Ekko Build Guide by HawHawNeverLucky
CHALLENGER EKKO MID LANE GUIDE BY HAWHAWNEVERLUCKY (10.19) -By HawHawNeverLucky | Updated on October 14, 2020
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+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-90 HP (lvls 1-18)
Ability Order SKILLS 1
Threats & Synergies
I explain this matchup and all the other matchups in depth in the "Matchups" part of my guide
Ekko and Lee Sin love jumping around and skirmishing together.
Ekko and Voli also love running around together and beating up some kids. Ekko's strong Q push makes it easy to set up dives with Volibear.
Ekko and Sejuani are best friends, Sejuani does the engaging and you do the follow up. Also you have the melee synergy.
Renekton can split push very well, just like Ekko, so you can easily set up 1-3-1 pushes with Renekton. Renekton's W also makes it super easy to burst the target he stuns. Renekton's strong early game also makes it super easy to roam top and tower dive.
Camille and Ekko both love the side lane, they can both split push efficiently and they both have nice tools to collapse on the grouped players. Camille's R is also super good with Ekkos' W.
Braum protects you if you get hit by CC, so you'll always be able to R. Braum's passive is super good with Ekko.
Ekko loves his engage/cc supports. They set up easy kills for you. They can roam to your lane and you can get easily kills + easy W lands, or you can roam to their lane and get free kills.
Bard can roam all the time, which also lets you play more aggressively and you'll be safer with Bard around. Bard also has sick set up with his R and your W.
Blitz also roams a lot and has nice CC. You can place your W in a way that lets Blitz hook enemies into it.
After you get 3 items on Ekko, if you have a Yuumi, you'll be a killing machine (pretty much an immortal killing machine)
Ekko is sad when he has to play with a Janna :( It's gonna be hard to roam bot and the teamfights will be hard to play.
Olaf has pretty low gank pressure. He can invade, but often you won't have prio early. Angry Olaf players usually won't care and they'll invade without prio and die. The enemy mid can also play as aggressive as he wants because Olaf usually can't gank them.
Champion Build Guide
I've beaten a lot of pro players with my Ekko, here's a clip of me solo killing Faker during Worlds last year.
This is the OPGG link to my main League Account
Why would you pick Ekko into assassins? Ekko is one of the AP champs with the best match up into champs like Zed and Qiyana without even needing to get early armor (even though it's extremely helpful). A well played Ekko can beat almost any assassin, Akali and LeBlanc are the two hardest assassin match ups ( Kassadin is the hardest match up but not really an assassin imo). Ekko can also later easily outscale and beat most assassins in side lane.
Why would you pick Ekko into control mages? Control mages are extremely easy and often unfair match ups. Ekko absolutely smashes champs like Xerath, Vel'Koz, Taliyah, AP Kog'Maw, does super well into Azir, Syndra, Viktor, Corki (ad control mage), and also does well into Orianna, a champ that barely has any bad match ups.
A lot of Ekko's bad match ups are melee APs like Sylas, Diana, Kassadin and Akali, but as long as you ban Kassadin these are all playable. Kassadin surely is good into these champs, so why wouldn't you just pick Kassadin into them? What if your jungler wants to play the game early? What if the enemy jungler is a Rek'Sai and your jungler is a Karthus? These situations will happen in Soloq, and what are you going to do when you reach a level where the enemy mid pushes 3 waves into a cheater recall into a freeze and your jungler doesn't understand how to help you, or maybe he's not even able to? As Kassadin you are doomed in this situation and then the game is no longer in your hands. Ekko can struggle as well but he can ALWAYS survive and he scales super well. Not Kassadin levels of scaling but he still becomes a monster on 3-4 items and level 16.
Ekko is not an optimal pick into heavy roam champs as he doesn't really have the mana or wave clear early to match champs like Qiyana and Talon. But Qiyana falls off super fast if her first roams don't work, the only roaming match up that's hard is Talon. But even if Talon gets ahead, you usually end up beating him after 2-3 items.
Ekko is the go-to pick if you wanna beat control mages consistently. You also have to remember that a LOT of control mage players ban Kassadin, so he will often not even be an option. Ekko steamrolls these champs and gets free scaling, and you also have the potential to impact the game early in these match ups, as well as many other match ups.
Ekko is a super flexible champ. Any match up is playable as long as you know how to play it. Every single match up can be won. Ekko mid is one of the hardest champions in the game, he's not that hard to play, but his skill ceiling is soooo high. He requires a ton of match up knowledge, things like Parallel Convergence placement, Chronobreak usage, learning to not skill R until you use it, general comboing, how to play the map, how to play side lane etc. Ekko is a super unique champion and also super rewarding to learn properly.
Ekko is also extremely easy to carry with. With his Q wave clear makes it super easy to pick up a lot of farm and get fed solely off minions, which you will see if you ever check my stream where I almost every game end up with around 10 cs/min. Once you get fed you have the mobility to kill everyone, as well as you being extremely hard to kill. You snowball super hard, with insane scaling and you're also one of the safest champs to buy Mejai's Soulstealer on which lets you snowball even harder.
When you lock in Ekko, the enemy team does not know if it's an Ekko mid or an Ekko jungle. He is blind pickable as hell as he is a flex pick, but also there are not really any team comps that counter him. A heavy cc teamfight comp might seem hard, or a protect the adc comp with a Kai'Sa + Lulu? There is a way to fight every comp as Ekko, either playing a super heavy side lane style where you look to end the game yourself solely off a side lane push, or you can play teamfight if it's better for the specific game.
By learning Ekko mid, you will also have a jungle pick for when you are offrole which is nice!
But the most important part is that Ekko is fun as hell. He is the only champ I'm able to spam without getting sick of it after a few games. His kit is so well made and smooth to play.
GUIDE FOR EVERY POTENTIAL MID MATCHUP
When you want the enemy mid to push, you have to be smart about how you farm the wave. Think about every minion before it dies, consider if you can go for a last hit. What will the enemy mid do if you walk up to a minion to last hit it? It's not worth tanking a LeBlanc auto - Distortion - auto combo for a single minion for example. How many auto attacks can the enemy mid hit you with if you go for a certain minion? You have to evaluate every single last hit. You don't want to Q every minion because then you'll run oom fast, but you also have to make sure you pick up most of the last hits so you don't fall behind. Try be effective with your early Qs. Using Q for a single caster minion is normally not worth it, but it can be worth for a single melee minion. You also want to Q in a way so your Q doesn't hit the whole wave, or that your Q doesn't mess up the minions' hp for when you are going to be last hitting under tower. If the enemy is building up a huge wave, don't be afraid to use Q to thin the wave. This means that you Q to clear some minions, or you Q to make the minions low enough for easy last hits. If the enemy wave ends up getting too big, you'll take a lot of damage from the enemy mid laner when you try to last hit it all under tower.
Vs most ranged mid laners you want to take a second point in Q level 3 and go for the hard push into a recall. Vs a lot of melee mids it's too risky to not level up W at level 3. If you go for Q hard push vs something like a Yasuo, Yone, Zed, Qiyana, Diana and so on, they will just jump on you and mess you up, because you'll be sitting there with only your E, while they should have their full basic ability combo. Vs these kinds of champ you want to wait for level 4 to hard push. Q the wave, chill, wait for your next Q. A lot of mid laners will look to punish you when you go for the obvious hard push, use W on top of the wave/on top of yourself to zone them off and deny their engage on you. After you push the wave in you should in most cases look for a recall, but if the enemy mid is somehow low hp, or if you really have to contribute in a Scuttle Crab fight, consider staying. However recalling is usually the most consistent option. Pick up a Dark Seal, and normally a Control Ward. If your Trinket is on a 100+ second cooldown, swap to Red trinket. Only use this Red trinket if you are 100% sure there is a ward to kill, don't use it to check areas unless you're preparing a roam or if your jungler needs you to check for wards. Run back to lane as fast as possible, use Phase Dive through one of your nexus turrets to get back to lane ever faster.
When you get back to lane, freeze the wave. Don't let the minions hit your tower. If the early recall is done correctly you will be back in lane before the enemy mid gets to push the wave in. Now freeze, and play super aggressively if the enemy mid tries to break the freeze. This early game strategy won't work vs every single champion, vs some champions,especially melee champs like Irelia, Yone, Yasuo etc. you won't be allowed to push. Also if you're playing against a very aggressive mid laner on any champ, and you get poked or pressured too hard, you don't have to try to hard push if there is a chance that you might die. Pick up as much farm as possible and use TP to get back to lane if necessary. In these kind matchups you wanna stay until you have 750 gold to pick up a Dark Seal and a Doran's Ring.
After your first base, if you are unable to freeze, you want to keep pushing waves, and look for roams and plays around the map, or even just recall to buy items, even if it's just a 435 gold Amplifying Tome, you can recall for it if there are no good roaming opportunities and if you won't lose minions. There are some matchups where you don't want to be perma pushing post level 3/4 but I go more into this in the Matchups part of my guide.
An Ekko with good farm and XP will be stronger than almost any mid laner in the mid game, and this is what you prepare for in the laning phase. You don't have to go for insane trades or crazy roams, focus on picking up as much farm as possible. You want to aim for 100 cs at 10-11 minutes every single game. You won't reach these numbers every game, but aim for it. If you fail to hit this goal, think about why you didn't reach the CS goal. Aim for 100 at 10/11 and 200 at 20. If this doesn't happen, reflect on why it didn't happen after the game. Could you have done something differently? Giving yourself goals like these will make you think about your gameplay and it will make you improve over time. Having high farm is important, and on Ekko it's also pretty easy because of your Q's insane wave clear power. Having "perfect" farm will in most elos guarantee you to be the strongest champion in every game you play, and this will allow you to carry consistently. This is one of the reasons why I don't roam too much in my own games. I want to make sure I don't miss too much XP, because I wanna be the strongest in the game. Only roam when the roams basically are guaranteed to work out, otherwise you want to use your prio to invade the enemy jungler, to ward, to recall or to fake roam. If you make too many bad roams,you fall behind in levels compared to the enemy solo laners, and when you start to split push you end up having to face the enemy Jax, Camille, Fiora etc that has been afk farming top lane the whole early game. You don't stand a chance vs these champs if you are behind them in XP.
An important part of Ekko's early game is to reach enough AP to be able to one shot the caster minions at level 7 with a single Q. You take Minion Dematerializer to be able to do this. You want to use 2 Minion Dematerializer on ranged minions, and 1 Minion Dematerializer on melee minions. You want to aim for 83 or more Ability Power when you hit level 7. If you don't have 83+ AP when you hit level 7, your only goal should be to get enough gold to get enough AP. After the wave that spawns at 8:35, you're going to need 88+ AP because minion HP scales throughout the game. To reach this amount, I usually prefer to get a Dark Seal and x3 Amplifying Tome. I also take Ghost Poro in my runes to make sure I always reach the correct amount of AP early on. One shotting caster minions with a single Q at level 7 lets you skip the laning phase, which gives you free scaling and also huge roaming windows because it only takes you a few seconds to clear each wave.
"NEW" LEVEL 1 PLAYSTYLE
Something I've been doing lately is going Hail of Blades and Time Warp Tonic instead of Electrocute and Magical Footwear in matchups where you as Ekko can trade level 1 with E Phase Dive. I've tried this vs champions that don't have good damage level 1. I've done this with huge success vs champs like Syndra, Azir, Katarina, Zed, Vel'Koz, Sylas, Ziggs and many more. I start E, use the E to dodge the opponent's rank 1 ability, and then I triple smack them with E auto auto with Hail of Blades active. This start actually allows you to win lane from level 1. Usually Ekko with Q start gets bullied by these kinds of champs, but with E start and Hail of Blades Ekko actually becomes the bully. You don't wanna do this start vs for example Yasuo because he outtrades you with AA and Q and his shield blocks your damage, you don't wanna do it vs any champ vs Orianna because she runs you down with Phase Rush and auto attacks. But vs champs that don't have a lot of damage aside from a dodgable rank 1 ability, try out E start with Hail of Blades and see how it goes!
The most important part is that you want to stay away from all the random fighting and action. I constantly see lower elo Ekko players just mindlessly group and run around with their team. Don't just group up with your team without thinking about side lane waves. You want to chill in side lane, push the waves and THEN you can look to group for a bit. Never group without having a clear goal and reason to why you are grouping. After pushing sidelane waves you should steal jungle camps whenever possible. Jungle camps have a 2 minute respawn timer. After you clear Krugs or Gromp you want to take a look at the in-game timer so you know exactly when the camp will respawn again.
When you are in side lane there are many different ways you can play, and it all depends on how strong you are, how strong the opponent in the side lane is, and how strong the two teams are in general. Firstly you want to powerfarm for your Nashor's Tooth. Most Ekko players go Lich Bane but I will explain later why I go Nashor's Tooth second item.
If you are stronger than the opponent you face in the side lane, don't be afraid to play super aggressively as long as you know where the other enemies are. One of the biggest differences between Ekko and other champions is Ekko's ability to escape. You have your Chronobreak, Z-Drive Resonance, Phase Dive to get away from enemies, as well as your Parallel Convergence and Timewinder crowd control. Ekko has all the tools he needs to escape ganks and to be safe. Push waves and look for ambushes on the opponent you're facing in side lane. This is always my go to strategy if my team is behind. I don't force random teamfights with my useless teammates, instead I play to dominate my side lane opponent.
If you are weaker than your side lane opponent, focus on clearing the waves and try to pick up jungle camps as much as possible. You can call for a teammate to roam to you. Even if you're behind as Ekko, you still have great CC with your W and together with a teammate you'll usually always be able to take down your target. As Ekko you don't mind having to just farm and scale up. A 3/4/5 item Ekko can kill pretty much any champion in the game 1v1.
If you are in a side lane where the enemy team took your turret, but their turret is still up, consider freezing the wave. This is more relevant for high elo solo queue, but can be done in any elo. Instead of using Timewinder mindlessly, pull the minions around and last hit with auto attacks. This can quickly give you a huge gold and XP lead in the side lane 1v1.
If both you and your teammates are ahead, you want to try to close out the game as fast as possible even if Ekko scales well. Push your side lane, steal jungle camps and then group up for objectives or teamfights. Keep pushing, then collapse onto the enemy team.
However vs a lot of different team comps, and especially fed ADCs there are simply games where you won't be able to kill the ADC. The enemy team might have too much CC, they might have a Lulu, Janna or Yuumi protecting their ADC, and the adc might have a Maw of Malmortius or even just a Phantom Dancer which denies you from ever one shotting them. In these cases, you want to look to end the game through a side lane. Ekko deals massive damage to turrets with his Phase Dive, Nashor's Tooth and Lich Bane. You normally want to wait until an objective is about to spawn. If Baron Nashor is about to spawn, go bot and split push there. If Elder Drake is about to spawn you want to go top lane. In the late game you are strong enough to face anyone that tries to match you in the 1v1. If the enemy hesitates just a little bit, you'll end up taking their entire base in seconds. If the enemy team panic recalls, then your team will get a free objective.
Here's an example of how to play Ekko late game. The enemy Lucian bought a Maw of Malmortius so he was too tanky for me, and the enemy front line was too strong to get through.
This ability doesn't really have any secret mechanics. It's a solid wave clear tool and that's about it. The most important part is to reach enough Ability Power to one shot Caster Minions with a single Timewinder. You want to aim for 83 AP when you hit level 7. After 8:35 the minions get more HP so you will need 88 AP or more. Reaching this amount of AP is crucial. I constantly see Ekko players, even in professional games, who don't understand this. Get an extra Amplifying Tome instead of a Ruby Crystal if you need it to get enough AP. As I said earlier, 2 Demats on Ranged Minions and 1 on Melee Minions.
Ekko's W Parallel Convergence:
EKKO'S W COSTS 30 MANA. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPAM IT.
Ekko's W Parallel Convergence will stun people if you travel through it with your Chronobreak. Another cool (but kinda useless) mechanic is that you don't even need to travel through Parallel Convergence with your Chronobreak. If you are close to your Parallel Convergence circle when you press R, the stun gets procced and you get the shield.
Here's a video showcasing the mechanic:
A big difference between good and bad Ekko players is how they use their Parallel Convergence. This ability only costs 30 mana and it's not the end of the world if you miss it/don't get to utilize the shield. In the early lane good Ekko players spam W. During the first waves you should spam it for the shield to soak poke and to zone. Later on you want to hide in bushes or out of vision and look for W hits. An important thing that not many Ekko players know is that THE ENEMIES CAN TELL WHEN YOU HAVE USED W WHEN YOU ARE OUT OF VISION. Take a look at the video below. You can see Ekko's ghost doing the W animation even in Fog of War.
Watch this video to see what your enemy sees when you use Ekko W from Fog of War
Ekko's E Phase Dive:
Ekko's E Phase Dive is not an ability with any advanced mechanics. The main "mechanic" is that you can use Timewinder or Parallel Convergence during the slide part Phase Dive. So E1 - insta Q - then E2 (right click). Or E1 - W - E2.
Phase Dive has a slight delay from when you right click to when you actually end up landing on your target. This can be used to follow different movement abilities such as Ezreal's Arcane Shift, Kassadin's Riftwalk, Katarina's Shunpo and even Flash. This can be timed and done consistently, and it's something I get to use a lot vs Ezreal and his Arcane Shift.
The most important part of your E Phase Dive is to know which walls you can jump over and how you can jump over them consistently. There are a lot of obvious wall jumps, but some are especially hard. These are the hardest wall hops:
Most relevant hard wall hops
This one is REALLY hard but feels amazing when it works
Ekko's R Chronobreak:
There are some cool tricks you can do with Chronobreak. First of all you have the R - W mechanic that I showed earlier, but it's a mechanic that you rarely get to use in a game.
A cool and super useful thing you can do with your R Chronobreak is to not put a point in it when you hit level 6. First of all this makes it so the enemy can't see your R clone. They won't know the position of your clone, and they'll usually think that you just don't have R up. Learning this trick takes A LOT of practice but the practice is 100% worth it.
Here's an example of how useful this trick can be
Ekko's most unknown combo:
Lastly for this chapter of my guide I want to show you an Ekko combo that I rarely/never see anyone do. The combo is:
E1 - Q - Flash - E2 - Hextech Protobelt-01 - Auto Attack
It's hard to understand how the combo works, so here's a video showing how it looks
This combo is extremely useful throughout the entire game after you finish your Hextech Protobelt-01. Later on as you get more items, this combo will one a squishy target without any counterplay. I consistently get kills with this combo almost every single game.
This is my preferred starting item every single game. Simply good sustain and easy to refill because of Ekko's good wave clear. Also has nice synergy with Teleport which allows you to recall and TP back with fresh stacks of Corrupting Potion
These 2 items are what you are aiming for in the early game. You should have a Dark Seal every single game, and Doran's Ring is really good as well. I usually skip Doran's Ring if I'm not able to buy it very early on, usually you'd rather get an Amplifying Tome to get your powerspikes quicker. My general rule is if I'm more than 6 minutes in game, I do not buy Doran's Ring
These are my early game items. Revolver is obvious, good burst and Hextech Protobelt-01 component. I always get Fiendish Codex over Kindlegem. Both give CDR, but the AP from Fiendish Codex is extremely helpful to smoothly clear waves early on. You delay your Hextech Protobelt-01 powerspike a bit, but remember that the extra AP will allow you to clear waves without the minions surviving with really low hp, which may cause you to miss a lot of last hits.
Ekko's core item. It's like this item was made for him. Good AP, early HP is nice, CDR is nice and the active works as an auto attack reset which let's you combo smoothly. Build this item every single game. Many people think that it's a good idea to sell the Hextech Protobelt-01 late game to buy a more expensive item, but the Dash + aa reset is way too valuable and important to get your damage off.
I get a lot of questions about the Nashor's Tooth. Why do I go it as my second item over Lich Bane? I used to go Lich Bane every game as my second item, but I thought about my builds quite a bit. I had a period where I felt I lacked damage as Ekko, so I gave Nashor's Tooth a try and now I can't go back. Nashor's Tooth is perfect for my Ekko playstyle. You lose a slight amount of Lich Bane's instant burst, but instead you get a faster combo. You gain 10% more CDR, the attack speed is great for clearing waves fast and to farm jungle camps, and the extra on hit damage also helps a lot. Nashor's Tooth is way stronger than Lich Bane in split pushing and side laning. In long 1v1s you get a lot of autos off which makes Nashor's Tooth great, and more CDR = more damage and easier kills. You do lose the 250 mana from Lich Bane which sucks a bit, but by keeping your Corrupting Potion, picking up Blue Buffs and being a bit more considerate with your mana, this isn't a problem. You also lose the 7% Movement Speed but it's not enough to not go Nashor's Tooth. Lastly, people's main argument against it is that you lose too much burst. You actually don't lose a lot of burst at all. A full combo with Hextech Protobelt-01 + Nashor's Tooth only does around 100 damage less than a full combo with Hextech Protobelt-01 and Lich Bane. If you auto 2 times after your combo, Nashor's Tooth deals more. Another point is that Ekko doesn't really use the Sheen procs very well compared to other Sheen champs like Camille, Irelia, Fizz, Nidalee. These champs get multiple Sheen/Lich procs in a combo while Ekko usually only gets 1 proc because you generally use W, E and Q at around the same time. And because of the extra CDR, your E and Q comes back 0.7 seconds faster with the Nashor's Tooth build. Give it a try and see if it's something for you. I think both Lich Bane and Nashor's Tooth are viable second items, but I prefer Nashor's Tooth at least.
I really love this item on Ekko. You always get Dark Seal early, and if you pick up a few stacks don't be afraid to upgrade it to a Mejai's Soulstealer. When you have Protobelt and Nashor's Tooth you deal insane amounts of damage and you can easily snowball and pick up some stacks. Mejai's gives 200 mana and also gives movement speed if you have 10+ stacks, which makes up for the loss of mana and movement speed from Lich Bane.
MMMMMMM Rabadons... This item is insane for Ekko. When tank Ekko was OP, Riot kept nerfing his base damages while buffing his scaling. And here we are, now Ekko has insane AP scalings. Get this item 3rd no matter what. I go it third in 98% of my games I would say.
Here's the Lich Bane!!! Since Lich Bane has a 50% AP scaling, the item is really good once you have completed Rabadon's Deathcap. This is why I go it 4th item instead of 2nd item. Lich Bane paired with Nashor's Tooth lets you melt towers.
I love Sorc boots on Ekko, and these are the boots you generally want, but if the enemy team has too much CC, or if they are stacking MR which makes Sorcerer's Shoes' magic pen lose it's value, then Mercury's Threads are fine. You never want Ninja Tabi on Ekko, you'd rather get Sorcerer's Shoes and Seeker's Armguard vs AD damage heavy teams.
I get this item eventually every single game. 4th item if enemies already have a lot of MR, 5th item if they don't. Every team will eventually have some magic resist, so Void Staff will always be necessary. Ekko doesn't have to one shot backline carries, he also deals insane damage to frontlines, so Void Staff lets you one shot even tanky champs in the late game.
A lot of people love this item on Ekko. You can combo it with your W, or bait people with your R, sure. But you lose a lot of damage by not going the other 5 items on my list, only get Zhonya's Hourglass if you really really need it. Seeker's Armguard is a fine pickup vs AD heavy comps and AD mid laners, but upgrading it is usually not necessary.
Do NOT build this item unless the enemy team has Soraka, Vladimir, Fiddlesticks, Camille in the same team. In games where you think you will need antiheal, take Ignite. Don't waste your gold on Morello. You delay your other insane items by 3000 gold, and instead of reducing healing, why not just one shot people instead? Tell your ADC or any AD champ to pick up a cheap 800 gold Executioner's Calling.