AP Tier List - Updated May 1st

So what I've done here is put them back into a traditional tier list with 4 tiers. You can reference the other tier list for placement moves as you'll be able to compare champion placements and below I'll explain why I moved them.

Bolded and Italic champions in the tier lists are the ones that have been moved

AP Carries:

Tier 1: Cassiopeia, Ryze, Morgana, Ahri, Lulu, Vladimir, Anivia, Kennen, Karthus, Galio,

Tier 2: Twisted Fate, Zilean, Veigar, Gragas, Rumble, Annie, Viktor, Sion, Mordekaiser,

Tier 3: Swain, LeBlanc, Xerath, Fizz, Orianna, Kog'Maw, Kassadin, Lux, Ziggs,

Tier 4: Brand, Malzahar, Katarina, Akali, Heimerdinger,


Lulu moved up in tier 1: Now I know you guys don't agree with this but even with the changes to Lulu I still feel she's incredibly powerful as a top lane solo, a mid lane, a support, and can even be played viably in the jungle. The champion is so incredibly versatile that she can literally play every role in the game successfully. Her CC is high, her damage is high, her ability to support is amazing, her ability to survive is incredibly. She excels at everything and despite the little nerfs I feel she's still a powerhouse that's being underestimated by a lot of people. This is my personal opinion of course but it's just how I feel about Lulu.

Ahri moved up in tier 1: Ahri is definitely a powerhouse that I had sitting a little bit too low. She doesn't have a low point during the game. Her strength continues through-out the game and she even scales quite well into late game.

Anivia moved up in tier 1: I moved our ice chicken up a little bit as I believe I was underestimating her power before. After watching some EU teams use her in streams and such it's apparent that she's a very powerful AP carry and I had her sitting a bit too low is all.

Rumble moved down to tier 2: I still think Rumble is a very strong champion but when comparing him to the others in tier 1 I just don't see him competing with them. You guys were right and I had him too high. Moved him down to tier 2 where he's a little bit more comfortable.

Galio moved down in tier 1: Still think he's great. Still think he's tier 1 worthy. Just felt that others can come before him in a competitive AP tier list.

Leblanc moved down to tier 3: Tier 2 was a bit too high for this girl. When I actually broke the tier list back into real tiers and I was a bit shocked that she was the top of tier 2. Her burst is great and her survivability is one of the highest in the game but tier 2 isn't where she belongs imo. She's more of a counter pick for AP middles rather then a first pick where as a lot of tier 1 and tier 2 champions you can pick as your first or second picks and be fine. LeBlanc I feel isn't as valued and can't provide as much as one of those champions so I've moved her down.

Kog'Maw moved down to tier 3: Now I am a big fan of AP Kog middle but alas he is countered by a lot of stuff and is more specific to a team comp then just generally running him all the time. So because of that I've moved him down because of his viability not being as good as others.

Fizz moved down to tier 3: Kinda the same feeling I had for Kog'Maw on this one. He's good but I think there's a time and a place for picking him. So because of that I've moved him down.

Mordekaiser moved up to tier 2: HEUHEUHUE MORDE ES #2, yeah yeah yeah. I moved him up from my initial placement. A farmed Mordekaiser is a scary, scary thing to deal with and it just so happens that when pro players play him they almost always get farmed. I was having a little too much solo queue bias going on I think when placing this Brazilian legend and when treating him more like a competitive pick he seems a lot more viable. So because of that I've moved him up.

Zilean moved up to tier 2: People underestimate the power of Zilean a lot. People forget about him all the time. Then out of the blue you'll see a Zil back in action and dominating everything. I did kinda the same thing in my first tier list. I forgot about the power of him in lane, and the power of his utility in a team fight. So because of that I've moved him up where he belongs.

Akali moved down in tier 4: Despite getting some love I just don't feel she's that great in competitive play other then a few niche counter roles on a team.

Swain moved up to tier 3: OH MY GOD, SWAIN TIER 3, ELEMENTZ WHY YOU SO CRAZY, I GO 11-0 WITH SWAIN EVVVVERYDAY! Well that's nice but again it was the first tier list out in a very long time and I overlooked some stuff. Swain can be played viably top lane by a lot of people and can even do well mid vs a lot of champions too. I do feel he's more of a counter pick to a lot of champions rather then a first pick or second pick when deciding who you want to pick. However I feel that he is a counter to a lot of competitive champions so because of that I am placing him at the top of tier 3. (:3)


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



  • #58 UnleashChaos

    I feel like Xerath is great, but he's kind of like Brand or AP Kog, I mean that he needs really good positioning and if he doesn't get it, he's dead for sure. His passive is kind of meh for an AP carry and your W hinders you more than anything in teamfights. He has a great laning phase, can gank relatively well, but he doesn't shine the rest of the game as hard as some of the other AP carries. Maybe he'd need to be a lil higher (head of tier 3) , but i dont think he belongs in high-medium tier 2.

    I'm as curious as you about Ziggs ;) 

    About Malzahar, he's kind of a caster that can win his lane with almost no problem, he can gank relatively well too. But that's it. He takes down targets one by one instead of AoE nuking them, that's the main problem. This causes the fact that even if he's 20-0 in lane, he just simply can't carry games single-handledly. Not to add that his ultimate his cancelable by CC or QSS, his damage is thus mainly hypothetical and not certain.

    Kassadin is overrated since a --big-- while, assassins meta had a shining moment, and he made himself a high place in the game. However, that meta is gone since a while but many are the people who still think Kassadin is a must pick/ban. He can get countered really easily. He probably never will get fed in lane against most matchups, he has to rely on successful side lane ganks to make himself a place into late game. Plus, like most assassins, every kills he gains in early game lenghten his lifetime a bit more into late game. His era is done, get over it.

    Last edited by UnleashChaos: 5/7/2012 7:19:26 PM
  • #60 Enramimer

    Thank you for the informative answer

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    Great that there are people like you around to explain stuff to guys like me
    Image removed due to an invalid URL: /content/js/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-tongue-out.gif

  • #62 UnleashChaos

    No problems :)

  • #56 UnleashChaos

    I'm still not sure why you put Ziggs so low. But overall the list is better now than the last one.



    He has consistent powerful DPS damage, map control with his ultimate, 2 forms of CC, an escape (most of the mages dont have one) which is also a gap closer, powerful autoattacks and great AA range, he also can steal the enemy's wraiths pretty easily.

    Yea he's mana hungry, that's his big weakness, but he definitely deserves tier 2, big least high tier 3.


    Also, Annie may need a relook sooner or later, she got a nice freshing buff which really put her back in the AP carries righteous picks. What do you think?

    Last edited by UnleashChaos: 5/7/2012 7:05:20 PM
  • #55 wojvenom

    I'd say you miss one champion in the tier list. And I'll tell you why. 

    Most underestimated thou viable champion in your team, with one of the best abilities to poke, even better to help your AD Carry survive and kill, not counting perfect escape or engage methods on ultimate.. Talking about Nidalee. Explanation ? Here it goes, starting from WHY : If you master Nidalee, you most likely don't get a dead until late game teamfights, cause she is ungankable, not only because of her cougar form and jump, but also traps, which viably placed may easily reveal any incoming champions, her mobility grants you options to put those traps between minion waves, as each trap has approximately half wave spawn cooldown. So, how you do it? Just master the map control, so you may see any enemy that walked into your trap just instantly. Second thing, her sustain on lane. If you build her up the way I do (took me a while but found a best build for her - of what I think and see), you have the mana sustain which equals to health sustain, because of her E (heal) ability on human form. So you do have the possibility to stay on lane for long time with no backs, good, but what about the enemy, can't he stay also? Well, yes, if you can't harass nor damage the enemy. The way I do it, I throw spears that can't be avoided, unless you think the way I do, the question is how to hit your enemy with Q, and the answer is, think like him, predict enemy movement, where he will run from your spears, kill the minions just before a throw to open yourself a way for the spear. Clear the spawn with your cougar, then wait for the enemy to stand in position that can't be avoided, like tower side from bushes. This is the way you damage in early and mid game, if you want you can also ambush in bushes etc, which is great while on cougar, or doing big combos like W Q R E Q W from the bush onto coming enemy. She is  very good soloer, but also mid lane. I play her a lot, after I think I did master her (after about 200 games) I'd say I can counter most of mid lane picks, I just started playing ranks with her, 4 last matches were like 17:0:5, 17:2:11, 11:1:19, 5:0:14 :) I'm not that high elo, but just starting with the rankeds I'd say, cause I'm just after 1400+.. So what now.. Teamfights, late game - This is what decides whether the champion is viable or useless, Nidalee can be a great poker with her Q, can lay traps that find enemies and lower their armor and magic res for 40%/12s so it's big amount.. Also, she may heal every like 5 seconds if you have 40% cd red which is not hard to get in late game, giving AS to AD Carry or healing runners/herself. She may join into teamfights also on her cougar form, the best if you have a teammate with Aegis. That makes her crazy resistant which means, can stay inside for a bit to do some massive AP damage with E, W (and Q if lich bane is up). So she may poke the enemy, find them in bushes, exclude some champions from teamfights (if they're hp is dropped to 1/3 after one spear), and the ability to survive even there, so she doesn't feed at all, and she heals other teammates giving them additional AS :) (compiling with Soraka gives you imba heals, with Nunu gives your AD Carry imba AS bonus, same goes for Warwick etc) 


    So I do think she is a viable option as an AP Carry. I'd play her at least in Tier 2 if not Tier 1 because of her ability to combo and sustain or stay alive. 

    Playing on EUNE, named Volikaris, same yt channel if you want to see how do I roll on Nidalee AP (videos there)

  • #59 UnleashChaos

    I feel like AP Nidalee can't carry as hard as other AP carries, adding that she has to rush in teamfights, making her an easy target to take down. I agree that she has amazing poke ability, offers map control, heal, and nuke relatively hard in courgar farm, but the whole is just not to the level of an AP carry like Annie or Gragas (to take a melee champ) adding that her risk/profit is also worse than them to make her a competitive choice. She can be AP, and do great, but she can't be the sole AP in the team and that's the problem, but i would put her above LeBlanc in that list.

  • #61 wojvenom

    I'd say if you want to rush inside teamfights, you can just build her toward items for survi, like, RoA, Rylai's, Zhonya's, Abyssal, which personally I don't use for her, cause IF I jump into teamfight i mostly am sure that there's no one to nuke me down, or he is the one that will be focused by my combo, then jump out, turn heal, and jump in again - if the teamfight is that long.. That just depends on your play style - you may also distract enemies in teamfight who may lose precious seconds to aim on you or chase you even thou they can't catch you actually ;) Everything about her makes her usable - cougar gives a little bit of tankyness so she may not be so weak. I have on mind also a AP Bruiser Nidalee build which I will test soon, if that works, she may find herself as not weak, but fair strong AP Carry with short cd nukes on cougar inside teamfights.. :)

  • #53 rada3

    AP is the hardest tier list but i do think you got several things wrong.

    1. Ahri isn't tier 1 worthy at all imo. One of the biggest reasons I don't think much of her is that her Q is SO easy to dodge. It hits maybe 50% of the time going out and about 20% of the time coming back when i'm laning against her. It's really sad. Sure she can kite melee champs but I think that is her only use. Tier 1 is supposed to be about champs that are good vs all comps. Ahri just isn't imo. I don't see many competetive teams playing ahri either. You can't say she is a highly contested pick. Again I think her only real use is vs a double bruiser comp.

    2. Anivia is not tier 1. No way in hell. She is basically a 1 spell champion. Her wall. The wall is very nice in competetive play but it's a gimicky thing which can cause things to either go very right or very wrong. Her Q is nearly impossible to land because it travels SO SLOW. Her E isn't particularly strong unless you are hitting someone in your ult. Your ult sucks in teamfights because everyone just avoids it. If she gets egged then you KNOW she is going to die before respawning so there isn't much point in that. If she were tankier then it would be a great way to draw fire but the fact of the matter is that people just MELT her egg and move on to mop up the enemy team. I haven't even mentioned her biggest problem yet which is her reliance on blue buff and that is particularly painful in this meta which is shifting more and more towards counterjungling, especially at buffs. Anivia without blue is essentially worthless for the next 5 min. It's so pathetic. Another problem with her is just the way you have to build her. You start boots and pots. You then rush tear of the goddess and then catalyst. You probably finish boots somewhere in here. AND THEN YOU GET AP. Anivia is forced to spend like the first 15 minutes of the game without a single blasting wand or ANY AP just because of how rediculously reliant she is on mana. It's a huge handicap. I'll stop ranting now but seriously she is bottom of tier 2.

    3. Galio- To be honest I think he is either the 1st or 2nd best mage in the game. Why? Because he is the ultimate protection to your AD carry. You get a  comp like Galio, Kog, Nunu and the other team just drops like flies. He is impossible to push out of lane. He is impossible to zone. He is impossible to stop farming. He always gets his wraiths. He gets farmed, he gets tanky, his tankiness turns into AP, he does good damage, doesn't die, and does massive cc in teamfights. I think he is godlike.

    4. Xerath- the godlike siege engine. I think he deserves mid tier 2. He is hard to lane against because of his range and he has a stun which is pretty easy to land in teamfights. He has a ton of armor so he's super hard to kill. I think that tanky mages are the way to go these days and you just have to rely on your AD carry. I think Xerath fits that job description very nicely. Give him some love.

    5. Mordekaiser- Super strong pick. I think he is similar to Galio. The difference is that while he has much less cc, he is a much greater threat to the enemy AD carry. The AD carry means everything so to have a tanky guy just walk into the enemy team and drop the carry from 100 to 0 and then get an extra AD carry is just rediculously good. Morde is a good farmer and pusher for mid lane and is very hard to counter. He isn't reliant on mana. I honestly would put him tier 1, spot 3. He is a beast.

    6. Swain- don't give into the pressure Elementz, you know he sucks and you are absolutely correct. His .2 ratio on his ult is just absolutely abysmal. The whole concept of swain is to walk into the enemy team, turn on your ult, and do massive regen. His ult's regen is such absolute trash that unless he isn't hit by a single cc and gets a full combo on the enemy carry he is worthless. Did I mention how reliant he is on mana? Counterjungling blue vs a swain team is so effective.

    7. Lux- sux. I'd drop her to below Kat.


    Yeah I know I wrote a lot but hopefully this was helpful feedback. Thanks Elementz for finally coming back with new tier lists :)

  • #54 rada3

    oh forgot to mention that another reason mordekaiser is going to start shining is the change to DFG. Now it's an item that can be built by champs who don't use mana. That just gives him an even stronger burst potential vs an AD carry.

  • #52 ramza789

    Any reason why you didn't include AP Ez, while including AP Kog? I saw Scarra run him a few times, and I've toyed around with him and he does a fairly decent job. Not tier 1 worthy, but he isn't a trash pick. His harass is pretty solid, and his ultimate is amazing once you get built a bit.

  • #50 garrytheinformer

    QUESTION: When would be an appropriate time to go AP kog?? Does he counter anyone or what types of champions would he be good against? Whats his playstyle?

  • #49 A2ZOMG

    Who is Swain supposed to counter?  I mean, your video explains he's a good counterpick, but doesn't explain who he's supposed to counter.

  • #51 Monadu

    Quote from A2ZOMG »

    Who is Swain supposed to counter?  I mean, your video explains he's a good counterpick, but doesn't explain who he's supposed to counter.

    He does well against Vladimir, Ahri and Kassadin (and some others I probably can't think of right now). He's easily beaten by an equally skilled Fizz, Cassiopeia and has trouble against Viktor due to his very superior range.

  • #48 PotatoFrenzy

    AP Yi is a liability to the team. His only AP dmging move is his Q. If you don't get the kill, or steal the kill then what? Auto atk the rest of the cd or run, while every other ap champ are still using their abilities for damage and C.C. Meditate is shut down with stun or silence and his half his ulti is a waste of Atk speed. On the other hand, Kog has the high ranged spamming poke ap nuke ability along with slow ability, which makes him viable.

  • #46 JingleJanglez

    I know this may sound troll, but why isn't Yi here? You have Kog Maw and even Heimer. Yi is nearly impossible to lose lane with and he can essentially 100-0 an entire team if he gets every kill. I feel that he fills a niche position in that he can easily keep a lane pushed, sustain very well and if he gets every kill, kill everything.

  • #45 Isysar

    Now that I'm looking over the list again, I'm noticing that a lot of AP carries that sort of "don't have a passive" in team fights are ranked low. Malz's voidlings get bursted down by random AoE pretty quickly after spawning in a team fight, or aren't attacking an ideal target. The autoattack enhancer passives of Lux, Ziggs, and Orianna are very dangerous to utilize in a team fight, and generally also require a staggering of your damage as opposed to just blowing everything for maximum AoE damage or bursting down a single target. Heimerdinger's passive regen isn't worth much in teamfights either (though I think it's useful in heavy poke battles). 

    I think this has to be a contributing factor to their placement

    Last edited by Isysar: 5/2/2012 4:15:48 PM
  • #42 YoureFunny

    Im just interested in 1 thing, why is malzahar so low? I mean he has nice cc (aoe silence(sort of aoe), and single target supress, which means simple cleance wont work.)  + jumping poison + aoe hp% dmg. That is epicly amazing for teamfights, i mean shutting down ad carry or something. TBH im not a mid player, but this seems quite simple to me, i dont know about his ap rates, but the utility of these skill should easily overcome the damage of lux(and the utility), if not can you please explain, cuz malza seems like a pretty strong champion in a decent team

  • #43 noxialisrex

    I am not an expert by any means, but from what I can tell Malzahar dominates in lane and in 1v1 settings, but he does primarily single target damage, his silence is kind of awkward, and his ult can be countered relatively easily with qss. He is one of the few AP's that can actually 1 or 2 shot tanks with his full combo, but his usefulness is more situational in a competitive draft setting making him a 3rd or 4th tier pick rather than someone you would want your 1st or 2nd pick to instalock.

  • #41 Mitsuho

    tabzz from teamless/TL is the player who plays fizz. Plays it so well it is actually banworthy against them.

  • #37 Relpir

    What are your thoughts on AP Janna? She is not even on the list, but some people including me play her and a lot about her sounds pretty strong or even broken.

    Imo she can be built like TF ->2x Doran's, DC, LB, VS, DFG... since she has a lot of range and a big shield.

    Hardly anyone can deny her farm in lane, she is hard to gank, she can splitpush really well and fast with her waveclearing, W passive and Lichbane + her ratios are really good on top of the utility. Also you cannot push against her -> tornado channel run to the other lane next tornado... The shield is like an 0.9 scaling heal with a steroid on a few second cooldown. Well and if you use the ultimate for the heal it is a channeled aoe heal with 1.4 scaling.

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