Assassins are a class in League of Legends that almost every Summoner can’t help but love playing. After all, they’re insanely fun, let you flex your mechanical skills, and make it easy to obliterate enemies’ health bars. But who is the best assassin of them all in LoL?
Of course, not all assassins are equal. That’s why today, I’ve gathered a list of the 11 best assassins in LoL, Season 13. I’ll explain what exactly makes them a viable pick in the current meta, and also briefly cover their strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s dive in (to their back-line)!
Rengar, the Pridestalker
Rengar is a squishy ADC’s worst nightmare. With just one or two items under his belt, he can one shot them in seconds and leave them staring at the gray screen of death. And when they finally respawn and try to come back to lane? It’s a given that Rengar will be lurking around, ready to send the ADC back to their base once again. After all, his kit is packed with damage, armor shredding, and plenty of tools to chase down isolated targets.
A main part of Rengar’s kit is ganking unsuspecting enemies from the cover of bushes. His passive, “Unseen Predator,” empowers his attacks and lets him leap to his targets from any bush. This makes him a viable assassin in both the top role and jungle, and it also helps him excel at ganking from within actual lanes.
Unfortunately, he’s a bit weaker when he doesn’t have any bushes to take advantage of and is a bit more predictable to see coming. The fact that his ultimate gives a prominent warning to nearby enemies doesn’t help this.
- Great ganking potential, especially from bushes
- Can one-shot squishy champions
- Strong dueling in the early game
- Vulnerable to CC
- Needs level 6 to gank effectively
Kassadin, the Void Walker
Kassadin is one of the few assassins that doesn’t have a strong early laning phase in LoL. But if you manage to survive and reach late game? He becomes an unstoppable force that can utterly decimate squishy opponents.
Kassadin’s blink ultimate also gives him heaps of mobility, meaning he has no problem jumping into fights and one-shotting the enemy carry, then dashing out before the tank can even CC him. Even better, you can charge up its damage before engaging to really nuke someone out of existence. Just make sure to watch your mana, as the costs increase with each rapid subsequent blink.
Kassadin’s kit is fairly simple, but takes time to master. There are plenty of combos to explore, with each one better suited to certain opponents and situations. His Q, which grants a magic damage-absorbing shield, is particularly useful at helping him survive the early game against AP opponents.
- Great roaming potential after laning phase
- Unstoppable once it hits late
- Excellent survivability for an assassin
- Vulnerable in the early game
- Often countered by all-in champions
Nocturne, the Eternal Nightmare
Nocturne might not boast the most mechanically complex kit. Nor does he boast flashy animations or combos. However, Nocturne does have something that no other assassin in LoL has: the ability to assassinate champions on the other side of the map. His R launches him at the target of his choice, while blinding every other enemy. This makes it incredibly easy to secure picks, chase down stragglers, or even throw off the enemy team’s coordination.
Nocturne’s kit also grants bonus physical damage, increased attack speed, and an ability-blocking shield. All of these effects, when used correctly, allow him to slaughter through enemy after enemy. Plus, his jungle camp clear is healthy and fast, allowing him to gain the upper hand when it comes to securing scuttles and other objectives.
Just make sure to not fall behind in EXP or gold. Otherwise, you’ll struggle against more coordinated teams that know how to group up appropriately and nuke you down before you can pick off your target.
- Insane pick potential
- Fast camp clear
- Beginner-friendly kit
- Not ideal against teamfighting comps
- Needs level 6 to gank effectively
Pyke, the Bloodharbor Ripper
Pyke is a support that defies all expectations. He doesn’t assist his ADC with heals, buffs, or shields. Instead, he assists them by taking… kills. Yep. Pyke is a one-shotting assassin support where stealing kills from the ADC is actually an approved strategy in LoL. This is thanks to his executing ultimate; every time he gets a kill using it, he gives a “cut” (gold bounty) to all the teammates who assisted.
Pyke also boasts hefty damage in general, a gap closer, tons of CC, and enough mobility to roam around the map and catch out unsuspecting opponents. Like most assassins, he can also enter stealth to cover his tracks.
With that being said, make sure you get good at dodging skill shots and learning when to engage. You’ll often find yourself in the heart of the enemy team and need to ensure you have an exit strategy (which usually boils down to kill the enemy or be killed).
- Ultimate executes low-health enemies
- Can give allies additional gold
- High mobility and roaming potential
- Mechanically difficult
- High risk high reward; missing Q or ult can have devastating consequences
Shaco, the Demon Jester
Shaco, the demon jester, has a reputation for being the most tilt-inducing assassin in LoL. And for good reason: his entire kit revolves around inflicting as much pain as possible. His burst damage is incredibly strong early, his stealth allows him to gank effortlessly, and his W lets him control his opponent’s every move. His E even slows his targets, meaning he can easily chase down low-health enemies.
Shaco’s ultimate — “Hallucinate” — allows for plenty of playmaking potential too. He can cast a clone to deceive enemies in the midst of a skirmish, pretend to be a clone to escape unfavorable situations, and even use his clone to deal the finishing blow.
However, you’ll have to take advantage of all of his strengths early on to remain relevant in the game. Falling behind tends to leave you far too squishy to meaningfully contribute anything more than a single fear box before dying.
- Excels at ganking, especially early on
- Great playmaking potential
- Good survivability
- Falls off late game
- Incredibly squishy
Kha’Zix, the Voidreaver
No other champion can secure picks quite like Kha’Zix can. The main reason? His kit, which already is jampacked with one-shotting potential, becomes x100 more deadly when his enemies are alone. Plus, he can sneak up on them without getting caught; he can make himself invisible, boost his movement speed, and then leap at them when they least suspect it.
Kha’Zix’s ultimate is also one of the most interesting assassin abilities in LoL. It evolves his other attacks and grants additional bonuses, all of which gives him new ways to slaughter his opponents. His evolved leap is particularly great, as it resets upon a kill/assist. Having an escape or the ability to chase down another target after engaging is absolutely amazing on an assassin.
To top it off? Kha’Zix’s camp clear is solid. So, you won’t need to worry about dying to raptors any time soon. Just make sure you dodge any hard CC, or you’ll find yourself splattered like a common bug.
- Insane pick potential
- Good camp clear
- Ultimate grants additional ability effects
- Vulnerable to CC
- Early ganks aren’t great
Fizz, the Tidal Trickster
Fizz is a mid lane assassin that’s the definition of un-gankable. His kit is bursting with escape tools and dashes, with his E even making him untargetable. Besides being an absolute terror against any skill-shot reliant champion, he can also move through units. You’ll never have to deal with minion blocks again.
Besides his incredible mobility, Fizz also deals hefty magic damage, making him a good assassin pick if your team comp is lacking AP. Plus, his shark ultimate can also one-shot low health enemies (and looks totally badass!). Just make sure you get plenty of practice landing it though, or you’ll just look silly.
While Fizz is an incredibly potent assassin, he does need momentum to be a threat. If he doesn’t get kills (or more specifically the gold) needed for his items, his damage output is rather middling. Though with that being said, a single good ultimate during a team-fight can easily fix any gold woes and get him back into the game.
- Great outplay potential
- Especially strong in the mid-game
- Weak early
- Needs to win lane to make an impact later on
Talon, the Blade’s Shadow
Talon is by far one of the best mid lane assassins for beginners. Despite his simple kit, his early kill pressure reigns above any other assassin. In fact, he actually boasts the highest number of first bloods in the whole entire game. The main reason for this is his passive, “Blade’s End”; hitting an enemy three times causes them to bleed over time.
Talon’s kit also allows him to “parkour” over structures, meaning he can easily chase down stragglers, roam around the map, and escape lost fights. Plus, Talon is equally great at poking from a distance, or battling it out up close.
However, Talon is essentially the de-facto feast-or-famine assassin of LoL. If he falls behind and is unable to kill his target in a single rotation of his abilities (or at least force them to burn all their escapes), you’ll often find yourself in situations where you’re not likely to contribute or survive.
- Insane early kill pressure
- Great roaming potential
- Easy, beginner-friendly kit
- No hard CC
- Can’t make an impact if he falls behind
Katarina, the Sinister Blade
Katarina has consistently remained as one of the best assassins over the years, no matter how the meta has changed. And this is for good reason: she has an all-round kit that allows her to assassinate multiple champions at once. Her Q damage bounces to nearby enemies, her passive drastically shortens her ability cooldowns on takedowns, and her ultimate is essentially an AoE of lethal damage. Plus, her E lets her engage on opponents effortlessly.
A main part of Katarina’s kit is picking up her daggers — doing so applies additional damage to nearby enemies. It’s a great mechanism that allows her to easily turn fights around or win drawn-out skirmishes.
Though in order for Katarina to really shine, you need to engage at the right time. Go in too early, and you’ll get locked down or be unable to get the critical ability resets that make her so deadly. Go in too late, and you won’t be able to position your daggers near a clumped up group of enemies.
- Great snowballing potential
- Can assassinate multiple champions
- Still strong even if falls behind in CS
- Easily countered by vision
- Mispositioning is a death sentence
Akali, the Rogue Assassin
Akali is officially known as the rogue assassin, so it’s pretty safe to assume that her ability to assassinate is beyond insane. She can slip in and out of combat effortlessly, dealing health-bar destroying damage while she goes. Her smoke shroud also enables her to outplay her enemies, retreat from lost fights, and buy herself time to charge up her abilities again (or plan a killer combo).
Akali’s particularly great at close combat fights, thanks to her E ability. She can also use her ultimate to dash through and execute all opponents she hits. To top it off? She’s by far the flashiest champion in the game (bonus points for aesthetic value).
Keep in mind though that Akali’s potential for combos also means she’s an incredibly high-skill champion. Knowing your exact damage output, how to position for maximum effectiveness, and when to all-in the enemy is crucial for Akali to be a terror on the battlefield.
- Great outplay potential
- Insane mobility; can slip in and out of combat
- Excels at close combat fights
- Runs out of energy quickly
- Hard to master
Zed, the Master of the Shadows
Again, this is another assassin whose battle title clearly indicates their prowess at one-shotting opponents. While mechanically complex, Zed boasts incredible kill pressure and can decimate through opponent after opponent in seconds. His ultimate, when combined with the passive’s scaling, also makes him deceptively stronger against tankier champions.
Plus, Zed boasts plenty of outplay potential; he can swap places with his shadows, allowing him to teleport around the battlefield, confuse his enemies, and deal additional damage. Mastering the shadow abilities does take a lot of time though, so be prepared!
If you position your clones incorrectly, you’ll find yourself struggling to deal meaningful damage or regaining enough energy to use your abilities. The window of opportunity for Zed’s combos is also rather short, so you’ll have to pull it off immediately without any mistakes to be the best assassin in LoL.
- High kill pressure
- Deceptively strong against tankier opponents
- Good outplay potential thanks to shadow abilities
- Mechanically complex
- Falls off late
Join the High Ground!
As our list above shows, there are plenty of assassins in League of Legends, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. If you want to start maining an assassin, make sure to choose one that synergizes with your preferred playstyle (e.g. if you excel at identifying ganking opportunities, go for Shaco).
Do you agree with our picks? Do you feel any other assassins should have been featured here? Let us know in the comments down below. Make sure to also subscribe to our newsletter for more articles, player guides, and news on the latest in the gaming realm!