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Week of 10.16: Trait Tier List
Hello! Today is my last article on the 10.16 meta and as always we're ending it with a trait tier list. Of course it needs to be prefaced that tier lists are slightly misleading a lot of the time as the strength of a synergy is hard to judge in a vacuum. Specifically for 10.16 the meta is quite varied so a lot of the power differences between each tier is not that great although there are definitely some synergies clearly better, and more popular, than others. Anyway let's get to it!

                                         S Tier

Alright let’s start with Tier S! The synergies in this tier are Rebels, Vanguard, Mystic, Mech-Pilot and Asto/Sniper! What makes a synergy S Tier in this meta is consistency, how contested they are and how likely you are to get a top three finish with them.

Rebels have become an incredibly popular synergy in the current meta. While they aren’t always going to be the strongest in the game the sheer amount of options you have with them makes them a strong trait. For a baseline you can play the standard six Rebels composition with Jinx carry aided by Gangplank. But we’re not just talking about six Rebels as to why this trait is great. We’re talking about the presence three Rebels have in various compositions at different stages of the game.

Early game is a great example as to the prowess of Rebels. Ziggs, Malphite and an additional Rebel, usually Zed, make a fantastic early game trio with many options to build from. This combination of champions can win-streak you through the early game and branch off into many builds for the mid game. 

Mid game you can begin down the path of Jinx carry which has the six Rebels variation or Brawler/Blaster, which also usually uses three or four Rebels anyway. Six Blademaster with Master Yi carry is a powerful build that also has three Rebels built into it. Basically Rebels are consistent and flexible making them an ideal choice for multiple compositions throughout the whole game.

Yep, Vanguards are still the best front line option currently. They just have so many options throughout the whole game that it’s unlikely you’ll go a game without seeing multiple players running anywhere from two to four Vanguards as their front line. 

Early game you have Leona and Poppy which are generally easy to two star. Beyond those two there’s also the two cost Vanguards, Nautilus and Mordekaiser, both of which are great options throughout the game. Jayce is possibly the best Vanguard as he’s difficult to kill and does a large amount of damage with his ultimate which, by the way, is also an AoE. And of course there’s Wukong as a staple late game front line champion with his CC.

Of course not every composition is going to run Vanguard but the fact is you’re going to see them played often and they have much fewer downsides compared to Brawlers or Protectors in the current meta.

Mystics are still the top splash trait in the game. Soraka, Lulu and Karma are all three so easy to fit into most compositions. Cassiopeia has a place as the carry for Vanguard/Mystic and Bard, while not exactly a splashable Mystic, can pair with another during the mid game to help accelerate the player's experience. There’s a lot of magic focused damage in the meta currently so you’re almost always going to want two Mystic in your late game build.

Up next is Mech-Pilot which is in tier S due to its popularity. Mech builds are not the best by any means, though they do well in the meta and can place highly. But the real story behind Mech is just how darn popular it is currently. 

It’s not uncommon to see two or three players contesting the Mech units every game and that number goes up on certain Galaxies like Treasure Trove or Dwarf Planet. Because it’s only three champions to make the Mech it means usually those players will actually hit what they need. Maybe not the extra supporting champions for the Mech, but they’ll at least get the Mech itself online. It’s both a popular and strong synergy meaning it fits easily into the S Tier.

And the last two traits we have in S tier are Astro & Sniper! It may seem odd having them listed together but really, how often do you see one without the other? These two traits were made for one another and the meta proves it. Sure you may occasionally see Sniper elsewhere but it’s not the focal point of the composition nor is it as effective as Astro/Sniper is.

What these two synergies come down to, really, is the champions. Teemo, Nautilus, Gnar and Jhin just go so well together. For just four champions you get good physical damage, magic damage, front line and a lot of CC. From there you can fit in many different traits and champions but those four core units hold this pair of traits together like glue.

Astro/Sniper is also a top composition in the current meta meaning you will easily get a top four with them and likely place higher than that if you play the build well. So make sure if you’re wanting to run one of these traits that you have the other to pair with it.

                                        A Tier

Now let’s move onto the A Tier! This consists of Cybernetics, Infiltrator, Demolitionist, Blaster, Starship, Brawler and Paragon! These synergies are strong, consistent and often paired with the S Tier synergies.

Up first is Cybernetics which is the best solo six piece trait in the game. All the other six piece traits either need additional champions or synergies to do well or have to hit specific conditions. Cybernetics are unique in that they don’t have specific requirements to do well nor do they rely on other synergies to be playable. The other synergies you pair with them are mainly just enhancers to what’s already being played. 

Due to how isolated Cybernetics are it makes them a simple and consistent trait to run in the meta. You won’t always place well with them but on average they are a great choice, especially if you’re lacking any direction in the game. They use multiple items, have several carries and aren’t too difficult to two star, besides Ekko.

Infiltrators have a place in the meta but, in general, they are a companion to other traits. The most common being Mech-Pilot as Fizz is necessary for that build and running a second Infiltrator is common. Besides that it’s common to see Fizz and Ekko in late game builds as both champions are strong.

Demolitionists have really risen in usefulness this patch due to the buffs to Gangplank. But it’s also because Mech is a popular composition once again and honestly, early game Rumble with Ziggs is just ridiculously good. Despite the small amount of champions available this trait is relatively flexible although that is really due to the strength of the champions.

Blaster is doing alright in the meta because Jinx is back as a top carry. The trait itself isn’t anything to write home about but anything that helps Jinx do better in a fight is worth considering. It does have a place in the early game with Lucian carry or Battlecast but primarily you will use this trait as a boon to Jinx.

Aurelion Sol, or Starship, is still doing well in the current meta. In fact he’s a bit more commonplace due to Rebels being popular. But he also has a place in the late game as just an all around strong champion, though it will be difficult to two star him as he’ll likely be contested.

Our second to last A tier synergy is Brawler! Brawlers are basically just a solid front line choice. They go well with Jinx and have a place in the early game but overall they are a bit overshadowed by Vanguards. But they have a consistent place in the meta which is why they belong in tier A.

The last trait in A tier is Paragon! Although this is less about the trait itself and more about Janna. Janna is just a late game powerhouse and that alone makes this trait worth running. She helps multiple carries do better and has a strong CC. Janna also enables Star Guardian/Sorcerer to do well in the late game. Basically, she’s a great five cost champion with a relatively meh synergy.

                                         B Tier

Alright let’s move on to the B Tier! This consists of Blademaster, Chrono, Star Guardian, Sorcerer, Dark Star and Space Pirate! These synergies do well in the meta but aren’t quite as consistent as the tiers above them.

Blademaster is up first for B tier! Honestly this trait should be lower but it’s carried entirely because the six Blademaster composition using Master Yi as the carry is incredibly strong. This really helps the trait as otherwise there’s not really a place for it in the meta, beyond the occasional three Blademaster in Cybernetic or Xayah carry. 

It’s also not higher in the tier list because six Blademaster isn’t consistent since it requires very specific requirements to do well. That’s why it’s difficult to place this trait and may be higher or lower depending on the current state of the meta.

Ah, Chrono! Chrono is a common splash trait but it’s not really the star of any composition, it’s just a helpful buff. There is a six Chrono build but it’s not consistent enough to help Chrono reach a higher tier. Overall this trait is useful but not essential.

Star Guardian is a lot like Blademaster. There’s mainly one specific use, which is Star Guardian/Sorcerer, but that build isn’t consistent enough to bump the synergy into a higher tier. There are cases of three Star Guardians but the trio of Janna, Neeko and Soraka aren’t as prevalent in the current meta as they were previously. Basically this synergy can be good, it’s just not always reliable.

Sorcerer is the companion to Star Guardian and that’s basically it. Two Sorcerers is common for Mech but the trait isn’t particularly relevant to that composition. Much like Chrono the buff for Sorcerers is always useful but it’s a lot harder to splash it into a build.

Dark Star is in a weird place currently. Four Dark Star is not a bad use of the trait and it can do well. Two Dark Star is also relatively common, specifically for Jhin carry or Shaco carry but the trait itself isn’t holding its own that well. Basically a few of the champions are good in the current meta but as a whole the trait isn’t doing as well as it was in previous metas.

And the last trait in B tier is Space Pirates! Space Pirates are actually playable now, even as a four piece. The main reason why they aren’t higher on the list is that it’s still difficult to get four Space Pirates online early enough for them to be relevant. Plus Gangplank is contested so the chances of finding him are lower. Early game the trait is good, especially on Plunder Planet, but the lack of consistency for it in the mid and late game keeps it floating at the bottom half of the tier list.

                                         C Tier

Let’s move on to C Tier which is the last tier for today! This consists of Battlecast, Protector, Celestial, Mana-Reaver and Mercenary! These synergies can be useful in the meta but often need specific situations to do well.

Battlecast is a trait that, as we’ve mentioned before, is difficult to place. There are builds using it, specifically six Battlecast but it’s never consistent enough to make waves in the meta. Early game it can be a useful trait but mid game it falls off unless you overcommit to it. Late game it’s basically a non-factor besides a few of the champions. Maybe the meta will develop where this synergy is more viable but as it stands it’s very niche.

Next we have Protectors! Despite being in C Tier this trait is not bad. It’s just not as viable as the other two front line options, Brawler and Vanguard. That said, an early Jarvan with Warmogs is still great, Neeko is amazing for certain compositions and it’s the most common trait to pair with the build that goes fast nine to play multiple legendary champions.

Celestial is a common splash trait like Chrono but the actual healing effect of it is just not enough to write home about. This is due to the nerf two Celestial received last patch. Since four and six Celestials aren’t really a thing in the meta, this trait relies heavily on the two pieces doing well. And while it is common to have in compositions because of the champions themselves the actual effect of the synergy isn’t strong enough.

Mana-Reaver really doesn’t need to be talked about anymore. Play it in Cybernetics and that’s about it. They really hurt this poor trait so much by removing Kassadin and not adding another champion for it.

And the last synergy for today is Mercenary! Let’s preface this by saying Gangplank is amazing! He’s doing well in the meta after his buffs and as a champion he’s really strong. But the Mercenary upgrades are basically irrelevant for him, besides double strike and even then it’s not necessary for him to do well. The bottom line is the upgrades are too expensive for what they give. Gangplank is a great champion right now but you can easily do well with him while completely ignoring his Mercenary tag.

That's all for today folks as well as my last article for 10.16! Next week we'll get a new patch that hopefully doesn't shake up the current balance too much as this is an overall good patch. We're also getting closer day by day to Set 4 which is sometime in September. Thanks for reading and I'll see y'all next week for my patch review! <3

As always check out https://lolchess.gg/ as a great TFT resource! You can find more of me on my twitter here and twitch here as well as more GiantSlayerTFT content here!

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