Riot Offers In-Depth Look at the State of League of Legends' Top Lane

Riot Games has spent some time recently looking at the current top lane meta and how popular it is [...]


Riot Games has spent some time recently looking at the current top lane meta and how popular it is (or isn't), and after adjusting champion balance for several champs who call the lane home, Riot recently offered a new analysis on the state of the top lane.

The top-lane talk has been coming since it was briefly touched on last week by Riot Meddler, and the same Rioter is back this week with new thoughts and data pertaining to the lonely lane. While first offering some views on what laning in League should involve – factors such as small-numbered PvP, the ability to overcome situations with skill even when counterpicked, and constant interactions between champions being just a few that were mentioned – Meddler moved on to the top lane in particular and how it impacts the game.

Top Lane:

  • Contributes less to strategic play than mid (more isolated), so should test and reward play in lane more on average (some exceptions, especially from champs with global mobility on their kits).
  • Should be able to support a wide variety of champion types, in particular those not well suited to solo laning elsewhere. Ideally all champs should have a home in lane somewhere, though that's been a challenge for us for a long time with some champs who've only really existed in the jungle.
  • Needs to be able to cope with jungle/roam pressure from being a long lane with only one champion per side providing vision.

Meddler also touched on the way that runes are affecting the top lane as well, particularly when it comes to the lack of Keystone Rune options for certain champion classes. Attack speed also isn't always a needed stat for the champions, so the split stats that the Resolve path offers are also being examined.

Lastly, while the balance of champions is always something to be kept in mind and the fighter-focused Patch 7.24b helped some top laners, Meddler says that there are certain champions that are either being worked on or are in need of future changes.

"Looking forwards, we'll almost certainly need to do some follow up on individual champs after we've seen exactly what impact the agro and Rune changes have. We'll also be buffing Trynd in 8.3. Gnar need some work soon too, in particular to give him more exploitable weaknesses. Ornn by contrast is a trickier case. He's on our minds, given his dominance in high MMR and pro play, but it's looking like he'll be a Ryze like problem in some respects, with poor performance at almost all skill levels while dominating high skill play."

You can check out Meddler's full in-depth look at the top lane and all the data provided through his Gameplay Thoughts post.