Patch 4.9 Meta Overview and Tier List
This post was initially published in our previous website everlastingnight.net on 2019/12/6
We saw in the previous patches comps of 3 utility heroes (top laner, jungler, captain), and 2 damage dealers (mid and bot laner) which will get most of the gold being dominant. The recent nerfs and buff didn’t change the overall meta, which is still mostly around tanks and CC, but some of the most dominant picks of the previous patch lost a decent portion of their power.
/=one or the other
You can find complete builds in the 4.9 Hero builds article
If an hero is D/E or lower tier in a certain role, he won’t be listed for that role.
If an hero is D or lower in ALL roles, he will be listed in his best role, so that the tier list contains at least once all heroes.
Fortress is a D tier Jungler and E tier Captain. He is irrelevant in all other roles. Due to this, he’ll be listed as “D” tier for jungler, but not written at all as captain.
The purpose of a tier list is to give a general idea of the “overall power” of a hero, provide a good perspective of the meta. But depending on synergy, counter picks and other factors (a “weak” hero may be a comfort pick, or, for reasons, be extremely hard to play against for someone) it might be a good idea to pick/ban certain heroes who are not top tier. In draft don’t just look at the tier list, but your specific situation. What did your teammates pick? Your enemies? Are you experienced with hero X? If you’re not, likely you won’t do good even if said hero is top tier.
The previous tier lists weren’t updated after release, so, if the meta changed through a patch, there wouldn’t have been any update on that until the next patch (and tier list) release.
To stay up-to-date with the ever changing meta, from now on the tier lists will receive updates whenever needed. So, check the latest tier list released every now and then, rather than reading them once per patch.
You’ll find a small note about the latest update at the top of the post.
Tier lists won’t receive updates once a new patch comes. In that case, a new post will be released.
The enemy bot laner and jungler will constantly put you under pressure in a 1v2 situation, alongside this, they have the Weapon Power buff, while none of the buffs is near you. Due to this, you can’t farm properly, so avoid playing late game heroes here. For this reason, usually, utility builds are recommended due to their overall lower price.
Tanky heroes and/or heroes with great escape tools (to survive ganks) like assassins are usually recommended for this lane.
Your main job is to survive and do not let your turret go down easily. Do not fed! And protect the turret as long as possible. Just remember: if you die, turret will go down right after anyway (unless you died in the first 2-3 minutes and the enemy didn’t shop yet). If you have to, give it up. Better to lose a turret than to lose a turret AND die on top of it. You’re only making things worse.
If your mid laner rotates, let him take the farm if you’re going for a tanky top laner. To rotate there and help you he missed some cs in his lane, and usually mid needs the golds more than you do, as buy damage is much more expensive than utility/defensive items.
Usually top laners starts by taking treant, then move to the top lane.
Farm the treant’s camp to heal. However, be careful: chances are, the enemy jungler will try to steal it most of the times. Be sure to not get killed while farming the treant.
A TIER TOP LANE
San Feng Utility
B TIER TOP LANE
Baptiste Clockwork Utility
Mid laner play 2v2 with the captain against the enemy mid laner and captain.
Usually a late game hero. Since the Crystal Orb is near, this lane plays a CP hero. Your main goal is essentially to get fed (and do not allow the enemy mid laner to get fed). You have 1 more siege minion per wave compared to the other lanes. Your ability to get gold for yourself, and also your captain (which takes ambient gold from mid lane mostly) will be critical for the team.
Due to the river boosts, you can quickly rotate to the top or bot lane. Consider that you will lose in cs by doing so, it might not worth it if you can’t get kills. However, you might take top lane’s farm to compensate.
Blackclaw only appears in this lane.
For all these reasons, mid lane is usually the most important of the 3 lanes, and arguably the most important role.
Usually, you’ll start from the Crystal Guardian and the two bears, to then move to the mid lane. Remember to get the Crystal Guardian and the two bears through the game. If your jungler buys damage, be sure to only take 1 bear to hit level 2 on the first rotation, then leave the bears to your jungler.
You can read a more detailed guide to the mid lane here
A TIER MID LANE
B TIER MID LANE
C TIER MID LANE
D TIER MID LANE
Captain buys utility item and they don’t buy damage. His job is to help the mid laner and eventually rotate to help top/bot. But mostly, you’ll stay in the mid lane since there is 1 more siege minion per wave (you gain more ambient gold here) and due to the river it’s faster to reach the other lanes starting from mid.
Depending on the situations there are many things you could do: body block, help your mid laner to push the wave, or trade damage with the enemies to stop them from csing or potentially even get a kill (try to let your mid laner last hitting, so that he gains the most golds from the kill).
You also need to protect the mid laner from ganks, and help farming the Crystal Guardiad and two bears early game, as usually mid laners can’t tank well.
A TIER CAPTAIN
San Feng Utility
B TIER CAPTAIN
Sometimes you”ll go mid to gank or protect turret and more rarely to the top lane (usually, mid and the captain will help the top lane)
Depending on the situation, help the botttom laner to clear waves fast and push for turret (possibly, freeze for a while to amass 2-3 waves before doing this). If possible kill the enemy’s top laner, otherwise you can just try to take turret tanking his damage or while he clears the waves you pushed to his turret.
As the jungle offers less gold than the lanes, utility junglers are recommended over ones that need to buy damage (damage is more expensive than utility). You might also consider to give the jungle camps to your bot laner.
Depending on the comp, you might take the Weapon Guardian, the Goldoak, and 1 bear (on first rotation, both after that) or give them to your bot laner, then you will help the bot laner applying pressure over the enemy top laner, and eventually taking the top lane turret.
A TIER JUNGLE
Baptiste Clockwork Utility
B TIER JUNGLE
San Feng Utility
C TIER JUNGLE
D TIER JUNGLE
The late game weapon carry, since the weapon power buff is near. Pressure the enemy top laner and take his turret with the help of the jungler. Depending on the comp, you might farm the jungle camp with the help of your jungler (hypercarry strategy, where you take the jungler farm for yourself if the team agree), otherwise you’ll start at the healing treant then you’ll move to your lane. From mid game onward you should also take the Weapon Guardian. Similarly to the mid laner, you’ll be one of the most important damage dealers of your team late game, so be sure to get fed.
A TIER BOTTOM LANE
B TIER BOTTOM LANE
C TIER BOTTOM LANE
D TIER BOTTOM LANE