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Corki Build Guide by toyuyn

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author toyuyn

AP Tankbuster Corki: The Correct Way to be a Scumbag

toyuyn Last updated on April 27, 2015
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Ability Sequence

1
3
4
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
5
8
10
12
Ability Key W
13
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 22

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 8



Threats to Corki with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Yasuo Easy mode. Poke with AA's, Q's and R's. Even if you're being zoned, just farm at long range with R's.
1
Ezreal Its a farm lane! Push as quickly as you can to punish Ezreal's low wave clear potential. Otherwise, dodge Q's and you're good to go.
Guide Top

Introduction



Welcome to my guide on how to play AP Corki!


"Hey why does this build make you a scumbag?"
You remember the old AP Nidalee? Throwing spears from fog of war and chunking tanks for half their health, running away like the pu...I mean scaredy cat she is with unlimited Pounces. This AP Corki build looks to resurrect that unhealthy, scumbaggish playstyle, by poking everyone to death with Missile Barrage and running away like the scumbag you are with Valkyrie.


"But why? His scalings are terrible!"
Exactly, which is why this is the only build that works on AP Corki. Forget your Tear of the Goddess + Rod of Ages into Rabadon's Deathcap build. His 'terrible' scalings are the exact reason why that build is bad. Magic penetration is the way to go.


"No I mean why? AP Corki is just bad."
Wow aren't you a spoil-sport for innovation.
Haven't you seen Unicorns of Love mid laner PowerOfEvil's AP Kog'Maw?
AP Corki is basically the same as that, except you gain the ability to fly away (like monarch Kog'Maw has always wanted to) at the cost of some damage and range. Also, instead of trying to land a circle skillshot, you're firing a line skillshot that is more likely to hit something.


*sigh* "Fine lets try it out then"
One thing though. Don't pick this build thinking you can carry by yourself. AP Corki, just like AP Kog'Maw, is heavily reliant on your team and team composition.

Although AP Corki is more independent than AP Kog'Maw with Valkyrie to peel for yourself, you still CANNOT MAKE PLAYS, meaning it is hard for you alone to get your team ahead, or bring your team back from a losing game. If the enemy Vayne gets fed to oblivion, good luck trying to kill her past the stealth and lifesteal. If the enemy Fiora or Akali gets fed, good luck escaping the unlimited gapclosers.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons

Pros

+ Long Range AOE Poke

+ Excels at siege

+ Easy Disengage and kiting

+ (Mostly) Blue Independent

+ Indiscriminate Health Melting
Using this build, like AP Kog'Maw you become the annoying long range artillery yordle with the insane zone potential:
  • melting tanks before they can reach your team
  • and acting as the "kill me before I poke you back to your fountain" bait
...who can also run away from most engages.


Cons

- Squishy

- Poor AP ratios, 'wasted skills'

- No CC and incapable of dueling

- Low burst
This AP Corki build is a poke build, with sustained damage, but limited burst. This means in order for him to perform, your team composition needs to be built around him; good disengage and a tanky front-line is vital to allow him to rain down missiles.

Also, his laning phase is quite weak. Without any CC or burst, you're basically going to be farming for the first half of the game. Even jungler ganks aren't sufficient, as you'll inevitably lack the damage to execute your enemy laner.


Guide Top

Runes

Due to his pitiful AP scaling, the way to build a runepage is to get as much magic penetration as possible.

The full magic-penetration cheese

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
3

You could go a full page of magic penetration and do crazy damage to everyone who doesn't build health and magic resistance (but you're either Faker or silly if you do). This would leave you VERY squishy across the entire game, so you must be confident with your positioning and mechanics if you want to run this page.

The standard

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
3


Otherwise, magic penetration marks and quints, and defensive seals and glyphs is all you'll need.

I'd recommend against getting ability power glyphs, as his scalings are simply not worth it.

The specifics


If you have the luxury of unlimited rune pages, you can tailor a rune page to every single situation, based on team composition and enemy team compositions.

Generally speaking, you'd want to keep magic penetration marks and quints, but change your seals and glyphs. Here is a run-down of what to take in all situations.

Seals (yellow)
  1. If you are facing an AD mid-laner and expect to trade a lot, always take flat armour.
  2. If not, if you expect to face a physical damage champion in team-fights (eg. hecarim/gnar/etc. dives you), take scaling armour.
  3. Otherwise, take scaling health.


Glyphs (blue)
  1. If you are facing an AP mid-laner and expect to trade a lot, always take flat magic resist.
  2. If not, if you expect to face a magic damage champion in team-fights (eg. maokai/gragas/etc. dives you), take scaling magic resist.
  3. Otherwise, take 6 flat cooldown reduction glyphs (to get 5% CDR which would combine with 5% from mastery, 20% from the CDR item and 10% from blue buff to grant the maximum 40% CDR). The other 3 glyphs you can put into whatever you want, like more magic penetration!


Guide Top

Masteries



For masteries, 21/0/9 is almost always the best choice, although you could get away with 23/0/7 if you are confident in your matchup.

The general idea is to take the normal AP Mage page, remove Archmage , Butcher (and Feast if you take it), and invest it into flat and scaling AD ( Brute Force and Martial Mastery ).

I like to run Expose Weakness and sometimes Spell Weaving unless I really need the mana regeneration from Meditation to stay in lane.

Expose Weakness will pretty much always be applied to multiple targets during teamfights due to the Missile Barrage, while Spell Weaving will allow for you to do just that little bit more damage to tanks that body-block the missiles.

"But why you no Archmage (+%AP)?"
Because in the lategame, when you finish your build you'll only have 400 AP. This gives you a bonus of a whopping 20 AP, of which will only boost the damage of Missile Barrage by a whopping 6 / 9 damage, before magic resistance is taken into account. Instead of waiting to the lategame for a miniscule amount of AP that won't make ANY DIFFERENCE, its much better to get that damage boost in the early game to help out in skirmishes, farming and ganks.


Guide Top

Items

Opener

Doran's Blade
Start with Doran's Blade if your lane opponent is tame and you can get in range to last hit and poke with AA's. This provides some trading power, health as well as sustain (from the lifesteal) to get through the early stages of the game.


Flask
If your lane opponent is very unforgiving, to the point where you need to last hit with Phosphorus Bombs, get a flask to help you sustain through their damage and trades. This significantly hinders your early game presence, so play more safely, farm, and tell your jungler to NOT come to your lane, as your lack of damage will just waste his time.

CDR and Mana Regen Item


Athene's
Cooldown reduction is compulsory for AP Corki, so that you never run out of Missile Barrage charges (which is your primary damage skill), and can kite excessively well with Valkyrie on an 8 second cooldown. Athene's Unholy Grail fits these requirements nicely. In lane, it provides the mana regeneration and resistance against AP laners to effectively farm and poke.

Morello Thingy
However, if you are absolutely confident that you can juke and dodge all of the enemy's abilities (or if you're against an AD midlaner), Morellonomicon is a slightly better buy. 20 AP won't make much of a difference with the bad scalings, but the mana regeneration on the item is sufficient and the healing reduction could help you melt sustain tanks and ADC's faster.


Core


Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes
1100

Athene's Unholy Grail
2250

Luden's Echo
3200

Liandry's Torment
3100

Void Staff
2650

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2600


Sorc Shoes
You're going AP Corki, and need I stress that his AP scaling is bad terribad? You'll need all the magic penetration you can get to maximize damage output, and Sorcerer's Shoes provides that.

Luden's
This item synergizes PERFECTLY with AP Corki. It basically slaps an additional 15% AP scaling onto the previously terribly scaling rockets. This item only procs occasionally like Statikk Shiv, but Corki is capable to build these charges quickly with his Missile Barrage. This also brings the benefit of improving AP Corki's wave-clear which previously was lacking. More on this in the farming section.

Liandry's
This is THE KEY ITEM to making AP Corki work. The problem with the missiles is that tanks can body block them for their carries. So if you rarely have a clear shot at the enemy carry, why not build to kill the tank instead? Besides, more penetration is always welcome.

Void Staff
More penetration because bad scalings. More tank melting. Need I say more?

Rylai's
The Rylai's Crystal Scepter Liandry's Torment combo doubles the %HP burn, melting tanks even faster! In addition, the health from the item will allow you to take some of the minimal damage coming your way, and the slows will help you kite and chase. With this item, missile barrage is now an AOE slow every 2 seconds.



ITEMS YOU SHOULD NOT GET


Rabadon's
"But you're playing AP Corki, so you gotta get all the AP!"
Uhhh....okay I should probably rename this build to 'magic damage Corki', because Rabadon's Deathcap DOES NOT maximize AP Corki's damage output. His scalings are terribad, which is why I keep stressing that magic penetration is much better.
---

Archangel's
"Look at his spammable ult! It'd charge a Tear of the Goddess in no time!"
That's great! Except:
  1. it doesn't have CDR like Athene's Unholy Grail and Morellonomicon,
  2. the additional AP you get from it is negligible with his terribad AP scalings, and
  3. the shield from Seraph's Embrace is unnecessary as you'll take minimal damage after using Valkyrie to run away.
You don't even need the extra mana, as the main damage source, Missile Barrage, costs 20 mana across all ranks.
---

Rod of Ages
See above.
---

Lich Bane
This item is actually viable on Corki but I have difficulty finding an item slot for it. Everyone knows Trinity Force is core on AD Corki, so there's no doubt its AP counterpart should work on AP Corki. The only time I would get this item is when the enemy team has NO TANKS, meaning the double burn from Rylai's Crystal Scepter is negligible. Then, getting Lich Bane would be an okay choice.
---

Zhonya's
As mentioned above, the idea is to stay safe at a long distance, firing rockets. This means you'll typically not need the invulnerability.
---

Tons of Damage
This item is absolutely phenomenal on Corki. It provides a massive mid-game power spike, that you could theoretically use to transition into the lategame AP build. However, in the laning phase you'll probably not want to get into auto-attack range to use the Sheen proc on your opponent, less they unload their burst on you. Also, in the mid to late game, its use falls off. Without armour penetration, the base damage alone from the Sheen procs won't do much. You'd end up selling this item anyway, delaying the full build.


Guide Top

Skill Sequence

Safe and Simple

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

The simplest skill sequence.
Use this if in doubt or you need to have Valkyrie up whenever you can for escapes or chases.

Get Missile Barrage whenever you can, as it is your main damage output.
Next, Phosphorus Bomb is your secondary damage output, so max it second.
Gatling Gun does very little as you're building AP, so then max Valkyrie.
Finally, max Gatling Gun for that tiny bit of armour shred, to allow your ADC to deal more damage to whatever you're gunning down.

Maximum damage

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

In some special cases, you may choose to invest into Gatling Gun instead of Valkyrie if you want to maximize your damage output. However, this is only in the rare moments when the enemy's team is ridiculously immobile, and you don't need Valkyrie to be available as often as possible.

Most of the time, a lower cooldown on Valkyrie will allow you to move around early skirmishes and teamfights such that you can land more missiles and bombs, and is therefore a better choice.


Guide Top

Summoner Spell Choice

(Green is good, orange is okay, red is bad)

The Essential

Flash
Flash should always be taken, as it provides instant and reliable disengage to run away from overwhelming damage threats, or engage to catch a low-health enemy with a well-aimed Missile Barrage.



The Reliable

Heal
Heal is a great choice, giving a speed boost to chase or run, while also restoring health to help disengage from an enemy engage. What's more is that it also provides this to another friendly champion, meaning you can also support your team in the same way! Jungler diving tower and about to die? Heal him to prevent the death! Amazing!


Barrier
Barrier is the selfish Heal, giving a larger shield than the health restored, but only to yourself. In my opinion, this tends to be a better choice in lane, as it better counters the high burst damage from mages and assassins, and isn't nullified by ignite's healing reduction. However, you give up the utility of the movement speed and support.


Cleanse
Cleanse is very similar to Barrier, except instead of shielding instantaneous damage, you're preventing follow-up damage.

For example, if you get crowd-controlled by Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy, you cant block the damage from the overwhelming follow-up damage from the rest of the enemy team. Cleanse allows you to immediately get away, so you take the damage from Amumu's ult, but avoid taking any more.

It is arguably the best choice against an initiator with high CC but low damage.



The Situational

Ignite
Ignite is viable, as it may give you that tiny bit more damage to execute your enemy laner when your jungler comes to gank, but it quickly loses its usability as the game progresses as you'll only be in range in teamfights to ignite tanks which is pretty pointless given how much health they have (unless its a heal tank like Maokai, Dr. Mundo, Swain or Aatrox).

Then again, it may be useful to shut down an enemy mid-laner early on so that they don't destroy your team later on in the game.


Exhaust
Exhaust is an interesting pick, as it essentially 'stuns' an enemy champion by reducing their movement speed and damage output significantly.

Its great against pretty much all champions, and you could even argue helps in ganks so that you can land more damage before your enemy can get away.

But overall, I find it very underwhelming. It only works on champions who are in range, meaning it falls for the same issue as Ignite does. Exhaust is best used on high damage threats, but the only champions in range will be the tanks and assassins, most of whom will have used their skills before you can use Exhaust, meaning none of the damage is nullified.

But, against a few champions such as Jax, Zed and Fizz, it can completely shut them down, and one should consider taking Exhaust in those situations.


Ghost
Ghost is basically Flash spread over a period of time. Its great for constant re-positioning, which is very important for mages such as Twisted Fate.

However, it is less necessary on Corki who has a high mobility with Valkyrie. Furthermore, the short cast time on Missile Barrage stops Corki in place, meaning the movement speed buff from Ghost is wasted, and given that you'll be spamming it a LOT, a lot of Ghost would also be wasted.


Teleport
Teleport is a great spell for map control, aiding allies in other lanes or returning to your lane to defend a push.

However, as Corki has low burst and no crowd control, the ganking potential of Teleport is practically thrown out the window. Personally, I would think constantly pushing mid-lane is much better than roaming on Corki, so Teleport is not as good when it comes to summoner spell choices.



The Bad



Clairvoyance, Clarity and Smite are objectively bad choices on Corki.

Clairvoyance provides minimal help in team-fights, and minimal utility in solo queue matches, where communication and teamwork more limited.

Clarity grants mana, which Corki has few troubles with managing.

Smite allows you to kill jungle monsters...but you'll be spending most of your time in mid-lane and rarely have time to visit the jungle during the laning phase. Also, it provides no use in team-fights, unless you waste an item space on getting the jungle item which severely cripples Corki's damage output.

Just...don't take these unless you're playing around with your friends.


Guide Top

Effective Skill Use



As AP Corki has very limited damage sources, it is important to make best use out of each ability.



[Q] Phosphorus Bomb
Phosphorus Bomb is your primary ability in lane. Due to its extremely slow projectile speed, it is best used to help secure minion kills. It is also great for poking at your opponent in lane, but you must lead the shot, or fire it where your opponent will move to to secure a minion kill.

This applies to all skill-shots, but Phosphorus Bomb is more forgiving with its decent-sized AOE. Imagine Draven's axes, and how a 'zone' appears on the ground where the axe will fall. Now imagine those zones, but now they are where your laner will move to, to farm. Just like firing skill-shots to Draven's axe zones, fire the Phosphorus Bomb to this 'farm zone' while your opponent moves to that zone to farm. This should be practiced, in terms of familiarizing yourself with the projectile speed and knowledge of your opponent's champion's behaviour.



[W] Valkyrie
As AP Corki, Valkyrie is best used as a disengage, as the flame trail left behind actually hurts! As a general rule of thumb, you are to NEVER use Valkyrie towards opponents unless they are running away and have ABSOLUTELY NO CHANCE of turning on you. That means, NEVER use this skill to engage.

Outside of teamfights, it can be used as a mobility spell to help you get to lane faster, or aid at an objective quicker. However, do not use it liberally unless you have blue buff or an Athene's Unholy Grail, as it costs a significant amount of mana, and you don't want to be out of mana for an important fight.



[E] Gatling Gun
With only AD scaling, Gatling Gun is largely useless on AP Corki. Typically, you'll only get this skill as the your skill, so it sees little use until the late, late-game.

The only use in the early game (if you do put a point into it early) is to help build charges on Luden's Echo, whilst peppering enemies in front of you with peanut damage. Frankly speaking, its not really worth the mana in the early game.

However, in late-game teamfights, it provides the utility of shredding the armour of tanks for your ADC, seeing as you'll probably have the same target from the back-line.



[R] Missile Barrage
This is your main damage output, the equivalent of Xerath's Q, Nidalee's spears, Varus's Piercing Arrows, etc, except on a much lower cooldown!

Spam this ability whenever it is up (every 2 seconds), preferably hitting an enemy champion. However, keep track on your missile count and make each one count. Unless you have 35% or more cool-down reduction, you WILL run out of missiles in extended team-fights, rendering you useless towards the end.


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Farming

Yes, the passive Hextech Shrapnel Shells may not do much, but it does help with farming especially with Doran's Blade. At the earlier levels, you're basically farming like an ADC.

  • Last hit if you don't want to push, eg. you know the enemy jungler/team is in the area
  • Push the wave if your lane partner is gone. This is so that they lose out on the gold and experience to the turret, whilst also putting damage on the enemy turret.
  • Use Missile Barrage or Phosphorus Bomb to farm if you aren't in range to AA.
  • Always use Missile Barrage to secure individual minions if available and basic attacks are not safe, as it is significantly cheaper, allowing you to stay in lane longer.

After getting rank 4 in Q ( Phosphorus Bomb) and rank 1 in R ( Missile Barrage), in other words after level 7, you can always secure the ranged minions by firing one Missile Barrage and Phosphorus Bomb at them. DO NOT do this for melee minions because you will damage them to one hit off death, and end up losing the kill to your minions.

Aside from that, you must be aware that upon getting more AP, your Phosphorus Bomb will damage ranged minions to 1 hit away from death, making you easily miss the farm, so always ult first, before using Q.

This is easily remedied when you get Luden's Echo, which allows you to wipe out the ranged minions with a single Phosphorus Bomb and Luden's Echo proc.


Guide Top

Teamfighting

Teamfighting with AP Corki is simple, because there is legitimately very little you can do aside from output damage.

All you need to do is:

  1. Survive. Always position yourself so that you are far away from damage threats, even if it means not contributing to the fight until their skills are on cooldown.
  2. Land your missiles and bombs on enemy champions. You deal significant damage to both tanks and carries, so hitting any enemy champion will do. Basic attacks should only be used when you are absolutely certain you are safe to maximize damage output, especially if you got the Spell Weaving mastery.
  3. Kite with Rylai's Crystal Scepter and Valkyrie. You'll be a high value target in teamfights, with the capability to output large amounts of damage over time. Use this to your advantage team's advantage, by baiting the enemies to chase you, and kiting them to no end.

Of course, hitting the damage threats is preferred, but sometimes melting the enemy tank will help your carry peel bothersome tanks off, like Dr. Mundo, Irelia and Sejuani.


Guide Top

Summary

AP Corki is, in my opinion, the newbie's AP Kog'Maw.

Stack magic penetration, spam rockets, ...? , profit!

Here's a (dated) picture of my Corki stats page...