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10 Basic Tips for Top Lane Beginners

“Tanks,” in video games, are characters that usually have either very high health points or very high defense stats – or both. Their purpose is to serve as the magnet for incoming unfriendly attacks to shield less durable team members from heavy damage. Tanks are usually the first ones deployed in a skirmish, setting up other teammates to unleash their respective firepower. And as such, tanks are usually the first ones to die in the battlefield.

Top laners are usually the tanks in League of Legends, though not exclusively. They are melee characters generally built for the frontlines, capable of soaking in as much damage as possible during team fights. Top laners are usually isolated and left to fend for themselves, with the Jungler as the first source of backup. But even then, Junglers usually stay away from the top lane due to its distance. If you want to main as a top laner, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Buy wards. You are on your own at the top, so it helps to have a couple of “eyes” to watch your back, so to speak. And buy some Potions, too. You will be judged mostly by how long you can sustain your position at the top. For a top laner, survival is paramount. Dying even once or twice will allow your foe to get a significant lead on you, leaving you far behind.

  1. If you do get left very far behind, meaning the top lane enemy Champion can easily overpower you now, make yourself useful by helping other lanes. Don’t just stand around and wait for your enemy to clear out waves after waves of creeps in front of your face. If your Jungler allows it, you can earn marks by slaying neutral monsters instead. Switch to focusing mainly on purely defensive items if your enemy has left you far behind. Don’t bother with even a hint of offense in your build. Just focus on your durability for team fights.

  1. Don’t go for a generic top lane build. Analyze your top lane enemy’s strengths and weaknesses first at the beginning of the match and adjust your build accordingly. You need to be very flexible and prepared. With that said, it’s best to also do your homework on the skills of all top lane Champions first before playing – or at least the most common ones in the meta game.

  1. Top laners are typically melee characters. This means you are more vulnerable to creep attacks. Early on, creeps will have no trouble picking you apart and leaving you questioning why you even played the game. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But the point is that creeps can easily overpower you early-game. And speaking of creeps, you don’t always have to go for the last hit. If last-hitting a creep potentially exposes you to an attack by your top lane enemy – or worse, a gank courtesy of the enemy Jungler – don’t risk it. Again, your survival is the most important thing.

  1. Plan out different escape routes. You don’t have to plan for every kind of scenario, but make sure that when a gank arrives you won’t be running around aimlessly like a scared chicken. And like with all the other lanes, to boost your chances of avoiding a gank, be mindful of the happenings in the match, especially the middle lane, which is the nearest. Check your mini-map every now and then, too.

  1. Play defensively. If you know your top lane enemy can easily overpower you, just keep your distance but make sure you’re at least getting some EXP. There’s no harm in simply staying under your turret for last-hits. A wave of creeps in exchange for your life is not a good trade-off. You can buy an unranked Smurf account and see which Champions can easily overpower others if you want a first-hand look.

  1. After destroying the first enemy turret, you can roam around and help other lanes. Better yet, you can team up with your similarly roaming Jungler to gank Champions in other lanes. You can return to your lane either when a huge wave of creeps has accumulated, which translates to a lot of gold for you, or when your top lane enemy is making a heavy push. With that said, it’s recommended that you choose Teleport over Ignite. This allows you to easily hop all over the map during the game.

  1. If the enemy Champion is making a huge push, retaliate by attacking and clearing out the creeps – not the Champion. The lack of creeps will make him halt his push, or at least stall him in time for your backup to arrive (usually the Jungler). However, if you’re confident that you can take on the enemy Champion with a very high chance of coming away on top, by all means, engage him instead.

  1. Continuously harass the enemy Champion with ranged abilities (if you have one) while he’s camping under his turret. Damaging him may force him to back away and potentially lose out on precious gold and EXP. But be wary if it appears he’s taking your aggression too casually, which could only mean you’re being set up for a gank.

  1. Lastly, learn how to “freeze” a lane. Yes, this isn’t really a tip for players dipping their toes on top lane duties for the first time. But the ability to freeze a lane is a great asset to have. By definition, freezing is allowing enemy creeps to push toward your turret, but not exactly letting them reach it. When you have them in place, simply tank the enemy creeps while holding your position. This causes the enemy Champion to lose out on gold and EXP because it would be too dangerous for him to go over to you – it sets him up for a gank.

In case it’s not implied enough, the most important thing to remember as a top laner is “Don’t die.” As mentioned, a single death could cause you to significantly fall behind. This is especially dangerous if the enemy top laner is built for late-game. Prioritize staying alive as much as possible over anything else. Your lone wolf status doesn’t exactly give you much leeway to make mistakes. Just play it safe and keep your enemy from destroying your turret.

November 28, 2016 admin


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