This League of Legends Season 10 Ultimate Lucian guide is the only guide that you will need in order to play Lucian ADC. 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 her 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:
- Can dodge abilities with his high mobility.
- Easy to position and reposition in fights.
- Very fun and rewarding when mastered.
- Wins most lanes, as he is a lane bully.
- Doesn’t fall off and is still relevant in later stages of games.
- Has low range.
- Not a hyper carry.
- Hard to play effectively.
- Not good at killing tanks.
- When behind, extremely hard to come back into the game.
These champions give Lucian 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 counters and how you can try to overcome the challenges they bring.
Draven is considered a counter, and facing him in lane is very hard due to your 500 attack range and weak auto-attack damage (compared to Draven’s increased auto-attack damage because of his Q (Spinning Axe)). It's possible to win the matchup by farming under the tower and using your Q (Piercing Light), but extremely hard to pull off, as most Draven players will auto-attack you when you try to kill a minion, making it difficult to scale into mid game without letting Draven cash in his stacks. He will pressure you heavily in the early game.
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.
Xayah is considered a counter because she has the ability to burst Lucian without him being able to reach her. This matchup is extremely difficult if she is playing with Rakan. Their combo is insanely hard to play against because your range is low. Rakan will try to knock you up and you can dash out of it, but in the case you mess up the dash, it's game over. On top of that, once they hit level 6 both of their ultimates basically cancel yours.
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.
Braum works well with Lucian because he has the ability to lock down the enemy targets and deal with them. Braum's passive (Concussive Blows) (auto-attack an enemy 4 times to stun) works perfectly with Lucian because of his own passive (Lightslinger) allowing him to auto-attack 2 times. Braum also has a slow and can protect Lucian with his E (Unbreakable).
Thresh works well with Lucian because of his play making potential with his hook and a perfect disengage with his lantern. Although lantern can be used to engage by bringing you to the enemy once he lands a hook so you don't have to use your dash and can deal more damage.
Leona works well with Lucian because she has a lot of CC that can turn skirmishes in your favor. Leona’s E (Zenith Blade), Q (Shield of Daybreak), and R (Solar Flare) can stun her targets and hold them in one place. This gives Lucian the perfect setup for him to be able to dash into the enemy and burst them down by making use of Leona's passive (up to 4 times) for extra magic damage.
Lucian Summoner Spells
Lucian recommended summoner spells are Heal and Flash because both spells can help him in teamfights. Taking Flash with an AD carry is regular, however, there are scenarios where you can use Q (Piercing Light) at the same time that you use Flash. You can also use Flash to reposition yourself during R (The Culling). Heal is a spell that not only heals but also gives movement speed. In some scenarios it is beneficial to use Heal for the movement speed, and not only for the heal. Using heal without hovering over an ally will automatically heal the nearby player with the lowest health. If you hover over an ally, Heal will prioritize the hovered player. Heal is cut in half if you have grievous wounds applied to you.
If you are focusing on farming as many minions as possible and you have a healer support to help you in the lane, you can use Teleport and Flash instead. Some ADCs prefer to take Teleport because it allows them to farm up, sustain better and constantly be at their tower to not miss any experience. Teleport is usually taken in lanes where the enemies do not want to fight, or a lane where the enemy will take Teleport as well, such as against an Ezreal.
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 you have the lifesteal, movement speed, and damage to be a great ADC for your team.
If you are against a tanky enemy team composition, you can consider using Conqueror, Triumph, 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, Triumph, and Bloodline together will help you have sustainable HP while you kite the enemies. Cut Down can increase your damage, and it is amazing combined with Nimbus Cloak and Gathering Storm.
Both 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 have more damage, health, and lifesteal in the early game phase. It is an optimal item to deal with the enemy ADC 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 while also restoring after being hit by enemy champions
- Essence Reaver is core on Lucian because it gives additional critical chance and CDR, which are good for him. 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.
- Trinity Force is core on Lucian because of all the stats it provides to him. It is becoming good on Lucian again because of the synergy with Sanguine Blade and the Sheen of the item. Trinity Force is another way to get 20% CDR. You need the CDR to be able to consistently use your rotations, in order to get your conqueror stacks up. Switch Trinity Force for Black Cleaver if you are against tanks.
- Infinity Edge is a core item for Lucian, and most ADCs that are similar to him buy it. It is not usually a rushed item because Lucian works better with Blade of the Ruined King, but it is still a core part of the build. This is a good third item, because after you finish your Phantom Dancer or Essence Reaver you get a 50% critical strike chance.
- 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 you are against poking lanes or tanks you can build Blade of the Ruined King. 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 autos 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.
- If you want AD, HP, CDR, and to reduce your enemies’ armor, you can build Black Cleaver. This item helps you shred any and all armor pre-20 minutes, which is quite low. Your two-auto-attacks passive (Lightslinger), Q (Piercing Light) and R (The Culling) with E (Relentless Pursuit) auto-attack reset make it extremely easy to stack the Black Cleaver. This item, if used correctly, also gives Lucian the ability to get his dash back after 1 rotation, which could have a great impact in fights. Also, the little bit of health it provides is nice, because the more health you have the harder you are to kill.
- If you need the extra range to poke down enemies or hit towers, you can build Rapid Firecannon. They increased the attack speed so it is equal to Phantom Dancer. It all depends on the scenarios you are in. For example, when going against a Caitlyn or Azir you would need the range to reach them, and not the Phantom Dancer shield. Unlike Statikk Shiv, this item’s energized strike is not applied in an area. In addition, it can’t critically strike, so it does less damage than Statikk Shiv. Don’t even bother getting Statikk Shiv on Lucian.
- If you want extra critical chance and attack speed, 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.
Defensive Situational Items
- If you need protection against mages, 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 are against a high CC team, you can build Mercurial Scimitar. Get this item when you are against a lot of CC and definitely make it a must-buy against CC that locks you down and will kill you. Examples are Lissandra, Malzahar, Warwick, Teemo. Remember that you can also use QSS against the ultimates of Vi, Lee Sin, and many others if you are fast enough.
- 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 can consist of:
- Essence Reaver
- Trinity Force
- Infinity Edge
- Berserker’s Greaves
- Rapid Firecannon
- Guardian Angel
This is the most recommended build path for Lucian, as it gives him the ability to deal high amounts of damage as well as the attack speed to kite the enemies he is going to face. His 3 core items will boost his AD stats and will give him the opportunity to swiftly dash in and out of fights, while also activating his passive (Lightslinger). RFC reduces your weakness as a low range ADC and gives you the ability to reach targets before they can hit you. Lastly, Guardian Angel is for saving your life when enemy teams focus on you.
Passive - Lightslinger
If Lucian’s primary target is killed before the second shot can go off, he automatically shoots another enemy.
Your passive can trigger on-hit effects, such as Conqueror or Sheen’s Spellblade. Your ideal combo would be:
W > AA > E > AA > Q > AA
To effectively do smooth rotations and be able to kite enemies, you would be using dash first:
E > AA > W > AA > Q > AA
With around 20% CDR your dash should be on a relatively short cooldown.
Q - Piercing Light
This ability can be dodged by simply sidestepping, dashing, or flashing away from it. Your main use of this ability is to poke enemies down by using it on minions to hit them through the wave; pushing the wave, killing minions and simultaneously poking is the most effective way to use Piercing Light.
W - Ardent Blaze
Some people choose to start W on Lucian because of the poke and synergy it has with Manaflow Band. Q (Piercing Light) just works much better to push the wave early on, and gives you a better all-in at level 2. This ability allows Lucian to effectively use his ult because of the movement speed it gives. Not seeing any other use for this ability (damage wise), other than another ability to use your passive and give movement speed.
E - Relentless Pursuit
This ability is what makes Lucian, ‘Lucian’. The fact that each time you use an ability, it lowers this ability down by 2 seconds is huge. This makes Lucian a very mobile ADC by effectively using your ability rotations, a trait that you can use to dodge abilities and reposition in teamfights. This ability can, however, be canceled at the beginning of the dash, which will leave it on a high cooldown so be quick and cautious when using it. You can do a long dash or short dash depending on the scenario: a short dash will allow you to auto-attack faster than a longer dash would. This ability can also go through many small walls.
R - The Culling
Unfortunately, Lucian’s ultimate was nerfed hard, and now the minion damage is very low. This ability is now a good way to initiate fights, because once you get Black Cleaver each bullet adds a stack of the cleaver’s passive, leading to a lot of armor reduction. This ability also activates Lucian’s passive. Once you get CDR, this ultimate can be used at the beginning of fights to help you close gaps by using your abilities rotations correctly and always having your dash handy.
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 in the bot lane.
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 ADC can give him the upper hand in the game. Focus on earning as much gold as possible to get that item boost.
This rotation starts with AA + Q + AA + E + AA + WW + AA + E + AA.
This rotation starts with W + AA + E + AA + Q + AA + E + AA.
This rotation starts with E + AA + Q + AA + W + AA + E + AA + E + AA + Q + AA + E + AA. As showed on the example, you can use your Blade of the Ruined King’s Active before your E (Relentless Pursuit) since it has a longer range than your Auto Attack range.
W + R Combo
W + R Combo allows you to chase enemies that are very far away because your Ultimate (The Culling) is the longest ranged ability you have, so, with W applied, each bullet will give you increased movement speed to chase them down.
How to Play Lucian
Playing Lucian in the early game requires precision with your Q. When Piercing Light is available, you want to utilize the damage you can poke enemy champions while hitting through minions. Supports like Thresh, Blitzcrank and Nautilus are some champions that can be both problems in the opposing lane, as well as great companions for Lucian in his own team. Avoid dealing with them if your dash is not available. Lucian is amazing in the late game if he snowballs early in the game. That is why your goal is to make use of your double shots and master the rotations of your abilities. Maximizing your passive (Lightslinger) can turn fights in your favor, as your auto-attack numbers in skirmishes will also be more than those of the enemy ADC. Use your W to gain movement speed and get some ganks from your jungler to get an advantage. Once you have your ultimate (The Culling) you can either initiate fights with it or synergize it with your allies’ abilities.
As you approach the mid game, you will most likely have one of the core items that are great for Lucian in the lane. Depending on your team composition, you can work on picking enemies off and using your passive, or maximizing the CC of your allies while you try to shred your targets as the backline. Overall your goal is to use your rotations efficiently when fighting small skirmishes.
- Split-pushing – As any ADC, you can split-push on a different lane when you have already destroyed the bottom. Most carries will likely transfer to the top lane to move the pressure. Take as much gold as you can to boost your advantage and get the items you need.
- Objective control – When taking objectives like Dragon and Rift Herald, you want to be in a position where you can move freely with your E (Relentless Pursuit). Your goal is to avoid as many skillshots as possible and use the power of your passive (Lightslinger) to maximize the damage of your critical and attack speed items. This will give you better chances of taking the objectives. Always move near your support, so he can save you from any assassination attempt.
This is where Lucian takes advantage of his abilities to their full potential. Your abilities will have the lowest cooldowns in the late game phase, and this will give you the best chance to spam your ideal rotations in teamfights, and maximize the damage potential of your items. Work with your allies as they will protect you from being stunned and bursted down. In the late game, enemies will also have the capabilities to take you down, so being in a position where teammates can body-block abilities for you, or support you by providing movement speed is the best situation you can have. When you are taking Elder Dragon and Baron Nashor, you can make use of walls around them. Your E (Relentless Pursuit) has a very short cooldown, which can help you dash in or out of fights while you kite enemies. Lucian is a very mobile ADC and can be relevant in any battle, as it is easy for him to reposition and spam his auto-attacks.
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 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 – As a last thing, 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.
Similar Champions to Lucian
Listed below are some champions you can use to replace Lucian, and they also deal heavy damage as ADCs. 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.
Long-range poke, Critical hits every 4th attack and High damage. Jhin is the ADC that loves the number 4. 4 auto-attacks, grenades that bounce 4 times, and 4 supershots. He shines with every 4th auto-attack, and combines items that have critical chances to instantly burst enemies from afar. If you want to stay in a safe spot smashing enemies, this is the guy for you.
High range, High zoning potential and High DPS champ. The sheriff of Piltover shoots enemies with her trusted sniper rifle. She positions herself where enemies can’t reach her. She uses nets and traps to hold champions in one spot and strike them with headshots. If you are the kind of player that looks for that one shot to kill the target, she will be waiting in the champ select.
Late game beast, Tank shredder and 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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