Lucian has risen in popularity after his animation changes and buffs to Blade of the Ruined King. But while those two factors have brought Lucian back into the meta, the fact of the matter is that he's damn fun to play and even more fun to play well.
With his constant ability to dash and his Lightslinger passive that lets him constantly throw auto attacks out, Lucian is the most mobile meta AD carry not named Ezreal, and can exploit that mobility to great success in teamfights. With that in mind, Lucian is a popular pick, and incredibly strong in solo queue, where fighting is a constant state of reality on the Rift.
Attack Damage Reds, Armor Yellows, 5 Magic Resistance + 4 Mana Regeneration Blues, Attack Speed Quintessences
The best possible page for caster AD carries, this page features much-needed mana regeneration and magic resistance in place of attack speed. This is for two reasons. The first is that your early lane aggression favors the need for magic resistance over attack speed, which helps you scale into the game. Because most supports’ harass will be magic damage, this ensures that you’re more likely to win trades in the laning phase. Mana regeneration also feeds into this concept, as it gives you mana for an extra spell when needed, especially considering a lack of mana regeneration available to AD carries and these runes coupled with a slight specialization into the Meditation mastery.
Putting 18 points in Ferocity gives Lucian the ability to do an insane amount of damage while Fervor of Battle can be built up very quickly through Lucian’s double shot passive and will help you deal extra damage with your spells through the AD that it grants on stacks. Battle Trance will stay up and not have the downside that Double-edged Sword will receive
Putting 12 points into Cunning gives you access to Dangerous Game, which will help Lucian as a short ranged carry and give him much needed in-fight survivability. Meditation is a great laning tool, and is amazing later in the game as your mana costs are reduced, your mana pool becomes larger, and because you don’t really build mana regeneration on Lucian the same way you would with something like an Ezreal.
First six levels QEQWQR
Leveling and maxing your Q first gives you your best lane harass tool and the most damage possible early on. The harass that you have will go through creeps and give you a good double tap that lines up well against supports attempting to trade back.
Your E should be the next ability that you max. This does two major things. First, your dash receives a reduced cooldown as well as mana cost, eventually reaching a 0 mana cost. This lets you dash much more often, and allows you to focus your mana on spellslinging for double tap; this will also reduce the cooldown of your dash through its passive. The second reason is that it gives you the most double tap opportunities thanks to the aforementioned passive and lower cooldown and cost. This amplifies your damage substantially through the usage of Fervor of Battle, The Black Cleaver and Blade of the Ruined King.
W should be taken early for the ability to get an extra double tap off, and the slight utility of the movement speed from the spell, but should otherwise be maxed last. As usual, your ultimate should be taken at levels 6, 11 and 16.
Blade of the Ruined King has surfaced as the go-to option for AD carries in this midseason meta. It has all the stats that a Lucian could ask for, with sizable attack damage, attack speed, a great active which helps you maneuver while your dash is on cooldown, and % health on-hit damage, which synergizes with your passive. Coupling that with utility granted by items such as Mercurial Scimitar and Phantom Dancer means that you will be a constant source of damage if you position properly.
RELATED: Best builds for Lucian
Doran’s Blade + health potion
Blade of the Ruined King
The Black Cleaver
Infinity Edge or Mortal Reminder or Death’s Dance or Guardian Angel
Early game, Lucian’s focus is on operating as a lane bully. Because he builds Blade of the Ruined King, he’s more likely to spike earlier than those who build crit, meaning that he ought to exploit his double tap and more aggressive build in order to deal with the power trough for crit AD carries around one or two items. Lucian also will have access to earlier sustain than those AD carries, meaning that he will be able to stay in lane for longer and actually collect more farm through constant bullying and the ability to capitalize on bad back timings by enemies. Once he has access to Blade of the Ruined King and The Culling, Lucian’s kill and chase pressure skyrockets, allowing him to turn on enemies and force ultimates and summoner spells without much ability for a re-engage on the enemy’s end.
The mid game is Lucian’s time to shine, as he has access to high cooldown reduction, armor shred, lots of attack damage and quick burst damage through his double tap combos. The combination of Blade of the Ruined King and The Black Cleaver makes it very unlikely he will ever lose a trade, unless crowd controlled or moving poorly. Otherwise, a Quicksilver Sash helps Lucian continue to bob and weave through fights uninterrupted. Once he gets his distance or is forced back, the Culling tears through the team (literally, thanks to the armor shred of The Black Cleaver). If you have an enchanter such as Janna, Nami or Lulu, the ability for Lucian to play further up is greatly increased, provided your team gives him the buffs.
Late game Lucian is fully dependant on his own ability to maneuver around big fights. Likely to be dove on or flanked, your best bet is to stick by an enchanter or peeler in order to help disengage and attack who you can. Lucian still helps his team substantially through The Black Cleaver, as he culls through the armor of frontline targets and can help front to back a team incredibly quickly. Because of Lucian’s short range, it’s really on the team to effectively peel for Lucian, and for him to take out targets that are near him rather than dash right into the backline and get blown up. As Lucian gets buffed up by the aforementioned enchanters, he can push forward. A great example of this style comes from Bang on SKT, who did this to great effect with a Lulu versus CJ Entus in 2015 LCK playoffs. Mimicking that is key to good late game Lucian play
Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a News Editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.