From Twitch streamers to professional players to casual gamers, League of Legends is strategic, engaging, competitive, and at many times, a mixture of love and hate. Due to this, players in the LoL community have created a system referred to as META – Most Effective Tactics Available.
Today, we are going to introduce you to the 10 best off-meta top laners …
First on the list, we have the melee hybrid assassin that many of us have grown to love – Kayn. Kayn is known for having the ability to transfer into the Shadow Assassin or Rhaast. While it’s possible for this champion to transform into either one of those forms, it’s possible to pick one of the forms faster, depending on the targets. If you’re going for ranged champions, you can pick his Shadow Assassin form, but if you’re targeting melee champs, you can pick Rhaast sooner. Shadow Assassin works more like a burst-oriented class, while Rhaast works like a mobile bruiser.
Why Pick Kayn?
Kayne is all about one thing – turning into Rhaast as fast as possible by killing melee top lane enemies. With Rhaast, you will have a nice balance of mobility, sustain, and damage. While in this form, he has a passive that will heal him for a portion of the damage he deals to enemy champions. You can use Q (Reaping Slash) and his Ultimate (Umbral Trespass) to deal damage that is equal to a portion of his enemy’s health.
Kayn is a major threat to his opponents, even the tanks because his damage is percentage-based.
We recommend picking Kayn alongside a Jungler that is capable of locking down his lane opponent during a gank.
Next on our list, we have a champion that is mostly played for those looking for a good tank – Braum. Braum has a kit that is designed to protect his teammates that are the most fragile.
Unlike some of the other defensive champions capable of shielding or healing teammates, Braum offers protection by being a physical wall that protects against enemy fire.
Using E (Unbreakable) will put out a mobile shield that protects champions from enemy projectiles. It will also reduce the damage that does manage to make its way through the shield.
W (Stand Behind Me) gives Braum the opportunity tor each his allies faster, while also increasing their magic and armor resistance.
Q (Winter Bite) is a useful skill-shot slow. Even better, Winter’s Bite can be stacked with the on-hit passive of Braum’s Concussive Blow passive. What does this mean? It means that when this skill is used, Braum will almost always stun his opponent.
This champion has an ultimate that is versatile – Glacial Fissure can be used to prevent the advance of pursuing enemies or to initiate team fights.
Why Pick Braum?
Braum runs off of trading and ganking synergy. There is no denying that Braun is a good Brawler champion. During trades, it’s almost guaranteed that his Concussive Blows passive will stun, and this will be followed by a nice amount of magic damage. To make this champion even better, his passive also stacks when a teammate attacks.
Braum top would work the best when combines with a jungler like Master Yi, Warwick, and Volibear. The extra damage from those concussive blows will secure those kills, and the additional armor bonus the champ gets from Stand Behind Me will make it easier to make those tower dives. We also recommend getting items that have on-hit effects such as Black Cleaver and Frozen Mallet.
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After Kai’Sa was released, many LoL players chose Kai’Sa as their main. Her Q (Icathian Rain) ability is a good source of damage, and it is fairly spammable. Then, you have her W (Void Seeker) combines with her E (Supercharge), which does a great job of taking enemies down.
Her ultimate (Killer Instinct) comes in handy when she needs to chase down enemies that have escaped (or tried to escape).
Kai’Sa has three passives – the first two passives come in handy for adding a nice boost to her overall damage. The third passive is used to enhance Kai’Sa’s first three abilities.
Why Choose Kai’Sa?
Kai’Sa’s damage and versatility make her a great choice. This type of champion can do good in nearly every position, and this shines through when she’s in the top lane.
In meta, where tanky melee bruisers are dominating the top lane, a ranged champion will have an advantage early on in the game. However, Kai’Sa also does good in the late game; plus, she has both AD and AP scaling damage. This means that the enemy team isn’t going to have any other choice other than to check to see what items Kai’Sa is buying before they choose to build either magic resistance or build armor.
When you pick your fight on Kai’Sa, you’ll want to pick it away from the minion wave – Kai’Sa does have the range advantages, but she doesn’t really have a way to disengage.
Now, we have Taric, a good support meta-pick. His kit relies on playing with a nearby teammate because Taric’s abilities will also activate where the linked ally is.
Q (Starlight’s Touch) is a good lane sustain, while E (Dazzle) has an excellent AOE CC ability that proves useful during team fights. It also comes in handy for keeping enemies from getting to your team. Taric’s W (Bastion) offers the right amount of physical damage reduction. When teammates are near Taric, and he uses his ultimate ability, this will render them invincible.
Why Choose Taric?
Some people are under the impression that Taric does best in the bot lane because he will always have someone to link up with there. However, believe it or not, he is a good brawler that can do a decent amount of damage.
Having the ability to deal extra magic damage combined with those passive auto attacks makes a good meta top laner. With Taric on your site, even a Junger that doesn’t have crowd control, such as Hecarim, will have the ability to pin an enemy down.
When paired with Junglers that don’t have CC, Taric is a good off-metal top laner. Just keep in mind that most of the top lane enemies have a tendency to be on the tanky side, which means that your burst junglers might not have the damage required to eliminate the target.
During just the past few weeks, a lot of players have been experimenting with a variety of builds, so it’s no surprise we get a lot of variations. Truth be told, a lot of the experimental builds tend to cover one in particular, and that is the Turbo Chemtank. At the time of this writing, newer and “more optimized builds” have surfaced due to changes Turbo Chemtank received in patch 12.2. All things considered, a lot of builds still make Akali top a very dangerous lane to face against.
What makes her so successful in the mid lane also translates well into the top lane. Akali is a champion that just hurts. Even without items, she innately hurts. This gives you a bit of flexibility as to how you build her. When you build more damage, she can get rid of enemies quicker. When you build her tankier, she’s a bit harder to deal with. This is great for most lineups, as she can just pick up different items and adjust on the fly, depending on what the enemy composition is building towards. She also has great mobility and is quite slippery during a clash.
Five Point Strike is great for softening enemies up during the laning phase. It all but assures that when you close the gap with Shuriken Flip or Perfect Execution, your full combo bursts down the enemy. Twilight Shroud is excellent for duels, especially when the enemy champion has no means of detecting you. It allows for true hit-and-run tactics that sort of define Akali’s playstyle. Pulling of sneaky ninja moves and outplays is just plain satisfying.
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A wild man-wolf isn’t exactly what you’d expect to see in the top lane, running around and killing minions. Yet here we are. What makes Warwick so scary is that a lot of people can’t truly grasp just how much lifesteal he has, and that often translates to surprised top laners who get caught off-guard.
Warwick is an excellent duelist, mainly because of the aforementioned lifesteal. Eternal Hunger ensures that he steals more HP the lower his own becomes. Jaws of the Beast offers him a mini gap closer and – you guessed it – even more healing. His ultimate, Infinite Duress is another gap closer that is great for suppressing champions you want to lock down and target. During a clash, Warwick can pick off fleeing opponents during the ensuing chaos with his Blood Hunt. With Warwick in Summoner’s Rift, all the ingredients for a good hunt are present.
This champion is a prime example of something you don’t see too often, but somehow works. Not too long ago, a North American player who mained Rek’Sai, along with like-minded individuals, developed a strategy for a top laner Rek’Sai. The result is a very optimized playstyle that takes full advantage of his abilities. She is a very good assassin who can weave in and out of the battlefield.
During the laning phase, she is able to consistently trade with her enemies because of her built-in sustain through Fury of the Xer’Sai. Without mana, skills and abilities are easy enough to spam. This gives her unlimited sustain, even without any items. When able, Rek’Sai can also build a network of tunnels that run from the base to as close to the top tower as you’d like. The tunnels have a very long duration, so even without Teleport, Rek’Sai is able to get back into the lane quickly.
A lot of players think Burrow is a handicap due to the low vision, however, an aspect of this comes in very handy when playing in the top lane. Rek’Sai can actually see the footsteps, even from blind spots. This makes her particularly great at detecting when an enemy jungler is coming to gank.
Finally, with the buff Void Rush received actually makes it easier to hit, Rek’Sai is a sight to behold. It’s an execute with a built-in window of invulnerability. It’s a nifty skill to have that can be used offensively as well as defensively. When you mix all of these together, you start to wonder why Rek’Sai top isn’t as common as the theory crafting suggests.
Lulu might seem like a strange pick, even as off-meta champions go, but hear me out. Firstly, Lulu has a lot of CC built-in, so she’s great as a utility pick. You can either build her as AD or AP, though maybe an AD would work a bit better in top lane for the most part. Lulu can soft zone out her opponents with Whimsy, which is particularly useful when going in for last hits. Both Whimsy and Help, Pix! may be used both offensively and defensively.
The latter is especially useful when you see an enemy champion trying to run into the bush to attempt a juke, as this skill does provide vision and can act as a sort of signal to your teammates so they know who to prioritize. She is also an excellent kiting champion, and this is especially true if she faces off against a melee champion.
Wild Growth is also great for clutch plays, and this ensures that you maintain a degree of usefulness to your team as you progress later into the game.
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Very much like most other champs who make use of items like Turbo Chemtank, a lot of new Rammus builds have surfaced that come to include using him in top lane. No, we aren’t joking! This is a bit more effective than you might think. Not only is he an S-tier initiator later into the game because of his Soaring Slam, but his signature Powerball skill also ensures he gets back into lane quickly. His early game isn’t the best, but having a tanky top lane with amazing mobility certainly helps the team when the laning phase is over and both teams generally just try to aim for pick-offs.
Rammus is great in the sense that he can just build armor and magic resistance and still be a force to be reckoned with. A lot of this is thanks to his passive, Spiked Shell, which all work seamlessly with his other abilities. He’s also one of the few champions who benefit from actually being attacked because of Defensive Ball Curl. And when Rammus builds as much defense as he naturally does, we know how it will end up for the opponent when they do decide to attack Rammus.
Last on our list of the ten best off-meta top laners; we have Blitzcrank. Blitzcrank is a good support champion that can take any match by storm. Q (Rocket Grab) is his signature move that grabs an enemy champion and snatches him/her closer to him. Once the enemy is within melee range, Blitzcrank can use E (Power Fist) to stun the target. He can use his offensive mobility tool, Overdrive, to get in range with the enemy to use his Rocket Grab. His ultimate (Static Field) deals a great deal of AOE burst damage.
Why Choose Blitzcrank?
Blitzcrank has the capabilities to go up against melee brawlers without blinking an eye. His Static Field passive does a good amount of magic damage, and Power Fist has a low cooldown – all of this combined with the attack speed from his Overdrive gives him a lot of sustained damage. His Mana Barrier passive makes him a hard champion to take down. Then, you have the fact that he can use Rocket Grab to take an enemy close to the tower, forcing them to get hit big time.
With Blitzcrank’s passive shield, we recommend Lifegrip and Malmortius’ Lifeline – combining these will make him an even bigger force to be reckoned with.
So there you have it – the top 10 best off-meta top laners. If you have some other off-meta picks that you feel deserves some spotlight, go ahead and tell us about them in the comment section below.