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League of Legends: A „Brief“ Guide to Top Lane

05/17/2013 10:00 am by Jonathan Smith in Tips & TricksDownload GamesFantasy

In this 4th part of a 5 part series, we will be taking the long road to our position underneath of the tower at the top corner of Summoner’s Rift, conveniently known as the Top Lane. Being successful in the top lane depends mostly on individual skill and map awareness, much like that of the mid-lane, though with a slightly greater focus on individual skill with your champion of choice due to the isolated position you will be in for a large portion of any match. The top lane is a haven for beefy champions that can sit in lane and farm for an eternity, relying on heavy sustain, powerful dueling potential and escapability to be a virtually immovable object at their position. This by no means excludes heavy burst-damage champions or powerful assassins from the top lane, in fact these champions are often quite successful in such a role. Much like in the mid lane, you shouldn’t be surprised by any champion you see up here, as many (if not all) of the champions can hold their own or better in this position depending on the team makeup and in-lane opponent.

Volibear excels at chasing down opponents and executing low HP targets

Masteries, Runes and Items

With how many champions we just said can occupy the role of top-laning, you may be wondering if we can even properly suggest what runes masteries and items to use at all. Have no fear, we aren’t going to make any sweeping generalizations to recommend how to build every top-laner, however, we will give you some tips when it comes to the various sorts of top-laners that you are likely to come across.

Masteries

With a great deal of the top-laners that are currently successful in the competitive League of Legends scene, the two primary trees to focus your mastery points will be offense or defense. With the remaining 9 points going into whichever second tree your specific champion benefits most from. Tanky champions, or champions with high base damages and poor scaling from bonus offensive stats are often best off spending 21 points in the defense tree, in order to maximize their survivability while relying on their powerful set of abilities to deal their damage rather than bonus stats from masteries or runes. Generally speaking, we would defer you to our champion of the week specials for any specific mastery pages for individual champions.

Runes

Much like masteries, runes for top-laners are extremely champion and matchup dependent. Tanky champions should obviously look to tank-type runes to increase survivability, while assassins would do better with damage increasing runes. Even so, sometimes you will find yourself going up against a champion with extremely powerful, yet one-sided kit, where it might be more beneficial to use runes that specifically counter their high damage output. Using extra armor for champions like Renekton or Riven is never a bad idea, while getting more magic resist against the likes of Vladimir and Rumble can also be quite beneficial.
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