Feb 24, 2018

2018 Best Champions Tier List - Solo Queue Ranked Ladder Climbing - Patch 8.4 Update

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Forever known as the patch where they finally nerfed Zoe, this patch also features huge changes to runes and items as well. Particularly important is the Commencing Stopwatch nerf from 6 minutes to 10 minutes, ending the league of stopwatches and bringing Zed back into viability.

Volibear also received some large-scale buffs this patch, and he's finally a contender again. He's not quite in the pick/ban phase just yet, but he's looking the strongest he's been in years.

SEASON 8 - PATCH 8.4
FASTEST RANKED LP GAIN TIER LIST
"What Are the Best Champions to Climb With"

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

Preface Chatter

Forever known as the patch where they finally nerfed Zoe, this patch also features huge changes to runes and items as well. Particularly important is the Commencing Stopwatch nerf from 6 minutes to 10 minutes, ending the league of stopwatches and bringing Zed back into viability.

Volibear also received some large-scale buffs this patch, and he's finally a contender again. He's not quite in the pick/ban phase just yet, but he's looking the strongest he's been in years.

Check out the full list below!

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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, browse the strongest potential champions in each position!
Be sure to visit our Optimal Champion Bans by Division too!
Patch 8.4 Summary
Buffs: Darius, Poppy, Renekton, Jax, Evelynn, Fiddlesticks, Kalista, Kog'Maw, Swain, Talon, Volibear, Zed 
Nerfs: Gangplank, Ornn, Shyvana, Tristana, Twitch, Xin Zhao, Zoe
Tweaks: Gnar, Rengar

Many Item/Rune changes as well, more details here

Updates
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Toolkit and Options
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The Tier List

God Tier List

[Highest Influence | Good In Almost Every Situation | Easiest to Gain LP With]

Mid Lane Twisted Fate, Anivia, Fizz
Jungle WarwickNunu,
Top Lane Sion, Gangplank, Camille
Marksman Xayah, Varus, Tristana
Support Janna, AlistarLulu

God Tier Rising: Fizz (Mid), Lulu (Support), Xayah (Marksman)
God Tier Falling:

Tier 1

[Strong/Preferred Choices | Faster to Learn and Win | Works Well In Solo Queue]

Mid-LaneVeigar, Katarina, Xerath, Ahri, Zed, Taliyah, Morgana, Brand, Orianna, Vel'Koz, Lux, Ziggs, Vladimir, Aurelion Sol, Annie, Diana, Zilean, Ekko, Yasuo, Malzahar, Cassiopeia, Leblanc, Galio
Jungle: Skarner, Sejuani, Xin Zhao, Rammus, Volibear, Jarvan IV, Kha'Zix, Udyr, Jax, Kayn, Shaco, Evelynn, Zac, Kindred, Nidalee
Top: DariusKled, Yasuo, Illaoi, Nasus, Yorick, Urgot, Teemo, Maokai, Jarvan IV, Gnar, Jayce, Malphite, Volibear, Wukong, Singed, Kayle, Riven, Fiora
Marksman: Jinx, Twitch, Vayne, Draven, Ezreal, Miss Fortune
Support: Braum, Nami, Blitzcrank, Bard, Rakan, Soraka, Thresh, Taric, Brand, Zilean

Tier 1 Rising: Cassiopeia (Mid), Darius (Top), Fizz (Mid), Rakan (Support), Volibear (Top/Jungle), Zed (Mid)
Tier 1 Falling: Braum (Support), Malzahar (Mid), Taliyah (Mid),  Twitch (Marksman)

Tier 2

[Viable/Balanced Choices | Common In Solo Queue | Needs Practice To Get Good]

Mid-Lane: Corki, Jayce, Kassadin, Talon, Azir, Swain, Syndra, Kennen, Karthus, Kayle, Viktor, Karma, Lissandra, Akali, Gragas, Heimerdinger, Gangplank,
Jungle: Shyvana, Nocturne, Vi, Camille, Graves, Cho'Gath, Maokai, Rengar, Lee Sin, Rek'Sai, Elise, Hecarim, Gragas, Master Yi, Quinn, Amumu, Wukong, Trundle, Pantheon, Twitch, Dr. Mundo, Aatrox
Top: Jax, Pantheon, Shen, Vladimir, Akali, Heimerdinger, Swain, Ornn, Garen, Quinn, Irelia, Cho'gath, Malzahar, Kennen, Talon, Tryndamere, Renekton, Galio, Rumble, Trundle, Aatrox, Gragas, Nautilus, Mordekaiser, Poppy, Olaf, Fizz, Ekko, Rammus, Rengar, Lissandra, Cassiopeia, Karma, Tahm Kench, Graves, Diana, Kassadin
Marksman: Kog'Maw, Sivir, Ashe, Jhin, Kalista, Caitlyn, Lucian
Support: Leona, Shen, Sona, Nautilus, Xerath, Zyra, Karma, Sion, Morgana, Tahm Kench, Vel'Koz, Zoe, Maokai

Tier 2 Rising:
Tier 2 Falling: Akali (Top), Lee Sin (Jungle), Pantheon (Top), Shyvana (Jungle)

Tier 3

[Needs Higher Skill or Knowledge | Counterpicks]

Mid-Lane: Zoe, Ezreal, Lucian, Zyra, Ryze, Cho'Gath, Pantheon, Quinn, Wukong, Nasus, Lulu, Mordekaiser, Sona, Kog'Maw (AP), Varus, Urgot, Teemo, Jarvan IV, Jhin, Riven, Fiddlesticks, Malphite
Jungle: Ezreal, Olaf, Poppy, Ekko, Ivern, Fizz, Galio, Kayle, Malphite, Sion, Nautilus, Diana, Rumble, Riven, Talon, Tryndamere, Kled, Mordekaiser, Irelia, Fiddlesticks, Tahm Kench, Kog'Maw
Top: Udyr, Sejuani, Shaco, Dr. Mundo, Zed, Ryze, Vayne, Lulu, Xin Zhao, Nunu, Nidalee, Rek'Sai, Karthus, Lee Sin, Kha'Zix, Vi, Shyvana
Marksman: Ziggs, Kennen, Quinn, Corki, Graves, Urgot
Support: Teemo, Malzahar, Galio, Cho'Gath, Camille, Fiddlesticks, Trundle, Annie, Poppy, Volibear, Malphite, Shaco, Veigar, Lux, Gragas, Nunu, Kayle, Kennen

Tier 3 Rising:
Tier 3 Falling: Zoe (Mid)

Tier 4

[Low Benefit Based On Effort Used]

Mid-Lane: Kha'Zix, Nidalee, Master Yi
Jungle: Nasus, Gangplank, Fiora, Karthus, Shen, Darius, Zed, Malzahar, Aurelion Sol, Garen, Alistar, Yorick
Top: Blitzcrank, Taliyah, Alistar, Leblanc
Marksman: Twisted Fate, Mordekaiser
Support: Miss Fortune, Pantheon, Ashe, Anivia, Lee Sin, Gangplank, Orianna, 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.
  • Win Rates are important in analyzing each champion's strength but are not the end-all criteria for any champion's position.
  • Professional Picks may not necessarily translate into good picks for solo queue ladder, the two have slightly different meta-games and skill levels.
  • The creator of this list is diamond, so there may be some personal bias towards higher tier play on certain champions.

Champion Explanations

  • Darius [Tier 1 Top] - The percentage buffs on his Apprehend [E] are quite good for Darius and allow him to scale hard into the late game. It's especially effective since they buffed the resolve tree and increased his damage output simultaneously.
  • Lee Sin [Tier 2 Jungle] - Lee's definitely a lot weaker than he was pre-patch, but otherwise he's largely the same (which makes sense since he didn't get any direct nerfs). The loss of Tracker's Knife does make it more difficult for him to get by during the mid-game, but his early game is still decent and if he snowballs he can get his team ahead enough to win.
  • Rakan [Tier 1 Support] - I'm a big fan of Rakan lately, mostly for his crazy early game pressure and his essentially full health Baron clears via his double shield + heal combos. His ability to cheese enemy laners is quite good and his late game engages can be game-changing. Just don't play him into Janna.
  • Shyvana [Tier 2 Jungle] - Poor Shyvana, right when she was getting to a good place in solo queue, Riot's dropped her right back out again. It's true that she got a bit of a buff via Press the Attack, but the overall nerf on her kit from the Twin Bite [Q] change makes it just hard enough to snowball.
  • Varus [God Tier Marksman] - Varus has an extremely oppressive laning phase, and it is very difficult to trade with him as a result of his slows and built-in healing reduction. His late game ultimate is also quite powerful, and his range makes it difficult to get priority on the lane at any point in time.
  • Volibear [Tier 1 Jungle] - After the latest changes to Volibear, he's seeeing significantly more play time. Overall, Volibear still suffers largely from the same things as Shyvana does. If his base numbers are high enough he dominates and if not he fails miserably. Currently, he's doing really well. The change on Morellonomicon also took it off the mid-lane "must-have" item list, which certainly helps him make betteer use of his passive.
  • Warwick [God Tier Jungle] - Warwick's early, mid, and late game are absolutely phenomenal. At this point, if you'ree a jungle main he's basically free LP.
  • Zed [Tier 1 Mid] - Zed's buffs this patch were fairly mediocre. However, nerfs on the Perfect Timing mastery coupled with Zoe nerfs make him much stronger overall. Now, he can snowball without dealing with Commencing Stopwatch on every single champion.
  • Zoe [Tier 3 Mid] - Zoe's nerfs were a bit too much. She now has trouble actually beating down her lane opponents even when she lands all her skills, which is kind of a feels-bad moment.
Disclaimer:
  • The purpose of this list is for discussion and to provide a starting point for champion selection.

Agree? Disagree? Comment below!

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, jump to the strongest potential champions in each position!
Be sure to visit Optimal Champion Bans by Division too!



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