When assessing the team-fighting capabilities of your team comp, one very important factor is the level of synergy the champions on your team have. There are many levels and types of champion synergies to consider when choosing champions, and just as many subtleties as well. There are the cornerstone synergy champions, the complementary synergy champions, and the superficial synergy champions. We’ll break down what each type of champion synergy means, what it looks like, and finally what champions fit into that box.
Cornerstone Synergy Champions
These champions are the center of wombo combo champion synergies. They have some sort of engaging or follow up tool that can wrap enemies up for a few seconds and are easily chained with something else. Examples of this are Yasuo, Malphite, Amumu, Rakan, and Orianna. All of these champions have an area of effect CC that can be played off of or are used as a follow-up. These champions have abilities that hard engage a fight.
Complementary Synergy Champions
This particular classification of champions have abilities that augment other champions’ kit. These champions are generally unique in their augmentation or exceptionally good at it. These champions include Lulu, Morgana, Taric, and Nami. Complementary champions make other champions’ kits that much better with an ability that enables them to do something a bit more than they normally could.
Superficial Synergy Champions
Finally, superficial synergy champions are referred to this way because of their swappable nature. What they bring to a team fight may be powerful, but it can easily be replaced by another ability. Another alternative to be placed in this category is an indirect set up for a good wombo combo but doesn’t directly affect the enemy team. Good examples of this are Miss Fortune, Veigar, Wukong, Ekko, Gragas, Kennen, Katarina, Gnar, Lissandra, and the list goes on. If you take a look at this list of examples, a common trend is area-of-effect damage, CC, or mix of both. The ability to influence multiple champions at once is the base of any team fight synergy.
Since there are many champion synergies, we will specifically go over the cornerstone synergy champions and their most effective pairings. Following this, we’ll go over some of the better complementary champion synergies. We will not delve into the superficial champion synergies due to the nature of the champions there where any one of them could be switched out for another.
Cornerstone Synergy Champions
These champions are the fulcrum of wombo combo champion synergies. They have some sort of engaging or follow up tool that can wrap enemies up for a few seconds and are easily chained with something else. Examples of this are Yasuo, Malphite, Amumu, Rakan, and Orianna. All of these champions have an area of effect CC that can be played off of or are used as a follow-up. These champions have abilities that hard engage a fight.
The king of follow up himself, Yasuo. As one of the cornerstones of champion synergies, there are a lot of abilities that Yasuo can play off of with his ultimate, Last Breath. Anyone that is knocked up in the vicinity has to stay there for an additional second, which is a long time in League of Legends. Throw in 200 to 500 damage on each target and you’ve got a solid ability that can solo win games. Yasuo works well with the majority of the cornerstone synergy champions because he can follow up on most of them. Some of Yasuo’s most potent champion synergies are amongst these other cornerstone champions.
Champions that can synergize well with Yasuo in order of effectiveness include:
- Sett (Single Pick Lockdown)
- Vi (Single Pick Lockdown)
A gigantic mountain flying at 120 mph can do quite a bit of damage, or at least shift your organs out of place. Malphite is just as much of a synergy god as Yasuo, only he is the true cornerstone of these champion synergies. His ultimate, Unstoppable Force, is what is played off of and not a follow-up, so he is the key component to many potent wombo combos. For the rest of Season 10, knock-ups will not be reduced by Tenacity, so it is one of the strongest types of CC available in League just because of its consistency. The great thing about Malphite is that whether he builds full-tank or AP, he will always be able to bring about the same thing to team-fight champion synergies.
Champions that synergize well with Malphite in order of effectiveness include:
- Miss Fortune
Now for League’s sad and lonely little mummy. For someone so lonely, Amumu sure knows how to keep people in his company with all his CC. In fact, this obsession to keep people around with his ultimate, Curse of the Sad Mummy, is quite effective when setting your team up for follow-ups and wombo combos. Though despite the sheer usefulness of this ultimate, he doesn’t have as many direct champion synergies as the other cornerstone champions.
Champions that synergize well with Amumu in order of effectiveness include:
- Miss Fortune
Ah, our ball wielding robot that enjoys being obnoxious in lane. Orianna’s ultimate ability, Command: Shockwave, allows for some insane setups and engages in unexpected scenarios. Like the other cornerstone synergy champions, she has a game changing ultimate that can be played off of or used as a follow up. The flexibility of Orianna’s ultimate also exceeds most of the other cornerstone champions due to the nature of the ability.
Champions that synergize well with Orianna in order of effectiveness include:
- Miss Fortune
For our final cornerstone champ, we have our favorite feathered friend, Rakan. Rakan’s mobility around teammates ensures he’s almost never caught out if he doesn’t want to be. By the same token, he is exceptionally well at catching people out, and CCing them for much longer than the enemy would desire. His ultimate, The Quickness, allows him to gather enemies into a bunched up position and at the mercy of any AOE abilities to follow up. Just as important to his champion synergies is Rakan’s W, Grand Entrance. This knock up ability can keep all the gathered enemies from the quickness in place for just a bit longer.
Champions that synergize well with Rakan include:
Complementary Champion Synergies
In this section, we will look at the champion synergies that augment other kits of agents. These sort of champion synergies are important when in two people lines like bot lane, or support & jungle duos looking to take over a game. When the most potent complementary champions’ kits come together, the damage output or capabilities of the duo become greater than just one plus one. An infamous example of this is the Taric and Master Yi boosting strat that had run rampant all throughout Season 9 and even wreaked havoc during the beginning of Season 10 until the support item reworks and jungler-minion exp nerfs. This is a great example of how powerful these complementing champion synergies can be.
Now when would you pick a complementing synergy? Well, anytime that you can really. If you are able to play the champion that enhances a teammate of yours, there is no reason not to.
Some of the more popular complementary synergies include:
- Lulu & Kog’maw: (Attackspeed and Peel)
- Master Yi & Taric: (Peel & Ultimate Synergy)
- Rengar & Yuumi (Champion Kit Synergy)
- Alistar & Kalista (Chain CC Synergy)
- Garen & Yuumi (Weakness Compensation Synergy)
There are just as many obscure complementary synergies that exist as well like:
- Master Yi & Morgana (Limitation Expansion Synergy)
- Kayle & Olaf (Basically letting Olaf go where he pleases)
- Lulu & Yasuo (Ultimate Synergy)
- Ivern & Rengar (This is a bit of cheese, but there is synergy no less)
Superficial Champion Synergies
Finally, there are the superficial champion synergies, which are just slightly convenient to align when you have the chance. You’ll see no kind of improvement like Master Yi & Taric or Kog’maw & Lulu, but there will definitely be some ompf added to your gameplay. Examples of this are things like Cassiopeia & Nami, Morgana & Caitlyn, Jinx & Braum, etc., These are things that can be switched out for similarly functioning champions, but will still synergize well with that particular champion. Think of it like a minor convenience, if you will.
These subtle superficial synergies include:
- Morgana & Swain
- Twitch & Lulu
- Zilean & Hecarim
The point of all this is to raise awareness of your maximum capabilities when choosing a champion from your pool. If there is no synergy, then it isn’t necessarily a problem, but don’t miss out on freelo out of a selfish pick that’s sink or swim. Shifting some of the pressure to carry the game between you and a teammate leaves a much smaller margin of error to be exploited. When these tools are available to you, make use of them. When the synergy odds are stacked against you, avoid or play around it. Try to separate these two champions that synergize well and you will effectively gut their potential power.
With this knowledge, you’ll soon reign supreme with superior champion synergies.