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Top Lane: Rock-Paper-Scissors

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Junior Member


Greetings, fellow summoners.

Before you start reading, Know that I'm an unranked, level 29 scrub. If you are an experienced player and/or main top role and believe you cannot learn anything from this thread, please, don't waste your time here. Thank you.

Meta... Meta never changes.. (figuratively speaking) Some roles are heavily affected by this plague, such as ADC or mid. Top, however, is a place where you go where your heart desires and troll until your mother calls you for dinner (to a certain extent).

One benefit of the meta is that it reduces diversity of champions, therefore, less IP spent on a specific role. Alternatively, for top, this means you're gonna have to blow your load on 10+ champions to keep up with counter-picks. I found it a nuisance to spend all this IP on a role I barely play, so I came up with a general categorizing system which streamlines the number of champions required to efficiently counter-pick top lane.

Fillies & Gentlecolts, I present to you... the Rock-Paper-Scissors of top lane!
(No, Malphite is not tied to Rock)

So there are three types of top laners:

Standard Melee Bruiser/Tank: Jax, Shen, Irelia, Rumble, etc
Ranged Poke: Nidalee, Jayce, Kayle, Teemo, Kennen, etc
Farmers/High-Sustain: Cho'Gath, Warwick, Vladimir, etc

Some champions fit into more than one category, such as Lee Sin or Yorick.
when you are unsure about things like this, just use your main or switch roles before the game starts. You'll figure out eventually

Melee Bruisers are champions that can engage in an equal 1v1 (with a gap-closer) and come out on top against the other categories (Because they are simply tankier or have superior damage).

They are beaten by Poke Champions because their HP gets chipped too low by the time they are at the level required to successfully engage (Similar to AOE comps vs. Poke comps).
Poke champions should have a good escape such as Nidalee passive or Kayle Reckoning. If they don't have that, they should be able to win trades with abilities such as Teemo's blinding dart or Jayce's GTFO hammer-Accelerated-Resonating strike-combo. Most important of all, they should have the ability to POKE, whether it's a ranged auto attack or a long-range ability.

They are beaten by High-Sustain champions because poke just doesn't affect them.
If they poke, they go oom, if they don't, they get poked/engaged at. Ranged top laners also tend to be lane-oriented, so they lose late game
By High-Sustain, I mean HIGH-Sustain. Enough that your health gained will be equivalent to the poke thrown at you. Gragas passive or Jax with a Hextech Gunblade isn't enough. These champions tend to be weaker early levels and scale into mid-late game.

They are beaten by Melee Bruisers due to their weak early game & inability to sustain during prolonged combat. Death = Denied Farm = Denied Late Game.
Just buy one of each category and enjoy your saved IP!

The last thing I want to talk about is specialized counters. An example of this is Malphite, who counters AD champions. Another is Galio, who counters AP. As you can see, my list isn't divided by damage source, so these guys wouldn't have fit in, which is why I didn't include them. (Although, I wouldn't ignore these champions just to conform to this guide)

Remember, skill stands above picks
You can prevent losing lane (somewhat) with picks, but only skill can win lane.

P.S. The things mentioned in this guide are generalized standards, these tips will not apply in EVERY situation. Knowledge on picks will accumulate with time. Other ways to improve is to watch high-ELO streamers & going on http://lolcounter.com (http://lolcounter.com)

TL, DR: Ranged beats Bruisers, Sustain champs beat Ranged, Bruisers beat sustain champs (Maybe I'm just stating the obvious).

Happy Holidays!

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if that is rock paper scissors Yorick is water.. Erodes rock and wins, Destroys paper and wins, Rusts Scissors and makes them useless.