Q&A: Patch 9.7’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 9.7. 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 a chance! Note that some answers within this article may be slightly altered for readability.
1. Why does Illaoi jump between A and B?
2. Why did Caitlyn drop to B-tier?
3. Why is Shen on the high-ELO tier list but not the low-ELO one?
4. Why would you take Barrier on Soraka?
5. How’s Twisted Fate?
Questions and Answers
1. “Illaoi main with an Illaoi question…she seems to move between A&B pretty consistently on the tier lists. Any reasons for this? – sivartsmis (Instagram)
- It’s true that Illaoi hasn’t received changes recently, the up-and-down nature of her tier list placements is mostly dependent on the strength and popularity of her bad matchups.
- Especially in lower ELOs, champions like Yorick, Garen, and Teemo can give her problems so when they rise, Illaoi will tend to fall. Newcomers like Vayne and Kayle are also tough for her.
- This concept applies to most champions, but it is more evident in champions like Illaoi who tend to have clear cut strengths and weaknesses. For example, Illaoi is good into melee champions that don’t have burst but does poorly into ranged champions that can kite her.
2. “What’s with Caitlyn dropping to B-tier when she’s one of, if not the best ADC in the game, specifically in low-ELO? – stattikshiv (Discord)
- Caitlyn can be easy to pick up but she shines more in high-ELO where players are able to master the nuanced aspects of her kit.
- She’s sort of in an odd spot in this meta because of the strong presence of her worst matchups such as Ashe and Jinx. They can match her range, have better all-in potential, and outscale her as the game goes on.
- She needs a meta that allows her to be a lane bully for her to truly shine beyond B-tier.
3. “I like the fact that you put Shen in B for high-ELO but what keeps him off the low-ELO bracket? Is it because he requires more teamwork and timing to pull off better plays with his ult? -angryginger01 (Instagram)
- You pretty much hit the nail on the head. At lower-ELOs, you can pull off a good ult on an ally but they may end up running away or making a bad decision rather than synchronizing with you.
- In high-ELO, this usually isn’t the case so it’s a lot easier to save people and be on the same page for executing game-changing plays without communication.
- Shen is one of those champions who shines based on the skill of the teammates around him, so we reflect that in our placings.
4. “Why would Barrier be better on Soraka? Just asking” – Ronald Santos (Youtube comments)
- Since Soraka can put out an enormous amount of healing (unless you have Grievous Wounds), focusing Soraka down with an all-in is often the only way of stopping her.
- Barrier offers a flexible, low CD defensive option that helps keep her alive and healthy. In comparison, Exhaust requires you to be within a certain range and may put you closer to harm’s way. It also only works on one-target whereas Barrier can protect you from multiple sources.
5. “How’s my boy TF doing? I haven’t seen him on the tier list recently but he feels decently strong.
- Our resident Challenger Coach who is a TF main would probably agree with you but his matchups against a lot of the current Mid laners just aren’t great.
- Champs like Zed and Morgana were tough but manageable in the past, but their recent buffs are making them incredibly difficult to face. He has very little chance of doing well during the laning phase against them and can have trouble creating an impact throughout a game.
- He’s also sort of on a clock in the current meta since there are a lot of strong late game scalers. Games tend to go longer in lower-ELOs so this is a big factor as to why he’s only on the high-ELO list lately.
Thanks for reading and watching! We’ll see you next time for Patch 9.7. As always, you can reach out to our team on Discord if you have any questions or feel free to leave a comment below.