With LCK starting tonight, it’s finally time for Season 6 of Competitive League of legends to commence. I will be writing pick/ban recaps for LCK, NA, and EU LCS this split, and part of that will be maintaining available Tier Lists to reference when discussing the drafts.
These Tier Lists will be for competitive play, and will be based purely on my estimation of champions raw power level. While this will be informed by the meta-game and statistics, the list will not simply be a list of the most picked champions. The recaps will be a reflection of my opinion on what teams should do in the drafts, and as such the Tier Lists will support that. Obviously each team will have their own specific factors in terms of play style and player champion pool, but given we can’t know these they will generally be disregarded unless we are given clear evidence of them.
Before we get to the Tier Lists, lets go over what each Tier means.
Tier 0 is for champions that are so busted they must be banned by Red side every game. There are not currently any Tier 0 champions, and in my opinion this is usually the case.
Tier 1 champions are extremely powerful picks that can be almost always be taken with little consideration for the rest of the composition and still be expected to contribute significantly.
Tier 2 champions are either safe champions that have a little less raw power than Tier 1, or more matchup or compositionally specific champions. It’s generally acceptable to take a Tier 2 champion over a Tier 1 if they fit they fit the situation significantly better.
Tier 3 champions are risky picks that need several factors in their favor to be worth considering. I would only take a Tier 3 champion over a Tier 1 if the composition was built specifically with the Tier 3 in mind.
Any champions not listed from Tier 0-3 I consider not worth practicing as the reward is not worth the investment required.
Now lets get to the lists.
Competitive Top Lane Tier List patch 5.24
Tier 1 Ryze, Gangplank, Lulu, Fiora, Lissandra
Tier 2 Malphite, Shen, Gnar, Trundle, Mundo, Jax, Hecarim, Irelia, Jarvan, Rumble
Tier 3 Yasuo, Riven, Quinn, Nautilus, Maokai, Ekko, Renekton, Tahm Kench, Olaf, Sion, Singed, Taric
Top is one of the healthier lanes currently, and you can really feel like you have a reasonably powerful champion all throughout the entire top 2 tiers. Due to this depth drafting for top currently is less about securing a powerful top lane individually and more about setting up your team composition. The OP solo lane trio of Ryze/GP/Lulu are the pinnacles of this, as they have very few poor matchups in either lane while bringing insane teamfighting presence. Fiora and Lissandra are similarly safe from counter picks while being able to single-handedly snowball a game.
5.24 saw significant nerfs to tank masteries and as a result the likes of Malphite/Trundle/Mundo fall down to Tier 2. They are still capable of reaching unkillable status but it’s much harder to get them off the ground with the Precision buff and 7-9 Thunderlords running around every game. The Rageblade users still provide alternative splitpush carry options, but are significantly riskier than Fiora.
Lastly Ryze deserves his own aside. Ryze is one of the rare champions who both has an incredibly specific skillset required to optimally perform on him, while also having an extremely high skill cap. This combination makes him one of the few champions that a significant portion of the pro player base simply cannot perform on at the requisite level to bring out his full power. Because this is true and he is one of the 3 OP solo laners currently, having a capable Ryze player is a massive advantage right now. Having an OP champion in your repertoire that something approaching half of your opponents cannot play is a huge advantage and will frequently negate one of your opponents bans single-handedly. For this reason a solo laners ability to play Ryze must be considered when evaluating his level currently, and any time a situation like this occurs it can change the landscape of a position greatly.
Competitive Mid Tier List patch 5.24
Tier 1 Lulu, Ryze, Gangplank, Zed, Viktor
Tier 2 Twisted Fate, Anivia, Ahri, Kassadin, Orianna, Lissandra, Leblanc, Fizz, Diana, Azir
Tier 3 Cassiopeia, Yasuo, Quinn, Ziggs, Lux, Varus, Syndra, Brand, Morgana, Jayce, Vel’koz, Zilean, Ezreal
Mid lane is even more powerful than usual on this patch, as the role with generally the highest base damages and levels to pair with the overpowered masteries Precision and Thunderlords Decree. Lulu/Ryze/Gangplank bring way too much to the table, and will continue to be First Pick or Ban material until they see significant changes. Zed rose back to playability over previous patches with buffs to his W shadow and extreme synergy with the new Ghostblade, but the Thunderlords and Precision AD buffs put him over the top (he was already the best abuser of Thunderlords due to being able to get an extra 30-50% of it’s damage from his ultimate). While he does have significant late game teamfighting issues, his snowball potential is absolutely off the charts at the moment and as he and Gangplank are the only AD Mids above Tier 3 he has an incredible amount of value right now. Viktor is still the ultimate safe scaling laner, bringing easy wave clear and high damage with no jungle pressure required.
Tier 2 is a mix of teamfighting control mages and more matchup specific Assassins. The control mages are plenty powerful and should see signicant play with the OP’s in Tier 1 banned frequently. The Assassin trio of Kassadin/Fizz/Diana are capable of running away with the game with the right matchup, but are significantly worse early laners then Zed. They will still be picked over him sometimes due to providing AP damage, but are much riskier blinds.
Competitive Jungle Tier List patch 5.24
Tier 1 Kindred, Lee Sin, Rek’Sai, Elise, Nidalee
Tier 2 Evelynn, Nunu, Rengar, Mundo, Trundle, Jarvan, Zac, Gragas,
Tier 3 Volibear, Quinn, Pantheon, Graves, Shaco, Shyvana
Jungle has an extremely polarized power structure at the moment, with a massive dropoff from Tier 1 to the rest. There are few scenarios where taking a Tier 2 Jungler over any Tier 1 champion is worth it outside of not being comfortable with Nidalee. The top five provide strong early map pressure while still maintaining usefulness until late game arrives. They just have the fewest power troughs and for a supportive role that is still capable of carrying when ahead this is the single most important factor. Nidalee is a unique case in that she brings unparalled ability to snowball but is by far the worst should she fail to do so, she also is similar to Ryze and Bard in that some players just aren’t comfortable playing her, so she is a priority pick for some teams while others will avoid her completely. The other 4 are all incredibly close in power and you can place them in whatever order you like, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they make up 80% or more of the jungle picks in the first week.
In my opinion Volibear has interesting sleeper potential going forward in the season. His overall power level right now is the highest it has been in quite some time due to his high synergy with the new Resolve masteries, especially Strength of the Ages. He is currently held back quite a bit by the meta as he has major problems against champions like Ryze, Lulu, Janna, Alistar etc. Of course some of these types of champions will always be in the meta, but they are currently dominant picks and when that changes his ability to make plays will increase significantly. It can also be argued that Strength of the Ages is the second strongest Keystone Mastery in the game currently, and once Thunderlords gets nerfed the champions that really abuse it (Voli, Zac, Mundo, Trundle, Gragas, Shyvana) could see a big uptick in strength.
Competitive ADC Tier List patch 5.24
Tier 1 Miss Fortune, Lucian, Corki, Tristana, Kalista
Tier 2 Ezreal, Vayne, Kindred, Sivir, Ashe, Caitlyn, Quinn, Graves, Varus, Twitch, Urgot
ADC obviously received a lot of attention this preseason, and is in an interesting state currently. The Worlds meta has been largely upended, with onl Tristana and Kalista remaining top tier picks. The nerf to Infinity Edge along with the rework of Essence Reaver has shifted the general scale of power in favor of the AD casters compared to previous seasons. Several champions also received significant reworks of course, and Riot has in my opinion fairly successfully created a choice in playstyle for the majority of the ADCs, as evidenced by the huge 2nd Tier.
Miss Fortune just does insane damage at the moment, both with her ultimate and normal abilities. While she has obvious weaknesses of short range, little utility and no escape, her numbers are just too high to ignore right now. Lucian and Tristana are the all around performers right now, providing consistent damage output from relative safety. They can be shoved in any composition with little thought, and the main difference is really whether you prefer Lucian’s higher damage and carry potential or Tristana’s greater safety and pushing power. Kalista remains relevant despite heavy nerfs to both her kit and item path, simply because of her unique strengths (Passive mobility, Ultimate utility, and Rend objective control).
Corki is one to watch and someone I want to see in competitive games as his rework has left him in a unique spot. The package is a mechanic we have never really dealt with before, the closest comparison would be Gnars transformation, but it has much less frequent and more clearly defined windows. It should be noted this is not the ideal meta for such an ability, as the primary objective you would force with such an ability (dragon) is at perhaps an all time low in value. However Corki is now the clear choice for AP damage from the bot lane, and this alone gives him huge relevance. Combine these factors with what seem to be slightly overtuned numbers to me (he is currently the #1 ADC in terms of damage per game in solo Q) and he has the potential to rise all the way to the top of this list, and I am confident he will be extremely relevant.
Almost all of the Tier 2 champions have clearly defined strengths you are playing to when you draft them. It will be interesting to see if any of them rise above this niche pick status, but there seems to be a relatively smooth power curve across the Tier to me. I didn’t bother listing a 3rd tier as I don’t think the remaining champions are worth picking currently.
Competitive Support Tier List patch 5.24
Tier 1 Bard, Alistar, Trundle, Thresh, Janna, Braum
Tier 2 Morgana, Tahm Kench, Lulu, Nami, Shen, Leona, Sona, Karma
Tier 3 Kennen, Zilean, Soraka, Nautlius, Brand, Blitzcrank, Vel’Koz, Taric
Support is in a good spot right now, as there are a number of powerful picks and the position is quite capable of heavily impacting a game. Bard already saw 9 bans are IEM Cologne and received buffs in 5.24. This combined with his ability to abuse Thunderlords (his meeps counting as a seperate damage source from his auto allow him to proc it with 1 auto + Q) rise him to the top for me, as his previous weakness of lackluster laning has vanished. Alistar still provides unparalled playmaking potential in 2v1, with Thresh bringing the more general playmaking throughout all phases of the game. Trundle rose to prominence at Cologne, and his ultimate is still the single best counter to tanks after the Last Whisper changes, but with the nerfs to the Resolve masteries in 5.24 causing less tanks overall his value drops a little. Janna is Janna. The main thing seperating this Tier from Tier 2 is the lack of significant weaknesses, making them safe picks in almost every situation. Braum feels a little weaker overall then the others right now, but I’ll keep him here for now largely due to his huge value against Miss Fortune.
The Tier 2 champions have major strengths but also fairly glaring weaknesses, but they are certainly powerful enough should their niche be required. Nami and Karma in particular I think are actually quite powerful should you get standard lanes, but they carry signicant risk as their laning is a large part of their value and they are near useless in lane swaps.