Build Guide by Aeternum
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.
I'd like to start by apologizing for the pun in the title. If you don't know what pun I'm talking about, you're probably better off going to see Requiem for a Dream, discovering the awesome soundtrack, and then coming back.
Seriously; go do it. The guide will be waiting.
The Real Introduction
Well, this is my guide for Lux. I've played her on and off since she came out, but only recently have I started to take her really seriously. In the right hands, Lux will mess you up from further away than you can react to. This guide will (hopefully) help you do just that.
The build that I recommend is something of an offensive-support, or what me and my friends call a 'soft carry'. Lots of mana regen and lots of cooldown reduction mean that anyone except the enemy tank is going to have to be on the lookout for your spells constantly, or face the consequences. And when they do, they won't like them.
Not. One. Bit.
03/03/11 - Published
03/04/11 - Updated Items: Part 2 for completeness
- Updated Summoner Spells to discuss Clairvoyance as an alternative
- Re-arranged some sections so the guide reads easier, and flows better.
So; let's start with a general-purpose look at how I play Lux, shall we?
There are three main things that I aim for with my Lux builds:
1) The ability to cast spells repeatedly, without too much regard for mana
2) The ability to cast spells often, without much regard for cooldown
3) The ability to make spells hurt, without too much regard for the enemy team's feelings.
To that end, you'll see very quickly that I aim for regen items and cooldown items, rather than rush a massive damage output item of any kind. Be patient. We'll get there.
Pros / Cons (This Build)
-Range and CC options keep the fight at a distance, allowing for credible damage and support without being personally in danger. Often.
-Surprising damage, especially with the triggering of the passive from the ultimate.
-Range and CC options allow you to easily set up kills with your team, or snare 1-2 enemy targets, making for easy 5v2 situations.
-Surprising damage, especially with the range of the ultimate.
-Range and CC Options allow you to evade ganks with ease, and help your teammates escape as well.
-Surprising damage, especially . . . (I think you get it.)
-This build re-defines 'Glass Cannon'. If you're not careful, you're going to get eaten by Gragas. And that's a serious warning.
-Assists only. If you're mopping up the other team, picking up kills more often than assists, more power to you. But, this is not a 'Carry Lux' build; this is a build that assumes you have a competent team. It will help you support and damage the other team, but you should not be focusing on kills.
-Oddly cautious playstyle required. If you're used to playing Olaf, please don't assume that Lux can take any punishment. Ever. She's a 12-year-old girl, and just about as fragile.
Runes are pretty straightforward; grab Marks of Insight, Quints and Seals of Replenishment, and Glyphs of Force.
"But, what about the last paragraph? Why not blues of CDR?" I know that I just talked about cooldown reduction, but I rarely, if ever, find CDR blues worthwhile on my builds. If you like 'em, grab 'em. Just don't complain about it when your items and masteries cap you out at 40%, and your glyphs are as useful as a one-legged man at an arse kicking contest.
[Thank you, Rowan Atkinson.]
9/0/21. Nothing special; grab improved Ghost and Flash, since we'll be taking those as well, and make sure to grab all three points of Mana Regen and CDR. From there, grab the standard 9 in offense; Ability power, CDR, and % Magic Pen. That % Magic Pen can turn out to be very useful if we end up with a Void Staff.
Again; Ghost and Flash. I do not feel you have a second option here.
Alright, alright. You could take Clarity, but it'll become irrelevant after the ten-minute mark, and won't be too helpful before then either.
NamezAreUzeless suggests Clairvoyance, which I could definitely see as being useful. My only qualm about taking Clairvoyance over Ghost or Flash is that your 'E' already provides you with the ability to check bushes, meaning that you would only use it to pick off people running from the battle. I guess it could work well, but I prefer Ghost and Flash to stay just out of range of enemy champions. Experiment, noble players, and tell me which you prefer!
You could take Exhaust, Ignite, Revive, Heal, or even Rally. If you do, I'll be personally disappointed. Well, only for a while. Your strategy in all fights using this build, however, is outside the danger zone. If a Yi or Blitz decides to re-define the danger zone for you, Flash and Ghost are your two best bets for getting back to a proper distance.
Open with Light Binding, for the sheer utility of it. Having a snare to start the game will save you 9 times out of 10, as long as you're competent and keep an eye on the map. We'll be mostly ignoring it, however, until we hit the last few levels. Until then, Q is only to be used for the snare component and placing an Illumination charge.
After this, we want to max out our Lucent Singularity (E) as fast as possible. Not only does the slow component become more useful over time, giving us better lane control, the damage increases significantly. Unless you're trying to bother the enemy Galio with it, you should be able to take big bites out of whole creep spawns while keeping the enemy at bay. If this isn't maxed by Level 9, you'd better have a good reason for it. And no, maxing your snare is not an excuse. Ever. The utility doesn't go up, and Lucent Singularity starts to manipulate whole creep waves very quickly. At Rank 5, you can drop it on the melee creeps and wait for the ranged to catch up, damaging them all at once. Very helpful for you. Not so much for them.
Otherwise, take Finales Funkeln (R) every level you can (6, 11, 16) and max your shield second. Take all four ranks of Light Binding last (14, 15, 17, 18).
Items (Part 1)
Ah, items. Core to my Lux build is beginning with a Doran's ring, because of the extra damage it gives (15 AP), mana regen (5 per 5), and health (100). As long as you're careful, your mana regen should keep you alive and out of harm's way long enough that you can go back and get a Chalice of Harmony. If at all possible, try to go back only after you can afford the Chalice. You'll thank yourself later.
Ah, Chalice. The average reader is thinking, "What the hell? Chalice is never an acceptable item! On anyone! I don't know what this guy's smoking, but I want some!" Of course, since you (a far brighter person than that barbarian) are reading this, you already see what we're aiming for with our Lux build. With CDR maxed, we need one of two things to be useful in lane for longer then thirty seconds; either a huge mana pool, or massive mana regen. our Chalice provides the latter.
Next up is Ionian CDR boots. With this and your masteries, you should have 21% cooldown reduction. The only other item that I'll expect you to get if you're following this build is a Fiendish Codex (31% Reduction), and later Morello's Evil Tome (41% Reduction). ASIDE: See? Aren't your Blues of CDR a silly idea now? Those people who read this far before sinking that IP into those glyphs laugh with me. At you.
Seriously, though, Morello's is an incredible item for Lux. The regen it gives, along with our rune and mastery setup, gives us around 50/5 mana regen. The passive on Chalice means that as long as we stay out of the way, and don't get focused too hard, we conceivably only have to leave the field in order to buy new items. And this isn't too far from the truth, as long as we're careful.
Here, your build gets a little funny. I'm going to leave a lot of the details for the next section, but here the 'authoritative' part of the guide ends. Everything else you'll build is situational, depending entirely on the other team. At this point, though, you'll have 40% CDR and effectively unlimited mana. Go torch some enemy players.
Accessorization: The Best Part of Lux (Items Part 2)
Late game, you'll need to stay relevant as everyone else starts to power up. Beyond your Boots, your Chalice, and Morello's, everything else is fair game. Here are my favorites, though, and some reasons for getting them.
Void Staff - Oh, so unappreciated. With your mastery point, this puts your Magic Penetration at 9 flat, and at 49% otherwise. Suddenly, you damage Galio a lot more than he was expecting, and Garen has a hole the size of Delaware in his chest. Stacking magic resist suddenly becomes half as effective, and it shows. I get this whenever the enemy team has more than 3 Negatron Cloaks between them. It has the added bonus of punching holes in squishies equally.
Rabadon's Deathcap - This is the one you'll be going for most often. That 30% bonus ability power makes your shield more effective, your Singularity more powerful, and your laser . . . carries are tasty after you put on your sexy new hat.
Abyssal Sceptre - Just in case you need some more defense from that pesky Leblanc, Abyssal gives you a nifty 57 Magic Resist along with a handy 70 ability power. The passive, unfortunately, is not so useful, since you should never be close enough to the action for enemies to notice the effects. A good defensive choice, however, given the overall stats.
Zhonya's Hourglass - Ability Power, Armor, and Stasis. If the enemy team is full of bursty DPSers, this should be up first on your list. It lets you avoid a lot of damage, and, combined with flash, can keep you out of a lot of trouble.
Rylai's Crystal Sceptre - I can see it happening, but it would have to be carefully judged. The health boost is nice, and the ability power is always welcome. Of course, the passive slow won't trigger effectively off of two of our spells, since the shield does no damage and the snare already lasts for two seconds. Of course, being able to torch and slow the other team with your ult is a lot of fun. Grabbing Rylai's also makes your singularity even scarier, since the enemy stays slowed after getting hit. However, most of the item is so severely situational that I'm not sure you'll ever really need it.
Will of the Ancients - WotA is a great item on damage-dealing casters, giving ability power and spell vamp. Teammates will love you for the aura it gives (try following Vlad with it; he'll be happy he doesn't have to buy his own), and you'll be able to regen your health by casting spells. It lacks the specificity of the other potential items, but it does help you stick around a lot longer then you'd expect.
Open with a Doran's Ring. No exceptions. Unless, of course, you want to. But don't blame this guide for any unexpected effects.
Oddly, I've not seen any real difference between going mid and going to a side lane with this build, except for the obvious shifts in time. You should be setting up for as much damage as you can by firing your Light Binding (Q) to snare the enemy, and, after you get it, using Lucent Singularity (E) to keep enemy champions back.
Don't be afraid to cast E to the right of the enemy and Q to the left; having to choose between a snare and a nuke isn't one you want to make.
Set up your Illumination passive on entire creep spawns with your E, since it makes it that much easier to last hit. This only becomes more important with level, since Illumination becomes more and more powerful over time.
Before you hit level 6, you should have gone back to find yourself a Chalice, to complement your Doran's Ring. This should let you start to harass without concern for your mana pool, stacking up Illumination on creeps and champions alike.
What's the best way to start the Mid-Game? I find that surprise butt-sex works best. As soon as you have your ultimate, wait and build up enough mana for your E and your R. Continue to harass, until you know that you can catch them in both spells. As soon as you do, drop your Singularity, place the debuff, and then fire your first laser of the match.
I promise; it won't be your last. (Evil Laugh to be added in upcoming edits.)
If you didn't quite kill them, you at least put the fear of Lux into them. Enemies will be streaming from side lanes to try and kill you, especially since you appear to always be low mana. Your Chalice allows you to sit at around 1/3 mana, but never drop too far below that marker, making enemies underestimate you constantly.
Anyway; as the ganks start, bear in mind that you can always check the bushes using your Lucent Singularity (E). The field of vision is more than enough to check bushes for hungry Yi's, and keep you far from harm.
Ideally, a battle transcript would read:
-Lux checks bushes!-
-Jax tries to escape the range of Lux's spell!-
-Lux detonates Lucent Singularity!-
-Lux moves back, so that Jax won't try to attack anyway!-
Almost as ideally;
-Lux doesn't check bushes!-
-Jax attempts unspeakable things!-
-Lux uses Flash!-
Your worst enemies, in case you haven't realized yet, are champions that can cross distances and slow you, or root you from a distance. One of the reasons for taking only one rank of Q is to keep the mana cost low, in case you need to keep Yi or Xin from getting those last few hits in. You can always flash and snare enemies, turning a gank into a potential counter-attack.
Soon after you get Boots and Fiendish Codex, you should be stapling yourself to your carry, and helping them get kills. This has the added bonus of granting you assists! It might not be as glamorous, but hey; you're playing Lux. If you want an attention *****, play Ashe.
You should be earning enough gold to finish Morello's before Mid-Game has gone too far, and now we get to some fun quirks of this build.
I tell a lie. We'll get to the interesting things in a second. First, let's establish your role in the Late Game.
First of all, you won't be contributing game-changing damage. Your job is to slow, snare, and finally laser your enemies every 24 seconds (which is the cooldown on a Level 3 Finales Funkeln with 40% Reduction). Throw your shield whenever you see allies taking damage; it's not a powerful shield, but it will prevent harassment from weakening your team early on in a fight. Make sure to snare melee characters before they join the fight, since a Yi ten feet away may as well be a tree for all the team fight cares.
The only thing you're doing is nuking lines of creeps whenever possible. Late Game, you have become the siege master for your team, nuking creep spawns and pushing from the midpoint of the lane. You don't have to push; you can let the creeps do it for you. Hang around, keep an eye on the map, and fire your laser every time you have an enemy champion (or creep spawn) in your sight. Your wallet will thank you, and so will your team.
Tanks will ignore your ult, but that squishy Ashe who built no defense is going to get hit pretty hard. Also, the tank might ignore the ult, but then he's gonna have to stick around to mop up your creep spawn. If the carry stays to do it, he/she'll get hit by the truck that is your ult.
Keep snaring enemies, slowing them, checking bushes with your E whenever possible, and never, never, never save your laser. Holding onto your laser to get kills will starve your carry, earn you gold you don't need (since you can eat whole creep spawns with 1-2 shots), and lead the other team to stay confident. When the team fight starts 4v5, your enemies will swarm your team fast. Suddenly, when you appear on screen, everything changes. Your ult cuts out a nice hunk of their health and your shield keeps your allies alive a little more than expected.
This does not feel good for the enemy team. It feels incredible for your team. You won't have done anything really impressive, but the light and sound takes over for reason for everyone on screen, leading to a chorus of expletives from the other team, whether you hurt them badly or not.
And, in 24 seconds, you can do it all over again.
Your job as Lux is threefold with this build:
1) To cast spells repeatedly, without too much regard for mana
2) To cast spells often, without much regard for cooldown
3) To make spells hurt, without too much regard for the enemy team's feelings.
-If you're sitting on your laser to pick off a kill, you're not playing to the strengths of this build. This build assumes that you only wait to fire the laser until all the enemy team is caught in the blast.
-If you're waiting to cast singularity until everyone's dedicated to the fight, then you're not playing to the strengths of this build. You should be casting that little pool of light every time that the enemy is going to step forward. Something about Singularity messes with player's minds; they see it, and recognize that they're only going to take damage if they step into it. This leads to hesitation, which can turn a battle quickly. Tossing singularity in front of a squishy charging at your team will make them think twice; if it doesn't, you get to slow them and detonate your little time bomb just before they get out of it.
-If you're waiting to cast your shield until everyone's nearly dead, then you're not playing to this build's strengths. You cast that shield whenever someone might take damage, in the hopes of mitigating it early, before it becomes lethal. Besides; at Level 5, with 40% CDR, that shield can be cast up to twice in the same battle. Why wouldn't you open with it?
-If you're sitting on your snare until you see the perfect spot to use it, then you've read this guide extremely carefully. Good job. Have a cookie. Your snare is the only spell where the utility completely outweighs the potential damage. Being able to snare Yi just as he pops Ghost and Highlander so your ranged carry can destroy him is awesome. So is snagging Tryndamere as he tries to run away from a fight, or LeBlanc before she can blink away. This is the only spell that should not be on cooldown when enemies are on the screen.
What I Don't Build . . . And Why . . .
Rod of Ages - The ability power is helpful, really, but the health isn't something that we need to worry about. If you're dying frequently enough that the health bonus from RoA is saving your life, then this build probably isn't for you. You should be more of the playstyle, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a Spartan Laser." The mana isn't actually helpful either, since it means we hover at a lower total before Chalice starts to give a full effect.
Mejai's Soulstealer - You're racking up assists, and your laser is starting to be a really scary thing to behold. I don't buy Mejai's 9 times out of 10 because a competent enemy team will start focusing you once they see those stacks build up. Your job as Lux is to be invisible until it's time for your fireworks display, with mass intimidation for the other team's squishies. Mejai's, while it gives a boost, isn't often worth the extra attention it draws.
Also, this isn't a 'pro build'; this is just a build that works for me more often than not. Perhaps a hard carry Lux needs Mejai's. but my Lux (whether inferior or not) focuses on items that provide solid benefits without the risk of losing stacks.
Glacial Shroud/Frozen Heart - It gives armor, right? And cooldown reduction? Isn't it the perfect thing for Lux to carry around?
Well, it's not the worst you could do . . . (Wit's End comes to mind) . . . but it does boost your mana pool, which is something we want to avoid. It seems counter-intuitive, but, if we want to really spam our spells, we need low cooldowns, a small mana pool, and massive regeneration. Especially with the effect from Chalice, the mana from Frozen Heart makes it less useful than Zhonya's + Thornmail (in a really extreme pinch).
So, in summary, let's explore what we're trying:
1) A Chalice of Harmony with Morello's, for quasi-unlimited mana.
2) Max CDR, in order to use our spells almost constantly.
3) Playing careful, so we're rarely the focus of the enemy.
4) Playing smart, so when the enemy focuses us, we can set them up for the carry to devour alive.
5) Planning our item build extremely carefully to be as effective as possible against the enemy team.
My Lux is not a carry Lux; she is not a Lux that only supports and picks off carries with her laser. The Lux I play (and that you will, if you follow this guide) is a Lux that is rarely out of action, and never seems to stop blasting your creep waves with her ult, or slowing and snaring you when you try to stop her.
My Lux never leaves, never sleeps, and never stops dealing damage.
My Lux never leaves you alone.
Because my Lux . . . is Lux Aeternum.
(The author apologized for the pun in the title, but refuses to apologize for the joke in the summary. He picked his username long before Lux was even announced, and insists on his right to make one terrible, over-the-top joke about it. We thank you, loyal reader, for your patience.)
So, here we are. You've scaled a mountain of text, bad jokes, and questionable build options.
All that I ask, before you flame the build too badly, is to try it out. Follow your Olaf or Yi around like an adoring puppy and help them win the game, then slip away with your 3/3/35 or 5/4/23. Don't trash-talk, don't try to solo the other team, and be the most intimidating soft carry the enemy has ever seen.
Also, feel free to comment. I can't promise that I'll update on time, but I will gradually get around to changing things if I find something that works better.