League of Legends Patch 8.17 Tier List for Climbing Solo Queue

League of Legends Patch 8.17 Tier List for Climbing Solo Queue

Welcome to the Mobalytics Predictive Tier List for League of Legends for Patch 8.17!

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 8.17 notes for reference.

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

The Format and Methodology (updated as of Patch 8.17)

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

To improve the accuracy, usefulness, and understanding of our Tier List, we’ve decided to split it into two lists – one for the wide majority of the player base, and another intended for high elo. The goal of our list is to give the best recommendations for what we think will help you best climb in solo queue. Previously, our placements could often conflict with what players saw in a Challenger player’s stream or in pro-play. Often times, a champ could be very strong in a high-skilled players hands but we didn’t feel right endorsing the champ for a lower-skill player to pick up. Having two lists will allow us to make better and more relevant judgments across the spectrum.

We’ll also be changing our difficulty rating system from Learning Curve to “Skill Floor”. After receiving feedback from the community, we realized that some were associating Learning Curve with including the full potential (Skill Ceiling) of a champion. We want to avoid that for the general list and want the definition to lean more towards how long it would take to start seeing a champion’s power level on our list in terms of the number of games invested.

Let’s say you’re debating between learning and climbing with Jax (A-tier | Simple) or Rengar (A-tier | Severe) – you’re going to want to go with Jax. Why? This is because Jax has a lower skill floor and would require less games to play at an A-Tier level in solo queue. If you tried to pick up Rengar, you wouldn’t get the full value of A-tier until after about 15 matches of practice whereas with Jax, you would get that full 15 everytime you play him.

Another example would be between Nidalee (S-tier | Intense) vs Xin Zhao (B-Tier | Simple). Let’s say you’re about to play your last match before promos and you get auto-filled to Jungle (a role you’re not too familiar with). Even though he’s lower on the list, you’d be better off choosing Xin because you don’t have the required number of games to break the skill floor of Nidalee.

Higher skill floor champions will scale better with time investment – Severe champs will outperform Simple champs in the long run because Simple champs generally have their weaknesses exposed the higher you climb.

So if your question is, “How long until I’ll start seeing results?”, the answer would be harder = longer time, easier = shorter time. If your question is. “Will this champion still be strong as I climb in ranks?”, the answer would be harder = moreso, easier = less so.

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.

Two tierlists!? Here’s the general list, scroll down for high-elo Tier List 8.17

C-tier (Champs that are able to climb if you have a lot of experience/comfort in playing them)

Top

  • Simple: Dr. Mundo, Pantheon, Maokai, Nocturne, Kayle
  • Average: Swain
  • Hard: Rumble
  • Severe: Riven

Jungle

  • Simple: Pantheon, Trundle, Master Yi, Poppy
  • Average: Fiddlesticks, Sion, Ivern
  • Hard: Elise, Kha’Zix, Rek’Sai
  • Severe: Lee Sin, Rengar, Nidalee

Mid

  • Simple: Malphite, Kayle, Nocturne, Morgana
  • Average: Mordekaiser, Vladimir
  • Hard: Orianna, Viktor, Zed

ADC (Bot Carry)

  • Average: Brand, Veigar

Support

  • Simple: Lux, Janna, Morgana, Maokai
  • Average: Fiddlesticks, Sion

Key Commentary

Rising Stock

Sion

  • With tanks slowly coming back, games gradually becoming longer, and buffs in recent patches, Sion has returned to the fold as an Optimal champ. He isn’t too hard to pick up so give him a shot if you’re a Top laner.

Amumu/Rammus

  • With both champs receiving direct buffs and early game damage being nerfed recently (Domination runes), Amumu and Rammus are emerging as Optimal picks. They don’t have to fear early invades as much and benefit from the slower, scaling matches that result when tanks are popular. Don’t forget that Smite procs Unflinching (from the Resolve tree) when you engage!

Anivia

  • The ice bird enjoys slow, controlled games and really excels when tanks and melees are popular. She isn’t as hard for players to pick up as we originally thought on top of that so she’s an Optimal pick up this patch.

Zilean

  • Seriously, why don’t more people play Zilean? He’s been a force in pro-play and has incredible impact in solo queue. You can make plays both offensively and defensively whether you’re landing stuns or saving teammates with your ultimate. He’ll take some work to pick up but he’s worth it once you break through his skill floor.

Twitch

  • Check out the explanation below in the Expert picks section!

Taric

  • Taric has been slept on for some time and has slowly risen to Optimal on our list. Everyone knows that he can single-handedly win teamfights (more tanks = more teamfights btw) with his ultimate but his all-in potential in lane is better than you think. If you’re sick of playing Nami who’s been S-tier forever, give the shiny Shield of Valoran a shot.

On the decline

  • Not too many champs are falling super hard as it was a pretty small patch, the general trend is that champs who relied on early game damage to snowball from the Domination tree, built Stormrazer as a core part of their build, or play poorly into tanks will be losing stock. The transition to a tankier meta is still in motion so don’t give up on these champs just yet, just keep a keen eye on how your games are going and then make adjustments to your champ pool as needed.

Expert picks

Jayce (Kellen – “Exil”)

“Jayce is really good at snowballing and has a dominant laning phase. Since most mid laners aren’t tanks, you’ll often have the ability to get some early kills and carry the game. The problem with him is that he is required to win before 25ish minutes because you definitely don’t scale but you’ll be able to roam effectively and you’re still a great sieging champion until then.

For runes, take Electrocute and Sorcery or Inspiration for your secondary. Take ignite for early pressure, roam often by pushing out the wave, and go for a full armor pen build with Ghostblade, Duskblade, Cleaver, Lord Dominik’s, and Guardian Angel.”

Kassadin (Adam – “Moriarty”)

Kassadin received a buff to his ultimate allowing him to have a more aggressive post-6 laning phase with the ability to all-in and poke more frequently. The shorter ult CD will also give him more overall survivability. The Kassadin community has optimized his build to switch away from Lucidity Boots and Lich second to Sorcs with Seraph’s second along with the Fleet Footwork rune setup which takes tenacity and Domination secondary for double healing runes.

This allows him to survive lane and scale better in the split push. The mid meta has also shifted to where picks like Ahri and other matchups he does well against have become more popular, giving him a place on our tier list.

Twitch (Hewitt – “prohibit”)

Twitch has been slowly creeping up every patch ever since the revert to his Contaminate damage. Since he generally builds Blade of the Ruined King, he gets relatively stronger compared to other ADCs who rely on the one item power spike of Storm Razor (which got nerfed). With damage going down overall and people being more willing to play tanks in the upcoming patch, I think Twitch will be Optimal (S-tier). This shouldn’t really be a surprise with how dominant Twitch has been in the past because of how ideal his kit is for taking over in solo queue.

High-ELO Tier List and CommentaryHigh ELO Tier list 8.17

Top (Exil)

The solo lanes are doing well right now, overall they have a lot more agency than earlier in the season, even if some of the champions have been in the meta for a while. What makes a good Top laner, more specifically, is the ability to hold your own and escape ganks as you can quite literally be the reason your team wins or loses depending on whether or not you get camped and die 5 times, or escape them and only die once.

A Top laner needs to have CC because CC wins games. Typically, even for tanks they have good early and mid game, it’s just too hard in solo queue to COMPLETELY rely on scaling tops, and even champions that do scale well like GP, have great laning phases too.

Jungle (Moriarty)

“This role has a lot of different types of champions that are currently viable, tanks assassins, AP champs, bruisers, whatever Graves is. The common theme for Junglers that are successful in this fast-paced meta are champs with either a fast clear + skirmish ability (Taliah, Graves, Nid, Udyr) or champs with insanely powerful ganking patterns (Eve, Rammus, Rengar) have risen to the top recently.”

Mid (Moriarty)

“The Mid lane currently values safe laners who have strong wave clear or champs with very high kill pressure. The common point between the two is using either your kill pressure or stable laning phase to impact the other lanes by facilitating your Jungler in some way.

Look to set up ganks with your Jungler with champs like Malzahar, roam with them with champions like Ahri, Fizz, or Aurelion Sol or by keeping your lane shoved and using your mid priority to assist the map like Karthus or TF. These are to go to strategies for the most successful Mid lane champs.”

ADC (prohibit)

“Bot lane values independence during the mid game. Champions that can take care of themselves, make solo plays, or farm with minimal risk are ideal. Having this benefit is amazing in the long run as it allows you to punish the enemy incredibly hard if they do not have a lane opponent that is self-sufficient as you can bully them and use them as a method to easily propel yourself in a winning position while rendering an opponent weak.”

Support (prohibit)

“Support values flexibility heavily. Having both lane pressure early, and playmaking potential in the mid to late game is paramount. Champions that do well in every facet do better than one-dimensional champions (although those types of champions still work).”

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 8.17 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.

  • DefinentlyNotCyll

    What champs would you recommend for climbing as diamond 5? Is this high elo or should I still follow the lower one. Also, does this mean elise and ivern are good in solo que. They were some of my favorite junglers a while back.

    • Agilio

      Hey there – D5 is usually seen as the cusp but it might be safer to lean toward the general list due to the big difference between D5 and D1. That being said, it really comes down to your playstyle and the success you’re having. If you have a lot of experience with Elise/Ivern, try them out and see how it goes. If it works, keep going – if not, try to understand the reasons why they’re not working and then switch to a champ that would better handle those situations.

      • DefinentlyNotCyll

        Thank you, I’ll try them out and work with the information. I will also try to look a little more towards the general elo tier list. 🙂

    • prohibit

      Hey man. We use ranks as a general guide line but when you’re transitioning into higher elo it’s a tough call that you’ll have to make from your experience in your own games. Champions won’t be immediately trash as you hit D5 but instead will gradually decrease in usefulness as you continue to climb in skill.

  • Catherine Goodweather

    Is trynd good to play in low elo anymore? Where would you put him?

    • prohibit

      Tryndamere is close to playable. If you have a ton of Tryndamere games to the point where you’re hitting his skill ceiling then I’m confident you’ll do well on him but for the average player we’re not going to recommend to pick him up as he’s not very good at a base level.

  • TNTmaster312

    What is your guys opinion on janna, why is she not good enough for the list

    • Agilio

      Janna took a hit to her shielding and she excels most when hypercarry ADCs are in the meta. She and other Enchanters (like Soraka) will likely come back to the meta in the near future as tanks slowly return.

  • Jan Mincev

    Wait, no Kalista anywhere ? She is actually quite strong lately.

    • Agilio

      She’s had bad win rates across all ranks the past few patches.If you’re having success with her keep playing her but she really isn’t in a spot for us to recommend anyone to pick her up.

      • Jan Mincev

        Hmm, weird. Understood though.

  • i8u2manytimes

    Yay, Poppy is starting to get some love, my favourite part is that the only time that poppy got that got nerfed was cheap shot (unless you going assassin jg and like electrocute) so she still does her absurd burst with a sheen item and Deadman (I have a tanky buckler one shot build which is a bit of a gimik build that still works well). If you are going top lane and want to try Poppy, have a go at my build because it makes captilizing on rotations and E stuns easier.

    Aftershock
    Bone plating
    Second wind
    Revitalise
    Cheap shot
    Relentless hunter

    Trinity force
    Boots
    Deadman
    Full tank.

    Trade combo is to q then throw buckler at them, all in is buckler on minion to gain shield then E, q, aa, r, q, aa with W when you think they going to dash away or if you want to chase. You will take no damage from trades with aftershock bone plating buckler shield and heal the non damage they did to you with Doran’s shield, second wind revitalize

    • Agilio

      Thanks for sharing your build and tips 🙂

  • Akarulez

    Can I play Akali on top lane and how good she is on top? As a top laner old akali main, I wanna play her so badly but still can’t understand her situate.

    • prohibit

      We’ve seen enough of Akali mid to know she’s very good right now in the hand of skilled players but we’re not quite sure how she fairs in top lane.

      I would advise against playing her top unless you feel extremely confident in your skill with her. She’s not bad just difficult to close the game out.

      • Michał Chrzanowski

        Tank/bruiser akali top is doing quite good in eune low D elo.

  • Fooey

    What are your thoughts on Caitlyn? I climbed to D5 with her and she can work but it’s hard. Is there any reason to pick her or should I just move on to someone else?

    • prohibit

      I occasionally pick her but she’s on the weak side atm and definitely a shade of her former glory.

      Although she’s not top tier she’s a very safe pick. If you’re in a game where you don’t really need to be the primary carry then she’s a great champion to choose over something like Ezreal.

  • George Hadjipavlou

    heyy umm quick question. At which tier list should us plat plebs refer to?

    • Agilio

      Probably the general list :]

  • Hearth Stoned

    What about Irelia? Other tier lists like LoLalytics or Tierlist.gg place her quite high, but she doesn’t even show up on yours. Why?

    Then again Tierlist.gg has Riven at the bottom of their top tier list while she’s the best top on yours, so there’s definetely some difference in opinion between the people making them.

    • Agilio

      It seems you missed the High Elo tier list ^ check out the article again.

      • Hearth Stoned

        I did miss it, that was my bad. She’s still got a pretty low placement compared to the other tier lists I mentioned though, any particular reason for that?

        • Agilio

          Moriarty, the team member who primarily makes the judgement for Mid tier is a Challenger. Basically his reasoning was that many of the best Mid laners he faces have Irelia as part of their champion pool, however, she’s one of those champs who if you aren’t playing her optimally, falls off compared to other choices so it’s hard to recommend her as S-tier if you’re just picking her up this patch.

          • Hearth Stoned

            I now see there was a miscommunication. Interesting to know about her mid-tier placement, but I was referring to Irelia in the top lane. Just yesterday in a normal game I was told she was broken by a Yorick I stomped. The other tier lists I mentioned place her quite high in the top lane, so I was wondering why for the pro tier list she’s only B tier in top, and she doesn’t even show up in the general tier list.

  • Nexter85

    I don’t really understand why you placed Katarina in B Tier (low elo) and A Tier (high elo). At the moment, Katarina looses lane to almost every other midlaner, if your enemy knows what he is doing. Katarina only recieved nerfs and nerfs, not directly but over item and rune changes for a very long time now, and her current state is pretty bad. I would place her higher in low elo, because the players here make a lot of mistakes and thus it is easy to own the game. In high elo, you get shut down every game when facing a good player, so I would not even put her on the list. There are easier and stronger alternatives.

  • Tendo Kajubi

    I’m a little confused. Where is Xayah in either tier list??

    • prohibit

      Xayah isn’t doing very well ever since the ADC item changes. A lot of her solo carry potential came from the burst damage of the old Infinity Edge and the cooldown reduction from old Essence Reaver to give her more protection with her ultimate.

      After those changes she lost her ability to deal with other ranged damage dealers. She needs more time to scale and is still a huge kiting threat to frontlines but she’s overall not in a great spot for solo carry potential.

      • Tendo Kajubi

        aaaaa, thanks for explaining!!

  • KirA2_01

    What do you guys think about Shen and Aatrox top lane? I feel like Shen is really strong, and with Aatroxs buffs coming in, will either of them see a spot on the tier list?