See why Lucian, Ezreal, Graves, and Kog'Maw are dominating League of Legends' ADC role.

The best ADCs in League of Legends

See why Lucian, Ezreal, Graves, and Kog'Maw are dominating League of Legends' ADC role.
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Prior to Season 6, attack-damage carries (ADCs) were in a rough spot. The meta was full of assassins and bruisers that would use one round of spells and instantly kill most ADCs. Many players felt helpless against powerful solo lanes, and the only counter was stellar positioning behind a solid front line. 

However, Riot recognized the problems ADCs were facing and introduced a number of changes for Season 6. New items were implemented that gave ADCs longer range on auto attacks, more movement speed, and damage reduction when dueling. Riot also balanced ADCs by updating old skills or giving flat damage boosts. Now ADCs are one of the most influential roles in the game, and they once again fulfill their carry title. 

When this many changes are brought into the game, it's no surprise that some champions benefit more than others. In the current meta, caster ADCs with high mobility are dominating the role. In this guide, I will explain who the best ADCs are in LoL, including tips on item builds and play style.

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The Prodigal Explorer

Although Ezreal was one of the few ADCs that remained the same during the Marksman update, he has risen in popularity over the last few patches. Being able to farm safely with Mystic Shot, and having a built-in escape makes Ezreal a safe pick for most team compositions. Also, synergies with Iceborn Gauntlet and other cooldown-reduction (CDR) items makes Ezreal impossible to catch, unless the enemy has several stuns or a fed mid-laner.

As the video demonstrates, Ezreal can quickly switch between offensive and defensive play styles. Due to CDR items and the built-in CDR from Mystic Shot's passive, you can quickly jump in for a kill, then jump out in just a few seconds. 

While there are several ways to build Ezreal, the strongest is Iceborn Gauntlet/Muramana, otherwise known as the "Blue Build."

Start off with a Doran's Blade. Pick up a Tear of Goddess on your first trip back, because you want to start stacking charges as soon as possible for Muramana. After the Tear, work towards Iceborn Gauntlet and CDR boots. These two items gives Ezreal a huge power spike and will let you trade with other ADCs. 

After your core items are completed, finish Manamune and assess the enemy team. If they have several tanks, then work towards a Blade of the Ruined King or Last Whisper. Alternatively, get a Quick Silver Sash to deal with hard stuns (or Zed).


The Outlaw

After getting changed in patch 5.22, Graves has been a highly-contested pick in Solo Q and competitive play because of his versatility. Graves is a great duelist with Skirmishers Smite and two nuking abilities. He can kite melee champions easily, and Smoke Bomb is a great tool to confuse opponents. Combine those qualities with high durability, and it is easy to see why Graves is so strong. In fact, Graves is still banned consistently in Diamond Solo Q.

Unlike most ADCs, Graves is best played in the Jungle

Being able to jungle is one explanation why Graves is such a strong pick. All of his attacks are area-of-effect (AOE), so he can clear camps quickly. Plus his auto attacks knock back all targets, letting you kite jungle camps without taking too much damage. The video below is a great resource for learning jungle routes and how to jungle as Graves.

All you need on Graves is an AD and one or two defensive items. Your typical jungle Graves should look like the following:
  • Skirmishers Smite (Warrior Enchantment)
  • Ghostblade or Hexdrinker
  • Boots of Swiftness
  • Sterak's Gage
  • Maw of Malmortius 
  • Guardian's Angel or Phantom Dancer

Although Graves is technically an ADC, he feels like a bruiser at times. So don't be afraid to build tank items like Dead Man's Plate if you need the extra defense.


The Purifier

Similar to Ezreal, Lucian makes the list because of his excellent mobility and ability to kite. But what makes Lucian even more threatening is his ability to deal massive damage throughout all stages of the game. He has good burst with Piercing Light and Arden Blaze, as well as sustained damage with Lightslinger and The Culling. Lucian doesn't seem to have any real weaknesses at this point.

Although Lucian received a few small buffs, the changes to Essence Reaver and Rapid-Fire Canon are what made him strong.

The old Essence Reaver used to give mana back on hit, but now that it provides CDR based off crit percentage -- so it's the perfect item for Lucian. With Essence Reaver and Rapid-Fire Canon alone, you get 30% CDR. Throw in some CDR boosts, and you will reach max the 40% limit. 

As mentioned earlier, the three core items for Lucian are Essence Reaver, Rapid-Fire Canon, and Boots of Lucidity. Build them in that order and you will be incredibly strong. After those items are finished, go for Infinity Edge or Quick Silver Sash into Mercurial Scimitar. The last two items are situational, but Last Whisper and Guardians Angel are always solid choices.


The Mouth of the Abyss

It may be surprising to see Kog'Maw in this list, considering he plays much differently than the ADCs mentioned thus far. But Kog'Maw is considered one of the most OP champions in Solo Q right now. So let's discuss why.

After the changes in patch 5.22, Kog'Maw truly embraced his hyper carry role

Kog'Maw has always been a champion known for his weak early game and strong late game. This still hasn't changed, but Kog'Maw scales much harder now and reaches his power spikes sooner. With a 5.0 attack speed cap and percentage-health mixed damage, Kog'Maw more accurately resembles a mobile nexus turret rather than a champion once he reaches late game. I mean just look at the damage below.

What makes Kog'Maw even more menacing is his synergy with Guinsoo's Rageblade and Runaan's Hurricane. These two items provide Kog'Maw with high attack speed, the ability to hit multiple champions with auto attacks, and stronger burst damage. These two items are all you need and everything else is just situational. Blade of the Ruined King, Phantom Dancer, and Sterak's Gage are all popular choices. Just don't forget to position yourself safely or else you wont last long in team fights


That wraps up this list of the best ADCs in League of Legends right now. Leave a comment below to let me know how you've performed with these characters and what strategies you recommend.

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Kevin Cobban
Freelance writer and unofficial Dovahkiin from Chicago. I write about video games and the industry that makes them.