Miss Fortune

Aug 30, 2014

2014 Champion Tier List - Solo Queue - Patch 4.15 Update


Preface Chatter
Hey everyone, I was actually planning on doing this later tonight, but lucky for you guys the NA servers just crashed again, so this one's coming out a little earlier.

In this patch a couple old favorites have been rising with nerfs on other formerly stronger champion picks. Check out the listing below:


Aug 28, 2014

How Good is Nidalee in Solo Queue?



Originally supposed to be a post on both Nidalee and Alistar, I procrastinated a bit and Riot smacked Alistar top with the nerfbat.

Thus, this post will be dedicated to Nidalee, specifically top lane Nidalee. As anybody who's following the professional scene knows, Nidalee has been a hotly contested pick along with the likes of Dr. Mundo (maybe this post should have been about Mundo too...if there's enough interest it could happen.)
"On paper, she's an extremely strong and safe pick."

What Makes Nidalee Strong?

I think this is best served by a bulleted list; Nidalee has the following:
  • Early level multiple use gap closer/escape method;
  • Strong early game sustain;
  • Strong early game poke/all-in potential; 
  • Solid 1v2 laning potential; and
  • High base damage.
This makes her a great pick/counterpick against the majority of top laners. So what's up with her mediocre 49% solo queue win rate? On paper she's very strong and very safe...

What Makes Nidalee Difficult?

Again, let's go with a bulleted list:
  • Necessary Skills:
    1. Heal targeting (smart cast/self-cast hotkeying)(support skill);
    2. Ranged auto-attacking (ADC skill);
    3. Melee bruiser (top skill);
    4. Long range skill spell is core;
    5. Unique leap skill; and
    6. All-in is burst and not sustained damage, thus requiring knowledge of damage potential.
Clearly she needs a lot to master.

How Hard is Nidalee?

This time, we could go with a table, but since you're probably expecting a bulleted list instead, so here's bulleted list #3:
  • Bronze: 45.75% win rate
  • Silver: 48.14% win rate
  • Gold: 50.41% win rate
  • Platinum: 50.66% win rate
  • Diamond: 52.06% win rate
  • Challenger: 55.34% win rate
I think I see a pattern here, do you?

Final Conclusions

Nidalee is clearly a VERY high skill cap champion that's also VERY rewarding at the highest levels of play. While some might say she's "not good in teamfights" or  "not good in [insert badness here]", she's clearly got enough utility and lane pressure to do well in solo queue.

The main question however, is do YOU (or think your teammates) possess all the skills necessary to play her to a level where you can consistently win?

For over 90% of the population, the answer is probably no...BUT if you have the dedication to master Nidalee (before she gets nerfed), then climbing the ladder to a prestigious position is definitely possible.

Even if you don't win a lot with Nidalee, you'll learn a lot of transferable skills to other champions. However, if winning is your sole goal in solo queue, there are better choices. For many champions, mastering just one aspect of Nidalee's many required skills can land you into a higher tier.

Thoughts? Comment below!

Aug 26, 2014

4.15 Patch Analysis



As this patch was relatively short and the ranked queues are already down on the NA servers, let's take a quick look at this patch and how it'll likely affect the Solo Queue Tier list going forward.

Nerfs: Alistar
Buffs: Fiddlesticks, Gnar, Sivir, Urgot

Nerfs (The Death of Alistar)

"Alistar can no longer land an additional basic attack on his Headbutted target as they fly away"
Top Lane Alistar [Tier 1 Top -> XX]: This minor change takes away Alistar's poking power in lane, and with it, the dominance and success he had top lane against popular champions. With this "minor" change, I think that it will essentially remove Alistar from the top lane, and as such he'll likely be dropping off the Tier list for top. 

Support Alistar [Tier 2 Support -> Tier 2 Support]: Meanwhile, as for support Alistar he'll likely remain relatively unchanged as the majority of support Alistars have their strengths in his all-in ability and his in-lane sustaining power.


Fiddlesticks [Jungle God]: Not sure why Fiddle needed any buffs no matter how small, but he'll definitely continue being a strong pick in solo queue with his game changing ultimates.

Gnar [Tier 2 Top -> ???]: Judging from his win rate in the last patch, he was probably closer to a Tier 3 or even a Tier 4 champion, and I clearly had him too high. I'll give Riot the benefit of the doubt though, and assume these changes will move him up to balanced for the time being.

Sivir [Tier 2 ADC -> Tier 2]: Slight visual change, she does feel clumsy compared to other ADCs, but I think she's at least balanced.

Urgot [Tier 4 Everywhere -> Tier 2/3?]: The acid hunter change is basically the same trick they tried with Annie that got her back on her feet. This change gives him a much safer laning phase, and his ability to last hit sounds like it's going to be much more fun! I'm excited to play him Ezreal-style with Q spamming.

I think it's a very real possibility that he's brought up quite a ways on the tier list. However, although he doesn't NEED to buy a tear quite as early for mana issues, he'll probably still use it as part of his core. This means that a late game final build Urgot may still be weaker than other AD carries, but time will tell.

What do you guys think? Agree/Disagree? Comment below!

New Champion: Azir, the Emperor of the Sands!



Passive: Will of the Emperor

Cooldown reduction increases Azir's attack speed.

Disc of the Sun - Azir raises a Sun Disc on the base of a destroyed turret (enemy inhibitor and nexus turrets are immune to this effect). Azir’s Sun Disc behaves like a turret, except that it deals increased damage and grants Azir gold on minion or champion kills. The Sun Disc lasts for a short while and if Azir is killed or moves too far away, it loses armor.

Q: Conquering Sands

Azir orders all Sand Soldiers to rush at target position. The soldiers damage and slow all enemies they smash through as they rush into the fray. Azir gains attack speed if the soldiers strike an enemy champion.

W: Arise!

Azir summons an untargettable Sand Soldier—a memory of a Shuriman warrior—from the ground. Azir uses his basic attack as a command, ordering soldiers to attack for him, piercing through their target and dealing damage in a line. Sand Soldiers attack even if Azir himself isn’t in basic attack range. The soldiers fade back to sand after a short while or when their emperor leaves them behind.

E: Shifting Sands

Azir feints, rushing to target Sand Soldier. If Azir collides with an enemy champion, he stops, knocking them up and gaining a shield.

R: Emperor's Divide

Azir calls forth a phalanx of shield-wielding soldiers who press forward, knocking back and damaging enemies. When the soldiers finish their charge, they stand as a wall, blocking enemy champion movement and dashes. Allies can pass through the wall and gain a speed boost when they do. These soldiers cannot be ordered to move or attack.


Azir is a mage who summons Shuriman soldiers to control the battlefield and basic attack for him. The soldier’s piercing basic attacks furnish most of Azir’s damage potential, making him an outlier amongst mages as a right-click-focused champion. Azir’s spells, on the other hand, manipulate his and his soldiers’ positions to keep him safe and establish dangerous no-go zones for his enemies.

Azir establishes shifting zones of power through soldier placement, gaining control of the lane and farming with their assistance. For instance, a soldier placed near the enemy’s caster minions dares a lane opponent to harass or farm through the piercing spear. When the opposing laner missteps, Azir commands the attack, repositioning soldiers with Conquering Sands to make the most of the opportunity. Once a favorable trade or two unlocks kill potential, Azir utilizes Shifting Sands, knocking the enemy champion up and setting himself up to compel a Conquering Sands and finish them off. When the (ancient) coin is flipped, a quick Arise! and Shifting Sands rushes Azir out of danger. 

Add Azir’s ultimate to the mix and the Shuriman leader exercises even more zone control. To go for the kill, start off with Arise! and Shifting Sands to position Azir behind his opponent. From there, Emperor’s Divide drives the foe deep into Azir’s side of the map. Pushed so far into Azir’s territory, the opposing champ’s sure to meet their end at a spear’s tip. If offense proves temporarily unwise, Azir’s ult provides safe passage from a fight, building a wall between Azir and his pursuers.


As in lane, as in teamfights: Azir shines in battles tied to one physical location, where he can safely order his soldiers around and dispatch adversaries from afar. In that vein, Azir dominates Baron and Dragon fights, using his ultimate to lock enemy teams into (or out of) the pits. If teamfights take a roadtrip, Azir must be judicious with Arise! and Conquering Sands, moving his zone of control along with the combatants. Post-initiation, Azir’s an expert at punishing uncoordinated enemies. Shifting Sands—combined with Azir’s ultimate—separates enemy front-liners from their damage dealing dependents, dividing the enemy team for methodical conquering. With the baddies split, Azir charges his soldiers in for the kill, pumping out marksman-level sustained damage until none challenge his rule.

In jungle skirmishes, Azir sets up nasty ambushes with Conquering Sands, transforming convenient exits into spear-guarded gauntlets. Similarly, Emperor’s Divide wholly closes a jungle entrance, sealing Azir’s foes in with him. Trapped, they’re surely short work for Azir, his soldiers and their allies. If a fight goes south, Azir reliably disengages with his ultimate or beguiles baddies with Arise! and Shifting Sands, spiriting himself over a jungle wall.

Disc of the Sun doesn’t raise a turret quick enough to be of much use in teamfights, but sieges are a different story. When attacking enemy inhibitors, Azir can resurrect their inner turret, trapping the enemy team inside their crumbling base and making counter-engages a dangerous proposition. Conversely, when Azir’s base is under assault, Arise! and Shifting Sands help him jump the base wall and sneak around the siege to rebuild his own inner turret. Caught between the inhibitor turret and the Sun Disc, the enemy team can either scatter or be crushed.