The top lane is usually reserved for big melee bruisers, but some other Champion classes can fit the role from time to time. These can be control mages like Gangplank, or they can be your good ol’ ranged AP or AD carry.
In this list, we have compiled the 5 Best ranged Top Laners in the current meta. We will go over their strengths and weaknesses, when you should pick them, and against whom. If done correctly, the ranged top laner can easily dominate melee opponents, prompting their jungler to remain dormant and opening other lanes up.
Without further ado, let’s begin.
Vayne will appear in just about any list of this type, and rightfully so. She has been the go-to marksman pick for top laners for a few seasons now. Her strong passive W can pierce through all defenses with ease, especially when combined with the Press the Attack rune, making her a three-shot beast.
Her passive does not end there, as it actually does damage based on max hp, therefore making her a fantastic pick against immobile tanks such as Ornn.
She will remain strong and only get stronger as the game progresses, giving your team a massive boost in dishing out AD damage and replacing your ADC that may die early in the fight.
Watch out for fast and dueling top picks like Jax or Aatrox, as they can quickly close gaps and keep you slowed/stunned for long enough to be swiftly taken care of. Despite your E and Q, which can often be lifesaving, Vayne should avoid facing fast duelists and be reserved for easy, immovable targets.
Also read: 5 Best AP Items in League of Legends
This one is likely debatable, as you will not often see Kai’sa picked in the top lane. But why did I choose to include it in this list?
Well, first off, it is one of my favorite Champions to play as a Top main. Her kit is overloaded and incredibly versatile, allowing for dishing out fast and enormous hybrid damage to enemies of all kinds.
She is good against most tanks and many fighters, and being a hybrid AP-ADC, she will snowball like no tomorrow, providing your team with incredible long-range damage and rapid close-range engages.
Like Vayne, Jax and similar fast gap closing fighters are her main problem in the top lane, but against more manageable targets, she will excel with ease. The enemy jungler will likely focus on you, so better watch out for that.
I like to take Fleet footwork when playing Kai’Sa top and recommend you do so, too.
Our first true AP champion (though playable in hybrid and AD mode) is Teemo. Teemo is a classic Top laner and has been for years. He changed through roles a lot, and you can often find him in mid or support, but Top is where he shines the most.
He is the go-to counter to all other ranged AD Champions (and those fast-hitting melees like Master Yi and Tryndamere). The shrooms can protect you from ganks and other interference. They also give you small vision around them, which will keep you alert for any invasion happening. If any does happen, your W is a valuable speed boost for a safe retreat to your tower.
Teemo can snowball fast and easy, enabling him to chunk a third (or more) of the enemy’s health bar with a single well-planted shroom. His Q allows him to isolate ADCs and other vital auto-attacking enemies, making or breaking an entire fight and/or game.
Teemo is an all-rounded Champion, good against almost every pick you can find but fails to beat Champions which rely heavily on spells other than pure attacks such as Yorick and his ghouls or Jayce and his lethal combos.
The runes I usually take vary from match up to match up, so hitting up some of our guides on the site can be helpful to determine what to take and when.
Also read: Best Warwick Skins
To step out of the marksman circle, the 2nd best on our list is none other than the crow man himself.
Swain possesses a solid kit, although not that easy to use effectively. A good Swain player will almost certainly dominate against most other mage picks on the top lane, i.e., Vladimir or Mordekaiser.
His trade is usually excellent as he can keep a medium distance and poke with his root and five-finger shock for massive damage. The Ultimate is one more weapon of mass destruction that Swain has, which can keep him fighting for long periods of time. In fact, the longer the fight goes on, the stronger he gets, so watch out for not dragging it for too long.
Swain is not too strong early on, but he only gets stronger and then some as the game progresses. He can grow into a massive AP tank capable of standing amidst five enemy players who will struggle to kill him, even when applying Grievous wounds.
Watch out for strong early game bullies like Renekton and Kled, which can close the distance you maintain and do massive damage to you.
As for runes, most players will opt for Conqueror, but the options are endless, and the choice is yours.
Also read: 7 Best Tank Top Laners
Jayce is usually considered a fighter and not looked at as a marksman/ranged Champion. But it is for this exact reason I decided to put him on the top of the list.
Jayce gives you the best of both worlds with an overloaded kit that has seemingly endless possibilities for fighting. If the enemy is a robust, fast, and gap closing fighter, you can opt for the ranged stance, which will allow you to snipe with your strong and fast nukes safely. And if they get too close, a quick switch to melee gives you a good knockback and restores the distance immediately.
This Champion strives against almost any top lane pick you can find, as he can quickly switch up his playstyle (and very often), making it excruciatingly hard to lane against him.
Jayce also has an excellent late game, though perhaps not the best of all on this list. He tends to drop off against tanks but remains amazing against squishy targets that can be dealt with in a combo or two.
Watch out for fighters that can close gaps AND evade/counter your CC, i.e., Fiora with her deflections or Xin Zhao with his knock-up and dash.
Conqueror is the go-to rune, but you can opt for a full lethality build and choose from the Domination rune tree.
As mentioned previously, the Top Lane is a homogenous place for melee fighters to bash each other over the heads for 40 minutes. Still, sometimes exceptions are made to this norm, and I welcome it wholeheartedly as a Top Lane main. It can often become boring to play the same old class every game, and choosing a powerful ranged or versatile Champion can mix things up and provide you with endless fun.
We sincerely hope you liked our list. Let us know if your favorite Ranged Top Laner is on this list and if not, let us know. We would love to hear your thoughts.