Loki AD Carry Guide (Zapman Build)

loki-adcLoki, the Assassin Carry.

Loki as AD Carry brings a completely different play style to the duo lane. In lieu of a hunter’s sustain, Loki possesses high single-target damage and is capable of erasing designated targets, even those located in the backlines. Loki is an expert at bullying lanes and his mere presence on the battlefield gravely impacts how the match is played out. Loki quickly snowballs into a harrassment machine, capable of rotating earlier than conventional AD Carries.

The god build discussed here is that by Zapman. The article closely follows his way of building, leveling, and playing the character. For more on Zapman, see his Twitch Twitch channel.

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Build

Items

Starter 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Death's Toll
Death’s Toll
Heartseeker
Heartseeker
Warrior Tabi
Warrior Tabi
Jotunn's Wrath
Jotunn’s Wrath
Hydra's Lament
Hydra’s Lament
Titan's Bane
Titan’s Bane

Loki starts out with Death’s Toll, Morningstar, and a health pot. He then finishes rushing Heartseeker to begin stacking, and continues developing the core of the build: Warrior Tabi, Jotunn’s Wrath, Hydra’s Lament, and Titan’s Bane. In the late game Zapman sells Death’s Toll for either Transcendence (extra power), Magi’s Blessing (vs. crowd control), or a situational item.

Loki benefits from carrying health and mana potions even well into the mid game.

Behind You! Loki’s passive deals 20% more damage from his basic attacks when hitting enemies from behind. This also comes in handy when clearing jungle camps with his Decoy ability. His basic attacks utilize a five-swing hit chain, with the finishing hit dealing 1.5 times the normal damage (progression: 1/.5/.5/.5/1.5x damage and swing time).

Actives

Greater Purification
Greater Purification
Greater Aegis
Greater Aegis

Loki gets Beads as well as Aegis in every match in order to be even more survivable and safe than he already is due to his ability kit.

Tip Zapman prefers to get as far down the build chain as he can before investing into any actives. In his own words, “Getting actives too early is a huge money sink and delays your power spike which you want to achieve as early as possible.” Finishing Warrior Tabi gives Loki his first power spike, so investing into actives from that point on is not unreasonable if the match situation calls for it.

First 5 Levels

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Decoy
2
Vanish
1
Decoy
2
Aimed Strike
3
Assassinate
4

During the early game Loki needs to unlock his full kit first. The leveling priority lies on his Decoy ability (2) for the safe long-range clear.

Ability Leveling Order

Decoy
2
greater than Aimed Strike
3
greater than Assassinate
4
greater than Vanish
1

Zapman levels Loki’s Decoy ability (2) until its penultimate rank (4) before shifting leveling priorities to Aimed Strike (3) followed by Vanish (1). Loki’s Ultimate, Assassinate (4), is leveled as required (usually with some urgency until rank 2).

Play Style

Loki is the polar opposite to a hunter: he is highly survivable and possesses high single target damage in lieu of a hunter’s sustain. Despite a lame early laning phase, Loki gets online very quickly in terms of kill potential (level 5) and fast rotations (level 7+).

Starting Positions

Playing Loki in the duo lane does not open up any new possibilities in terms of starting positions or opening variations. On the left side Loki can either start directly at the mana buff, or given a support with great clear he can begin with the back harpies into mana buff opening for the extra experience. Starting on the right side, Loki is limited to mid harpies into mana buff.

Conquest 101 For a comprehensive guide on the different starting positions and openings in Conquest (including map illustrations), see the article Conquest 101 — Starting Positions for Every Role.

Early Game

The early game is all about outpushing the opponent.

In the early game Loki has to sit back and turtle until he reaches level 5, clearing the first few waves not only with the help of his yet weak Decoy ability (2) but also with an active support aware of Loki’s early lane disadvantage.

However, as early as level 7 Loki can start looking for rotations which is way before the actual mid game has even begun for other AD Carries. He quickly Decoys (2) the duo lane after which he is free to roam around, harrassing the other lanes or doing mid harpies.

Thor The enemy jungler usually shows up in the duo lane looking to gank around the 3:00 minute mark, the arguably best time to gank for a jungler. By three minutes into the match the wards initially placed on the map have run out and no longer provide the necessary map vision to detect hidden enemy movements.

Mid Game

The mid game is all about items, rotations, and Gold Fury.

Once Jotunn’s Wrath is finished, Loki is way into mid game form and bound to snowball into a bully machine, rotating from lane to lane while never missing out on any substantial farm. Nevertheless Loki should not lose focus of taking down Gold Furies and towers off the backfoot of rotation opportunities that are to offer themselves in this stage of the game.

Tip Loki can take down objectives faster with both his Aimed Strike (3) as well as Vanish (1) steroid abilities, both of which can be used to reset his hit chain (progression: 1/.5/.5/.5/1.5x damage and swing time) for maximum damage.

Late Game

The late game is all about team fights, split-pushing, and Fire Giant.

Late game is reached once Hydra’s Lament is finished and work on Titan’s Bane has begun. Once Loki is in late game form, he can pick off any squishy targets hanging in the back. At this point in the game Loki can also split-push extremely well.

In full-blown team fights Loki acts like a scalpel, looking to take down the squishies located in the back (AD Carry, burst mage) or those who are simply out of position. Unlike other AD Carries he can pick his targets freely: he can go in and out of the red zone relatively unfazed. However, Loki has no sustain, and once his kit is fully blown, that was all he could contribute to the team fight so he should retreat and reapproach when appropriate.

Tip Loki should look to avoid wasting his whole kit on tanks, for, as unlike conventional AD Carries (hunters), he can pick targets freely and doesn’t have to attack whoever is standing in front of him. Loki’s objective in team fights is to focus down high-priority targets lurking in the back.
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