Lucian, the Purifier, is one of the most dynamic marksmen in League of Legends. With a 48.15% win rate and a 10.56% play rate, he has a very mechanically intensive kit that presents a constant challenger to his players and opponents alike. Let’s see how you can use Lucian to take your AD carry gameplay to the next level!
When Lucian uses an ability, his next auto attack within 3 seconds strikes twice. The second shot deals 40-60% AD (depends on level) to all LoL champions and 100% AD to minions, applies on-hit effects, and can critically strike. If Lucian’s target is killed before the second shot reaches it, the projectile is automatically redirected to another enemy.
How to use: Lightslinger gives Lucian a ton of burst damage. Every time you use a spell, your next auto attack deals roughly 1.5 more damage than that of a regular marksman. This means you want to be using spells as much as possible in teamfights and skirmishes.
Q: Piercing Light
After a brief delay, Lucian fires a laser in the direction of a target enemy, dealing damage to all foes in a straight line.
How to Use: Piercing Light is simple, yet very effective. Cast it to deal damage and proc Lightslinger. The fact that Lucian’s Q deals damage in a line means it’s also a fairly powerful wave clear tool. Not only that, but Piercing Light goes beyond the first target hit, so you can proc it off a minion and graze the enemy marksman while staying out of his auto attack range.
W: Ardent Blaze
After a brief delay, Lucian fires a projectile that detonates upon hitting an enemy unit or reaching the end of its distance, dealing damage to all nearby enemies and marking them for 6 seconds. When Lucian (or his allies) damage a marked target, the Purifier receives bonus movement speed.
How to use: While Ardent Blaze doesn’t do much in terms of damage, it’s incredibly useful for kiting and chasing. The projectile itself is quite slow, so landing it takes some practice, but once you master the skill shot, it will be close to impossible to get away from you. Keep in mind that the bonus movement speed procs from any damage, so you can keep it up for the full duration of The Culling [R].
E: Relentless Pursuit
Lucian dashes a short distance in the target direction. The ability cooldown is reduced by 1 second every time Lucian strikes a target. Relentless Pursuit acts as an auto attack reset.
How to use: This would be a very underwhelming gap closer if it weren’t for the fact that your auto attacks reduce its cooldowns. Considering Lightslinger unleashes two strikes, you’ll cut 2 seconds off Relentless Pursuit every time you cast an ability. This lets you use multiple dashes in a single fight, which is great for chasing and repositioning. The auto attack reset works well with your passive, and Relentless Pursuit provides a surprising amount of burst in fights.
The dash distance isn’t very long, but it can still get you over passable terrain. Even in the most improbable cases (like the wall between the red buff and the Raptor camp), you can get to the other side if you dash at the right angle.
R: The Culling
Lucian fires a barrage of shots for 3 seconds in the target direction, dealing damage to the first enemy hit. The Culling’s damage is quadrupled against minions. While channeling his ultimate, Lucian can’t use spells or auto attacks, but he can pass through creeps and cast Relentless Pursuit [E]. The Culling can be interrupted by crowd control or manually reactivated to end its effects prematurely.
How to use: Even though The Culling prevents you from auto attacking, it has its uses. First of all, despite the fact that your basic abilities provide more burst, your ultimate is much better when it comes to DPS. Its range is long enough that you can reach your target from a long distance, and Ardent Blaze [W] makes you very sticky when you channel it.
Enemies will try to get out of The Culling’s way, so use Relentless Pursuit to stay on their tail. Finally, your ultimate also procs Lightslinger, so you can use it to reset your passive. That being said, it takes some time to manually cancel The Culling, so the effect won’t be instantaneous.
R > Q > E > W
Piercing Light [Q] is your go-to damage spell, so rank it up first. Relentless Pursuit [E] is a gap closer that doubles down as an easy way to proc your passive, and it’s a good idea to max it second. Wrap up your skill order with Ardent Blaze [W]—the spell doesn’t have any AD scaling, so it won’t provide as much damage as your other abilities. As always, level up The Culling [R] when you can.
Lucian’s rune choices are dictated by his playstyle of a rapid damage dealer. The Precision tree is invaluable because you can quickly proc Press the Attack with Lightslinger and make use of its 12% damage boost. Triumph works well with Lucian’s skirmish-heavy playstyle, and Legend: Alacrity is always great on AD carries. Finally, grab Coup de Grace to make your auto attacks hurt even more against wounded enemies.
Your second rune tree is Domination. Taste of Blood will let you stay healthy (or, well, healthier) in the laning phase, and Eyeball Collection will throw in some scaling on top of that. You can also take Sudden Impact to abuse dash resets.
Lucian Summoner Spells
Lucian prefers Flash and Heal as his summoner spells. The former is great for escaping sticky situations, and the latter is the best defensive summoner for 2v2 fights.
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There are two viable Lucian builds in League of Legends:
1.) Essence Reaver > Berserker’s Greaves > Statikk Shyv > Infinity Edge > Lord Dominik’s Regards > Mercurial Scimitar
This is a classic crit build. The combination of AD, CDR, and mana regen from Essence Reaver synergizes well with Lucian’s ability-focused kit. Berserker’s Greaves are the clear-cut best boots upgrade for increasing your DPS, and Statikk Shyv provides even more burst to your trades. And once you throw in an Infinity Edge, your auto attacks will hit like a truck.
Since frontliners are an ever-present issue for Lucian, grab Lord Dominik’s Regards to solve it. As for Mercurial Scimitar, you’ll often have to jump in the fray, and the cleansing active will come in handy against crowd control. Use this build against fed tanks and bruisers.
2.) Blade of the Ruined King > Berserker’s Greaves > Black Cleaver > Rapid Firecannon > Infinity Edge > Lord Dominik’s Regards
This is a far more aggressive mid game build. Blade of the Ruined King provides a ton of on-hit damage with Lightslinger and offers some much-needed life steal. Black Cleaver gives you an armor reduction debuff (you can quickly stack it with your passive) and makes you tankier at the same time.
Finally, Rapid Firecannnon lets you tag enemies from a very long range. As for Berserker’s Greaves, Infinity Edge, and Lord Dominik’s Regards, we’ve already covered their pros in the previous section. Go with this build if you want to push your edge in the laning phase and translate it into a powerful mid game.
Lucian Situational Items
Even though we brought up a lot of options in our core Lucian builds, there are more situational items to consider. The most important one is Ninja Tabi. Lucian doesn’t need the extra attack speed as much as other AD carries, and the extra armor and auto attack damage reduction will make you much tankier in skirmishes.
Also, Phantom Dancer is a viable alternative to Statikk Shyv and Rapid Firecannon if you’re going against assassins and powerful bruisers. Since Lucian constantly finds himself in the middle of teamfights, Maw of Malmortius and Guardian Angel work wonders on him. Mortal Reminder is another purchase to consider when facing the likes of Vladimir, Soraka, or Maokai.
Last but not least, Youmuu’s Ghostblade lets you assert lane dominance and tear through enemy squishies. Get it if the enemy team doesn’t have a tank you need to focus.
When to pick Lucian?
Lucian is a dynamic AD carry that works best with aggressive supports. Pick him with champions like Leona, Thresh, Braum, and Nami—basically, anyone that can lock enemies down and empower The Purifier’s passive. Lucian prefers to face other short-ranged carries in teamfights. He’s very self-sufficient, and he can survive without peel, but tanks are a huge headache for him, and you should avoid picking Lucian into 2 or more frontliners.
Lucian Matchups and Counters
Lucian works best into utility AD carries that rely on skill shots to deal the bulk of their damage. In this case, Relentless Pursuit [E] lets you dodge their spells while Ardent Blaze [W] is great for sticking to your target. Champions like Jhin, Sivir, and Xayah will have a hard time disengaging from Lucian.
Scaling picks (Kog’Maw, Jinx, Twitch) will need time to ramp up, and Lucian can abuse this window to dismantle them in the laning phase. Things get harder against marksmen like Varus, Caitlyn, and Ashe since they can keep you at bay thanks to their long range. In a similar fashion, aggressive champions like Draven or Kalista can challenge you in skirmishes, so you have to be very careful when picking your battles.
Lucian Laning Phase
Lucian excels in the laning phase. You want to start with Doran’s Blade unless the enemy bot lane has too much poke for you to handle. In that case, grab Doran’s Shield. Start with a point in Piercing Light [Q] and try to reach the enemy marksman through minions. The best time to do this is when he goes in to CS, but don’t hesitate to go for the full AA > Q > AA rotation if your opponent makes the mistake of walking up too far.
Level 2 gives you one of the strongest powerspikes in the game. As soon as you hit it, unlock Relentless Pursuit [E] and go for the E > AA > Q > AA combo. Bonus points if you can throw in an auto attack before your dash. If you do this fast enough, the enemy AD carry will lose a good chunk of his health, effectively making for a won laning phase.
In general, Lucian is all about animation canceling and weaving in auto attacks between spells. You want to use Relentless Pursuit early on to take advantage of the cooldown reduction. Still, if the enemy duo has dangerous skill shots you need to avoid at all cost, save your dash for them.
As you put more and more points into Piercing Light, your Qs will start doing serious damage. Bouncing them off minions is one of the best ways to win your laning phase without having to fight the enemy bot lane directly. Plus, the fact that Piercing Light hits everything in its path means it will be easier to win the push and secure the minion advantage for your trades. Of course, this kind of playstyle leaves you vulnerable to ganks, so make sure to keep your river warded.
Ardent Blaze [W] is another tricky skill in your arsenal. If you land it, you can chase your target to its turret, but don’t spam it too much because you’ll swiftly run out of mana. Only cast your W if you’re planning to start an all-in. The same applies your ultimate. The Culling [R] is great for softening up enemies and finishing off runners, but its damage isn’t that great at rank 1. If a good opportunity doesn’t present itself, consider using it on the minion wave to get a faster recall timing.
Lucian Mid Game
Lucian’s second powerspike comes in the mid game. Thanks to the nature of his kit, he works well with 1-3 items, especially if he’s going against squishy champions. If you see an enemy carry alone, blindside him by closing the distance with Relentless Pursuit [E] and casting Ardent Blaze [W] mid-dash. Provided your W connects, it will be very difficult to shake you off, so you’ll either secure a kill or force summoner spells.
But remember that you’re an AD carry. When several enemy champions stick together, you can still get deleted in a blink of an eye. This is where you need to hold on to your E and use it to dodge skill shots and disengage from angry bruisers.
In teamfights, Lucian takes advantage of his innate mobility to become uncatchable. Tanks and assassins will have a hard time sticking to you because you can always dash or flash away from then. Hell, you can even outtrade solo laners if you play it right. The same mobility allows you to quickly switch focus. See an enemy carry overstepping his limits? Dash into him and blow him up with your full spell rotation.
Of course, this comes at a cost. First, Lucian is extremely reliant on his abilities, and you lose a significant amount of firepower if you whiff them. Second, Lucian has a measly 500 auto attack range, which means he’s always in danger of being hit by skill shots. You need to use Relentless Pursuit [E] as much as possible to avoid getting deleted in the first seconds of a teamfight.
The Purifier isn’t great at sieging, so you want to be playing around neutral objectives. If you know the enemy team saw you going for that Dragon or Rift Herald, set up a trap. It will be very hard for them to get away from you, once they walk up close enough to facecheck a brush.
Lucian Late Game
While Lucian’s late game isn’t atrocious, he has to do much more to keep up with other carries. That’s why it’s important to keep track of enemy cooldowns. If most crowd control/heavy burst spells are down, this is your cue to dash in and wreak havoc.
You can also use a few tricks to maximize your DPS. First, if an enemy champion is closing in on you, tag him with Ardent Blaze [W]. Not only will it make it easier to kite/chase him, but it will grant you a Lightslinger proc on your first auto attack, making the AA > E > AA > Q > AA combo that much more devastating. In a similar fashion, The Culling [R] gives you Ardent Blaze movement speed as long as you’re hitting a marked target, so you can get a permanent speed boost for 3 seconds.
Finally, don’t be afraid to cast Relentless Pursuit [E] right on top of yourself. Most Lucian players are used to max-range dashes, but there’s no reason to go for these if there are no skill shots to dodge. Meanwhile, the short-range dash will grant you a much quicker auto attack reset.
Lucian excels at finding leads and pushing them to the absolute limit. If you work on his combos, you’ll be able to seamlessly punish enemy mistakes and take over the early/mid stages of the game. And ultimately, that’s exactly what you need to carry in Solo Queue.