"After centuries of conflict and hardship across the lands of Valoran, the Rune Wars have finally come to an end. Treaties have been signed, and the superpowers that once ravaged this land have turned to a new role. Realizing that there must be a better way to settle their differences, they created the Institute of War, a multinational governing body that would settle all disputes. Inside the Institute is the League of Legends-where powerful magic users and delegates from each of the realms vie with or against each other to rule the land."
Welcome to Troper's Rift!
League of Legends is a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game and spiritual successor to the widely popular Warcraft 3 custom map, Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, and claims to be the most played game in the world. Yes, even more than the behemoth World of Warcraft.Like DotA, League of Legends gives you control of one Champion, who has unique attacks and abilities, and sends you out against enemy Mooks and Champions to earn experience points and gold. Your goal is to destroy the enemy base (the Nexus) by first eliminating the turrets that defend it, which usually requires a heap-load of Cannon FodderMooks to tank the turret blasts while the Champions whittle it down. There are also a number of secondary objectives scattered around the map which grant significant bonuses to whoever claims them.There was once a fair bit of backstory that was delivered via the "Journal of Justice": a weekly in-universe magazine that was discontinued at the end of Season 1 in favour of more dynamic storytelling methods (like special dialogue between rivals or friends).Unlike the Champions who start each match at Level 1, the Summoners are persistent and gain experience with every battle. Summoners can also directly improve a Champion's stats during gameplay by equipping "Runes" and "Masteries", and bring two Support Powers into battle.League of Legends, like all MOBA games stems from Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, originally a Warcraft 3 custom map. LoL currently competes with several other games that originate from DotA, including it's own direct sequel, Dota 2. However, LoL has many distinct differences from DotA, most of which simplify the game to some extent. The creators of the game are also heavily pushing for it to become more involved in the professional gaming scene, and it has long since eclipsed the original DotA's popularity. Like we said: most played game in the world.The game has three playable game types, each between two opposing teams of up to five players:
Classic: Players push three different lanes of combat, destroying defensive towers that lead up to the enemy nexus. Destroying the opponent's nexus wins the game. The two maps available for this mode in regular play are Summoner's Rift, a 5v5 map in the same style of DotA's map, and Twisted Treeline, a smaller map for 3v3 matches.
Dominion: A capture-and-hold game where players must fight to control one of five "capture points" on the map. The Nexus is not attacked directly, but damaged over time depending on how many points a team controls. Champions start at Level 3 and gain gold and experience far more quickly than normal, leading to a more action-packed match. The dedicated map for this mode is called "The Crystal Scar".
ARAM: "All-Random, All-Mid", which was originally a fan-made spinoff of Classic Mode where players would agree to use random Champions, only employ the central lane and were not allowed to return to their base until death. This created a highly-aggressive game based more around direct combat than map control. It was later canonized into an official mode and given a unique map: the "Proving Grounds", later revised into "The Howling Abyss".
Thirty seconds until tropes spawn!
On top of this, in November 2013, Riot has announced and started releasing "temporary game modes" that are only available for a limited time. These game modes include:
All For One: The first temporary game mode, this mode is exactly like Normal 5v5, except that each team is made up of five copies of the same champion. After a round of banning champions, players vote who they wish to see, and champions voted for have a random chance of being selected as the team's champion. A champion who has 60% or more of the team's vote is guaranteed to become that team's champion. It should be noted that only three champions have been permanently vetoed from the game mode: Karthus (5 of his ultimate ability hitting at once would be unbeatable), Syndra (so many orbs), and Teemo (so many mushrooms).
The Showdown: The second temporary gamemode, a 1v1 or 2v2 skirmish on a modified version of the existing Howling Abyss map. The winner is the first player(s) to draw First Blood, destroy the first tower, or reach 100 Creep Score (combined score if 2v2). This relatively short gamemode has its victory conditions based on already common practice for 1v1 duel scenarios and is a useful tool for practicing laning against an opponent. It's also a fun way to settle once and for all who's better at [insert champion(s) here]. Oh, and whoever wins dances as Victory is declared and the whole bridge floods with happy Poros.
Hexakill: The simplest mode from a gameplay perspective, but the most drastic so far with regard to the engineering that would have gone into it. It's a completely normal game on Summoner's Rift, except there are 6 champions on each team rather than 5. This COMPLETELY upends the standard meta of the map that has been ingrained for years now, as each team can run a duo top or mid lane, double junglers, or a triple-bot lane.
Ultra Rapid Fire, or U.R.F.: Announced on April Fools' Day 2014 as "the future of LoL". Promising to be what players really want, it delivers chaotic, high-speed gameplay, with every champion having 80% cooldown reduction on their abilities (for reference, cooldown reduction is ordinarily capped at 40%), doubled attack speed, no mana costs and a slew of other crazy bonuses.
The Characters pages list every commercially-released champion, detailing tropes related to their backstory, appearance, and gameplay mechanics, and a few other characters to boot. The numerous memes spawned by the community can be found here. The numerous Shout Outs to other medias can be found here. For details on the professional teams and its members, see Professional Gaming under the MOBA folder. For the truly daring, the Drinking Game page can be viewed here.
Tropes have spawned!
Aborted Arc: In the Journal of Justice and League Judgements, it was heavily, heavily implied through secret messages (about the "4th" being held prisoner) and a rather large Glamour Failure (Jarvan's reflection in a Journal of Justice photo was of Le Blanc and he had been acting out of character) that the Jarvan IV we all know was actually Le Blanc in disguise, having captured the true Jarvan with the help of Swain and using her illusions to start another Demacian / Noxus open war. When both the Journal and Judgements were abruptly canceled, this plotline was dropped.
The Alleged Computer: It's so common for players to joke about other's players slow-loading computers as this it's practically tradition. The most common form is recommending that players who take 5 minutes or more to load should stop playing on (for example) a smartphone or even something completely incapable of running a game like a toaster, Lite Brite, or Etch-a-Sketch.
This is even more apparent in the Dominion game-mode, where the players are unable to directly attack the enemy Nexus, instead capturing and holding points to achieve the Instant-Win Condition... which still results in watching the enemy's giant Nexus-gem exploding after it's achieved.
Alpha Strike: Most mages and some physical damage champions focus on burst damage; that is, blowing up someone before they can retaliate. A fed Veigar can take this Up to Eleven and decimate even the tankiest of champions in a full combo. (The problem is getting there.)
Similarly, a well-played Syndra can absolutely destroy an enemy champion at full health with just her ultimate alone - not to mention softening them up beforehand with her normal combo...
This is also the name of one of Master Yi's abilities. Ironically, while Yi is normally a physical DPS champion, there was an Ability Power build for him based mainly around jacking the power of Alpha Strike up to ridiculous levels (due to its 100% AP/damage ratio), allowing him to put out incredible amounts of burst on multiple enemies with a single shot. Even more ironically, AP Yi used to eclipse AD Yi as the most viable way to play him until his re-work oriented him toward AD once again.
The Creative team is actively trying to downplay or reduce the instances of this trope for Noxus. Many champions in the past had their lore basically amount to "So-and-so lived a normal life until it was ruined by Noxians" (Alistar, Tryndamere, Poppy, Veigar, etc.).
Amazonian Beauty: Leona. She wields a greatsword in one hand and a giant shield in the other and stands taller than a few of her male contemporaries. Her Pool Party skin shows off her muscles and her lovely figure.
Amplifier Artifact: Many champions have kits which don't really kick into gear until they reach a certain specific core item (or combination of items). This creates a "power spike" when they reach that item which often allows their team to seize an advantage by leveraging their new power (note that Jax appears several times on this list):
Kayle: Nashor's Tooth (used to be Guinsoo's Rageblade when she was still a dedicated hybrid champion).
Brand, Cassiopeia: Liandry's Torment
Ezreal, Corki, Nasus, Jax, Lucian: Trinity Force
"Blue" Ezreal: Iceborn Gauntlet
Vayne, Kog'Maw, Twitch, Jax, Tristana, AD Kennen: Blade of the Ruined King
Ahri, LeBlanc: Deathfire Grasp
Shen, Renekton, Amumu, Zac, Sejuani: Sunfire Cape
AP Kennen, Fiddlesticks, Lissandra: Zhonya's Hourglass
Ashe, Caitlyn, Varus: Infinity Edge (and usually Phantom Dancer)
Ryze, Kassadin, Swain, Anivia, Singed: Rod of Ages and Tear of the Goddess/Seraph's Embrace
The Tank: Bulky champs who can get the enemy team's attention and keep it.
The Healer: Pretty much everybody who has a heal that can be used on allies, primarily support champions.
The Nuker: Mages. To a slight degree, everybody who has a nuke.
The DPSer: Fighters and carries.
The Debuffer: Trundle, along with certain supports.
The Buffer: A large number of supports have at least one such ability. Lulu stands out in this regard, thanks to 3 of her abilities having at least one potential ally buff effect (including her ultimate).
The Mezzer: Anybody with a crowd control capability, such as Fiddlesticks, Ashe, etc.
The Minion Master: Yorick and Elise in her spider form, to an extent.
The Petmaster: Annie, Malzahar, Heimerdinger, Mordekaiser, Shaco, Orianna, and Yorick.
The Trapper: Teemo, Shaco, Nidalee and Caitlyn.
Area of Effect: Many champions have this ability, several in the form of their "ultimate" attacks. Some champions like Karthus and Ziggs specialize in this.
The Jack: Actually almost everybody has more than one build that emphasizes a specific stat or play-style. And yes, we do mean almost everybody. At one point, the dominant build for Annie (high magic-damage nukes) was physical DPS. Hybrid-built characters, who rely on ability power as well as attack power can also be called Jacks. But remember — just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Animesque: A few champion designs and some champion splash arts have a noticeable Eastern influence. That said, League of Legends as a whole is a distinctly western game- for example, the cinematics seem to be distancing themselves from this (the "Twist of Fate" cinematic has character models with noticeably smaller eyes than the previous Season 1 trailer cinematic).
It should noted that most of the Riot staff members are anime geeks themselves (i.e. former staff member Shurelia) and they sometimes throw in a few anime references in many of the character quotes, bios, and animations. For example, Ezreal's dance is loosely based on The Melancholyof Haruhi Suzumiya dance and one of Pulsefire Ezreal's quotes is a reference to Dragon Ball Z. Many of the voice actors who voiced some of the champions often work in anime themselves.
Highlighted further in a champion preview in this video Trials of the Poro where the animation style had a clear anime-like design.
An Axe to Grind: Darius, Dr. Mundo, Olaf, Draven and Sion all use axes as their Weapon of Choice. Other examples include the shop items Pickaxe, Tiamat and Ravenous Hydra.
Announcer Chatter: At the start of the game, when minions are spawned, whenever someone goes down, destruction of important buildings, and killing sprees. It helps that she sounds like she could be the Administrator's older, kinder sister even if she does revel in bloodshed.
Anti-Frustration Features: A number of the more technical or esoteric aspects of DotA are gone. Creep denialnote using Force-Attack to kill off your own Minions, which doesn't give you experience or Gold but denies your opponent the same is out, death no longer causes you to lose Gold, tower kills give Gold to the entire team instead of just the player who last-hit itnote both of these tilted the Unstable Equilibrium far in the victor's favor; the latter also caused Loot Drama from "kill stealing" and such and, perhaps most notably, almost all RNG-related mechanics have been phased out, with Sion's passive, , and critical strike chance being the only luck-based mechanics left in the game.
When a player disconnects, his or her champion will simply walk back to base (rather than stand still and wait for something to come kill them). You're still stuck with a lower max number of players, but it can prevent a cheap death by standing idle in front of an enemy turret.
The 22-hour reset on the win-of-the-day bonus may seem odd, as opposed to 24 hours. It prevents the common problem with daily reward systems of unless you have precise timing, the reward will slip further and further each day. 22 hours gives you leeway in getting the bonus every day.
The in-game shop now has an undo button to fully refund purchases within a limited window of time. This handily eliminates the age-old dilemma of buying the wrong item and having to choose between being stuck with the wrong item or losing valuable gold selling it back for less.
Season 4 introduced a new item system allowing people to pick up a free trinket to either gain free wards, scout out an area of the map from far away, or disable stealth. This combined with the 3-per-person limit on wards alleviated the all-too-common problem of the support player being the only one on the map placing any wards at all (of course players can still neglect to use their trinket but at least one player isn't expected to shoulder the burden anymore).
Anti-Magic: Any champion with an ability that Silences enemies (incapable of using abilities, cancels currently channeling ones, etc.) can do this. No crowd control lasts for more than a couple of seconds, but casters are rendered nearly helpless for the duration, making it feel very very long indeed. Naturally, the few specialized Mage Killer champions have this in their arsenal plus other abilities to capitalize on this vulnerable period.
Arch-Enemy: The League is host to several of pairs of champions who would love to see each other dead.
Nasus and his brother Renekton were literally at each other's throats before they were summoned to the League. Their relationship hasn't improved much.
Jarvan IV and Swain are most likely this considering how often they've clashed. They are both among the highest ranking military leaders of their respective nations. Nations which are in the middle of a cold war, to put it mildly.
Malzahar and Kassadin both got their powers from the Void, but Malzahar works to bring its horrors to Runeterra while Kassadin works to stop them. They've battled each other outside of the League before and they both are reported to have large groups of followers. Kassadin probably has a lesser form of this going on with Cho'Gath, Kog'Maw, and Kha'Zix for similar reasons.
Lets not forget Garen and Katarina. In Garen's lore, it's mentioned that most of the reason Garen even wakes up in the morning is to confront her on the battlefield. His is more of a Blood Knight obsession with her and that he doesn't actually want to kill Katarina, but just enjoys the challenge of a good battle. Some other Demacian soldiers think there are other reasonsinvokedwhy he constantly seeks her out, though.
Morgana and Kayle are involved in an eternal war between two factions of immortal beings. And they're sisters!
Graves' only reason for joining the League is to ruin Twisted Fate as payback for turning him in in exchange for magical abilities.
Sejuani joined the League to oppose Ashe for control of the Freljord. Lissandra wants them both dead so she can free her masters, the Watchers.
Zilean and Volibear hate each other as a joke because of Riot employees; Zilean was named after Zileas, who was against the idea of armored bears, while Volibear was named after Volibar, who wanted armored bears.
Jayce invented his weapon, the Mercury Hammer, after Viktor defeated him and stole an energy source, using his new powers to destroy Viktor's lab.
Diana and Leona are this without a doubt. Diana feels betrayed by the Solari, and Leona is their proudest member (and possibly their paragon).
Warwick needs to kill Soraka and consume her heart to stabilize his transformation so he doesn't become a wild beast. While he was still fully human, he gained her trust enough for her to give up her divine powers to save him, but he was unable to kill her before she drove him away with her magic.
Rengar and Kha'Zix both want to kill each other. Rengar sees Kha'Zix as the ultimate prize and has a special place for his head on his wall, and Kha'Zix sees Rengar as a prey of equal strength and wishes to consume him to become stronger still. This rivalry is unique in that it's the only one to actually have an impact on gameplay; if Rengar and Kha'Zix are on opposing teams, they may receive a quest after Rengar buys his Bonetooth Necklace item and Kha'Zix reaches level 16 and uses his third evolution point - they must be the first to kill or assist in killing the other. If Rengar succeeds, his Bonetooth Necklace item is replaced with Kha'Zix's head, granting the same stats as a fully stacked Necklace that cannot be lost. If Kha'Zix wins, he gets a fourth evolution in addition to his usual three.
Zed and his Order of the Shadow stand opposed to Shen and his Kinkou Order. Rivals since childhood, their animosity came to a climax when Zed murdered Shen's father (his old master) and drove Shen and his order out of their sacred temple, claiming it for his own.
Rumble hates Heimerdinger for, in his eyes, giving away Yordle technology secrets to the humans of Piltover, its not sure what Heimerdinger's position is, but he does know of the animosity.
Jinx is a criminal and really annoys Vi, a cop from the same city. When on enemy teams, Vi gets 1 extra gold every time she "brings the criminal in" (i.e. kills Jinx).
Lucian stole Thresh's bike, so Thresh stole Lucian's wife with his 100% Wife Steal. Okay, that's not really how it went down, but Thresh did trap her soul in his lantern, and Lucian is hunting down Thresh to try to get her back.
Yasuo is this to every champion from Ionia, even though he is innocent of what he is being accused of (killing a man he was supposed to protect). Also, possibly could be this with Riven since she is also capable of wind based techniques and that is what killed his charge.
Armor Is Useless: At one point in season 3, new sources of armor penetration made building resistances relatively futile compared to just building health - this was fixed by buffs to the Blade of the Ruined King (which shreds health percentally and is countered by building armour).
In individual games the usefulness of Armor depends heavily on the enemy team composition and their builds. Armor is very useful against high amounts of raw Attack Damage and items meant to punish stacking health but much less useful against items that reduce armor or heavy amounts of magic damage. The key is to adapt one's build as necessary, especially if the enemy team is ahead and is dictating the course of battle.
Armor-Piercing Attack: Comes in two main forms. The first is armor/magic penetration, a stat each character has which allows them to ignore a target's armor/magic resist respectively. The second is true damage, which can't be mitigated by armor/magic resist, only complete immunity to damage.
Armor-Piercing Question: The whole point of the League's Champion Judgement process is to ask two: "Why do you want to join the League?" and "How does it feel, exposing your mind?"
"murder, unprovoked assault, disturbing the peace, public indecency, murder again, unauthorized property recoloration, unflattering impersonation of an officer, reckless hexplosive detonation, destruction of the peace, really petty larceny, exorbitant weapon size, some more murders, inciting mass hysteria, making fun of the peace, aggravated jaywalking and forging of official wanted posters."
Summoner's Rift got a big graphics update, complete with a new Yordle Shopkeeper and updated animations on the neutral monsters.
Some of the older champion artworks are being redone. Morgana above has a new portrait, as do Sivir, Veigar, Kayle, Tryndamere, and others. You can really see a difference between the old style of art and the new ones.
This has extended, with a few characters, into getting new character models as well as new art. One of the most thorough revamps was Ashe, one of the oldest champions in the game, as her character models for all of her skins getting a significant rework along with all of her skin portraits getting redrawn in the more realistic style. In Ashe's case, she had already had her main portrait redone once before to get away from her really awful original art.
The game's visuals reached a new level with Annie's remodel. Not only did it replace her horribly deformed old model with a properly proportioned one (which actually looks like a cute little girl rather than a noodle-limbed puppet with a football-sized head) but it's the first champion model with properly animated facial expressions and actual lip-sync whenever she speaks aloud (during her /laugh, /taunt and /joke emotes)!
The Artifact: The League itself. As time has passed by, it has become more and more of an excuse for cool champions to fight each other, and less and less of the complex and mysterious organization set to erase military conflict in Valoran who is gaining too much power and seems to have shady motives. Most champions' bios nowadays don't even state their reasons for joining the League.
Artificial Brilliance/Artificial Stupidity: The bots zig-zag between these two. The bots on Beginner are notoriously poor players, running into towers without minions and rarely going back for more health. This is however justified given how they still regularly beat new players. The Intermediate bots, on the other hand, are a whole order of magnitude more difficult, ganking weak champions and making much better use of their abilities — and yet they still make stupid decisions like chasing "weakened" champions all across the map while their lane stays wide-open.
The bots are actually being updated, too - with Artificial Brilliance intended. Case in point, bots now have the sense to use their ultimates when they see allies coming (especially human-controlled ones). The very nature of how champions are played makes for very uneven difficulty distribution across the board. ADC's are laughable in a bot's control since the A.I. is poor about positioning well (and positioning is paramount for carries' survival) while some mages are absolute nightmares as the A.I. will aim perfectly/execute tough combos consistently. Bot games are generally won only because they have a somewhat poor laning phrase - if left to farm, some particularly notorious bots like the infamous Fiddlesticks could decimate entire teams. Also, you have not felt the true power of bots until you face the walking terror that is Annie Bot with over 4000 health and still hits like a truck. There are also bots with global or very long ranged ultimates - Ashe, Ezreal and Karthus for the former, Lux, Caitlyn and Ziggs for the latter - they will know exactly how much damage their ultimate will deal, calculate your future position given that you continue moving in your current direction, and blow your head off from half a mile away when you can't even see them. As of Season 4 bots will start roaming after recalling/dying even before towers fall to keep players on their toes, are liable to gang up on players when they outnumber them, and have a much better sense of when areas of the map need their attention because they're under attack.
Unconfirmed rumours and some chatter from more reliable sources in the past indicate that Riot had at one time developed Advanced level bots, but canned the project due to them being more frustrating than challenging to play against.
Gentleman Cho'Gath. French Maid Nidalee may or may not be related.
Amumu got an Emo Mummy skin. Emumu!
Corporate Mundo deals what he pleases.
If you type /joke three times when Swain is in his transformed state, he references Fiddlestick's ultimate by saying "Think logically for ONE SECON—CAWCAWCAWCAWCAW!!"
The 'Battle Training' has a tip to inform of being careful around the brush since an enemy champion maybe be hiding in it to ambush you... using images of Garen appearing out of the brush using his infamous Judgement. You can practically hear the "DEMACIAAAA!".
It's gotten to the point where two other champions refer to this in their jokes, Evil Counterpart Darius and fellow Demacian Quinn:
Darius: *looks around him then starts imitating Judgement* "NOXXUSSSSS- whoa, woah! Ugh, how does he do it?!"
Minor example: it's long been joked that the scythe-like magic attacks of Soraka's staff looked like bananas. Cue visual update with new lines added in, including "Yes, that was a banana. No one expects the banana."
Occasionally when one starts a match on the Howling Abyss, the announcer will enthusiastically announce 'Welcome to the Murder Bridge!', in reference to the popular fan nickname for the map type.
A particular meme started by pro player Imaqtpie when he played Heimerdinger and spread across the forums and twitch chat like wildfire, after Heimerdinger's visual/audio upgrade. That meme... is "Raise Your Dongers."
Heimerdinger: "Raise your what?!"
Attack! Attack! Attack!: It depends on the situation, but in a lot of cases blindly attacking is a bad idea. "Pushing", or clearing minions as fast as possible to get closer to the enemy tower can leave one in a vulnerable position to get ganked as it's easier to kill someone that has to run all the way back to their tower. However, given adequate ward coverage and map awareness to protect against approaching enemies, pushing the lane can be a good thing as it makes it harder for the enemy to farm with their tower damaging creeps and ensures that they can't leave their lane to help out elsewhere without losing the tower. It's otherwise more beneficial to keep the lane relatively even by only finishing off minions, or "last-hitting", since this maximizes gold gained versus distance pushed. Learning where and when to push the lane is an integral part of coming to understand the game and improving.
Another reason this can backfire is Fog of War: blindly chasing someone into the jungle when the other enemies are missing can result in getting ganged up on and killed. Even managing to catch up to a foe and killing him by yourself can lead to disaster if you ran ahead of your team and they are too far away to back you up if you need them. And then, of course, there is always the possibility that you are being deliberately baited into a trap!
Champion-wise there are some champions whose kits enable them to get away with this strategy or even encourages being reckless. Such champions tend to lack escape abilities but make up for it by having abilities that let them cleave their way through enemy after enemy in prolonged fighting (like Tryndamere or Olaf) or let them disrupt the enemy team to a great degree before reviving from getting killed using a passive (like Aatrox or Zac).
Authority Equals Asskicking: Between Jarvan, Garen, Swain, Darius, Ashe, Tryndamere, and Sejauni, the league has quite a few badass royals and generals.
Volibear counts as well, and Trundle's lore has been rewritten to make him king of the frost trolls, meaning it is possible to create an entire five-player team out of Freljord royalty.
Awesome, but Impractical: "Snowballing" items that grant champions additional stats for each kill or assist like Mejai's Soulstealer and Sword of the Occult (and before it was removed, Leviathan). This makes them (cost-wise) useless at first but truly powerful once stacks are accumulated. The problem is that getting killed will lose 1/3 of current stacks, so players doing well might as well have a sign on them saying "focus me". Also, if one is accumulating 20 kills or assists in a row without dying in the first place, odds are the game could have been won building any other set of items, more practical ones included.
Some builds on particular champions that require 5 or even 6 complete items before they can reliably make a difference in teamfights. These include "joke" builds on champions that lack synergy with their kit/scaling and only work once a player has stacked a sheer amount of stats. These assume that the player can freely farm for 30 minutes or more each game and the fact of the matter is that not every game goes that smoothly. There's a reason that many builds select the first few items so the champion can start to be effective at mid-game instead of only near the end.
Champions in the Hypercarry category can be like this at times due to indirect nerfs. Hypercarries tradeoff early and mid game strength to be very powerful in the late game, almost always requiring the team to be built around their combat style. At the moment only Kog'Maw as this issue, although he is considered the lesser of the three.
Non-meta Bottom lanes, especially using Anti-Carries like Urgot or Teemo, if they fail to absolutely ruin the enemy ADC's day from the get-go, they end up as a burden due to having inferior scaling late-game and less money for items if two people shared the farm in a lane.
Certain niche support items implemented in Season 3 like the Banner of Command or Ohmwrecker. They're rather useful and have some decent stats but in practice they're rarely seen because supports simply don't have the gold to buy them. If they're bought and it's not the very end of a game, a support either gave up their essential items or skimped on warding (both of which are very bad ideas) or they're somehow getting an abnormal amount of gold (which can be detrimental to their team). With support gold gain re-worked in Season 4, most players just opt to buy straight damage or tank items with their extra money rather than these items.
Awesome Yet Practical: Too many ultimate abilities to count that are both devastating to the enemy team AND incredibly awesome-looking and fun to use.
Everyone respawns after death for sometime. As it likely gave your enemies time and extra gold over you, it will eventually get to a point where a dead team's buildings and base should logically be razed by the other side before they can respawn.
The respawn timer increases as the game progresses.
The Guardian Angel item does the same thing, but there is a longer cooldown before it can be used again.
The Revive summoner spell also allows you to immediately respawn upon casting, but it has a nine-minute cooldown, and is widely considered the worst summoner spell ever: while all the other spells except maybe Rally find their consistent use in standard matches, Revive is useful only with various gimmicky, but occasionally effective, tactics. (This is subverted by the popular "Zombie Karthus" technique in Summoner's Rift, as well as generally in dominion, where one revive can win you the game by back-dooring a point.
As a rare plot example, the character Sion is quite literally back from the dead. After having been killed by Demacians, his corpse is rescued by Noxian General Katarina and is then revived with necromancy. Also, Karthus is an undead Lich. Urgot also underwent the same resurrection as Sion, although the mangled state of his body caused complications.
Both Yorick and his ultimate are examples of this. The character Yorick is quite literally back from hell to try and earn his family name remembrance, and apart from that, his ultimate allows himself or an allied champion to become a ghost after death.
Both Mordekaiser and Zilean have ultimate attacks that do this, in opposite effects. Mordekaiser enslaves an enemy champion's soul, making them serve him, whereas Zilean's ultimate revives a dead allied champion.
Badass: There's only one true requirement to become a League of Legends champion: be a Badass. Age, gender, species, motives, and moral alignment are all irrelevant.
Badass Adorable: Yordles in general, but Teemo has this in spades. Especially since the dev team gave him an Easter Bunny skin -AND- an astronaut skin -AND- a superhero skin -AND a Panda skin.
Annie is a little bit badass and a little bit adorable, but the Reverse Annie skin is a lot of both (although Tibbers then walks a different line, part comical and part disturbing).
Ahri qualifies. She's very cute and there's certainly nothing intimidating about her. Until she destroys you in two seconds flat with her combo, that is...
Fizz pulls this off far more effectively than you would expect from a fishperson.
Cho'gath: "Death is not the end for you. I have seen to it. For eternity. You. Are. MINE!"
Nasus: "Your legacy shall drift away, blown into eternity, like the sands of the desert." and "Life is a cycle; yours is over." Again, when you pick him. "The cycle of life and death continues. We will live. They will die."
Mordekaiser: "Death is too good for the likes of you!"
Malzahar: "Bow to the Void, or be CONSUMED by it!"
Nocturne has one as a joke: "Weather forecast for tonight? Dark with a chance of pain!"
Riven: "A broken blade is more than enough for the likes of you!"
Not to be outdone, Noxus has begun to reveal their Crimson Elite. Current known members include Talon and Riven.
Badass Normal: While the majority of champions use magic or have magically-enhanced abilities, some just stick to melee weapons, guns, and barehanded fighting. Works perfectly fine.
Badass Pacifist: Many support champions do very little damage themselves, but make their allies much stronger.
Sona has three different auras, one stun and one damage spell, but her passive actually adds additional damage and effects to her next basic attack after a couple of spellcasts.
Soraka has two heals, a silence and a mana refill and one damage spell.
Janna technically has several damage spells. They do little actual damage but are loaded with slows, knockups and knockbacks. Her most effective playstyle involves leaving every single minion kill to her allies, falling hopelessly behind in terms of levels and gold, but using her spells to set up enemies for her team, earning her team potentially a dozen kills while doing insignificant amounts of damage herself.
Zilean has only one ability that deals damage. One. The others are to reset his cooldowns, speed up or slow down champions, or revive allies if they die. It's possible for him to spike by putting a time bomb on someone, then rewinding the cooldown and putting another on, forcing the first bomb to explode.
Taric can actually do some decent damage himself, but his main job is supporting his team. He can heal his allies, passively boost their armor, stun enemies that would otherwise cause trouble, but his Ultimate is the real kicker. It does a decent amount of AoE burst damage, significantly boosts Taric's offensive stats, and gives nearby allies half that bonus for 10 seconds. It's absolutely fabulous for teamfights or tearing apart a tower.
Averted by Karma, whose abilities both make her allies stronger and deal significant damage themselves. This leaves her in a bit of a weird spot in the metagame.
While the orthodox setup (and the one most commonly seen in high-level/tournament games) for most of the supports above is to have them lane with an AD carry and give up all the minion kills and gold to said carry, effectively turning them into CC/ward/clairvoyance bots for the rest of the game, people sometimes choose to build them as damage dealers. Soraka and Janna both have damaging spells that scale well with AP, and Sona's short cooldowns allow her to throw out Sheen procs regularly, making AD a semi-viable build for her.
Even people who have never even heard of Naruto get in on the argument. Ahri is a gumiho (a creature from South Korean mythology), not a kitsune (a similar creature from Japanese mythology).
Better to Die than Be Killed: Because being killed by enemy towers or minions without the aid of enemy champions does not reward their team with gold, some players who have pushed too far down a lane and see a large gank approaching will intentionally rush towards the enemy nexus through multiple towers, hoping they will die to towers before the enemy team can reach them and thus avoid providing the enemy team with valuable gold and experience.
Beware the Nice Ones: All Yordles except Veigar, who is a megalomaniac, and Rumble, the Yordle equivalent of a mad scientist in a mech with tasers and flamethrowers.
Especially scary with Teemo. It's heavily implied that the constant use of his abilities for assassinations, as well as the isolation he suffers, is slowly driving him insane, which gives nightmare fuel when you look at the constant smile he always wears. He's starting to crack, and it won't be too long until he uses his poison outside of the League.
Also Lux, who is eternally smiling, but won't hesitate to trap you in light and MELT YOUR FACE OFF WITH A LASER!
Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Mild case with the Yordles. From the champions we're shown, female Yordles are always blue-skinned with white hair (Tristana, Poppy), while male Yordles vary from having tan skin (Corki), tan skin and blonde hair (Heimerdinger), to looking like anthropomorphic hamsters (Kennen, Teemo, Rumble). Likely caused by the fact that there were originally two different races, Meglings and Yordles, that were merged into one race by the designers.
Lulu breaks the white hair standard for Yordle females. Perhaps because she was designed as a Yordle and not a Megling, or perhaps because she's a bit... different.
Bladder of Steel: Depending on circumstances, a match can last for more than an hour, and sanctions may be imposed for going AFK.
Bloodless Carnage: Despite all the shooting, smashing, stabbing, and slicing, there's no visible injuries or blood spilled the vast majority of the time. The exception is a few champions (particularly Noxian ones) whose attacks and/or abilities will make small spurts of blood show up on their targets, but not nearly as much as inflicting that kind of injury would cause.
Boring, but Practical: Wards. They provide no statistical bonus to your champion whatsoever. They are one of the cheapest items in the game in terms of gold cost and also are considered to be some of the most important items by more experienced players since knowing where the enemy team is or isn't is very important. It's quite telling that professional teams (who are interested in earning and spending gold as efficiently as possible) buy dozens and dozens of wards over the course of a game since feeding even one fog-of-war-induced death to another pro is disastrous. Just as telling is the degree to which pros will go in trying to deny the other team's ward use, spending further precious gold on True Sight-granting items in an effort to clear them. It's not uncommon to see two teams jockeying for position, neither truly engaging the other, but each frantically trying to clear wards as soon as they are down, while keeping their own up. Besides towers, objectives, and kills, one sure sign that a team has a significant lead over the other is who dominates the map with vision control (i.e. who can freely place pink wards and deny the enemy's vision without them being able to do much about it).
Auto-attackers. That's the only way they deal damage, but if it isn't effective as hell. This is even more true for "true" auto-attackers like Tristana, Vayne, and Jax who only have that for damage output (with abilities primarily being there to buff their attacking potency or to re-position themselves rather than damage) but are considered among the most efficient champions at killing using auto-attackers to compensate.
The summoner spell "Clairvoyance" is another intel-gathering tool similar to wards. It is similarly boring and similarly practical.
To a similar extent, stat-increasing elixirs. They only last four minutes long, and don't provide any cool unique effects, but always provide more benefit in plain stats for its gold price while using it than if you had a permanent item instead.
The Oracle's Elixir allows a champion's line of sight to see invisible stuff until they die. Proper teamwork allows it to easily pay off against champions who utilize invisibility, as well as spot and kill enemy's wards, thus denying map awareness.
The Doran's items don't build into anything, but can be bought right when the game starts and give more sheer statistical benefits than any other item costing roughly equally at the time. Some players find it perfectly good to just buy them until they get enough gold to sell them for more expensive ones.
Summoner's Rift default laning/team composition: one carry, one tank, one offtank, one caster and one support; one jungler, solo top, solo mid, duo bot. Boring (perhaps) because it's the team strategy seen in >95% of games, practical because it usually results in a team balanced in damage and tankiness that best allocates the 4 revenue sources (3 lanes of minions plus the jungle) to 5 players.
Many of the original champions count toward this as well. Ashe in particular has only two attack skills, one self buff, and one vision extender. However, her game-changing ultimates are devastating in the right place.
Some support champions can be played this way by focusing entirely on defense rather than offense. The only dedicated-healer support in the game is Soraka, who tends to slow down action significantly with all her heals. Riot has said that she's the only dedicated healer they will ever make, choosing to encourage other supports to focus on offense rather than defense.
Last-hitting. Harassing the enemy is fun. Getting kills early on is fun. Pushing hard and getting to their tower faster is fun. Farming? Not so much. Yet at the end of the day, farming creeps makes up the majority of a champion's income, often moreso than kills. A given player's creep score at a given point in time is a good metric for how good they are at laning.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Unlike the other login screen music accompanied with lyrics, Vi's basically includes singing about how a person would enjoy playing Vi and saying that she is finally released.
In general, many champions do this in their lines since they're addressing their summoner, who is supposed to be the player at the keyboard. Occasionally champions will even express awareness that they're in a game, leading to things like Mordekaiser's "You only need to click once, fool!" or Akali's "So many noobs. Will match-making ever know true balance?".
Other examples of this are more subtle, but still there - such as Wukong's "Every mistake, a lesson" line on movement. It can be perfectly in-character... but it's also as if he's telling his player to calm down and not go on tilt if they screw up.
Bribing Your Way to Victory: Despite there being plenty of things to spend money on, very much averted. While it's certainly faster to gain the unlockable champions by forking over cash, you can also gain them via "Influence Points", which are awarded along with EXP at the end of every match. While there are things you can only buy with money, they are either 1) purely cosmetic skins for your heroes, or 2) "Boosts" which double your EXP or IP gain for a set period of time. Also, the Runes which provide stat boosts to your champions? They can only be purchased with IP; no real money allowed. And they're the things more likely to have an effect on whether you win or not. Ten champions, rotated weekly, are free to play at any time. It's perfectly viable to do some playtesting and then purchase only the ones you like. (Or, for a Self-Imposed Challenge, play only whoever's available right now.) However, it must be pointed out that sets of Tier-3 Runes — which you want, because they'll help you win — cost almost as much IP as champions; maxing out a single Runepage involves playing dozens of games.
In a meta example, Riot Games themselves: "Hi, guys, there's a popularity contest for online games over there, the winner is decided by number of votes. Oh, and if we win, everybody will get a free rune page. Here's a vote link. No, we're not implying anything."
However you need the IP boosts if you want to quickly get IP at an early level. Once you get past level 10 you no longer have IP bonuses.
They've been getting better about their approach to this as time went on however, with both the combined introduction of more modest and practically dressed characters (such as Quinn), and Jinx, who's hardly got a cup or two on her.
Cannibalism Super Power: Predominately with Cho’Gath if he uses Feast on either another Cho’Gath or any other creatures of the Void.
In a non-gameplay perspective, all of the Void creatures are this. Kog’Maw has ‘’a lot’’ of dialogue which revolves around being hungry or eating. Kha’Zix has some as well, though not nearly as much, and his backstory mentions he is a predator who feasts on enemies.
Can't Catch Up: True to being a MOBA, players can end up behind after getting killed a number of times. The vicious cycle is that the more kills that you give to an opponent, the more gold and EXP they get, so the next kill is easier, etc.
Cast from Hit Points: Currently five champions use health as their main resource: Vladamir, Mordekaiser, Dr. Mundo, Zac and Aatrox. Tryndamere used to use health, but he was changed to use the Fury system, making all of his abilities free to cast.
Cast of Snowflakes: In addition to each champion having a very different physical appearance, they each perform a very unique role in team compositions.
Catch Phrase: In nearly every champion spotlight since Yorick (as well as many times he shoutcasts games or in other League-related videos), Phreak makes it a point to use the phrase "tons of damage.". Failure to tends to result in at least one expression of disappointment on the official forums.
Chain Lightning: Volibear's ultimate ability causes lightning to shoot out whenever he attacks a target, bouncing to multiple nearby enemies. The Statikk Shiv item causes lightning to shoot out from the target every time it reaches full stacks (Which are gained by either attacking or moving.)
Chekhov's Gun: Many game elements were hinted at in the Journal far prior to their release, such as Lux appearance in the League and Wriggle's Lantern.
Renekton was added as a playable champion about a year and a half after being mentioned in Nasus' backstory.
Kog'Maw, as seen in the background of an early Malzahar screenshot.
Really, you could add a whole lot more examples if you take into account how the Journal of Justice and backstories mention certain characters that could easily become champions later.
Watch the League of Legends Mac commercial again. Confused as to what the green blob was that activated Caitlyn's Yordle Snap Trap the first time around? That's Zac, appearing before he was announced and he's trying to steal the cupcake inside!
Garen's younger sister, Luxanna "Lux" Crownguard, joined the Demacian military at the age of thirteen. It is unknown how common such a thing is within Demacia, or whether she even saw combat while around that age. Her League Judgement shows the induction was actually at the wishes of her parents.
Annie is a little girl. And a magical prodigy. With fireballs. And her teddy bear is a demon from hell that she ensorcelled.
Nunu looks like he can't be much older than Annie. Both Annie's profile page and Nunu's refer to how terrifying they'll be when they grow up, considering how nasty they are now.
Depends on the champion in question. Carries need expensive and specific items, casters and tanks are less reliant on them, supports are the least reliant. Janna, Alistar and Blitzcrank can be fine with just boots and lots of wards, as they mostly provide crowd control, which doesn't scale. This is in fact the reasoning behind a strategy for grouping a support in a lane with a carry. The carry gets as much gold as possible from the enemy minions in the lane to make use of their high potential, while the support remains a useful member of the team without that gold.
Combat Stilettos: Some female champions (Evelynn, Miss Fortune, Leona...) wear them. Somewhat inevitable considering the game's reputation of Fanservice.
Comeback Mechanic: Shutting down an enemy champion with three or more kills nets the killer(s) an extra gold bounty and dying several times in a row without getting kills or assists keeps lowering the gold the enemy gets. Both of these, though somewhat small as benefits, help losing teams out and may prevent the Unstable Equilibrium from irrevocably favoring the winning side.
Commonality Connection: The beta website lists some champions as being friends based on a single common link who otherwise have nothing to do with each other. For instance, Alistar and Xin Zhao being friends doesn't make much sense until one considers that both barely survived a traumatic gladiatorial death-sport and can probably understand each others' pain. This is most common for champions that are either The First Of Its Kind or The Last of His Kind and have no one else to relate to.
Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: For every teammate that expresses gratitude that you risked your life or burned valuable spells to bail them out of a bad situation, it's certain there will be an Entitled Bastard that will bitch about it. Common complaints are not getting there fast enough or accusations of Kill Stealing (whether or not they really had a chance of getting the kill). As tempting as it is to leave them to their (well-deserved) death next time, most players will suck it up and do it to preserve their chances of winning the match.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: CPU Champions receive significant bonus gold above and beyond the kills and the minion farm they have, so even when far behind in the game, they can often match players item-wise. They also have reduced death timers and some other minor perks. Of course, all of this doesn't prevent humans from effortlessly curbstomping them; this is a compensation for the AI's deficiencies.
Some of the minor perks include:
Complete map awareness, with the most blatant example being them hitting the player inside a brush with targeted abilities, despite having nothing in said brush that would reveal what's inside. They can also do this with in a Fog of war area, launching a skillshot that they would, logically, have no reason to know a champion was there to be aimed at. Strangely, only some bots (Lux and Zilean especially) do this regularly and others (Ashe, Ezreal, Karthus) only with certain skills, making it inconsistent but frustrating.
Flawless coordination during teamfights. Bots rarely, if ever, waste their hard CC abilities by blowing them all on their primary target, instead managing to keep the hapless target locked down for quite a while. Bots will also always clutch heal their teammates or otherwise prevent you from killing them far better than any team of players could be expected to do.
Inhuman reaction time. Expect most bots to practically pull off the FPS-equivalent of a 180 degree no-scope when it comes to skill-shots the instant you're spotted.
The computer players also know that you're targeting them the very instant that you click on them, which makes for some infuriating lane dancing in the early game.
Conscription: Demacia requires at least three years of military service for all citizens, and Noxus has a mandatory service of six years, requiring being in active military reserves until too old, and a compulsory draft that may affect any citizen, regardless of age and sex, when the Noxian High Command sees it necessary.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: An actual in-game mechanic for Shen, Kennen and Akali: they each get -1 health for each other ninja on the team. It used to be -1 damage, but this actually made a huge difference over an entire game, so it was changed.
Conspicuously Selective Perception: A game mechanic — the minions in the lanes will attack enemy champions if said enemy champion(s) attacks one of their allied champions. But only if they attack, as in by the method of "autoattacking". So, using only the abilities of the champion that one is playing as that does not utilize their autoattack allows a player to damage the enemy champions while their allied minions won't care at all. Avoid autoattacking the enemy champion if there are many minions nearby, and make sure the times you do autoattack an enemy champion have a superior payoff from the damage you'll take from those minions.
The towers do the same. In fact, they will conspicuously avoid enemy champions, picking off the minions first - until you target or do any damage to an enemy champion. Get careless with abilities like lasting poisons (Teemo, Twitch, or Singed) or multi-hit items and abilities (Ravenous Hydra, Ruunan's Hurricane, Cho'gath's spikes), and you can suddenly find yourself coming under heavy assault with no idea how it happened.
Cool Sword: There is a mundane 'Longsword' item to buy, but the rest of the sword items in the game definitely qualify.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: An example in the 30th issue of the first volume in the Journal of Justice in CEO Dr. Priggs of Priggs Industries, reporting a Zaunian warehouse of theirs was found to be a makeshift prison for the purposes of blackmail against the company's competitors. One of the prisoners was there for at least three years. Priggs met his end at the hands of Graves, who had been locked up for conning him years before.
Crack Defeat: There have been matches where one team is dominating then after a few minutes starts getting sloppy and the other team wins.
Often happens with Dominion wherein a team can capture three or even every single node at the beginning of the game only to have the other team emerge from the shadows and take all of them.
Crippling Overspecialization: Stacking one stat in this game will generally just make you extremely vulnerable or easily countered. Only a very few amount of champions have a gameplay style that encourages getting only one stat until you might as well upgrade to other items that give more in addition to them.
It is possible to force the enemy team to overspecialize. Pick an assassin or nuker and have a good early game to the point where the enemy is forced to buy resistance items specifically to counter you. While this leaves you fairly useless, the entire enemy team is now hundreds of gold behind or you could single out the one person that didn't buy resistances yet.
This is a big balance issue with Malzahar, who is extremely reliant on his ultimate to suppress an enemy, allowing him to combo for a huge amount of damage to anyone he's able to suppress, even tanks. This suppression can be broken by an item, Quicksilver Sash, rendering Malz almost impotent against anyone who has it. However, if an entire team rushes Quicksilver Sash to avoid Malz killing them, the rest of the team has a much easier time killing them.
Some champions have passive abilities that boost a stat according to how high another stat is. This both nudges the player in a certain direction for building items and makes stacking one stat a bit more viable. Examples include Singed (+1 HP per 4 mana), Galio (ability power bonus equal to half his magic resist score) and Rammus (attack damage bonus equal to one quarter his armor). However, none of them are strong enough to encourage overspecialization to benefit more from the passive (The examples respectively would be have too much mana and nothing else, be vulnerable to physical damage, and be vulnerable to magic damage).
To a point also Malphite, whose most practical general-use attack scales its damage to his armor.
Critical Hit Class: In theory, you can build any of the champions this way. In practice however, it's not always the smartest thing to do, since abilities don't usually have the possibility to score a critical strike like autoattacks do. Gangplank's "Parrrley" does have this possibility, so he's one of the champions for whom this build is often used in just for fun games.
Pantheon is another fringe case, as his Heartseeker Strike grants a passive that gives 100% critical chance on enemies under 15% health.
Garen's Judgement spell can apply critical strikes resulting in "Spin 2 Crit" builds, which like the Critplank build are more for casual fun games.
Yasuo's passive doubles his chance at a critical hit, but the damage is reduced by 10%..
Crowning Moment Of Awesome: As an in-game/in-universe meta-example, it should be noted that the game is designed to give the players this feeling. There's lot of ways to win a situation in ways that make you feel like an epic fantasy hero. Having the narrator announce to the world that you are "unstoppable" and "godlike" and all that kind of stuff doesn't hurt either. Never mind if your enemies get these moments ten times as often as you do.
Crutch Character: Any character that is said to not scale into "late game" is this. The trope isn't nearly as bad as it may seem, as each game has all champions start over from scratch at level 1. Using an early-game monster to kill and stop the enemy carry from becoming the late-game powerhouse that he will become (sometimes referred to "lane bullying" or "shutting down X champion") is as valid a strategy as any other. Of course, if the enemy can hold out they will have a major killing machine in the game's crucial last moments while you are left with a below-average champion under your control. Part of the fun and strategy of the game is figuring out when such a strategy is viable and when it isn't.
Cute and Psycho: The database asserts that Teemo is slowly cracking under his prolonged isolation from others of his kind. He's doing a bit better now, though, now that he has Tristana as a friend.
This is also what drove Veigar insane.
Cutscene Power to the Max: Used to an extent in the Season One CG trailer, but just as often averted — Ryze gets to do a lot of cool stuff that isn't possible in the game, but most of the characters use their actual ingame abilities (and in Ryze's case, his summoner uses the Ghost spell to let him run through the wreckage of the collapsing tower).
Damn You, Muscle Memory: If you happen to be a purveyor of multiple MOBA games, it can be frustrating to instinctively hit "D" or "F" to get out of a bad situation only to realize that, no, you do NOT have Flash at your disposal. Similarly, getting used to certain configurations for item hotkeys (especially with the addition of Trinkets) can lead to screw-ups like hitting "4" to place a ward and accidentally using your Blink Dagger prematurely.
More generally, playing a lot of this game can lead to your left hand finger muscles automatically defaulting to Q-W-E-R instead of W-A-S-D that most other games use. This can lead to disaster when you need to backpedal or strafe and realize that, no, your fingers are NOT on A, S, or D. Conversely, playing W-A-S-D games then going back to League can result in instinctively tapping W to move forward and wasting a valuable spell cooldown...
Death Is Cheap: When you die, you can't participate in the game for up to a minute and a half. You miss out on some gold and experience, you give your buffs if you have any to your enemy (not counting Baron buff which you just lose), you waste some valuable time of battle Elixirs and instantly lose Oracle's Elixir. You will still inevitably die in pretty much every game, and your number of deaths is only very weakly correlated to whether you win or not.
LoL is actually quite notable for death being cheaper than in other games in the genre, such as the original Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars and Heroes of Newerth as champions do not lose gold when they die. Some consider this a flaw as they feel it makes the game less "hardcore" than these other games, but most generally agree that it's an improvement as it helps reduce the effect of Unstable Equilibrium.
Decoy Getaway: Leblanc, Shaco, Wukong, and Zed can deploy a clone/dummy to help them escape. Since some enemies are savvy enough to tell which is a fake and which is the real one, players may have to get a little creative.
Death or Glory Attack: Knockback abilities tend to work like this. Successful uses put the enemy in places they really don't want to be in. Failed uses can save the enemy or possibly even makes it easier for them to kill your allies.
Terrain-formation abilities do this too. You can block off your enemies from escaping... or do the same to your own allies. There is simply the possibility you use just waste them unlike knockback abilities though.
Not specifically an attack, but most gambits for a jungler to steal Dragon or Baron Nashor (the Giant Mook and King Mook objectives, respectively) with Smite fall under this. If the enemy team is trying to take the objective in large numbers, this will almost certainly be death for the instigator (since most abilities that might be used to escape are used to get close in the first place). If the gambit succeeds though, it's more than worth it since the enemy team will obtain 450 gold (on average) for one kill while the player's team will get 950 total for Dragon and 1500 total for Baron in addition to the powerful buff.
Tower-diving, especially when it's early on the game and very risky. If it can be pulled off, the diver gets a kill and demoralizes the enemy by showing that they can just walk into their safe zone and finish them off. If anything goes wrong (and indeed there are many things that can go wrong, including outside intervention), it's likely that the diver dies embarrassingly and feeds their opponent a free kill.
De-power: There are two champions who can reduce the attack damage of enemies: Tryndamere with his Mocking Shout and Trundle with his Chomp.
Disaster Dominoes: Perhaps not the most unforgiving game in the MOBA genre, but even small mistakes in the beginning can set off a chain reaction. For instance, say the middle lane champion on your team doesn't ward and gets ganked a couple times. His opponent now has a gold and experience advantage and is buying items faster than him now and become more powerful. Now he's forced to stay under his tower, so the enemy is free to roam around and gank other lanes. Soon enough bot lane is fed too, your towers go down, the enemy team gains map control and freely pillages your jungle... it can snowball out of hand pretty fast.
Defeat Equals Explosion: Every game ends with the enemy Nexus blowing up, even in the game mode Dominion where players can't directly attack the enemy Nexus.
Deflector Shields: Numerous champions have those. Apart from that, there used to be an item called Rose's Pride, but it was never implemented and is instead replaced by Zhonya's Hourglass, which puts you in stasis for several seconds.
Defog of War: Wards and Clairvoyance. Some champion abilities can temporarily get vision of a particular area by using pets (such as Maokai or Orianna) to act as sentries. Special mention goes to Twisted Fate, whose ultimate gives his team global vision, including stealthed units!
Determinator: Some players are determined to finish a match even when they've lost most of their base... and sometimes they win. However, this is fairly rare. It can also earn the ire of teammates who are not having any fun & would prefer to surrender & move on to another game.
Tryndamere takes it Up to Eleven in his ultimate's lore. According to the ability, Tryndamere survives at 1 hp for several seconds because he REFUSES TO DIE. He's so determined to kill the enemy that he literally ignores fatal wounds completely in his rage. As does Olaf, his ultimate, Ragnarok, instantly breaks all disables on him and renders him immune to them for 6 seconds as well as giving him a large boost to attack damage. When activated, enemies tend to run, for good reason.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: Bots in Co-Op Vs. AI mode will occasionally comment at the beginning of the game, saying something generic based on their lore and personality. If one of the players is playing a champion that has lore with one of the bots (such as Kayle and Morgana), there's a chance that bot will instead call their rival out by name with a different line.
Difficult but Awesome: Several characters, especially those reliant on skillshots, qualify for this. Special note goes to Lee Sin, who can save enemy characters with a poorly placed kick, and otherwise be useless in the hands of an inexperienced player. Those who know how to play him well and use his combos and tricks, however, are an absolute menace.
Similar to this is Alistar, who doesn't do that much damage, whose ultimate technique is used primarily for escaping, and whose Headbutt has saved many an enemy champ by knocking them away from a team fight. However, used correctly, he can sustain even the squishiest of carries by constantly healing, and a headbutt used to knock an enemy champion into friendly carry or turret range is a powerful strategy.
Being a carry in general is this at high levels of play. Early on they suffer from a severe case of Magikarp Power and have the distinct possibility of being shut down before they can acquire their necessary items. Later, assuming that they've been properly farmed and fed, they become the number one priority of the enemy team and face no end of hell simply trying to survive in teamfights. However, if they can outplay their opponents and their team can peel enemies off of him/her and allow for some breathing room, it becomes apparent that there is a very, very good reason for targeting them in the first place. The distinction between bad carries and good ones often lies in who knows how to survive teamfights, inflict their high damage, and carry games and who just crumples up and dies.
Orianna. She has access to only one autotarget, which is a shield, her offensive capabilities are all skillshots aside from her autoattack. Done poorly you're bumbling to get kills and only have the most basic offensive abilities, even if it isn't detrimental to the team, but done well you can have near complete control over an area that forces the targets to risk a retreat or try to get you. Her unique style of play is easy to fumble, but done well you can keep pressure and damage on an enemy while staying at a safe range and make being in the general area of her ball a nightmare.
Having a Red Elixir and 3 Health Potions as starting items as a top lane bruiser or an AD carry. This is a very high-risk, high-reward setup that counts on getting an early kill by baiting an all-out fight with an enemy then popping it as a Heroic Second Wind to gain a good chunk of HP and Attack Damage. If this succeeds, the user gets the cost of the Red Elixir back (plus any farm they can pick up uncontested) as well as a major advantage over their lane partner. If it doesn't, the 350 gold will be wasted (though the elixir effect stays for a while through death) while the opponent is ahead in items at best or the enemy ends up with the crucial advantage without expended items for it at worst.
Diminishing Returns for Balance: Why it's a bad idea to stack too many of a any role on a single 5 man team. Too many carries results in less gold and EXP for all of them and a squishy team, while an overly-tanky team cannot dish out damage fast enough, etc. Like any unconventional strategy, it can still work, it will just probably be harder.
Armor and Magic Resistance plays with this. After a certain point the percentage of protection both offer to Attack and Magic Damage, respectively, will increase more and more slowly, though this slow in increase is misleading: effective protection still increases at a linear rate. The rule of thumb is, the effective HP you would gain from armor/resistance always increases at the same rate: having 100 armor is like doubling your HP to physical attacks and 200 is like tripling it.
Disability Immunity: Averted. Lee Sin can be Blinded, Sona can be Silenced, Malphite can be Petrified, etc. despite the lack of sense that it makes, though as these impediments are usually magical, it makes a bit more sense.
Miss Fortune has abilities named "Make It Rain" (a shower of bullets from the sky), "Double Up" (a bullet that bounces and hits two enemies), "Impure Shots" (Rhymes with "thoughts" which goes pretty well with the fanservice)... to say nothing of her name.
Jarvan can jump on a target and trap them within a crater created by the force of his impact.
Amumu does this the best. Not only does he fling himself into the entire enemy team, they'll most likely shit their pants, because despite being small, Amumu's "dynamic entry" usually is followed by his legendary ultimate, which is one of the best in the game, disabling their entire team.
Blitzcrank has the opposite of this. He has a pull, which can force an enemy champion to dynamic entry to YOUR team, giving your team a chance to eliminate them.
Shen's Stand United. Not only does your ally get a shield, it's one of the few global ults remaining in game. And for that matter, Shadow Dash is also a dynamic entry. AND HE'S A FLIPPIN NINJA TO BOOT!
Twisted Fate's Gate reaches almost anywhere the whole map; great for picking off straggling enemies and acting as surprise reinforcements in a fight.
Shyvana can leap towards the enemy and turn herself into a dragon mid-jump, pulling all enemies in her path with her on her wings.
Poppy does this as part of her standard strategy. She charges an enemy and moves them a set distance... or into the wall, stunning them in the process.
When Fiddlesticks ults, he teleports a short distance and is suddenly surrounded by crows furiously CAW CAW CAW-ing. Even better with the Surprise Party Fiddlesticks skin, where he suddenly appears among your enemies to this sound.
Rammus does this by curling up into a ball and ramming you, possibly at ridiculous speeds if he's been rolling long enough. The buzzsaw sound helps. Flash helps even more, because a wheel that knocks you up in the air is only improved by having that wheel suddenly teleport from a few meters away to right on top of you.
Two of Vi's abilities center around this. Her standard initiate - Vault Breaker - and her Ultimate - Assault and Battery.
Taric, Poppy, and Jayce all use hammers, as does Sion while using his Hextech Sion skin.
Early-Installment Weirdness: A lot of this is seen in both lore and game design. According to Riot, the original concept for the League of Legends was that the champions would come from a multitude of worlds. Eventually the setting of Valoran and Runeterra was solidified, but you still have several champions who are from nameless alternate worlds such as Taric, Kayle, and Nasus. Riot has slowly been finding new homes for them though. In terms of design, some champions have a few questionable choices, such as how Sion only ever has two useful skills at any given time depending on how you build him. There was also an older design guideline of having abilities only scale off of, well, Ability Power versus the now-normal practice of having AD-scaling abilities, allowing for both AD-casters and autoattack-reliant champions to still get some extra ability damage. The former system lead to an odd practice of building autoattack-reliant (and thus AD) champs in a niche, bursty AP build though the only one who still has this is Tristana- Tryndamere's AP ratios were nerfed to nothing and Master Yi was reworked to have AD scaling.
Easy-Mode Mockery: Playing against Beginner bots penalizes you in some aspects: You can only fight certain champions note Ashe, Lux, Miss Fortune, Leona, Trundle, Renekton, Taric, Cho'Gath, Warwick, and Nunu, and your IP and EXP gains are reduced, especially if your Summoner level is above 20.
Eldritch Abomination: There are a few here and there. Cho'Gath, Kog'Maw, and Kha'Zix are monsters from the Void (which is apparently filled with such creatures), Fiddlesticks is an extraplanar horror who killed the guy who was stupid enough to summon him, and Nocturne is a dream-born monster who hunted and killed Summoners in their sleep until he was dragged into this world. Xerath also borders on this, considering that he's become entirely inhuman in almost every way, including personality, and is absurdly powerful even by the standards of the League. Brand is an Elemental Embodiment of raging fire formerly trapped in magical prison of unmelting ice, now possessing the body of some poor schmuck of a viking, who exists solely to burn down the entire world.
Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Completely averted. Instead players need to take advantage of whether their targets are focusing on physical or magic resistance. Even when it doesn't really make sense for some near-identical abilities to affect the other champion (think Annie against Brand, both of whom are fire magic-based nukers).
Eleventh Hour Superpower: This can be applicable to any champion listed as a hyper-carry or a champion with tremendous late game bloom.
Veigar and Nasus deserve mention. Both have techniques which grant them extra damage the more it stacks, and the stacks are never lost once acquired. So both can constantly increase their damage output without limit (or to a very high limit) to the point that they can insta-kill fully built tanks with their attacks if the game drags on for too long.
Elite Mook: Destroying an enemy Inhibitor allows your base to spawn elite minions for a while. The inhibitors are near a base's nexus, so their destruction usually means the game is going to wrap up in short order. These can also be deployed onto the battlefield at any time in the game by using the Banner of Command item on a siege minion and prior to the item's introduction the summoner spell Promote had the same purpose.
Entitled Bastard: A necessary evil. This is a MOBA game — Unless you manage to get on a private server with only a fraction of the fanbase, you WILL run into players who demand you ward the map and gank them without thanking you or doing it when you need help.
A special form exists regarding the Tribunal. There are players who sabotage games, grief games, and are overall just an insufferable Jerkass. They are then reported, and the Tribunal members tell Riot they think they should be punished. They then go onto the forums and complain that they were the ones who were trolled.
More on the Tribunal, some people believe they shouldn't receive bans because they support the company, and in their mind being a paying customer grants you special treatment, like being able to act like a complete Jerkass with no repercussions.
Everything Trying to Kill You: You can be promised from the start of the game that only your team will have disconnects, only your team will have a support that doesn't know how important wards are, and only your team will have the Jax that does bad. It's positive that THEIR team will have the Akali that gets 12 kills by 10 minutes, their team will know how to communicate, and their team will always have the better jungler.
Being an AD/AP Carry is this later on if the enemy team has half a brain. A core part of most teams' strategies is to protect their squishiest/most valuable members while simultaneously killing the enemy's as fast as possible.
Piltover and Zaun is a more straightforward example. They serve as technological and educational centers for their city states (Demacia and Noxus respectively; although a few yordles do establish an academic field in Piltover) and focusing on hextech technology. How the use the hextech technology are for different reasons. Zaun uses their hextech technology as means of polluting, greedy, selfish, and warfare purposes; while Piltover uses their hextech technology for peaceful, environmentally friendly, and productive means for society. Also, a good number of evil Mad Scientists that Noxus hires for warfare purposes are from Zaun.
Garen is the king of this trope. If you walk into a brush and there is a Garen on the enemy team, expect it.
Hilariously parodied with Wukong's ultimate. He spins and knocks up enemies, but the kicker is that in the code for the game, the trigger for Wukong's ultimate is actually called "spintowin"
Parodied again with Darius, who attempts to perform Garen's trademark spin, only to get dizzy and comment "How does he do that?"
Evil Overlord: Swain may qualify if one defines Noxus as evil. The creatures of the Shadow Isles, known for being overly charming, might be under the rule of Vilemaw. Thresh in life was the warden of a jail where he committed sadistic methods of torture.
Although, the world is still whole, most of the "Excuse" part is starting to creep in and comes in with the absurd number of champions they have out, needing a backstory for each one no matter what. An example would be "Zac", who is a a fairly unique and fun character, but they still need to fit a sentient blob of goo into the backstory. You can see where the conflict comes in between having to maintain hundreds of characters that are all one of a kind while putting them into what already exists.
Eyepatch of Power: Rengar wears one after a battle with Kha’Zix resulted in the loss of the eye.
Hilariously, the two pirate characters do not have an eyepatch across any of their skins.
This can also happen if a team is so focused on an objective that they don't notice that an enemy is attempting Hit-and-Run Tactics elsewhere on the map until the announcer brings the destroyed tower/captured point to everyone's attention.
Fake Difficulty: All tank characters face the problem that their toughness is not very useful if the enemy simply ignores them and kills them last. Some tanks have taunt abilities to force enemies to attack them. Others do high amounts of damage or have powerful disabling spells. Cho'Gath eats minions to grow incredibly large and simply walks in front of the enemy's mouse cursor so they physically cannot click on the vulnerable damage dealers.
Fake Longevity: The average IP cost for new champions has gotten rather high. Where some champions may cost 450 or 1350 IP, the rest that have been released now cost around 6300, with occasional 3150's. Riot's official explanation is that they feel the newer champions have been designed with different mechanics and playstyle reflected by their higher prices, though a number of players think they're just trying to encourage buying the champions with real money or are attempting to make use of this trope.
They've implemented a policy wherein they lower the price of one 6300 champion to 4800 every time a new champion is released, and every three releases they lower the price of another champion lower on the tier scale.
Fanservice: Zig-zagged. Throughout the game's entire release history, we see stripperiffic females like Zyra and Elise alongside more clothed ones like Quinn and Vi.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Rakkor are definitely meant to invoke the idea of the Spartans, right down to their armor and weapons. The tribe's name was originally Stanpar, an anagram of the word Spartan, but this was Retconned when Leona was added to the game.
Featureless Protagonist: Summoners are not "characters" in any traditional sense; you get to pick a screen name and a buddy icon, and that's all.
Fighter, Mage, Thief: Shen, Kennen and Akali, the three ninjas, are a tank, a fast medium-range nuker, and fragile speedster, respectively.
The three champions available in the Battle Training tutorial — Garen (front-line fighter), Ryze (mage), and Ashe (ranged damage dealer).
The three sisters from Frejlord: Ashe, Sejuani and Lissandra.
Filk Song: The Songs of the Summoned competition inevitably brings a lot of them to the field.
First Of Its Kind: Several champions were created from magic, technology, or both or are at least the first ones of their people to reach Valoran. The beta website has many of these champions listed as friends (probably because only they can understand each others' situations) such as Zac and Twitch, Rammus and Blitzcrank, Maokai and Malphite, etc.
Fog of War: You can only see areas within the immediate vision of your team's units. There are special Sight Wards that allow you to lift the fog over a certain area for a few minutes, as well as a Summoner Spell that allows you to take a peek at any section of the map you want for a few seconds.
Akali is The Spock who was raised to "...do that which must be done." and her background implies rigorous indoctrination to the rules of the position of the Fist of Shadow by mother, fitting the superego.
Kennen is moral-center of the group as The McCoy, and was notably not raised to his position of the Coursing the Sun from birth as a Tykebomb like the others, fitting the id.
Shen is The Kirk, though he's a slight variant in that his position as the Eye of Twilight is supposed to make him as logical as any Spock could hope to be - regardless, like the spirit of the trope, he balances the others' weightings while he makes the final say. While raised rigorously like Akali, Shen's training of dispassion arguably lets him fit the ego since he must consider the logic of decisions independently from what his society may have taught him.
Friendly Fire Proof: Justified. You cannot hurt your allies with autoattacks or abilities (though some abilities can hurt your own champion) since a type of summoner magic specifically exists to prevent it. This is because some champions on the same side would love to tear each other apart otherwise (see Arch-Enemy).
Funny Background Event: Some skin portraits, such as the Pool Party series, contain some hilarious happenings in the background.
Fun with Acronyms: Do you honestly think it was an accident that a name was chosen that could be shortened to "LOL"?
Game-Breaking Bug: Various instances from throughout the game's history, including both instant-kill abilities (Nasus's Ult scaling 1% of enemy health per point of AP, relaunch Karma's tether applying Muramana procs twice a second) to bugs that slow FPS to a crawl or straight-up crash the game.
An unusual variant were the many problems caused by the fan-made One for All mode (5 of same champion on both teams) since champion coding previously never had to account for multiple instances of the same champion (or any of their associated abilities). Most of these were ironed by the official version of the game-mode, with the notable exception of Syndra being able to chain Unleashed Power to kill enemies with 35 spheres at once slipping past the radar at first.
Yorick had a Game Breaking Bug that would sometimes make champions die every second. Later on, another Yorick bug popped up that was so devastating that Yorick had to be temporarily removed from the game.
After the nerf to Yorick's lifesteal ghoul and the fix to the bug with cloning Zyra, a new one popped up briefly that would make the speed boost ghoul linger on at 0 HP, but remain targetable and able to attack. This even lasted if that spell was cast again, but the new ghoul would still die. This lead to Yorick being able to keep 4 ghouls out with ease as long as he didn't die. This was fixed with the new anti-AFK queue fix, so the bug didn't last long enough to really get noticed.
Additionally, Annie had a "doublestun" bug that allowed her to start building up charges or even an entire second stun before releasing the first one.
Eventually became an Ascended Glitch where they removed the ability to build up charges with the stunning attack, but reduced the number of spells needed for a stun anyways.
Anivia had a bug where what was meant to be a small area-of-effect stun at the end of a spell was accidentally made global. Anivia could sit in the spawning platform at level 1 all day, spamming the skill and making it impossible for the other team to do anything as they got interrupted every few seconds. This one was patched within the hour.
With proper timing, Darius could use Recall then apprehend at the last split second to pull the entire enemy team to his spawn fountain for an easy penta-kill. This prompted Riot to disable Darius to fix it.
Garen used to be able to autoattack again quicker after using Decisive Strike. Him autoattacking you, pressing Q, then autoattacking again was liable to take out half of your health at level 1.
Graves' Smokescreen is a bit of a hated mechanic in general to be afflicted with, but especially since being inside it causes older computers to lag and have their frames-per-second plummet like it fell off a cliff.
Nidalee's remodel introduced a ridiculous bug where, if she transformed from cougar form to human and tried to cast Primal Surge on an ally (or herself) to heal them, it would ALSO apply the effect of her alternate form E skill- Swipe, meaning DAMAGE. Because Swipe can do more damage than Primal Surge can heal, it's perfectly possible to actually kill an ally this way.
Sometimes, Riven's Broken Wings can be cast five times instead of the normal maximum of three, giving a lot more damage and mobility when it happens.
Jarvan IV's ultimate is quite famous for being not as impassible as the description of the ability claims - players are occasionally able to quite simply walk out of the terrain it creates.
Upon release, Nasus's ult had a 1:1 scaling ratio with AP. On an ability that did % max health. Every second.
The Journal of Justice describes the in-game experience and level system as the summoner and champion becoming accustomed to the mental link over time, like going through a three-legged race.
Story-wise the League of Legends exists to allow international disputes to be settled without resorting to open war. One noteworthy case was the Ionia vs. Noxus rematch, a point in the lore that was decided by an actual game played by top-level summoners whose champion pool was limited by which side they were representing (champions from the faction or allying themselves with it). The Ionian side won and as a result a new item was implemented in its honor, The Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Fans have taken this and run with it, setting up faction matches between Demacia, Noxus, Ionia, Piltover, and Frejlord with the premise that they are contesting something in-universe.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Flying champions are equal to walking champions, champions benefit from weapons despite having a Weapon of Choice, et cetera, for versatility. Abilities that really shouldn't affect certain champions do regardless- plenty of players have pointed out some nonsensical things like "How can Teemo blind Lee Sin?" or "How can Cassiopeia turn Malphite into stone?"
The Gameplay And Trailer Segregation gets lampshaded mercilessly by Phreak HERE (along with Cutscene Power to the Max). The Season 1 CGI trailer is treated as a commentary of a real 600 ELO match since the champions do things that would make zero sense in-game.
Gargle Blaster: There is a contest in Bilgewater called the GrugMug Grog Slog where half of the contest is creating an actually caustic drink. As in, the winner's has burned through the mug, the table and the floor. The other half is drinking the most of that winner before requiring medical attention.
Genius Loci: Anivia the cryophoenix is the spirit of the harsh, cold land of the Freljord
Gladiator Games: The League is basically one. Noxus also has one called 'The Fleshing'. This is what Xin Zhao survived.
Glass Cannon: Some champions (unofficially known as "nukes") are designed to deal tons of damage very very quickly. Their defensive stats and abilities are usually quite low. An interesting case is Karthus who, thanks to his passive that lets him continue casting spells for seven seconds after he's killed and his ultimate that damages every player on the enemy team, actually has the potential to deal more damage once he's killed, allowing him to focus entirely on offense and ignore defense for the most part.
Another subclass of "low-durability-high-damage" champions is the "DPS (damage-per-second)" type, which can consistently put out damage but less damage in the first few seconds than "nukes". These include the majority of auto-attack dependent champions like marksmen and the more fragile type of fighters as well as Gradual Grinder casters. Most conventional team compositions will incorporate both types: burst-heavy Glass Cannons to quickly obliterate key targets during fights (or at cripple them and force them to retreat) and DPS-heavy Glass Cannons to keep churning out pain onto the survivors while the bursters' spells are on cooldown.
Glowing Eyes: Common for a number of champion's portraits for the English version of game. A Doylist explanation is that eyes are very hard to draw.
Go Karting with Bowser: If Ziggs' Pool Party skin is anything to go by, not only do champions of both Noxus and Demacia hang out at the pool together, but Leona and Diana are able to set aside their differences in the name of relaxation.
The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The "Three Sisters of Freljord:" Ashe is the good and wishes to unite the lands in peace; Sejuani is the bad and attempts to take the other tribes by conquest; Lissandra is the evil, serving the ancient monsters known as The Watchers who will to cover the world in ice.
A Good Name for a Rock Band: "Pentakill" (the Announcer Chatter when one player kills 5 enemies in a very short space of time). It's been officially recognized, with Sona (on keyboard), Yorick (on bass guitar/shovel), and Mordekaiser (on guitar/axe), Karthus (lead singer), and Olaf (drums) getting Pentakill skins.
Griefer: This is an online game — where the GIFT is in effect and there are shittons of players who leave or stay in the corner of the field for the entire game. The fairly long average length of matches increases the painfulness of it.
Other types of griefers include those that intentionally die to feed the enemy team gold and experience, though changes to how much gold is received on kills has made this much less effective than before. Then there's just plain old trolls, who will intentionally abuse any ability that can make your team's game hell. See the section on Stop Helping Me! then imagine someone doing it on purpose. The trouble is, even if reported, it's sometimes (from the Tribunal's point of view) difficult to tell who's a griefer and who's just bad at the game.
Not to mention, there is a special form of GIFT in play. Because the game is free of charge and no subscription fees are required, it is possible for someone to have a dummy account with only free champions and sabotage games since after all, you'll never see these guys again, and you won't lose anything if a dummy account is banned - just as long as your main account with the champions you worked so hard for is untouched.
Nowadays, even the "main" account will be discovered and banned too, as evidenced by the ban of some professional players with "highly reported" dummy accounts.
Grapple Move: Syndra's "Force of Will" ability is used to grab objects and throw them at enemies. This cannot be used to grab player characters, though, and the ability is primally used to throw "Dark Spheres" conjured by Syndra's own, similarly named spell. Syndra can, however, (among minions and minor jungle monsters) grab Lizard Elder and Ancient Golem, the two greater monsters that grant buffs to their killer. This mechanic makes stealing enemy buffs for your team somewhat easier.
Guide Dang It: If you have never played a game like this, you'll probably need to ask for help from more experienced players to get your head around it.
Needless to say, due to the negative effect of just one single newbie on your team, if you actually ask for help during a match you are more likely to get bombarded with insults and reported for intentionally helping the enemy than to receive advice.
Averted with a fairly in-depth tutorial, which (with the introduction of Battle Training) now leads new players through the common arena of Summoner's Rift. It doesn't teach you about wards, jungling, laning and teamfight phases, what items scale best with what champions, what champions scale better, many statistics are hidden and lots of things require you to try them to understand them, team compositions... but it's better than nothing!
To a lesser extent, this can apply to veteran players who step away from the game for a seemingly short time. With champions and patches coming out every two weeks or so, not playing for a few months means having to learn the dynamics of several new champions and the results of many small but significant changes all over.
There are some effects champions get when fighting specific champions or even skin types that are hidden until the situation comes up. Graves and Nocturne's interactions are cosmetic, and mostly harmless. Leona's damage reduction against champion skins with sunglasses and the ninjas losing 1 health for every other ninja could possibly affect the game, but only extraordinarily rarely. But Rengar and Kha'Zix have very blatant, possibly table-turning interactions for killing one another.
Grim Up North: Freljord is described as a collection of unforgiving and desolate locations and it shows through many of its champions.
Tristana, though it is more of a cannon than a gun.
Gangplank's Parrrley has him shoot a target with a flintlock pistol. Shooting enemies is also part of his regular, melee-range attack animation.
Miss Fortune shoots two enormous pistols.
Caitlyn has her trusty rifle.
Graves the Outlaw uses a customized double-barreled shotgun.
Lucian wields two pistols that are slabs of magic stone that shoot bolts of light, like Blasters or Phasers from science fiction.
Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Though there are exceptions the majority of male human characters are melee (tanks, fighters, or melee carries), and the majority of the female human characters are ranged (support, mages, or ranged damage dealers).
Hammerspace: You can carry up to six items, which can be breastplates, katanas, axes... none of them are even shown being held by your character or appear on their person. Some of them cause your character to have specific auras to let the enemy team know you have the effect up, but you never see the items themselves.
Possibly hand waved with the idea that the champions themselves don't get the item, but the summoner backing them does and merely channels the artifact's power to increase their champion's abilities.
Which makes more sense given that, say for example a typical ADC build for Kog'Maw requires him to carry 4 swords and a Bow using arms that a T-Rex would laugh at.
Homing Boulders: All ranged autoattacks will track you. This is most obvious from caster minions, whose projectiles are fairly slow. Some abilities do this as well, most of which are magical in nature.
Reaches silly levels when you include the fact that some projectiles will hunt you down no matter where you go. For example: getting close to an enemy tower (which shoots energy blasts), then teleporting away with the summoner spell. If there was a tower shot coming for you when you teleported, it will follow you across the entire map and execute tight turns to get you, resulting in a hit out of pretty much nowhere several seconds later. Works with caster shots too. Stories of players escaping a battle with <5 HP, only to see a slow floaty orb of inevitable doom following them abound.
Hotter and Sexier: Compared to other MOBA games, League of Legends is known for lots of fanservice.
Hybrid Power: Some champions can be built numerous ways to great effect. Kayle is an excellent example as she can go pure AD, pure AP, add some attack speed to either, play a supporting role or even be a decent tank.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: The ideal support is this during the laning phase compared to their carry partner as they have more utility and are often stronger/tougher at the early levels. Their job of "babysitting" the ADC while he farms covers quite a bit: warding the lane, harassing the enemy, healing, buffing, zoning, engaging in fights that will score your lane kills, and holding the lane when your ally goes back to base, all while preventing the enemy support form doing the same. Done correctly, all the effort goes to making a powerhouse by way of Magikarp Power that then surpasses the support.
Hyperactive Metabolism: In a more literal manner - poros of the Howling Abyss will accept poro snax from champions to eat. This will immediately cause them to grow larger, so a number of champions feeding a single one poro-snax will quickly cause it to grow it several times larger than its original size.
I Call It Vera: Sion's Chopper, Poppy's Whomper, Miss Fortune's Shock and Awe, Graves' Destiny. Nunu's Willump or Willump's Nunu?
Ineffectual Loner: enforced. Your champion may be a One-Man Army, but your opponents are too. In general, if you ever get into a fight where you're outnumbered by the enemy, you're about to die.
There is one circumstance when lone-wolfing it can be effective: if you're going to "jungle". The jungler, instead of laning, goes through the forested areas in the middle of Summoner's Rift, leveling by fighting the neutral creeps that live there. In addition to freeing up his (meant-to-be) lane partner to gain his share of G and EXP, he also gets to create ambushes with his (in-lane) teammates. (Perhaps appropriately, Warwick the werewolf is one of the classic junglers.) Note, however, that while the jungler spends lots of time alone, he never engages unless he already has numerical superiority—his job is to provide numerical superiority!
Infinity+1 Sword: Averted. Although several items are very powerful in the right hands, there is no one strongest item in the game.
Infinity Edge, with its huge damage boost, high crit chance, and increase in critical damage done is probably as close as you can get for DPS champions. Of course on most spellcasters, it is next to useless.
Rabbadon's Deathcap is the caster version. Single biggest AP boost of any item, and raises the effective AP of every other source you have.
In terms of raw stats, a fully stacked Sword of the Occult grants 110 attack damage (and 15% more movement speed!) and a champion who has Muramana and more than 4,500 mana gets even more. Similarly, a fully stacked Mejai's Soulstealer gives the user 180 AP (and 15% cooldown reduction!), which is only surpassed by a champion with Archangel's Staff and 4000 mana. However, see Awesome, but Impractical for why Sword of the Divine and Mejai's Soulstealer are less reliable than Infinity Edge and Rabaddon's Deathcap, respectively.
In a sense, being low on health makes one particularly vulnerable to the numerous "execution" abilities in the game (those that deal more damage if its target is low on health). Most smart players will not use these abilities at the start of fights but rather will make a beeline for you if you're low, making Tactical Withdrawal a smart option in these cases.
Instant 180 Degree Turn: Champions can run in one direction, near-instantly turn around to deliver an autoattack, then resume running, which allows things like "kiting" to be feasible. This is rather noticeable compared to DOTA and its more direct derivatives (which have a delay for turning around) and like all deviations from the original, whether this is a good thing or not depends on who you ask.
Instant Death Radius: This tends to be the defining aspect of "hyper carries" other then item dependency. Once fed, entering the attack range of a Kog'maw, Jax or similar champion will result in death even if there are three of you and the carry is alone. The only way to avert this is to lock it down with so much CC that it never even gets to attack.
Insistent Terminology: The characters are champions, not heroes. This was a move by Riot to distance themselves from DOTA and its more direct clones though some players (and even professionals on-camera) still refer to them as heroes for familiarity and brevity.
During Season 3 the champion tags/attributes were overhauled with (most notably) "ADC" or "Attack Damage Carry" being renamed to "Marksman" in order to 1) differentiate between ranged and melee AD champions 2) be less confusing for new players and 3) to emphasize that while they do carry many games, they don't have to in all of them. The majority of players still refer to them as "ADC's" because the term has been around for years.
Instant-Win Condition: Knock down their Nexus and that team loses. Even if they have twice as many kills as you, you have a Nexus and they don't, so they lose.
Item Amplifier: The game has this in the form of the Rabadon's Deathcap and Wooglet's Witchcap. They're a bit of a mix between this and Amplifier Artifact though, since they improve the ability power gained from any source, be they items or the character's innate ability power.
Item Crafting: A derivation of Defense of the Ancients' recipe system. Items are bought using gold and have useful effects in and of themselves, but once you have the right combination of them, you click a button, pay some more gold, and turn them into a new item. The reason the interface is awesome is that it shows and allows you to purchase not only your current item's ingredients, but displays what items it goes into as well, allowing you to simply bring up the item you are ultimately planning to build, and just buy the pieces one by one as you gain the necessary cash.
Joke Character: Urf the manatee, who attacks with a spatula. There was some debate as to if he'd actually be in the game since he was launched as an April Fool's joke, deleted, then brought back, and deleted yet again. Now lives on literally in spirit as a skin for Warwick and Corki and as a ghost that sometimes shows up on the map.
For April Fool's 2012, Fizz was given a skin where his ultimate had Urf coming out of the "water".
Lee Sin was this at first. A cancelled character from the very beginning of the game's Beta, the April Fools' of 2011 showcased him with a joke Champion spotlight that featured him doing things like killing the Baron Nashor by looking at it and dive-bombing the entire enemy team from across the map. Two days later he was released for real, with an actual champion spotlight.
Joke Weapon: Several comedic skins replaces the champions' weapons with sillier objects. Some examples:
The Pool Party champions are the most obvious: Leona with a beach parasol, Renekton with a surfboard, Graves with a water gun, and Ziggs with water balloons and duck float.
Forecast Janna trades her normal staff with an umbrella.
Just Trying to Help: There's a number of useful abilities that either create terrain or reposition enemies that can be easily misused to benefit the enemy more than one's own team. See the entry for Stop Helping Me! under the YMMV page for a non exhaustive list. It's possible that these abilities get misused purposefully to get teammates killed though most of the time they're honest mistakes by inexperienced players or even slip-ups from players that are otherwise proficient at the champion. Players that accidentally save an enemy or cut off an ally's escape one too many times end up as being regarded as The Load.
Katanas Are Just Better: Youmuu's Ghostblade, whose icon is a katana inside purple ripples with some cherry blossoms floating around it, is a Legendary item to buy that provides attack damage, increased critical chance, armor penetration, cooldown reduction, and has an activatable ability that gives faster attacking and moving for up to 8 seconds. The item is also a Shout-Out to Touhou.
The character Shen uses two Ninjato, which is a katana with a shorter, and usually straighter, blade.
Master Yi's blade is as close to a katana as you could get without actually being one.note It's a "dao", a Chinese blade that predates the katana by several centuries and is believed to have inspired the katana. He actually does use a katana in his Samurai skin.
Killer Rabbit: Most of the Yordle champions are kind of cute to some extent. That doesn't make any of them less deadly.
Invoked with the Yordle Teemo's Easter bunny outfit. Extremely fluffy, extremely deadly.
Killer Teddy Bear: Annie's teddy bear Tibbers. He's a real grizzly, turned into a teddy bear, turned into a burning abomination.
Just racking up a killstreak without dying will cause the announcer to declare after 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8+ kills respectively: killing spree, rampage, unstoppable, dominating, godlike and legendary. A variation in that it does not give anything to the player, but rather gives a nice gold bonus to whoever kills them, ending their Kill Streak. Thus, those with a long streak become primary targets and hunted by all. Of course, those who can get a long Kill Streak tend to be good players who are now well fed ...
Getting a bunch of kills one after another, with no more than a ten second gap between each kill, has her announce double kill, triple kill, quadra kill and penta kill. Pentakills are considered quite a feat amongst players, and those who got one receive Bragging Rights Reward. It is even possible to kill past that if a newly dead player uses the Revive summoner spell to run back into the fight to get killed again, giving a very, very rare legendary kill (kills in quick succession over 5 are just 'legendary kill').
King Mook: Baron Nashor and Vilemaw, the two biggest creeps on Summoner's Rift and Twisted Treeline respectively. They have about the same amount of HP as an entire team of champions, give you a very powerful buff if you kill them, can kill champions if you engage them incorrectly, and are living Schmuck Bait: if the other team realizes you're fighting them, they will attack from behind while you're otherwise engaged and try to kill the mook, you, or both.
Knight Templar: The city-state of Demacia in general. A more specific case is Kayle "The Judicator," a literal angel of justice.
An interesting distinction though as Kayle, although superficially an ally of Demacia (as her dark sisterMorgana is allied with their rivals Noxus), appears to place her final allegiance with the League as the arbiter of law on Valoran (placing her on the "Law Before Good" end of the Lawful Good scale). Demacia on the other hand acts out of an unshakeable belief in their own righteousness in opposing the "evil" of Noxus — a column by a Demacian writer in the Journal of Justice argued, not that Demacia was not responsible for breaking the cease-fire with Noxus or that they had been framed, but that they were justified in attacking the Noxians in Kalamanda, citing their moral superiority and quoting a section of Demacian Creed that is honestly rather scary:
"In our eternal forward march, we must stomp out evil all across Valoran wherever it may grow. Leave no stone unturned: the roots of one ignored weed will inevitably corrupt the whole of the garden."
Know When to Fold 'Em: Teams can vote to forfeit a game with the Surrender option, provided that all (or all but one) team members agree to do so, and a certain amount of time has passed. Since there is no downside to surrendering apart from losing, teams will often do this when a match is no longer considered worth fighting so that they can move on (perhaps to start another game). Of course, this will never happen when you want it to (you are being pounded 4-23 and just want the pain to end, but your team is filled with Determinators), but always will when you don't.
Lampshade Hanging: Katarina used the British pronunciation of the word 'Macabre' (Muh-cahb-RUH) in the earlier stages of the game. When her voice actor was changed, she was given a new joke that subtly called attention to this.
Lead The Target: Unless your opponents are standing still, you must get good at this to effectively use any skillshot-dependent champions. Taken to its logical extreme by Ezreal, Ashe, and Draven, whose ultimate abilities can fly across the map to doom an enemy champion... but the shot requires large amounts of this.
All champions talk to their summoner in the game. Since the players act as summoners, this can lead to some playing with this trope as some champions remark about things that don't always make sense in-universe.
Mordekaiser: You only need to click once, fool.
Akali: So many noobs. Will matchmaking ever find true balance?
The 7th issue of the Journal of Justice has an interview of Mundo, in which he says he has opened a business, amongst other things. "Corporate businessman one of the many skins Mundo wear. Mundo also bodybuilder." Those sentences are interpretable literally, since those are skins you can buy to use for him.
Skin and champion sale announcements on the official forums are done by the champions themselves using one of their skins as inspiration for their persona.
Unless you are a tank, in which case plowing straight into the enemy team may cause them to panic and unload their most powerful abilities on your indestructible shell. Even if they kill you in the process, you just soaked up a lot of damage for your team (assuming they are actually on the ball and following behind you) and you are well on your way to winning the teamfight. Bonus points if you get hit with five ultimates at once and survive.
Also, unless you are Karthus. His passive procs when he dies, allowing him to cast spells with no mana cost and no interruptions for seven seconds before he actually dies for good. His ultimate is a spell that channels for three seconds and then does damage to everyone on the enemy team. Needless to say, in a team fight he's probably more useful dead than alive.
Several champs make this work, actually. Zac's passive and kit seem like they were designed specifically for this purpose—he can fly in from across the screen, deal extremely heavy damage to a clustered enemy team while C Cing them, tank their damage along with their turret's while the rest of his team plows in, and doesn't even die the first time you kill him. He's so good at this that people expect him to Leeory, so if he even looks like he's going to it can be enough to back an enemy team away from their own turret. Yes, you read that right folks, Zac makes Leeroying agoodstrategy.
Lethal Harmless Powers: When formulating a team-fight strategy, remember that in League of Legends, the best defense is a good offense. Some of the ally-targeted abilities that are the best in the game for saving teammates (such as Shen's Stand United or Kayle's Divine Intervention) can be used preemptively to give a high-DPS but frail ally an invaluable few seconds to inflict their damage and break the enemy's formation up.
Figuratively, this happens unintentionally every once in a while. Being a competitive game, there are no deliberately bad or overpowered champions, but most players are well aware of which champions, items and summoner spells are weak. Every once in a while a new strategy emerges that employs one of those "useless" features to devastating effect. Just ask any veterans about Evelynn.
Most examples involve radically different builds for champions who are usually only built one way. AD Carry Lux (normally played as an AP nuker) is one, thanks to her passive damage marks, long range autoattack, and slow/snare spells.
Level Grinding: The start of every match involves this, but to a lesser extent than DotA, which (in general) took twice as long to complete a match in as this game. Solo-laners will probably reach the level cap of 18 in just about 20 minutes.
You have to grind for gold to buy items, also. Learning to get the final blow on enemy minions is really vital.
Forced Level Grinding: Not as much as one would think, as players can group up and heavily damage towers at all levels with minion assistance. Towers can fall in less than 10 minutes. It is far easier at higher levels and with better items, though, and they will still have to watch out for the enemy team.
Warwick combines both speed and power with the ability to detect enemies with low health and move faster when they're nearby.
Akali has an ultimate that lets her leap to an enemy up to three times, ensuring that she'll almost always be next to you. That, combined with the fact that she heals off of every attack, makes her difficult to get away from.
Even better, Udyr the Animal Spirit. His Bear Stance gives him a speed boost and causes his attacks to stun enemies briefly, allowing him to switch to his Tiger Stance and deal massive amounts of damage to his next target. Udyr started off a series of lengthy champion designs that have now come to be known as "Bruisers" by Riot dev team and "tanky-DPS" amongst fans. Some characters like Dr. Mundo were retroactively fitted into this category. Generally consisting of great defenses, offenses, and a distance-closing ability they were the dominant archetype in lower tier games for a long time in early 2011. (Pros generally relied on ap mages and ranged attack damage carries)
If Jax gets to you, you're in trouble. With his Leap Strike, that can happen a lot.
Wukong is a very fast and tricky character, with his decoy and leap (Nimbus Strike) being a very easy way to gain an advantage. He also becomes a very hard hitter later as well.
Renekton's playstyle involves bumrushing enemies and constantly spamming his abilities; having a double dash fits right in with this.
Skarner pulls this off because one of his spells gives him a temporary shield and boosts his movement speed. With the right items he's a very scary jungler.
Irelia fills this role well, with her refreshable dash, natural crowd control reduction, high damage and stun/slow.
Rammus will roll out of nowhere at high speed, crash into you while you hide under a tower and destroy you with his combo of status effects, huge armour buffs from key items and abilities as well as a mountain of AoE/Aura/Returned/Bonus damage. Just to make matters worse he'll have close to 77%-81% physical damage reduction and high health at the time so pray someone with a stun is close by to save you because he'll be shrugging off those tower hits. God help you if your Flash is on cooldown and he has the Exhaust and Ignite summoner spells.
Pantheon moves quickly, but his attack speed isn't usually built especially high. Instead, he slowly stabs until he decides that you need to die. At that point his standard burst is to lob a spear at you, leap on you with a stun, stab you three times in rapid succession, and then hurl another spear at you. Then maybe set you on fire. If he's using his ult you can replace the first spear with falling out of the sky, spear first, from a quarter of the map away, then leaping on you with the stun before he's even targetable.
Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Inverted very literally. While Lo L was the first MOBA to give mages item-based scaling with AP, the defining feature of "attack-damage carries" is their quadratic scaling off of several multiplicative stats, giving them incredibly high damage when fully built.
The Load: Anybody who's a "feeder" — that is, getting killed by the enemy without scoring any kills or assists in return. Even without feeding, a player can drag their team down by failing to fulfill their role - a jungler who never ganks, a support who doesn't defend their carry, or a carry who doesn't show up for teamfights.
Loads and Loads of Characters: The game launched with 40 champions, and is going on strong. The current pattern is a patch and a new character every month or so. There are over a hundred characters now.
Loads and Loads of Loading: You download the downloader that downloads the installer, the installer installs the game, then you run the launcher that downloads patches and launches the client that launches the game. If you want to play on EU with an US client and vice versa, though, you can also grab a fan made client launcher launcher launcher.
In almost every game there's that one guy that takes roughly five minutes to load the game so everyone has to wait and mentally sling curse words at the slowpoke. In the worst case, it takes so long that he disconnects from the game, leaving his team a man short. For obvious reasons this only happens to your team.
Part of the reason for this is actually because the game, like Sins of a Solar Empire, was designed to have low system requirements, so it was able to be played on most computers available on the market.
Loners Are Freaks: Exaggerated Trope for yordles - they require far more social interaction with their own kind than humans do, and so are generally kind and benevolent. If they are isolated from their own kind too long, they risk becoming sullen. If they already have a tendency toward immorality, they will become sadists; Veigar providing an extreme example of this (well, sorta).
Lord British Postulate: "Poros" are small furry creatures which appear on the Howling Abyss map that are cannot be selectable as targets and cannot be attacked by players by any means... but they'll move away from you if you approach them, and the lazer beam of death protecting a side's summoner platform can kill them when they end up within its range.
"Poros have gone through an 80s action movie training montage and now have some resistance to lasers."
Luck-Based Mission: For most public matches, you don't get to choose who your teammates are.
Gangplank's ultimate ability used to cause cannonballs to strike randomly in a target area, damaging and slowing anything hit by the cannonballs. The area used to be so large that every cannonball could miss hitting anything entirely (which is when YOU used it), or have every cannonball smash your face into the dirt. (Which was typically when you were playing against Gangplank.) It was changed to be much more reliable with a smaller ability area that the cannonballs drop on, and having the slow being applied constantly from standing in the ability's area rather than happening from being hit by a cannonball.
Mundo is so mad he ended up creating the monstrosity you see as a champion now from experimenting on himself.
Viktor is a truly brilliant roboticist... who became so obsessed with retaining credit for his work after it was stolen from him that he replaced parts of his own body with mechanical enhancements.
The "prevailing scholar" of Zaun, Professor Stanwick Pididly, who enabled Urgot to come back as an undead warrior, by essentially building him a new body with mechanical crab legs, a plasma cannon and pneumatic claw for hands.
Mage Killer: You have your usual assortment of traditional casters that are fielded in the middle lane. Then you have some champions whose kits make them excellent at shutting down mages in general (whether they are mages themselves or not).
Kassadin was designed specifically for this role, having a long-range silence, a spammable teleport, and an in-built magic damage dampener. He excels at very quickly silencing and closing the gap between him and his opponent, inflicting damage, then teleporting out. Oddly enough, though he is melee and was intended to have versatile builds, one of his most prominent is being a mage himself.
Talon is an AD assassin who too has a silence and a blink in a single move, removing both advantages a caster has on him, to which he is free to use his combo to heavily burst then a cloaking ultimate to escape from retaliation. It helps that most casters plan to build Magic Resistance instead of Armor, forcing them to either change items or be vulnerable.
Galio is a tank who is often fielded in the middle lane for this purpose. His passive converts half his Magic Resist stat into AP, so players often abuse this by stacking MR in order to negate a large portion of an enemy mage's burst and still do high amounts of damage in return. As if this wasn't enough, one of his abilities greatly increases his Armor and Magic Resist for a few seconds on top of healing him each time he takes damage. Highly useful for surviving a full burst combo with minimal health loss.
Veigar fulfills this role despite being a straight caster himself. His ultimate ability is a single-target nuke that scales off of both his AP *and* his opponent's. While it'll barely dent a tank and do moderate amounts of damage to an AD-heavy champion, it stands a good chance of obliterating half of a rival mage's life or more.
The Dangerously Genre Savvy player would probably advocate filling an entire team with carries. This is less of a good idea than it sounds. A carry is hideously vulnerable to interference during the early game, and requires at least one ally to MeatShield for him while he level-grinds in peace. Additionally, the other team is just as Genre Savvy and will target him—even the bots do this—because they know that they can force him to be The Load instead. See also Crutch Character above.
Nasus and Veigar recieve special note here. Most carries scale into the late game by getting better items. Veigar and Nasus, however, can scale without items. Veigar's basic low-cooldown damage ability will give him extra ability power whenever he kills an enemy with it, including minions. Nasus' basic low-cooldown damage ability does more damage for each target it has killed. While fairly weak early game, a well-farmed Veigar or Nasus is capable of absurd amounts of damage late-game, as their power scales off of more than just items or levels.
The Magnificent: Each champion has a title that applies to them examples of such:
Garen, the Might of Demacia.
Katarina, the Sinister Blade
Irelia, the Will of Blades
Twisted Fate's legendary skin is actually called The Magnificent Twisted Fate.
Mana Meter: Most champions use mana when they cast abilties. Both their total mana reserve and the rate at which it replenishes itself increase with champion level and items. There are some exceptions and variations on the theme:
Akali, Shen, Kennen, Lee Sin, and Zed use Energy, which has a fixed cap and regeneration rate. The cap is low, but the regeneration is high, putting a limit on how many abilities they can cast if they don't space them out. This is somewhat alleviated by how they all have effects from using their abilities which help them restore energy faster - also usually tied to spacing their abilities out to be able to best benefit from it.
Tryndamere, Renekton, and Shyvana all use the Fury resource very differently. About the only consistent features are that it generates when they attack an enemy and they can expend it in a way to enhance at least one of their abilities.
Rengar has Ferocity which is similar to Fury, but increases from using abilities, caps out much more quickly, and his empowered abilities have a cooldown independent from his basic abilities, allowing him to use an ability twice in quick succession with Ferocity-use.
Instead of draining mana, Rumble gains Heat whenever he uses one of his abilities and his abilities get a boost if he has enough. If he maxes out, though, he overheats and is briefly silenced, giving his attacks a little extra punch until he cools down.
Garen, Katarina, Riven, and Yasuo don't use any resources and are completely reliant on cooldowns to cast their abilities. Riven also has a mini-resource in her passive, which is charged by using abilities and makes her autoattacks do extra damage. Her full combo grants up to seven charges — but she can only hold three, and the passive is only expended once per autoattack, encouraging the player to autoattack between spells rather than using everything at once and wasting a lot of potential damage. Yasuo has a resource that builds through movement, and at max turns into a shield the next time he's attacked, encouraging Hit & Run tactics.
Martial Pacifist: The faction of Ionia and the majority of its champions. As Noxus found out the hard way, just because they preach balance and pacifism, it doesn't mean they won't fight back hard against invasion and fight back dirtily if they have to. This is best exemplified by Karma, who strives for a balance between the traditionalists trying to preserve Ionia's spirituality and the war-hardened pragmatic veterans of the Noxus invasions to create an enlightened but strong Ionia.
Mask of Power: The item Haunting Guise, which builds into the even deadlier Liandry’s Torment.
Master Swordsman: Garen, Yi, Irelia... to keep this list short, if a champion uses X weapon, they sure as hell are a master of it.
Cranked Up to Eleven with Jax, who is such a master of everything, that he was undefeatable. To make him equal to others, he was saddled with special restrictions to fight under. In protest, he tossed aside his arms and began using a brass lamppost as a weapon, and still kicked ass with it. Even when the restriction was lifted, he continued using the lamppost as a self imposed handicap.
Although that is contradicted by a few skins he has showing him using actual weapons, such as real maces, the default (and most canon) skin shows him still using the lamppost.
The above is Lampshaded by Riot, those weapons are foam and not real.
Mechanically Unusual Class: Every champion has a unique skillset and playstyle, with many of them having access to something that no other champion can replicate (for instance, Singed's Poison Gas). Some champions stand out, though, for having their skills arranged in a different way than the usual "3 active abilities on Q, W, and E, one ultimate ability on R, one passive" formula.
3 abilities, 2 passives where one normal ability is a permanent passive: Varus, Vayne, Vi
3-4 abilities which have active effects and count as "stances" with perisiting bonuses: Sona (3 stances, one ultimate) and Udyr (4 stances on 4 keys)
6 abilities, no ultimate where the champion has two "forms" (each with its own Q, W, and E ability) and can switch between the two of them using R: Elise, Jayce (can switch pre-6), and Nidalee (can only switch post-6)
6 abilities, one ultimate where Q, W, and E have two abilities mapped onto the key but the second can only be cast if the first is successful: Lee Sin
3 empower-able abilities where using a particular skill or fulfilling requirements lets an enhanced version of a regular ability be cast: Karma (uses Mantra on R key to empower, no true ultimate), Heimerdinger (uses UPGRADE!!! on R key to empower, counts as an ultimate) and Rengar (uses 5 Ferocity stacks, has an ultimate).
Metagame: Changes all the time with new patches and characters. They're separate between the servers' regions, even. Champions can be considered useless on one of the servers and overpowered on the other.
Mirror Match: Possible in Blind Pick matches, moreso if a certain champion is popular at the moment (just released, flavor of the month, etc.). Averted by Draft Pick (normals) and ranked games which use a different selection system that only allows one team to have a given champion.
Min-Maxing: This is what Runepages (and, to a lesser extent, Masteries) are for.
Mook Chivalry: Sort of. When playing against bots, if a player disconnects, one of the bots will cease activity and stay at their spawn point.
Morality Kitchen Sink: Very close to Grey and Gray Morality. Demacia, Noxus and Zaun are all neutral. Demacia is a fascist state, Noxus is a meritocracy whose people believe power goes to the ones who do what it takes to get it, and Zaun of insane mages, chemists, and bureaucrats. Zaun's total lack of lawful regulation may have turned the city into an industrial hellhole, but its respect for the freedom of all sentient creatures led it to grant Blitzcrank autonomy when golems were still considered mere property everywhere else. And in Noxus, where all are protected under the law note Some, admittedly, significantly so more than others, the sort of rhetoric common to Imperialist Europe is used to justify invading and "civilizing" other nations. Demacia is a citystate that, despite being militaristic and nationalistic, is really supposed to be trying to extol and display the values of justice and benevolence to the people of Valoran. Bandle City, Ionia, Freljord are either neutral or good with Piltover being one of completely pure intentions, and there are also unaffiliated purely evil creatures from the Void, and purely good creatures, like Soraka and Kayle.
More Dakka: Tristana's rapid fire quickly approaches this.
Heimerdinger can also do this with both of his turrets.
So is Corki's Gatling Gun.
Twitch's Spray and Pray used to be a poisonous-crossbow example of this.
Miss Fortune is all over this trope, especially in her Make It Rain and Bullet Time.
Jinx can do this exceptionally well with her minigun Pow-Pow.
Moving the Goalposts: A meta-example: Riot had known for a while that melee carries, such as Master Yi, Fiora, Gangplank, and Tryndamere, have several problems compared to their ranged counterparts. Their fix for the melee carry issue was to remove the term "carry" from the lexicon and redefine ranged AD Cs as "Marksmen", and any melee carries as Fighters or Assassins, both of which are muddled in definition anyways. Even before this change many melee characters who relied on autoattack damage such as Aatrox and Jax weren't considered carries because they could benefit from building tanky.
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena: Trope Namer. The term MOBA was coined by Riot Games for League of Legends as a marketing term specifically because everybody referred to the genre as "DotA clones" and they didn't want their game always being compared to DotA.
One very particular reversal of this trope: if one of the humans doesn't manage to connect to the server, a bot will obligingly stay at home, turning the match into a 4v4. Human opponents, whose rules do not include this kind of chivalry, will happily use the edge in numbers to their advantage though this can backfire when one of their five turns out to be a major feeder (worse than being down one), and suffer the indignity of losing to a 4-man team.
The Napoleon: Veigar, the Tiny Master of Evil. Emphasis on Tiny.
"'It's just a short way?' WAS THAT A SHORT JOKE?!"
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Sometimes your teammates will try help you with all the best intentions and end up screwing themselves (and you) over. Normally this is just limited to feeding an enemy a kill, though it can be worse, such as an overzealous jungler pursuing a weak foe into tower range and dying (transferring both powerful buffs) or one death setting off a chain reaction that causes the enemy team to Ace yours.
Not So Different: For all of their bluster, Noxus and Demacia are not that much different.
They both use conscription.
Both their champions Katarina and Garen are parallels to each other (they even both use no resources for casting their abilities, only cooldowns).
They are very set in their country's philosophies.
They're the two "superpowers" militaristically of Runeterra.
In bot games, it can cross over with The Loonie, who uses builds for characters that aren't even what the metagame would come up with. A good example is an orianna (An area control mage who's dependent on her pet) taking items that only take advantage of her clockwork windup (effectively turning her into a ranged autoattacker Glass Cannon).
The playerbase seems to be playing a game of "how many mages, supports, assassins and ranged carries can we turn into semi-viable junglers?". So far experimentation has turned out some unconventional choices that actually work (if situational) like Fizz, Malzahar, and Karthus. There's 2 dozen or so champions that are completely unviable for the role, though that certainly doesn't stop people from trying.
This also applies to the items too. One good example is the Red Elixir, a cheap consumable that grants the user a modest amount of HP and Attack Damage. This was meant to be a cost-efficient stat boost early to mid game though some clever players realized that it gives the stats instantly instead of over time. Many started popping it as an emergency weapon in combat to win a close fight or even intentionally to try to get a kill at the start, both top laners and even some ADC's.
Non-Indicative Name: The "First Win Of The Day" bonus, which doesn't calculate by calendar date but rather by how long it's been since your last win. It's not a day bonus either: as of the 10 May 2010 update, it refreshes every 22 hours!
Damage dealers that are strong early game but fade late are referred to as 'Tanky DPS' characters. While most of them are indeed tough, the name is still applied to characters like Kayle or Riven that skew towards being a Glass Cannon.
In general, many players agree the Riot's application of their tags toward champion categories... isn't very good. For instance, most players would be surprised to find out that Blitzcrank and Leona (widely considered to be ideal aggressive supports) are in fact classified as fighters. Partway through Season 3 the champion tags got updated with primary and secondary tags which do a somewhat better job describing how the majority of players use each champion.
Odd Name Out: The attack damage basic items have a Long Sword item as the cheapest, a B.F. Sword as the most expensive... and a Pickaxe in between the two.
Off Screen Teleportation: literally, with the Teleport summoner spell. More subtly in that stealth characters that have gone missing while cloaked could be anywhere. Maybe that Evelynn just beelined across the map towards you. Maybe she's standing right behind you waiting for you to make one wrong move. Or maybe, while you are cowering at your tower so she can't kill you, she's merrily farming the dragon or even in town.
This is actually an Averted Trope comparing the champions together. Even champions who could later kill the entire enemy team alone if they all just used auto-attack require help from other champions because there's a lot more to the game then just those statistics. Players who think they can win the game alone just end up feeding and eventually losing.
One Stat to Rule Them All: Averted. Having both magical and physical damage on a team is necessary to prevent the opposition from stacking one type of resistance to counter it. Conversely, stacking just health, magic resistance, or armor leaves a tank vulnerable to at least one type of damage. As for the individual disciplines, AD and AP are the main stats for physical and magical attackers (respectively) but stacking too much of these without itemizing for the secondary stats is usually a bad idea. For example, an AD Carry building nothing but AD will lose a 1v1 duel with another that is building a healthy combination of AD, Attack Speed, Armor Penetration and Critical chance. And this is doesn't even go into hybrid champions who benefit from both AD and AP...
It used to inflict a speed reduction for a short duration after Overdrive ran out... called Underdrive.
Parental Abandonment: You could probably count on one hand the number of champions that have a surviving parent. Then again, most parents probably wouldn't want their kids to grow up and enter a League where all you do is kill and get killed over and over again.
Most champions are simply old enough that their parents don't need to be mentioned unless it's relevant to their story - What the thirty-year-old mage's parents think of his day job doesn't really matter. There are a notable number of orphans in the League (Nidalee, Talon, Sona, Janna, Shyvana, Poppy) but there is a more or less equal number whose parents are explicitly mentioned to still be alive (Garen, Lux, Jarvan IV, Annie, Zac, Kog'maw). Some only have one parent missing, such as the DuCouteau sisters (Katarina and Cassiopeia) and their Disappeared Dad.
Percent Damage Attack: Some champions have this as a built-in mechanic for an ability (and anyone can gain this property for their autoattacks with Blade of the Ruined King) and it is usually a percentage of maximum HP instead of current. This is usually a handy way to circumvent opponents that are stacking HP though since these attacks are usually physical or magical damage, they can be mitigated with armor or magic resistance. The sole exception is Vayne, whose Silver Bolts deal true damage as a percentage every third attack.
Perpetual Beta: Sort of. The game is in its official release, but it's patched roughly every two weeks. This will probably only end if the game's plug was pulled entirely. Being a PC-multiplayer game (As well as Riot's sole product), along with the Loads and Loads of Characters that are always being re-balanced against each other to prevent a Game Breaker, this was probably expected.
Petal Power: Zyra. Maokai may apply to a lesser extent.
Physical God: Soraka is a goddess who has lost some of her power or godliness thanks to Warwick.
Vilemaw was confirmed to be the spider god described in Elise’s backstory.
There are theories of the real Baron Nashor possibly being a god as well.
Pick-Up Group: Two Words: Solo Queue. This game takes this Up to Eleven since it's next to impossible to encounter players in ways besides queueing up and getting placed in a Pick-Up Group with them (external forums and chatrooms nonwithstanding). New players starting out have no choice but to get randomly matched with others and a player will still have to team up with randoms quite a bit throughout their career. Thankfully it can be averted (or at least mitigated) by encountering friendly/skilled players and adding them as friends so that pre-made groups can enter queue to reduce the chance of running into leavers, feeders, or trolls. Unless of course said player *is* the leaver, feeder, or troll.
Pigeonholed Voice Actor: Some of the lesser known voice actors often voice champions with very common playstyles. Most famous is Adam Harrington who voices Mage focused champions and J.S Gilbert (most well known as Needles Kane) voices dumb muscle with devasting attacks. Then there is Karen Strassman and her cooldown based champions who is the unofficial Half-Human Hybrid voice actress of the League.
Pinned to the Wall: Vayne has an ability called "Condemn", where she shoots the target with a huge crossbow bolt that knocks them back. If the enemy collides with terrain, they are also impaled, which deals bonus damage and stuns them for 1.5 seconds.
Play Every Day: The first match you win every 22 hours gets a set 150 IP boost, which nearly doubles the payout of a good match (before IP gains return to normal). Plus, there's a time limit on gaining IP from Co-op vs. AI games (and Custom games before this was removed) prevents people from solely playing this mode to grind.
Plunder: It's been said that the game is won (at least at higher levels of play) by tower and gold, not by kills. Standard operating procedure for mid-to-late game is capitalizing on kills and won fights by pushing towers while the enemy team is unlikely to defend successfully then plundering the enemy jungle to deny the enemy team further gold (in a kind of scorched earth tactic). This includes the highly-important Baron and Dragon camps.
Poor Communication Kills: One of the most avoidable ways to lose a match is to fail to communicate with your team. Your lane opponent went missing? Let everyone know. About to initiate a fight? Ping your target so everyone can follow up. An unguarded tower is being sieged? Speak up!
Riot has taken note of how cumbersome it is to type some important messages (particularly if one is already under attack) so they implemented "smartpings" so calling "missing", asking for help, etc. can be done much faster.
Popularity Power: Draven, both in and out of his lore. His reason for continuing his executions were the cheering crowds who obviously liked what Draven was doing. The Gladiator Draven skin might as well buy a house in the “most popular purchases” list since it’s been there for ages. And when many players felt the change to Draven’s passive was too much of a nerf, fan outcry was as loud as it was omnipresent. A buff was given a short while later.
Power at a Price: Literally when it comes to purchasing items, but some champions’ lore shows their acquiring of power was not easy, sometimes not even wanted, and was not without cost.
Malzahar and Kassadin gained great power from the Void but lost their sanity and humanity, respectively. Sion and Urgot are both reanimated through necromancy. Thresh and Karthus both died to become what they are today, though the latter did so willingly. Rengar and Kha’Zix are two of the greatest hunters around due to their extensive time spent fighting various prey, and both have plenty of scars to show for it.
Power Born of Madness: Malzahar used his abilities as a seer to see visions of a future Valoran being beset by creatures of the Void. Malzahar was driven mad by the essence of the Void showing him these visions.
Power Crystal: Some items with crystal in their name can be seen as this. Taric’s entire gimmick is gem-related right down to his dialogue. Objective items like turrets, inhibitors and the nexus appear to have gems as well.
Powered Armor: Viktor all the way. Any champion who has a Battlecast skin also counts.
Power Makes Your Voice Deep: More than likely what happened with Malzahar when the Void pointed him in the direction of the League. Possibly the same with Kassadin, though his metallic setup makes it difficult to determine if the Void had an effect on his voice.
Beings of undeath might have this as well. Thresh, Mordekaiser, Sion and Urgot have deep voices with some effects slapped on for characterization.
Vladimir, being a hemomancer, is all about blood and uses it as his only weapon to harm foes and heal himself. Aatrox has similar capabilities but to a lesser extent. Draven can use Blood Rush to increase his attack speed and movement speed. Nunu has a similar effect with Blood Boil but can cast it on an ally. Warwick can use Blood Scent to track nearby foes and gain a speed boost when around enemies with less than half of their health. Tryndamere can use Bloodlust to heal himself and the move has a passive effect which grants him additional attack damage based on his missing percentage of health.
Anyone who uses a Bloodthirster. It has the added effect of being even deadlier when the wielder slays enemies to rack up the stacks the weapon offers.
Finally, he who gets first blood gets 400 gold. This also sets the slain champion behind the others as s/he is missing gold and experience while waiting to respawn and return to their lane or the jungle.
The Power of Hate: Evelynn has an ability called Hate Spike, which does damage to a designated target and will inflict damage to anything which gets in the way.
Tryndamere’s anger and hatred of Aatrox’s slaying of his people led to the Barbarian harnessing the power of his Ultimate.
Professor Piddly suggests the reason Urgot’s necromancy ritual went so well is because of Urgot’s seething hatred of Garen, the man who cut him in half.
The Power of Love: Many a player know full well just what havoc Ahri’s Charm can lead to.
The Power of the Sun: Leona can be a huge pain in the arse to take down late game due to her high tankiness and her ability Eclipse, which raises both her defense and magic resistance. Karma also has her Sun Goddess skin.
The item Sunfire Cape grants health and armor to the wearer. Further, it gives a fiery aura that damages anything besides allies for 40 magic damage per second, making creep farming easier and close quarter combat deadlier for enemies.
Power of the Void: There are two champions who draw their power from this, and there are four who are FROM there. And you had better fear them, too; all of them have relatively high difficulty ratings, and all, except one, are relatively fragile, but beware them in the hands of a good player.
A good Malzahar will harass and farm from outside the range of most champions, and will also be able to bring a player from full to death in less than three seconds.
A good Kassadin is nigh-impossible to catch thanks to his blink ultimate on one of the lowest cooldowns in the game.
A good Kha'zix will appear out of nowhere, slice you apart, and then dissapear back to whence he came.
A good Cho'gath will be nigh-unkillable and incredibly disruptive, not to mention fill up a good portion of your screen.
A good Kog'maw will be like a living minigun with the range of artillery that you won't ever get to thanks to his slows.
And finally, a good Vel'Koz may die often, but will utterly melt an ENTIRE enemy team if given the chance.
Power Stable: While they are two warring superpowers in-story, a team of Noxian or Demacian military can also be surprisingly effective in-game. The Demacians have ‘’a lot’’ of tankiness options between Jarvan IV, Garen, Galio, Xin Zhao and Shyvana while Fiora, Quinn and Lux can dish out some heavy damage. The Noxians typically rely on quick burst damage with Katarina, Casseopeia, Talon and LeBlanc and can use Darius as a tank, Draven as a long range harasser and Swain as a tanky mage.
Power Trio: The three ninjas of the Kinkou are one.
Power-Up Food: The Total Biscuit of Rejuvenation gives the consumer brief health and mana regeneration. Gragas also has his barrel of booze which comes in handy for fights.
In a darker twist, the creatures of the Void. They eat their victims and grow stronger from it. Cho’Gath is the only one in-game who shows the effects of this, however, but the dialogue of all the Void creatures is related to food or hunger.
Practical Taunt: Rammus, Shen, and Galio have useful taunt abilities that force enemies to attack them for a few seconds. Tryndamere is a special case in that his Mocking Shout reduces nearby enemy champions' attack damage and slows them if their backs are turned, letting him more easily catch up with you.
Pre Asskicking Oneliner: A few champions have specific lines for activating their ultimate abilities, usually ones that get a new form/weapon. Examples include Riven's Blade of the Exile ("They cannot go unpunished.") or Vayne's Final Hour ("Time for reckoning.")
Precision-Guided Boomerang: Sivir's main gimmick. She has a blade similar to that of the Huntresses from Warcraft 3, and she can gain the ability to both toss it a long distance and have it return, dealing damage along the way, as well as the ability to make it bounce off of enemies she targets onto other, nearby enemies when she uses a normal attack.
Lux can throw her wand like a boomerang, casting a shield on herself and every allied player it touches.
Draven's axes can fly across the entire map and return to him after they hit the map's wall or another champion.
The players themselves need to maintain vigilance at all times. When an enemy hero is visible, their icon shows up on the minimap... but there's Fog of War to consider. Ever since the meta-game pretty much mandated a jungler on every team, there's an ever-present fear of being ganked at any time during the laning phase (unless the enemy jungler is visible and likely attacking someone else). Even junglers themselves are not exempt from this- there is always the real possibility that the enemy jungler will sneak in to steal buffs and pick a fight when least expected.
Some champions have Invisibility Cloaks, like Teemo, Evelynn, Shaco and Twitch: they are always missing, and you have no idea why. Some players get annoyed if you spam them with numerous warnings; others get annoyed if you don't.
Even worse, Nocturne, whose ultimate (aptly named "Paranoia") decreases all opponents' sight radius and removes shared vision, so that nobody knows who's getting ambushed until the announcer pipes up. He then has a homing teleport he can use on any character in range he sees. The range for lower levels of the ultimate is fairly small, but at level 3 he can hop across about 1/4th the map to get to you.
Most players won't even try to engage Baron Nashor (a huge, strong, neutral monster that gives multiple buffs when defeated) unless at least a couple of the enemy's players are dead. It generally only takes one time for players to get ganked while at Baron for them to never make that mistake again.
Similarly, most players know that if the entire enemy team is missing, do not wander off by yourself into an area with zero vision. Some have to cautiously venture into darkness to place wards and remedy the situation though some set forth expecting nothing to happen to them.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: The warmongering Noxus is Red, Ionia and Demacia are Blue with spiritual enlightenment and pursuit of justice, respectively.
Red Shirt Army: The minions, which spawn and die in droves. "Stay behind the minions" is one of the elementary rules of strategy, since one of their primary purposes is to draw turret fire away from the champions.
Originally Yordles and Meglings were seperate races — the tiny Yordles varied from somewhat animalistic little critters like Teemo to gnome-looking fellows like Heimerdinger and Corki, while Meglings were equally tiny, blue-skinned and white-haired, but otherwise humanoid. This was eventually retconned to make Tristana and Poppy Yordles as well, with "Megling" becoming the name of the Yordle commando unit that Tristana belonged to. Word of God is that this change was made because players would be confused by two species of tiny humanoids at once.
The lore entries of many champions have changed over the years, some in slight details, others in major character overhauls.
The name of the tribe of warrior mountain-dwellers to which champions Pantheon and Leona changed from the Stanpar to the Rakkor, most likely to make the parallels to the Greek Spartans a little less obvious.
The Institute of War is slowly retconned out of by Kitae who felt like it had no place in the game and gives no reason for champions in the league AT ALL.
Required Secondary Powers: Heavily skill shot related champions you can not lag while playing as, and if you're playing against someone like Morgana, Cassiopeia, Ahri and Karthus, you better not lag, and if you are, better hope they are lagging or terrible at their abilities.
Having good map awareness is always a good idea but it's almost a requirement to play champions with global ultimates (or those with such range that they might as well be) like Soraka, Shen, Gangplank, etc. Having an ability that can alter the course of battle halfway across the map isn't very useful if one doesn't notice good opportunities to use it.
Poros◊ appear on the Howling Abyss map, who are tiny furry ball-shaped animals with goat-like features and huge tongues that they frequently stick out like a dog. They were added to the map because playtesters thought the map was just a bit too dark and serious.
Ziggs can use his Satchel Charge to leap over map geometry.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Prince Jarvan IV and several self-proclaimed rulers contending over Freljord (Ashe, Tryndamere, Sejiani, Lissandra, Trundle) are champions. In general, Demacia has a strict hierarchy of power based on birth though fortunately its nobility is expected to be useful and many members of noble houses serve as Badass champions like Garen, Lux, and Vayne. Averted with Noxus' Social Darwinist society which does not have a birth-based monarchy (the highest authority is Grand General, which is Swain) and allows anyone with strength to advance in its military or serve as champions. The actual aristocracy are born into their positions of authority and are mostly useless, much to Darius' disgust.
Trinity force. it costs (rounded down) 3000 gold to buy it without the ingredients, has 3 ingredients directly in its construction, raises 3 stats mainly (attack damage, speed, and crit chance), and if you have all components it costs 3 gold, it's description is three words: "Tons of damage".
Xin Zhao's Q is called Three-Talon strike, and knocks up the person on the third hit after activation. His Battle Cry's passive heals him every third autoattack.
Rule 34: Compared to every MOBA Game out there, League Of Legends is well known for it's rule 34 and a doujin dedicated to it...god help us when Japan properly gets League of Legends with their own seiyuus voicing the game.
Schizo Tech: Despite being a fairly magic heavy fantasy world, the Lore journals reveal that Runeterra is actually pretty technologically advanced above and beyond their magical capabilities. For instance, the Journal of Justice reveals that there have been dirigible races for the last 16 years with ships, at the smallest, being 27 meters. Such ships are worked on by both mages and engineers as one ship was modified by a chrono mage to be faster.
Schmuck Bait: Walking into brushes, or "face-checking" is considered a very bad idea when an enemy champion is missing but nearby. As a rule, by the time you realize it might be a trap, it's too late.
Chasing Singed when he's at low health is exactly what he wants you to do. Teemo too.
Some players have made Schmuck Bait into an art form. For instance, if you see an enemy recall in a conspicuous and vulnerable position, either you are playing against inexperienced people, or he's baiting you into a trap.
When fighting against certain champions, it's considered a very, very bad idea to towerdive them due to having a revive ability or strong crowd-control to keep one under their tower long enough to be killed. People still do things like towerdive an Anivia anyway.
Science Hero: The city of Piltover in a nutshell. Zaun, they exemplify Hextech innovation can be used to good ends, as evidenced by all their city-state champions being Gadgeteer Genii in some form or another (yes, even Vi re-engineered her gauntlets for combat purposes). Piltover's posterboy for this trope has to be Jayce, who invented his weapon like the others and keeps up a For Great Justice pseudo-superhero image with regards to technology.
Series Mascot: Most promotional art and advertising features the "classic" champions but Ryze and Katarina tend to take front-and-center focus.
Sex Sells: A common complaint on the forum is that any new, upcoming female champ with questionable choices in clothing means that Riot is concentrating way too much on Fanservice. This became less prevalent later in the game's history, to the point where any given female champion is just as likely to be dressed sensibly as skimpily.
Shaped Like Itself: Somewhat amusingly, League of Legends didn't actually have, you know, leagues until February 2013. The competitive scene got a revamp by placing summoners in leagues, within which exist tiers (bronze, silver, gold, platinum, diamond, and challenger) of players with similar skill level. This was to replace the old ELO system of matchmaking.
As for the Legend part, players achieving up to 10 consecutive kills in a game without dying are announced as being "Legendary!". The game also tends to make individuals who have a Crowning Moment Of Awesome feel like they are legends too.
Ship Tease: Lyte, the Northern shopkeeper on the Howling Abyss and Ezreal's uncle, will sometimes ask Ezreal about his relationship with Lux. This picture posted on the official forums of Ezreal's desk has a sketch of what appears to be Ezreal and Lux in the lower left corner, but it was moved when readers started asking about it.
Shoot the Medic First: Why you don't see many people playing healing-focused supports. More common are supports that are either tanky (Taric, Leona, Thresh) or can also deal damage or carry (Teemo, Lux) than the actual medics (Soraka, Sona).
This is more true in the laning phase when killing the support makes the enemy carry much more vulnerable, since he/she isn't strong enough to do much about it yet. It probably won't work by the late-game if the ranged carries are farmed up though and the teams are well-positioned, since spending your time and abilities to target the people which don't do much damage while ones that do a lot hit you with impunity is likely suicidal. Since healers in general have much more impact on the game early on before having their health restoration outstripped by increasing damage outputs, the bottom line is don't bother with this tactic later on.
Silliness Switch: Several comedic skins (especially the ones with a different voice) are this. Watch as Cho'gath (a monstrous Eldritch Abomination) becomes a hammy British-accented aristocrat with a tophat, or Olaf (a merciless viking warrior) becomes a boorish fratboy that swaps his horned helmet with a beer helmet and his axes with beer case cardboard cut-outs in the shape of axes! Or check out the Pool Party series note (currently available to Leona, Lee Sin, Graves, Ziggs and Renekton), where the champions dress down for a day at the pool/beach (and their accompanying splash arts are often hilarious).
Single-Use Shield: Several spell shields can block a single enemy spell. Sivir has one that returns more mana than it costs if it intercepts a spell, Nocturn has one that briefly increases his attack speed if it intercepts a spell, and the item Banshee's Veil provides a permanent one to whoever holds it that goes on a 25 second cooldown after it breaks.
Small Girl, Big Gun: Tristana is almost more gun than Megling Gunner. If you count the ammo she carts around, she probably carries more in weaponry than she weighs.
Miss Fortune's pistol barrels are thicker than her arms.
Jinx is almost skeletal in frame and weight, and carries with her a minigun and rocket launcher both bigger than she is, and a pistol that shoots lightning, as well as several traps, and a Super Mega Death Rocket. She's probably the most unrivaled champion in terms of weaponry, period.
The Smurfette Principle: Highly averted, in comparison to other games in the genre — at least a third of the roster is female. This is exceptional compared to its competitors. Although notably, although there are female champions with heavy survivability, none of the female characters was a dedicated tank (until Leona, anyways). There also wasn't a melee female carry until Fiora.
There are four ninja champions and only one female, Akali. Lampshaded when she was released after Kennen and Shen.
The Social Darwinist: Noxus as a whole has this as an integral part of their culture. In contrast to Demacia (which has a strict hierarchy for its leadership and military), basically anyone can rise to power if they are strong enough, which explains the assortment of somewhat unsavory characters that are allowed to be champions. Exemplified in its extreme form by Darius who declares things like "Strength above all!" and is on a mission to eradicate the corrupt Noxian nobility on the grounds that they've done nothing to earn their positions of authority, and in its more realistic form by Riven who believed that individuals with merit have a responsibility to lead those that do not (at least prior to being broken).
Sock Puppet: A special form exists in this game. There are people who not only make accounts to keep at a permanently low level so they can beat newbies very easily, but also to sabotage other games because they won't lose anything if they get banned.
Anyone doing this still beware. The Tribunal will find their actual accounts and ban those too.
So Last Season: It's almost inevitable that champions will have increasingly more and more impressive kits than their older counterparts despite Riot's best intentions to keep every champion balanced. Whether or not this makes them more viable for gameplay is debatable (and fans do debate it very often) but the undeniable fact is that many champions released have more utility or options in their abilities. Riot is countering this with remakes of champions with comparatively flat kits that are completely outmatched by newer ones.
A more literal example are champions/team compositions that reign supreme one season then fall out of favor the next because of the cycle of nerfs. A good example is the "Holy Trinity" of ADC's (Corki, Graves, Ezreal) that dominated season 2 but have been equaled or surpassed by other carries' popularity in season 3. This isn't necessarily because of power-creep but more of Riot wanting to keep their game dynamic instead of falling into Complacent Gaming Syndrome.
Songs In The Keyof Panic: In Dominion, the music slowly intensifies as a team's nexus drops below certain levels of health. There's even a special section that only plays if both nexuses are at 25% health.
The Howling Abyss also features this; as towers fall, the music gains pace and more instruments start playing.
Spin Attack: Katarina's Death Lotus. Rammus' Powerball. Renekton's Cull the Meek. Tryndamere's Spinning Slash. Wukong's Cyclone. Now who could I be forgetting...
A number of individual champions are also Spiritual Successors to their Dot A predecessors; Ashe to Drow Ranger, Blitzcrank to Pudge, Twitch to Clinkz, Hecarim to Spirit Breaker, Varus to Windrunner, Shyvana to Dragon Knight, Twisted Fate to Nature's Prophet, Karthus to Zeus, Nidalee to Enchantress, Nocturne to Spectre, Corki to Gyrocopter, and so forth.
Decomposite Character: Some League champions could get one or two skills from one DOTA hero while said hero's other skills could be in another champion's. For example: Sniper's usual successor is Caitlyn, for having the counterparts of Headshot and Assassinate (Ace in the Hole) and his sniper motif. However, his other skills Shrapnel goes to Miss Fortune (Make it Rain) and Take Aim goes to Tristana (Draw a Bead).
Squishy Wizard: Many of the mages, particularly Annie and Veigar. An aversion are the "Battle Casters", which are hybrid melee and spell-slingers and good at everything but Master of None. Even more averted by the ones who can heal others, including themselves. A careful player who can heal may rarely have to return to base aside from buying items.
Slow: Two different slows (one ice-based, the other for all other types)
The less standard ones include Snare/Immobilize (which holds you in place but you can still attack), Knockback (enemy is effectively stunned but also forced to move in a certain direction by the dictates of the ability. This is a rather dramatic effect), Knockup (like stun, but cannot be removed or reduced by anything - as a drawback, they generally do not have durations much higher than one second and tend to have significantly higher cooldowns than stuns), and Suppression (which is effectively Stun, but is unable to be removed by anything other than Quicksilver Sash).
Star Power: Leona is a warrior with an appearance and moveset based on the Sun. Bonus points to Soraka, the Starchild.
Stripperiffic: Not so much now as in the early days, but with some clear examples:
Janna's clothes can be summed up as two long pieces of cloth covering just her chest and privates. When you send her to attack somebody, she responds "Stop looking at me like that!"
Evelynn is essentially a blue-skinned cloaking dominatrix who gets pleasure from the deaths of her enemies. If you buy one of her skins, she loses the blue and becomes a human female in black leather.
Nidalee wears a Fur Bikini has a dance where she pole dances on her spear. There is even a skin for her that dresses her in a french maid costume instead of her furry jungle outfit. Her cougar form becomes black panther form.
The creators have cited such confusion as the main reason for the other examples here.
Garen's sister, Lux, wears plated armor pieces that don't cover her midriff, thighs and upper arms, but she wears chainmail and blue clothing which covers those areas. This after fan criticism, in which that design lacked that clothing covering her thighs and midriff◊.
Karma is another good aversion, but people can obviously tell she's female.
Support Power: Most summoner spells, but especially Heal and Clarity which restore health and mana respectively to all nearby allies.
Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: An increasingly prevalent view in the metagame is the presence of different carry-support bot lane compositions: "sustain" (focus on healing to stay in lane and farm more), "poke" (harass the enemies until they are softened up or forced back to base), and "kill" (go aggressive and try to get kills early on) types. In theory, sustain beats poke by simply healing back damage done by harassment, poke beats kill by whittling down enemies from afar to the point where attempting to be aggressive is suicidal, and kill beats sustain by inflicting too much damage at once to heal back, hopefully enough to be lethal.
Of course, this is not set in stone since supports can be more than one of the above and many factors including player skill also determine who has the upper hand during in the lane phase.
Yorick can bring someone back to life for a short time to try to kill their killer...or anyone else in the area.
Karthas can still cast spells for a short time upon death.
Kogmaw becomes a literal walking time bomb upon death.
Zyra transforms into a giant plant who gets one shot to heavily damage an enemy.
Teeth Clenched Team Work: When you really really hate your teammates during a match for some reason, but are close to winning your team becomes this.
This also happens if you get in a team whose strategy is to faceroll the opponents' team so hard they surrender, and the other team is very stubborn and refuses to surrender. This is an especially bad idea against bots, since they literally can't surrender and can prolong a game to infuriating lengths if the players let them get their full builds (on a timer of course). There is a light at the end of the tunnel though; if the players who turtled the game decide enough is enough they can always turn 'em around and fight Baron or backdoor them.
This also happens in-universe; some champions are Arch-Enemies (see above) and wouldn't even consider helping each other in any other situation, but if they're picked by allied summoners they're forced to work together in order to win. There's a reason for the magic that prevents champions on the same team from attacking each other.
Thanatos Gambit: Many Karthus players intentionally sacrifice themselves so they can use his passive to take champions down with them. Other times, champs such as Xin Zhao intentionally dive into the fray and allow themselves to die so the team can wreak havoc while they're focusing on them.
Drawing fire from the enemy team is generally preferable the more durable a champion is relative to their allies. The survival of such durable champions tends to be somewhat secondary to their less durable allies surviving. It's not a crucial part of the plan, but it is hardly unexpected...
Title Drop: The Howling Abyss map includes a ghost shopkeeper named Greyor who can have this to say about the map's past:
Token Evil Teammate: Many of the 'good' factions have at least one champion from there that is significantly less sympathetic than the rest.
Ionia has Syndra, who cares nothing except her own power to the point where she killed her mentor for trying to teach her restraint and plans to destroy Ionia's leadership for being "weak".
Bandle City has Veigar, a Yordle mage that went completely mad from years of solitary confinement and is gleefully a villain now. Well, he tries, at any rate.
Piltover has Orianna, which is the embodiment of Uncanny Valley, and is stated to have a twisted morality. She is one of the few champions whose autoattacks cause visible blood to splatter from an attacked enemy. Her quotes, especially the one she says upon selection, add to this picture.
Token Good Teammate: Similarly, many of the 'evil' factions have at least one sympathetic representative.
Noxus has Riven, who went into exile after her superiors ordered a gas attack on a whole battlefield — including Riven and her allies.
Zaun has Zac, a secret weapon that developped a personality and dedicated himself to protecting those who need it.
The Void has Kha'Zix, who kills and consumes because he must adapt to survive. Similarly Kog'maw has no malice toward Runeterra, he just likes eating a lot.
The Shadow Isles have Yorick, a gravedigger who cannot continue his family line and therefore tries to make a legacy live on instead.
True Sight: Vision Wards and Oracle's Elixir allows one to see invisible champions and enemy wards in one place and anywhere the user goes, respectively. Regular Sight Wards only reveal the presence of un-stealthed champions.
Two Guys and a Girl: The three Ninja champions of Kinkou are two males and a female; Shen, Kennen and Akali, respectively. They work together to oppose enemies of the balance. Akali is The Lancer who pushes for judgement, Kennen is The Heart who encourages mercy and redemption, and Shen serves as The Hero who makes the final decision.
The Unfettered: Expanding on the idea that Demacia and Noxus are both morally neutral (see Morality Kitchen Sink above), Word of God is that the main difference between the two superpowers is that Noxus is willing to do whatever it sees necessary to come out on top. This explains why they use unsavory methods that some other factions wouldn't even consider like bringing their best soldiers Back from the Dead and liberally using assassins to eliminate threats. Likewise, their city-state champions include some shady characters that would likely be turned away by others since Noxus doesn't care who or what you are, so long as you have strength.
Unmoving Plaid: Most noticable on Kassadin's void blade, but if you pay close attention to some other void champions such as Malzahar and Vel'Koz, you'll notice they also exhibit this trope using their attacks.
Unskilled, but Strong: In terms of gameplay, Mordekaiser is this. His high damage scaling and multiple attack spells means he can dish out a lot of damage over a moderate amount of time to a moderate area, however he has few to no escape options or enemy zoning options in his kit, meaning that without any form of support he's fairly useless should the enemy simply decide to run away or needs to get away himself.
Not traditionally strong in a sense, Sona is a great support that's notorious for being very easy to use her abilities due to them being combination of auras and automatically targeted skills. Even the skillshot ultimate has a huge fat hitbox that makes missing an opponent very unlikely.
Unstable Equilibrium: This game, like most MOBA titles, features this quality, particularly via gank loops. If we're laning opposite each other and I kill you, I get a Gold and EXP advantage, not only from ganking you but because you then have to spend upwards of 75 seconds out of the fight (dead, respawning, traveling back up the lane). This G and EXP advantage lets me gain new equipment and abilities with which to repeat the process. When the page refers to a Champion getting "fed", it means that s/he was the beneficiary of this vicious cycle... and because it only has to happen two or three times for the advantage to become insurmountable, the match can be all but over within ten minutes. However, a small relief is that champions on a 3+ kill spree will yield an extra gold bounty upon being killed (referred to as being "shut down" by the announcer). It's not much- it caps at 200 bonus on top of the usual 300 for really, really fed enemies- but it helps.
Later, to help with the balance, the bonus is increased to 432 for champions with 3 consecutive kills, and 500 for 4+ kills.
In general, when a team has a large gold lead collectively (more kills, farm, and objectives) or controls more of the map (more towers destroyed and more wards placed) the game is very much in their favor. While mistakes do happen that can turn the tide of battle (a common example being getting caught out of position then getting yourself if not your teammates, allowing the enemy to counterattack while they have the numbers advantage), they are less and less likely the higher one goes up the ELO ladder. Most high-tier teams will capitalize on leads as hard as they can so that there's a little room for error as possible, making many games a Foregone Conclusion as to who will win after seeing the gold counts as early as 12 minutes in. This was addressed in Season 4 changes which provide more comeback mechanics for losing teams so that every game wasn't a Foregone Conclusion though time will tell how these affect the pace of the game.
U.R.F. mode takes Button MashingUp to Eleven. Think a skill that has 4 seconds cooldown is spammable? Imagine the same skill with less than 1 second cooldown.
Useless Useful Stealth: For the first three years of the game, the stealth mechanic that assassins Evelynn and Twitch were based around was incredibly problematic, being amazingly overpowered after some patches and almost useless after others (being stealthed meant you were for all intents and purposes, invincible and invisible against anything but skillshots). In 2012, however, the stealth mechanics for Evelynn were fully revamped so that she's visible at close range, making it more of a sneaking mechanic than an invisibleIntangible Man and the long-term stealth on Twitch was removed entirely.
The Usual Adversaries: It seems many champions got where they are because of Noxian generally-underhanded actions either for or against them.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: Some champions are allies with each other or at the least on friendly terms in the lore. And of course if they're on opposite sides you can force them to kill each other over and over again. Go out of your way as Lux to have her kill her beloved brother Garen? Go ahead. You Bastard.
Violation of Common Sense: Some champions fit a particular role or archetype but have playstyles that directly contradict some cardinal rules of playing the role. Graves is a ranged carry whose kit encourages him to get closer to his enemies, Singed is a fighter who does the most damage running away from enemies or even running circles around them, Karthus is a mage who can get away with intentionally dying so that he can cast his spells uninterrupted, etc. Doing this on most other champions of the same type is likely suicide.
Other champions get stronger as their health gets closer and closer to zero such as Olaf (or at least become more difficult to kill like Volibear). Most of these champions' potentials are wasted by doing the sensible thing and fleeing from losing situations; instead it may be smarter to fight it out and possibly come out on top.
Walk It Off: Everyone regenerates health naturally... but to varying degrees of usefulness. Mostly, sticking around with abysmally small amounts of health is suicidal at best and pointless at worst since you'll probably have to stay too far away from enemy minions to actually get experience and last hits.
Special mention goes to Garen who regenerates a small percentage of his HP every second as long as he hasn't taken damage from an enemy champion, turret or neutral monster in the last few seconds.
Weak, but Skilled: Among the factions, Piltover seems to fit the bill. Most of the champions that fight for it are Glass Cannons other than the bruisers Jayce and Vi (and even then neither are usually built as full tanks). However, nearly all of them are genii that develop some impressive gear that specializes in bombarding the enemy with lots of ranged attacks then disengaging if they try to get in close. This is exemplified by the fact that they have four marksman champions that fight for it (five if one counts Jayce), which is far more than the other factions.
Weak Turret Gun: Double Subversion. Towers will kill low level champions in only a few hits, and to stay relevant at higher levels they deal additional damage for every consecutive shot they land on you. However, champions outscale them, and by the end of the game a champion can solo a tower without dying. There's also the art of "tower-diving"—pursuing a limping enemy into tower range and securing the kill before the tower can kill you—which, with experience, can be done before ten minutes have passed.
Wait, why did one of them die? Two? THREE!? Is that a tea kettle I hear? No, it's Singed. And if the enemy is chasing him, not only did your team gain a boatload of free time to knock down a turret or three, but they're likely not too intelligent. Why? Well, Singed LEAVES POISON GAS BEHIND HIM. If you've ever fought a good Singed, you know just how difficult that bastard is to bring down.
There's also Master Yi. If you're building to troll, dunk or just be a distraction, Boots of Mobility and five Phantom Dancers coupled with the might of Highlander might just buy your team the time it needs to take that vital turret/inhibitor down. And you can rest assured that your teammate is likely laughing his ass off.
Furthermore, one basic strategy with Shaco is to wait in a bush and place 5 or 6 Jack in the boxes in a bush, then run towards it with an enemy following. Can be made even worse if the enemy has fallen for this before, but is pulled into it by Ahri's charm.
What If?: Some skins are based on this, especially what if good characters fall to darkness (e.g. Blackfrost Anivia, Harbringer Kassadin) and what if evil characters never went bad (e.g. Justicar Syndra). Arclight Varus seems like an example of the later but according to Word of God the skin represents what Varus looked like right after taking in the corruption but before he showed signs of it. Sometimes this almost branches off into a universe of it's own - for instance: the popular Steel Legion/BioForge skin series occurs in an Alternate Continuity where Demacia and Piltover have merged into a single nation to fight an overt merger of Noxus and Zaun.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A late-game Malzahar can drop just about any champion with a strong item build and good execution of his combos, and visions of the Void made Malzahar lose all of his sanity. Thresh grows stronger from collecting souls and has a limit of 999,999. He even mentions it is “quite likely” that he is mad.
World of Buxom: It would be shorter to try to list the non-Yordle adult females that aren't well-endowed.
Wretched Hive: Zaun and Noxus both qualify. Especially Zaun: sure, they may respect sentience of every type (as evidenced by Blitzcrank's freedom), but it's an industrial cesspool that values science above everything else, including morality, and is loaded with complete sociopaths who are given a free run of the place.
Wutai: Ionia is this with some Crystal Spires and Togas mixed in, having most of the Asian culture-influenced champions aligned to it (minus Xin Zhao) and nearly all the martial artists and ninja.
You Kill It, You Bought It: Instead of randomly-spawning runes in DotA, there are certain neutral creeps scattered about the map which give temporary Status Buffs. If you get killed while wearing one, they pass to your killer, with the sole exception being King Mooks like Baron Nashor; their buffs just disappear if you die.