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League of Legends Champion Review: Lucian, the Purifier


I hope you passed geometry in high school, because all of those angles and confusing calculations are about to come in handy with LoL’s newest champion, Lucian the Purifier. This gunslinger has two guns and a knack for shooting them all over the place.

If you want to see exactly how Lucian blasts his foes to bits, look at his official profile. The TLDR version: a vengeful widower who shoots light from guns, loves to move, and never runs out of bullets.

If you’re just jumping into League of Legends and want to know what champions to pick, check out ourbest League of Legends champions for beginners guide.

Pop quiz!

If you leave your shrubbery and travel northeast at a rate of rank 1 movement speed boots, and the enemy Fizz you’re trying to shoot is traveling north-northwest at a rate of rank-2-boots-plus-Flash-plus-Playful-Trickster, at what fixed angle do you need to fire your guns for the next 3 seconds to ensure every bullet hits him?

That overwhelming feeling that’s currently clogging your brain–get used to that. Lucian’s abilities rely on angles to hit their targets. His ultimate in the pinnacle. The Culling is a channeled barrage of bullets that must be fired at a set angle from Lucian. Channeled abilities aren’t new, but the trick is that while the angle from Lucian is fixed for the duration, Lucian can continue to move in any direction while it’s going.

That opens up a ton of great moves for you to pull off, where you can bait someone into diving onto you, leap out of the way, pop the ultimate and just run away at full speed while they chase you, eating bullets the whole time.


It’s tough to keep up with opponents trying to dodge your bullet stream–I often found myself zigging while they zagged, causing me to lose my connection. But the skill ceiling on just this one ability is incredible, mostly because you can use any movement ability in the game while it’s channeling. You can Flash in a direction without interrupting it; you can slide in a direction with his Relentless Pursuit (which resets its cooldown if you get a kill or assist with his ult); you can even grab Thresh’s lantern and fly through the air raining bullets down on everyone you pass.

It’s incredibly tricky to pull off and, if I’m being totally honest, the ability made me feel incredibly clumsy and stupid for the first five or so games. It felt like I was always one step behind my target, or misclicking the angle and forced to watch the “LOL”s stream into chat as my bullets shot in the wrong direction, with no way to reposition them.

But that initial embarrassment is easily overcome by the god-like feeling you get when you pull off a perfect movement series to land every single bullet. And when every single bullet lands, this ability nukes people, my friend. It has the highest single-target damage potential in the game, clocking out around 10 thousand damage with the theorycrafted best items for it.


A new love

I’ll be honest: AD Carry has never been my preferred role. It’s a lot of pressure and a lot of last-hitting, often marked with dry laning phases lacking the constant bloodshed my assassin-loving heart craves.

But I may be a convert after playing Lucian. His ability to poke enemies at long range is devious and delightful, and the angle gameplay with his Piercing Light and Ardent Blaze abilities make that laning phase constant fun.

Piercing Light has to be targeted onto a nearby enemy, but then it shoots out a long beam of light that hits everything in its path, extending far beyond that first enemy hit. Early on, my opponents kept with their usual plan of hiding behind enemy minions to bock skill shots, which let me blast them continuously. And God help them if you have a hook support like Thresh–if they move behind minions, I blast ’em, and if they move outside of minions, Thresh hooks them.

It’s a brutal combination that made the lane always fun to play, no matter who I was facing or how passive the other team was trying to play. Even in solo lanes, I had fun trying to keep my distance from all enemies while still using the perfect positioning to line up creep kills from far away.

That’s the greatest part of Lucian’s kit: it forces you to play a bunch of minigames in your head to ensure perfect positioning at all times. Whether you excel at that, or would even enjoy trying to, is the biggest determining factor of whether or not you’ll enjoy playing Lucian.


OP or QQ?

Lucian fits strongly into the AD Carry mold: he’s got heavy damage, scales well, and can last hit without putting himself in tremendous danger. He feels like one of the safer picks, along the lines of a Caitlyn, who can sit further back from fights than most and disengage easily while still getting his farm.

Lucian does need to spend mana to keep his long-range farm profitable, so he’s definitely limited in that regard–a much needed counterbalance to his potential strengths.

The scariest part of Lucian is that he will significantly scale with the player’s skill at positioning and movement. I can’t wait to see him in the hands of pro players that can really take advantage of his ultimate’s damage potential.

In the hands of the players you’re likely to be facing against, Lucian doesn’t feel OP at all. He snowballs well, but doesn’t have gimmicks to guarantee that he will snowball. He’s flimsy enough that it’s easy to tear him down if you have some hard CC to keep him in place for a second or two.

And while he’s interesting to play as a solo lane–and incredibly fun to wave clear with Static Shiv–he definitely doesn’t feel sustainable vs. coordinated teams in that position. Top players will quickly see the tells of his non-ultimate abilities, which all have a warning signal attached to them before the damage hits.


Shut up and tell me what to do

If you fancy yourself a skilled player, Lucian will let you prove it with the essential nature of his positioning in the heat of a teamfight. If you’re still trying to master movement, Lucian may be just the tool you want to adopt to encourage you to improve. Either way, you should only buy Lucian if you want a focus-intensive champion that will stretch your movement skills.

There are a lot of AD Carry champions that are easier to play, but don’t have the same skill ceiling as Lucian—new AD Carry players should start elsewhere.

If you do buy her, here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Don’t go AP: Some of the more adventurous forum-goers are trying to peddle an AP build that relies mostly on Lucian’s ultimate to deal damage. Start with an AD build, which Lucian was built to thrive in.

2. Stay calm when you screw up: You will completely whiff your ultimate shots on at least one occasion. It’s easy to panic and get upset when it happens–instead, cancel the ultimate by tapping the button for it again, and move on to Plan B.

3. Keep moving: Between Ardent Blaze and Relentless Pursuit’s cooldown resets, you can pretty much maintain a permanent speed buff on Lucian during combat. Balance your abilities so that you can keep running quicker than the enemy, if you need to.