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.
To start with I must say that there is a vital prerequisition to play Lux really well. If you think you are good at predicting people's reactions and have a tough hand she really is the right champion for you. Intuition is crucial for playing her right because without this "skill" you can't do much. Your laning harass would fail hard, you wouldn't bind anyone (except some ubernoob) and neither score a kill with your ulti. So the "conclusion of introduction" is: Stop reading if you don't feel the seer-like instinct in your head ;)
Pros & Cons
+Great solo laner (even vs. 2)
+Great zone control (bind, slow)
+Heavy AoE damage (AP carry)
+Superb champion to finish off fleeing low-health enemies
+Good at saving fleeing allies
Faster pushing (only with Lich Bane)
-Squishy champ (at least as I build it)
-Hard to master
Flat MP marks and flat CDR glyphs are quite self-explanatory on a caster like Lux. To be able to play late game you need some early-mid game kills to get you the right equip. And what can help you a lot? Surely primary MP and primary CDR.
I use mana regeneration per level seals because Lux really needs some improved mana regeneration throughtout the game. Flat ones look useless to me because they give minor bonus in comparison to the per level ones late-game and the per level one's are quite enough for the start.
Health quintessences are also quite important. 100 HP bonus early game is a lot as the spells don't do much damage. You can also need it to do some face to face combat to burn the illumination on the opposing champion.
Not much to say about these. On level 30 just classic mage's 9/0/21 with boosting your summoner spells as much as possible. Only change that I would recommend you is changing Expanded mind for Awareness as some bonus experience can give you advantage and even more on the middle which you shall always try to get.
On lower summonner levels than 30 it's recommendable to focus on utility tree only (i.e. on summoner level 25 I had 0/0/25 sacrificing 0.66% critical strike and 10,8 AP on lvl 18 for 5% more gained experience)
Best summoner spell in my eyes and useful in two ways:
Flash and immediate Bind (won't fail often)
Flash over the wall escape
I always prefer and preferred to have two things to improve my escape/chasing so I stick with Ghost too.
Possible to get. Very useful to see where you are shooting your laser if you don't have enough line of sight or simply having map control. But as I already stated I like to have some possibilities for escaping or chasing so I'm not a fan of cv.
Clarity would be also a possibility to maximize your harass early game and help out a bit in team fights. Anyway I don't like to play supportive but as a nuke/carry so I need more movement options.
The last recommendable possibility. I would suggest it for people who use it often on their champs, otherwise stick with something else.
Lux has quite awesome AP scaling (her damage ability have 70%, 60% and 85%). That's why I decide to build her as an AP carry. I use following items but if you like something else particularly don't be afraid to do some changes.
Tear of the goddess is a very important item to get as early as possible. That's why it's the first I am going for. Stacking mana early is crucial because even after 30 minutes you can have stacks left to get. The only con is there is no evidence how much you already stacked but you can try it out easily by casting a spell and watching what if your mana rised by 4 or not. If you upgrade to Archangel's you keep the bonus mana from Tear so it's best to get right after Rabadon's for a rapid increase even if Tear is not full yet.
Just one more tip for faster mana-stacking: when you recall to town use your non-ulti spells to get some free mana while healing up. Mind that you can use the active only twice per 6 seconds. (I didn't try it with a watch but from ingame experience I would say that it takes less but I have no proof. Maybe I'll try it out sometime.)
I was experimenting a bit with different kinds of shoes and I ended up that the most obvious are really the best for Lux. 20 flat magic penetration? Just sweet and a must to take down squishies and score some mid-game kills.
Mejai's is more than good for champions with decently AP scaling skills. Lux is one of them so it works fine on her too. Also getting stacks isn't that hard considering that you usually hit all the enemies with your Lucent and Laser so you have some stacks ensured even if you don't kill anyone. But you should really go for every kill that's not certain and can't be considered as a pure kill steal.
The con of this item is that when the enemy team sees you've got a lot of stacks they'll try to hunt you down. Try to avoid that by not getting stupidly ganked, not ramboing much and just doing your backline job. If some cc comes right after you in the team fight just try to pop Zhonya's or binding him and getting out of your position immediately. If you have a decent team they'll take care of the intruder quickly.
If you don't do well in the game or are always just too scared of getting killed and losing your precious stacks head up for Haunting guise instead. It gives only minor boost in health and AP but 20 more flat magic penetration is quite nice for the price.
When they split Zhonya's Ring it made me sad because I was really used to it. However they say everything nice ends sometime so let's not mind and try to take advantage of the split. I first get Rabadon's because it gives out really nice AP. In the moment you buy it you should really notice you got more deadly and even more when you buy Archangel's next.
Lich Bane is a must for high AP champions. It's passive even stacks nicely with Lux's passive. Additionally it increases movement speed, get's you some MR and it gives 80 AP +350 mana (even more AP through Archangel's). Hard to decide which of the abilities is the cherry on the top.
As I already stated I loved Zhonya's ring (mostly because the active). I can't imagine late-game without it because I don't even know how many it saved me from this or that. To be honest the bonus 100 AP isn't that bad (130 with Rabadon's) and you get 50 additional armor. Active is vital for staying alive against enemy bursts. On the other hand I wouldn't recommend buying it if you really don't need to get extra protection.
Your first skill point should always go to Light Binding because you can simply bind possible ganks and also try first blood elsewhere (more about that in the Kill Sequence).
-If the enemy is running away and you're not right behind him but a bit on the side, try aiming the bind in his path (= infront of him). He may jump right in it and die during the 2s bind. Don't think you will succeed everytime, human beings (usually) learn from their mistakes.
-Someone chasing you? Cast bind behind you even if he is a bit further than the range. If he dodges he will lose some viable meters, if he doesn't he will lose even more.
Usually it's more than enough investing one point in Prismatic Barrier on level 8, 10 or 12. It's just a support spell and you want to kill them, right? Even the bonus from leveling it isn't that high so no other choice possible.
-If you're laning vs. someone with predictable damage (Teemo, Twitch, Zilean,...) consider taking it earlier (lvl 4) to avoid most of the damage done by their harass
Your main and never-changing goal in skill order is to max Lucent Singularity first. It's your main harass spell with lower cooldown than bind and also the flat damage is increasing (a bit) faster. So just max it out first. Nothing else matters.
-Notice that Lucent also slows enemies. It's always nice to slow down someone your team is chasing or the guy who is chasing you. Anyway care the right aiming - you should cast it in the predicted path for longer effect rather than right on the enemy champion.
-Also use another advantage of Lucent. It gives you line of sight so use it to scout brushes, check over walls if someone is creeping or wherever you need.
Finales Funkeln is a huge laser beam and your most deadly spell. It shall be of course as every ulti levelled whenever possible.
-Even if you're not sure where are they (fog of war) you can try to snipe. For example if they were low hp early game they may be recalling behind the tower, right? Try it out. maybe you'll hit someone's face there.
-You can get the cooldown of Finales Funkeln to only 24 seconds with your runes, masteries and the golem buff. Then simply use it as a crazy. Starting fights, sniping low hp enemies, casting in a team fight and hitting all of them.
Illumination get's to work when an enemy is hit by your spell. You can clearly see some light on him for 6 seconds. You can do some extra damage if you hit him by autoattack or by Finales Funkeln. Depending on your level he will receive additional 20-190 magic damage to the attack which is quite nice bonus to your Laser and/or Lich Bane.
-If youre not sure about a kill with your laser (i.e. enemy has 400 lifes and you hit for 470) this one can help a bit. Harass to get Illumination on the enemy and laser him.
-Don't be desperate for activating your passive. Mind the damage you might take because your spell range is a lot bigger (especially of Lucent) than the one for your autoattack.
Take the mid after you try to get first blood for your team on one of the sides. Harass mainly with Lucent Singularity but mind your mana. You will need it either for taking care of ganks (that's also why you shouldn't harass with the bind much - only when you are sure no ganker will come until cooldown) or for getting some of you first kills in the game when you hit level 6.
After you finally get your ulti try to gank one of the sides when possible (i.e. enemy on mid recalled, you pushed many minions to his tower,whatever took his attention out) but first inform your allies to try to bait a bit and definitely not to scare them much before you arrive.
When you have around 1700 gold (which you really should have from last hits, some kills and some assists) you should recall for the first time and get Tear of the Goddess and Sorc Boots. Of course if you are having risky low health earlier, go for a recall and heal up. It's better not to give out stupid deaths and being denied some XP than to hold it.
Defend middle from being pushed by killing enough minions and then always try to head for a gank. Also try to start getting golem from level 11. You can get it faster with some help from your teammates (if you got nice and kind ones) or you can do it alone. Just dont think using ulti on golem is a waste. It will recharge quite fast again. If someone really insists on it tell him, that from level 16 it's a must for you and leave it to him by then.
When teamfights start try to make comfortable in the backline casting your bind when needed (someone running away and is close or someone is trying to get your head). If someone is running away with low hp just predict their moves and get them (you can kill even champs in stealth like twitch or evelynn running from the fight if you are good at predicting :)) If someone is running near a wall, place it a bit on the side. It will hit him, even if the red light is not right on his head, but it will make it impropable to escape (flash, riftwalk, etc. would help only).
Another option is generally helping by slowing and damaging them all. Use Lucent cast 'n' bomb style and then cast your Ulti. You will get them all around 650 damage which can help a lot in the fight.
Another thing with which you can help a lot is saving your allies. If someone is being chased and he's not too far or it's not almost over yet just head to him. Cast Bind even if the enemies are a bit beyond it's range because they will jump right into it. If you have Prismatic Barrier cast it to grant some extra shield to your ally. Finally cast Lucent again a bit before they arrive to the place where you sent it. You can try to detonate it for some extra damage but that's not that important. Hopefully you saved your mate/s and now you can get ready to defend properly or for a counterattack. If your ally is chased by someone with quite low health you can probably kill him by you usual combo (Kill Sequence again).
Now you should be getting golem buff from level 16 regurarly. You are going to have cooldown on your really high-damage ulti only around 25 seconds. There can't be any better reason to get it. Only if someone from your team got superfed I would leave it to him to end the game faster.
For fights same as mid game. You can try out to get out their squishies (see "Where did this come from?" in Kill Sequence)
Additionally you can farm easily if a wave of minions is pushing a tower (Lucent 1-hit with proper AP) and even from distance with your laser. Use it to get some extra gold.
Team fights were already described in Game Progress so now I'll try to mind some more specific situations.
How to make a really good start? With early first blood of course! And how to do that? Just tell your team you get mid but first you'll try to surprise one of the side lanes. Best for that is before minions spawn. In many games the opposing team goes to the brushes on the side of the map. Your job is to encourage your two sidelaners teammates to go there too. When they engage each other and it looks like a normal 2v2 fight you come from your position in the river brush and suddenly bind one them (hopefully both). Voila fb is in da house.
Mid lane harass:
Simple harass is just bombing Lucent and then taking care of the minions with Illumination. From lvl 4 or 5 you can get many last hits like that. You don't need to illuminate the enemy everytime so you don't get hurt more than you did hurt him.
An advanced harass should look like this. Bind -> Autoattack -> cast Lucent -> Autoattack -> Bomb Lucent before your autoattack gets to him. This should take him for around half of his HP, but if you think you won't kill him don't do that. It's better to keep him in lane until your lvl 6 than to make him recall, heal up and shop.
Mid lane kills:
You can easily own anyone there (maybe except Vlad) or at least make it equal if you meet someone really skilled. Tanks don't go usually on mid and so when you hit level 6 you can probably do a kill or two if you didn't manage it even before. Even if the opposing mid-laner has 3/4 HP you can still kill him and what's even better is that you can do it from quite a distance. Lux's spells can be casted from a great range, even her autoattacks can come from a further place than is the range of most mid-taking champions.
There is just one thing you must manage to do. It's placing your binding right to bind him for the full 2 seconds. Then just go for Lucent and lighten him up with laser (it's your only spell which can detonate the effect of you passive so why let's take advantage of it). Only these two spells will do around 500 damage. Then bomb Lucent and autoattack him = more 200 damage average. If he's still alive he is surely only one or two autoattacks from death. You can try to take advantage of one of your chasing spells (Flash or Ghost) but I can't recommend much tower diving because you are not the right champ for it. Even if you don't get the kill it's good for two reasons. You scared him a lot and next time you will know what amount HP he should approximately have to get the sure kill.
Gank, gank, gank. Just do it as much as possible!
You are an extreme ganker. Once you hit lvl 6 you must think about where are the enemies pushing a bit, are properly baited or where they are low hp and not recalling. With bind, lucent and ulti you can take down everyone with his half of HP and with some help from the laners just anyone with any life.
"Where did this come from?"
When you have your nice equip giving you at least 500 AP you can try out my most favorite kill scheme.
Situation: The enemies are defending one of the towers and one or more of their squishies (mostly backline casters or some bursting glass canons) is standing near a wall or on the edge of the summoning platform.
You don't even need to see him, just to know he's somewhere there. Its always better to see his position but if you fail then what? 10 second cooldowns and no risk for you anyway.
What are you going to do with that?: Just cast bind in the area. If you see him, mind he might move a bit and usually behind his current position. If you don't doesn't matter try to guess. While bind travels cast Lucent to see if you succeeded. If yes immediately cast ulti and detonate Lucent. This should kill every squishy champ. Bind is around 700, Lucent at least 500, Ulti 800, Illumination 190 - and I count only with 500 AP which means it's not a total late-game and noone has all his desired items. Just add around 300 to damage of all the spells (except Illumination of course) for optimal equip. Do the math if you don't believe me. Take notice that the enemy really isn't stacking MR heavily and that's why he becomes your target
Steal the buff:
There is one more thing with which you can annoy the enemies a lot. If you place some wards or see many of them miss they can be doing Dragon (early game) or Baron (late game). You are totally safe if you're checking Dragon as a blue team member. For Baron your advantage will be in the purple team. You take quite a risk if you are totally alone and can't cast your Lucent just over the wall (of course if there is a ward or something similar like Teemo's mushrooms it's fine for you anyway). When Baron is quite low on health you must use your predicting skills again and steal the last hit with your ulti.
Lux pushing towers? The author of the build must be INSANE! But yeah, with Lich Bane and with "quite hight" AP (around 800) you can cast Prismatic Barrier and take around a third of the tower's health with a single auto-attack. Keep in mind that this Lich Bane's passive can be used only once per 3 seconds. Also the positioning of enemies. Avoid being ganked or just help pushing your mates so you are safe.
A tip for your laser's tip:
Sometimes an enemy with low-health doesn't want to recall and keeps farming some mobs. You can try to run as close as just the tip of your laser will be on him (that's quite far anyway). Usually he won't notice (i.e. you were aced, saw you on the bot and he's top,...), because he doesn't mind your quite big range. Of course it's best for you if he's near a wall (now he really won't notice), but it doesn't matter that much. Just try your luck, maybe you'll score a kill, but don't risk getting ganked.
I started playing Lux when she was free. I was Morgana-player and I don't know why, but I didn't like her that much at first. So it wasn't love at first sight but I didn't dump her. Suddenly she became my main after I decided to build her as a nuke instead of some "stupid support". Seems that it turned quite well, because I can feel it from my gameplay.
Finally I have to say that I will be happy for ANY comments. Do you play her otherwise? You think something is missing? Go ahead ;)
-Oooh a double rainbow! Or was it a quadra kill?