League of Legends’ isolated kingdom where nothing happens, or so they say. Summoners’ Rift Top Lane is where the least action happens in normal games but require some of the most unique responsibilities when it comes to playing the game as a teamplayer. Contrary to common belief, the Top Lane will require you to play actively, overlooking the success of your team with your actions in lane and succeed later on. In this Top Lane guide, we will be learning how proper top lane duties and responsibilities.
The Ultimate Top Lane Guide
Playing the Top Lane is often regarded as unimpactful to the result of the game but still plays an important role in the 5v5 setting. While it’s true that there is less action happening here compared to the Mid and Bottom lane which receive a ton of ganks and fights, a top laner’s success can be done in different methods. This top lane guide aims to introduce the different types of top laners and their responsibilities and strategies.
Types of Top Laners in the Game
1. Weak-side Top Laner
The weak-side top laner means that you will be receiving very minimal support from your jungle or other laners. This is to give way for you team to give early game leads to both the mid lane and bottom lane which will be able to carry you later on. Weak-side Top Laners will always be under threat of being ganked and tower dived by the enemy team which means that they favor champions who have mobility or tankiness. They will often be standing by in order to offer assistance to the team when necessary.
2. Priority Top Laners
Priority top laners are given priority by their team since they will be playing carry champions such as Kayle or Lucian which have the capability of being a focal point to the team’s success. These champions will be playing actively, trying to seek kills and receiving ganks and roams to ensure that they get fed early on in the game. However, this will sacrifice a lot of much needed protection from the two members in the bottom lane.
3. Split-Push Top Laners
The kinds of top laners are designed to be able to freely go into the side lanes and destroy as many objectives as they can. They have high auto-attack damage, mobility, and sustain in the lane since they aim to extend far into the lane which will draw the attention of the enemy team. They are designed to confuse the enemy by continuously laying siege on the enemy’s base which will often be answered by the enemy top laner.
Top Lane Guide: Responsibilities
In this top lane guide, we will learn the different responsibilities of a top laner in order to ensure success for the team. Oftentimes, a top laner is selfless and aims to conquer objectives, offer a sacrificial frontline, or provide hard CC for their team to follow up. These are necessary for any top laner to learn in order for them to have a successful time in the top lane as they would any other lane.
1. Global Map Awareness and Presence
Global map awareness is something all lanes should learn to have but more so for top laners. Since most top laners take teleport, they should be ready to assist the team at a moment’s notice whenever a fight breaks out. The need to always find the perfect position to either flank, split-push, or clash effectively relies on your ability to know when and where you should be needed to turn the tide of a teamfight in your team’s favor. This is important for champs like Shen who need to be there immediately.
2. Split Pushing
The Top Laner will always be left alone in lane regardless of how far you are into the game in order to efficiently secure objectives. Split-pushing requires that you know which lane requires to be pushed while keeping in mind if enemies can respond to you quickly enough that it becomes too much of a risk. The Top Laner should always be trying to take towers when there are no objectives that are being pressured to be taken. Good champs for this role is Jayce, Fiora, and Lucian.
Since most Top Laners often have high CC threat with the combination of their Teleport advantage, they are perfect for flanking the enemy team. Champions like Kennen, Aatrox, and Wukong are excellent examples of this. Taking your enemies by surprise in their most vulnerable spot will grant you success during teamfights and allow your team to bypass the frontline easily to access high-priority targets in-game.
4. Soaking Pressure
Soaking pressure means that you often put yourself in a position where the enemy jungle will want to try and make a play to take you down, or lure them into your lane in order to give your other laners more safety. This is very dangerous as the enemy can catch you out and end up feeding them. This should be done with tankier and mobile champions such as Ornn, Vladimir, or Maokai which can survive really long and easily escape.
5. Watching the Rift Herald
This responsibility is only applicable during the laning phase and is relatively easy to do. Ultimately, it is up to your jungle to secure getting it but you must always have wards placed here so that you know if the enemy is trying to make a move here or not. On rare occasions, you can try to get the Rift Herald for yourself if your enemy laner and jungler are on the bottom side trying to make a play against your team.
Top Lane Guide: Laning Phase
Laning phase for Top Laners is as they say, 2 champions in the top lane trying to pick fights with each other but often lead to nothing happening in the end. While it might sound boring, you should just aim on trying to push your enemy laner further into his lane to try and lure the jungler to go towards you or get a few hits into their turrets. Play the lane by farming as much as you can and don’t try to be too much of a hero.
Of course, priority champions will have a different approach and try to seek as many kills as possible by poking you down and engaging on you. Playing against these types of champions will require you to play carefully. Recall back as soon as you think your health/mana pool is low enough to be taken advantage of by the enemy. When being dove upon, stick to your tower and try to take at least one of them down with you.
Top Lane Guide: Mid to Late Game
Once the Baron is up, your teams will try to fight any chance they get. This means that you should always be ready to join them but do this while achieving other victories over the map through split pushing. Only split-push the lane which is opposite to where the enemy team is so you’ll become inaccessible to ganks. When teleport isn’t up, try to stay close to your team so you can join them in crucial fights.
When both teams are positioning themselves for a fight, you should take advantage of this time by trying to secure a flanking position behind enemy lines. Only charge in after the first move has been made, this is to avoid the enemy team from just piling on top of you and killing you almost instantly. Make sure to hit your CCs on high-priority targets such as the ADC, Mid Lane, or any other carry that will pose a threat to your team.
Top Lane Guide: Choosing your Champion
During champion select, you should adjust your champion choice depending on the needs of your team (assuming you’re playing with a coordinated team). More often, you’ll be left playing tank champions or engage champions in charge of starting fights against the enemy team. However, if your team has enough tanks, you can choose to adjust your choice to either pick an AD or AP based carry pick.
Solo queue isn’t as coordinated as it would be when playing with friends. However, you can still choose safe picks which can impact other lanes or serve a greater purpose later on in the game. Don’t choose champions which rely too much on coordination. Ultimately, it’s up to you to play which champion you are most comfortable with.
Who is the best Top Laner in the World?
TheShy is often regarded as the world’s best top laner since he’s able to hard-carry the game despite being on the “unimpactful lane”. In 2020, TheShy struggles being hard-camped by opponents since they know how much of a threat he can be when left alone. He hasn’t been able to show off much since he’s been relegated to playing safe picks like the Ornn.
Why does Top Lane have no impact in the game?
People say this because Top Lane is very isolated and champions chosen here almost always play a very supportive role rather than getting a carry-role. However, the Top Lane offers significant contributions to the success of the team as a whole.