Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Team fights are arguably the most important phase of League of Legends since losing just one can result in disastrous consequences for your team. After the initial laning phase is over on Summoner's Rift, teams will group up and try to take down objectives, push inhibitors, and kill Baron Nashor. Group fights are even more important on alternate modes such as Dominion because there is no laning phase – it's all just team fights. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, here are five champions that excel specifically at fighting in groups.
Karthus is an amazing group fight champion because he can continue casting spells for seven full seconds after death. Turning on his Defile ability will surround Karthus in an area of effect aura that deals magic damage per second to any enemy around him. A good strategy for Karthus when it comes to team fights is to switch this on and simply run headlong into the enemy team. At the very least this will scatter the enemy team as they try to move out of your circle of devastation. Don't worry about getting killed. Defile will remain active even after dying and right before Karthus finally fully dies, he can pop his ultimate ability to deal even more magic damage to all enemies. His ult has a global effect which means it will hurt opponents anywhere on the map. With any luck, there might be a couple enemy champions near death, perhaps having escaped from the battle before dying, and you can pick up some free kills.
Amumu is another amazing champion for team fighting because he has so many area of effect abilities. Despair will deal magic damage to any enemies around him while active and deals extra damage based on a percentage of the enemies' maximum health so it is useful against tanks that stack HP. Tantrum is another AoE spell in Amumu's arsenal dealing magic damage to enemies around him. His ultimate ability, Curse of the Sad Mummy, is far and away his most useful spell when it comes to group fights since popping it can render the entire enemy team unable to move or attack for two seconds, allowing your teammates to go all out on them. Amumu is also a good initiator. Bandage Toss has an impressive range of 1,100. Use that to close the gap with the enemy team and then immediately ult when you are in the belly of the beast. This tactic will turn the tide of a team fight in your favor right from the get-go if your allies are close enough to capitalize.
Anivia is another good champion for group fights because of her ult, Glacial Storm. She is adept at standing back behind her team while using Glacial Storm to drain the hit points and slow the attack and movement speed of the entire enemy team. Glacial Storm has a mere six second cooldown timer so expect to see her ult immediately go up during every team fight. Her Q, Flash Frost, has a range even longer than Blitzcrank's infamous Rocket Grab and can be used to further inflict magic damage from a distance. It also explodes on the target, dealing additional magic damage to enemies in a small area of effect. If Anivia does end up getting picked off by an assassin, her passive ability Rebirth allows her to come right back to life. Enemies will likely be too busy trying to deal with the rest of your teammates to kill Anivia's egg before it hatches. Then she's right back in the fray.
You might have noticed that a lot of the champions on this list are ability power champs. You might have also noticed that they all have area of effect spells. Vladmir is another champ that is good in team fights for both of these reasons. Like all the other champs on this list thus far, his ult can hit the entire enemy team if they are grouped up tightly. Hemoplague not only deals a fair amount of magic damage but also increases the damage enemy champions take by 12% for the next five seconds. Vlad will want to use Hemoplague during the very beginning of a team fight to maximize the added damage his teammates can deal (you want them all to be still alive when you cast it). Sanguine Pool is also a ridiculous ability when it comes to group fights. That's the spell where Vlad turns into a pool of blood, becoming untargetable for a few seconds and damaging any enemies standing in the area of effect. Becoming untargetable can throw off the enemies' timing and the spell also heals Vlad for a percent of the damage dealt, too.
Malphite is arguably the best tank to have on your team during the team fight phase. He can initiate easier than just about anybody else thanks to his ultimate ability, Unstoppable Force. With it, he charges forward up to a range of 1,000. Once he hits his target location, he will deal damage and knock enemies into the air within a 300 range radius. With some luck, that could theoretically hit the entire enemy team, scattering their ranks as if they had been hit with a cannon ball. Malphite can then immediately use Ground Slam to further damage the group as well as slowing their attack speed. The passive ability of Brutal Strikes also adds a Tiamat-like effect to his basic attacks, dealing damage to other enemies near the one he is hitting.
Malphite has a lot of innate armor and a helpful passive that adds a shield worth 10% of his maximum health so he's pretty hard to kill. Even still, you need to chose when to ult into the enemy team wisely. In the screenshot below, Malphite uses Unstoppable Force right into four enemies, but his teammates are too far away to capitalize on it.
Some other good champs for team fights include Blitzcrank for his grab and area of effect ult that silences enemies, Galio for his ult which taunts all enemies within range, Wukong for his ult that will knock enemies into the air, Morgana for her shield that can be cast on allies and her ult that hits multiple champions, Cho’Gath because he can knock up groups of enemies with his Q and silence groups of enemies with his W, Fiddlesticks for his area of effect ult and group silence, and Maokai whose ult reduces all damage taken by allied champions within a large area of effect.
Some General Tips
In order to win a team fight, you need to fully commit to your role. If you are a tank, you can't prematurely retreat before the battle is over. If your team is going to lose the team fight, you have to come to terms with the fact you probably aren't going to make it out of there alive. It is basic instinct to attempt to fall back once your own health gets low but depending on your role, you need to be willing to sacrifice yourself for the victory. Getting the win is more important than your own personal k/d/a. That extra second of damage you took before death could wind up making the difference.
You should also avoid initiating team fights if your allies aren't ready for one. For example, don't run into a 2v4 battle and hope that your other teammates will join in. Make sure everybody is on the same page before the battle begins. The Malphite screenshot above is a good example of someone jumping the gun.
Don't chase if your team isn't with you. All too often bloodthirsty teammates will chase what appears to be a weakened enemy only to get ambushed by the rest of their team. Now they, and possibly one of your other allies, are dead leaving your team with a 3v5 scenario that will surely result in at least one of your turrets being destroyed. Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, "One mark of a great soldier is that he fights on his own terms or fights not at all." It's pretty funny that The Art of War is actually applicable to League of Legends strategy.
One final tip is to target your opponents' squishy champions first. Typically the tanks are on the front lines so it will take some conscious effort to ignore them and go for the damage dealers. This can be especially difficult if someone like Malphite is right up in your face. Another Sun Tzu quote helps here. He said, "So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak."