Our League of Legends best top laners 2019 page contains a list of all the best top laners currently in the game, along with tips and tricks to help you master them.
Nothing better defines the top lane in League of Legends than two bulky bruisers going toe-to-toe in a gruelling, slug fest of a laning phase. In the top lane you're likely to be on your lonesome, so the ability to outplay and outlast your opponent is what separates experiences top laners from those who are new to the field.
For those wanting to stamp their mark in the top lane, you'll want to safely gather gold, look for opportunities to deal good trade damage while also playing around junglers to set up or avoid ganks. It's a careful balance of channelling your efforts both into your lane, and being aware of everything else that's happening around you.
It makes sense, then, that some of the game’s toughest hitters and tankiest damage-soakers find their home way up in the far north of Summoner’s Rift. We’ve taken a look at them all and gathered together five of the best top laners right now in League of Legends.
It's worth quickly noting that this list is by no means definitive. We're aware that League is home to many other strong heroes which can be strong in the toplane too, and we've just picked out a handful of the most popular right now - for all skill levels!
Bringing tankiness and a healthy dose of damage, Urgot has emerged as a powerful choice in top lane to bully opponents while also bringing some utility to later teamfights and a hugely impactful ultimate.
Let’s start there with Urgot’s ultimate, Fear Beyond Death. It’s a ridiculous finishing move that can both hold a target in place to be double-teamed alongside an allied jungler and also straight-up execute the target if they fall below 25% health during the effect. If you manage to isolate a key target on the enemy team with this you can get a quick pick or swing a bigger fight in your favour immediately.
As for his presence in top, Urgot can comfortably clear minion waves while keeping himself safe thanks to a multitude of area of effect attacks. Basic attacks and his Purge ability can trigger his passive, Echoing Flames, which sets off a blast of damage at his feet. Meanwhile, Corrosive Charge is another short range area of effect attack, that also comes with the added benefit of slowing enemies.
Speaking of Corrosive Charge, it can be extremely useful for setting up some early ganks with your jungler. You can follow up the slow effect with Disdain – an ability that sends Urgot charging forward, flipping and stunning the first target he hits if it’s an enemy champion. Putting that distance between them and the safety of their tower makes it even easier to secure the kill.
Generally, then, Urgot offers a kit of skills that make him a versatile top lane pick, while also offering the potential to be very impactful during the later stages of the game too.
Darius has always been a menace in the top lane and that remains true to this day. A great deal of the Noxion executioner’s power comes from his ability to disrupt his opponent’s sustain, deal reasonable poke damage and help set up kill opportunities when the team’s jungler joins for ganks.
His Hemorrhage passive is the absolute bane for any champions who rely on healing or self-sustain to remain fixed in the top lane. The constant pressure that comes from the damage-over-time bleed effect will force opponents to be more cautious when they move in to kill creeps and also make them use consumables or head back to base in order to heal more frequently. With them clear of the lane, you can farm freely to amass a lead while also pushing your minions into their tower to deny them the gold and experience.
When it comes time to set up a ganking opportunity with your jungler, Darius also has the skills to keep an opponent locked down. Apprehend can hook targets from a reasonable distance and bring them towards him, while Crippling Strike puts a significant slow on them for a brief period of time. Combined, that should be more than enough for the jungler to stroll in and help confirm the kill with your Noxian Guillotine.
Darius is extremely tough to handle when he manages to eke out a lead in the early game and you can use that power to dominate the rest of the match. That’s what continues to make him such a fearsome force in the top lane.
Sion sits as possibly the strongest pick available right now in the top lane, not just with the way he can assert his dominance during the early laning phase but also the way he transitions into a powerful tank as a match progresses into its later stages.
To be an effective Sion player you’ll want to get as much value as you can out of his Soul Furnace ability. This not only gives him a temporary shield, which can be useful to save yourself taking unnecessary poke damage in lane, but also explodes after a short window granting a permanent health bonus if the detonation kills any nearby minions.
What’s more, the bonus is increased further on champion kills, assists, large minions and large monsters. Therefore, you’ll want to clear as many minions as you can with this ability to start beefing up your health pool to ridiculous values for the mid-to-late game.
Sion also has some excellent tools to help set up kills for his team's jungler. The first is Roar of the Slayer, which can be used to catapult minions into opponents and slow them. The second is Decimating Smash: a powerful swing that when charged up for two seconds will knock up and stun enemies hit. Combined they can leave a target wide open to attacks and further crowd control effects to secure early kills in lane.
Altogether that not only makes Sion a danger in the early game but also a threat that can snowball out of control in the late game if you’re able to build up his health with Soul Furnace. Wade into a team fight with this activated and you’ll be an unstoppable force causing massive disruption amongst the opposing team.
Irelia makes the list of best top lane champions as a capable duelist with excellent kill potential, while also being a strong counter to some of the other popular meta picks in top lane.
It all starts with her Ionian Fervor passive, which not only grants a stacking bonus damage buff on her basic attacks when using spells but also grants significantly extra damage when hitting enemy shields. This puts her in a strong position to counter other current top tier picks in the role – the likes of Urgot and Sion, who have shield skills as an integral part of their kit.
Irelia also excels at reducing the damage she takes from enemy attacks with a well-timed use of Defiant Dance. This not only negates a lot of incoming damage, but can then turn those blocked hits back against a target. In top, where having a health advantage over your opponent and winning damage trades if key to establishing a lead, this ability is vital.
Lastly, she can also turn on the pressure and look to nab an early kill – even solo. Flawless Duet can usually serve as decent set up by stunning and marking any target it hits. Being marked will allow Irelia to follow up with Bladesurge to dash to the enemy – and it’s cooldown will be immediately refreshed because of the mark.
From there you can all but guarantee a kill with Vanguard's Edge. This ultimate damages the enemy it hits and then surrounds the target with a wall of blades that damage, slow and disarm any unfortunate soul who runs into them. There’s very little chance they’re escaping that one!
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You might not expect a champion that wields a lamppost to be an effective choice in League of Legends but Jax is definitely up there as one of the game’s best top laners. A tough fighter, he can wildly snowball out of control and even end up winning a 1 v 5 against the entire enemy team in the most extreme circumstances.
A major strength of Jax in the top lane is his ability to duel almost any champion and come out on top in the trade. All of his skills work towards that, but perhaps the most prominent is Counter Strike. This allows him to dodge all incoming damage for a brief period and then counter by stunning all surrounding enemies. Timed well you can avoid any damage from your lane opponent and then quickly apply some poke before they can respond.
You can push that advantage even further with Empower: an ability that makes your next auto attack deal extra damage. Master the timing of this skill too and you’ll soon have a health advantage over whoever you’re facing in the top lane, forcing them to play more cautiously or back to the fountain to regain health. If they stick around you can commit to a fight, jumping in with Leap Strike and exploiting Jax’s passive which increases his attack speed with each consecutive hit.
Win the lane, get ahead on items and Jax can be an unstoppable force across the map as the match transitions into the mid-to-late game. You’ll be able to freely dive into team fights and tear through all the poor enemy champions who dare stand in your way.