Comprehensive Tier List (Patch 9.13)
Tier lists are an oversimplification of a complex system. They provide generalized suggestions without regard for context. This is what makes them useful, but also inherently flawed. Think of them like a crutch, when you're inexperienced they can protect you from common mistakes, but as you learn, they're incomplete nature becomes a hinderance and they should be discarded.
About this list
The goal is to provide something more informative than a basic tier list and more concise than a full guide, something that can answer the question "What champions should I play?"
Because we are only concerned with which champions are good picks we don't really need a tier system. This results in more of a meta definition than a tier list. Cutting out the useless lower tier information means there is more room for explaining what is good and why.
While some champions are fundamentally strong, others can be equally strong, but only in certain situations. To account for this, the lists will be subdivided based on two factors: player skill, and player experience. If you are new to Twisted Treeline then you are a beginner and should avoid the Veteran and Expert groups while you learn the map.
- Beginner Friendly - These champions are easy to play effectively. They fit into a large variety of team comps and are not particularly vulnerable to counterpicking.
- Skilled Beginner - These champions are difficult to play effectively. They fit into a large variety of team comps and are not particularly vulnerable to counterpicks.
- Veteran - These champions are easy to play effectively but are composition dependent and/or vulnerable to counterpicking.
- Expert - These champions are difficult to play effectively and are composition dependent and/or vulnerable to counterpicking.
There are two dominant metas on Twisted Treeline, Jungle and Hyper, each has its own list.
Jungle meta typically consists of a tanky AD focused Top laner, a tanky CC focused jungler, and an AP bot laner with high wave clear and sustained dps. There are good reasons for these assignments.
Top lane is longer with deeper jungle access for the enemy jungler to gank through and is therefore more dangerous. This is why top is typically assigned to the less vulnerable laner which is usually the AD bruiser. Bottom lane is short and safe, but because it is short, the minion waves can push quickly and risk being lost to the tower. Therefore the solo lane with the most wave clear should take bot, which is another reason why this role goes to the AP carry.
From this point the team needs a solid front line with engage/disengage and because champions that can fulfill this role typically have low waveclear, they fit well in the jungle. The jungle doesn't require high damage to clear because the jungle items are very strong on TT. Furthermore, red and blue smite provide tankiness and CC respectively, which synnergises well with the junglers role on the team.
With this in mind, the responsibilities for Jungle Meta are as follows:
- Bot - Their role is to push their lane as hard as possible so they can assist the jungler in preventing enemy invades and otherwise pressure the map. A bot laner who can keep their opponent under tower is said to have 'priority' which means their team has priority over the ghost relic and the jungle in general. Achieving priority is more important than killing the enemy laner. In teamfights the AP carry should stay behind their Jungler and apply AOE DPS to the enemy frontline, letting the bruiser deal with the enemy backline unless they are out of position.
- Top - Their primary purpose is to provide high sustained physical damage in teamfights, and should be able to solo any one person on the enemy team. They need decent waveclear and should keep their lane pushed to, or past, the half way point to keep their opponent from roaming. They must do this while still remaining safe from ganks and being ready to respond to jungle pressure. A vast majority of the early skirmishes will happen around top lane.
- Jungle - Their role is to protect the squishy AP carry and provide engage/disengage during teamfights. They are also responsible for keeping vision in the jungle to prevent deep ganks against their laners.
Hyper Meta, sometimes called Support Meta, is all about funneling as much gold and experience into a hypercarry as possible, and then supporting them during teamfights. Typically the Hyper and Support will manage the jungle and top lane together while an AP carry manages bot lane.
This lane assignment is used because top lane is longer and has easier jungle access, allowing the duo more time in the jungle before the lane minions reach the tower. Top lane is also more dangerous and thus more suitable for the duo since they have safety in numbers.
The Hyper and Support usually jungle together until the Hyper scales to the point where the Support doesn't significantly increase clearspeed. At this point the Support can roam and help the bot or stay top and absorb some extra experience from last hits.
When playing against a jungle meta team the most dangerous times for Hyper/Support duo are during the first few top lane clears when the enemy Top and Jungle are both level 3+ and the Support is level 1-2. The other dangerous point is when the whole enemy team reaches level 6 and the Support is still pre-6.
Once the support reaches level 6, the team should start forcing team fights by contesting the enemy jungle. To make the greatest use of the Hyper's gold advantage, the team should look for fights shortly after each time the Hyper shops.
The responsibilities for Hyper Meta are as follows:
- Hyper - Their role is to provide almost all of the teams damage. To do this, they will take all of the gold and experience from the jungle and all of the gold from top lane. Because so much is invested in the Hyper, it is imperative that they never die. This means that they play very cautiously until they have built a significant advantage. Often they will start with both jungle components and a refillable flask.
- Support - Their job is to help the Hyper farm quickly in the early game, and provide protection and engage later on. They do this by helping with the jungle clear early on, capturing alters, and holding top lane waves from reaching the tower. They are also responsible for applying gank pressure to bottom lane. Balancing all these tasks is difficult and is one of the key reasons why Hyper Meta isn't seen much in lower ranks. Supports typically take Exhaust and Ignite which maximizes their usefullness but leaves them without Flash. In addition, Supports only recieve XP from lane minions which is split with the Hyper, leaving them very underleveled and vulnerable to early aggression from the enemy Top and Jungle or Hyper/Support duo. Starting with the Timeworn Targon's Brace item is highly suggested as it will help heal the duo and push the lane as well as providing much need gold income for the Support.
- Bot - Their primary goal is to provide an alternate type of damage and ideally some extra cc. They need to carefully balance pushing their lane to achieve priority and playing safe enough to avoid ganks. Since the Hyper and Support are focused on scaling, Bot laners are typically left to fend for themselves. Their job gets even harder in asymmetric meta matchups where they are often the easiest target for the enemy jungler and are frequently camped.
Support meta is all about timing and teamwork as well as picking the correct combination of champions based on your opponents picks. Mixing and matching Hypers with Supports won't always result in a viable composition. I suggest that anyone interested in playing this meta should do a fair bit of research first. Consult some high ranked streamers, ask questions on reddit, or join the 3v3.gg discord server.
These champions fall into one of two categories which warrant their placement in this list.
- Consistenly low winrate - These champions are consistently in the bottom 20% to 30% based on winrate and are here because their kit simply doesn't work well on TT.
- Overplayed for the winrate - These champions are played significantly more than their winrate would merit. Putting them here is a public service announcement that they are not as good as people think they are. Most of the games on these champions are from Gold or lower accounts. They usually have one good quality that people overvalue and tunnel vision on, ignoring their many flaws. While they may even reach 50% winrates, there are far better options available and they should not be played in ranked games.
Picking these champions will likely hurt your chances of winning.
Not much happened this patch. Mordekaiser settled down a bit as people figured out how to play against him.
- Mordekaiser - Removed as a Top and Jungle option. The winrate for all his roles dropped, but he's found the most success in bottom lane.
Doing a bit of cleanup this patch for champions who haven't been changed recently but have been slipping in play and win rate.
- Irelia - Removed from the list.
- Gnar - Removed from the list.
- Aatrox - Removed from the list. It seems he can't overcome his repeated nerfs.
- Sion - Removed from the list.
- Amumu - Removed from the list.
- Zac - Removed from the list. Despite his recent buffs he maintains one of the lowest winrates at 32%.
- Mordekaiser - Moved to Beginner Friendly since his strength and kit make him relatively easy to play. He is maintaining success across all roles.
- Irelia - Removed from the list.
- Fiora - Removed from the list.
- Master Yi - Removed from the list.
- Pyke - Removed from the list.
- Lissandra - Removed from the list.
- Lucian - Removed from the list.
- Urgot - Removed from the list.
- Bard - Added as a Expert Support. His multiperson mobility and kite potential gives his team a big advantage when on coordinated teams.
The Mordekaiser rework landed this patch. He has a good early game and some CC which makes him a more solid pick than before. I'll be watching how he performs over the next few patches. Ryze also got a mini rework but I don't expect any change in viability for him.
- Mordekaiser - Added to Veteran as a Bottom and Jungle. His new passive gives him insane early game damage and he now has a massive hook to help him avoid kiting. Together these changes make him extreemely versitile and for now it seems he can play any role. He also seems to be a very feast of famine type of champion which requires good game knowledge to avoid the famine and find the feast. We'll see where he stands when the dust settles.
- Sylas - Removed from the list. He was already a bit of a niche pick and this patch hit him hard. There may be some edge cases where he's good, but overall he doesn't make the cut.
Zac is back, and a bit of shuffling.
- Zac - Added to Veteran for now, we'll see where he lands. The revert to his R max hp damage on W give him better scaling which was his weakness.
- Vel'Koz - Moved to Skilled Beginner. He is a solid pick and when used with skill he can avoid a lot of counterplay. This move should have come sooner.
- Fiddlesticks - Moved to Veteran. His skill cap is much lower than would warrant his placement in Expert. He still requires good macro and gameplay knowledge.
This was a small patch but included a new champion, Yuumi, which I'm going to wait to pass judgement on. Master Yi also had significant changes so I'll be watching him closely.
- Ahri - Added to beginner friendly. She can lane safely and independently while offering pick potential later in the game.
This was another patch were the weak got weaker and the strong got stronger, so not many changes. I'm keeping an eye on Aatrox, Shaco, and Kench to see how their changes affect their viability and will update the list if needed.
Some text was modified to account for ghost poro no longer being available on TT. This was an indirect buff to early agression junglers.
- Hecarim - Removed because there are some niche cases where he can be effective, but he may reappear here if he keeps getting nerfed.
Quite a few champions that were already on the list were buffed. No changes were needed.
- Sona - No longer listed twice.
I waited almost a week to see how the changes settled in and could only justify one change.
- Vayne - Added as an expert hypercarry. She has great teamfight strength but very low clearspeed which requires a support that can compensate and excellent time management.
Not many changes for 9.6, just cleaning up some old assignments that have proven to be less than optimal.
- Neeko - Moved to Veteran because her recent nerfs make her a much more situational pick
- Trundle - Removed from the hypercarry role
- Nasus - Removed from the list
Not many big changes for this patch. I decided to start refering to Hyper/Support Meta as just Hyper Meta for improved clarity and consistency.
- Rek'Sai - Moved to Beginner Friendly from Veteran. His scaling is better now which so he is not as bound to a perfectly played early game.
- Sivir - Moved to Expert from Beginner Friendly. She is situationally good and her lack of mobility means she requires skill to operate effectively.
- Aatrox - Removed from the list. He was borderline playable, but time has proved that his previous nerfs have pushed him back over the line.
- Xin Zhao - Moved to Beginner Friendly from Veteran. His early game is strong and Spear of Sojin lets him scale better.
- Miss Fortune - Removed from the list.
- Kai'Sa - Added back into Veteran as a hyper.
Patch 9.3 - 9.4
9.3 introduced big changes to crit based items and the new Spear of Sojin item. These changes have greatly impacted the meta picks and I wanted to give it some time to settle down before posting my conclusions.
I also updated some of the descriptive text to improve clarity. The divisions have been renamed to Beginner Friendly, Skilled Beginner, Veteran, and Expert.
- Xin Zhao - Moved to Beginner Friendly
- Aatrox - Moved to Skilled Beginner
- Shyvana - Removed from the list
- Sivir - Added to Beginner Friendly
- Neeko - Removed from the list
- Sylas - Added to Expert
- Syndra - Added to Veteran
I decided to keep a smaller percentage of champions on the list, so I did some general trimming. A few AD options were added for Bottom to account for ballancing teams around AP hypers. Sylas may be worthy of being listed but it's still too early to tell.
- Cho'Gath - Removed from list.
- Swain - Removed from list.
- Zac - Removed from list.
- Kai'Sa - Removed from list.
- Renekton - Removed from list.
- Kayle - Removed from list.
- Urgot - Removed from list.
- Jhin - Removed from list.
- Swain - Removed from list.
- Galio - Removed from list.
- Sejuani - Removed from list.
- Lulu - Changed from Bottom to Support.
- Lucian - Added as a Bottom pick.
- Urgot - Added as a Bottom pick.
- Miss Fortune - Added as a Bottom pick.
- Neeko - Moved to Generally Strong from Skill Dependent since she is fairly easy to play at a viable level.
- Wukong - Removed from list.
- Kha'Zix - Removed from list.
- Vi - Removed from list.
- Gragas - Removed from list.
- Ahri - Removed from list.
- Jarvan - Removed from list.
- Neeko - Moved from Skill Dependent to Generally Strong.
- Mordekaiser - Moved from Team and Skill Dependent to Team Dependent.
- Xayah - Moved from Team Dependent to Team and Skill Dependent.
- Nasus - Added to Team Dependent.
- Fiora - Added to Team Dependent.
- Ivern - Removed from the list. While still a newb trap, he can be viable when played at a very high level.