League of Legends has five Roles you can play. There’s Top, ADC, Mid, Jungle, and Support. Out of all of these, the Top Lane stands out the most. It is a place that is remote and reserved mainly for a 1v1 battle between two players. These two will spend half the game battling it out, almost entirely ignoring the rest of the map.
While the Top Lane is duel-oriented, it’s not necessarily detached from the map. Top Laners can have a considerable presence and impact in the game if they play well enough. That’s what this article is going to try and do.
After completing this read, you should have a better grasp on the Top Lane, how it works and how to improve. Keep in mind that improving in League takes much more effort and time than reading a single article. It would be best if you focused on yourself – play and practice whenever you can to hone out your skills.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
Managing the Wave is much easier said than done. There’s a lot of depth to this mechanic, which you should pay special attention to. On the Top Lane, there’s always a shift between Your Push – Their Push. Most of the gameplay on the Top Lane will revolve around these two shifts, and you will have to learn to act accordingly.
Slow pushing or shoving are also two things you’ll have to learn. Either has its own merits and timings. For example, slow pushing is the way to go when you wish to build up a wave for defense. You’ll build up a wave, bit by bit, and eventually crash against the enemy’s tower. If you want to shove, and that’s best following a won fight, you should all be in the minions until they’re heading clear for the tower.
Freezing is also an excellent tool if you manage to establish a zone on the enemy. They won’t be able to get any farm or XP while you’re getting richer and more powerful by the second. This is an extreme scenario for most matches, and you will rarely establish a zone so strong that you’ll hoard all the XP and gold. Plus, the strategy is complicated to pull off without messing up.
There’s a lot more to wave management than I could fit in a single segment. Be sure to watch what other high Elo players do on the Lane and learn from them. At the moment, we don’t have a ready wave management guide – but once we get one, we’ll update this article.
Also read: How to Play Against Ranged Top Laners?
Vision is one of the most important aspects of League of Legends. I’ve written an extensive guide on Warding and Vision, and I highly recommend you give it a read. There’s a lot of stuff there that couldn’t fit in this one segment, and it will serve to invest you in the craft of Vision much better.
However, I can express the importance of Vision for the Top Lane. Due to having many paths and dangerous corners, the Top Lane needs a good Vision. If you don’t, the enemy Jungler may as well be camping in your own bush. That’s happened so many times so far that I just have to mention it.
You have to ward wherever you can, especially spots where you’re extra blind. The river bush is a must, and de-warding the enemy is also equally important. As long as you keep up your Vision while keeping them blind – you’re doing well. If you have the vision advantage, you can get a gank in, avoid their ganks, etc. Without Vision, you are deliberately putting yourself in a dangerous situation where anything can happen.
Vision eliminates any guessing and anticipation and removes the requirement of face-checking bushes – which is among the worst things you can do.
Farming is something that you’re bound to do – whether you pay it any special attention or not. However, good farm won’t ever happen if you’re not versed in it enough. Last-hitting is what you should mostly be doing, and make sure you never miss any cannon minions. As long as you consistently kill the minions, you’ll have a ton of gold to use to become stronger.
Without a good farm, you will be at a disadvantage and lag behind the enemy. Even if it isn’t your opposed Laner, the other Lanes will undoubtedly be way ahead of you. Farming is perhaps the most important aspect of League of Legends, and doing it well is pivotal for success.
Farming is a simple thing that hides a lot of depth deep down. Exploring these depths is as essential as anything you’ll do in the game. Please take the time to develop your farming skills, as nothing else matters if you fail to do this one thing right.
Also read: Best Scaling Top Laners
Anticipate Your Enemy
Okay, this one is going to come naturally with experience. However, paying some extra attention to what your enemy is doing can only do well on the Lane. Watch what they are up to, their approach, how they’re doing it, etc. As long as you’re two steps ahead of the enemy, there’s nothing they can do to surprise you.
For example, they’re suspiciously moving around, overstaying on the Lane, and acting vaguely defensive? That’s a gank coming over soon. This is just a barebones example to explain. Stuff on the Lane itself will be much more difficult to discern, and that’s why total focus is required.
I always tell people not to spam games when they’re not in the mood. You will need all the sharpness and concentration to be a good Laner and player. Trust me on this one; I’ve learned it the hard way.
Overextension is also something I’ve written a separate article on. You should give it a read to get a better grasp of the concept. Here, I will give a rundown of what’s already written there, as there’s not much I can fit in a small segment.
Overextension represents the mistake of going too far. This happens due to various miscalculations on behalf of the player, who tends to get too ambitious. If you go too far, the enemy has a free opening to punish you for it. This can result in a bad trade or you getting killed entirely.
It’s something that is fixed by experience. However, to speed that up, you should review your matches. After each game, check out the replay and closely follow what you did to overextend. Once you recognize what’s going on and where you’re making mistakes – it’s easy to fix. Replay reviewing is the best thing you can do to improve, so make sure you do it frequently.
I also advise that you pay more attention while playing. This is where the sharpness and concentration come in that I’ve mentioned above. You won’t be able to stay on top of your game if you aren’t fully focused on what’s before your eyes.
Also read: Most Annoying Top Laners
To become a good Top Laner, a lot of effort is required. The segments above show you some more significant focus points you should pay attention to. However, they’re not the only ones out there. There are so many minor things that go in a Top Lane match that it couldn’t fit in one article. You’ll be able to iron those out through sheer experience and watching other and potentially pro players. They will show you all you need to know about the details and intricacies of the Top Lane.
I hope you’ve found this article informative and fun to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift.