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There have been many times where I look at a champion, and like it, but I've got no idea which lane it is meant to go in. How do I determine which lane to go in?

I've been playing LoL for awhile, and yet I'm still a newbie to quite a few tings.

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There is no "set" lane for each champion, but some tend to fare better in some lanes than others. The pro scene is a little different than the answer I'm going to give, because of their lane swapping and counterpicking. So, here we go:

Bottom lane is almost always a "support (Janna, Lulu, Taric, Thresh, Soraka, Sona etc.)" and "Ranged AD Carry (Ashe, Draven, Graves, Vayne, Varus, etc.)" Supports are champs that tend to still be effective with a small amount of gold, while Ranged AD carries typically have the most damage out of any type of champion come late game, IF they've managed to get a lot of gold. The support helps to keep the ADC safe, and the ADC takes all the farm that they can.

Mid Lane: It used to be always AP Mids, but that's changed a bit since the introduction of AD casters such as Zed and Khazix. Generally, it's a champion that scales well off of levels, meaning they have strong spells. They are also usually strong roamers, able to run to top or bot lane to set up a kill with CC or pure damage Mid lane doesn't have to share XP, and is shorter than the others, therefore safer for less mobile champions like Viegar, Zyra, Syndra, Swain, etc. Common mids in the pro scene are: Lux, Kassadin, Zed, Orianna, Twisted Fate, the occasional Karthus, and some more that I can't get off the top of my head.

Jungle and Top have a similar champion pool, because thy have a few similar characteristics: Be tanky (a little to a lot) and have some sort of sustain (generally, but not always). Junglers and tops include Nasus, Lee Sin, Udyr, Zac, Shen, Jarvan (better jungle). Tops you won't see jungle: Rumble, Zed (also mid, confusing I know), Irelia, Renekton. Melee ADC's (Tryndamere, Fiora, Master Yi), while uncommon, tend to go top or jungle. Jungles you won't see top: Sejuani, Nautilus, Shaco, Nunu, etc. One almost requirement for junglers is form them to have strong Ganks. Nautilus has massive CC, Sej has a good amount, and Shaco has his stealth + blink for getting onto the lane enemy without begin seen.

These lists are far from complete, but I hope it gives you a starting point.

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    In normal games, Nautilus and Nunu are quite common top-lanes. Nunu has great sustainability and poke and Nautilus fills the same role as Cho'gath, an AP bully. – 3ventic Aug 13 '13 at 7:15
  • It should be noted that melee AD carries are actually the best damage dealers. Ranged ones are preferred in bot lane because it is easier for them to farm, survive and sustain their DPS in fight. – Aeronth Aug 13 '13 at 14:08
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    The most important part of the answer, which you never emntioned, is: the Meta. – Hackworth Aug 13 '13 at 14:32
  • @Hackworth I've opened a bounty here to find an up-to-date explanation of the meta. – user47129 Aug 14 '13 at 1:51