League of Legends has been releasing new champions to the list every year on a regular basis. While a lot of these League of Legends champs were okay upon release, some were just plain broken to the point that you’d see these champions on every game you played or esports match you watched online. The question is, which of these characters can earn the top spot of most broken champion upon release and what are the reasons that made them so overpowered in the first place?
What makes a champion broken?
“Broken” is a term used by the gaming community to refer to something that makes the game unplayable (in a sense). These include elements that make the character/item/skill too strong compared to other elements in the game and creates an unfair environment for other players. In essence, the only person having fun is the user of this broken champion. This is why game developers try to balance out elements like this in the game to make the game more tolerable for other players.
Most Broken Champions in League of Legends
All of you know that Riot Games has been constantly releasing patch updates in League of Legends that ensure all champions are as equal as possible. With that in mind, we’ll count which champions were extremely broken at their height; whether it was during their release. rework, or just a buff that went wrong. Some of these champions may not be as broken as they were before, but believe us when we tell you that there’s a reason they are on this list in the firs place.
10. Nidalee (2016 Pre-nerf)
Nowadays, Nidalee is pretty hard to use since her Javelin Toss has such a small hitbox that it takes some real skills, high IQ, and/or a large amount of luck to really hit it. In 2016, that wasn’t the case with the ability having such a wide hitbox and high damage scaling. This meant that you could play from a safe distance and throw spears for days and dealing damage to the enemy team and eventually poke them out of the game.
However, if Nidalee was just a simple spear-bot then it would be quite tolerable to deal with her. Her kit allowed her to survive longer in battles and play both at range and burst down enemies when they got too close or when they’re low enough to Pounce on. Riot “fixed” her by making her Javelin Toss have a smaller hitbox which made her almost unplayable and disappeared from the meta for the years to come.
9. Irelia (Pre-rework + Rework)
If you remember the phrase: Better Nerf Irelia, you’ve been playing League of Legends for a very long time. Pre-nerf Irelia was just too easy to use and had great stats not only as a duelist but also as a teamfighting goddess. Her passive healing, ability to clear full minion waves easily, and a passive ability that gives her a ridiculous amount of tenacity attracted the attention of Riot Developers to nerf her on almost every patch.
After nerfing Irelia to the ground, Riot decided that maybe she can finally have a bit of freedom by giving her a total rework. Unfortunately for Riot Games, the rework just revitalized Irelia’s status as a strong duelist and teamfigher. Her rework release was once of the darkest times in League of Legends history with her ability to outplay everyone with a skill kit that made sure there is nothing anybody can do against her.
8. Zoe (Release)
Who could forget Zoe on her release when that tiny sweet girl wreaked havoc in summoners rift with her endless Sleepy Trouble Bubbles, Level 2 Gunblade, and crossmap Paddlestars? We understand that upon release everyone would want to play the new champion, but Zoe’s case was different. This broken champion was played on every single game because there wasn’t any other champion that could match her oppressive laning phase.
The problem with Zoe upon her release is that she was released. Her entire kit was problematic and even though Riot Games spent years nerfing her, she still has an incredible presence in games today. Luckily for the mischievous troublemaker, she still got to retain her full identity even after a barrage of nerfs that came her way. Of course, we will never forget the amount of pain that came from someone so little.
7. Akali (Rework)
Reworked Akali being classified as a broken champion isn’t even enough to justify how broken she was. Her Twilight Shroud was a unique skill that gave her true stealth which meant not even Turrets or Vision Wards could detect where she was while in the shroud. This meant that she’d just push you into your turret and oppress you by jumping in and out of vision and dealing damage to you slowly but surely.
The bad part about the skill is that it was so long, she could stay inside the shroud and wait for all of her skills to reset before diving into battle again. She could dive all 5 enemy champions and deal a decent amount of damage and hide in her shroud just to pick them off one by one. So much so that it made us impressed how just one skill made the entire champion as broken as she was back then.
6. Twisted Fate (Beta-Season 1)
Are you annoyed about how Twisted Fate just appears and picks you off during crucial moments? Beta Twisted Fate was much worse since his Teleport ability was on E back then. Yep, you read that right. Twisted Fate could practically Teleport anywhere on the map whenever he wanted to. He could recall and Teleport back to the lane at the cost of a short cooldown and a bit of mana.
Aside from the Teleport, his Yellow Card was an AoE ability that stunned multiple enemies surrounding the target. This meant that Twisted Fate could win teamfights just by himself and catch out multiple champions out of position and just clean them up any time that he wanted. Fighting against Twisted Fate on the enemy midlane meant that you needed to stay within Turret range AT ALL TIMES unless you want him to press E and kill you.
5. Mordekaiser (Juggernaut Update)
The juggernaut update just lead to a bunch of broken champions being born into League of Legends. Mordekaiser was definitely one of those champions that simply put Summoners Rift on its knees. The champion just had ridiculous stats and an oppressive ability kit that made him the perfect carry. This led him to be played in the bottom lane, replacing the traditional ADC and just beat down the enemy lane alongside a support that could keep him safe.
Back them, Mordekaiser could turn enemy units such as Dragons and Enemy champions that he killed into his minions. Being able to control the drake anywhere on the map made him an excellent split pusher and gave the team an additional frontline. Fighting against Mordekaiser also meant that your basic attack carry wasn’t allowed to be fed, unless you want your fed teammate turning against you and wipe you off Summoner’s Rift.
4. Ryze (Rework)
Ryze has faced a lot of reworks in the past because Riot Games simply didn’t know how to deal with his strong kit. Eventually Riot Games decided that they’d just change Ryze’s overall kit to make him weaker but that too failed. Ryze was the strongest kid’s champ to have ever exist in League of Legends. With the reworked, pre-nerf Ryze being released, all of his abilities were basic point and clicks. You just need to learn the basic combo and you can beat even Faker in lane.
If you had something like a Stopwatch or a Zhonya’s Hourglass, you can engage on 5 people, do your combo and safely Realm Warp out of there while going on Stasis. The only way Riot Game could fix this broken champion was to add a little bit more skill to playing Ryze and make his Q ability a skillshot. He has faced a lot of nerfs in the past but this was probably the one that finally made Ryze more balanced.
3. Aphelios (Release)
Nobody thought that a Marksman can be a broken champion since the effectiveness of playing an ADC relies mostly on the player’s skills and knowledge about playing it. Aphelios broke every rule that marksmen have by having such an overpowered kit that made him strong in every situation he finds himself in. This champion is a Pentakill machine because of his damage output, sustain, crowd-control, point control, and range.
Upon release, Aphelios can kill you from halfway through the map with his Ultimate + Infernum combo. His Crescendum and Severum ensured that he can secure objectives and duel against even the most fed member of the enemy team. Nothing could stop Aphelios once he had his items up. This broken champion literally re-invigorated marksmen in the bottom lane even during its darkest moments and gave the lane some hope.
2. Xin Zhao (Release)
Called “The Perfect Fighter” Xin Zhao was exceptional at what he does with stats which were over the roof and a skill kit that made him almost unkillable. His Three Talon Strike could make him go on days fighting enemy champions within his range and CC them until all they can do retreat. Xin Zhao was unbeatable and when he reached level 6, he was unstoppable and took command of the rift.
During this time, there wasn’t really anything you can do against Xin Zhao but avoid him during fights and hope you get lucky enough to land a good CC chain or burst him down. However, if Xin Zhao lives for more than 2 seconds during a fight, expect things to go his way and eventually overpower your entire team with his overtuned power. When it comes to broken champions, this one is the very definition of it.
1. Skarner (Juggernaut Update)
The Juggernaut Update gave Summoner’s Rift a great deal of problems. Skarner is the only champion to have a 73% win rate ever and as champion, that’s saying a lot. Skarner’s ability to clear waves easily, lock champions in place, and just have a dominant presence in teamfights made him the ultimate team champion. There was no way you could escape a Skarner when you saw him and you can expect him to kill you on sight.
Skarner wasn’t only tanky, he was a heavy hitter which meant that he could go on you without a problem. If the enemy team had a Skarner, you’d think twice before trying to dive into a teamfight without thinking about the welfare of your carries. Because of his absolute presence in the game and ridiculously high win-rate, it’s no doubt that Skarner takes the cake when it comes to being the most broken champion to enter summoner’s rift.
Why do broken champions exist in League of Legends?
What players need to understand is creating a concept for a champion by laying out ideas and numbers isn’t enough to determine whether a champion you’re designing is broken or not. This is why the League of Legends Public Beta Environment was created to test out new champion releases and reworks before they are released globally. Unfortunately, even that isn’t enough since top players still find ways to abuse hidden advantages in the game.
Which broken champion has the highest winrate?
Skarner during the Juggernaut Update achieved the highest winrate with a global 73% winrate under 25 minutes of the game. He also has an overall 65% winrate.
How long until broken champions are fixed?
Riot Games balance team usually balances out overpowered units immediately after one patch. However, immediate hotfixes which take 1 or 2 days are given out to champions that have abusable kits that make the game unplayable.