As of the end of 2019, there are nearly 150 League of Legends champions in the game. While it’d be awesome for all of them to be equally strong and viable in ranked, there are just some champions that are weaker (and therefore less popular) than others. Whether it be due to power creep or nerfs, some champs got hit harder than others.
We’ll look at the 10 most unpopular League of Legends champions according to op.gg and discuss why that is in this article.
(Updated Dec 2019)
10. Aurelion Sol
Starting us off at #10 is Aurelion Sol. Aurelion has never been the most played champion due to his difficulty and wonky playstyle. He basically only saw play in high elo and competitive games once in a while.
Recent nerfs in late 2019 have cemented Aurelion Sol as one of the least played heroes. These nerfs were probably intended to make the champion easier to play and more popular, but actually had the opposite effect.
The nerfs hampered his laning presence by removing his Celestial Expansion (W) toggle, which had allowed him to trade with enemies from afar. His Comet of Legend (E) cooldown also got increased.
As a result of these nerfs, Aurelion Sol simply gets too abused in lane and simply can’t dish out damage like he used to. His role changed from a sustained DPS mage with decent burst to a mage that just has underwhelming sustain and burst.
Like Aurelion Sol, Ziggs has also suffered from nerfs that have reduced his effectiveness and popularity.
Runes Reforged wasn’t any help to Ziggs, as arguably none of the runes are great on him. He is no longer the tower destroyer anymore due to the rework of how AP champs deal damage to towers. Finally, Ziggs is simply too weak early game, easily countered, and has a tough time roaming without his ult.
He may dish out an insane amount of damage late game, but unfortunately Ziggs is just a little too weak to be all that popular right now.
Udyr at #8 in the least played heroes list may be surprising, especially if you’ve played LoL for a while. You might remember Udyr being one of the stronger champs in early seasons.
Due to power creep and mobility of newer heroes, though, Udyr has fallen off a bit. These days, he mostly sees play for nostalgia value or to run him top lane jungle. His playstyle is fairly simple – he’s a macro-heavy bruiser that excels in 1v1s or tanking a ton of damage.
Some think of Udyr as simply a weaker version of Sett, given they largely play a similar function on a team but Sett has higher baseline autoattack and AoE damage. Whether it’s exactly true is up for debate, but that perception exists which may explain Udyr’s lack of play.
Like many of the champions on this list, Azir is another who has a high skill floor and high skill ceiling. He’s extremely difficult to play well, especially in soloQ. He struggles mightily against Assassins, and we all know how popular they are in soloQ.
Azir’s kit actually makes him quite viable in competitive play, where he has a chance to make into the lategame. He really starts to shine once he gets his 2nd or 3rd item, but until then requires a team to hold down the fort. Azir also works best if you have strong communication with your jungler, letting him know when you need help in lane and when to let him farm.
Sion is one of the more versatile champs in League, as he can play Top, Mid, Support, depending on what the team needs. At one point, he was the only full tank being played top lane in pro play. He was also particularly strong when used with the Int strat and Demolish Rune.
Unfortunately, nerfs have pushed Sion out of favor quite a bit. He suffers from a lack of agency in soloQ, where he just doesn’t do as much to affect the outcome of a game as much as other champs like bruisers.
Still, Sion is still lots of fun to play and plenty strong. If you enjoy playing tanky meatshields, he’s your guy.
Gnar can be one of the stronger champions when played correctly, but getting to that point can be fairly difficult.
Gnar basically has two unique playstyles – one as a squishy kiting DPS and the other as a tank with a powerful Ult on short cooldown. Managing his Rage also takes a lot of experience and intuition, but once you get used to it he has a favorable matchup against pretty much anyone.
The reason Gnar doesn’t see much play currently is largely because of how prevalent bruisers are in the meta. Gnar thrives best against tanks, which are out of flavor in solo queue. This is why you see him get picked more in pro play, which is often to counter champs like Dr. Mundo and Gangplank.
The fabulous Taric being one of the most underplayed champs might surprise you. From a stats perspective, he has consistently boasted >50% winrates (he currently hovers at 51.5%). He’s also not that mechanically difficult to play. So why is Taric so unpopular?
League’s current meta of high mobility, strong burst, and magic damage champs is unfavorable to Taric. At the end of the day, Taric is also just less fun to play than other champs. He isn’t all that flashy, doesn’t dish out much damage, immobile, and is easily bullied in lane.
Players generally also don’t seem to enjoy playing mana hungry champions, which Taric definitely is. Historically, some of the least played champs – before reworks – have included Galio, Malphite, Poppy, Sion, Urgot, Yorick, all of whom run out of mana quickly.
It’s no secret that Support champions are less popular and fun to play in solo queue. Ivern ranks atop that list of unpopular supports and is the 3rd least played champ in LoL right now.
Ivern’s playstyle is that of a jungler support who looks to micromanage his way to victory. He can be super useful in a team-based setting with good communication, but when it comes to solo queue you often lack the coordination required to make any real impact with Ivern.
His weak early game dueling and waveclear also doesn’t help his popularity. There are too many other champs currently that you’d rather have on your team, that can often do Ivern’s job better.
The runner-up for the least popular League champion is Corki.
In his current state, Corki doesn’t dish out enough damage to have a huge impact on a game. His biggest struggle is his weak early and midgame, where he’s outclassed by ADCs. He scales best with levels as opposed to items, getting his major power spike at level 11. So while he can be a beast late game, teams with Corki have trouble making it that far.
Many players believe Vladimir, Azir, or Ezreal are better versions of Corki, since they have more presence in lane, kill potential, and contribute more in teamfights.
And finally, atop the list of the least popular League of Legends champions is Skarner.
The big scorpion is probably the most neglected champ when it comes to reworks and buffs, which is why he rarely sees play nowadays. He has a dismal 0.6% pickrate with a <50% winrate, which is truly telling. Only the hardcore Skarner fans and one trick ponies play him (ie. the most skilled with Skarner), yet even then can’t maintain a 50% winrate.
Skarner’s gameplay can also be considered boring due to the way crystal spires work, and many players play him solely as a tanky CC machine.
All that said, there are always ways to make a champ viable. Check out this Rank 1, self-proclaimed OTP Skarner main with an 80% WR.
There you have it, the 10 least played League of Legends champions. As you may have seen, most of the unpopular champs are either difficult to play or aren’t that strong in soloQ. If you enjoy going against the grain and playing off-meta picks, though, give these champs some love.