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Ekko Build Guide by spark2

Middle [9.23] Sekkonds (Mid AP Ekko)

By spark2 | Updated on December 5, 2019
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Runes:

Inspiration
Prototype: Omnistone
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

Domination
Sudden Impact
Ravenous Hunter
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

1 2
Kill Lane
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #13 in
Jungle Role
Win 50%
Get More Stats

Ability Order Literally Always

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Introduction

Hello, I'm spark2! I've been playing LoL for way too long (since 2011), although ranked has never really been my thing. I've got a ton of games on Ekko, and he's easily my favorite champ just in terms of sheer fun.

Ekko is an AP assassin with a super high learning curve but super high potential. He'll take practice to get used to, but this guide will give you a head start towards mastering him. Once you're used to him, you can delete squishies, win any duel and CC half of a team, all in the same teamfight. If you play him right, a teamfight should only last Sekkonds.
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Pros / Cons

Pros:
+ Extremely mobile
+ Great trading in lane
+ Tons of CC
+ Can fill multiple roles in teamfights
+ Okay even when behind
+ Ult makes him forgiving
+ Awesome outplays once you get good!
+ Just the greatest theme song
+ Also the greatest remix to that theme song
Cons:
- Super squishy
- Vulnerable to CC
- Melee range makes him vulnerable to harass
- Has some nightmarish matchups
- All of his skills have a big learning curve
- Not as useful when behind as other champs
- Takes a while to learn when to do what
- Keeps telling you not to blink
- Hairstyle is a bit much

Ekko is an incredibly fun champion to pick up, but it takes practice to actually get good with him. Everything about him rewards planning and foresight, and it takes time to get to the point where you can automatically keep track of your Chronobreak clone, predict where your opponent is going to be in three seconds for your Parallel Convergence, and play the game like a normal person. However, if you put in the work, Ekko is able to outplay just about anyone and anything in the game, and having a good game with Ekko feels better than almost any other champion. He's tough to learn, but incredibly rewarding once you do.

So, with all this in mind, why play Ekko? This is an important thing to think about every game, even when you're not playing Ekko: why are you playing what you're playing? If the answer is "I just want to have fun" or "I just like this champ", that's fine, as long as you know the champion's strengths. Conveniently enough, this is a very easy question to answer on Ekko, since the best answer is just why not? Ekko is what's known as a flex pick, which means that he's a jack of all trades--he can do almost anything any other mid laner can do, all mashed together in one package. Burst? Check. CC? Check. Assassin-level mobility? Check. Waveclear? Check. However, because he's such a generalist, there's always another champion that could be better at whatever job you need to get done. AOE CC? Annie is way more reliable. Assassination? Zed is way safer and easier. Waveclear? Anivia eats super minions for breakfast. Burst? Syndra or Veigar can do it from range and without the possibility of missing.

Long story short, Ekko can fill a bunch of jobs, but he's not the best at any of them. I'll cover this in more detail later, but knowing all the myriad things you can do with Ekko is important to fully mastering him, since you never have just one job to do.

TL;DR: Ekko is a flex pick, so you can pick him almost any time, almost any place!

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Runes

First off, take double Force Shards (in both Offense and Flex, which will give you 18 starting AP) and then choose your Defensive Shard based on your matchup (MR or Armor, never go HP). Alright. Let's get into the fun stuff.

Prototype: Omnistone is going to have the whole next section dedicated to it, so check that out.

Magical Footwear gives you free boots and some extra move speed when you get them. This is all awesome. Swap out for Stopwatch against heavy skillshot lanes like Vel'koz or Xerath since you'll want to buy early boots to dodge their stuff.


Biscuit Delivery helps your early game sustain and gives you early mana, which is extremely useful since your healing from Ravenous Hunter is very weak early game.


Cosmic Insight is extra CDR and also reduces the cooldown of Zhonya's if you have it, which is all awesome.

Sudden Impact you take because every single one of your combos involves Phase Dive. The MR penetration that this gives is tough to get from other sources, and goes a long way towards making you deadlier.

Ravenous Hunter gives you great sustain mid-to-late game, and a little bit early game. Ekko has no other means of sustain other than Chronobreak which is...not the best use of your ultimate. The healing this gives makes you a much better duelist and can snowball you into an absolute monster.
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Prototype: Omnistone

Alright. So with Preseason comes a new keystone rune, and it's a wacky one. Prototype: Omnistone essentially gives you random runes and shuffles every time you use one. This sounds awful, since surely you're better off just taking something like Electrocute that's always useful, right?

Well here's the thing about Omnistone. When you use Electrocute, you have to wait 25 seconds to use it again. During that time, it's doing literally nothing for you. With Omnistone, if you use Electrocute, you get a new rune after 7-3 seconds. That's significantly less downtime on your runes, and as long as there aren't "dead" runes that you have a really hard time using, you'll get a lot more power out of your keystone.

Ekko is one of the champions that can easily apply and use all keystones, so let's go through each of them and explain how to use them on Ekko! I'll sort them according to how easy it is to use and apply them as Ekko.

Easy

Electrocute is the standard rune to take on Ekko, due to how your combo works. Throw a Timewinder, Phase Dive in and hit them one more time to trigger your passive and Electrocute for a burst of damage. If you roll this one, all you need to do is pull off a combo on your opponent.


Arcane Comet is even easier to apply--just hit them with a Q and it'll do a bit of extra damage. Simple, but valuable.



Summon Aery is, for Ekko at least, like an Arcane Comet that can't miss and just does a bit less damage. Just hit them with something and you'll do extra damage!



Phase Rush is identical to Electrocute except instead of doing extra damage, it gives you extra movement speed and slow resist. Combined with your passive movement speed, no one can run away from you!


Hail of Blades gives you bonus attack speed when you basic attack someone or, in Ekko's case, when you hit someone with Phase Dive. This helps to apply your passive, and if they're at low health can apply a bunch of damage from your Parallel Convergence's passive.


Fleet Footwork charges as you move, and when you basic attack/ Phase Dive at full stacks it gives you a little heal and some extra movement speed. Helps you to keep up with someone to pull off your combo and is a tiny bit of sustain, always nice to have.


Grasp of the Undying is another rune that gives a bit of sustain, although you need to be in a slightly more sustained fight than most runes. Hit some minions, and after 4 seconds hit a champion for a little heal, extra damage and a permanent increase to your maximum health.


Glacial Augment slows people when you basic attack, which helps them to stick around for your combo. Almost feels like playing original Ekko when his passive slowed people. Ah, good times...

Medium


Predator is very simple to use, but a bit trickier to set up. You'll only start rolling this once you have boots, so this isn't one to worry about in the early phase of laning. However, towards mid-game when you roll this, it's an opportunity to hard-shove the lane and then roam with the massive movespeed and damage that predator gives you. This is one of the main appeals of taking Omnistone, usually Predator has a huge cooldown but you'll get a new keystone a few seconds after you trigger it!

Conqueror is unique in that, from what I can tell, it won't reset after you roll it. You've just got it for 40 seconds, during which you want to look for extended trades. If you can land your W, you should have time to fully stack it, which will give you extra AP and at full stacks will heal you for a fraction of the damage you do. It doesn't really fit with Ekko's usual skirmishing style, but if you can fully stack it you can outduel almost any mid laner.

Lethal Tempo is like Hail of Blades, except it triggers after a delay. However, it triggers whenever you damage an enemy champion, rather than only on basic attacks. So what you want to do is throw a Q, wait for a second till it's almost ready to come back to you, and THEN jump in with E. At that point, Lethal Tempo will be ready to trigger, and you'll get a ton of free attack speed to whack the opposing laner. This is particularly deadly if they're at low health, since attack speed will help you trigger your W passive even more! And in the worst case scenario, this is very easy to trigger and just get rid of if you don't want to jump in on your opponent--hit them with Q, let LT trigger and wait for Omnistone to shuffle again.

Press the Attack triggers when you hit the opponent with three basic attacks. Normally we want to hit our lane opponents twice as part of our combo (once with E, once to trigger our passive), but with PTA we just need to stick around for a bit longer to hit them one more time for the extra damage. PTA works best with champions with more sustained damage, since it also amplifies damage after it triggers, but given Ekko's trading pattern it's best to just get the extra damage and get out. If you can stun them and hit them more after triggering PTA even better, but this doesn't synergize super well with Ekko's style.

Dark Harvest is frequently taken on Ekko, and I only put it in "Medium" because whether or not you can quickly trigger it is somewhat luck-based. If your lane opponent is already missing a decent amount of health, you can go in for a combo, trigger it and get to shuffling again. However, if they're at full health, it'll be harder to trigger this quickly. Something to note is that triggering DH actually increases the damage done by all of your damaging runes by 5 due to the souls you collect, which is super useful and a fun feature that is unique to Omnistone.

Hard

Aftershock is tricky. The only thing in your kit that can trigger it is your W stun, which is famously hard to pull off. If you can manage it, you get some extra resistances that you won't use in lane (since they're stunned) and then deal a little bit of extra damage if you're still next to them. This is much more useful in teamfights, where your stun is easier to land on someone and the extra resistances will actually be used to make your dives safer. This is the only rune in my experience that can consistently last for 40 seconds without being used, but its usefulness in teamfights is worth it. Also, it's worth noting that you won't roll this until level 3, since you can only roll it once you learn an ability that can trigger it. So you're guaranteed to get something more useful for your level 2 power spike!

Conclusion

I won't lie, Omnistone Ekko is harder to use than Electrocute or Dark Harvest Ekko. You need to be constantly thinking about how best to use your current rune, and it's not like Ekko is an easy champion to play in the first place. However, once you get used to it you get a ton more value out of your keystone, which can really help in the early game especially (when Ekko is typically weakest). I'm not saying that you have to use Omnistone if you don't like it, but you should definitely try it out!
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Summoner Spells


You've basically got three choices with Ekko.

Flash is mandatory, even on someone as mobile as Ekko. If you get caught out of position, a Phase Dive -> Flash will get you out of almost anything. Same goes for if you're chasing!

Ignite is the usual second spell, helping to secure kills early to mid game and helping to shut down problematic late-game healing (usually from the ADC).

If you're up against a tough lane, or one that you don't have any kill pressure in (like Galio for instance), Teleport can be a lifesaver. If you take too much harass, you can back, heal up and teleport back in without losing CS. Or, if you don't have kill pressure, you can roam to other lanes instantly with this. Late game, this helps stop split-pushes (or start them) and is just generally useful for map mobility. Also note that if you teleport somewhere and kill whatever you need to within 4 seconds, you can Chronobreak back to where you teleported from instantly!

Long story short, take Ignite if you think you can kill your lane opponent without getting killed yourself, and take Teleport if you can't (see: almost anything in the red on the matchups table). Always take Flash!
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Abilities

Z-Drive Resonance

Ekko's passive, Z-Drive Resonance is what allows him to have such great trades in lane. By hitting an enemy three times with any of his damaging spells or basic attacks, Ekko procs additional damage (that scales with 80% of your AP!). If they're a champion, Ekko also gets sped up. By like, a lot.

The easiest way to proc this in lane is using your Timewinder and Phase Dive. Throw your Timewinder, jump in with Phase Dive, and then while they're still slowed by Timewinder, whack them one more time to trigger Z-Drive Resonance. Then, use the haste from your passive to run away and dodge anything they throw at you on your way out. This is your basic combo in lane, so practice the hell out of landing it!

Lane trading with this passive in a nutshell.

This passive is also why Ekko's waveclear can be so great. Once you hit around 30% CDR, your Timewinder can proc all three stacks of this all by itself, due to its delayed nature. By simply tossing two Timewinders through a minion wave, Ekko can clear every minion without a single autoattack if you have a decent amount of AP, although pinpointing a precise time/level/AP amount is tricky because of how minions scale through the game. This is why CDR is so important against tough matchups--this passive, combined with your Q, allows you to farm from a distance, which is a huge deal on a melee champ like Ekko.




Timewinder

Ekko's Q is Timewinder. It's sort of similar to Sivir's Boomerang Blade, but it does a lot more stuff. Ekko throws out a damaging time grenade in a decently-ranged skillshot, which stops when it reaches max range or hits a champion. Once stopped, the grenade activates, expanding into a field that slows anyone trapped in it as it drifts forward for a second. Lastly, the grenade rewinds back to Ekko, snapping back towards his current position and dealing increased damage to anyone it hits on the way back. This skill has a ton of uses, and understanding them all is key to success with Ekko.

Firstly, and most obviously, it's a great source of damage in lane and the easiest way to apply your Z-Drive Resonance stacks. It applies stacks both on its way out and in, so the easiest way to farm or push is to just toss this through a minion wave and hit them each once before it returns. The return will deal damage and pop your passive, dealing a bunch more damage to the minions. It's also useful as a zoning tool--if you're winning lane or your opponent is low, and you've got spare mana, whack them with this any time they go up to farm to discourage them. Consistently doing this can scare them off the minion wave, making them lose CS!

In addition to trading and farming, the slow gives this skill great utility. It lets you chase people, run from people, and lets you set up ganks for your jungler. You can also set up yourself, by tossing this on someone who's trying to run out of your Parallel Convergence sphere--it can sometimes give you the extra second you need to get them in the stun! Come late game, you can even peel for your carries with this if a juggernaut like Darius or Nasus is coming for them by tossing a Timewinder at the enemy.

(The cat is their Renekton, the ball of paper is your Jinx, and you are the box)

In addition to its peeling abilities, it's also your only source of poke in teamfights. Before the rest of your team goes in, you can harass the enemy team with this, and sometimes catch someone out with the slow. If someone is out of position away from the rest of their team and accidentally gets two Z-Drive Resonance stacks on them because of this, don't be afraid to jump on them with Phase Dive. It'll do a ton of damage and the speed from your passive will get you back to safety quickly!



Parallel Convergence

Okay, buckle up. This is one of the most complicated, overloaded and flexible abilities in the game, so I apologize in advance for the wall of text.

Parallel Convergence is Ekko's weirdest move, and in my personal opinion his best. Passively, Ekko gains execute damage against weakened champions, dealing a percentage of their missing health once they drop below 30% of their total health. This passive is nice, particularly when jungling or trying to finish off a low-health enemy. However, what it's most useful for in lane is last-hitting, especially when you're as bad at it as I am. Think of it like a slightly weaker version of Zed's Contempt for the Weak, if you've played him!

The active portion is one of my personal favorite skills in the game. An alternate dimension clone of Ekko jumps back from his current position, then lines up a projectile. The clone then hits the projectile, which expands into a slowing sphere once it reaches its destination. In total, there is a three second delay between when you activate this ability and when the sphere actually appears, which feels like forever. Your opponent can see the clone, but don't know where the sphere will be until half a second before it is in place. The clone will face in whatever direction you were facing when you cast the ability, and will also hop back in the same direction. This means that if you can angle your cast so that the clone jumps back into a wall, a bush or around a corner, your opponent won't be able to see it! Use this to get super sneaky with this ability, although often the weird positioning this trick forces you into is enough of a clue for your opponent.

There are three possible outcomes with this skill, depending on how well you predict the future locations of both you and your opponent (well, four, but I'm assuming you don't just completely waste it):


SLOW



SHIELD



STUN



Couple other things to note about this spell:
  • The sphere lasts for around 1.5 seconds, so you don't have much time to get in there. However, it slows, which means that tossing a sphere way out ahead of you while chasing an enemy can give you the little extra boost to Phase Dive onto them before the duration runs out.
  • Parallel Convergence has a massive range, which is why movement speed is so useful on Ekko. The faster you are, the further away you can use your W and know that you can catch up with it.
  • If you see your opponent coming in to trade with you, throw this on yourself and let them come to you. Sometimes they'll back off when they see the clone, sometimes you can shield some of their damage, and sometimes they'll even get stuck in the shield with you and get stunned!
  • Another great time to use this is when your jungler is ganking. The sudden appearance of your jungler will scare your lane opponent into running for either their tower or the opposite side of the lane, which makes their movements easy to predict. Try and predict where your opponent will run, and toss this out a second or two before your jungler comes in, then catch them as they run!
  • Alternatively, if you're getting ganked, toss this where you think the enemy jungler will catch up with you. If you're right, you can often stun them as they close in for the kill (since most junglers are melee), giving you time to either make your escape or turn the fight around on them! This is especially dangerous for them if they try to tower dive--if it looks like they're going to come in on you, throw this right on yourself and let the tower do its thing.
  • The area that this spell targets is revealed for one second before it detonates and while the sphere is there (so two seconds total). This makes it useful to scout and check bushes instead of facechecking, although the two-second delay can be annoying. (Another way to check bushes is to throw your Timewinder and see if it expands early, although this only really works at close ranges!)
  • Lastly, this skill is bomb as all hell in teamfights. Wait till people seem to settle into their positions, then throw this where it'll do the most good (and where you can reach). This usually means onto their carries, but it can also mean in front of your carries to peel!




Phase Dive

Phase Dive is Ekko's simplest ability, but like all of his other abilities, it can be used for just about anything. Upon activation, Ekko dashes in a target direction. This can go over walls, and is otherwise just generally useful as a dash, kind of like Graves's Quickdraw. Once this dash is completed, Ekko's next basic attack gains 300 range for a total of 425. This is around Gnar's range in the beginning of the game in mini-form. Take together, this skill is a maximum 750-range engage, which is pretty big (7.5 Teemos!) It applies both spell effects and on-hit effects, so if you've got both Luden's Echo and Lich Bane, you'll chunk hard with this ability. Combine that with the third proc from your passive, and this can hurt.

Also note that it can cancel the animations on your abilities, most notably your Timewinder. The second it leaves your hand, dash forward to cancel the rest of the animation and make your combo even quicker!

This spell makes Ekko almost impossible to gank. You can jump over any of the river walls (although the thicker ones are tricky sometimes) and can also jump over the wall to the raptors if you're really in trouble. If the jungler has a gap-closer like Venomous Bite or Leap, try to use this after they use their mobility--otherwise they'll just catch up to you after you use this!

Jumping some of the walls can take...practice, but you'll get it eventually!

RIPOSTING WITH PHASE DIVE




Chronobreak

Ekko's ultimate, Chronobreak, is one of the coolest moves in the entire game, bar none. Once you get it, and as long as it's off cooldown (or less than 4 seconds from being off cooldown), a clone will follow you on a trail that maps out where you were over the last 4 seconds. Upon activating the ability, you'll briefly turn invulnerable and teleport back to where your clone is. Once you arrive, you'll heal for a flat amount plus a percentage of the damage you took over the last four seconds, and bomb the area around you for a butt ton of damage.

This ability is, to put it mildly, cuckoo bananas. It can be used to reposition out of a bad spot, reposition into a good spot, counteract burst damage, dodge a big burst of damage, or just nuke your opponents, all depending on where your clone is. Mastering this ability is very hard, but oh dear lord is it ever worth it when you pull off a good one.

You can dodge anything with this, from an Ace in the Hole to a Requiem, using the brief (real brief, like half a second) window of invulnerability this gives you. If you get really good, you can even dodge shorter-range stuff like Primordial Burst or Unleashed Power. You can also dodge stuff like Final Spark by just repositioning with this. This ability to dodge an ability, along with the healing and damage, makes Ekko an incredible duelist against many people, and makes him slippery as all hell in a teamfight.

In addition to skillful uses of this, you can also use this to cover up any...well, not-so-skillful things you may have done. If you flub an assassination attempt or get caught out of position, Chronobreak gives you a redo button as long as you don't get chain-CCed or bursted so hard that you're dead before you can use it. Getting out and waiting for your cooldowns to come back up is way better than dying for free because you were waiting for a good ult!

Really, the most important thing to remember with this ability is that you should just use it. Hitting a perfect ult is awesome, but it will rarely happen, since it depends on your opponent to do something stupid. Chronobreak can do a lot of stuff at once, but even if you're just repositioning, or just dodging a Requiem, or just using it for damage, it's still worth using. Once you build some CDR the cooldown on this is basically nothing, so if you think it's worth using, don't hesitate.

Why we don't build health on Ekko (WARNING CONTAINS MATH)
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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

You should get Timewinder first for some level 1 harass along with a bit of CC for any invades/counterinvade teamfights.

Get Phase Dive level 2 so you can start harassing with your Q-E combo and to help escape from any level 2 jungler ganks.

Then get Parallel Convergence at level 3 to help with last hitting, zoning and trading!

After that, prioritize:



Timewinder is our most flexible and dependable ability, giving us poke, waveclear and a slow, all of which scale with levels in the ability, so we rank it up first. Next, rank up Phase Dive for a lower cooldown and higher damage. Finally, rank up Parallel Convergence last since the only things that increase with level are the shield strength (slightly) and the cooldown. Ranking up Chronobreak increases its damage and its base heal while also reducing its cooldown, so obviously level it whenever possible!
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Items

Early Game

You almost always want to start off with a Doran's Ring, 2 Health Potions and a Warding Totem. This gives you a decent amount of health, health sustain, AP, mana regen, and vision--everything you need for early game. No matter what you're building towards or who you're up against, this is the best start you can possibly start with--nothing else compares.

...unless you're up against something that you're terrified of early game. Then you might as well spec into extra sustain with Corrupting Potion to get you through the early game.

On your first couple backs, you want to build towards your Luden's Echo, which should be your first big item. If you're smacking your lane opponent, feel free to build straight towards it for a huge power spike. Otherwise, you can build towards it more piecemeal. Grab Lost Chapter for CDR and mana sustain, Sheen for extra damage on your Phase Dive and more CDR, and Fiendish Codex for AP, an early start towards your defensive item, and MORE CDR!!!!

You want to prioritize getting to 30% CDR against difficult or losing lanes, since this allows you to farm and proc your passive solely with your Q. There are two main ways to do this: Luden's and Sheen, or Sheen, Lost Chapter and Fiendish Codex. These will all be built eventually, but the order in which you build them can vary. If you are confident in your lane, the Luden's rush is the best way to go for maximum burst, whereas the three separate items will get you to 30% CDR the fastest if you're in a tough lane.




Mid Game

Okay, so we've got boots, a Luden's Echo and a Sheen, plus maybe a Fiendish Codex. Now what?
If you're ahead and don't need the defenses, a combo of Luden's Echo and Lich Bane is ridiculously lethal, giving you tons of burst damage, movement speed and all the CDR you need. If you don't need defenses (or if you've already built your defensive item), build Lich Bane!
The first of our defensive stat items. If you're up against an AD midlaner, this is your best option to rush, no question, and once you get into teamfights it allows you to play much more riskily due to its ability to turn you invulnerable in case you get caught out or dive too deep. You can also land safer Parallel Convergences in a teamfight with it, since the bubble will still pop even if you are stasis'ed. If you build Banshee's to counter your lane opponent but the rest of the opposing team is AD, it may be worth switching to this super-late-game.
Our other defensive stat choice. Where Zhonya's is excellent at countering AD laners, this is a great choice against an AP laner you're struggling against. It gives a load of MR along with some AP and a super dope passive that will save your butt frequently. Since most mid-laners are AP, if you're struggling in lane, you're probably going to build this.

FUN GAME MECHANICS LESSON IF YOU WANT


Late Game

Once you've got your CDR core plus your defensive item to get you to 40% CDR, you build for pure damage. This means Rabadon's Deathcap and Void Staff, although the order can vary. Most games you go Rabadon's to delete squishies, but if you need to focus tanks or if you're such a badass that EVERYONE is building MR, Void Staff can be a more efficient purchase. You can also sometimes substitute Morellonomicon for Void Staff if you need to shut down huge healing--you'll be less effective against tanks but much more effective against squishies.


Final Build:

Item Sequence

Sorcerer's Shoes 1100
Banshee's Veil 3000
Zhonya's Hourglass 2900
Lich Bane 3200
Rabadon's Deathcap 3600
Void Staff 2650



Situational

There are a couple of items that exist outside the two main builds that can be useful to pick up situationally--whether in a weird matchup or because you took different runes.
If you're up against a heavy CC comp or heavy AP comp (like a Veigar mid, a Morgana/ Leona support or a Fiddlesticks jungle), Mercury's Treads is a good choice. The additional MR will give you better survivability, and the Tenacity will let you minimize Crowd Control.

If you're crushing your lane (as in, like, a level 2 double kill) feel free to get this instead of a doran's ring on your first back. It lets you go absolutely HAM and snowball super hard, especially if you build it into Mejai's Soulstealer. Not a core item by any means, but situationally great.
Heavy resistance items are actually pretty useful on an Ekko that is otherwise full AP--if you are very far behind or someone on the other team is very fed, then it's worth building something that gives you a ton of resistances against them and not a lot of health (such as the two highlighted left of these words)!




Not Recommended

I see a lot of people recommending Nashor's Tooth on Ekko, because of his passive stacking on autoattacks and his Parallel Convergence passive being on-hit. This betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of what AP Ekko is. This item is great for sustained damage dealers like Azir, Teemo or even some Diana builds. Ekko, on the other hand, is focused on burst damage. You're not tanky enough or long-ranged enough to use this item effectively. The only time you'd ever get this on AP Ekko is if you were doing some weird build that focused only on split-pushing, which I don't recommend.

This is not a pure Tank Ekko build, as you've probably figured out by now. It can work, but that's not what we're doing here. Skip the Dead Man's Plate, skip the Iceborn Gauntlet, skip all the stuff you usually build in the jungle. We're here to look cool, not just stick to a squishy like a limp barnacle and eventually kill them with Sunfire Cape. That is just not punk rock enough for us.

This is popular on Ekko, but I personally don't like it. Lots of people rush it on Ekko, but I think building health and Hextech Revolver early slows you down early game when you should be out there kicking butt with CDR!
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Champion Synergies

Ekko's flexibility lets him fit into almost any team that doesn't desperately need long-range poke. However, there are certain classes of champions that he does particularly great when partnered with:



Initiators
Ekko's Parallel Convergence is an awesome initiation tool, but it's really hard to land. By comboing it with the initiation CC from this type of champ, you can double-CC the enemy team and get an even bigger initiation, all but guaranteeing a strong teamfight!

Side-note: Bard is a perfect combo with Ekko--if he can Tempered Fate a group of enemies, immediately target a Parallel Convergence at the stasis-ed group. It'll wear off just in time for your sphere to pop, guaranteeing a good initiation!



Hyper-carries
Ekko is a great peeler because of his CC, making him an awesome combo with anyone who does a ton of damage but needs protection or distraction. These are usually ADCs, but some top laners or junglers can qualify too (e.g. Master Yi or Fiora). By giving them the protection they need, you can allow them to do what they do best. Which is kill everything.
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Ekko is Good Against...

Ekko has great burst when built AP, and when fed enough can sometimes one-shot squishy champions. They'll usually have some kind of CC, mobility or self-peel, but your mobility often lets you either dodge or play around it.
Squishies



Ekko's raw mobility with Phase Dive, Z-Drive Resonance and Chronobreak make him a pain in the butt to hit with skillshots as long as you (the Ekko player) pay attention. They're called skillshots for a reason--whoever is more skilled will win.
Skillshots
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Ekko is Bad Against...

High Burst
Ekko's Chronobreak lets you heal up after being damaged. However, that doesn't do you any good if you get one-shotted. In addition, these types of champions can force you to use your ultimate defensively, negating a large amount of your power. Buy resistances against these guys to help stop you from getting blown up.



Targeted CC
Ekko is based around outplaying your opponents and dodging around their skills, then punishing them for missing. This is a lot harder when you can't dodge their skills, and it's especially hard when these skills CC you in the middle of a teamfight. These champions make teamfighting much more difficult, so wait until they blow these targeted abilities before you go in.



Heavy Disengage
Ekko can do just about anything, but the only thing his kit doesn't have is a ton of long-ranged damage. He's dependent on dashing in and sticking to people to proc a lot of his damage, which leaves him vulnerable to teams with a lot of disengage or death-prevention.
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Laning as Ekko

Ekko's early game is really strong against some matchups, and really weak against others. There are a couple of different styles you should adapt depending on what you're up against, so I'll break this down into sections (also, check out the matchups section for tips against specific champs!):

Immobile Poke Mages

These are probably the simplest to play against, if not necessarily the easiest. You've got way more mobility than them, but they usually have the ability to catch you with some form of CC. Avoid that CC at all costs, and go in on them with your Timewinder- Phase Dive combo whenever it's on cooldown. These types of mages usually rely on their poke power and in some cases CC to push you out of lane and outfarm you, rather than actually killing you (although they'll do that too). You should do fine as long as you don't just eat every ability. A good general strategy is to stand away from your minions, so that they have to choose between using their abilities to harass you or farm with them. You win these lanes by dodging their harass and killing them. Every time you kill them, make sure you push your minions into their tower so that they lose out on the CS and experience, and you'll way outscale them.

TL;DR: Dodge their stuff (especially their CC) and go in when their cooldowns are down.

Assassins

These matchups are interesting, since you're also an assassin. The most important thing is this: it is more important to not feed them than to get fed yourself. Ekko is an assassin with way more utility and CC than any other member of his class, but he trades that for pure damage and snowball potential. Think of yourself as being kind of like a Karthus in these lanes--if you go even, that means you've won the lane, since you're way more useful in teamfights than them. Play safe, farm from a distance if you have to, and ping every time you think they've left lane (the pinging thing goes for any matchup, but these guys especially).

TL;DR: Don't let them get kills, play safe, ping when they leave lane and be more useful in teamfights.

Late-game Utility Mages

"Utility Mage" isn't the best label for all of these guys, but they're basically people that have a bad early game and a beastly late game. In the matchups section, I describe these guys as 'Food' a lot, because in lane that's what they are. You're way stronger than them early game, so make sure to ward up and be super aggressive, because if you let them scale then they'll wipe you out in teamfights.

TL;DR: Go aggressive and bully them early, and don't let them scale for free.

Anti-Assassins

These are usually your worst matchups (see how most of the icons are from the red zone of the matchups?), since you have little to no kill pressure on them once they get a few items. They're built to ruin your laning experience, so you beat them by not having much of a laning experience. Don't try to beat them, don't try to fight them (except for super-early before they get unkillable). Just shove your wave into their tower and roam to other lanes--Ekko has great ganks, and by helping to snowball the people in your other lanes, you help them carry you through these nightmare matchups. Make sure to ward your mid lane and ping when they leave, since when you're gone they'll often try to roam as well. Teleport is a great summoner spell to take into these matchups to help you influence the whole map, since you won't be doing much in mid-lane. You also tend to outperform these champs in a teamfight (although someone like Annie or Malzahar can still be dangerous), so surviving the laning phase should be your priority!

TL;DR: You're not going to kill these guys, so push, roam and snowball your other lanes since you have better ganks.





Okay, so now you know how to play against specific matchups, but what about more general laning strategies with Ekko, independent of your matchup? Obviously, who you're up against is a big factor in how you play each lane, but here are some tips that apply generally no matter who you're up against:


Zoning

Ekko is fantastic at "zoning" people in lane. If you don't know what that means, it refers to interfering with your lane opponent's ability to move freely in the lane. Usually, you zone by pushing your opponent away from your minions, which makes them lose out on CS and sometimes even experience. A lot of Ekko's abilities create 'zones' that opponents don't want to be in. Timewinder is a good example--by hitting them with the outward hit of Q, you force them to move sideways or backwards out of the slow field for fear of getting hit with the return. This forced movement can interfere with an opponent's CSing--if they stay still to autoattack a minion and get the gold, it will cause them to be hit by the second Timewinder. Forcing these kinds of tradeoffs and decisions can cripple your opponent's lane phase. Chronobreak is also a very threatening zone--your opponent has to stay away from your clone, or risk being hit with the damage. This is harder to use than Timewinder, but is still good to keep in mind.

Arguably your best zoning tool, however, is Parallel Convergence. Once you hit an opponent with the stun (or if you have a near-miss), they'll be scared off every time they see your clone back off and ready the sphere. Using this fear can make a completely whiffed Parallel Convergence still worth something. If a couple of your minions are at low health, throw a W on top of your opponent and run at them. They'll be forced to choose between fighting you, running away, or farming, none of which are great choices for them. Bleeding CS from your opponent like this is a subtle way to win your lane, but a powerful one nonetheless.

One last note on zoning: remember that 'backwards' isn't the only direction you can push your opponent. For example, imagine that your jungler (let's say Pantheon) is in your top side bush, and you and your opponent (let's say Twisted Fate) are dead in the center of lane. This is hard to gank for Pantheon, since his gap closer isn't long enough to reach TF before he runs away or flashes. What you should do in this situation is throw a Timewinder at Twisted Fate and then run towards your bottom-side brush. This will cause a situation in which Twisted Fate's best decision to avoid the second hit of Timewinder is to run opposite you, towards the top-side brush...and where your Pantheon is laying in wait! He'll jump out of the bush and stun TF, while you Phase Dive back in and help him get the kill. This kind of 'horizontal' zoning can make jungle ganks way more deadly and easy for your jungler, and remember: if a jungler thinks your lane is easy to gank, you'll be that much more likely to get a lot of ganks!

Farming

Whew. That was a long tip. Here's a shorter one: farming! You hear it everywhere, but farming is incredibly important, as it's where you'll get most of your gold through the laning phase. Farming as Ekko is actually super easy because of the passive from Parallel Convergence, which will add additional damage onto your last-hits. If you're at all good at last hitting with literally anyone else (other than Zed, who has a better version with Contempt for the Weak), then last hitting with Ekko is a breeze. Once you get some mana regen, CDR and levels in your Timewinder, farming is even easier. Use Timewinder to get two stacks of your passive on a whole wave, then just whack each one once--the pop from your Z-Drive Resonance combined with the other damage will outright kill a whole minion wave after an autoattack each. Once you get 30% CDR, you can get all three stacks of your passive using only Timewinder--no autoattacks needed!

One last note on farming--remember that since Parallel Convergence does on-hit damage based on your target's missing health, it will do extra damage to siege minions, since they have more health! This makes farming them easier than most champs.


Early Trading

Keep in mind that while you're not super powerful at level 1 with just Timewinder, you are very powerful at level 2. You can outtrade most people with just raw damage if you can hit your Timewinder and Z-Drive Resonance with Phase Dive, so level 2 tends to really set the tone for the rest of the lane. Some people still outtrade you ( LeBlanc, for example) but in most cases, you stomp level 2. Try and have a minion advantage (aka have more minions than your opponent by damaging minions a bit more aggressively than you usually would) so that you don't take as much damage from minions during your level 2 trades, since even perfect maneuvering won't mean much if your opponent's crowd of minions plinks you for a quarter of your health.


Capitalizing on Kills

When you kill your lane opponent, you get a bit of gold, which is nice. However, if you want to crush your lane opponent, just killing them won't do it. Getting ahead means having an experience (or level) advantage as well as a gold advantage on your opponent, and the best way to do that is to push your minions into their tower. This will cause the tower to kill your minions, denying your opponent the experience they would have gotten from those minions had they been there. Any time your opponent goes back while you're reasonably healthy (or if their jungler is dead too), try to shove your wave into the tower. This applies when they're dead, when they go back to shop/heal, or even when they go to roam. It's arguably the best way to win lane, and it's not too complicated. This is also why you should try to push a wave before you recall or gank--making sure the lane is pushed denies your opponent's ability to use this strategy on you!

Doing this when your opponents roam is worth talking a bit more about. When you see your lane opponent going towards another lane (which you saw because you warded, RIGHT?), the temptation is always to follow them and countergank. This is a good choice if you think that your team could get a kill out of it--if your opponent is low health, or if the lane they're ganking has low health people. However, if everyone's reasonably healthy and you can't get a kill, it is frequently a smarter idea to just ping a bunch of times so that the lane that's about to get ganked knows to look out and hug tower, and instead shove your wave into their tower. Much like zoning, you're forcing the enemy team into a lose/lose situation. If the gank works for them, then they helped their other lane and maybe got a kill for themselves, but lost out on a bunch of CS and experience because a bunch of your minions died to their tower. If the gank doesn't work, then not only does the ganked lane not really change, but your lane opponent lost out on a bunch of CS and XP for nothing. This puts you ahead of them, and makes your laning easier! Knowing when to countergank and when to shove takes practice, but a general rule is that you shouldn't gank for protection, since their tower can do a better job than you. Countergank if you think your team can net kills from it, and otherwise shove your lane whenever your opponent roams.


Warding

Lastly, yet another reminder to ward. Ekko has a ton of escapes and mobility, and with Flash up he's basically uncatchable, but it's best to use that mobility to actually kill people, instead of using it to save yourself because you forgot to ward. Always try to have a Control Ward out on the field, usually in one of the bushes in the middle of the river on either side of mid-lane, since that gives you good vision of any entrances into lane on that side. Putting a vision ward into one of the long border bushes also denies your opponent vision there, since it lets you see (and destroy) any wards they put there, making it way easier for your jungler to gank. You tend to push, making you vulnerable to ganks, so generally, if you have wards, use them--they aren't doing anyone any good just sitting in your '4' slot!
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Ganking as Ekko

Ekko is great at pushing waves in lane with Timewinder and Parallel Convergence on top of all the damage he does. Pushing a wave into your opponent's tower can make them miss CS, but also opens you up to being ganked. However, it also allows you to gank other lanes without fear of your opponent pushing the wave into your own tower and making you miss CS. As an assassin with a ton of CC, Ekko has great ganks and can snowball other lanes easily. Remember to always push in a wave before you gank, and keep an eye out for an enemy lane that's too far pushed--then seize your opportunity to help.

When you gank, be sure to watch the movements of the lane you're going for. If they suddenly backed off, that means you walked by a ward--keep that in mind and go back to your lane, then gank again in a minute once the ward disappears.

You have three options when ganking a side lane as to where to gank from. The easiest is to gank straight down the middle from the river bush. This works if your opponents are pushed out, but can be tricky if the lane is even. A better way to go (but a riskier one) is to gank from the tribush, which is usually less likely to be warded and gives you a better angle of attack, particularly if you're ganking the lane that has the tribush near the enemy tower. This allows you to come in behind them, catching them in a pincer between you and your laner and almost guaranteeing a Flash or kill. The other (super risky) alternative is to go from the opposite side of the river as tri-bush, near the enemy's blue buff, by jumping over the wall near the turret with Phase Dive. This allows you to sneak-attack them and usually catch them in a pincer, but uses up most of your mobility, making it harder to stick to your target.

If you make it to a lane and it looks like they don't know you're there, try to wait till your laner commits to a fight. This will usually make your victims blow all of their CC and abilities, giving you free reign to come in and wreak havoc. The temptation with Ekko is to immediately toss Parallel Convergence, but you usually want to wait until after your targets have used their mobility spells. Comboing your W with allied CC also makes it much easier to land. Don't use Phase Dive immediately either. Just hit them with Timewinder to slow and run at them, then Phase Dive after they use their mobility. Even if they CC you, your movement speed from Z-Drive Resonance is often enough to catch up and finish them off. If they retreat under tower, never fear-- Parallel Convergence's shield can let you survive dives and finish them off if they're low!

One last note on ganking--don't gank a lane if your laner is 0/5/1, unless you're even more fed than their lane opponent. You'll just feed them more otherwise--focus on lanes that aren't hopeless, and tell them to play safe!
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Teamfighting as Ekko

Ekko is often referred to as a 'Utility Assassin', much the same way as Ashe is sometimes called a 'Utility ADC'. This means that while you may not have as much damage as a Talon or a LeBlanc and can't blow people up quite as easily or consistently, you're a lot more flexible in teamfights because you've got buttloads of CC. Ekko can peel, assassinate, initiate, split-push or duel, while most assassins can only assassinate (and maybe duel). Let's break down all of your possible roles in a teamfight, and when you should take each:

Assassin


Ekko is very good at getting to carries and blowing them up, using Phase Dive to get in and Timewinder with Z-Drive Resonance to do a load of damage. Your combo is relatively simple, but very effective against squishy targets. You can also use Parallel Convergence to shield yourself while you burst, and then reposition back to safety with Chronobreak once they're dead.

You should go for assassinations if you're very fed or if their team is relying on one really fed person to carry them. If you can take out the carry, you can often single-handedly win the fight for your team. However, if you get caught while you're going in and get blown up yourself, you just turned the fight into a 4v5. So hang back until the enemy team has blown their peeling abilities!

Peeler


Ekko's generous amounts of CC from Timewinder and Parallel Convergence can make it almost impossible for someone without massive gap-closing abilities to get to your carries. If you see someone like Darius or Nasus coming for your Kog'Maw, hang back and peel for the little guy. This is a great role to fall back on if you didn't do amazing in a game, but someone else on your team went beast mode. By protecting them, you're allowing them to do all the damage they can do, which is usually way more than what you could do when behind!

This is why Ekko is great--if a Talon gets behind and can't blow someone up, he's straight up useless. If Ekko's behind, he can still help his team--it's a lot harder to totally bomb a game as Ekko!

As a side note, Ekko's peeling prowess makes him an excellent counterpick to enemy juggernauts-- if the enemy team is something like a Garen top and a Volibear jungle, Ekko is a great choice!

Initiator

Now we're getting into the weird ones. Ekko's Parallel Convergence is an AoE stun, and landing a good one can win a teamfight singlehandedly. However, this is usually pretty hard due to the 3-second delay, but there are ways around this.

The best way is to just have an actual initiator on your team, like Malphite or Sejuani. If you have someone like that, ask them to let you know when they plan to initiate. When they do, throw Parallel Convergence slightly behind where your initiator locks down the other team. Dive on them with the rest of your team, and the other team will usually try to run away a bit to reposition. Since you threw your W behind them, this should put them right in position to be stunned again by you! This double initiation is devastating, and it's hard to lose a teamfight when you pull this off.

Another, much more stylish (but risky) way to initiate is to initiate while running away, with your Chronobreak. This requires your team (or at least you) to be running away from the other team, so that your clone is behind you and preferably in their team. Let your team know with pings that you're going in, then throw a Parallel Convergence right on top of (or slightly behind) where you are currently. Your clone's 4 second delay and the sphere's 3 second delay should sync up if you aimed it right, resulting in a sphere right on top of the enemy team with your clone in the middle of it. Chronobreak in, detonating the sphere, stunning the enemy team and dealing massive amounts of damage with your ult. If your team follows up properly, this is an awesome way to win a teamfight, but if they don't follow up then you'll just die really stylishly.


Another good spot to initiate is during tower sieges, since people tend to stay in around the same place (either under their own tower or just outside the range of the enemy tower). This static sort of team fight is perfect for Parallel Convergence--just always ping before you go in!

Remember, even if you've built for assassination, you've still got this utility in your kit! Sometimes there's not a good spot for an assassination (like if the enemy Alistar is riding their Jinx's back so close he might as well be in her backpack), so it's better to help your team however you can rather than always think "AAAAH I HAVE TO KILL EVERYTHING".

Duelist/Split-pusher


A split-pusher's role is to be so large a threat to an enemy's lane that they have to commit disproportionate resources to stop you, e.g. sending three people to take you alone down before you take their towers/inhibitor. This allows the rest of your team to fight unequal battles in other lanes or take objectives like towers, dragon or even baron.

To be a good split-pusher, you either need to be really good at running away or really good at killing people alone. Thankfully, Ekko is great at both of these things! Phase Dive and Chronobreak are great tools for getting out of a sticky situation, and your kite/burst/CCing nature makes you a great duelist. Chronobreak is a great tool for dueling, since it lets you undo a good percentage of the damage that your opponent did to you, and often lets you dodge a dangerous spell while you're at it! Use your Phase Dive and movement speed from Z-Drive Resonance to kite around your opponent(s) until your clone is in the right spot, then blow them up and heal up at the same time.

In addition, Ekko is great at pushing and tower killing with this build. With 30% CDR, your Timewinder can kill a wave in 4 seconds, and the damage from your Phase Dive can proc on towers. Combined with Lich Bane, you can chunk towers hard and take them down in no time if left alone.

Split push with Ekko when your team is able to stall out--the weakness of split-pushing is that it can create a 4v5 if you're not that big a threat, so a team that can stall out an engagement is helpful for this strategy. Don't split push if you're far behind, since they can just send one person to kill you, which doesn't create the imbalanced teamfights you need for split pushing to be worth it.
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Winning as Ekko

Okay, so we know what roles we can play as Ekko. Now comes the hard part--when to do what? Knowing what you should/can do to win the game varies champ-to-champ, and knowing the win condition of the champion you're playing is vital. For example, Brand wants to teamfight 5v5 or 4v5 to best use his massive AoE damage and blow up an entire team. If Brand is split-pushing, he's not using his strengths properly. Another example would be a Nautilus trying to assassinate a squishy target. While he can engage well, Nautilus's main priority in most team compositions should be peeling for the rest of his team.

Now, as we've seen, Ekko has a lot of strengths that you can use, so his win conditions are a lot less clear-cut. It's not just 'always split-push' (like Tryndamere or Nasus) or 'always go for the ADC' (like Talon or Zed). Like I keep saying, Ekko's role in a teamfight is very flexible, but that means you're going to have to actually think about what would be most valuable to your team in the moment. Yeah, I know--it's yet another thing to think about with Ekko, but that's why he's so rewarding!

To help out, here's the thought process that I usually go through with Ekko:

In Champion Select: Ekko can compliment almost any team, but his playstyle changes based on what kind of composition he's in. By seeing what the rest of your team wants to do to win, you can orient your playstyle to compliment theirs.
  • If your team has a lot of poke ( Varus, Nidalee), peel ( Nautilus, Maokai) or kiting ability ( Ashe, Karma), then that means they usually want to siege objectives and prevent the enemy team from engaging on them. You can help with this by peeling for them and keeping them safe--assassinations aren't as important in this type of comp, since you're more focused on killing towers than champions. Use your Parallel Convergence when your team has the enemy pinned under their tower to set up engages, since this type of team is usually really good at keeping the opponents in one place!

    Alternatively, if your team seems to prefer stalling out teamfights and doesn't already have a strong splitpusher (like a Jax jungle), you can also splitpush while they kite the enemy team and stall. Be careful of doing this against enemy teams with lots of hard engage (like Malphite or Sejuani), since kite/siege teams get blown up fast if they get caught 4v5 because you're splitting top.

  • If your team has a lot of hard engage (like Alistar or Hecarim), your primary role will be a secondary initiator (see the 'Initiator' section above). Follow them in and combo your CC with theirs, and the rest of your team will have an easy time cleaning up. You won't have to peel as much with this kind of composition since your enemies should be CC'd for a long time in teamfights, so go for assassinations if you think you can kill people!

    Before the engage happens, soften up the team with lobbed Timewinders at the front line or anyone who gets caught out of position! It'll do some damage and get some Z-Drive Resonance stacks on them in advance, which is never a bad thing.

  • If your team likes to get picks ( Elise, Morgana, or especially Blitzcrank), then your role will likely be that of an assassin. You've got great burst damage, so if someone on your team can catch someone out of position with CC, you can jump right in and blow them up. You can also help your team get picks, by throwing a Parallel Convergence on someone that looks like they're about to get snagged by a teammate. This chain-CCing is like a mini-version of your follow-up initiation I talked about above.

  • Lastly, if you're in a "protect-the-hyper-carry" comp ( Kog'Maw, Jinx, etc.) then you can both peel for the carry and do some damage yourself. These are usually similar to kite comps, since there's a lot of peeling and running around trying not to die.


During the Game: Depending on the course of the game, and how you and the rest of your team is doing, the roles I sketched out above can look more or less appealing.
  • If you're super fed, split pushing starts to look like an even better idea, since you can probably 1v1 anyone on their team. This will cause them to commit disproportionate resources to stopping your split-push, giving the rest of your team a favorable teamfight. This is, of course, provided it was already an okay idea to split-push given your comp (e.g. your team is able to stall out while you push and draw the enemies away). If your team is all super underfed, the enemy team might say 'Hey, the one dangerous person isn't here--let's kill them all!' and win a fight 4v5. Split-pushing is risky, but can be the right choice when the stars align.
  • If you're underfed, but someone else on your team is doing well, you may be more useful to your team as a source of peel for the fed person, rather than as a primary damage source. The first rule in LoL is "Protect the Carry", and you can't carry every game--recognizing who can lead you to victory (including yourself!) is key to winning consistently.
  • Lastly, if there's one super-fed carry on their team, prioritize assassinating that carry. I don't care if you blow everything on it--removing a team's primary source of damage is what assassins do best, and succeeding at it can often singlehandedly win a teamfight. If you're only doing okay (e.g. the rest of your team can survive without you), it can even sometimes be worth it trading your life for something like a fed Kog'Maw or Azir. Don't throw your life away, but always be aware of how valuable you are to your team versus how valuable the enemy's carry is to their comp.
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Summary

Thanks to jhoijhoi's Making a Guide Guide! I couldn't have done any of this alone because I am not good at computers, so thanks for the help!

Shoutout to Riot's Champion Spotlight for Ekko, which I cribbed a couple of gifs from! That guy playing has no idea what he's doing, though.

Also, thank you for reading! I'm always looking for ways to make this guide better, so if you have feedback or criticism, I'd love to hear how I could make it better!
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