There is an important concept that is lost on many people in the fields of justice, and that is one of inevitability. By definition, inevitability means something that impossible to avoid or prevent. How does this boil down into character selection and League of Legends, you ask? Well, choosing characters with this trait can often times win you more games than with other champions. The breakdown of characters tends towards this for me:
Early Game Hero
This is a champion who has a fantastic early game. They will have great base stats on their skills as well as skills that outclass anyone else for their level. Champions that are geared towards the early game usually have bad scaling on their abilities, which prevents them from having a good late game. Starting base stats play heavily into the early game hero status and the amount of value out of single ranks of a skill as well.
An example of this type of champion would be Pantheon. He has one of the highest damage combos throughout the early game and is a menace in this respect. His ability to have a targeted, ranged stun as well as targeted, ranged nuke gives him a good early game when people cannot punish his proximity.
Mid Game Hero
Midgame heroes are characters that are highly impacted by levels into their abilities. While the level 6 ability isn’t always the deciding factor, most times the level 6 or 9 mark is a major turning point. A good amount of farm on these types combined with a higher level of their champion will yield an extremely strong level 6-15 powerhouse. Most mid game heroes are also strong in the late game.
Jax is a good example of a midgame hero. After he picks up his ultimate, his tankiness skyrockets and his damage also starts to become a real threat. Aside from his ultimate, his Empower cooldown is severely reduced by leveling, making not only level 6 but level 9+ very strong for his damage output.
Late Game Hero
These champions are usually item dependent. This means that they will have great scaling abilities that allow for the item builds to put them over the top. Ranged carries are almost exclusively late game heroes, though some are able to do well all game. The late game hero always has a way to deal a lot of damage, even against beefed up late game champions.
The inevitable champions land near the late game on this scale. However, most of the inevitable champions lose to the early and strong mid game characters. This makes them less desirable a pick in solo queue, however they are always present in professional play. If you look at the picks and bans you will see a lot of Kennen, Vladimir, Irelia, Karthus and many others. These characters have been and always will remain in that circuit because of inevitability.
So, this can seem a little confusing. What makes Irelia inevitable and other top laners not? Well go back to my definition of a late game hero: “always has a way to deal a lot of damage.” Well, Irelia does a ton of damage with a Trinity Force and even without it, her late game includes a significant amount of true damage on her auto-attacks. This means that she’ll always be doing damage to anything, no matter how far behind she is. Inevitable can often be confused with snowball champions, but when thinking of who will always have a great late game, look towards characters that do well even when you’re behind. Let’s look over some champions I consider inevitable:
Irelia – Will do true damage and high damage no matter how far behind once items are purchased.
Karthus – He has an ultimate that will do damage to the entire enemy team and his defile will always be doing a lot of damage in teamfights. Unless you build 0 AP on Karthus, he can never be a bad late game hero as even death will secure thousands of damage onto their team.
Kennen – Once Kennen has some items, his ultimate becomes a real threat. He can be really far behind and turn the tide of a fight simply with his massive damage output and CC onto the enemy team.
Rumble – A well placed ultimate from him will do a lot of damage and slow no matter what. Throw that on top of having a shield, an unforgiving slow and a lot of damage no matter what on his flamethrower and you have a strong champion as long as you’re competent.
Ryze – This guy is possibly the best late game mage in the game. You build him full tank and watch things melt in front of you. Even with a few items he becomes a serious threat and if the game goes on long enough he will be good.
Skarner – This guy has a guaranteed late game with amazing base stats and amazing ultimate plus a bucket of utility. He also will do a lot of damage in the late game because of how often his slow and auto attacks can be applied.
Vladimir – An AoE ultimate that amplifies damage dealt to their team will always be useful.
Warwick – He becomes over the top tanky with his swipe giving him a ton of life and damage to tanks and squishies alike.
Putting It All Together
Putting everything together, playing a champion that has a strong late game no matter what can help you improve your game and ELO, as long as you are competent with that character. While a strong early/mid laner such as Riven or Pantheon will certainly win games outright, picking an inevitable character will mean that you can win even if you lose the lane. You won’t obliterate most lanes with these champions, however they provide such a guaranteed late game that often times you can win through dragging the game out. Try to add some inevitability into your character choices and you’ll find that bad teammates just means you have to do more work to win.