Riot looks to kill support top laners in LoL patch 12.4
Feb 8, 2022
Riot Games is looking to head off the growing trend of support top laners in League of Legends patch 11.24.
The strategy of support top laners, which sees them build gold by harassing enemies with Spellthief’s Edge and then abandon their lane, was sure to gain the developer’s attention. Riot is looking to address this abuse of the bounty system in the game’s upcoming patch.
What’s wrong with support top laners
Utility and support champions in the top lane aren’t anything new. Champions such as Karma have been showing up in League of Legends’ most isolated lane for years.
Using the top lane’s one-on-one nature to give ranged supports a safe lane and time to scale is a strategy that has been effective at several points over the years. But now Riot wants to make sure this strategy comes to an end, with these niche strategies starting to warp League of Legends as a whole.
The 12.4 patch preview was posted on Twitter by developer Riot Phlox. The specifics of the system change haven’t been announced, but Riot can be expected to hamstring this cheese pick as much as possible. Past strategies that eroded the standard laning system have been aggressively tackled. One of the most notable examples is the end of funneling, which saw a single champion farm both the jungle and mid lane with the help of a support.
The addition of the “Monster Hunter” mechanic on jungle items stopped funneling, while turret plates were added to prevent players from automatically lane swapping every game. Some fans have proposed locking the support item to the support role similar to how the jungle items have been changed to require Smite. Some top-level players were disappointed Riot couldn’t find a solution last patch, but it seems like the publisher is ready to roll out a fix.