2015 Preseason Meta: Solo Queue Tier List and Top Picks [patch 4.21]

Patch 4.21 Solo Queue Tier List

by Kirito Kamui, NA Master Tier

In the preseason, there have been significant changes in the balance department, such as jungle redesign, itemization changes, tower overhaul, and base stat adjustments. These changes have caused some champions to rise to the top while others have fallen into obscurity. During the preseason, the focus is on testing and data collection to refine the balance for the upcoming season. As a result, the balance and champion viability can be unpredictable and hectic.

The Solo Queue Experience

This tier list specifically focuses on champion viability in Solo/Duo Ranked Queue. The meta in Solo Queue is often different from competitive meta, and there are champions that excel in Solo Queue but are rarely picked in competitive play, and vice versa. The top champions in this tier list are the ones that are best for climbing and performing well in Solo Queue once you have mastered them.

Parameters of Judgment

Factors taken into account for determining a champion’s Solo Queue viability include:

– Solo Queue win and pick rates across all tiers
– Skill floor and cap of the champion
– Ability to carry in a less organized environment compared to premade games
– Flexibility in fitting teams and/or champion niche

It’s important to note that being overpowered does not necessarily mean being a top pick. For the purposes of this tier list, the focus is on champions who consistently win in Solo Queue, rather than champions that are overpowered at their maximum skill level. Therefore, win rates play an important role in determining the best Solo Queue champions.

The List

Pick or Ban Tier

Rek’Sai (Jungle/Top), Jarvan IV (Jungle), Janna (Support)

Tier 1

Top: Akali, Rumble, Irelia, Riven, Lissandra

Jungle: Pantheon, Fiddlesticks, Vi

Mid: Ahri, Katarina, Talon, Cassiopeia, Syndra, Zed, Fizz, Akali, Annie

Marksman: Jinx, Sivir, Corki, Graves

Support: Soraka, Blitzcrank, Leona, Thresh* (see notes)

*The mid lane meta is diverse, so these picks are not in any particular order.

Tier 2

Top: Sion, Gnar, Kennen, Swain, Tryndamere, Fiora, Nasus, Heimderdinger Nidalee, Vladimir, Maokai, Rengar, Malphite, Jax, Jayce

Jungle: Shaco* (see notes), Sejuani, Hecarim, Wukong, Rengar, Lee Sin, Xin Zhao, Nunu, Master Yi

Mid: Twisted Fate* (see notes), LeBlanc, Swain, Lissandra, Xerath, Karthus, Kassadin, Heimerdinger, Nidalee, Diana, Malzahar, Anivia, Vel’Koz, Azir, Orianna, Jayce

Marksman: Draven, Caitlyn, Miss Fortune, Ezreal, Lucian

Support: Sona, Annie, Nami, Zyra, Morgana, Braum, Taric, Brand

Tier 3

Top: Renekton, Darius, Cho’Gath, Teemo, Singed, Lulu, Galio, Poppy, Kayle, Yorick, Aatrox, Volibear, Mordekaiser

Jungle: Amumu, Warwick, Evelynn, Nocturne, Kha’Zix, Udyr, Nautilus, Zac, Kayle, Karthus, Skarner, Olaf, Jax, Twisted Fate, Cho’Gath, Trundle, Volibear, Aatrox

Mid: Veigar, Lux, Brand, Viktor, Ziggs, Kayle

Marksman: Kog’Maw, Ashe, Tristana, Varus, Vayne

Support: Alistar, Lulu, Veigar, Kayle

Tier 4

Top: Olaf, Ryze, Shyvana, Trundle, Gragas, Garen, Dr. Mundo, Shen, Urgot

Jungle: Elise, Teemo, Gragas, Dr. Mundo, Shen, Urgot

Mid: Zilean, Gragas, Ryze, Urgot

Marksman: Twitch, Kallista, Urgot

Support: Karma, Zilean, Gragas, Elise, Urgot

Selected Explanations

  • Shaco: Shaco has a high skill floor and cap, which makes him challenging to play effectively. However, once mastered, he can counterjungle, gank, bait, and split push at a level few other champions can match. His placement in Tier 2 reflects his steep learning curve.
  • Twisted Fate: TF has a high skill cap and requires mastery of positioning, kiting, and laning safely. However, in the right hands, he has tremendous carrying potential and playmaking abilities. His tier 2 placement reflects his skill requirements.
  • LeBlanc: LeBlanc is another champion with a high skill cap. She can be scary in the hands of a skilled player, but she also has weaknesses and requires careful management of her abilities. Her tier 2 placement reflects her skill requirements.
  • Warwick: Patch 4.21 changes significantly affected Warwick’s performance, leading to a decrease in his win rate. While he is still a decent pick, he has lost some of his carrying potential.
  • Rek’Sai: Currently, Rek’Sai is considered overpowered and will likely be nerfed soon. She is a strong pick in Solo Queue due to her ganking and dueling capabilities, combined with easy mechanics.
  • Cassiopeia: Cassiopeia’s recent buffs have improved her performance, particularly in the early and mid game. Her high skill cap and mechanical intensity make her rewarding to play in the right hands.
  • Sivir: Sivir has benefitted from the preseason changes and excels in early-mid game skirmishes. Her win rate and competitive recognition reflect her strength in the current meta.
  • Kassadin: Kassadin has made a comeback thanks to base stat changes and the meta shift. He can now bypass his early game weaknesses more easily and has more opportunities to participate in skirmishes.
  • Gnar: Despite being considered top tier in competitive play, Gnar’s solo carrying potential in Solo Queue has decreased due to recent nerfs. He is still a strong pick in organized play, but his effectiveness in Solo Queue has diminished.
  • Nidalee: Nidalee’s AP build has become popular in both top and mid lane, and she excels as a skirmisher. Her win rate has improved with the preseason changes, giving her more opportunities to snowball matches.
  • Azir: Azir has a high skill cap and can struggle against certain champions. While he can be strong in specific situations, he has weaknesses that limit his overall effectiveness.
  • Kallista: Kallista’s unique kit and team-oriented playstyle make her difficult to succeed with reliably in Solo Queue at the moment.
  • Zed: Zed’s high skill cap and flexibility in the current meta make him a strong pick. His high win rate is a testament to his outplay potential and versatility.
  • Anivia: Anivia has a steep learning curve and requires precise skill usage to be effective. However, in the hands of a skilled player, she can be incredibly threatening and strong in skirmishes.
  • Fizz: Fizz’s ban rate often exceeds his actual viability. While he can be a strong pick, he has weaknesses such as weak pushing, difficult teamfighting, and anti-snowballing mechanics.
  • Ryze: Recent nerfs have significantly reduced Ryze’s laning power and early game performance. Additionally, the top lane meta is not favorable for him to consistently succeed.
  • Annie: Annie has benefitted from preseason changes and has strong post-6 mid game power. Her win rate reflects her success in Solo Queue.
  • Thresh: Thresh has a high skill cap and offers versatility and playmaking potential. However, players must have prior practice and mastery to take full advantage of his kit.
  • Braum: Braum provides valuable utility in teamfights and is favored in the current bot lane meta with Morgana falling out of favor.

These are just a few selected explanations. For the full tier list and additional insights, refer to the source of this article.

Final Comments

I have created this tier list to provide Master level insight to Silver/Gold/Plat players looking to climb the ranks. Based on my experience climbing from Bronze to Diamond+, I have a deep understanding of what works in Solo Queue.

The goal of this article is to help players who have been dedicated to playing Solo Queue and are seeking to improve their rankings. It’s important to note that mastering champions is an essential part of climbing, and some champions are easier to climb with than others.

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions, please leave a comment.

Source of images and statistics: leagueoflegends.com, leagueoflegends.wikia.com, bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net, leagueofgraphs.com

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