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Halp: Top Lane!

Creator: TheSilverDust August 23, 2015 6:40am
6 posts - page 1 of 1
TheSilverDust
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I hate top lane. I don't know why. Maybe it's all about farm, farm, farm thing or I just don't have chmpions that can play in top lane decently. And if I play as one: I was either winning with a one or two levels behind or lose miserably. So here's the thing: how do I play solo top? What champions do you recommend to a newbie in playing solo top like me? So here's my list of the champions that I (really) know how to play that can go top:

- Lulu
- Morgana
- Kayle

And one note: I'm not new to this game. I just suck at playing two roles (top and jungler, but I'm a bit decent in jungling than before
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Re4XN
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Well, that's quite the champion pool you've got there lol

You are quite right about farming, Top Lane is usually isolated from the rest of the map until one of you wins the lane. You might be winning in kills, but if your opponent has more farm than you, you accomplished nothing with that, because he will still be relevant in the game. Farm is important.

As far as champions go, you don't really have one that fills the role of a classic top laner (aside from Lulu, I guess), because they lack in the tank department. You will usually want to play a tank, unless your jungler and support already picked 2 (let's say something like Nautilus and Lee Sin), because you'll be blown up in teamfights if you have noone to absorb damage.

As far as laning goes, it is relative to the champion you play and the one you're facing. If you're playing Renekton you have to abuse your early game damage and focus on creating a lead. If you're playing Mundo you'll want to play more passive and focus on poking and farming. It really depends on the matchup.

Champs I'd recommend you to play are Maokai (he's relatively easy to learn and provides strong utility), Darius (especially since his laning is hetting buffed and he's also easy to play), dr.Mundo (safe pick and kind of forgiving, but requires some champion knowledge), Gnar (not easy to play, but devastating if you learn how to and he is also ranged which is a big plus top), Cho'Gath (easy to play, strong CC) and Sion (easy to play, amazing initiation and CC, but lacks damage). There are also more agressive champs like Pantheon, Riven, Renekton, but I am not completely sure if they are the best to start with, but you're welcome to try them out.

I main top, but I am by no means an expert, so feel free to try other things out.

Soz for the wall of text, I am typing this from my phone.

EDIT: I am on my laptop now and I feel like I can say something more about top.

It is really important to control minion waves (pushing, freezing...). I am not the best guy to explain you how, since I am still learning (for instance, I still have trouble freezing the lane under tower sometimes, or hard freezing), but I will mention it nevertheless. Minion Waves brings you back to the topic of farm and you can use them strategically to deny your enemy, for instance you can push them to their turret, making them miss CS (greedy tower will take minions out) or you can freeze the lane near your own, making it dangerous for your opponent to farm, since he will take your combo to his face every time he goes for a last hit.

By pushing the enemy back to their tower you accomplish 2 things: you make them miss farm and you draw attention to yourself, so you will likely be ganked soon. It might sound like a bad thing, but if you know your limits and what you're doing, you can waste the enemy jungler's time, giving YOUR team windows of opportunity. Just remember to buy Stealth Wards and Vision Wards when you are planning on pushing hard, because if you don't see those ganks coming, you'll die and time won't be wasted. Renekton is a good example for this strategy: he pushes the wave super hard, has great harass early on, so little retaliation is possible and he draws attention to himself. It is very tricky to gank him if he has Slice and Dice or Dominus ready so he can play around with that.

If you are playing a more passive champion, you can freeze the lane near your turret (which I have been having trouble to do, but I'll still try to help you) and you get safe farm, since you can easily last hit minions while the enemy has to come close to you/your tower to farm, meaning you will be able to poke him hard when he does. The odds of being ganked are very low, since the top laner AND the jungler would have to tower dive you, so that's a plus for you.

I think that's all I forgot to mention earlier. Oh, and Malphite is also a really good champion, he's easy to play, but is somewhat situational: you want to pick him against strong AD champions (the likes of Riven, Pantheon and so on so forth...)

If you have any question, I'll try my best to answer, though I know there are more "qualified" people to do so xd
Zouchouten
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Yup, that guy pretty much sums it up. The only thing I can add is when to actually get into fights with the enemy top laner. Generally, it's still all about the farm and you don't want to get into too many prolonged fights as being low on health will force you to go back to base anyway or leave you weak for a surprise gank from their jungler. Quick skirmishes are usually how things go with the goal of denying your opponent siege minion kills or to sneak in some damage before you go in for the kill. Aggressive champions like Renekton, Riven and Pantheon have a lot of harass and can farm cs while using their skills.

You really only engage when you know you can win or if you get caught in a bad spot and are forced to fight. That said, you can tell when the enemy jungler is coming if the enemy laner runs right at you for a direct fight, especially if they're weaker/don't deal as much damage as you. Little tells like these can save you.


So far, I'm competent with: Riven, Sona, Ahri


I'm still learning: Akali, Katarina, Irelia, Sejuani, Vi, Ashe, and Vayne

TheSilverDust
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Thank you for your answers! LOL, I've been playing League for a year now, yet I only know how to play 3 roles, namely ADR, support, and mid. I've been working on my jungling skills, which is mediocre but now I'm a bit comfortable playing as one.

As for Malphite, I hate it when I play as this rock on Top, maybe it is more viable as a jungler and support (don't judge me). I'll try to test your suggestions. Currently I have Kennen, Fiora, and Gangplank (got the free skin) to work upon my mastery in top lane.
Thanks Natuhlee for the sig!
Wayne3100
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Permalink | Quote | PM | +Rep August 25, 2015 7:49am | Report
or I just don't have chmpions that can play in top lane decently.
Really doubt that, there are a ton of champions that can be played in top lane atm (obviously some are better than others, but a lot are playable).

Re4XN wrote:
It is really important to control minion waves (pushing, freezing...)
This. so much this. Learning to control waves is extremely important in top lane and can easily be the difference between ending up even or having a 50 cs lead at 20 minutes. There was a video about it on Reddit yesterday which should be helpful in that regard.

In terms of champions, I would recommend Irelia. I feel like she's pretty good at teaching players new to top lane the basics of trading due to her power curve (she generally has to be passive early on, while being aggressive once she hits her Sheen powerspike) and minion wave control with Q.

If you have any questions in terms of playstyle or rune/mastery setups for the champions I play (see profile), feel free to shoot me a message :)

Thanks to MissMaw for the signature!
OwenTheAwesomer
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Hey TheSilverDust! I'm not an expert but I hope I can help you out a bit.

I hate top lane. I don't know why. Maybe it's all about farm, farm, farm thing or I just don't have chmpions that can play in top lane decently.

Yes, top lane is sometimes considered a 'farm lane' but often enough, top lane can be super intense, and is quite often the opposite of an 'island'. Your jungler may come to help dive the enemy top laner for you, you might get dove on and have to try and make some crazy 1v4 outplay, you might get first blood against a Teemo, etc. etc.

I was either winning with a one or two levels behind or lose miserably.

If you are either really ahead or far behind, then that may be a sign that you are either not running teleport, or are not using it to avoid being put behind. If you die in lane with teleport and the enemy is pushing so that you will miss CS, you can instantly get back to lane so that you wont be put too far behind. Also, by using your teleport to TP bot lane for some kills, or by split pushing and then using TP to flank, and initiate a teamfight, you can have a HUGE presence.

So here's my list of the champions that I (really) know how to play that can go top:

- Lulu
- Morgana
- Kayle

That's quite a small champion pool for such a versatile lane. If you are looking for champions that you should be able to easily succeed with, I would reccomend Irelia and in the current 5.16 patch, Garen.
Irelia is awesome at dueling the opposing top laner once she has some levels and her Sheen. She can tp bot lane for (usually) a free gank and probably some kills. Late game you can easily jump onto, stun, and insta kill either the mid or the ADC pretty easily.

Garen is way too strong this patch. His E does insane damage to single, and multiple targets. His new R, doing true damage to the most recently fed person on the enemy team, allows you to easily kill whoever the passive selects. Your late game, level 16 powerspike is massive and you will never have to back for HP because your passive will be giving you about 200hp/5 seconds. Basically for someone not-so confident in their top lane play, Garen is the perfect fit.
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"Every kill brings victory closer."

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