The Compete Guide to Sett Top Lane [12.3]
For beginners in the top lane.
In League of Legends every game is a unique experience, and as Summoners it is important that we know how to adapt depending on what is required of us in any given game. For the purpose of simplicity, Top Lane Champions will be broken up into 3 different categories based on the stages of the game they excel in.
1. Snowballers - Snowballers are Champions who really excel in the early game, and aim to create as big of a gold difference as they can during the laning phase of the game - and then use this gold difference to control objectives (Towers or Jungle Objectives) for their team. However, these Champions also find themselves in very deep holes when at a gold disadvantage. Typically these Champions are identified through having a passive (P), or a range advantage, that gives them an edge over their opponents early on. An example of a Snowballer is Tryndamere, who's "Fury" which allows him to stack Critical Chance at level 1, or Teemo, who can use his range to poke to keep pressure on his enemies.
2. Balancers - Balancers are Champions who don't particularly excel at any stage in the game, but are reliable throughout the entire game. The majority of Top Lane Champions fall into this category. These Champions typically have a good balance between damage, durability, and crowd control. Balancers will try to use their balanced abilities and attributes to swing team fights in their team's favor. An example of a Balancer is Garen, who has very few flaws in his kit and can impact the game in a variety of ways.
3. Scalers - Scalers are Champions who lack the kill threat of a Tryndamere or Garen early game, but grow tremendously stronger as the game continues, often as the result of a passive (P) or the passive on an active ability. Typically a Scaler will look to sit in lane and scale until they hit their "powerspike", which varies based on the Champion. An example of a Scaler is Kayle, who's passive (P) gives her increased scaling based on her level, or Sion, who's W passive gives him permanent health based on the number of enemies he has killed.
Creating a Rune Page:
Now that we understand the different types of match-ups that we may encounter in the Top Lane, it is time to learn how to "Sett" ourselves up for success, by using the correct runes. As Sett Conquerer is the best keystone. Sett's passive allows him to quickly stack Conquerer. Resolve is taken secondary to give Sett the durability and sustain required to stay competitive in lane.
1. Runes vs Snowballer:
- Rune Page
Against a Snowballer the runes above work best. Prior to 12.3 the "best" runes had been Alacrity instead of Tenacity and Unflinching instead of Overgrowth. However, following the decrease on HP on a variety of Sett's build path items, Overgrowth now has a slight edge over Unflinching against Snowballers as they allow Sett's W and Goredrinker active to recover some of their lost value, resulting from the item changes.
2. Runes vs Balancer:
- Rune Page
Against a Balancer the runes stay similar to what they would be against a Snowballer, except Second Wind is swapped for Bone Plating. The reason for this is that Second Wind gives Sett the sustain (along with his passive (P)) that is needed to keep pressure on his opponent, while also minimising the chance of dying.
3. Runes vs Scaler:
- Rune Page
Against a Scaler a few more adjustments are made to the runes page. Firstly, Alacrity is swapped in for Tenacity as it gives more kill pressure on Snowballers in the early-mid game. To accommodate for the loss of Tenacity, Overgrowth is swapped out for Unflinching.
Purchasing Starting Items:
When purchasing starting items you should be asking yourself 1 question: "What is my goal during laning phas?."
If you are against a Scaler the answer to this question should be to put as much gold difference between you and the Scaler as possible, by maintaining kill pressure and keeping them off minions. (Doran's Blade + 1 Potion)
If you are against a Snowballer the answer to this question should be to reduce their kill pressure, by increasing your own sustain. (Doran's Shield + 1 Potion)
If you are against a Balancer the answer depends more on the summoner's level of comfort in that match-up. If you are in a comfortable, familiar match-up, Doran's Blade might work better for you that Doran's Shield. However if you are in an unfamiliar match-up, you might want to consider taking Doran's Shield for safety.
The Game Starts at 0:00:
Even though minions don't meet in the Top Lane until about 1:40, that doesn't mean the first 1 minute and 40 seconds are time for you to finish your snack or use the bathroom. Often the first 1 minute and 40 seconds of a game can have a big impact on the following 10 minutes. Some things to consider during this time are:
1. Does my Jungler need a leash?
2. Are my team invading the enemy Jungle?
3. Which enemies are first to lane (not leashing)?
4. Where did the enemy Jungler start?
5. Where should I place my first ward to help the team the most?
6. What Summoner Spells has the enemy Top Laner taken?
These are all questions you should have the answer to before 1:40, as well as knowing how you will play your own match-up, and being in the correct position to do so.
The first back of each game, is extremely underrated in importance. If you can back, buy your first item component, and get back to lane without giving your opponent a chance to do the same, you have already won Top Lane. As Sett your first back timing depends on a few things.
If you are against a Snowballer, typically you will want to first back at 1175 gold. This will give you enough to purchase Plated Steel Caps (to prevent the Snowballer from snowballing) and a Control Ward to start establishing map dominance.
If you are against a Balancer, you will want to try to do what is called a "Cheater Recall." This is essentially trying to control the minion wave in a way that you crash a large number of friendly minions into the enemy tower, giving you time to back while your enemy must stay in lane to absorb XP and get gold from killing the minions.
If you are against a Scaler, especially a Scaler like Sion or Nasus, who rely on enemy kills, you want to avoid doing a Cheater Recall. Instead you want to position yourself in between the Scaler and your allied minions. You want to play to try and kill your opponent and then crash the allied minions into the enemy tower to deny the opponent a chance to scale. After killing your opponent and crashing your allied minion wave you should back and return to lane with your gold spent to prevent your opponent coming back from their spawn with an item advantage.
As Sett your win condition in most games is to split push, while playing around objectives. To do this it is important that against Scalers or Balancers you take the Summoner Spell "Teleport." You want to position yourself in the lane furthest from the next objective, then use teleport to get to the objective. This may sound complicated, but it is really quite simple. If the next objective is a Dragon then you should position yourself in the Top Lane, and maintain pressure on the Top Towers, without overextending and risking death.
The build path on Sett remains fairly consistent regardless of enemy champions, but there are a few slight adjustments that can be made to give you the best chance of winning.
1. Blade of the Ruined King (Balancer or Scaler) or Plated Steel Caps (Snowballer)
- Gives Sett the survivability required to keep his opponent from snowballing
- Gives Sett the dueling ability to pressure towers in Top Lane against balancer or scaler opponents.
2. Whichever of the above you have not yet built
3. Goredrinker (In 90% of cases) or Stridebreaker (If the enemy has 4+ Ranged/High Mobility Champions AND no high HP enemy to Ult (R) onto the enemies in a team fight.
4. Death's Dance (into majority AD enemies) or Maw of Malmortius (into majority AP enemies)
5. Whichever of the above you have not yet built
6. Personal Preference, options include: Randuin's Omen, Thornmail, Chempunk Chainsword, Spirit's Visage, Dead Man's Plate, Guardian Angel and more.