Our League of Legends Best DPS Champions guide contains a list of all the best damage dealers in the game and provides tips, tricks and strategy advice to help you master them too.
When talking about damage dealers in League of Legends you can broadly fit them into two categories: burst damage dealers and sustain damage dealers. The latter group are the ones we’re going to be discussing in this guide.
These champions build and buy items that will enable them to do the most DPS (damage per second) so that they can tear through the opposing team in late game engagements and team fights. There are a lot of oddly specific scenarios where some champions can technically have a higher DPS than others, but for the purposes of this list we’re focusing on scenarios you’re more likely to encounter in a standard game of League of Legends.
In a late game team fight with your opponents stacked up as a group of five, there isn’t a better champion than Twitch to have on your side if you want to stack up the most DPS. With a combination of his basic ability, Ambush, and ultimate, Spray and Pray, an entire team can find themselves skewered by crossbow bolts from so far away they don’t even realise where they are coming from until it’s too late.
The stealth effect from Ambush gives the combination a huge advantage, as Twitch can use that time while hidden to better set up his attack. You can also activate Spray and Pray while stealthed, meaning you can pull the trigger at the exact moment when you’re ready to unleash his damage.
Once you do, the damage is devastating. Breaking the stealth effect from Ambush immediately grants Twitch bonus attack speed, with each attack applying stacks of Deadly Venom to targets that deals true damage over time. You can even dish out a little bit more pain with Contaminate, which hits poisoned targets with a burst of additional damage depending on how many poison stacks they have on them.
It’s not always guaranteed to be quite so incredible as all spread through a full five-man team, but even if you hit just a few enemy champions with Spray and Pray alongside the attack speed buff of Ambush, there’s no denying just how much DPS Twitch can deal in a game.
With the ability to switch between two different weapon types, Jinx has ways to focus on rapid sustain damage or more impactful area of effect damage with the press of a button. It’s the former that gives her potential to be one of the game’s best DPS champions.
Jinx’s minigun (the unsubtly named Pow-Pow) not only fires at a decent rate by itself, but also gains attack speed for 2.5 seconds with every basic attack. What’s more, the effect can stack up to three times and when maxed out, reaches all the way up to a 130% boost. It's an ability that's fairly easy to activate and maintain in any team fight, which also marries with a full ADC build featuring attack damage and attack speed items.
That’s not everything, though. Jinx can gain an even bigger bump to her attack speed thanks to her passive trait, Get Excited. This gives her another massive temporary increase to attack speed and movement if any champions, towers or inhibitors are killed or destroyed within three seconds of Jinx landing an attack on them. When pushing structures or in team fight situation, you can easily see how she can get a little out of control!
So, while she may not have the crazy potential of a Twitch up against a full team with Spray and Pray, Jinx can more regularly find ways to dish out more DPS more consistently. And you can even weave in a rocket or two from Fishbones if necessary, though the minigun is usually the way to go.
Kog’Maw can bring frightening levels of DPS to a team with abilities that can shred through a target’s armour, add percentage-based health damage to his basic attacks and even execute weakened targets from afar as they try to flee. With a full item build, that damage is often way too much for any champion to handle.
A combination of two basic abilities – Caustic Spittle and Bio-Arcane Barrage – set up Kog’Maw’s extremely lethal DPS potential. The former is a straightforward damage projectile, but it’s all the other effects that come with it that we’re interested in. Not only does it grant you a healthy attack speed bonus, but it also reduces the armour and magic resist of the target. If you follow that up by activating the latter, Kog’Maw then gains increased attack range and his basic attacks start dealing a percent of an opponent’s maximum health as magic damage. Combined, that will shred through anything.
If anyone does manage to escape from all that, Kog’Maw then has Living Artillery to siege down the poor fleeing soul. Anyone below 40% health takes even more damage from the attack too, making it easier to execute any stragglers with Kog’Maw’s wrath – though do keep an eye on your mana when casting as each subsequent use increases its cost.
Like Twitch, Kog’Maw offers a small window if potentially wild DPS, though that short burst can usually be enough to rip through enough opponents to win a late game team fight secure a very quick kill.
If you’re looking for a champion with some of the best single target DPS then Vayne should be one of your top picks. With speedy auto attacks that can also chunk through high health champions, she becomes a true monster when fully equipped and a menace that can delete a solo opponent in a matter of moments.
Silver Bolts is the ability that enables a great deal of this potential, as it makes every third basic attack against the same target deal a percentage of the target’s health as true damage – that means it can’t be mitigated by any damage resistance. For it to be effective, though, it does mean you have to be more focused with the targets you attack, as switching off from someone before that third hit loses you precious bonus damage.
It does show why Vayne can be such a powerful single target damage dealer, though. Even if opposing champions try to stack armour and health against you, the impact is severely negated by her ability to ignore it completely.
Vayne’s other abilities only increase her damage further too. Her ultimate, Final Hour, gives her a significant damage boost and it's something you’ll want to activate right at the start of a big engagement or team fight. You’ll want to practise weaving Tumble in between auto attacks too, as it not only provides extra damage, but also resets your basic attack cooldown so you can stack up Silver Bolts quicker and apply that third bonus hit much faster.
Again, her DPS is a little limited by the need to stick on single targets to be most effective, but Vayne has some impressive power when up against more robust and tanky champions.
Moving away from all the Marksmen for a moment, there are some ability power focused champions that can also offer up some threatening DPS potential. Though their speciality is usually burst damage, the likes of Karthus show they can be a viable sustain damage option too.
For Karthus, the focus is on his Q ability, Lay Waste. It’s a pretty simple skill that deals a blast of damage in a small area that hits all nearby targets. Where it can offer huge DPS potential, though, is thanks to its ridiculously short one second cooldown, allowing you to spam the move over and over as long as you have the mana.
Lay Waste also deals double damage if it only hits a single target, so you can very quickly obliterate your way through a lone enemy champion. Or, if there are multiple opponents all stacked up, you can deal out even more damage to anyone caught in the blasts.
Throw in Karthus’ Defile ability too, which deals consistent magic damage to anyone standing in the aura around him and you can overwhelm entire teams in the blink of an eye. Then there’s his Requiem ultimate, which can pile a last bit of damage on top to all enemy champions no matter where they are on the map too. Oh, did we mention he can continue casting spells for seven seconds after he dies too?