League Guides7 Best Lethality Top Laners in League of Legends

7 Best Lethality Top Laners in League of Legends

The top lane has a very huge champion diversity as every season you can see different champion types in this lane. Recently, support champions like Soraka and Sona are finding their way into the top lane with very high win rates, that is because these support champions can easily poke enemies with their ranged attacks and spells as well as have sustain for themselves. 

There are many ways for players to win their lane in the top lane, and one of those ways is playing Lethality champions or AD-based champions that can revolve their builds around lethality items. 

Lethality champions are not limited to assassin champions, you can basically build lethality items on any attack damage champion and still find value in them.

Some bruiser champions who can weave through auto attacks can even build lethality items that can turn their low but consistent damage into a huge burst for each cast. With Season 12 being on full blow, we will show you 7 of the best lethality top laners that you can use. 

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1. Riven

Riven’s kit revolves purely on attack damage which means the more AD you have, the more her Q + auto-attack animation cancel will do damage. Lethality definitely makes Riven’s abilities OP, especially on her R’s second cast that has an execute effect. 

Execute effect let’s Riven deal more damage to enemies the lower their HP is. She has lots of combos that she can use to surprise her enemies but she is really easy to use, you can simply weave your attacks with her Q and practice your animation cancels and you’re great. 

Riven, however, needs some getting used to so you can play her to her full potential, luckily we have a practice tool now where you can spend your time before bringing her on ranked games. 

You should focus on practicing animation cancels on Riven and observe how every click of a button affects each of her spells. If you manage to master this, the next thing to practice is to play through her cooldowns and when to use a certain combo you learned. 

How To Play?

Riven is a very strong early game champion that easily dominates any 1v1 fight if she has her Q on level 1 and an ignite. She can easily win any encounter with any champion during level 1 so try to take advantage of that and bully your opponent in the lane so you can gain an advantage on HP and wave management. 

Riven is fun to play during 1v1 fights but her real value comes out during team fights, all of her abilities deal AOE damage and your team will need every airborne and stun debuff you can put on the enemy. She also excels at roaming thanks to her Q and her E which have really low cooldowns, she can use this to jump on walls or use it as a gap closer. 

Staple Lethality Items

Serrated Dirk

Is a great first lethality item to buy when you recall for the first time, this is only great however if your opponent is squishy. So if you are facing a tank champion that stacks on armor, Black Cleaver is a great alternative first item on Riven.

Eclipse

Ahh yes, Eclipse, this item is just broken on Riven as it doesn’t only provide her lethality bonuses, it also gives her Omnivamp that lets her heal every tie she hits an enemy with any of her abilities, knowing that she weaves her auto attacks and Q’s together, she can really heal for a lot with this item. 

2. Garen

Lethality scales with each AD proc you can deal in whatever spell you cast or auto attack you do, and with Garen’s all AD scaling, he can surely benefit from lethality items. His Q will ignore so much of an enemy’s armor if he builds lethality items, so much so that its damage will feel like it’s broken. His E also scales with his lethality bonuses dealing tremendous amounts of damage for each proc. 

When you build Garen as a Lethality assassin champion, he can basically one-shot any squishy champion out there by using his Q and letting them suffer the entirety of his E. Though lethality is not a great build when facing tank champions that stack up on armor, so try this build only when you are facing squishy top laners like Yone or even a Vayne. 

How To Play?

When playing lethality Garen, you don’t want to be tanking all minions and champion spells all the time, you will need to be very cautious and if possible hide in bushes most of the time. If you manage to take control of vision in a bush in the early game, you can use this to your advantage and zone your opponents away from that bush and lead them away from the minion exp range. 

Staple Lethality Items

Prowler’s Claw

Garen only has his Q as his gap closer and it is just a speed boost, sure, he had a great gap closer back when he had the dash from Stride breaker but now that it’s gone, Prowler’s is a great alternative for it. If you are trying to build Lethality Garen, this item’s active effect will go a long way for him. It doesn’t only let you dash towards your opponent, it also amps the damage you deal to said opponent making lethality Garen more lethal. 

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3. Gangplank

He is a champion that has one of the highest ban rates in high elo, this is because Gangplank is one of the craziest scaling champions in the game. His late game is so insane that he can one-shot teams of five or even finish tanks with less than 10 hits from spells or basic attacks. 

But he is a literal glass cannon especially if you build purely lethality items on him. But if you manage to farm well and avoid dying so much on him, you can easily win games with this champion. 

His barrels are great sources of burst damage and another great thing about them is that you can hide them or place them strategically and confuse your enemies on which one you will use.

How To Play?

You might want to pick runes that give you sustain in the early game like Grasp of the Undying or Fleet footwork. GP has a really weak early game and is always at the risk of dying multiple times from ganks to simple trades. 

He is pretty squishy so try to manage the wave under your tower and believe me, some team comps can still kill GP even if he is under the tower so try to ask for help or play very carefully. But once you build your crucial items, you can roam and proceed to kill multiple enemies at once. He is also a great team fight champion thanks to his ultimate and his barrels that deal insane damage. 

Staple Lethality Items

Duskblade of Drakthar

The bonus damage he deals the first time he hits an enemy along with its slow effect is great for bullying enemies even if they have self-peel skills like Ezreal’s E. Duskblade also helps Gangplank pick enemies off one by one in the late game thanks to the invisibility this item provides him every time he scores a takedown. 

Prowler’s Claw

GP is yet another champion with no gap closer and depends on the slow of his barrels to get close to his enemies, Prowler’s Claw will definitely solve that issue and it also synergizes with his passive that gives him bonus movement speed every time he procs it. 

4. Jayce

Jayce is the king of pokes in League of Legends thanks to his Q that can also be amplified by his E, all from which when he is at his ranged form. If you build all lethality items on Jayce, he can easily deal 500 to 1000 damage to squishy champions each cast of this spell. 

Lethality scales with all of his abilities so performing combos on him will make you feel like an assassin instead of a bruiser every time you build pure lethality items. 

How To Play?

You will need to practice Jayce as he has two forms that you will change to from time to time. It is worth noting that Ranged Jayce provides pokes while Melee Jayce makes him a great bruiser, you have to know when to change forms and what abilities to use. 

He has lots of combos to choose from depending on each situation. During late game team fights, you can poke enemies with your ranged form just before the team fight starts, or you can simply keep on poking enemies until they are pushed under their tower which makes them an easy target for your Q. 

You can keep poking enemies until you destroy a lane tower or you can master his combos and fight enemies and destroy the towers yourself.

Staple Lethality Items

Serpent’s Fang

One of the few champions that actually benefit from a useless Item. Jayce’s pokes can trigger Serpent’s Fang every time opponents try to shield themselves whenever you poke them with your Q. 

Eclipse

Eclipse’s value comes when Jayce performs a fast combo with all of his abilities, this will trigger Eclipse’s passive that gives Jayce a shield and bonus damage and movement speed right after he engages an enemy with his hammer. 

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5. Rengar

It’s really annoying to lane against a Rengar in the top lane especially when he has control over the bushes. He will leap on every last hit CS and will spend most of his time in the bush which gives his opponents a lane dominance feel. If you don’t have a way to poke him or if you can’t trade with him every time he leaps on you, you will have a very hard time laning against him. 

How To Play?

Immediately gain control of the bushes and try to trim minions down by using your passive. Every time your ability is empowered, try to use it to poke your enemy champion, and if it scares them, that is the best time for you to finish them off or completely zone them away from minions. 

In the late game, you will have very high movement speed and every time your ultimate is up, you can basically hunt their squishy champions.

Staple item builds

Duskblade

Every time you go back to the bush and damage an enemy for the first time, you will slow them down and every time you score a takedown and become invisible with this item’s effect, you can leap to another target. This is a powerful combo as Rengar won’t have to find a bush anymore to leap to his next target. 

6. Pantheon

If you were around back when Pantheon hasn’t been updated yet, you would know that he is one of the strongest top laners. He can simply just stack up on armor penetration and he can finish enemies by just spamming his spear. 

But then he got updated and got a complete overhaul, his design and animations are much better now and his abilities got adjusted. He still packs the same punch after the change and especially when he builds lethality items. 

How To Play?

You should run Press the Attack if you plan to play Pantheon as a lethality top laner. Pantheon instantly procs PTA’s effect whenever he uses his empowered W on an enemy champion, two more hits then he will have another empowered ability. 

You can bully your opponent in the lane as soon as the game starts and make sure to do this as much as you can to win the lane as Pantheon’s value falls off in the late game. 

Staple Lethality Item

Eclipse

The beauty of Pantheon’s update comes from his W that lets him attack three times when it is empowered, not only will this proc his PTA but it will also proc Eclipse’s passive. This will easily secure Pantheon’s trading value as it gives him a shield and bonus movement speed giving him the options of committing to the trade or running away after poking an enemy. 

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7. Zed

The top lane is the home of 1v1 fights and solo kill events because it is the farthest lane in-game. Help doesn’t usually come early in this lane as it only matters whenever Rift Herald or the Baron is up.

What better champion to use than a 1v1 champion like Zed himself, he is one of the best champions to ever build lethality items as it gives bonus damage to his already impressive shuriken damage. It also synergizes with his ultimate that scales with lower HP as well. 

How To Play?

Zed has a weak early game and you should start by having Q as your first ability as it will allow you to last hit CS from a distance. Once you reach level 6, you will probably have your serrated dirk by then, and try to look for first blood in the lane by going all-in with your ultimate and ignite. 

If you manage to win this way, you will have control over the lane and it will allow you to roam to your other teammates. During the late game, building lethality items will make you an assassin and make sure to take care of the enemy’s backline, this will be your only value in the late game as you won’t deal much damage to tanks and bruisers at this time. 

Staple Lethality Items

Eclipse

This can be easily procced by doing your basic combo of W + E + Q, eclipse will add bonus damage to your combo that you can rinse and repeat because you have energy instead of mana. 

Conclusion

Lethality items are great when you are trying to burst or poke an enemy down, this also works better if the opponent doesn’t build armor items. If you are faced against tank champions that stack up on armor like Malphite or Rammus, it will be much better to build Black Cleaver or armor percentage items that has Armor Penetration. 

Tony Fallon
Tony Fallon
I started playing League of Legends in Season 2, and I've been playing it ever since then! My highest rank was Grandmaster (Season 10), and last Season I've managed to get to Master. I've decided to create this blog to help other fellow League players with tips on how to get better at different aspects of the game! My mission is to help you improve in League of Legends, and I truly believe that I can do that since I have high knowledge of the game.

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