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Patch 4.6 Competitive Tier List


Disclaimer: This tier list is a compilation of observations and opinions from a 5v5 COMPETITIVE STANDPOINT (excluding solo queue opinions). Check back regularly as changes to the list are updated frequently.

Hello, my name is Jera and I am an analyst for compLexity gaming. Over the past couple of months, I have begun compiling the tier lists for champions for pick priorities, as well as to helping with the theoretical selection of champions based on how the meta is moving forward. Now I would like to present to you my humble opinion on what’s strong right now in competitive and team play, as well as provide links to ProBuilds.net for each champion listed in case you would like to research further. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet @coL_Jera and I’ll be happy to respond.

Last Update: 5/3/2014

[tabgroup][tab title=”The Top 6 Bans”]

Link to ProBuilds.net Jax is one of the most dangerous champions to play against in competitive. Jax is incredibly hard to stop, can duel almost anyone, and becomes a monster with items. If Jax is not shut down (and kept down) early, he has the ability to single-handedly carry the game.
Link to ProBuilds.net Nocturne is the best Feral Flare jungler in competitive due to his fast wave clear, ability to aid an early push, and a global ultimate. The advantage of Nocturne is staying hidden and farming, creating an unseen fear of being ganked at any moment if out of position.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kha’Zix is a high-impact assassin that can snowball the game with a few good kills. The damage output of Kha’Zix, along with the damage reduction when using his evolved ultimate makes Kha’Zix incredibly hard to contain.
Link to ProBuilds.net In the “fast tower push meta”, Ryze can sit back and safely farm his items. Ryze, similar to Jax, must be contained in the early game or he becomes a sustained damage nightmare. The difference is that Ryze will be more apt to grouping, whereas Jax looks to join a fight from a flank or a Teleport.
Link to ProBuilds.net Soraka is a fragile early lane bully that can become unkillable in lane, as well as a huge threat in teamfights due to healing and sustained damage. Containing a Soraka is very difficult, especially with summoner Heal to remove the Grevious Wounds debuff. Soraka can also be played in multiple roles depending on the composition.
Link to ProBuilds.net LeBlanc is the Queen of the Early-Mid Game. LeBlanc becomes a major threat with just a small lead, and will look to close the game out quick. Banning LeBlanc opens up a wide diversity of mid champions, rather than having to revert to a safe, poke lane.

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[tab title=”Top-Tier Champions”]

These champions are the strongest (and most versatile) in their respective roles. Most of these champions are seen in 75% of competitive play due to their strengths in teamplay or ability to take over a game. The shade of red indicates the relative power within the top-tier list.

TOP LANE JUNGLE MID LANE AD CARRY SUPPORT
Link to ProBuilds.netJax Link to ProBuilds.netNocturne Link to ProBuilds.netSoraka (Mid) Link to ProBuilds.netLucian Link to ProBuilds.netThresh
Link to ProBuilds.netRyze Link to ProBuilds.netKha’Zix Link to ProBuilds.netZiggs Link to ProBuilds.netGraves Link to ProBuilds.netKarma (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netShyvana (Top) Link to ProBuilds.netElise Link to ProBuilds.netOrianna Link to ProBuilds.netTwitch Link to ProBuilds.netMorgana
Link to ProBuilds.netIrelia Link to ProBuilds.netEvelynn Link to ProBuilds.netLulu (Mid) Link to ProBuilds.netCorki Link to ProBuilds.netLeona
Link to ProBuilds.netRenekton Link to ProBuilds.netXin Zhao Link to ProBuilds.netLeBlanc Link to ProBuilds.netCaitlyn Link to ProBuilds.netLulu (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netDr. Mundo Link to ProBuilds.netLee Sin (Jungle) Link to ProBuilds.netNidalee Link to ProBuilds.netEzreal Link to ProBuilds.netAnnie
Link to ProBuilds.netTrundle Link to ProBuilds.netTwisted Fate

Sample Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Karma (Support): Karma has been extremely popular in the 4.5 due to her AoE shove, kite/chasing abilities, and pick potential. Karma also lanes well against Thresh and Leona, and is valuable in the 3-4 man push strategy. The utility that Karma brings to the team makes her one of the most contested supports in the current meta.
Link to ProBuilds.net Corki (ADC): Corki has made a resurgence on the competitive scene for a number of reasons: several Mixed Damage types, poke, level 1 vision spell, and a decent escape. Since Caitlyn has started to fall out of competitive play, the shorter range ADCs are starting to return to the Rift.
Link to ProBuilds.net Irelia (Top): Irelia has been making a return to competitive with her ability to scale into mid-late game, and also perform well against the “Teleport Top Laners”. Irelia does a deceptive amount of Mixed Damage, has incredible sustain, a medium-range gap closer, and a solid single-target Crowd Control ability; allowing heavy mid-game diving.
Link to ProBuilds.net Xin Zhao (Jungle): Xin is an early game jungler than can scales well with Feral Flare, and can scale well if he gets ahead. Escaping a Xin Zhao with a Red Buff is almost impossible without using Flash, forcing passive play by the enemy laner or risking death while Flash is down.
Link to ProBuilds.net Graves (ADC): Graves has returned to the competitive scene in 4.5, shortly after receiving a damage buff to his rank 1 ultimate. Along with a kit that makes Graves an “up-close and personal” AD Carry, Graves can take some punishment while dishing it out.
Link to ProBuilds.net Lulu (Mid/Support): Lulu received several nerfs in Patch 4.5, reducing her kill potential substantially, which makes her a flexible pick in mid or support. When drafted early, later picks can be used to counterpick the mid lane if it is an unfavorable match for Lulu.
Link to ProBuilds.net Twisted Fate (Mid): The changes to Summoner spells, along with the favor of Teleport, make global mobility a solid strategy. Twisted Fate brings great wave clear, consistent Crowd Control, and the ability to travel across 1/8th of the map (and revealing ALL opponents) which gives the Twisted Fate team the advantage to engagement.

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[tab title=”Competitive-Viable Tier”]

Many of these champions are still seen in competitive (or are trending towards the top tier). These champions tend to be more niche (and less versatile) picked, or are weaker than their top-tier counterparts. The shade of green indicates the relative power within the competitive viable list.

TOP LANE JUNGLE MID LANE AD CARRY SUPPORT
Link to ProBuilds.netLee Sin (Top) Link to ProBuilds.netVi Link to ProBuilds.netKassadin Link to ProBuilds.netJinx Link to ProBuilds.netNami
Link to ProBuilds.netSoraka (Top) Link to ProBuilds.netPantheon Link to ProBuilds.netYasuo Link to ProBuilds.netDraven Link to ProBuilds.netSoraka (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netVladimir Link to ProBuilds.netShyvana (Jungle) Link to ProBuilds.netKarthus Link to ProBuilds.netVayne Link to ProBuilds.netAlistar
Link to ProBuilds.netRumble Link to ProBuilds.netWukong Link to ProBuilds.netKarma (Mid) Link to ProBuilds.netVarus Link to ProBuilds.netJanna
Link to ProBuilds.netJayce (Top) Link to ProBuilds.netKayle Link to ProBuilds.netSivir  Link to ProBuilds.netSona
Link to ProBuilds.netMalphite Link to ProBuilds.netSyndra

Sample Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Lee Sin (Jungle/Top): Lee Sin received a change to his Safeguard (W) that increased its cooldown when not used on a Champion, making it harder for Lee to escape. Its hard to evaluate if Lee Sin should be higher or lower in the tier list, as the skill of the player usually dictates Lee Sin’s effectiveness.
Link to ProBuilds.net Jayce (Top/Mid): Jayce is a versatile AD poke champion that has been used against laners with a gap closer or utility focused laners. Jayce has a high damage output, along with team disengage. The problem with Jayce is that it takes some time to get him rolling, and Jayce does not fulfill the tanky bruiser role that most Top Lanes do.
Link to ProBuilds.net Jinx (ADC): Jinx is a fragile AD Carry that has the best early level tower siege, but lacks reliable ways to escape if dived upon. Jinx does not have the best laning phase against bullies, and desperately needs a strong front-line to protect her.
Link to ProBuilds.net Vladimir (Top): Vladimir has started to return to competitive as an answer to Jax and other divers. With the buffs to Will of the Ancients item, along with the trend of large-scale teamfighting, Vladimir’s sustain and wave clear make him a potent threat. Additionally, Vladimir has little problem dealing with an AD Carry by himself.
Link to ProBuilds.net Nami (Support): Nami is a high-risk, high-reward support that works best when enemies are bottlenecked in jungle passages. The lane pressure and sustain that Nami brings works best with lane bullies like Caitlyn/Twitch. Players are beginning to master the art of the Aqua Prison (Q), which can thwart the arrival of a Teleported foe or diving adversary.
Link to ProBuilds.net Pantheon (Jungle): Pantheon has started to fall out of competitive play due to people knowing how to properly react to the Grand Skyfall, and Pantheon’s reliance on early kills to remain relevant in the game. Pantheon is being passed ahead by junglers like Nocturne and Elise.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kassadin (Mid): Kassadin was gutted and violently thrown from his permaban status from recent patches, but hope still lies in the spirit of Kassadin. Patch 4.6 gave a substantial buff to his (Q) for good trades against AP mids, along with extra base mana. Kassadin is scheduled for another nerf in 4.7.

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[tab title=”Wild Card Tier”]

This section is the hardest to define. The order of these picks are not set in stone, and minor adjustments to these champions could catapult these champions to competitive-viable or even top-tier. These champions are good IF the team can work towards their strengths (rather than having general strategy). Some of these picks are more experimental and theoretical in nature, but could have future success with changes within the game and the metagame strategy.

TOP LANE JUNGLE MID LANE AD CARRY SUPPORT
Link to ProBuilds.netKha’Zix (Top) Link to ProBuilds.netOlaf Link to ProBuilds.netZed Link to ProBuilds.netKog’Maw Link to ProBuilds.netGragas (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netLulu (Top) Link to ProBuilds.netVolibear Link to ProBuilds.netJayce (Mid) Link to ProBuilds.netMiss Fortune Link to ProBuilds.netBlitzcrank
Link to ProBuilds.netLissandra Link to ProBuilds.netAmumu Link to ProBuilds.netAhri Link to ProBuilds.netTristana Link to ProBuilds.netSoraka
Link to ProBuilds.netShen Link to ProBuilds.netUdyr Link to ProBuilds.netFizz Link to ProBuilds.netAshe Link to ProBuilds.netMalphite (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netAatrox Link to ProBuilds.netMaster Yi Link to ProBuilds.netAkali Link to ProBuilds.netZyra
Link to ProBuilds.netSwain Link to ProBuilds.netHecarim Link to ProBuilds.netLux Link to LoLPro GuideZilean
Link to ProBuilds.netYorick Link to ProBuilds.netWarwick Link to ProBuilds.netVel’Koz Link to ProBuilds.netVel’Koz (Support)

Sample Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net  Amumu (Jungle): The sad mummy hasn’t had great reception in the age of aggressive junglers, but Amumu has one of the best teamfight engagements in a coordinated environment. Amumu does a considerable amount of sustained damage in teamfights, and also synergizes well with dual AP compositions.
Link to ProBuilds.net Olaf (Jungle): Olaf used to be one of the most devastating pre-6 junglers when the standard lane meta reigned supreme. In a meta that is guided by mobility, global presence, and diving, the Modus Operandi of Olaf “running at the AD Carry” is far more complicated.
Link to ProBuilds.net Shen (Top): In the coming times of global presence, Shen has been one of the veterans (along with Karthus and Soraka). Shen had brief moments in the competitive light being an answer to Renekton, but hasn’t quite found success in 4.5 and 4.6.
Link to ProBuilds.net Gragas (Support): After Gragas was adjusted towards a more tanky role, his viability in mid plummeted into oblivion. Many players are experimenting with the viability of Gragas support, who brings good zoning and excellent sustain. Gragas is unlikely to be as effective in the fast push strategy, and lacks reliable Crowd Control for the pre-level 6 kill.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kog’Maw (ADC): Traditionally, AD Carries have had the lowest diversity out of any other role, due to the gaps of relative strengths and unlikely chance that multiple AD Carries will be banned. Kog’Maw needs time to ramp up, and in the current 30-minute game meta, Kog’Maw just does not have the safety to handle a side lane solo (while the support is roaming) and has 0 escape to survive a dive.
Link to ProBuilds.net Vel’Koz (Mid/Support): Vel’Koz was the most recent champion added to League of Legends, but hasn’t found much reception in competitive play. What Vel’Koz brings to a team is great poke in lane, along with decent kiting, and devastating lined abilities, making engagements dangerous in the jungle against a Vel’Koz.

 

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A Brief History

4.6 was a smaller patch compared to 4.5, and readjusted some of the bolder changes implemented in the patch prior. So in order to understand why certain champions have made a resurgence in the past month, we must first look towards the adjustments in 4.5 and 4.6.

Patch 4.5 was less about specific champions being nerfed or buffed, but the changes to Summoner Spells, which can shift the paradigm of play directly. The big changes were the massive increase in power to Teleport/Heal/Exhaust and the lowering of power to Ignite. Assassins have a harder time executing targets, and top laners that work well with Teleport have a massive advantage.

4.5 also added a new jungle item, Feral Flare, which is a scaling AD item that basically allowed the jungler to become a “4th carry” by encouraging early farming and rewarding with damage and sustain. Feral Flare was toned down in 4.6, making it a much more risky pick (5 more camps is a full small camp jungle clear + 1 larger objective, which adds between 2 to 3 minutes before completion).

The General Trend of Each Lane

King of the Top Teleporting Timebombs – Most of the prolific top lane champions are those who scale well into the mid-late game and perform well with Teleport. This means that split pushers, duelists, and heavy farm-dependent champions are in favor.
Story of the Jungle Impact the Early – Making the difference in the early game, whether by assisting an early tower push or denying an enemy jungler a buff is critical to making the impact. Often the jungler’s biggest window is if the jungler can create an advantage in the first 10 minutes or not.
Motive of the Mid Control Pre and Post 6 – The number 1 priority of every mid laner should be to stay alive, not necessarily go for the early kill. How well a champion can contain its opponent from roaming (through poke or wave clear) allows more opportunities for Dragons/Tower Kills.
Actions of the ADC Push into Late Game – Pushing out the lanes is a vital part of any AD Carry, and many of the in vogue champions have at least 1 skill that can quickly push a wave. Pushing is important because every minion that dies to a tower alone is XP and gold lost for the opponent.
Supporting Cast Battlefield Control – The age of the roaming support has returned (at least in the fast push scenario). The supports that can roam with the jungler to secure deep vision are some of the most impactful characters in the current meta. Vision is power. Knowledge of enemy vision is even valuable.

That should do it for this patches competitive tier list. Patch 4.7 is rumored to release before the next season of LCS begins (around late May) and is thought to have more drastic changes. If you enjoyed content like this, feel free share this on social media (there should be a bar to the left of the page if AdBlock is disabled), or bookmark the page for reference.

A special thank you goes to Cloth5.com for providing a medium for me to share my thoughts to you, and compLexity gaming for allowing me to observe professional play and interact with professionals in the eSports scene.


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Jera

Jera is a former Human Factors psychologist, video game researcher, and avid follower of professional League of Legends. Jera enjoys taking a statistical approach to analyzing gameplay and discovering how small events cause ripple effects throughout the game.

Follow Jera on twitter @coL_Jera

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