The Top Lane Tier List of Patch 12.21 | RiftFeed
Bruisers are taking over!

The Top Lane Tier List for Patch 12.21!

Mecha Rengar Splash Art
He looks like an enemy you'd fight in a metroid game. | © Riot Games

You want to get better at League of Legends? You’ve read our guides and still aren’t getting better? Well then, you’re probably playing the wrong champions. But don’t worry we’ve got something for you right here. The tier list series right here on Riftfeed in which we look at the best champions of every Patch. Today we’re looking at the LoL Patch 12.21.

LoL Patch 12.21 didn't bring a ton of changes to top lane, but there's still a big distinction between fighters bruisers and juggernauts. It's a while, so now we've got a pretty clear idea of how this has impacted the meta.

Top Lane Tier List - S-Tier Toplane Picks of LoL Patch 12.21?

Top lane has quite a bit of variety so we'll be talking about the best Champions to play in top lane among the 40 champions that are viable there!

Best Top Laner in LoL Patch 12.21: No. 3 - Shen

Warlord Shen Splash Art
They should rename this skin to Oni Shen, | © Riot Games

It's a little bit of a mystery as to why Shen is top tier right now. He didn't receive any buffs and neither did his items, he snuck into the meta pretty quietly. 

Shen will always be strong due to his global ultimate and his ability to function without gold or resources. The most likely reason for Shen's strength is how safe and consistent he is. Top lane is a lane that's all about counter matchups and punishing mistakes, it's the least friendly to new players. Because of this matchup dependent lane, Top lane doesn't have 'blind safe' or champions that can win lane without having counter pick

The last blind safe champion was Gragas because of his extreme sustain. He has since been nerfed and Top lane has been lacking a champion that is blind pickable since. That's where Shen comes in, while he's not quite blind pickable since he has a few bad matchups, he's safe enough and he has enough utility that no matter his items or his matchup he's going to be impactful and help his team.

Shen also has a good damage split and works well in any team comp so you don't even have to worry what your own team is going to be. All of these things combined make Shen the most solid pick Top lane right now. So if you find yourself autofilled Top lane, Shen should be your go to right now.

Additionally, Shen has one of the strongest Level 2 spikes in the game, so you can look to cheese your opponent with the E-Q combo and try for an early kill, this can lead to Shen having an advantage in lane. Zac has been played in jungle almost entirely since his release, maybe finding himself in support occasionally. However recently a top Zac playstyle has surfaced that has proved extremely effective in current meta. Able to choose between a high damage AP build or a durable tanky build, Zac actually has quite a bit of versatility. 

Best Top Laner in LoL Patch 12.21: No. 2 - Rengar

Sentinel of Light Rengar
Rengar was such a goofy addition to this skinline. | © Riot Games

Rengar is infamous in the toplane for his cheesy playstyle and hard to counter kit. Rengar utilizes the multiple pushes in toplane to take advantageous trades and bully his opponent out of lane or even kill them.

You can build Rengar a few ways, his most common build is Lethality/Crit, where you spec into items like Eclipse, Collector, Lord Dominiks Regards. With this playstyle Rengar wants to stack Crit chance and play around vision and his ultimate cooldown. When the enemy doesn't know Rengar is coming they can't group up and he can pick them off. Alternatively you can build more like a bruiser with Divine Sunderer, Death's Dance and Ravenous Hydra. This playstyle focuses more on sustain and creating space for your team as you absorb enemy pressure with the cleanse on your W.

If you're wondering when to pick Rengar, he excels into some of the more meta picks like Olaf and Singed, this is because he can take short burst trades which Singed can't deal with, and he can use the bushes to kite out Olaf's ult and punish his long cooldowns.

Rengar does require a fair amount of champion mastery and mechanical skill, but playing him well pays off heavily. Rengar is currently sitting at a 53% winrate in toplane over the last few patches. These stats speak for themselves but it's worth noting that he only has a 1.5% pickrate. So if you're a jungle player or a fan of the kitty cat, definitely consider picking Rengar up and putting in some games.

  • Did you catch our guide for Nilah?

Best Top Laner in LoL Patch 12.21: No. 1 – K'Sante

Prestige Empyrean K'Sante Splash Art
Every king needs his croptop. | © Riot Games

K'Sante has had a pretty quiet release. He generated a lot of hype when it was announced Lil Nas X was helping to design his prestige, and his association to the Worlds song.

As a champion, K'Sante is interesting because he's a tank, that is meant to dominate lane. He has incredible durability between his W and E, but he flips the generic tank playstyle on it's head when it comes to his ultimate. K'Sante's ult transforms the champion from a frontline tank to an Assassin. This is completely unique to the LoL roster, because no one else has this duality built into their kit.

This makes K'Sante a very interesting champion, because his play pattern starts the fight off as a frontline tank creating space and disrupting enemies, before he opens the floodgates and becomes a high damage burst assassin. His ultimate is the epitome of a double edged sword, he sacrifices a huge chunk of his max health and most of his resistances to gain insane max health true damage. And once he shatters his weapons he cant get his health back very easily. It's a huge commitment but it can pay off massively.

To play K'Sante you want to stack your Q as if you were Yasuo or Yone, once you have the knock up stacked you can hop forward to a minion with your E and look to snipe someone. Then you can commit by knocking them away with your W and following up with your Ult. Or you can just look to proc your grasp auto and walk out. Learning to build leads with him is going to be important, because you don't have a huge AoE teamfight ult like other tanks. So if you don't leave lane with a lead you're at a bit of a disadvantage. K'Sante can dominate skirmishes though, his ult is excellent at isolating targets and eliminating them. So you are really good at early rotations and jungle skirmishes.

For itemization and runes he just runes Grasp and Sunfire Aegis usually. Very standard Tank items, his ult naturally converts your stats into damage so you can just build full tank. Force of Nature, Gargoyles, Titanic Hydra are all great options.

All in all, K'Sante is going to be amazing for SoloQ once you figure him out, he's pretty safe in lane and he's great at building advantages for himself, with some good micro and understanding of laning this champion is going to be a nightmare in the hands of a good player. A tank that is supposed to kill people? Unheard of.

Top Lane Tier List in LoL Patch 12.21: The Other Top Lane Champions

While the S-Tier Top Laners tend to be the best, there are still a lot of really good picks in case these champions aren't available. Let's also take a look at some of the bottom tier champions, which you should take a note of and avoid!

Top Lane Tier list 12.21
K'Sante is still the best don't worry. | © Riot Games

The A-Tier Top Picks of LoL Patch 12.21:

If you're not a fan of the S-tier picks, or they are banned, this is where to look. The A-tier champs are good, but don't warrant nerfs, so they are usually about the same.

  • Mordekaiser- Win Rate: 51.20%, Pick Rate: 6.47%
  • Tahm Kench- Win Rate: 53.96%, Pick Rate: 3.20%
  • Garen- Win Rate: 51.10%, Pick Rate: 7.73%
  • Singed - Win Rate: 53.76%, Pick Rate: 2.50%
  • Poppy - Win Rate: 52.20%, Pick Rate: 1.02%

Top Lane is dominated by bruisers and champions that love longer fights. Aside from that, tanks are always an option and will always be helpful in any team comp. But generally stick with bruisers. 

The F-Tier Top Picks of LoL Patch 12.21:

If you want to win, just stay away from these champions, basically no point in playing them unless you're a one trick. 

  • Volibear- Win Rate: 48.94%, Pick Rate: 4.05%
  • Jayce - Win Rate: 47.66%, Pick Rate: 1.64%
  • Kennen - Win Rate: 47.36%, Pick Rate: 2.05%
  • Gwen - Win Rate 46.3%, Pick Rate: 4.56%

Gwen is in a really bad place right now. She's been nerfed two patches in a row, it's not super clear why Riot nerfed her the first time, or the second time consecutively but clearly they want Gwen to step away from the spotlight. Hopefully she get's some healthy changes soon that will let her be viable but not OP.