League of Legends Patch 8.18 Tier List for Climbing Solo Queue

League of Legends Patch 8.18 Tier List for Climbing Solo Queue

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Welcome to the Mobalytics Predictive Tier List for League of Legends for Patch 8.18!

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 8.18 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!

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.

Jump to High-ELO Tier List

Another minor patch, World’s is incoming!General 8.18 updated

Jump to High-ELO Tier List

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

Top

  • Simple: Wukong, Quinn, Teemo, Pantheon, Dr. Mundo, Poppy, Maokai, Tryndamere
  • Severe: Riven, Fiora, Jayce, Gangplank, Akali

Jungle

  • Simple: Pantheon, Jarvan IV, Trundle, Hecarim, Poppy, Olaf
  • Hard: Elise, Kha’Zix
  • Severe: Rengar

Mid

  • Simple: Diana, Malphite
  • Hard: Orianna, Zed
  • Severe: Katarina, LeBlanc

ADC (Bot Carry)

  • Simple: Tristana
  • Average: Ziggs
  • Hard: Kai’Sa

Support

  • Simple: Janna, Morgana
  • Average: Braum, Fiddlesticks
  • Severe: Pyke

Key Commentary

For the most part, Riot reduces the number of changes in their patches to stabilize the meta leading into Worlds. This means that our tier lists will likely only have minor changes here and there so we won’t have as much to comment on in this section.

Urgot (trending up)

  • If you’ve been watching pro-play recently, you’ve probably noticed that Urgot has spawned seemingly out of nowhere as a highly contested pick. It turns out that he’s going to be pretty great for climbing solo queue as well due to the continued increase of tanks (which he loves playing against). We’re leaving him at A-tier for now because he likely doesn’t have as much “1v9” potential in comparison to picks like Kled or Sion, but we’ll definitely be keeping our eyes on him.

Renekton (trending up)

  • It’s been a while since the killer croc was a consistent presence on our list, his buffs this patch may be enough to warrant his return. The armor reduction will help him deal with tanks and be the bully he wants to be – try out Press the Attack and look to make a mark in the early game.

Vayne (trending up)

  • Will we see Vayne at World’s? Possibly! She was already slowly coming back into favor due to her strengths against tanks and the buffs to her Tumble will give her more outplay potential and build path versatility in regards to her skill order. Look into her Rageblade build, our experts believe she may be A-tier level using the setup.

Twitch (trending down)

  • This was a slight mis-prediction last patch as our expert pick. Twitch’s placement is still not quite Optimal but he is definitely Great. Most of the time you’re fine but there are a few very bad Support matchups like Janna vs Blitzcrank that completely shut you out from the game because Twitch doesn’t have many good ways to come back into the game. Compare that to other top-ranking ADCs, who despite their weaknesses, can play well from a bad matchup or can comeback or be useful from behind.

Competitive/pro-play nerfs

  • Champs like Ryze, Sejuani, Trundle, and Braum are all taking hits despite their lack of dominance in solo queue. We were already reluctant to recommend these champs but these changes meant for pro-play will make it even harder to climb with these picks.

Expert picks

Viktor (Kellen – “Exil”)

“Viktor received direct buffs this patch as his first upgrade is becoming cheaper. A previous nerf to this upgrade was the primary reason the champion fell out of the meta for a long time – this change will give much-needed help to his early game.

In addition to a slightly cheaper build path, reasons for Viktor’s return include: Electrocute is now better for control mages, games are stalling out slightly longer, and more tanks are being played.

He is very hard to play and lacks some agency in solo queue, but overall he is a nice addition to the list and will be better for sure.

Vel’Koz (Adam – “Moriarty”)

Vel’Koz has always been good for climbing due to his lane priority and he’ll be getting better due to his strong teamfight potential versus tanks. With the new Glacial Augment + Twin Shadows + GLP build (see recent pro-play such as Bjergsen in NA playoffs), you can now reliably catch enemies and never miss his knockup or other skillshots. This increased reliability allows him to cover up one of his weaknesses, which was being skillshot reliant.

Lulu (Hewitt – “prohibit”)

“Although it’s true that Lulu is more difficult to play now that you have to time your shields better, the meta is starting to shift to a point where she may be able to return to a good spot for climbing.

I recommend taking Sorcery as a primary with Aery, MF Band, Transcendence and Scorch, with Resolve as a secondary taking Bone Plating and Chrysalis most of the time. If you don’t feel threatened in lane, you can also go Inspiration secondary.

Max E>W>Q, take Ignite, and look to bully people hard. Lulu trades very well and can secure kills with aggressive flash plays early into the lane phase. You can look to roam with Mobi boots or take Lucidity boots if you aren’t comfortable with leaving your ADC. Avoid picking her with Ezreal and try picking her with Twitch if possible.”

Jump back to the general tier list

High-ELO Tier List and Commentary8.18 High ELO updated

Jump back to the general tier list

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

Top

  • Simple: Olaf, Garen, Malphite
  • Average: Yorick
  • Hard: Heimerdinger
  • Severe: Yasuo, Aatrox, Akali, Fiora

Jungle

  • Simple: Jax, Warwick, Amuu, Skarner, Pantheon, Olaf
  • Average: Twitch
  • Hard: Elise
  • Severe: Lee Sin

Mid

  • Simple: Lissandra
  • Average: Vladimir, Syndra
  • Hard: Zed, Viktor
  • Severe: Akali, Aatrox

ADC (Bot Carry)

  • Simple: Sivir
  • Severe: Kalista

Support

  • Simple: Gragas
  • Average: Brand, Fiddlesticks

High-ELO Commentary

As we mentioned earlier, the overall states of the role metas haven’t changed too much as we approach the World’s patch. Top is starting to shift toward tanks and now you are starting to see more Ignites instead of Teleports due to its more dominant play pattern. Junglers are transitioning from Electrocute to Dark Harvest, and Mid lane is becoming populated with more control mages.

Overall, the power level of ADC outside of S-tier is pretty low but the value of your Support is higher on average. The most important thing about botl ane at the moment is learning your duo matchups. Bad matchups are more common with the variety that the Support role brings so be aware of your blind and counterpick options.

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 8.18 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.

  • Nicholas Obrocea

    At what point should you start using the high elo tierlist? I’m currently mid-plat so which one should I use?

    • Agilio

      It really comes down to your play style, champion pool, and the matchups you run into. It’s probably safer to stick with the general list but you can definitely explore the high elo list as well.

    • prohibit

      The high elo list is more about your skill level then the “meta” of high-elo. If you’re a mid-plat player but you feel like you have the mechanics and game sense to play any of the high elo champions then that’s ideal since they yield a greater reward when played well.

      If you don’t see success then it’s better to just switch back. Platinum is the crossroads so depending on the player they may or may not be ready to make the switch.

  • Cristian Mercado

    Hi, I wanted to ask why Tahm kench is not anywhere in the support tier list? He seems to be a strong pick in many games with his get out of jail free card for the adc, % damage, frequent slowing, and good map pressure. He is also widely picked in many pro games in both NA and Korea.

    • Agilio

      Tahm Kench is one of those champs who does great in pro-play (see Ryze, Galio) but is much less reliable in solo queue due to the amount of coordination required to get the most out of his kit.

      Relying on pings/typing is much less effective in comparison to having voice comms with your five allies, even the slightest hesitation by an ally can cause you to miss a timing with your ultimate. Compare that to Supports like Brand or Zyra who have much more individual agency when using their ults.

      He also had the cooldown on his W doubled when used defensively so the “jail free card” aspect has been hit pretty hard. If you’re having success with him, perhaps playing with an ADC friend you can coordinate with, he could potentially be playable, but he’s not in a spot that our experts would recommend him for climbing in solo queue.

  • FreeScienceLessonsPromo

    I see Diana hovering around b-c tier in your tier lists. Even though I have been playing the champion for a long time and reached mid-plat almost exclusively playing her I don’t think she’s that difficult to pick up and makes an excellent climbing champion for lower elos. Your opinion(s)?

    • Agilio

      Hey there, Diana was rising on our list until the Electrocute nerfs hit. We have her at Playable (C-tier) because of players like you who are experienced in playing her and still having success.

      You should keep playing her if she’s still working for you but she isn’t a champ that we would recommend someone to pick up and add to their champion pool if they want to climb now.

  • Hihimeandthe

    I have maimed Nidalee for a while now and play her almost exclusively in solo que; however I am trying to pick up some new champs that have some similar qualities. I am diamond 3 and am looking for two more champs to put in my pool. If anyone has any reccomendatios for a Nidalee one trick, I would love to expand my roster.

  • Hihimeandthe

    Hello! I was just wondering why Ivern is so good in high elo? What does he offer? Also why are some simple rated champs in the high elo list not in the general one?

    • prohibit

      “Why Ivern is so good in high elo?”

      Ivern brings a scary combination in soloq: playmaking potential and ally protection. Although he has to rely on his teammates while playmaking since Ivern lacks the damage, you can rely on your teammates a bit more when you set them up in higher elo.

      This combination gives Ivern a way to heavily influence the early game as well as remain a big threat in the mid to late game by bringing amazing teamfighting utility and protection.

      “Why are some simple rated champs in high elo list not in the general one?”

      As a rule of thumb, simple rated champions generally have clear strengths and clear weaknesses. They are not as flexible as harder rated champions. Better players have an easier time taking advantage of champions weaknesses which is why you’ll see most simple champions fall off as you increase in elo.

      Some exceptions would include if a lot of those champions’ counters are not popular, a lot of champions that synergize with that champion are being played, that champion is currently overtuned.

  • Advern

    Is Lucian top any good?

    • prohibit

      Lucian top has to play aggressively to gain a lead and end the game early if the enemy team composition has a good mid-late game.

      This leaves Lucian open up to getting easily ganked in top lane. If you ever die or get behind then you’ve pretty much cost your team the game since Lucian has no utility outside gaining an early lead.

      • Advern

        Thank you for the reply,asked cause i really enjoy playing Lucian but i hate playing in the Botlane aswell since you have to coordinate with another person

  • Miguel Teles

    Hey! I was wondering why Sion is so far up in the general climbing tier list. He is a tank, which would tend to mean that the potential to solocarry wouldn’t be that high… Is he just so overpowered that he is a must pick/ban for every elo? And if so, how would you reccomend I abuse him in lower elos? Cheers! 😀

  • Matthew Bond

    Hey, I just started playing Sion but i have found many different builds. I was wondering which one I should use. Thanks

  • Lagger boi

    Sion top and Zilean mid is a sure win. They can 2v5 an entire team using their great synergy.