League of Legends has had many Champions released over the years. Numbering over 150 at the time of writing, the roster has indeed grown exponentially.
The Top Lane has, thus, also had a massive growth in its Champion pool. However, not all are made equal, and each Champion excels in one thing or another. We can group Champions based on how well they perform at certain game stages.
This factor is called scaling. Scaling is defined as a Champion’s growth potential through the game. Some are only good in the earliest parts, while others reach their greatness reasonably late.
This article will focus on the latter, i.e., the best Scaling Champions the Top Lane offers. First in the series of five articles, we will be covering each position in the game. You’ll just have to keep an eye on our website to avoid missing out.
With the introduction out of the way, let’s begin!
Starting off the list we have Nasus, a brutal late-game Tank that takes his time. Everything revolves around farming and building up prowess, and Nasus loves his minions. The more minions he smites with his Q, the more power it gets. Stacking up the Q is his primary goal, as it will be his main source of damage in the game.
Since Nasus can get extra damage from the minions alone, he doesn’t have to focus on taking any genuine AD items. This results in Nasus becoming an insanely burly Tank while maintaining a considerable potential for damage. If he gets a significant enough advantage, Nasus can effectively two-shot anything in the game – including Turrets. ADCs become a non-issue, but there’s a catch.
If Nasus gets into the deepest parts of the late game, he might fall off a little bit. This isn’t the traditional falling off where he loses most of his ability to fight. No, it’s just that he isn’t that mobile, and enemies will build up their defenses eventually. ADCs might shred through Nasus if they get enough time to build the right items.
Vayne, for example, will absolutely destroy Nasus if the game goes on for long enough. Despite all this, Nasus has infinite growth potential, and you should use it as much as possible. He peaks at the mid to late game but avoids venturing too far into the post-40-minute mark.
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Though most Champions on this list focus on getting themselves robust, Ornn does something else entirely. Besides scaling himself, he also scales his allies through the sheer power of his passive. He can upgrade many core items, making them much more substantial than they usually are. This godly smith is a machine of a Tank but immensely good with his utility.
Ornn starts off pretty strong. He has high base stats and defenses, making him a natural Tank. In the early game, he can do a lot of damage to unsuspecting enemies and doesn’t even have to recall. His passive allows him to purchase items from anywhere on the map, which can be quite deadly and pressuring. Having no reason to recall other than to replenish HP and Mana sounds pretty OP. And it is, or it was.
Ornn was unfortunately nerfed into oblivion, but that doesn’t stop him from being viable today. The passive mentioned above can upgrade your allies’ items, making them effectively a “godlike” form of themselves. Though not every item can be upgraded, the most important ones can. And there’s never a build without at least one of those items in it.
For example, Ornn can buff Trinity Force, the Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge, etc. This can reshape the power balance between you and your opponents, making all of you much more robust – all free of charge. If that isn’t a reasonable scale, I don’t know what is.
When you design a Champion with literal phases, you’re bound to make her appear on lists like this one. Kayle’s power is locked behind her Ultimate level, her chains slowly becoming unbound after levels 6, 11, and 16. With each phase, Kayle gets something new and fantastic. Late game Kayle is a feared Champion, as everyone knows her brutal one-shot potential and near-immortal nature.
At level 6, Kayle’s attacks become ranged. This is a vast improvement over her previous five levels, as Kayle doesn’t possess any proper defenses or mobility. Though her W does give extra MS and healing, it isn’t enough to escape a gank or a close altercation.
At level 11, these ranged attacks and passive gain new effects, granting Kayle AOE and bonus damage after a few stacks. This is yet another power spike, much greater than the level 6 one. Kayle’s E becomes a deadly long-range poke that can disrupt any squishy target. Her auto attacks also gain strength, allowing Kayle to duel with basically anyone.
Level 16 is when she truly reaches her zenith. Her shackles are now gone, and all passive effects are permanently active. This means Kayle has all the AOE, bonus damage, and everything else at her disposal. She does not need to stack anything up to be strong for a fight. This is when fear will strike at the enemies’ hearts, as they already know what’s coming for them.
Kayle’s insane scaling and potential for a hybrid build make her so great. She can face any team composition and disrupt their defenses and builds. You cannot just build anti-AP or anti-AD for Kayle. She alone can give a team both the extra AD and AP that they might require.
She’s an excellent Champion that maintains a level of viability. I recommend you try her out the next time you venture into the Top Lane. I’m positive that you won’t be disappointed.
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Gangplank, and the following entry, are my two favorite Champions in the game. Though I might be slightly biased towards them, there are reasons for that. Good reasons that I will forthwith explain.
Gangplank starts off poorly. Gangplank must play everything safely and from range slowly and without many fighting options. If faced with a potent Bruiser like Fiora or Irelia, Gangplank is more or less in for an insta-lose if he dies even once. Forfeiting your Lane immediately isn’t something you want, and thus you must be very organized with GP.
However, as the game progresses and GP manages to get even a couple of items, things drastically change. You see, his barrels get faster and faster based on his level. Like Kayle, GP’s power grows when he crosses levels 7 and 13. Barrel spam begins at level 7 and reaches its whole potential post level 13.
Those are the critical power spike points for GP. If he has the tools necessary (At least his mythic and one legendary), he should be able to wreck the enemy team with ease. A couple of barrels and the squishies are gone. If he happens to have enough Crit, even a single barrel will suffice. Maintaining yourself is pivotal to succeed with Gangplank. Never succumb to your match-up.
You will have to be meticulous, careful, and aggressive when the situation allows. Falling back too much will remove any potential for scaling. Gangplank eventually scales, no matter what, but you should remain in line with the enemy to maximize your winning potential.
Jax is one of the best hybrid Champions in League of Legends. A robust Bruiser, Jax can dominate the entire game from beginning to end. But his scaling is something else entirely, as he only seems to grow exponentially as the game progresses. Seeing Jax reach his peak is almost a guarantee at this point.
Jax has a simple but strong kit that can break through any resistance. With a great combination of AD and AP damage, Jax is a counter to Tanks by default. Against squishy targets like Supports or ADCs, Jax becomes an Assassin. Sometimes, the damage he does makes me think that he was designed as an Assassin but ended up in a Bruiser’s body.
His scaling is insane, as Jax needs nothing more than attack speed to win. He’s likely one of the rare Champions that need nothing else except for levels to be strong. Everything is contained within his W and R. They’re his primary and passive source of damage that will never go away. Jax won’t even upgrade them beyond their base stats since he rarely builds AP these days, anyway.
Thus, attacking fast is all he needs. The hard-hitting is there naturally, and he only grows in strength with each level gained. I highly recommend you try Jax as he’s straightforward to learn, play and master. You’ll see everything I mean, once you pick him up.
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Yasuo, the samurai everyone loves to hate. I continuously repeat that he’s my most hated Champion, yet I cannot avoid praising him for the depth and strength he exerts. Yasuo is one of the best Champions that the League has ever seen in the right hands. Sometime following his release, he was considered OP and broken. Today, I see him as a grand Champion for the truly gifted players.
I also often note that Yasuo will snowball no matter what. His kit, primarily his passive, allows him to be consistently strong and viable throughout the game. If he builds his mythic, he should be good to go for a while. Even a severe disadvantage can easily be caught up if you know what you’re doing with him.
Having a good Yasuo player paired with a solid team with friendly communication is a formula built for success. Yasuo players rarely fail on their own, except when they don’t know how to play him. It’s inevitable for Yasuo to reach a level of might that can see him one-shotting people with ease.
Though traditionally a Mid Laner, he’s become increasingly popular on the Top Lane. I can’t say I’ve had any issues with him, as I usually play his direct counters. However, there is a Yasuo player from time to time that wrecks me super hard no matter what I’m playing. That’s where his true scale and potential lie – the skill.
He scales in the game, and he indeed scales amazingly with the player’s overall skill level.
An ADC built for the Top Lane, Vayne is genuinely a work of art. Once players discovered how much she could scale when played in a solo Lane, her tradition as an ADC was quickly forgotten. Vayne, like Yasuo, seems to reach that snowball peak no matter what happens to her. It’s almost impossible to prevent a Vayne player from reaching a formidable might level.
Due to her kit doing everything to increase her damage, Vayne doesn’t even need that much in terms of items. Her Q, Ultimate, and W all grant bonus damage. Hell, her W even goes as far as to bless her with true damage based on HP. This means that, even against the healthiest opponents, Vayne has the natural way of killing them.
Able to penetrate everything, including the likes of Rammus and Malphite, Vayne is among the most infamous marksmen in League. Her power only grows with each passing minute, and gold accrued, making her a dangerous opponent to face. In the Lane, things will be as smooth as ever with rarely any Champions able to counter her.
One of the greats, Vayne, truly deserves a place on a list such as this one.
League of Legends has given us many Champions over the years. Their viability varies and is bound to certain parts of the game. The Champions above are the Top Lane’s most enduring heroes, capable of being lethal even at the latest points in the game. From beginning to end, these Champions maintain their power and might that strike the enemies with terror.
I hope you’ve found this list informative and fun to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift!