We will go over The Easiest Snowballing Top Lane Champions.
Just like any game of League of Legends, a big part of what leads your team to victory is the first player on the team to gain a lead and snowball it into a large advantage. One of the most isolated matchups where this is very apparent is in the top lane!
As a result of the matchup’s isolation, any early advantage in the lane can pretty much guarantee a win in lane. It’s more important to make sure that you get that lead, don’t throw it, and try to get as big of a lead as possible! With the top lane being so long, once one side of the matchup gains the lead and priority over the lane, it’s really up to that player whether they lose their lead or not.
Proper wave management and trading once the lead is gained is what will snowball your matchup and give your team a win condition through split push or other means depending on your Champion!
One of the biggest differences between top lane and the rest of the positions is that there is no real identity to what a top laner looks like. Of course, there is still going to be a meta that defines what is better at times than other classes.
The difference however, is that in the top lane, really anything goes! There are no typical rules to abide by and League of Legends players that have been paying attention to the meta in recent months can attest to that with the existence of Smite Janna top!
As always, these picks and strategies fall in and out of the meta, but one thing remains. Anything can work in the top lane if you strategize around it! The most common examples are certainly staples in the top lane, like split pushing, tanks, mages, assassins, and bruisers!
In this article we won’t exactly discuss a specific area of the top lane that is best, but instead we will highlight some specific Champions that snowball small leads exceptionally well and can single-handedly carry the game in multiple ways! Without further adieu, let’s discuss the best snowballing top lane Champions!
Of course, as most players likely expected, Tryndamere has been in the game for a decade now and most players still don’t understand how to play against him! Combining their lack of understanding with the frustration they feel when they finally get him low and he uses Undying Rage to kill them and survive is the recipe every player looks for when they want to snowball and put their teammates on their back!
Even without Tryndamere’s ultimate, his passive grants him insane value in gold equivalents and his abilities are primarily utility-focused!
With a kit as diverse as Tryndamere’s, you don’t even need to destroy your matchup in lane to be useful, which is perhaps the biggest pro to picking up this Champion! That’s not what this article is about though. So how should players build Tryndamere and play him to consistently snowball their leads?
Tryndamere’s Snowball Build
Starting with the pre-game layout, for Summoner Spells, players should always use Flash and Ghost. The combination provides insane mobility and chasing potential without even accounting for his Spinning Slash. Regardless of the playstyle you’re aiming to pursue to carry your teammates, having both Flash and Ghost are ideal. In terms of runes, the optimal setup is a standard Lethal Tempo keystone with Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand.
While there are some reasons to use Overheal or Legend: Tenacity or Legend: Bloodline, Last Stand is by far the most important one to choose as it is constantly being activated from Tryndamere’s ultimate. The Precision tree should be combined with Resolve secondary with investments in Second Wind and Unflinching.
Once in game, there are some options for building items that can vary from game to game. The most consistent build is the Mythic Item which realistically should always be Galeforce. If the player is planning on permanently split pushing, they should consider rushing Hullbreaker and then building Galeforce. Otherwise, starting with Galeforce then building Navori Quickblades and Berserker’s Greaves is the best core build.
From the third item onward, Tryndamere has several situation options that synergize quite well. Ideally, he will purchase Infinity Edge next and either Serylda’s Grudge or Mortal Reminder. Depending on what else is needed, other viable situational items include Mercurial Scimitar and Guardian Angel!
Tryndamere’s Snowball Playstyle
Now that the build path is laid out, how do you play as Tryndamere? Ideally, you’ll look to trade early on to take advantage of the stat differential that your passive provides you in terms of critical strike chance and the subsequent damage.
The matchup specifics vary greatly, so it’s important to know when the best window is to seek out trades in each matchup, but gaining health advantages will help drive your opponent out of lane. Tryndamere essentially will trade health for the enemies health and mana.
Since Tryndamere has his Bloodlust, his sustain will outlast the enemy in lane and they will either need to recall for health or mana. When this happens, Tryndamere can manipulate the wave to freeze on his side of the map.
From this point on, Tryndamere wants to keep the minion waves colliding on his side of the lane to force the enemy to overextend for minions where he can chase them down with Flash and Ghost to secure a kill or two!
When appropriate, Tryndamere can push out the lane and get a plate if he has enough time to do so and doesn’t need to recall. Otherwise, Tryndamere should aim to match the enemies recalls to ensure he has the item advantage over his opponents to keep suppressing their ability to get gold! While this strategy might not be as fun as the ten minute legendary Tryndamere, it will consistently lead to leads that can help you carry just as hard as the prior!
Once you’re in the mid game, your playstyle will depend on what your ideal way to carry the game is. If you will need to assist your team with teamfighting, then you should look to manage the side lane waves and rotate to your team before your side lane matchup to create a numbers advantage.
Otherwise, stick to the side lane and keep an eye on the map to force enemies to waste time rotating back and forth between other lanes and where you are split pushing! Even if you can’t end up backdooring the base, you will alleviate tons of pressure from your teammates and likely create space for them to get objectives like Dragons and Baron!
You can find more about Tryndamere and his abilities here.
Jax is in a very similar state to Tryndamere but offers a little more versatility for his team. In trade, he requires more skill and has little sustainability. So, Jax needs to be incredibly careful of being poked down in lane and once out of the laning phase. On the flipside, Jax’s ability to Counterstrike auto attacks and turn the enemies offensive plays onto their head is what makes Jax unique.
Jax’s Snowball Build
The pre-game setup for Jax top is consistent between most games, but there’s certainly more than one option. The main setup is a similar Lethal Tempo page to Tryndamere’s but is much more consistent when using Triumph and Legend: Tenacity with Last Stand. Without the tenacity from runes, Jax can be countered pretty hard with heavy crowd control and render his strength from his Counter Strike useless.
The secondary tree should be in the Inspiration tree to make up for his inability to sustain from poke and ranged trades. The best options in Inspiration are Magical Footwear and Time Warp Tonic or Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic. The best Summoner Spell combination is Flash with Teleport, however for more lane threat Flash and Ignite is a viable pairing.
The build path in the lane is simple. The starting item is Corrupting Potion against most matchups and Long Sword with Refillable Potions against AD heavy matchups like Irelia, Fiora, and Camille. From there, Jax should rush Divine Sunderer and Hullbreaker right after with Ionian Boots of Lucidity built when appropriate. From the fourth item onward, there are multiple viable options worth considering.
Against heavy magic damage, Maw of Malmortius is an excellent option. For more versatile resistances, Death’s Dance is ideal. Just like other split pushing Champions, there are several options to deal with whatever the enemy team throws at you. It’s crucial to learn to adapt your build to the situation that presents itself if you want to master this playstyle!
Jax’s Snowball Playstyle
The laning phase with Jax is very delicate as the game can be easily won or lost with poor planning. Jax can brutally punish his matchup for using abilities to lash hit or after unfavorable trades. Having access to a gap-closing ability and the dodging feature of Counter Strike makes for one sided trades when Jax times them correctly.
In essence, Jax has to balance timing trades to avoid the potential risk of being poked down and out sustained in lane, while also minimizing the risk of being baited into a gank!
The mid game is reliant on what Jax wishes to do for his team. Of course, like Tryndamere, he can be a split pushing menace. Or he can roam and get picks on enemies to set up for easy objective taking after the kill.
This is exceptionally useful when he is taking Ignite and wants to snowball his early game advantage to start generating leads in other matchups. When it comes to the late game and Jax has 4+ items, he’s an unstoppable force that requires three, sometimes four players to stop when played correctly. The pressure he can apply is insurmountable and when communicating properly with his team, is irreplaceable!
You can find more about Jax and his abilities here.
The final Champion on this list is quite different, but still has some similarities at the same time. Garen is a simpler version of what Trydamere and Jax can do in lane, but in a more forgiving way. Garen has sustainability when out of combat via his passive, and has no mana to waste trading with enemies. Also, in a similar manner to Jax’s Counter Strike, Garen’s Decisive Strike silences his opponent and momentarily prevents ability retaliation to his aggression.
Garen’s Snowball Build
Similar to Jax and Tryndamere as well, the ideal Summoner Spell set up is a pairing of Flash and Ignite or Flash and Ghost. It really depends on the playstyle the player wants to run with. Ghost makes for an inescapable demon whereas Ignite makes for a punishing laning phase! In terms of the runes, Garen has two primary setups that work well.
The main page is Conqueror, Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand. The other option is Phase Rush, Nimbus Cloak, Celerity, Gathering Storm. Regardless of your Primary Tree setup, the Secondary Tree should be in Resolve with Conditioning and Overgrowth or Second Wind and Overgrowth!
In game, the build path is pretty consistent even in the last few item slots unlike Tryndamere and Jax. Garen should rush Stridebreaker, then build Mortal Reminder, Dead Man’s Plate, Sterak’s Gage, and Guardian Angel. Of course, building boots somewhere in the early parts of the build. The majority of cases, Garen should build Berserker’s Greaves, but Plated Steelcaps has its value in some cases.
Garen’s Snowball Playstyle
In the early game, Garen should be taking advantage of his low cooldowns, lack of mana costs, and consistent sustainability between rounds of trades to slowly chip at the enemy’s health bar until they are within the kill-range! When Garen has Ignite, that’s pretty much any Champion under 50% health!
The main problem to consider is if the enemy has any significant escaping tool that Garen cannot keep up with when chasing down the enemy!
In the mid game, Garen should certainly be looking to wreak havoc on the rest of the map! Ideally, Garen will look to gank mid at some point towards the end of the laning phase to try to compound an unsuspecting gank resulting in a kill with the use of the Rift Herald to take down the mid lane turret!
When timed well, this simple strategy can lead to taking down both mid lane turrets around the 15 minute mark and will greatly increase Garen’s ability to run around the map and do some damage! Ultimately, that should be Garen’s goal, be as annoying as possible and don’t overextend!
Garen’s kit is designed to be incredibly rewarding, but it can often leave the player tunnel visioned and unable to identify when they have overstayed! Keeping a patient mind when playing Garen will yield fantastic results in the long run and consistent snowball small advantages in the early game to hard carrying games!
You can find more about Garen and his abilities here.
Honorable Mention – Kayle
Before wrapping up this guide for the best snowballing top lane Champions, we need to give a quick honorable mention to one of the hardest scaling top laners once she can get a lead, Kayle. While Kayle certainly has a rough time in the early game against most matchups, if she is held for last pick so she can only be selected into more favorable matchups, she can be a consistent carry to snowball advantages to victory.
The only reason she didn’t get her own spot on this list is because of how difficult it is to actually gather that lead in the lane in the first place! Kayle requires her matchup to mess up royally or for a split gank or two from her jungler to set her up to snowball! Of course, that’s not a bad investment if it means you’ll have one of the hardest late-game hyper carries on your team!
You can find more about Kayle and his abilities here.
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All of these Champions can snowball small advantages incredibly efficiently. The biggest thing to remember with these Champions is that they can consistently find windows and opportunities to develop these advantages because of their Champion design.
Whether it’s in simple and effective trades by dodging auto attacks, silencing enemies, or just gaining critical strike chances with attacks, these Champions can put in some serious work in lane! Ultimately, the priority is to not get ahead of yourself when playing these Champions and be smart with the power you can gather in the early game to not throw the lead away!
These Champions are incredibly rewarding to play and seriously don’t require much to learn, so if you’re in the mood for a good time that is both rewarding and challenging in a unique way, give these Champions a try to spice up your top lane experience!
If you would like to read more about top lane specific stuff you can check the articles below.