Best Duelist Champions in LoL, Ranked (Season 14)


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Best Duelist Champions in LoL, Ranked (Season 14)

Become a 1v1 prodigy by mastering one of these champions!

With more than 160 unique champions in League of Legends, it is hardly surprising that there is a wide range of playstyles among them. Some champions are adept at withstanding heavy enemy damage, while others specialize in keeping their allies alive. However, for today’s article, my focus will be on the best duelist champions in LoL.

For those unfamiliar with the term, duelists are champions that excel in 1v1 fights and have kits that are usually jampacked with damage and mobility. When played right, they can decimate any foe that challenges them and even potentially reach the point where they can 1v5 the enemy team.

Sounds like your kind of fun? Then you’re in luck! Below, I’ve ranked the best 1v1 duelist champions in League of Legends from good to best. I’ll explain what makes them strong duelists, and then briefly cover their pros and cons to help you determine which champion is right for you. 

The best duelist champions in LoL dish out tons of damage, can kite skillshots effortlessly, and often have buffs to increase their strength in 1v1 situations.

#7 Tryndamere

Screaming his way into the first entry on my list is Tryndamere, aka the physical incarnation of tilt and unadulterated rage. Jokes aside, Tryndamere is one of the best 1v1 top laners in the game, and he has been consistently throughout the seasons. The reason? His kit is specifically designed to make his opponent suffer. 

His fury passive ramps up his critical strike chance by tenfold, his damage increases the more he is attacked, and his W, “Mocking Shout,” reduces his own enemy’s AD. Put simply: the longer the enemy tries to whittle down his health bar, the stronger and more unkillable he becomes. This makes him a total god at dueling, especially sustained 1v1 duels where he can build up his fury.  

Tryndamere is also incredibly mobile and capable of chasing down his targets if they try to escape. His E ability functions as a gap closer, and he can use his W to then slow them down significantly. Pair that with items and runes that boost Tryndamere’s move speed to make escaping him impossible.

But what makes Tryndamere truly worthy of a spot on this list is his ultimate. It literally makes him immortal. He can use it to dive his opponent under turret, as a shield to tank their hard-hitting attacks, or even to evade a gank or unfavorable fight. Even better, he can activate it even if he’s CCed.

Tryndamere has a strong, all-around kit, though he does have a few weaknesses. He is very reliant on getting ahead early on. If he doesn’t get enough gold or XP, he’s pretty much useless in the later stages of the game. He is also fairly vulnerable when his ultimate is on cool down, so it’s important to play around that fact and use the ability carefully.

Strengths

  • Insanely powerful ultimate; makes him unkillable
  • Great in sustained duels 
  • Can easily chase down targets

Weaknesses

  • Reliant on getting ahead early on
  • Struggles against hard CC teams

#6 Trundle 

Trundle, the Troll King, is mostly known for his insane objective control and being a class A split pusher. However, there is something else he excels at too: dueling. Virtually every aspect of his kit allows him to thrive in 1v1 situations. His Q reduces his enemy’s attack damage while applying a slow, his W ups his stats, and his E allows him to block his target’s escape route. Even if the enemy can tank the brunt of his damage, Trundle can just hit R to immediately steal their defenses and sap their health. 

Trundle can also use his E as an escape tool. If the enemy jungler attempts to gank, he can instantly block their path and slow them, giving him enough time to retreat back to the safety of his turret. 

While many duelist champions in LoL are mechanically complex — looking at you, Yasuo and Vayne — Trundle’s kit is simple and easy to master. This makes him ideal for players that don’t want to spend a ton of time learning the ins and outs of a champion, or who want an easier time focusing on the macro side of the match.

Trundle boasts fantastic sustain thanks to his passive, and remains a viable threat throughout the various stages of the game. However, he does have a few weaknesses. He can easily be kited by ranged champions if he misuses his W ability, and while his ult is strong, he is still very dependent on items to dish out damage. 

Strengths

  • Simple kit; beginner-friendly
  • Fantastic sustain 
  • His R can easily turn fights in his favor

Weaknesses

  • Dependent on items for damage
  • Vulnerable to slows

#5 Fiora

Fiora’s title in LoL is literally “The Grand Duelist,” so it should come as no surprise that she’s featured on this list. Her entire kit is designed for one purpose: to destroy any opponent that dares challenge her to a duel. 

She can slice through health bars with hefty damage, ramp up her own attack speed while slowing down her target’s attacks, and negate all incoming damage with her W ability “Riposte” — even the last tick of an ignite. Plus, her W also lets her pull the ultimate uno reverse card: if her opponent tries to immobilize her, she can parry it and cause them to be stunned instead. This ability is exceptionally strong in duels since it functions as a hard counter in any matchup. It also makes her particularly strong against champions that are heavily reliant on CC.

The main reason why she’s such a good duelist though is her passive. Proccing a vital on an enemy deals true damage, heals her, and grants her movement speed. This means she can shed through armor effortlessly and play around the likes of skillshots or AoE attacks. The extra health regen also enables her to survive in drawn-out fights.

To top it off, her ultimate lets her transform the battleground into her personal dominion. It summons up four vital procs on her target — meaning tons of true damage — and provides a substantial AoE heal if she manages to hit them all. So yep, she can slaughter her opponent and then gain enough health back to take on any others that stand in her way. 

Thanks to her passive and ult combo, Fiora can remain a viable threat even if she falls behind. A single good team fight can easily put her back in the game. However, her kit can be hard to master. She’s very dependent on landing her W to negate CC, and misusing it can cost her the duel. You’ll need to know exactly what champions do, and what CC they have, to know when to use Fiora’s W effectively in fights. 

Strengths

  • Deals true damage 
  • Strong against CC-reliant champions
  • Plenty of sustain 

Weaknesses

  • Hard to master

#4 Mordekaiser

Mordekaiser is a nightmare-inducing juggernaut that can not only burst through his opponents in 1v1s, but also isolate them from their allies and ensure they have no means of escape.

His Q deals tons of damage and is empowered if he only hits a single target, his W grants him hefty sustain, and his passive creates an AoE damage aura if he lands three attacks on his opponents. The damage aura is particularly powerful in 1v1 situations, especially when paired with his E ability, “Death’s Grasp” — he can pull the enemy toward him to prevent them from escaping the damage zone. 

Mordekaiser also experiences a huge power spike once he hits level 6 and acquires his ultimate. The ability literally allows him to drag his opponent into his own personal realm, steal a portion of their stats, and force them into a 1v1 (which he’ll no doubt come out on top in). Plus, “landing” the ultimate is effortless. It’s a point and click ability, meaning it can’t be dodged unless the enemy has the likes of QSS.

While he can lock down the enemy team’s carry effortlessly, Mordekaiser is fairly immobile and lacks any disengage tools. You’ll need to be careful with your positioning and place proper vision during the laning phase to avoid ganks. Landing the E is also vital — missing it leaves him vulnerable to all-ins, especially in teamfight situations. 

Strengths

  • Can isolate his opponent easily 
  • Strong AoE damage aura
  • Increased damage in 1v1 situations

Weaknesses

  • Immobile
  • Must stay ahead to remain relevant

#3 Yasuo

Now, you might be more familiar with the Yasuo that ends up inting his lane, the mid-game, and the late game…. while claiming he’ll hit his 0/12 power spike at any moment. But hold that thought for just a moment — Yasuo, when played right, is genuinely one of the best duelist champions in LoL.

There are a few reasons for this. For starters, he deals hefty damage, with his passive significantly increasing his critical strike chance, and his E having its damage buffed with every cast. This alone already gives him the upper hand in most 1v1 matchups. 

Yasuo also has plenty of mobility at his disposal in fights, which enables him to play around his targets with ease; his E lets him dash multiple times through enemy units and his Q functions as an effective gap closer. His R even lets him blink to his target while applying damage and a lengthy CC. 

And of course, you can’t forget about his infamous “Wind Wall” (the W ability), which blocks all incoming projectiles for 4 seconds. 

Understandably, all these abilities make Yasuo great at 1v1s, especially when against ranged champions since he can chase them down while evading their heavy-hitting attacks. 

Sadly, despite his strengths, there is one problem with Yasuo. He’s insanely hard to master. If you choose to play Yasuo, expect to have a OTP kind of commitment. Otherwise, you’ll be going 0/12 instead of 12/0 in every game. 

Strengths

  • Strong against ranged champions
  • Hefty damage, with high critical strike chance
  • Ultimate combo is insanely strong 

Weaknesses

  • Very hard to master

#2 Olaf

Olaf truly lives up to his berserker title: he’s one of the strongest duelists in the early to mid game, and is an unstoppable force once he gets ahead. He boasts incredibly high base stats, true damage, great sustain, and a passive that grants him attack speed and lifesteal based on missing health. 

He can also chase his target down effortlessly with his ax-throwing Q ability. And if he picks up the ax after throwing it? It resets the ability’s cooldown, allowing him to throw it at his target again… and again… and again, until he’s finally caught up with them and obliterated their health bar. 

What truly makes Olaf an unstoppable duelist though is his ultimate ability “Ragnarok.” When activated, it makes him immune to any disables as long as he keeps fighting. It’s essentially a fight to the death where the enemy can’t escape, and Olaf has the upper hand in every way.

Olaf is incredibly strong early on, but he does fall off when his enemies start to build defensive items. It’s important to get ahead early and apply pressure across the map. Olaf is also a bad matchup into mobile, ranged champions who can poke him out while dodging his axes.  

Strengths

  • Incredibly strong early on 
  • Can evade hard CC 
  • Able to easily chase down enemies

Weaknesses

  • Struggles against ranged champions
  • Requires getting ahead to be a major threat

#1 Vayne

Vayne is one of the few ADCs that can hard carry a lane without a support by her side. If she gets ahead, it’s pretty much a given that she’ll be an unkillable demon that slays enemy after enemy while taking down turrets, inhibs, and eventually the Nexus.

But what exactly makes her such a strong duelist in LoL? Well, she deals an incredible amount of damage that virtually no other champion can match; her Q grants her bonus damage, her W deals a percentage of her enemy’s max health as bonus true damage, and her R further increases her AD. In other words, virtually every ability in her kit is designed for slicing through health bars, no matter how tanky her target is.

Vayne also has tons of mobility, thanks to her tumble and movement speed granting passive. She can effortlessly chase down targets, self-kite, and evade any hard-hitting skillshots. Plus, she can even stun her enemy against wall structures, ensuring they can’t escape her AA range.  

Vayne is by far one of (if not) the strongest ADC champions in the game, but she does need time to scale and is vulnerable early on. She’s also incredibly mechanically complex, so expect to have many “vaynespotting” moments before you master her kit.

Strengths

  • Insane scaling 
  • Extremely high mobility, considering she’s an ADC
  • High damage output

Weaknesses

  • Hard to master
  • Squishy at all stages of the game 

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