Corki Build Guide

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Owl's Guide to Stomping Faces With A Yordle in a Plane

written by IMLOwl

Corki Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    This guide will provide some insight into my experience with AD Corki. Let's be honest. There is only one Corki -- AD Corki. He is a hard carry and may be the hardest carry. His damage output borders on insane. He single-handedly eviscerates enemy teams.

    There's a lot to like about Corki. Don't let people tell you Corki is trash. These people just have no idea how to properly play Corki, because if they did they'd be washing their mouths out with soap for speaking such blasphemy. All you have to say to these people is "LIMA OSCAR LIMA." Hope they are on the other team, because you can delight in racking up 20 kills and/or making them rage quit.

  • Abilities

    Hextech Shrapnel Shells
    10% true damage is nothing to scoff at. Early game, this gives you a few extra damage that will make it easier to last hit and makes your lane opponents think twice about exchanging attacks with you. Later in the game, this helps dispatch those of your opponents silly enough to think they can add armor to counter you. All in all, it's a decent passive. Not great, but nice.

    Phosphorus Bomb
    Your Q skill will cause a lot of QQ from your enemies.

    Their physical carries are causing your team problems? 35% AoE miss chance.

    If you choose to level this ability first the base damage is strong enough to be a great harassing and creep clearing skill.

    Valkyrie is a great escape mechanism and without it, Corki would be little more than food for burst assassins and gap-closing tanky DPS characters. I recommend picking a level of this at level 1 or 2 and then leaving it be until you've maxed everything else. Putting more than one point in it will only increase your mana costs. It's useful not only for escaping, but catching up with your target that tries to flash out of your gatling gun AoE or jumping over walls in the jungle to get away from ganks.

    Gatling Gun
    This skill defines Corki. It shreds off any armor that your opponent(s) has and lets your auto attacks really rip into them. Not only does it buff your auto attacks, but anyone else on your team will also be attacking your enemies without their precious armor. Use this to kill entire teams, clear entire creep waves, decimate the jungle, etc.

    Missile Barrage
    Missle Barrage went from a nice poke skill for AD Corki into a GREAT poke for AD Corki. Previously, Corkis had to decide between AD and ripping people up with GG and attacks or AP and having nice spammable burst damage but little else. Not anymore. 20% scaling with AD makes this truly worthy of the term 'ultimate.'

  • Masteries
    I run a standard 21/0/9 build, usually. The only thing of note with my mastery build is the 15% spell penetration. Even though you are an AD champ, most of your skills are still doing magic damage and you need to have some penetration to maximize their effectiveness.
    The other standard option is a 15/0/15 build for the increased buff duration, lower flash CD and move speed. The crit damage in the offensive tree is mostly 3 wasted points until late game anyway.

    I also take the 15% buff duration in the utility tree for jungle buffs, which I will get into in more detail later. But the extra duration is really nice to have.

  • Runes

    Greater Mark of Desolationx9
    No exceptions. Except...

    Truthfully though, I have been experimenting with playing AD Corki with MAGIC PENETRATION runes. "Owl, that's stupid!," you say. You may be right. But his skills do magic damage. Most of your harass is magic damage. And once you get 5 levels on Gatling Gun and a Black Cleaver, you're reducing 95 armor anyway, so a lot of that armor pen is going to waste late game.

    When in doubt, go armor pen. Always. They are better than any other AD rune you can get on a non-jungler. Always.

    Greater Seal of Clarityx9 or Greater Seal of Vitalityx9 or Greater Seal of Resiliencex9
    I prefer getting the HP/lvl or armor runes here, but only because I am usually building Manamune. If you do not build Manamune, getting Mp Regen/5/Lvl runes are necessary.

    Greater Glyph of Focusx9 or Greater Glyph of Clarityx9 or Greater Glyph of Shieldingx9 or Greater Glyph of Wardingx9
    If you do not use MP/5 seals, you may want to get the glyphs. Again, if you build Manamune, you don't necessarily need either. I prefer the magic resist runes in order to mitigate early harass and take control of my lane.

    Greater Quintessence of Desolationx3 or Greater Quintessence of Fortitudex3
    I recommend going with the armor pen quints. Don't get me wrong, the extra 70ish HP from the fortitude quints is usually excellent, but as Corki I refuse to be outharassed. If you lane opponent is a better harasser than you (HAHAHAHA), you can just sit out of range and still farm quite effectively.

    However, level 1, going with full armor pen is wasting some benefit from them, as most champs have around 20 armor to begin the game and don't scale into the 30s until they level some. This is why taking 1 armor pen quint and 2 HP quints maximizes your level 1 runes.

  • Skilling Order

    My main priority is maxing Phosphorus Bomb in lane. It is by far your best harassing spell. It will let you outharass any non-magic champion because if they choose to exchange hits with you, they will miss 35% of their attacks. Advantage Corki. The damage it does is on par with the burst most champions can do with an equally leveled spell.

    At level 2, I take a point in Valkyrie. It is an invaluable escape and initiation tool. Put only one point until later.

    After P-Bomb, max Gating Gun. Using this skill order maximizes your damage output at all stages of the game. Early, you have burst to control your lane and later, when you build your AD items, you are making the most efficient use of Gatling Gun.

  • Summoner Abilities

    Useful Spells:

    Flash -- Flash is such a great spell on Corki. Where to begin? It can be used both offensively or defensively. If someone uses their escape mechanism to get out of your GG AoE, flash back in range. If a gank is coming to get you, a valkyrie plus a flash will move you so far away they couldn't possibly gib you anymore. Corki with Flash and a little map awareness is UNGANKABLE.

    Teleport -- I hate being out of lane for any reason, including buying. With teleport, you don't have to worry about lost gold or experience and you can keep on pushing towers because your lane opponent WILL be forced to recall. Also useful for protecting other lanes should your teammates fail. The viability of this dropped a little because you can't teleport to wards anymore. I've stopped using teleport as much and focused more on sustaining myself in lane and it's made me a better player. Still, the ability to move around the map is very valuable and taking teleport isn't ever a terrible idea.

    Exhaust -- Useful in that it keeps people in range for the kill. I always either have the red buff or Phage, so exhaust seems like overkill to me. I'd rather have teleport/flash, but this is not a bad choice. If people commit to a fight, exhaust them and they will instantly regret that decision.

    Ghost -- Flash is better for Corki, but ghost fills a similar role. Corki's move speed is bad enough to warrant as much escape and chase ability as possible. Also useful to keep you from getting hung up on creeps while you're chasing people down with your gatling gun. You may lose a kill from unit collision.

    Cleanse -- A good spell to prevent you from getting gibbed while stunned, snared, slowed, etc.

    Marginal Utility:

    Ignite -- Nice on some characters, but not as good on Corki. You shouldn't have issues securing kills without it. The other spells, namely Ghost and Flash are just so much better. On Corki, exhaust is better too.

    Clairvoyance -- Map awareness is nice. I prefer warding and wouldn't give up other spells for Corki for the added map awareness. This should be on your support.

    [spell=rally] -- It does something, just not much.

    Do NOT Use:

    Revive -- What are you, bad or something?

    [spell=Fortify] -- HAHA. Corki doesn't get pushed. He pushes.

    Heal -- You should not need a heal beyond your natural regen, lifesteal and your health pot. If you have teleport and can heal at the fountain at any point.

    Clarity -- If you are having mana issues, get a mana regen item or use mana regen runes

    Smite -- You are not jungling and do not need help farming creeps. No.

  • Items

    Corki itemizes a little different than most physical carries, in my opinion. It's easy to go for pure AD, but you will be missing out on a lot of the utility that makes Corki such a devastating character.

    I begin most games with Doran's Blade. The most important aspect is the +100 HP. The damage is a nice bonus and the lifesteal, though trivial, is at least on par with a couple points of hp regen/5. Boots and 3 pots is also a completely viable choice and is the BEST choice when going against someone like a Brand, Nidalee, Ezreal or Urgot where their damage is contingent on you not dodging a skillshot.

    I try to stay in the lane for quite awhile, harassing when opportunities arise, but my main focus is to sit back and last hit as much as possible. It's not uncommon to recall with around 2500g. If you do have to recall early because you're being poked heavily, grab another Doran's Blade and Boots of Speed.

    If you have been farming your butt off and not taking heavy harassment, get Boots of Speed and Tear of the Goddess. Since you are going to be spamming your missiles at pretty much all times, this will fill up fast. You may even have enough money to buy Manamune. With this item, you will gain about 70 AD by the end of the game(it is very efficient in terms of gold cost) and you never have to worry about mana issues again, leaving you free to missle spam. At this point you should finally consider investing 450g in a Vampiric Scepter, though this is a luxury item that will delay more important items. You need to finish your boots probably before Manamune so get Mercury's Treads. You need these in 90% of games. The only time you don't need them is if the other team has absolutely no hard CC, which is practically never. Get Beserker Greaves otherwise.

    The next item I get is Sheen. After Sheen, I get Phage. The Sheen proc after your missiles greatly increases your DPS ability. Obviously, since we have Phage and Sheen, the next item to get is Zeal and then build it into Trinity Force.

    ***But why Trinity Force and not an awesome DPS item like Infinity Edge?***

    Don't get me wrong, IE is the best item in the game for increasing your DPS and it sounds ridiculous to not prioritize getting the best DPS item for a character who's world revolves around massive DPS. You don't need it though, at least not now and probably not ever. With your Manamune farmed up and the extra stats from Trinity Force, you will not want for damage. What you do need is pretty much everything Triforce provides. Let's go over them.

    +20 Damage -- Corki loves extra AD.
    +30 Ability Power -- Not the greatest stat on AD Corki, but it does make his skills a little more potent.
    +25% Attack Speed -- Necessary for any auto attacking champion.
    +12% Crit Chance -- A terrific bonus probably once around every 9 attacks.
    +12% Move Speed -- I cannot overstate how important this is. Corki is slow and you'd much rather be saving your valkyrie to escape rather than catch fleeing enemies. This will put you up around 425 and greatly improve your mobility.
    +300 Health -- On a squishy champ? Yes, please.
    +300 Mana -- Sure. Also grants an extra 6 AD with Manamune.
    "UNIQUE Passive: 25% chance on hit to slow the target by 35% for 2.5 seconds" -- Maybe be the most important part of the item. You need to slow people to keep them in GG range and you can't always be chasing down a red buff.
    "On cast, increases your base Attack Damage by 150% for one attack." -- +50% to my base AD after I use a skill. Which is every second or so with missles. This means that nearly all of your attacks will be getting this bonus.

    So we have damage and a ton of utility now. We should start thinking about increasing our survability. The best item for Corki in this regard is Banshee's Veil. The MR, HP and mana really help, but the spell shield is amazing. You can save yourself from dying when the other team sends any hard CC your way. If they are extremely physical heavy, Sunfire Cape or Thornmail can be helpful. I've been really liking Guardian Angel lately.

    Other items that are great on Corki should follow, including:
    The Black Cleaver -- Great when they have high armor values, even better when they have low armor values. Remember, your job is shredding off all their armor. This, combined with your Gatling Gun will reduce 95 armor on targets. 95 freaking armor. It's safe to say this item is almost a must have for Corki.
    [item_icon=Stark's Fervor]Stark's Fervor -- Armor debuff, lifesteal and attack speed, all in an aura. Yes, yes, yes and yes. Although if you are the only physical DPS character on your team, I would probably not get this.
    The Bloodthirster -- Great lifesteal and the highest base damage increase if you can farm it up and not die.
    Infinity Edge -- Sometimes you just can't resist it, especially if you go buying with 4000g in your pocket. It's still a good item on Corki and if you really want this, I'm not going to tell you never to buy it. It's a luxury item though and if you can afford this after your core build, you've probably already won the game.
    Atma's Impaler -- Armor for better survivability and a AD and crit bonus to boot.
    Last Whisper -- I hardly would ever get this, especially if I am building Black Cleaver. NEVER STACK MULTIPLE FORMS OF ARMOR MITIGATION. Since % penetration is calculated LAST, all your reduction and flat penetration is making this item next to useless.
    Phantom Dancer -- Even more move speed, 45% attack speed, boost your crit chance plus some extra dodge to increase your survivability.
    Elixir of Fortitude and [item_icon=elixir of agility]Elixir of Agility -- If you have spare gold on trips back. These increase your power SIGNIFICANTLY and EFFICIENTLY.
    Oh, and Sight Wards and Vision Wards. If you aren't buying several of these every match, you're kind of a jerk and probably to deserve to take the loss you're about to receive.

    The most important thing is ALWAYS ITEMIZE FOR YOUR OPPONENTS. No guide is perfect in every scenario. Assess the other team and their builds and use your best judgment to counter their counters.

  • Pros / Cons

    -More DPS than you know what to do with
    -Excellent escape ability
    -Excellent poking ability
    -Spammable spells
    -He's in a freaking plane
    -Dictates the terms of team fights

    -Mana issues if not itemized/runed properly
    -No CC

  • Laning

    First of all, take solo mid or solo top if you have a jungler. A support-carry bottom lane is en vogue now thanks to the EU, so that's also a perfectly viable option provided your support doesn't farm. Trust me, if you play smart you will absolutely dominate your lane. On several occasions I've been able to push a tower down alone against a 2-man lane. My caveat is that before you do this, you need to ward the places where a gank may come from. You CANNOT push without warding. If you see the gank incoming, you can simply walk back and valkyrie to safety and don't forget you have a flash in your pocket to use. I actually prefer the 2v1 lane many times. When you hit level 6 and they are level 4, they simply will not be able to handle your damage and your range. If you have solo mid, you should still dominate but their mid champ will at least put up more of a fight.

    My play style with Corki is to pick my spots before level 6. I sit back with my #1 priority being last hitting minions. Be careful not to push at this point. If they think they can come up to the creep line, hit them with your Q and a couple auto attacks. They will not do it again.

    Against someone like Vlad, it's important to know that when he's on cooldown, you should pressure him. I see people make the mistake all too often of retreating and playing safe after they've blown their harass spell on you when you actually should be bringing it to them. Your auto attack is more powerful than theirs and your range is at least on par. WHEN MAGIC USERS BLOW THEIR SPELLS, HARASS THEM IMMEDIATELY.

    When you hit level 6 and have your missiles, you can now focus on pushing down the tower in front of you. Stop playing defensively and get super aggressive.

  • Missles and THE BIG ONE

    To play Corki well, you need to use your missiles well. Don't be shy about using them. Your main goal is to have a big one up and to catch your opponent by surprise. Poke them to about half HP or so and get a big one ready. Hit them with it, turn on your gatling gun and keep spamming missiles until they are dead. At the very least, you will force them to recall or stupidly sit outside of XP range.

    When you gank, get a big one ready.
    When you are jungling, get a big one ready.
    If you are going back to lane from your fountain, get a big one ready.

    I find it best to aim your missiles at creeps to hit champions. First, they do AoE damage so you can last hit at the same time you are poking the enemy. Secondly, the higher your Elo gets and the more skilled your enemies become, the smarter they are and they know you desperately want to hit them with missiles. They will not stand still and give you that opportunity. So hit the creep they are standing next that still is stupid enough to stand there.

    Another tip, and it still shocks me how many people fall for this. People like to gun for you and kill you since you are so strong and so very, very squishy. Sometimes it pays to disengage from fights with valkyrie, but not far enough to discourage them from chasing you. When they do, hit them with a BIG ONE and get the LULZ kill.

  • Jungling

    Corki is a bad jungler at low levels. I wouldn't suggest getting into the jungle until after you've gotten your Vamp Scepter and some AD. But you need the red buff. I can't emphasize enough how much you need the red buff. Without it, or at least Trinity Force, your Gatling Gun is just too easy to escape from.

    Take the Elder Lizard whenever you can. If you don't have Manamune, you will need to take the Ancient Golem as well. Again, I advise against skipping Manamune partly because of this. Corki needs to be in fights, not spending all his time farming jungle creeps and your blue buff is more important for your AP burst teammate.

  • Wards and Counter-warding

    Just buy some freaking wards, place them at the jungle buffs and in the rivers (especially near the dragon) and kill people brave(read:stupid) enough to go off alone when there is a rampaging Corki on the loose.


  • Team Fighting

    Obviously, Corki is way too squishy to be leading the charge into a team fight. Hopefully, your team knows this and acts accordingly. You need to sit back and shoot missiles at the pack to weaken them from afar and then dive bomb them for massive damage when the time is right. Assess the situation. Save valkyrie for escape if you need it. Never Valkyrie into a situation where you'll probably die.

    You are very team dependent. If you have good tanks, you are loving life. An Amumu is terrific. A Rammus will keep them off you and on him. Galio's AoE ult is a great initiator. Basically, you work best when your tanks know to prioritize keeping you alive. If you don't have tanks, well good luck. You should have several kills right now and your opponents have been yelling at each other for the past five minutes to "FOCUS CORKI!!!!" Without a proper team with enough disables, I'm afraid you won't last very long in fights.

    When it's time to go in for the pentakill, shoot your big one, lay down a phosphorus bomb, turn on Gatling Gun and go to work, spamming missiles as you go. It's actually pretty funny how quickly a well-played and properly farmed Corki melts an entire team.

    In short, positioning is key. Always position yourself in such a way where you have teammates to protect you and it's difficult for the other team to reach you. Pay attention to enemies coming in from the side brush.

  • Summary

    Corki is, in my opinion, the most fun champion to play. Which is good because he's also a freaking awesome physical carry. Have fun with him and try not to do too well. I don't want to have to fight with people in queues for picking my beloved Corki.

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