Early Patch 4.7 Competitive 5v5 Tier List

Disclaimer: This tier list is a compilation of observations and opinions from a 5v5 COMPETITIVE STANDPOINT (excluding solo queue opinions). 

Patch 4.8 was released recently and had only a few changes, so I will be posting a 4.8 Tier list in the last week of May instead of updating this one.

Hello, my name is Jera, and I am a former analyst for compLexity gaming. With Patch 4.7 fresh in our minds, the flow of the game has changed, due to 1) trinkets becoming available at the 30-second mark, and 2) the armor buffs to ALL towers (rather than just the “solo” lanes). I predict that the 4v0 pushes will draw to an end, and that “standard” lanes will be the common game plan for most teams. The strong early-game lane bullies (such as we saw in Patches 4.1) will be the highest contested picks. While 2v1 lanes may still occur, they will come about not for “fast pushing”, but to avoid unfavorable lanes and punish certain lane bullies. Many of the strategies will revolve around closing the game out within 30-35 minutes, usually with 2-3 major items completed.

Last Update: 5/15/2014

[tabgroup][tab title=”6 Worthwhile Bans”]

I’d like to note that in 4.7 most of the champions are fairly balanced in strength, so many teams will revert to target bans (in professional). As for ranked 5’s, these are still solid bans against players who are uncertain of whom their opponents will be.

Link to ProBuilds.net Nidalee is the best “low-risk, high-reward” mid-lane champions in the game. The havoc that Nidalee can reap in a winning lane scenario or if the game is not closed out by the 30-minute mark is astounding. A single spear can change the momentum of a siege.
Link to ProBuilds.net Evelynn, the Queen of Paranoia, changes the entire dynamic of the game. Playing against an Evelynn means that a team must invest in numerous pinks, and constantly try to keep track of Evelynn‘s map position. This causes lanes to take fewer risks, lowering pressure in most lanes and reducing the effectiveness of “lane bullies”.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kassadin, although receiving a return to his 4.5 nerf to shield, is still a powerful champion that can get out of control if not taken care of. Kassadin creates an incredible amount of map pressure by being missing from vision, which should dissuade an ADC to solo farm an empty lane.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kha’Zix, despite being nerfed yet again, still remains a strong pick in competitive play. The changes do the bug no favors: he has weaker dives due to turrets preventing isolation, lower survivability through his ultimate, and a harder time cleaning up teamfights. Despite these changes, Kha’Zix is still a menace.
Link to ProBuilds.net Jax, while losing considerable early game freedom due to tower pushing becoming more difficult, is still a terror nonetheless. As long as Jax survives his early game without too many disadvantages, he can still take over the game; it just takes a bit longer now, and it is more difficult to reach that snowball threshold.
Link to ProBuilds.net Despite bans typically straying away from the bottom lane, Twitch may be the new exception. The kit of Twitch allows him to be a massive bully in lane, and a huge teamfight threat in the late game. With a 70% attack speed steroid at level 12


[tab title=”Top-Tier Champs”]

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.

Link to ProBuilds.netRenekton Link to ProBuilds.netElise Link to ProBuilds.netNidalee Link to ProBuilds.netTwitch Link to ProBuilds.netKarma
Link to ProBuilds.netJax Link to ProBuilds.netLee Sin Link to ProBuilds.netOrianna Link to ProBuilds.netLucian Link to ProBuilds.netThresh
Link to ProBuilds.netTrundle Link to ProBuilds.netEvelynn Link to ProBuilds.netLulu Link to ProBuilds.netCaitlyn Link to ProBuilds.netMorgana
Link to ProBuilds.netShyvana Link to ProBuilds.netKha’Zix Link to ProBuilds.netLeBlanc Link to ProBuilds.netVayne Link to ProBuilds.netLeona
Link to ProBuilds.netDr. Mundo Link to ProBuilds.netVi Link to ProBuilds.netZiggs Link to ProBuilds.netGraves Link to ProBuilds.netNami
Link to ProBuilds.netRyze Link to ProBuilds.netPantheon Link to ProBuilds.netSoraka Link to ProBuilds.netJinx Link to ProBuilds.netLulu (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netLee Sin   Link to ProBuilds.netKassadin   BraumSquareBraum


[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.

Link to ProBuilds.netRumble Link to ProBuilds.netNocturne Link to ProBuilds.netTwisted Fate Link to ProBuilds.netCorki Link to ProBuilds.netZyra
Link to ProBuilds.netJayce Link to ProBuilds.netXin Zhao Link to ProBuilds.netSyndra Link to ProBuilds.netEzreal  Link to ProBuilds.netAnnie
Link to ProBuilds.netLissandra Link to ProBuilds.netWukong Link to ProBuilds.netKarthus  Link to ProBuilds.netDraven Link to ProBuilds.netGragas (Support)
Link to ProBuilds.netShen Link to ProBuilds.netOlaf Link to ProBuilds.netYasuo Link to ProBuilds.netSivir Link to ProBuilds.netAlistar
Link to ProBuilds.netVladimir Nunu_Square_0Nunu Link to ProBuilds.netKarma (Mid) Link to ProBuilds.netVarus Link to ProBuilds.netJanna
Link to ProBuilds.netIrelia   Link to ProBuilds.netKayle   Link to ProBuilds.netSona


[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.

Link to ProBuilds.netKha’Zix Rengar_Square_0Rengar Link to ProBuilds.netJayce Link to ProBuilds.netKog’Maw Link to ProBuilds.netSoraka
Link to ProBuilds.netMalphite JarvanIV_Square_0Jarvan IV Link to ProBuilds.netFizz Link to ProBuilds.netMiss Fortune Link to ProBuilds.netMalphite
JarvanIV_Square_0Jarvan IV Link to ProBuilds.netVolibear Link to ProBuilds.netZed Link to ProBuilds.netTristana Link to ProBuilds.netVel’Koz
Link to ProBuilds.netLulu Link to ProBuilds.netShyvana Link to ProBuilds.netLissandra Link to ProBuilds.netAshe Link to ProBuilds.netBlitzcrank
Zac_Square_0Zac Udyr_Square_0Udyr Link to ProBuilds.netVel’Koz   Link to LoLPro GuideZilean
Link to ProBuilds.netYorick Link to ProBuilds.netAmumu Link to ProBuilds.netAhri    


[tabgroup][tab title=”Top Lane”]

Brief Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Trundle has been one of the best top lane champions over the past few months, due to the versatility of his kit and his ultimate being a strong way to destroy a front-line tank. Trundle does have weak lane match-ups against ranged champions, and may never get the chance to take off into the mid and late game.
Link to ProBuilds.net Lee Sin is a potent duelist that can outpush any top laner, assuming that he doesn’t get shut down early in lane. Lee Sin at top typically runs Teleport to create map pressure through split-pushing. He generates a need to send at least two to stop him, which allows his team to pressure down objectives elsewhere.
Link to ProBuilds.net Rumble received a few buffs to his Overheat mechanic which rewarded good heat management with 50% increased damage. Rumble has started to creep into Korean competitive, and may be seen in other regions because he is a bully in a 1v1 lane and has incredible zone control in the grouping stage with his ultimate.
Link to ProBuilds.net Jayce is a rising star, by being both a ranged and melee type champion. Jayce can disengage and poke very well, and has the potential to run away with the game if fed. The problem with Jayce is that most tops tend to have more of a tank/engage/dive, which shifts that focus to the jungler/support, who have a far lower income than the top lane.
Link to ProBuilds.net Vladimir has not seen much competitive play lately, aside from Challenger Team 8’s CaliTrollz. Vladimir is a bit weaker in lane starting out, but has good wave clear and sustain by level 9. Vladimir can fend off a split push in most cases,  contributes well in a teamfight with great AoE damage, and has a kit that allows him to survive long into teamfights.
Link to ProBuilds.net Malphite is one of the “hard counters” to Jax in lane, and brings an Unstoppable* engagement in a teamfight. Malphite works best against heavy AD teams or teams that have 2 auto-attack dependent champions, and when your team lacks hard engage elsewhere.
JarvanIV_Square_0  Jarvan IV has potential to be a huge bully in lane, winning early trades and exploiting his power to deal 10% current health every 10 seconds, along with reduced mana costs on his shield to help him weather trades. Unfortunately, as with most aggressive top lanes, if Jarvan falls behind, it is very hard to make an impact on the game.
Zac_Square_0  Zac was once the go-to top lane champion almost a year ago, but due to nerfs to his sustain and other changes to the top lane meta, Zac has been in the dark. Zac still has great sustain in lane and is resilient to dives/ganks, and also does good damage. The problem is that Zac can be kited after his leap into the backline, whereas Shyvana doesn’t suffer from the same problems.


[tab title=”Jungle”]

Brief Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Elise has bounced back to the top after several damage nerfs, along with the addition of Feral Flare into the jungle. Elise is at the top for her strong map presence and well-rounded kit. The trick to Elise is stacking Cooldown Reduction to complete as many spell rotations as possible.
Link to ProBuilds.net Lee Sin has been one of the absolute best junglers since his debut on April 1st, 2011. Lee Sin is a highly mechanical early-game jungler. Almost every top team in the world has an extremely proficient Lee Sin jungler, due to the impact Lee Sin can make within the game.
Link to ProBuilds.net Nocturne has seen better days, especially with another nerf to Feral Flare. However, Nocturne players have started reverting to Spirit of the Elder Lizard as a primary jungle item. Nocturne still has an incredible level 6 and efficient waveclear– he just does not have the sustain and damage from previous patches.
Nunu_Square_0 Nunu is an old-school utility based jungler that has once again been creeping up in the Korean/Chinese scene, where he is used to peel and buff for allies and steal the enemy jungle. While Nunu won’t be putting out the most damage directly, Nunu increases the mobility and damage of a carry, while keeping the carry safe.
Rengar_Square_0 Rengar has been through several iterations in an attempt to bring balance to this champion. Some of the more notable changes to his kit: his snare is now a skillshot (rather than Point-and-Click), and his trophy no longer loses stacks. Rengar is a carry jungle that can get out of hand if the proper CC is not prepared for him.
JarvanIV_Square_0 Jarvan IV received a few small changes in patch 4.7, but they helped his lane abilities more than his jungle. Jarvan is a hard engage champion that can trap people together for some serious wombo; however, Jarvan fulfills a engage role similar to Vi, but with worse mana costs and a higher risk/reward.
Udyr_Square_0 Udyr is in a tricky spot, with so many commonly picked champions having a way to kite Udyr into his demise. Udyr can take over a game if played properly and with the right coordination through ganks, but has trouble sealing the deal due to his inability to close gaps or hop over terrain.


[tab title=”Mid Lane”]

Brief Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Orianna has been a staple champion in mid for several years now, returning glory whenever Flavor of the Month champions begin to fall out of favor. Orianna brings a solid and safe lane phase on top of an excellent teamfight/kite when her unqiue skills are used at the appropriate time.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kassadin has been on a rollercoaster of nerfs and buffs over the past few patches, but he remains very powerful in the game. Kassadin can endure a lane phase well, and transitions into the mid-late game as a mobile “bruiser” (in a sense) that is difficult to pin down or kill.
Link to ProBuilds.net Syndra has been the standard mid lane pick for many Chinese League of Legends teams, due to her overwhelming damage output and crowd control/zoning from her spheres. While Syndra is quite strong, she does require a considerable amount of practice and mechanical skill, which means she may not make an appearance in NA/EU outside of those who have already mastered her any time soon.
Link to ProBuilds.net Yasuo is one of the stronger picks against Nidalee and has several mechanical outplay opportunities with his kit. The issue with Yasuo is that generally teams have to build compositions around Yasuo, which are fairly easy to predict/plan for. Also, the buff to Exhaust can buy enough time for assistance (pending players being in the right spot).
Link to ProBuilds.net Kayle has been one of the prominent mid lane champions in Europe, especially during the Spring 2014 split. Kayle has one of the most game-changing ultimates in the game, a period of invulnerability that can negate a massive amount of burst if timed properly. The issue with Kayle is that she needs to get a bit too close to the action to pump out the big damage and generally has a rough time playing from behind.
Link to ProBuilds.net Fizz is one of the mids that has been lurking just below the surface of competitive play for months now, but just hasn’t found success like LeBlanc. Patch 4.7 fixed an issue with Fizz where he would still be hit by targeted spells, even when he should be untargetable.
Link to ProBuilds.net Zed in the mid lane has been neutered due to nerfs on his damage, along with the improvement to Exhaust debilitating his damage output during his ultimate. Along with split pushing strategies becoming less popular in games, it takes a great start and mistakes from the opponent to truly shine on Zed.
Link to ProBuilds.net Vel’Koz is a rotation mage that is especially dangerous with a strong front-line and while fighting in choke points. Vel’Koz does have issues with mobility/escapes, a strange optimal item build progression, and heavy reliance on skillshots to put out adequate damage. The one thing that Vel’Koz does have is reliable wave clear in the mid-game.


[tab title=”AD Carry”]

Brief Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Caitlyn was the most valuable ADC early in season 4 when 2v2 lanes were the common trend. The harass and waveclear that Caitlyn brings to a lane is huge and hard to punish. Caitlyn will look to bully her lane and deny CS through attacking when the enemy goes in for a last hit. Her enormous range means that Caitlyn won’t be falling out of favor any time soon.
Link to ProBuilds.net Vayne was recently showcased by SKT T1 K‘s Piglet at All-Stars in several dominant performances, which brings hope to those Vayne players who feared her decline in recent patches. Vayne is near the top of the list of mechanically challenging champions and is rewarded with high damage and mobility to survive dives and shred tanks.
Link to ProBuilds.net Corki was one of the stronger ADC picks in North America/Korea due to his mixed damage and harass. The issue with Corki is that he has a very short Auto Attack range which makes his tower siege difficult. We may see more Corki popularity in coming weeks to punish the Twitch picks.
Link to ProBuilds.net Sivir was a common pick early in season 4 when mobility compositions were all the rage. Since then, Sivir received a few nerfs, and run-forward comps became less common. However, the mobility composition does still exist and is strong, but players have been favoring more lane dominance rather than utility teamwork from an ADC.
Link to ProBuilds.net Kog’Maw has been starting to see some exposure in the Korean Challenger scene tournament, NLB. Kog’Maw works well as a tank shredder and for tower siege, but needs protection against dive (since he has very little to stop the divers). The change to his (Q) turned out to be a nerf since the skillshot is harder to land in lanes/teamfights.
Link to ProBuilds.net Miss Fortune is the final ADC that could be elevated into competitive play at this time. With changes to Miss Fortune’s kit, her mixed damage output is quite high, and she performs admirably in lane. Once again, the issue (as with most legacy ADCs) is the lack of a reliable escape versus champions with gap closers. Along with her ultimate making her a sitting duck, Miss Fortune needs real protection to shine.



[tab title=”Support”]

Brief Champion Explanations

Link to ProBuilds.net Morgana has been a common pick in North American and European competitive (but strangely not so much in Korea). Morgana has two major components to her kit: the first is Dark Binding which snares for up to 3 seconds and can serve as an engagement cue. The second is Morgana‘s Black Shield, which can negate most forms of enemy engagement or ensure that friendly engagement cannot be stopped.
Link to ProBuilds.net Nami has become a common pick in Korean competitive as an excellent lane trader as well as the versatility of engagement/disengage. Nami tends to force opponents to fan out in teamfights, or else they risk chained CC onto multiple members. Nami is one of the harder supports to master, and is higher risk/reward than most of the other common support picks.
Link to ProBuilds.net Zyra hasn’t been as prevalent in the competitive scene with nerfs to her snare more than half a year ago. Since then, Zyra has been seen every so often, but was displayed brilliantly by SKT T1 K at All-Stars. PoohManDu showed that Zyra is still strong in lane and great for disengage, and can create that necessary pick to start the snowball.
Link to ProBuilds.net Annie has fallen far from her post-World Championship fame, into one of the riskier support picks as of late. However, we may see more Annie play to punish the Twitch picks (due to her strong burst, early CC, and poke in lane). Annie works well for engagement with Flash+Tibbers, but is reliant on the 5-minute cooldown for optimal engagements.
Link to ProBuilds.net Sonahas been seen in European/Korean competitive, but not as much in North America. Sona is a fragile support with strong level 1-2 poke in lane, plus great sustain (as long as mana can be managed properly). Once again, Sona is incredibly fragile and can be picked off quickly in mid-game teamfights while she attempts to ward around the “optimal” teamfight.
Link to ProBuilds.net Malphite support has been played mostly in Korean competitive and is quite strong. Malphite has a passive shield absorbs roughly 1 Auto Attack every 10 seconds, which allows him to trade well early on. The slow from his (Q) stops ADCs or Supports from running, plus the all-in power of his level 6 combined with a jungle gank almost ensures a kill. Malphite also works as the mid-late game initiator.
Link to ProBuilds.net Blitzcrank hasn’t seen much play in competitive League of Legends as of late, mostly due to his hook successor Thresh having more utility in his kit. Blitzcrank can change the game with a well-timed grab, but the same could be said with most champions who have pick potential. Ultimately, Blitzcrank‘s kit isn’t as novel as it once was and therefore gets passed by.
Link to LoLPro Guide Zilean is an oddball support that brings various amounts of utility to the team. Zilean‘s passive gives an XP advantage to teammates, his (E) increases movespeed, and his ultimate can revive a member who would be focused down. The issue with Zilean is his mana management, along with his poor mid-game scaling and precision timing/coordination to use his ultimate.


Changes in 4.7

Patch 4.7 is ostensibly noted as being a balance patch, with several game aspects being adjusted and a few champions changes coming in. The largest change is the availability of trinkets going from 2 minutes to 30 seconds, which makes level 1 vision much more manageable for both teams. Instead of reverting to a “safe” late invade into a fast push, teams now have more options to find out where a lane-swap can come about or if a buff will be invaded upon. Lately, wards are placed around the 1:30-1:45 to establish buff timers for the 2nd buff enemy junglers are going for (to help laners plan for the enemy jungler route to lane).

The next change is that all turrets now gain a 30-point damage reduction from champion auto attacks for the first 7 minutes of gameplay. This does not give a pushing advantage to the team that pushes against the bottom lane, which means that there is more freedom for the duo lane to be assigned to any lane and not suffer a tower disadvantage (innately). The caveat is that the early dragon is worth a collective 100 more global gold, which doesn’t impact the flow of the game too much for the risk it presents.

The nerf to Summoner Spell: Heal, in that it no longer removes Grievous Wounds (along with the debuff giving 50% effectiveness of a target that has already been healed) makes Heal much less valuable in solo lanes and is a direct nerf to Soraka’s survivability. While Heal does still grant the small boost of movement speed, Ignite (offensive) or Barrier/Exhaust (defensive) should become more popular due to this change.

Feral Flare (and Feral Flare junglers) took a huge hit in the most recent patches, with the immediate effective stats lowered and opportunity cost to upgrade the item much higher. This hits farm-heavy junglers especially hard in the competitive scene, where early lane pressure is more important than late-game scaling (if played properly). Expect a return to the Spirit of the Elder Lizard / Ancient Golem jungle champions in this patch.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for checking out my early 4.7 tier list! The LCS will be played on Patch 4.7 so there will likely be some changes to the tier list once there are a good number of games to draw examples from, so I’m aiming for an updated tier list early-mid June. If you enjoyed content like this, feel free to 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. If you have questions, feel free to send me a tweet @coL_Jera and I should reply somewhat quickly.

This article was edited by ShiraShira.

Thank you for supporting Cloth5's Content - You da real MVP! If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your personal feed reader. Cloth5 would not be the same without you - Come back soon!


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

comments powered by Disqus