An in Depth Look at ADC Builds



AD Carries are at least the simplest role to talk about itemization for. Why? Because they really have no priorities except for sheer damage (well, Ezreal can be a utility caster, and Urgot is a bruisery-fellow, but for the most part, ADCs are just walking killing machines.).

Really, ADCs have three overlapping qualities that matter, auto-attackers (dps), AD Spells (burst), and range/kiting (survivability):


First, let's look at the auto-attack steroids of every ADC in the game (assuming level 18 for simplicity).


  • Headshot: every 6th attack does 150% damage
    • Scales with AD/AS


  • Hextech Shrapnel Shells: every attack does 10% in true damage
    • Scales with AD/AS
  • Gatling Gun: shreds up to 40 armor, increasing damage but decreasing the relative value of Hextech Shrapnel Shells
    • Scales with AD/AS/Crit


  • Blood Rush: + 40% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • Rising Spell Force: + 10-50% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • Quickdraw: + 70% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • Caustic Spittle: + 30% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit
  • Bio-Arcane Barrage: 6% Max Health on-hit
    • Scales with AS

Miss Fortune

  • Impure Shots (Passive): 14-56 damage on-hit
    • Scales with AS
  • Impure Shots (Active): + 50% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • On the Hunt: 60% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • Rapid Fire: + 90% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • Ambush: + 70% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit
  • Spray and Pray: + 36 AD + Splash
    • Scales with AS/Crit (Splash scales with dps)


  • Living Vengeance: +20-40% AS
    • Scales with AD/Crit


  • Silver Bolts: 60+8% Max Health True Damage every 3rd attack
    • Scales with AS
  • Final Hour: + 55 AD
    • Scales with AS/Crit

We can see that most steroids come in one of three forms, on-hit steroids (which scale well with AS, but not AD or Crit), AS steroids (which scale well with AD and Crit, but not AS), and AD steroids (which scale well with AS and Crit). These steroids can help us determine our items are optimal. Champions with strong on-hit effects benefit more from Statikk Shiv than PD (as Crit will not amplify their on-hit effect, and as such, the Statikk Shiv passive will be worth relatively more. On the other hand, champions with strong AS or AD steroids will prefer PD for pure dps (so long as they already have AoE skills available for pushing).

AD Spells


  • Volley: 1.0 AD


  • Piltover Peacemaker: 1.3 - .65 AD (AoE)
  • R: 2.0 bonus AD


  • Gatling Gun: .2-1.6 bonus AD (AoE)
  • Missile Barrage: .35 AD (AoE)


  • Spinning Axe: .85 AD
  • Stand Aside: .5 bonus AD (AoE)
  • Whirling Death: .44-2.2 bonus AD (AoE)


  • Mystic Shot: 1.0 AD
  • Trueshot Barrage: .3-1.0 bonus AD (AoE)


  • Buckshot: .8-1.36 bonus AD (AoE)
  • Collateral Damage: 1.2-1.4 bonus AD (AoE)


  • Living Artillery: .5 bonus AD

Miss Fortune

  • Double Up: .75/.9 AD
  • Bullet Time: .35-2.8 bonus AD (large AoE)


  • Boomerang Blade: .44-1.1 bonus AD (AoE)
  • Ricochet: .33-1.0 AD (AoE)


  • Expunge: .25-1.5 bonus AD (AoE)


  • Piercing Arrow: .33-1.6 AD
  • Hail of Arrows: .6 bonus AD (AoE)


  • Tumble: .5 AD
  • Condemn: .5/1.0 bonus AD

While your type of steroid will tend to determine your AS item, your AD scaling will determine your first item. Champions with very high AD scaling will prefer to get Bloodthirster. Champions without high AD scaling should instead go for Infinity Edge or BotRK, depending on their steroid type.



850: Twitch (Spray and Pray)

710: Kog'Maw (Bio Arcane Barrage)

703: Tristana (level 18)

650: Caitlyn

600: Ashe

575: Varus

550: Corki, Draven, Ezreal, Miss Fortune, Tristana (level 1), Twitch, Vayne

525: Graves

500: Kog'Maw, Sivir

CC/Kiting Abilities

Spammable Slow: Ashe

AoE Slow: Ashe, Miss Fortune, Twitch, Varus

Stun/Immobilize: Ashe, Varus

Knockback: Tristana/Vayne

Dash: Caitlyn, Corki, Ezreal, Graves, Tristana, Vayne

Range allows for building more attack speed, as it makes a few stationary attacks safer.


So what should each champion build?

Ashe - IE, SS, BotRK, LW

Ashe's kit is all about kiting and auto-attacking. She has very high auto-attack range, and the AD ratio on her W is the same as a regular auto-attack. As such, rush IE, then get a Statikk Shiv for more Movement Speed. I like a BotRK third, to give you even more kiting power, but you can move LW earlier if the team is already starting to build armor.

Caitlyn - IE, PD, LW, BotRK

Caitlyn's AD ratios LOOK strong, but they both have relatively high channels which interrupt your auto-attacking. If you're doing a lot of poking or the laning phase drags on, I guess you could rush BT

Corki - BT, SS, I dunno, Corki's in a pretty bad place right now.

Corki has pretty bad AD scaling, but his steroid doesn't synergize well with IE, so BT it is. Shiv is better than PD, again because of his bad crit scaling. After that, you could go for LW (which doesn't synergize well with your passive or E), or BotRK (that's a lot of money to sink into lifesteal), or Muramana (for all of your single-target abilities), or Trinity Force (I guess it was the old standard). Basically, Corki's in a very weak place right now, because he's an ADC that doesn't scale with crit or pen, and thus almost every core ADC item.

Draven - BT, LW, IE, PD

Draven has ridiculous AD scaling, and the mid-game strength of BT synergizes extremely well with his kit. I like LW before PD because you will have so many uses of Blood Rush that you should be able to keep your AS/MS up for awhile. PD and IE both synergize extremely well with his passive, especially as you enter the late game and stop playing the axe-catching mini-game so much. You could go BotRK, I guess, instead of PD, if you're really comfortable with axe-catching.

Ezreal - BT, SS, LW, IE

BT over IE is a bit of an obvious one; half of your 'attacks' will be Mystic Shots, which cannot crit. Ezreal does a lot of moving via arcane shift, and a lot of poking with Mystic Shot which makes Statikk Shiv disproportionately strong. I have left Blue Ezreal out because I know it will be visited by a RoG author soon.

Graves - BT, LW, IE, PD

Graves basically IS AD scaling, so buff up those abilities. His E is relatively spammable, so I don't invest in MS/AS until late-game. When you do, PD is better, to maintain more Quickdraw uptime.

Kog'Maw - BotRK, SS, IE, LW

Kog'Maw's W means he loves AS, so start off with BotRK and build into SS. Why BotRK first? Well, you're squishy and immobile, so some self-peel never hurt anybody (plus, your W doesn't become that strong until later, when people have more health).

Miss Fortune - BT, SS, LW, IE

MF is another huge AD Caster like Graves, but without Quickdraw, having an earlier Movement Speed item should make you feel safer.

Sivir - BT, PD, LW, IE

Sivir has HUGE AD scaling on her W and Q, not to mention the power of her ult. If you want, you can move IE second, and take advantage of her ult, but you do want that PD by third, and putting off LW to fourth will hurt your damage eventually.

Tristana - BotRK, IE, LW, SS

Your damage is all from auto-attacks, but BotRK is a natural item to pair with SS, because it's basically an on-hit effect of its own. The burst from BotRK can help with resets if you are snowballing in lane. I get SS last because you already have enough AS from your Q and BotRK, and enough range to kite.

Twitch - Anything, you just do ludicrous damage.

I personally like BotRK first, for burst and self-peel, followed by IE, and then LW or PD. I guess you could go for SS for syergy with your ult, but if you aren't able to snipe 5 people in team fights, you may feel disappointed.

Varus - BotRK, Shiv, LW, IE

Varus already has a bursty nature (much less damage once his skills go out), so I like BotRK to add to that burst. 2 AS items early lets you proc your W quickly, as well. You could go with BT and play up his Q/E scaling more.

I also often shift IE to the front.

Vayne - BotRK, PD/SS, LW, IE

AS for your W is good. You could get BT first instead, playing on your high AD scaling, but what does a hypercarry want but self-peel? SS is better, in my opinion, because with tumble, you don't need as much AS to proc silver bolts (especially with BotRK), and Silver Bolts can't crit, so Shiv it is!

I actually rarely rush BotRK; instead getting the cutlass, then my next item, then BotRK, to let people build up some health (and help its damage).

I have left Quinn out because her kit is peculiar enough that she doesn't really play like an AD Carry, but more of either a split-pusher top or an anti-adc bot (and I'm not convinced how well she does the latter). The main reason for this is her low range. Yes, Sivir does fine with that range, but Sivir A) may be seen to stick around more by legacy than anything (when was the last time she saw tournament play?) and B) has at least sort of proven herself in the past. Quinn's kit has low AD ratios and an ult that is very dangerous to use in team fights.


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