Factions is built around matches fought between factions (such as Demacia or Noxus) using faction-specific Champion lists.
Anyone may start an unscored Intermission match at any time. Intermission matches use special rosters that are more generous than usual.
Primary and Allied Champions
For Intermission, each faction has two Champion lists:
- Primary Champions are always available to the faction.
- Allied Champions are another faction’s Primary Champions. They are available to their Allied faction except against their Primary faction. (For example, Mundo is a Primary for Zaun and an Ally for Noxus. He is available to Noxus in all matches except Noxus versus Zaun matches.)
- Champions can be Allied to more than one faction. If two such factions go up against each other, whichever faction chooses the Champion first gets them.
Please note that Intermission rosters are quite “generous”. In arcs, factions generally start with a smaller subset of Champions, and part of the meta-strategy component of the arc is deciding whom to recruit first. (In arcs, there are also often chances for factions to pick up more “eccentric” options based on a temporary allegiance.)
You can copy and paste these into the Search box in Champ Select.
The Shadow Isles
Bandle City is the primary yordle civilization. Yordles are adorable little creatures who thrive on community, friendship, and snuggles. They are easily lured into traps by delicious confections. When tempting cupcakes are not involved, they are quite clever, and have a relatively high level of technology, which they combine with magic to create “hextech”. Piltover and Bandle City collaborate closely on hextech research. Scientifically minded yordles often journey to the great academies of Piltover, where the most cutting edge research and development is undertaken. Some, such as Rumble, resent Piltover for “stealing” Bandle City’s best minds, and want to see Bandle City surpass the so-called “City of Tomorrow”.
Primary Champions for Bandle City
Allied Champions for Bandle City
- Amumu is Primary for Shurima.
- Fizz is Primary for Bilgewater.
- Heimerdinger is Primary for Piltover. (That horrible Betrayordle.)
- Kennen is Primary for Ionia.
- Ziggs is Primary for Piltover.
Bandle City excels at midgame AoE-stacking teamfights.
Factions History for Bandle City
- Part III: Discord. Bandle City came in second place out of four. It was the first major civilization attacked by the Void swarm.
- Part V: Hextech Revolution. Bandle City came in third place out of four. It forged an alliance with Piltover and refueled the Mothership for a flight to the moon.
Bilgewater is a maritime city-state and plays a major role in global trade. It also secondarily represents other aquatically inclined civilizations.
Primary Champions for Bilgewater
Allied Champions for Bilgewater
- Katarina is Primary for Noxus.
- Twisted Fate is Primary for Zaun.
- Jax is Primary for Ionia.
- Sivir is Primary for Shurima.
- Janna is Primary for Piltover.
Bilgewater has a very well-balanced (though small) roster.
Factions History for Bilgewater
- Part IV: Shon-Xan. Bilgewater mercenaries were briefly involved in the Shon-Xan dispute, when the League adjudicated ownership of Shon-Xan’s port. In that tournament, each side was allowed to bring in up to one Bilgewater Champion per match.
- Part VI: Nyroth. Bilgewater held first place for most of this arc, before dropping to second in the final weeks as Ionia rallied.
Law, order, justice, and unity are Demacia’s highest ideals. It is a militaristic city-state bitterly opposed to Noxus. It is arguably the most “heroic” faction, and has sacrificed much to protect weaker factions against aggressors. It does have a darker side: Demacia regulates its citizens’ lives closely, and demands total commitment to their assigned duties. Honor and standing are determined almost entirely in relation to the state.
Primary Champions for Demacia
Secondary Champions for Demacia
- Poppy is Primary for Bandle City.
- Nasus is Primary for Shurima.
Demacia excels at early-to-midgame all-in teamfights.
Factions History for Demacia
- Part I: Mirrorwater. Demacia came in fifth place out of five factions in the Mirrorwater dispute.
- Part II: Ceruleana. Demacia won the Ceruleana storyline, gaining both the mystical island and the favor of its eponymous supernatural guardian.
- Part III: Discord. Demacia came in fourth place out of four factions in Discord.
- Part IV: Shon-Xan. Demacia did not directly participate in the Shon-Xan dispute between Noxus and Ionia, but it was granted permission to deploy its navy to defend Ionia’s shores.
- Part V: Hextech Revolution. Demacia took second place out of four factions in the Shuriman Dispute. It was heavily sanctioned after deploying its army to seize Zaun’s pyrikhos mines by force.
The Freljord is an inhospitable northern realm, mostly frozen tundra. It is home to three warring sub-factions: the Avarosan, a kingdom precariously allied with Demacia; the Winter’s Claw, a belligerent nomadic tribe; and the Frostguard, a mysterious entity led in secret by Lissandra and covertly allied with the troll tribes.
Primary Champions for the Freljord
Allied Champions for the Freljord
- Gnar is Primary for Bandle City.
- Quinn is Primary for Demacia.
This is what a teamfight against the Freljord feels like. SLOOOOOOW DOOOOOOOOOOOWN.
Factions History for the Freljord
- Part I: Mirrorwater. A united Freljord was victorious in the Mirrorwater dispute.
- Part II: Ceruleana. The Freljord came in fourth place out of six factions in Ceruleana.
- Part VI: Nyroth. The Freljord came in third place, but held second place for most of the arc, and made the crucial decisions regarding the nexus in the center of Yoroth.
Ionia is an insular realm with several sub-factions somewhat loosely allied under Karma’s leadership. It seeks balance and harmony, at home and abroad, though its focus is on the former and it does not share Demacia’s zeal for intervening in world affairs. Its magic is arguably the most refined and powerful in Valoran.
Core Champions for Ionia
Allied Champions for Ionia
- Sona is Primary for Demacia.
- Udyr is Primary for the Freljord.
- Syndra and Zed were dropped from the initial Intermission rosters, owing to their rather violent past opposition to the Ionian state.
Ionia has very high mobility. Depending on the particular teamcomp it fields, it can also bring significant poke or teamfight potential.
Factions History for Ionia
- Part I: Mirrorwater. Ionia came in fourth place out of five factions in the Mirrorwater dispute.
- Part II: Ceruleana. Ionia came in fourth place out of six factions in the dispute over Ceruleana.
- Part IV: Shon-Xan. Ionia was ultimately victorious, repelling the Noxian invasion of Shon-Xan. (Really, Noxus, just stop trying.)
- Part VI: Nyroth. Ionia hovered around third place for most of the arc, only to win in a final surge during the last few weeks.
Noxian society values strength above all. It is a fiercely (often bloodily) meritocratic civilization that embraces conflict and competition. Like Demacia, it is ruled by a military dictatorship. The most powerful subfaction is made up of “Reformists” who argue that Noxus has become too ruthless and bloodthirsty through its alliance with Zaun, pursuing the “efficiency” of biochemical weapons and industrial militarization at the expense of the pursuit of true individual strength. The Noxian military, once rivaled only by Demacia’s, has been all but destroyed by the Void invasion and its catastrophic defeat in Shon-Xan.
Primary Champions for Noxus
- During Intermission, Noxus gets both Riven and Singed.
Secondary Champions for Noxus
- Dr. Mundo, Singed, and Warwick are Primary to Zaun.
Removed Champions for Noxus
- Sivir was removed on objections that she “ditched Noxus in the initial invasion of Ionia and then got stabbed in the back by a lead aristocrat”. The more lore comes out, the weaker her Noxian connections get. We also have never really featured her in Factions, so there’s no basis in prior storylines for her being on Noxus. So, she’s been removed from the current intermission roster.
Noxus excels at early game aggression and assassination. It has several Champions with hard CC and burst damage who specialize in eliminating lone targets or winning smaller engagements. It tends to perform less well in teamfights and the lategame.
Factions History for Noxus
- Part I: Mirrorwater. Noxus came in second place out of five factions in the Mirrorwater dispute.
- Part II: Ceruleana. Noxus was eliminated from the Ceruleana dispute.
- Part III: Discord. Noxus was not a regular participant in Discord, but it did beat back the Void and the Shadow Isles when they attacked it at the end of the arc. Noxus nonetheless suffered greatly.
- Part IV: Shon-Xan. Noxus was defeated by Ionia in the war for Shon-Xan.
Piltover is the most technologically advanced faction. It is a mercantile state with strong military allies.
Primary Champions for Piltover
Secondary Champions for Piltover
- Blitzcrank and Zac are Primary to Zaun.
- Corki is Primary to Bandle City.
- Zilean is Primary to Shurima.
- Riven is Primary to Noxus.
Piltover has excellent poke — it is sometimes known as “Poketover” by Factions players. It also often runs double-ADC comps, giving it immense lategame potential. Though specializing in poke, Piltover can bring Orianna and Vi to add some hard engage capability.
Factions History for Piltover
- Part I: Mirrorwater. Piltover placed third out of five factions.
- Part II: Ceruleana. Piltover placed second out of six factions.
- Part III: Discord. Piltover placed third out of four factions.
- Part V: Hextech Revolution. Piltover placed fourth out of four factions.
The Shadow Isles
“The Shadow Isles — they say they don’t exist.” Well, no, Elise, nobody says that, at least not anymore. In fact, several Shadow Isles Champions fight in the League of Legends. There’s a Field of Justice in the Shadow Isles. And beginning with the Ceruleana dispute, the Shadow Isles have secured official status as a League nation. Summoners who are willing to bargain with the likes of Karthus and Elise can offer their services in exchange for access to powerful necromantic magic, enough to offer a chance at a kind of immortality, or perhaps to be reunited with a dear one lost to death.
Primary Champions for the Shadow Isles
- Maokai is trying to restore part of the Shadow Isles. He could conceivably end up on the SI roster in an arc. Again, note that Intermission Rosters are more generous in some respects: a Champion with a strong thematic fit like Maokai, and a plausible if nuanced story hook, can make it on.
Allied Champions for the Shadow Isles
- Amumu is Primary to Shurima.
- Sion and Urgot are Primary to Noxus.
Gameplay and Factions History
Before Kalista’s arrival in the League, the Shadow Isles had no real ADC, outside of Urgot, who arguably isn’t a real ADC either. (Poor Urgot.) So far, the Shadow Isles has been in two arcs, Ceruleana and Nyroth, and in both cases ended dead last, by a considerable margin.
The mysterious Shurima Desert has not yet truly asserted itself as a faction, but there is talk that this could change. If Shurima were to be selected, it would be essentially a “blank slate” faction that the Champions involved would have to try to build up. Maybe they could join forces with Nefara to create some sort of creepy undead civilization. Maybe they could restore its original splendor and invite others to come settle it. It would all be especially awkward given that the League has just finished carving up most of Shurima’s territory. Nobody freaking lives there. Not yet, anyway.
Primary Champions for Shurima
Allied Champions for Shurima
- Cassiopeia is Primary for Noxus.
- Malzahar and Rek’Sai are Primary for the Void.
- Ezreal is Primary for Piltover.
Shurima has not yet been in a Factions arc, and so it remains to be seen what kind of gameplay characteristics it might have.
Factions History for Shurima
Shurima has not yet been in a Factions arc as a playable faction, though it was the setting for Part V: Hextech Revolution.
There is a place between dimensions, between worlds …
The Void is a terrifying alien realm brimming with wild magic and ravenous supernatural beasts. The reckless use of battle magic in the Rune Wars that preceded the formation of the League of Legends has torn into the fabric of reality around Runeterra, allowing some of these horrors to slip through from the Void.
When Demacia tipped the scales in favor of Order, the cosmic balance violently asserted itself: a great portal split the sands of Icathia and out poured an army of Void monsters with Malzahar at their fore. Icathia is now a nightmare realm crawling with Void demons and insane prophets.
Primary Champions for the Void
The Void is a very unusual faction in that its core roster spans only six Champions, just barely enough to form a team. Despite this, it has shown tremendous split push power.
Factions History for the Void
- Part III: Discord. The Void won the Discord arc, with some assistance from the Shadow Isles. The Void monsters once imprisoned by the League are now free, and roam Icathia. The League has been forced to recognize the Void itself as a faction.
The gleeful reign of mad science has turned Zaun into an exciting but terrifying place. It rivals Piltover in technological prowess, and is far less inhibited when it comes to pushing the boundaries of ethical or sane experimentation. These experiments, and the contamination they have spread, have led to the emergence of many strange creatures, from mutants to techmaturgic automatons.
Core Champions for Zaun
Secondary Champions for Zaun
- Janna is Primary for Piltover.
- Renekton and Xerath are Primary for Shurima.
- Urgot is Primary for Noxus.
Zaun has a very tanky lineup, which gives it significant early-game teamfight power.
Factions History for Zaun
- Part V: Hextech Revolution. Zaun came in first place among four factions in the battle for control of the dark sand.
How do you decide which faction gets which Champions?
We look at three primary factors:
- Story. We start by looking at the official written lore. Sometimes, this is dispositive: for example, it’s pretty obvious that Swain will be fighting for Noxus, absent highly unusual circumstances. Often, though, the lore is somewhat ambivalent.
- Theme. We try to give each faction a cohesive in-game feel. For Piltover, that’s “steampunk”‘; for Zaun, that’s “mad science”; for Noxus, that’s “axes and spiky armor”. A good thematic fit can help nudge a Champion onto a roster.
- Gameplay. These limited rosters give each faction distinct strengths and weaknesses, and push Summoners to devise creative strategies that wouldn’t be necessary or viable in the 100+ Champion meta. We might give a Champion to a faction to help reinforce a strategy players have discovered, or to open up a new strategic option. More basically, sometimes we’ll pad a roster just to make it large enough to be playable. We also try to make sure each roster has some 450 IP (or at least 1350 IP) options.
We tend to begin with fairly small rosters and then allow factions to build them up through victories in important matches and interactive lore events. For tentative information on which Champions might fight for which factions in future storylines, visit the Factions of Runeterra page.
For unscored Intermission Matches, which do not affect the storyline, use the Intermission Rosters. All factions are playable in Intermission Matches, and anyone can fight for any faction (even against their “real” faction).
Featured Match signup banner by KBloodslear, using Riot art.