When I originally started thinking about this topic, I thought it would be a relatively simple process, but it highlighted my lack of knowledge when it came to many of the champions. I asked for help from several places including the other Cloth5 staff and /r/summonerschool; however, this also highlighted an issue that most champion power spikes come at levels 2, 3 and 6.
I tried to take it further than this and really look at what made champions powerful and therefore able to exert themselves on the game in different ways. Thinking about the early game nature of some champions, like Leblanc who wants to pick up early kills, the transitional nature of champions like Kassadin, who becomes powerful once he gets his ult and then needs to find kills, and finally looking into the later game champions like Jax or Karthus, whose kits provided excellent scaling, allowed me to narrow down some of the power spikes.
Again, looking at it like this did bring up some issues:
- Champions have power spikes that are independent of levels.
- Items play a huge role in a champion’s power.
- Some kits are a scaling factor within themselves.
- Everyone picks up some degree of power from level ups.
- In most cases, it is a multitude of factors that allows for a power spike.
1. Champions have power spikes that are independent of levels.
This is quite an obvious one. AD carries don’t get powerful late game because they are level 18; they are powerful because of the multiplicative nature of their scaling, allowing their 10-15k worth of stats to actually be worth 15-25k+. This basically means that they build AD, AS, Crit, Armour Pen and % health shred, and each of these things becomes more powerful when you have more of the other stats around it. As an example, if you get a 50% Attack Speed boost, then your AD is worth more because you can apply it more frequently.
2. Items play a huge role in a champion’s power.
For many of the same reasons listed above, items are huge power spikes. Armour scales off health in terms of keeping champions alive. Critical Strike is more effective if you have an IE. Rabadon’s provide additional AP scaling.
3. Some kits are a scaling factor within themselves.
Jax is a prime example of this. When he has more AD/AP, he has more Armour and MR from his ult. When he then buys additional health, he is even tankier than a character who doesn’t gain bonus resistances because of how effective health works. This allows him to get more stacks from his passive because he’s alive longer, which allows him more procs from his ult. So his kit makes his items even more effective more so than simple AD scaling making him hit harder.
This means that realistically if I want to list Jax’s power spikes in terms of levels, I could list them at level 12 and 17; however, all I’m really saying is that around level 12 and 17, he’ll have items that will allow him to make better use of his kit than other champions with those same items. So for certain characters listing power spikes in terms of levels is only talking about the early laning phase.
4. Everyone picks up some degree of power from level ups.
This is a big “well duh” moment, but if you have more options available to you, then you get a power spike even from something as passive as Sion’s ability to gain health from minion kills to something more active like Warwick’s ultimate. As such, I need to narrow it down to significant power spikes and the explanations as to why these are the power spikes that matter.
5. In most cases, it is a multitude of factors that allow for a power spike.
Again, this seems pretty obvious, but just because I say a champion has a power spike at level 6 doesn’t mean it automatically translates to the lane you’re playing in any significant way. Warwick gains a lot of power from his ultimate, so much so that it the defining ability in his kit. However, it probably has the same amount of raw power associated with it as Riven’s ult does. But for Riven, it isn’t as big of a deal because the rest of her kit is incredibly powerful and this is more of an “icing on the cake” sort of deal, while with Warwick his ult is the whole cake.
Differentiating Between “Spikes”
The biggest issue I had with a lot of the answers I got from people is that they described additions in power just in terms of “well now this character can do more damage,” but it didn’t actually explain why this addition of damage was so important.
Take Xerath as an example.
At level 2, he can land his EQ stun combo. At level 3, he has his W to increase the range of all harass. Then at level 6, he’s got his ultimate so he can try and all-in someone for a kill with this extra damage and easier stun proc. But this doesn’t really differentiate him from Anivia who also has power spikes at 2, 3 and 6 and they are for completely different reasons. Yes, from level 2 she can land QE combos, but from 3 she has the ability to place a wall down that gives her an entirely different kind of power compared to the range Xerath gets. Plus at 6, she gains the ability to easily farm waves and easily apply her E damage, which is a more varied kind of pressure that Xerath can put down with his ult.
This has already turned into a vastly longer article than I had originally anticipated and as such I’m going to attempt to list power spikes that make the champion rather than small increases in power. So although all champions get a power spike at level 1, 2, 3/4 and 6, because they’re picking up skills, if level 6 is the defining characteristic of that champion, like Kassadin, Diana or Shen, then I’m going to emphasise that as best I can.
If there are champions that are scaling particularly well with items, either because like Zed they can amplify BotRK with their ultimate, or like Jax it’s their late game scaling that really gives them power, then I’ve tried to display this in the article.
This guide is probably going to end up being a work in progress when it’s published and I shall edit it based on the feedback I receive. Please feel free to contribute and give me your thoughts if you believe any part of this is wrong or needs additional information. I’m not vastly familiar with all the champions, so there may be inconsistencies where my research is either incorrect or just not complete, so I welcome additional feedback.
Aatrox to Evelynn
(Levels listed in italics are a minor power spike for the champion while the levels listed in bold are the main power spike for that champion.)
Aatrox – Power Spikes at 3 and 6
Aatrox has an interesting play style in lane and requires a careful juggling act between Blood Thirst’s heal and damage component if you want to succeed. He has seen some competitive play in the LCS and has a strong dueling kit with a slow and a dash/knock up to allow you to stick to your target.
Level 3 – Aatrox is strong from level 3 onwards because he has all his abilities and is able to stack his passive a lot easier. A common tactic is to spam your abilities early to charge Blood Well and use your built in Life Steal to keep yourself in a strong position to trade. His burst can be strong if you land all of your abilities and a damaging Blood Thirst paired with a knock up from Dark Flight.
Level 6 – Aatrox’s real killing power comes from his ult, which does AoE damage and grants him bonus attack range and Attack Speed. These additional stats scale very well with his kit and turn him into a very scary opponent in lane. He should be able to keep his Blood Well stacked close to full during a fight in lane.
Ahri – Power Spikes at 2 and 6
Our fox-tailed AP Mage is currently a popular pick within the pro scene and a tier 1 champion according to Cloth 5’s very own Umashi. Ahri’s power comes from built-in sustain, strong AoE damage, and great mobility from her ult.
Level 2 – Ahri’s level 2 power comes from gaining her Charm ability. This CC allows Ahri to land a full Q uninterrupted and allows her some safety from ganks as it has quite a long range. Without Charm, Ahri’s contribution to ganks in mid lane isn’t that significant at early levels.
Level 6 – This is when Ahri becomes one of the stronger laners in the game. With three dashes, she is almost ungankable, and as such, has the ability to play much more aggressively knowing she has the safety to get out of most bad situations and even escape tower dives, both offensively and defensively.
The nature of her ult allows her to punish players who are out of position and her kill potential does fall off considerably when her ult is on cooldown.
Note: Ahri’s level 6 is when she should be looking for kills either in lane or through aggressive roaming to bot and top lane. Without her ult, Ahri’s damage and dueling ability are considerably worse as she can’t avoid abilities and on top of this doesn’t really have the damage to get a kill unless the target has taken significant damage already. Deathfire Grasp is becoming a common early rush item on Ahri because her ult allows her to close the gap on champions quickly and it assists in the assassination of a target.
Akali – Power Spikes at 6
Akali’s ninja ways have made her a popular pick at lower ELOs because her strong sustain and damage make her a nightmare duelist. An energy user with very strong single target damage and excellent mobility, she is the ultimate terror for the squishy AD Carry.
Level 6 – This is Akali’s power spike in the early game and what a spike it is. She goes from incredibly lackluster in lane with a more or less inability to engage fights to a one woman wrecking crew. Ensure your maximise Q procs, by throwing your Q, waiting a few seconds and then using RQR to give Akali insane killing power. You will want to wait for your ult to charge up before you engage, as you will more than likely require additional dashes to kill an opponent.
But once you hit 6, and you’ve proven you can kill someone, you should be looking for blood at every opportunity.
Note: Akali does have other power spikes and requires her shroud to stay alive in lane/teamfights but it’s her ult that makes the character. A level 6+ Akali with multiple ult stacks is always going to be an issue and if she’s fed she can potentially require a 5 man focus and pink wards to bring her down.
Alistar – Power Spikes at 2 and 6
Our minotaur has fallen out of favour recently due to the jungle changes and steady stream of nerfs aimed at reducing his natural tankiness. He still boasts strong CC and one of the best defensive steroid ultimates in the league, can you take advantage of this bovine’s power?
Level 2 – I’ve picked this as Alistar’s main power spike because this is where you can really start to try and make plays to get kills. I’ve personally always said that I feel Alistar should blow Flash at level 2 to secure a Headbutt + Pulverize combo on to the enemy carry if you’re playing with a high early damage carry like Draven.
Level 6 – Alistar’s ult is a large power spike because it turns you into a tank more or less on its own, especially in the early game. This allows Alistar to survive extended engages plus play more aggressively, knowing he has this cooldown to fall back on.
Note: Although Alistar is much stronger once he picks up his ultimate, it’s his power relative to other bot lane carry and support combo that gives him power at level 2. Late game, his displacement can be a constant source of annoyance for champions who require melee attacks to kill their targets and he is almost unparalleled when it comes to protecting a carry.
Amumu – Power Spikes at 3 and 6
Amumu really has nothing to be sad about when it comes to fighting in the League. A popular figure on the ban lists, even as high as Platinum, due to his strong initiation and jungle clear even though he can be shut down quite heavily due to mana problems early on. Can you leave the opposing team’s summoners calling for their mummy?
Level 3 – Amumu’s level 3 power spike comes from his Q – Bandage Toss. It is probably his strongest non-ultimate ability and allows him a long range gap closer that also stuns the target. Without this, Amumu’s ganks are poor, but it isn’t especially useful for his jungle speed as he relies mainly on W and E to clear.
Level 6 – Need I really say anything here? From level 6, Amumu’s CC is strong and his ability to pick favourable fights for his team with a powerful initiation is where he shines. However, this is also where his ganking power goes through the roof and can easily secure a double kill in bot lane or help out during a counter gank. As soon as you hit 6, you need to be looking for kills or team fights around objectives.
Note: Amumu’s late game power is also a factor, and although he doesn’t particular ‘spike’ in power, he does steadily get scarier. With a Liandry’s he can put out a surprising amount of damage, especially when combined with a Rylai’s (his own or another teammate’s). He has a short cooldown stun, 8 seconds at max rank without any CDR, and this should be abused to help keep himself alive as well as stopping any deadly enemies.
Anivia – Power Spikes at 2 and 6
Anivia’s always been an interesting character. A high skill cap champion with many different build paths allows her to be built as the team needs. With awesome pushing power after level 6 and scary early game damage, plus a death preventing passive, what’s not to love about the Cryophoenix?
Level 2 – Anivia’s level 2 is actually surprisingly strong if she can land both her Q and her E, which isn’t too easy at this level due to the glacial speed of her Q. But if she does then they both do double damage, assuming you stun the target with your Q (and why wouldn’t you). It might not secure a kill straight away, but the enemy shouldn’t be able to take too many more of these before you secure first blood.
Level 6 – Like I mentioned in the top section, Anivia’s power spike at level 6 doesn’t necessarily come due to killing power, though being able to land a guaranteed double damage E with the ult damage and slow will help a lot, it’s Anivia’s pushing power that really spikes and allows her to become the lane bully that can then roam.
Note: We’ve all seen games where Froggen has amassed over 200 CS at 20 minutes and this is due to Anivia’s ability to pick up all the CS in lane and then move elsewhere to exert her power, stealing the enemy jungle safely due to her ultimate, stun, and wall. Just because you can’t secure kills as easy as other champions doesn’t mean you can’t use your power spikes in other ways.
Annie – Power Spikes at 1, 2 and 6
Annie’s recent appearance in one of the League’s best videos has reignited some interest in the Dark Child and she’s even had a few picks in the LCS! With strong AP ratios, fire in her heart, and Tibbers clutched close to her chest, is the League’s youngest member worth a look?
Level 1 – Annie has a power spike at level 1 because she can charge her passive stun in the base, using her W, and then her team use that stun to invade. Being AoE, it is a very powerful tool and can win level 1 fight on its own.
Level 2 – Annie’s power at level 2 comes from her being able to do unanswered damage with a stun from either Q or W and then using the other to provide additional damage while she then skips away. From this point forward, Annie provides a strong reliable stun when the jungler comes to gank. Be wary!
Level 6 – Annie’s ultimate is an AoE damage nuke in the form of her bear Tibbers. This is the jewel in Annie’s crown when it comes to burst damage and you should always look for a kill from level 6 onwards. When paired with Ignite and the stun, it’s hard to escape from a level 6 Annie that wants you dead.
Note: Annie is a strong character, but lacks the escapes/initiation (without Flash) necessary to really shine in professional play, but she does have her place. Be sure to ward and make use of her stun, as it is the most important part of playing Annie. Additionally, her short cooldowns allow her to do more sustained damage in team fights plus she is a great character to learn how to last hit on due to her Q mana return mechanic.
Ashe – Power Spikes at 1 and 6
We’ve recently learned a lot about one of the League’s oldest champions and have not been disappointed. Ashe’s utility is strong for an AD carry, but she still packs a punch despite her agile form and weak early game. Can she defeat Lissandra and Sejuani and finally unite the Freljord?
Level 1 – Ashe has one of the more powerful level 1s for an AD carry because her Volley does quite a lot of damage and slows the enemies in a large cone. In addition her passive guarantees her a single crit at level 1. Although it might seem overly strong, Ashe will probably only get one Volley, because the cooldown is 16 seconds long, and she will only get a single crit.
Level 6 – Although this is a global ult and the chances of hitting someone elsewhere on the map from bot lane is slim, using this long range stun in lane, in addition to another strong ult from someone like Sona, can be a potent combo. Look to get kills if you can. Being an AD carry, Ashe is obviously much stronger in the late game, but the lack of auto attack steroids can cost her the longer the game goes on.
Note: As an AD Carry, the first on our list, Ashe obviously scales very well into the late game due to the items she buys. She has a couple of builds and has even been used as a ‘blue build’ carry due to the spammable nature of her Volley spell. She is one of the stronger kiters in the game, though lacks an escape to create distance, and once she has a gap can keep multiple enemies at bay. Her power doesn’t particularly spike like other AD carries do because her abilities are much more support-like in nature and don’t necessarily enhance her aggression beyond equipping her with a slow.
Blitzcrank – Power Spikes at 1, 2 and 6
Who doesn’t love the Great Steam Golem? Oh that’s right, everyone who’s ever been grabbed by him only to find themselves dead mere seconds later. Blitz has some of the strongest single target CC in the game and has even seen play as a top laner in the LCS. He’s high risk, but very high reward and just wants to fit in to the world, maybe you could help find him a home?
Level 1 – Blitzcrank’s grab. It’s one of the most powerful level 1 moves and one that should be started with in pretty much every game. During invades Blitzcrank is one of the strongest characters because of the amount of displacement he gets from this one ability. Grabs in to a 5 man team will get a Flash at the very least, and with any additional CC, it will almost always result in a kill.
Level 2 – Blitz is now crazy scary in lane. If he can land a grab on you then he’s almost guaranteed a knock-up. If he wants to use Flash to land a knock-up followed by a grab later on in the engagement, then Blitz has one of the strongest enabling powers for his AD carry.
Level 6 – With his full combo, Blitzcrank can now stop a character from flashing for 2.5 second from the moment they are grabbed. (1 second stun on the grab, 1 second knock-up from E, and 0.5 seconds silence from R). If you can’t pick up a kill here, or at the very least force someone out of lane, then you’re doing it very wrong.
Note: Blitz usefulness does scale into the team fight phase because his zone control extends far out from his characters model. He can turn a losing game into a winning game with one grab, but you should be very careful of the situation around you before you attempt a grab. Just because you can land something on the opposing team, whether in lane or in a teamfight, doesn’t mean its the best thing for your team. Keep an eye on the health and mana level of your team and only grab when you can guarantee a favourable trade.
Brand – Power Spikes at 2/3 and 6
Brand is one of the few characters who has four damaging spells, which is both a blessing and a curse. They have strong interactions together and learning to combo these are what separates the good from the amazing Brand players. He’s looking for vengeance; let us hope he doesn’t find it.
Level 2/3 – Brand’s power at level 2/3 comes from his stun combo and early pushing ability. His early damage is unlikely to land him a kill, but with help from his jungler, and Ignite, you may not be as safe as you think against Brand.
Level 6 – His ultimate seems to be a bit of a roller coaster ride. Sometimes it’s amazing and lands in exactly the way you need it to. Other times it either doesn’t bounce or bounces so stupidly you wonder if it’s out to purposely make you fail
Note: Brand is not a character I’m vastly familiar with and he seems to excel in later game damage situations due to the nature of his passive, which can be combo’d with Liandry’s, and because he has four strong damage spells. He does possess some good single target damage, but his strength comes with shredding multiple enemies. His lack of strong escapes/CC keeps him out of the current meta, in my opinion anyway, but he could have a place due to strong(ish) wave clear.
Caitlyn – Power Spikes at 1, 3 and 6
Caitlyn’s early laning power is probably one of the most notable things about her. With a long range rifle, traps, and nets, she is looking to catch anyone breaking the law. Whether they are Yordles, humans, or something more sinister, no one escapes once they enter Caitlyn’s sights.
Level 1 – Caitlyn’s level 1 power comes from her range and her choice of abilities she may start with. She can choose to augment her play style with aggression early, by leveling Piltover Peacemaker; safety, with her net; or bush control, with traps.
Level 3 – This is when Caitlyn can really start to exert herself over the lane. With bush control more or less secure with traps and a strong escape, Caitlyn should aim to auto attack the enemy carry as often as possible without sacrificing CS. Abuse your range and your passive at every opportunity!
Level 6 – It might sound strange to some of you to call Caitlyn’s level 6 her strong point because she doesn’t have an ult that can necessarily be used in an active engage, like Vayne’s or Corki’s could. Cait usually doesn’t need an ult to be used as part of the engagement as she should be poking heavily and forcing uneven trades.
Cait’s Q does a lot of damage when it doesn’t hit minions first so you should be aiming for a max damage Piltover Peacemaker as often as possible on top of abusing your insane range and then lead into your ult as they think they’ve escaped under the turret.
Notes: Nothing really to say here, but abuse the range, keep your traps up either to control the brushes or to help zone the lane, and make sure you punish the other AD carry when they try to farm.
Cassiopeia – Power Spikes at 5, 6 and 9
Cass has fallen out of favour recently but is a high damage and high skill cap Mage with a deadly counter-initiation ult. Her power comes late game when she’s able to spam her high damage spell on a very short cooldown as well as kiting any potential threats with slows, speed boosts, and stuns
Level 5 – This is the earliest point at which many of the guides advise starting to trade heavily on Cass. Level 1/2 Noxious Blast and level 2/3 Twin Fang, with level 1 Miasma, allows Cass to have strong mobility and damage as well as great wave clear. If you can land poison on to a target, then follow up with Twin Fang damage.
Level 6 – Cass’ ult is a game changer. I’ve personally seen it win 3v3 games all on its own after we caught three members walking into a brush we were hiding in. It’s hard to land because it has a very short range but it’s a 2 second stun that could potentially catch all five members of the enemy team. In lane, it’s harder to land because your opponent should be expecting it, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
Level 9 – Level 9 is an interesting one for Cass more than other characters because the base damage on Twin Fang, assuming you’re maxing that first for trading, is at its peak relative to the health/MR of the target you’re fighting against. It’s a hard call whether you should be looking for a fight, but if you’re stronger than your enemy, or they’ve blown their ultimate, then give it a go.
Note: Cass is one of the harder champions to play, not just because her ultimate has short range and a facing requirement, but because you need to manage your mana well in order to get kills early in the game. There are some good guides out there that are worth reading and will assist you with how to farm/lane control as Cass, as well as team fight.
Cho’Gath – Power Spikes at 2 and 6
The Terror of the Void, or one of his more gentlemanly skins, has a powerful early game with strong scaling CC that allows him to fulfill a variety of roles, both within a team or within the game as a whole. He’s one of the few champions who literally has power spikes.
Level 2 – Cho’s level 2 power comes from having strong CC as a ganker from the jungle or as a gank enabler from the lane. The damage is strong and the slow after a knock-up makes enemy laners very vulnerable to follow up damage.
Level 6 – Cho’s level 6 is scary. A full combo of Rupture, Feral Scream, Ignite, and Feast is enough to drop even the tankier champions of the League and all of this can be done under the enemy’s turret with Cho’gath easily escaping. From this point forward you need to keep your Feast stacks high so you can become the mid/late game terror your team needs.
Note: Cho’Gath’s power in the late game comes from his CC and natural tankiness. Being able to disrupt multiple enemies, from range, gives Cho’Gath a big advantage over many other tanks. Even with a small amount of AP, his damage is something to be scared of and his level 3 ultimate does 650 true damage which could easily be a third of a squishy carry’s HP!
Corki – Power Spikes at 2 and 6
Flying his ROFLcopter, yes seriously, Corki has one of the larger personalities in League of Legends. With calls of “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” being heard over the radio, one can’t help but enjoy shooting rockets at unsuspecting enemies.
Level 2 – Corki’s Level 2 strength comes from the insane range on his escape combined with strong, unavoidable, poke from his Q. Corki can play aggressively from early on, though can’t duel with characters like Draven, and then use his Valkyrie to escape any lethal situations.
Level 6 – This is where Corki really shines because the rockets charge relatively quickly and can be used to enhance Corki’s poke, pick up CS you may miss, or push the lane quickly to deny CS. A full on engage probably isn’t the best idea at this point because the rockets do need some time to charge, but if an engage does happen try and position yourself so you can easily land rocket shots on an enemy.
Note: Corki is an AD carry and as such should be built squishy. This pushes his real power spike to later in the game as that’s the point he can start to carry the game. However, Corki does have a strong mid game and can zone enemies well by using his ultimate aggressively.
Darius – Power Spikes at 2, 3 and 6
Rarely does a new champion cause as much of a stir as Darius did upon his release. He had a magical damage bleed passive, strong AD scaling, and then a true damage ultimate that could rival Cho’Gath, though it required a lot more management. However, after a few nerfs, he’s found a place within the League, but does still draw bans in low ELOs and 3v3.
Level 2 – Darius’ level 2 is strong because of his ability to apply his bleed to a target to further win engages. By taking Decimate at level 1 and then Crippling Strike at level 2, he has strong early damage and good chasing power to take down squishy targets.
Level 3 – Now on top of his level 2 power he now has Apprehend, a short range cone-shaped pull that also provides additional Armour Penetration. A truly scary duelist, but be careful as you don’t have any innate sustain or escape tools.
Level 6 – The ultimate. From level 6 onwards, Darius is probably one of the scariest duelists top lane because he can pick a fight easily and keep you involved for as long as he needs to bring you down, which isn’t long with the addition of his ultimate.
Note: Darius’ power comes from building defensive stats and still being able to put out good damage. Getting a reset on the ultimate is an important part of playing Darius, but he still has strong peel, a good slow, and AoE damage on a relatively short cooldown. He could probably be the main tanky character for your team if need be, but he lacks strong initiation unless he can catch the other team out of position.
Diana – Power Spikes at 6
Diana’s story was tied in nicely with Leona’s upon her introduction to the League and she has seen some competitive play ever since. Popular as a mid laner, but also as relevant in the jungle, her ultimate is her defining feature and good use of the reset will separate you from bad Diana players.
Level 6 – The only real power spike for Diana, though you could argue for when she picks up her shield as it increases her farming speed and safety in the jungle, her ult, much like Akali’s, defines her as a character. A losing lane before 6 can easily be turned into a winning lane with good use of abilities and, most importantly, this gap closer. Look for a kill from level 6 onwards either in lane or through roaming.
Note: Diana’s early game is poor, but her kit is suited to pushing lanes early; however, it isn’t safe as she lacks any kind of defensive mobility. With two dashes available from level 6, presuming you’ve landed your Crescent Strike, even a target with Flash isn’t safe from a good Diana player. Purchasing Zhonya’s is a good idea if you’re the team initiator and will help with assassinating those pesky AD carries.
Dr. Mundo – Power Spikes at 6
Mundo spikes when he pleases. Well…maybe not. Before level 6, Mundo lacks in the jungle because his clear speed costs him a lot of health. From level 6 onwards, his ultimate completely changes his gameplay and his items help him speed up his jungle clear while retaining health. Maybe the Madman of Zaun is the character for you?
Level 6 – Healing for 40% of your max health during a team fight in addition to a 15% Movement Speed boost, what’s not to love about Mundo’s ultimate? He can use it in the jungle for extended clears or when starting a gank to close the gap before landing cleaver after cleaver.
Note: Mundo scales very well into late game and will draw an Ignite in pretty much every team fight. This might not be great for the Mundo player, but if it keeps your high damage squishy targets alive, then you’ve done your job. Build a good mix of health and resistances and don’t forget to blow your ult early enough to get a good use out of it.
Draven – Power Spikes at 1, 2, 3 and 6
Welcome to the League of Draven, you shall not be disappointed. He is one of the hardest ADCs to play and even harder to master. Draven’s early game is insanely powerful, though it has taken a small nerf in a recent patch. Look for early damage/kills when playing the League’s most egotistical champion.
Level 1 – I was tempted to list level 1 as Draven’s most important strong point, but while you realistically can get a kill at level 1, I personally feel it’s level 2 where he really takes it up a notch because of Stand Aside. That being said, Spinning Axes alone still do plenty of damage at level 1!
Level 2 – I’ve listed this as Draven’s biggest power spike, rather than level 1, because Stand Aside allows him to make kills all on his own and this ability gives his support easy initiation to apply their own skills to help with a kill. You need two Spinning Axes up if you hope to net a kill, and have some competence when it comes to catching them, but you should be able to make easy work of an out of place carry or at least force a Flash.
Level 3 – Still a big jump in power for Draven when he grabs Blood Rush. With a Movement and Attack Speed boost that resets on every axe catch you should be pushing for a kill now more than ever.
Level 6 – Whirling Death is a powerful tool and should be used once you’ve begun your attack so you can move through the creep line and not have the damage reduced by hitting minions first. When you hit 6 as Draven, you should be looking to all-in unless the lane you’re against gains significant power at level 6.
Note: Draven’s early game is insane and he picks up so much power with each early level up. I could honestly have listed every level from 1-6 as a power spike for Draven, and if you aren’t taking advantage of this early game power, then you should be playing a different AD carry.
Elise – Power Spikes at 3 and 4
The Spider Queen comes to the league from the Shadow Isles and has some fun abilities (Rappel, I’m looking at you) for you to play with. With two forms, and six abilities, can you master Elise and leave your enemies afraid of spiders?
Level 3 – Having all of her abilities makes Elise a powerful champion in lane. She has high damage and good mobility to make/escape from ganks. Landing a full combo of abilities is mana intensive, but few champions can trade like Elise can this early in the game. Be sure to poke with Human Form Q as often as your mana allows.
Level 4 – Level 4 is a good power spike for Elise because this is where she starts to pick up real damage from her Q and can begin to look for kills. All-in dives under the turret are easier because of Rappel’s ability to drop target aggro and reset the damage ramp up. Plus it allows you to be safe under your own turret with your opponent having to take two additional seconds worth of tower shots before you descend back to the battlefield.
Note: Elise, much like Jayce, doesn’t gain a huge amount from level 6 except for some extra stats and a spiderling. Be careful of other champions at level 6 as they are more than likely going to look to all in you and pick up kills. Also, don’t underestimate your spiderlings; 60% Attack Speed with W at level 1 is an insane steroid and you’re healed every time your spiders attack.
Evelynn – Power Spikes at 6
Any champion with the ability to bypass wards is going to be strong in the jungle and Eve shines once she picks up her ultimate and some damage items. Meteos recently called her the strongest solo queue jungler due to her stealth initiation and ganking. She’s one of the only champions that can force an entire team to play differently just by being picked.
Level 6 – Although she isn’t an awful ganker pre-6, is it her ult that gives her the damage and utility in the form of a slow and shield. In lane, from this point onwards, she wants to look for a kill, with the help of the jungler, or attempt to roam top/bot to cause disruption in those lanes and help snowball.
Note: Eve has gone through a series of nerfs that were necessary, in my opinion, to bring her in line with other junglers as her combination of stealth and % max health damage made her too strong. She’s in a good place at the moment and is a powerful addition to anyone’s champion pool.
Please leave a comment if you disagree with me. I’d like this to be a work in progress and, as I stated before, my understanding of all the champions isn’t the best. If you have a lot of experience with a given champion, or just want to debate something i’ve written here i’d like to hear from you!