ByFrank Fields, writer at Creators.co
Storyteller. World builder. Bant loyalist. My life for Aiur, Magic, and Esports.
Frank Fields

Mid laners have traditionally been the most flashy and impactful champions in League of Legends. #RiotGames's mage update has shaken up the mid lane metagame over the entirety of 2016, and the upcoming assassin update will likely do it again.

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Let's take a look at the best mid laners for Patch 6.21:

5. Corki

Play rate: 1.12% | Win rate: 53.23%

Strengths:

  • Insane burst and sustained damage
  • Decent mobility
  • Hybrid damage

Weaknesses:

  • Auto-attack reliant
  • Cooldown dependent marksman
  • Sometimes awkward itemization

Yeah, you read that right. Corki mid is still strong.

Corki is played more often as an ADC, but he is perhaps even stronger as a mid laner. He has decent wave clear with Phosphorus Bomb (Q), persistent harass with Missile Barrage (R), good mobility with Valkyrie (W), and powerful burst damage with Gatling Gun (E).

Put it all together and Corki ends up as a Jack-of-all-trades who puts out both consistent damage by weaving spells between his Sheen-empowered auto-attacks, and burst damage by unleashing all his abilities on unsuspecting targets.

If Corki does have a weakness, its his hybrid damage, with his abilities primarily scaling from AP, but his auto attacks scaling from his AD. Usually this is an advantage, but when building items, it sometimes forces him down a path of building AP when he needs AD or visa versa. This can sometimes hurt him in the latter stages of the game when choosing between say Void Staff or The Bloodthirster.

What's Changed Recently?

  • Attack damage growth increased - buff

4. Kog'Maw

Play rate: 0.97% | Win rate: 52.99%

Strengths:

  • Long range damage
  • High damage output
  • Strong sieging and poke

Weaknesses:

  • Extremely low mobility
  • Item dependent
  • Horrible early game

Even though Kog'Maw is traditionally a marksman, he excels in mid lane as a mage. Kog'Maw was recently reverted back to his pre-update state because of complications with his kit, which is why we are seeing more mage Kog'Maw in Solo Queue.

Kog'Maw's damage comes almost entirely from his ultimate (Living Artillery, R), since it is both incredibly long range and has a low cooldown. His viability primarily comes from Luden's Echo, which adds an inordinate amount of damage considering he only has two reliable AP based abilities.

Kog'Maw's weakness is basically any point before he secures his first major item (generally Luden's Echo or Rylai's Crystal Scepter), which is really required for him to be a viable mage. Kog'Maw is especially weak before Level 6 when he gets Living Artillery (R); normally auto-attacking is such a core part of his playstyle, but as a mage you have to prioritize AP itemization and runes.

What's Changed Recently?

  • Completely reworked - change

3. Ahri

Play rate: 11.94% | Win rate: 52.39%

Strengths:

  • High sustain
  • Ridiculous mobility
  • Great burst damage

Weaknesses:

  • Low sustained damage
  • Skill shot dependent
  • Extremely squishy

If we were going to give an award to most well-rounded mid laner, Ahri would win in a landslide; she does basically everything. She has great wave clear and area effect damage with her Orb of Deception (Q), long range crowd control with her Charm (E), and absolutely insane mobility with her ultimate (Spirit Rush, R). She also has spell vamp thanks to Essence Theft (Passive), and can combine her abilities for great burst.

So what doesn't Ahri do well? She has pretty awful sustained damage. Once her Orb of Deception (Q) and Fox-Fire (W) go on cooldown, she is a sitting duck, and both have pretty long cooldowns compared to other mages. She also is entirely skill shot dependent, since every ability either requires her to aim on target or be very close to her enemies—which can be a problem considering how squishy she is.

Still, Ahri is a champion that rewards mechanically skilled players who aren't afraid to initiate and play it fast and loose on the front lines. Just make sure you hit your abilities.

What's Changed Recently?

  • Nothing

2. Vel'Koz

Play rate: 4.9% | Win rate: 52.92%

Strengths:

  • Surprising burst damage
  • Long range
  • Amazing teamfight ultimate

Weaknesses:

  • Low mobility
  • Skill shot dependent
  • Vulnerable to flanks and ganks

Vel'Koz is a monster, if a bit unwieldy one. He has seen professional play here and there, giving glimpses into what he's capable of, but few want to consistently pilot him. There are a number of reasons:

Every ability he has requires precision that isn't required by any other mage in the game. His Plasma Fission (Q) requires both prediction and geometry to hit most targets, his Void Rift (W) is very easy to dodge, and his crowd control and only defensive ability (Tectonic Disruption, E) is a short range skill shot.

But if you can put in the time to learn the timing and feel of his abilities, and understand how to read enemy movements, Vel'Koz feels incredibly strong. His damage is tied to his ability to proc his Organic Destruction (Passive) repeatedly, and then unleash his extremely high damage ultimate (Lifeform Disintegration Ray, R).

If you can mitigate his weaknesses, Vel'Koz becomes one of the highest damage champions in all of League, and one of the strongest teamfighers.

What's Changed Recently?

  • Nothing

1. Annie

Play rate: 6.39% | Win rate: 54.19%

Strengths:

  • Near unparalleled burst damage
  • Reliable stun
  • Great Flash initiation

Weaknesses:

  • Low spell range
  • Flash dependent
  • Easy to gank when not expected

Annie takes a lot of the versatility of Ahri and Vel'Koz and puts it in a more reliable shell. Annie can stun at almost any time thanks to Pyromania (Passive), and can use it with either as a point-and-click single-target ability or a giant area affect ability. In that regard, Annie is able to use Pyromania (Passive) as a harass and trading tool or amazing initiation.

She is able to keep her stun active because of Disintegrate's (Q) low cooldown and refunded mana cost on minion kill. Because of this, and her extremely long auto-attack range, it also makes her a very safe farmer. But her safety in farming is only one side of the coin—Annie has to posture very offensively to trade since Disintegrate (Q) is her longest range ability, and it's really not that long; her other primary damage ability Incinerate (W) is a point blank area affect ability.

The strength of Pyromania (Passive) is also the weakness. Annie has to prime it for use, and if she's ganked while she doesn't have it active, she can be very vulnerable. She is also extremely vulnerable after using the stun effect from Pyromania (Passive).

But the reason Annie is the best mid laner is because of her burst damage. Once she triggers Pyromania (Passive) for a trade, she can chunk other mid laners HP so far down that they become unable to trade with her. She can even frequently take enemies down from full health at Level 6 by combo-ing her regular spells with Summon: Tibbers (R); this often forces early magic resist buys from opponents.

This level of control and raw power is what makes Annie such a devastating champion.

What's Changed Recently?

  • Summon: Tibbers (R) movement speed and attack speed decays faster - nerf

Poll

Who is the best mid laner in League of Legends?