WARNING: This is VERY VERY LONG AND YOU WON'T PROBOABLY READ IT ALL SO PLEASE JUST READ THE SECTIONS ON THE CHAMPIONS I ADDED
Hello, I am contractas1 a rather minor user of the LoL Wiki. I am making this blog to express my opinion on how I think solo top operates. I will feature every champion that I think is decent or better in solo top in an alphabetic order. I will also note why do I think these champions are viable there. I hope you help me and help me learn to go in this lane and win because I have had terrible games when I just picked something like Mordekaiser and failed horribly because my enemy would damage me (but I can't play Mordekaiser so that makes sense.) I have also had very amazing plays as Nidalee when I was simply dominating but that is normal for a player who mains Nidalee. The problem is I can't rock solo top unless I play champions that I'm more familiar with but I want to understand the basics of the solotop lane and realise how are you supposed to play it, I want to know how to play in the lane and not how to play the champion. So here it starts:
I think Ahri is a viable choice for a solo top laner, she has good sustain and a long range, the problem is she is pretty squishy, but it's nice when you can outrange the enemy. I don't think that Ahri would hold a lane versus two enemies, but she would definetely hold a lane against one. Ahri's ultimate, Q and passive allow her to be in this lane. Her ultimate is an amazing spell allowing her to initiate on ganks and also escape from them. Her Q ability when utilized with her passive can heal her by a larger amount than another champion that is solo top could heal ( I think that Ahri would heal more than a Xin Zhao who gets healed every 3 attacks while Ahri most of the time gets healed every 4 spells.) And her passive is the main reason why Ahri can solo top. It grants so much Spell Vamp and Combined with Will of the Ancients you'll be surprised how much Ahri heals after her Orb of Deception.
Akali is pretty often seen in a top lane. Well at least more than in jungle or mid. She is a good solo top and turns into a good carry later. The thing that keeps her in this lane alive is the ability to endlessly sustain herself if she gets that bonus 9.5 AD. She also has pretty high burst damage so she deals damage similiar to other combo champions such as Jarvan IV or Volibear. Akali would be a perfect solo top if she was tankier and if she had harder CC than her slow ( though that would make her ridiculously powerful because she could apply hard CC that doesn't allow enemies to avoid her burst unless its something like a non-powerful blind that only stops attacks from damaging but allows them to escape)
Though a rare one, Blitzcrank is a champion that can go solo top and have a chance to win it. The problem is that he uses a lot of his mana with his spells that you use a lot. Blitzcrank also loses a portion of the protection his Mana Barrier provides by using spells so he is a mana reliant champion. The reason Blitzcrank can solo top is because he has a lot of crowd control that it allows him to continuosly keep enemies up in the air with Power Fist and also helps the jungler ganks a lot. Blitzcrank lacks sustain making it a must to buy some health potions and also a good choice to start with an item such as a Philosopher's Stone. Blitzcrank is also an amazing utility champion so he can be very useful later in the game by grabbing those unwary bad positioned carries like Ashe or Tristana who think they might be safe. I think if you pick Blitzcrank for a solo top champion you must play in Draft Mode because Blitzcrank can easily get outlaned by a lot of champions because they have higher damage and sustain also have a good set of abilties allowing them to survive him and kill him in the process. I just think you should play Blitzcrank against ability power champions or lower damage champions.
Cho'Gath has to be one of my favourite champions to see when we have a jungler and he is solo. He is very hard to kill and also has a better sense of humor than Blitzcrank. His Vorpal Spikes ability is very good since it adds the additional AoE damage and Cho'Gath is all AoE, except nomnomnom ofc. The best thing about Cho'Gath is that his passive is an improved version of Swain's passive and it is weird Riot didn't notice it :D Cho'Gath has the ability to heal at will just by last hitting allowing him to stay in lane forever. His CC is amazing so he can escape enemies and help allies with it. Also he is a deadly machine and no one will be able to easily kill a tankier Cho'Gath. What people don't understand is if you build a full tank then you deal more damage because you can stay longer in fights and able to deal more damage. So I would always do a full tank and get something like a Rod of Ages maybe for the mana issues or even a Zhonya's Hourglass for the amazing active and armor. Cho'Gath is one of my favourite champions so that is the reason I am writing so much about him.
Detailed explanation: Mundo has the best sustain in the game allowing him to stay in lane forever. The problem is that a lot of players like taking Ignites, Madreds Bloodrazor and even Deathfire Grasp just to destroy Mundo. And that is why he is very little seen. I think that Mundo is one of the better lane holders and deals some decent damage, but if you want to see that damage you should get some Magic Penetration and maybe some damage and attack speed, but not miss out on any tank items. You should never build full tank or full AD mundo because he will survive very long amounts of time but I don't think late game when enemies get their magic resist that your cleavers will do so much even if they do % of enemies' health, survive respectively. So you should build him like your average tanky DPS. Mundo can hold a lane well but his damage isn't noticeable making him a not fully viable solo top unlike the above.
Take Fiora if their team has one ability that enhances an attack and you'll be happy when they fail. Fiora is one of the most powerful damage dealers (IMO) but she is also one of the squishiest champions. It's amazing that Riot gave her 2 steroid abilities 1 gap closer an ultimate that deals a lot of damage grants the "Untargetable" status and also applies on hit effects. Not talking about the passive that sustains her. Fiora is squishier than most of the solo top champions but she is very rewarding aswell (or as well idk.)
Has decent sustain, amazing in teamfights. great chaser and escaper we present you Galio, the Sentinel's Sorrow. Galio is amazing in 4 lanes making him a good champion to buy. (Yes Galio is a jungler too) Galio has a great range. Why did i say he has decent sustain? Galio's ability Bulwark provides the target bonus armor and magic resistance for a short time and a bulwarked ally when hit will heal Galio making it a good choice to use it on the mostly focused minion. Why is Galio amazing at teamfights? All of his abilities have multiple uses in a teamfight most of the time you will see that Galio ults, but that's not what you should instantly expect. When I play Galio (free week) I usually wait for the enemy team to initiate on me trying to be the global taunt for them and trying to keep my allies safer. I try to use Resolute Smite after Idol of Durand and I keep using Righteous Gust whenever I want my team to initiate or to damage them or initiate myself if Flash is on cooldown. And I usually use Bulwark on the MVP of our team who is either the high damage AD carry or the high damage AP carry. The role of Galio begins and ends with support tank.
He's a pirate and he knows it. This guy is considered one of the best solo top champions and I can agree. While he is alone he can help any lane by using his ultimate. He can also continuosly slow and harass enemies with one of the most powerful non-ultimate abilties Parrley!. His oranges are very strong and a bit overpowered when I think about it. I mean it makes Gangplank a champion with 4 Summoner Spells. His E is useful for ganks and is also useful because it grants that passive bonus that increases his power without any items.
Spin2win guys! You should always pick Garen if you are sure the game will be a quick win. Garen can make anyone cry with his powerful abilities. Tired of killstealers? Pick Garen! Want to KS? Pick Garen! Want a champion that can easily sustain himself? Pick Mundo! Garen has amazing health regeneration when left alone in lane so try to avoid taking damage because it does stop the huge regen. Garen also has no mana making him better than a lot of others. I used to play Ignite Cleanse AD Bottom Lane Garen and I would get perfect scores. Then I tried the solo top and found that bruiser Ignite Flash Garen is way better.
Whew this is hard work, but who cares I made it I finish it! Gragas has pretty nice sustain when you can restore mana with an ability and restore a percentage of your health by using any ability. Gragas has a beard. Gragas loves alcohol. Who wouldn't want to play Gragas? He is best when played with a premade team, but he is not so good when you have some retards who decide its good to pick an AoE ultimate (like Fiddlesticks's or Amumu's) when you pick Gragas. You shouldn't play Gragas if you aren't good at conserving your mana, because you will just not be able to damage them unless you are planning to be the more rare option AD Gragas. Gragas is a great champion to have because he just screws up any initiation the enemies might have. He might just reposition their team when Amumu snared all of you. In solo lane Gragas won't hold when spamming abilities and without higher health sustain. But he is a very good champion when played correctly and can beat several champions such as Nidalee or Udyr.
Yeah one of the champions who was called very underpowered then asked to be buffed and gotten the huge buffs (I played the old Irelia) then the trolls (I hate trolls btw) who noticed Irelia is OP created the stupid Better Nerf Irelia memes. I never hated Irelia since she was one of the champions that got me a quadra. I think Irelia even after the nerfs holds an amazing spot in any team comp. She has amazing sustain, damage and CC. And when farmed up and snowballed, Irelia will carry the game easily granting your team an easy win and also less games with rage (unless the enemies rage.)
Jarvan IV is so annoying in solo top its not normal. You just have to wait for them to burn Flash then use your ultimate. I also ALWAYS recommend checking on the time they used Flash because then you will know when their next Flash will be ready. Jarvan IV is also one of my favourites because the first 2 games I played with Jarvan IV against people got me 2 quadra kills. Which is quite amusing for a very laggy player like me. I also think Jarvan is good because he has that huge slow and the shield can withstand a lot of damage with some tanky items. He also has a good passive and a very good Demacian Standard passive. Also he has a gapcloser built of 2 abilities. I think Jarvan's ultimate should disable use of summoner spells because now with the Flash meta people always (and I do mean ALWAYS) have Flash making Jarvan not so viable
The new Jax brought us new capabilities. He can now easily solo top since he has that dodge that no other champion has! Jax is very good in solo top though he has no sustain his high burst damage at level 6 pays off. With the recent changes to his ultimate I think they made him more viable as now he can stay longer in fights, but deal less damage with abilties. I think it's the same damage because now Jax deals less damage after he has used his ultimate but he also lives longer dealing less damage with abilities but when thinking about it dealing more damage because you survive much longer than you used to. Jax is one of the best assassins because if he is near you he can just stun you then burst you down quickly and there is no primary resistance because Jax is a hybrid character specializing in dealing magical and physical damage.
Katarina is one of the champions you won't see too often, because now everyone knows how to stop her ultimate. The thing people don't notice sometimes is that her Bouncing Blade and Shunpo abilities also do damage and if you don't do anything about them she will just abuse the ultimate and just keep doing that. In solo top Katarina can be played as a tanky AP bruiser or hybrid. I think every Katarina player should get an early item providing spell vamp or lifesteal depending on your build. Also you shouldn't spam your Bouncing Blades too much because they do push the lane. Late game Katarina deals insane damage if you sell the tankiness and get extreme power and some magic penetration. I think Katarina is stil viable, but people shouldn't just think that her ultimate will be ruined instantly. When I play Katarina I like waiting for them to initiate or wait for allies to initiate. It is your choice how do you want to play Katarina, just enjoy her and you'll do pretty good and don't underestimate your other abilities.
Kayle is a nice solo top champion, because she is a jack of all trades needing farm and not fulfilling any role perfectly. I think Kayle is an amazing solo top, because of her ability to deal continuous damage, she is also ranged while the effects of Righteous Fury are applied, she also has the good synergy with enemy and ally junglers able to speed herself up and slow the enemies in either allied or enemy ganks. Also her immunity is great if the enemy survives and stays under tower and your jungler is half health and wants to kill them. Kayle late game pretty much becomes a semi-support. In teamfights you'll proboably help the carry and help your tank to initiate with that Divine Blessing and if anyone other than the tank tries to kill you you can just use your ability to instantly deal amazing damage and amaze them with your very strong attacks.
I saw some comments about Kennen being amazing solo top. Yes he is amazing solo top so now should I type anything? So Kennen is amazing in this lane because the sustain Kennen can get with Hextech Revolver which can later be built into some other spell vamp items or if he goes attack damage with lifesteal. Kennen also has a stun, this form of crowd control is pretty rare in the solotop environment but it surely helps you a lot. The best thing about Kennen is that his early mid and late game is amazing if you understand Kennen. Late game some of the damage falls off and Kennen becomes a teamfight utility tool, but don't think that all of the damage falls off it's not like you lose all of your damage. You just deal about 100 less because the enemies might invest in some magic resist items such as Banshee's Veil, Maw of Malmortius or Guardian Angel. Don't worry one little item might fix that. The item is called Abyssal Scepter since you are solotopping Kennen your AP carry will also benefit from that making it a good choice that helps the whole team.
Still wanted by Chuck Norris for stealing his moves, Lee Sin isn't afraid. He is brave because he knows that he can go top and win that lane over. The reason why you don't see too many Lee Sins going top, but see more of them jungling is because those Lee Sins are afraid of finding Chuck there! If you are brave and not afraid that Mark Norris will call his brother Chuck go top. Lee Sin is a very good solo top champion, he has sustain, high damage and also amazing mobility allowing him to move around the map in interesting ways opening new capabilities. Lee Sin cannot counter too many solo tops, but he has that high lifesteal and spell vamp with his Iron Will and his Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike and Safeguard/Iron Will can help him escape a gank quite easily. Lee Sin is annoying to deal with because if he lands his Sonic Wave he can instantly dash to you, use Tempest maybe Cripple you and keep fighting or go back to allied minions with his Safeguard and turn Iron Will to heal any damage he might have taken. Also since he uses Energy he doesn't need to go back often. Lee Sin is very hard to master, but when mastered is a very rewarding champion who late game is able to take a high amount of damage and deal higher damage himself.
"The dawn has arrived" Leona the CC queen can be so annoying sometimes. She is very very weak early game but when you get some ranks in Eclipse that spell will deal so much damage you'll be happy and the best thing is that you can set up a good combo with her. The bad things are her mana, which will go down soon if you do use her spells too often and also the fact that she has no sustain. Leona relies on her basic mana and health regen to heal her making it impossible to hold a lane too long without items such as Philosopher's Stone which can be changed into a Shurelya's Reverie later or getting health and maybe mana potions which help you to hold a lane longer and don't cost too much, but don't get me wrong. Philosopher's Stone will eventually pay for itself making it a good item to have a long time and upgrade when teamfights begin to go terribly. Mana conserving is also not easy because your spell comboes do cost a lot of mana making it better to use spells one at a time and not combo them too often till you get some mana. If you do like doing the combo and think that Leona deals no damage without that then get yourself a Glacial Shroud the item is very useful and can be upgraded into the mighty Frozen Heart. Late game Leona makes fights easy, her ultimate is a very powerful tool in teamfights being able to slow or stun the entire enemy team if a fight is going in a tight spot such as the tribush or the bushes near the blue buff.
So you might think why did I add Lulu. Lulu is a champion that sometimes need farm to get items. I think Lulu is like Karma just more useful late game and less tanky. Lulu is interesting because she is a spellcaster relying on her attacks to harass and the other factors that increase her damage are her slow and the polymorph or ability power and movement speed buff also her Help Pix ability helps a lot. Lulu is also insteresting because of her playstyle, she is a strong mage early game, mid game she becomes a semi support and late game she is a support that deals some damage but doesn't outdamage a member of your team unless they're not so fed or the other champion is also a support who chose to go with a carry such as Taric or Janna. Lulu also amazes me with her capabilities to boost the damage of a carry and protect them at the same time making melee junglers amazing when combined with Help Pix because they can keep distance and also making champions such as Fiora who has that 120% AS boost very powerful. I know I spoke too much about her playstyle and other things but this is what matters the most, the top laning phase is just attacking the enemy champion harassing them and also last hitting. I am sorry if this didn't help.
Malphite is a good champion because of his natural tankiness. His damage output is also pretty cool. The key thing Malphite lacks is high sustain, while I agree he has that high health regen. Most of the solo top champions need a higher form of sustain such as potions or more regeneration from items so getting Philosopher's once again is a good idea. Malphite should be able to help in ganks as his skillset does help a lot by applying those slows. His damage also increases with one of my favourite abilities: Brutal Strikes. With this ability you can gain 75 bonus damage at level 9 if you max it though not too many players choose to max it and I prefer Ground Slam instead.
Maokai is a very good champion in the jungle, but he can go solotop and win it aswell. His skill set is very interesting so I am going to say that all of his abilities make him amazing in this lane. Maokai early game can just harass, but be careful to not run out of mana too quickly. Late game in the teamfight phase Maokai will be an amazing initiator when you can jump on their carries and use your ultimate to reduce overall damage removing it when mana is lower or when the enemies begin to run. Maokai in solo top can usually harass with his Saplings, but when enemies get some movement speed or have those dashes like Renekton's Slice or Riven's Valor you won't have an easy time harassing them, because your other abilities are mostly used against ganks or when your teammate ganks. His passive is his only sustain and to use it you need the enemy champion to play someone spammy so if they play Riven you can play Maokai because Broken Wings charges 3 stacks quickly.
Last time we saw Mordekaiser, he was getting banned banned banned banned banned in every game, then Riot decided to change him to fix him and that put Mordekaiser from god tier to tier 2, then even less players began playing because he got a nerf so he went to tier 3 and stayed there. Mordekaiser is still a huge enemy you should be afraid of. His damage output is still huge, he still has that sustain from ultimate and his shield is still strong when used in conjunction with tank items. Mordekaiser is just different now because his shield degenerates faster and his damage was lowered. Mordekaiser still has that harass. He still has that shield. He still has that damage and sustain. So why not pick him?
Welcome Morgana. How does it feel going solotop?
-Well I never thought that I can easily harass them by snaring them, also escaping jungler ganks with my snare is fun. And the shield is godly!
Was it hard against some opponents?
-Yes, it was hard against some but not against all. There were such as Gangplank who would instantly cleanse my snare or my ultimate and their damage is mostly physical the only good thing I had was my shield which blocked the slow from his shotgun and his ultimate.
Can you tell us why are you viable in solo top?
-If you want, I can. Morgana is viable in solo top because of her spells. She has that good farming tool, a very nice CC, a shield that stops any form of CC including suppress. My ultimate can save you from multi people ganks because it can stun a large amount of enemies also it scouts bushes for me because I can ultimate whenever someone is near me. My sustain is amazing, because after I get a Will of the Ancients I'll heal a lot of health with my Tormented Soil. Pick me over your Jax or Galio and I will do well!
Nasus is a known solo top. He is very good in that lane, because he has that huge damage spell called Siphoning Strike which will increase in damage every time it kills someone so what I'd do is use it everytime it recharges and a minion is nearby because it is worth getting that. The best thing about Nasus is that he has passive lifesteal which lets him stay in lane longer. Nasus also has an amazing tool for ganks. It is called Wither and it punishes every enemy you use it on. Nasus late game is amazing in teamfights because he is very tanky and deals amazing amounts of damage if he got a lot of Siphoning Strikes. Nasus can shutdown any member of their team with his Wither late game making easy kills unless the enemies get something like Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash. DON'T LET HIM FARM OR HE WILL CARRY!