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Path of Champions Tier List

Having trouble choosing your Champ in Path of Champions? Worry none: here's a full Champion Tier List for LoR’s PvE game mode!

Having trouble finding helpful sources on what are the best Champions in Legends of Runeterra: Path of Champions 2.0? Trying to make that final climb to beat GalioGalio and Aurelion SolAurelion Sol? Then you’re in luck!

Today, the team at Mastering Runeterra brings you a full Champion tier list for LoR’s main PvE game mode!


LoR Path of Champions

Overview

As of the writing of this article, there are 45 different champions available (with NidaleeNidalee, The Poro KingThe Poro King, and NeekoNeeko being the most recent addition), each with their own unique decks, abilities, and quirks.

The most important tip is: you should play who you want, despite their tier rating. If a champion suits your playstyle, don’t let their "low tier" stop you from bringing them up to level 30!

The whole Path of Champion roster is viable and able to succeed – being lower in the list just means there may be a stronger alternative champion, they may have a significant weakness or less straightforward play style, or require specific relics and powers to maximize their potential.

Context for this Path of Champions Tier List

This Path of Champions Tier List is largely based on consistency, strengths, weaknesses, and reliance on external factors (powers found in adventures, relics, support champion, additional card rewards, or items).

Champions are mostly rated based on:

  • Star Powers
  • Starting deck and upgrades
  • General synergies (not specific relics or powers that are obtained during play or before play that often vary from run to run or player to player)

All Champions are more than capable of winning the early adventures, so this tier list is aimed towards the hardest Path of Champions adventures: Galio (3.5 stars difficulty) and Aurelion Sol (4 stars difficulty).

While all characters at three stars are able to beat both adventures given the right opportunities, some will have a much easier time than others, and that's what this Tier List reflects.

The Power of Aggression in Path in Champions

Aggression is king in Path of Champions. Other play styles are viable, but it’s usually very effective to do unfair things as fast as possible, without giving your enemy a chance to do unfair things of their own. Early plans also tend to be much simpler to execute and tend to have a large amount of flexibility of what can be drawn, ranging from burning down the enemy nexus, swarming the board, or summoning disgustingly overpowered units.


Path of Champions: S+ Tier

Ashe Leblanc deck

LeBlanc

She is everywhere, she is everyone, and today LeBlanc is the Queen at the top of the Path of Champions tier list!

At 2 stars or higher, LeBlanc is unquestionably the best champion in Path right now, thanks to her two-star power Everywhere, Everyone which summons an attacking ephemeral LeBlancLeBlanc after you’ve leveled a champion. This summoned LeBlanc will have all the same items and relics you have as the LeBlanc in your deck, allowing for a huge variety of combos, including various infinite damage setups.

This Star Power, alongside Mirror ImageMirror Image, allows LeBlanc to be the most flexible champion in terms of what relics you want to equip onto her. Additionally, she is not reliant on external factors to be strong, while also having incredible synergy with many options presented throughout adventures, letting her expand her already insane potential. 


Teemo

Captain Teemo is never afraid! … to plant exponentially increasing puffcaps into the enemy deck. Teemo (level 2)Teemo (level 2) is already powerful without any Star Powers, so as long as he’s able to continue striking the enemy nexus, you’ll be planting so many Poison PuffcapPoison Puffcap at Targon’s Peak that you’d be giving an otherworldly being an otherworldly experience.


Diana

The aspect of the moon, having climbed Mt. Targon already, DianaDiana has no issues crushing her way to the top again.

Her two-star power, Twilight Offering, lets you spend one extra mana every turn. And her three-star power, Outcast’s Edge II, lets her knock the daylight out of anyone foolish enough to block against her double-attacking allies


Jinx

As Riot’s poster girl, the star of Arcane has to be very powerful as she's every new player’s first unlock. And, yes, she delivers on the fantasy!

At three stars, What's the Worst that Could Happen? II becomes an unstoppable way to melt enemies, and on top of that Jinx's deck has some of the best power synergies in the game, overstatted units, and targeted burst damage through Pow-Pow.

Jinx can blast her way through any encounter… as long as they aren't named Tryndamere.


Nidalee

If you need a strong Shuriman representative, look no further than the new addition: NidaleeNidalee.

By effectively turning spell mana into unit mana through playing units as Shadow in the BrushShadow in the Brush and then using spell mana to transform them into their usual form, the deck is able to cheat out big units thanks to the plentiful ways to gain free spell mana in Path of Champions.

Because of the many unit and spells that are in, or can be created by, the deck, Nidalee's two-stars' Most Dangerous Game starts to create Clever Camouflage, another way of cheating your followers into expensive units, then pseudo-doubling the value as well at three stars with Survival of the Fittest II by creating ephemeral copies.

Nidalee has amazing synergy with many of the available powers in the game, as well as Survival of the Fittest II’s cloning properties. She can thrive off of most of whatever relics and powers her pack may find in the Path jungle.


Gwen

With Hallowed being such a versatile mechanic, GwenGwen is able to combine it alongside Needlework for a variety of relic combinations that are all incredibly effective.

Gwen is one of the lucky champions that is perfectly capable of performing well at two starts thanks to Snippets of Song summoning a Ghastly BandGhastly Band on defensive turns, giving the normally offensive mechanic a way to block or outright deter attacks on top of more Hallowed stacks.

Gwen likes to be taking fights aggressively by putting her as the third (or higher) attacker, or as a combo killer by putting her as the second attacker.


Path of Champions: S Tier

Varus Deck Guide

Varus

While not the strongest darkin in the lore, VarusVarus is certainly the strongest of the three darkin available in Path!

Varus is able to double-cast through Blighted Blessing and generate free value through Gift of Corruption. Both Star Powers are so ridiculous that he doesn’t even need relics, despite his insane synergies.

By removing Furious WielderFurious Wielder from his deck as soon as an adventure allows, Momentous ChoiceMomentous Choice is the only remaining spell in the deck, allowing consistent generation because of Gift of Corruption, and guaranteeing drawing VarusVarus through his Origin's passive. 


Jax

Through Last Light of Icathia or Last Light of Icathia II, Jax and friends are able to apply aggressive board presence.

Even if the wielders die, Relentless Assault will keep up the momentum: a large amount of the buff goes into the weapons themselves, which are always ready to be passed to the next fighter.


Master Yi

The Wuju swordsman is the champion of first-turn kills Path of Champions.

With just Inspiration or Spellslinger, thanks to Mind and Body and the insane number of cheap spells in the deck, and alongside MeditateMeditate eventually gaining Hero’s Horn to continuously cycle itself, getting your units to 30+ power EACH becomes a challenge of hand management instead of board interaction.

Emai even allows you to get past being blocked most of the time if that’s ever an issue, further reducing the obstacles that could possibly stop Master YiMaster Yi.


Samira

Styling on the competition!

With proper sequencing, and with Style on ‘Em wanting to buff as many allies as possible, Collect Your Bounty and Collect Your Bounty II giving the opportunity to cheat mana and constant rallies coming from SamiraSamira, it’s no doubt that the Desert Rose is the best of the three newcomers from the Glory in Navori for taking down enemies if you’re willing to learn her card-weaving intricacies.

Combine her fast playstyle with a discount like Inspiration or Spellslinger and you might find yourself playing your entire hand every round, if not outright killing your foe on round 1.


Annie

After playing enough, you may find that the demon [Tibbers] isn’t as threatening as the real demon of the deck, AnnieAnnie.

With Pyromania or Pyromania II increasing all spell and skill damage, most enemies die before TibbersTibbers can even hit the board.

While Annie is able to melt most foes in a couple of rounds, her fuel is often depleted against Nexuses with higher health totals, meaning she might need a bit of extra gas from relics or powers to close the game.


Path of Champions: A Tier

Nami

This lovely little sushi roll is the holder of what may be the strongest one-star Power in the game, Embrace the Current.

The ability to refill one spell mana every time you cast a spell doesn’t seem like much at first, except there isn’t a maximum of how many times you can activate it in a single turn. This leads to absurd amounts of spell casting that may as well have been fired from a Gatling Wand.

NamiNami is also unique in that she is currently the only champion in Path that has a quality-of-life buff to EbbEbb] and Ebb and FlowEbb and Flow, changing them from Fast to Burst speed, which further encourages the shuffling of Nami’s and the use of Grand General’s Counterplan. But be aware of the hidden downside: Nami won’t shut up.


Lux

The Lady of Luminosity is able to build insane mana advantage through Lighting the Way as well as hoarding multiple Golden AegisGolden Aegis through Pushing My Limits for reliable, game-ending combos. The amount of mana Lux is able to spend allows her to take victories from pure value, even without having LuxLux herself on board. She is very much capable of lighting the Path with ease.


Jhin

JhinJhin sets the stage by continuously filling the spell stack with a number of skills and spells that, when they all go off, makes you feel like a composer of chaos, watching blasts, stuns and bullets make a symphony of violence.

Jhin’s gameplay is improved significantly due to Setting the Stage, allowing for unit scaling if direct combat is needed and also synergizing disgustingly well with Riptide Battery.

Keeping the audience in their seats with a mixture of stuns from JhinJhin, The StagehandThe Stagehand, and an unfair amount of Captive Audiences generated by Beauty in Death II allows for the Virtuoso to dish out both defensive and offensive pressure.


The Poro King

A “poroful” new addition to Path! The Poro KingThe Poro King, although not too strong in the PvP ladder, is showing quite the potential in the sister mode. Thanks to the insane scaling provided by both Poro SnaxPoro Snax and Stronger Together, the King’s poro-us entourage can pack a ton of muscle underneath all that fluff.

And while it can sometimes be tricky to trigger Stronger Together’s condition, For the King! can help make up for it, and often can deter attacks from enemies if they would only be slaying a single ally. Any enemies brave or foolish enough to attack may find themselves on the other end of one of the most overpowered combat spells in the game, Poro Nip (as long as the enemy didn’t pack a Spellshield).

Thanks to the deck's many created units and spells, the King is not picky about what powers you give him to wield, synergizing far and wide and ruling with unity. Just be careful about how much value the deck can generate, or you might discover that your hands can only hold so many poros and snax.


Kai’Sa

Kai'Sa adapted well into the Path meta thanks to her synergies with keywords that can be gained by relics, powers, and items, as well as the power of Luden’s Tempest to double the power of Icathian RainIcathian Rain,or From Prey to Predator allowing attentive players to activate 2* Voidtouched on as many units as possible to help get early scaling before Evolve is triggered.


Yasuo

YasuoYasuo, Runeterra’s edgy anime protagonist, shows off just how powerful Stun s (and recalls) can be as a mechanic by being one of the best defensive stall characters in Path of Champions.

By being able to stun with Follow the Wind II, Yasuo is able to continuously kill increasingly healthier enemies thanks to the scaling from Never Dull. A potential weakness of the deck is that it is possible to be overwhelmed by enemies that are able to go wide very fast, but with the support of a few relics or powers, stragglers are easily picked off. Just be aware, the base deck comes with a lot of card draw. Keep in mind not to mill yourself out of cards before you can out-stall the opponent.


Leona

The Solari sun rises up to daybreak down their enemies by stunning and stat-checking them. Starting off with how the Solari got so beefy, Solar Power II is able to solar-power the board to outshine the enemy stats. Any enemies still strong enough to face the heat can get stunned by LeonaLeona or Solari SunhawkSolari Sunhawk.

Sadly, the Daybreak mechanic can be clunky at times – that’s when Rahvun, Daylight's Spear and Piety’s Reward come into play to keep the blaze of glory going as if the sun would never set. 


Sett

SettSett is here to put on a show by spending unfair amounts of mana. The pit fighters are no slouches when it comes to head-on combat, thanks to Knuckle Up II constantly beefing up units and keeping the brawl going by rallying until only one team is left standing. While normally it wouldn’t be easy to spend increments of 6 or more mana every turn, Bet on Sett has your back by giving the power to hoard CoinCoins until everyone is warmed up for the big show.


Garen

Simple does not mean powerless, and GarenGaren is the best example of what the power of Demacian Might brings to the board. While they may not have flashy combos, dirty tricks, or intricate strategies, the Vanguard does hold on to something valuable: Some very, very buff bodies. With some of the best-statted units in Path that only get stronger every time they dish out hits, along with continuous removal from Justice, it won’t be easy to beat a board full of Demacia’s finest.


Path of Champions: B Tier

Yuumi

This infamous parasitic symbiote is able to take on fights with So Many Friends to get started and utilize We Got This to grow their stats to extreme numbers.

While able to grow very tall units, though, cat and friends can struggle to bring those great heights across a wider board.

Losing her tall units can be quite a setback, but it isn't too bad thanks to attachments returning to hand, making it easier to get back into the fight than the other "tall wall"-type characters in the roster. Additionally, YuumiYuumi makes it even easier to power up a unit thanks to applying her stats and keywords, notably also being able to remove the downside of Galeforce by attaching to a unit to grant it Scout and never being recalled as it normally would.


Aatrox

The general and his fellow darkin charge forward to dish out some double-A battery against any opposition!

Potentially the best of the "generalist"-type champions in the Path of Champions roster, AatroxAatrox has solid, consistent high-synergyStar Powers that, while not game-breaking, are always helpful. In particular, with the incredible value provided by Corrupted Weapon and Infernal Chains, Aatrox is strong enough to be left at two stars.

And, packed up with Keeper of the BoxKeeper of the Box, the deck has the most powerful healing options in Path of Champions, allowing for many hits to be taken without worry.

With midrange, combat-based damage, the ability to consistently draw AatroxAatrox through his Origin's passive, and a finisher in the form of The World EnderThe World Ender, I recommend Aatros as an excellent starter Champion for any player looking to explore the depths and synergies of TPoC.


Jack

All Jack-ed up for a fight!

The fighting fish gang are generalists that have consistent, high-synergy Star Powers that get significantly more impactful as JackJack gains more stars. Jack's crew swapped healing for dirty tactics and BWBilgewater trickery, being able to play with direct damage and combos.

Tip the Scales, which can change the tide of power with the right setup, Sleepin' with the Fishes that can put enemies low to die to pings, or Tip the Scales II, which is even able to level entire enemy boards on its own. Jack stands to be a pseudo-combo type generalist that is willing to make his own rules.

If you're looking for a different from usual Path experience? Bet on Jack.


Kindred

Duo of Death, the Kindred may be the most powerful defensive champion currently available in the Path of Champions roster. They also only need up to two stars to be effective, so save your shards!

KindredKindred can sacrifice or block with PreyPrey from Ashes to Ashes every turn, on top of [Kindred] constantly killing enemies, running enemies out of resources until they inevitably perish (and with a few extra CrumbleCrumble in the deck for good measure).

Payoffs for good play may be less obvious, but particularly creative players can get a lot of value from Circle of Death since it can be used on both allies and enemies. While death is inevitable, games can take incredibly long, as Kindred may be the slowest character in Path – Control lovers, rejoice!


Illaoi

With more tentacle spawning than you could shake an Eye of GodEye of God at (weapon sold separately from deck), IllaoiIllaoi swings into motion!

While not a bad Champion at all, Illaoi can sometimes feel a bit clunky due to having to build or establish a TentacleTentacle, accelerated by Prophet of an Elder God II. Due to the amount of resources that can be invested into said single [Tentacle], having it killed often means Illaoi has to stop a lot of her momentum and spawn a new slimy friend to its former glory.

When she's established enough board presence, though, few foes are able to go face to face with the priestess, especially when she can pick her fights thanks to Test of Spirit.


Veigar

Just short of C Tier stands VeigarVeigar.

As reconfirmed once again by All Powerful, dealing Burst-speed damage to units is still insanely powerful. An important note for Veigar: the power gap between I am Evil and I am Evil II is a disgustingly wide, to the point where I would not recommend Veigar without getting him to three stars, as it allows hoarding multiple DarknessDarknesses in hand at once. The ability to hold on to a full hand of DarknessDarkness sets up the ability to take out enemies as needed or to do a combo finisher by blasting the enemy nexus with a volley of damage-amplified DarknessDarkness.


Ekko

Zaun’s shine to time, Ekko predicts his victorious futures. With the base deck completely packed with Predict cards, Ekko becomes an incredibly consistent generalist that will shine in the hands of experienced pilots.

While Ekko does not have an obvious game plan, it doesn’t mean he has no options, and has in fact multiple win conditions, including but not limited to: Branching Possibilities II being able to grow units taller than the enemy or getting powerful keywords; ChronobreakChronobreak or Parallel ConvergenceParallel Convergence capable of taking multiple attacks in a single turn; milling the opponent; or, simply, burning down the enemy nexus.

Alongside having starting the game off with Inspiration at two stars in the form of Z-Drive Resonance (one of the best common powers in the mode) Ekko becomes a deadly force that has an incredibly high skill ceiling for strong players and a decent skill floor for players looking to pick up a solid champion.

As bonus tips: Remember to inspect your predicted cards to see what keywords your cards get from Branching Possibilities II, and don't forget that "Skip" is an option when predicting.


Lee Sin

In Path of Champions, just like in League of Legends, Lee SinLee Sin has a simple kit with a lot of depth.

While having Lee SinLee Sin with Overwhelm is essentially a requirement to win, he is not picky with what powers and relics he synergizes well with, especially ones that improve Extend your Senses.

Players who are able to manage mana, spells, Dragon’s Spirit activations, AI manipulation, and stat manipulation are greatly rewarded with the satisfaction of being able to kick enemies into the nexus with a Lee Sin (level 2)Lee Sin (level 2), usually for near-lethal if not an instant win. Although Lee has a high skill ceiling, the skill floor to be effective isn’t incredibly high – still, I wouldn’t recommend him to newer players. 


Evelynn

Timmies band together and bow down to the Stat Demon Queen! By scaling units to ludicrously high numbers in a few turns thanks to Peak of Ecstasy, and having great relic flexibility thanks to EvelynnEvelynn being able to level up multiple times, the Lady of Pain can steamroll or go toe-to-toe with even the most difficult encounters in the game.

As with any deal with a Demoness, there are some catches, though: Champions must be drawn and leveled, sometimes multiple times, the need to maximize the number of times Evelynn levels up (due to her no longer transforming after six or more allies have died), and planning around Love Eternal to not overvalue or waste a particularly clever husk and miss on those extra juicy keywords they can provide.


Ashe

The Avarosan leader, AsheAshe, is a Frostbite -focused defensive character. While Frost Shot II is good, frostbiting is not as good as stun, but it gives Vulnerable , providing Ashe with a more board-interactive playstyle.

One of Ashe's drawbacks is that, except for the addition of Rimefang Wolf (which can kill units with infinite health, provided they are frostbitten), the deck's removal capabilities are severely lacking, as Avarosan Spirit isn't reasonably able to scale your units fast enough.

That being said, and despite being a "weaker Yasuo", Ashe is still more than capable of taking down adventures as they scale up thanks to the ability to stall with frostbites, or push for damage by preventing blocks using a Ashe (level 2)Ashe (level 2).


Path of Champions: C Tier

Tahm Kench

Dish out the catfish, it's time to unbench the Kench.

This slow, defensive character becomes nigh-unkillable with the right setups thanks to Glutton for Punishment II. Although the scaling can take some time, most enemies will not even try to attack into you with their weaker units in fear of powering up your board further (as well as being the number one Caitlyn counter).

The River King also has a unique power in Long-Term Contract – the only power in Path capable of copying enemy champions – as well as having ridiculous combo potential for creative players. Although Tahm KenchTahm Kench can take a lot of punishment and get stronger, he can only do so with a good mix of powers and relics, and early on can't withstand a single, high-damage hit.


Neeko

While Neeko brought her own unique way to play Path, she sadly did not show the same level of power as the other champions from the Heart of the Huntress expansion. When playing for NeekoNeeko’s level-up condition, she is very reliant on support cards for more subtypes, which can sometimes clutter your deck.

Neeko's deck also lacks combat tricks aside from ShapesplitterShapesplitter, and often requires putting non-scaling units into danger to desperately try to level her up. Definitely Not Neeko granting Impact to units is fine, but impact isn’t known to be an incredibly strong keyword. Harmony of the Wild at least helps by providing a discount every turn, but is also a bit too restricted to really abuse, like similar discounting Star Powers.

The upside of Neeko is that she is able to effectively utilize a variety of powers and relics thanks to ShapesplitterShapesplitter.

But here’s a tip: A lot of the issues and difficulties can be circumvented by playing for strategies around ShapesplitterShapesplitter instead of leveling up [Neeko], although they are often much less interesting.

Further reading: Neeko Path of Champions Strategy Guide


Elise

EliseElise managed to quietly crawl her way into the Path of Champions roster between the most recent expansions. Spider Queen I makes her synergize well with free attack mechanics by scaling SpiderlingSpiderling even multiple times a turn. And taking these free attacks is also less punishing, as Caught in the Webs allows for insanely aggressive attacks or blocks by potentially returning a unit back every round.

Spider Queen II brings forward an interesting change of pace, allowing for keyword-spreading strategies, but notably good with Galeforce since it’s usually bad to level up EliseElise as you generally want the SpiderlingSpiderling and can grant them Challenger from one of your champions. Elise's biggest downside is her frail units, even with gaining Tough later on – SpiderlingSpiderling are not great for blocking Overwhelm attackers, and are often prone to being killed on either attack or defense. Your success with Elise will vary on the ability to manage her key weakness.


Pyke

Lurking just under the surface of C tier, PykePyke is ready to strike – although, for an aggro deck, his aggression scales slower than most of the other aggro options due to the Lurk mechanic.

Another detriment that comes from Lurk is that Ghostwater Dive only hits units, often encouraging having less spells in the deck to activate Lurk as many times as possible. Without many spells in the deck, a good amount of the time aggression will be the best “defensive” option by attacking with potentially game-ending units to force the opponent to trade. This is where everything Lurk bares its fangs, as thanks to Ghostwater Dive drawing every time you gain the attack token, and Gift of the Drowned Ones making up for the continuous flow of cards drawn, the deck works incredibly well even without more card draw, and encourages ridiculously aggressive attacks and blocks.

PykePyke himself gets the best out of the Path format, as powering him up and giving him the right relics and powers can make him a one-man board-wiping machine.


Bard

The Cosmic Caretaker, like his PvP counterpart, is known for turning his units into absolute behemoths. Sadly, BardBard is not too flexible, as in order to be as fast as possible you are encouraged to gather as many Chameleon Necklaces as you can equip him with, due to the way that BardBard's Origin works. And even with shuffling 9+ ChimeChimes into the deck every turn, his gameplay can still be slower than some of the other characters.

The deck itself, however, works incredibly well with both Cosmic Presence for additional chimes, and Caretaker’s Blessing on increased stats from items gained from champion levels.

The deck also packs great removal and stall tools in Cosmic BindingCosmic Binding and MinimorphMinimorph, being able to stop or stall units that are bigger than your later in the game.

BardBard often levels up incredibly fast thanks to the number of items that units can acquire over the course of an adventure, being able to flip as soon as the first round in the right circumstances. And of course, your late game features a board full of 20/20 units that are sick of being bullied in the early rounds.

Although he may not be the best option, Bard has the benefit of having a relatively simple game plan that synergizes well with multiple copies of a common relic, making him a fine pick for new or beginner players.


Miss Fortune

While a feared captain of BWBilgewater, and a powerful champion in her own right, in Path of Champions Miss FortuneMiss Fortune suffers from having below-average Star Powers, even if she has a good deck.

Nothing but Powder Monkeys II gives continuous tick damage, and a free unit every turn, but alongside Most Wanted, the summoned Powder MonkeyPowder Monkey can often go to waste when you fill your whole board, which you sometimes have to in order to keep yourself from overdrawing. You even have to be careful about Fortune's draw, to avoid decking out.

While you will have a constant flow of value, none of it scales well and can often be outmatched. And there can be matches where you have to rely on the chip damage from spells and skills, as it’s possible that none of your units can actually make contact with the enemy nexus.


Vi

Although the less popular of the Arcane sisters, ViVi can pack a mean punch in the right circumstances. In Path of Champions, ViVi plays as a generalist with a deck that has high synergy with relics and powers, and with a low-cost deck with a huge amount of card draw, Vi was on a road to be a solid character…

… unfortunately, she’s held back by her poor Star Powers, Relentless Force encouraging a slower game plan from a fast-paced deck, and Piltover’s Finest just being a slightly better Flexible Gameplan that guarantees your early game.

Without a real form of scaling, unlike the other generalists ViVi often doesn’t want to go into the late game and will be reliant on her pilot to build a wincon with the options available to them.


Vayne

What used to be a feared hunter of the darkness in Path of Champions, but is now a shadow of her former self after being nerfed. Due to TumbleTumble now costing 4 mana, VayneVayne is one turn slower – although it may not seem significant, for an aggro champion a single turn can mean the enemy having the resources to stop your snowball from rolling. Especially considering that the unit making the free attack can be easily killed, being able to multi-attack is crucial to the success of the deck due to Night Hunter and generating a strong weapon through It must do something…, so losing a unit can sometimes mean life or death based on the difficulty of the encounter.

While Vayne's power of being able to attack multiple times is great once established, if disrupted early, her plans can quickly fall apart.


Gnar

The primordial Yordle, GnarGnar, can stack Impact quite quickly across other units thanks to Outrage – but Impact being a keyword that requires attacking, it means sometimes units can only cash in their Impact stacks once.

Even in optimal conditions, it can still take up to 3–5 turns to stack enough Impact across your units to destroy a 30-50 health nexus (even with chip damage). That's before considering that blocking can also mean the loss of many stacks. And although Beast Within helps prevent or push damage, it can slow the ability to stack more impact or play more units. Without any form of scaling in the deck, Gnar wants to close out games before the enemy plays bigger units.


Taliyah

Shuriman Earthbender TaliyahTaliyah suffers from having a midrange deck, while herself having powers that want aggro options.

Good Morning, Grumpy II is a fine power for an early swarm strategy, further supporting the idea with Recycled Stone. But even building to go wide, Recycled Stone has negative synergy by taking up board space, when it wants to countdown with as many units on board as possible.

And while the deck isn't fast enough to be aggressive, it also doesn’t go tall enough to make use of Overwhelm from Good Morning, Grumpy II, which can lead to it being stat-checked in the late game with no scaling in the deck. TaliyahTaliyah herself is rarely useful, as doubling a landmark on round five often isn't enough tempo in Path of Champions.

Taliyah's saving grace is the +1/+1 buff from Good Morning, Grumpy II that can often lead to just being enough to win early.


Darius

The Noxian general is as pure NXNoxus as it gets.

As an aggro champion that funnels a high Power into few units thanks to Noxian Might II, and has Rally through Carve a Path, Darius theoretically should’ve been a fine aggro champion. Unfortunately, Darius suffers from a lack of defensive options to protect his frail units or give them the option to pick their fights, and often lacks a strong backup plan should things go wrong.

There’s only so much damage he can put out before some enemies can match or stop his offensive power, and from there, the general might need extra damage from other sources to finish games.


Kayn

Barely escaping D tier sits KaynKayn and (most of the time) Rhaast. While he has the potential to be quite powerful with strike relics, he is often too slow without them.

The duo doesn't have too many great options. Their units can scale with Reap Essence II, but it relies on your units surviving and killing in order to get the snowball rolling, which requires a lot of investment into a couple of units, if not a single unit, in turn meaning that unit removal is a key weakness of the deck. Suitable Host gives a bit of extra value, but continues to suffer from the same weaknesses.

The deck itself is mediocre at best, barely having enough cultist units to even draw Kayn off of his Origin's passive. Shadow AssassinShadow Assassin is overshadowed by RhaastRhaast 99% of the time thanks to being able to heal up a bit – it's nowhere near the sustain that AatroxAatrox has, but RhaastRhaast at least provides decent, reliable healing.

If you want to bring Kayn on your journey, strike relics are a must-have. While the Path may be harder than most other characters, those willing to invest into Kayn will be rewarded with his unique ability to counter some of the Monthly Challenge mutators.


Path of Champions: D Tier

Thresh

A character with one of the highest amounts of relic and power synergies in the game, ThreshThresh guards the entrance to D tier.

Wait–one of the most synergistic Champs, in D tier!?

Yep: ThreshThresh suffers from having both a weak deck and weak star powers. Potentially the champion requiring the highest skill, Thresh is reliant on the support champion package. Not always for the champion themselves, but often for the keywords they can provide thanks to Savor the Screams II. Come Out and Play can help get out ThreshThresh earlier… at the cost of units that would have helped his level-up condition.

Thresh is a character I could only recommend to advanced Path players looking to test their knowledge, skill, ability to adapt, and creativity looking for a proper challenge.


Nasus

The top dog of Shurima just couldn't stack up against the other characters.

Similar to Kayn, Boon of the Ascended makes NasusNasus a snowball-y character, but due to the lack of healing and ways to spread out the buffs, Nasus' vulnerabilities are much worse.

The base deck itself doesn’t have optimal early options to get the snowball going in the first place, as almost all the units are aggressively statted but without good combat tricks, and often die before they can receive the Boons of the Ascended buff next round.

While Boon of the Ascended II restoring Buried Sun DiscBuried Sun Disc sounds great on paper, in practice you’re likely already winning or have already won. Maybe it’ll help get the final push in for a victory alongside Shuriman Preservation and a Nasus (level 3)Nasus (level 3) to keep enemies from blocking, but often it does not help when behind.

On the bright side of the sun disc, Nasus can stack up quite quickly both on board and in deck thanks to a three-cost Siphoning StrikeSiphoning Strike.


Ornn

The forge god was done dirty in Path of Champions. His deck has numerous expensive, dead cards; it lacks enemy interaction spells; is a slow-midrange deck in a game mode where aggression is king; has poor synergies with both relics and powers; he has weak Star Powers;  and himself coming out as late as mana 7 without even being able to close out matches, Ornn suffers at all points of the game.

Sweet Solitude II doesn’t even double-forge every time, meaning that OrnnOrnn on attack doesn’t even get to maximize the value from his own power. Not like it’s easy to utilize Time and DedicationTime and Dedication anyway due to the stacking cost if you don’t have a way to discount it.

As a final nail in the coffin, I Made This will never manifest a darkin weapon, locking you out of some of the best equipment in the game. Since the base deck and star powers have so many weaknesses, you might as well build around your support champion and do your best to pretend you’re just playing a better champion at 0 stars with an extra mana gem to work with.