Morgana will mostly be looking to hit more roots but her spellshield can also be game-winning as it protects an ally or herself from CC. On top of that, her ultimate is massive as it stuns anybody who cannot escape the chains – making it a fantastic zoning tool especially with Zhonya’s Hourglass, so Morgana can safely run in.

Zac (Jungle)

Another strong option is Zac who had the damage of his W increased back on Patch 11.8. The big green blob works well in all ranks as he is easy to pick up, hence his impressive 52.20% win-rate.

Zac’s strength comes in his ganks and engages. His Elastic Slingshot allows him to throw himself forward from long range before knocking up and stunning those he lands on before layering additional CC from his kit. The massive range can make him pretty unpredictable with ganking options over walls that other junglers simply don’t have access to. It also gives him an easy escape from 1v1 skirmishes where he doesn’t shine.

And the tank has benefited massively from the recent buffs to the Sunfire Aegis mythic item which is regularly his go to option. On top of that, his passive gives him a chance to occasionally revive himself, making himself incredibly hard to take down. Zac can survive in fights for ages with his built in sustain which also helps him stay nice and healthy during his jungle clear.

A pirate-esque woman dual wielding swords

Katarina (Mid)

It feels like Katarina has been the go-to mid lane pick forever. And that hasn’t changed this year as she’s received a couple of buffs this season which ensures she continues to be a menace.

Katarina is one of the best snowballing champions in the game. After just a couple of kills she can take over a match as she roams lane to lane and rips through the squishier members of the opposing team. And that’s important to note, Katarina is at her best when she can get out of lane and roams top or bot in search for additional kills – especially in low Elo as many players won’t follow her. With her immense mobility and high damage, she is very tough to play against.

Plus, Katarina is pretty adaptable. With her Runes, she can either look to Electrocute for more burst or Conqueror for a surprising amount of sustain as she constantly dips in and out of fights.

Galio (MID)

And for those who want something a bit less mechanically intensive and with more CC, Galio is always a good choice.

The anti-mage has a ton of built-in tankiness, especially against AP threats making him extremely difficult to deal with. But even against AD champions, Galio is very effective with his natural beefiness and multiple CC options.

His CC does mean he can find good roams as he sets up mass taunts but he really shines against champions that constantly want to roam, like Katarina, as his semi-global ultimate allows him to to fly across the map and crash down, giving a huge magic-damage shield to allies while knocking up any enemies caught in the large radius.

With a 52.11% win-rate and very few bad match-ups, Galio is certainly worth picking up. His disruption in team fights is extremely tough to deal with and he counters a lot of the strongest midlaners in the meta at the moment.

A alternative looking woman with big blue hair sports a cannon on her shoulder

Jinx (bot)

Moving into the bot lane, you really can’t go wrong with Jinx. The Loose Cannon is always a threat as she is one of the strongest scaling champions in the game.

In the late game, basic attacks deal massive AoE damage with the help of Runaan’s Hurricane as she melts through entire teams and is able to chase thanks to the speed up from her passive. While Jinx isn’t the strongest laning ADC, she can more than hold her own in early trades, her traps even allow her to layer CC to give herself more kill pressure in lane.

With a solid early game and always the chance to carry later on, Jinx is a very safe choice hence her 51.72% win-rate and massive 20.1% pick rate – the second highest in the game. She doesn’t have any escapes so positioning is crucial, but that’s a skill you’re going to need to climb as an ADC anyway.

Tristana (bot)

Another very strong option is Tristana who, despite being played a fair bit in mid recently, is definitely still viable in the bot lane.

The Yordle has a solid 50.92% win-rate and is another hyper carry who scales very well into the late-game.The range on her auto-attacks, Explosive Charge, and ultimate all increase in range as she levels up meaning she can deal immense damage from far away. And with her standard build full of crit items, she will pop anyone squishy that she can get onto.

However, unlike Jinx, Tristana is an ADC that can be played in a much riskier style as she leaps straight into the action with Rocket Jump which will reset on a fully charged Explosive Charge or on a takedown (kill or assist). That reset also allows Tristana to go for risky all-ins that most ADCs can’t. But be warned: there’s a fine balance between a really cool play and a game-losing one. For the most part, you’ll want to use the jump to escape to safety – especially as the ability still goes off even if you were hit by CC as long as you cast it soon enough.

An armour-clad woman stands on top of a turret wielding a big shield and sword

Leona (support)

Finally, we have our supports. While enchanters like Lulu are fairly good right now, if you want to climb as a support you need a CC-heavy engager like Leona to put kills on a plate for your bot lane partner or your team in general.

Leona is a force to be reckoned with – she can lock down an individual champion with a large arsenal of roots and stuns as she dives deep into fights and soaks up tonnes of damage simultaneously. All of that CC is also brilliant for peeling, protecting your ADC or most-fed team member in slower fights.

Leona is excellent at every stage of the game. She can dominate lane with her engages and snowball a small advantage into a major lead. And she has the ability to take complete control of a team fight – she picks when to engage and who to engage on. She can even swap targets in the middle of the skirmish.

Thresh (support)

Leona is very easy to learn and have an impact on but if you’re looking for a champion who can do it all, Thresh is the pick for you. The Chain Warden has an incredibly unique kit with so much potential and versatility.

Primarily, Thresh is another playmaking support who excels at setting up kills. His hook can pull targets in from far away and his Flay can pull multiple opponents back in – the latter is a better engage than most realise. Flay is also an excellent disengage tool as well, it can even interrupt engages such as Leona’s Zenith Blade, though his best tool to escape a sticky situation is his lantern which can pull an ally to safety from a distance.

The majority of Thresh’s abilities have multiple uses which makes him rather complex and tricky to play. He can absolutely take over a game but you need strong decision-making and a good aim to hit your skillshots. Thresh is incredibly fulfilling to learn but it takes time and practice. Once you have him nailed down though, you’ll be crushing lane, pulling off huge roams, and orchestrating team fights as you climb up the ranked ladder.

That’s all for our best League of Legends champions to use in ranked play for now. We’ll continue to update this guide with each and every patch, so keep an eye on this guide if you prefer direction above all else.

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