Lux Build Guide by
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Lux is generally thought of as a supporting AP mage, but I've been carrying very well with her lately. She has high chain damage potential and her ultimate secures kills extremely well with it's long range, high damage, and relatively low cool down.
If you learn Lux well, you can play her in any capacity as a mage. Support, hybrid support/ap, or high ap. I prefer high ap myself and that's what I usually go for. Lux's AP can top out at somewhere around 700 at most (I know it can reach upwards of 900 if built for max AP but the sacrifices and risks are too high, Lux is far too easy to kill without some kind of protection) but will generally only go to about 550 at most due to armor. If abandoning defense and going fully ap, not something I recommend but it is an option, 600+ is easily obtainable and will give very high damage ouputs for Lux.
She has good escape and crowd control abilities. The primary focus of Lux is first to farm and to harass until her skills have begun to reach higher levels and higher damage outputs. Harass enemies frequently and keep a distance. Force your enemies to recall while you push. If you can make a kill, do it. But Lux needs her abilities to do that and until she gets her ultimate, don't expect to make one. Not saying it's impossible, just don't expect it to happen. Once she does have her ultimate, kills can begin to pour in. But you need to really go for those kills if you want them. If bot, it could be the difference between a 2-3-25 game and a 15-3-18 game for you. You're almost guaranteed high assists as Lux does a lot of AoE damage but kills must be won.
In general, begin with a Doran's Ring, but only ever buy one in a match. Doran's Ring has very good benefits at low levels and can be bought instantly, but after a few levels it is severely under powered and the gold can be better served else where. Sell it only once you run out of space or if you are trying to purchase an item past level 9 and are just a couple hundred gold short to affording it.
The next thing you build should always be Sorcerer's Shoes. I know that Ionian Boots are slightly cheaper and offer cooldown reduction which is helpful for Lux as her abilities have rather long cooldown for a mage, but the added burst in damage from the Magic Pen of the boots will significantly increase damage early game and make for easy kills. We're building an AP champ here, we need her to be able to do a lot of damage to enemy champions and make kills.
The Third item you should get is always a Rod of Ages. I would suggest it second but it is far more expensive than the shoes and the benefit of the shoes comes more quickly. Rod of Ages must be obtained early to maximize it's effect in the match overall. It will significantly boost health, mana, and AP. This is also the only mana item Lux will need. Lux will struggle for mana early game, but late game she will either rarely run out of mana or will need to recall by the time she does run out. Choose to get the Catalyst stone if you need the health and mana boost immediately or get the Blasting Wand if you're managing to make kills or are nearly making the kill but need that extra little boost in AP to finish it.
Fourth, the Deathcap. We've already gotten health, mana, and movement. Rod of Ages does provide AP but it doesn't give enough by itself. Deathcap is a necessary item for any high AP mage, but it must be obtained as soon as possible after the Rod of Ages is complete. Once this is finished, Lux's AP will begin to sky rocket.
Fifth and sixth must be built on need: what is happening in the match, how do I counter it, and what will best help me to do that?
I usually end up take the Lich Bane. It offers a bit of magic resist plus its ability from the Shen of bonus attack power after a spell equal to ability power can make the difference in whether a kill is made or if the enemy escapes.
Other items to consider. If you need armor and the enemy team deals a high amount of basic attack, get a Thornmail. It is one of the cheapest armors with one of the highest armor amounts. Thornmail does generally work better with high health champions, but it can get the job done with anyone really. If you need armor and they deal a lot of damage from skills, take a Frozen Heart. It gives the cooldown reduction we didn't get from buying the Ionian Boots plus 99 armor and slows enemy attacks. The mana boost is nice too but not completely necessary.
If you are going against a high AP team, while the Lich Bane does give some magic resist, it is rather weak for defensive purposes. I would have suggested to take an Abyssal Scepter but the aura's range has been severely reduced and is no longer a very viable option unless you're diving into fights which you should never ever do as Lux. Instead, consider a Force of Nature. I will try to avoid this item at all costs but in the event I'm going up against 4 primarily magic dealing enemies, I will use it. Like I said, I don't like getting it, but it has the highest magic resist of any item that makes any sense for Lux to get.
The final defensive item I'll suggest is Zhonya's Hourglass. I don't like to get this myself because I never remember to use it, but if you do, I absolutely recommend you get it. It has decent armor and very high AP boost plus invulnerability for 2 seconds (which because you're expected to be squishy may turn the tide of a team fight if the enemies are focusing on you. You can give your team an extra couple seconds to do as much damage as possible and it may save you after those two seconds as well due to your team making the kill or enemies retreating)
If you don't want defense and you want to go for as high AP as you can, get Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Void Staff, or Will of the Ancients. The Crystal Scepter's health boost can give added survivability plus the slow it offers can help you catch up to someone or escape. It does not however work tremendously well with Lux's skill set which is why I've stopped using it. Light Binding will snare for longer than the slow lasts, barrier has no slow on enemies, Lucent Singularity already applies a slow while it is active so it's not that spectacular to have an extra couple of seconds added to that slowing, and to use Lux's ultimate trying to slow down an opponent is foolish.
Void staff is a necessity if you're dealing with high magic resist enemies. It is very difficult to do any significant damage on a champion with high health and magic resist, Lux becomes relatively useless against those champions except to hold them while the rest of the team attempts to kill them. The magic pen from the glyphs + the shoes will more than be enough if the enemy team does not get magic resist items so unless three or more enemies have magic resist in their build, don't bother with the Void Staff.
Will of the Ancients is the last item I will suggest. I do not like this item as Lux cannot take advantage of the Spell Vamp quite like other champions. She has excellent initiation (which she will generally be at full health for) but once she begins loosing high amounts of health, Lux must fall back and cannot use her abilities well enough to gain a sufficient amount of health without risking death. So if you're the only magic damage champ on the team, do not take Will of the Ancients.
Deathfire Grasp is the only other item I will consider but Kage's Lucky pick must be obtained relatively early on to gain enough gold to make it worth the purchase. It is a very good item if you do not need added survivability from an armor item.
Final Recommended Build:
1. Sorcerer's Shoes
2. Rod of Ages
3. Rabadon's Deathcap
4. Lich Bane
5. Zhonya's Hourglass, Frozen Heart, or Thornmail
6. Void Staff, Will of the Ancients, or Deathfire Grasp
Lux must be able to harass and farm early game. She is a very calculated champion and her skills must be used with great accuracy and precision.
If you are solo mid, always take Lucent Singularity and max it first. It deals a high amount of AoE damage so maxing it as quickly as possible rather than splitting upgrades with Light Binding or Prismatic Barrier will actually make killing a possibility early game. Lux really can't do enough damage without it to finish the job alone. Coupled with her passive and the number of enemies that can be affected by it, Lux can deal significant damage making both minion and champion kills very quickly and effectively using this skill
Take a point in Light Binding at level 2 but put as few points into it as possible until after Lucent Singularity has been maxed. Light Binding should be maxed second.
Take a point in Prismatic Barrier at level 3 or 4 as needed but do not touch it again until level 13 or 14 when your other abilities have been maxed. You'll be harassing from a distance and then rushing in to do burst damage for a kill most of the time. This skill can be helpful to escape against an enemy with a long reach or if you're getting ganked, but it is simply not very powerful and chances are, you wont have many or any allies to protect with it if you're mid until you're at about level 13 anyway.
Finales Funkeln, like nearly any ultimate, you should max as soon as you can, at levels 6, 11, and 16. Save it for when enemies are low on health and you need to make a long shot kill. Be careful not to kill steal with this on fights you can't manage to reach in time, people will get upset. Be very careful with your aim, try to anticipate either where your enemy is going to be when it goes off and aim there, it does take a moment to go off and if the enemy is running perpendicularly or is swerving, you need to anticipate how long it will take to fire the attack and which direction they'll go in the moment that it does go off.
The only time you should use Finales Funkeln when you don't expect a kill is when you must recall or you believe you're about to die. The recovery time is such that you'll generally have it back up and ready to go by the time you get back into the action or very soon afterward. It's cooldown should go down to about 38 seconds without much in cool down reduction, about 30 seconds with cooldown reduction.
My two go to spells are always Clarity and Flash.
Lux already has good escape potential with Light Binding holding an enemy, Prismatic Barrier providing protection, and Lucent Singularity giving a slow, but Lux is still very squishy and the cooldowns on her spells are too long to get a second chance at them if they miss their mark. Flash is a spell I see often on Lux and it can give that extra boost to escape behind your turret when you need it.
Clarity is more controversial but with my playing style, it is a necessity. Lux uses a lot of mana early, a lot. Without potions, she'll run out of mana after maybe 4 casts of Lucent Singularity in the early game. Once she's out of mana, Lux is essentially useless. Conserving spells and not being aggressive can give your opponent more openings and will severely cut into your minion kills thus reducing your gold and significantly slowing your build. Clarity allows you to replenish mana which may give you enough of an edge to make the kill within the first 5 minutes.
I see most Lux players taking ignite and either flash or more likely exhaust. Unless the player truly knows how to use ignite effectively to do enough damage to finish off an opponent, it is a waste of time. You'll need to get the Offensive Mastery for ignite and exhaust as well to use them.
Exhaust is a waste for any mid player in my opinion. It can help to catch an enemy as they are generally ranged in mid, but to catch up takes time and with so many people using flash, it isn't worth it. Plus, exhaust is best served against a melee character. Exhaust offer 70% reduction against Physical attacks vs only 35% for magic. To me, it's a no brainier.
So take a combination of Clarity, Flash, or Ignite depending on your own play style and preference.
Stay out of the center of team fights. Lux is very squishy and will almost always die first in the middle of a fight. Help by holding enemies in the initial strike, sending in Lucent Singularity to tack on extra damage and clear minions that may be weakening allies, use your shield carefully and protect as many people as you can, and use Finales Funkeln on anyone who tries to escape rather than give chase and isolate yourself or letting the team split up.
If your abilities are on cooldown, don't be afraid to run. It may look cowardly, but Lux has absolutely nothing without her spells. Survive long enough for them to come back and then shoot them off again.
Depending on your timing, you can either make 5 assists or you can make 3-5 kills in a team fight. Be careful who you target, mind your damage output vs target health, remember your passive ability and to basic attack those affected by it.