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Welcome to the Mobalytics Predictive Tier List for League of Legends for Patch 8.1!
This list was curated in collaboration with our analyst, Hewitt “prohibit” Benson, our Challenger Coach, Adam “Morïarty” Isles, and our newest team member, Kellen “Exil” Pontius. Unlike most tier lists, we publish ours before, or as a patch goes live, according to the predictions of our in-house experts.
Here are the Patch 8.1 notes for reference.
The Format and Methodology
Our tier list is ranked by what we believe are the best champions for climbing Solo Queue in Patch 8.1. They will be ranked as Optimal (S-tier), Great (A-tier), or Good (B-tier) by their overall climbing potential and as Intense, Hard (a new addition), Moderate, or Simple according to the difficulty of utilizing their moveset to their highest level.
If you’re a skillful player with the time to learn an Optimal champion with Intense difficulty, we believe you’ll be able to make great strides in climbing. If you’re a lower level player that wants to climb but has less time to learn the intricacies of a complex champion, it may be a better option to choose a Great or Good champion with Simple Difficulty.
To categorize these champions, we considered factors such as buffs and nerfs, overall meta shifts, and item changes. We also looked at champion win rates from Lolalytics and considered our own in-game experiences in high-elo Solo Queue.
A quick disclaimer: If a champion isn’t on our Tier List, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t climb with them. You’ll just have to put in more effort to get similar results as our Optimal, Great, and Good choices for climbing.
Behold! Our First Tier List of 2018
- This champion has a very high play rate and in theory, should be a hard champion to use and master. However, it consistently seems that he is able to just crush top lane – whether it’s Kleptomancy or Grasp, he seems to do very well regardless. For what some people may consider the “hardest” top lane carry to play, he doesn’t seem to struggle one bit.
- Camille is a case where a champion does very well and due to synergy with a rune – this time it’s Arcane Comet. With Comet, she has spectacular lane trading and also scales quite well with her true damage Sheen procs. The combo of Triforce, Sterak’s, and Hydra makes her split-push and tower killing insanely fast.
- Evelynn had a rocky rework but has steadily proved more and more deadly with buffs and players improving in using her. Her ability to snowball and blow up both squishy and tanky targets in the early to mid game lets her easily run away with the game.
- Nidalee is one of the rising AP Junglers making great use of Frostfang. This item is very over-tuned and allows AP champs aside from Supports to use and abuse it. Nidalee is doing exceptionally well in high elo Solo Queue at Diamond+ so she has earned an Optimal placing on our list.
- Katarina continues to bounce between Optimal and Great for us. It turns out that she is one of the most picked champs for mid lane, and in theory should be quite hard to play and use mechanically, but is currently crushing in ranked. Her ability to all-in early game and burst squishies down with Electrocute is insane, and she thrives in the disorganized chaos of Solo Queue.
- Although there are still aggressive snowball strategies, the overall the pace of the game is slowing down with the resurgence of Enchanter supports. Now that Lulu/Janna/Soraka are starting to see more play, Kog’Maw will shine with his high scaling and tank shredding capabilities.
- Vayne historically has had the most losing matchups in ADC history and is criticized for bringing nothing to the team besides damage. Despite all of her negatives, she finds herself at the top of our list due to the new strategy of taking Fleet Footwork, Overheal, and Targon’s. It becomes incredibly hard to punish Vayne’s laning phase and even more frustrating to kill her in team fights with the amount of shield and mobility she gets from her build.
- Janna is looking to reclaim back her throne as the #1 Support. With ADCs playing more and more greedy with things like Targon’s, healing and shielding supports are becoming even more appealing to play. Champs like Janna can scale incredibly quickly, just like in the old Ardent meta.
- Your favorite banana throwing monster is on the up and up. We anticipate her being stronger for the same reasons why Janna is succeeding but more so because she synergizes with Ardent while also being a counter to those types of Supports.
- Alistar is one of the new champions on our list that isn’t an Ardent abuser. He’s able to play the protector while having the flexibility to set up massive plays on the squishy champions in botlane with his plethora of CC.
- Most people thought Illaoi was dead with the new runes but people have innovated and found more success than they ever had with the champion. Her new Inspiration build centers around the fact that you can proc Kleptomancy on the Spirit that Illaoi pulls with her E. People are now maxing E, taking Klepto, and having a field day with the tank matchups that she loves to play into.
- The dog (god) is back! Nasus is a case where not only is he good with Kleptomancy, but he also excels using several other keystones. The buff that he received many moons ago gives him a lot of CDR on his Q, and when he’s in his ultimate, he becomes a very strong duelist. His W, “Wither”, is one of the single strongest abilities in the entire game, and now that his E reduces % armor, he does very well into tanks who will let him stack and farm.
- Braum is a pretty well-rounded support. He can play offensively or defensively depending on what the game calls for and that flexibility is the main reason for his high placement on our list. He can scale up and deny damage from enemy carries, or he can play aggressively and punish greedy laners that skip out on combat stats. If you’re able to recognize and adapt to different situations, you’ll find success on Braum
- Nami is a special snowflake. She fills the enchanter role while being able to bully other Enchanters with kill pressure due to her damage and CC. Her biggest downfall is that she doesn’t scale as well as other Enchanters into late game unless you’re a GOD with her bubbles.
On the decline
- Jayce has finally fallen from Optimal after holding his crown of “King of top lane” for months. The lack of a truly good rune for him hurts, all though Summon Aery and Electrocute are fine, they are not ideal. His play rate and win rate have dropped slightly but all around, he is still doing well.
- The one-dimensional all-in Supports are moving down a notch. Champions like Leona are still insanely powerful as well as easy to play, but right now, she’s just not quite lining up perfectly with what most ADC’s are trying to accomplish.
- Same as Leona – old dog, same tricks. Don’t let his placement going down a slot mislead you though – a good Blitzcrank can still dismantle a team with consecutive back to back hooks.
- Ezreal’s nerfs have lead to him feeling clunkier and weaker than before. Combined with the rise of his worst matchup in Vayne, Ezreal has finally been knocked off his throne. He’s still strong but no longer the Optimal god-pick he once was.
- Miss Fortune is dropping from Optimal as the meta starts to shift back to the auto-attack based Ardent + ADC combo. She’s still strong due to her oppressive laning phase, being able to just bully out most ADC’s and completely take over the game, but she lacks the same late-game insurance that other ADCs have to close out the game.
- Shen Support has been popping up quite a bit and has a decent win rate. Several high-level Challenger and Master Supports have been trying him out, and he seems to do quite well. He has a good all-in for laning phase, his ultimate is obviously great for helping your team, and his W to block ADC auto attacks helps a ton. Keep a close eye on the ninja in the bot lane
- Vi is one of those champions that seems to be in and out of the meta at the will of buffs and nerfs, but she is having some nice success in Solo Queue. Obviously, her ganks are immaculate with her R being one of the strongest point-and-click CC abilities in the entire game, and if your Flash is down as a laner you can be camped repeatedly by a smart Vi player.
- Jinx has been performing well with Fleet Footwork to make up for her terrible mobility and the fact that more Supports are playing Enchanters. The lack of assassins floating around also helps her a ton. There are better-off hyper carries out there that you can pick up but Jinx is a solid choice if you don’t feel comfortable on other scaling ADCs. Just be warned – she’s still heavily reliant on your team protecting you as she ever was.