As the second and final patch in March, the fourth patch of Season 5 will update us on Bard for the first time and we now have stats to back up a rating for Bard as well. Following our own path, we here at PowerLeveled base our tier list on a four tier, statistically-backed system. These ratings are driven by kill-death, win-loss and pick-ban ratios.
Click here to skip to the Nerf Tier
As of patch 5.6, here are the major changes that we’re looking at:
Breaking into the next level of League of Legends, patch 5.6 applies individual jungle experience groupings for level sets, Summoners Rift has finally left Beta and Luden’s Echo has been removed from Twisted Treeline after just one patch. In regard to champions, changes don’t feel as drastic as last week, but the numbers have changed the landscape of which champions are the most proficient. Beginning with Aatrox, his ultimate will now grant 20% of maximum Blood Well for each enemy hit. This will dramatically impact Aatrox after level 6, making him considerably more effective in the mid-game.
Amumu had a bug fix where his Despair skill will properly toggle off when Amumu runs out of mana. This allows players time to generate mana, rather than always using the skill on-and-off for those unaware. Annie has lost some power early and gained more late with her Tibbers aura now scaling with level, overall offering less damage until 16 where Tibbers will then deal more damage than in patch 5.5. Bard will begin balancing in the League with an improved Cosmic Binding at all levels and a lowered cooldown on his Magical Journey. This is a nice buff, but if he’s going to work out as a solo lane champion and not stick in as a support, more balancing will come to pass.
Cassiopeia will no longer be able to multiply the dragon buff and Rabadon’s Deathcap to deal potentially four times the AP bonus damage. Elise has an improved Cocoon missile speed and has the option to right click and Rappel down rather than pressing E again. Evelyn will now have a scaling cooldown on entering stealth for her passive. Spells with Evelyn now lower Dark Frenzy’s cooldown rather than increasing move speed. Galio now has a scaling cooldown on Righteous Gust, changing from a flat 12 seconds to a 13-down-to-9 second cooldown on level. Irelia is taking a nerf on her Equilibrium Strike with a per-level damage drop.
Katarina will get nerfed again this week as well, with more health per level and less base health, she’s got less regeneration as well hurting her early game. She’s essentially a slippery nuke already, so this leaves her as a damage dealer without changing her dramatically. LeBlanc is picking up global ratio nerfs to all of the operative pieces of her ultimate as well as Lux now being able to trigger Illumination properly with her ultimate as expected. These two champs aren’t likely to move around much due to these changes, but we’ll keep an eye out in the coming weeks and make adjustments as needed.
Nocturne’s ultimate will now cooldown sooner at low levels, retaining at level 16. This will add to Nocturne’s global presence, but doesn’t change his damage. Awareness on the part of the opposition will change his effectiveness more than anything else. Rammus will now consume less mana from his Powerball at all levels, allowing for more spell usage and presence in multiple lanes. Pairing this with the new Sunfire Cape changes from last week, Rammus may solidly enjoy his rank improvement. Ryze’s Overload skill is now buffed as well, improved by a flat 15 damage at all levels. Paired up with his ultimate, this could lead to a serious damage spike early game and should improve his mid-lane game considerably.
Sejuani is taking a well deserved nerf this patch, with likely the biggest effect on the mid-game. Flail of the Northern Winds will lose initial damage at all levels, lowering the percentage damage. Glacial Prison now features a 60% less effective slow as well, rounding out Sejuani with a severely less effective team fight impact. Singed conversely took a buff, changing his fling damage from scaling damage to reduced scaling damage and percentage max health damage. This makes Singed a tank buster, more effective against characters like Volibear on top.
Sion will no longer be as effective in the jungle with reduced damage to monsters with Q and a reduced pass through damage bonus on his E. With 10 and 20% respectively, don’t expect him to be deleted from contention, but he may leave the top tier. Twitch has a higher deadly venom damage at level 1, but won’t peak until level 17. He’ll be stronger early than before, without much consequence late. Veigar improves his mana regen, adds to the new Q with improved range. Most importantly, skill shots are more reliable for your team if an enemy dashes through your Event Horizon. Instead of passing through, characters like Shen will simply hit the walls of the skill, allowing for easier Q shots and better consistency in support for Ahri, Lee Sin and similar characters.
Ziggs’ Bouncing Bomb will now consume less mana at levels 2-5 of the skill, down 5 mana per level. Zilean rounds out this patch with buffs to his Time Bomb, Rewind and Time Warp with reduced mana costs, ratios and cooldowns on these skills where applicable. Some items have undergone minor changes, but nothing that should impact tier changes aside from the temporary removal of the all-new Luden’s Echo in Twisted Treeline.
As we move through March, we’ve covered the details as to the how and why champions in Average Tier through Nerf got where they are in our full anthology of posts. New changes are bolded below.
Down from Effective Tier: Garen, Gnar, Kha’Zix, Nidalee, Renekton, Xin Zhao, Akali, Ezreal, Fizz, Leblanc, Lissandra, Veigar, Kog’Maw, Evelynn, Hecarim, Lee Sin, Pantheon, Rek’Sai, Trundle, Warwick, Wukong
Added: Bard [Support]
- Top Lane: Morgana, Shen, Azir, Garen, Renekton, Kha’Zix, Gragas, Cassiopeia, Akali, Lulu, Talon, Olaf, Master Yi, Dr. Mundo, Mordekaiser, Shyvana, Kassadin, Xin Zhao, Lissandra, Ryze, Vayne, Rammus, Jax, Gnar, Alistar, Karma, Leblanc, Jayce, Nunu, Elise, Yorick, Nidalee, Soraka, Urgot, Darius, Trundle
- Jungle: Kha’Zix, Diana, Wukong, Cho’Gath, Olaf, Poppy, Gragas, Lee Sin, Nocturne, Shyvana, Master Yi, Rengar, Elise, Zed, Malzahar, Leona, Shen, Pantheon, Xin Zhao, Darius, Warwick, Nidalee, Rek’Sai, Hecarim, Riven, Evelynn, Tryndamere, Jax, Garen, Trundle, Zac
- Mid-Lane: Pantheon, Sejuani, Cassiopeia, Malphite, Akali, Tristana, Azir,Ezreal, Syndra, Orianna, Fizz, Kassadin, Jarvan IV, Lissandra, Veigar, Fiora, Leblanc, Yasuo, Sona, Ryze, Kha’Zix, Viktor, Kog’maw, Jayce, Zilean, Master Yi, Lulu (AP), Gragas, Riven, Fiddlesticks, Elise, Janna, Urgot, Soraka
- AD Carry: Kog’Maw, Twisted Fate, Kennen, Twitch, Urgot, Vayne, Lucian, Tristana
- Support: Maokai, Alistar, Nautilus, Bard, Anivia, Nunu, Volibear, Zilean, Kayle, Teemo, Lee Sin, Syndra, Gangplank, Elise, Orianna, Shen, Poppy, Nidalee, Lissandra, Veigar, Galio, Yorick, Leblanc, Annie
Down from Strong Tier: Brand, Lux, Xerath, Zyra, Taric, Thresh, Ezreal, Varus, Jarvan IV, Shaco, Vi
Up to the Effective Tier: Diana, Quinn, Volibear, Yasuo, Zac, Zed, Ziggs, Gragas, Lulu, Lux, Quinn, Dr. Mundo, Fizz, Malphite, Maokai, Nautilus, Udyr
Added: Karma [Mid]
- Top Lane: Warwick, Diana, Rengar, Kennen, Volibear, Kayle, Cho’gath, Rumble, Lee Sin, Viktor, Swain, Fizz, Maokai, Udyr, Singed, Pantheon, Vi, Zac, Galio, Quinn, Tryndamere, Teemo, Karthus, Vladimir, Yasuo
- Jungle: Kayle, Jarvan IV, Vi, Udyr, Maokai, Malphite, Gangplank, Aatrox, Irelia, Shaco, Nautilus, Rammus, Nasus, Dr. Mundo, Fizz
- Mid-Lane: Diana, Brand, Zyra, Karma, Galio, Lux, Xerath, Teemo, Zed, Kayle, Vladimir, Ziggs, Nidalee, Kennen, Mordekaiser
- AD Carry: Caitlyn, Kalista, Corki, Varus, Ezreal, Miss Fortune, Quinn
- Support: Zyra, Braum, Thresh, Taric, Morgana, Xerath, Lux, Karma, Lulu, Vel’Koz, Fiddlesticks, Malphite, Gragas
Down from Nerf Tier: Jarvan IV, Malphite, Ahri, Annie, Anivia, Leona, Sivir, Fiddlesticks
Up to the Strong Tier: Aatrox, Fiora, Gangplank, Poppy, Riven, Cho’Gath, Kog’Maw, Swain, Talon, Twisted Fate, Brand, Skarner, Volibear
- Top Lane: Rek’Sai, Irelia, Malphite, Nasus, Riven, Poppy, Heimerdinger, Aatrox, Fiora, Gangplank, Jarvan IV
- Jungle: Nunu, Amumu, Fiddlesticks, Volibear, Skarner
- Mid-Lane: Twisted Fate, Cho’Gath, Morgana, Malzahar, Kog’Maw, Talon, Swain, Vel’Koz, Wukong, Karthus, Heimerdinger, Annie, Ahri, Anivia
- AD Carry: Ashe, Graves, Draven, Sivir
- Support: Soraka, Brand, Sona, Nami, Leona
Nerf Tier Champions
Up to the Nerf Tier: Hecarim, Wukong, Sejuani, Sion
- Top Lane Nerfs Required: Sion, Hecarim, Wukong
- Jungle Nerfs Required: Sejuani, Sion
- Mid-Lane Nerfs Required: Katarina
- AD Carry Nerfs Required: Jinx
- Support Nerfs Required: Janna, Blitzcrank
As with every patch we compare the latest figures against Riot’s coming direction for League of Legends. With a wide variety of changes bouncing champions back and forth in the low-level tiers, the new items introduced in 5.5 had a major impact in shaking things up. Not all champions did what was expected with the new items and I believe that Riot didn’t get what they expected out of Luden’s Echo on release. There may be changes coming to the item, but we’ll wait it out – and so will Fizz.
With the new jungling item coming into full effect, top tier champions like Jarvan IV and Vi couldn’t take the heat while tanky champions only gained power. Sejuani took the throne along side the new items while many others moved firmly into top positions in the League. High damage champions would come to be less valuable as opposed to sustain champions and tanks may only continue to thrive with the new jungle changes in patch 5.6. Jungle camps will now offer more experience at later levels, featuring four tiers of experience boost: Standard, then a 3% buff at level 5, 6% at level 8, and finally 10% buff at level 11. This will even out ganking opportunities in the latter parts of games, allowing for safe ganks with those already strong tank champions.
Look forward to more Nerf Tier with the next League of Legends update exclusively on PowerLeveled – created for those interested in statistically supported and battle tested tier listings.