The Lag Tier List

Recently I’ve gone up two divisions and just qualified for a promo for a third, and it was through an almost absurdly simple principle: I had better internet.

It’s obviously much safer to talk about this in writing than it is during a game. During a game, people don’t want to hear about your lag as an excuse right after you die, though some reason people will appreciate it hearing it before a teamfight starts, if it has suddenly changed for you.

No doubt someone with a superior connection will remark that it’s a person’s fault for not having a great connection, but this isn't an option for everyone. People on the East Coast have it worse than people in the West. People in Europe have it worse than in North America. People in North America have worse internet overall than people living in Korea, Japan, or other areas in Asia. Some people like the game in live in rural areas, or can’t afford it, or are under 18 and aren't able to get it, even if they had the money for it, because no one will take ownership of an account for it. Still others deal with Comcast, Century Link, or Time Warner monoplies or whoever the lame ISP of the day is.

So, to say that the only discussion about playing with lag or 75 or 100 or 250 ping or spikes or disconnects that occur for exactly 5 seconds every ten minutes (I have access to one like that right now) is to say “welp, get better Internet” can be cold, not to mention pointless. Of course people would like better Internet. It’s not always an option.

This is why, before season 4 details are finalized or put on the PBE, and while we’re trying to get to our gold or platinum or diamond or whatever we’re striving for, I am going to give to you the Lag Tier List.

The Lag Tier List is a supplemental tier list. It does not mean good champs aren't good or bad ones aren't bad. What it is for is adjusting how much harder it is for a champion to play when there is lag.

Garen, for example, is one of the most lag-friendly champs there is. You can’t miss his Q. You can’t miss his ult. His W doesn’t really require split-second use and his E is very broad. If lag causes you to land in a slow or get in range of a slow, you can Q out.

Gragas, on the other hand, is not lag-friendly. His ult is one of the hardest to use in the entire game, even under a good connection, and is one of the important things he does. His Q requires a lot skill to hit because of it’s timing and required manual detonation.

It’s not as simple as whether an ability is a skillshot or direct target, though that is the general rule. Annie, for instance, is someone you’d think is lag-friendly and she definitely is in the lane phase, but later in the game that ultimate can be all you have. A good Annie saves a stun and uses her very slow and weak basic attack to last hit, and that can be hard. Q is great for stunning during lane phase, which you can then follow up, but that is not a good idea in a team fight. Ezreal is a skillshot champion but his Q and R come up frequently and are not as hard to hit. Tryndamere uses basic attacks and it’s easy to hit his E, W, and Q, but dueling and trading in lane and his ult are crucial.

With that, the lag tier list.

Tier 1: the least affected by lag. If you had 300 ping and were in range of a 10% life champion and you had all your abilities up, you could always kill them. You can be consistent with these champions.

Tier 2: strong, but one or even two less-important abilities aren’t up to par, and/or the playstyle is strongly twitch-oriented and high-reaction time, more so than for other champions. For this reason no AD carry should never really be considered Tier 1, and Tier 2 at most.

Tier 3: at least one crucial piece of this champion’s kit or how it work will be affected by lag, with possible addition of other problems. At least one good piece will not be.

Tier 4: The fundamental way this champion works makes them unfit for less than quality ping and should be avoided. Not a player alive wouldn’t be frustrated by ping when playing this champion.

In highly reduced terms: tiers 1 and 2 are good, and 3 and 4 are not.

Tier 1: Akali, Darius, Gangplank, Garen, Heimerdinger, Lulu, Maokai, Master Yi, Mordekaiser, Nasus, Nocturne, Nunu, Pantheon, Poppy, Rammus, Shyvana, Skarner, Teemo, Trundle, Udyr, Warwick, Xin Zhao,

Tier 2: Aatrox, Alistar, Amumu, Annie, Ashe, Blitzcrank, Caitlyn, Dr. Mundo, Evelynn, Ezreal, Fiddlesticks, Fiora, Graves, Hecarim, Irelia, Jarvan IV, Jax, Jayce, Karma, Kassadin, Katarina, Kayle, Kennen, Lee Sin, Lissandra, Malzahar, Miss Fortune, Morgana, Nautilus, Quinn, Renekton, Rengar, Ryze, Sejuani, Shaco, Shen, Singed, Sion, Soraka, Swain, Talon, Taric, Thresh, Tristana, Veigar, Vi, Vladimir, Volibear, Wukong, Yorick, Zac

Tier 3: Ahri, Cho’Gath, Corki, Diana, Elise, Fizz, Janna, Jinx, Karthus, LeBlanc, Malphite, Morgana, Olaf, Riven, Sivir, Sona, Syndra, Tryndamere, Twitch, Urgot, Vayne, Zed, Zilean, Zyra

Tier 4: Anivia, Brand, Cassiopeia, Draven, Galio, Gragas, Kha’Zix, Kog’Maw, Leona, Lucian, Lux, Nami, Nidalee, Orianna, Rumble, Twisted Fate, Varus, Xerath, Ziggs

Keep in mind this is also about mistakes that are allowed to be made, not simply opportunities for getting loads of kills. Ziggs, for example, has all skillshots, including his ultimate, and his W, if timed wrong, will lead to death before an escape. If Orianna, Lux, Rumble, Tryndamere, Kayle, or Yorick don’t hit their ultimate on time, that’s death or a lost fight. Same with shields on champions. Other champions can’t really miss anything or if they do, it doesn’t matter as much (Nasus E), or it’s simply easier to hit (Trundle pillar), or the fight doesn’t automatically end if the ult isn’t perfect (Warwick, Shyvana, Xin Zhao).

I’d love to hear your thoughts and what has and hasn’t worked for you when your ping is less than optimal.

Again, this tier list is supposed to be with your own personal list as a supplement, not on its own.


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  • #103 CaterpillarCake

    if you are playing amumu it wont let you turn your W on and off.  i remember sometimes it took me 30 seconds to get it to turn off and by then i was oom.

  • #101 natemiddleman2

    At the end of last season I was finally able to get gold. I graduated and moved to my new job a few months ago, and when I did my ping dropped by half to 60 from 120. I had been trying to climb for over half a year and only made it to Gold III. Within a month after I moved, I went from Gold III to Plat only playing after work and on the weekends. I made a new account, and I made gold within 3 weeks after I hit 30 playing one of my weaker roles. While I believe I could have made Plat with my old ping, I can't deny that my new location helped.

    PS: Free Elise :)

    Last edited by natemiddleman2: 10/29/2013 12:14:07 AM
  • #100 Itachi

    How do I find an ISP that will get my ping down? I don't mind paying a lot more. Right now I have 90 ping on the east coast with Comcast. 

  • #99 Pikohchu

    Whoa whoa whoa. I just noticed the Alistar in Tier 2. No no no. WQ is nearly impossible to land with lag as lag doesn't only delay when your input shows up on the screen but the speed of your input as well. If you can't do pseudo Malphite ults with flash WQ, Alistar is pretty worthless besides turning on his ult and running around the teamfight. Oh, and spam some less than 100 hp heals. And maybe trample people for half Sunfire Cape damage with a smaller radius. Also, it's difficult already to play melee all in supports with lag and not get poked down to death.


    Lee Sin, however, I can agree with. His Q isn't all that hard to land. You just have to lead a little bit more if you have lag. And in teamfights, you won't be able to do cool things but you'll get all your damage and utility down just by pressing buttons. If you're lagging, you're building tank Lee Sin, of course.

  • #102 natemiddleman2

    Alistar was my first support, and I won a lot of games with him without every using the WQ combo. In his nerfed start, he is not nearly as strong and without that combo he is not as strong as other supports. On the other hand if you play smart and don't try the WQ combo, he can be more effective than a laggy squishy support. Ali has no skill shots, and his ult is a get out of jail free card. Flash Q W is still just as deadly as it was before and he towerdives better than any other support. At 250 ping, I could demolish most other supports in Bronze and maybe Silver.

    Try playing Sona with a high ping where you are extremely squishy and your only cc is you ult and your kit requires you to constantly get in range to harass.

    Last edited by natemiddleman2: 10/29/2013 12:23:40 AM
  • #104 BossPikachu

    I also disagree Lulu on being tier 1, and Sona in tier 3.. But yeah, I guess it's just opinion. 

    Lulu has a unique skillset, and therefore a lot of different uses of her skills, and it requires good timing to use them to help secure a win during a teamfight. A well timed polymorph on an enemy and/or your ultimate on a teammate can turn around entire fights, while bad timed or mis-targeted spells will have little to no effect. 

    While Sona has to hit her R on as much people as possible, and then hope to survive and spam heals, damage and movement speeds, with a rare dmg debuff or slow. Her abilities (except for the powerchords) require no targetting, and healing will even heal the lowest nearby ally. She is truly on of those supports I think I could have my mom play and get her to Gold with.

  • #98 PhilNye

    Alistar is definitely not as lag-friendly, especially if you intend to do clutch flash -> Qs or even worse, W->Q combos.  Any sort of latency can save someone you if you attempt to try this as an offensive tool on, even if you mash Q after your headbutt goes off.

  • #97 Aplate

    I assume Viktor isn't in the list because it is almost impossible to consistently land his w and e as well as move his ult under almost any latency issues.

  • #96 Dimensquare

    I agree with most of the article except that NA does not have better internet than most of Europe, a lot of countries in Europe has much better internet than NA.

  • #94 gouv1

    Akali needs insane timing to execute a QRE combo that procs her mark on a fleeing target. Not to mention that if you W too late you're dead. It's like saying Alistar is tier 2 while the biggest part of playing Alistar well is his WQ combo that you will miss every time if you lag.

    Also you mention AD carries shouldn't be considered tier 1 or 2 but then you put Teemo in tier 1 whereas his play style his significantly similar to that of an ADC except he doesn't even have an escape.

    I think this shows how limited your general knowledge is and how much effort you put into each of these articles... I really appreciate reading these less and less and will probably stop very soon. Bye

  • #93 Hellookit

    Hmm. I disagree with is puttin Lulu in Tier 1 and Lee Sin in Tier 2. Lee Sin need a good ping for the Q! You need this skill to play Lee Sin. Lulu Gitterlance her w and Ult need a good ping because you need it mostly in teamfights and abort ults and other effects from the enemy.

    Lee Sin is Tier 3 and Lulu is between Tier2 and 3!


  • #92 ThunderFang3

    Any of u guys ever had 11k ping?


    Last edited by ThunderFang3: 10/27/2013 8:52:57 PM
  • #91 Twist

    Looks relatively agreeable, though I only find myself affected by lag when traveling for work and am trying to play LoL on hotel internet (I can attest this is a really, really bad idea).

    With that being said, the only thing I can really honestly disagree with is putting Lulu in Tier 1.  Her Glitterlance is tricky to land when you start reaching 200-300+ ping. Furthermore, I find it nearly impossible to polymorph an enemy in a timely fashion (i.e. to stop a channeled ult, or stop someone flashing over a wall), with high ping.  Finally, in laning phase, with quick reaction times Lulu's Help Pix! can mitigate a ton of incoming damage to your carry.  With high ping, you'll never be able to get your shield out in time to stop the auto - at least in my experience.  Her Ult is the only thing that lag doesn't destroy.

    TL:DR, great tier list, but I find Lulu exceptionally frustrating to play with high (200ish or more) ping.


    Edit: PS. This week's eyebrows are scary!

    Last edited by Twist: 10/28/2013 12:14:54 AM
  • #89 bbwong91900

    wheres viktor? :(

  • #90 Pivilein

    Quote from bbwong91900 »

    wheres viktor? :(

    Tier 4: 3 rather hard to land skills that are all low range plus one skill that is easy to land but low range as well. That paired with no innate tankiness or mobility just makes him food.

    Last edited by Pivilein: 10/27/2013 12:46:28 PM
  • #87 TheOverRater

    Lee Sin should probably be tier 3 or 4. he is useless without being exact with is Q and E-ult combo. sure, they can be missed, but if you don't do them right, you probably just saved them

  • #85 rigel1000

    I think the safest champion to play during lag is Soraka. She should be God tier IMO. What she does all game is heal and put wards. She doesn't even have to see the enemy the entire game! :D

  • #82 RegRobust

    Lee Sin should be in a lower tier list.  His combos are very ping sensitive.  For example, if you want to ward + w + ult to send the other player back towards your team, ping can make this impossible.  You press 'r' when you are correctly positioned, but the ping results in you ulting him only after he has repositioned himself so you ult him to safety instead of to your team.  Likewise, a long ping means ward hopping doesn't really get you much further -- you end up walking halfway to your ward before you end up jumping to it.  Not as valuable.  

  • #86 Licorice

    You don't need to do these ward ultis though, anything else about lee is not lag sensitive at all, maybe hitting that Q, but even then that's not hard with lag.

  • #88 TheOverRater

    anyone who has as much re positioning as Lee is, of a necessity a high twitch champion

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