Expeditions Tier List: Best Champions to First-Pick

Updated for Beyond the Bandlewood! This is the rankings of the best champions to start your draft with in Expeditions mode.

Updated for Beyond the Bandlewood!

When a player embarks on a new Expedition trial, the very first decision he has to make is to pick two Champions for his deck. This choice is of utmost importance as it will guide a whole draft in a particular direction.

The Expeditions mode algorithm offers draft choices based on the cards a player has already included in their deck during previous picks. Hence, starting champions determine your deck to a great measure, and knowing the criteria by which to select your champions comes a long way. The tier list presented in this article is a tool to help with that crucial drafting decision.


  • This guide is intended for newer LoR players who need help evaluating the strength of champions in the environment of the Expeditions mode.
  • Expeditions offer a player card choices within certain pre-built archetypes. Because of this, when making our Champion Picks we have to think of champions as staples from certain archetypes. The quality of those archetypes associated with a particular champion affects champions’ positioning in the tier list.
  • The tier list below evaluates each LoR champion card in a ‘first Champion Pick scenario’. It is not advised to rely on the list heavily in the later stages of the draft.
  • As you score more and more wins in a trial, you will also add new champions to your draft deck. However, at those later stages, many more factors affect your pick decisions than in the pure ‘first pick scenario’. By then, the deck will dictate your choice – in particular, the synergy and mana curve will be crucial to consider. As such, the lines drawn by the ‘first pick’ tier list can become blurry.
  • Expeditions is a fairly diverse and well-balanced game mode, and any champion – even the one in the lowest tier – can carry the deck to 7 wins given the right build and circumstances. Tier list reflects only a relative strength, while it is your deckbuilding and piloting skills that matter the most to determine an outcome.

Criteria

While compiling the list, we took two parameters into account for each champion: 1) base value of a champion; 2) the quality of the champion’s archetypes.

‘Base Value Grade’ evaluates the power of a certain champion as a standalone card. Here’s the grading scale that was used to rate the base value of each champion:

  • 5.0: The best of the best, one of the most powerful cards in the mode;
  • 4.0: A bomb – but not unbeatable;
  • 3.0: Good, perfectly playable champion;
  • 2.0: Low-end playable;
  • 1.0: Very hard to make work.

After the ‘Base Value’ grade for each champion wass determined, we then added or subtracted a few points from it depending on the quality of the champion’s archetypes. Those ‘Archetype Modifiers’ are ranging from -1.0 to +1.0 in points. The resulting ‘Overall Grade’ is then used to assign a ‘tier’ to each champion.


ChampionBase ValueArchetype ModifierGradeTier
Viego516S++
Draven4.50.55S
Zilean415S
Akshan4.50.55S
Tristana4.50.55S
Sion505S
Pyke4.504.5A+
Leona3.514.5A+
Miss Fortune40.54.5A+
Lucian40,54.5A+
Shyvana3.514.5A+
Ezreal40,54.5A+
Azir40.54.5A+
Lissandra40.54.5A+
Renekton3.514.5A+
Nasus3.514.5A+
Irelia3.514.5A+
Rek’Sai2.524.5A+
Zed40,54.5A
Nami40.54.5A+
Thresh4.5-0.54A
Quinn314A
Ashe404A
Swain3.50,54A
Hecarim404A
Teemo3.50,54A
Nocturne3.50,54A
Taric314A
Kindred404A
Jarvan IV314A
Ekko314A
Ziggs404A
Senna404A
Caitlyn4.5-0.54A
Sejuani4-0,53.5B+
Garen4-0.53.5B+
Kalista30,53.5B+
Jinx3.503.5B+
Riven3.503.5B+
Darius30.53.5B+
Diana30,53.5B+
Tahm Kench2.513.5B+
Lulu30,53.5B+
Soraka30,53.5B+
LeBlanc3.503.5B+
Sivir4-0,53.5B+
Poppy3.503.5B+
Aurelion Sol303B
Zoe4-13B
Lux3.5-0,53B
Gangplank3.5-0,53B
Trundle3.5-0,53B
Shen303B
Elise303B
VI3.5-0,53B
Anivia2.50,53B
Yasuo303B
Vladimir303B
Aphelios2.50,53B
Taliyah2.50.53B
Xerath303B
Heimerdinger3-0,52.5C
Fiora2.502.5C
Nautilus20,52.5C
Twisted Fate3-0.52.5C
Maokai20,52.5C
Katarina20.52.5C
Lee Sin2.502.5C
Veigar3-0.52.5C
Viktor2.5-0.52D
Braum202D
Karma202D
Fizz202D
Malphite2.5-0.52D

Thus we conclude our overview of Runeterra champions in a draft environment. Expeditions are a great way to learn the game and build up your collection, so hopefully, our tier list will help with your trials. Please, feel free to share your thoughts on the tier list, and good luck in your next Expedition!

den
den

Den has been in love with strategy games for as long as he can remember, starting with the Heroes of Might and Magic series as a kid. Card games came around the middle school - Yugioh and then Magic. Hearthstone has been his real breakthrough and he has been a coach, writer, and caster on the French scene for many years now. Although it took him a bit to get into Legends or Runeterra, his EU Seasonal Tournament win was the perfect start to get involved in the community. He now coaches aspiring pro players and writes various articles on the game. Find him on Twitter at @den_CCG!

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