LoL Top Macro - Becoming a Chad Lone Wolf
The loneliest lane in League of Legends. Place of solitude where two alpha humans clash against each other, fighting for top lane domination. The place for real men and real women. It’s a lane that doesn’t have that much impact on the game itself. However, if you play out your lane correctly, you will be able to open many windows of opportunity for your team. Moreover, some games will be decided by you depending on your champion, and lane matchup. You picked Illaoi, and you won your lane? Prepare for some 1v3 fights that you can win if you use your ultimate correctly. Did you select Tryndamere? Farm-up, and solo the game by being a split-pushing beast. Did you pick Teemo? Why?
League of Legends itself is a game that can create millions of situations, and maybe some more. Everything found in this Top Lane Macro part of our Guide is general, and based around the most common occurrences. However, you will be able to apply things that you learn here into your entire Top Lane career. And through that - you will be able to figure out the rest yourself and maybe discover some new things. So listen up people, as it won't be easy to implement during your first read. There's so much else to gain.
Champion Select Screen
The match doesn’t start with the first invade, or minions. The game begins in Champion Select. It is where you will make your first important decision - which champion should you go to? There are a few things to consider while picking your character. Your skill, the matchup that you are going into, and what will be best for your team composition.
You should never pick a champion that you are not skilled at, at least when you play ranked games. In normals - hack away, pick anything you want. Make sure you know your champion, their possibilities, optimal runes, spells, item build, and power spikes. Also - your teammates. Your average allied Yasuo could use some Malphite at his top lane. However, don't pick your champion purely for your team, as you should depend on yourself and your strongest picks.
Then - keep in mind your enemies. Especially enemy top laner and jungler. Most interactions that will decide the outcome of your lane will happen from these two guys. Well, three if you count in your jungler. Make sure you pick someone who can do well against those two enemies. If you are picking Nasus into Teemo - you basically whack, as you can’t possibly scale into the mid-game and late-game. Did you pick Darius into Vayne? You play those first three levels badly, and you will have no chance of matching her. Choosing the right champion that will do well against your enemy is crucial in Solo Queue. You don’t want to put your fate into the hands of your allies only. It’s a big mistake that will slowly deteriorate your progress in ranking up.
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Finally - something for your team. Are you lacking AP damage? Go AP. No Tank? Go for one. Do you need heavy Crowd Control? Pick away. Now - lots of newbie players that want to “play for the team” will go into a trap of always going for a champion that will fit. Nothing wrong with that, but if you determine your pick only because of that - you will be unsuccessful. Pick something that you like to play, that is strong against your main enemy, and can decently contribute to the allied team.
In general - pick a champion that won’t have to give up lane priority 24/7 and stand under turret while being harassed in the current matchup. It just won’t work in Solo Queue.
The dreaded laning phase. That's where true Chads are born. Ask your average jock, they've started right here, in League of Legends. You will use every macro laning technique there is depending on your situation; everything relies on your Matchup and enemy jungler. You will slow-push and crash a wave creating a roaming timer when you want to make some presence on the map. You will freeze the wave when you are stronger than your enemy. You will thin the wave to reduce the roaming timer and avoid diving. You don't always have to focus on a player kill, in fact, this should be your last option of creating dominance on the enemy laner.
Lane priority is another important aspect of the lane. As the top laner, you have the responsibility of controlling the top-side jungle when something terrible happens. It is why it will be mandatory as a top laner to win the lane. And winning a lane will be something different for each type of champion. Duelists, most of the time, will opt for good trades and getting some solo kills. Brawlers will try to dominate the lane by being a significant presence that pushes towers and manages to win 1v2 or 2v2 encounters. Tanks - especially at a higher level should not fall behind, and they will outscale their opponent with time or become more useful.
A Top lane is a lonely place, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are stronger - freeze to mess up your enemy, or slow-push, if you want to dominate elsewhere. Feel free to slow-push and teleport bot lane for a gank. Enemy Top-Laner is in a lose-lose situation. They can either follow your teleport and lose 3-4 waves of gold and XP (about 600 gold). Or they will stay and farm, their bottom lane has fallen, and you claim both tower and drake. And if the slow-push wave was perfect - you will be able to get just in time to get to your tower before the enemy wave crashes in. It’s crucial to create situations like this. Top laner without presence is just dead weight.
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You can have all the mechanics, every piece of your strategy intact, you know your matchup, you know your power-spikes. You just reached a power-spike - you go in, burn everything… and the enemy jungler comes in crushing your dreams. You lose exp, gold, lose pressure, enemy top-laner has a one-level advantage. From now on - you either have to scale or wait for your jungler because you won’t be able to do anything by yourself.
You can have all the wards that you want, but sometimes you will not have the tools necessary to fall back in time. It is why it will be essential to track BOTH junglers. A crucial thing to know - who the jungler is and where did they start.
In the current meta - most junglers opt for a full clear unless they are focused around the early game (Nidalee, Elise, or Lee Sin). Some junglers are not able to do the full clear and lead into a gank as well. You should know the jungler matchup, and how they can clear. If you have all of this information, you will be able to easily say at what time you can expect the enemy jungler in your lane. At least in the beginning, as after the first back jungle paths can become a little bit twisted and chaotic.
What about tracking your jungler? There are two reasons to do it: information and possible help. Let’s start with the aid. You are the red side Top laner, and your jungler is finishing Red Buff, the last camp before their gank. You can expect your jungler to come in at any time, and if you are having a prolonged fight, they can easily make it in time and help you. It is obvious.
But information is way more important. Let’s say that your jungler has started on Blue. And the enemy jungler started on their Red. As soon as your ally started doing red - you should realize a few things. Enemy jungler is most likely in the top-side jungle finishing Blue Buff. They can either opt for a full clear, invade, Scuttle Crab, or gank. And very often they will gank your lane. It should open a small window (between 3-5 minutes into the game), where you don’t make risky plays, and you don’t use your getaway cards to engage. It’s a widespread mistake that you can observe in beginner Riven, Fiora, Renekton, or Darius players. They will go ham, trying to dominate the lane, and they ignore the gank window. Suddenly they lose their opportunities for the next 10 minutes with a single successful gank.
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Long story short - if you don’t know where the jungler is - don’t do anything stupid. Save that escape and play passively. Enemy jungler shows up on the other side of the map? You are free to do your job and use your item and level power-spikes. Of course, a skilled Darius or Illaoi, for example, will be able sometimes to ignore that rule and hack away. These two can consistently win 1v2 fights. Other champions can do it as well. But most of the time - stick to that little rule, and you will never have to blame your jungler calling out the jungle difference.
You will have to look out for a certain jungler. Twitch. This guy can come to you at level 2, after his Red or Blue, and ruin your lane immediately. If you don’t burn your flash at the exact moment, he shows up, or you don’t have some defensive or mobility-focused ability, you will most likely die. Twitch’s damage output at level 2 with red is absolutely insane. So keep in mind that the gank window with this guy can be both 1:40 - 3 minutes, or 3 - 5 minutes into the game.
Mid Game Top Lane
It is the point in the game where it’s your turn to spread your impact on the entire map. You will join skirmishes, take objectives, group with your team, or split. And each decision you make will be different, not only due to millions of possible scenarios but due to your selected champion.
Depending on who you are playing and how you did on the lane itself - you will focus on different things. Tank with heavy Crowd Control, Split-pusher (Duelist and Brawler), Ranged, Zoner - every type will have a specific job to do.
TANK - With enough tanky stats and some hard CC, you should opt to organize dives and walk around your carries so you can bring much-needed utility into the team. You can scale even harder into the late-game, so be the big man on the field. Discourage your enemies if they want to dive your carries and focus on objectives.
SPLIT-PUSHER - Pushing, pushing, and pushing, many, many times. No questions? We will answer them anyway. While not every Duelist and Brawler will opt to split push (they can do it just fine, better or worse), they are put in this one section. These guys will try to create small or big skirmishes around the map. Champions from this bracket excel at dueling, fighting multiple enemies at once, or running away. Riven, Darius, Tryndamere, Jax, Yorick, or Aatrox would do some amazing things if they played the lane well. Depending on their possibilities after laning, they will either stay in lane and push away, grabbing the attention of the enemy team, or create favorable fights to set up possible objectives. Create might not be the right word. It might be a small understatement. They want to force fights, just because they can handle them. Having awards or some help in picking those good winnable fights on your lanes using your skills. Mid-game is the time for these guys. If the game goes well for them - everything is on their terms. That's a gaming power-move right there. Proper split pushing is very hard itself, and there's a lot of micro coming with it (a macro game for the most part). We might just create a guide about just split-pushing.
RANGED + ZONER - Both Ranged champions and those who can zone will be experts at sieges and forcing enemy teams to give out objectives. Kayle or Rumble will be the best at it, but you could also use Jayce or Swain. Most zoners are best at mid or marksman positions, but we will talk about them shortly. After taking Tier 1 Tower - move to the middle lane most of the time, join your jungler, and collapse on the enemy. Take the towers and keep the rest of the enemies unable to react with zoning abilities. Your pressure - it's not about the money, it's about sending a message.
At this point, every misplay can be heavily punished. That's how Riot created it. Death Timers are long, and almost every death can lead to a series of lost objectives. Towers will fall, so will Drakes and Baron. Maybe even Inhibitors. Each play that during the midgame was risky - now it’s even more dangerous. Losing one person might mean a lost inhibitor or Baron. It creates extreme pressure towards your team, and you will have to control waves properly to survive that time. One opened lane through a destroyed inhibitor will make you shift your entire playstyle. Now - to fight for other objectives, you have to control that one opened lane continually. At this time - the enemy team will work on different objectives. It’s an endless cycle that you will have to stop with a decent teamfight or a quick pick. Play around the lost lane and watch out for enemy mistakes. Control your vision, and you will be ok.
Outside of pure objective side of macro - you as the top laner - will do many things. Again, you can focus on forcing fights, setting up an ambush, and picking out targets who are mispositioned. Depending on your champion and its strengths - you will either jump on the most valuable targets, fight on the frontlines to soak up damage, or protecting your strongest allies from enemies by peeling, providing CC, and damage.
This is the end of our League of Legends Top Macro Guide. If you still feel thirsty for some reliable Macro knowledge, please feel free to check out our other guides, like LoL Macro Guide - Play & Win Like Apdo, LoL Mid Macro Guide - Carry All Lanes From Midlane, and LoL Jungle Macro - Dominate The Map. Read guides about all laners so you know what to expect from your teammates and enemies. Knowledge and experience are everything. We hope that you've learned something new, and if you did, we are absolutely sure that you will be able to implement that into your game, allowing you to win more, carry more, and lose less. Report back to us and tell us about your won games, become a member of our community and give us some feedback so we can improve our content by a whole lot of subjects right here, on MMOAuctions.com (trademark sign, don't really know how to do it)! And for those looking for some useful things for League of Legends, like Powerleveling, Accounts, or Boosting, please proceed to League of Legends Categories. And if you are not looking forward to purchasing some things, and instead set up your own business to sell goods and provide services, then even better, as you will become a part of something big! See you on Summoner's Rift!