Lux Build Guide by Mozared
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Greetings everyone and welcome to my personal Lux build! I'll start off with a disclaimer;
I have no credentials and am a simple player who isn't particularly good at the game. This is NOT a build that's been tested through and through in high-level ranked play, but it's the one that I've found myself to be most comfortable with after around 100 games with Lux.
That said, what is this build good for? For anybody who wants to get into the game, play Lux, and doesn't want to play her in the 'all or nothing' style that other builds put her down (where a death or two means total uselesness). That said, I still play Lux facemelt style and go all out for damage.
Pros and Cons
+ Snipe kills
+ Strong carry
+ Not a very common champion
+ One of the best harassers in the game
+ Good farmer
+ Possibly the best mid-laner in the game (with the exception of Heimerdinger)
- Possibly the squishiest champion in the game
- Unreliable in a lot of team compositions
- Dubbed 'support' by everyone, even though Lux is bad at supporting
- Can be extremely hard to play against good AD carries ( Master Yi)
- Somewhat of a 'pendulum character': situations where one off spell results in a death instead of a kill occur often (Especially against characters like Kassadin)
For those completely new to Lux, here's a rundown of her abilities and a simple write-up of her playstyle. Hover over the icons for spell descriptions.
This ability is crucial to Lux' playstyle. It basically means that a large bulk of your damage will come from firing off a normal hit after every spell you cast. It also means you need to time your spells well for optimal damage.
As Lux' "q" ability, Light Binding is a spell you'll use often. You'll use it to stay alive, prevent escapes and simply throw down damage. I do feel obliged to immediately add that this spell is a little bit overrated, though. It doesn't stun, it binds, and trying to consume the Illumination debuff after throwing it generally gets you close to an enemy with your only proper form of crowd control on cooldown: a position you really only want to be in if you're 100% sure you're going to get the kill off.
An interesting spell. And by interesting I mean 'kind of useless and probably the worst spell in your arsenal'. It's not that the Barrier is bad per se; it's just that it doesn't compare to all of your other spells. There's also the problem of leveling it: if you level it equally with Light Binding and Lucent Singularity, your damage will go down, which is a bad thing. If you level it first, you get stuck with a spell that doesn't shield enough to prevent actual deaths and you have no damage. Hence why I ignore it until I've got everything else maxed and level it last: once you hit 18, throwing it around in teamfights prevents poking damage, and that makes it helpful.
Slightly underrated by new players, Lucent Singularity is argueably your best spell. Not only does it add a good chunk of damage, it also allows you to scout brushes, gives you some of the best harassment in the game, grants crowd control in the form of a slow and makes your life as a farmer easier. This ability is basically the Nidalee of all abilities: it can do everything and will make your enemy tear his hair out in annoyance.
Finales Funkeln Finales Funkeln
Finales Funkeln, to be referred to as "the laser" from now on, is the spell contending for the 'best spell' slot with Lucent Singularity. It's innate cooldown is already low, and at level 18, we take it down to the point where you can literally barrage your enemies with it. It will be your poking tool. AND IT HURTS. Take a whiff of this, Nidalee spear!
Lux' playstyle is, because of her range, an interesting one. In terms of playstyle, I'd place her in between Caitlyn, Nidalee, and Karthus. You play her as a ranged carry with annoying harassment range (for your opponents), like Cait. You excell at poking and dishing out quick burst damage while staying away from your opponents, like Nidalee. And you snipe enemies trying to flee away with your Laser, albeit mostly not as effective as Karthus.
Generally, playing Lux means playing defensively. If you have no back-up and aren't sure if you are safe, the only spell you'll want to be close enough to hit with is your laser. If you have no back-up but are safe, you still generally don't want to venture much closer than Lucent Singularity range. As a result of this, playing Lux is a fine game of sticking back, but taking risks when it seems like they would pay off.
In a nutshell, this is where you'll want to be
- Early game: Harassing your enemy with Lucent Singularity, hitting them once after a spell whenever you safely can. Only move into range if you're sure you can get the kill, or if you're facing an enemy who's generally low on damage (think Janna, Shen or Taric).
- Midgame: Hopefully, your early game has gone well and you'll have your Boots of Mobility by now. This should allow you to roam a little bit after you've pushed your lane. Do be careful though - if you ever get caught in a 1v1, you will most likely die. See if you can get into laser range of enemies in other lanes with low HP.
- Lategame: This is when the teamfights will really be breaking through. As Lux, your ideal situation is just within Lucent Singularity range of your teammates. Before the fight starts, consider using your laser once or twice to put down some initial damage, if the poking session lasts long. Throw your shield around whenever it's off cooldown. As soon as the battle start, either focus on a carry or use your Lucent Singularity and laser to hit as many enemy targets as you possibly can. Toss down your Light Binding as well. As soon as all your abilities go on cooldown and you've dealt a couple of normal hits to consume your Illumination debuff, back out until you get your spells back.
When to play Lux
Before we go more in-depth on Lux' build, I figured I needed to add this section on Lux' exact role. As I mentioned in the pros/cons section, people see Lux as a support. Seeing as her own description says she is, she's got a shielding spell and she is squishy as hell, it's not strange that people have this view. Still though; whether Lux is a support depends on your definition of the word. I personally define it by "a hero whose primary purpose is to buff or heal his allies, and/or debuff his enemies". Think Taric: with two heals and a stun, he'd rank as a support. Sona, Janna, Zilean, Kayle. They are proper support characters.
Ask yourself what Lux brings to the table as a support: Prismatic Barrier, and that's pretty much it. Aside from the fact that it doesn't shield enough to really be worthwhile, Lux has no heals, no damage buffs, and her only debuff is a bind - not even a stun. On the flipside, she's got three spells and a passive specifically aimed at dealing damage from a distance. I don't know about you, but that's my definition of a mage.
With that said: I'm not claiming it's impossible to play Lux as a pure ward-placing shield-tossing support. I just don't think it's worth it. What this means for our build, is that even though we grab Clarity and Clairvoyance, we will not be placing any wards (you need the money to get your AP up, fast) and we will be leveling our shield last. Which places Lux in a bit of an odd position and raises the question: "when to actually play Lux"?
The answer to this question is the following: Lux plays best in a team that has A) a tank, B) an AD carry, C) an AP carry, D) an offensive support (think Kayle or Morgana) and E), a jungler. Seeing as Lux cannot replace a proper support, nor can she replace a proper AP carry, she works best in mixed teams where the fourth character is neither a proper support nor a proper carry. Suggestions for possible teams in this fashion:
Alternatively, a little less viable but still workable, Lux can do her thing in teams with a beefy melee DPS instead of a tank ( Nasus, Mordekaiser, Jarvan IV), a beefy melee AD carry ( Wukong, Poppy, Warwick), and a proper support hero ( Sona, Janna, Soraka). Like:
Also tentative are teams with only one melee hero. An overload of ranged heroes will mean you will be located closer to your team, which can be both a good and a bad thing, depending pretty much entirely on your teammates' skills and heroes. I find that games where I play lux in a 1-melee hero team are the games where I end up with both more kills and deaths as usual. As long as you are unsure about Lux, I'd say avoid these situations, but in the end you'll really need to judge at your own discretion here.
An example of such a team would be the following. In this specific case I'd say Lux would be a good pick. Maokai's ultimate can shield you from taking too much damage, Zilean and Fiddlesticks will be higher priority targets than you anyway and Zilean's ultimate is there to give you a freebee.
NEVER play Lux if your team has A) no beefy heroes except your tank, B) no support or C), only melee heroes when the enemy team has two AD carries. C is a bit of an exceptional situation and you'll recognize it when you see it: the enemy team has Master Yi and Vayne and your team exists out of Mordekaiser, Udyr, Xin Zhao and Taric. As for the other two, here are some examples:
A) No beefy heroes except your tank
B) No support
With the basics of Lux down, it's time for me to explain how my masteries, runes, summoner spells, and items fit in.
There are two key aspects to this build that explain everything you see up top:
1. I want my Lux to deal as much damage as possible, as often as possible.
2. I want to be safe. I do not want one or two deaths to mean that I am completely useless in-game. Seeing as Lux is a fairly terrible 1v1 hero, I'm putting forward the statement that you will die if you get caught alone, regardless of your items.
To attain #1, we need
A) Ability Power,
B) Cooldown Reduction and
C) enough Mana to last through some harassment and a big fight.
To attain #2, we need
A) solid defensive play (aka don't rush into stuff alone: play Katarina or Talon if that's what you want to do),
B) no items that penalize me for dying ( Mejai's Soulstealer) and
C) gold generation in case I am prevented from farming.
With that basic thought set, you might already be able to see why I built the way I did. Because Ability Power is so incredibly important, I decided to try and attain as much of my other goals as possible through Masteries, Summoner Spells and Runes, so that in-game all I have to do is buy a heapload of pure AP items.
As a result of this, I get Clarity as a Summoner Spell to take care of prerequisite 1C. To attain the Cooldown Reduction I want, I grab 10% from Masteries ( Sorcery and Intelligence ), 10% from Runes (9X Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction and 7X Greater Seal of Cooldown Reduction), and 20% from Morello's Evil Tome, which puts me at the cap; 40%. To attain gold generation I get 3X Greater Quintessence of Gold and an early Kage's Lucky Pick.
Having attained all my goals aside from AP, I am free to get an early Rabadon's Deathcap and different boots than the usual Ionian Boots of Lucidity. The interesting boots left are Boots of Mobility, Boots of Swiftness, Mercury's Treads and Sorcerer's Shoes. Both the Boots of Swiftness and Mercury's Threads go out of the equation due to the fact that in-combat movement speed or reduced crowd control are both fairly useless - you are going to die if you get hit, so it is much more important to get into the right position before the fight starts. The Boots of Mobility allow you to do this. Magic Penetration is interesting, but by the time it becomes relevant we'll be able to buy our Void Staff anyway. While people generally view the Boots of Mobility as an item for roamers or characters like Shaco, I can't even begin to count the amount of laser kills I've been able to get due to the chasing and positioning capabilities they give me, especially just after major team battles.
Aside from the boots, we still have two Seal slots open, and all of our Mark slots. Adding AP seems a logical choice here. Last but not least, there's our last Summoner skill. Because of our range and inability to engage in 1v1s, we can immediately filter out the use of Ignite, Heal and Cleanse. Possible options are Ghost, to help you get into position, Surge, because it's good for any carry, Promote, because it helps you push, Clairvoyance, Flash, because it's overpowered, and Teleport to help you defend and farm better. The reason I grab Clairvoyance is twofold: A), it allows my support to grab a different spell that suits his cause more (i.e. Heal or Flash) and B), because it helps me snipe kills with my laser. Because Clairvoyance has such good synergy with Finales Funkeln I've found it to be the best choice, though any of the other named summoner spells will be useful, depending on your playstyle.
As a last note here, another benefit my build has is that because you reach the cooldown reduction cap through items, Mastery points and Runes, you will never need to worry about taking the blue. This leaves the buff for other carries who also greatly benefit from it ( Fiddlesticks, Fiddlesticks and Fiddlesticks) and prevents you from having to fight over it with teammates.
There are several items which are widely discussed as to whether they are good or not for Lux. Some of these should point itself out if you've read up to here (i.e. you don't get the Abyssal Scepter because you'll never be in range for the aura to work), but there are three items I'd like to touch on.
There's a simple reason why this item isn't in our build: it gives health, and hit points are wasted itemization for Lux (who will die if she gets hit anyway, remember?). The ramp-up time, mana and ability power are all good for us, but we want all of the stats on our items to be useful.
Also the subject of much discussion, Lich Bane is an interesting item for Lux. There's plenty of Ability Power to go around, and even though the magic resistance is somewhat wasted, movement speed and mana is always welcome. It's the passive that brings the troubles: for Lux to get hits off and use the buff, she needs to be at a range that is generally too close to comfort. The reason I put it in my build anyway is because you will ocasionally need to step in and toss a regular hit to consume your debuffs. If you do this after the bulk of gap closers have gone off, you should be safe enough, and Lich Bane's passive + Illumination give you a big bang for your buck.
This is actually a possible viable option over Zhonya's Hourglass if you are stuck in one of those "only one melee hero" teams, and you aren't consistantly dying every team fight. The Hourglass is your get-out-of-jail-free card against characters like Master Yi, but if you can survive without it, the Will of the Ancients is worth looking into. The spell vamp is completely useless for Lux (since Lux doesn't have hit points, just has a checkmark for 'Dead' or 'Alive'), but it could be interesting for your allies if no one in your ranged team is getting this.
The Little Things...
As you may have heard, it is said that the things that seperate the good from the best is a collection of little things. There isn't one big secret that the pro's know that you don't - they do several small things in a better way than you and that nets them a huge advantage in the end. I don't want to pretend that I'm a pro-level Lux player, but I do have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that net you those small advantages. Most of these things are small things that you need to know, and though you may or may not already know them, I'm sharing.
Things you need to realize while playing Lux
- Lucent Singularity gives you vision. Because you rely entirely on Clarity for your mana you generally do not want to wildly throw the spell around, but it can still be used to scout bushes in cases of uncertainty.
- Lux' optimal damage rotation is generally Lucent Singularity > Normal hit (+ Lich Bane passive + Illumination proc) > Light Binding > Finales Funkeln. Getting all of this off maximizes your damage output. You are at your weakest when trying to get that normal hit off; plan accordingly. If your enemy survives this spell combination, keep in mind that Prismatic Barrier does not only shield you, but also gives you a Lich Bane proc if you cast it long enough after your laser.
- This may sound contradictive, but take your time in aiming when firing your laser. You would not believe how many kills I've had by revealing my target with Clairvoyance, taking three seconds to aim at the right spot and only then firing my laser.
- In a follow-up to that: if you're in early or midgame and an enemy is teleporting in a bush with 20% hp, do not take aim but rather just toss your laser out there as soon as you get in range.
- The combination of Boots of Mobility + Finales Funkeln allows you to hit the enemy when he least expects it. It is extremely easy to run halfway into the river if you're farming mid and then snipe an enemy hero at bottom or top, before the enemy even has time to call SS.
- Keep in mind that certain gap closers like Master Yi's Alpha Strike or Kassadin's Riftwalk are direct counters to Light Binding. A good Yi or Kassa player will wait for you to throw your binding and then immediately use his gap closer. The result is that they will phase through your binding and end up on top of you, with you having your bind on cooldown. This means game over for you in almost every case. Against characters with these type of gap closers you do not ever want to use Light Binding until they are in melee range and you are sure to get the hit off.
- Following up on that, I mentioned 'pendulum' fights in my pros/cons section. Here is a list of characters that fit specifically in that category of "If you hit your Light Binding you get a kill, if you miss you die". Be cautious when laning against any of these heroes.
- Master Yi
- Xin Zhao
- Always fire your laser before B'ing. At worst, nuke the enemy team's Wraiths.
- Lux has great AoE capabilities with her two AoE abilities. When not using these to farm, keep in mind you can use them to surprise an enemy pushing a tower. If he's trying to harass you near your tower and you can get a Light Binding off, you might be able to follow it up with a laser to instantly kill all his minions - leaving him the only target left in tower range.
- Even though Light Binding is a bind and not a stun, it can sometimes be as good as one. If an enemy is trying to cast a spell on you and you bind him out or range, his spell cast will cancel. A lot of players freak out and mess up when this happens, which gives you a small window of opportunity to walk into attack range to shoot once and consume the Illumination debuff. Beware though, some heroes are specifically baiting you into doing this because they know they can kill you as soon as you enter attack range. Especially keep an eye out for this on anyone playing Annie, though characters like Brand, Anivia and Ryze are guilty too.
- Some of the lower HP heroes in the game (like Sona, Soraka and Janna) can be taken out by just the combination of Lucent Singularity and Finales Funkeln.
- Though none of LoL's stealthers are destealthed by damage, keep in mind that you can still slow and hit them with Lucent Singularity if you aim it right. This is especially effective against Akali, whom you can pretty much force to act by tossing the spell underneath her Twilight Shroud.
- Against sustainable pushers like Nasus or Mordekaiser, forego your harassment and use your AoE to kill his mobs instead. You will still need to go B for mana after some time, but it's the best way of shutting down their incessant pushes.
Credits & Final Words
My build plays Lux as an AP carry with support summoner spells. The idea is to have innate cooldown reduction and maximize as much AP as soon as possible, allowing you to barrage and constantly harass your enemies with Finales Funkeln and Lucent Singularity. You build for damage, play as safe as possible and rain down as soon as a teamfight begins.
I'd like to thank shm0's "#1 DAMAGE Guide for Lux - Melting Faces 101" guide, which I used as a basis to start off with and upon which I built and experimented to create the eventual build that you see before you. I'd also like to give a shout-out to jhoijhoi who's "Guide about Making a Guide" helped me out in terms of lay-out and set-up of my own guide.
With that said, thank you for reading my guide - I hope it helps and I hope you melt faces. If you please, leave me a comment about what you think so that I may reconsider and improve both my guide and my Lux play.