Need a Lucian build for Season 11? Or maybe you’re in need of a Lucian counter? Either way, we’ve got you covered with our complete guide.
Though preseason is a complete shitshow where virtually everything is OP and nothing quite makes sense anymore (kind of like real life), this is the perfect time to be an opportunist. Victorious Lucian is wildly popular, and a stable Lucian build has never been more in-demand. Or maybe you’re looking for a Lucian counter? Either way, we have you sorted.
With many of us having received Victorious Lucian through our Ranked exploits, this Lucian build guide is in to ensure that you can use that skin to its fullest potential and climb despite reduced LP gains. Like our Pantheon guide a while ago, this will cover Lucian counters, runes, items, and potential lane matchups.
While marksmen are having a tough time in general, Lucian has the benefit of being flexed to top and mid. Though doing so will earn you the status of degeneracy and no doubt open you up as target to a well-placed Lucian counter, he can be extremely lane-dominant through high base damage and early game spikes.
Without further ado, here is the Lucian build guide.
Unlike other champions, Lucian has a fairly uniform rune page with only minor levels of deviation:
- Press the Attack
- Presence of Mind
- Legend: Bloodline
- Coup de Grace/Cut Down
- Manaflow Band/Magical Footwear
- Transcendence/Biscuit Delivery
- +10% Attack Speed
- +9 Adaptive Force
- +6 Armor/+8 Magic Resist (depending on matchup)
Eleven times out of ten, Lucian will go for a rune setup like this. Press the Attack is the only Keystone Lucian should go, considering how easily he can proc it with his passive. While there is room to go Triumph over Presence of Mind, Lucian often runs into mana problems and should have enough life steal in the first place to ensure safety. You can go for Cut Down instead of Coup de Grace, depending if you run into some tanky bois.
As for the secondary runes, the Sorcery tree may not have the same early game sustain as the Inspiration tree, but it will serve you much better come mid-to-late game. Manaflow Band will alleviate Lucian’s mana problems, while Transcendence will allow you to continue slinging spells at low cooldown, especially come Level 11.
You can go Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic if you are starting Corrupting Pot.
Lucian Build: Abilities
- Passive – Lightslinger: Whenever Lucian uses an ability, his next attack becomes a double-shot.
- Q – Piercing Light: Lucian fires a laser in the direction of the target enemy, dealing physical damage to all enemies hit in a line.
- W – Ardent Blaze: Lucian fires a shot in the target direction that explodes in a cross pattern upon hitting an enemy or reaching the end of its path, dealing magic damage and revealing the area for 1 second. Enemies hit are marked for 6 seconds. Lucian gains bonus movement speed for 1 second if he or allied champions damage a marked target.
- E – Relentless Pursuit: Lucian dashes in the target direction. Relentless Pursuit’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each shot landed, doubled to 2 seconds against enemy champions. Relentless Pursuit resets Lucian’s basic attack timer. Relentless Pursuit can be cast during and other abilities can be cast during Relentless Pursuit.
- R – The Culling: Lucian rapidly fires shots in the target direction for 3 seconds, dealing physical damage to the first enemy they collide with. The damage is doubled against enemy minions. The Culling can be recast after 0.75 seconds to end it early. While using The Culling, Lucian always faces in the casted direction and is ghosted, and he fires the shots in the target direction from his current position.
Despite Lucian having been in the game for seven years, his kit remains one of the most fluid and stylish out of the 150+ champions if played to its fullest potential. The kit revolves around his passive, which allows him to fire off two auto attacks (AA) in the space of one after using an ability.
This applies on-hit effects such as Blade of the Ruined King and Black Cleaver, allowing for some unique builds. Chaining abilities and passive procs is the entire point of Lucian as a champ, leading to some considerable burst.
Max Q>E>W in that order with the standard R level ups at 6, 11, and 16. With Q being levelled up first, it is your primary damage ability. While the most optimal dream is to hit Q on your opponent and then proc Press the Attack off that, sometimes that cannot happen. Hitting Q through minions is an effective way to harass in lane.
In a time when most marksmen are suffering from the game’s mobility creep, having a dash in Lucian’s E is a big boost. It can become low cooldown through correct passive usage and itemisation, opening up situations where you can dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge through fights like an action movie hero (bonus points if using the Demacia Vice skin).
While W will be maxed last, it’s still an important skill in gaining passive procs. The movement speed gained from the mark is also nothing to sniffed at, helping in chasing down the enemy.
An important part of the ultimate is it being an auto reset and animation canceller, where successful usage can minimise cast times and let you deal incredible burst damage in a matter of milliseconds. Short dashing must be used with E to minimise the amount of time your opponent has to trade back.
This is where you can position your cursor closer to Lucian to dash a shorter distance as opposed to the maximum length. Short dashing will lead to a lower cast time of E, allowing you to use your passive earlier.
While The Culling can certainly burst people from 100-0, especially with Press the Attack having been procced, it’s important to remember that it can be cancelled. This allows you to potentially use other abilities and AA if the situation requires it. The mark off W can be procced by R, leading to you zooming and dealing incredible damage.
With Lucian, using the correct combos to maximise damage is extremely important. Here are some of the most used:
- At Level 2: AA>E>AA>Q>AA
- E and W at same time in that order>AA>Q>AA>R or E depending on situation>AA
Lucian has one of the strongest Level 2s in the game, with the sheer burst that comes from having Q and E up. Look to hit Level 2 before your opponent can and use that window of opportunity to punish them.
Lucian Build: Items
There’s basically only one option here: Doran’s Blade and one Health Potion. You are playing Lucian to dominate the lane, not to play even or behind. The AD and health is what can make the difference, pushing trades overwhelmingly in Lucian’s favour.
The other option is to go Corrupting Pot in lanes where the opponent has the ability to trade back very easily and you need the sustain off it. Only buy this if you have taken Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic as your secondary runes, as this will maximise the sustain you can have in the early game.
You should aim to have at least 1100 gold for your first back, so that you can purchase a Serrated Dirk at minimum. The Lethality from the item will make a considerable difference in the early laning phase when trading.
Purchase the usual Control Ward and potentially Refillable Potion depending on lane state/matchup.
Core Lucian build
While marksmen/crit itemisation is mostly terrible as of now, Lucian can circumvent this issue by speccing into Lethality items. His three-item core should look like this:
- Eclipse — 3200 gold
- The Collector — 3000 gold
- Blade of the Ruined King (BotRK) — 3200 gold
Though Eclipse’s upgrade cost is high, it is the best Mythic item for Lucian that can augment his burst damage and give him sustain. While Kraken Slayer has been popular, it’s a lackluster item along with the rest of the crit series. Though it will be nerfed in the upcoming Patch 10.25 by reducing the shield’s value, that’s not why you’re building it in the first place.
The Collector remains a go-to item for marksmen at the moment due to it fitting into crit builds, but Lethality and its passive are the focus here. Extra Q burst, Press the Attack, and R damage is always spicy.
BotRK has been a core item on Lucian ever since his release due to his ability to proc its on-hit effect twice using his passive. Its new three-hit passive can be procced very easily through Lightslinger as well. You can pair this with Black Cleaver in another tried-and-true combination, though getting to four items will take some time.
In reality with how quick games are nowadays, the focus is on Eclipse and The Collector as a two-item spike. In the event that the game gets to the point where you can get three or more items, hopefully you’re rather fed and should be carrying in the first place.
The rest of Lucian’s build consists of situational items, depending on opposing team comp and the state of the game. Here are the items and when they should be built:
- Mortal Reminder — 2700 gold (anti-healing, e.g. Soraka, Vladimir, Fiora)
- Guardian Angel (GA) — 2800 gold (heavy physical damage and you can be burst, e.g. Talon, Zed, Riven)
- Lord Dominik’s Regard — 2900 gold (anti-armor, e.g. Malphite, Ornn, Sejuani)
- Mercurial Scimitar — 2900 gold (anti-hard CC, especially suppressions, e.g. Malzahar, Mordekaiser, Warwick)
- Edge of Night — 2900 gold (to block important spells, e.g. Blitzcrank Q, Leona E/R)
- Maw of Malmortius/Wit’s End — 3100 gold (heavy magic damage, e.g. Syndra, LeBlanc, Swain)
- Black Cleaver — 3300 gold (for when there is both a lot of armor on the opposing team and a lot of physical damage dealers on your team)
For some of these items, you can purchase one component and sit on it while you build other items fully. These would be the Quicksilver Sash in Mercurial Scimitar, the Executioner’s Calling in Mortal Reminder, the Hexdrinker in Maw, the Last Whisper in Lord Dominik’s, and the Stopwatch in GA.
Matchups: Lucian counters, partners, and more
When to pick Lucian top
As is for a lane-dominant champ like Lucian, he is picked into situations when he can be the counterpick. He can also be picked when your team comp needs an AD presence (e.g. Amumu jungle, Ekko mid, Swain bot, or Leona support).
These are the champs your Lucian build should be picked into and why:
- Gangplank — can double tap his barrels, he is unable to match your trades whatsoever.
- Fiora — can trade easily in early levels, watch the parry.
- Jayce — can trade before early itemisation, can kite when he is in melee form.
- Illaoi — can dodge her skills, particularly her E; can double tap tentacles.
- Kennen — cannot match your early trades at all, watch for his ultimate and scaling.
- Vladimir — ditto to Kennen.
- Kayle — ditto, but she is worth a ban these days.
- Irelia — trade pre-6, dodge her E with your E.
- Sylas — dodge his E with your E, get early Executioner’s.
While this fella matches well into most top lane champs, there are still common Lucian counters that can come out and ruin his day:
- Tanks (especially Malphite) — while you can still dumpster them before their first back, a Bramble Vest or Plated Steelcaps can very much prevent you from doing any damage at all. Eventually they will outscale you through enough Armor being built.
- Teemo — have fun being blinded.
- Jax — have fun with Counter Strike.
- Darius — everyone has a plan until you get Ghosted down.
- Camille — skill matchup, need to dodge her E with your E, she can still ult you.
- Akali — can trade against her early, but then she hits 6 and it’s over for you.
- Nasus — can’t quite push him out of lane thanks to his passive, will just outscale you and run you down.
Matchups not mentioned here in specificity are skill matchups, subject to many variables. Take Teleport if you want to be able to make it back to lane on time or help out in another lane. Take Ignite if you’re feeling dangerous and want to unleash ultimate pain on your opponent.
When to pick Lucian mid
Same thing here, but you do need to be careful with how much burst is in this role. Also, mages have access to Seeker’s Armguard at a mere 900 gold which can stifle a lot of your damage. However, picking Lucian should give a stronger mid/jungle 2v2 compared to your opponents when it comes time to rotate to Scuttle Crab.
Here are the good matchups:
- Viktor — can destroy him before his evolutions, dash through his W and away from his E.
- Kassadin — abuse him pre-6 before he can become a champ, Lucian’s physical damage bypasses his passive and Q.
- Galio — take Cleanse in case he lands W at a bad time, your physical damage gets around his W passive.
- Zoe — take Cleanse for her Asleep, trade when it’s down.
- Lissandra — take Cleanse for all her CC, especially her R; but you should win every trade.
- Xerath — can dash on him when he charges Q, can dash past his E.
- Sylas — dodge his E with your E, get early Executioner’s.
- Twisted Fate — take Cleanse for his Gold Card, trade when Pick a Card is down.
While mid does not have as many Lucian counters, these ones in particular should be avoided:
- Assassins (Fizz, Talon, Yasuo etc.) — please remember that you have the survivability of a normal marksman which assassins eat for breakfast.
- Syndra — everyone has a plan until she presses R, can build early Hexdrinker/Mercury Tread’s to counter, trading not easy as she can E you away if you E into her.
- Cassiopeia — can stifle all your mobility with her W, able to match your trades, will eventually outscale.
Overall, mid is subject to more skill matchups than top, but surely you are skilled enough, right? Take Ignite if you want to get kills, Cleanse in those specified matchups, and Teleport in those bad scenarios.
When to pick Lucian ADC
To be fair, you should be picking Samira or Jhin if they’re open instead. But they are banned a fair bit, so Lucian should be available. The support makes for an extra variable, so pick Lucian when you can play with these champs:
- Braum — can instantly proc his passive with your passive, instant stun equals won lane.
- Leona — can set you up very easily, can proc her passive very easily to burst down targets.
- Nami — gives you sustain and extra damage, can use all her E stacks very quickly with your combos.
- Alistar — easy setup, easy burst.
- Nautilus — ditto.
- Pyke — ditto, but also “steals” your kill.
- Taric — can use your E to land his stun.
- Thresh — just a good pick overall, can do almost anything you need as an ADC.
- Lulu — if you get E’d by her, you can hit enemies with Pix multiple times through Lightslinger.
As for not so good partnerships, try not to pick Lucian if your support picks these champs:
- Janna — shield is nice, but can’t set you up.
- Sona — lane is too squishy.
- Senna — while it would be good to have the husband/wife duo, the lane is just too squishy here.
Any supports not mentioned here still form decent partnerships with the right Lucian build, but not as effective as those mentioned. Of course, you can still get bot gapped at any time. But don’t worry, it’s probably your support’s fault.