Top lane has always been the place that tanks and bruisers call home. Top lane is where you’ll find players that enjoy engaging in fights and bullying the adc. However, while tanks and bruisers are standard, a third type of Champ calls Top their home; the ranged Top laner. Taking a ranged Champion to the Top lane all but guarantees a lane win.
It is easy to poke down and bully the enemy tank or bruiser when you have a substantial auto-attack range on them. Most of the time, you’ll be able to poke the enemy laner down to half hp from autos before they even have a chance to engage on you.
While ranged Top laners can bully melee Champs, they usually are pretty squishy and will lose fights where the enemy laner gets off a good engage. Another con of playing a ranged Top laner is that most of the time, it’ll leave your team without a tank and sometimes without the ability to engage.
As mentioned, ranged Top laners are squishy on average, which means they are very vulnerable if they engage without their team immediately behind them. Good Top lane players can curve this disadvantage by bullying their melee lane opponent so hard that they fall behind on levels and income, which means they will be utterly useless in team fights.
Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of playing a ranged Top lane Champion let’s go over the five best ranged Top laners in the game. When crafting this list, we wanted to incorporate a vast range of playstyles; early game, late game, map control, poke, etc. We also wanted to choose Champs that are currently strong and will find success in the current season. With all of that being said, let’s get into the best ranged Top laners in League of Legends.
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This choice might be obvious and would fit comfortably at the top of the list, in all honesty. Teemo is the OG ranged Top laner. Since the beginning, he has been causing havoc on the top side of the map. Pre-6, he can poke any melee Champ down thanks to his auto-range and the poison damage from his E. If he gets engaged on, he can W for movement speed and blind the enemy laner with his Q.
After 6, Teemo can gain unprecedented map control with clever shroom placement. With shrooms, Teemo can track the enemy Jungler, prevent ganks, control Harold/Baron, and even turn on 1v2s. Late game, Teemo can set up his shrooms in popular teamfight areas (Baron, Dragon, Jungle Chokes, etc.) to give his team a huge edge and pick off any low Champs that happen to make a wrong step.
While Teemo shrooms will always do colossal damage throughout the game, there are some considerable downsides to the Champ. Teemo is squishy and vulnerable to ganks if the enemy Top laner or Jungler has a stun. Teemo innately pushes thanks to his poison, so if he’s not careful and gets engaged by healthy enemies, then there is a good chance that he will die.
Most of the time, he has to play team fights like an ADC would; kiting tanks and staying at a healthy distance, which means that by playing Teemo, your team will be missing a tank and melee threat. You can neutralize this disadvantage by planting good shrooms and bullying your lane-opponent out of the early game.
Kayle starts as a melee Champion but gains range as she levels up. At level 6, Kayle becomes ranged, and at level 16, that range drastically increases. Kayle is an excellent Champion for players that enjoy playing ADC because she is practically an ADC on steroids.
Kayle is also great for players that like to play safe early-game and then come online during the late-game team fights. Kayle is one of the best late-game Champs in the game, she is tough to put down once she gets rolling, and her Ultimate can completely flip the momentum of a fight if she can use it to negate crucial enemy cooldowns.
Kayle’s main disadvantages are in her early and mid-game playstyle. She is not very strong during this time. In most games, it will be difficult for Kayle to come online before she hits level 16 and fully ascends. She is very vulnerable to ganks because she has no escape and is also challenging to gank for because she has very little crowd control.
So when you play Kayle, there is a good chance you will be isolated with a massive target on your back. However, if you can get through the laning phase without feeding and start team fighting and skirmishing, then you will be in a great spot to carry games.
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Kennen is another OG ranged Top laner. Like every other ranged Top, he can be a bully with autos, but he can also bully with combos. Kennen’s passive allows him to stun enemies periodically, which means it is much easier for him to kite, as well as for his Junglers to gank for him.
Kennen’s true strength comes from his Ultimate and his team fighting capabilities. Landing a Flash Ult on the enemy team’s carries will instantly win a fight. Unless your team is drastically behind in farm and levels, it is almost too easy to stomp a team fight with Kennen, which will, in turn, win many games.
Unfortunately, if Kennen’s team is behind, his ult will not be much of a difference-maker. Unless he is fed and can 1v3 the enemy ADC, Support, and Mid laner, he is more likely to be diving into his death. When playing Kennen, it is vital to assess the game in its entirety and use that information to decide whether to ult the enemy backline or peel and kite by ulting their front line. Sometimes a mixture of the two strategies will be necessary, so good decision-making and game sense during fights is crucial when playing Kennen.
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Urgot stands out from the other ranged Champs in this list because he is also a Tank. Urgot has unmatched pushing potential, allowing him to push in and bully many common Top laners. He can also kite these Top laners if they manage to engage on him. He has CC and a little bit of an escape to handle ganks from the enemy Jungler and set his Jungler up for kills. He also excels in team fights, especially when he’s fed because the enemy team can’t ignore his damage, but he is also so tanky that they will not want to focus him.
Most of Urgot’s downsides come from his simplicity. If he is not fed and enemies understand how to outplay him, then he is not very hard to kite and fight. While he has a mini-escape, it is not a guaranteed life-saver. Junglers love to camp Urgots because of his lack of mobility, and if they shut him down early, he will not be able to team fight until he climbs back through farming.
Champions like Kennen, Kayle, and Teemo will have something that makes them relevant whether they win lane or not, while Urgot will need to at least come out even if he expects to carry team fights.
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Jayce is powerful at the moment. He can do just about everything in the game; poke, engage, melt squishies, kite tanks, etc. While in his ranged form, his E-Q combo is one of the most annoying pokes in the game. On the other hand, when you’re an ADC and a fed Jayce is running at you with his hammer out, you might as well roll over and play dead.
Thanks to Jayce’s range, he can win most lanes against melee Champs at early levels by poking them down and forcing an engagement with his Jungler. Winning lane allows him to roam or Teleport around the map and carry the game. His team fighting is decent, as he can kite tanks or engage squishies at his discretion, and before the fight even begins, he can get off massive poke damage with his E-Q combo.
The lane becomes much easier if Jayce is against bruisers or squishy Champs. However, it can be difficult for him to finish off tanky Champs after he pokes them down. Those tanky Champs will also build resist early in the game, which will completely shut Jayce down if he doesn’t find any kills. Jayce is highly versatile, thanks to his two forms, but if he gets behind, it becomes tough to carry a game on him. Since half of his kit relies on him jumping in on squishies, he has to be able to blow them up. Otherwise, he’ll be a sitting duck and end up feeding every fight.
So there are the five best Top laners in the game. As we mentioned initially, a ranged Top laner is a fantastic way to guarantee that you win the early lane. They can poke down melee Champs and apply constant pressure.
On the other hand, if you play a ranged Top laner, you have to be extremely careful as most enemy bruisers will be able to out damage you if they manage to get their hands on you. Ranged Top laners are a great way to mix up your playstyle and counter enemy Champs, so we recommend adding at least one to your Champ pool.