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League of Legends - Free Champions: Preseason, Week 1

The stat cards for the champions that will be free starting 11/20/12
The stat cards for the champions that will be free starting 11/20/12
Riot Games

Summoners, a new week is upon us, and with it a new band of free champions. Each week I will be reviewing the champions available, giving a few interesting statistics over them, and providing a few of my top picks.

The champions free this week are contained in the slideshow at the top of this page.

The countdown begins summoners - Riot has officially begun labeling the champions list as preseason. While some news (much unofficial, or very lacking in details) has been released over the past few weeks, the official notice of the free champions listing is always nice to see.

This week is heavy on tanks and mages, including a couple that could be called both. There are no 450 IP champions this week, however there are five 1350 IP champions, as well as two 3150 IP champions, one 4800 IP champion, and two 6300 IP Champions, making the total 30450 IP, and the average 3045.

Now, for my top picks this week:

#1 Top Lane: Cho'Gath

A bit of an oddity among the typical line-up of melee bruisers, Cho'Gath is half-mage, half-tank, and all awesome. Very few top lane champions can effectively counter Cho'Gath - able to out-sustain almost anyone, able to cast spells from afar when he's being outplayed, and able to build enough health to make even a well-fed AD carry think twice about going in. Cho'Gath is exactly what most top laners aren't expecting, and that's why he's the top pick for this week.

#1 Jungle: Malphite

Malphite is the best jungler here just based off of his ultimate. The others are great - Mundo is almost impossible to kill without coordination and Shyvana has mobility like no other - but Malphite's ultimate changes games. One cast, and you can knock any champion cluster you see out of the fight for long enough to take out their carries and win the game. The best part? Malphite just has to build armor to be a serious threat, no other items required, and a tank that commands attention is an effective tank indeed.

#1 Mid-Lane: Karthus

Karthus gets the pick this week because of his ultimate, like Malphite, but also for his overall damage. A champion that deals this much damage is quite powerful indeed, especially with an AoE slow factored in, but Karthus' passive makes him one of the deadliest AP carries around - even if you focus him and kill him before he can cast a single spell, his after death casts can still decimate a team, meaning the strategy of killing the carries first doesn't always apply. Mix that in with a global, massively powerful ultimate, and suddenly you have an incredible threat.

#1 AD Carry: Kog'Maw

Also known as the "Won by default" category for this week, just because Kog'Maw is the only true AD Carry (Teemo being the closest alternative). Don't let that fool you, however - Kog'Maw is quite the threat. His ultimate's range and his built-in % health damage makes him deadly to carries and tanks alike, and when built properly he can be almost impossible to disengage from before you find yourself waiting for a respawn. Long story short, just because you have no competitors, doesn't make you a poor winner.

#1 Support: Janna

Bottom lane just isn't getting a whole lot of love this time around, but that's okay; Janna is still a very serviceable Support. Her ultimate can stop a poor engage from becoming an awful loss, and her shield is quite powerful too - not to mention the fact that her tornado is one of the most damaging abilities possessed by 'true' supports, if you aim it properly. Master this champion's knockback and knock-up, and you'll be able to control any teamfight.

Disagree with any of these? Looking forward to any champions? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!

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