Lux Build Guide by The Whyte Fox
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Example Full Build
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.
"Light mage? I'm just an ordinary mage."
Welcome one and all to my Lux guide on Mobafire!
Cue Marisa Kirisame--I mean Luxanna " Lux" Crownguard, Demacia's resident prodigy magician, tactician, and cool girl on the block. ZE☆～! Sorry, I had to.
I've been playing quite a bit of Lux lately, and I just thought I'd lay down what I know and have learned from spamming her in all types of queues--normals, ranked, ARAMs (as much as luck allows)...
That said, let's get into the nuts and bolts of this great champion, shall we?
Overview + Pros / Cons
Lux is a long-ranged, skillshot-based Low-Orbit Ion Cannon--if she's in the right hands. When played wrong, her damage will feel lacking, her mobility terrible, and her overall usefulness next to zero. However, when played correctly, she turns into an untouchable death laser machine that synergises extremely well with almost any team composition in which she's placed. Let's have a look at the pros and cons of Demacia's finest magician.
- Long-range, long-lasting snare.
- All skills are AoE
- High utility + high damage
- A laser
- Low mobility, no escapes (besides Flash)
- Some of the highest starting cooldowns in the League.
- Low initial damage, especially if Illumination isn't fully utilised.
- High mana costs, especially early on.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Ability Power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
A long time ago, I used to think that runes didn't really matter and that one could just walk about completely runeless and be perfectly fine--and to an extent, that's true. However, more often than not, runes provide that tiny edge that you might need to win a fight, win your lane, CS properly, etc. So let's have a look at my choice of Lux runes here.
Flat MagPen Reds
Magic penetration is a must for every mage--it basically gives you more bang for your buck by making every bit of AP you buy that much more effective, and every bit of magic resistance your enemies buy that much less effective. However, if you feel like Void Staff has got all your bang-for-bucking needs covered and you have trouble farming, go ahead and take Greater Mark of Attack Damage.
Flat Armour Yellows
These are kind of the most up-in-the-air pick, to be completely honest. They're there to defend against enemy autoattacks and the ever-so-popular trend of AD mid laners. Should you decide to go top instead of mid and flash your Counter-Bruiser Bruiser Lux skills, these help a lot. Still, don't feel too bad for taking something else entirely. Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration might be a good choice if you feel like going armourless.
Flat AP Blues
I used to say "bot lane blues, top lane troubles". Maybe that's why I play so much mid these days. Anyway, I shouldn't have to explain the clear and present danger and advantage that flat AP blues give to a mage like Lux. Unless you want to be working with literally just your base damage up until you buy that first Amplifying Tome, I highly recommend taking these as well as the next thing on the list: flat AP quints.
Flat AP Quints
Same deal for these as with the flat AP blues: you'll be needing these for your early game, as well as that teensy bit of extra "oomph" late game. Remember, with the right masteries, the blues and quints combine to become 34 AP at level one--with no items. Late game, with Rabadon's Deathcap and the Archmage mastery, your 26 AP from runes becomes 35 AP, plus 30 AP from Mental Force and [mastery wiki=arcane mastery] (accounting for the 135% multiplier). At the end of the day, packing the right runes and masters (and buying your Deathcap) means 65 free AP. But I shouldn't be talking about masteries so much just yet. Onward!
It's in every single guide out there, but let's once again justify taking Flash. It's a gap closer, an escape move, a wall-hopper, a trap-hopper, an engage and disengage helper, a re-positioner, and an all-around spell that has become almost mandatory for almost every champion in the League. Needless to say, it's a good idea to take it with you.
Kill securer is Ignite's primary function, and heal-cutter is its secondary function. Since Dr. Mundo was popular not too long ago, and lifesteal is a really big thing with bruisers and AD carries, the heal cut is actually an important function, and one that you'll likely be using Ignite for more and more as the match progresses into late game. For kill securing, use it at the last possible second. For heal cutting so that killing someone is easier, use it immediately upon engaging. That said, a good Lux player usually won't be close enough to the thick of a teamfight to apply Ignite effectively on anyone who isn't the front liner.
Your one-stop shop for saving your life in a pinch. Seems to have replaced Heal in this respect, since people realised after Season 1 that Heal was very detrimental to your friendly neighbourhood doctor Soraka's efforts, and that Ignite was an easy and efficient answer to the challenge that Heal presented. Just be sure not to pop Barrier too late, as I've had many, many cases of my friends throwing a fit over their Barrier's supposed non-existent activation when they were mashing the button.
I used to run Clairvoyance and Exhaust on Janna all through Season 2. To be honest, I kind of miss running Clairvoyance, but the utility from the classic Flash- Ignite combo is just too good to pass up. That said, Clairvoyance has some good utility of its own. The new Scrying Orb has almost made Clairvoyance obsolete, and if you need some quick vision to aim your Final Spark, you're probably better off with the trinket.
This spell is really just an excuse to have bad mana control, but if you feel like you really need to take it over Ignite, take it. It certainly helps level the playing field against those filthy mana-less degenerates. I'm kidding, Katarina, I love you. Not as much as I love Lux, but that's a different story.
Skill SequenceLight Binding just because it has higher utility at level 1. It's a 2-second snare right out of the gate, which can easily mean first blood in the event of your jungle getting invaded or your team invading the enemy jungle. It also makes for a very safe Illumination proc at level 1, especially against melee champions.
In no circumstance should you max anything over your Lucent Singularity (except of course maxing your Final Spark). Yes, the mana cost will climb from putting points into it, but the damage and slow upgrade are well worth it. Don't spam it too much, and you're golden.
Abilities and Combos
Lux's total possible damage on a single target within one rotation of all her skills is 1570 (+205% AP)(+300% AD). This assumes that you have proc'd Illumination every single time it is available, all three times with your autoattacks.
More commonly, you'll have a damage output of 1190 (+205% AP).
Lux doesn't have too many combos at her disposal, unlike LeBlanc or Lee Sin who might as well be thrown into Street Fighter with all the combos they can pull off. That said, Lux does have a few staples that every Lux player should know.
Lane Harass Combo
(Detonate) => Autoattack
This will be your primary source of lane harass in the form of a combo, though to be safer you usually won't even get in the autoattack. Still, the window to ignite Illumination is pretty big, and people will wander back into your range if you're patient.
Lane Harass Combo #2
=> Autoattack => (Detonate) => Autoattack
A more damaging combo, this one eats up a lot of mana but is capable of eating up an equally large portion of your enemy's health bar. A high-risk, high-reward venture, since Lux is extremely vulnerable once her Light Binding is down.
Standard Kill Combo
=> (DO NOT DETONATE) => => => (Autoattack if necessary + Ignite if necessary)
This is Lux's bread and butter for killing people, and this is the 1190 (+205% AP) that I was talking about earlier. Do note that it's rather foolish in almost all situations to act like a pro and toss your Light Binding and Lucent Singularity one after the other, since you're always liable to miss your snare. If you do miss, then you've just wasted a perfectly good Lucent Singularity that could have been better aimed for different purposes. A 2-second snare is more than enough time to hit-confirm your Light Binding into the rest of the combo; don't get impatient. This combo will commonly be abbreviated as "QERE" or something similar, which I think would be pronounced something by way of "kheer".
Maximum Damage Combo
=> Autoattack => (detonate) => Autoattack => => Autoattack
Yes, in theory you could autoattack as many times as you want to or are able, but for the purposes of limiting the definition of "max damage" to damage granted from skills alone, this is it. Only use this when you have plenty of time and are in no danger of retaliation. This is your 1v1 dueling combo/finisher if nobody is coming to break up the party. Feel free to toss out a Prismatic Barrier in case your opponent also has some ranged damages that they can throw at you from inside your Light Binding.
Items and Build Order
As a mage, you're going to want these on your feet. Without them, you'll be slow as a puddle of molasses dripping off a table, and you'll be wanting a bit of magic penetration as well. A staple, standard item on most AP casters. I usually get the Homeguard enchantment on them, but Alacrity is also a solid choice, and possibly even Distortion if you really like your Flash.
Commonly hailed as a risky item to buy, Mejai's Soulstealer is actually a very good idea on Lux. I was skeptical of its practicality at first, since it has roughly the same reputation as its sister item Sword of the Occult. However, after allowing Mejai's Soulstealer a testing period, I quickly found that with the proper positioning on Lux, losing stacks wasn't ever really a problem. In addition to the relative safety of the item, it also allows you to get "fed" off of assists alone, since the AP granted by a fully-stacked Mejai's Soulstealer is higher than any item in the game (except for Archangel's Staff if you have over 4000 mana). I was slowly convinced by the item, and it went from being a "getting this would be a good idea" item to a staple build item whenever I played Lux.
Buy this as early as is plausible so that your kills and assists won't go to waste.
*Do note that I'm aware of the wasted %15 CDR at max stacks since this build already features a guaranteed 40% CDR. Keep in mind that the 15% CDR from Mejai's Soulstealer is not a guaranteed thing, so relying on it to refresh your spells is not a good idea.
Athene's Unholy Grail
Ever since this item came out, I've gotten it on almost all the champions I play that use mana and benefit from AP. This item is essentially what separates the "why are my cooldowns so long and why do I never have mana" Lux from the "spam all my spells and occasionally ask for blue buff" Lux. Without a doubt, this is a core item for this build and this champion.
Before I realised the power of Mejai's Soulstealer and started rushing that, I used to rush an Athene's Unholy Grail- Morellonomicon combo. It was a quick and dirty way of getting maximum cooldown reduction, and it also gave good mana regen to boot. The AP gain wasn't too bad, either, especially given how early those two can be grabbed due to Morellonomicon's relatively low price. The Grievous Wounds effect is also pretty good for people like Sion or Warwick who have a nasty habit of leaving a fight with more health than they went in with.
Usually, this is rushed on AP casters, and for good reason. At a whopping 120 AP and its 130% AP-multiplier passive, Rabadon's Deathcap is too good to pass up for any mage. I've debated a lot in the past, both with myself and others, about the value of rushing a good ol' Deathcap on Lux as opposed to the aforementioned max-CDR item combo, and I've come to the conclusion that netting maximum CDR and solid mana regen on Lux is much more valuable than rushing a large amount of AP without good CDR or mana regen. That said, after you get your CDR and mana regen, get this item as soon as you can.
Like Rabadon's Deathcap, Void Staff has long been a staple of AP casters' builds. The amount of AP it gives is pretty good, but what really makes it shine is its passive: ignoring 35% of your targets' magic resistance. Like magic penetration, this passive essentially gives you more bang for your buck, and in many cases is actually more beneficial to your damage than just building more AP.
You shouldn't be needing to get this, since you shouldn't be in the thick of the fight unlike Kennen or Fiddlesticks. However, if you feel like you need more AP or if you're somehow getting caught out more often than you'd like, then drop Morellonomicon and grab this instead. Assuming you can keep max stacks on your Mejai's Soulstealer, the 15% CDR should be enough to hold you over the loss of Morellonomicon's guaranteed 20%.
This can be a rather nasty item on Lux, since it provides AP and magic penetration, as well as that burning DoT passive. It also synergises with the movement impairment abilities that Lux possesses. Still, it's not a very great item for Lux at the end of the day. Better left in the hands of Teemo for maximum shrooming power.
O, dear Lich Bane, how thou hast fallen. The twin swords for mages are definitely not what they used to be. I would have whole-heartedly recommended this item on Lux back when the AP ratio was 1:1, and it still granted magic resistance. Alas, the AP ratio has been reduced to 0.5:1, making the item barely worth getting. It will definitely add more punch to your Illumination procs, but from an overall point of view, you're better off building the core items than this.
*Note: I wonder why Riot didn't buff Lux to compensate for the most recent Lich Bane nerf. Twisted Fate, Fizz, and Diana all got buffs. Now that I think about it, Nidalee didn't get any love, either.
Usually, following a build doesn't just mean buying the complete items one after the other. Parts and child items are bought in such a manner that allows maximum gold efficiency as the game progresses, such that you will be able to make the most use of your CS and kill bounties in order to CS and kill even more effectively. Let's not get into a theory crafting session about the deeper mechanics of the game and let's instead take a look at my standard build order on Lux.
Double Faerie Charm Start
This is so that you can get your mitts on that vital Chalice of Harmony as quickly as possible while providing you with a solid base for early game sustain. Take care not to take too much damage, and your Health Potions should last you a good while. If you're very confident in yourself and your intentions to be on the offensive, take two Mana Potions and one Health Potion instead. I usually time my first back with Level 6. Unless I have a good chance of killing the enemy laner, once I hit 6 and get Final Spark, I simply laser the next full minion wave to push my lane, then I return to base.
If you can't buy anything else on your first back, buy a Chalice of Harmony at the very least. This is more important than Boots of Speed. The mana regen and passive effect are absolutely vital to surviving in lane with Lux's relatively high mana costs. If you're against an AP caster, the magic resistance is a plus. After my Chalice and Boots, I usually only buy an Amplifying Tome because that's all I have money for, but leaving my purchase at only the book also allows me flexibility in what I want to build next. I say that, but 99% of the time I end up building it into an early Mejai's Soulstealer anyway.
Building the Core
This is usually the order in which I finish my core items. If you're not really feeling the whole Mejai's thing, then remove that from the sequence; the rest of the order is still the same. Finishing Athene's Unholy Grail is more important than finishing your boots. You're not particularly mobile to begin with as Lux, so adding boots isn't going to change very much.
Build Whatever You Want Now
Exactly what it says on the tin.
If you want a safer build and build order, then replace the early Amplifying Tome with a Needlessly Large Rod, which you'll build into Rabadon's Deathcap after you finish your Athene's Unholy Grail, Sorcerer's Shoes, and Morellonomicon. After finishing your hat, build a Zhonya's Hourglass or even Deathfire Grasp in place of the Mejai's Soulstealer.
Farming and Laning
As mid Lux, you will frequently be thoroughly outclassed by your opponents in terms of either damage or mobility, or both. However, you will almost always have superior range and safety should you choose to play safely. This might seem like a weakness at first, but it's in her mediocrity that Lux finds her biggest strength: she doesn't outright beat many matchups, but she isn't very easily beaten by many matchups either.
The only people you really need to watch out for are those with high mobility and high burst, such as LeBlanc, Zed, and Akali. However, if you play your cards right and aim your Light Binding properly every time it's needed, you won't find yourself in too many sticky situations.
That said, playing safely in lane usually means losing out on farm. While that's pretty much unavoidable, there are tools and tricks you can employ so that it's not as large of a disadvantage as it usually is. Lux's extraordinary range allows her to farm using her Lucent Singularity to take out two or three (possibly more) low-health creeps at once from a very comfortable distance. If the enemy minions and your own minions overlap, then Lucent Singularity can be used to farm and harass at the same time. However, if you find yourself in control of the lane and farming easily with your autoattacks, then refrain as much as possible from using your skills, as the costs will quickly deplete your mana bar if you're careless.
Finally, until your Final Spark is strong enough to wipe an entire wave by itself, an easy way to net every minion in a wave is to throw a Lucent Singularity on top of the melee and siege minions right before you use Final Spark. If you're willing to farm with Final Spark, though, you give up a large portion of your lane presence and kill pressure.
Teamwork: Roaming and Teamfighting
Because of Luxs inherent power to aggressively push a lane using the AoE from her Lucent Singularity and the extra damage on minions from Illumination, she can be considered a candidate of the classic push lane -> roam/gank tactic. With Lux, you'll be doing two types of roaming: gank and kill secure.
The ganking roaming is pretty standard. Leave your lane, run to your teammate's lane, show up out of nowhere, throw your CC, deal some damage, get kills and assists, maybe push lane or tower afterwards.
The kill secure roaming is a bit unique to Lux, which we can thank her Final Spark for. This type of roaming occurs much more often than you think when you're playing Lux. It requires good map awareness, as the cue to roam up or down comes from your allies getting into a fight that they either cannot win or cannot completely finish themselves. If you're perceptive enough and have the opportunity to run to the associated lane, you may make it in time to land a well-aimed Final Spark on a fleeing low-health enemy who thought that they could nurse their wounds under tower, or perhaps return to base. Of course, this type of roaming becomes significantly harder to pull off if you've recently used your Final Spark to farm a minion wave. Use your laser wisely.
Lux excels in teamfights due to her all-AoE nature. Every single one of her abilities, including her Prismatic Barrier is AoE. With maximum CDR and at max rank, you'll be able to throw out your Q, W, and E every six or seven seconds and your R every 30. Let's break down Lux's role before, during, and after your typical teamfight. Afterwards, I'll cover specific scenarios.
Let's assume that there's going to be your typical 5v5 teamfight in broad daylight in the middle of a lane. For convenience, let's say it's mid lane and both teams are vying for pressure on the enemy team's tower.
Before the fight begins, you're still pretty much in the green as a Lux player. You should be positioned somewhere between the back line and your front line so that you can stay safe but maximise your already long range. Your primary focus before a teamfight will be to catch somebody (preferably an enemy carry) with your Light Binding, so throw those out a lot more often than your Lucent Singularity.
Your secondary objective is to prevent the enemy's front line from engaging on your team before you want them to. Once again, this achieved by way of Light Binding. Enemy Vi sauntering towards your team looking for the Assault and Battery? Throw a Light Binding before she can get in range.
Your third and final objective before a teamfight begins is to poke at the enemy team using both your Light Binding and Lucent Singularity.
Once you catch somebody, you have two options.
First, if you determine your catch to be of sufficient value, you can go ahead and lay down your QERE burst combo to attempt to take them down. Do this only if the victim of your Light Binding is an enemy high-value carry.
Second, you can allow your front line to initiate and engage the enemy team. The enemy will react one of four basic ways:
- Retreat and spread out.
- Retreat in a group.
- Engage in a group.
- Engage and spread out.
The most favourable reaction from your standpoint as a Lux player is number 2: retreat in a group. This allows you to set up an easy Final Spark for maximum damage. Please note that besides bursting a high-value target immediately (before the fight begins), your highest priority with your ultimate is to hit as many people as possible with it. Here is how I think a Lux player should react to the four enemy reactions listed above. Do note that those four actions can also come about without an engagement from your team; in that case, your own reactions are the same.
As a final note regarding Lux's role during teamfights, don't forget to throw your Prismatic Barrier--as I've said before, it's a deceptively large shield, and it may very well turn the tide of the fight.
If you've fired your Final Spark early enough in the teamfight, it might just be off cooldown after the teamfight, or about to come off cooldown. You can use it to either shove a minion wave down or snipe fleeing enemies at low health. Those two things are essentially what Lux's role diminishes to once a teamfight is over: pushing a lane or sniping stragglers. With your Light Binding off cooldown, you can also work as force protection for your AD carries if any of the enemy's assassins managed to evade the teamfight and are still at large.
Summary (aka TLDR)
- Hit as many people as you can, because AoE everywhere
- Stay very far back if you can help it
- Play very safely because you're squishy
- Don't throw Light Binding unless you really need to
- Don't spam without Athene's Unholy Grail
Thanks for reading the whole thing! If you did, that is.
Cheers, and happy lasering.