Imagine if someone had told you a year ago that Quinn, Darius, and Gangplank would all be top tier picks? That would sound almost as insane as telling someone two years ago that Garen would be over powered for a while, and that replays are never coming. The top lane has had probably it’s most unique share of champions this season. Tanks will always be important, but damage is now what sets a mid-tier pick straight to over powered status. Top lane is the new mid lane, so it’s impossible to cover every over powered pick. Malphite and Jax are both great, but nowhere near these titans.
The bayou frog himself, dragging helpless enemies down to the bottom of his gullet, is the best top laner in the game. He has insane amounts of health, he can peel for his carries, and he can also do damage. He has engage, disengage, and two health bars, the all-around package. In competitive he’s banned or picked, because giving him to the opponent isn’t an option.
Mr. Whiskers can build any tanky items he wants and still be amazing. His ultimate’s passive gives him damage that scales with his health. You can take him support or if you are feeling really evil take him devourer jungle. Watch as your enemies get gobbled in two hits. He’s not balanced right now, so take advantage of Riot’s obliviousness to its fishiest problem.
The other member of the ban or pick club, Gangplank, is a monster. The Saltwater Scourge’s rework turned him from a gimmicky champion to one of the highest damage dealers in the game. If Miss Fortune happens to get hit by one of his barrels, your team just lost that fight. Riot has nerfed the damage of his barrels since release, but it’s still ludicrous. With GP being able to unleash a global cannon barrage anywhere on the map, his ultimate is one of the best in the game. Always get Fire at Will as an upgrade, DPS wins games.
New Gangplank can be built a few ways, but the most common is Critplank. Start off with a Trinity Force and move into an Infinity Edge and Stattik Shiv. You’ll be farming whole waves with one barrel, and taking an inhibitor before the other team even notices. No need to worry about being caught, that’s what oranges are for (this sentence makes zero sense to non-League players.)
I’ve talked about Poppy before, without knowing her true potential. Riot’s reworks tend to make obscure champions amazing; I have so much hope for Yorick. Late game, she turns into a tanky bruiser, not afraid to jump head first into the fight. A well placed wall smash into a knock up can be devastating in a large scale team fight. During LCS matches we see Poppy out duel even the best duelist, smashing and bashing whatever gets in her way.
Frozen Gauntlet got a buff this season, making it the go to item for bruisers. Poppy can slow you with a hammer smash, and then slow you again with an icy field. Her stickiness is what makes her such a valuable pick in a meta with so many squishies to obliterate.
Ah, the baguette queen has arrived. Ever since her last rework (seeing a trend here) she has become the split pusher of your nightmares. It’s like someone combined the survivability of Tryndamere , the damage of Jax, and Ekko’s dashes into one middle aged French woman. She’s popular in every region, with high win rates throughout.
Fiora can stop all damage coming to her, while also stunning the enemy. Riposte is the best non-ultimate skill in the game. It’s also made watching games she’s in extremely fun. A good Fiora can predict a Malphite ultimate; a bad Fiora can’t stop an Ashe ultimate. Building either of the new Hydra’s is a fine first buy, with Sterak’s Gage not far behind.