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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