Teleport changes in season 12 affected the top lane meta the most. Here will talk about the best top laners for you to climb in rank.
Patch 12.5 has just hit the rift. But it didn’t bring much change to the top lane meta. The ‘Hullbreaker’ item was getting a bit too popular among top laners; it was even more annoying with ranged champions such as Graves. However, Riot nerfed this item, giving less armor and magic resistance to ranged top laners. Other than that, Kennen got a slight buff to his W, although it doesn’t seem to have much effect as Kennen is still having a tough time with an under 50% win rate.
So with these two small changes, the top lane meta has almost remained the same as in patch 12.4. With the teleport changes, players tried out many different playstyles over the last few patches in the top lane. Now you will see champions who can help their team without Teleport, such as Shen, or you will see Tryndamere wreaking havoc in the side lanes.
LoL 5 Best Top Lane Champions of patch 12.5
Riven is really strong right now, with Black Cleaver giving 30 Ability Haste. Ability Haste allows Riven to spam her abilities repeatedly while sneaking in auto attacks in between to maximize her damage. Also, not taking Teleport lets her take Ignite, making her even more powerful. But we would suggest avoiding Riven in lower elos as she is tough to play correctly.
- Keystone: Riven can utilize ‘Conqueror’ pretty well as she can proc it very quickly with all her abilities and basic attacks in between. A good Riven player can proc it almost instantly with animation canceling. You will learn more about it if you decide to main Riven.
- Core Build: Goredrinker with Death’s Dance basically make Riven unkillable. You heal for insane amounts and also negate a lot of damage. Following that with Black Cleaver and you can solo carry any teamfight.
As Tryndamere, your job is to farm and scale into the late game. We suggest you don’t try to split push all game. Instead, try to understand your win conditions and play through them. If securing a baron or dragon will help your team, try to group up with your team so they can contest the fight. Taking Ghost instead of Teleport gives Tryndamere an insane amount of mobility.
- Keystone: ‘Lethal Tempo’ works brilliantly with Tryndamere. You get tons of attack speed when fighting enemy champions.
- Core Build: Galeforce is great on him as it gives you another gap closer with execute damage. Your 2nd item can be Novori Quickblades. You can also go for Hullbreaker to have more defensive stats and tower pushing power.
As a Shen player, your goal is to help your team, not win your lane 1v1. But you can still win a lot of matchups if you know how to play Shen. But your main goal is to use your Ultimate to turn the tides of fights in the bot or mid-lane. A few good ults before 14 minutes can secure your team a significant lead while the enemy top laner has no way to follow you.
- Keystone: As Shen, you will want to take ‘Grasp of the Undying’ as your keystone. This gives you some sustain while you continuously trade with your opponent in the lane.
- Core Build: You can build many different things on Shen and make it work. In lower elos, you can go for damage items if you are already winning your lane. But most often, you should build tank items on Shen. Frostfire Gauntlet is an excellent mythic item as it allows you to slow your opponent even if you miss your taunt. Titanic Hydra gives you some waveclear that Shen needs really badly.
Another champion that shines in lower elos is Garen. He is relatively simple to play, and his current meta build gives him a lot of damage while also making him tanky. You would want to run Ignite instead of Teleport for Garen as well. This makes Garen deadly for anyone that comes close to him. In lower elos, you can 1v9 games with Garen. Even in Platinum+ Elo, Garen has more than a 51% win rate.
- Keystone: Garen is another champion that benefits heavily from the ‘Conqueror’ keystone.
- Core Build: Garen’s core items are Stridebreaker and Mortal Reminder. With these two items, you can easily kill the enemy carries if they make a slight mistake. Even if they play perfectly, you can use flash to get on them and use Stridebreaker slow to make sure you can stick onto them. Your other items should be defensive as you don’t really need any more damage.
The best champion to gain elo from the top lane in patch 12.5 has to be Darius. Not having to take Teleport has allowed players to play with another offensive summoner like Ghost or Ignite. This gives Darius tremendous 1v1 or even 1v2 potential.
Darius can easily solo carry a game. However, you will be looking to group up with your team in the mid to late game as you don’t have Teleport. If you can get a kill with your Ultimate, it resets, and you can take over the team fight pretty easily.
- Keystone: ‘Conqueror’ is the way to go for your keystone, as this gives you the best sustain option to fight and stack up your passive.
- Core Build: Triforce and Sterak’s Gage are your main two items for Darius. You can follow that up with Dead Man’s Plate for extra chasing ability. Death’s Dance is also a very good item for Darius, especially if the opponent team has more AD champions.