Taking another look at subclasses

By Riot Statikk

Hey all,

It’s been a bit since we’ve reexamined our Class and Subclass structure, and as expected our understandings of it have evolved a bit over the past year. Let’s jump into the the key insights we’ve had during this time.


1. Dissolving the Disruptors

The Disruptor Subclass from the outset felt somewhat like a jumbled mess united under the banner of “control” whether that was through lockdown, zones, traps, or even terrain manipulation. When you look at the list of champions within the Subclass (Anivia, Heimerdinger, Morgana, Teemo, etc.), it was difficult to get a good read on who they really were. Overall, it felt less like a Subclass and more like a cluster of Mages who had unique or mixed identities. Since then, we’ve realized that mechanics such as traps and walls shouldn’t be isolated to a single Subclass; those are tools that any champion can utilize to help fulfill their intended purpose. With this in mind, we’ve decided that - at least for now - the Disruptors will no longer exist as a distinct Subclass.


2. Introducing the Catchers

At the same time, we saw a set of champions that had a common core purpose yet were scattered all over the board: Blitzcrank, Thresh, Morgana, etc… These champions primarily rely on ranged fishing tools, setting their team up for success by picking out a vulnerable target for their team to quickly follow up on. If Vanguards and Wardens are the aggressive and defensive sides of the Tanks, then Catchers can be considered the aggressive side of the Controllers - opposite to the usually more defensive oriented Enchanters. Catchers bring huge playmaking potential without necessarily being the primary damage threats themselves - this is what makes them unique and exciting to have in the champion roster.


3. Embracing Unique Playstyles

We’ve also identified an over-eagerness on our part to categorize all the champions and put them into boxes - even when they didn’t fit all that well into them. To reiterate, we’re not really interested in forcing every champion into a neat little box - we think that actually stunts creativity and uniqueness among the roster. The Subclass system is more intended as a way to create a shared language we can use to help us better understand how to make healthy champions and how to better differentiate amongst them.

In our first pass of categorization, we fell into a trap where we tried to identify many of the hard-to-define champions with a set of hybrid tags that sometimes got close and sometimes not so much. With this in mind, we decided to reduce our reliance on the myriad of confusing hybrid tags and instead left a lot more of the champions in the Unique category. We’re happy to see that a lot of our champions don’t fit this specific lens of structuring the champion roster - that’s actually a really encouraging sign that our roster has a lot of distinctiveness and diversity.

Hopefully this has given you all some insight into our take on the ever-evolving state of the champion roster. Check out our current categorizations below!


Class Subclass
Tanks Vanguards, Wardens
Fighters Juggernauts, Divers
Slayers Assassins, Skirmishers
Mages Burst Mages, Battle Mages, Artillery
Controllers Enchanters, Catchers
Marksmen Marksmen

Tanks

  • Vanguards
    • Alistar
    • Amumu
    • Mega Gnar
    • Gragas
    • Leona
    • Malphite
    • Maokai
    • Nautilus
    • Rammus
    • Sejuani
    • Sion
    • Zac
  • Wardens
    • Braum
    • Galio
    • Nunu
    • Poppy
    • Shen
    • Tahm Kench

Fighters

  • Juggernauts
    • Darius
    • Dr. Mundo
    • Garen
    • Illaoi
    • Mordekaiser
    • Nasus
    • Shyvana
    • Trundle
    • Udyr
    • Volibear
    • Yorick
  • Divers
    • Aatrox
    • Camille
    • Diana
    • Elise
    • Hecarim
    • Irelia
    • Jarvan IV
    • Kled
    • Lee Sin
    • Olaf
    • Pantheon
    • Rek’Sai
    • Renekton
    • Rengar
    • Skarner
    • Vi
    • Warwick
    • Wukong
    • Xin Zhao

Slayers

  • Assassins
    • Akali
    • Ekko
    • Evelynn
    • Fizz
    • Kassadin
    • Katarina
    • Kha’Zix
    • Nocturne
    • Shaco
    • Talon
    • Zed
  • Skirmishers
    • Fiora
    • Jax
    • Master Yi
    • Riven
    • Tryndamere
    • Yasuo

Mages

  • Burst Mages
    • Ahri
    • Annie
    • Brand
    • LeBlanc
    • Lissandra
    • Lux (hybrid Artillery)
    • Orianna
    • Syndra
    • Twisted Fate
    • Veigar
  • Battle Mages
    • Anivia
    • Aurelion Sol
    • Cassiopeia
    • Karthus
    • Malzahar
    • Rumble
    • Ryze
    • Swain
    • Taliyah
    • Viktor
    • Vladimir
  • Artillery
    • Jayce
    • Vel’Koz
    • Xerath
    • Ziggs

Controllers

  • Enchanters
    • Janna
    • Karma
    • Lulu
    • Nami
    • Sona
    • Soraka
    • Taric (hybrid Warden)
  • Catchers
    • Bard
    • Blitzcrank
    • Ivern
    • Morgana
    • Rakan
    • Thresh
    • Zyra

Marksmen

    • Ashe
    • Caitlyn
    • Corki
    • Draven
    • Ezreal
    • Jhin (hybrid Catcher)
    • Jinx
    • Kalista
    • Kindred
    • Kog’Maw
    • Lucian
    • Miss Fortune
    • Sivir
    • Tristana
    • Twitch
    • Varus (hybrid Artillery)
    • Vayne
    • Xayah

Unique Playstyles

    • Azir
    • Cho’Gath
    • Fiddlesticks
    • Gangplank
    • Graves
    • Mini Gnar
    • Heimerdinger
    • Kayle
    • Kennen
    • Nidalee
    • Quinn
    • Singed
    • Teemo
    • Urgot
    • Zilean

5 months ago