League of Legends: 2018 Best Champions Tier List - Solo Queue Ranked Ladder Climbing - Patch 8.5 Update | NERFPLZ.LOL
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Mar 10, 2018

2018 Best Champions Tier List - Solo Queue Ranked Ladder Climbing - Patch 8.5 Update

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This patch features a nerf to Tristana and buffs to Swain and Zoe. Thankfully, Zoe is still in a balanced state, but Swain is starting to pick up quite a bit of power behind his punches. Meanwhile, Kai'Sa debuted with a lackluster showing, and even with the buffs, you may want to stick to normals with her until you really get to know her kit well.

SEASON 8 - PATCH 8.5
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

This patch features a nerf to Tristana and buffs to Swain and Zoe. Thankfully, Zoe is still in a balanced state, but Swain is starting to pick up quite a bit of power behind his punches. Meanwhile, Kai'Sa debuted with a lackluster showing, and even with the buffs, you may want to stick to normals with her until you really get to know her kit well.

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 8.5 Summary
Buffs: Jhin, Nocturne, Olaf, Rengar, Shyvana, Swain, Twitch, Zoe
Nerfs: Azir, Galio, Ryze, Skarner, Tristana, Volibear, Sion

Updates

Toolkit and Options
Click to toggle champion movement history
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The Tier List

God Tier List

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

Mid Lane Anivia, SwainFizz
Jungle WarwickNunu, Xin Zhao
Top Lane Sion, Gangplank, Camille
Marksman Xayah, Twitch, Jinx
Support Janna, Nami, Lulu

God Tier Rising: Jinx (Marksman), Nami (Support), Swain (Mid), Twitch (Marksman), Xin Zhao (Jungle)
God Tier Falling:

Tier 1

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

Mid-LaneTwisted Fate, Veigar, Katarina, Xerath, Ahri, Malzahar, Zed, Taliyah, Morgana, Brand, Orianna, Vel'Koz, Lux, Aurelion Sol, Ziggs, Vladimir, Annie, Diana, Zilean, Ekko, Yasuo, Cassiopeia, Leblanc, Galio
Jungle: Jax, Skarner, Sejuani, Rammus, Volibear, Jarvan IV, Kha'Zix, Udyr, Kayn, Shaco, Evelynn, Shyvana, Nocturne, Zac, Kindred, Nidalee
Top: Darius, Singed, Swain, Fiora, Yorick, Kled, Yasuo, Illaoi, Nasus, Urgot, Teemo, Olaf, Maokai, Jarvan IV, Gnar, Jayce, Malphite, Vladimir, Volibear, Wukong, Kayle, Riven
Marksman: CaitlynEzreal, Varus, Vayne, Draven, Miss Fortune
Support: Blitzcrank, Alistar, Braum, Bard, Rakan, Soraka, Thresh, Taric, Brand, Sion, Zilean

Tier 1 Rising: Aurelion Sol (Mid), Blitzcrank (Support), Ezreal (Marksman), Fiora (Top), Jax (Top), Malzahar (Mid), Nocturne (Jungle), Olaf (Top), Shyvana (Jungle), Singed (Top), Swain (Top), Vladimir (Top), Yorick (Top)
Tier 1 Falling: Alistar (Support)Twisted Fate (Mid), Varus (Marksman)

Tier 2

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

Mid-Lane: Zoe, Corki, Jayce, Kassadin, Talon, Azir, Gangplank, Syndra, Kennen, Karthus, Kayle, Viktor, Karma, Lissandra, Akali, Sion, Gragas, Heimerdinger
Jungle: 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, Akali, Heimerdinger, Ornn, Garen, Quinn, Irelia, Cho'gath, Malzahar, Kennen, Talon, Tryndamere, Renekton, Galio, Rumble, Trundle, Aatrox, Gragas, Nautilus, Mordekaiser, Poppy, Fizz, Ekko, Rammus, Rengar, Lissandra, Cassiopeia, Karma, Tahm Kench, Graves, Diana, Kassadin
Marksman: Tristana, Kog'Maw, Sivir, Ashe, Jhin, Kalista, Lucian, Kai'Sa, Yasuo
Support: Leona, Shen, Sona, Nautilus, Xerath, Zyra, Karma, Morgana, Tahm Kench, Vel'Koz, Zoe, Maokai

Tier 2 Rising: Sion (Support), Zoe (Mid)
Tier 2 Falling: Tristana (Marksman), 

Tier 3

[Needs Higher Skill or Knowledge | Counterpicks]

Mid-Lane: 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, JannaAP Kaisa
Jungle: Kai'Sa, 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

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

  • Alistar [Tier 1 Support] - Alistar's beginning to drop a bit ever since Bone Plating was introduced. While it does make Alistar even tankier than ever, it also makes it much more difficult for him to burst down enemy supports. Since he has little in the way of poke, the entirety of his damage lies in his headbutt + pulv combo. However, ever since ranged supports also started using Bone Plating, that initial burst simply doesn't do much.
  • Caitlyn [Tier 1 Marksman] - After nerfs to Tristana and Press the Attack, Caitlyn's been picked up as the marksman of choice. Her ability to abuse the early game and snowball her team through tower advantages is quite good, and she makes for a good Tristana substitute. 
  • Jinx [God Tier Marksman] - This pick is likely going to be something that many people disagree with, but I do think Jinx as a marksman is in a decent spot right now. While her early to mid-game is starting to show signs of age, her ability to snowball through into the late game is obscenely good. If you manage to get a kill with Jinx late game, acing the enemy team is a piece of cake. 
  • Kai'Sa [Tier 2 Marksman/Tier 3 Jungle] - On release Kai'Sa was extremely weak. She's still not strong, but she definitely has the potential to snowball.She does play more like a split-push champion than a team-fighting marksman though, so she may end up working better as a jungler once things settle down.
  • Shyvana [Tier 1 Jungle] - Once again, Riot's made a slight numbers adjustment to Shyvana's offensive scaling power. As a result, Shyvana's viable again as a result of her nearly pure damage focused kit.
  • Singed [Tier 1 Top] - Singed with aftershock is a fascinating creature. Although the majority of his damage lies in his poison trail, Aftershock gives Singed a form of burst damage to give him higher trading ability during the early to mid-game. This allows him to win otherwise normally abusive match-ups against ranged champions.
  • Swain [God Tier Mid] - The latest Swain buffs really brought him up quite a bit. The improved radius on his Nevermore [E] make it significantly more difficult to dodge, and the reduced cooldown on his Death's Hand [Q] makes him a very spammy champion. Once he picks up enough mana to fully utilize his kit, trading with him is nearly impossible, even with healing reduction.
  • Tristana [Tier 2 Marksman] - The reduction in scaling really made Tristana less so of an early game monster with late-game hyperscaling into some sort of free to play average ranged marksman. She's by no means unplayable, but there are definitely better picks out there now.
  • Twisted Fate [Tier 1 Mid] - Dropping Twisted Fate down this patch simply because everyone's playing high waveclear champions mid-lane. This make it more difficult for him to roam around and do his thing. He can still farm waves very well, but he ends up with much lower kill potential than before the meta became more about objectives and less about laning phase.
  • Twitch [God Tier Marksman] - Again another champion that's rarely seen in professional play, but is incredibly good in the solo queue environment. If you enjoy solo carrying the game and the enemy team is really just a collection of 1v1 champs, Twitch can single-handedly end the game. Even in team fights, a well placed Twitch ultimate will absolutely decimate enemy teams front to back.
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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