Quinn General Guide by Patersky
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.
Quinn can be played in any lane. As an AD carry, she's good in bot lane thanks her blind and her bonus damage from Harrier. She can work well with a more aggressive support like Thresh or Leona. After lane phase, she makes a great split pusher since she can scout and easily escape ganks with her ult.
In team fights, however, things get more confusing for Quinn. At 525 range, she has shorter than average range, and unlike Graves (another 525 range carry), she doesn't have an escape as reliable as his Quickdraw. And though her ult turns her into a melee fighter, she lacks a source of free defensive stats like his True Grit to help compensate for shorter range.
Because of her ult and he strong dueling capabilities, another option for her is to go mid lane or top lane. When playing her top or mid, you can build her like an AD carry if you're very very ahead, but most of the time you can build her more like a bruiser or assassin to survive more damage than an AD carry would normally be able to.
Note: This guide primarily focuses on Quinn as a bottom lane AD carry. After the buff to Vault, I would not say that AD carry is her most optimal role. There's a top/mid build included on the cheat sheet, but this guide doesn't really talk about the differences between AD carry and top/mid Quinn.
what runes, masteries and summoners should i use?
what items should i buy? why should i buy them?
what do quinn's skills do? what should i level?
how do i use her skills successfully? what do i do in team fights?
21 Offense is to pick up all of the offensive attack damage masteries that a damage dealer needs, including the crit masteries ( Lethality and Frenzy ). I specifically recommend taking Sorcery instead of Fury since her ult has a very long cooldown. You get additional ASPD with Heightened Senses anyway.
21/5/4 is a common mastery page right now for AD carries, taking Summoner's Resolve and Meditation in the utility tree. I don't recommend that for Quinn. It's beneficial to go 9 Defense. The extra HP and defenses you get help early game since Quinn has shorter range and can get harassed easily.
Since minions have very little armor to penetrate, you typically want to take armor pen on champions who can fight/harass early game and flat AD on a champion who wants to farm. For Quinn, I recommend taking AD marks (so you'll have some flat AD to last hit with if you end up getting outranged, easily harassed, and have to hug the turret to last hit) accompanied by life steal quints for some innate sustain. This allows you to sustain in lane, last hit, and farm up. You can also replace one mark with a crit rune (read more). Armor seals reduces damage from the enemy carry, support, minions and jungler. Flat magic resist glyphs reduces early game magic damage (e.g. Sona). Flat > scaling because flat is stronger at lv 1 when people try to poke you a lot and lv 6 when people get their ults.
Always take Flash and something else. Flash is required since Quinn has no reliable gap closer. For a second summoner spell, Barrier, Cleanse and Ignite all work. Barrier works versus burst damage (e.g. Kha'Zix) and can be used in clutch moments to absorb sudden damage from stuff like Requiem or Ace in the Hole. Cleanse removes Exhaust and is useful against status effects, but it can't remove suppression (e.g. Impale). Ignite compliments Quinn's early game harass damage with Harrier and is great versus healers. You could take Heal if you want, but it's not as optimal for an AD carry now. It's better on supports. Also, Barrier can be a bit more functional than Heal since the effect isn't reduced by Ignite or other healing debuffs. I recommend Barrier since she fights at closer range than most AD carries and will sometimes take more damage than an AD carry would normally be taking.
Start the game off with a Doran's Blade for more base HP (+110 with Veteran's Scars ) so you don't get easily driven out of lane by longer range harass. If you're versus annoying skill shots, you could start Boots of Speed and Health Potions instead. Early game, you'll want 1-2 Doran's Blades, Boots of Speed and Vampiric Scepter. Since Harrier scales on your bonus AD and you have lower range and need some survivability, your first big item will be The Bloodthirster. Also remember to upgrade your boots to Berserker's Greaves.
For an ASPD/crit item, pick up Statikk Shiv. Early game, Statikk Shiv's proc is fairly powerful for fighting enemy champions and for split pushing. Heightened Senses and Tag Team make you a powerful split pusher already. With Statikk Shiv, you'll be able to save Blinding Assault's cooldown, and you'll also get a little burst with the lightning proc. Quinn really lacks burst outside of Harrier's bonus damage. Sometime after lane phase, you will also want to grab Enchantment: Furor. The passive will be procced by Vault since it's a single target spell. But if you've already lost quite a few towers, Enchantment: Homeguard is better for base defense.
During mid game, grab Last Whisper for dealing with tanks during team fights and Phage for survival. Quinn benefits from the added HP since she has lower range. As it gets to late game, build an Infinity Edge then turn the Phage into Frozen Mallet after. Infinity Edge is built because of how much impact it has on your autoattack damage. You don't have much autoattack power in your kit aside from Harrier. Frozen Mallet is typically my survivability item because you can get both a more reliable slow and flat HP.
BotRK vs BT: For lifesteal items, I prefer The Bloodthirster since Harrier scales better with flat AD and The Bloodthirster gives you more. Blade of the Ruined King is still a strong item though. Since it has an easier build path than The Bloodthirster, you can buy it first instead if you're struggling in lane and constantly returning to town with only 400-500 gold.
BotRK vs Shiv/PD: Another option is to replace your traditional ASPD item with Blade of the Ruined King. In a 6 item build you would have it in addition to Infinity Edge and The Bloodthirster. This way, you still have crits for sustained damage by going Infinity Edge 2nd item and you still get the BotRK active, and later you'll get the The Bloodthirster AD.
If a game goes on for a very long time, you can start replacing items. Statikk Shiv can be replaced with Phantom Dancer. Statikk Shiv's burst helps with duels and makes Quinn a split pushing machine, but Phantom Dancer scales better once you build more AD items. If you're very fed, you could buy The Black Cleaver instead of Last Whisper and gain additional dueling strength with the flat HP. The CDR also helps since Tag Team has such a long cooldown. And since Quinn has mobility through Tag Team, you can replace Berserker's Greaves with Zephyr, but you need to buy the whole thing at once instead of in pieces.
I don't recommend Trinity Force as AD carry unless you have a spare 3800 gold. Quinn initially was released with all AD ratios. Riot made a point of adding an AP ratio to Blinding Assault then said you can now feel better about building an item like Trinity Force on Quinn! ...but that doesn't change that Quinn's cooldowns are too long for Trinity Force to be super effective on her.
An alternate way to play Quinn is to take her top or mid. She can excel in those lanes and in early/mid game as a duelist. Then in team fights, she functions like an AD caster and Tag Team helps cleanup fights. While playing her top/mid, you can get away with just building her like an AD carry. Here are some items that work on her in these other lanes in addition to regular AD carry items.
When playing as AD carry, Quinn's cooldowns are too long to rely on Trinity Force's proc as a consistent source of damage. It's much better when you're playing her top or mid and you aren't responsible for being a consistent source of damage during later team fights.
Blade of the Ruined King is worth mentioning for both bot Quinn and mid/top Quinn. The active is very strong in a 1v1. Youmuu's Ghostblade's active is another strong tool to have in a 1v1. And Hexdrinker is something to consider building vs an AP laner. You can later upgrade it to Maw of Malmortius, but that isn't incredibly important.
For boots, you have way more options than Berserker's Greaves. Mercury's Treads are standard boots for a character who wants to be slippery, Ninja Tabi work versus teams with 50 AD characters, but you can get away with Ionian Boots of Lucidity.
The item build gives you a fairly general idea of what items an AD carry needs and when they need them, but the order you purchase them in might vary game to game. Use your best judgment. If you come back to town with 1.5k gold on your first recall, you might as well buy a B. F. Sword. And then in some games, you might need survivability ASAP. If the enemy team has Warwick in example, it would be good to buy a Quicksilver Sash earlier you don't get suppressed and killed instantly at the start of a mid game team fight.
Why Statikk Shiv? When would you build Phantom Dancer?
Breaking down the survivability items
Harrier is Quinn's way of having some kind of added oomph to her autoattacks. Valor will try to prioritize whoever you hit last, then try to find the nearest low HP enemy champion, then a nearest low HP enemy minion. With Heightened Senses passive, you also gain 3 seconds of kiting and autoattack power for hitting a vulnerable target.
Can be used to push minions in lane since enemy champs often stand behind their minions, thus blocking the skill shot. The blind is excellent utility to have in team fights or in duels though. It will also apply The Black Cleaver stacks in an AoE. In bird form, it changes from being a skill shot to affecting the area around you.
This skill is comparable to Hawkshot, but the revealed area is around you instead of a targeted area. It helps you split push safely during mid game and check for enemies. The bird form passive is pretty powerful, but only if you're tanky enough to actually fight in melee range.
Vault is a unique dash skill. In human form, you can use it from up to 750 units away, but you'll land 525 units away from whatever you targeted (which is your autoattack range). It's useful for harassing, and now a bit better for escaping ganks since it will briefly immobilize who it hits and also fling them around. In bird form, you just dash to whatever you target and stay there, allowing for a quick combo with Blinding Assault and autoattacks.
This skill turns you into Valor and also changes your range to melee. Because your basic QWE skills don't change into "different" skills, they have the same cooldowns before/after transformation. Your ult is strong in lane, dueling, or running away while pushing, but it's less clear how to use it in team fights since you're building glass cannon. Check the team fight chapter for more.
This is the skill that replaces Tag Team as your R button once you've transformed into Valor. It does damage based on how much health your enemies are missing, so it's a pretty good way to clean up fights. (Especially in conjunction with Tag Team giving you a billion movespeed.) In lane, 1v1 or in small fights, you can afford to casually Vault up to someone and finish them off with Skystrike. In team fights you won't quite have this luxury.
On blue side, you can take Blinding Assault at level 1. The blind helps you do double golems if you're on blue side. Take Vault at level 2 so you can pick your Harrier targets, then finally take Heightened Senses at level 3 or 4 to scout for possible ganks. Usually 4 is fine since ideally your support should be warding anyway. If you aren't blue side or just not doing golems, you can take Vault at level 1 for getting in Harrier poke damage early on. In a more organized game, you might end up taking Heightened Senses at level 1 for invasions.
From there on, your first priority is to level Tag Team at 6/11/16 so it has a shorter cooldown. At skill level 1, it has over a 2 minute long cooldown. Your second priority is maxing Blinding Assault. It's good for the AoE wave clearing. Prioritize Vault 3rd - the buff made it more functional as an escape. Lastly, Heightened Senses.
You can mix it up though: E.g. maxing Blinding Assault then Heightened Senses means you are split pushing a lot whereas maxing Vault first is strong for harassing in lane. It isn't going to work out great if you're getting owned though.
For the first few levels, you will want to focus on last hitting. Most AD carries outrange Quinn, putting her at a disadvantage since she can't autoattack harass as easily. This also leaves her open to enemy autoattack harass. Having both Veteran's Scars and Doran's Blade for more flat HP helps you not get forced out of lane immediately.
In a situation where you and your support are more dominant, you typically want to harass by using Vault to mark the enemy champion. Since Vault puts you 525 units away, you'll be able to autoattack the enemy champion immediately after and trigger Harrier. If you have a clear line of sight and they start attacking back, remember to use Blinding Assault too so their attacks miss.
If there are no enemy minions in front of you, instead use an autoattack on an enemy champion, wait for Valor to mark the enemy (he'll try to prioritize whoever you hit last) and autoattack to trigger Harrier. By this time, the enemy champion will likely start attacking you back, so blind them with Blinding Assault, then continue with Vault to re-mark them and autoattack to set off Harrier again. Remember that Harrier can only be triggered once every 3 seconds.
In a situation where you and your support are less dominant, play more safe - as in, no Vaulting in if the enemy mid is missing. But at the same time, you also don't want to get freely harassed by the enemy laners. Enemy supports will often hide in the bushes and pop in and out of them to harass you or your support. You can definitely autoattack them back, and sometimes you'll have a clear line of sight to poke them with Blinding Assault since minions don't path into the bushes.
Once you get Tag Team, how you fight the enemy champions in lane changes. Basically, Vault will now let you dash to an enemy and stay there, and Blinding Assault will now affect the AoE around you. You want to Vault in and autoattack very quickly because of Heightened Senses bird form passive. Remember to use Blinding Assault when needed - if the support or jungler stuns an enemy champion, they aren't attacking you, so the blind is wasted on them. When the enemy gets low, you can hit R again to activate Skystrike which will do AoE damage around you. To get in range for Skystrike, you can rely on Vault or the movespeed from Tag Team.
During lane phase, keep in mind that you don't really have an escape spell until you hit 6 and get Tag Team. Vault is not reliable for escaping. It can be used when getting turret dived or similar to slow whoever is approaching. But as an actual "escape", your best bet is to Vault near a skinny wall so you bounce over the wall and hopefully to safety. Once you have Tag Team, you're very, very good at running away.
Quinn makes a good split pusher during mid game. Once you get Statikk Shiv, you can clear waves very easily with the lightning proc plus Blinding Assault's AoE damage. If you find yourself at the enemy's 2nd bottom turret, don't forget to use Heightened Senses to check unwarded areas for potential enemy ganks. If enemy champions are near you, you can pop Tag Team and run away if you're alone, or your support can help you escape if s/he is with you.
If the enemy AD carry is freezing the minion wave outside their turret, you can often pretend like you're going back to base or life steal a bit by resetting the double golems (blue team) and they'll start pushing up more. If you're pushing in and the the enemy laners have recalled, push the minion wave to their turret so that your minions die to their tower, thereby denying them the gold and exp.
Depending on the situation, you might just want to kill the enemy tower. If 4 enemies gank top lane and take the tower, you should definitely take the bottom tower to make it an even trade. If they keep going further down top lane without sending someone back, you should keep pushing too. Otherwise, they're going to get both your top outer and inner turrets without losing anything.
Once you take a turret, you can leave your lane and help your team push another lane (most likely mid for dragon control) and get more global gold. Remember to return to bottom lane and push the minions out though. Having minions pounding away at bottom can be detrimental when you're doing the baron dance.
When you get involved in a full 5v5 team fight, you need to mind your positioning. Don't ult in and Vault to someone and stick on them. Stay in human form. Your ult is better in lane than it is in team fights because you're only fighting two people. Fighting in melee form versus 5 enemy champions is dangerous since you've built mostly for damage and don't have much survivability outside of flat HP to help you survive burst and poke damage.
When your team gets initiated on and an enemy bruiser jumps on you, try to utilize your slows ( Vault, Phage/ Frozen Mallet) to reposition yourself, and use Blinding Assault to reduce their damage. This is especially important versus bruisers who rely on on-hit or ASPD effects such as Jax or Irelia. Ideally, you'll want to save your ult as a finisher for low HP targets, or as an escape if things go really badly, but there are other uses for it too. Also remember that you can Flash back into your team if the enemy team uses some displacement skill on you.
As the AD carry, you need to be tucked away safely behind your tanks and hit whatever you can, but also do so effectively when enemies don't pose threats to you. New players often have the idea that they're supposed to hit the enemy carries. If you catch them by themselves, then yes you should be killing them. But in a 5v5 team fight, this isn't true. You yourself have built damage. You're not super tanky. You need to work your way through the enemy front line, or pick someone off if they have poor positioning. As they say in Mother Russia, "kill the closest."
Like mentioned before, you should mostly stay in human form when you team fight. What then is Tag Team good for? Honestly unless you are incredibly fed or you have a numbers advantage, you can't exactly fight at melee range. (You can't even trigger Harrier while you're in bird form.) The simple use for it is to use it to escape a team fight that went terribly wrong.
But there are other uses for it before and after a team fight. In example, you can use your ult's mobility to join a team fight, or make like a 3v3 a 4v3. In a more successful team fight, you can scout out runners with Heightened Senses, Vault to them and Skystrike to finish them. However, you could also use Tag Team to avoid team fighting. In example, if you catch someone off guard, duel them and win, your team now have a numbers advantage and can push or take an objective.
While not a Quinn clip, this replay clip from Marn vs CLG at MLG Dallas shows an extreme example of AD carry positioning as well as a team working to protect their carry. At the beginning of the fight, each team jumps on the other team's carry. Elise eliminates Tristana while the rest of Tristana's team leaves her for dead and bum rushes Vayne. This strategy actually makes sense for Marn's team: All 5 champions on Marn have a gap closer. They really want to jump in and blow someone up in seconds flat.
By constantly repositioning and switching targets, Vayne survives the fight with help from her team. She doesn't stand in one place the whole time, she constantly positions herself using Tumble and animation canceling. She doesn't dive into the enemy team to focus Tristana either. Not only that, but Vayne's team reacts to her getting jumped on by 4 enemy champions and they support her. (Of course, teams in solo queue won't be so kind.)
Also notable is how Vayne prioritizes her targets. She not only targets the closest, but she also switches targets when they're no longer threatening to her. An example of this is how at 10 seconds, Shen misses taunt on Vayne and instead taunts Ryze. You can see that switches targets to Shen because the rings from her Silver Bolts appear under him. A big part of being effective is knowing what the other champion can (and will) do.