Be the Pilot of Your Ranked Experience: A Guide To Corki Mid



Wed 15th Feb 2017 - 11:49am

Corki is the champion best known for his mixed physical and magical damage output. He has made a resurgence in the competitive meta as a result of his high damage, poke, and mobility. Corki is one of the most versatile champions as he has seen play in the mid lane and the bottom lane. His flexibility helps him fit into most team compositions which allows your teammates to play their comfort picks. Being a marksman, Corki provides the benefit of safely taking turrets and dealing constant damage. We're going to explore the ace pilot's playstyle and how he can be most effectively utilized in a soloqueue setting. In the words of Wilbur Wright: "It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill."


-Hybrid damage

-High mobility

-High burst

-Great siege

-Excellent roam potential

-Safe laning phase

-Doesn't require great mechanics to succeed 


-Mana hungry early on

-High cooldown on Valkyrie

 Summoner Spells


Flash: This is undoubtedly the most useful summoner spell in the game. Flash's mobility boost makes playing Corki much safer and allows him to take more risks and play more aggressively. This will increase your chances of getting ahead of your opponents and your chances to successfully close out the game. Always take Flash when playing Corki mid.


Exhaust: Exhaust is the second most common summoner spell taken by others when playing Corki mid. It's useful for slowing an enemy so that you can land as many abilities on them as possible. This is especially useful for hitting them with Gatling Gun and proccing Thunderlord's Decree. Exhaust also makes negating assassins much easier because they lose forty percent of their damage for Exhaust's duration. Exhaust can be used as a disengage tool as the slow will allow you to make a swift getaway. I recommend that you take Exhaust as your secondary summoner spell since it provides so much utility.

Ignite: Flash and Ignite are probably the most common summoner spells people will take in the mid lane. Ignite will increase your kill potential and add burst to your combo. Ignite is also useful when the enemy team has a champion like Volibear that will heal a lot of the damage that your team will deal. While Ignite is a strong summoner spell choice, I don't believe that the benefits outclass the ones gained from picking Exhaust.


Heal: After Corki's rework in 2015, Heal was pretty common summoner spell whenever he was picked in the mid lane. The area-of-effect heal and speed boost adds to your team's utility. Heal can definitely save your life in a sticky situation or give you enough health to successfully complete a trade or win a duel. Like Ignite, I think that Heal is a good choice but the advantages gained from picking Exhaust are far greater than the ones that Heal grants.


Reds/Marks: Attack damage marks are the standard when playing marksmen. These will give you the damage to farm and trade with your enemy.

Yellows/Seals: Marksmen are naturally squishy champions. Armor seals help to minimize the damage taken by an opponent who deals attack damage. Alternatively, health per level runes can be taken if the enemy team has few champions that benefit from attack damage stats.

Blues/Glyphs: Magic resist glyphs will reduce the amount of damage taken by champions who benefit from ability power. This makes your laning safer since the mid lane is populated with mages and AP assassins.

Quintessences: Attack speed quints allow Corki to make use of his passive more often by auto attacking. Additionally, this will help Corki proc Trinity Force as often as possible.


Tier 1- Sorcery will increase the damage that your abilities will deal.

Tier 2- Fresh Blood makes your Gatling Gun trades much more deadly and your Trinity Force empowered auto attacks more powerful.

Tier 3- One point in Vampirism and four points in Natural Talent will help to keep your sustain up in the laning phase while still allowing you to scale into the mid and late game. Some Corki players will either put all five points into Vampirism or all five points into Natural Talent in order to min/max their stats. It all depends upon your playstyle.

Tier 4- Battle Trance ramps up the damage that Gatling Gun will produce. This makes your earlier trades more lethal and keep your damage high and consistent in duels or teamfights.


Tier 1- Savagery allows you to farm more efficiently in the laning phase. 

Tier 2- Because the mid lane is a solo lane, you will notice a significant increase in your damage output if you choose to take Assassin. This will give you an edge on your opponent because it will be easier to punish them for farming and win duels. As a result, your chances of walking out of the laning phase fed are higher and you can spread your advantage to other lanes. 

Tier 3- Like Ferocity's tier 3 masteries, I put four points into Merciless so that my burst is higher. One point is put into Meditation to make Corki's mana struggles less severe. Other Corki players just dedicate all of their tier 3 points to Merciless to maximize its damage.

Tier 4- Dangerous Game can make the difference between surviving an enemy's damage over time after they've died or losing the duel and going even with your opponent.

Tier 5- Precision is extremely beneficial as it provides additional lethality and magic penetration. This compliments your hybrid damage and adds to the shred you gain from Gatling Gun.

Keystone Mastery:

Thunderlord's Decree: This is the keystone mastery to take when playing Corki in the mid lane. Corki's kit naturally synergizes with Thunderlord's Decree. Gatling Gun's continuous fire easily procs your keystone. The reduced damage on your target that Gatling Gun and Precision provides strengthens the Thunderlord's proc. Thunderlord's Decree deals ten percent of both your ability power and attack damage. Your keystone proc will do more damage than most champions' Thunderlord's procs because Corki's build incorporates both ability power and attack damage items.

Abilities and Skill Order

Passive: Hextech Munitions

Corki's basic attack deals bonus damage and half of its damage is converted into magic damage. Every once in awhile, The Package arrives in Corki's base to be picked up, temporarily granting him out of combat Movement Speed and upgrading Valkyrie into Special Delivery.

The split magic/physical damage gained from Hextech Munitions makes it difficult for enemies to itemize against Corki. After eight minutes, The Package will spawn for the first time. From there on, The Package will spawn every four minutes. The movement speed buff allows you to roam to other lanes and influence their outcome without giving up the mid lane. You can use The Package similarly to Rumble's ultimate, The Equalizer, because Special Delivery's trail applies a burn and a slow to all enemies. Don't be afraid to engage when you have The Package since you can still use Valkyrie to reposition immediately afterward.




Q: Phosphorus Bomb

Corki fires a flash bomb at a target location, dealing magic damage to enemies in the area. This attack additionally reveals units in the area for a duration.

Phosphorus Bomb is the primary source of Corki's burst. Phosphorus Bomb's damage scales according to the amount of magic damage you possess. This ability should be used in the early game when your lane opponent is trying to farm or has little room to walk. Your opponent won't have time to react to Phosphorus Bomb's indicator and will take damage for free. This is why Corki is a great fit for team compositions that have a lot of crowd control. Phosphorus Bomb's area of effect damage makes it an excellent wave clearing tool, especially in conjunction with Missile Barrage. Maximize Phosphorus Bomb's level before any other ability.

W: Valkyrie

Corki flies a short distance, dropping bombs that create a trail of fire that damages opponents who remain in it.

Valkyrie is your primary escape. Use this ability to reposition during duels and escape from immediate danger. Valkyrie can also be used as a gap closer. Do this only if you are certain that there is no threat of a gank or else you will have to resort to burning flash to survive the encounter. Maximize Valkyrie’s level lastly because it doesn't offer much damage.

E: Gatling Gun

Corki's Gatling gun rapidly fires in a cone in front of him, dealing damage and reducing enemy Armor and Magic Resist

Gatling Gun will deal an overwhelming amount of damage throughout all stages of the game. It will enable you to effortlessly proc Thunderlord's Decree in lane and mow down your enemies in the later stages of the game. This ability is fantastic because it allows you to deal more mixed magical/physical damage as a result of the armor and magic resist reduction applied to all affected targets. The stat reduction lasts for two seconds after Gatling Gun has stopped, granting you and your team an opportunity to wreak as much damage havoc on the enemy's health bars as possible. Take E at level one but maximize Gatling Gun's level after Phosphorus Bomb is rank five.

R: Missile Barrage

Corki fires a missile toward his target location that explodes on impact, dealing damage to enemies in an area. Corki stores missiles over time, up to a maximum. Every 3rd missile fired will be a Big One, dealing extra damage.

Corki acquires great poke as soon as this ability is skilled. His missiles are easy to hit because they are an area of effect spell. There is room for error since you don't need to directly hit your target for it to damage your enemies. Missile Barrage's low cooldown and low mana cost make it very easy for you to proc Trinity Force's passive, Spellblade. This will empower your next auto attack. As a result, your damage output will significantly increase.


Starting Item:

Corrupting Potion: Corrupting Potion offers a safer early game which ensures excellent mid and late game scaling. The health and mana regeneration grants you the ability to take more risks and possibly gain an advantage over your lane opponent. If used effectively, you can out-sustain an enemy that started Doran's Ring and three health potions.

Core Items: 

Trinity Force: Trinity Force is a must buy when playing Corki, regardless of which position he is being played. A Sheen rush will help mitigate the mana problems that Corki faces in the early stages of the game. Spellblade also increases the damage dealt to the enemy mid laner. The tankiness and movement speed provided by Phage adds to Corki's mobility and makes trading/dueling safer. Stinger boosts the likelihood of these passive abilities proccing and dealing a Phreakishly high amount of damage to your opponent since you can auto attack more often. You'll be doing tons of damage!

Infinity Edge: Corki's mana issues are nonexistent for the most part after purchasing Trinity Force. Cooldown reduction is also one of the stats gained. This nullifies the need for an Essence Reaver to be purchased. With Infinity Edge, you'll be able to output more physical damage and have larger burst. A stronger auto attack will compliment the buffs that are obtained from Trinity Force and a higher damage yield overall. Purchase Infinity Edge after Trinity Force.

Rapid Firecannon: Your auto attack damage will be magnified after purchasing Rapid Firecannon. Infinity Edge's passive will multiply your critical strike chance and enhance your auto attacks. Rapid Firecannon is also a great choice because you will be able to poke your enemies with strengthened auto attacks thanks to Trinity Force.

Sorcerer's Shoes: Because a majority of Corki's damage is magical, this item is a must. Sorcerer's Shoes will make your Phosphorus Bomb and auto attacks even more lethal.

Situational Items:

Maw of Malmortius: It isn't uncommon to see Hexdrinker rushed if Corki is struggling versus a lane opponent whose main source of damage is magical. High ranking players will avoid completing this item until their core items are completed. The stats that this item offers isn't very useful to Corki since he can reduce the enemy's armor with Gatling Gun.

Hextech Gunblade: This is a great option as it provides lifesteal, magic and physical damage, and a slow. However, I would only purchase this item if you are snowballing in the early game for a huge power spike. Hextech Gunblade's power falls off as the game progresses.

Void Staff: Buy Void Staff in the event that the enemy purchases a lot of magic resistance items. A good chunk of Corki's damage is magical. It would be detrimental to your chances of winning if you let the enemy team diminish your damage output.

Guardian Angel: Purchase Guardian Angel if the enemy is able to reach your team's backline and kill you. You are a massive threat in the mid and late game. If you are killed, the enemy has more room to claw back into the game and win the game.

Early Game

At level one you should try to bully your lane opponent with Gatling Gun. You're guaranteed to get a Thunderlord's Decree proc and establish presence in the lane. Try to avoid hitting too many minions with Gatling Gun to prevent accidentally shoving the wave. If this does happen, be extra cautious! You are put at a disadvantage since you don't have Valkyrie yet. This leaves you susceptible to being ganked. It is definitely possible to kill your lane opponent if a significant amount of health is missing and they misstep. Make sure you Exhaust them and fire up your Gatling Gun. Poke your enemy with auto attacks and Phosphorus Bombs while they are busy farming. Your kill pressure increases considerably at level six when Missile Barrage is acquired. After eight minutes, The Package will spawn. Take a look at your side lanes and pick up The Package if any of them are in a position where a gank can be executed successfully.

Mid Game

The mid game is where you are strongest. At this point in the game you should have completed most of your core items. The Package is a great tool for teamfighting. Save The Package for when your team wants to contest objectives or wants to fight. This is when you should assess the map and what your team's strengths and weaknesses are. Does your team have champions with lockdown and a great teamfight like Zac, Vi, or Jarvan IV? Make sure that you follow up with their teamfight initiations with The Package while staying at a safe distance. Is your team more pick oriented? Ward often and collapse on enemies with your increased movement speed. Keep wards on objectives like Baron and Dragon. If any of these objectives are being contested, always remember that you can divide the enemy team with Special Delivery's trail. Just be sure that you don't put yourself in a position where you can be easily killed by the enemy. The outcome of the mid game depends upon how well you utilize your advantages and capitalize on the enemy team's mistakes.

Late Game

You should have finished or be finishing up your build at this stage in the game. Make sure that you are itemizing according to the game's conditions. Every game is different and your item choices should be dynamic. Great positioning is key to winning the game if it has drawn out. You should mostly be sticking with your team in the late game. The only exception to this is when large minion waves are crashing into your towers and you have The Package. The movement speed boost will allow you to quickly regroup with your team. Do not attempt to assassinate the backline when fighting. Your job is to remain at a safe distance and provide as much damage per second as possible while doing so. If you are dove, Valkyrie away from the danger and assess your immediate threats. Higher death timers means that mistakes and deaths are amplified. Your positioning can make the difference between winning and losing the game.

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