Each season, there’s a new meta. Items change, Champions get nerfed/buffed, and there’s always some new gimmick. Naturally, certain Champions rise to the top. These are the go-to picks for most games, the ones you know will be good in most match ups.
But what about those who aren’t considered meta? The ones that, when picked, will cause everyone else in the game to pause and say, “…Really?”
Looking for more LoL tips and tricks? Click to view all our League of Legends guides.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at the overall best off-meta ADC in LoL, as well as some runner-ups. We’ll go over what’s considered best for them in an unfavorable season and why you might want to consider giving them a try. Let’s get started.
Best Off-Meta ADC in LoL: Top 5 Champions
Let’s start with the best off-meta ADCs in LoL overall, then check out some solid runner-ups.
- Role: Bot
- Core Items: Wit’s End, Runaan’s Hurricane
- Runes: Lethal Tempo + Domination (Life Steal)
First on our list coming in at #1 for our top off-meta pick for ADC is the beloved acid-spewing baby worm thing. Those of you who have been playing since the first couple seasons of LoL probably remember a time where Kog’Maw was in every game. The existence of a Champion who could break the attack speed cap in those seasons was game-breaking. Then Riot removed that from him.
These days, Kog’Maw struggles against the mobility power creep. With new Champions usually having mobility built into their kit and items/reworks speeding up old ones, Kog’Maw finds himself constantly in danger. Considering he has no defensives besides a small slow on his E, Kog’Maw wants to keep as much distance between himself and the enemy.
However, if Kog’Maw can stay alive, he is far and away the best off-meta ADC in LoL, capable of deleting anyone’s health in the entire game. With his Q passively providing massive amounts of bonus attack speed and one of the best defensive shreds in the game, even tanks will crumble within seconds of his onslaught. Additionally, you can activate his W to gain even more range on your auto attacks and percent health damage. Should someone survive and try to escape, rain death from above with your ultimate as living artillery. It even has execution damage on lower health targets!
We recommend playing Kog’Maw as a counter pick when the enemy has a lot of beefy and high-health Champions. You’ll want to focus on attack speed items with on-hit effects such as Wit’s End, followed with some defensive items such as Immortal Shieldbow to avoid dying instantly. If possible, pair up with supports that can peel for you, like Leona or Alistar.
- Role: Bot
- Core Items: Immortal Shieldbow, Runaan’s Hurricane
- Runes: Hail of Blades + Precision (Attack Speed/Survival)
The next contender for best off-meta ADC in LoL is one of League’s most mechanically interesting champions, Kalista.
Kalista has a unique passive that causes her to dash (increases in speed with attack speed) in a targeted direction after each auto attack. This results in her being one of the most kiting-heavy Champions in the game. Unfortunately, due to pro players becoming too good with her shortly after her release, she had her numbers dramatically reduced to compensate for her kiting ability.
Kalista is still a viable Champion despite never fully recovering from her nerfs, but she requires extensive practice to be good. Her main damage mechanic is to stack up Rend on targets with her auto attacks and Q before consuming all the stacks with her E to do massive damage.
Additionally, Kalista has another passive mechanic that is core to her kit, the Oathsworn Bond. At the start of the game, Kalista can use her unique item (Black Spear) to link herself with one ally for the rest of the game. While Kalista and her partner are close enough to each other (and Kalista has at least one point in her W), auto-attacking the same target within four seconds of each other will cause substantial percent health damage.
Her ultimate also is dependent on her partner. Kalista will grab her partner, rendering them immune but silenced, and the partner can choose to throw themselves at the enemy to knock up all enemies in the area.
With how odd her kit is and reliant on her partner, we highly recommended that Kalista be in voice comms with her partner to maximize her effectiveness. She’s best paired with someone who can commit to a fight and has a ranged auto attack such as Thresh.
As for when to play her, we recommend picking Kalista when the enemy bot lane is skill shot heavy, as she can dodge attacks rather easily. Due to her passive also reducing the amount of AD she has to work with by 10%, you’ll want to try to win games early by getting a gold lead and snowballing with it. Items with attack speed and crit chance will be your best friend. Guinsoo’s Rageblade and Bloodthirster are particularly useful for making your Rend stacks hit harder.
- Role: Bot
- Core Items: Galeforce, Essence Reaver
- Runes: Lethal Tempo + Domination (Life Steal)
The feather-flinging rebel ADC has seen better days. With small nerfs slowly building up over time, she’s fallen rather low in the rankings of ADCs. Compounding the issue is that her playstyle revolves around whittling away at the enemy, while the meta favors burst damage.
However, Xayah continues to offer a strong hit-and-run playstyle and can dish out massive damage in team fights if positioned correctly. Key word being positioned. Her main gimmick is being able to throw her auto attack in a line through enemies and leaving a feather on the ground behind them. Those feathers on the ground can be recalled to Xayah via her E, dealing damage based off each feather as they pass through enemies. As a bonus, enemies hit by three feathers are rooted in place as well.
While this sounds great, lining up the feathers to hit the enemy multiple times is easier said than done. Playing Xayah effectively requires you to play aggressively with your Q and W to litter the field with feathers before recalling them with your E. When her abilities are on cooldown, Xayah feels a bit lackluster and has to kite back until they recharge.
Thankfully, you can put down quite a bit of feathers if you move quickly, and enemies usually aren’t paying attention to their position as much in team fights. If the conditions are right, you can have multiple feathers on the field ready to go, before you deploy your ult to get even more, and then E to shred an enemy team. Being untargetable during your ult helps ensure you survive long enough to pull off the combo.
Xayah can work into any matchup, but less mobile and more predictable enemies are ideal for setting up her feathers for maximum damage. A support that can slow and distract her enemies is ideal, such as Janna or her in-universe partner Rakan. You’ll want to focus on items that enhance your crit damage, as all your feathers can critically strike when you recall them with your E.
- Role: Bot
- Core Items: Manamune, Duskblade of Draktharr
- Runes: Dark Harvest + Sorcery (Mana/Ability Haste)
One of the first Champions in the game, Sivir has been a staple ADC for years. Her prominence peaked in 2015, where she was so impactful that she took home the Victorious skin for the season. Unfortunately, a steady stream of nerfs slowly followed, and the Battle Mistress is no longer the powerhouse she once was.
Thankfully, the nerfs weren’t strong enough to render her unplayable, and she simply went from god-tier to runner-up best off-meta ADC champion in LoL. With a focus on staying ahead of her enemies, Sivir excels at steadily chunking her enemies down with her Q’s boomerang throw and rapid burst of auto attacks. She has incredible pushing power in lane and can easily keep the enemy pinned under their tower.
If the enemy thinks they’re safe hiding behind their minion wave, the ricochet from her W and the range on her Q ensure they have no where to take refuge. Oddly enough, the value from her ultimate comes in its passive bonus when her W is active. It’s a massive attack speed steroid and lets her throw out auto attacks like a machine gun as long as there are targets to bounce to. The more targets there are, the more deadly Sivir becomes.
Having a personal spell shield bubble is really nice for surviving, and the combination of movement speed from her passive and activating her ultimate ensure that she can escape most situations. Her ultimate can also be used to rally her entire team and take the enemy by storm when they’re caught off guard.
Due to her kit giving her all around usefulness, Sivir can picked into any match up. However, enemies that hit really hard and can bully her before she gets her ultimate will cause problems. If possible, you’ll want a support that can provide sustain or shields to outlast the laning phase such as Yuumi or Soraka. With her natural attack speed steroid and low Q cooldown, you’re best off building pure damage and armor penetration on Sivir. You’ll want to spam her abilities as much as possible, so Manamune is a godsend to her with Duskblade just enhancing her killing potential.
- Role: Jungle/ADC
- Core Items: Kraken Slayer, Runaan’s Hurricane
- Runes: Press the Attack + Domination (Stealth/Move Speed)
This smelly rat with a crossbow is a real oddball of an ADC. With nearly equal success rates as a jungler and a typical ADC, Twitch revolves around surprise attacks and rapidly peppering his foes with poisoned bolts.
Considered a set-up ADC, Twitch needs to act quickly and be in the right spot to safely build up enough stacks of poison on a target to deal bursts of damage before scampering away like a rat. With the bulk of his damage coming from his E, scaling with each poison stack on a target, Twitch wants as much attack speed as possible to apply his stacks. Thankfully for him, coming out of stealth grants him considerable attack speed for five seconds, and he can apply another stack of poison with his W’s venom cask. Repeat this process enough time and the enemy will keel over from your barrage of toxins.
His ultimate doesn’t quite synergize with his poison set up as it drastically increases the range from which he can auto attack, but combining it with his stealth’s attack speed boost turns him into a rapid-fire ballista. Each shot punching through enemies for massive damage and hitting multiple targets.
Just be careful to never be caught out of position. If you can’t scurry away fast enough to get back into stealth, you’ll have no choice but to stand your ground and fight. Unless Twitch is super ahead or has hit his late game carry stage, he’s probably going to end up a smear on the map.
Twitch is the best off-meta ADC in LoL when picked into an enemy team with few escape mechanics and no hard engages. As long as he can fire for at least five seconds, he should come out ahead. To that end, we recommend supports with stuns and other forms of hard CC to make sure Twitch isn’t destroyed. Leona and Morgana are quite picks to ensure his survival. As you want to hit hard and fast, we recommend focusing on items that boost your crit damage and attack speed. Infinity Edge is great for this and marks the point where Twitch really starts to become a carry.
Become a High Grounder
And that’s it for our best off-meta ADCs in League of Legends Season 11. If you think there are other ADCs we should take a look at or want to see more off-meta articles for different roles, let us know in the comments below.