Posted by Dan O'Halloran @danohalloran
Writer. Father. Gamer. Geek. Not necessarily in that order. @danoh
Dan O'Halloran

So you've queued for your League of Legends ranked game and are ready to play. It comes time to ban a champion from the other side, but there are six ban slots available and your team only gets three. You have 14 seconds and the clock is ticking. How do you choose? If you ban the wrong champ your team can get steamrolled. That's where we come in. Here's a list of top performing champs you need to keep in mind when it comes time to knock out your opponents before the match even starts.

Note this list is current as of Patch 6.11. We'll keep it updated as newer patches alter the balance of the game though we don't expect any large meta changes until the end of the season at this point.

First, the top six on our watch list.

1. Kindred

Kindred has been dominating the jungle with their slows, damage and high mobility making them a powerful opponent to skirmish against. The deadly duo are seeing some nerfs in 6.11 but not enough to take them off top slot on the list. Ban them ASAP or regret it all game long.

2. Zed

Though number two, Zed is pretty much tied with Kindred for public enemy number one when it comes to outright bans. The Master of Shadows is just too good at killing with his high burst and mobility. The one time you don't ban him, you'll remember why as you spend the game staring at your death timer counting down. Constantly.

3. Nidalee

The Queen of Poke, this is the jungler everyone hates to see coming (or not see coming, in her case) until it's too late. Nidalee is seeing some nerfs in 6.11, but that hasn't stopped her so far this year in continuing to be everywhere she needs to be. Including near the top of the ban list.

4. Malzahar

A big beneficiary of the Midsummer mage buffs, Malzahar is wrecking the midlane and laying down AE silences in teamfights. He's giving Swain a run for his money in giving other midlane mages a continual headache. Ban him or face a fight you're going to lose right up the middle of your map again and again.

5. Ryze

Ryze, the perenial favorite, can sling spells fast and furious and this makes him a consistent menace. 6.11 sees his cooldowns up a bit to give players a break, but that's not going to make a big enough impact to drop him from the ban list.

6. Swain

Since the Midseason Magic buff of Patch 6.9, Swain has been a beast of a mage tank with his damage and healing combos. He's been dominating the midlane and bullying his opponents especially in the late game. Patch 6.11 saw some nerfs to pull back on his new dominance, particularly the healing return on his R, but his overall kit stays intact which makes him a top pick for a midlane ban.

There are also some situational picks to watch out for as you consider your ban list as a few of these Champions surge up in power to top 6 list as well.

7. Lucian

Lucian has been killing it (literally) lately and has become very popular in the bottom lane. A little too popular. Riot has trimmed back the range of his Q and W shots to put him in harm's way more often, but keep an eye out for skilled players. With the proper cover, The Purifier can still bully his lane quite effectively.

8. Azir

His wall push can initiate a team fight or change the course of one in an instant. Riot has nerfed the duration of it, but it's still a powerful ability that can knock everyone out of position. Also, teammates won't get a speed boost from walking through it, but that was just gravy anyway.

9. Ekko

There's been two kinds of Ekko dominating the game lately, Tank Ekko and Ability Power Ekko. They're both a pain to deal with make him a top ban priority. In patch 6.11 Riot made moves to reduce Tank Ekko's chain stuns so it remains to be seen how viable that build is going to be.

10. Maokai

This teamfighting tank is a powerful lane bully and a despite a small nerf to his early game and his health in Patch 6.11, he is still the go-to guy for team fights. Especially since the Tank Ekko build just got shut down.