There comes a time in someone’s life when they just get tired of following the status quo. While certain choices make sense because of how items and innate kits synergize so well, a lot of other things that aren’t necessarily considered the norm can work too. Another bonus is that these off-meta picks are often fun, and your opponents won’t always know how to deal with it.
Let’s start this list off with a champion that – while not common – isn’t unheard of in the ADC role. Thresh has a lot going for him. Thresh is a champion that’s great for short bursts of trading blows because of how Flay works. The passive part makes it hurt whenever he has it charged up. He’s also great for all-ins just because of how much crowd control he has and the ability to zone out enemies when played aggressively.
While he is a bit squishy during the early laning phase because of the lack of souls, he scales decently later into the game and can even assist the jungler with ganks in bot lane by pulling them to him with Dark Passage. Overall, Thresh is a very decent pick for the ADC role, especially when your support is also packing some CC.
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While Senna was originally meant as a support, the way her kit works just makes her an excellent ADC as well. She scales better than Thresh into the late game by freeing souls through Absolution. The more you free souls, the more bonuses you get. This gives a host of useful stats throughout the laning phase. Piercing Darkness is a poke with a built-in heal, which alleviates a bit of the burden off of your support. Last Embrace is a decent CC that could potentially root more than one target.
Curse of the Black Mist can be used to disguise the fact that you aren’t alone with just your support, which is perfect when you’re often the target of enemy focus fire. Lastly, Senna’s ultimate gives her somewhat of a global presence. This ability could turn an allied champion about to get ganked in top lane into a double kill for your team.
The Magus Ascendant isn’t exactly an AD champion, and even though this is an ADC list, you should still build him as an AP mage. Think of Xerath as a sniper in-game. He has excellent ranged abilities, but a lot of them are skill shots. He has an abundance of harass which is great in both the laning phase and during skirmishes in the jungle. Early on though, you need to be a bit tactful about how you use your skills, as you can run into mana issues despite Mana Surge periodically giving some back to you.
Another issue with Xerath is that he is basically rooted when he uses Rite of the Arcane. This means that you need to be extra mindful of your positioning due to how vulnerable you are when you use it. It’s a bit more punishing compared to other alternative champions, and his skills require precise aim and prediction. But Xerath in the right hands can absolutely demolish squishy targets from afar while being relatively safe in a spot the enemy champions can’t reach.
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Ziggs is on this list for the same general reason Xerath is. He hurts. A lot. All of his abilities were designed with one thing in mind: damage. His passive, Short Fuse, empowers his basic attacks that are cooled down much faster when using abilities. When you consider how spammable Bouncing Bomb hurts, it’s downright terrifying. He’s also a great tower destroyer, mostly because Short Fuse works on towers. Yikes. No wonder he’s the poster boy for Urf.
Ziggs has a bit of utility built-in in the form of displacement from Satchel Charge and slows from Hexplosive Minefield. While the latter is pretty straightforward, the former has a lot of uses. It can be used to push enemies towards your allies, disengage, or just getting through walls when you’re in a rush. They don’t call him the explosives expert for anything.
Some people might call this a “devil’s pick”, but a Teemo in bot lane can destroy certain matchups, especially enemy champions that heavily rely on auto-attacks. These “right-click champions”, as some may call it, are rendered useless for a good while because of Teemo’s Blinding Dart. You’d be surprised how many champions fall under this category. He also has excellent positioning capabilities because of Guerilla Warfare and Move Quick. Think of the latter as a soft escape tool.
Toxic Shot is great for whittling down enemies and their health bars. DoT (damage over time) effects often trick the enemy into a false sense of security when they think they have more health than they actually do when it’s all over. When you combine it with attack speed items, Teemo can shred even the toughest of tanks.
I think we can all agree that Noxious Trap (a.k.a. Mushroom landmines) are what make Teemo absolutely infamous in League. This not only leads to some unexpected deaths, particularly to fleeing enemies but also grants extra vision to your whole team. This alone makes it invaluable all throughout the early, mid, and late games.
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6. Twisted Fate
Over the years Twisted Fate has seen a lot of experimental builds. While he’s more commonly suited for mid lane because of how accessible the other lanes are through his ultimate ability Destiny, a lot of the reasons you play him mid translate well to the bot lane, especially when the laning phase is over. He farms fast with Loaded Dice, has great poke with Wild Cards, and Stacked Deck is arguably better suited for an ADC Twisted Fate compared to an AP Mid one.
His W, Pick a Card, is a very versatile skill. It sustains your mana throughout the laning phase, stuns, and slows in an area of effect. Simply put, the card master is a very versatile pick that’s suited for a lot of situations. The fact he can scale with either AD or AP also makes him that much more adaptable.
The Dreadnought is a champion that hasn’t seen too much love over the years. And while he’s commonly seen in the top lane, he’s a perfectly good candidate for the bot lane as well. Urgot is great at harassing in lane because of his abilities. He also has a built-in dash with a flip-through Disdain, which makes your jungler’s ganks that much more successful.
Fear Beyond Death is a ranged execute that fears nearby enemies. This is great for fleeing enemies, assuming your aim is good and gives you a chance to escape enemy champions targeting you if you’re alone.
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Bard, much like Thresh, benefits from small skirmishes throughout the laning phase. A lot of his abilities benefit his team as a whole as well, which makes him an overall great champion, regardless of his role. Collecting meeps throughout the game with Traveler’s Call makes his basic attacks hurt a lot. While Cosmic Binding and Tempered Fate require a lot of skill to pull off perfectly, they are very satisfying when done correctly. A lot of times, enemies just want to give up when the execution is impeccable.
With Caretaker’s Shrine, Bard can actually set up help for allies in other lanes without needing to physically be there when they do need the heal. Aside from setting them up near your tower to counter an enemy gank, this is also great for your jungler when you’re walking back to the lane, as you can just leave them in his path to pick up later.
This yordle is a decent pick that becomes great when paired with supports that have some decent CC. Kennen doesn’t have the best ranged basic attacks, which puts him at an early disadvantage when laning against heavy harass champions with much longer range. Kennen, however, makes up for this with his kill potential and pokes. He runs on energy, not mana. This ensures he can basically spam most of his abilities whenever they are off cooldown.
An AD Kennen focuses on Electrical Surge more than Thundering Shuriken. It makes his basic attacks hurt and makes it easier for him to last hit minions. Lightning Rush is great for escaping, positioning yourself for a big play, or catching up to fleeing enemies. Slicing Maelstrom ensures you’re able to stay relevant in fights, as well as make enemy champions think twice about engaging in a clash.
All of his abilities also contribute to activating Mark of the Storm, your passive ability that stuns enemies. While it does just seem like a lot of theory crafting on paper, all of these tie together very well in practice.
While technically not a ranged hero for basic attacks, I feel as if he has enough poke and the ability to carry in the bot lane to earn himself a spot on this list. Most of the points discussed here apply to Yasuo ADC as well. While it may raise some eyebrows from your teammates, it is still a solid choice in certain situations.
This is going to be a bit straightforward. Yone can dish out a lot of damage while being very mobile himself. I think we can all agree that a fed Yone is disgusting to play against. He dishes out a lot of damage early on with all his skills, all of which are spammable because of the lack of mana. Soul Unbound allows him to go for crazy dives that other champions would otherwise not be able to attempt, all without fear of being CC’d. This is also the skill that gives him great mobility. Fate Sealed is an excellent finishing move, and an even better initiation tool. He has a built-in shield from Spirit Cleave, which is great if he decides to trade with the enemy lakers.
He benefits a lot from lifesteal and AD, and building him is rather straightforward. The learning curve isn’t too hard, but an experienced player will definitely be more obvious. This makes him great to pick up for some quick fun.
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These are our top picks for off-meta champions. After all, what’s meta now was off-meta not too long ago. Who knows? You could very well be creating a new trend that will extend way into the next season.