Flavor of the Month: Tank Ekko Is Tearing up the Top Lane

Apr 8, 2016
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Tank Ekko
Ekko is ta[n]king advantage of the strength from Sunfire Cape/Iceborn Gauntlet to terrorize the top lane. Photo via Riot Games.

The pool of viable champions for top laners now includes a highly mobile bruiser in Ekko. Things have changed since the Mundo/Shyvanna meta of a few seasons ago. The most recent champion introduced into top lane as a top tier pick is Ekko; another champion taking advantage of the power given by itemizing with Sunfire Cape and Iceborn Gauntlet.

Itemizing Ekko Top

Poppy, Nautilus, and Gragas are all champions who, like Ekko, look to build Sunfire Cape and Iceborn Gauntlet to become high damage bruisers. These items present a high utility power spike for a low cost.  For just 5,400 gold you get wave clear, tankiness, and enough damage to be a threat to anybody on the enemy team. After these items you are free to go full tank, or even add more damage with an Abyssal Scepter if you find yourself ahead.

Top Lane Ekko: Laning Phase

Imaqtpie has a dominant laning phase on Ekko against Fizz, followed up by an unlucky late game.

Ekko typically has a much easier early game in the top lane into melee champs. Facing off against champions who have the potential to poke you down can be rough. If the enemy top laner has already locked in a Graves, or a Yasuo, you might want to consider another champion – unless you know your jungler is ready to help out. Ekko offers great gank assist with the slow from Timewinder (Q), his ability to stick to opponents with Z-Drive Resonance (Passive), and the option to dive is always open thanks to the shield/stun from Parallel Convergence (W). If all that isn’t enough to pull off the dive, Ekko can go back in time by using Chronobreak (R), just to re-dive again.

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Against other melee champions Ekko can poke with Timewinder and win extended trades with a strategically played Parallel Convergence. Ekko can become a lane bully, but he’s also very susceptible to ganks before level 6, or when his ultimate is on cooldown. Enemy junglers will wait until Ekko uses Phase Dive (E) before collapsing for what should be a free kill and/or burned flash.

Finding Your Role in Team Fights

Ekko players should look to annoy the enemy carries as much as possible in team fights. Squishy targets have to respect your damage or face the consequences. Closing the gap and sticking on your target is easy. In the worst case scenario where your team isn’t able to follow up, you press R for a guaranteed escape. You saw how easily Imaqtpie stuck to the enemy Jhin in the video above. It’s not fun to be a squishy target against an enemy Ekko.

Top lane tank Ekko is a highly contested pick right now. Ekko offers high mobility and outplay potential while still remaining a relatively easy champion to play. Try him out in a few normal games before collecting free ELO in ranked.

Good luck, have fun!

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Jamie Jacobs is a bot lane main who once won 17 consecutive Janna games. His favorite champions are Thresh, Kalista, and Bard. Jamie writes about competitive League of Legends and the professional gaming scene every week at Esports Edition.
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