Lulu Build Guide by MiamiHurricane
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Welcome to my second MOBAFIRE guide, my dear reader. This guide details a rather unconventional way to play one of our newest (and cutest) champions, Lulu.
I came across this idea a few days ago while perusing other Lulu guides. I found an attack-speed Lulu guide which, despite being badly written and having no formatting to speak of, intrigued me. I had seen some of the pros play Lulu in a similar way while streaming shortly after she was released, so I decided to experiment with the build myself.
What you see before you today, dear reader, are the results of my ongoing experimentation. I suggest you remain patient and read the next few sections of my guide on the goals and viability of this build before jumping into queue to try it as things could end very badly for you indeed. Learn from my mistakes, dear reader, do not repeat them yourself.
Disclaimer: this build remains experimental and shall be updated often. I cannot guarantee its strength at the moment though it seems to work pretty well. Any and all feedback, particularly about specific top-lane match-ups is much appreciated. Expect this guide to change as I continue to use it and receive feedback.
Perhaps you, dear reader, are new to the fantastic champion that is Lulu. Perhaps you are a veteran and interested in learning about a new way to play this champion. Either way I welcome you once more to my guide. In this section I shall take a look at the specific goals I had in mind while creating this build.
There are THREE main ways in which you can build Lulu, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. They are AP Lulu, Support Lulu, and AD/AS/On-Hit Lulu. As this is a version of and AD/AS/On-Hit Lulu build, I shall not be talking about the other two. Should you wish to know more about them, dear reader, find a different guide. There are plenty to choose from.
My build, dear reader, is the part of the AD/AS/On-Hit series of Lulu builds. Much like the AP Lulu builds, this one has a very strong early and mid game, but drops off late game. The reason for the drop-off is a bit different, however. With AP builds you simply do not have enough burst damage to compete late game, with AD builds you are too easy to focus down
The goal of these builds is to capitalize on the extra damage granted by your passive and use it to shred the enemy team. Unfortunately, because it relies on auto-attacks, this leaves you very vulnerable to being burst down before you can make an impact late game as your auto-attack range is a mere 550, hence the drop-off. Besides, other champions have better suited kits for this type of build, especially champions like Kog'Maw and Teemo.
So, dear reader, let me ask you a question. It is the same question I asked myself. How would you build Lulu as an AS/On-Hit champion and yet stay relevant into the late game?
The conclusion I reached for viability was this: build high-damage items at the start of the game and survivability items at the end. This helps you to dominate during the early-mid game. As the enemy team takes notice of you and begins to focus you, you will have enough health to survive and become an end up becoming an off-tank.
This allows you to take the role of a Tanky DPS champion, the sort that is normally sent top-lane in the first place. Because of the damage items you built early, the enemy team has no choice but to focus you. Because of your health, armor, and MR you can take quite a bit of punishment while sewing chaos with your amazing crowd-control and granting your carries the time they need to shred the enemy team.
Be warned however, my dear reader, this build will not always work. I've had it crash and burn as often as I've had it rip through the enemy team. Read on if you wish to know when to pull out this build and when to simply leave it alone and use another one.
Now comes the part you have been waiting for, dear reader. This is where you will learn when it is appropriate to use my build and crush everyone, and when it is best to just sit back and pick a different champion or simply play support Lulu.
The main consideration you must take is your team's composition. The reason for this should be quite obvious, this build is expensive. If you cannot have a solo lane you cannot make this build work. It is possible for you to take the bottom lane with a support and gain sufficient farm in that way but that would be ill-advised.
Because of this we find ourselves an unfortunate situation where using the build in solo-queue can be rather difficult. With four random teammates, each with their own pre-conceived notion of how Lulu should be played, you are unlikely to be given the solo-lane this build requires. Fear not however, should you be given the chance to prove yourself in a solo lane you should shine! But if all else fails, just play with some friends.
Note: If you wish to skip the next section (inside the purple dividers) go ahead. It is a discussion of why you should take the top-lane over any others (though the mid-lane is also acceptable).
Remember what I talked about in the last section reader, remember our discussion about how to build Lulu so she doesn't become dead weight in the late game. We end up building her as a Tanky DPS champion. She has neither the range, the burst, or the kit to function as a glass cannon. This is important because should you take the bottom lane and take the roll of the AD Carry, your team will not have enough damage to compete late game. You may be able to do substantial amounts of damage, but it simply will not be enough to lead your team to victory. The bottom lane should remain in the hands of a proper carry.
This leaves you with two lanes. The middle lane, and the top lane. I would advise that you let an AP carry take mid while you take top, but this is not as important as having an AD carry bottom. Should you find it necessary, you can take the middle lane and you can dominate it. In fact, you SHOULD dominate it. Only do this if you have a good AP damage dealer who is allowed to have a solo lane for farming. You want to keep the damage on your team balanced. There are some champions that can work just as well solo-top as they can mid, such as Fizz and Kennen, but in most cases you should be taking the top lane for yourself.
If it becomes apparent during the pre-game chat that you will not be allowed either mid or solo top, please pick a different champion or build support Lulu. You simply will not be able to perform your roll properly without the income granted by a solo lane. As mentioned previously, it is likely that you will not be given your solo-lane if you are playing solo-queue.
Since we are taking the role of Tanky DPS as Lulu why, my dear reader, would we want to play Lulu in this way instead of taking a more conventional champion like Garen or Olaf? The reason is twofold: Lulu has a very disruptive and versatile kit allowing her to be very useful during teamfights, and she is able to shut-down most conventional melee Tanky DPS champions. Because of her strong early-game harass with Glitterlance and her range advantage, having Lulu take solo-top can throw a wrench in the other team's plans. This provides your team with a sizable advantage. Singed isn't nearly as scary if he is only allowed half his usual farm.
Congratulations my dear reader and thank you for making it this far. I know the previous sections contain a daunting amount of text, but with such an unusual and unconventional build such explanations were necessary. And now, on to the build!
Pros / Cons
Greater Quintessence of Potency: Taking this quint increases the strength of your early game by adding some extra damage to the already powerful Glitterlance. These are the Quints that I personally use, if only because I don't have any of the others.
Greater Quintessence of Clarity: You really do need some mana-regen runes with this build so you don't run out-of-mana (OOM) during teamfights. You can either take them as Seals, or if you want to use other Seals, take your mana-regen runes as Quints.
Greater Quintessence of Resilience: Take these runes if you want some extra early-game armor to make you more durable in lane when against an AD champion. Can also take the Seal version if you prefer that.
Greater Quintessence of Fortitude: More health = more durability = stronger laning phase. These are good on most champions, take them if you feel you need them or don't have anything better.
Greater Quintessence of Warding: If you are up against an AP champion, whether it be mid or top, these can really help mitigate their early game damage allowing you to, once again, have a stronger laning phase.
Greater Mark of Insight: Most of your damage is magic damage, whether it be your on-hit damage ( Pix, Faerie Companion, Madred's Bloodrazor, Wit's End) or damage from your abilities, these marks let you hit just a little bit harder.
Greater Mark of Alacrity: A lot of your damage comes from your on-hit effects so attacking faster can only be a good thing. However, I feel the magic penetration marks are probably better. I'll have to do the math sometime.
Greater Seal of Resilience: A commonly used seal. It grants a good amount of early-game durability which should help a lot against AD champions.
Greater Seal of Clarity: You really need mana regen runes with this build You will be building almost no items that regen mana and should never have the blue-buff. Without these runes it is easy to run OOM during teamfights. If you would prefer to take different seals, I advise that you take the mana-regen quints.
Greater Seal of Alacrity: While not as powerful as the marks of the same sort, these could definitely be worked into a good build.
Greater Glyph of Shielding: These are good runes to take with your goal of becoming an off-tank. They give a sizable amount of magic resist by level 18, and you generally will not be encountering a lot of magic damage early on.
Greater Glyph of Warding: If you do happen to find yourself against a mage early game (such as in the mid lane) these could prove to be more beneficial.
Greater Glyph of Focus: Cooldown-reduction is always a nice stat to have. Add the CDR from this, Nashor's Tooth, and your masteries, and it will be nearing the cap of 40%. Not necessary, but nice.
Greater Glyph of Potency: These could be good runes to increase your early-game power even more as the additional AP allows Glitterlance to hit harder. The Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is more common, but this is not a mage build and you really only need the AP during the laning phase.
Choose your favorite combination of runes from those I listed above and you should be set! Remember, your goal is early-game domination while laning followed by late-game durability for sustained damage.
With this build I go for a 21/9/0 focusing on maximizing my early-game damage and survivability. I put points into Mental Force over Brute Force because I feel it grants just a bit more early game power with your Glitterlance harass, other than that the difference is mostly negligible.
Note that I do not put points into Weapon Expertise or Sunder because most of the damage done is magical, caused by the on-hit effects of your items and passive.
I do, however, take Vampirism over Blast as a bit of late-game AP won't do that much with this build while a bit of early-game lifesteal can help
Teleport: This spell is a must if you are the solo-top (which you should be). It allows you to recall, buy, and be back in your lane within 20 seconds. It can also be used for 4-man ganks, split pushing, stopping creep waves, and getting to teamfights quickly. Very very useful.
Flash: The ultimate escape spell. It is good on just about every champion, especially those with no jump/teleport/gap closer. You have a built in Ghost with Whimsy but there will be times when that is just not enough to let you escape, Flash should do the trick most of the time.
Ignite: If you don't like the choice of teleport, or if you happen to have the mid lane instead of top lane, Ignite is a good pick. Perfect for finishing off low-health enemies as they reach the relative safety of their tower, shutting down a Dr. Mundo, or just doing a bit more damage during fights makes this spell a fine 3rd choice.
Pix, Faerie Companion: This, my reader, is your passive and it is the main reason we can use an AS/On-Hit build with Lulu. Each time you auto-attack your companion, Pix, will fire 3 bolts that do additional magic damage. These bolts total 87 damage at level 18, a fairly significant amount.
Know that the bolts are homing and can be intercepted by minions or other champions before they hit their intended target. You can use this to last hit two low-health minions at the same time if you position yourself properly.
Pix can be temporarily granted to an ally with your shield, Help, Pix!, and auto-attack for them, but that's something for support Lulu to do. You are not playing support Lulu.
Glitterlance (Q): This ability will be your bread-and-butter during the early-game. It does a significant amount of damage and has a fairly long range (925). It also applies a short, but very powerful, slow. Combine that with a low cooldown and low mana costs and you have the perfect ability for early game harassment and zoning. The damage does drop off late game as you will not be building much AP, but it can easily hit multiple enemies and the slow will remain quite useful.
You're going to want to max out Glitterlance first because of this. It is just too useful and powerful to not have it maxed by level 9.
[+] Combine Glitterlance with Help, Pix! to pull of long-range hits. Since it fires a bolt from you and a bolt from Pix, if you tag an enemy champion with Pix you can easily land a hit from far outside your normal range. You could tag an initiating ally to do the same thing, or just tag a minion near your enemy so the skillshot comes from an unexpected direction.
[+] Remember that enemies will only be damaged by one bolt, hitting them with both will not double the damage (that would be quite broken).
[+] Finally this spell is also great for farming quickly and clearing minion waves. However be warned my reader, it also tends to push the lane very strongly leaving you open to ganks. Try to hit only a few minions (or just the low health ones that you will not be able to auto-attack in time) if you intend to use it for farming.
Whimsy (W): This is one of Lulu's most useful spells and a lot of fun too. When cast on an enemy, it turns them into a cute, furry, forest creature for a time unable to do more than hop around for a few seconds (Oh, they are also slightly slowed). When cast on an ally or yourself, it grants additional ability power along with a significant speed buff for 5 seconds. A truly useful spell, perhaps one of the best in the entire game.
You're going to want to max out Whimsy second taking a point at level 2. The utility of Whimsy is far greater with this build than the utility of Help, Pix!.
[+] In teamfights you should target the enemy with the largest damage output. This will render them unable to do anything much for 2.5 seconds hopefully allowing your team to finish them off.
[+] Cast on yourself or the AP carry for a nice boost in damage and extra movement speed. With level 2 boots your speed will increase from 370 to 480.
[+] Cast on yourself or allies to help initiate, escape, gank, or chase. If ganking or being ganked you may want to cast it on the enemy champion instead.
[+] Cast on an enemy when engaging in a 1v1 as it grants you up to 2.5 seconds of FREE DAMAGE as they will be unable to do anything apart from looking adorable.
Help, Pix! (E): This is your least helpful ability in this build, but it can still be useful. When cast on an enemy, Help, Pix! does some damage and then follows them for 6 seconds granting vision and making Glitterlance skillshots easy to land. When cast on an ally Pix aids their auto-attacks instead of yours (not useful) and also shields them from some damage (can be useful).
You're going to want to max Help, Pix! last as it is the least useful of your spells. Take a point at level 4 and then forget about it til it is the only thing you can level up.
[+] Combine with Glitterlance as previously mentioned.
[+] Tag a low-health ally (or yourself) with the shield and help them escape, most helpful if they are out of harm's way but have a DoT (like Ignite) on them that may finish them off.
Wild Growth (R): Your ultimate ability, and a rather good one at that. Wild Growth greatly boosts an ally's health, increases their size (think Cho'Gath with lots of stacks), knocks-up nearby enemies when cast, and slows nearby enemies while active (7 seconds).
You're going to want to take points in Wild Growth whenever possible, as you always do with ultimates.
[+] Cast on an ally the enemy team is currently focusing. The extra health will help them live through the fight, or at least last a bit longer so they can deal more damage. It is especially important to cast on squishy carries (if you didn't cast it on the tank when he initiated).
[+] Cast on a low-health teammate to help them escape to safety. When cast on someone with under full health it acts like a heal (the extra health does not disappear when the duration runs out). Having a 300/450/600 (+0.5 AP) health heal can mean the difference between life and death in some cases. Note that because it is technically a buff, it cannot be reduced by heal de-buffs like Ignite so you will always heal for the full amount.
Boots of Speed: Start your build with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. I start with boots and pots on most champions I play and Lulu is no exception. The boots provide good early-game mobility which allows you to avoid skillshots and get in range to land Glitterlance.
Nashor's Tooth: This item gives you everything you need in the early game. I suggest building it from a Fiendish Codex instead of from a Stinger as the earlier AP and mana-regen are more useful. When it is complete, you have a sizable amount of AP for harassment, enough mana-regen to last you the whole game when combined with runes, cooldown-reduction, and a lot of attack-speed.
Sorcerer's Shoes: Once your Nashor's Tooth is complete you need to finish your boots. I suggest buying Sorcerer's Shoes as the majority of your damage will be magic damage and this lets you hit harder.
Wit's End: ONLY IF AGAINST AN AP CARRY generally this will be mid, but can be top too. Buy this item first (build your Nashor's Tooth after you complete your boots). Otherwise save it for much later.
Madred's Bloodrazor: This will be your main source of damage, and is also why you NEED a solo lane for this build- it is expensive! At 3800 gold, this is the 3rd most expensive item in the game coming just behind Infinity Edge. However, it is worth every coin in this build. It grants a little armor, some AD, a nice amount of AS, and most importantly its passive which lets you do 4% of the enemy's maximum health as magic damage every hit. For every 1000 health an enemy has, you do 40 extra damage, a very significant amount.
Giant's Belt: With the purchase of Madred's Bloodrazor you will have a massive spike in your damage output. You will hurt, a lot. The enemy team should take notice of this and start focusing you in teamfights. In order to maintain a high damage output while not instantly dying, it is time to buy some health items.
Wit's End: Now that you have a nice chunk of health, you can finally build Wit's End. It grants a nice amount of magic resist increasing your surviability. It also grants more attack speed and more on-hit damage which will make you hurt even more. A nice well-rounded item. I would buy this earlier but I find finishing Madred's Bloodrazor to be more important.
Frozen Mallet: Congratulations on making it to this point in the game! By now the game has probably lasted for over 40 minutes and you are well farmed (I have yet to reach this point myself). What you need to do now is turn that Giant's Belt you purchased earlier into a Frozen Mallet. This gives you even more health, but it also adds infinite slows to your auto-attacks.
Abyssal Scepter: This is a good choice for three reasons. First, it grants you more magic resist. If they have a very dominant AP carry this would be a great item. Second it grants more AP. You may not be AP Lulu but your abilities still hurt, this makes them hurt more. Third, it provides a MR-reducing aura which allows both your auto-attacks, abilities, and teammates do more damage. A Void Staff would also work.
Randuin's Omen: This would be the best choice against an AD heavy team. It provides a lot of armor, some more health (bringing you over 3000), and a powerful active. A Frozen Heart could also be a good item here.
Hextech Gunblade: I wanted to find a way to work this item into my build, but this is the only spot for it if I want to avoid becoming a glass cannon. It grants a lot of sustain (not found earlier), some AD, and some AP. A nice hybrid item that could work nicely if you don't have to worry about being focused.
Rabadon's Deathcap: You've built your survivability items, now it is time to try and increase your damage as much as you possibly can. This will make the currently mediocre damage from your abilities spike allowing for even more damage output. It makes you more fragile than you probably want to be but it could work.
Thank you, my dear reader, for taking a look at my unconventional Lulu build, I hope you enjoyed your read. If you decide to try my build out on the ladder please leave feedback in the comments section, I would love to hear your thoughts on this build and suggestions for improvement.
Farewell, my dear reader, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here and to IceCreamy for help with some formatting problems.
4/28/2012: Guide published!
4/27/2012: Made the guide more colorful, added a short Dominion section
4/21/2012: Guide completed
4/20/2012: Build-order settled upon, guide begun
4/17/2012: Experimentation on creating an AS/On-Hit Lulu build started