Of all the lanes in League of Legends, the top has been one of the most consistent ones over the years. Though the meta champions change every now and then, the basics of the top lane remain largely the same. Learning how to play top effectively can swing the game entirely in your team’s favor, particularly with the right champions.
The farmer’s market
The top is often referred to as the farming lane, and the reason for that is painfully obvious in almost every rank. Though top laners are not safe from ganks or any of the other pitfalls that might befall League players, they are generally more secure than other lanes.
Farming is crucial in the top lane because your first recall is hugely important. Simple advantages over your lane opponent can easily snowball into victories with the right champions, particularly if you can punish your opponent’s mistakes.
Standard farming techniques apply here but advanced practices will certainly make you shine. Knowing when to freeze the lane, as in stopping the minion waves at certain positions, can give you a huge advantage over your enemy.
As with farming, trading can put you at a significant advantage or disadvantage over your lane opponent. This is where you need to play to your champion’s strengths. If you play someone like Rumble, you will want to bully your opponent and punish any attempts to overextend, for instance.
Trading is something that you will only master with a lot of experience. There are several different factors to it, including knowing exactly what enemy champions can and can’t do so that you can plan accordingly. Usually, you will want to plan trades ahead as going in blindly can lead to some unfortunate situations.
Of course, if you notice your opponent making a fatal error, punishing them for it can turn the tide in your favor. On the same note, clever opponents will make you pay for every single mistake you make and coming back from a lane disadvantage can be extremely challenging.
Good top laners will take teleport and use it strategically. Great top lanes, however, will use teleport to their advantage every single time. For instance, teleporting back to your lane may be a fast way to get your opponent off your turret’s back. But is it worth sacrificing a dragon for? Can you teleport somewhere else, help your team secure a few kills, and push for several additional objectives in the process?
Roaming as a top laner is an art that is very hard to master. Losing your tower can be a huge blow so you will need to be extremely careful. Having great map awareness will help tremendously here but expect to make a few mistakes in the learning process.
Be the pillar of team fights
Regardless of whether you play a tank champion on the top lane or not, you will undoubtedly be one of the strongest players in your team, especially at the mid-laning phase. How you approach team fights will often determine the success or failure of your team. There is a lot of responsibility placed on top laner’s shoulders when it comes to team fights and you will have to learn how to deal with it.
If your team has early game fighting potential, make sure to use that to your advantage. Be aware of the power surges of both your team and your enemies. That way, you can ensure that each battle will be a tactical decision. Winning team fights means that you can push for objectives, take control of the map, and slowly come out on top.