Welcome to the very first guide by the one and only Lenin Sensei about the probably most fun ADC in the game, Corki obviously.
Here are a few points why you should consider picking up this lovely roflcopter-riding yordle into your champion pool:
– safe and decent laning phase
– unrivaled midgame power spike
– lot of AOE burst and dps for great teamfighting
– compensates for low magical damage on your team
– long range chase/escape ability (w) with dmg
– long range poke ability (r)
– adds waveclear to your team composition
– very versatile in itemization and playstyle
– URF skin
– Locket of the Iron Solary
– very slow and easily interruptable escape ability
– no atkspeed- or AD steroid/AA range extension
– weak late game in comparison to other ADCs
– build paths expensive
– very reliant on hitting Trinity Force power spike
Classic ADC masteries except for blade and spell weaving, which is especially useful on Corki due to his usage of abilities in fights.
Warlord doesn’t give as much AD as it seems to do, but for one mastery point a 2% AD increase is totally worth. Also getting Fury on Corki may look a bit weird, but it’s a really point efficient mastery, as it can give you up to 15% atkspeed for only 1 mastery point. The bonus atkspeed can help you out if you go out of rockets during a fight since autoattacks is the only thing left you got then.
If you don’t like going for Fury you can also get Exposed Weakness instead which increases the damage your allies deal to every enemy you damaged by 1% for 3 seconds. Thanks to your AOE abilities this one can also be a very point efficient mastery.
As with all spell heavy ADC you want to have that solid AD and manaregeneration in your runes so you can spam more Q in lane.
Armor seals and magic resist glyphs optimize Corki’s tankiness in the first few levels.
The 2 Attackspeed Quints are essential especially in the early game for trading, as it really smooths out your basic attack animation, which makes it a lot easier to cancel the animations via movement or abilities without canceling the autoattack.
I will write more about this part in my general ADC guide.
Just like for any ADC take heal and flash. It grants you the mobility and safety for yourself as a backline champion and heal can also save your teammates especially in lane.
Sometimes you need a cleanse for example vs a Twisted Fate or Lissandra.
Spells and Skillorder:
Passive – Hextech Shrapnel Shells
A decent passive for a champion like Corki. It helps with lasthitting especially at your turret and it makes your trades a bit stronger.
Q – Phosphorous bomb:
Your main ability in lane. Hitting this consistently in trades is essential for the success of your laning phase. If you don’t want to go out of mana all the time in the lane you should only use this ability and some autoattacks in short trades. Scales really well with your ultimate into the midgame for sick amounts of burst.
The base damage increases by a whoopin 50 with each level so we will be maxing this first.
W – Valkyrie
One of the longest but also slowest escape/chase abilities in the game. A lot of people underestimate the damage of this ability in a level 2 all in (150dmg over 2s at level1). If you can land your W and Q on your CC’d opponent at level 2 you have a good shot at getting firstblood.
But be careful. Valkyrie has a ridiculous cooldown and mana cost and its easily interruptable by abilities like Janna Q or Thresh E. So choose wisely when and how to use it.
Hopefully you need this ability only once in a fight making the reduced cooldown with increased levels not very useful, thus we are maxing this last.
E – Gatling Gun
Use this ability for free sheen/triforce procs, long trades and all ins. It also has a decent armor shred at max level vs squishies and you can push waves really fast with this.
It doesn’t have any cast time and you can use it without canceling autoattacks, but its direction is determined by the direction Corki is facing in a cone in front of him, so pay attention where you are facing with this.
In early levels this helps you to lasthit under your turret aswell.
Because of the damage, pushing power and armor shred we max this one second.
R – Rocket Barrage
Corki’s main ability and the reason he has one of the strongest midgame in the whole game thanks to procing Trinity Force as often as humanly possible. This ability has only 2s cooldown with a maximum of 7 rockets stocked, very long range, reliable poke, strong burst and waveclear throughout the whole game.
Rocket Barrage only costs 20 mana, but is limited by the recharge time of the rockets so you have to keep tabs on your rocket count at all times. If a fight is about to break out you should have at least 3-4 rockets in your pockets.
Learning to hit these is your most important task in order to become a good Corki player.
Get Dorans and pot first like any other ADC.
Don’t stack Dorans when you are falling behind, because you need your Trinity Force ASAP.
Don’t go without potions back to lane.
Depending on your lane matchup and bank you should get Sheen or Phage as your first item.
Sheen → strong short trades and mana for more Q spam
Phage → decent long trades and makes you tankier (essential vs all in bot comps) + movementspeed for extra mobility (good vs skillshots)
Regardless which item you chose to go first, you should get the other one second.
After that aim to finish your Trinity Force and grab at least Tier 1 boots before your next Item.
Swap to blue Trinket as soon as your supporter acquired a Sight Stone.
If you can afford a BF Sword on your next back do it and go for Infinity Edge or BT as second item:
Infinity edge → Heavy burst with crit on squishies and consistent dmg vs tanks
Bloodthirster → Sustain (vs low dps tanks) and shield (vs burst) to survive fights
In case the cash ain’t flowing like its supposed to do go grab a Blade of the Ruined King since its item path is a lot cheaper.
It gives you some dps, 1v1 potential and it helps you clean up those fed tanks.
A lot of professional players opt for a Blade of the ruined King as a 2nd item, because it smoothens out your damage curve with additional items, which makes your damage more relevant after your 4th at the cost of some of your midgame power. It gives you more dps but less burst overall.
Having Blade of the ruined King 2nd and buying the components of Infinity Edge (BF+Pickaxe) make you a lot stronger than having an Infinity Edge 2nd and buying the components of Blade of the ruined King (Cutlass+2 daggers). The only big issue with Blade of the ruined King as 2nd is when the enemy starts stacking heavy armor in the midgame which forces you to go for a low damage build with last whisper 3rd (Triforce-Botrk-LW) while Triforce-IE-LW deals quite some damage.
Before your third big item you should ask yourself:
Do I need high dps and burst? → Infinity edge/Bloodthrister
Do I need to kill tanks with high armor values? → Last Whisper
Do I need to kill tanks with high hp values? → Blade of the Ruined King
Is it not possible to avoid getting hit by heavy CC? → Quicksilver Sash
If you got one these 2nd you get the other ones 3rd and 4th. You usually don’t buy double lifesteal on Corki (If you bought BT → no Botrk and vice versa.), as it’s very itemslot-damage inefficient, except if you REALLY need that sustain in teamfights in order to survive.
As a defensive item you should only get one.
→ Guardian Angel vs certain deaths (you can skip that with skill)
→ Banshee’s vs Heavy magical burst, poke and hard initiation
→ QSS → Mercurial Scimitar vs unavoidable CC and fed Zed or Vlad
→ Randuins vs fucking fed Rengar Fiora Talon (no use anyway lmao)
If your team is full of physical damage dealers and your enemies are already stacking armor like hell you should consider going for the AP build I listed on the possible item builds.
This build is extremely situational and I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone trying to learn Corki as hitting your abilities especially your rockets is key for your damage.
It’s still better than losing the game vs 5 tank 300+armorthornmail compositions.
A lot of support champions work well with Corki in lane and later on thanks to his versatile playstyle through his kit and itemization.
Here are some examples with which supports Corki does well with, with which not and why:
Mainly because she helps outtrading your opponent in short trades really well and compensates your weak long trades pre level 6 thanks to her Shield. Janna provides either a safe farming lane or heavy poking lane depending on your situation and matchup and also brings the peel to ensure your damage output later on in the game. Extremely safe bottom lane partner and makes up for some of Corki’s weaknesses in the very early stages of the game.
This cow’s playstyle is also extremely versatile in lane and in teamfights as he can make very strong all ins alongside Corki or help him farm up in lane. He makes losing the lane 2v2 and getting ganked successfully by the enemy almost impossible due to his heavy CC, tankiness and sustain.
The God-Tier support also works well with Corki thanks to his enormous CC, peel and safety throughout the whole game. His CC works really well with Corki’s kit and the level 6 all in potential is ridiculous. He also has one of the best gank setups in the entire game.
The more or less new heavy tank CC support works with pretty much anyone. He has ridiculous damage in the early game and keeps enemies locked down for more than enough time for you to finish them off. If you aren’t in sync with your Nautilus then it might be hard to follow him up in an all in before hitting level 6 without using your W which puts you in a risky position most of the time.
She can outpoke the enemy support and even the ADC by pretty much herself, but is really squishy and vulnerable to ganks. It’s hard to follow up an Annie stun without using your W if the enemies don’t walk in carelessly. She needs to stack up her passive in order to trade efficiently which might force you to play a bit back for a while due to Annie not being able to spam her spells too much. You can easily win even a 2v3 after you both hit level 6 and gives you a strong initiate in the teamfight stages which synergyses well with Corki’s midgame power spike.
Bard has already risen well above expectations of many in matters of popularity and strengths in professional play. He has strong autoattacks in lane, nice CC which is not too hard to hit and the sustain you might need in some of the matchups to make up for some of Corki’s pre level 6 weaknesses. Getting ganks and roams in with his Magical Journey and utilizing his ultimate correctly helps Corki to snowball the early game and to make use of his strong midgame.
A very squishy but also poke and sustain heavy botlane combination which is rather unpopular. Sona has a fantastic early game aside her squishiness and scales well into the midgame with Corki’s Trinity Force power spike.
Back in the day the Corki and Leona botlane was probably the most feared one due to their very high early damage thanks to the synergy with Gatling Gun and Leona’s passive and lockdown, but thanks to the meta shifting to tanky supports, defense masteries on ADC and summoner spell Heal and Exhaust it’s just a shadow of its former self.
A well played Corki Leona botlane can still wreck havoc on unexpecting botlanes, especially after level 6.
Synergy between the Leona and Corki player is essential to make this botlane composition work. It’s not worth to pick Leona if you can’t get snowballing in the lane.
She provides a lot to the lane by herself already, especially poke in short trades and sustain. Unfortunately Corki doesn’t synsergyse well with Nami’s E since he has no atkspeed steroid or autoattack reset, and he can only make little use of her Q. Her peel in the midgame is not bad, but aside from that she doesn’t provide the things Corki needs in the midgame very well.
Catching foes with her Q and protecting you with her Black Shield makes it easy for you to hit your abilities and autoattacks undisturbed, but after using her cooldowns you might find yourself in a bad position.
If she misses her Q, especially pre level 6 you suddenly become very vulnerable and need to play passive until it comes back up again. She is also very prone to poke compositions, just like Corki.
Would not recommend:
Blitzcrank: Similar to Morgana, you loose all pressure in lane once he misses his Q, which forces you to play passive for a long time or get harassed/all in’d in response. A very risky pick especially in a Corki lane, due to his rather low damage pre level 6, but he can snowball your lane pretty easily if your enemies mess up a lot of times and you follow up his hooks.
Braum: His skillset especially his passives synergyses really poorly with Corki’s kit for similar reasons like with Nami, but even worse due to his Q being blockable by minions and his hard CC pre 6 being hard to stack for a Corki. You usually can’t get shit done in lane with this guy, but he can block projectiles and he got a good peel with his ult, which is nice.
Lulu: She has literally no synergy with your kit and you don’t profit from her ult as a support that much. You usually get outtraded vs most botlanes and can’t handle all ins pre level 6.
Soraka: Soraka is the type of support who relies on her ADC to do all the work 1v2 if he is given all the health he can receive and can save the Soraka in case she gets focused. For example Draven, Varus, Ashe, Vayne or Urgot. Corki isn’t one of them.
These are only the ADC matchups for Corki. The matchups might vary a lot depending on your and your enemy’s support champion.
After you get to level 6 you overpower most of these matchups.
Ezreal: Corki if not hit by Ezreal’s Q is a better version of him. You should have no problems forcing him out of lane and outscaling him until the late game at least.
Jinx: Rather weak in lane and helpless vs all ins. You can simply outpoke her while she is going for farm or trades and fly over her Chompers for free kills. Until she got her 4th item you don’t even need to worry about her outdamaging you.
Tristana: Similar to the Jinx matchup, except that she is harder to kill and has stronger long trades than Jinx. She won’t be able to outtrade you in short trades though and you are obviously a lot stronger in the midgame aswell. Pushing her to her tower ruins a lot of her farming ability thanks to her E passive.
Twitch: This poor laneweak rat can’t hold anything against your strong short trades and is vulnerable to all in compositions. Even if he got his Botrk you can duel him 1v1 when played correctly, but once he gets 2-3 items you should be careful about his assassination potential.
Vayne: Also a weak ADC in lane from level 2 onwards who can be fairly annoying due to her tumble, but if you don’t get hit 3 times in a row and use your Q after she tumbled she should be an easy feat to harass or even kill in the early game especially after level 6. It’s best to trade her only when you can hit her without her hitting you. If she is the one hitting you first in a trade you need to back out before getting her W proc. Her Botrk power spike allows her to duel you, if you don’t hit your spells though.
Ashe: Using her slight range advantage and long range poke she can easily force you out of lane if you don’t hide behind minions. You can trade her evenly once you get over that 50 range advantage she holds and by killing her once she most likely can’t come back in the laning phase without a good gank. You are a lot stronger in the midgame and until she gets her 3rd/4th item.
Caitlyn: An annoyance in lane due to her very long range and E Q combo, which you need to avoid at all cost. You need to play this lane out until you hit level 6 a bit more defensively most of the time, but after that you outtrade and outscale her really hard.
Graves: An even matchup more or less. He can dodge your Q with his E, but if you can bait his E with something else you shouldn’t have any trouble outtrading him. You can also poke him with autoattacks without risking anything since you got a slight range advantage. Once he hits level 6 he has a lot more burst than you do, but poking with rockets from further away should get you ahead in case of a potential all in.
Lucian: Similar to the Graves matchup except that his range is even shorter, but his E dash faster and on a lower cooldown. You need to bait his E out if you want to hit your Q vs a good Lucian. His Q has a really long range and can screw you over in lane heavily if you don’t sidestep it, but aside from that your level 6 and your midgame is a lot stronger.
Sivir: She pushes all day and blocks your Q with her Spellshield so you need to bait it out before casting your Q. Trading autoattack for autoattack won’t work vs her since she has a boomerang toss and an autoattack reset. You can poke her with autoattacks easily if she goes for the farm though due to her low autoattack range and after level 6 she can’t match your damage until the late game.
Urgot: His autoattack range is really low but his kit compensates that flaw. Poke him with your autoattacks and Q everytime you get the chance to without getting hit by his E. He can’t spam his abilities until he gets his Tear and won’t do much damage until he built up some AD. Once he got his Tear you need to dodge as many of his Corrosive Charges as possible. As soon as you hit level 6 he should be an easy target.
Draven: This manly fellow can chop you apart in long and short trades with his axes, high movement and atkspeed and strong ultimate. You can’t even remotely win by yourself until you hit level 6 vs this guy. Also he can easily interrupt your W with his E. The first mistake he punishes you for in lane will make Draven snowball out of control.
Kog’maw: He will be outranging and kiting your sorry ass in lane if played correctly. You need to wait for his W downtime before engaging in a trade if you want any chance of getting out of this lane ahead. He has a fairly similar Trinity force power spike to yours but he doesn’t have an escape ability which you need to take advantage of in lane if you are playing an all in bot lane.
Kalista: Thanks to her passive it’s almost impossible to hit any of your abilities against this infidel and thus can outtrade you heavily on both short trades, thanks to her W and long trades thanks to mostly her E. Back out of every trade in which she started to attack you first. You need to be careful after she reaches level 6 aswell, but at least your midgame is stronger.
As a Corki you can push the wave to reach level 2 quite easily. Try to not care about level 1 trades too much since you need your Q to match your opponent’s pushing power. Once you reach level 2 before their botlane does you should be able to transition that into a lot of poke damage or even a kill with your high W damage, depending on your type of supporter.
Your level 3 is also very strong thanks to your Q base damage going up from 80 to 130 thus making your poke and all in damage still very relevant. In order to prevent us from going out of mana we only use Q most of the time in lane. Once the opportunity rises you can use W to close the gap and use your E for an all in as soon as you hit level 4. W has a immense CD and mana costs so you need to play a bit back for a while until you get your CD and mana back up again.
Corki’s level 4 and 5 is somewhat mediocre, but once you hit level 6 it’s your time to shine. You need to be careful for some time though as your rockets still need to charge up. The best timing to reach level 6 is when you need to base thus making your bags stacked with rockets until you return to your lane again.
Now you can start poking and trading away with your rockets and Q. It also gives you the possibility to farm from very far away in case an enemy gank is imminent or you have fallen behind. In order to win your all ins make sure to harass with your rockets before you go in for the kill.
This here is your prime, the reason you picked Corki. Once your Trinity Force is done you should get the bottom lane Tower, group up with your team and preferably force an early teamfight, dragon or just start chipping away on their midlane towers with your Trinity Force procs.
Make sure to land your rockets from far away on their squishies and make good use of your Trinity Force by autoattacking between casting your abilities.
At this stage of the game you can still use your W aggressively in small skirmishes in order to pick up squishy targets quickly or to force them out of the fight, but in teamfights you should definitely wait for your team to initiate and to lock your enemies down so you can barrage them with your heavy AOE.
Around the 4 item mark you start to fall off in comparison to other ADC in terms of consistent dps vs tanks. You can still burst carries, but now they can burst you aswell.
Corki’s AOE damage is still good and if you are not forced to only attack tanks during the whole teamfights then you got a good shot at winning the game regardless of some power discrepancies in ADCs.
Hold onto your W until you need it to reposition yourself in order to stay safe and being able to deal your damage at all times. If you can slay their tanks and battle it out with their carries it’s likely that you can still burst them down, but if you rush in at the beginning of a fight carelessly for a greedy kill then you get your ass whooped quite easily.
Always stay around your team and make sure to hit the highest priority target while standing at the safest position possible, just like with any ADC.
Generally you want to have a teamcomp with which you can force teamfights and objectives in the midgame.
Corki does a few things extremely well. Here are some examples he can provide your team with.
Corki deals the highest amount of magic damage among all the ADC.
Around half of his damage over the course of a game is done by his spells.
In order to make him feel at home you need to draft a Team that balances this trait out by picking a maximum of only 1 heavy magical damage dealer (+-1 magic damage dealing tank) so your enemies can’t itemize against your team with a Locket of the Iron Solary and Abyssal Scepter very well.
If they have already stacked up magic resistance in the midgame Corki won’t be very useful throughout the game.
On the other hand if your team drafted a physical damage heavy composition Corki makes up for the lack of magic damage.
Through champions who can build Abyssal Scepter as first or second item Corki’s midgame power spike skyrockets thanks to the magic resist lowering aura.
The heavy AOE you get from your abilities makes Corki a magnificent teamfight champion, preferably drafted in a Team with champions with strong midgames aswell, such as Annie, Cassiopeia, Hecarim, Gnar or Jayce. If your draft consist of strong midgame champions with reliable initiate and AOE setup then you are good to go.
You should get some heavy scaling champions into your composition aswell (Cassiopeia, Azir etc.) , so you don’t have to /ff out as soon as the game goes longer than 35 minutes.
Corki’s long range abilities and mobility make him quite good in poke and siege compositions. In a successful poke composition you need to draft an engage/disengage frontline (Alistar, Gragas) and a cleanup carry alongside your poke. Rumble is a good example for a cleanup carry.
I also like to pick Corki into Jayce compositions, as the poke is different in damage type and he has nice cleanup and siege potential aswell.
If your team consists of low waveclear assassins and tanks and you don’t want to get pushed over once you fall behind you are going to need some waveclear. Corki has good waveclear and has decent cleanup for your assassins.