I had a plan for this week’s Exit, Pursued by a Volibear. I was gonna write about how to lane with a random AD Carry. But then something traumatic happened to me and it happened to me twice.
I’ve only been able to play a few games on this patch, but two of them have featured something I haven’t seen since I was level 17: a duo top. Every one has started the same way. I get into a game, they have someone who could theoretically jungle, but nobody has smite.
The rest of the game plays out like some kind of early level League nightmare. The jungler doesn’t know what to die, the top laner can’t seem to stop dying, and the rest of us can barely even believe that this horror is still happening. When it happened once, I was frustrated and confused. The second time, I knew I needed to talk about it.
So let’s figure it out. We’ve all been through the level climb. We’ve all probably duo topped or been duo topped against. It happens and it sucks. But there’s a reason why people don’t do that shit anymore. There’s a reason you have a jungler, why top lanes alone, and, far more importantly, there are ways to beat it.
Let’s explore those ideas.
Why don’t we duo top anymore?
We need junglers
Look, I know you hate them (and they hate you, I promise), but we all need junglers. Do you know why? Because snowballing would be terrible without them and early game compositions would rule the landscape of League. You see, the only thing that keeps that top lane Quinn from diving you over and over and over and over and over and over again is the threat of a gank.
You know what else? Everyone would pick up aggressive bot laners to push up and force out the enemy laner. This would guarantee that the most pokey bot lane would secure dragon every single time it came up.
We need junglers and we also need them to stay the hell out of top lane.
Top laners need their space
While the top lane role doesn’t require as much gold as mid laners or AD Carries, they still need items to be effective. But more than items, levels rule the lane. Living in a world where we regularly duo top is asking to force top laners to fall behind the game in levels. A low level tank or bruiser would never have a chance against the damage dealers of bot and mid.
When two laners soak the lane, the experience is reduced for both laners. And two lanes in a single game basically guarantees that you’ll have one very poor laner. Supports are designed to function with our without gold. That’s the way their kit is designed. Top laners of almost any variety do not work like that. Without gold and levels, they will be far beyond useless.
So with that established, let’s talk about how to beat this nonsense if you come up against it.
How do you take down a duo top?
Going up against two enemies as a single champion is annoying to say the least. But you can get through the early game with the satisfaction that their strategy will suck horribly as the game rolls on.
Farming is essentially a non option for you. If your opponents are smart, they’ll freeze the wave as much as possible. If that happens to you, use whatever ranged abilities you have to farm the lane.
If your enemies are dumb, they’ll let the wave crash into your tower. This is great news for you. Not only will it let you farm regularly on tower, it’ll get rid of that tower relatively quickly, giving you a much longer lane to farm in.
You will be starved in farm in a duo lane, but if you position correctly you can still soak the XP you need. You have to play smart in a duo lane. They will starve you on gold while also starving themselves.
The goal of a duo top is to get fed off of kills. Don’t give them what they want. Instead, give them the most boring lane you can possibly imagine. When the time comes, roll into a teamfight and show them why duo top is such a bad idea. You won’t have items, but you’ll have levels.
Even if you barely get any farm at all, just do your team a favor: be safe and just ... stay the hell away from them.
Maybe duo top isn’t making some weird renaissance. Maybe I’m just a lucky guy who happens to run into that garbage way more than is normal, but don’t just assume the enemy messed up if they didn’t take smite.