How to play Top lane in League of Legends

Playing top lane can be very stressful once you fall behind during the early game. Know when to play safe and when to go all the way to win your lane!
How to play Top lane in League of Legends




The top lane or the long lane is usually composed of melee champions that farm the lane almost half of the game and help their team in team fights during the late game. Winning during the laning phase is crucial in this role because if you lose it, winning it back will be really hard unless your jungler camps your lane. This article teaches how to be the best top laner in League of Legends. 

How to play Top lane in League of Legends

Wave manipulation or Wave management is really important in this role. You need to know when to fast or slow push the enemy minion wave so you can beat your enemy laner during the laning phase. Tracking and killing the enemy jungler often is also a huge point for a top laner. But before all that, we will start on how to pick your champion. Here are some tips for playing top lane in League of Legends: 

  • Wave management is key in top lane as this can decide when you can reset and gain item advantage.
  • Having HP advantage is really great as you get to control the lane and deny your enemy Gold and Exp.
  • Counter picking basically makes you win the lane.
  • Focus on farming as top lane champions tend to be strong late game carries or split pushers.
  • Split push every time major objective timers are up.

Counter picking

Top lane is where you would not like to be countered at all at the same time, you should counter-pick your opponent to gain control of the lane. When you counter the enemy champion in top lane, they will probably stay back and hesitate from taking last hits. 

There are a lot of data about champion counters in champion builds which get updated every patch. One example is how Renekton counters Riven in top lane with his W or how Tristana counters Ashe with her strong early game in the bot lane

Playing champions that have ranged basic attacks and abilities are really safe picks as a top laner. If you are ever in the first pick slot in a solo queue game, picking ranged champions like Kennen can be a safe bet.

Wave management

After counter-picking your lane opponent, you can make the most out of it by using the enemy wave against him. Minion wave management is a really good strategy when you counter your opponent. You can zone them away by staying at the back of his caster minions to deny him Gold and Exp. This way you don't only have the champion advantage, but also the item and level advantage. 

Be careful when you play aggressively against your lane opponent when you are at the back of his minions as minion damage can hurt you in the laning phase. Continue this strategy until you reach level 6 or until the mid game depending on if your mid lane ally champion needs help.

Summoner Spell choices

As we might all know, top lane is the furthest one in League of Legends. The solo lane literally means solo, you have to fend for yourself as everybody on your team will be far away. That is why the teleport summoner spell is the best summoner spell you can take if you want to help your team and win the game. 

Teleport allows you to respond to any team fight happening on the map. Successful team fights lead to victories, so your main job is to get fed as much as you can in top lane and help your allies from time to time. 

Top laners can also use other summoner spells like ignite for easy early game lane dominance. Exhaust can also be used if you are facing a champion that relies on movement speed and basic attacks. It is wise to reserve your summoner spells for important fights to make the most out of it. 

When should I use Teleport?

Teleport should only be used if you are playing a top lane champion that excels in team fights or a great split pusher. Split pushers greatly benefit from teleport because they can put so much lane pressure on more than one lane simultaneously. 

Examples of the best champions for split pushing in solo queue are Fiora, Camille, and Tryndamere. As the game progresses these champions simply scale hard. They can even play aggressive early on in the game and range advantage of enemies won't matter. 

When to play safe and when to play aggressive

Top laners always play a game of push and pull and mind games. Sometimes you should play safe if you feel like the enemy jungler is lurking around. You will notice this when your top lane champion is pushing toward you a bit faster. If this happens, just farm safely and close to your tower to avoid dying to the enemy jungle champion.

Both you and your opponent will always do this push and pull kind of playstyle as you should play mind games with your opponent. Planting warding totem or vision ward in certain areas in the side lane will be very helpful in preventing ganks. 

Riot games really made top lane an interesting lane as losing it will basically take you out of the game. That is why fewer players main this lane as it is very stressful, so much so that teammates usually flame their top lane allies for this. 

What to do during late game

Team fights are usually the common thing that happens in the late game. Top laners can team fight really hard during the late game as they are the champions that grow in strength as the game progresses. If there are major objectives up for grabs, regroup with your team until a team fight erupts. 

  • Focus on building items that will let you survive the front line
  • Be the one to initiate team fights for your team.
  • Don't focus on defending the front line alone but also learn how to protect your carries, this is called "Peeling" in league of legends
  • Stun or use crowd control on the opposing carries instead of tanks. 

If major objectives are on cooldown, focus on your own lane and destroy an enemy turret or two, and split push from time to time. Your split push might just save your game if you lose a team fight. 

You can use this league of legends guide the next time you play league. Broaden your champion options so you don't get countered easily on your next game. 



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