Lux Build Guide by Franimus
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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.
Good morning! Cue music: Solar-Powered Life.
I've revamped this build for the Commandress.
You're going to start off by rushing Philosopher's Stone (PStone). Next you're going to get some AP: Rabadon's. This will greatly increase all future AP you buy. Finish your boots at about the same time - either Sorcerer's Shoes or Ionion Boots of Lucidity, depending on whether the enemy has any magic resist. Next are the remaining Tier 2 items that will build into the final items: Sheen and Fiendish Codex (I recommend holding off on Kindlegem - you shouldn't need it). Finally you finish off your Tier 3 items: Lich Bane, Shurelya's Reverie, and Morello's Evil Tome. It was duly noted that Archangel's Staff just doesn't do it, and so I have removed it from this build.
My first build with Lux was centered on Innervating Locket. When they removed that, I was forced to find new items (after my tears had solidified, my thumb was calloused, my blanket was shredded, and I was able to get out of the fetal position). I settled on Shurelya's, but only after examining all of the items in my build to make sure I covered what was lost that I still needed. Because I have to buy the PStone anyways for Shurelya's, I make sure to get it first, and since Lux is getting CDR from so many other places (and she shouldn't be relying on having extra HP), I wait until late in the game to finish Shurelya's to get max GP benefit from the PStone. My old build had its heaviest focus on being cheap, and I completed it most games, and in this build I decided that wasn't always the best, but PStone helps me to at least finish Shurelya's before it's over - about an extra 1k GP.
My primary focus for this build is on Cooldown Reduction (CDR). That just goes for any decent Lux. Constant snares, shields, slows, and of course snipes.
The secondary focus is on AP. Originally I was focused primarily on straight AP and magic pen, but then I saw the light (no pun intended).
After much deliberation and finally after being beaten by an enemy Lux. I picked up Archangel's Staff and made Mana the third focus, as a means to increase AP.
My final major tweak to this build was to make sure I incorporated Sheen. This was a facepalm moment when I realized how Lux is an epitome of a Sheen champion. Moreover, this build needed some Magic Resist, so I went with building Sheen into Lich Bane - this replaced Banshee's Veil from my old builds. Lux has very good range and should not be that far forward where she needs Banshee's. If she does, she's probably dead anyways - I'm not about to retrofit tank paraphernalia onto a support sniper.
Frozen Heart has pretty much always been part of my build because it had the largest CDR (25%). With the latest patch, they've nerfed that back down to 20%, so any suggestions on whether it should be replaced are welcome. I should really say, whether Glacial Shroud should be replaced because I rarely get past Rabadon's Deathcap to finish off the Frozen Heart. However, I do get Frozen Heart before Rabadon's if I am being focused by the enemy in teamfights. Another thing I have not yet tried, but recently noted, is that if you don't need any armor (and don't need the extra now-5% CDR), Frozen Heart and Glacial Shroud should be replaced by Morello's Evil Tome. But, as it is, Frozen Heart is the sole armor in this build.
For boots, I definitely went with Sorcerer's Shoes because I removed Void Staff from my build. There were too many games where the enemy really didn't have that much magic resist. If anyone has a good description of exactly how magic resistance is applied to damage, that would be helpful. By the way, if your laning opponents aren't being aggressive or if you have enough GP when you're on the platform, then get Tear of the Goddess before your basic boots. You're a ranged champion and if you're staying back far enough you prolly won't need the extra speed right away.
Rabadon's Deathcap is a no-brainer. If the enemy is stacking a ton of Magic Resist, you might want to swap this for a Void Staff.
With all that being said, I rarely have to deviate from the item build I set forth.
For Summoner Spells, I switched to Flash/Clairvoyance. I'm still not entirely sure on the second one.
Flash replaced my previous choice of Exhaust. Even with the MR reduction, Exhaust was not very helpful due to already having a snare and a slow. Use flash to get in close enough to land your snare, or (of course) to snare and then flash out for a very effective escape.
Clairvoyance should normally be used to aim your laser. Since the laser has such a low cooldown, you should be using clairvoyance anytime the targeted enemy leaves your sight. The reason I'm not set on clairvoyance is that I usually have good luck hitting the enemy without being about to actually see them, and the other half of the time I'm giving a laser to the face (making sure to target all or else don't bother yet) as we initiate. Teleport would be a second choice for this slot.
As I alluded to in the previous chapter, my masteries of choice are 9/0/21, with deference to filling the offensive tree first for you low-level summoners.
The one point I would reallocate would be the Greed, since that only gets you 180 GP in 30 minutes. Every little bit helps, but that's just me. If you have trouble laning, put it in Awareness. If you like Blue Buff (not that you'll -need- it with this build), put that and one of the Awareness points into Utility Mastery.
Also, since adding flash as a summoner spell, I took two points out of base movement speed; I usually didn't run faster than the enemy anyways.
The runes I chose were first of all to ensure they were all primary runes for max efficiency both in terms of IP and benefit.
You'll notice I went benefits per level (again, max efficiency - most overall benefit). Lux is only a support during the early game - just snare, slow, and shield (don't both harassing), and let your lane partner do most of the dirty work. You can certainly get kills early on, as I often do, but you must learn to play conservatively to set the tone for the rest of the game. You need to wait for your base damage and power to level up before you really start hurting them. When you do blossom into this beautiful powerbrick-house mid to late game, it totally psychs the other team out. Of course, it also totally psychs them out when you melt their faces off in the early game while your laning partner is AFK or you got stuck with the bad side of a 2v1.
Anywho, I digress. I wasn't sure whether to get mana regen quints or AP quints, but I'm thinking mana regen right now, to offset removing Archangel's Staff from the build. (Mana capacity wouldn't be worth it since it is only one extra minor spell at level 18 per quint - if you're that low on mana, you should prolly take a pot, steal blue buff, ask a teammate for clarity, or go heal and TP back in.)
A similar story for the seals. I chose mana regen since it's the primary over the other minor runes, but quints will give better mana regen. In fact, it's the same story for AP as it was for mana regen. So really, while both are very useful for Lux, I chose to devote the stronger runes (Quints) to AP and the weaker (Seals) to mana regen. Same thing for the seals as it was the quints for getting mana capacity instead of either AP or mana regen - don't bother.
For laning with a partner, the sequence for leveling up your skills is definitely R->Q->E->W (Laser->Snare->Slow->Shield), while making sure you get one point in E (Slow) and W (Shield) before resuming focus on your Q. The Q is your most important asset when laning with a partner, but more on that in the Team Work chapter.
If you are laning solo (either mid or the occasional 2v1, yes it is very possible if you are a decent Lux), then your leveling up sequence becomes R->E->Q->W. Here you still want to get your first point in Q to make sure you always have your snare available to get away or to trap a stupid enemy inside your turret. Your shield you can get whenever you want because it's just for you, but keep in mind your shield works against any type of damage so if you're against poison you'll want it right after your first Q and E.
In a lane fight, you will generally open with your Q, throw your slow in anticipation of where they might start to move, autoattack them to pop your passive, explode your slow, autoattack again for your passive, and then laser them followed by a final autoattack if needed. If you have Sheen, make sure you throw your shield and autoattack after that, since your shield will set up Sheen's passive even though it won't set up your own passive.
In a team fight, please try to let your tank initiate - that is a mistake I make often because I get excited about snaring them. Use your E for AoE damage and pop your passive on the enemies it hits. Keep an eye out for strategic uses of your Q, but don't bother waiting too long because by now its cooldown should be lower. You can use it to either keep enemies away from the fight or to keep enemies in the fight. Use your shield to hit all of your allies - remember it is a boomerang so you can move around to shield the rest of your teammates who missed it at first. If your ult is max level (you are level 16 or higher), then use your laser as soon as you can to hit the most enemies possible. It will cool down enough by the end of the fight for you to snipe enemies who are running away. Even if it is a few seconds before the fight starts, don't be afraid to use it if you can hit most of the enemy team with it (especially their non-tanks or those without magic resist). If your ult is not max level, you will probably want to wait until you see someone who might otherwise get away and snipe them.
Do NOT spam your E while laning or you will have major mana problems the whole time you do that. If you find yourself running low on mana, STOP using your W and E. You always want to keep enough mana for your snare in case you need to either get away or trap a foolish enemy. Use your E strategically - I recommend only when the enemy is AFK and you can finish off a group of minions with it.
When you are just clearing a minion wave and you don't have to worry about saving your mana, go ahead and use your E, your W, and even your Q to stop them from advancing. Unless your ult is max level and you're not hurrying to a possible team fight, don't bother ulting the minions even though it will take a good bit longer to clear them. With your teleport, you should be keeping an eye on the lanes and clearing them before the huge wave reaches your tower (especially after they just got buffed!), thus using your TP to get back into the action rather than having to TP to your dying tower.
Your teammates will love you for your Q, because that is what will get them the easy kill any time an enemy champion steps in your line of sight with your partner nearby. As I mentioned earlier, use your Q to trap enemies who are in the wrong spot at the wrong time (like under your tower, trying to run away, or trying to join the fight while you're focusing someone else). If a teammate is being chased, run to them and throw your Q at them to stop the enemies behind them - and immediately also turn tail and run.
The early point in E is so you can do additional damage with your passive while you wait for your Q to cool down. One of the big advantages of your E is for free sight. It doesn't have the range of Ashe's Hawkshot, but it is still plenty to do from a safe location behind Baron, Dragon, one of the buffs, or (typical case) into a bush on the side of your lane. (Even if just the side of it grazes a bush, you can see inside it, plus enemies don't always realize that this ability lets you see them.) Use your E to see when Baron or Dragon is close to death, then hit it with your laser to steal it - very pro, since you'll hit their team while you're at it. I don't often find much use for the slow effect because of also having the snare, but that's just me. Every little bit helps when you are trying to run away - throw it just in front of you or your teammate and leave it active at least until the enemy is almost completely through it.
The early W point is because you will certainly have time to spare during any fight to throw your allies a small shield against any damage. The question is whether you will have mana. Therefore, laning with someone who has clarity is a plus. Late in the game when you finally start putting levels into your W, it can save you and your teammates from things such as Karthus' ult (throw it as soon as you see the red line appear above your heads, and move to make sure your allies get shielded) and poison. It can also help turn the tide in a teamfight especially if the enemy has some AoE damage and your team is clustered together.
I mentioned that you will be loved for your Q, but they will all bow down and worship you for your laser. As with all of Lux's abilities, this takes practice in aiming it just right. Very often I get kills by shots in the utter darkness, because I correctly predicted where the enemy was running. I was very confused when Caitlyn arrived on the scene and people commented that there was finally a sniper - hah! If you want to call yourself a sniper, try aiming instead of just choosing your target. Anywho, another tip for using your laser that I mentioned earlier is, after you've maxed it out (or at least gotten your second level in it plus a few CDR items), fire it right away during a team fight and it will cool down by the end of it - but make sure that first shot hits as many champions as possible. Also, because of the low cooldown, I like to fire it before I leave a lane to clear out extra minions and scare the opposing laners from getting too close to my tower because they are now at half health.
Finally, something I should mention (and reiterate if I've already mentioned it) is that Lux should not be at the forefront of any fight. She is not a tank. She should always have [at least close to] the lowest damage taken at the end of the game. The HP regen items are solely to keep her in the lane earning XP and GP between TPs. If the enemy is focusing you, you're either playing too far forward, or your team needs to watch their flanks better before initiating team fights. If they do start to hit you, snare them and run away. If they're going to kill you, just laser them ASAP to do the most damage before you bite the big one - it'll recharge by the time you respawn anyways.
Lux is a very unique champion. Her most obviously unique skill is her laser. Along with her snare and even her shield, it is a skillshot and they all require practice to aim properly, especially when you factor in timing to charge the laser and even just the general principle of leading a running target (although, not necessary when sniping a n00b Sion who is just sitting there under his own turret, which leads me to my next point).
Did I mention Lux has good range? Her E out-ranges most other standard abilities in the game, enabling her to safely harass targets underneath their turret. Of course, her laser, which extends off-screen, lets her safely snipe enemies low on HP no matter where they are. Even her Q goes a decent distance. I was able to kill a full HP Sion (granted, he was oddly squishy) under his own turret without taking more than 1-2 hits, if any, from the turret. Snare, slow, laser.
In case you are unfamiliar with Lux's passive, every time she hits an enemy with one of her abilities (Q, E, or R) it puts a mark on them. When Lux autoattacks an enemy who has the mark, it pops it doing extra damage. This makes her a prime candidate for Sheen, which stacks with the passive, giving her a very strong skill series when she gets that item in this build.
Pros / Cons
Pro: Yes, she is.
Con: No, she's a good girl ;)
Srsly tho, this build is very solid for me. Even if I have a bad early game because my head hurts or whatever, I can still turn it around and become a killing machine by late game because this build is still fairly inexpensive. This build will keep you in the lanes with the TP (if you use TP, you must be quick about it!) and the HP/Mana regen from the PStone, and will keep you powerful through the end game as you spam your laser.
One thing to watch out for is a team that stacks heavy magic resist. Solution is to try to encourage most or at least half of your teammates to go AD, or you can try swapping an item for Void Staff. Another problem that might creep up is mana, but that should only occur if you are spamming your abilities too much early game - just autoattack the minions and save your abilities for enemy champions. If you run out of mana late game, you've prolly stocked up enough GP that you've earned a quick break to go back and buy some stuff. Also, if the enemy team is marching past and ignoring the rest of your team in team fights, there's not much you can do. You're not a tank. Just snare/slow them and try to run away, but chances are one or two of the fast ones will still be on your tail and you just have to cross your fingers that your team can take out the enemies while they chase you. But if they're focusing you like that, you were probably doing something right to piss them off early game ;)
If someone tries this out in a ranked game, I'd love to know how it goes. I've only played normal. But if it's any consolation to you rankers out there who are reading this build, I've been playing Lux against level 30s since I was level 10 and doing well.
Again, I'd love to hear your comments on this build - how do you think it might be improved? Do you have any answers to the thoughts that I've provoked throughout this guide?
This is my first build/guide posted on here, so anything related to that please let me know also.