Lux Build Guide by Dray
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Lux is my favorite character. She has epic damage. She has epic escapability from multiple pursuers. She has range. She has auto attack harassment. This chick simply has it all. I love playing her. If you run on a laggy computer you may want to stick to something absurdly easy like Tryn but if you really want to shine and show off some pro, this is your toon. Let's examine why...
The rune setup is basic. Magic pen and ability power. I'll talk about mana and why you dont need mana runes later.
Again, basic. 15% spell pen in offense and down the line in utility. If you want to go against the grain and tweak with this guide's suggested summoner spells (like if you miss skill shots often and need clarity), adjust the masteries appropriately. With the two cooldown reduction (CDR) items of this build you sit at 36%, 4% from the cap, bringing your ultimate down to about 24 seconds (more on this later). If you want more late game fun for more early game woes, swap out the mana per 5 mastery for the neutral buff duration mastery. I don't, and I don't think you should either.
Some people will just stack ability power forever with AD carries, but I think this is a misappropriation and makes you less adaptable. Lux doesn't really start 2 shotting folks until late game, so the cooldown reduction style will help you with early ganks and continuous harassment. You'll thank your CDR when you hit off your root right as it comes off cooldown while that Yi Highlanders to you. Morellos tome is a fantastic new item for Lux, it offers some mana some CDR and some AP all at a very reasonable price. You may want to get the Tome before the Lich Bane, but I like the adaptability as I said, and the 8% run speed WILL save your life, especially if you run the middle lane (more on clairvoyance and midlaning later). When I'm feeling like some nuke and don't see enemy characters looking like they'll be easy early game prey I go Sorc Treads and then just use the Golem buff (5v5 only of course) to cap CDR. I'm confident in the posted item build and it's order. Why mess with something that works?
Before we even start let me say this: watch your mana. Count your mana. If you are setting to kill someone, make sure you have enough for the root AND the laserbeam. With that, let's begin.
I don't get the W button shield ability until I'm forced to. It doesn't shield for that much and you shouldnt be getting hit anyway. Casting the shield causes Lux to halt moomentarily (unlike, for instance, Sion's shield), so you can't really use it to save your life while running from an enemy anyway. It's almost always better to root and run. I've watched many a Lux try to throw a shield only to see Yi close the gap and rip right through it. I'll talk about the shield once more at the end of this section.
Your primary ability is the E button area slow/nuke. First, this thing has more range than you might initially think. If you let the ball fizzle out instead of manually detonating it you can see that the green area beneath the ball, the area of effect, is gigantic. The range you can throw it at is also gigantic. Like with the shield however, dont try to throw this thing to save your life from a pursuing enemy. Lux will halt, throw the ball, your enemy will close the gap and you will die. The only ability you should be throwing while escaping is the Q button root. The aoe nuke/snare is great for harassing because it can remain undetonated for something like 5 seconds, increasing your zone of control (for more on that see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kxGQ3gWdrM). In general, you dont want to leave it undetonated, but rather want to throw it, IMMEDIATELY detonate it so that they get hit (they'll of course try to run away), and here's where Lux is awesome: your innate is also a scare factor. Your enemy knows that even after youve kicked their *** with a nukeball you can still mininuke them again if they try to get back into the laning phase too early. Use the innate to scare, and level the nukeball first, aware that its mana cost increasing as it levels.
Now for your root, the Q ability. This WILL save your ***, and the ***es of your teammates. I'd say on average I mitigate about 4 deaths with this ability per game. Be aware that it has a pretty slow missile speed, so you'll need to lead your target a LITTLE (don't be a Lux that continuously overshoots or undershoots this thing, get it down). This should be your opening attack in postlaning phase, and in the laning phase you should mostly be using nukeball, unless youre legitimately setting up to finish someone off (for instance when you hit level 6). Also be thinking about where the enemy may be THROUGH WALLS, or in bushes. If you come in at an angle while your team is 5v4ing at an enemy tower (where you excel by the way), you can catch people through the wall you're behind, allowing your team an easy kill. As with any character with range, don't reveal yourself until you have to, nor be so far away from your team that you can get cutoff yourself.
So we've talked about how the laning phase will look, mostly nukeballs hopefully followed by ignition of your passive debuff on your target, and culminating in a root laser combo to finish off people low, all the while keeping an eye on your mana and knowing the capacity of your enemy to counterattack (it IS a strategy game). Now let's consider team fights. Generally you should be able to snare, nukeball, laserbeam all in one swift motion. Be aware of your nearest turret, make sure that turret HAS HEALTH, and know about your escape plan in the event of a counterattack. Keep a constant eye on your team, and if you're out in front and they're retreating, expect to be attacked. Since you're running clairvoyance you can scout out likely spots of where the enemy team is moving. Be always mindful of the map, using clairvoyance pretty much whenever it is off cooldown in order to maximize your map awareness. You can use the nukeball to scout as well, but I dont reccomend this generally, as youre left without half of your damage when you do it, and a good chunk of mana missing (especially since you've been LEVELING the nukeball). Keep your head on a swivel and try to setup root, nukeball, laserbeam combos. Thats your job: to hit that combo. Be sure to do it in that order, never laserbeam without a passive debuff on your target, since laserbeam ignites and replenishes that debuff. If you laserbeam without first getting the debuff you forego a very solid chunk of damage. The laserbeam should only be used without the combo when you're scaring people away from tower as you come back from the fountain, or pick people off when they disappear into the jungle. When they run off to the jungle you can clairvoyance and setup a final laserbeam for the kill.
You should ABSOLUTELY be shielding your entire team late game when you siege towers or teamfight. Late game, with near full items the shield is something like 500 dmg mitigation. This will allow your team the push you need to get that inhibitor. I could go on and on about individual situations but this is a long enough section as it is. Moving on.
Like we just mentioned, clairvoyance can be used to setup sniper finishes on retreating victims with the laserbeam. You should be using this spell to reveal bushes OFTEN, hopefully with such frequency that the enemy team just stops using them. If you mid, this lets you be more aware of incoming ganks, but you should always be careful not to overextend in the lane. If you do overextend and happen to clairvoyance the wrong side of the river while midlaning, try to setup the root if appropriate, otherwise go to your flash. The only thing beyond the obvious to say about flash is that you should be mindful of dodging skill shots with it, and of avoiding initial stuns and slows. For example, if Nasus is ganking you midlane, flash BEFORE he can get in range of wither. This summoner spell combo is offensive with the sniping capability late game (also be aware that sniping opportunities may appear in the early laning phase while they recall back to base, thinking theyre safe), but it's primarily defensive. Between your map awareness with clairvoyance, your root, and your flash, you should NOT be dying EVER as Lux. If you died it was likely because you overextended WAY too far or tried to shield or slowball to save yourself, like we talked about, and it ended up killing you. Dont try to shield or slowball to save your life, just root. If the root misses, keep running. More often than not when I play Lux, I have less than 2 deaths, often zero.
Creeping / Jungling
You dont build spell vamp on Lux so jungling is out of the question. Late game you can solo Golem around level 12. It takes time, so be aware of the map and dont do it if it's unsafe. Remember you have mana regen on your tome, the archangels staff and your masteries. If you just chill, youll get mana. Stay in the lane as much as often to gain a level/gold advantage. Remember that when you're alone in the lane you get more leeway in last hitting minions, without having to worry about counter harassment. Remember when/if you do golem, to avoid a few of the auto attacks by rooting and taking a step back. Laserbeam being on such a low cooldown means you should be using it to Golem if you need to get it done fast. DO NOT LASERBEAM MINION WAVES. Your nukeball will get most creeps low enough to one shot with an auto attack, igniting the passive debuff. Save the laserbeam for PvP and the Golem exclusively. Be mindful that you can get easy gold by nukeballing the mage minions and subsequently one shotting them, and not have to worry about competition from your own minions for the last hit. 3 mage minion's worth of gold is worth the 100 or so mana from the nukeball.
This chick aint easy to play. She's deadly as hell. The 24 second cooldown on laserbeam will devastate enemy teams, dealing something like 800 (not including the ignition of the passive debuff) listed damage on the skill, late game with some items. Few nontanks can survive a nukeball/laserbeam combo from Lux late game, much less a full combo. Keep in mind the things I've pointed out in this guide, have a little dexterity with your skill shots, and you WILL carry your team to victory. Remember to make "Tactical decisions summoner" :D.