Published on: 20/09/2019
Who Counters Who League of Legends Guide to Counter Picks
How many times have you heard that a League of Legends game has been won or lost in champion select? This is especially true when it comes to competitive matches knowing who counters who in League of Legends; this happens even Solo Queue matches can be decided by someone selecting a specific champion in the right place at the right time. Of course, we’re talking about counter picks.
In League of Legends (particularly useful if you are into LoL betting) counter picking is choosing a champion that has a natural advantage against one of the opposing champions.
It’s also a bit of an art form and mastering it can boost your win rate, give you a deeper understanding of professional matches, and provide the momentum needed to climb to a higher Solo Queue rank. Which is exactly why we decided to make this who counters who League of Legends guide to counter picks!
The Logic Behind Counter Picks
Over the years, the League of Legends champion lineup grew to include over 140 different champions with unique kits, spells, and identities. Some are good, some are decent, others are downright atrocious. But all champions have their own ways of interacting with each other. With that, there’s a way to exploit these interactions and shut down your opponents before a match even starts.
For example, most champions that rely on hook spells (Pyke, Thresh, Blitzcrank) can be countered by Morgana since her Black Shield [E] is a perfect answer to single-target crowd control. Oftentimes counter picks come down to execution. For instance, Caitlyn is considered a strong answer to Draven because she can nullify his damage by consistently staying out of his attack range. However, if she makes a single misstep, Draven will have no issues running her down with his Blood Rush [W].
Sometimes your hardest counters aren’t even in your role. This who counters who League of Legends tip is particularly clear in the bot lane, as the laning phase will often be decided by supports exploiting the weaknesses of opposing marksmen. For instance, Jhin will have a hard time landing his skill shots against a competent Braum player, and Varus will struggle to avoiding Leona’s initiations because he has no mobility spells. Similar interactions can happen between solo laners and junglers. Vi will always be the bane of immobile mages because she can just lock them down with Assault and Battery [R], and Kindred will make things difficult for assassins with her Lamb’s Respite [R].
Usually, counter picks appear due to a clash of conflicting champion identities. For instance, Azir is a magic damage hypercarry. He needs time to scale, so he will naturally struggle against assassins with early kill pressure like Zed or Talon. In a similar fashion, Jax will have a hard time hitting his late-game power spike against lane bullies like Pantheon and Renekton.
Range is also a factor. Ranged champions have a sizeable advantage in trades, as they can poke their melee counterparts without exposing themselves to any danger. This dynamic is even more apparent if the melee champions in question don’t have any dashes or gap closers, so matchups like Gnar vs Garen or Vayne vs Dr. Mundo are notoriously one-sided. Hell, even ranged champions can struggle against picks with higher range. Sure, Annie can hit her targets from afar, but that won’t amount to much if she’s facing an artillery mage like Xerath.
How to Counter Pick
Here’s no way to know every single counter pick by heart. Even professional players that have an in-depth understanding of the most popular matchups in the game can find themselves at a loss when dealing with off-meta champions.
At times like these, the best way to discover who counters who League of Legends is to turn to third-party resources.
How to Deal with Counter Picks
How you deal with counter picks largely depends on your role and the type of counter you’re facing. Still, there is a number of universal who counters who League of Legends tips. So if you’re looking for guidelines that apply to most in-game scenarios, here are the things you need to be aware of:
Tips For Laners
If a champion counters you in lane, you need to play safe and farm up. This approach is surprisingly effective, as many players get so focused on pressing their counter pick advantage that they forget to CS. Whatever you do, though, don’t greed for minions yourself. Going in for a last hit exposes you to great danger, especially if you’re already in a tough matchup, so if your enemy is in a position to punish you, don’t be afraid to give up the minion altogether. Yes, even if it’s a cannon.
Alright, but what if your enemy is on top of his farming? Well, in this case, you need to do something that few League of Legends players have mastered—you need to lose gracefully. Being down 10-30 CS isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and you can always outclass your counter pick during the other stages of the game. So just focus on not giving away kills and hitting your power spikes.
Another way to approach this is to work with your jungler. Granted, jungle players often have their own ideas on how to play the game, so don’t push your agenda too hard, but if you feel like your jungler is willing to help you, take him up on this offer. Still, this strategy can backfire. If the opposing jungler anticipates you working together, he’ll have an easy time shutting you down. After all, you’ve already been countered by the enemy laner, so the enemy team will have an advantage in 2v2 skirmishes.
Finally, you can go for roams. Giving up your lane rarely feels good in the moment, but there’s more to League of Legends than laning. If you have a window, where your turret isn’t in any danger and the next creep wave doesn’t need to be farmed yet, look for opportunities to invade or influence other lanes. Sure, you’ll lose some farm in the process, but if you can set up your allies for success, it will be worth it.
Tips For Junglers
So… what if you’re a jungler yourself? Usually, jungle counter picks aren’t as severe since you spend a large part of the game farming creeps and interacting with laners, but even then, no one wants to be stuck in the Evelynn vs Lee Sin matchup. In this case, our best tip to deal with this who counters who League of Legends situation is pathing.
There are certain routes that most junglers follow, and if you’re aware of them, you can path in a way that avoids direct confrontation. The best way to map out enemy routes is by scouting where the enemy jungler starts by either invading and placing deep wards with your teammates or paying attention to which laners came late to lane after leashing a buff.
If that fails and you find yourself fighting a stronger jungler, ping your laners for help. Think of this as your last resort, though. Your laners won’t always have the map awareness to arrive on time, so it’s much better to avoid relying if you can help it.
Tips For Late Game
Sometimes a pick will counter you throughout the entire game. This might mean that an enemy champion nullifies your kit in teamfights (think of our earlier Blitzcrank vs Morgana example) or completely shuts you down in the side lane (Irelia vs Jax). At times like these, it’s important to work together with your teammates. Sure, it’s great to land a Blitzcrank Rocket Grab [Q] onto a squishy target, but if the enemy Morgana is on top of her Black Shield [E] timing, maybe you should let your allies start the fight and wait for an opening to present itself.
In a similar fashion, if you’re losing a fight in the side lane, don’t get too fixated on winning the game through splitpushing. Instead, group up with your teammates and look for ways to flank your opponents or force neutral objectives. Of course, you’ll still need to catch creep waves and protect your turrets if the enemy splitpusher is getting out of control, but don’t be shy to call for help against a hard counter.
You can also adjust your build. It might feel gross building defensive items on Renekton, but if you ended up in a matchup where you can’t much in the laning phase, you might as well be of some use to your team. In fact, experimenting itemization options can turn certain counters on their head.
The most famous example of this is the Orianna vs Lucian mid lane matchups.
Usually, Orianna can’t keep up with Lucian’s mobility and hard-hitting auto attacks, but professional player Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage discovered that she can actually outtrade Lucian by rushing Nashor’s Tooth as the first item. Just don’t get carried away and tailor your entire build towards countering a single champion.
Comfort Pick vs Counter Pick
No player can perform well on every single pick. If you’ve been playing for some time, chances are you already have a range of champions you’re comfortable on. Which brings us to the age-old comfort pick vs counter pick dilemma. Knowing who counters who League of Legends doesn’t amount to much if you can’t execute the counter picks properly, so don’t lock in a champion you haven’t practiced.
The opposite is true as well. You might find yourself laning against a perceived counter on your main only to win the early game because you’re much more aware of your limits and damage output. It’s nice to know various counter picks, but in the end, first-timing a champion in an effort to get a favorable matchup will always be inferior to locking in your tried and trusted comfort pick.