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League of Legends Build Guide Author cyberskull

Cyber's Top Lane Tier List

cyberskull Last updated on November 4, 2012
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Guide Top


Hi and welcome to my Top Lane Tier List. Before I tell you what this Tier List includes I want you to keep in mind one thing. This Tier List is based on my personal experience at Top Lane so please don't be mad if your favorite champ is at a lower tier or something.'s what you'll find in this Tier List:

1) Every Top Laner placed in a tier that is in my opinion appropriate for him
2) Explanation on why a champion is in a certain tier
3) Constant Updates after patches if any of the top laners/items in the game are changed

If you're interested in the contents of this Tier List then keep reading the chapters below this one. Before we begin I'd like to tell you how you can contact me if you want to play with me or ask me something:

1. via PM here
2. via Skype - terminator_xp
3. via buddy request in League - submit95, EUW

Okay then..let's get on with this Tier List!

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The Tiers

Tier 1 - champions that perform extremely well at Top Lane and can snowball games easily:

Cho'Gath, Irelia, Jax, Jayce, Kennen, Lee Sin, Nidalee, Olaf, Rumble, Shen, Singed, Yorick

Tier 2 - champions that aren't the best picks for Top Lane and can get countered but can still snowball a game if the player knows what he's doing and he dominates his lane:

Akali, Darius, Fiora, Gangplank, Jarvan IV, Kayle, Malphite, Pantheon, Rengar, Riven, Skarner, Teemo, Vladimir, Warwick, Xin Zhao

Tier 3 - champions that can survive Top Lane but aren't really strong enough to snowball and keep dominating the game or are just weak in laning phase:

Dr.Mundo, Fizz, Garen, Hecarim, Kha'Zix, Poppy, Renekton, Shyvana, Swain, Tryndamere, Udyr, Wukong

Tier 4 - champions that just aren't good enough for Top Lane these days:

Master Yi, Nasus, Sion, Talon, Volibear

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Tier 1

So this tier is for champions that in my opinion have what it takes to dominate Top Lane (and the game) completely. I won't get into details though so let's start with the explanation for each champion:

Cho'Gath truly deserves his spot in the first Tier.Why you ask? He has natural sustain thanks to his passive, he has a lot of CC, he has true damage and he gains health without buying health items. He also has insane damage and tanking capabilities in team fights and is overall a very unpopular yet very strong Top Lane pick. The only issues Cho'Gath can have is being mana hungry if he spams skills early on but it can easily be fixed with early mana pots or an early Doran's Ring.

Irelia can have some troubles against certain champions but despite that she can carry games really hard if she gets out of control. She's tanky, she deals true damage, has awesome damage output, can farm so easily with her Q, she has sustain thanks to her W and most importantly she has a huge amount of Tenacity thanks to her passive (and Merc Treads if she gets them) which lets her dive the enemy carries without giving a damn. Irelia is a Tier 1 champ without a doubt.

Jax is pretty much like Irelia but with some differences. First his burst damage is higher than Irelia's however he's less tanky and can't dive so easily. Second he doesn't have natural sustain like her but his kill potential is higher and his attack speed is high at all times thanks to his passive. Third he is a better farmer and pusher despite Irelia also being a good farmer. In my opinion Irelia is more of a carry assassin and Jax is more of a team fighter that can not only peel for his teammates but can also fight head on if he has to and can. Jax's main problem is that he is VERY mana hungry early on if he has to trade and it makes his early game a bit risky but if you get good enough with Jax you can get through early game safely. At the moment Jax is a very strong pick and deserves to be in Tier 1.

Jayce is incredibly strong at the moment. He can trade well, he can poke extremely well, he has huge mobility with his passive and E (in cannon form), he brings huge utility to his team, he can farm safely, he's Melee and Ranged and overall he is so strong. His only 2 huge weaknesses are Hard CC and level 6. Jayce at level 6 isn't as strong for 1 simple reason. While many champions gain their ultimates at level 6 and become stronger Jayce does not and a champion with a very strong Ultimate can capitalize on that and fight Jayce at level 6. Other than those 2 weaknesses a third one he has early game is lane sustain. You can grab some life steal later on but early game Jayce has no sustain. Other than that Jayce is extremely strong at the moment and is a very safe and dominant Top Lane pick.

Kennen is a very underplayed Top Laner but is actually one of the strongest Top Laners at the moment. Why you ask? He has incredible Zoning Potential thanks to his constant stuns and his Range. Kennen uses Energy so he never gets mana hungry, he has awesome damage output, he can farm easily, as mentioned he has awesome zoning, he's a wonderful team fighter with his Ultimate, he's great duelist and he escapes ganks easily. Overall Kennen is quite strong and doesn't deserve to be so underplayed in my opinion.

Lee Sin is a safe pick if you ask me and remains both a good Jungler and a good Top Laner. He's really good especially for Solo Queue because he just makes plays happen. The only bad thing about him is that you have to focus on either damage or sustain. If you max W you'll have awesome sustain but mediocre damage output. If you max Q or E you'll have some good damage but not the god-like sustain you'll have if you max W. Despite that Lee remains a good Top Laner and one of the safest picks.

Nidalee Top OP..jk xD but she's quite strong and very mobile. The best thing about her is that she can go against almost anyone and I mean anyone. If she's against a Malphite she can just go AP and dominate. If she's against a Vladimir she can just go AD and kick his ***. She can even go Hybrid and still dominate. Nidalee has amazing mobility at level 6 due to her Ultimate. She's just...let's just move on..remember 2 things about Nidalee. She's OP but she's not OP if you don't make her OP.

Olaf is just a beast at Top Lane. That true damage on his E is really what makes him strong in 1v1 duels. Other than that he's basically Irelia + Jax. He has insane damage, he's tanky, he can dive with ghost and his ultimate, he's got CC and he has sustain. What more do you need? This champion is a true Top Laner and deserves to be in Tier 1

Rumble has incredible harass starting at level 4 when he has 2 points in flamespitter. You can basically always push the lane but by doing so you gain something and you put yourself in danger. What you gain is the ability to deny the other laner last hits by making him farm under turret. However by pushing you make yourself an easy target for ganks. Why put Rumble in Tier 1 you ask? Because despite that Rumble is still amazing at top lane. He has the damage to fight most bruisers, he has incredible CC (with and even without Rylai's), and despite being easy to gank once he starts pushing he can escape most of the time with just proper E usage, W and Movement Speed Quints. Simply put Rumble may win or lose lane but either way once he gets Rylai's he's gonna start helping his team out by A LOT with those constant slows.

We all know how good Shen is. That's why he's almost always banned in Solo Queue games. He's got sustain, decent damage, he's super tanky and most importantly of all he brings a ton of global pressure to the enemy team just by being able to save and teleport to teammates and return at top lane with Teleport. No need to say more. Shen is a Tier 1 champion and I'm sure almost anyone would agree with me.

I was considering placing Singed in Tier 2 but I decided not to. "Why..Singed has counters.." is what you might want to say right? True..true..Singed does have counters but remember 2 things. Those counters are not that much and no matter who he goes against Singed can easily catch up after he gets a Catalyst. Singed is a champion that can go against almost anyone and even if he loses he can make a comeback so in my opinion he deserves to be in Tier 1.

This champion is gay and despite me hating playing against him he deserves Tier 1. He's got sustain, he's got damage, he has poke and he has the ability to give someone a 2nd (although short) life. His only downside is that he has no escapes himself but other than that he's pure Tier 1 material if you ask me. Oh and also he can take down your turret extremely fast if you leave it undefended. This is because of his Ultimate.

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Tier 2

This tier is for those champs that can Top Lane very well but they can also bomb hard. Let's get on with the explanations:

Akali is a very strong champion but only in the right hands. If you just spam her E in team fights and duels you can fail so hard. That's why Akali is in my Tier List a Tier 2 champion. She can carry really hard in a way similar to Fiora but if you screw up you can bomb hard at Top Lane.

Now many people always say stuff like "OMFG DARIUS SO OP..NERF!" (my mastery page for Darius is actually named like that lol) but really..Darius can be beaten with some plays and cc. He can be kited quite easily but despite that he can carry games hard if he does get fed. So like Akali he is a high-risk high-reward champion.

Fiora has incredible damage output but against match-ups like Malphite, Shen, Singed she can fail so hard. And it's super hard to make a comeback as Fiora and catch-up in levels, items, etc. However if she does get fed she snowballs incredibly easy so she is another risky but rewarding champion.

Gangplank is a champion that can either farm all day or constantly harass. I was wondering where to put him (Tier 2 or Tier 3) and I decided to put him in Tier 2 mainly because he can hold his own in lane but if he chooses to go for damage he can somewhat carry if he's a smart GP so for now he'll stay in Tier 2.

Jarvan is another champion that just can't fight certain Top Laners that can outsustain his damage but against squishier top laners Jarvan can dominate and trust don't want to fight a fed Jarvan.

While Kayle is pretty squishy and can be killed easily sometimes after level 6 she is a very strong duelist and actually has a very high amount of damage output simply because she can go either AD, AP or Hybrid like Nidalee. She's also Ranged so that's pretty good for her. However as mentioned she can be killed quite easily early game so if you can capitalize on Kayle's early game squishiness then you can dominate her. That's why she's in Tier 2.

"Malphite in Tier 2 and not Tier 1? What the fu** is wrong with you?" is what you wanna say right? I get that cause Malphite is strong but there's two things that are a big problem for Malphite iny my opinion. Strong CC and Magic Damage. Malphite is a tank that normally stacks crazy amounts of armor. If that happens then AP Bruisers like Rumble or Vlad can just destroy Malphite. Rumble for example can rip Malphite apart because of his constant slows and his constant damage. That's pretty much the reason why I've put Malphite in Tier 2. He's good and awesome to play against AD Bruisers but AP Bruisers can destroy him.

Pantheon is a really strong champion if you let him be strong. He can get ganked quite easily and if he does get camped he can fall behind hard. If he gets fed however he can carry hard because he has 2 AoE's..granted his Ulti is mainly used for the Utility but it does do some nice damage. So yeah Pantheon is good but if he gets camped or something he can fall behind hard.

Rengar is the same as Pantheon. He deals incredible damage but he's an easy target for ganks. The only escape he has is his Ultimate but in my opinion it's never good to waste an Ultimate just to escape. I put Rengar in Tier 2 only because he has amazing burst.

Riven is in Tier 2 for a few reasons. First of all she can get countered hard by tanky top laners who get a lot of armor like Shen or Malphite. Second she is not as tanky as some Top Laners. I'm not saying she's squishy but there are Top Laners that are tankier than her and still do a lot of damage like Olaf for example. Riven can still snowball games but if she gets counter-picked she's pretty much screwed so she's Tier 2 material in my opinion.

Skarner despite being known as a Jungler is actually a very potent Top Laner if he gets an early game advantage. However if he doesn't he can throw Top Lane hard so Tier 2 is the Tier for him.

I don't have a lot to say about Teemo. He's great but his squishiness is his problem. If he's built as an AD Bruiser he'll get tankier later on but early game it doesn't change the fact he's quite squishy.

Vladimir is a champion that has awesome lane sustain, good poke and can actually 1v2 at level 6 with some smart plays but Ignite screws up the heals from his Q and early game Vladimir is quite fragile. The good thing about him is that he can catch-up quite well if he has to but I still think there are stronger picks than him. He's still good though and gets to be in Tier 2.

If Warwick gets fed it is super hard to take him down if he goes for a tanky build. He's not the hardest top laner to fight but he's very tricky. It's risky to play him but it is super rewarding if you win your lane as Warwick.

Top Lane Xin Zhao is quite squishy but he has incredible damage and natural sustain (although it's not huge sustain). If Xin gets fed it'll be trouble for the enemy team but he's easy to gank due to his lack of escapes and his squishiness.

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Tier 3

This tier is for champions that can survive at Top Lane but are easy to fight and can get dominated very hard:

Dr.Mundo is a top laner that can win his lane or survive but he gets so easily beaten just by Ignite. I don't really think Mundo is the best Top Laner these days. He can Top Lane but he won't be that great.

I would only play Fizz against someone like Mundo or Rumble. He's super squishy at Top Lane and in my opinion should only be picked if he counters the other Top Laner.

Garen can be a decent Top Laner and does have a lot of kill potential but he's kinda like Renekton and drops hard late game. He just can't carry that well in my opinion.

Hecarim is viable and he can hold his own against some top laners but he doesn't really have a lot of damage output and doesn't scale so well into late game.

Kha'Zix is a champion I haven't really seen get played at Top Lane a lot but when I did actually see him get played I noticed that he runs low on mana quite fast and in my opinion doesn't really have the damage or sustain for top lane. He could hold his own but other than that I don't really think Kha'Zix has what it takes to top lane.

Poppy is quite strong if she gets fed but her early laning phase is sooo weak..she runs out of mana really fast and she can't farm very well. The only way you could carry super hard with Poppy is if you play against a huge scrub but that doesn't always happen so Poppy isn't the best Top Lane pick.

We all know what Renekton's problem is. He falls off super hard late game. He can dominate his lane but in my opinion no other champion falls off so hard like Renekton does so I'm putting him in Tier 3.

Shyvana's main problem is she has no CC. Her damage is...ok..but I don't really think her damage compensates for having no CC. She also has no sustain so Shyvana is Tier 3 material.

Swain is not much of a top laner these days. He has good sustain after level 6 but he can't really do much against ad bruisers with good sustain like Lee or Irelia.

Tryndamere fails hard against durable top laners that get a lot of armor like Malphite. He does have some sustain but I just don't really think Tryndamere has what it takes to Top Lane. He needs to get super fed in order to carry very hard and if he doesn't get fed he just doesn't provide all that much for his team.

Udyr has a very small mana pool and is actually easy to gank because his only escape is E but it doesn't give huge movement speed and Udyr himself doesn't do huge damage. His damage is okay but not amazing. I dunno..maybe I haven't played/seen Udyr top all that much but in my opinion Udyr is better as a Jungler than as a Top Laner.

You just build armor, pick something with sustain and you can dominate Wukong. He can win his lane but he doesn't have any sustain and it can be quite hard to properly use your Ultimate sometimes. I might move him to Tier 2 if my opinion on Wukong improves but at the moment I don't really like him as a Top Laner.

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Tier 4

This tier is for champions that can sometimes be Top Laners but are weak top laners and can't really compete with the stronger Top Laners.

He does have sustain with W but simply right-clicking isn't gonna win you your game. Yi is a pretty bad at Top Lane in my opinion. I actually think he needs a re-work or something..

Nasus actually has good sustain and damage but I'm sure many of you know why he's weak. His early game is focused mainly on farming with his Q and making it stronger but if he doesn't farm up his Q due to being against a hard match-up (like Kennen) then he'll be pretty useless mid to late game. I think Nasus needs a re-work too.

Sion is in my opinion the easiest Top Laner to face. Yes he does have damage but Ignite alone completely destroys him and his ultimate. And if he has Cleanse then you can simply back off and wait for his Ultimate to end. If you ask me..the way he is now Sion would be better at Mid Lane or Jungle than he would be at Top Lane.

Talon is similar to Kha'Zix. Both are AD Casters, both waste a lot of mana and both can be stopped by building armor. I placed Talon in Tier 4 and not in Tier 3 because he doesn't have any escape spells. His Ultimate counts but wasting an Ultimate just to escape? Not worth it in my opinion. Talon is better at Mid Lane. Seriously don't Top Lane as just doesn't work.

Same as Sion. Ignite just shuts him down. He needs items to be tanky and in order to get those items faster and build an advantage he needs to get some kills and get fed. However it's hard to get fed as Volibear because most Top Laners either do more damage than you or are more durable/safe at level 1-4. Volibear just doesn't work as a Top Laner. I'd rather Jungle with him.

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Thanks for reading my Top Lane Tier List. If you have any questions/suggestions or just want to discuss something with me you can use the comments section.

Also feel free to review the Tier List and say what you liked about it and what you did't like about it. See ya around!



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