Oct 10, 2016

2016 Best Champions Tier List - Solo Queue Ranked Ladder Climbing - Patch 6.20 Update

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As the season winds down on November 7th, players eagerly jump into ranked to secure their division for the sixth League of Legends season. Many are also watching worlds, which shifts the meta towards similar champions. However, champions that work well in pro play are not necessarily the best in ranked solo queue.

Which champions work best in solo queue? Which ones are the safest to reliably climb with? Which ones can you POWER through the ranked grind by smashing through in the quickest and most efficient way possible? Check out the list below!

"What Are the Best Champions to Climb With"

This List has been updated, and new versions are available via this link

Preface Chatter

As the season winds down on November 7th, players eagerly jump into ranked to secure their division for the sixth League of Legends season. Many are also watching worlds, which shifts the meta towards similar champions. However, champions that work well in pro play are not necessarily the best in ranked solo queue.

Which champions work best in solo queue? Which ones are the safest to reliably climb with? Which ones can you POWER through the ranked grind by smashing through in the quickest and most efficient way possible? Check out the list below!

As always, don't forget to like the site on Facebook if you haven't already!

The purpose of this list is to pick out the champions that when played, will allow you to climb divisions the fastest by winning more games. This list contains more off-meta and counter-meta placements that do well against popular picks.
If you're looking for a more meta based tier list based on popularity, be sure to check out the FOTM list as well!
For a list of champions with the highest *potential* in the game without regard to difficulty or team synergies, check out the list of strongest potential champions in each position!
Be sure to check out our new Optimal Champion Bans by Division Listing!

Patch 6.20 Summary
Buffs: Cho'Gath, Nunu, Taliyah
Nerfs: Jinx
Tweaks: Ashe, Vladimir

Toolkit and Options
Click to toggle champion movement history
Search for a champion:

  • Added Ivern Jungle/Support [Tier 3]

    The Tier List

    God Tier [Highest Influence]:

    Mid-Lane Gods: Ahri, Annie, Anivia
    Jungle Gods: Vi, Amumu, Sejuani, Nunu, Zac
    Marksman Gods: Jinx, Jhin, Miss Fortune
    Top Lane Gods: Kennen, Malphite, Yasuo, Irelia
    Support Gods: Janna, Sona, Blitzcrank, Soraka

    God Tier Rising: Kennen (Top), Nunu (Jungle)
    God Tier Falling: Yasuo (Top), Zac (Jungle)

    Tier 1 [Strong/Preferred Choices]:

    Mid-Lane: Vel'Koz, Brand, Twisted Fate, Morgana, Kennen, Kayle, Syndra, Corki, Viktor, Talon, Katarina, Malzahar, Lux, Yasuo, Karthus, Zilean
    Jungle: Jarvan IV, Skarner, Graves, Nidalee, Hecarim, Kha'Zix, Wukong, Shaco, Xin Zhao, Volibear, Nocturne, Dr. Mundo, Olaf, Kindred, Fiddlesticks, Elise
    Marksman: Caitlyn, Twitch, Ashe, Sivir, Vayne, Tristana
    Top Lane: Riven, Kayle, Wukong, Jarvan IV, Illaoi, Swain, Renekton, Teemo, Jayce, Quinn, Sion, Tryndamere, Graves, Darius, Pantheon, Jax, Singed, Gangplank, Olaf, Yorick, Rumble
    Support: Nami, Vel'Koz, Brand, Zyra, Leona, Braum, Zilean, Taric

    Tier 1 Rising: Elise (Jungle), Jarvan IV (Jungle), Jayce (Top), Karthus (Mid), Kennen (Mid), Kindred (Jungle), Malzahar (Mid), Sion (Top), Skarner (Jungle, Talon (Mid), Taric (Support), Vayne (Marksman), Vel'Koz (Support)
    Tier 1 Falling: Darius (Top), Jax (Top), Katarina (Mid), Rumble (Top), Yasuo (Mid), Zilean (Mid)

    Tier 2 [Viable/Balanced Choices]:

    Mid-Lane: Galio, Xerath, Aurelion Sol, Zyra, Gangplank, Karma, Ziggs, Cassiopeia, Fizz, Akali, Orianna, Zed, Swain, Veigar, Jayce, Diana, Cho'Gath, Lulu, Wukong, Leblanc, Pantheon, Heimerdinger, Lissandra, Kassadin, Quinn, Ekko, Urgot
    Jungle: Gragas, Maokai, Rammus, Warwick, Trundle, Rengar, Udyr, Rumble, Jax, Lee Sin, Malzahar, Irelia, Quinn, Evelynn, Shyvana, Master Yi, Diana, Kayle, Malphite, Sion, Fizz, Nautilus, Aurelion Sol, Pantheon, Ekko, Mordekaiser,
    Marksman: Lucian, Ezreal, Graves, Draven, Corki, Kog'Maw, Varus, Quinn
    Top Lane: Akali, Poppy, Fiora, Volibear, Zac, Rengar, Kled, Ekko, Maokai, Nautilus, Gnar, Lissandra, Garen, Nasus, Trundle, Rammus, Cho'gath, Malzahar, Dr. Mundo, Urgot, Fizz, Mordekaiser, Gragas, Tahm Kench, Shen, Diana, Hecarim, Lulu, Xin Zhao, Heimerdinger, Kassadin, Nidalee, Aurelion Sol
    Support: Karma, Morgana, Sion, Thresh, Alistar, Bard, Nautilus, Trundle, Tahm Kench, Lulu, Annie

    Tier 2 Rising: Maokai (Jungle), Tahm Kench (Support), Thresh (Support), Zac (Top)
    Tier 2 Falling: Alistar (Support), Aurelion Sol (Mid), Bard (Support), Kog'Maw (Marksman), Rammus (Jungle)

    Tier 3 [Needs Higher Skill/Knowledge Than Usual]:

    Mid-Lane: Sona, Vladimir, Taliyah, Varus, Ezreal (AP), Azir, Ryze, Nidalee, Kog'Maw (AP), Teemo, Master Yi, Gragas, Jarvan IV, Ezreal (AD), Jhin, Mordekaiser, Riven, Fiddlesticks, Kha'Zix, Malphite, Leona, Elise
    Jungle: Rek'Sai, Poppy, Tryndamere, Kled, Aatrox, Kog'Maw, Tahm Kench, Cho'Gath, Nasus, Gangplank, Ivern, Taliyah, Fiora, Zed, Taric, Karthus, Leona, Riven, Darius, Shen
    Marksman: Urgot, Kalista, Kindred, Kennen, Twisted Fate
    Top Lane: Galio, Aatrox, Vladimir, Cassiopeia, Warwick, Udyr, Rek'Sai, Morgana, Zed, Blitzcrank, Karthus, Viktor, Ryze, Karma, Lee Sin, Master Yi, Kha'Zix, Vi, Talon, Shyvana, Taliyah, Azir, Leblanc, Vayne, Nunu, Elise, Taric
    Support: Shen, Poppy, Volibear, Malphite, ShacoIvern, Veigar, Lux, Xerath, Gragas, Maokai, Kayle, Kennen, Taliyah, Fiddlesticks, Nunu, Pantheon, Elise, Teemo

    Tier 3 Rising: Kalista (Marksman)
    Tier 3 Falling

    Tier 4 [Low Benefits for Effort Used]:

    Mid-Lane: Soraka, Tristana (AP), Evelynn, Tahm Kench, Janna
    Jungle: Garen, Alistar, Yorick
    Marksman: Mordekaiser, Thresh
    Top Lane: Alistar, Braum, Soraka
    Support: Ashe, Anivia, Nidalee, Lee Sin, Gangplank, Orianna, Galio, Syndra, Yorick, Lissandra, Leblanc

    Tier 4 Rising:
    Tier 4 Falling:

    Instructions and Caveats:

    • Champions in BOLD I will talk about shortly
    • Champions UNDERLINED may be over/undervalued, but aren't/haven't played enough for me to make a better judgment.
    • Within each tier, the champions are strongest from left to right, but within a tier each champion's strength is relatively close. This is especially true for Tiers 2 and 3 where these champions are ALL highly playable and player dependent on how strong they are in-game.
    • This tier list takes data from ALL players; however, since the majority of players fall in the first three tiers, the majority of data points will come from there.
    • Win Rates are important in analyzing each champion's strength but are not the end-all criteria for any champion's position.
    • The creator of this list is diamond, so there may be some personal bias towards higher tier play on certain champions.

    Champion Explanations

    • Alistar [Tier 2 Support] - After a great showing by Alistar during the world finals, players are quickly picking him back up again in solo queue as well. He is a jack-of-all-trades that benefits a team with strong dive coordination and good synergy. Unfortunately, this is not always available in solo queue, and so he tends to end up in sticky situations without his team ready for follow-up. The same extreme speed that benefits Alistar's combo in pro play works against him in solo queue. There is very little time for allies to see when he is going in, agree to go in, and then follow-up. As a result, he is not as strong when playing on the ladder.
    • Aurelion Sol [Tier 2 Mid] - Similar to Alistar, after a great showing by Aurelion Sol on the world stage, players are picking him up a lot more than usual. He is extremely tanky, and deals great sustained damage. However, he does not play into a poke comp or a dive comp, and instead plays into a third type...the Aurelion Sol comp. As a result, he tends to become the star of the show and needs his allies to play as such. In the solo queue environment, egos do not always allow this to happen.
    • Ivern [Tier 3 Jungle/Support] - Initial results from Ivern show than he needs a bit more tweaking, or allied players need to get used to his kit. His allied root dash is not completely intuitive, and his bushes tend to bait allies to hide in them, resulting in poor positioning if Ivern has placed them poorly to begin with. Additionally, his numbers are a bit low since Riot clearly wanted to make sure that a jungler that takes no damage from minions was not overpowered on release. 
    • Kalista [Tier 3 Marksman] - Kalista is in some dire need of buffs and/or simple quality of life improvements. Her jump is currently a bit buggy, and she has a lot of trouble keeping up in terms of burst damage with other marksmen during laning phase.
    • Kennen [Tier 1 Mid] - Although Kennen is clearly better as a top lane bully, his mid-lane power in solo queue is extremely good as well. By placing him mid, players gain access to his team-fighting ultimate earlier on, without the need for top lane to use up teleport. His main drawback as a mid-laner is that his early game waveclear is low. However, in solo queue players that push lane too hard end up getting camped by the enemy jungler, so this is a non-issue.
    • Nunu [God Tier Jungle] - The latest buffs to Nunu really streamlined his jungle and resulted in faster waveclears.Additionally, the buff on his ultimate makes it nearly impossible to escape the full duration of the channel, which increases his overall damage by quite a bit. Lastly, Nunu is given the option of quickly hitting his ultimate for minimum damage while running at full speed; this increases his potential output by a good deal as well, resulting in more potent ganking burst.
    • Zac [God Tier Jungle] - The shift in meta away from Jhin in solo queue towards Caitlyn is causing Zac to lose his effectiveness by a bit. Caitlyn traps are extremely potent against his passive, and the other two most popular marksmen (Lucian & Ezreal) certainly do not make for easy targets.
    • Zilean [Tier 1 Mid] - Although Zilean works well with hyper-carries, Ezreal is for better or for worse, the most popular marksman at this point in time. Because Ezreal is a poke damage marksmen who tends to stay further back than usual, Zilean synergizes extremely poorly with him. As a result, he underperforms in solo queue simply as a result of the meta. However, if you select him with someone like Jinx or Twitch, he can work extremely well.
      • The purpose of this list is for discussion and to provide a starting point for champion selection.

      Agree? Disagree? Comment below!

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