League of Legends mechanics is easy to learn for players that are willing to spend the time and energy to do so. Game sense is usually more prioritized than individual skill but there are a lot of times when the better player will always be able to carry his team to victory. Especially so when that player is using a champion that has an incredible high skill-ceiling that has an incredible carry potential. The hardest LoL champs to play are the most dangerous ones at the hand of a master.
The Hardest LoL Champions to Learn
There are over 150 champions in League of Legends as of 2021 and each of them has a unique design that gives them a sense of identity. Most champions are really easy to learn even for beginners since they feature a very simplistic kit that is very straightforward in what it wants to do. However, a handful of champions have been designed for the more advanced group of players, rewarding them with better gameplay if they master it. These are the hardest LoL champions that exist today.
There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the hardest champions to learn. Some champions may seem really basic for those that have spent a long time playing the game or have experience in other MOBA games. The champions that we included on the list are hard to learn because they involve a lot of mechanical ability and micromanaging of resources. Let’s take a look at the top 10 hardest LoL champions to learn in the game currently.
Gnar is the first champion on our hardest LoL champions list because of his unique kit as a champion. Gnar has two forms which are the Mini Gnar and Mega Gnar, which transitions depending on his rage meter. The Mega Gnar form is pretty brainless and is really strong overall but only lasts a few seconds. The difficult part about Gnar is knowing how to manage the rage meter, especially in the mid to late stages of the game where you need to have Mega Gnar active during teamfights.
Mini Gnar is also hard to manage. Aside from the skillshot boomerang that you need to both catch and hit in fast-paced situations, you also need to watch your positioning like normal marksmen. He is really fragile as mini gnar and will instantly die if you overstep. Knowing how to use the hop ability to escape or pursue enemies is a crucial part of his kit that isn’t simple to learn in any way. Overall, this champion isn’t recommended for newbies but is one of the most punishing top laners if mastered.
LeBlanc is one of the most popular champions in the mid lane that a lot of players like to use. Despite its popularity, don’t be under the illusion that his champion is easy to use. Most of the players that use this champion are using it wrong or not using it to its fullest potential. A master LeBlanc player is extremely hard to catch and an extremely deadly assassin. Since her theme revolves around being a mistress of deception, she relies on being able to trick her opponents successfully.
This champion requires a lot of micromanaging. Knowing where to place distortions and knowing which abilities to mimic are the two main reasons why she’s so hard to play. This champion is so mobile that she’s almost impossible to catch. However, if the player has a linear gameplay of this champion, it’s easy to predict where she’ll go. When her passive activates and creates a clone, LeBlanc players will need quick reflexes to micromanage both LeBlanc and her clone to deceive the enemies.
Kalista doesn’t have anything flashy to show but her entire kit is extremely difficult to master. The thing that makes Kalista one of the hardest LoL champions is her passive, which modifies her movement and attack patterns. At the hands of a master, Kalista is the Queen of Kiting and should never find herself in a disadvantageous situation in terms of position because she has so much mobility that she can outmaneuver any opponent that comes her way.
In terms of her other abilities, the mechanics don’t really matter that much more than champion knowledge. Kalista’s spears stack up and deal a certain amount of damage if consumed. Not know when to consume these spears may cause insufficient damage on the target, allowing them to escape. On the other hand, if you stack up too many spears, you’re losing precious DPS that you could be doing on the other champions so you should always do just enough which isn’t an easy thing to learn.
Support champions tend to be extremely straightforward in what they do but there is no champion that encompasses the difficulty of keeping your team alive more than Thresh. This champion has a lot of skill expression and requires a lot of practice to master. He has a lot of positional saves and shielding. Thresh is the only champion that enables a lot of low-mobility champions like Aphelios and Varus by giving them an escape tool in the form of the lantern and The Box.
Aside from the defensive value of Thresh, he’s also really strong as an engage champion. Thresh’s hook ability is probably the hardest one to land among all the other hook champions but has insane value because it sticks longer. The one thing that makes this champion one of the hardest LoL champs is his Flay ability that can be used defensively or offensively. Proper timing is everything in this champion and, unfortunately, a lot of support players don’t have the ability to maximize this.
People always say that Aphelios is a champion that takes 200 years of experience to master and they might not be so wrong. Even though he was one of the most broken champions upon release that he didn’t need a lot of skill expression to master, endless waves of nerfs has made this champion very hard to use. Beginners trying to use this champion might end up not utilizing the weapons correctly and deal suboptimal damage which shouldn’t be the case for AD Carries.
Aphelios is practically multiple champions in one. Having to switch between 5 weapons depending on what the system gives and using their abilities at the right time before they phase out is extremely hard. Aphelios has to adjust how he fights depending on his main weapon. He can either play in melee range or as a long-shot sniper depending on what he has. If the player misplays their positioning in accordance to their weapon, the fight will be doomed instantly.
Unlike champions like Jayce, Elise, Kled, and Shyvana, Nidalee is one of the only shapeshifter champions that doesn’t play 2 distinct forms. What we mean is that both Nidalee’s cougar and human forms work together in tandem and are not played as individuals which is usually the case for the other champions when they are forced to complete a combo before switching to their next form to initiate their secondary combo. Nidalee needs to use her kit in a way that benefits both of his forms WHEN she is in the opposite form. Did that make sense?
Explaining how it works is already really difficult, imagine how the players must feel trying to learn this champ. Another thing that makes Nidalee one of the hardest LoL champs to learn is that fact that her abilities are extremely hard to hit. To become a successful Nidalee player, you constantly need to predict where the opponent will move to land skill shots. Which may be the case for most skill shots but Nidalee’s abilities have such small hitboxes that it’s frustrating to even use her.
4. Lee Sin
Lee Sin is probably the flashiest champion that showcases what it means to play the hardest LoL champions in the game. Everyone wants to play this champion but only less than 5% who play him can probably do the combos that make him such a valuable champion. Even professional players sometimes mess up the combo really badly that it instantly costs them the game. A good advice for players that want to play Lee Sin is to spend 1-2 hours in the practice tool.
For a champion that has 7 different abilities that each have unique interactions, you can already feel how difficult this champion can be. Combining all that with the fact that they are all positionals and can play offensive or defensive parts in a fight, it’s almost impossible to play this champion perfectly. The big thing about this champion is that you will always know a bad Lee Sin player from a good Lee Sin player because it’s perfectly obvious when they miss a part of their combo.
Rumble is another champion that requires a lot of micromanaging. This champion seems basic but there’s nothing harder than trying to land a semi-global, directional, and positional DoT ultimate. That one ability alone propels Rumble into the top 5 hardest LoL champions in the game especially considering how important it is in any setting. If a player can’t land good Equalizers, there’s no point in that player even playing this champion in the first place.
Aside from the ultimate, Rumble needs to manage his Heat meter to always be above 50% but never overheating at the wrong moment. Overheating is not always good since it silences Rumble for a few seconds but increases his auto-attacks which is only really useful in certain situations. Landing skill shots and burning the enemy frontline while zoning out the backline with the ultimate is a job that Rumble needs to constantly maintain. This is the only champion that doesn’t have Quick Cast enabled no matter how skilled the player is.
Azir is unmistakenly one of the hardest LoL champs to play and it was really hard to just place him at #2. This champion is one of the most mobile mid laners and is one of the most punishing laners in the game with an advantage on every sector at the hands of the right player. However, at the hands of even a player that doesn’t even have the slightest mastery of this champion’s abilities will look like a confused child trying to learn how to play League of Legends for the first time.
We always emphasize how difficult it is to learn how to play champions that require a lot of micromanaging. Azir needs to constantly place Sand Soldiers at the right place so that he can find a way to make the game-winning ultimate. Players also need to be able to do abilities and select targets while they are in transition of dashing between soldiers. The animation is relatively slow so it’s easy to predict and dodge his abilities unless the Azir player knows where and when to cast them.
There’s a saying that a bad Gangplank player is top lane charity, a decent Gangplank player is free, and a good Gangplank player is a gold donation machine. Gangplank is probably the hardest LoL champion to learn because he needs to learn so many things at the same time. From learning how to hit barrels, cleansing CCs immediately, farming Silver Serpents, and having global presence. This champion will take an extremely long time to learn but doing so is extremely rewarding.
Gangplank barrels can either make Gangplank rich or the enemy rich since last hitting them is easy for the opponent especially if they play melee. Chaining barrels is also a steep learning curve because it’s extremely easy to fail it and it’s easy to dodge it if the Gangplank user makes it too obvious. Overall, Gangplank players need to be patient if they want to start it out because your opponents will make sure that they punish you every chance they get.