I keep hearing how they will "heavily nerf soraka" and how she needs it because shes an S tier top laner.
I just wanna point out, nerfing soraka is just a placebo fix. The underlying problem is that to win the game as a toplaner right now, you literally say "screw going top" and pick a second support and roam all game for mid and botlane. This isn't going to be a rant, I'm a longtime diamond toplaner and this is a real analysis on why I think we got to this historic lowpoint for top:
Top lane has always been one of the least impactful roles pre-late, but there has been some key changes that just made the situation a perfect storm of garbage:
- They nerfed the hell out of teleport and we're just stranded here without a gameplan besides "pray all game my laners do fine before I eventually get a slight chance to group up"
- They made games insanely dragon-reliant. Every game comes down to which team gets the first ocean, and if they go long enough, which team gets the soul. Every game is decided by dragon now unless your teams insanely ahead. What can a top laner do about securing early dragons? Well we have to give up like 2 kills worth of gold to the enemy top if we even TRY to go over and help, thanks to my next point:
- The addition of turret plating, which punishes you for even attempting to affect the game early on. Wanna roam mid or bot for dragon or a fight and actually help the outcome of your game before its been 90% decided? Have fun losing lane because your enemy top just got like 500 gold from farm and plates in that short span. You were going even in that lane? ha, not anymore. You're going come back to darius with his next big item out of nowhere and you are now nothing but lane food. I'm not saying turret plating is bad, it definitely adds fun to the game overall, but this is a definite issue toplane and it keeps us all prisoners.
- We had that awful tank meta a while back and they added lots of penetration and max hp stuff, but now were in a state where "armour" and "magic resist" feel like fake stats. They really feel like something you're "supposed" to buy but don't do anything for you anymore in reality because you still get insta-locked down and bursted at every turn as most bruiser champs. I mean when was the last time thornmail was actually effective at its only job? Its like throwing money down the drain. I bet anyone reading this forgot about it and were just like "oh yeah, that item" while reading this. Yet we're in a meta where soraka and master yi are god tier?? This should be the PERFECT time for people to get thornmail and yet it's trash because these items suck. (Meanwhile ornn gets to build these tank items only because he can absolutely one-combo you in lane without spending a single gold coin on damage for some reason every time you step up to do anything, lol)
- Top lane has become the most disgusting lane to play in terms of matchups. I have a recording of going against Darius in diamond 2 (I have nothing particularly against Darius but he's a relatable example for my post, since he's a cheap counterpick we all been screwed by before) where from the very first second of the game, all I can do is sit squarely under my tower and desperately attempt to freeze. I then walk up for 1 single cs and am one-combo'd and killed halfway under tower. Keep in mind this is before we even hit level 4, and before my lane was "lost" (except it lost by default was because he got to pick his champ after me) I have played into hard counters in every other role and it is nowhere near this bad for them, yet its like every other game as a toplaner that you're out in this actual hell situation because you had to pick your champ first. Do you know what you do on midlane when you're hard countered? You go look for opportunities around the map and adapt to your situation. You go and look for chances to snowball elsewhere. Now try doing that toplane without throwing the game. The only time you get to do that top is when you aren't even in this situation in the first place and you're the one snowballing out of control, which is an impossible win condition to count on most games unless you're smurfing.
- This might just be my champs, but in my experience, the game has become insanely hard for bruisers to do their job because we just get bursted immediately, and every season champs get more and more reliable hard-cc, mobility, healing, armour pen, and shields to "outplay" our melee range walking champs. It really feels like I'm playing a hopeless outdated role. We have to snowball INSANELY hard if we wanna do our job properly during most stages of the game, which just doesn't happen because of how big the counterpicking issue is.
To those of you who aren't diehard toplaners you might feel like this is a rant or dismiss these points, but let me tell you this is a very real and legitimate perfect storm of problems. Just think about when ADC was so terrible nobody played adc champs for a short while, and all you heard at every turn online was how adc sucks. The situation top right now might even be worse than that was.
I tried switching champs and roles, and I had amazing success, but I had one problem which is it just isn't fun. I'm a top laner and I love the champs I play. I was on a 15 game winstreak playing midlane through plat, hard carrying, but in the end it's not my role and not my champ. I was doing great but once the rush of winning more wore off I really wasn't feeling it. I am and will always be a bruiser top, so I really hope this is just a phase top is going through.
So what are the solutions? Hard to say. Maybe others will have some ideas.
- I thought of if top didn't have turret plating so we wont be punished to actually help out and group earlier (you know, before the game is already decided) but then other lanes would just have a crazy gold advantage over us, and this doesn't change that it still takes a year for us to get anywhere on the map especially with teleport so historically worthless.
- So I thought of it teleport was a good spell again and not just something you take on champs who don't need a "real" summoner spell. Problem is obviously other lanes are going to start taking it again too which I think is why it got nerfed this hard in the first place.
- I thought of dragons being heavily nerfed, maybe that'd be good maybe not, it's a complicated issue. For one, I have no idea what they want dragon to be. Did they want it to be a snowball enhancer you can group for after a great teamfight? Or did they want it to be this crazy sought-over precious thing everyone is willing to throw the game over like it is right now with souls? I really love the concept right now and its way more fun, but this is definitely the outcome we got from it.
- Maybe a new item or something they can be creative with that addresses some of the issues? Who knows. Something that isn't just flat armor and MR stats like the rest because those don't do anything anymore.
There's honestly so much more to say about toplane, but I think those are some very key points. If you even read some of this then thanks.
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