League of Legends Patch 8.16 Tier List for Climbing Solo Queue

League of Legends Patch 8.16 Tier List for Climbing Solo Queue

Whoops, looks like you’ve found an older tier list. Here’s the new tier list 8.22

Welcome to the Mobalytics Predictive Tier List for League of Legends for Patch 8.16!

This list was curated in collaboration with our analyst, Hewitt “prohibit” Benson, our Challenger Coach, Adam “Morïarty” Isles, and 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 8.16 notes for reference.

If you have any questions about our choices or process, ask us on Discord!

The Format and Methodology

If you’re wondering how we make our tier list, check out our video explanation!

One quick note is that our difficulty rating has been slightly reworked after much feedback. Previously, difficulty ratings were solely based on champion mechanical cap or ceiling. This is why cases like Lux and Aurelion Sol were in the same boat in terms of our old difficulty. Aurelion Sol involves more game knowledge and understanding and is by definition a hard champion, but Lux is also a champion with 4 skill shots, so we took that into consideration.

We appreciate your feedback, and we have now changed it from focusing on mechanical difficulty to “Learning Curve”. This will be much more designed around the philosophy of how hard a champion is to play assuming you are brand new to them, or the role itself. Just remember that difficulty and skill are always subjective!

Disclaimer #1: 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. 

Disclaimer #2: This list is meant to evaluate the champions that we believe are best for climbing Solo Queue. Although there can certainly be some overlap, we are NOT looking to name the champions that are the best in pro-play or organized, competitive 5 on 5. This is why champs that require a ton of team coordination such as Ryze, may not be included or ranked highly.

Changes to our method as of Patch 8.16

We’re always trying to improve how we do things like our tier list to give our community the best shot to get better and climb. Although the tier list has been helpful, we feel that we could definitely do better. Champions would fall through the cracks and some placements felt unclear or hard to understand as to why we placed a champ there.

With our new methodology we tried to be more strict in what each tier actually means. Now you can expect the following:

  • S is Optimal for solo climbing. If you play an S tier champion and you are good on them. You will climb. Period.
  • A is Great for solo climbing. Players that main champions of A tier will make them look broken but ultimately they lack the same raw power that S tier champions bring and have to make it up in terms of player skill.
  • B is Good for solo climbing. These champions generally have one major flaw which holds them back: consistency, solo carry potential, or flexibility. Whatever the drawback, these champions face the issue of having games where you have to rely on your team.
  • If you’re not on the list it just means that we don’t believe they are great for climbing quickly.

Lastly, we wanted to make sure we were gearing the list towards a certain audience, the majority. Very high elo and competitive play are often not reflective of what will work or what will help the average everyday ranked player who’s grinding the ladder. We’ve changed the list to make sure we are always aiming to reflect what’s good for you, and not just Faker. Do keep an eye out, however, because we may have some rankings based on Diamond+ to pro-play at some point (perhaps a separate list).

Are tanks making a comeback? Not quite yetTier list 8.16

Key Commentary

Rising Stock

Jax

  • The Grandmaster at Arms has been performing well across all elos due to his all-around versatility throughout a match. He has the ability to have strong burst like other strong meta picks while still being tanky whereas most Junglers can only do one of the two well. He out-duels most Junglers early and ends up out-scaling them as the game goes on. Taking solo objectives and landing early ganks are incredibly easy with Jax – abuse him, he’s Optimal!

Heimerdinger

  • The dong-lord, despite his Hard learning curve, is just too consistent at winning laning phase. If you land one grenade, it’s almost a guaranteed kill and he has incredibly teamfighting ability as the game goes on. Our experts believe that his kit isn’t necessarily broken, just that his stat numbers are overtuned in his current form.

Poppy

  • There are a ton of champs with dashes in the current meta and Poppy excels at locking them down. She scales well as a tank, can make a big impact around objectives with her ultimate, and just has all the tools that a Jungler wants. She’s Good for now, but keep an eye on her.

Diana

  • Diana has been slowly creeping up simply due to the combination of Deathcap’s insane burst potential and players learning how to build her properly (take Revolver or Spellbinder instead of Nashor’s early on). We’re promoting her from Good to Great this patch.

On the decline

Taliyah (Jungle)

  • Taliyah has dominated the Jungle for several patches now and Riot has finally hit her with the nerf stick. Her slower movespeed will affect her clear time and gank patterns and she will no longer be able to safely check fog of war with her ultimate. All things being considered, however, she’ll still be very strong and Great for climbing.

Fizz

  • The assassin fish’s nerfs in combination with the hits to burst from runes will be enough to knock him down a notch. He’s still going to be Great but you’ll have to work a bit harder than previous patches.

Jhin

  • Players have started to get used to playing against Jhin’s burst so things are starting to normalize in that he’s still doing Great compared to other marksmen but he’s starting to get outclassed by his S-tier peers. If you’re having success with him keep going, he’s still Great, he just isn’t Optimal.

Rakan/Pyke

  • These two Support champions are hard to properly utilize in most elos, however, they do increase in success as skill level rises. Rakan was hit by nerfs this patch and Pyke is still having consistency problems but these champs have enough impact and carry potential that we should still keep them on the list.

Expert picks

Riven (Kellen – “Exil”)

  • “Riven is a champion where her win rates in lower ranks may not be 100% indicative of her true power, partly because most Riven players, in general, are defaulting too hard for the Conqueror Rune. She actually does very well with Unsealed Spellbook, however, this play style is much harder to execute and requires immense skill. Riven mains in higher ranks have also tried other things such as Electrocute, and full Lethality setups, but again, these play patterns are harder to make work, so many players default to the easier pages. Her strength in Solo Queue is strong, so if you are a Riven main don’t feel too bad, but her numbers probably aren’t there for these reasons.”

Cassiopeia (Adam – “Moriarty”)

  • “With her natural counters in assassins receiving an overall nerf, and the new build with her taking Biscuit and Timewarp Tonic, Cass can lane and trade a lot easier. I believe she will make a small comeback for solo queue as her ability to skirmish and impact a fight heavy meta is very strong.

ADC Graves (Hewitt – “prohibit”)

  • “Although not popular, I think Graves ADC has potential in the current solo queue meta. He can hold his own in lane, especially when paired with an aggressive support but most importantly, can be self-sufficient against Assassins and Divers in the mid to late game without the need of a peeling support.”

As always, we welcome all discussion and feedback. If you have any questions about picks that we didn’t expand on or would like to let us know how you feel about Patch 8.16 and our predictions in general, join us in our Discord! If you’re wondering how we make our tier list, check out our video explanation.

  • jb00

    Why did you lower Sona to A tier? She hasn’t been changed. Nor has any ad carries.

    • Hewitt Benson

      Some of our placements are due to reevaluation on how we look at our tiers. Our last list we were overvaluing the strength of Sona being simple to play so we gave her more of an edge on our list.

      We do believe she is still very strong. She is one of, if not the best scaling supports in solo queue because of her team fight presence with her auras and Crescendo which is amazing due to how team fight heavy most solo queue games are.

      Still we have to acknowledge a simple fact in League’s current meta which is that it’s hard for your champion to be optimal for climbing if both your early game and mid game are below average to average at best. Sona provides inevitability but it’s hard for her to force the game to go her way which takes some agency out of her with the meta being a more snowbally than it has been in the past.

  • AnonimousGriefer

    Why is Jhin not in S tier? Also I am very confused why you wouldn’t put Lucian/Kai’Sa/Sivir on the list at all, I mean they are “good.”

    • Hewitt Benson

      We’re being more strict with our tier lists this time around. While we definitely think that champions like Kai’Sa and Lucian are strong at higher levels of play, Kai’Sa and Lucian tread a much thinner line from being amazing to useless than most ADCs. We don’t think it’s beneficial for players to take that risk because for most players outside the best, failure will be more common than success.

      Sivir is easy provides utility to her team and scales well. She’s good but in this meta bot lane currently struggling to be the reason their team wins the game. That’s why all the S tier champions are the way they are; they assert presence by themselves, threaten to dominate lane, while still maintaining usefulness as the game progresses.

      I actually believe Sivir is a great autofill or offrole pick if you’re not comfortable with any of the other easy champions on the list because she’s defensive and sets your teammates up to win. You won’t be the reason your team loses but you’re not often the reason why your team wins.

  • Alvaro

    These tier lists are so helpful. Did you guys ever think about doing build guides? Or a 3v3 tier list/guide?

    • Hewitt Benson

      We don’t play much 3v3 so it would be disingenuous for us to make a list currently.

      I’ve been trying to get the rest of the team to play some 3v3 so hopefully that changes soon 🙂

      We don’t have build guides currently but you can load up our pregame when you hop into soloq to check out our recommended builds for the champion you’re playing.

  • Ricardo Fernandes

    I see that a lot of ap carries, mostly with good range, got a spot (kinda obvious). That’s why poppy is out of top lane tier list?

    • Hewitt Benson

      When Poppy was at her peak:
      *Her damage numbers were higher
      *She utilized Iceborn and Sunfire Cape very well when both were strong.
      *Her cooldowns were shorter
      *ADC’s were stronger and more worth protecting

      Poppy top still has great matchups (Riven, Rengar, and Camille to name a few) but if you want to have the best chances of climbing you shouldn’t play her top.

      Poppy top simply does not have a reliable win condition in this current meta:

      It is very difficulty to crush and snowball your opponent in lane due to most of her kit relying on a wall stun for lethal damage so you cannot rely on an incredible early game.

      Her ability to force mid/late game team fights is weak due to her engage being extremely situational and flash reliant

      Lastly, her main strength, which is protecting her squishy carries from divers, is not as viable when ADCs are normally not the most important member of your team anymore which was the opposite of the past.

      Poppy jungle is a bit better because of how much stronger Poppy’s dueling potential in the jungle with easier access to walls and the ability to use your knockback in ganks just to push the enemy forward or deny their escape from behind with W. She has much more agency from jungle to get ahead and push a win on her own terms.

  • Shxdow

    Why did you lower Yasuo’s difficulty?

    • We had a lot of internal discussions about Yasuo because he defies most rationale of what we deem as a “Severe Learning Curve”

      To put it simply, Yasuo’s skill floor (what our learning curve is referring to) is not as high as we initially thought when looking at how well lower ranked players play him. Yasuo’s baseline effectiveness is very high even without putting in the time to learning how to play him properly.

      However, Yasuo’s skill ceiling is massive which top Yasuo players like Moe show time and time again.

      Our difficulty rating is primarily how hard a champion is to pick up and start playing before you see success. Hopefully this answers your question.

      • Shxdow

        If so, why does Vel’Koz, a champion with 4 skillshots (his Q being a very unique skillshot too), fall under the “Average” difficulty? I feel like he deserves to be “Hard”, if not “Severe” as most new Vel’Koz players aren’t able to execute his combos properly, thus leading to them not having much of an impact on the game.

        • prohibit

          The purpose of these difficulty ratings is to give a player an idea of how long will it take for a player to pick up any of these champions before they start seeing success.

          Vel’Koz is fairly straight forward. Stand back, shoot skill shots until one of them lands then use your ultimate. Using his Q to its full potential is something that players will learn with experience but is not mandatory to begin playing him at a base level.

          Yasuo we feel like is similar but we may come back and reevaluate him later. Sometimes a champion’s strength crowds out the mechanics that were previously necessary to make him work. A couple of examples are champions like Syndra and Lee Sin. When Syndra’s ultimate did more damage and was easier to get max spheres she wasn’t that hard to play because you could play her as an ultimate bot and be successful. When Lee Sin’s Ultimate does too much damage he does not have to worry about finding opening to insec or doing anything fancy. A simple Kick > Q > Q > E > Auto will kill most non-tanks.

          Maybe Yasuo’s strength right now is lowering the amount that you need to learn about the champion before you start being successful so we’ll keep an eye on him and see if he needs further adjusting.

          Thanks for your comment and feedback as always.

  • BeatboxJames

    It is a pretty good listing, however I am wondering what is going on with the whole bottom lane thing, I know that you are being a little more strict and showing a smaller list to use… but there are still other ADC’s that still are very well usable in this day of age. I understand like Lucian and Kai’sa are better the higher the ranks are, but isn’t that also draven? Plus there’s proof that Ezreal and Xayah have really good winrates to warrant it still being on a list.

    • prohibit

      Draven is overperforming across all skill levels whereas Lucian and Kai’Sa are only performing decently near the top.

      The ADC question is very easy to answer. Botlane just isn’t good right now. Comparatively to other ADCs yes there are other ADCs that are good / passable. Compared to the rest of the champions in other roles? They are strugglin’.

      You can play ADCs not on the list and you will win games. They are passable. Over the course of 50-100 games we are confident that the ones on the list will yield players good results.

      We recommend not playing ADC unless you’re playing the best ones

  • Anonymous Navarro

    What happened to Evelynn, from S to B?

    • Agilio

      Check out our video explanation within the article, champs like Eve do great at high elos Diamond+ but struggle at lower elos. Since Bronze-Plat represents 95% of the player base, we’ve started to gear our lists for those ranks so we can be as useful as possible for climbing

  • hsnsja

    Why Shaco still in there despite receiving constant indirect nerfs?

    • Agilio

      From our experts:

      “Shaco barely received any real nerfs this patch.
      You can adapt your Electrocute to Dark Harvest which Shaco synergizes with even better.

      Sudden Impact nerf hurts but at the end of the day it’s 3 lethality, that’s not going to make him bad. Shaco players were going Celerity but Absolute Focus was arguably better anyway.

      Nothing else about Shaco gets changed. He can adapt to slightly different options and even the things like sudden impact that hit him directly barely even matter anyway. Shaco will drop once people start playing more peeling supports and tanks in jungle/top”

  • Daniel He

    Is there a good guide for Jg Jax?

    • prohibit

      From Kellen “Exil”

      ‘Jungle Jax is good because he is easy to play in the jungle, not requiring learning his early weak laning phase to scale up, you get your farm for free with the camps. He is also good at taking scuttles and dueling after level 3 once you have all of your abilities, so make sure you try to contest the crabs.

      The page is Press The Attack instead of Conqueror in jungle, and this is because it’s immediate on your ganks, not having to wait for 4 seconds, as well as it gives you some extra damage to your laners as well once it is proc’
      during the gank

      Build is Warrior/Cinderhulk depending on the game, Trinity Force, Titanic Hydra, Guardian Angel, Steraks

      Secondary page is Inspiration with Boots and Cosmic Insight, or Celerity Waterwalking in sorcery depending on your playstyle, this you will have to play around with.
      Gank early, farm when you can and scale, your ganks are stupid strong on level 6 especially with your R because you can dive.’

  • Kyos

    why tresh isn’t in the list?

    • prohibit

      He’s an amazing champion when utilized properly but is just too difficult for most people to find huge success on.

      Still a good support and is incredibly more effective the more skilled you are so feel free to play him if you’re doing well but we don’t feel comfortable recommending to the majority or any players looking to pick up a new champion to climb.

  • Lyndrik

    Why Darius is not in list at all anymore? His strength is not competitive anymore?

  • Rajpreet Sehra

    What about olaf? I’ve been having consistent success with him and I think his usefulness is high with hushbirst and cc immunity, since most backlines require cc peel.
    Where would you rank him?

  • Nicholas Obrocea

    Do you think Vel’koz will be good in the tank meta bc of his true damage?

  • x U l t r a

    I really don’t understand what is so valuable about Rengar in the top lane. He’s barely seen and when he does appear, it’s pretty underwhelming unless you’re dealing with Dekar or some other douchebag.

  • Clément Baune

    Where is Maokai (tank/support) with the buff of the tank hé seems really “great”, no ? Otherwise the tierlist is very good thanks

  • Tendo Kajubi

    anyone have a basic build path and any tips for diana
    Thanks in advance!!!