I'll be adding to this section continuously as I haven't played against all possible match ups yet, and where I have I might not have played it sufficiently to write in detail. Feel free to request match up that I have not mentioned.
- Easy - This lane should be a complete steam-roll for you. You have fairly high kill potential on the laner whilst they have less kill potential on you. Warning: Do not underestimate these lanes, they should be steam-rolls, but if you choose to play recklessly, they could still snowball out of control.
- Medium - This is the even match up. You both have matching levels of kill potential on each other. This lane is mostly based on skill. You are at no disadvantage in this lane (besides the obvious inherent early game weakness of Irelia).
- Hard - This lane will often have an advantage on you. Most of the champions here will be specialised laners (people who were made to dominate lane) and often do not have the same team fight presence as you do. This doesn't mean you go into lane and feed them though. The lane will often be extremely volatile and you will be on the disadvantageous side.
- Anything that sounds harder than hard - These lanes will usually be one sided lanes. You're probably looking at this because you can't figure out what difficulty Teemo is. Well he's probably the hardest lane you'll ever get. Laning phase only though.
She has deceptively high burst with her Q + AA combo. She has very little kill potential on you from levels 1-5. Don't get cocky though, once she gets a kill on you, you'll be having the time of your life with one of the most uncontrollable snowball champs in the game. Once she hits level 6, she'll have a dramatic increase in kill potential on you, not to mention better mobility when chasing than you. If you don't let her snowball, you'll be able to trade very safely and potentially kill her at level 9 and onwards. Keep a
handy in case you want to kill her. Farm and avoid trading with her at level 1. Level 4 should be your prime time to trade and potentially kill her. Level 5 should be played cautiously as she may abruptly hit level 6 during a trade and completely turn the tables on you. Avoid her during the few levels after 6 and begin trading at level 9 when you have some MR items.
I advise starting flat MR glyphs and Flask + pots/wards OR rejuvenation bead + wards/pots against her.
A lot of Cho'Gath players seem to have what I like to call "Nasus syndrome". They enter lane with a Doran's ring and proceed to COMPLETELY ignore me while attempting to sustain any damage with last hitting. Remember when I told you to AA poke laners whenever they go for a last hit? While Cho'Gath's sustain will cover this to a degree, if they COMPLETELY ignore you and keep farming, gradually increase how much you AA them and see how they respond. A lot of players will just simply try to outsustain the damage by farming MORE and ignoring you MORE. Push this mindset until it's limit and punish them if they keep doing it.
With all that said above, Cho'Gath players who know what they are doing will not die to you. You have high mobility and medium damage. Cho'Gath has high sustain, heavily skill-shot based and heavy defense and HP. You shouldn't be able to kill him but he shouldn't be able to kill him either (assuming equal skill levels). Your main window of opportunity is during the level 4-7 region before the first back. Once he gets his Catalyst, you won't be doing any killing this lane. The saving grace here is that your mid game team fight presence is greater than his and your ability to roam is better. He'll be just as good as you in full-blown team fights and will be unkillable most of the time. Make sure you push your mid-game strength and kill the rest of his team. He can be as much as titan as he wants in lane but he still can't survive a 1v5 after all his squishies die.
A large part of fighting Cho'Gath in lane is dodging his skill shots. You can simply attack move (attack and then moving during the 'cool down duration' of the attack). If you continuously circle around cho'gath, it will be difficult for him to land his silence. Once he misses the silence, his rupture will be easy to dodge if not you can bladesurge to minions.
Avoid getting hit by his skill shots in lane, use your Q to dodge skill shots and most importantly try to outcs him. His sustain will get weaker as levels come by so call for ganks to keep him under control. Watch out for his true damage burst at level 6 and try to push at level 5 to acquire 6 before him and kill him with that advantage.
Start Boots + 4 wards if you're confident in dodging skill shots OR Flask + pots/ward OR Rejuvenation bead pots/ward
Although he isn't as popular anymore, this guy has just simply been designed to outlane you (he's the king of melee top laners for a reason). He can harass very safely with his low mana cost Q. Avoid fighting him for too long as the stacks of passive really add up. Keep a health potion running when dueling him. Unless you gain some sort of early advantage (from a gank or kill), you won't be able to beat him in a duel. His main downfall is that he has no escapes. So try to ask for a level 2 or 4 gank from your jungler ASAP. You could potentially snowball off of him if you outplay him. Your main window of opportunity is pushing the lane at level 5 and hitting 6 before he does. Once you're both 6, he'll kill you unless he's stupid. Unless you can severely deny Darius and kill him multiple times, he'll still remain relevant in the game. After playing this match up against a whole variety of players, I'd like to say Darius isn't a match up you want to be playing. Unless the enemy Darius is dumb as a rock, you won't be able to snowball off of him. Darius' kit allows him to stay relevant in the game despite any minor deny you put on him. His 1v1 potential is absurd and he should be able to out-execute any current top lane champion. In terms of dueling and damage, Darius is possibly the number one top lane champion as it stands. Your main advantage comes from your ability to roam and gank a lot more successfully than he is. Furthermore, your carry diving abilities exceed his. Don't lose this lane, in fact, don't play this lane, it's stupid.
With the nerfs to his ultimate, Darius has become less of a titan in lane. Although in an all in fight, nothing has really changed, you need to make use of the huge down time his ultimate now has. If he uses his ultimate to execute someone else unsuccessfully, you will destroy him with zero trouble.
If you received a successful gank in the early game, you should have killed him once already with the help of a jungler. If he didn't TRY to kill you, he'll have ignite up. The big thing about this is that if you're only 1 kill up on him, he will still be able to kill you if he still has ignite and you don't. I've 'rubber-banded' my lane multiple times after getting ganked early due to the enemy laner using ignite on the gank and still dueling me without their ignite up.
All in all, his team fight presence isn't as great as you unless he has been snowballing; he outlanes you fairly easily so you should focus on farming; push the level 5-6 advantage that you should be able to get and call for ganks because he has no escapes.
Start cloth armor + 5 potions, picking up an early doran's shield really helps your trading against him. An early ninja-tabi will help against his heavy physical damage. Sunfires will add to your mix of damage and add DPS to your extended trades with him, not to mention the extra health will add to your durability vs. his ultimate.
She has very strong poke which can in a lot of cases go unanswered. Like any AP top laner, you should go aggressive on her very early on (level 2 rush). Unlike other AP top laners though, she has access to a melee form similar in a sense to both Lee Sin and more so Jayce. Your main options in lane are to either outsustain her poke completely (more easily done) or to straight up kill her. Like Jayce though, you can apply the exact same concept of form switching and abusing her weakness during that moment. However, most Elises will choose to stay in human form for laning phase if you let her.
Elise thrives on an un-engagability similar to Teemo's due to her ranged kit. The best tips to lane against her would be to dodge her cocoon (with bladesurge if necessary) and abuse minions and bushes to avoid her volatile spiderlings. It's favourable to engage her early on (pre-3) and once you've got some points in Hiten Style. Trading with her immediately after the missed cocoon/volatine spiderling allows you a lot of time to trade positively with her. Don't let Elise stay on top of you during laning of you will lose extremely hard. If you can keep her at a dangerous HP, it will discourage her from harassing you due to risk of dying. It should turn into a farm lane if you can keep her low enough. Furthermore, if you jump on her after her human spell casts, she will in most cases shy away from trading with you in spiderform because of Hiten Style's damage. Make sure to create room for disengage so you don't end up taking a rotation of her spiderform spells as well. If you can trade even with her, you'll beat her out of lane due to her sustain requiring her to be in Spiderform. If she chooses to try to sustain and change into spiderform, again abuse the fact she loses her human form for 4 seconds.
A Trinity Force early enough can turn this matchup on it's head. You destroy her completely after completing Trinity Force. Starting items would be rejuvenation bead + 5 health pots + mana pots/ward OR flask + health pots/ward
His passive puts out some heavy damage early on which catches a lot of people off guard. Start trading with him at level 3 and be conservative, because this isn't a classic out-sustain lane. You straight up outduel him with 2-3 levels in Hiten Style but you won't ever be able to kill him unless he makes a critical error.
The only times you should be able to kill him (disregard if below plat because laners get baited by blood lust very easily in lower levels of play):
- He uses his Remove Scurvy ability to heal and you capitalise no this duration where he cannot cleanse your slow/stun.
- He runs out of mana and cannot use Remove Scurvy.
- You've finished BotRK and simply kill him with the super speed.
This lane is really another version of the out-sustain lane, but you you will generally be draining his mana instead of his health. Again the level 5-6 push is very important here and could still net you kills if you catch him off guard. Once he hits 6, watch for ANY time he uses his ultimate to help out mid or bot lane. As soon as this happens, you can safely engage on him and come out very far ahead.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots in this lane.
This guy is one of the scariest early game champions ever. I do NOT suggest you try to AA harass this guy at levels 1-6, if not even further. You do NOT want him getting a kill on you. If he does, you might as well pull out your armor closet and stack that stuff up, because you'll probably still need more after. Garen is one of those people you want to start
against. You should almost EXCLUSIVELY be farming when laning against him. His main goal is to catch you out and Q + E combo you for half your HP. Starting from level 5, possibly 7, you can start trading with him. When he activates his Q, activate your
before you get silenced and just AA him while he spins. You should start coming out ahead of these trades as the game goes on. Garen is an AD-caster to a large degree. He is the MOST dangerous in the level 3-4 region where his combo will be dealing 40% of your hp easily, if not more if you started boots. His ultimate makes your ultimate very hard to use and a bit awkward. You need to make sure you never drop low enough to get executed. You need to use your ultimate a bit earlier than usual to stay alive in this match up.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play conservatively. Lose CS if you must, he will push towards you gradually (or rapidly). Freeze if he allows, if not just farm at tower. Look for opportunities to roam as you have a lot more roam potential than he does. You outscale him heavily but you may not ever be able to kill him because he will simply build like a titan and crush your team. Pray that you slay his carries faster than this walking bulk can kill yours.
While he's similar to Garen in the sense that will put some heavy damage on you in the early game. This is another one of those champs which I don't suggest AA harassing early on. He will be attempting to do the EXACT same thing as you will, but the thing is, his passive makes his poke so much stronger than yours. If you let him poke you heavily at level 1-2, you'll be out of pots by level 4 no problem. His combo is pretty predictable and will be the same every time. E + Q and a couple of AA. He will generally try to back off after this. DO NOT LET HIM DO THIS. If he gets to do this, you've lost the lane. At level 6, he will unload all of his abilities on you, dealing roughly 60-70% of your HP, be wary of this. Jarvan has higher burst than you do. His weakness lies in his non-existent sustain (besides health potions). After he drops the E --> Q combo on you, you should immediately
back onto him -->
to proc the stun since you will 90% of the time be lower --> AA --> AA. He will still most likely come out slightly ahead in these trades. You still win though. If you do this, you will burn out his health pots at a faster rate than you burn out your own. As long as you keep farming consistently, your
will kick in, pulling you ahead by 1-2 health pots by level 4-5. You should obviously push for the level 5-6 advantage whenever you can. You should under almost no circumstance use your flash offensively in a fight against jarvan at level 6. His ultimate does a LARGE amount of damage and you will most likely be caught off guard by damage and will need flash.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots. I recommend farming safely while avoiding his level 1-2 poke; taking advantage of his lack of sustain and whittling him down gradually through trades in his favour; again pushing the level 5-6 advantage and most of all survive his level 6 burst. You outscale him during the mid-game by a small bit but your late game presence is double his. Jarvan falls off as the game progresses into the later stages of the game but don't rely on this.
If Lee Sin knows what he is doing, you'll be in for hell for the first 9 levels. Lee Sin can easily snowball against you HEAVILY if you give him ANY kills. You should consider starting
in this matchup. Try to build armor and check your death recap (if you died) if not try to take notice of what skill he is maxing first.
If he is maxing:
- Q - This skill is his highest physical damage skill (non-ultimate). If he's beating you in lane, this is probably his main choice as to max. Keep in mind that if he does go this route, you will most likely out-sustain him and eventually beat him. This route will be more of the bursty Lee Sin who will attempt to snowball off of you. You should be able to beat this guy pretty easily with a bit of armor (ninja tabi!).
- W - This is the most ridiculous skill in the game. If he chooses to max this, be prepared to go GP5/10 and just stay alive in the lane. His sustain will be beyond-godly and any attempt you make to trade with him will have the same effect as when Jarvan tries to trade with you: you just lose hp for no reason. You will be gradually pulled behind through the sheer fact that Lee Sin can easily recover his entire health pool with level 5 W from a single wave of minions. If Lee is maxing this, play as defensively as possible as he is whittling you down for a kill.
- E - So you stacked armor huh? If his Tempest's are chunking you hard even after you built armor, this is probably what he's maxing. Tempest deals magic damage but scales with AD, trippy... Again, similar to Q, you can probably still out-sustain him and beat him in this battle. Watch out though, your armor isn't going to save you from his heavy magic damage. Play careful, build aggressively and you might catch him out.
In general though, I recommend playing safely and just farming your lane hard. Try to achieve your mid game (botrk!) as early as possible and get out of that lane. Even with Botrk, you probably won't be able to kill this slippery demon and he'll just waste your time. He falls off DRAMATICALLY in the late game and will be near useless except for his ultimate for peeling. Stay alive in the laning stage, he'll try to snowball off you. Ninja tabi is almost REQUIRED in this match up.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play conservatively.
A lot of people consider Jax as one of the main counters to Irelia. I disagree with this. I've played extensively against Jax players and have come to the conclusion that the Irelia vs. Jax match up is extremely even. The main factor here is the skill of both players and their knowledge of the match up. I'll agree that Jax will have the SLIGHT upper hand in this match up, but it's nothing spectacular and certainly not a hard counter to Irelia.
Irelia > Jax for the early game. The main thing you need to remember in this match up is that he can only trade every time his 17 second(or thereabouts!)
stun is off cooldown. In the 17 seconds that follow, all of your skill will be up once again halfway through this duration. Forcing a trade in this duration will most likely turn HEAVILY in your favour. When fighting Jax, try to avoid prolonged trades. I'll admit that
pulls you ahead in sustained trades at rank 3 and up, but a rank 2
will still be turning the trade in favour of Jax. The main advantage you have over Jax is that he has no innate sustain for the first stage of laning. AA harass when he last hits is the most CRUCIAL factor here.
When he trades you without E, make sure to stun him and AA heavily. Once he uses the E, you need to back off. Once you facetank or avoid this E, you'll need to wait for your E to come off cooldown. Once this happens, you have a 10 second window of opportunity where you can FULLY COMBO JAX without him having the ability to trade back.
When he uses his E to initiate a trade, stun him and Q reset onto minions (if possible) and duck into the nearest bush. He will 100% attempt to leap strike onto you after he starts using E. Once his combo is finished, he will have nothing up to defend against your full combo. You will usually deal about the same or even more damage than he does. The level 5-6 push advantage is almost CRUCIAL to this match up. If you can successfully pull the level 6 push in your favour, you'll be able to kill him at level 6 very easily.
I recommend that you AA harass heavily in this lane while using the 2 templates for trading mentioned above; remember that post 6 trading will skew heavily in his favour if you trade extendedly. The lane should become extremely even post 6 unless someone has got a significant advantage already. His mid and late game is just as strong as yours so you'll need to try abuse his level 1-5 the most. Jax will serve almost the same purpose as you will: he will be slaying your back line champions. The most you can hope for at this stage is that you team can peel him successfully and their team doesn't peel you successfully. At worse, you'll most likely be left in a 1v1 at the end of every team fight against him in which you'll just have to use judgement on if you can beat him or not.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play aggressively early on. Ninja tabi is a must in this lane.
This champion will give you hell with his ranged form. The key to trading with Jayce is to dodge his Shock Blast (Q in cannon form). He has high poke and powerful trading, but no sustain. You see where this is going already. Against, try to whittle him down and kill him with a level 6 advantage. He STARTS with his ultimate, so forcing a level 5-6 push advantage isn't as crucial in this lane. You definitely even up the lane once you get your ultimate though. Jayce needs to utilise all of his abilities in BOTH forms to effectively trade with you. You'll have a hard time early game trading with him as he'll just unload his ranged abilities, switch to hammer form, unload those abilities, AA then E you away at the end of the trade, disengaging you too easily.
Protip: If you see a Jayce change forms very recently, this will be the time to kill him. If Jayce doesn't have both of his skill sets readily available, he is sub-par in damage, utility AND escape.
You will have a much easier time fighting Jayce once you get your phage. You should be using your Q reset to gain distance and E him asap. If he's a smart Jayce, he'll simply use ONE of his disengage abilities (acceleration gate or the Hammer knock back skill). If he uses both, you've got this in the bag. Once He disengages you, follow him and use Q. If you get a phage proc in any of the following 1-2 hits, you activate W and stick to him. Without his disengage abilities, Jayce will be a sitting duck to your superior damage. Similarly, if he has recently changed forms, you can do the exact same thing. The key here is to bait out ALL of his disengage abilities in order to kill him. You can do this by hard engaging on him with E, or waiting for him to change forms effectively cutting off ONE of his skill sets.
I recommend playing passively until you get your phage at least, your kill potential on him early is very low and he outclasses you in damage at this stage too. He will be building very similarly to you so watch out for his burst and mobility. Farm hard and push for your mid game before he can push for his. If you can roam and snowball off his team mates, it's just as good as snowballing off him.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play conservatively until your more powerful levels.
This champion is just a huge pain to lane against. He outclasses you in almost every way early on. His sustain is greater than yours, his CC is greater than yours, his mobility is greater than yours and his burst is hugely greater than yours. He begins to quickly fall off as the game progresses on. Starting
is recommended as you won't be able to outplay him even if he does mess up early on. His combo will just be E in --> Optional auto + W --> Q --> E out. He'll most likely try to use this combo on you when he has built up 50 fury, using the empowered ability on W. With that said, you NEED to be alert in this lane. As soon as he dashes up and ACTIVATES his W, stun him before he can land the stun on you. He will generally waste his fury on a minion, opening up some time for you to counter trade. Trading with this guy isn't really recommended on your first trip to lane. Maybe AA harass is still viable but you need to test the waters. Hyper-aggressive Renekton's will make you pay for trying to harass them while less experienced Renekton's will let you get away with some harass. As mid game rolls around, you need to be the judge of how strong you are at that stage. Once you get your triforce, you should have the upper hand in a fight. Do not get baited into overcommitting because Renekton is still a monster at mid game. Do not ever dive him unless you're 200% sure that you'll burst him and kill him. His ultimate provides a large chunk of HP while his empowered Q heals for absurd amounts (especially in team fights). Once you get some armor, you should be able to steam roll him in mid game. Remember that Renekton is an AD-caster and not a fighter. This means that you should typically engage him for a long period, sticking to him because without his abilities his trading is far inferior to yours.
I recommend playing extremely passively in the early game, pushing any advantage HE ALLOWS you to get away with, get an early ninja tabi and start building towards your mid game. You have just as good roaming ability as he does mid game and will further outscale him later into the game.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and don't even think about killing him early on. You won't be killing this crocodile even mid game, he just wasn't meant to die. Feed off his team mates instead.
This guy is a huge pain as well, but in a different sense to
. While in lane, you could pull off kills on him just be laning aggressively in the early stages. As he begins to stack that HP, your burst is considerably reduced and you will have trouble killing him without external influence. While the trading and in laning mechanics against Shen are no different to any other top lane, you should be aiming to push heavily once you have good ward coverage and he has reached level 6. Shen has trouble clearing waves and pushing a lane during the early stages of the game. He will struggle to CS under tower due to his inferior AD. Furthermore, when he ultimates another lane, you should try to stun him and stop him from teleporting there too and cleaning up your team mates. If he does teleport and you can't stop him, you must continue pushing. Punish him for leaving the lane. If you keep your lane pushed most of the time, you should be able to easily deny him a lot of CS and take his tower early.
When mid and late game rolls around, this is when he starts beginning to become a huge pain. He's a HP stacker so you can't kill him as quickly as you'd like. He has a global ultimate which will teleport him into a fight. This means he'll have an extremely good map presence. Furthermore, this means he can just stick at top (or any other lane you're not in) and just free farm and push all day. He'll have a
in the very least by then and will just split push all day. At this point, you make a choice based on what's happening. If your team has grouped up to fight at an objective, you'll just have to let him push and maybe take a tower. If your team is just passively farming, you hold your lane and push him back.
Come late game and he'll just be split pushing ALL DAY LONG and will never be there before a team fight starts. As soon as the team fight does start though, he'll be able to teleport himself straight into it. You don't have the luxury of a global teleport so you'll need to stick with your team when it comes to late game. The main method of countering his split push is to just force a fight ASAP so he cannot get much done. You can sometimes burst a target that he shields stopping him from coming into a fight at all. This stops him from showing up to a team fight, making you a lot more likely to win the team fight. The downside is that he'll probably just keep split pushing if you choose to press your advantage.
Overall, try to be aggressive on him during the level 4-6 region; keep in mind that he has no ultimate compared to you; farm hard and force objectives and team fights so that he can't split push too much and get
if you find yourself out of position a lot of the time when shen teleports or you just want to be able to react quickly to shen's plays.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward
Riven is a mobile AD heavy champion that is a good mix between an AD-caster and a fighter. Her heavy physical damage relies on her passive stacks being applied on auto-attacks. Build an early
. Her level 1 is undoubtedly stronger than yours and if you let her beat you up here, you might even lose the lane. Her combo can vary heavily as there isn't really a set way you can use her skills.
A quick trade in lane would look like:
E --> AA --> W --> AA --> Walk away or QQQ if getting counter traded.
An all out fight would be more:
Q --> AA --> Q --> AA --> Q --> AA --> E --> AA --> W --> AA
Don't be afraid to go in an all out fight with her once you have some solid items. Important to remember is that you shouldn't be committing to fight her when she has her shield up. Obviously you can out DPS her shield easily but this will be all-in engagements. If you try to burst trade with her through her shield, you'll most likely come out slightly behind trades. Her level 6 is something to be scared of so you should attempt to push for a level 5-->6 push advantage and kill her before her ultimate. The execution from her ultimate + ignite will make your deceptive-tankiness through self-healing null if you wait too long to use it.
Farm your lane hard and avoid trading with her super-early. Once you get a few levels in
you should opt for extended trades with her since you come out on top + she doesn't have innate sustain. Her shield can mess up your all in judgement as it's a powerful shield but if she maxes it you can just wait out the duration before trading. Due to her half-AD caster nature, you outclass her mid game in any duel that you have.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and play it carefully because of her dangerous level 1-3.
Rumble is a lane bully. If you're getting bullied by him, you did something wrong. Irelia's main weakness is her early game, we should know that by now right? Despite that, bruisers need to be hyper aggressive on mages at top very early on. Rumble is weakest at levels one through to four. As soon as you hit level 3 (or even 2 if you're sure their jungler isn't around) you should be diving onto rumble. The main thing to remember is that his flamespitter can't deal damage when he's running away. If you force some heavy early damage onto him (which you can), you'll negate a lot of his damage. This lane will start becoming his unless you've done some big damage onto him early (which isn't too hard). Once he gets some sustain, it'll become harder to kill him. His kit allows him to kite you easily 1v1 and his ultimate will still do a huge amount of damage. His late game is that of an AP carry and he'll be just as dangerous as you but in a different manner. Your main chance to kill rumble is again at a level 6 advantage push.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and trade heavily and aggressively early on.
Difficulty: Hard like viagra
This little yordle is the devil in lane. Teemo is probably the one universal counter to all melee top lane champions. I start
is extremely viable. At this point, the lane will be almost completely dependent on teemo's skill and both jungler's skill. The first thing you need to be able to accept here is that you cannot engage Teemo without losing out. Teemo thrives on being unengagable. Your best bet here is to just improve your sustain heavily while just trying to farm. You need to also accept that you'll most likely be sent back to base several times earlier than you would in a normal match up. I for one don't generally go back until I kill my laner or attempt to kill them. In a Teemo matchup, I strongly suggest just recalling when you get low. There's no point in giving Teemo the opportunity to dive you and get any extra kills. Accept the fact that he will push you out of lane and accept that fact that you'll be behind on farm and levels. Denial isn't just a river in Egypt, so accept that you won't be having fun against this god forsaken champion.
Now with all that said, I can share some things that I notice amongst common Teemo players.
- Something that is glaringly obvious in a lot of Teemo players is their complacency. I find that you can often engage Teemo players and actually come out on top. Most Teemo players will engage under the impression that the blind will make them invincible for it's duration. In this match up: + + will be your best friend. Most Teemo players don't see the burst coming (good players in general will still be able to react to it).
- They often don't ward extensively due to mushrooms. Keeping track of these mushrooms might open up easy ganks.
- Teemo players are willing to dive you and they will most likely come out on top with their heavy DoT. Recalling and falling behind is better than dying.
- Teemo's will generally split push heavily, so hard engaging their team during mid game will generally pull you ahead.
I recommend playing extremely safely, losing farm and experience when necessary. Try to freeze your lane without taking free harass from Teemo. If he doesn't let you freeze your lane, you'll just have to let it come to tower. Do not stand in range of Teemo unless it's completely necessary. Your mid game and team fight presence outclasses him tenfold and you're in general a more useful bruiser. Teemo is basically a lane specialist and will give you hell for the laning phase. Stay alive and stay relevant.
The majority of Teemo's damage early on will be magic related (Q and E) and his only source of physical damage is from his auto-attacks. Thus armor shouldn't be too much of a priority itemisation unless he's building a lot of AD. The sustain from cutlass will keep you in lane while building into BotRK which will hopefully be enough to kill Teemo. The Spirit Visage has good health and MR to survive any potential dives Teemo will do. The Hp5 and increased healing will keep you in lane for longer.
I told you not to get this because you lose your kill potential. But against a Teemo, you don't have any kill potential anyway. Get it to sustain and build up gold passively.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play super conservatively, making sure not to take too many hits for CS. Build that into an early warmogs if you rack up the gold, if not get the philostone ane try to survive lane. Ultimately, you outscale Teemo but you need to make sure not to put yourself any further behind than necessary.
Wukong is very, very similar to Jarvan. Their combos involve the same thing: gap close --> AA --> disengage by walking off. If you let Wukong do this, you'll be losing your lane. The thing you need to keep in mind here that doesn't apply to jarvan is that he'll be decoying a lot to avoid your damage. There are two options here then:
- He initiates trade and you jump back onto him. You get the stun proc and destroy his health bar. He may or may not decoy to disengage. It doesn't matter at this stage, you did the damage.
- He initiates trade and you jump back onto him. He decoys the moment you bladesurge. Let him go. He'll be draining his mana heavily if he does this. Although you shouldn't be letting him get free damage on you, you can counter trade when his decoy is down. You'll come out on top while he's a lot more vulnerable without decoy. He doesn't have sustain so just play the sustain game. His damage is even higher than Jarvan at level 6 but it's sustained rather than burst. If he gets the full duration of his ulti off, it's a lot of physical damage. This lane should be played aggressively to drain Wukong's resources. Level 6 push advantage is always recommended. You outscale him into mid and late game and your ganking is more potent than his unless he uses his ultimate when ganking.
Start cloth armor + 5 potions and be careful of his level 2.
Levels one to nine are the sustain game. You can't engage on him and win during these levels. Most of your damage at this stage is either physical or magical, mainly physical. With Yorick's passive, he'll come ahead of every trade early on and will sustain a lot harder than you. Once you have 4-5 levels into hiten style, the true damage will cut through his passive and pull you ahead in trades. You shouldn't be aiming to whittle him down as his sustain is godly. At level 9, you should be trying to kill him outright in 1-2 trades. He doesn't have the carry diving ability you have and will become more or less a tanky support for their carry. Yorick is only as good as their ADC late game, to a higher degree than normal. Keep in mind that yorick deals primarily magic damage early on so building armor is useless.
is a solid choice in this lane.
Another thing is that most yorick's tend to build tear of the goddess early on in the game. If they do tihs, go hyper aggressive on them once you have a phage. The tear offers him mana and sustain but no actual damage. You should be zerging him down and killing him if he builds this.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play aggressively to drain his mana before he gets a tear.
The warwick lane is easy to trade with but a general boring lane. Warwick's sustain is just as heavy as yours if not better. His single target CC jumps at level 6 and ganks against you will become deadly. Up until then, just don't overextend and get caught by the jungler. Warwick's will general just hungering strike to trade. As soon as this happens,
and counter trade. You'll easily destroy the HP he just regained and more. Ignite will be your best friend in an all out duel against warwick. The amount of healing he can burst out is absurd and you should be reducing it. All in all, it's a pretty boring lane. You should be aiming to push on warwick and roam. Warwick can't push a lane quickly and will either lose out on exp to follow you or let you free roam. His mid game roaming presence isn't half of yours while his team fight is all out the initiate and catching someone out with his ultimate.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward or cloth armor + 5 pots (depends on the jungler and if you need the ward or armor).
Xin Zhao can pull out some nasty damage if you allow him to use his full combo. You should be aiming to interrupt his Q (3 auto attacks) with your
. Once you disengage, he'll most likely use the Q onto creeps. As soon as your stun comes back up you should engage on him while his combo is down. He will definitely push harder than you so calling for ganks is no issue since he doesn't have a reliable escape. You begin to outclass him heavily when it gets to mid game. With your trinity, he'll have a lot of trouble escaping you and even more trouble dueling you. Pushing for a level 6 advantage is again always recommended. His ganking and roaming potential is probably just as good as yours but counterganking him will turn the tides heavily since he can't outduel you.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots.
The first and foremost thing is that you probably won't kill. His passive just adds a world of beef for him once he gets some items. He's surprisingly really weak early on, but you aren't that much stronger. Try to push for level 5 and level 6 advantages. His abilities are fairly straight forward and generally telegraph a gank. His ulti is deceptively powerful and should be avoided as soon as he activates it (similarly to how most people avoid Irelia's Hiten Style). He has no in built sustain so you could potentially pop his passive without ignite before the first back, then return and kill him with items + ignite but Irelia isn't that threatening early on. He'll build a sunfires and you probably won't be killing him anymore. He stacks health which really dulls down your bread and butter Hiten Style. His roam is probably as potent if not more potent than yours so keep tabs on him and warn your team mates.
Start cloth armor + 5 potions, his bite does physical damage.
OK, so I know a lot of people are confused as to why Vladimir is listed as BOTH a counter and countered champion for Irelia. Just to clear it up straight away, Vladimir top is an easy lane for Irelia. Vladimir mid is a counter for Irelia.
I'll go over Vladimir mid first because I want it to be brief. Vladimir mid is a counter to Irelia because of his ability to stack on a large amount of HP. This DOES NOT mean that he outlanes you in any way. Vladimir mid is part of what I call a tanky team composition. When their AP mid has more HP than their jungler, it's pretty obvious that they're a tanky composition. In a straight 1v1, you'll still outclass Vladimir easily, but you can't burst him any more. In terms of durability versus Irelia, he's almost bruiser tier now. Again, while this doesn't stop you from beating him 1v1, when a team fight breaks out, you no longer have the ability to burst him. I already provided the order of focus above. On average, it takes about 7-8 seconds for you to kill an ADC and maybe 10 seconds to kill an APC. Vladimir is going to take longer than this and with his late game ability to disengage for a long period of time (Sanguine pool, Zhonya's) you'll have trouble finishing him off. This can turn out to be a severe case of tunnel vision since he is an APC that can distract you for a long period of time.
Summing it up, Vladimir mid in no way outclasses you in a 1v1. He simply takes too much time to kill late game as he is almost bruiser tier (note the almost) in durability versus you and can encourage tunnel vision. A tanky/slippery mid is hell for assassins, remember that.
Now, back to top lane Vladimir. This lane should be relatively easy for you. Let's put some facts down first before we go anywhere. Irelia is somewhat weak early game, not much to say here. Vladimir is MOST vulnerable early game. What do I mean? Let's break down his kit. He has sustain from his Q ability. In order to harass most effectively, he needs to Q you since his auto-attacks don't do much damage. If you continually force trades on him early, you're cutting his sustain down dramatically (spellvamp heal) (your MR > minions MR thus he heals less) while also making it more difficult for him to last hit effectively (low AD). His Sanguine pool is his primary ability to disengage you and it works fairly well too. The catch to this is that it costs a large portion of current HP. When you force a trade with Vladimir, you will face two scenarios:
- Vladimir will attempt to disengage by walking away. If this happens, your combined with will allow you to deal HUGE amounts of damage onto Vladimir due to the CC and gap closing/stick. If this happens, you just pull ahead by trading.
- Vladimir will choose to pool your trade. While this feels annoying and may feel like he out-traded you, he didn't. You will most likely only get your on him before he pools (unless you got the stun component) and he will walk away because of the slow from Sanguine Pool. You should not chase him if this happens. By pooling, he's just consumed a HUGE portion of his current HP and you've automatically out-traded him. Furthermore, the CD on this is ridiculous at early levels and you can just jump on him again and this time beat him down.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward. I recommend avoiding early harass and start trading immediately at level 3 (trading was outlined earlier). Build some early MR and you should be immune to his damage. Don't get baited into diving him when his pool is up and remember to account for the pool in all-in engagements. This should be an easy lane for you unless you screw it up.
Udyr is true terror at level 1. If he starts Elixir of Fortitude and runs Ghost + Ignite, you do not want to be pushed out at ANY point until you buy some good armor items. He'll most likely utilise the push and attempt to do a double tiger combo with the elixir + ignite which will be more than enough to consume your entire health bar even with armor runes + items. With some sustain and armor, this lane will eventually turn into a farm lane. You both become equally as terrifying for ADC's but your tenacity allows you to break through and avoid kiting a lot more than he can.
Start Cloth armor + 5 potions and play super carefully until at LEAST level 5
Tryndamere's sustain is actually pretty weak. You need to start being aggressive on him starting at level 3. His escape is on a medium cool down and his sustain relies on him auto-attacking. You should avoid trading with him when he uses his AD debuff since it will skew all trades in his favour. Avoid trading with him if he has full fury. You should be killing him before 6. Post-6 is basically a farmfest unless he wants to go hyper-aggressive on you. An early warden's mail will do wonders against tryndamere. He has the same roaming potential you do with less ganking potential. All in all, don't let him get out of control because he can ignore peel just as well as you while soaking damage (his ultimate). He becomes somewhat of a second ADC.
He will in a LOT of cases attempt to level 2 cheese you by pushing the wave early on with auto-attacks and gaining a large amount of fury followed by spinning through a minion and hitting level 2 then just all inning you. Play it safe early and try to kill him when he loses his fury.
Start cloth armor + 5 potions and build an early ninja tabi. This is one of the few people you don't really outscale completely.
You can apply what I said in the rumble section here. Aggressive play against mages early on will win you the lane. A common mistake for Swain at top lane is using Nevermove to engage. As soon as they do this, activate
onto swain. You'll be able to win trades with him as long as you aren't caught by nevermove. Early MR items will give you the edge in this lane. You will be able to outduel swain in almost every situation but his ganking and roaming potential is somewhat potent. Escaping a Swain gank is hard so make sure you follow your lane. He roams slowly so it shouldn't be too hard. Once he has ultimate, you need to ignite early on in the combo not only to get the extra 5 AD/AP but to reduce his healing on ultimate. It's a mini-Mundo ultimate in it's own right and will be hard to suppress.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play hyper aggressively.
I can't see what can go wrong in this lane. Sion has very, very little kill potential as an AD bruiser. He has a stun which isn't enough to lock you down and kill you. Unless you've been doing something extremely stupid, there's no way you can lose to a Sion. At level 6, he'll probably try to bait you when he gets low with his ultimate. Ignite and end the fight because you can. Sion has become an extremely outdated top lane champion and doesn't bring much to the table. He can't dive carries and he can't peel for carries. He can try to lifesteal and help his team but can be kited so easily. Just do the normal and he'll fall soon enough; he doesn't have the sustain to survive you.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots OR rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward.
He becomes the biggest pest known to League (maybe second to Teemo). He performs the exact same role as Teemo but is actually somewhat useful in teamfights. He is super vulnerable early on so you can abuse him starting level 3. If you failed to kill him before the first back, buy sustain and farm the lane out. He'll simply be pushing endlessly and roaming where he can. Try to counterpush as hard as possible.
start rejuvenation bead + 5 pots + ward and play aggressive early into conservative mid game.
Watching his ferocity bar is the key to beating Rengar. That and bush control too. He'll be CSing through the bush and he can still be AA harassed like normal but most people seem to just shy away because he jumps out at them. His sustain isn't the best now without putting levels into it. He'll be trying to poke you down with bola and burst you with a double Q combo if you drop low enough. His ultimate isn't exactly a combat ultimate IMO so post 6 you start to really outduel him. But in the same token, post 6 is when you won't be able to kill him due to the invisibility aspect.
When he gains 4/5 bars of ferocity he will attempt to leap on you and do a double Q combo. Once you see him near full ferocity, get ready to stun him as he ACTIVATES an empowered Q. He'll (like Renekton) will be forced to waste it on a minion.
Start cloth armor + 5 potions and play aggressively.
Poppy passive is one of the most powerful passive's in the game. It effectively halves any damage that could potentially burst her. Luckily enough, your true damage bypasses her passive. You are considered one of poppy's main counters and for good reason. AA harassing her probably isn't the best idea due to her low mana cost hammering blow doing devastating amounts of damage. You should be hyper aggressive in this lane and force trades constantly and farming in between trades when she's backed off. If she chooses to trade AA harass you with her Q, you can counter trade leading with your equilibrium strike which should now stun due to her Q hurting you.
Start Rejuvenation bead + 5 health pots + ward. You can sub out some health pots for mana pots because you'll be needing the mana in this lane.
A lot less popular now due to the shifts in meta making top lane a lot harder to win. He's a higher damage version of GP with less team utility. His poke is a bit higher damage than GP and he has very strong kill potential on almost everyone in the game at level 1-3. Survive the early game by playing conservatively and you've already won. Pretty much everyone outscales pantheon.
Start cloth armor + 5 pots and don't get baited.
He's always been a known "counter" for Irelia. He has super high stick (with the ability to ignore CC) and true damage that is so similar to Irelia. The biggest problem with Olaf early on is that he will outdamage Irelia both in burst trades and sustained trading. I'll admit this lane will probably become a farm lane or simply a stale "never see each other but just come back to push waves" lane after 6. Early on, the trick is to stun Olaf after receiving his true damage and activate Hiten Style to trade normally. In most cases, Olaf's will instinctively walk away from Hiten Style like every player has been taught to do. Olaf out of all the top laners will have the potential to beat Irelia's sustained damage early on with his vicious strikes, but most don't use it. If they do happen to trade you through the Hiten Style remember that he will only outDPS you at lower HP percentages so kite him back and burst him as he retreats with Bladesurge --> disengage. Ignite will be your best friend in the last moments of a duel. As soon as Olaf commits to a 1v1 duel to the death you will need to watch out for his vicious strikes. Ignite him as SOON as he uses vicious strikes.
Start Cloth armor + 5 health potions.
Like any ranged top champion, Irelia will beat out Nidalee starting from level 3. It's fairly standard trading from here on in. As soon as she hits 6, this will probably become a farm lane as you will never be able to kill her. If she's AP, she'll still maintain kill potential on you if you can't dodge spears. It's a fairly standard ranged vs. melee match up at top. Avoid too much AA-harass early on by dipping in and out of bushes (ironically the same thing Nidalee will be doing to gain MS) to avoid too many auto-attacks and engage on her hard and frequently to drain her mana.
Start Cloth armor + 5 potions or Doran's Shield + 1 potion
Level 2-3 cheesing will be the only time you have a chance to kill Nasus. His in lane sustain isn't TOO much to deal with but Wither will prevent you from getting any MEANINGFUL damage onto Nasus later on. Tenacity will help you deal with wither in the late game but there really isn't much you can do to stop Nasus from becoming a monster unless you snowball early. His ultimate is extremely scary and should never be fought head on unless you know 200% that you will win.
Start Cloth armor + 5 potions
You should have no trouble with this match up at all. Cheese the life out of him at level 2 and level 3. Unless you let him free farm into a monster, he won't have sustain until he has heavy items backing him up. His free resistances mean nothing against your true damage. He is extremely immobile (no escapes), has no CC (can't stop you from killing him) and is a natural pusher. Even if you somehow CAN'T kill him(wot r u doin???) you should be able to keep him far away from minions as soon as he's far away enough from tower to be killed. Morde is no longer a champion meant to be seen as top and this match up reflects that.
Start Rejuv beat + 5 pots + ward
He's almost like the useful version of Teemo. The key to beating Kennen lies within tracking resources. Namely, energy and cooldowns. Being a manaless champion means your laning phase almost has a timebomb on it. Kennen will outsustain you purely because you will run out of mana. However, being an energy champion does not mean he is resourceless like Renekton/Riven/Garen.
Kennen's Lightning Rush is the main escape he has (if not only). It has a cooldown of 10 seconds. The only real play you can make off this is if the Kennen is inexperienced and will use Lightning Rush to farm. As soon as Kennen uses Lightning Rush you can initiate a trade and get almost the full duration of Hiten Style off on Kennen. But in most cases, a Kennen will never do this. However, simply by using the standard combo for Irelia (using a low HP minion as a free bladesurge) you can engage on Kennen and STILL have your bladesurge up. Once Kennen uses Lightning Rush, you can Bladesurge onto him again and keep trading. This is the reason Irelia is considered a Kennen counter. An important thing to remember is that Kennen will actually go out of Bladesurge's range if you wait too long, but outrun you if you don't wait long enough after lightning rush.
Looking at this in terms of energy now: Lightning Rush costs 100 energy. Unless Kennen zones himself and does not farm or use abilities in the next 10 seconds, he cannot regenerate that energy. By engaging on Kennen relentlessly by level 3-4 you can drain his energy pool fast enough to get free damage off on him. Let's be real, even if Kennen does manage to regenerate JUST enough energy to use lightning rush again, he will have 0 energy to use any other abilities to do anything to you.
Ultimately, Kennen is a very safe pick and will place high pressure onto you. Kennen's team fight presence is far better than yours or almost ANY other top laner. You need to destroy him in laning phase or else you would have lost "effectively".
Start cloth armor + 5 potions or Doran's Shield + 1 potion (most of Kennen's early poke will be from auto-attacks)
To be written soon!
Still to be written but I've actually totally changed my mind about this champion. Be very careful and don't underestimate her mid-game, it counters yours.
To be written soon!
To be written soon!