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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.
C-tier (Champs that are able to climb if you have a lot of experience/comfort in playing them)
- Simple: Dr. Mundo, Pantheon, Maokai, Nocturne, Kayle
- Average: Swain
- Hard: Rumble
- Severe: Riven
- Simple: Pantheon, Trundle, Master Yi, Poppy
- Average: Fiddlesticks, Sion, Ivern
- Hard: Elise, Kha’Zix, Rek’Sai
- Severe: Lee Sin, Rengar, Nidalee
- Simple: Malphite, Kayle, Nocturne, Morgana
- Average: Mordekaiser, Vladimir
- Hard: Orianna, Viktor, Zed
ADC (Bot Carry)
- Average: Brand, Veigar
- Simple: Lux, Janna, Morgana, Maokai
- Average: Fiddlesticks, 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- Check out the explanation below in the Expert picks section!
- 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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 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).”