League of Legends: Guide to Team Compositions | EarlyGame
Solving the riddle that is drafting

LoL: Guide to Team Compositions

League of Legends
LoL Team Compositions
Having the right champions matters. (Credit: Riot Games)

There is a saying in League of Legends that games are won and lost in the draft. While it is not entirely true, a good draft makes playing the game much easier. Today, we take a look at some team composition basics to help you make the right pick for the game.

First, let's start with one disclaimer: take everything here as a guideline. A mediocre champion that you know how to play well beats the best pick that you have never touched. However, certain combinations work better together.

Ideally, the champions a team picks should work well together in a certain style, this is what the team should use to play the game. In solo queue, that will almost never happen, as players join the queue separately, but you can still look for ways to pick champions that complement your team or counters your enemy. For games where you queue together with friends, you can get much more synergy.

lol teamwork OP
Teamwork OP. (Credit: Riot Games)

Different team compositions want to play the game in different ways. However, there are some strengths that every team can benefit from. When picking a champion in draft, observe what kind of champions your teammates and opponents are taking, so that you know where your teams' strengths lie, and what you will be up against.

Here are some things every composition should try to have...

League of Legends Team Compositions: Lane Priority

Even when your team wants to play the late game, you do not want to concede too big of an advantage in the early game. If the opponents get enough of a lead, you will be left in the dust, even if your champions are theoretically better. A champion who can win their lane is not only stronger in the early game, but gives the rest of their team a part of the map where they have an advantage.

LoL Renekton
It's good to be the apex predator of the lane. (Credit: Riot Games)

League of Legends Team Compositions: Frontline

Whether for a tower-dive or for a mid-game teamfight, it is good to have one or two tougher champions that can stand in the front and give mages and AD carries the space they need to pile on the damage. Often called “tanks,” they are usually played in the top lane, though jungle or support frontliners are also common.

League of Legends Team Compositions: Crowd control

A fight is always easier when the opponent cannot fight back. Crowd control is an ability that denies the enemy the option to move, attack, or both. This is often a key part of any teamfight or gank, as it allows the team to catch and kill an opponent. Champions in all lanes can have some crowd control, but usually supports, junglers or top laners are expected to contribute the most in this regard.

LoL Amumu
He just needs a hug. (Credit: Riot Games)

League of Legends Team Compositions: Damage

Let's just set all the fancy tactics aside for a moment, and talk about what really counts: Damage. Sooner or later, you want to kill the enemy champions – and this is where the damage-dealers (or 'carries') come into play. 

There are generally two types of champions when it comes to damage: burst damage and sustained damage. Usually, mages and assassins fall in the first group – they try to take a champion out of the fight as quickly as possible. AD carries are more often sustained damage specialists, being able to do a lot of damage over larger periods of time. Generally, you want to have both, as well as a mix of physical and magic damage.

LoL Jinx
Say hello to my little friend. (Credit: Riot Games)

League of Legends Team Compositions: Protection

Sure, you want to kill the enemy - but they will sometimes try to do the same to you. Protect champions focus on keeping their carries alive, either by having disengage skills that prevent the enemy from getting to the carry, or by applying heals or shields. This is often the support’s job, though some mid laners, or top laners, have ways to keep an ally alive as well. The more vulnerable and high-damage your carries are, the more important it is that there is someone who can keep them alive as long as possible.

League of Legends Team Compositions: Waveclear

Killing minions does not just give you gold, but it helps you apply pressure. Champions that can do it well have an easier time, when both attacking the enemy objectives or defending their own. AD carries and mages are usually called to do this, but you can contribute from any role, except for Support. Sorry, Support mains. 

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LoL Calculation
It's all about calculating the way to success. (Credit: Riot Games)

If it sounds complicated, don’t worry: you do not have to be a pro right away. Just look for picks that would work well with the other champions, and think about what you need to do during the game.

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