This League of Legends Season 10 Ultimate Lucian guide is the only guide that you will need in order to play Lucian Top. This guide will include builds, combos, counters, synergies, keystones, and runes.
Lucian, son of Urias, was never allowed to follow the footsteps of his father as a Sentinel of the Light. He lived in Demacia, where he saw people in need. As he returned home of one his journeys, he got to know Senna, the apprentice of his now dead father. Together, they grew and formed a bond. They journeyed and fought against creatures, while Senna taught Lucian the ways of the Light. Eventually, Senna entrusted Lucian with his father’s weapon, and they became a team against the Black Mist, until the monstrous Thresh killed Senna and took her soul away. Lucian then hunted Thresh in hopes of destroying the lantern and releasing his lover’s soul. Instead, she reemerged alive and well. Now, they are back together fighting darkness.
This guide was written by our team of writers along with the help of Challenger player, Ostrich, who is an expert in everything Lucian. He is considered by many to be the best in the world at this champion and you can find him streaming on Twitch.
Lucian Overview Infographic
We put together a Lucian overview infographic that has the best builds, runes, strengths, weaknesses, combos, skill orders, counters, synergies and anything else that you need to quickly learn the basics of Lucian. Make sure to share with your friends and check back here to get the latest updates. We will be updating this infographic as changes happen so check back often!
Who is Ostrich
Ostrich, 21 years of age. Currently playing with the summoner name OSTRICH. He has over 2 million mastery points on Lucian and he peaked at 445 LP in North American Challenger. He has a KDA ratio of 2.27:1 with a 60% win rate. He started playing League in Season 3 and got the rank of Bronze 5. He first fell in love with the champion after seeing his longtime friend play a few games with Lucian. Soon, he decided to pick up the champion himself, and after playing Lucian for so many years, just the sheer feeling he had when correctly weaving in auto-attacks in-between abilities, using Lucian’s E successfully with his passive, canceling animations and totally outplaying the enemy players, transformed him. Getting that pentakill when you played well, and R (The Culling) someone from full HP to 0, makes everything great for the purifier.
Table of Contents
Why Play Lucian
Before we start on the Ultimate Guide to Lucian, we first want to tell you why you should play him. His overall strengths and weaknesses are as follows:
- Lots of burst with Press the Attack.
- Can build different items to fit the matchup (Maw of Malmortius as first item is ok).
- Decent range.
- Can poke a lot.
- Lane bully.
- No disengage.
- E has a long cooldown early, so it’s risky to trade without knowing where the jungler is.
- Very squishy.
- Hard to come back when behind.
- Somewhat weird in a team composition.
These champions give Lucian top a hard time in-game, due to having a kit that can stop Lucian from doing what he wants to do. Here are some of the biggest issues and how you can try to overcome the challenges they bring.
Yasuo is considered a counter because of his W (Wind Wall) and his high mobility, so it's hard for you to land a Q (Piercing Light) or R (The Culling). When he has a good support in teamfights, he will be able to dash around minions and beat you hard. Some ways to play around this is to get rid of his shield with your W (Ardent Blaze), auto-attack him, and most importantly, try to deny him as much farm as possible early on. He is a melee champion, so he is forced to walk up and hit minions. If he comes closer, just do small trades with him. If Yasuo's Wind Wall is on cooldown you will most likely win the trades.
Cassiopeia is considered a counter because her W (Miasma) has a root effect, making Lucian's E (Relentless Pursuit) and Flash unusable. Her Q (Noxious Blast) range is longer than Lucian's auto-attack range, making this a difficult matchup inside and outside of the lane. To survive lane phase, it is recommended to have a healing support or someone who can all-in on her without a dash, like Thresh, Blitzcrank, Brand, etc. Try to bait her Q when you are going for CS, and if you get hit by it dash away immediately until the poison wears out.
Pantheon is considered a counter because his entire kit just stops you from doing anything. His Q (Comet Spear) is for poke. His W (Shield Vault) is the same range as your auto-attack range, so you can't get close. Finally, his E (Aegis Assault) stops all damage, so it's impossible to trade with him. The only way is to use Q (Piercing Light) through minions and try to harass him until he is low on HP.
These champions work well with Lucian and should be considered being picked alongside him if possible. Here are some of the biggest synergies and how you can abuse them.
Karthus works well with Lucian because he has the ability to slow the enemies with W (Wall of Pain) while you hit the target with as many auto-attack as you can. His Q (Lay Waste) will deal tremendous damage and he can ultimately kill the targets with R (Requiem). Having Lucian in the mid lane requires another role to take an AP damage dealer to balance the team, and Karthus is a great one to choose.
Amumu works well with Lucian because he can hold the enemies with his Q (Bandage Toss) when he ganks your lane. This gives you the chance to deal a lot of damage to the enemy, and hopefully get a kill. Amumu can also boost all AP damage from his allies with his passive (Cursed Touch), and stop the movement of enemies with R (Curse of the Sad Mummy), giving your team the time to follow up and harass them.
Sejuani works well with Lucian, as she can disrupt the enemy team with her abilities. She can knock up a target with Q (Arctic Assault) and stun enemies with her passive (Fury of the North) and R (Glacial Prison). This gives you the time to deal a lot of damage to the enemy champions. She is especially great at ganking top as the enemy has only one way to escape which is going back to their tower.
Lucian Summoner Spells
Lucian recommended summoner spells are Teleport and Flash. Teleport provides additional map pressure as a top laner. You want to be in teamfights where you can make use of your damage for your team. Flash will always help you move and survive in your lane and have more chances of spamming your abilities.
If you want extra damage in harder matchups, you can use Ignite and Flash instead. This will help you reduce your target’s healing as well as deal more damage to them. Champions like Darius and Aatrox can be a problem if you are not using Ignite.
Lucian Runes and Keystones
Lucian recommended runes are Press the Attack, Overheal, Bloodline, and Coup de Grace on Precision as primary, and Nimbus Cloak with Gathering Storm on Sorcery as secondary. This combination provides the necessary damage, as well as the survivability to deal damage in the lane. Press the Attack will make your target vulnerable and shred them to pieces, while the other runes will give you the lifesteal, movement speed, and damage to be a great ADC for your team.
If the enemy has lots of ways to waveclear, you can consider using Conqueror, Presence of Mind, Bloodline, and Cut Down on Precision as primary, and Nimbus Cloak with Gathering Storm as secondary. This combination of runes can help you survive their durability. Having Conqueror, Presence of Mind, and Bloodline together will help you have sustainable HP and mana while you kite the enemies. Cut Down can increase your damage, and it is amazing combined with Nimbus Cloak and Gathering Storm. If the enemy laner is a tank this page is great, since you can get max stacks of Conqueror quickly and will scale better into the late game.
You can also use Press the Attack, Overheal, Bloodline, and Coup de Grace on Precision as primary, and Nullifying Orb with Gathering Storm on Sorcery as secondary. Nullifying orb will give you more defenses against teams with 2 or more AP in their composition.
Press the Attack = short trades and early game pressure.
Conqueror = long fights.
All rune pages will be using +10% attack speed, +9 adaptive force, and armor.
Lucian’s recommended items change depending on the situation. However, the following items will give you a good idea of what to build in different situations.
Lucian starts with Doran’s Blade to add damage, health, and lifesteal in the early game phase. It is an optimal item to deal with the enemy top more efficiently.
Lucian starts with Doran’s Shield if you want health restoration, extra damage on minions, and health regeneration. It gives back health every 5 seconds and after being hit by enemy champions.
Blade of the Ruined King is core on Lucian because this item has AD, lifesteal, attack speed, and a passive that does 8% of your enemy’s current health as bonus damage. BotRK is great as the first item on Lucian, as it gives everything you want except cooldown reduction. AD + AS for his auto-attacks and abilities, lifesteal for laning phase and fights. On top of that, BotRK's passive procs on both of Lucian’s auto-attacks, which means that you are doing 15.36% of someone’s current HP as damage each time you do a double auto-attack. With PTA this is a lot of frontloaded and sustained damage against one target. B. F. Sword gives the same amount of AD, but it doesn’t give you extra stats. The active of Blade of the Ruined King is also very helpful to kite and chase. Blade of the Ruined King is also a nice item because there is always some component that you can buy on each back that costs less than 500g. All in all, a great item.
Black Cleaver is core on Lucian because it increases health and gives CDR. It also provides movement speed when you hit your targets. Black Cleaver is a great item for Lucian top, as you will mostly face bruisers and tanks that have more HP than you. Use this to shred their armor when you are auto-attacking them.
Use Berserker’s Greaves as this is the cheapest attack speed item in the game. Take Berserker's Greaves if you are ahead or are not against CC or an AD damage threat.
Mercury's Treads should be built only if the enemy team has a strong source of magic damage or has a lot of CC, as you will need the tenacity and magic resistance they provide.
Use Ninja Tabi if you are against a strong auto-attack-based team or just need some armor to keep you alive against a bruiser, such as Riven or Darius, or against Zed.
Offensive Situational Items
If there's a spell you want to avoid and they aren't building a lot of armor, Edge of Night. This item periodically blocks enemy abilities, giving you the chance to avoid a certain death and counter your enemy. Great for enemy junglers like Sejuani, Zac, etc.
If you're ahead and they will end up building armor later, you can build Essence Reaver. It gives you additional critical chance and CDR, which are good for Lucian. Also, the mana is very helpful since you use your abilities a lot for clearing waves and in fights. Take Bloodline with this item if you don't build Blade of the Ruined King. Pair this up with Infinity Edge and you will deal a lot of damage.
If you pop enemies instantly with your auto-attacks you can build Infinity Edge. This item not only increases your attack damage, critical chance, and attack speed, but it also boosts your critical damage. This gives you the ability to burst enemies quickly.
If you're super mega ahead and want to push your lead, you can build Duskblade of Draktharr. The +21 lethality, 60 AD, and 10% CDR it gives are the most out of all the lethality items. This item also increases your damage when you ambush enemies (after being unseen for at least 1 second).
If you want to switch out Youmuu’s Ghostblade, you can build Lord Dominik's Regards. This item will make you destroy enemies that build armor. The extra penetration of this item will shred targets when combined with Black Cleaver. This is a great item if you think Youmuu’s Ghostblade won’t be needed anymore.
Defensive Situational Items
If they have a lot of magic damage and you want to survive the burst, you can build Maw of Malmortius. Buy this against a fed AP carry. With Nullifying Orb it gives you a huge shield when it activates, plus 20+ AD, 10% spell vamp, and 10% life steal, making you extremely dangerous when you have low HP. This item does not stack with the Phantom Dancer's lifeline shield, so choose wisely which one is better in your situation.
If you want to switch Maw of Malmortius for more damage, you can build Phantom Dancer. This item provides a passive lifeline that gives you a fat shield that works against all types of damage, not just magical like Hexdrinker and Maw of Malmortius. It also increases your attack speed, which enables you to hit more auto-attacks in teamfights.
If you want a revival item, you can build Guardian Angel. This item basically gives you additional damage and the chance to survive assassination attempts from champions like Zed, Kha’zix, Rek’Sai, and many more. Buy this item last.
Full Build Example
An example full build for Lucian Top can consist of
- Blade of the Ruined King
- Ninja Tabi
- Black Cleaver
- Essence Reaver
- Phantom Dancer
- Infinity Edge
This is the most recommended build path for Lucian in the top lane, as it will provide the shredding mechanics he needs to deal with enemies. You want to hit as many auto-attacks as possible while the enemy top hasn’t built any defenses yet. Use the chance to quickly burst them with your Blade of the Ruined King and Black Cleaver item combination, as they will not last long with these 2 items. After that, you can enhance your critical hits with Essence Reaver, Phantom Dancer, and Infinity Edge. If you are having trouble in your lane, you can easily replace Infinity Edge with other situational item that helps you survive.
Ability Skill Order
The skill order for Lucian is R > Q > E > W. The reason is that you want to maximize the damage of your Q (Piercing Light) and damage the enemies through this ability. Your E (Relentless Pursuit) is second, as it gives you the ability to dash in and out of fights while avoiding skillshots from enemies. W (Ardent Blaze) is often used to chase targets or kill a cannon minion. Level up your ultimate (The Culling) at levels 6, 11, and 16 to use it on teamfights or initiate small skirmishes.
A power spike is when a champion reaches a level or builds an item that makes him a lot stronger than other champions in the game. Lucian’s power spike is when he reaches level 9, because at that point he has already maxed his Q (Piercing Light) and will deal tremendous damage to his targets. This gives him the best chance to win in teamfights. Acquiring his 3 core items before the enemy toplaner can give him the upper hand in the game. Focus on earning as much gold as possible to get that item boost.
How to Play Lucian
Playing Lucian top lane in the early game is great. Most of your enemies will be bruisers and tanks. As soon as you get to level 3, try to abuse your range over their lack of range as much as possible. Try to poke them down and use your dash to auto-attack reset, but remember that you will likely get ganked after using your dash. Always place wards around, so you can easily spot junglers trying to shut down your snowball potential. You have two cards you can use to escape: your Flash and E (Relentless Pursuit). If you can escape with your E only, do so, so you can still have a tool to escape or dodge. Also, always look at your map for any assistance you can do with Teleport. If you use Ignite, try your best to have a lead in your lane so you can pressure other lanes later.
Most mid game phases will have teamfights that you must be in. See if your team needs help and use your spells to make a play. If not, then you can continue to side-lane and be a lane bully to draw pressure top side. This will allow your jungler to take Rift Herald and exert a lot of pressure around the map. Always find ways to maximize the power of Lucian harassing enemies, so you can have better items and stronger leads.
- Split-pushing – As any ADC, you can split-push and take more gold for yourself so you can easily buy better items in this phase. But avoid doing this if you are not in the lead, as Lucian can be easily killed instantly with chain CC. Split-pushing can be easier since you have Ignite on an ADC, and Lucian is already very powerful in 1v1s, so fighting a 1v2 with Ignite and BotRK should make it a lot easier. If you are going to be split-pushing most of the game, Sanguine Blade can be another good item in the mid game. Trinity Force also helps breaking towers down because of the Spellblade and the massive amount of attack speed it gives you.
- Objective control – Skillful use of your rotations is a must for Lucian. Taking objectives like Dragon and Rift Herald in the mid game skyrockets your lead. If enemies try to contest, stop what you are doing and position yourself where allies can easily provide healing and defenses for you. You will most likely be the second ADC of the team, and you should be aware that assassins and mages can easily burst you if you are in the wrong position.
At this point, you should have enough items to be comfortable to side-lane with no worries of being in a 1v2 situation. Draw them bot side and allow your team to do the Baron. If they don’t come for you then you either can do a lot of damage to towers or TP to your team to help them out. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the enemy when they have TP up. This will signal you when to help your team out. Having that second ADC in the team is great, but you have one less bruiser or tank to be in the frontline. That is why having the best position to hit as many auto-attacks as you can around the enemy team is a must. Your goal is to survive as long as possible with your ADC in the backline, so you can combine your damages and shred the enemies easily. Help your tanks or bruisers in teamfight and don’t leave them behind, as losing them will greatly lower your chances at winning the fight. Once you’ve removed 1 or 2 champions from the enemy team, it will be easier to siege towers or take objectives like the Elder Dragon and Baron Nashor to win the game.
Lucian Tips and Tricks
- Don’t use a lot of mana early. If you do, then you should consider taking Manaflow Band to have an easier time.
- BotRK’s active is longer than your auto-attack range, so use that first if you are trying to chase someone that’s just a bit out of your range.
- Don’t underestimate the utility of the movement speed that your W gives you. Most people think W is completely useless but it still speeds you up a lot. You can use it on a camp that your jungler is doing to get to lane faster. You can also use W to check bushes.
- Your W has the shortest animation so it’s best to burst someone by starting off with that. Your Q animation gets faster the higher level you are.
- Lucian’s Q can be dodged early game simply by walking out of it sometimes so be aware that it’s not 100% always going to hit the enemy.
- You can use Lucian’s R inside of Bard’s portal & Tahm Kench’s belly.
- Your passive procs on-hit effects like Sheen’s Spellblade and Conqueror.
These below videos are great game play examples for how to play Lucian.
Frequent Mistakes/Noob Traps
These are things most Lucian players do that shouldn’t be done at a high level elo.
Mistake #1 – Players are always running out of mana because they use W (Ardent Blaze) too much. It is the ability that costs the most amount of mana, and isn’t worth using until you’re in a fight or you need to last-hit a cannon minion that’s out of reach.
Mistake #2 – Another mistake low ELO Lucian players make is not weaving in their auto-attacks between every ability, which lowers their DPS greatly and doesn’t allow their E to come off cooldown quicker.
Mistake #3 – Low ELO players don’t know when they can play aggressive. There are lots of opportunities for Lucian to capitalize on the enemies’ mistakes, but honestly, that just comes with testing limits and figuring out how much burst Lucian really has.
Mistake #4 – Wasting a dash. Using your E (Relentless Pursuit) to go near the enemy is not the ideal way to play Lucian. If you use this ability that way, you will be susceptible to ganks because you are squishy and will be immobile after that.
Similar Champions to Lucian
Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Lucian. Similarly to him, they deal heavy damage as a tank shredder in the top lane. When he isn’t available because he is either banned or picked by the enemy team, knowing these champions will give you a variety to choose from, safeguarding your LP from going down and keeping your games awesome.
High mobility. Good ultimate when combined with high CC allies. Best kiting in the game. Kalista is another champion you can use that is currently meta for top lane. Her ability to swiftly move back and forth while kiting makes her a very effective toplaner. This also makes her very safe to play, as the longer the 1v1 you are going to have with the enemy toplaner, the better chance you’ll win using Rend.
Tanky damage dealer. Great carry killer. Lane bully. This rock-busting soul-killing champion will destroy anyone in the lane. His ability to pull enemies and smack them with his weapon is uncanny. And if you are still alive after that, he’ll drag you down to the Soul Realm and beat you up until you are no more.
Late game beast. Tank shredder. True damage. Vayne tumbles around the enemy while dealing extreme amounts of damage. She is very hard to kill because of her stealth and knockback abilities. As the game progresses, she becomes a beast that can shred any tank in the game using the true damage in her kit. Even if she loses the early game, as long as she lives to fight later on, she can easily turn the tables and win the game.
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