Blood for the Blood God of Top Lane. Aatrox sharpens his sword and shuffles Shen to second place in the League of Legends Top Lane Tier List for September 2013 (Patch 3.11)
- Score is an indexed and weighted composite of Average Win Percentage (I1), Average KDA (I2), and Pick/Ban Rate (I3). Why these stats? Read the FAQ.
- All stats are for solo queue ranked Summoner’s Rift.
- Champions are placed into tier lists statistically based on the Standard Deviation of their scores, the author then attempts to explain their placement within the rating system, no champion is placed subjectively.
- On the data analysis of role flexible champions and the interpretation of their placement:
- Champions with one asterisk (*) next to their name frequently play a role other than Top, but are used in the majority of their solo queue games for the role of Top.
- Champions with two asterisks (**) next to their name are more frequently played in a role other than Top, but are played enough in this particular role that they should at least be mentioned and analyzed as picks in this context, with the full disclosure that their data is potentially less reliable for analysis due to their flexibility.
- If you would like a more full understanding of how we analyze data for role flexible champions, please Read the FAQ.
Tier 1: None
Champions in Tier 1 have scores two standard deviations above the mean score and are extreme outliers, making them definitively overpowered.
Score Range: 92.09-100.00
- None of the top laners are extremely overpowered in my current analysis. That doesn’t mean there are no good picks, my tier 1 spots in these lists are reserved for truly broken champions and while a few guys come close (Aatrox comes really close), none of them cross that 2σ threshold.
Tier 2: Aatrox*, Shen, Nasus*, Elise**
Champions in Tier 2 have scores one standard deviation above the mean score and are very strong.
Score Range: 86.43-92.08
- Aatrox current dueling power as a top laner is unrivalled. He has virtually infinite sustain, great engagement, and one of the strongest passives ever gifted to a champion. All of these cheap tricks keep him cranking in the top lane long after weaker champions have died to strong engagements. You have to play flawlessly to get an early kill on him, and if you are playing him you can easily flip between passive and aggressive play with effortless sustain and waveclear as well as breakneck engagement and fight turning. A real power pick right now.
- Shen is Shen and he always will be. He might lose his tower, but he’s going to pick up 3 assists and a dragon for his team and he’s going to be in every team fight as soon as it breaks loose. I don’t think anything will ever match the versatility of a Shen pick top, even with his slightly underwhelming win rate. Spirit Visage is still insanely good on him, and he can handle anything you throw at him because no matter how hard you crush him he’s still going to swing four or five fights a game.
- Nasus is in a great place right now in either top lane or jungle. I touched on it some in the All Champions Tier List this month, but Nasus does a lot for his team independent of their participation, and that is a great thing to have whether you are in top lane or jungle.
- Elise is overwhelmingly played Jungle right now, but she still lanes very strongly and safely in top. Just like Aatrox she can hang back and passively wave clear and then flip the switch and go hard as a spider can on a moment’s notice. Her six-spell kit is one of the most versatile ever created.
Tier 3: Malphite, Wukong, Nidalee**, Renekton, Teemo, Garen, Jax, Tryndamere, Fiora, Riven, Yorick, Kennen
Champions in Tier 3 have scores above the mean and are exactly that, above average picks.
Score Range: 80.76-86.42
- Malphite is still the bane of every pickup game all-star who wants to run a heavy AD top laner. He’s pretty boring to play, but he’s going to crush almost any AD matchup and win several team fights by himself.
- Bruiser Nidalee is severely underrated in my opinion. It is hard to accurately place her in this tier list because most people play her as spear-tossing Midalee, but getting a Triforce or Iceborn Gauntlet with a Spirit Visage and getting into heavy skirmishes with her feels extremely strong to me. One of the safest champions in top lane to CS with, and she can basically pick any fight she wants or escape from any fight she doesn’t. I really think this is a much stronger solo queue pick than people give it credit for.
- Jax is back and new Triforce has him lantern-slamming weaker foes with the best of them. If you were a big fan of Jax in Season 2, now is a great time to pick him back up and dust him off.
- I don’t think community perception of Fiora could possibly be lower, but she’s had a 50%+ win rate for going on three months now. She wins a lot of match-ups in straight up dueling power, and if she gets fed she’s essentially a quadra-killing machine. She’s still very high risk though.
- Special Mention: Zac. Zac currently isn’t meeting the minimum threshold of lane play to be included on this list and I probably rightly deserved some flak from commenters on my last list for listing him as the #1 Top laner. In his current state after several nerfs, he would be somewhere in the middle of Tier 3. For whatever reason, almost nobody in solo queue likes to play him in the top lane at all, even though he sees extensive professional play in that slot.
Tier 4: Trundle**, Gangplank, Singed, Irelia, Rumble, Cho’Gath*, Darius, Mordekaiser, Jayce, Rengar*, Kha’Zix, Dr. Mundo**, Vladimir
Champions in Tier 4 have scores below the mean and are exactly that, below average picks, best used in situations where a team composition is favorable for them, or made favorable by their addition.
Score Range: 75.10-80.75
- Trundle gets on this list by barely sneaking in the minimum thresh-hold of lane play to meet my criteria. One of my main buddies has been playing him extensively in the top lane lately, and I think given the right circumstances he can get pretty strong and has fantastic 1v1 potential, but he matches up quite badly with full tank top laners.
- Singed should be higher I feel, but his numbers put him here. He’s an extremely strong and independent champion who is played badly by a large quantity of players. Having a good Singed on your team is practically a free win in uncoordinated solo queue play, if you’ve seen one, you know what I’m talking about. His win rate remains the highest of any of the champions in this tier, but his stats are brought down by reckless players who don’t maximize his mechanical abilities or who think that any time is a good time to proxy.
- I expected Irelia to rise higher with the new Triforce buffs, but she still lingers here in Tier 4. I’m not sure what the deal is with this champion, but I haven’t been impressed with her in all of Season 3, her kit is just underwhelming in the current meta.
- Riot has said that they are looking at a few changes to Darius, that’s probably for the best, I don’t want to see a return to bonkers broken execution machine Darius, but in his current state he is not very fun to play with how limited he can be when facing soft CC.
- Dr. Mundo barely meets the threshold for lane play, but like I said on the all champions tier list, I think if people gave up on the idea of Jungle Dr. Mundo and tried him out as a magic-pen/HP-stacking top lane brawler that his win rate and pick rates would skyrocket. If you don’t believe me, watch the matches that OMG played in the Chinese Regional Finals with Dr. Mundo in the top lane.
- Vladimir is one of those picks that is extremely strong in competitive play, especially as a counter-pick to Shen, but his strengths in solo queue really do not translate well. It’s hard to do what he does best in uncoordinated play.
Tier 5: Poppy, Karma, Olaf
Champions in Tier 5 have scores one full standard deviation below the mean or worse, and are weak picks in almost all circumstances, unless used by extremely skilled players or those who have explicit reasons for selecting them.
Score Range: 0.00-75.09
- Poppy is still garbage. Olaf’s revamp is still cooking so he’s still garbage also.
- Karma is interesting. I think she’s a great duelist in top lane and pretty horrible in every other role (that’s why I put her on the top lane list). But people play her all over the place in a wide variety of ways and so there’s no real way to get any kind of reliable information about where she excels in solo queue. I think she performs most strongly in top lane and I think that’s really the only lane you should lock her into. She’s played professionally in top lane by several pros (notably in the European scene). I’ve seen a lot of people pick her lately to troll and throw fits in chat and feed, so that’s probably bringing her numbers down somewhat if she’s the go-to champion for solo queue tantrums. If the European professional players are right about her power in certain matchups, then I think she could potentially even be mid-Tier 3 pick in solo queue, but as long as people keep locking her in for sub-optimal roles and playing her in ineffective ways, her raw statistical numbers are going to come across Tier 5.