My preferences are largely determined by 4 things: character backstory, aesthetics/overall champion design, their abilities and strength (AKA how fun to play I think they are), and sentimentality. Unsurprisingly, they are almost all female.
I think it’s worth saying that if I have to pick one favourite, it would be Soraka (no, really?), because I think she could fit into all of the categories on this list in some way. She is the champion who I’ve played so far who feels the most “me”. I feel a sense of kinship with her.
I think the first thing I’m going to ask my boyfriend is which champion he thinks is my favourite. I’m quite confident he’ll get it right or at least close (especially since I’ve expressed interest in Ahri and unicorns in general before) but it will still be interesting.
Character & Backstory
I loved her before I read her story (before I even played her, actually), but her story I felt was unique and makes her a compelling character, and in some ways more ‘good’ than some of the others because she wasn’t born with these morals. It felt like a story I hadn’t heard a million times before. She also gets major points for being so fluffy. That said though, I am terrible at playing her, so that was disappointing.
She’s a unicorn. The end. But seriously, her backstory is also really nice and sad. And of course it reminds me of myself. I almost put her under the ‘sentimentality’ category because she was the first champion who I really felt like I ‘mastered’, and she made me start to actually like the support role. But I feel like shoving her there would negate how great she really is as a character. It is criminal that she doesn’t have a skin where she is a literal unicorn.
Notable mentions – The whole Ashe/Sejuani/Lissandra situation, Morgana, Lee Sin, Yasuo
Aesthetics & Character Design
This was the hardest category to narrow down – so many of the champions are so beautifully designed and have cool little details about them (and a bunch of the others on this list could also go under this category). My top three are champions who I think are so well designed in terms of their appearance, abilities, personality and backstory – just all around.
A lot of the champions have beautiful splash art but are pretty disappointing once you actually see them in-game. Aurelion Sol is one of the rare exceptions to that rule. He is so beautiful and sparkly. His orbit of stars and his W ability are also very cool and adds a unique element of strategy to playing him – trying to make sure that your orbit lines up with the enemy line while also being able to hit them with other abilities/keeping yourself out of harm’s way.
Bard is just so unique. Like…what even is he? Is he even a he? Initially I was super creeped out because he’s basically just a bowling ball in a giant beard, but I fell in love as soon as I heard his hilarious horn sounds. I didn’t actually enjoy playing him all that much but I appreciate the complexity of his abilities, especially how he has to run around collecting chimes. That’s fun.
The concept of Kindred is hardly new, but the way that LOL executes it here I think is really well done. At first I was like, what the fuck is this, this ain’t no lamb, but I grew to appreciate Lamb’s odd design.
Notable mentions – Jinx, Ivern, Camille, Xayah & Rakan
Abilities & Strength
These are the champions that I have felt the most powerful playing as (outside of the support role).
I actually haven’t played Kayle in forever, but I got my first A+ with her, as well as my first game being the top player. At first I really did not like her, but eventually I figured out how to use her and learned that the key lies in her E ability and remembering that her W exists. If you can get through the early game, she is unfairly strong because she’s pretty much just always on fire (literally and metaphorically).
Lux was always the champion that I hated playing against the most, because I find it really hard to dodge her abilities – however, it’s for that same reason that I love playing AS her. That snare tho. Plus, rainbows!
I was just okay at Ashe for the longest time, largely because I didn’t A) realize how powerful just using her basic attack is, B) understand her Q, and C) know when to use her ultimate. But I played my first PvP game as an ADC with her and got an A, and man, did that feel good.
Notable mentions: Anivia, Veigar
Champions that I played in the beginning that I don’t play much now, but still really like a lot.
I think I will always have a soft spot for Lissandra because she was the first champion I really played with, once I exited tutorials. I thought I was going to main her, until I realized that I wouldn’t always have access to her. I haven’t played her since the first week because she’s so expensive, it wasn’t really practical to buy her, and she only showed up on the free rotation once, while I was on vacation. Even now though I appreciate the range of her abilities and how easy to pick up she is (except for her E blink, which took me forever to figure out). But she’s also evil (like really, truly evil, not complicated evil), so that sucks. My boyfriend called her a cunt and I had to tell him that is not appropriate language. This is not Game of Thrones.
She was the first female champion I came across who I felt was both sexy and strong (since then I’ve seen many others, of course), and finding her made me feel like maybe I could have a place in the LOL world. I wish her backstory had more to it – it’s basically just “she was a super good ninja”.
Notable mentions: Evelynn