Q&A: Patch 9.6’s Tier List
Every patch, our experts curate a predictive tier list for climbing solo queue. We created this Q&A series to address the most common questions for each individual tier list, this one is for Patch 9.6. If you’d like your question to be answered, leave a comment in our tier list article, in our Youtube video’s comments, or send us a message in our Discord.
We don’t answer every question but we do read all of them so you always have 9a chance! Note that some answers within this article may be slightly altered for readability.
Here’s our LoL tier list for patch 9.6. If you want to know what our experts thought of the patch as a whole, check out our 9.6 Patch Breakdown.
1. What’s the difference between “skill floor”, “skill ceiling”, and “learning curve”?
2. Why is Lulu considered as Hard when other enchanters are easier?
3. Why is Jinx considered as very strong but her ban rate is extremely low?
4. How is Riven jungle?
5. How is Morde mid?
Questions and Answers
1. “Can you explain exactly what you mean by “skill floor”, “skill ceiling”, and “learning curve” in the Q&A video?” – Michael Melendez
- Skill floor represents how hard a champion is to play at first, meaning in the first 5-10 games. Garen is an example of a champion with a low skill floor because all of his abilities are very simple and don’t require perfect execution for him to still be solid or serviceable to his team.
- A high skill floor champion would be something like Azir or Ryze because your first 5-10 games are likely to be pretty rough as they require much more knowledge to execute their kits.
- Skill ceiling represents how hard a champion is over time, meaning reaching their maximum potential. Caitlyn is an example of a low skill floor champion and a high ceiling champion. She’s relatively easy to pick up but there’s a big difference between a 50 game Caitlyn and a one-trick Caitlyn due to the possibilities of her trap placements, animation cancels, and headshot mechanics.
- Learning curve is a combination of skill floor and skill ceiling meaning that you should expect your win rate to increase the more games you have relative to your skill ceiling. Garen is easy to pick up but doesn’t scale well into high-ELO because of his simplicity. Rengar will be tough to play early on but will pay off as you get better with him in time due to his complexity.
2. “Why is Lulu considered Hard in your tier list but Soraka and Janna are easier?” – Zirope T
- Lulu wasn’t that hard of a champion to play and compared to Soraka and Janna was around the same difficulty. However, in recent times, Riot nerfed Lulu’s shield from a 6-second duration to 2.5 seconds, which is cutting its time by over 50%.
- This makes the timing to block damage much tighter and less forgiving. Her laning phase is also much weaker in general due to other nerfs
3. “In your opinion, why do you think Jinx is powerful and clearly strong yet her ban rate is extremely low? Better options to ban? Underestimation? People feeling like Jinx isn’t that unfair to play against? Etc.” – Gamrison
- This is something that has happened throughout the history of League as champions that perform well don’t necessarily “feel” overwhelming to play against. A good example is Ahri who tends to stay at high win rates in solo queue but rarely competes with ban rates of Zed, Yasuo, Riven, Thresh, and Draven.
- In the case of Jinx, she has a clear way to counter her (which are assassin champions) and she has rough lane matchups like Draven and Kalista. So despite her being very strong, she doesn’t feel oppressive.
4. “What do you think about Riven jungle? I played her a few games (low-ELO) and I would start red and level 2 gank Mid or Bot and would get First Blood or Flash. Sorry for my English.” – Stefan Trninic
- Riven has popped up as a strong champion recently with Spear of Shojin, the buffed Last Whisper, and Conqueror so jungle Riven has risen in popularity.
- We’ve seen DANWON in LCK use Riven in the jungle, so it can definitely be viable. Their jungler tends to take Aftershock and sometimes Conqueror.
- She’s always had a decent clear as you can take all camps quite easily beside Raptors early on unless you take Hunter’s Talisman. Riven can fight over crabs, is a decently strong early game ganker, scales well, and has a potent level 6 all-in.
- If you already play Riven, give it a try as it’s only slightly worse than top Riven. But if you don’t play Riven and you’re just a jungle main, it can work but we’d likely recommend you other champions first.
5. “Could you talk about Morde mid?” – miguelegipto
- Morde has been underrated for a while and some of his dedicated mains make him look quite OP. He can be down 0-3 but get gank and still end up with the double-kill against his lane opponent and the jungler.
- Note that he will be receiving a rework soon so it’s part of the reason why we have been hesitant to recommend him as apickupp. That being said we believe he is around a B-tier top laner, A/B in mid, and A/B in the bot lane.
- The high amount of bugs that he has can make him awkward to learn and to play so keep that in mind if you’re deciding to learn or play him before the rework.
Thanks for reading and watching! We’ll see you next time for Patch 9.6. As always, you can reach out to our team on Discord if you have any questions or feel free to leave a comment below.