Before I start to speak about this topic, it is essential to understand the AoE term.
The abbreviation comes from Area of Effect. It means any ability your champion uses that can affect more than one enemy when this ability is cast. AoE is commonly mistaken with CC (Crowd Control), which means that the enemy gets at least one of the many debuffs we can find in the game with your ability.
For example. Fiddlesticks ultimate is considered AoE ultimate, while Sejuani ultimate is considered AoE plus CC. There are many classifications for AoE abilities. If you want to take a look, check this.
Now that everything is clear, below you will find a list of the 8 Best AoE Abilities in League of Legends.
1. Unstoppable Force (Malphite’s R)
Malphite is a champion that we always hate to play against because one comes to AoE is one of the first options it comes to your mind, a great tank, tremendous damage when is AP built and the Ultimate it is just helpful and deadly. When you take the tank path, Unstoppable Force is great to start a team fight, primarily if you are located in a small area (in the jungle, for example), or peel your carries and take those desperate to kill them.
But, when your items are fully AP, Unstoppable Force becomes more like a deadly ability. Malphite in this path is considered a Nuke, dealing more damage than Ziggs ultimate (when not positioned in the middle of the Ultimate). Besides, Malphite is one of the easiest champs to play, even if you are playing against a ranged champion. Unstoppable Force is considered as an AoE ability but also as CC.
This makes the ability to be very flexible despite what build path you decide to take.
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2. Pyroclasm (plus Conflagration and Pillar of Flame) – Brand
Brand is one bully champion that can escalate nicely towards late game. It is hard to see a brand played as a mid-lane champion nowadays, and it’s more like a support option (a very aggressive one). Brand doesn’t have any ADC-friendly ability, like Nami or Lulu, for example. So Brand doesn’t need to build support items because you take more advantage of the damage than the utility. All Brand abilities, except for the Q, can deal AoE damage thanks to his passive.
This proves that an AoE chain could happen with any Brand’s abilities. Pryoclasm, Brand’s ultimate, is a great tool when fighting in small areas and does a lot of damage. This damage probably couldn’t kill any of the enemy champions but definitely is a great contribution to the team fight. It can help others to secure the kills or push them back and secure objectives in the worst-case scenario.
3. Mega Inferno Bomb (Ziggs R)
Ziggs is a bully champion, annoying at some point, and Ziggs ultimate was considered for a long time and by many as the most potent ultimate when it comes to damage. As I said before, Malphite ultimate can do more damage, but Ziggs ultimate takes a big step when the target is positioned in the middle of the Mega Inferno Bomb, dealing an extra 50% damage.
One “downside” of Ziggs ultimate is that the casting time might allow the enemy team to repositions themselves and avoid that extra damage, but this can be helpful for Ziggs team if this “downside” is taken to control a specific area. In other words, you can “control” the positions of the enemy team by zoning them.
For example, if both teams are trying to contest the Baron, and Ziggs team has the advantage of being on the side of the Baron’s pit entrance, one way to use Ziggs ultimate would be to throw the Mega Inferno Bomb in a specific area where the enemy team has to quickly think if they want to take the damage to contest the Baron (probably even by wasting summoner spells or abilities) or if they just want to go back to avoid the damage and give away the objective, perhaps even splitting the enemy team, which can grant a good advantage over a team fight.
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4. Bullet Time (Miss Fortune R)
Miss Fortune is a great Champion, and Bullet Time has always been an ultimate to be afraid of because it melts everything within the range. Great power comes with great responsibility, and in this case, with a great sense of positioning. To achieve a practical and very effective ultimate, you have to position yourself well to get all the enemy team in your ultimate and also, being in a safe position away from getting killed or CC to stop you.
This ability can be used to zone the enemy team and deal damage to the Baron or Dragon, helping the whole team try to secure it and giving some extra damage to the one trying to steal it.
You need to know that Bullet Time can make Critical Damage. This is one of the most significant reasons why Miss Fortune’s R can melt everyone.
5. The Equalizer (Rumble R)
Speaking about melting, The Equalizer will melt everything inside of the ability. Many Rumble players will say that The Equalizer is a versatile ability because it allows you to zone the team. Still, the strongest point is to use it in very small areas to be fully effective and successful. But not everything is a piece of cake.
In my opinion, Rumble’s ultimate is one of the most complicated ultimate to use because of the way it works, where you have to “pin” the place where The Equalizer starts and the direction. In combination with Rylai’s Crystal Scepter and Liandry’s Anguish, it makes The Equalizer one of the most annoying and deadliest abilities in the game when it comes to AoE.
6. Slicing Maelstrom (Kenen R)
Kenen is another easy champ to play in lane-phase. It is easy to farm due to being a ranged champion and easy to harass the enemy laner and, of course, get quickly away and stay safe from ganks since it doesn’t use mana but energy. One important ability from Kenen is his passive, which grants a stun after three marks have been dealt to the enemy, these marks can be made by abilities or with a basic attack charged with Electrical Surge.
Kenen’s ultimate is very useful when playing in small areas like the jungle; the range of the ability is significant and affects everyone inside the circle. This is great to initiate fights or to be part of a team fight. In combination with other AoE abilities, Slicing Malestrom can be decisive to have positive results in the teamfight. Also, if you are trying to contest a Baron or a Dragon, it is insanely good to CC the enemy jungler and provide time for your jungler to do the job.
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7. Soul Shackles (Morgana R)
Morgana is one of the best supports out there; her skill kit makes her a great option against CC and magic damage. Dark Binding and Tormented Shadow are a great combination to harass and even farm if that’s the case, while with the black shield, you prevent getting crowd-controlled when you get ganked and lowering all the risks.
The interesting part in Morgana comes with her ultimate and when it is paired with the rest of her abilities. Soul Shackles are chains coming out from Morgana, these chains are going to hit any enemy around you within the range of the ability, this will slow down enemies while the ability is being cast and stun them if they stay all the casting time within the range.
Morgana’s ult cannot be used if there aren’t enemies around, but you could activate it when an enemy is close, even if a champion is hidden or in stealth mode. Many seasons ago, this was one of the best options used by professionals to detect the enemy presence close in zones where there was no vision, like bushes.
8. Honorific Mention to Cataclysm (Jarvan R)
Jarvan is, so far, one of the best champions to consider when speaking about an AoE composition. Cataclysm by itself is not that useful unless we are speaking about 1 vs 1, but when we speak about a team fight where all or almost all your team has AoE abilities, the Jarvan can be the Master Key to get you a win.
The fact that Jarvan can catch most of the champions of the enemy team locks them inside of the crater, where they are an easy target for the rest of the AoE abilities of your teammates, can serve them on a silver platter for everyone to do the cleaning job. Jarvan has incredible mobility thanks to the Demacian Standard and Dragon Strike. If this combination is used, followed by Cataclysm, Jarvan can move faster to the backline and trap as many enemies as possible. Of course, not everything is about damage.
Cataclysm can be used strategically to trap enemies in different circumstances, block paths, and just lock enemies up and keep them far away from the action. This is an honorific mention because Cataclysm is not that useful by itself unless using it to fight someone, but, speaking about team composition, it is a fundamental key to making everything work perfectly!
AoE is one of the most simple ways to play the game, it is one of the recommended compositions to learn when playing with a team, or if we speak about Solo-Q is the easiest way to climb, because, it doesn’t require that much skill and almost all the champions with AoE has easy mechanics, so if you are struggling climbing, suggest to your teammates to take AoE. Not all the players know how to play against, unless you start to be in high elo, you probably need a different strategy.