League of Legends

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League of Legends: Top Lane - How to Play & Recommendations!

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In this article, we present a guide to playing the Top Lane, covering important principles such as minion wave management techniques, preference, coordination with the Jungler and champion recommendations for each play style!

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In my last article, I presented a guide on how to play as a Junglerlink outside website and I addressed the importance of mobility and objectives between lanes.

Today, our article will be about the Top lane, whose role is vital in a League of Legends match and requires coordination with other lanes to guarantee victory!

The Top Champion's Classes

The Top in League of Legends is a lane with just one player on each side and, in general, champions in this lane are tankers, juggernauts, divers, fighters and split pushers. Each of these classes has its role and importance in the team, and it is quite common for champions to present characteristics from more than one of these classes.



A Tanker's role is to absorb damage from the enemy team by serving as a front line for their allies. For this reason, these champions' skill set usually features defensive abilities such as regeneration, shields and increased magical resistance and armor. They also feature heavy crowd control, but their ability to deal damage is reduced.


A colossus is a champion that has high damage and high resistance, but has few forms of movement and crowd control. In general, these champions require a little preparation to be effective and prevent the opponent from escaping. Juggernauts use summoner spells, such as ghost or teleport, to pursue and reposition themselves across the map.


Divers are champions focused on starting group battles or killing targets out of position. These champions don't have as much resistance, but they end confrontations in a short time using skills with high cooldown times that affect a large area, with large bursts of damage.


A fighter can present all the previous characteristics, but on a smaller scale. They have average damage, resistance, movement and crowd control, fitting well into most situations. Therefore, they are champions who fit into basically any situation, not being great in any of the previous roles, but managing to meet the team's needs.

Split Pushers

There are champions capable of using a different play style than others in the top lane, these take advantage of the Demolish rune and the Hullbreaker item and remain alone for most of the game.

Demolisher is a rune from the determination tree, and grants that standing near an enemy tower for three seconds marks that tower to receive an additional 100 + 35% of its maximum health as physical damage in the next attack against it.


Hullbreaker is an item that provides 60 attack damage, 400 health, 150% base health regeneration, and 5% movement speed. The most important part of this item is a passive that consists of gaining from 10 to 60 armor and magic resistance, 20% increased damage to structures when no allied champion is nearby. Cannon Minions and Super Minions are also affected and receive triple armor and magic resistance and deal 200% increased damage to structures.

These two items together allow some champions to isolate themselves from their teams and deal huge amounts of damage to towers and other structures. This style is known as Split Push and even if your team is left with one less player in a team fight, the enemy team will be at a huge disadvantage.

These champions, when left alone, take down towers in a matter of seconds, requiring two or more enemy champions to stop their advance, creating an opportunity for your team to take objectives.

Starting the Game on the Top Lane

As it is a solo route, the top lane player needs to know the fundamentals of managing minion waves and preference. It is also important that the player on this route knows that level 2 is reached when they kill the first melee minion of the second wave.


The first wave of minions is released at 1:05 into the game, and they are at the top at around 1:38. A new wave is released every 30 seconds. As a reference, the scuttle crabs are born when the fifth wave of minions reaches the middle of the top.

This is a strategic moment that allows you to attack the enemy player with an extra skill in your kit. If the enemy player is killed in this situation, they will be far behind in gold and experience.

Until 20 minutes into the game, every three waves of minions, one will receive a cannon minion, after 20 and up to 35, there will be interspersed waves that will receive the cannon and, after, all waves receive a cannon.

The 3:30 Gank

It's very common for a gank to happen at the top at 3:30, as the junglers are just clearing their fields. Therefore, it is necessary to choose some strategy. At this moment, if your champion is stronger than the opponent, it is advantageous for you to push the minions under the opponent's tower.

This creates a preference for your jungler to kill the crabs, and you can help them if the enemy jungler tries to contest. In these cases, it is quite common for the enemy jungler to be killed. If the enemy top laner tries to keep up, they will lose the gold and experience of the minions in their tower. In this situation, almost any outcome is advantageous for you.

If your champion is weaker than the opponent's at 3:30, it is interesting that you let the opponent pull the wave closer to your tower to avoid being ganked, in this case, tell your jungler that you don't have a preference for the crab and that they should go to the other. This strategy is safer, but it eliminates the possibility of your jungler killing the two crabs.

Minion Wave Management

Slow Push

Slow Push is a technique that allows multiple waves of minions to accumulate together. Having numerous allied minions nearby prevents the opponent from entering into a confrontation. If they try, they will take a lot of damage and possibly die. This technique is also important for taking down towers and plating.

To perform a slow push, just kill the enemy mage minions, leaving only the fighters. These remaining minions don't deal too much damage, but they are very resilient, so they won't kill your minions, but they will impede your advance enough to reach your next wave.

Fast Push

Fast Push is the most intuitive and applied technique, but it is not always used correctly. To perform a fast push, simply shoot down the enemy minions as quickly as possible. This makes your wave reach the enemy tower quickly. This technique should be used if you intend to go to the base, as it allows you to return to the route before the enemy minions reach your tower.

It is also widely used to make the opponent lose gold and experience when applied right after killing them, or when they are forced to return to base due to being low on health.


The freeze consists of holding the waves of minions close to your tower, without them being attacked by it. It is not a simple technique to apply, and no freeze is eternal. Overall, a freeze should be applied against a weaker enemy, preventing them from simply breaking it.


In a freeze you must kill the minions at the last possible moment and, if your opponent starts to attack your minions, do the same with theirs, always equalizing the damage caused and maintaining the same proportion of enemy and allied minions.

The number of enemy minions needed to establish a freeze increases the closer you are to your tower, since your next wave will arrive faster than the opponent's as the distance to be covered is shorter.

The biggest benefit of a well-done freeze is to reduce the amount of experience and gold that the opponent can receive, as they will be in a bad position to kill your minions, making them susceptible to Ganks while you farm safely.

Top Lane Champion Recommendations

Check out some champion recommendations to play in the Top, separated by their role in the match!

Ornn (Tanker)


Ornn is the blacksmith God of League of Legends and is responsible for making most of the magical items in the game's lore. His passive is divided into three effects, and the first is allowing to buy items outside the base.

To buy an item outside the base, Ornn simply opens the store and buys the desired item, after which he will perform a small animation with an anvil and his hammer and obtain the item. This animation can be interrupted, so be careful when using it.

The second part of Ornn's passive allows you to upgrade some items in the store at no additional cost. At level 13, he improves his own item, and with each subsequent level, he can improve one of his allies' items. Ornn receives 10% more armor, magic resistance and health from his items and this effect is increased by 4% for each item he has upgraded, up to a 30% increase.

With his third passive ability, when Ornn attacks an opponent marked with frailty, they will be pushed back a short distance and will suffer 10% to 18% of their maximum health as magical damage.

His first ability creates a fissure that causes damage and slows down the opponents. At the end of the fissure, a pillar appears that lasts four seconds.

In his second ability, Ornn breathes fire by walking forward. During this movement, he is unstoppable and causes damage proportional to the maximum health of opponents hit by the fire. The enemies hit by the end of the ability suffer from frailty.

In Ornn's third ability, he moves in a direction. When colliding with some type of terrain like walls or the pillar of his Q, he throws all nearby enemies upwards.

Ornn's ultimate conjures a giant ram that runs towards him and slows him down. When he recasts the ability, he heads the ram in a direction, all enemies hit take damage and are thrown upwards.

Ornn is a champion who takes a while to develop his game, but is very difficult to kill. His passive and improved items create a huge advantage for the team, and his ultimate is a very efficient tool for starting group conflicts.

As Ornn, your goal is to kill minions and gain as much experience as possible. He doesn't need to go to the base to make items, so he can stay on the route for long periods.


To play as Ornn, I recommend the following items: Radiant Virtue, Sunfire Aegis and Abyssal Mask.

Nasus (Juggernaut)


Nasus is a champion inspired by the Egyptian god Anubis. Although simple, if played correctly, he is practically unstoppable.

Nasus' passive gives him 11% to 21% life steal based on his level.

His siphoning strike is the most important part of the champion's kit. When casting this skill, Nasus strengthens his next attack to gain 50 attack range and bonus physical damage from 30 to 110. Additionally, this skill deals more damage for each target killed by it. Killed minions increase damage by 3 and champions, neutral monsters and large minions increase damage by 12.

As it is an ability with a low mana cost and low cooldown time, Nasus can kill all the minions in a lane with it. After 10 minutes, it's not uncommon for Nasus to have 200 or more increased damage in the skill.

Nasus' second ability is one of the most powerful crowd controls in the game, reducing an opponent's movement speed by up to 95% for five seconds. This is Nasus's only form of crowd control and only hits one target.

Nasus's third ability creates a round area that deals magical damage and reduces the armor of all enemies within it.

His ultimate ability increases his maximum health, armor, and magic resistance for 15 seconds. Additionally, it deals additional damage proportional to the maximum health of all nearby enemies and halves the cooldown of the siphonic strike.

To play Nasus, I recommend the following items: Divine Sunderer, Frozen Heart and Spirit Visage.

Jax (Fighter)


Jax is a versatile and mobile fighter who deals plenty of damage with his basic attacks.

Jax's passive makes him gain increasing attack speed with each attack dealt, up to a maximum of eight times. Not attacking for more than 2.5 seconds causes Jax to lose one of these upgrades every 0.25 seconds.

Jax's first ability makes him jump towards a target, ally or enemy. If this target is an enemy, Jax deals physical damage to it. Additionally, Jax can use his other abilities while jumping.

Jax's second ability grants additional damage to his next attack or jump. This ability can also be used to reset their attack animation, making the champion use two or more attacks quickly.

Jax's third ability makes him dodge all attacks thrown at him for two seconds, and at the end of this ability, he strikes in an area, damaging and stunning all nearby enemies. The damage of this ability is increased for each attack that Jax dodges up to a maximum of 100% and can be reactivated to end sooner.

His ultimate ability is made up of a passive and an active one. The passive deals additional damage for every three of Jax's attacks, and the active deals damage in a small area and increases Jax's armor and magical resistance depending on the number of enemies hit.


For Jax, I recommend the following items: Divine Sunderer, Spear of Shojin and Zhonya's Hourglass.

Malphite (Diver)


Malphite's passive is a shield for 10% of his maximum health that recharges after a few seconds out of combat, very similar to the mountain dragon's soul. Additionally, Malphite increases in size depending on the amount of armor he has.

His first ability throws a rock at the opponent, dealing damage and stealing a portion of their movement speed for three seconds.

His second ability is very similar to Titanic Hydra for six seconds. The difference is the fact that its activation resets its attack animation. This ability grants up to 30% armor bonus. This value is tripled if his passive is active

His third ability deals magical damage in an area, reducing the attack speed of all enemies hit by up to 50%.

Malphite's ultimate is his main ability. It consists of an unstoppable advance that hits all enemies close to the target location, throws them up for 1.5 seconds and deals a lot of damage. This ability can change the course of a team fight if it hits two or more targets.

For Malphite, I recommend the following items: Iceborn Gauntlet, Sunfire Aegis, and Frozen Heart.

Illaoi (Split Pusher)


Illaoi's passive creates tentacles on nearby walls that have 2 health attacks. Illaoi's tentacles use their first ability to deal damage when commanded.

Illaoi's first skill hits a tentacle in a straight line, dealing damage proportional to the attack damage and skill level and healing Illaoi for 4.5% of her lost health.

The second ability has Illaoi jump a short distance at an enemy and commands all nearby tentacles to attack them.

Her third skill is one of the most important. In it, Illaoi throws a tentacle forward and pulls the soul of any enemy champion that it hits. Be careful when using this ability because it stops at opposing minions.

Part of the damage taken by the soul is also received by the champion, so the idea is to cause damage to both. If the maximum distance is reached, or the soul is defeated, the enemy champion will be marked for 10 seconds and have an 80% slowdown for 1.5 seconds. Additionally, from time to time, a tentacle will be created near the marked champion and attack them shortly afterward.

Illaoi's ultimate ability creates tentacles for eight seconds, depending on the number of enemies and souls nearby. During this duration, the cooldown of her second ability is halved.

Considering the ability to create multiple tentacles, heal herself, and deal massive amounts of damage, it's no surprise that Illaoi needs three or more enemy champions to be stopped.


The Top lane has many different play style options that can be chosen, depending on each player's preference. Therefore, my recommendation is the same as always, choose a champion you enjoy playing and perfect your skills with them.


If this guide helped you move up a level or if you felt there was any additional information missing, leave it in the comments!