League of Legends Champion Tier List for Both Queues
Since its inception, the number of champions in League of Legends has continued to grow year after year. While new releases have slowed down over the course of the past couple years, Riot compensated the player base by focusing more on reworking old champions with new abilities and designs, which feel just as serviceable as an actual new release.
With 137 champions now in the game at the present moment, it can prove to be a daunting task when deciding what champion to choose. Wanting to climb the ranked ladder before the season comes to an end complicates the matter even further because as is the case with any meta, specific champions are best suited for it. A League of Legends Champion Tier List for both solo and flex queue will provide a framework not only for new players looking for guidance but for all players that are trying to win games in the following weeks.
What are the top champions for solo queue at the present moment?
- Strong in the current meta
- Not reliant on teammates
- Take advantage of mistakes
- Top lane focus
When looking to play specific champions, being strong in the current meta is incredibly important. With the 2018 World Championship happening now, certain champions have been shown to be more suited to the meta. One such pick that has developed over the course of the tournament is Viktor.
League of Legends is an incredibly interesting game, in part because changes to champions can have a ripple effect that is not seen until much later. Urgot and Aatrox are two highly contested picks in the top lane because they can punish mistakes very easily given the nature of their kits and most importantly, that is not reliant on teammates overall but can still function very well inside of team fights.
During Patch 8.3, Viktor received some buffs, which went largely overlooked at the time and did not contribute all that much to a resurgence in play for the champion. With the rise of Urgot and Aatrox in the top lane, a counter was necessary if one champion was banned and the other grabbed by the opponent. Viktor’s buffs finally came into play, in theory, crafting the counter to these particular picks. In short, Viktor is an S tier pick in the top lane because he can exploit low range bruisers with his range, the shield changes that were made during patch 8.3, and his itemization which focuses on kiting and being tanky. In fact, Viktor is at such a point currently, that he has no hard counters in the top lane, making him the ideal pick for solo queue.
What champions should I play in the Jungle and Mid?
- Early game impact
- Good at skirmishing
- Ability to roam from mid
When taking a look at the jungle role, having an impact on the early game is more important than ever since the changes to the scuttle crab and the ways in which pathing was changed for junglers. As a result, Xin Zhao, arguably the best jungler at having an early game presence, rose in prominence to the point where he is a tier above all other junglers.
While a case can be made for Gragas and Lee Sin, neither champion is quite as good at skirmishing as Xin Zhao. Not only can Xin gank as early as level 2, perhaps, more importantly, he can confidently contest scuttle crabs against almost all junglers, and has his own CC to kill it quickly by himself. Xin can remain quite relevant before he eventually falls off and given how fast the average game time has become, reaching his fall off point is less and less likely.
In 2016, Riot tried to overhaul assassins and tweak their kits, and one such champion affected by this change was Leblanc, who never had the same kill potential as she did before the changes. In a rare move by Riot, the mistake was all but admitted when the changes were reverted in patch 8.8.
This turned her into an incredibly strong pick for both solo queue and professional games where she can snowball off an early kill with incredibly roaming potential and maneuverability. Not only is Leblanc hard to kill, when played by someone well versed with the champion, but she can also punish mistakes very easily. While there are other strong picks such as Irelia, Irelia can contribute to the potential problem of having too much AD in one team composition and Leblanc can be that one magic damage source that puts your team over the edge.
What picks should I focus on for the bottom lane?
- Survivability for ADCs
- Hard engage for supports
There is an interesting dichotomy at play with the ADC position where, in an early game-centric meta, the strongest picks, namely Kai’Sa, Sivir, and Xayah all take a long time to ramp up, although Xayah less so than the other two. What puts these picks in the highest tier for solo queue is survivability. In professional games, teammates can be relied upon to support the ADC and to keep the champion alive as much as possible. That insurance cannot be obtained in solo queue and each of these picks have some level of protection built into their kits.
Often times solo queues players will be unwilling to play engage champions and instead play champions that have kill potential. Having no engage and ways to initiate fights can be very problematic in solo queue and it is for this reason that engages supports are the strongest currently in this early game focused meta.
Specifically, Alistar and Rakan are a cut above the rest. Not only do both champions have a strong presence in the lane, but they can also both start fights at all stages. Furthermore, both supports are hard to kill, Rakan because of his elusiveness and Alistar because of his damage reduction. This League of Legends champion tier list highlights these champions as the premier picks for solo queue.
What champions should I play in flex queue?
- Make use of communication
- Team fighting prowess
- Hard engage
Unlike solo queue, flex queue is best enabled by voice communication. In most cases, there will be an established familiarity with your teammates and using champions that make good use of communication is the key to success. What that means exactly is choosing champions that not only excel at team fighting but do well at this key aspect by having hard engage. For that reason, hard engage champions are much more valued and are at the highest tier specifically for flex queue.
To cater to each specific role, Ornn and Sion are incredible top lane champions at having an impact on the team because of the reliability of their engage. Both champions have game-changing ultimate abilities and should be highly valued when drafting a team composition.
Whereas Xin is the strongest pick in solo queue, tank junglers work well in flex queue because even if they are bullied and harassed by the enemy jungler, their clear weakness in skirmishing can be diminished if helped by teammates. It is for these reasons that champions such as Gragas and Zac do so well in flex queue.
Being mechanically skilled is less important in flex queue because players should be more focused on the macro elements of the game rather than the microelements. Keeping in line with the hard engage component but at the same time being less about making outplays are Annie and Malzahar.
Both have two very clear strengths. Annie can singlehandedly win a team fight by engaging on multiple people with her ultimate and Malzahar can either lock down one person entirely and if not, can severely affect itemization where a player has to invest gold in an item specifically to counter him. Both champions are ideal picks for flex queue.
The bottom lane is just as important as the other roles and both positions need to be able to transition from lane to the team fighting stage. As is the case with solo queue, strong support picks bring engage, where Alistar and Rakan also reign supreme in flex queue.
However, ADCs who bring engage and/or team fighting prowess to the table are more highly valued than survivability because teammates can rely upon more. It is for this reason that Miss Fortune is the best pick for flex queue. A well-timed Miss Fortune ultimate is an incredibly important tool for a team and should be prioritized as much as possible. Sivir is another top tier pick not because of her spell shield, as is the case with solo queue, but because of how well her ultimate can support a team in the flex queue environment.
Understanding the meta is important to success in solo queue. This goes hand in hand with a League of Legends Champion Tier List, which takes advantage of the meta and allows players to choose the champions that best work around it. In solo queue, factors such as not being team reliant are incredibly important because you are playing with strangers. Champions like Viktor in the top lane are incredibly hard to kill and is one such example of valuing this characteristic above all others.
Flex queue is a different story altogether and different aspects should be more highly valued such as team fighting ability. Annie provides hard engage to begin a fight and team fighting well allows teams to win games consistently. No matter the choice, choosing the best champions for the queue is an important decision and should be not be overlooked this late into the season.