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A Scientific Discussion of Trollbuilds. Episode 1

Krufix February 25, 2013 User blog:Krufix

With the recent events discovering that AP Tryndamere is not only plausible, but even viable if you know how to play him as such. It got me to wondering; Just who else is a usual AD however has an AP 'Trollbuild'?

Please note that I regard the term trollbuild to mean a rejected build which can operate successfully if played correctly. I do not mean building AP Garen, as Garen has no AP ratios or ways to proc Lich Bane frequently, AP Garen doesn't work even marginally enough to be considered.

So now with AP Tryndamere receiving a hefty nerf next patch, just who will replace him? As someone will.

I'll give the disclaimer that I am far from high level. And while I've tested these in PvP and had some success with all of them you can say what you like about the skill of the opponents.

I'll also give the disclaimer to not go into a game with one of these builds and thinking they're good and you don't need to worry. As with any build you have to understand why they're not used very often in order to use them to the best of their ability. If you see Voyboy or whoever go Top lane AD Bruiser Karma and do well with her and instantly go to try her out then all I can say is good ***ing luck!

Starting with some of the most well known and probably not even considered a trollbuild anymore there's:


AP KogMaw has been well known for quite a while now. His Void Ooze in his early game can be a rather huge nuke which starting at level 6 can one shot an entire creep wave with help from his ult. He can farm incredibly well and can easily net himself a kill with it.

Meanwhile late game he gains access to the largest ranged poking power out of all champions as long as he has the mana to sustain it. Each Living Artillery can deal between 300 and 500 damage each on a 1 second cooldown and a gargantuan 2200 range.

While he generally won't want to be this close to the enemy, if a tank or a HP stacking bruiser manages to close the distance he has his %hp damage on auto attack to help damage and kill them, also if they're even closer his Q can shred their resistances and is another nuke to add to his arsenal.

All he needs is mana to keep his barrages of ults up. Starting by rushing Tear then Athene's or Rod of Ages, getting blue buff whenever he's able will pretty much make him win his lane instantly.

Personal Note: My very first pentakill was with AP KogMaw.


Again, this is a perfectly accepted alternate build by now and many people have been able to show this to the world that it's successful.

Ezreal is quite a powerful laner no matter how he's built. He can farm safely at a distance with his Q and can harass through minions with his W. Then when it hits 6 his burst is the second highest in the game just behind Syndra's .

Later on in the game he can bring some incredible AoE damage. Both his W and ult can half the health of the entire enemy team if they're clumped up or in a line. If a teamfight breaks out in the jungle then an AP Ezreal can pretty much instantly win it for his team if all has gone well during the laning phase.

He can build pretty much standard burst mage, however a notable stat on him is cooldown reduction. As his Q lowers all of his cooldowns by one second when it hits something, this can exaggerate the effects of CDR on him by quite a bit.


AP Tristana got nerfed last year, and quite frankly, it was justified. The ability to deal potentially infinite damage to someone standing next to minions was quite obscene. (if not hilarious ).

This only hurt her viability slightly though as she still has access to one of the largest AP nukes known to LoL. Her ult has a gargantuan base damage and scaling, this alone is capable of completely deleting someone from the face of the earth with a DFG boost.

Other than this she has large ratios on her W and E which can be used to finish off anyone who thought they could survive her ult.

Rushing DFG is the way to go as it's pretty much an instant kill if she unleashes all her skills on someone after level 6

Her flaws are mainly teamfighting, other than jumping in to assassinate someone then jumping out, she hasn't got any AoE or any short cooldown skills to stay in a longer fight.


AP Varus caught on when he was found to be not a very good AD carry compared to many others. Experimentation happened and thus AP Varus was born. (It also helped than his AP ratios got buffed soon after his release.)

AP Varus works because of the passive AP ratio on his auto attacks being one of the largest on hits in the game. Only Kayle's, Teemo's and possibly KogMaw's beats it. So building a lot of attack speed from a Nashor's Tooth, Malady, Runaan's or Guinsoo's will help make good use of it.

In addition when his blight stacks up on a target he can detonate it with his other skills to deal a huge chunk of an enemy's max HP. You can expect to deal about 40-60% of the enemy's HP with this.

On the utility side he has his ult which will not only deal a lot of damage with a bit of AP, it will also snare everyone who's standing too close to it. And also his E will become a powerful AoE slow.


The guy who actually made people realize that you can play some of the most outlandish trollbuilds and succeed with them if you adapt to the correct playstyle, is AP Tryndamere.

The secret behind AP Tryndamere is to max out CDR before any other buys. You can usually do this with a Nashor's Tooth, Ionian boots and masteries to get you to 39% CDR (Or Nashor's and a Spirit Visage if you have OCD and can't bear him being only 1% away). With this, your main source of damage has a small 5 and a half second cooldown. If you get lucky and get some crits with his passive then it can be even shorter. In addition pressing Q will be almost a full heal if he has his fury high which he can use every 7 seconds.

Still he was never very good at teamfighting and splitpushing was all he knew. It didn't make him any less of a nightmare to lane against, his heal easily sustaining him through even the most aggressive of harass he would slowly win his lane through attrition, never having to leave he would easily spin to push his lane and take the enemy tower rather quickly the very second they're forced away. His spin, his heal and his ult would keep him safe through ganks and allow him to easilly escape when his split pushing draws the enemy team to fight him.

Next patch however he will get nerfed, it will need him to actually charge his fury before he heals to make the best use of it. This will be a rather large nerf to AP Trynd as you'll need to stay in combat to get the same amount of heal.

Who will the old AP Trynd mains go to after this? Probably continue playing AP Trynd to be honest, his heal isn't any smaller when it's charged up. It'll just mean he'll need to fight for longer to get his full heals.

Failing that:

Xin Zhao.

Siv HD fans rejoice!... And then be rather angry with me when I say I don't think Siv HD is building AP Xin Zhao correctly.

Siv HD's build for Xin involves rushing Malady and then Lich Bane into Deathcap. While I do think that the on hit is a good damage boost, you can get far more out of rushing CDR like Trynd does.

Same as with Ezreal, CDR on Xin is heavily exaggerated because of his Q lowering his cooldowns on hit. With CDR maxed out you can get your main nuke down to a 5.5 second cooldown, further lowered by his Q down to an absolutely tiny 2.5 second cooldown. Similar situation with his other spells, he can even keep his Battle Cry steroid up perminantly.

(Note: Xin's dash is getting a minor nerf next patch meaning it will only be a 3 second cooldown, and deal 20 less damage. Boo hoo.)

So yes. If you rush CDR then a major armor item you will be able to backdoor turrets from full health to 0 without taking any damage because Xin's heal works when he attacks turrets too.

Compared to AP Tryndamere, Xin lacks Trynd's escapes, and Xin's heal needs things to hit in order to activate (this can also be a boon as it will activate far more frequently when he actually can hit something). However Xin even when built AP can deal a fair amount of damage when played smart and can still 1v1 a champion who doesn't know how to face him. Xin can do things other than splitpush.

As with any frequent healers though he is countered by Executioner’s Calling or Morellonomicon. And if one of these is picked up by the guy who goes to fight him then he may be forced to avoid them and become a backdoor bot.

At this moment that's all I have. This has been a long journal and I want to save some for Episode 2 when I write it.

I'll get into the lesser known and lesser used AP trollbuilds in the next episode and hopefully shed some light on how they are possible, before going into non AP trollbuilds like AD Kennen, AD Thresh and Tank Twisted Fate.

I am personally interested to see how AP Irelia and AP Skarner works out however I've so far only tested them in custom games so will need to do more research. Any thoughts?

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