The current League of Legends season has had its fair share of controversies despite it only being one month since the season officially began. Recently, a new wave of champions has come to stir up the top lane meta in a peculiar way, although one has stood out as the biggest problem.
In the current state of Patch 12.2, Smite Janna top has a 58.06-percent win rate in high Elo, which includes Master, Grandmaster, and Challenger, according to U.GG. Janna has most efficiently made use of the “support Smite top” meta due to her high movement speed, as well as recent adjustments to her kit that have rejuvenated the power of her slows.
The idea of a support being played top with the Smite Summoner Spell consists of taking full advantage of Objective Bounties, a new mechanic introduced in the most recent preseason. By completely ignoring the top lane while constantly roaming and ganking other lanes, this method almost guarantees that objective bounties will stack for your team, despite you not actually being far behind due to your status as a support. Having Smite also enables players to steal enemy camps despite not being the jungler, potentially putting one of the most crucial parts of the opposing team behind.
In a recent interview with Dexerto, former LCS top laner Lourlo emphasized how unhealthy this strategy is for the game, while also acknowledging that the state of the top lane meta following the extensive Teleport changes led to this inevitable meta shift.
“You just spam ganks, taking summoners, and denying as much as possible from the other lanes while marking the jungle for your laners,” Lourlo told Dexerto. “With tower fortification being put in top lane along with AD carry and jungle being the most influential roles in the game, it’s a no brainer to me to play this.”
Other support champions that have taken full advantage of this new meta are Lulu, Karma, and Zilean, all of which have ways to speed themselves up and escape their enemies, an important part of this scheme. Janna in particular has been dominating solo queue in this new role, leading to this almost 60-percent win rate in high Elo. These champions, as supports, also have the capability of further buffing their carries that have benefitted from their ganks, making this combination near unbeatable in certain circumstances around the world.
Though Smite enchanters in the top lane have not yet been seen in professional play, it is expected that they will either be contested or banned in the coming weeks, before the strategy is inevitably nerfed. It is not clear how Riot Games will address this issue, however, as directing its efforts towards enchanters or objective bounties specifically may hurt other aspects of the game.