We’re deep in the second half of Season 6 of League of Legends and the top lane is shaking out to be a whole new ballgame with its mix of tanks and recently revamped mages. The highest performing champions are all over the map with old favorites and new contenders and each patch brings new heroes to the role.
We’ve taken the top performers from champion.gg rankings (and they pull from Riot’s API), removed a few of the outliers, and present to you the best of the current meta. If you’re looking to dominate the top lane, start with one of these high performers.
Traditionally thought of as a midlane menace, this mage got a large buff with the Midsummer Magic patch earlier this year and now is the top champ in both top and mid lanes! Enjoy it while you can as he will likely get nerfed down as he overperforms with his relentless poke, insane wave clear, and ultimate that allows him to suppress his opponent from using any abilities for 2.5 seconds.
With her slows, movement speed ups, and ability to turn into a ranged champ for short periods of time, she can push her lane hard. But what really sets Kayle apart is her ultimate which prevents all damage on the target for 2-3 seconds. That’s long enough to block an opponent’s incoming ultimate, save the ADC, or nullify a dreaded suppression. And once the other side has blown the cooldowns on their big abilities to no effect, it’s time for her team to sweep in and clean up.
This ranged marksman can harass/poke while relentlessly pushing her lane at the same time to dominated the top right from the get go. By the time she has her ultimate, she likely has already taken full control of the top lane and is ready now to make life very unpleasant for her opponent as well as those in other lanes. Pro Tip: Her Vault ability’s knock back will interrupt many skills the enemy may be winding up so use it not just for damage, but to cost them crucial damage and put them back on cooldown.
Oh Teemo. The Yordle we love to hate. But we hate him because he’s so good at what he does, don’t we? With his movement speed buff, poison abilities, and mushroom traps not only does he bully the top lane, he can zip down to midlane and gank that one, too. With his out-of-combat stealth granting him attack speed a proper item build will make his initial surprise attack one that the opponent won’t live long enough to regret.
Pantheon is a solid tank assassin and you’ll want to build him with hefty health items since he has no escape moves other than Flash. But what he does have is a lethal dash+ stun + damage combo move plus his very showy Skyfall ultimate that lands massive AE damage half way across the map. In the top lane, he can dominate from range and in the second half of the game can peel, off tank, and initiate fights.
Massive damage plus the ability to slow and stun leaves other top laners running but not getting very far. Cassiopeia’s ability to poison her enemies unlocks the damage potential of her Twin Fangs ability while her Miasma's slow keeps them from getting away. Plus, her Petrifying Gaze ultimate can be used to either set up a kill or disengage if her opponents try to gank her. And to top it off her passive trait is a movement speed boost. No need to spend precious gold on boots!
The Monkey King has been a longtime favorite with his stealth, dash, and knock up + movement speed burst on his ultimate. All of these come together to help him rule the top lane. He snowballs hard, has a great disengage with his Decoy ability, and can set up fights later in the game.
Sion has many signature moves that make him, well, Sion, but two stand out. Remember to use Roar of the Slayer to knock a minion into your opponent who is standing far away and thinks they are safe from you. They are not. Also, Flash into your ultimate, Unstoppable Onslaught, giving you an edge to chase down your opponent as they try to flee. When you knock them up as your ultimate connects, they are sitting ducks while you wind up your Decimating Smash.
With solid wave clear, a passive lifesteal, and an ultimate made for assassination, Akali makes short work of her top lane opponents. But her real secret weapon is her Twilight Shroud. This smoke cover stealths her and under its cover she can juke, hide, and use it on bushes to detect hidden enemies without having to facecheck. If you really want to be clever, place the edge of it next to some bushes, and sneak into them for a quicker getaway.
Still not a popular champion among players, but her kit is solid enough to make her a player in the top lane. This underrated champ can keep opponents from getting too close with her Seismic Shove and Unraveled Earth all the while pelting them from afar with Threaded Volley. She needs to play safe early on and poke, but when she gets her ultimate at level 6, her global gank potential comes into its own. Just remember she’s a squishy mage so steer clear of full health tanks.
With his passive’s mini-Ignite ability and speed boost, his self-heal, his poke, and extra gold generation, ol’ Gangplank can terrorize the top lane like the salty sea dog he is. While chaining his Powder Kegs is fun on paper, they don’t do appreciable damage until later in the game (though make sure to set them off with Parrrley.) Finally, his ult is good for wave clear and zoning early on, but save it to help your team later in the game with its global range.
You know who you're going to choose for your top lane domination, but what champions are you going to ban from your opponents side? Check out our guide on Top League of Legends Ban Picks for Season 6.