League of Legends: Five best Assassins to climb the ranked ladder

League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

League of Legends is a team game, but you can often find yourself forced to 1v9 in ranked. The best way to do that is to pick one of these five assassins.

One of the oldest tricks for climbing the ranked ladder and ascending from the depths of low elo is to lock in an assassin and pick off members of the enemy team one by one. League of Legends is a team game, but when you’re matched with four below-average players, sometimes you are forced to go in alone.

Fortunately, the innovative and often extreme champion design group at Riot Games has us covered as they seem determined to add to their endless list of characters with the ability to one-shot you at any point in the game. First, it was Zoe, then Pyke followed, and most recently we were treated to Qiyana, who is still wreaking havoc on the Rift.

With so many “assassin” champions on the League of Legends roster, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing our 1v9 hero to carry us up the ranked ladder. Of the endless options, we’ve picked out five of the best (one for each role), all extremely capable of taking down enemy squishies, snowballing a lead, and causing your LP to sky-rocket.

Top Lane – Rengar

Let’s start with the OG assassin, the champion that struck fear into our hearts when we were first finding our feet on Summoner’s Rift. Hearing Thrill of the Hunt being activated and seeing that mark above our head meant we were mere seconds away from being deleted from the map thanks to Rengar’s unmatched burst damage after leaping from his ultimate.

Traditionally he’s played as a jungler, but as the game has evolved and champion pools have expanded, Rengar can often be found jumping from brush to brush in the top lane.

To carry with the Pridestalker, pressure your lane opponent early on by hiding in the closest bush and hopping onto them with Unseen Predator for a favorable trade, forcing them out of lane if possible. After buying Tiamat, clear the minion wave and threaten an ultimate to the top or mid lane, or to help out your jungler.

From the mid-game onwards, permanently threaten with Thrill of the Hunt and seek any opportunity to pick off a squishy opponent. In lower elos, enemy carries will constantly be foolish enough to step into vision without assistance, making them an easy target for the high burst damage Rengar has to offer.

Jungle – Kayn

One of the more recent additions to the assassin line-up, Kayn also has the added benefit of transforming into a tankier champion (Rhaast) if the team comps allow for it. That being said, we’ll be focusing on Shadow Assassin for this guide as in this form Kayn can one-shot any enemy carry if far enough ahead.

In the early game, target ranged champions to quickly fill up your transformation bar and become Shadow Assassin as early as possible. Then, build full Lethality, travel the map quickly with Boots of Mobility and Shadow Step, and target any champion with a small HP bar for an easy one-shot.

Kayn is probably the best option of the five listed assassins due to his ability to farm up early without being harassed and quickly traverse the Rift, hunting down enemy carries to extend his gold lead and quickly snowball the game out of control.

Mid Lane – Akali

There isn’t a lot to be said about Akali. Despite a constant barrage of nerfs targeted towards the Fist of Shadow since her rework in 2018, Akali is still just as annoying and obnoxious to face if you’re a vulnerable ADC player.

High burst damage, multiple gap closers, multiple escapes, and invisibility to top it all off, Akali is the ultimate assassin champion and near-unstoppable if allowed to build a gold lead. Simply head into a team fight, spam your abilities on an enemy squishy, then take cover in your Twilight Shroud for free LP!

AD Carry – Vayne

Yes, alright, calm down. Vayne is not an assassin, I know. But, in the depths of low elo where mini-maps don’t exist, Vayne has the potential to 1v9 any game she is a part of thanks to her slipperiness in a team fight and incredible duel potential.

Chill in the early game, farm up to a Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo’s Rageblade, then either participate in team fights or head to a side lane and 1v1 any champion that attempts to stop you.

The thing that makes Vayne unique on this list is her scaling. She never really falls off and if she’s left to her own devices in the late game, she’ll quickly punish and take down the Nexus without a moment’s notice.

Support – Pyke

“Assassin-Support”. Two words that pierced the ears of veteran League of Legends players in the weeks building up to Pyke’s release, but nobody could stop what was to come.

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The crowd control of a Blitzcrank combined with the damage output of a Kha’Zix spells infinite trouble if you’re a marksman or mage without escape tools. If you’re auto-filled to support during your ranked climb, there really is only one option.

Pyke can quickly roam the map with Ghostwater Dive, taking down champions with Death from Below and pushing a side lane before retreating to safety with Gift of the Drowned Ones. His versatility also means he can take part in team fights, stunning up multiple enemy champions with Phantom Undertow, and getting resets on Death from Below to instantly shut down low HP opponents.

The Bloodharbor Ripper finally offers players a chance to single-handedly carry a game and 1v9 from any role using an assassin-style champion in the current meta. While in previous years supports were left to rot, forced to sacrifice themselves to death brushes and spend all their gold on Sight Wards, Pyke has warped that belief and is one of the scariest assassins on League of Legends right now.

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Which assassins do you play in solo queue? Do you think Rengar top is a strong pick or a troll pick? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!