Top Lane is known for its high durability, survivability, and engage champions. In such a 1-on-1 lane, having every possible advantage is crucial for your team. It is said to be an island because it is a long and solo side lane. Not picking the best runes is putting yourself at a big disadvantage. Our guide will help you pick the strongest runes for Top Lane in season 12.
Also check out: Best ADC runes
Most Commonly Picked Runes for Top Lane
Conqueror has been a very strong keystone for some time now. It is most beneficial to champions such as Riven and Darius who like taking extended fights and stacking up the keystone. It provides bonus AD/AP upon the number of attacks done and also offers healing when fully stacked. Since Top Lane is a long lane, stacking conqueror is easier and stronger.
Basic attacks on-damage attacks against enemies grant stacks of Conqueror. Each stack of Conqueror grants bonus Attack Damage or Ability Power (max stacks: 12) for 5 seconds. While fully stacked, you heal for a percentage of post-mitigated damage from the damage dealt to enemy champions.
It synergizes best with Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Coup De Grace.
Also check out: Best midlane runes
Grasp Of The Undying
Grasp Of The Undying, or Grasp for short, is an extremely strong keystone in the Top Lane. It is used by several champions because of just how good it is. Entering combat generates a stack (max 4) allowing your next attack to consume those stacks dealing bonus damage, healing you, and permanently granting you bonus health. This keystone is extremely oppressive when used by champions such as Camille and Shen, making them a nightmare to face.
It synergizes best with Demolish / Shield Bash, Bone Plating, and Unflinching.
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Lethal Tempo has been reworked in season 12 to become stronger than ever. It is a very offensive keystone to use and is extremely powerful in the current meta. It grants a player bonus attack speed per applied stack from auto-attacking the enemy champion or dealing damage to them with an on-hit ability, allowing the champion to temporarily exceed its maximum attack speed limit and gain extended range. It is the best keystone for champions such as Kayle and Jax.
Basic attacks on-hit against enemy champions grant a stack for 6 seconds, refreshing on subsequent attacks and stacking up to 6 times. Gain bonus attack speed per stack and at max stacks, gain bonus attack range and increase attack speed cap to 10.
It synergizes best with Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Coup De Grace.
Press The Attack
Press The Attack is an offensive keystone that makes the enemy champion take bonus damage upon landing a series of basic attacks on them. It has a short cooldown and is perfect for auto-attack-heavy champions. This keystone is best on champions such as Volibear, Shyvana, and Warwick who utilize auto-attacks to the fullest.
Basic on-hit attacks against enemy champions apply a stack for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3 times, with the duration refreshing upon applying the second stack. Attacking a champion after Press The Attack is activated, the enemy champion is exposed for 6 seconds, causing them to take up to 12% increased damage from all sources.
Press The Attack synergizes best with Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand.
What is a Top Laner in League of Legends?
Top Lane is one of the five roles in League of Legends. A Top Laner is often a tank or high damage and high sustain champion that utilize the long lane to their advantage and run down their enemies. A Top Lane champion specializes in 1v1 combat due to the nature of the Top Lane.
Top Lane is an extended solo lane, unlike Bot Lane where you have An ADC accompanied by a Support. It has evolved over the past and in season 12, Top Lane holds its solidified identity of Bruisers/Fighters and Tanks. There are champions outside of these two classes that are played in the Top Lane but these two categories stand out the most.
Generally, two categories of champions reside in the Top Lane:
Fighters are the class of jungle champions who focus on combat and durability during any fight. Their goal is to be in the center of the fight and output well-sustained damage, demolishing their targets with sheer force.
Fighters excel at long fights, possessing reliable damage and sustain making them not only fearful in team fights but also in the Top Lane. Fighters are the strongest at punishing mispositioning in the lane as Top Lane is quite an extensive lane. They are also very flashy, making them exciting to watch and appealing to play but they are equally difficult to master so make sure you learn them using the best possible runes.
One of the strongest Conqueror users in the Top Lane is Riven. She gains an incredible amount of AD due to Blade of the Exile (R) on top of AD gained from Conqueror. With such high damage potential, reliable crowd control and insane outplay potential, Riven is a great pick in the Top Lane. She uses a combination of Conqueror, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand.
Fiora is another fighter that falls in the top tier of Top Lane champions. She is considered a lane bully because of her excellent short trades but she also excels in extended duels, benefiting from Conqueror to gain additional attack damage. Fiora takes advantage of the long lane to run her opponents down making her a great pick in the Top Lane. She combines Conqueror with either Triumph or Presence of Mind (due to lack of Mana), Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand.
Also check out: Best support runes
Tanks excel at engaging the enemy team and diverting the attention within the fight onto themselves. They are extremely durable, allowing them to lock down priority for a long period while their laner takes on the opponent with ease.
Tanks, in LoL, are realistically Fighters with more durability. They have been extremely strong not only in season 12 but in previous seasons as well. They are generally easier to learn compared to Fighters, making them more appealing to newer players.
Ornn is one of the most popular and best tanks in League of Legends in season 12. He has a safe laning phase due to being very durable making him an easy champion to pick up and play.
Easy as he is to play, Ornn is equally strong in team fights. He provides great crowd control for his team in any skirmish or team fight and proves to be one of the tankiest champions in the entire game. Ornn utilizes Grasp of The Undying combined with scaling runes such as Demolish and Overgrowth. Ornn also opts to go for Bone Plating or Second Wind depending on the matchup.
Tahm Kench is by far one of the strongest season 12 champions in the game. He is capable of using Grasp of The Undying, making his lane opponent have to play at his own pace. With such great engage and disengage abilities, a sizable shield, and reliable slows, Tahm Kench becomes a great pick in the Top Lane not only for his strength in a team fight but also as a solo laner.
More Top Laners and Runes in League of Legends
- Gangplank (First Strike)
- Tahm Kench (Grasp of The Undying)
- Nasus (Fleet Footwork)
- Malphite (Arcane Comet)
Top Lane is very matchup dependent. A champion may use a completely different set of runes depending on the opponent, therefore, we recommend experimenting with each of them to see what you prefer best! Tanks and Fighters have been equally dominant in season 12, are you going to pick up any new Top Lane champions anytime soon? If you are not playing Top Lane currently, will you be giving it a try in the near future after reading our guide? What are your thoughts on the newest patch? We love hearing your feedback, so hit us with it in the comment section below!
Also check out this article on the best AD midlane runes in League of Legends.