League of Legends’ bottom lane is home to AD-scaling champs, the bulk of which are marksmen. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to the usual AD carries. If you want to add some variety to your game, you need to know more about the best off-meta bot lane champs.
Best Off-meta Bot Lane Champs –The Rundown
Already itching to run an unusual bot-lane champion? Here’s a quick rundown on a few solid recommendations.
- Garen – He is a good bot lane melee bruiser when paired with supports that can let him get up close and personal.
- Thresh – Traditionally a support champ, an AD-build Thresh will kill softer targets in just a few hits. However, he still has the potential to remaining tanky in the late game.
- Veigar – He is a hard-hitting AP champ that synergizes well with any support champion that can displace targets.
- Swain – An off-meta pick that works with an off-meta bot lane Veigar, Swain can either deal damage and function as a CC support.
- Yasuo – With his wind wall, passive damage reduction, and sheer mobility, Yasuo is one of the few melee champs that can survive the bot lane.
Any of these champs could catch your enemies off-guard, but what makes them solid off-meta picks? Here’s a closer look at how they work as possible bot lane picks.
Garen is a very simple but effective bruiser-tank hybrid. His passive heal from Perseverance and defense boosts from Courage grants him excellent durability. Decisive Strike (Q) not only acts as a mobility tool, but also as a way to counter slowing effects AND silence targets. Meanwhile, his Judgment (E) and Demacian Justice ultimate allow him to deal a lot of damage despite being a defensively-oriented champion. His well-rounded kit is also straightforward. You just have to close the distance with Decisive strike, “spin-to-win” with Judgment, and then finish up with Demacian Justice.
What makes him work?
Durability and All-in Potential: Melee champs at the bot lane are usually at the mercy of their ranged opponents. However, that’s not a big problem with Garen. Thanks to his innate sustain, he can afford to rush down an enemy, retreat, and heal back whatever health he lost during a trade. The silence from his Decisive Strike also works well at shutting down melee support champs like Nautilus and Alistar, whose effectiveness greatly depends on being able to combo multiple abilities. Last but not least, most meta bot lane carries tend to have poor armor, making it easier for Garen to bring their health low enough for Demacian Justice to execute.
While any champ that can pull an enemy towards Garen will work fine, he shines the best when paired with Yuumi. Imagine a Garen that can move faster, has shields on top of his other defensive abilities, better heals, a ranged slow, an AOE root, and boosted stats; that’s one champ that will have no trouble chasing down and even tower diving fragile marksmen and support mages!
The most popular support in the game, Thresh is a very strong crowd control champion with a rather high skill ceiling. His Death Sentence (Q) is a hook that also doubles as a gap closer, and at later games, can be spammed especially if it lands consistently. Flay (E) is an AOE displacement ability that slows enemies and adds a passive damage boost. Dark Passage (W) can be used defensively as a shield and escape tool, or as a means to help teammates get closer to an enemy. The Box ultimate is also versatile as it can be used for zone denial, extra damage, or AOE slow for even more crowd control.
What makes him work?
Damage and Crowd Control: An AD carry Thresh has a shorter basic attack range compared to more traditional bot lane carries. However, the real threat from an off-meta Thresh comes from two things – the stat boosts from Damnation and Flay’s passive effects and his impressive crowd control. With a fully-charged auto attack and the right attack damage items, Thresh can easily kill a fragile champ in one or two hits. Last but not least, Thresh can still get the same ton of utility from his Dark Passage even when he’s not playing a support role.
Want to deal a lot of damage all at once? Get Statikk Shiv, Rapidfire Cannon, and Infinity Edge. Combined with a fully charged Flay passive, Thresh’s initial attack can take out a key target without him having to use up precious crowd control abilities that could be used later in a bigger fight. You can also take advantage of the passive damage boost to make the last hitting easier.
Veigar is a mid lane champ known for his strong late game. His Baleful Strike (Q) is a good harassing tool. However, his Dark Matter (W) and Primordial is where most of his damage comes from. Dark Matter is difficult to land on its own, he can keep his targets still with Event Horizon (E), which is a better version of Thresh’s The Box ultimate. Over time, the passive AP bonus he gets from Phenomenal Evil Power makes him one of the most dangerous late-game burst mages.
What makes him work?
Damage and Synergy: Veigar works well as a bot lane champ if he can consistently trap enemies with Even Horizon. While catching opponents with the ability can be tricky, it becomes trivial if Veigar is paired with a support champ that has a displacement ability such as a knockback or a pull because they can just push the targets towards one of the walls for a confirmed stun. To make things even better, the same displacement ability can be used to get enemy targets off Veigar, since he lacks any mobility skills that could help him disengage.
Swain as off-meta support will work especially well with Veigar because of his passive’s ability to pull targets. Alternatively, you can have Swain be the AP carry and put Veigar on support duty, although you lose out on Phenomenal Evil Power stacks.
Swain is a mix between an off-tank champion and an AOE mage. His Ravenous Flock passive allows him to regenerate both health and mana in the middle of a fight. Death’s Hand (Q) is a very damaging close range spell, while Vision of the Empire (W) provides both long-range intel and AOE damage. Nevermove provides a decent harassing tool than can go through the minion wave. However, it’s more valuable as a crowd control ability for rooting the enemy backline champions during team fights. His Demonic Ascension ultimate not only dishes out AOE damage, but also allows him to take hits meant for more fragile members of his team.
What makes him work?
Lane Sustain and Crowd Control: Swain thrives in fights involving multiple targets, which means trades near the minion lane will almost always be in his favor. While you can further improve his ability to stay in lane by having a healer support, he is a bigger threat when combined with a crowd control champion (like Veigar mentioned above). This is because Ravenous Flock’s active ability essentially turns most crowd control abilities into a mini-hook.
Aside from having a Veigar as a good combo partner, Swain also goes well with Nami since she can heal AND has a CC that your passive can exploit. Morgana also synergizes well with him since her Black Shield can help Swain stay even longer in the heat of things while he is channeling his ultimate.
Yasuo is a high mobility bruiser-assassin hybrid that trades raw tanky stats for the ability to completely negate damage. He can passively generate a shield thanks to Flow stacks from his Way of the Wanderer passive and his Wind Wall (W) blocks all projectiles excluding turret attacks. Yasuo’s main offense comes in the form of extra critical strike chance and successfully landing Steel Tempest (Q) and setting up enemies for his Last Breath ultimate courtesy of Gathering Storm (Q). Sweeping blade (E) is an excellent gap closer that not only adds damage but can also double as a disengage tool if there are plenty of less threatening minions in range.
What makes him work?
Counterplay: Bot lane is rarely a place for a melee carry champion, but Yasuo has the potential to thrive there. His abilities are limited only by static cooldowns so he can freely use Steel Tempest and its follow-up combos as a no-cost harassing tool. In a lane where ranged basic attacks and skill shots are the main cause of winning trades, Wind Wall and the free shield from his Passive allows him to shut down enemy marksmen and skill-shot based crowd control champs. Even his lack of range is not an issue, because he can use Sweeping Blade to get close, deal damage, then dive back to safety through the minion line.
Yasuo needs a knock up to be able to use Last Breath. This means he works best when paired with a support champ with an AOE knock-up ability. Good partners include Alistar, Braum, Nami, and Janna.
The Best Off-meta Bot Lane Champs – Conclusion
That wraps up our article on the best off-meta bot lane champions! We hope this has helped you open up the bot lane to new possibilities. Do you have other champ suggestions that other players rarely expect? Feel free to leave a comment below! Also, don’t forget to check out our other guides on making the best off-meta picks for other roles!