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.
- Scales extremely well with bonus HP (Scaling on spells or built-in
- Deals a lot of AOE Damage while standing in the enemy team or sunfire is normally built on him.
- Has built-in escapes or is able to survive 2-man ganks without flash.
- 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.