An Analysis of Blade of the Ruined King Lucian
Mon 3rd Apr 2017 - 12:53pm
Lucian has not been very strong so far this season. Lethality abusers like Miss Fortune, Jhin, and Varus took the spotlight of being the best ADCs for much of this season. However, ever since the harsh nerfs to Lethality, the top tier ADCs seem to have switched quite considerably. Lucian is currently the number one ADC according to Champion.gg's Overall Performance Ranking statistic, while Jhin has the lowest winrate of all ADC's at a measly 47%. Miss Fortune and Varus aren't doing too bad at the moment, but they certainly aren't top-tier anymore.
Furthermore, Lucian has an insane pickrate of 51.97% in Korea as of patch 7.6, according to op.gg. Ezreal is still a bit higher on the list at a whopping 54.17% pickrate, but that's mainly due to Korea's strange obsession with Ezreal. Additionally, Ezreal has a negative winrate in Korea, which isn't that surprising because of the extremely high pickrate. Lucian however, manages to score an impressing winrate of around 53%. So let's dive a bit deeper to discover the reasons for Lucian's rise to the top.
Lucian received a couple small smoothness buffs for his Q - Piercing Light and W - Ardent Blaze back in patch 7.5, but these buffs can't be the only reason for Lucian's huge boost in win and playrate. The AD ratios or base stats of Lucian were not touched at all. There seems to be something else going on, so let's take a look at the Blade of the Ruined King (BOTRK) rework in patch 7.5.
Blade of the Ruined King
You might be wondering about the significance of Blade of the Ruined King when talking about a champion like Lucian. Understandably so, since previously you might get accused of trolling if you bought BotRK on Lucian. BotRK has traditionally been a must buy for dueling and/or attack speed focused champs such as Vayne, Xin Zhao, Master Yi, and Twitch. Lucian doesn't really fit in this category, as he has always been more of an AD Caster champion with strengths like great poke, waveclear and mobility.
Correct use of Lucian's passive Lightslinger is essential if you want to maximize Lucian's damage, and since this ability only scales with AD and not attack speed, AD is generally highly preferred over attack speed on Lucian. Lucian's Ultimate, The Culling, used to scale with attack speed some time ago, but the shots he fires have since been set to a fixed amount depending on the points put in the Ultimate. Lucian's other abilities also do not scale with attack speed.
However, in patch 7.5 the attack speed and attack damage values for BotRK have been reversed. The attack speed has decreased from 40% to 25%, while the AD value has risen from 25 to 40 AD. Coupled with the smoothness fixes to Lucian's Abilities you can now deal a lot more damage than before in the same timeframe. The lifesteal has also increased from 10% to 15% to add some much needed survivability and dueling power. BotRK has always been a tank shredding item, thanks to its huge % current health damage. This part of the item hasn't changed with the rework.
The active part of BotRK did get nerfed quite a bit, it now deals 100 flat magic damage from 10% max health damage and the heal has been removed as well. The buffs to the AD component impact Lucian more than the nerfs do, since the item active has a huge cooldown anyways while the AD buffs trigger on every passive shot, ult shot, autoattack and Piercing Light fired off by Lucian. Due to all these changes to BOTRK, it has now become a core item on Lucian and is nearly always rushed in the highest win % builds for Lucian.
Image Courtesy of OP.GG
The Black Cleaver
The Black Cleaver is often built on Lucian as a second item to complement BOTRK. The Black Cleaver gives some health which adds to the survivability and the item is also often purchased thanks to its armor shredding qualities. Armor shredding is always good, but especially so in a tank meta. Lucian has historically been a early and mid-game focused ADC, mainly because his damage was lackluster against tanks. With this new build, this weakness seems to be mostly gone.
BOTRK and The Black Cleaver are the core items for this new Lucian build. Additionally, many players choose to purchase Ninja Tabi for their boots. However, Berserker's Greaves and Ionian Boots of Lucidity are viable choices as well. Ninja Tabi naturally synergizes well with BOTRK and the Black Cleaver due to the added tankiness which these items also provide. Lucian can now deal as much if not more damage as with his old Essence Reaver focused build under equal circumstances, but he can stay alive a lot longer too now. Thus, your total damage output at the end of the game will almost certainly be higher if you play it correctly.
The rest of the items are pretty much situational. However, putting an extra attack speed item at some point in your build is highly recommended. Rapid Firecannon seems to be the most popular choice, due to increasing Lucian's short auto attack range. Phantom Dancer is a great choice as well though. Infinity Edge is recommended if you are fed and need even more damage to close out the game. Lord Dominik's Regards should be bought against tanks but you could switch it for Mortal Reminder against pesky healing compositions.
For extra survivability, your choices are The Bloodthirster (for extra dueling power), Mercurial Scimitar (against hard CC such as Malzahar's Ultimate) and Maw of Malmortius (against burst). In the very late game, Guardian Angel is always a good choice to turn the tides of a teamfight.
Lucian has once again become a top tier ADC mainly due to a new build, and the most important part of this build is the Blade of the Ruined King rush. Smoothness changes have increased the effectiveness of the build by a fair amount.
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