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Sep 23, 2019

Which Champions are Strongest When Mastered? - September 2019

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Patch 9.18

Going forward I'm planning to update this page roughly once a month. If there's enough interest I might update it once per patch, but so far it doesn't seem like there's enough demand for it.

We're seeing a few newcomers make it to the list this time around like the newest champion, Qiyana to the mid lane. Meanwhile, Jungle's getting an overhaul and some old favorites have finally made it to the top of the pack. Lastly, we're swapping out Ezreal this patch for the hypercarry lategame powerhouse Jinx. Check out the full scope of changes below!

Strongest League Champions 
Strongest League Champions

Season 9 - Patch 9.18 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 9.18

Going forward I'm planning to update this page roughly once a month. If there's enough interest I might update it once per patch, but so far it doesn't seem like there's enough demand for it.

We're seeing a few newcomers make it to the list this time around like the newest champion, Qiyana to the mid lane. Meanwhile, Jungle's getting an overhaul and some old favorites have finally made it to the top of the pack. Lastly, we're swapping out Ezreal this patch for the hypercarry lategame powerhouse Jinx. 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: Irelia, Vladimir replaced by Qiyana, Ekko
  • Top: Aatrox, Tahm Kench replaced by Pantheon, Kled
  • Jungle: Hecarim, Master Yi, Xin Zhao replaced by Elise, Lee Sin, Nidalee
  • Support: Lux replaced by Leona 
  • Marksmen: Ezreal replaced by Jinx


    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 Champions

    Qiyana [Damage/Outplay/Utility] New!: Providing a champion with invisibility and gap closers is annoying enough, but when you combine that with powerful crowd-control spells you suddenly get someone who's extremely obnoxious. The only thing missing from her kit is an invulnerability spell (see below for that guy).

    Ekko [Damage/Outplay/Utility] New!: Ekko swaps out invisibility for a massively powerful defensive spell instead. Ever since they reduced the mana cost on his stun, he's able to throw it more frequently for greater effect. Riot also upgraded him with a variety of quality of life adjustments, making his damage more consistent and reducing the chance of error and giving him extremely fast 100 to 0 ability on enemy carries.


    Removed Champions

    Irelia [Damage/Outplay/Utility]Irelia is always on and off this list. She's a highly mobile champion with strong crowd-control, but after various nerfs and buffs she's no longer the powerhouse she used to be in terms of absolutely dumpstering any and every contender mid-lane. She's still quite good though, so we're moving her down to honorable mentions.

    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. However, similar to Irelia we're moving him down to honorable mentions to make way for some fresh blood.


    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.

    Zed [Damage/Outplay]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.


    Honorable Mentions: Akali, Anivia, Aurelion Sol, Azir, Cassiopeia, Fizz, Irelia, Leblanc, Kassadin, Katarina, Lux, Orianna, Ryze, Syndra, Talon, Twisted Fate, Veigar, Vladimir, 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

    Pantheon [Damage/Outplay] New!The latest rendition of Pantheon is much burstier than before and allows him to 100 to 0 enemies without wittling them down with his Q first. His Q has also been upgraded to give him some much needed waveclear potential. This provides him the wave-management skills he needs in order to roam around the map when he's extending a lead.

    Kled [Outplay/Utility] New!Kled's always been a contestant for top lane, but now we're adding him on in his own right. His ultimate is one of the strongest engagement spells in the game. Almost anyone who's fought against him top lane will also contest to how absolutely obnoxious he can be in lane. Ever since they gave him a built-in Grievous Wounds, he's become one of, if not the best top lane champion in the game.


    Removed Champions

    Aatrox [Damage]: 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. However, after a few nerfs he's starting to show weakness with his low range kit.

    Tahm Kench [Utility]Tahm Kench is nearly 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. That being said, he's not quite as good as the newly reworked champions that everyone's playing, making him second fiddle.


    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.

    Mordekaiser [Utility]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.


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


    New Champions

    Elise [Damage/Utility] New!: A long-time favorite of junglers ever since her release, Elise has been honed and practiced to perfection. Nowadays, players are showing off how easy skillshots are with her and how fast they can 100 to 0 enemies. Ever since the change to turret aggro she's especially valuable as one of the few champions that can dive successfully and live to tell the tale.

    Lee Sin [Damage/Utility] New!: I never thought I'd see the day when Lee Sin would make it onto the list, but the time has come. Despite his high skill cap, players have beaten the practice tool to death and being good at this guy is no longer limited to a few masterful players. Now his flashy skill set is highly accessible with some practice in the tool. If you've been putting off Lee Sin for years, now's the time to jump in the tool and finally become the Lee Sin God you know you could be. Practice tool aside, he's still got great mobility compared to a lot of other champions despite his age, and players continuously find new ways to use his kit and allow him to keep up with new champions.

    Nidalee [Damage/Utility] New!Similar to Elise and Lee Sin, Nidalee has been a jungle staple for many years now. Her ability to move across terrain is unparalleled on low cooldown, and her ability to avoid all but the most mobile champions is legendary. Her efficiency at all ranges also means that she fits into nearly any team composition as long as they're not lacking a front line.


    Removed Champions

    Hecarim [Damage/Utility]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. He's a bit less powerful at the highest practice levels though, so I'm dropping him to honorable mentions.

    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. Similar to Hecarim, he's getting moved to honorable mentions for now.

    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. However, he takes a lot longer to get ramped up compared to other junglers and can't snowball from the start.


    Returning Champions

    Evelynn [Damage/Outplay]Evelynn'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.

    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.


    Honorable Mentions: Gragas, Graves, Hecarim, Kha'Zix, Kindred, Master Yi, Nidalee, Rengar, Shaco, Taliyah, Xin Zhao

    Strongest Supports

    New Champion:

    Leona [Utility] New!Ever since Leona's latest buffs she's been a strong contender for top tier and enables a large variety of kill lanes to actually kill. She performs well against both squishy enchanters and all-in engagement hook champions. While her kit seems relatively straight-forward and aged, it still performs wonderfully as a result of the sheer amount of lock-down she can dish out.


    Removed Champion:

    Lux [Damage/Utility]Lux's stint at the top turned out to be more of a FOTM pick. While her snares are quite good, her shield ends up being slow and largely strong as a result of the over-tuned burst it provided. Now that her numbers are more reasonable, she's not nearly as strong from a sheer utility standpoint.


    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.

    Nautilus [Utility]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.

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

    Strongest Marksmen (AD Carries)

    New Champion

    Jinx [Damage/Utility] New!: Jinx is being added to this list for her power to absolutely smash games mid and especially late game. She takes just as long to ramp up as Ezreal, but her late game is eons more powerful. A good Jinx can solo carry a game if need be, and there are no champions that can out-trade her once she starts snowballing through a team fight.


    Removed Champion

    Ezreal [Damage/Outplay]: Ezreal's strength in a poke composition is undeniable. However, as games turn to more offensive based champions, he loses out a lot when it comes to trading with enemies. The amount of magic damage from marksmen is also higher than ever with Kai'Sa played in nearly every game, making his Iceborn Gauntlet build significantly less valuable than it used to be. That being said, he can still be quite good so I'm moving him to honorable mentions.


    Returning Champions:

    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]: 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.

    Sivir [Damage/Outplay]: 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]: 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.

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

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

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