Mid lane/ Full AP
Mix and Match
Threats to Ekko with this build
|Veigar||Immobile champs like Veigar or Annie are easy targets for Ekko, just avoid their stuns|
|Annie||The main thing to think about when playing against Annie is her stun. If you are patient enough, she will eventually burn her stun on something stupid and allow you to go all in.|
|Vel'Koz||Once Vel hits 6 you should've save your E to flank him when he ult.|
Hey guys! Just wanted to put a guide out on AP Ekko and how to play him for most of his roles. I also wanted to include my Gunblade-Nashors build, which is a bit unconventianal but very fun :) I've been playing Ekko since release and he has become my most played chammp (lvl 7, 250k mastery points), so I'd like to think I know a thing or two about him. Now, this guide is how I like to play him, so items, runes, masteries, is based off my preference.
Ekko- The Boy who Shattered Time(I don't own this art, all rights go to the original creator, Jason Nguyen. I'm a big fan, check him out!)
Ekko is a highly mobile ap champ that can be built assassin, fighter, or even tank, and can be played in a variety of roles (sometimes i think of him as the Swiss Army knife of League).
- 2nd chance with ult
- Long duration stun
- Weak against silence or cc
- Not so fantastic late game scaling
- Skills can be hard to land
- Fairly squishy (depending on build)
When should I pick Ekko?
Excellent question. Honestly, I think if you have a high level of mastery and confidence with a champ, any champ, you can pick them whenever. Some match ups make be more difficult than others, but the more you play Ekko, the better you will be at using him in a number of scenarios,initially favorable or unfavorable. The beauty of Ekko is that you can play him in top, mid, or jungle, so you have a very high chance of getting him no matter which roles you queue up for.
Where is Ekko played?
For the most part, Ekko is now played soley as an AP assassin mid. Since tank Ekko has been seemingly nerfed into the grave, he has been seen far less in top and the jungle. While his jungling is a bit rough, it's still usable, and he can still be a good AP bruiser in the top lane.
Why do I like Ekko?
I love playing Ekko for a number of reasons. First, as a said above, he is very versatile and fits in many situations. I enjoy highly mobile champs, which Ekko has in his dash/blink, movement speed increase, and replacement. Also, Ekko has a very unique fighting style in the sense that he is a bursty AP assassin who can also benefit from drawn out fights.
The runes work well with the recommended laning builds and in the jungle role. I'll give an explanation of each:
Armor- It's important to have armor to combat jungle creeps or give you starting defense in lane
Ap- The starting AP you get from quints will help you clear or fight
Magic Pen- If you don't start with at least some magic pen, you wont have any until you at least get your sorc shoes
Scaling Cdr- CDR is always great on Ekko, but by getting 10% through runes it essentially frees up an item spot
Scaling MR- Same as armor, the MR gives necessary early defense. I tend to take scaling simply because you wont be able to take as many as you can with Armor
Here is a tier by tier explanation of why I feel these masteries are optimal:
Secret stash: If your jungler is really nice, you may get the first two blue buffs, but this is not worth taking Runic Affinity. I could maybe see why one would want Assassin, but those biscuits just give you a great amount of sustain in lane and helps him get to late game. However, if you want to take assassin, go for it.Note- If you're playing Ekko jungle you won't need this, as you will have Refillable Potion, so I go Runic Affinity simply because you don't know how often you will 1v1 somone, so it's more reliable than Assassin.
Meditation: This will help you regen mana without having to buy too many mana items.
Dangerous Game: There's really not much of a point in taking bandit unless you are a support,and certainly even less on a melee mid laner. You could argue for Greenfathers, but you do not know if that will be beneficial in all fights.
Intelligence: THIS MASTERY IS SO AWESOME!!! A 45% cdr cap is so awesome. In terms of Ekko, if you have 45% cdr and your ult is level 3, it will be available roughly every minute (maybe a but more). That's essentially a "get out of death free" card, once a minute. Nuff said
Thunderlord's Decree: I love this Keystone on Ekko. Ekko's passive is already very strong, and considering this activates after 3 hits, the damage combines and can make for insane burst.
Sorcery: Increased ability damage is better on Ekko than attack speed.
Fresh-Blood: This will give you a nice bit of extra damage in trades
Natural Talent: Scaling AP damage is more better on Ekko than 2% lifesteal.
Double-edged Sword: It's worth getting 5% increased damage for recieving 2% more.
Flash is a must. If for whatever reason you're opposed to flash, take Ghost, but nearly every champ, Ekko included, needs a mobility spell.
Your second spell is fairly flexible. I take Ignitebecause most melee/assassins tend to do so, and it can really help you get early kills and get snowballing. Barrier works if you feel unsafe in your lane matchup. Teleport mid is also becoming increasingly popular, and that's what i would take if I'm going top lane with this build, but like i said i almost always have ignite mid.
And if for whatever reason you don't take Smite jungle, I don't know what to say to you.
|Passive- Z Drive Resonnance: With 3 successive hits on the same target, Ekko procs his Z Drive Resonance, dealing bonus damage based on how much AP you have. If this is procd on an enemy champ, Ekko gains a movement speed boost. This can be use in conjunction with your abilites. As you get more AP later in the game, this ability gets SCARY! In one combo you can delete squishies.|
|Q- Timewinder: Ekko throws out his Timewinder, a disc- like object that damages and slows enemies, and then returns to Ekko. Timewinder can add a stack of Z Drive twice, hitting the enemy upon being thrown out and returning. It's worth noting the Timewinder does considerably more damage upon returning than after initially being thrown out.|
|W-Parallel Convergence: Ekko targets a zone which his Parallel Convergence will hit 3 seconds later. If Ekko is in this zone, he will recieve a sheild for a few seconds. If an enemy is in this zone, they will be slowed, if BOTH Ekko and an enemy champ are in the zone, the enemy champion will be stunned. Hard to land, but VERY powerful. Also, the passive on this ability amplifies damage against enemies who are below 30% hp, so this can be useful for farming creeps, or assassinating low enemy champs.|
|E- Phase Dive: This is, in a sense, a two part ability. The first part is that Ekko rolls forward, pretty simple. After this though, Ekko's next auto attack will allow him to blink towards an enemy and deal extra damage based on his AP. This auto attack will apply a stack of Z Drive|
|R- Chronobreak: This spell is difficult to use but EPIC. Upon acquiring this ability, Ekko will spawn a ghost that appears where Ekko was 4 seconds ago. When the ability is activated, Ekko will go back to his ghost, dealing damage in the area around where he lands. He will heal himself for a portion of the damage received in the past 4 seconds. Oh yeah, this ability scales with 130% AP!!! Whaaaaatttt?!? This pretty much means it does hella damage.|
Max Q first. This will give you good poke and waveclear. Also, it will help keep enemies at bay. You do not want to try and go all in on an enemy if your stats are not all that high yet.
2nd, max E, mainly for the purpose of scaling damage. And, by this point you should have better stats that will allow you to all in enemies.
Max W last. You may be asking, "If W is such a strong ability, why max it last?" Another good question! While W is a great spell, leveling it up only adds to your shield amount, so one point early is sufficient.
(Level up your ult whenever you can, nothing new there :D)
Mix and Match
A lot of these builds are fairly flexible because I cannot predict each scenario you may be in. Like I have said, my goal is to always reach max CDR and, for the most part, to dish out the most damage. Mix and match your runes and items in order to get max cdr while also itemizing for the match you're in. For example, maybe you took scaling health in runes instead of cdr, so you might want to grab Lucidity Boots instead of Sorc Shoes.
There are notes for the items in the section above, but I'm not going to spend time discussing each individual item, rather the possible builds I've shown.
Mid Lane/ Full AP
Typical full AP Assassin build. This is the way to get the most damage out of Ekko's kit. However, he will be fairly fragile, somewhat of a glass cannon. Very standard build, and can be molded according to the game. Buy Void Staff if enemies has high MR, otherwise maximize your AP.
This build gives some good defense while still allowing Ekko to do some nice damage. The combination of ROA, Zhonyas, and Abyssal Scepter give some nice defensive stats while still giving some damage. I almost always run this build when I play Ekko top, and occasionally use it mid.
Very standard jungle build. Runic Echos into the core items of Lich Bane and Zhonyas. After those items and boots, itemize according to enemy team. Please DO NOT get Luden's Echo with this build, it has the same passive as Runic Echos.
I'll go a little more in depth with this build since I've been working on this for a while and find it to be rather fun. Essentially, the quicker Ekko can proc his passive, the sooner he can get the burst damage off and the sooner he can get his movement speed bonus. So, the bonus attack speed from Nashor's will help proc it quicker. Also, now that the Z drive does not slow enemies, Gunblade is great to help lower an opponents move speed. So theoretically, you can use the active from Gunblade to slow the enemy, get in range for enough time to proc your passive, in which your auto attacks will not only do extra damage from the bonus AD from gunblade, but the passive on Nashors grants on hit damage based on your AP. A very deadly commbo.
This build also has good sustain from the Gunblade, helping you stay alive longer. I find this especially nice as a jungler, allowing you to solo dragons or do extended jungle clears You can use this in lane or in the jungle, but should itemize accordingly. While this build has good burst, it tends to fall off later in the game.
Items I don't buy
Archangels Staff- You really don't need this much mana as an assassin rather than a caster
Hextech Protobelt- Not a popular opinion, but I don't value this item on Ekko. I do like the extra dash for getting in and out of sticky situations, but at 45% cdr your E is already on a very low cool down. More importantly, if you're trying to maximize your damage, a 60 AP item could be replaced with something much better.
Athene's- More of a support item now, if you need MR build Abyssal Scepter
Gameplay- Top/ Mid Ekko
Playing around power spikes is key on any champion. You must know your weaknesses and strengths.
Laning phase can be a bit tough. In most cases, just use your Q to clear waves and farm up until you at least hit level 6. In some cases though, if you hit level 2 or 3 before your opponent you can try to all in them and in most cases you can typically burn an enemy summoner spell. Once you hit 6 though, you can play a bit riskier and use your R to avoid death or get some kills. If you have a wave pushing towards the enemy turret and you think you can execute a clean dive, it can be a great way to force the enemy out of a large amount of cs.
Since Ekko has some nice mobility spells, he is a fairly good roamer, and top lane Ekko can make some nice teleport plays. Roaming can be a great to not only further your lead, but help out some teammates. HOWEVER, make sure you know when to roam. Roaming too much and losing lane is one of the biggest and most common mistakes a player can make. Make sure you check the following before you roam/ teleport:
Is your lane going to be safe if you roam? Are your minions pushed up and your tower is not at risk of being taken?
Has the lane you're gong to been trading? If not, it's not worth your time
Have the enemies you're going to burnt any summoner spells? If they've used their flashes, your chances of getting a kill are much higher. If you gank and force them to burn their flashes, you should probably come back again later. REMEMBER, it is much more effective to gank the same lane consistently rather than sporadically going to different lanes.
Mid game is your time to shine! Once you've started to pick up some of your core items, you are a force to be reckoned with. Once you've made sure your lane is taken care of (you've taken the enemy tower and shoved up the wave) you can start to roam around, catch enemies, and help your team take objectives.
Sadly, you will fall off a bit late game. Once your enemies stack their MR, you will do subsequently less damage, and with the exception of your R your AP scalings on most abilities are't great. But, if you stick with your teammates and fight smartly, you'll be fine. And, if you choose to take Teleport as a secondary summoner spell you can become an effective split pusher, utilizing your wave clear to push sidewaves for objectives while maintaining the ability to join a fight anywhere on the map.
I would love to go more in depth here, but seeing as this guide isn't solely jungle, I will keep it fairly brief.I would like to preface this by saying that since the slow on his passive was removed, he has become a far less viable jungler because his ganks are weaker. This doesn't mean he is completely unviable in the jungle, but he's much of more of a niche pick. You gotta know what you're doing if you wanna pull him off properly.
For the most part, stick to a standard starting jungle path.BE SURE you take your W at level one for the first camp. One exception though is that you can use your W to take down the river crab fairly easily in order to get some health back and clear more camps. Once you hit 3 you should be able to gank fairly easy. Once you hit 6, feel free to counter jungle more since you essentially have a get out of jail free card with your ult. REMEMBER- if you see the enemy jungler ganking you need to use it as an opportunity. Either go farm their jungle, gank another lane, counter gank, or take a neutral monster.
Ganks should be fairly simple. If you see a lane is overpushed or you can sneak into a brush unnoticed, go for it. If you're in the bush the enemy won't be able to see you cast your W, giving them little time to react to it and giving you an easy stun.
As a jungler, it is important to ward objectives and keep an eye on the monster timers. Once Baron is up, make sure you spend your time on the top half of the map to protect the objective.
When trading in lane as ekko, one of the best options is to attack your enemy 3 times to get the damage and speed boost from your passive, then run back before they can get any return damage. Here are some combos to help you fight:
- W, E, Q: Ekkos E animation is very noticeable, so before doing this one you want to get out of the enemy's sight by going in a bush or out of lane. Once hidden, throw out your W, dive in with E, and stun the target. Your opponent will have little time to react. Beautiful.
- W, R: Great for turning around a chase. Throw out your W where you currently or were a second ago. Then, R back into it, procing the stun instantly (you used to have to wait for the W to land, but since some changes in season 6 the stun from your W will not proc once you R through it).
- W, Zhonyas: I call this the Idiot Combo. Throw out your W on top of yourself and immediately Zhonyas. The enemy team think "Look at this idiot, he's frozen!" Then walk over to you, but once your W hits they will be stunned. WHO"S THE IDIOT NOW!! MWHAHAHA (sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't)
- W, E, Zhonyas, R: Great way to start a teamfight. Throw your W where the majority of the enemy team will be. Dash in with E, then Zhonyas to prevent taking damage. Once the stun hits, let your ghost catch up to you and R. BOOM BABY
During a team fight, you mainly want to stay back and do damage with your TimewinderQ until you get a favorable opportunity to take out a high damage target. As far as "favorable opportunity" goes, I mean something along the lines of being able to proc your passive, having a chance to land your W, or having your Ult in a good place. Faker illustrates this perfectly in this video. He throws out his Q multiple times before using his Chronobreak Ult to go in and take out the ADC and Mid laner.
Tips and tricks
Here are some neat little things you can use to better your gameplay experience:
-Upon hitting 6, you can recall, buy, and ult back to lane without losing any cs
- you can reduce the animation time on Q if you use the roll from E, throw out your Q, and blink with E
- if done correctly, you can cancel the animation on W by quickly casting E after
- the zone from W will linger for about two seconds after the initial animation. Use this to trick enemies, or for a bit more time to get in its circumference.
- Ekko's E is a great way to get into the backline of the enemy team. Assassinate some squishes, then ult out
- The Sandstorm Ekko skin can make your abilities (especially your W) much easier to see. Not a must buy, just a tip. (Riot is giving me royalties from each skin bought! Stock up boys! Jk...)
- Ekko is very good at split pushing. His Q can pretty much clear an entire wave and his E can be used to deal more damage to structures. This damage is greatly increased with Lich Bane.
- You can use the dash portion of your E, ult, and then have then still have the attack portion of your E ready to use.
- If you buy GA, you can let yourself "get killed," without using your ult. Then, enemies will typically gather around you waiting for you to revive. By this time, your ult ghost will be right on top of you so the instant you revive you can ult for a ton of unseen damage.
The matchups from above are from my personal experience. I am fairly confident in my Ekko play, and will take him in most matchups. However, I will avoid picking him in some situations, such as:
Heimerdinger: My main backup for midlane is Ziggs, who has a much easier time destroying Heim's turrets than a melee mid would.
Kassadin/ Galio (Anti-Mages): Since Kass is an anti-mage, I typically try to take an AD midlaner against him
Blind Pick: If you already think the enemies' team comp looks unfavorable to the likes of an assassin, and they have yet to pick a mid lane champion, maybe just save the Ekko pick for another day and opt for a safer control mage.
Final words/ Note from the creator
Thanks for reading! I hope you learned a thing or two. If you have a good time with this build, take a screenshot of your score(s) and send it to me and I'll try and put it somewhere on the guide! Please leave some feedback, I'd GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks! If this is received well enough there may be more to come in the future.
4/22- Sorry, been avoiding updating this for a while because I've been pretty busy, and I've been avoiding Ekko a bit because it was obvious some nerfs were coming. I'll try to still keep this up to date, there's bound to be a lot of changes to come with the mage update coming.
5.24- bug fixes
6.3- Cooldown on Q reduced at each level! Decent buff
6.6- Passive movement speed increased, E cool down lowered, another nice buff (Tanko begins)
6.8- W passive damage down, but AP ratio increased. E base damage down, but AP ratio DOUBLED (Nerfs to Tanko, but decent buffs to AP Ekko)
6.11- Passive cooldown on same target increased, Q base dmg down, AP ratio up, W stun duration down, R base dmg down, AP ratio up
6.22 Increased healing on R based form AP, slightly buffed ratio on Q, Passive no longer slows