A midlaner for starters: Lux
Lux’ last peak of power was long ago. Her reign on the rift was paired with sudden blasts of light and girl power. Lux often baffled players with a hefty amount of instantaneous burst. Riot exposed her weaknesses even harder by pressuring her cooldown on firin’ her lazor and her speed was toned down. Justified? Yes, but while her natural strong matchups versus other less mobile mages kept her alive mobile assassins rose to power. Lux seemed lost and forgotten. Will the Lady of Luminosity be the one who
laughs giggles last?
Who is Lux and what does she do?
Lux is a long ranged magical damage dealer best played as an ability power carry in the mid lane. Lux can be splashed as a support in the bottom lane but she’s by no means a strong support. Lux excels at building full offensive items to swiftly nuke enemies from a distance and aiding teammates at the same time through crowd control, zoning and shields. She’s pretty good at clearing waves of minions but does this at the cost of high cooldowns. She will become very dangerous when able to acquire a lot of gold. Because of this playstyle Lux fills the role of midlaner in a very classical way. A good thing about Lux for new players to note is that playing her is a great introduction to skillshots. All her skills are skillshots which forces you to get better at it and rewards you for aiming and predicting enemy movement like a boss.
Strengths of Lux
- Long range
- Very controllable burst
- Can do sustained and poke damage
- Brings good utility to a team
Lux is one of the longest range ability power carries in the game. Ziggs and Xerath are the only serious contenders when it comes to range. Out of these Lux brings the most controllable spikes of longe range burst damage. Because even at long range it is rather easy to hit her full combo, especially when games are relying on standard procedure team fights.
Lux can also use all of her basic skills defensively to some degree. While it’s not ideal to do so, in combination with a less favorable enviroment for assassins hitting a snare or shield at the right time can be enough to nullify a Leblanc or Kassadins coupe de grâce.
Weaknesses of Lux
- Has to stack offensive items, so will stay squishy
- Relatively high cooldowns and mana costs
Lux needs to ramp up damage items to keep her damage up there. If she does so she will be a big threat to the enemy team but it’s the reason she will always be squishy. Other than something like Zhonya’s Hourglass there’s no room for defensive items in her build. Lux is a priority target for enemies.
Another big weakness for Lux is the taxing of her spellcasts in cost and cooldown. A great Lux is smart about when to use her spells and only bursts out all abilities at once if she’s extremely safe. Her cooldowns make it so that if fights gets messy and enemies come from different angles at the same time it can be hard to use Lux to her full potential.
All her weaknesses combined make Lux an easy prey for mobile assassins. She also has a hard time versus mobile champions all around the board since they can dodge her skills while closing in.
Playing as Lux
Abusing her strengths will get you far. She can reach big parts of the shorter mid lane without putting herself in harms way. A good Lux can camouflage her biggest weakness, immobility, by using her biggest strength, long range, in a smart way. Playing as Lux it’s important that your do camouflages her weaknesses by using her range and skills utility. Spread out your skills to maximize the use of your passive and to have a chance to fight back when the enemy engages on you. A conservative playstyle will have you go almost equal in most matchups which enables you to emphasize on opportunities like fights around objectives with your aoe damage.
When looking at itembuilds Lux is fairly straightforward. You go for damage items like Rabadon’s Deathcap and Void Staff but first you’ll going to want something to sustain your mana bar. Her cooldowns gate her power and utility as well so cooldown reduction is a great stat to pick up. Athene’s Unholy Grail or Morello’s Evil Tome are both perfect first items for Lux since they help her to circumvent both of these weaknesses. One of these combined with the Blue Buff will keep you where you need to be resource-wise.
Why is Lux good right now?
Let me start of by saying that Lux is not the best and most versatile midlaner. However, with the rise of classical mages like Twisted Fate, Orianna, Karthus and the degradation of mobile assassins she is becoming a better pick every patch. She works in a playstyle that revolves around organized teamfights and objective oriented gameplans. Lux is great at sieging or defending towers and it’s easy to set up the perfect aoe in the river. Subsequent nerfs to assassins and direct buffs to their counterplay will give Lux an easier time:
- Kassadin lost his silence and a big amount of his burst
- Leblanc lost her silence
- Zed was nerfed several times and lost some more of his burst by adjustments to Blade of the Ruined King
- Kha’Zix, while still strong, was hit about everywhere
- Yasuo lost some of his shield’s bulk and became easier to poke down
- Gragas had his AP role taken away from him, he was a problem for Lux throughout the whole game
- Exhaust and heal got remade, Lux loves defensive summoner spells
- Nerfs to Ziggs are being tested by Riot
Laning as Lux
A strong way to play Lux is to harass your enemy during the very early stages of the laning phase by weaving spells and basic attacks. This will test out the waters and pressure the enemy. When done succesfully your enemy has to back of which leaves you open to push the wave hard. If your enemy is able to dodge your harrassment and close the distance you can fall back on a very passive playstyle. Focus on lasthitting minions from a safe distance and just farm up items. If your enemy ever leaves the lane you can instantly push the lane so your minions die under his turret.
Lux is an okay ganker. Her burst damage and crowd control is perfect for ganks but you have to be careful moving around the map. If the enemy ambushes you in the river or jungle you are almost sure to die. Lux relies on her range so blindly walking into brushes is a big no-no.
Three examples of hard lanes for Lux:
Ziggs and Lux have many similarities, but currently the strengths of Ziggs are more sought after and he lacks a real weakness. He is better at sustained poking and zoning. Notably his mobility makes him better at taking out priority targets and dealing with mobile assassins. The result in a straight 1v1? Ziggs will probably defeat Lux because of his more dynamic yet safe laning phase. Ziggs does lack the controllable burst potential of Lux and he gets outshined in utility, albeit barely.
Fizz is a mobile assassin with the natural ability to repeatedly dodge skillshots. Fizz can close ground with Lux whenever he feels like it and this little guy is way to slippery for Lux to put down. She has no means to defend herself and she should fall back on her last resort strategy which is farm under the tower like a scared girl. As Lux: Accept the lose the lane, keep your health up there and shove the lane as soon as Fizz leaves the area. Setting up ganks vs Fizz will be hard and it can even backfire if he decides to throw himself on Lux.
Leblanc can blow up Lux out of nowhere. Just like Fizz this lady brings a kiss of death like it’s her full time job. She’s another mobile assassin which means she can jump through most zone control of Lux. Leblanc’s silence will most likely be taken away starting with the next patch which gives Lux at least some time to react with her shield and snare. This is one of the reasons I can see Lux being played in higher levels of League of Legends again.
Lux in the lategame
Lux works best when she doesn’t need a bodyguard. Most preferably because the enemy team lacks gap closers or mobile assassins that can get to her. It also works to have an offensive frontliner like Irelia or Jax that draws a lot of attention. Her long range combined with makes it that she can be played like an attack damage carry working her way through the enemy team from a safe distance. (We explained this way of teamfighting here) The answer to mobile assassins is and will always be hard crowd control so if they brought one to mess with Lux make sure to counter it with a stun, silence, knockback or anything in that category. Lux’ burst is good enough to get rid of other squishies when she isn’t under fire herself.
Lux has the option to use her slow, snare and shield defensively or spread out her skills to maximize the damage through her passive but mostly she plays very straightforward. It’s a good thing to throw down your ultimate as soon as you see an opportunity. Use your Lucent Singularity to get your passive on as many enemies possible which you can then swiftly explode with your ultimate’s lazer. If you maxed out your cooldown reduction to 40% the lazer will be available soon for another round of insane burst.
Some final words: I hope this article creates a spark with some of the newer players to try out Lux yourself. If you have any questions or tips please tell me, since this article can be turned into a series