The top lane has a unique place in the game. It is where all the individual skills of two players meet in battle, and, more often than not, only one of them will emerge victoriously. Of course, the junglers can have a massive impact on the outcome, but the top lane is usually decided before the game has even started – the Champion Select.
To find our top 7 Champions that will surely give you the upper hand, I’ll define three categories that will help us understand them better.
The categories are sustain; lane bully potential, and late game. These have, in my experience as a top lane main, proven essential to winning the game. So, without further complications, let us begin with our list.
Ornn is a special one. He’s slow and immobile but makes up for it with good ranged spells and long-lasting CC, which can send an entire team up into the air. With the right items, Ornn can even dish out high DPS with his W and Passive, allowing for a satisfying bash that usually chunks the enemy heavily.
Sustain: Ornn can last in the lane for quite a while, perhaps even the longest of all on the list. His passive allows him to purchase items from across the map; making recalls just a matter of refilling your HP and Mana. If you go for good sustain items early on, you’ll find Ornn on the lane almost 24/7, and a jungler interference is a must to prevent him from snowballing into an unstoppable tank.
Lane bully potential: Not exactly the biggest lane bully, he can combine the spells in his kit to dish out good damage if his passive is applied correctly. It does damage based on % of max HP, making him great against healthy enemies such as Cho Gath. Mana tends to run out fast if you spam too much, so be careful.
Late Game: If you don’t get obliterated in the early game, Ornn is a killing machine like no other in the late game. He can take everything you throw at him, especially AD rather than AP, as he tends to scale better with Armor than Magic Resist. This makes your ADC near obsolete, which is a real game-changer.
Also read: Best AP Top Laners
The grave digging, ghoul throwing, shovel wielding priest is a terror to meet on the lane. He can be a real nuisance with great heals, great damage, and solid CC and will have you pinging assists at your jungler for the whole game.
Sustain: His Q heals him a lot. If he manages to purchase heal amplifying items without outside help, he will out-level you eventually, as he doesn’t have to go back to base as often. Even if he does, he can leave his Maiden to do his job for him.
Lane bully potential: Yorick is not that great of a fighter himself, but with utilizing his W and E to trap you in a ring with his ghouls, they can do significant DPS to you, likely even killing you if you don’t have a way to escape or dispel this vicious combo.
Late game: His ghouls wear off as the game progresses and can only do any actual harm to squishy immobile targets. Where he shines, though, is split pushing. Using his Maiden and ghouls along with a Teleport and Demolish, he can push two lanes at once, making him a nuisance to defend against and very fun to play as.
After his rework, Morde became a foe to be feared. High damage, good shields and heals, a strong 1v1, he has it all to be in any list, and I just had to include him in the top 5.
Sustain: His W passively charges up a shield when he takes damage; he can cast it to activate the said shield and reactivate to heal himself for the amount. This allows him to tank up damage easily early on and makes him even harder to kill later down the line.
Lane Bully Potential: His passive is super strong and deals enormous magic damage that is only made more potent with a good E and Q combo. At level 6, no matter if your jungler came to save you, he can pull you into his realm and beat you to a pulp. He even steals your stats for a limited duration.
Late game: He is a great initiator who can utilize his ultimate to isolate the most critical targets in the late game. If the laning phase was good, he could quickly kill the ADC without much effort (if your bot lane was actually good and not auto-filled).
Kled is annoying, to put it lightly. Whether it be his low CD hooks or his character entirely, he can dominate the lane in many ways. His DPS is strong, his health even stronger, making him one of the best top lane picks in general, even outside the tank category.
Sustain: Kled’s passive makes it, so you have to kill him twice. This alone would put him on this list; however, the speed at which he recovers from his grounded state is insane, as it only takes a combo or two of his passive attacks to bring him up again. Kled, therefore, has one of the larger health pools of all Champions, making 1v1s seem impossible.
Lane Bully Potential: A good Kled player who knows how to utilize his kit can quickly slam the enemy laner. His Q and its CC can keep you close enough to be pulverized by his W, and even if you do manage to distance yourself a bit, he can just E into you twice. His Ult is infamous for closing the most significant gaps in mere seconds.
Late Game: Later on, he becomes a classic initiator, using his Ult to propel his entire team into a team fight, with him leading the charge. His damage drops off slightly, but it’s fine as he makes it up with effective CC.
Also read: Most Fun Top Laners
There is a reason everyone hates the older champions; they’re just so simple. One would think that the simplicity would be a detriment, but in League, everything is opposite of the way it should be. Garen can destroy enemy champions with his silence, lethal damage, speed, and, of course, ultimate, which makes him a dreaded enemy to face.
Sustain: Garen’s passive heals him as if it were Warmog’s. That is until he builds Warmog’s and heals from 1 to 100% HP in a blink. He can stay in lane seemingly forever, making Executioner’s Calling a must-have item, which will set you back 800 gold while he tanks up even more, which will probably make the item obsolete anyway.
Lane Bully: He can fight, and I mean it. He is not as good as others on this list, but with a long silence and a fast-spinning E, he can put out unexpected damage. His Ult is a good finisher that everyone loves to hate.
Late Game: A very basic tank, he performs the role very basically. Tanking and initiating as much as possible, he uses his Ult to quickly kill essential roles such as the ADC or Mid APC.
Yet another simple champion from a bygone era, Jax is the best duelist in the game. With a basic yet comprehensive kit, he can stun, bash, jab, and clap your head with his lamp all day long. Just imagine if he had a real weapon.
Sustain: He doesn’t have sustain on the go, but cheap items can change that immediately, although his ability to square up is enough sustain in and of itself. I recommend not going for much lifesteal and instead focusing on getting your defenses, HP, and attack speed up, which will more or less make you immortal.
Lane Bully Potential: He can fight you good pre-6, but after he gets the ultimate passive on his 3rd attack, he can use it to strike at a minion twice, jump on your head, and bonk you with a W+Passive combo for insane hybrid DPS. He’s a limited bully but a good one nonetheless.
Late Game: He can snowball a lot and end up carrying the game with ease and very often. With the proper item utilization, his defenses and attacks are too great to be matched by most champions in the game and will make for an easy sweep and, probably, a 20-minute surrender of the enemy team.
Also read: Best Off-Meta Top Laners
The best dunker in all of Noxus is our Champion for the day. Sustain? Got it. Damage? Plenty. Late game? Oh boy. Darius is the king of the top lane, and here is why:
Sustain: He can heal all day long with his Q, which doesn’t use too much mana. Even if he does start running out, last-hitting minions with his W can replenish it, though not by too much. This allows him to say in the lane for quite long, and if he picks Teleport, he can be right back in a split second.
Lane Bully Potential: He is THE Lane Bully of League of Legends. There is not a single Champion that can dish out so much DPS at low levels like Darius. His bleed is annoying, his E is incredible for CC and % Armor penetration, and his W is a nightmare. To top it all off, he can dunk on you day and night, and probably your friends too.
Late Game: Darius grows as the game goes on; he does lose a little bit of that bullying ability, but fear not, once you isolate your target and get a five stack on your enemy, the entire opposing side is in danger of being slam-dunked, and Pentakills are the usual occurrence when Darius steps into the game.
These are our Top 7 Best Tank Top Laners. Do you think someone should’ve been on the list? Who is your favorite Top Tank? Let us know.