Laning Phase 101: How to position and farm as a Top Laner
The role of top lane is similarly important to the role of the mid lane and a lot of LoL Pro teams are utilizing the strength of their god tier LoL Top Lane players to bring themselves to victory. As for all roles, the top meta changes occasionally and different champions dominate the lane at different times but the essential makings of the top lane LoL Pro player isn’t related to the current League of Legends meta, LoL tier list of League of Legends champions or if you’re playing more tank or carry LoL champions that are part of the meta champs.
The mechanics of the player are those that make an excellent toplaner and a reliable teammate that can carry the entire game for you if you spend your resources toward that lane.
Mastering of Essential Mechanics for Top Laners
The essential mechanics you need to master as a top laner are somewhat similar to other roles and will definitely improve your overall gameplay if you put enough time and effort into practicing them.
The most important mechanic is, of course, farming the minions in your lane. You can’t get to the LoL build you want to if you’re not getting any gold from farming so that is the first on our list of essential mechanics.
The way you approach your farming in the toplane to get to the probuild of your choice will depend on a lot of things but the primary ones are: the champions you’re playing, whether or not the enemy picked your LoL counter, they type of junglers your team and the enemy team picked and what kind of summoner spell you brought to lane.
- The champion you picked, regardless of the LoL meta, will have a huge impact on the way you approach farming in the laning phase because, depending on the champion kit and his range you’ll either have the upper hand when farming or you’ll have to give up a few minions and let them die so you don’t lose too much health because of the enemy harassment. Top lane is usually populated by fighter melee champions or tanks that don’t have to worry too much about fighting and dealing damage in lane but rather, being useful later on in the game during team fights. However, top lane is quite diverse and there are players that take carry champions that can snowball in lane against their opponents with little to no help from their jungler and be able to carry the game on their own. Strong examples of these type of champions are Irelia and Jax.
- If you got counter picked by the enemy top laner there’s isn’t too much you can do in the laning phase. The chance that you outplay him if he missteps are always present and possible but if it’s a strong counter that can zone you away from farming minions, the best you can do is use your range spell to farm and hope that your jungler comes and helps you out. Let the enemy push the minions to your tower and farm as many minions as you can while under it. It is much harder because the tower does a lot of damage to the minions but getting as many as you can there is crucial for you to be able to have an impact on the game later on.
- The type of junglers you are playing with and against will also play a role in the way you farm the lane. If you have a jungler that is top lane oriented and likes to gank your lane, you’ll be able to play more aggressively and go for the minions even if the enemy picked a counter to your champion because this way you may bait him into stepping too far and allowing your jungler to gank him and give you the upper hand in terms of gold and experience. On the other hand if the enemy jungler is one that has a strong gank, you’ll have to play further back and if you don’t have eyes on him on the map it might be best if you let a few minions die so you don’t get killed and be put behind.
- The summoner spell you brought with you will play a role here as well because if you have something like an ignite or exhaust, and your enemy has teleport for instance, you have the damage advantage in terms of summoner spells so you’ll be able to play more aggressive and stay close to the minions in order to farm them.
The positioning is another very important mechanic that will separate and raise you up the League tier list of great top laners. A few important things that you should think about when trying to properly position in lane are:
- Vision – you should use your warding totem as often as you can to place a ward in the river or the tribrush area in order to spot the jungler and be somewhat safe from his ganking path. If you have vision of the jungler and you have a stronger laning phase champion than your opponent, you can position more aggressively so you can deny farm from your enemy but if you’re out of vision and the enemy jungler is nowhere to be seen on the map, you should position more defensively making sure you have a safe way out in case the enemy jungler has sneaked his way up to the top lane and tries to gank you.
- Jungler Positioning – the position of your own jungler will also play a role in your positioning. If your jungler is signaling that he’s on the way to gank you can either go aggressive on the enemy and try to chunk him out and use your crowd control spell so your jungler can easily assist you or you can step back a bit letting the enemy come closer to the minions and further away from his turret for your jungler to have more time to do his combo and deal damage before you step in and finish the enemy off.
- Health advantage – if you were able to harass your opponent well enough or you managed to win a few small skirmishes that gave you the health advantage you can position aggressively forward trying to zone the enemy top laner from the experience which may give you and even bigger lead in levels, snowballing your advantage even more.
These are just a few guidelines that will surely help you become much better as a top laner and a few steps closer to becoming a god tier LoL Top Lane player, but also improve your overall gaming experience because snowballing your lane to victory is a lot of fun.