By Duniel.A Bakkali
Season 5 was a time were jungle items completely changed in diversity at the start of the season. Although it soon shifted into top lane heaven when Riot Games introduced the juggernauts as they came with powerful advantages each to their own had. Now we move into the pre-season of Leagues 6th year and there is much to say about it so let’s begin.
Teleport our bread and butter in the top lane for two seasons have finally got nerfed but it is not butchered completely. It cool down on teleporting to turrets is the same as tp’ing to minions (350 seconds) and now the channel time for teleporting is 0.5 longer. These changes are a good move by Riot as champions with very low engage will find it hard to use teleport for team fighting or early pressures in other lanes. Champions like Renekton, Fiora or Darius are going to be much harder with teleport potential to team fights or lane ganks as the channel time will give so much time for the enemy to move away from their teleport spot. Fighter champions will most likely go to ignite and try to get kill potential in their lane since it’s less reliable for teleport plays being played due to cool down and channel timer but teleport will still be used.
Other champions that prefer to farm and wait for team fights or champions that have really good engage with teleport might keep teleport as the main summoner spell. Farm champions like Lulu, Mundo and Gangplank will still be using teleport due to their kill pressure being really low in the early game and the fact that they are at their prime when they have core items they need for team fights. Good engage champions like Hecarim, Maokai and Malphite will most likely be using teleport due to the amount of crowd control their kit have. Also itemizations support teleport plays as Hecarim will usually buy early homeguard boots to make plays within mid or bot lane.
Mage champions will go both ways as some champions may have high kill potential versus certain champions or the amount of early pressure the kit have, so they would take ignite. Although other mages may be strong when fighting as a team or with certain items in their slots, as teleport will help them farm better and be in certain places for plays being made somewhere in the map.
Teleport in general is still a good summoner spell but it has been drilled a bit so there is a chance of summoner spell diversity in the top lane so beware. Also the meta of some ad carries may shift to the top lane as champions such Graves might appear as his short range will weaken his 2v2 lane in bot but will be better off against top laners due to the range advantage not being a big deal as most top laners are short ranged or melee and that Graves deals quite a lot of damage throughout the game.
Masteries advantages for Top Laners
The new masteries system in Ferocity called Warlord’s Bloodlust goes extremely well with two champions; Yasuo and Tryndamere. Due to their passives and item changes they can critical hit almost every time around early game as Yasuo only needs zeal to get 40% critical hit and Tryndamere only needs his rage to be 100 to gain 35% critical hit. These two picks I would say are the most powerful only because of the mastery they can get but will soon be hotfix by Riot.
Windspeeker’s Blessing in Cunning for top Lulu will be really strong for her in team fights as her shield and ult now are increase by 10% and gives the targets resistances 15% of their base stats. I wanted to say this because I feel this makes compositions with lulu (especially in competitive) really powerful so I wouldn’t be surprised to see her in top lane a lot.
Other masteries points are really good but I wouldn’t go into much detail to some advantages and disadvantages of having them or not choosing other masteries as it is all new and people are still figuring out them.
Champions Coming Back to Top
The recent changes in the game promote fast and snowball games so champion that excel well at snowballing are most likely coming back. Also attack speed champions as pushing lane and gaining pressure in the map will be a big advantage for this patch, plus taking towers quicker as they now give more gold destroying them which will get your team ahead in gold and items. Champions I see coming back as of now are:
- Tryndamere: attack speed, critical hit passive and mobile
- Attrox: attack speed, sustain and good dive potential
- Yasuo: first buy of Zeal can sustain himself, huge kill pressure and lane pressure
- (Maybe) Quinn: Great roam potential although can be better mid, strong bully vs melee and have an item path that gives a lot of attack speed and split push potential
- Jax: Mix damagae, scales well with all the new and changed items, good split pushing and strong late game
There still be other strong champions from the one I listed that might still stay top but I think what we should all notice is that the diversity of top lane right now is massive as you can have so many new match ups that won’t become a norm for a while.
I would like to say thank for reading this analysis on pre-season top laners, this is the first article I have done other than university or college work. My name is DannieBoyRTS in EUW and I hope you all have a good day.