Best 1v1 LoL champions: including LEC champions G2’s top picks
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Stuck on which champion you should pick for the 1v1? Here are 8 champions worth considering.
If you’re trying to find the right main to help you rise to the challenge of a 1v1, we’ve put together (with some help from G2!) a list of the 8 best champions for focused single combat. Think you can come out on top this year?
1. Yasuo (G2 Jankos’ Pick)
Yasuo is one of the most obvious picks here, thanks to his dueling power which is incredibly strong from the very start of the game. Yasuo is very skill intensive and requires a lot of mastery before reaching his true potential, while also being fairly simple to pilot even in a casual player’s hands. This character's power revolves around his big damage, high mobility, passive shield, and having no costs on any of his abilities. Without the enemy jungler pressuring your lane, you are free to run wild with this champion.
On Summoner’s Rift, I’d pick Yasuo. He’s not that hard to play, if you can play a smashing-your-head-into-your-keyboard style and not have to worry about the enemy jungle
Playing this champion in a 1v1 means betting everything on your mechanics, with the intent to beat down the opponent. Being able to slide into range, to land all his abilities, then slide out is very frustrating to deal with, especially since he can block all projectiles with his Wind Wall (W) ability.
Fiora is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, duelists in the game. When it comes to 1v1, Fiora is the queen of damage and sustain. Her passive, Duelist’s Dance identifies an enemy’s vital points and if Fiora hits these vitals she will do bonus true damage and grant herself a movement speed bonus for 1.5 seconds. Her ultimate, Grand Challenge, works really well in conjunction with her passive as it highlights all of the enemy’s four vital points, grants her movement speed when she’s near a vital, and then grants her a lot of healing if she hits every vital during this period. This, combined with her high mobility and damage from Lunge (Q -- which she can also hit vitals with) means she can stick to her targets and continuously put out damage and pressure an elimination if she hits enough vitals.
Picking Fiora means you are (usually) aiming to brawl with the enemy right from the start of the game. She can not only pressure the enemy with a lot of burst damage if they misstep, but she can also negate any forms of CC with her Riposte (W) ability and then run to safety.
3. Heimerdinger (G2 Mikyx’s Pick)
Heimerdinger is a mage whose abilities all revolve around his hextech inventions. His signature ability is H-28G Evolution Turret (Q), which allows him to place mini hextech turrets down that attack enemies for him. He can store and place up to three turrets at a time (which can regenerate, but placing a fourth will remove the first), and use his ultimate to place a super turret, the H-28Q Apex Turret, which does not count towards the three max regular turrets.
"For me, it has to be Heimerdinger. He’s unbelievable 1v1 because, when you play against him, it’s basically 1v4 against his turrets, which is so OP. He has permapush so you can either win by CS or get first turret. He can never die so pick Heimerdinger if you want to win!", says G2 Mikyx.
Picking Heimer means you are willing to end the game purely off of pushing waves, killing minions, and taking towers. It’s not the most glamorous way to win, but it is very safe and effective in the 1v1, as one single person can rarely deal with all his turrets and projectiles.
4. Nunu & Willump
Nunu & Willump are a duo mostly seen in the jungle, but they also have a reputation for being an incredibly tough opponent to deal with in the 1v1, especially with their Consume (Q) ability that heals them for a ridiculously high amount. One of the only ways to counter this is to pick champions with built-in healing reduction or champions who can do more damage than Nunu can heal. With a good set of bans, the Nunu player should be able to avoid this outcome though.
Picking Nunu means that you are trying to win by out-sustaining your opponent and building a CS lead by forcing them to farm under tower. Nunu & Willump’s damage isn’t necessarily bad, but their biggest and easiest win condition is to push waves and heal up any damage that gets done to them until they win from reaching 100 CS.
5. Tristana (G2 Caps’ Pick)
Tristana is a ranged marksman who is a pure glass cannon character. She deals a lot of damage, but has little to mitigate any damage done to her. She relies purely on her range and high damage to tear down opponents before they can eliminate her, before using her Rocket Jump (W) and Buster Shot (R - ultimate) abilities to disengage and run to safety.
As [the 2018] All-Stars 1v1 champion, I’d probably recommend Tristana as my pick. All you have to do is get to level 2, jump on your opponent, and one-shot them
Picking Tristana in the 1v1 can mean many things, as it is incredibly dependent on the enemy pick. Against other squishy champions, like LEC champion Caps said, reaching level two first and then going all-in with her Rocket Jump and Explosive Charge (E) abilities will almost always guarantee an early kill. Against tankier opponents, melee bruisers, and assassins, she can outrange them and try to win off of 100 CS or by destroying the first turret, as her Explosive Charge ability also does a lot of damage to turrets.
Lucian is a spell-slinging ranged carry whose 1v1 strength is in his safe and quick waveclear, his early-game damage, and his high mobility. His passive, Lightslinger, allows him to auto-attack twice after casting an ability, meaning his dueling and his waveclear are much stronger if Lucian players can weave their passive’s auto-attacks in between casting abilities. His ultimate, The Culling, shoots his weapons rapidly in one direction, doing a lot of damage at long-range while he casts the ability. His ultimate also clears minion waves out easily, allowing him to crash his minions into the enemy tower, putting the enemy at a disadvantage or simply letting him gain CS advantages and push for 100 CS.
Similar to Tristana, Picking Lucian is dependent on whether the enemy player is squishy, tanky, or has a lot of sustain. Against squishy champions, Lucian can burst them down with his basic abilities and use his passive to weave auto attacks between cooldowns to maximize his burst damage. Against tankier champions, Lucian can play safe and use his mobility to escape any bad situations while aiming for the 100 CS win. Against opponents with lots of sustain, a Lucian can focus on pushing waves and try to build a CS lead or simply destroy the tower with his ranged and minion advantage.
7. Pantheon (G2 Wunder’s Pick)
Pantheon is a powerful fighter who brings a lot of damage, an execute ability that is stronger the lower HP the target has, a stun, and an ability that negates damage while doing damage at the same time. His ability to leap onto his target and stun them before fishing for an execution with his Comet Spear (Q) ability is very strong in 1v1 scenarios.
"As probably the best player on [G2] right now, I’d pick Pantheon. As you can see from [the 2019 World’s] play-ins, Pantheon had 100% ban rate and it’s pretty good in lane even after the rework, so it’s a good 1v1 champion," says G2 Wunder.
Picking Pantheon means you want to brute force the victory by eliminating your opponent twice early. His damage is very high and he can also negate a lot of damage with his Aegis Assault (E) ability, which allows him to duel very effectively.
Nasus is a tanky bruiser who can be played as a pseudo-mage in the 1v1 format. If Nasus plays against ranged characters who can harass him in lane for free, he will often build early AP items and max his Spirit Fire (E) ability, which does a lot of magic damage initially, then leaves a ring on the ground that hurts any enemies standing in it. This ability is strong even if Nasus doesn’t build full AP, and can be used in most matchups where the enemy doesn’t have a lot of self-healing. Otherwise, you play him like you would play him top lane and try to last hit with his Siphoning Strike (Q) ability and play to survive and scale.
Picking Nasus means your game plan is often to win off of getting 100 CS first, and you’ll use all of his available tools to make sure this happens. His Wither (W) ability is very effective against champions who auto-attack to finish minions (bruisers and ADCs) because it slows their movement speed and attack speed by a substantial amount over a few seconds. Essentially, he can make it very hard for champions like Vayne to last-hit minions and try to force a fight against him, as the movement speed slow is very strong. On occasion, he can win off of eliminations or by destroying the first tower, but that’s only if the enemy puts themselves in bad situations or if they naturally counter him with long range, high damage, and built-in healing reduction.
Honorable Mention: Ornn
Ornn is a tank, mage, support, bruiser, assassin, fighter, DPS champion (reference) who is incredibly flexible, as falling behind doesn’t matter much since he can build items in lane and scale effectively without falling behind too hard. His 1v1 playstyle can be seen as boring, but it works very effectively because of his tankiness, ability to push waves, and his ability to build items without having to return to base. He would have made this list if he was actually fun to play 1v1.