AP Carry Tier List

AP Carries: 1) Cassiopeia, 2) Ryze, 3) Morgana, 4) Galio, 5) Ahri, 6) Vladimir, 7) Kennen, 8) Karthus, 9) Rumble, 10) Anivia, 11) Lulu, 12) Twisted Fate, 13) Veigar, 14) LeBlanc, 15) Gragas, 16) Kog'Maw, 17) Fizz, 18) Annie, 19) Viktor, 20) Sion, 21) Xerath, 22) Mordekaiser, 23) Zilean, 24) Orianna, 25) Kassadin, 26) Lux, 27) Ziggs, 28) Akali, 29) Brand, 30) Malzahar, 31) Katarina, 32) Heimerdinger, 33) Swain

The definition of an AP carry:

- These champions are focused around dealing magic damage which is based on "Ability Power" for how much extra damage they'll deal. They focus on casting spells for their damage output versus auto attacking.

- These champions predominantly play middle lane as it's the safest lane to play in game as it's the hardest lane to gank. Often these champions need a lot of farm so they can carry hence them soloing middle lane to get as much farm as possible.

- Some of these champions can also be played top lane but for the most part they will be middle lane.

Don't see a champion listed in the tier list who you consider a good competitive AP carry? It's probably because I don't and other competitive teams don't value them as competitive picks. Want to raise an argument for why a certain champion should be considered for the competitive list just post below and let me know why in a constructive way!

"No one, not even pros, can presume to know everything. Whether they promote or discourage a character is subject to debate at all times. These debates are encouraged in a respectful manner as we're trying to create the best tier lists possible for your enjoyment." Stonewall - Elementz



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  • #94 Lupastar

    Well I might be alone in this, But I think Malzahar is a bit low on the tier list. I understand he is not top tier or even second tier. But I think he is still atleast better then Brand. With silence, anti-tank aoe, and hold. So even a poor played Mal has some utility to him.

  • #92 xSadFacex

    I don't know alot about AP carries but... shouldn't Veigar be in the list?

  • #93 UnleashChaos

    He's the 13th ? Are you that supertitious man ? You pass over the number 13?

  • #89 BlaSDX

    My thoughts on the list:

    • agree with most people here about Swain.  While he's not great, he's not the worst, and he's definitely better than both heimer and katarina.
    • you have a definition for AP carry, but you don't have a definition for a good AP carry.  What makes an AP carry better than others?  You need to put some criteria in this list.
    • Related to the above point, this list doesn't seem to take counter-picks into account.  For example, if Kassadin gets counter-picked, then he loses his lane badly and is pretty useless all game.  But if he doesn't, he almost always wins his lane 100% guaranteed.  The problem is that he has quite a few counter-picks, so he doesn't always get played, but when he doesn't get counter-picked, he usually dominates.
    • Ziggs and Xerath should be higher, they are the 2 longest-range AP carries in the game, and Xerath has more burst at level 6 than anyone else besides Annie.  In addition, Xerath has the best ganks in the game, period. Ziggs has one of the fastest wraith camp clears of any AP carry, and all of his abilities deal AOE damage.
  • #90 SunDancek1d

    brand is underrated, dat ulti dmg is so strong. but hes so slow and easy to gank.

  • #85 Jarvan_IV

    I was surprised by the high placement of Lulu.  Why do you think that she is a better AP carry than champions such as Brand and Swain, given that she only has two abilities that deal damage (and they do not scale .9 like Sion's do)?

    The other thing that I was wondering about is the bottom placement of Swain.  I agree that he is not as good as many other AP carries, but I was really surprised that he was lower than Heimerdinger because I always thought of Heimerdinger as a joke champ like Evelynn.  Can Heimerdinger actually be played viably?

    Everything else looks pretty good to me.  Keep up the good work!

    Last edited by Jarvan_IV on 4/24/2012 7:55:34 PM
  • #88 Sokolnik1

    I'd venture to say that it's because Lulu's significant ability to harass in the mid lane.  She doesn't so much carry as she does "Deny" the enemy carry significant farm.  With 62 damage on her auto attacks at lvl 1 if minions aren't in the way, and her glitterlance's double trajectory + Fast Missile Speed and rather significant base damage for it's relatively short cooldown compared to other lvl 1 abilities, and Whimsy's AP and Move Speed bonus all combine to make her a very effective harasser and even kill securer in pre-6 levels.  Between the slow and the polymorph effect of Whimsy, she's very safe from ganks as well.  Post 6, her Ult doesn't lend itself well to her 1v1 effectiveness, but lends itself well to supporting a gank and defending herself from a gank.  In all she's got offensive and defensive options in the lane, making her both aggressive and resilient... but it's not enough to make her gank immune like Morg, Kennen and Vlad, or absolutely a dominant force that can only be reasonably countered through AD like Galio or impossible to lock out of CS and XP like the rest of the champs that are above Lulu on that list with exception to Ahri.  Ahri's simply devastating in the lane through her abilities high potential damage and relatively short cooldowns... basically, if her ult's up she's gank immune or impossible to escape, which ever situation makes itself present first.

  • #87 Gabrielsynyster

    Heimerdinger is actually considered incredibly strong in laning phase because of the amount of pressure he applies in mid and the damge output of his rockets+turrets, problem is his pressure disappears outside of a lane(teamfights for example) and hes actually quite useless late game

  • #84 OlweTheBlue

    I think this is probably the most accurate of the new tier lists and I totally agree with 1-15. That being said, Swain is dead last behind Heimerdinger? Seriously?

    Kog'Maw is kind of a special case. His poke is amazing, and he's an absolute monster if fed. But his lane is very weak; he matches up poorly against most mids.

    Xerath is similar. Very high skill cap and very dangerous in the right hands. It just seems like not many players have put in enough games to really perfect their Xerath play.

  • #83 Beryllinthranox

    Hey Elementz, I am curious as to why Swain is so low on the tier list, even below Katarina and Heimerdinger.

    When I calculate the bonus damage from swains E I will be using the 20% bonus from his E being maxed. His passive is great for the laning phase and lets him grab defensive seals instead of mana regen, paired with his ulti it makes him able to lane almost forever.

    Swain's Q has 75 / 120 / 165 / 210 / 255 base damage and scales with 90% of his ability power, but in reality has 90/144/198/252/306 base damage and scales with 108% of his ability power which is amazing. Along with a fairly low mana cost and being a 3 second 32% slow, which is pretty great makes it a powerful ability.

    Swain's W has 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 base damage and scales with 70% of his ability power, which is decent, but actually it has 96/144/192/240/288 base damage at rank 5 and scales with 84% of his ability power which is quite good. What makes it so strong is that it is a 2 second root. Some people argue that its a skill shot and that you can bait it, but in the middle of a teamfight it is pretty hard to dodge it along with being slowed by Swain's Q.

    Swain's E is what makes him so strong in my opinion. It has 75 / 115 / 155 / 195 / 235 base damage and scales with 80% of his ability power, HOWEVER it also increases ALL of the damage Swain deals by 20%, so in reality it has 81 / 128 / 177 / 228 / 282 base damage and scales with 86.4%/ 88.8%/ 91.2%/ 93.6%/ 96% of his ability power.

    His ultimate got hit with the nerf bat a few months back but it is still amazing for lane sustain and is better for teamfights. Swain’s Ultimate has 50/70/90 base damage and scales with 20% of his ability power but with the 20% increase from his E it has 60/84/108 base damage and scales with 24% of his ability power. In teamfights that is a lot of damaging coming out each second along with healing Swain, it also makes you either have to focus him and if he gets low he will just pop his Zhonya’s Hourglass active and heal all the damage back or take A LOT of constant damage. With a Rylai’s Crystal Scepter it also becomes a partially AoE slow.

    I don’t get why people consider him a bad pick; great laning phase, counters a few of the more popular picks (cough Vladimir cough), has amazing base damage, ratios and a lot of CC along with a lot of sustained damage makes him quite deadly. With lets say, Mercury Treads, Rod of Ages, Rylai’s Crystal Scepter, Rabadons Deathcap, Zhonyas Hourglass, and Deathfire Grasp he has 2919 health 134 armour 55 magic resistance, 598 ability power, 1865 mana, and 380 movespeed. (please don’t bash the build, I am not saying it’s the right build, even though it is the build I personally use, I am just using it for example) Swain’s Deathfire Grasp active will be dealing 61% of the targets current health, just the active alone. Along with being very tanky and dealing a ton of burst damage AND sustained damage along with a lot of CC, in my opinion it makes him a very viable pick, definitely not the best but still a great pick. I apologize for any mistakes I made I am pretty tired and am in a hurry, and for the long wall of text.

    (Edited to make it a little easier to read)

    Last edited by Beryllinthranox on 4/26/2012 2:15:46 PM
  • #80 Gabrielsynyster

    I would like to know elementz opinion about AP malph mid, but here is mine:
    -His q base damage is awesome and still has ap ratio(which is now similiar to galios for example)
    -His w is a one point wonder that actually has incredible uses when u get to 18, imagine an ap carry with 200 armor without building too much of it
    -His e is an anti ad debuff that benefits from magic pen and scales with common ap choices like zhonya, or frozen heart
    -His ultimate has 1.0 ap ratio and good base damage at the same time 
    -His passive is not the best, but once again, this is ap malph mid and finding all 4 abilities to scale with ap builds would be broken, still has its uses against less dominant lanes

    I know there are lots of cons, but if list them i wouldnt be making my point of including him in the list, so id like to hear other opinions and see what is the general idea that people have of him. 

  • #82 UnleashChaos

    I personnaly think AP malphite is a weaker version of AP Gragas. I've seen Alex Ich uses it some times, and he seemed to do well, but the longer the game will last, the less he can put enough damage towards for him to be the sole AP dmg of the team. I think that, if you want it to work, you need either an AP top or an AP jungler, at least.

    All that to say that he can't be consider as an AP carry, as he simply can't carry into late game.

    Last edited by UnleashChaos on 4/24/2012 12:41:30 PM
  • #86 Gabrielsynyster

    Not all champions scale well into late game and thats the reason why picks are made with certain objectives in mind. While i totally agree with you, i dont see why that is an obstacle for malphite to appear in the list. I am no stating hes the best ap carry but i think he can be viable. I once asked scarra what he thought about malph mid and he replied "i just hate malphite mid", but it doesnt seem to be that bad.

  • #78 yjs1210

    Can you explain why brand is so low? His early game lane dominance is very stronk and I'm sure you guys don't have problem landing his skill shots.


  • #79 UnleashChaos

    He doesn't do well against well-coordinated team, I mean by that that people know they shouldn't stay stacked up when Brand is near, especially when he ults.

    Besides that, he requires a good ton of positionning, an awesome timing, those two elements aren't necessarily easy to obtain in those kind of matches.

    Also, unlike other popular casters, all his cooldown are fairly high, meaning he can't spam spells. It leads to a very sporadic gameplay, and it's easy for the opponents to take advantage of the facts that his cooldowns are down.

    Not that it's a bad caster, far from that, but, in comparison to in solo queue, he doesn't shine in draft matchs.

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