LoL: Where are the competitive champs

One of these toons doesn't belong.I understand that balancing a game like League of Legends must be pretty tough. If you cater too much to the best players you’ll make a lot of casual players extremely unhappy. The skill ceiling for many toons will simply be too high, exacerbating the gap between competitive players and casuals. Too far in the other direction and the game seems to lack a team dynamic.

As things currently stand, most players organize the champs into tier lists to give a sense of where they fit within a team dynamic. Since the holidays, Riot has released a fair number of champs, only one of which really makes the highest tiers – Nidalee. She’s often first pick in competitive play and typically swings the battle in a big way. With every new champion announcement I always wonder if we’ll see a new competitive champion, but it has yet to happen. Ezreal is probably the closest, but next to Nidalee he seems fairly lackluster. She has many of his benefits plus better map control and more gankability. She’s also much more mana efficient.

In part, I think the lack of more “top tier” champions is that competitive play typically involves a ban system. Implement too strong a hero and it gets banned immediately. Since the Jax buff I see him banned first in every draft game I play and for good reason. If he gets any farm at all he kills entire teams. I would like to see the release of a some top tier champions, though. Currently the best picks for tanks are Alistar, Taric, Malphite and Amumu, probably in that order (Taric and Alistar could be reversed depending on your team). Most games see two of those banned, leaving few options for either team.

I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for the next champion release after Shen. Shen, like Gragas, will likely be in an odd position with regard to a team. He could fit well with other AOE disable toons, like a Malphite, but there will likely be better options. Malphite ult with an Annie ult is infinitely better because of the AOE damage from Tibbers. More often than not, if you’re living for more than 10 seconds or so in a team fight it’s because your team is dying or the other team is woefully low on DPS, in which case you were likely going to win anyway.

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