Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.
I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.
In this chapter I'm going to be gathering a compilation of Kai'Sa footage ranging from full gameplays, VOD reviews of myself and more famous players, as well as short plays, to help you learn the champion even better if you're willing to put in the time to watch some extra content on top of the actual guide itself, as well as give you an idea of what the champion can achieve in the hands of a good player. Click here to sub for more educational content.
Corki's the only ADC in the game whose main damage output is magic damage. Most of his spells deal magic damage and his auto attacks deal 80%/20% magic/physical.
This makes Corki a strong bot lane pick in full AD comps, as it'll prevent the enemy team from being immortal if they stack armor. Additionally it means he can be taken mid lane despite being an ADC, as it doesn't sacrifice magic damage in a team comp, and his ability to poke with Missile Barrage means he brings more to a team than just DPS.
This guide will mainly focus on mid lane since that's where Corki is strongest, but a lot of the guide will apply to bot lane as well.
Flash is the strongest summoner spell in the game, there is almost no champion that doesn't run it. It's an incredibly versatile spell, being able to be used either offensively or defensively. There is absolutely no circumstance in which you wouldn't want to run Flash, if you don't you'll be the easiest person on your team to gank and catch out, and you'll potentially miss out on a lot of kills that get away using their own Flash while you're unable to close the gap because you don't have Flash yourself.
Barrier is the best defencive summoner spell in the game as a mid laner doesn't get the benefits of heal hitting 2 targets often. It also helps more against ignite than Heal does. Those 2 combined make it the best option if you need defence and should be your default summoner spell into most matchups.
If you don't need the extra survivability from Barrier then Teleport is your next best option outside of specific matchups. The ability to have safe/greedy recalls is incredibly useful and the fact you can influence the map in ways people without TP can't make you a global threat.
This spell is a solid alternative to Barrier if the enemy is unlikely to take Ignite and the extra utility of movement speed is more useful than the lower CD of Barrier. It's a lot more niche than barrier is so I wouldn't suggest it unless you know for a fact the enemy laner won't have ignite.
This one's very situational but there are situations where it's pretty strong. For example it's very commonly taken vs Lissandra to deal with her Frozen Tomb, or vs Twisted Fate, Annie, etc. You can take it against basically anyone that has highly dangerous CC, but it's most commonly taken against the champions I listed that have point and click CC that can't be dodged. It gives you counterplay to otherwise unavoidable CC. And if you're scared of getting 100-0'd by something like a Lux ult then you could take it against her too, but it's less necessary given that theoretically you're only going to get hit by Light Binding as a result of your own mistake, it's not unavoidable CC. The most important enemy champion to take Cleanse into is Zoe. Her Sleepy Trouble Bubble is hellish to fight against but a Cleanse shuts it down completely.
Magical Footwear: The tempo earned from 300g and an extra 10 flat movement speed is unbeatable for most marksman champions. This is especially true for Corki as his first item is incredibly expensive so being able to ignore boots becomes very powerful.
Corki has 2 different passives. The main one is the fact that 80% of his auto-attack damage is converted into magic damage. This combined with almost all his spells dealing only magic damage means that Corki does considerably more magic damage than physical damage, allowing you to take an ADC mid lane without being too heavy in physical damage.
The other passive is The Package, and what it does is that when you pick it up from your base, for the next minute you get tons of out-of-combat movement speed and are able to cast Special Delivery, which is best described as a “super Valkyrie”. It's very similar to Valkyrie except it has 3-4 times the length, knocks enemies aside as you charge through, and the burn zone slows enemies and does waaay more damage than Valkyrie; the burn zone is a lot more comparable to The Equalizer rather than Valkyrie really, they're pretty similar in terms of damage and functionality (minus the fact that Rumble doesn't fly across an entire screen to cast it).
This is your main trading spell in lane, and part of what makes Corki so bursty. It's pretty slow moving so you'll want to make sure to only cast it towards your opponent while they're in the middle of their auto-attack animation while last-hitting, to make it harder for them to dodge it or force them to abandon their last-hit to do so.
The Package is super fun to play with, and it's important to note that casting Special Delivery doesn't put Valkyrie on cooldown, so you have 2 gap closers available to you during this spell. Be careful not to get carried away and do any stupid suicidal engages, but be open to good opportunities to decimate the enemy team with it like you would with The Equalizer. If you can find a way to flank so that you can cast it through the enemy team towards your own team rather than away from them then that would be most ideal.
You generally don't want to pick The Package up as soon as it comes up, rather save it for the best opportunities. For example, pick it up whenever you see a good roam opportunity available; don't pick it up if you can see enemy laners backing while you're in base. And out of lane it's most effective to save it for dragon and baron fights rather than just picking it up willy nilly every time it comes up. Those objectives force the enemy team to group in small areas if they want to contest them, which is perfect for using The Equalizer The Package.
This spell does insane damage if you can hit an enemy with the entire duration. Unfortunately you mostly can't, especially in lane, which is why you don't max it first. However it's still really strong in lane as it reduces enemy armor and magic resist, increasing the damage you deal through auto-attacks and other spells. Out of lane it continues to be very strong as you can more often hit enemies with the entire duration, and the resistances reduction increases your DPS considerably.
RANGE: 600 / 35º | COST: 50 | MANA COOLDOWN: 16
Missile Barrage is what makes Corki such a great Trinity Force user. The spell has a 2 second cooldown, making it very easy to maximize the damage of your 1.5 second CD Trinity Force procs. And aside from increasing your DPS it also gives Corki decent poke, especially during the Big One. A tip for harassing with this spell is that you don't always have to directly hit enemy champions. It's AoE, so if you hit nearby minions right as your enemy is next to them, the splash damage will hurt them. This is especially useful for hitting the Big One, since it has the largest AoE area that can often catch enemies off guard when they unexpectedly get damaged by the AoE when you fire it onto nearby minions. This is usually the most reliable way of “hitting” the spell, since enemies can dodge it but still take damage since they were too close to the minions that unfortunately don't have the brains to dodge skillshots.
Corrupting Potion is the best start for Corki has he wants to aggressively abuse his range and damage in the early game whilst also letting him trade into almost any match-up. Together with Biscuit Delivery you'll become very hard to get forced out of lane.
Even though the removal of crit chance in 6.12 was a nerf for Corki, this is still by far the strongest item you could possibly build on Corki, he makes good use of every single stat and most importantly, the Spellblade passive makes him deal a lot of damage as he can proc it almost every time it comes off cooldown, thanks to it having basically the same cooldown as Missile Barrage. It's an amazing 1 item powerspike, and it continues being his strongest item even when full build. Its quick powerspike is also why Corki is considered such a strong mid-game ADC; a one-item Corki is the strongest ADC in the game, as no other ADC can match Corki's Trinity Force power with just 1 item. Not even Youmuu's Ghostblade Lucian matches up to it.
Even after the removal of Trinity Force's crit chance, this should still be your followup item. Corki basically just wants to use the same build as most other ADC's, but preceded by Trinity Force and with Sorcerer's Shoes rather than Berserker's Greaves. After completing those he wants to build DPS through AD, attack speed and crit, just like any other ADC.
Your fourth item will be a second zeal item to further increase your DPS from attack speed and crit. The best option here is Statikk Shiv as it gives you some large AoE magic damage whenever you have the energize passive up, and it has natural synergy with Rapid Firecannon. You can also get a Phantom Dancer instead here if the enemy has a lot of burst you can't easily build against.
At this point in your build you deal a lot of damage, and so building lifesteal means you'll heal a lot. Lifesteal has full efficiency on Corki's auto-attacks, even the magic damage half, so he benefits from it as much as any other ADC..
Although Corki deals a lot of mixed damage 90% of it is magic damage. So if the enemies are stacking a lot of MR, you should build this, as it'll increase your damage a considerable amount. Just don't build any Last Whisper items against armor stackers since armor is the least useful resistance for you to bypass.
If you're carrying really hard and the enemy team's win condition is to kill you, make their life miserable by building this and forcing them to have to manage to kill you twice in a row. If you're going to build it, it's best as a 6th item, once you have enough damage to force the enemy team to have to kill you.
At level 1 you should start immediately shoving the wave with auto-attacks, starting with the melee minions. You'll want to trade with the enemy mid laner whenever's a good moment, and the less minion aggro you receive, the better you'll trade, which is why you want to shove and build a minion advantage.
The best time to poke the enemy mid laner is when they're about to last-hit a minion. They'll have to choose between last-hitting the minion or trading with you. If Phosphorus Bomb is up and they're already in their auto-attack animation, use that as they won't have enough time to finish the auto-attack and dodge, and once Phosphorus Bomb has been cast you can poke with an auto-attack before moving back out of their range before they can retaliate.
If your opponent ever tries doing this to you (you can tell if they're about to because they'll be walking up to you right as one of their minions gets low), just abandon the last-hit and trade with them, starting off with Phosphorus Bomb as they begin their auto animation (bonus points if you can both hit your enemy and last-hit the minion) and then using an auto-attack of your own. The trade should go in your favour since the enemy has to walk really close to your minion wave to harass you, and so should take more minion aggro than you.
Yeah yeah, I'm sure you've all heard “prioritize farming over harassing”. It's a good rule to help new players learn the game, but good players will prioritize establishing lane dominance over a few CS; once you're winning lane you have plenty of time to get all the last-hits you want while zoning the enemy to deny them last-hits and exerting any kill pressure you may have. The real rule is, don't tunnel onto harassing your enemy while ignoring last-hits, try to aim to get every last-hit you can, but make sure to make good trades against your opponent every chance you get, even at the expense of a last-hit, and if your enemy tries to harass you while you're trying to last-hit something, ignore the last-hit and just trade back. Dealing 100+ damage to your enemy is more valuable than obtaining ~20 gold.
At level 2 you can either take Gatling Gun for more lane pressure, or Valkyrie to more easily escape ganks/save yourself if you're getting your *** handed to you. If you're running Exhaust and winning, you can take Gatling Gun and just Exhaust the enemy and run them down, most effective if they're still level 1. If they have no gap closer then they'll either take a lot of damage while not being able to properly retaliate themselves, or Flash away/die/both, depending on how smart they are.
If you take Gatling Gun at level 2, you need to take Valkyrie at level 3, since it's important for not dying to ganks. If you took Valkyrie at level 3 you should almost always take a second point in Phosphorus Bomb so you're concentrating your damage onto a single spell rather than two, costing you less mana. You should only take Gatling Gun at level 3 if you intend to go for the kill before level 4, whether 1v1 or with the help of your jungler. By level 4 you should always have 2 points in Phosphorus Bomb and should continue levelling it up whenever possible.
At level 6 you obviously level up your ultimate, Missile Barrage, and if you can go for a kill then go for it. If you can't and you have over 1k gold, you should push out the lane and recall for your Sheen and whatever else you can afford. By the time you get back to lane you'll have charged up a few Missile Barrage charges, since you only start with 1 after taking your ultimate. You can use these to harass whenever you think you can hit it, and try to poke the enemy with Sheen procs whenever possible. Remember what I already said about shooting Missile Barrage onto minions and getting the splash damage to hit your enemy; that's the easiest way to harass them if they happen to be walking towards their minions, especially with the Big One which will constantly catch them by surprise with how deceptively huge the splash damage is.
At 8 minutes The Package will spawn, and you can just pick that up whenever's a convenient recall moment for you. But remember that you don't always have to pick it up right away just because it's there; in laning phase it's best used for roaming, and if all the enemy lanes currently seem to be in a safe position, you might just be wasting it if you pick it up. You can always just save it for later.
Finally, remember that there is no set way to play every single lane. What I just described is a general ideal scenario kind of lane. Sometimes you're laning against enemies who simply naturally out-trade you, such as LeBlanc, and you have to play to avoid trades rather than trying to contest every single trade possible. Sometimes you're laning against champions such as Xerath, who after their first back will never touch the minion wave with auto-attacks again and will never be in your harass range, they will aim to avoid trades with you altogether and only harass you from a distance at which you can't retaliate. In which case your best option is to shove out the lane as quick as you can if possible and either go roam or farm jungle camps/**** around at your tower for a while. The less time you spend actually laning against those champions, the less opportunity they have to harass you with their obnoxiously long-ranged poke.
At this stage of the game, your main roles on the team are to provide poke, waveclear, and DPS. Your strongest powerspikes are right after completing Trinity Force, and then once again after completing Infinity Edge and Rapid Firecannon.
This is where it's most important for you to not just spam The Package off cooldown. The Package can be a devasting, game deciding spell, and so you want to save it for the most crucial moments. Rather than just picking it up randomly while on your way to go siege mid and praying that a fight breaks out before it runs out, pick it up right before threatening to do dragon/baron, or right before contesting either of these objectives from the enemy team. As already mentioned it would be best if you could find a way to flank and cast Special Delivery towards your team rather than away from them. Otherwise, it's still possible to use it effectively in team-fights, but you need to make sure the end of your Delivery doesn't just have you standing amongst the enemy team; it would be best to use it in a way where you shoot right past the enemy team, and are then able to run away as necessary while your team fights with the advantage of your Special delivery on the ground. Alternatively you could also use it from the side to create a nearly unpassable zone for the enemy team. And if you can catch their team in a tight jungle corridor with, than that'd be amazing. Remember that once you've used Special Delivery you can still use Valkyrie to reposition further.
As the (mid lane) ADC, your job is naturally to provide DPS while not dying, meaning you need good positioning and target selection. Good positioning is when you're physically positioned in a location where you will take the least damage and focus possible. This ties into target selection because the targets you can focus in team-fights are limited to which ones are available to you in your current position. For example, you can almost never focus the enemy ADC in team-fights because they're in the backline, so to reach them you'd have to dive in and be in range of everyone on their team. If you're sitting at your team's backline and only focusing the enemy's frontline (their tanks/beefier targets that can afford to dive in without immediately dying), you can only be focused by enemies that go out of their way to dive you, of which there are seldom more than one or two.
It may sound sucky to be killing enemy tanks before their carries, but killing carries is not your job. As an ADC your job is to just do as much damage to the enemy team as you can, and this requires you to survive as long as possible, which is why killing carries is not an option for you until there are no enemies standing between you and them.
That's it for my Corki guide. I hope you found this helpful and learn to play Corki as well as you want to. I think he's pretty fun and really effective if you're stuck mid lane as an ADC main, and hopefully you'll agree!
If you still have any further questions after reading the guide, feel free to ask in the comments, I'll try to answer them as soon as possible and consider addressing them in the guide so future readers may not have the same questions.
And once again I would like to remind you that if you enjoyed the guide, upvotes are always appreciated and help very much!
Special thanks to Jovy for the graphics and coding.