Top Lane vs. Bottom Lane

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NicoliTheCat

Member

12-30-2011

Bit of a newbie question (I'm only level 22), but I see a lot of discussion on champions being good in a specific lane, i.e. the "Sion for top lane?" thread on the first page at the moment. What's the difference between top and bottom? What makes a champ good at one but not the other?


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IDrunkenOne

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Member

12-30-2011

Bottom lane = AD ranged + 0 cs support
Top lane = usually tanky dps w/ sustain
mid = AP
+ a jungler


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Nexus Crawler

Senior Member

12-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDrunkenOne View Post
Bottom lane = AD ranged + 0 cs support
Top lane = usually tanky dps w/ sustain
mid = AP
+ a jungler
That only really happens in decently high ELO and even they throw that out the window when they know that player A can counter player Y and so call a lane switch.

But yes, in most guides discussions peope still consider solo top, mid, bot, and jungle so knowing roles, and where to put yourself/champion in a ideal situation is still a good idea. Keep in mind however that certain champions counter others so if you have a counter in your lane or you can counter another lane it's still ok to switch it up.


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Helicrom

Member

12-30-2011

The current strategy is exactly what DrunkenOne said, let me explain the reasons for the seasons...

You want a tanky dps up top because this is going to be someone who can sustain the combat for you. We are talking champs like Udyr, Irelia, Garagas, Sion, Rumble, Mordekaiser, etc. Basically this is the guy if you run into he isn't probably going to be able to kill, but you sure as hell have no chance of killing him.

AP mid is going to be that guy who nukes someone to smithereens. If he gets involved in the focus fire he is going to make a 5v5 into a 5v4 with 1 set of cool downs. Fizz, Karthus, Kat, TF, LB, Ahri, etc.

AD ranged is just what it sounds like. These guys base their damage on auto attacks. This means high crit chances, fast attack speeds. Because their damage isn't based on abilities they keep a consistent damage per second. Vayne, Graves, AD Teemo, Corki, Cait, etc

0 CS support serves a couple of purposes. First they are there to make serve the AD ranged gets a nice farm going. By 0 CS we literally mean you do not kill a minion. That extra is collected by the AD ranged. This is important because with higher AD they will have an easy time last hitting, which will earn more last hits. Also, a BF sword costs 1650 and the most important gold collected is the 1650th coin. You not farming can literally be the difference between them getting a sword when its convienent to go back. Your other role is to buff teamates, Zilean has a speed boost and an ulti the keeps people from dying. Sona has a heal and 3 buff/ 2 debuffs. Soraka can heal/ buff armor and give mana. Karma can heal, give a speed boost, and shield. Jana has a heal and an AD buffing shield.

Jungle is another usually tanky DPS champ or might actually be close to a full out tank. Traditional junglers are ww, shaco, olaf, udyr, nunu, lee sin, noc. However, you will certainly see a rammus, skarner, or mumu in the jungle and maybe even a Gangplank. These champs work so well because they can gank like mofos. Ram taunts, skarner's ulti pulls and his q slows, mumu has 2 stuns (one is aoe) and GP can do massive dmg and slow.

Most people don't even recognize that the bot lane is the 2v2 because it's closest to dragon. That way if you notice it's being taken you have more people in a distance to attack. The advantage of having solo lanes is of course to give them more xp. Those roles are allocated to the AP mid and tanky dps because those roles are going to carry you in team fights.


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NicoliTheCat

Member

12-30-2011

I'm not quite that new, I know the characters and the roles. I just don't get why, say, the top is the solo tanky dps and the bottom is carry and support. Why not the other way? Just due to the dragon?


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IDrunkenOne

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12-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexus Crawler View Post
That only really happens in decently high ELO and even they throw that out the window when they know that player A can counter player Y and so call a lane switch.

But yes, in most guides discussions peope still consider solo top, mid, bot, and jungle so knowing roles, and where to put yourself/champion in a ideal situation is still a good idea. Keep in mind however that certain champions counter others so if you have a counter in your lane or you can counter another lane it's still ok to switch it up.
decently high elo? This happens in 95% of normal games that I play at level 30, not even ranked. The 5% of the time that people don't follow the meta they are usually trolls, bad players, or people insisting on playing a champ who's role is already taken on the team and winding up bot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoliTheCat View Post
I'm not quite that new, I know the characters and the roles. I just don't get why, say, the top is the solo tanky dps and the bottom is carry and support. Why not the other way? Just due to the dragon?
Yes. Dragon is a very important early objective that can help your team snowbal thanks to the global gold, and once you hit level 30 people will go for it earlier and earlier and it must be contested. If the enemy has 2 people top and you have one, that means you can force a dragon where they either have to let you get it or fight 3v4.

To expand a little more on what Helicrom is saying, the reason why its almost always AP mid and AD + support bot instead of AD ranged mid (which happens occasionaly in lower level games) is that AP champs scale off levels while AD ranged scale off farm. AP heroes dominate midgame, doing huge burst damage usually once they hit lvl 6. A good AP mid will push their lane and then gank top or bot, which is one reason why they are mid. By putting them in a solo lane instead of a duo lane they also get more XP allowing them to level faster and get that huge burst. This also allows those AP mids to dominate early team fights, which usually are for dragon control.

AD ranged on the other hand scale off farm and have a very weak early and mid game until they get their items. In order to get those items, they are paired with a support who does not farm at all, allowing the AD ranged 100% of the cs, sustaining them in lane with heals and shields, and warding to prevent ganks. Besides the fact that this combo gets your carry farmed, it also is the most powerful bottom combo you can run, (although certain bot lanes like jarvan/leona can still **** on the standard carry + support) since it has a powerful ranged poke along with sustain making it very hard for the opposing combo to cs themselves.

Despite all that you will occasionally get teams putting say, a cait mid if the other team has a kass or leblanc because they would wreck whatever AP you stick mid, and occasionally teams wind up with 2x AP champs with 1 going top and 1 mid.


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grayrest

Senior Member

12-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by NicoliTheCat View Post
Just due to the dragon?
Yep. If the bottom lane gets killed or pushed out, it's pretty much a free dragon for the other team in organized play since bottom lane joins middle and jungle to make it a 4v2.


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FaerellG

Senior Member

12-30-2011

It's a small chain of meta-game choices.

So, the typical setup is 4 people in lanes and 1 person in jungle.
The advantages of a jungler should be fairly well known by now (more XP and the buffs, as well as map control and the threat of ganks)
The question is where to put the 4 people in 3 lanes...one lane is going to have 2...which one? Let's look at which lanes we want 1 in.

Mid: short distance between towers makes it hard to gank. Short distance from base means that if you do get ganked, it's faster to get back to lane and recover. So you want 1 person in mid.

Top vs Bot: the lanes themselves are equal, but the orientation of Jungle creeps and early game map control means that an important early/mid game objective (the Dragon) is near the bottom lane. While Baron is near top...it's only appears later on when the laning phase is over anyways.

So for lane combinations, you want more strength near the bottom to better control Dragon. So you put 2 in bot, leaving the last person to go top.

So now we have the traditional lane-composition:
1 top, 1 mid, 2 bot, 1 jungle.

Who goes where?
Generally, you want your Carries to get fed, so you send either ranged AD or AP carry mid so they can get XP and gold.

Jungle is usually occupied by the Tank because most tanks offer very little strength to the lanes and have the CC that makes them great gankers.

Top, is more hazardous and vulnerable to ganks, so sending a squishy carry up there for XP and gold is somewhat risky (though it can be done), but typically, the tanky DPS goes top because they have the survivability to get out of ganks.

This leaves bottom lanes 2 people, which means you put your other carry here and your Support. The Support typically lets the carry farm so they get gold despite having to share the XP. Supports are usually healing/sustain and CC. Often they aren't strong enough to hold lanes on their own so they should be with someone else who can push and deal damage well. Also a fed carry is better than having a fed support.

Which carry goes where? Mid or Bot.
AP carries tend to scale better with levels than AD carries, while AD carries tend to scale better with items. So, AP tends to go mid so they can get the XP advantage, while the ranged AD cares more about the farm and will be content going bottom.

So we get our current metagame set up:
Top: Tanky DPS
Mid: AP carry
Bot: Ranged AD + Support
Jungle: Tank

This obviously can be switched up a bit. There are plenty of other junglers that are good, but it requires a different set up. That's a separate topic.

But to answer your question, look at the current metagame I described and the reasons for why each role is put into each position and you'll have a better grasp of understanding why people suggest certain people for certain lanes.


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Mr AIex

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Senior Member

12-30-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by FaerellG View Post
It's a small chain of meta-game choices.

So, the typical setup is 4 people in lanes and 1 person in jungle.
The advantages of a jungler should be fairly well known by now (more XP and the buffs, as well as map control and the threat of ganks)
The question is where to put the 4 people in 3 lanes...one lane is going to have 2...which one? Let's look at which lanes we want 1 in.

Mid: short distance between towers makes it hard to gank. Short distance from base means that if you do get ganked, it's faster to get back to lane and recover. So you want 1 person in mid.

Top vs Bot: the lanes themselves are equal, but the orientation of Jungle creeps and early game map control means that an important early/mid game objective (the Dragon) is near the bottom lane. While Baron is near top...it's only appears later on when the laning phase is over anyways.

So for lane combinations, you want more strength near the bottom to better control Dragon. So you put 2 in bot, leaving the last person to go top.

So now we have the traditional lane-composition:
1 top, 1 mid, 2 bot, 1 jungle.

Who goes where?
Generally, you want your Carries to get fed, so you send either ranged AD or AP carry mid so they can get XP and gold.

Jungle is usually occupied by the Tank because most tanks offer very little strength to the lanes and have the CC that makes them great gankers.

Top, is more hazardous and vulnerable to ganks, so sending a squishy carry up there for XP and gold is somewhat risky (though it can be done), but typically, the tanky DPS goes top because they have the survivability to get out of ganks.

This leaves bottom lanes 2 people, which means you put your other carry here and your Support. The Support typically lets the carry farm so they get gold despite having to share the XP. Supports are usually healing/sustain and CC. Often they aren't strong enough to hold lanes on their own so they should be with someone else who can push and deal damage well. Also a fed carry is better than having a fed support.

Which carry goes where? Mid or Bot.
AP carries tend to scale better with levels than AD carries, while AD carries tend to scale better with items. So, AP tends to go mid so they can get the XP advantage, while the ranged AD cares more about the farm and will be content going bottom.

So we get our current metagame set up:
Top: Tanky DPS
Mid: AP carry
Bot: Ranged AD + Support
Jungle: Tank

This obviously can be switched up a bit. There are plenty of other junglers that are good, but it requires a different set up. That's a separate topic.

But to answer your question, look at the current metagame I described and the reasons for why each role is put into each position and you'll have a better grasp of understanding why people suggest certain people for certain lanes.
Excellent explanation. I wish we could sticky this or have an easy way to link to it when arguing about team/lane compositions with petulant teammates.


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Helicrom

Member

01-03-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helicrom View Post
The advantage of having solo lanes is of course to give them more xp. Those roles are allocated to the AP mid and tanky dps because those roles are going to carry you in team fights.
^