Janna using Smite in the top lane is breaking League of Legends
Jan 27, 2022
The latest exploit to trick League of Legends’ comeback systems into giving teams gold involves taking the summoner spell Smite into the top lane.
Objective bounties add additional gold rewards to objectives for losing teams and were introduced in the offseason. As it turns out, smite top lane on champions who choose to only harass and never farm can give troves of gold to teams that aren’t actually losing.
How does smite top lane work?
The new smite top strategy work by playing a viable support champion, often Janna or Karma, and then opting out of interacting with your lane opponent after just a few levels. The support takes smite and looks to invade to steal away a camp or a buff from the enemy jungler.
From there, the support champion lanes until they have a few levels before fully abandoning the top lane to instead roam elsewhere on the map. By leaving the enemy top laner alone, they guarantee a gold deficit that will allow their team to cash in on objectives elsewhere on the map. Between roaming with the allied jungler and ganking other lanes, they look to snowball the rest of the map and collect on bounties set up by the abandoning of the top lane.
It’s certainly a risky strategy, but creating an artificial deficit by abusing the objective bounty system is not a healthy gameplay precedent to set. LCS podcast “The Dive” discussed the issue in its most recent episode, as well as the growing pattern of roam strategies.
Is funnel back in League of Legends?
Two outstanding instances of previous abuses of League of Legends’ gold system stand out as similar to this latest problem. Funneling, which revolved around shoving as much of the mid lane and jungle farm into one champion as possible, is the most egregious recent example. There was also a period in professional play where lane bully top laners like Kennen were taking support items and only harassing in order to build up a large bounty on their lane opponent while staying even in effective gold.
Riot came down hard on both of these developments in the past, and if smite in the top lane becomes a popular strategy, it will likely be struck down as well.