Hey guys, I’m AP Sona – a Diamond 1 bot lane main on NA.
For each of the top 5 ADC’s in solo queue [IN MY OPINION], I’ve written a short guide including ideal itemization, skill order, a blurb about that champ, good picks with that champ, and good picks against that champ.
Note that my itemization does not include boots because every ADC should get berserkers except maybe Corki (Sorcs) or Ezreal (Lucidity/Sorcs) or a defensive item such as GA, BV, or QSS because they are situational. That is, you should get one – but which one to get and when to get it is highly dependent on how your game is going. As a general rule, if you are dying quickly because of a really strong engage such as Sej/Amumu ult you want BV. If you are getting killed by unavoidable damage such as Talon/Kat, you want GA. If you are getting killed by Zed or against a Fiddle, you want QSS.
Furthermore, deciding when you want to get LW/Youmuu’s is contingent on how much armor the enemy team is building, and how easily you think you can attack high priority targets without having to spend all your time shooting the tank.
IE –> Statik Shiv –> BotRK –> LW
E > Q > W, although you should take 1 point in W at level 2.
The strongest ADC in solo queue right now, by a wide margin. Games are taking longer and longer ever since Riot made changes to limit snowballing and as assassins become less popular. Because of this, Tristana’s hyperscaling into late game has made her pick/ban priority. Tristana’s early game comes from her amazing all-in potential at level 2, and her late game strength comes from the steroids on her Q and E as well as her ridiculous range. Furthermore, her jump takes priority over almost any form of CC, so even if you get hard CC’d if you jump early enough you will still jump before the CC is applied.
Tristana is a good pick against other hyperscaling ADC’s such as Vayne or Twitch, but honestly can be picked against pretty much anyone. Trist can go even for most of the game, but will outscale any other ADC late game because of her range and her shredding potential, which will allow her team to win teamfights once the game has reached 40+ minutes, making the enemy hypercarry ADC useless.
Tristana partners well with Leona if you want a heavy amount of early aggression, or Zilean/Sona if you want a champion who can help you make it to late game and have abilities to make sure that you are able to stay alive in late game when your job is to carry carry carry.
Your best chance to beat Tristana is to shut her down early. For this, you want to pick lane bullies such as Caitlyn or Corki. Supports who can deal a lot of early game burst such as Karma, Zilean, or Vel’koz also help ensure that you can keep Trist from ramping up early. Your focus should be taking advantage of your early game power spike to set her behind early, and to try to snowball that advantage for the rest of the game.
BotRK –> Youmuu’s –> LW –> Statik Shiv. I prefer this build for the early game power spike with BotRK, although an IE start is also pretty strong. I no longer recommend a Trinity Force start.
Q > E > W. Lower CD on E is a higher priority than the minor damage increase from points in W.
Lucian functions really well as a lane bully because of his ability to repeatedly win short trades thanks to his lightslinger passive. Furthermore, he can be a pretty safe pick thanks to his ability to dish out long range damage with his W and ultimate. Finally, Lucian has a lot of kiting potential between his dashes and BotRK if you choose to get it, which makes him a good option against divers such as Irelia and Udyr.
Lucian is a good pick against lane bullies such as Draven or Graves because he is able to go even against them and make sure that they are not able to snowball a big lane lead. His dashes allow him to engage if he has a lead in a lane skirmish but also allow him to disengage if necessary.
Lucian partners well with Braum thanks to synergy on Braum’s passive, which stuns after 4 autoattacks. This is because lightslinger applies 2 procs, making stuns easier. Lucian also does well with Karma because they have a large amount of burst and do very well with repeated short engages.
Lucian, like Tristana, is mostly hindered by his short range in lane. However, unlike Tristana, his dash does not always take priority when he gets hard CC’d. Because of this, Zyra is a really good option to try to zone him away from the wave and gives you the potential to grab kills in lane if you are able to catch him with a snare. Long range ADC’s such as Varus and Caitlyn are also able to bully him in lane, but they will have a really bad time if they fall behind for some reason, such as a gank, because their disengage is either long CD or not particularly reliable.
Trinity Force –> BT –> LW –> Youmuu’s. Most players prefer an IE over a BT as a second item, but I think BT allows you to play a bit more aggressively and weave more autoattacks between your spells, so I prefer that option. It’s all a matter of preference.
Q > E > W. However, if you are behind, Q > W > E may help you survive more often if you’re getting engaged on regularly.
Corki has an incredible amount of burst in lane, and his ability to heavily harass puts him above Kog’maw in my solo queue pick priority. Especially once you have a phage and sheen, you can out-trade pretty much anyone in lane if you hit a Q and follow it with an auto attack. Corki’s lane bullying is great, but his teamfighting is still very solid thanks to the AOE damage he can provide with his rockets. Similar to Tristana, he functions by jumping in and out of engages – however, his Valkyrie does not reset 🙁
Corki is a really good pick against champions like Jinx and Ashe who cannot do anything if he chooses to engage on them. Although he has a range disadvantage, once he gets a couple items he can play very aggressively and they should not be able to deal out damage as quickly.
Corki partners really well with Leona for hard engage against vulnerable ADC’s such as the ones listed above. He also does well with Janna because her passive movespeed and the damage boost from her shield make his burst even better and easier to hit.
Champions like Draven do well vs. Corki because they can actually match his damage output if he chooses to disengage. Ashe is able to bully Corki surprisingly well early game, but if you fall behind with Ashe you are screwed because Corki can engage on you very easily. Supports such as Lulu or Janna provide a good amount of disengage to keep your lane safe if an enemy Corki tries to play aggressive against you.
Trinity Force –> BotRK –> IE –> LW. Although IE is usually a better item to get early, Kog’Maw scales so well with attack speed that I am happy to stack Trinity Force and BotRK before getting pure damage items.
W > Q > E. Some people prefer W > E > Q. It’s all a matter of preference, as long as you max W first you are alright.
Kog’Maw is a much more contested pick in competitive play than in solo queue, and rightfully so. In order to play Kog to his full potential, you are reliant on your team helping you kite and peel because of your lack of mobility. Unfortunately, this level of coordination is pretty rare in solo queue, which makes Kog a decent pick but not an incredible pick.
Kog is a good pick against champions like Draven and Vayne who can dish out a huge amount of damage late game, but lack the range to be able to deal with him once he has a few items and gets rolling. Kog also does decently well against Lucian because he can lane decently for the most part if he uses his W tactically in order to hold even in CS.
Kog’Maw goes well with champions such as Lulu or Zilean, who are able to also deal out a good amount of long range poke and have abilities to help Kog’Maw kite or stay alive even if he gets caught. Pretty much, protect the Kog rings just as true in solo queue as it does in competitive play.
Kog’Maw will have some trouble against Corki because of Corki’s ridiculous engage in lane, and can also get zoned pretty heavily by Caitlyn when his W is on cooldown. Similar to Tristana, you want to bully him in lane as much as possible to try to keep him from scaling to late game as easily. Supports such as Blitz or Leona can take advantage of his lack of escapes to get a good engage on him.
IE –> PD –> LW –> BT
Q > E > W. A lower CD on your 40 caliber net is a higher priority than the damage increase/lower CD on trap.
Caitlyn is not a particularly exciting ADC, and she is a bit weaker at the moment because of her auto-attack bug where damage is applied before the projectile hits its target. However, she is still a very strong laner and can bully out a lot of opponents, making her a worthwhile pick (especially once her bug is fixed).
Caitlyn is a strong pick against champions with weak lane phases such as Sivir or Vayne. These champions will be heavily zoned because of their range disadvantage, and thus will naturally fall behind. Similiarly, Caitlyn does well against Leona and Braum because they are reliant on short-range engages, which Caitlyn can simply avoid.
Caitlyn goes well with long ranged poke such as Vel’Koz and Lulu. Cait + Vel is quite possibly the scariest lane that exists in LoL at the moment, because they can keep you out of XP range after taking even a small lead.
Caitlyn can be beat after 6 by just about any ADC – the priority is making it to there. Because of this, Ashe and Varus both do well against her. They can handle her range and can trade pretty evenly, even if they come out of lane slightly behind they both have good engage with their ults and can make up for it. Lulu and Sona are both good support options who have a combination of long ranged poke and good protection for their ADC, making Cait’s lane dominance less impressive.
I hope this guide was helpful! If you have any specific questions or would like to know more about an ADC I haven’t included on this list, leave a comment and I’ll make sure to answer! Bot lane is pretty much my only area of expertise, so I hope another player sees these posts and finds them interesting, and wants to make some for mid/top/jungle!