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Jul 10, 2019

Which Champions are Strongest When Mastered? - July 2019

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Patch 9.13

A long time coming, we're updating the Strongest Champions When Mastered list and finally seeing some movement in every role. Even the marksmen list is getting switched up this time around as defensive options for marksmen is starting to really become valuable rather than simply mowing down entire teams at will with your glass cannon. Check out the full scope of changes below!

Strongest League Champions 
Strongest League Champions

Season 9 - Patch 9.13 League of Legends Champions List
"Strongest Champions When Mastered"

Tier lists show champions that will help you win games the fastest for the effort needed to play them. This list shows the absolute strongest, most overpowered champions in League of Legends that you can pick after many hours of practice and learning the ins and outs of their kits. If you're willing to put in the work, these champions will carry you as far as you can go on the ranked ladder.

Patch 9.13

A long time coming, we're updating the Strongest Champions When Mastered list and finally seeing some movement in every role. Even the marksmen list is getting switched up this time around as defensive options for marksmen is starting to really become valuable rather than simply mowing down entire teams at will with your glass cannon. Check out the full scope of changes below!

If you're more interested in the FOTM picks, be sure to check out the FOTM Tier Lists too!


  • Mid: Leblanc and Twisted Fate replaced by Zed and Irelia, Qiyana added to honorable mentions
  • Top: Yorick, Darius, Irelia replaced by Aatrox, Tahm Kench, Mordekaiser, Illaoi added to honorable mentions
  • Jungle: Graves, Kha'Zix replaced by Evelynn, Hecarim
  • Support: Zyra and Blitzcrank replaced by Lux and Nautilus
  • Marksmen: Lucian and Twitch replaced by Sivir and Xayah


    Winning in solo queue is a complex affair. There are so many variables involved outside of player control such as lag, that consistency plays a massive part in climbing the ranks. Some champions excel in outplaying other champions, while others rely on brute force or special skills to win.

    However, in an ideal situation with teammates who select champions that reasonably synergize with you, which champions offer the most bang for their buck when mastered?

    What Makes a Champion "Strong"? 

    Damage-based champions rely mostly on sheer damage, usually via skill shots to overpower their enemies;

    Utility-based champions do something unique and game-changing, creating situations that are extremely beneficial to their own team or create detrimental effects for the enemy team that they cannot ignore.

    Outplay-based champions make the enemy miss skills that would otherwise definitely hit, mitigating large amounts of potential damage.

    Although some champions may overlap, the criterion laid out above is used and we will omit the following criterion that we use for solo queue
    1. Ease of play; 
    2. Synergy with popular champions; and
    3. A good margin of error.

    Strongest Mid Laners

    New Champion

    Irelia [Damage/Outplay/Utility] New!: After a brief stint off the list, Irelia is back. She's definitely not the faceroll champion she used to be, but after practicing her mechanics and nuances, Irelia is still a potent mid-laner that needs to be respected for her killing potential and snowball ability. When used to her fullest, she can be even more devastating than Yasuo and initiate from even longer range. Meanwhile, her toolkit gives her the ability to heavily outplay burst damage and skillshot oriented champions, perfect for a mid-lane bully.

    Zed [Damage/Outplay] New!: Zed is also back this time around as a result of various buffs and nerfs to his archrivals. There's a lot to be said for Zed but not much that you don't already know. His shadows give him a very high damage ceiling, and his ultimate gives him potentially the ultimate defensive ability. All this obviously doesn't come without a cost, but provided you practice him enough it becomes second nature to recognize certain situations and expertly counter that Malphite flash ultimate...hopefully.


    Removed Champions

    Leblanc [Damage/Outplay ]Leblanc's still perfectly capable of snowballing a game by herself. However, her burst damage pales in comparison to what it used to be, and mobile champions make her look a little less overpowered than before. Her crowd-control is also somewhat slow in comparison to other champions, and she's beginning to show signs of power creep.

    Twisted Fate [Utility]Twisted Fate is one of the most consistent champions in the game, and the new Trinity Force + Rapidfire Cannon build is surprisingly potent. However, at the highest mastery he's not quite as good as the other champions on the list, so we're moving him back to Honorable Mentions for now. However, if history is any indication he may end up returning in a future patch.


    Returning Veterans

    Ahri [Damage/Utility/Outplay]: Ahri's power is a consistent staple in every mid-laner's repertoire. Renowned for her ability to dodge and outplay with her ultimate, she combines those with her damage potential and crowd control from her kit to result in a flashy, yet effective burst mage. Late game, her cooldowns are also short enough to smoothly transition into a sustained damage dealer that can easily tango with late-game marksmen.

    Yasuo [Damage/Outplay/Utility]Yasuo is a champion that needs little in the way of introduction. He can solo carry a game offensively with a well-placed tornado or solo save a game defensively with a well-placed wind wall. You would expect a champion like this to be a jack-of-all trades and master of none, but it just so happens that his kit allows him to be a master of all if you're good enough with him. His kill pressure from long distances is also absurdly high for a melee champion, and standing near a minion wave with a fed Yasuo behind it almost guarantees death.

    Vladimir [Damage/Outplay]Late game Vladimir is one of the scariest champions out there. For someone with no mobility spells and limited crowd-control, that never seems to stop him from solo engaging enemy teams as initiation, assassination, and domination. His Sanguine Pool [W] can be used in a myriad of ways, and the amount of outplay this provides him combined with his unexpectedly high life steal allows him to run circles around enemies.


    Honorable Mentions: Akali, Anivia, Aurelion Sol, Azir, Cassiopeia, Ekko, Fizz, Leblanc, Kassadin, Katarina, Lux, Orianna, Qiyana, Ryze, Syndra, Talon, Twisted Fate, Veigar. Xerath

    These champions often have the ability to dominate solo queue by themselves. However, their damage output is currently not quite as strong as others are in their pool in the current patch. I would keep them tight on the radar though, as they are strong contenders in their own right.

    Strongest Top Laners

    Top Lane Overview

    New Champions

    Aatrox [Damage] New!: This one's a tough placement for me since I'm actually not a huge fan of Aatrox so providing accolades will be somewhat difficult. However, despite his low range and somewhat clunky kit, Aatrox is capable of snowballing games incredibly hard and bullying enemy laners and teams into submission. His ultimate is exceedingly good when he's ahead, which means he can ground and pound his way to victory. The knock-ups in his kit are also excellent as a source of utility if you manage to time them right, and as ranged knock-ups go they can disrupt a huge variety of enemy spells.

    Mordekaiser [Damage] New!: Now Mordekaiser is a champion I can fully throw my support behind 100%. His ability to strategically take out a champion from the fight is completely game-changing, and his lane-phase can be incredibly abusive if you land his skillshots.

    Tahm Kench [Utility] New!: Tahm Kench is currently near-inescapable and simultaneously unkillable. He has few poor match-ups top lane and also tends to bully his enemies quite hard. Ranged champions used to have an advantage over him, but ever since the range increase on his Tongue Lash he's able to play evenly with them and end the game as an incredibly tanky front line.


    Removed Champions

    Yorick [Damage]After the changes to his Eulogy of the Isles [R] mechanics, Yorick's found a ton of success as a high-level split pusher. However, soon after he was greeted with a slew of nerfs and resulted in a slightly underpowered champion. He's still playable, but nowhere near as overpowered as he was when he was first updated. Enemy mobility also makes it difficult for him to maintain his crowd-control on the majority of team compositions.

    Irelia [Damage/Outplay/Utility]Irelia used to be quite good top lane. However, ever since her nerfs she now has difficulty staying alive against the high sustain bruisers. She's now much better against squishy mid laners that she can outplay rather than straight up fights top lane with unkillable laners.

    Darius [Damage/Utility]: Darius is still very strong, but tends to be a victim of high mobility champions too. His laning phase is excellent but still suffers late game against heavy ranged compositions. In metas where top laners enjoy playing Vayne, Darius has a lot of trouble transitioning into late game even if he gets fed.

    Returning Champions

    Camille [Damage/Outplay/Utility]Camille's ability to dominate the laning phase is good, but it's her absurd late-game snowball ability that can really change a game. Between her hook shots and her isolation ultimate, Camille's ability to impact a team fight is largely determined by her decision-making ability. However, with the right move, she can single-handedly carry a team to victory.

    Riven [Damage/Utility]Riven has a TON of quirky mechanics that most players never discover, but a fully mastered Riven player can dish out some ridiculous plays and obnoxiously high damage. As a Riven player, her best defense is a good offense. This allows her to survive many situations that would kill almost any other champion while netting kills in the process.


    Honorable Mentions: Darius, Ekko, Fiora, Illaoi, Jax, Jayce, Gnar, Sylas, Yasuo


    New Champions

    Evelynn [Damage/Outplay] NewEvelynn's success is largely a result of her insane damage output and ability to 100 to 0 enemies from invisibility while keeping them fully CC'ed the entire time. The fact that she can dodge damage with her ultimate also gives her the ability to beat the majority of burst damage casters as long as she times her ultimate correctly.

    Hecarim [Damage/Utility] New: Hecarim's jungle path versatility allows him to do pretty much anything he wants. His ganks are also near unavoidable and enemy champions will have difficulty if he manages to snowball. Interestingly enough, he's also one of the few junglers that can solo carry games by taking every single buff and kill. A Hecarim that gets ahead can stay ahead, unlike most other early game jungle champions that fall off later on.


    Removed Champions

    Kha'Zix [Damage]Kha'Zix can certainly carry games on his own, but compared to the other jungle champions on this list he simply doesn't have the early to late game domination potential. He's somewhat one-dimensional and lacking defensive options, so without a few free early kills he tends to perform fairly average for a jungler.

    Graves [Damage/Utility]Graves is still incredibly annoying to deal with but similar to Kha'Zix, packs relatively little in the way of utility. If he gets ahead he can also solo enemy teams. However, ever since nerfs on his core items he's no longer the game-ending threat he once was.


    Returning Champions

    Kayn [Utility/Damage/Outplay]Kayn's current status is as a reuslt of his flex pick. As Red Kayn, the amount of sheer utility that he possesses in this form as a result of the AOE knock-up is more than enough to earn him a place on the list. However, when you combine it wih his movement through walls and dually offensive and defensive ulttimate, his position is all but solidified. As Blue Kayn, he provides teams with excellent damage as a secondary diver. When playing against very squishy teams, this version of Kayn crushes enemies from every angle.

    Xin Zhao [Utility/Damage/Outplay]`!Similar to Kha'Zix, Xin Zhao's notorious for his early game. Level two ganks are his specialty, and he forces enemies to play safe or face eternal camping from his massive damage and crowd control. His ultimate is also incredibly good for staying alive, and the disruption it provides can swing the tide of a team fight.

    Master Yi [Damage/Outplay]This guy is indisputably the biggest pub stomp champion out there. If you're highly skilled with Master Yi, you can annihilate enemies from any division or skill level. When you combine his resets with his ability to dodge almost everything on low cooldown, Master Yi's ability to steamroll teams on sight is phenomenal.


    Honorable Mentions: Gragas, Graves, Kha'Zix, Kindred, Nidalee, Rengar, Shaco, Taliyah

    Strongest Supports

    New Champion:

    Lux [Damage/Utility] New!: Placing Lux on this list may end up more of the FOTM pick, but her kit is just so fun to play as support that I hope this isn't the case.Her utility as a support is incredible, and deals equally well with sustain and all-in champions thanks to the Aftershock rune. Meanwhile, her snare is like an upgraded Morgana snare and gives her the ability to engage with a low cooldown, low danger, and high-impact spell.

    Nautilus [Utility] New!: Replacing Blitzcrank with Nautilus wasn't easy, but in his current state Nautilus does almost everything Blitzcrank does. As a result of the high mobility of enemy champions, Nautilus is highly valuable for his point-and-click knock-up that can be comboed into the rest of his crowd-control to lock down enemy champions in perpetuity. His build also keeps him alive for much longer than other all-in champions.


    Removed Champions:

    Blitzcrank [Utility]: Blitzcrank was always the king of engage if you can land his hooks. He's still got high potential, but in this era of Ekkos and Ezreals, pulling champions over walls isn't as effective as it used to be in a Syndra Ashe meta.

    Zyra [Damage/Utility]: After nerfs to Zyra's damage she's fallen off quite a bit as a support. She's no longer the faceroll champion she used to be that simply allowed her plants to do the work. Nowadays, she needs to auto attack and land skillshots, increasing her potential for dying and finally allowing for some counterplay.

    Returning Veterans:

    Janna [Utility]: Janna is still close to being indisputably the best support in the game in terms of sheer utility that she provides by herself. Through both her tornado and her monsoon (ultimate), Janna has the ability to block a massive number of champion "jump" attacks mid-air, including but not limited to the following:

    Lee Sin, Akali, Kha'zix, Tristana, Corki, Lucian, Jarvan, Ahri, Fizz, Pantheon, Shen, Wukong, Xin Zhao, Vi, Fiora, Amumu...the list goes on and on. Check out this link for a full list!

    Not only that, but she provides nearby teammates the ability to simply be faster than enemy champions whether it is for running away or for chasing down. This combined with the ability for her shield to deny death and give an insanely strong damage buff cements her as a top tier support.

    Thresh [Utility]: Where Janna is the queen of preventing plays from happening, Thresh is the offensive version and king of making plays happen. His lantern and hook make him essentially the best support initiation in the game, as he can bring a friend with him during his initiation as a free gap closer. Additionally, all the champions listed above that Janna can block Thresh can also block with his flay (although with a shorter range/window of opportunity).

    Pyke [Damage/Utility]Pyke is the highly interactive kill-focused support that every auto-filled player dreams of. He plays like an assassin, but focuses on play-making CC spells coupled with massive damage. There's not much to not like about him, and his overloaded kit means he has a ton of tools at his disposal. At the highest levels, Pyke is one of the few supports that can legitimately solo carry a game.

    Honorable Mentions: Alistar, Bard, Blitzcrank, Braum, Fiddlesticks, Lulu, Morgana, Karma, Soraka

    Strongest Marksmen (AD Carries)

    New Champions

    Sivir [Damage/Outplay] New!: Sivir in her current state has the damage she needs to be effective and works wonderfully with Essence Reaver (it's been a while since the last list update). Her spellshield has also always been an effective tool and gives her the ability to outplay nearly everything in the game.

    Xayah [Damage/Outplay] New!: A champion that plays very similar to Sivir, Xayah also specializes in AOE damage combined with Essence Reaver Synergy. She's somewhat of a higher cooldown champion however, since her defensive spell relies on her ultimate instead of low cooldown spellshield. However, this trade-off means she deals significantly more damage for the utility she gives up.


    Removed Champion

    Lucian [Damage/Outplay]: Lucian in the current meta has been reduced drastically due to Riot's itemization of critical strike items. He's always better with on-hit items due to his passive, but most champions can now farm to late game and take him out from long range.

    Twitch [Damage]Twitch is still very much an incredibly potent marksman. His burst damage is second to none at full build and as the only marksman with invisibility, he always gets the first hit off in a 1v1. That being said, I'm dropping him down slightly just so I can get in the two marksman with more defensive options.


    Returning Champions:

    Ezreal [Damage/Outplay]: Popping Ezreal back onto the list was a no-brainer. His Kleptomancy setup gives him a massive gold advantage, and his late game is insanely good with his reworked Essence Flux [W]. Meanwhile, his double tear build is still arguably makes him the strongest six item makesman in the game. While he may not win every all-in fight, his poke ability gives him the luxury of potentially two-shotting someone for free at any given moment.

    Kai'Sa [Damage/Outplay]: Anyone who's seen a fed Kai'Sa knows that the amount of punishment she dishes are on a whole other level. When it comes to sheer utility, Kai'Sa's cooldowns are simply abusive. Her waveclear is one of the best of any marksman early and her self-peel abilities are incredibly good for kiting highly dangerous bruisers in the current meta.

    Vayne [Damage/Outplay] New!: Back in play after buffs to her Tumble [Q], Vayne is again one of the strongest hyper carries on the Rift. Capable of massive outplays and sporting excellent self-peel potential, tanks and squishies alike melt quickly to her damage output.

    Honorable Mentions: Draven, Jhin, Jinx, Kog'Maw, Twitch

    Thoughts on other champions who should have made the list? Comment below!

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