I saw some top laners who use smite and teleport as spells and (if I'm correct), it's becoming pretty regular and although I don't play as a top laner, maybe when I have to adjust, I know I may find this useful.

My questions are when and who :

When to use it / what are some of the conditions needed since it was told that this strategy isn't always going to be useful in every top laner,

Who are the champions that will really take advantage of this?

  • 1
    thanks for asking this question and not just try to copy LCS players :-) Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 13:30

3 Answers 3


This is a thing you need to know about before using it. I've seen a lot of people playing it in the wrong situation and on the wrong champs. Even if you pick it in the right situation it's not easy to execute.

What are the advantages of Toplane smite?

  • You can buy Cintderhulk which is probably the best scaling tank item in the game.
  • Challenging Smite offers you great dueling potential.
  • Securing jungle objectives is extremely safe and easy with 2 Smites.
  • You can easily get a level advantage by switching between lane and jungle.
  • You can counterjungle.

What are the disadvantages of Toplane Smite?

  • You are sacrificing either Flash or Teleport
  • Counterpicks to your champion are about twice as effective because of your lack of flash
  • You will have to play passively in most cases up until midgame.
  • It's extremely situational and difficult to pull off.
  • Your jungler and midlaner have to play accordingly.

Now the 2nd and 4th and 5th point of the negative aspects are the most important ones which make this tactic not all too effective in soloqueue. Your jungler will have to leave either Gromp, Wolves or Krugs to you and your midlaner has to make sure that the enemy midlaner doesn't roam top all too often. Also if you get counterpicked you're going to have a hard time since you usually have to play passive and Smite doesn't provide you with any defensive or offensive values that are comparable to a Flash up until mid-late game.

The champions it works on are also rather limited. To be considered Viable the champion has to meet at least three of the following criteria.

The champion...

  1. Scales extremely well with bonus HP (Scaling on spells or built-in Resistances)
  2. Deals a lot of AOE Damage while standing in the enemy team or sunfire is normally built on him.
  3. Has built-in escapes or is able to survive 2-man ganks without flash.
  4. Would greatly benefit from a level advantage.

Now this limits the champion pool for a Smite Toplane quite heavily: Here are the ones where it's ok to run smite (with the points that apply from above).

  • Dr. Mundo: (1,2,3 past lvl six,4)
  • Gnar (1,3,4)
  • Hecarim (2,3,4)
  • Jax (1,3,4)
  • Malphite (1,2,3 past lvl six,4)
  • Nautilus (1,2,3)
  • Renekton (1,2,3,4)
  • Shen (1,2,3)
  • Shyvana (1,2,3,4)
  • Volibear (1,2,4)
  • Zac (1,2,3,4)

Now this is the list but again you and your team have to play accordingly and the best champions are obviously the ones who fulfill all 4 points. The ones with 3 met criteria might work if played very well but generally you shouldn't do it if you don't play them very often.

Just keep in mind that you will always have to play passively for a very long time until you have Cinderhulk and/or survival. Toplane Smite is heavily mid-lategame oriented and will put your whole team at a disadvantage during early levels. Also only build Challenging smite. The other ones aren't good while laning.

  • Garen (1,2,3) ? Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:57
  • 1
    @DropDeadSander-EUW Flash and TP are just far too important on Garen to be replaced by Smite.
    – Jutschge
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 11:58
  • Played with a Olaf smite top and he did very well even if I didn't give him my Gromp (as WW), we were a late game force. Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 12:09
  • Can't Poppy be included too?
    – Randomizer
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 19:24
  • @Randomizer No. There's basically no point in buying it on poppy except for the HP maybe.
    – Jutschge
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 19:26

The focus is on Cinderhulk rather than smite. It is 100% gold efficient at 600 pre-Cinderhulk health (so basically any character), not including the immolate passive (which is the big reason people want it). Its immolate burns for 9 less damage than Sunfire, but increases based on time in combat to as much as 8 more damage/second than Sunfire.

It is good on any character that wants a cheaper Sunfire Cape, but can afford to not have flash. This typically applies to tanks/bruisers, particularly those with mobility (think Renekton).

Both Stalker's Blade (chilling smite) and Skirmisher's Sabre (challenging smite) are viable build paths, depending on whether you are having trouble chasing your lane opponent or winning trades, respectively.

  • You have the two smites reversed. Chliling smite aids in chasing your lane opponent, while challenging smite strengthens your duelling potential.
    – Schism
    Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 2:18
  • @Schism Good point. Not sure how I mixed it up. Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 6:06

This is extremely good on tanks that want a sunfire cape as you can buy the Cinderhulk enchantment and be set. This is a very efficient way to play. This works best on champs that can afford to not take flash as they have alternate escapes.

Note: For most cases you will use the Rangers Trailblazer

E.G. Jax's Q

You can also use the stalkers blade If you are ahead but want a slow to help with chasing.

Build Skirmishers Sabre when you are playing an attack speed champ like Fiora or Warwick. Actually a Youtuber named Foxdrop has actually created guides on Warwick and Fiora top with smite.

Never EVER build the Poachers knife. As of patch 5.7 the item is just not worth it, and also you will be in lane so you will not be able to counter jungle.

Hope this helps!

  • the foxdrop guides are extremly outdated. Skirmishers has been nerfed very hard Commented Apr 14, 2015 at 12:07

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