With Patch 7.13 upon us, it’s time to take a look at how the changes impacted solo queue picks. In the following tier list, the top three champions in each role, alongside an honorable mention or two if applicable will be assessed. The following picks are based upon item, champion and other meta changes. It is worth noting that this tier list is primarily for solo queue ranked environments and not competitive play. Most of the champions mentioned are strong as a result to changes in patches prior to 7.13, however, there have been some minor changes.
Changes to the top lane this patch are a result of the nerfs to Doran’s Shield and Doran’s Ring in patch 7.12. The Doran’s Shield price was increased by 50 gold preventing a second potion buy during early laning phase, while the Doran’s Ring’s mana reaping passive was made unique, nerfing champions who benefited from early Doran’s Ring stacking to compensate for their mana problems.
Exclusive to patch 7.13, Galio was nerfed and Gnar was buffed. While Gnar is definitely in a viable spot, there are still better picks than our prehistoric yordle. Currently, there are a lot of viable top laners, so not all will be mentioned. The following list includes a few champions you should add to your pool if you are a top lane main.
Pantheon– Slamming down onto the Rift, Pantheon’s armor shredding build is as strong as ever. While this early game champion falls off late game, his new build path (Youmuu’s, Black Cleaver, Guardian Angel) allows him to chase down squishies even after a poorly placed ultimate.
Heimerdinger– The Donger is back, and with a new glass cannon build to boot. To raise your donger correctly, build standard APC items: Morello, Hourglass/Veil (matchup dependent), Liandry’s/Rylai’s. Heimer excels in pushing waves and surviving ganks. This is made all the better with his new movement speed passive and increased utility on his grenades. Heimerdinger is borderline overpowered currently, so jump on the donger wagon to raise your LP.
Maokai– Already at a relatively high win rate in Patch 7.12, Maokai has just gotten stronger. The premier tank has benefited from a buff in base health at level one and an extension to the range of his ultimate. In addition to this some of his itemization was buffed. Abyssal Mask now gives Maokai some much-needed mana, while Adaptive Helm grants an additional 50 health for free. Expect to see Maokai coming back to the pro play and therefore solo queue this patch.
Swain– While the Doran’s Ring nerf hurts Swain, he still has a lot of great matchups in the top lane. While less popular than other top laners, Swain is the go to top laner if your team lacks magic damage.
Kled– Greatly benefiting from itemization paths established in earlier patches, it still feels like the duo came out yesterday. With Guardian Angel becoming a core item on AD bruisers, Kled can rejoice for its synergy with Skarl. This slippery warmonger is stronger than ever and is finally seeing play in the competitive scene as well.
The mid lane tier list is primarily a result of changes made in 7.11 to items like Banshee’s Veil. Due to the nature of this powerful item, AOE mages are stronger than ever. Even in the LCS, it seems as though mid laners with incredible late game scaling are priority picks.
Anivia– The bird has been one of the most consistent mid lane picks due to her ability to stall out the game like a Ziggs on steroids. Safe and reliable wave clear, paired with constant AOE damage makes the bird the number one Solo Queue mid laner. Take fights into the Jungle, and Anivia has the ability to create unavoidable zones of high damage and CC.
Kassadin– Giving players a Season Two flashback, Kassadin is making a return into the solo queue realm. As a late game hyper carry, Kassadin’s Realm Warping Lich Bane procs carry unavoidable single target burst. With the cooldown of his ultimate being so short at level 16, Kassadin not only has reliable damage, but also a way to safely escape enemy retaliation. With mid lane being so jungle dependent right now, Kassadin’s post-six laning phase is also ridiculously safe.
Vladimir– If Anivia and Kassadin had a baby, it would be Vladimir. Vladimir is as safe as Kassadin in his resistance to ganks, delivers huge AOEs like Anivia and scales just as well the two of them. Hextech Protobelt is a must on Vladimir and enables his burst through the ability to re-position aggressively and throw in extra damage. Paired with Stormraider’s Surge, Vladimir can have surprisingly high mobility while also bringing consistent damage and tankiness to the middle lane.
Malzahar– With a low pick rate and an incredibly high win rate, Malzahar is back to form. Malzahar’s simple, dump my spells on your face, playstyle was given a buff this last patch as using Quicksilver Sash no longer ends his ultimate, but instead turns it into a leash like ability (think Karma W). Malzahar is freelo right now. Just do yourself a favor and take Deathfire Touch over Thunderlord’s.
Aurelion Sol– Huhi is still a strong champion, and greatly benefits from the new Banshee’s Veil. With the exception of the Banshee’s Veil, the star dragon’s core build has not changed much: Rylai’s, Liandry’s and Hextech GLP. If you are interested in picking up this champion, take a look at how CLG’s mid laner plays it.
That’s it for solo lanes, stay tuned for both bottom laners and jungle tier lists soon.
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