As the seasons have gone by, League of Legends has seen a consistent mobility increase with each new champion or rework released. From the archaic Olaf and Master Yi movement speed buff, coupled with slow immunities, to recently released champions with reset mobility mechanics, such as Irelia, Samira, and Ahri.
Even in roaming ability, where Twisted Fate was once the king of pressure, his glory days have overtaken roamers with higher uptime, such as Akshan, Talon, Qiyana, and Pyke. Mobility creep is slowly taking over the game and with good reason.
Generally, the level of mobility a champion contains will dictate a higher potential for outplays and increase the player base’s overall skill level compared to immobile ones. That’s one of the reasons why the commonly known “smurf” or pub stomping champions’ kit includes at least one mobility spell to compliment or even start their snowball.
However, not all mobility is created equally, and not all champions with mobility are automatically better than those without mobility.
Given that the mid lane role is geared towards snowballing the game with lane dominance or roaming ability, this article will focus on champions that are best suited for this playstyle.
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- Conditional vs. Non-conditional Mobility
- Power Budget: What does a champion trade in exchange for their mobility
- Laning Phase
- Roaming Ability
- Teamfighting Ability
- Late Game Scaling
Although Irelia’s kit contains only one targeted mobility spell, her other three spells are designed to complement her mobility. Her Q has a reset mechanic upon killing an enemy target, giving the skilled Irelia player the potential to pentakill the enemy team while never putting her Q on a cooldown.
Most mobile champions sacrifice some aspect of their power budget: the total amount of power a champion may have to access mobility.
However, in my experience in playing against Irelia, the only window of opportunity to kill an Irelia player is if she messes up or gets hard countered by Exhaust and anti-mobility champs like Poppy, Taliyah, or Vex, none of which are commonly played.
Irelia’s laning phase, mid game, teamfighting ability, and even her roaming potential, assuming her R and flash are up, are all forces to be reckoned with.
The original pick/ban pubstomper, Katarina. Kat’s entire ability set revolves around controlled aggression, looking for windows of opportunity, and snowballing from lane dominance or roams.
Her dive and teamfight potential are arguably one of the best in the games due to her E Shunpo being a teleport rather than a dash, which means anti-mobility champions like Poppy, and Taliyah, are ineffective. Cassiopeia and Singed’s anti-mobility is dodgeable.
In exchange for her high-risk, high-reward playstyle, Katarina is a squishy champion and struggles in the laning phase against ranged champions or bruisers with CC.
Katarina’s late game is subpar, averaging a 41% winrate after 40 minutes. Katarina players should focus instead on her early-mid game snowball as that is her best win condition.
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With stealth, movement speed, reset mechanic mobility, long-range execution ultimate, and a revive + bonus gold mechanic, Akshan is built as the premier mid lane pubstomper. Swinging from 1 screen away and hidden by permanent stealth, he presents the best of both worlds in combat mobility and roaming potential.
Thankfully, the Riot Balance Team ran the numbers and decided that Akshan’s low damage output is the compensation for the strengths and gimmicks in his kit. Otherwise, the streamers and social media would have rioted and alleged to boycott league of legends over the controversies of Akshan’s kit when it was first revealed.
Out of all the champions on the list, Akshan’s laning phase is average. What shines is his flanking-oriented combat mobility and roaming potential. In the late game, his revive mechanic may guarantee wins, or at the very least, tilt the enemy team into typing “200 years” in all chat.
Reaching his late-game six items power spike is no small joke as Rapid Firecannon can half-health squishy targets from stealth as the attack range exceeds the detection range.
Two very similar champions who are tied for 4th place in best mobile mid laners are Talon and Zed. Both champions have gap closers, lethal close-range combos, and ultimates that take a squishy out of the game while being hard to chase down, more so if the player buys Duskblade. Zed excels at lane dominance, while Talon is roaming-oriented.
In a vacuum, assassins are an ideal candidate for the mobile mid laners as their kits are made for 100 to 0 their opponents’ hp bars. Their biggest counters are for the enemy to run exhaust, Seeker’s Armguard into Zhonya’s, Bone Plating, and playing safe.
All of which are significantly more accessible than counter picking or playing against the other champions above in this list.
In the time before the mid laners’ first base, Zed and Talon have a window of opportunity at levels 3 to 5 to get a kill with Electrocute, Ignite, and gap closing to dump their close range lethal damage.
Both assassins have potent roams with enough damage to take out one and a half health bars. Talon edges out better if a roam goes wrong, and he has a safer exit plan than Zed. Teamfighting goes the same way:
- Stay in a flank.
- Aim for the key targets.
- Try to get out alive.
- Deal the most damage before dying.
- Pray that your teammates can win the clash.
Assassins fall off in the late game, so capitalize on snowballing and singling out critical targets.
Whereas burst-type assassins and divers have a high risk, high reward playstyle, Ahri favors a patient, run-them-down approach with her three base + 1 per kill dash ultimate. Ahri suffers from having mediocre damage pre-level six but has lane sustain, a movement speed boost, and self peel in exchange.
Obtaining your level 6 power spike opens the window to create outplays in the mid lane, or roam opportunities in the bot lane with her three non-conditional dashes. Her ultimate works well into teamfights as Ahri players can stick with their team and play front to back, do hit-and-run flanks, and take advantage of dashing over walls.
Ahri will always have an impact at any stage of the game and won’t fall off easily. This is a safer playstyle while having enough snowball power to rival the other champions in this list.
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6. Twisted Fate
Twisted Fate is the ultimate test of “big brain” macro. If positioning, roam timers, tracking enemy jungler’s pathing, top/bot/mid-wave state, great wave clearing, or duo queuing is your style or things you want to work on, then TF is the pick for you.
Your goal before level 6 is to farm, obtain lane priority, and help your jungler contest scuttle. Your lane opponent should never die to you due to your lack of damage. Hence playing with your jungle is vital.
After level 6, the first three ultimates you pull off will decide the rest of the game state if it’s in your favor or not. Playing TF to a competent level requires split long-term and second decision-making, which rewards good players and punishes bad ones. The only downside to this playstyle is the 180/150/120-minute cooldown on his ultimate and the number of Cleanse the enemy team has.
In teamfights, most fights will be played front to back, abusing bad positioning and using your ultimate for objectives or revealing all players on the map, including invisible ones. Late game, when obtaining rapid-fire, TF becomes a point and click long-range stun champion that follows up his gold card with Everfrost.
Whereas most champions on this list have conditional mobility, Kassadin is the rare case of having a Flash-like damaging spell on a low cooldown. This makes him a monster in the mid-to-late game, which is also his biggest weakness as reaching his power spike is hard.
Kassadin is not a champion until he reaches his 2-item, level 11 spike. Coupled with relying on teammates not to feed and to play for your power spikes, it makes him an unreliable pick.
Despite that, when given the opportunity to pick late in the draft. Locking in Kassadin and playing for the mid game becomes much easier in the gold to diamond ranks as your teammates better understand the game. Optimizing your resources such as going Fleet Footwork, Corrupting Pot and Teleport, and drafting with good early game champions will significantly increase your chances of winning.
Your goal in the laning phase is to survive and stay in exp range while trying to get cannon minions with your Q or E and using your ultimate to dash out. The mid and late game should be a breeze as you may play front to back with your bruisers and tanks or play for the flanks if they have a strong frontline.
When the meta favors Kassadin, he becomes a Kassawin.