Smolder's base splash art.
Image via Riot Games

Smolder is LoL’s most contested champion through Patch 14.4

The fledgling dragon is quickly gaining popularity.

He might still be a baby, but Smolder is already taking over the League of Legends solo queue ladder as one of the most prevalent champions in the pick-and-ban phase.

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The Fiery Fledgling currently has both the highest pick rate and the highest ban rate among all champions in Platinum rank and higher, according to League stats aggregate U.GG. With a whopping 21.6 percent pick rate and a skyrocketing 38.8 percent ban rate through over 427,000 games on Patch 14.4, it’s clear that Smolder has shown his potential to thousands of players already.

Smolder smiling and looking at the camera
All smiles for every dragon enthusiast. Image via Riot Games

Smolder might have a 49 percent win rate in the same ranked distribution, but his ability to quickly scale up in power through his passive has made him a monster to deal with in the late game if he’s given the chance to collect stacks of his Dragon Practice.

Many players can actually reach the necessary 225 stacks for Smolder’s passive at 19 to 20 minutes with proper wave management and great farming, giving him a ton of extra damage that will only ramp up as he gains items. It also helps that players realized Smolder benefits heavily from early AP opening items and can be a menace to deal with in the early game—which is actually supposed to be his weak point.

His strength as a bottom lane carry has already garnered some ire from the League community, although players also agree it will be tough to balance Smolder for both higher-tier solo queue and others who sit lower in the ranked distribution. Lower-ranked players have a harder time farming efficiently and reaching Smolder’s power spikes, which could be heavily affected by any changes made toward the best AD carries in the world.

There will be some changes headed to Smolder in Patch 14.5, although there still haven’t been any details on how hefty these adjustments will be. The League devs did mention they believe Smolder is relatively balanced, however, which could mean the upcoming changes to Summoner’s Rift’s cutest dragon might not be too intensive.


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Author
Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.