Update 9/13/10, fixed a few small things, added a note about teleporting to wards, and added a teammates section at the end
Update 9/29/10 Now with video!!! Two part video guide is now on youtube.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWbwypd1pM4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2NvBI-nYow
Ok I hope everyone is ready for this, as I am about to describe in depth exactly how to dominate every game as Corki. The point of this guide is that a lot of people have trouble playing corki (and I did too for a long time), and he is often considered underpowered or too difficult to be a great champ. Well, I eat those people for breakfast, the way I play corki makes children QQ and hardened veterans scream OP. I'm putting this guide out there so that others can wreck face with this mighty mighty champion, to the point where he will need to be nerfed.
Runes / Masteries
Marks - Attack speed.
If you believe in nothing but armor pen in marks, DONT STOP READING. Armor pen is very very good, but it cannot go negative. When you are playing corki there will be no armor to penetrate, so you do not need the pen and can take other offensive runes. The other option here might be crit chance but the attack speed helps you to farm and push much more easily, especially since you get very little attack speed from items.
Seals - Mp/5/Level (Or - Dodge)
I used to use dodge here but I've found that the mana is going to help you throughout the game to farm, harass, etc... you can go with dodge and they will be very beneficial, but you will be even more dependent on golem than you already are.
Glyphs - MR/Level
Corki needs the survivability and doesnt have much room for items with magic resist on them, these are crucial, especially because he does not get much benefit from other good glyphs such as AP or Cooldown.
Quints - Flat HP
I'm really not going to even argue this one, its early survivability, there is no other option.
Masteries - 0/9/21 or 3/6/21
6 Magic Resist, 2 armor, 2 dodge, 1 Dodge +speed. Even just the MR makes taking defense worth it.
Improved Summoner Spells, SS CDR, CDR, Movespeed, Mana, regen, JUNGLE BUFFS, and exp. Utility is a must have.
The other option is to max the armor and the crit chance rather than the dodge masteries, if I am doing a pub I will often take that but if you are using dodge runes or if you know a teammate will be building starks it is better to go 0/9/21.
Only other mastery setup I would be willing to run would be 0/16/14 to also get the +60 starting hp and still get the jungle buffs and mana/second.
Great spell, corki is ALL ABOUT the minion kills early, and is a good pusher later, so it is pretty crucial to be able to stay in lane as much as possible, also lets you maintain your jungle control better and works well with wards.
Currently the best escape spell in the game, particularly when you already have a way to jump obstacles. Can also be used to ensure Gattling Gun damage
Used to be good but doesnt get rid of blinds now so its kinda useless
An ok escape tool but is higher CD and shorter effect than ghost
Gives him a slow when he doesnt have Lizard
Starting: Cloth Armor + 2 hp pots + 2 Mana pots
Boots of Speed
Vamp Scepter -> Starks Fervor
Zeal -> Phantom Dancer
Phage -> Frozen Mallet
This is my item build... if you don't believe it works, you can go on failing as corki, but with this build, if you arent legendary then it is probably because minions haven't spawned yet.
-As far as starting with the cloth armor, corki is very squishy early game but desperately needs to be able to farm, with 400 hp of healing and 200 mana, along with 41 starting armor he can lane exceptionally well and farm to his heart's delight. On your first trip back, try to grab the Razor and the Vamp scepter, and if you have the money wriggle's or the boots.
-Madred's Razor gives corki some early damage, and further builds the armor, and it also lets him farm even faster and grab jungle buffs. With lifesteal as well he can lane indefinetely, because every auto attack has a 15/20% chance of dealing 500 extra damage (~75 extra lifesteal). That combination is huge. Wriggle's lanturn is the PERFECT starting item for corki, in addition to the huge armor amount (enough to put him over 110), the farming ability, the amazing active (free 90 gold every 3 minutes, and a permenant ward slot), it is also the only lifesteal item that is worth getting as an early game item on corki. Bloodthirster costs FAR too much to get early game on corki, executioner's doesnt give any damage, starks is great but WAY too much money to be an item that doesnt give damage, and cutlass is just stains. (Malady of course is where stains go to use the bathroom) For about the cost of a BF sword (that you can get earlier than a bf sword because it is combined by pieces) you are getting 15 less attack damage in exchange for armor, lifesteal, farming/jungling ability, and free wards - great with teleport especially.
-Now, onto some damage... our first BF sword item is going to be Blackcleaver because it is cheap and the way that it synergyzes with Gattling Gun (as explained later) After that Infinity edge, because while it is expensive it is the item that will increase your auto-attack damage more than anything else.
-After you've gotten your damage up (292 AD) you can start getting a little bit of attack speed and more lifesteal (14% is great early but not enough for late game) so we of course go for starks (also because it stacks with BC and GG). Phantom dancer is the other attack speed option but it is only worth getting under TWO conditions. ONE - that someone else on the team has it and TWO - that that other person is with you during every teamfight and generally stays alive during them. The point is that it can be worth getting a second starks because the attack speed and lifesteal will stack, but the most powerful ability (the armor reduction) will not apply to enemies twice. If you can count on someone else to do that then your best attack speed item will be phantom dancer, getting the zeal first then coming back to finish it after phage.
-As a final item, phage -> Frozen mallet is an hp boost, is more damage, and is a slow (incase you don't have lizard or teammates). Hp at this point in the game will be useful to round out your defenses more than buying armor/MR is, because you already will have about 110/95 armor/MR.
9. Q or E
10. E or Q
Q- Phosporus Bomb
GREAT skill, large aoe, great damage, blind chance, and utility all in one. It is your primary skill for harassing and can help you to farm, it also puts out good dps during early teamfights, and even does noticable chunks at the end of the game. If you are using it to detect stealth, pop behind you when your team is pushing if they have a twitch, put in in shaco's escape path, put it around low hp people if they have eve, and of course spray that **** all over akali's little shroud. It is just about the perfect size to make that skill useless for her. It can also be used to check bushes or dragon/baron if you need to, and can be used to check those places for wards (then kill them). Finally it lets you farm your heart out on teemo shrooms if you are ever lucky enough to be matched against one. When using this in lane, try to use it on the backrow creeps when the enemy champ gets close enough to be hit by it, or as a supplement to your auto attack for last hit timings.
tl;dr level this first, you need the damage
E - (yeah I'll come back to W) Gattling Gun
This is your late-game game winner. Every half second, you do one quarter of your total attack damage to everyone in front of you and lower their armor by 5. By level 5 of the skill, you do this for 5 seconds (10 times, aka 2.5x your attack damage in AoE and 50 armor REDUCTION). This skill is how you kill people, and is great for taking jungle buffs. It is not, i repeat, IT IS NOT a farming/harassing skill early game. It's effect is really only compounded if you can hit multiple times and get the armor lowering to stack up... leveling and using it in lane is just far too expensive, that is what phosphorus is for. One very important thing about GG and corki is that corki CANNOT deal huge damage while kiting... that is what ashe is for. Corki is more like twitch in that he completely destroys anything in front of him, but does no damage whatsoever when running away. This means that positiioning yourself behind your team is very key, and the survivability plays a huge role in your ability to put out damage. This skill is also why we stack damage (because it gets no scaling besides your attack damage) and why BC/starks are so good... with GG+BC+starks you can be lowering an enemy armor by 130. And YES, that can take them negative (meaning you will start dealing +% damage on every attack or gattling gun hit). This is also the reason why no corki EVER should buy last whisper EVER EVER EVER. LW penetrates 40% of the armor that they have above 0. If they are below 0, it does nothing. If they have 10 armor, it is doing less than an armor pen rune... In general, unless the ENTIRE other team has more than 160, starks fervor will lower their armor by more than last whisper does. Let me explain using a metaphor... your terribad corki goes into a bar (enemy champ) and thinks that he's going to find some ladies (armor). This is a pretty standard bar so it has 80 single women (armor) Then, my corki comes into the bar and shows off his good looks (gattling gun) and tells some amazing jokes (blackcleaver). He does so amazingly that he leaves with 110 women, all 80 of the single ones and 30 that used to have boyfriends. So now your corki stands up on the table and starts yelling that he is going to penetrate 40% of the women in the bar, but the bar doesnt have any women, just 30 really pissed off dudes that drag him in the alley and beat the **** out of him just as my corki pulls away with his ferrari (starks fervor) that attracted 20 more girls while he was inside. /textblock.
tl;dr, don't gattling early, watch your positioning, use if for kills and jungling.
W - Valkarie
Hey its a great escape skill! Nothing much to be said about this, it isnt worth trying to use it for damage ever, just use it when you need to escape, or if you are ganking and KNOW you won't need it to get away, you can use it to close the gap and keep them in gattlinggun range. Early game, try to not have to use this ever because it is a huge amount of mana better spent on other things.
R - MISSLES YO
Very very nice skill, especially with the recent buff, you will use these in ways that are very similar to your phosphorus... for farming, harassing, and putting out some extra AOE damage in teamfights/ganks. ON FARMING WITH MISSLES: Farming with missles becomes a very important part of corki's life after level 6... one of the first tricks to learn is that a phosphorus plus one small missle is enough to kill the backrow creeps (and deal the damage to any enemy champ near there as well) When you have a BIG ONE ready, it does a lot of damage, so it can be worth saving it for when you know you will hit the enemy champ, either through normal harssing or while he is near his creeps. As a judge of AoE, the big one has about the same AoE as phosphorus. The other use for the big ones is that phosphorus + a big one missle will kill the entire wraith camp THROUGH THE WALL, meaning that after you madred's down the front row and phosph to kill the back ones, you can run over to the ENEMY wraith camp and kill it instantly, without leaving the lane. You can do the same thing to your wraith camp if you are somehow pushed back, but you should be a lot more free to leave the lane and take your camp normally (phosphorus + a couple auto attacks and/or a small missle)
With phosphorus, missles, and madred's procs, you will outfarm and outpush most mids, leaving you open to constantly grab the jungle creeps while still getting full solo exp. Golem is very important on corki because it lets you spam Q and E like mad, and lizard is equally important because it ensures that people cannot leave your gattling gun. As a general rule, golem is more important when laning or pushing, liz is more important when ganking or teamfighting. Grabbing a golem when you just have madred's/scepter or when you have wriggles is quite quick (fast enough you can get back to lane without losing any exp or tower damage). What I will often do is push the creeps to their tower, run off to take golem or lizard, blue pill to buy, then teleport behind to the ward in river behind them. (With wriggles, you are constantly able to keep a ward in the bushes by mid lane, so you are safe from ganks, it is also useful when pushing towers alone because you can set it up to warn you if anyone will be coming)
In general, farm like crazy getting solo lane + jungling exp and gold, push down mid tower like it was nothing, and lay down some vicious ganks, then late game carry team as you lay out three massive aoe damage skills in addition to your auto attack.
Final thoughts - Corki is amazing and there is nothing like him, he does impossible amounts of damage, and actually isn't as hard as some people think, but the biggest thing about corki is that he is a drain on the team. He WILL take the mid lane, he WILL take ALL of the minion kills (and any champ kills available), he WILL want golem buff and lizard buff, and he WILL depend on the rest of the team to stun the enemies and lock down their biggest threats. This doesn't mean that he isn't a good soloqueue/pubstomp character, it just means that you need to pay attention to team comp and let people know what your needs are.
Get out there and destroy - I will be waiting in the Champion Feedback thread to see the QQ's popping up.
Edit - 9/13/10
Since some discussion was popping up about this, I decided I'd talk a little about team comps for corki, it can be beneficial either when making a team as a group, or if you get into a solo team it should help decide whether you should go corki, and who would be a good teammate for him. I'll rank on a scale from 1-5 stars and give a short description of the strengths and weaknesses of the character seen from the eyes of corki
**Akali - She is a decent ganker, but doesn't have the strongest lane presense and literally dissapears during teamfights. Her aoe is only decent, but overall she is not a great choice
****Alistar - Stuns, Positioning, tanking, healing, and pushing, sounds like my kinda cow.
*****Amumu - AOE stun, and deals great damage over time in aoe, especially to tanks, which also draws fire to him. He is also a great jungler, but does not require the jungle buffs all game.
****Anivia - One of the best nuker teammates to corki, because she has strong support capabilities in her slow, wall, and pushing ability, in addition to her stun and her damage output. You may be fighting over golem with her, and make sure she knows you are mid lane, but otherwise anivia is a great choice.
****Annie - Very similar to anivia, try not to have both or you will be really strugglign with minions lanes and golem, but she is again able to put out a stun and high damage. I'll leave the anivia/annie debate to other threads.
***Ashe - As other ranged dps champs go, ashe is one of the few that can still work with corki, make sure she knows that you are taking mid lane, but if she is ok with going on a side lane, her aoe physical damage compliments yours, her stun and hawkshot give good team support, and her slows can help keep people off of you in
***Blitzcrank - Stun, grab, and a silence means that he can put out a lot of CC for you, but many blitz can't do very much else, so be weary... Corki is not really a burst champion, so if the blitz is out of CC by iniating and taking out a single enemy, it may not be in your best advantage. To his benefit, he does have an amazing lane presense, which lets corki farm mid without worrying about supporting other lanes.
**Cho Gath - He has 2 solid aoe CC's, but they are situational, meaning that he is a powerful tank but may not be able to keep enemies off of you in crucial moments.
*Dr. Mundo - His lane presense is a plus, but he is a tank without a stun, and his aoe is pretty pitiful... try to avoid.
*Evelynn - Corki is all about team fights, which evelynn avoid like the plague... she also has a very weak lane presense, meaning the enemies can push down the tower and/or come mid to give you trouble. Try to avoid eve.
*Ezreal - He's going to try to do similar things to you, but when the teamfight starts he's gonna leave you holding the pony. No stun, little support, very squishy, wants your buffs. This may not be a game to pick corki.
***Fiddlesticks - Aha, fiddles, great aoe damage, 2 solid crowd control abilities... he makes a great nuker. Be wary though, because fiddles is going to want golem buff, he doesnt have the strongest laneing, he may come late to team fights, and he is usually squishy. still a good choice, you will just both need support.
*****Galio - AoE CC, a shield for you, a slow, an escape mechanism, and a good tank. Great champ to keep enemies off you.
*Gangplank - Hrm, his ult is nice, but he is a very squishy champ that trys to stay out of the action of teamfights, and will be taking large amounts of minions without significant pushing power. Definetely not the best choice.
****Garen - Physical aoe is great, and garen is currently a stupidly good champ choice, although his CC abilities are a little weak if you are worried about getting focused. Still a solid choice.
**Gragas - Spreads out enemies, deals very little damage otherwise, and can't do much to push... really its more the champion being bad than the matchup with corki.
***Heimerdinger - He has aoe CC and some great pushing power, as well as the ability to put out great physical dps in a teamfight with armor reduction. He can be a really good matchup but you will have to make sure he will let you have mid (and generally golem) He can be a great teammate if there is a side solo lane from a jungler.
*****Janna - Speed, Healing, AoE CC, knockback, shield, attack damage, and slows. Facebook update: Corki has become a fan of janna
*****Jax - He may be a little weak now, but for a physical dps he is a great teammate for corki, he has aoe CC, he has aoe damage, he gets into the middle of a teamfight for huge damage, and is quite tanky.
***Karthus - Another ranged 'carry' (although this time magic) While karthus's wall does some amazing things for corki, most karthuses do not build tanky enough to get high dps during a fight, and he does not have hard CC. With support, you two can both be powerful, but it will also be hard to pry karthus away from mid and golem. Be wary of him.
**Kassadin - I like kass as a champion, but his smash and grab tactics do not merge well with a teamfight based team.
**Katarina - She does amazing damage in a teamfight, but she does her job mostly as a ganker and has no CC. Decent champ but doesnt fit well on the corki teamfight wavelength.
****Kayle - Another support champ, AoE dps, heal + speed make her very appreciated, corki isn't quite as glass cannon as twitch, but kayle ult + gattling gun is still pretty ridiculous.
***Kennen - He has AoE stuns, but he is awfully squishy. The fact that he wont need golem and is powerful in lane does make him a good choice, but try to make sure you have tanks as well.
*Kog Maw - Big mouth does some great damage now, but he won't even get close to an enemy for you, and if he does it means he will be exploding in the next couple seconds. He also is a contender for mid, definetely a bad choice.
****Malphite - Does amazing in lane, has aoe damage, the best aoe CC in the game and does a great job of tanking and pushing
***Malzahar - He has a bit of CC, but he is awfully squishy and can't lock down a whole team like annie or anivia, you will also be fighting for creeps/buffs with him. 3 stars for the % pool and his decent aoe + pushing.
*Master Yi - Great physical dps champ, not great at saving your ass in any way. He's also going to take all of your creeps.
***Mordkaiser - He is a good pusher and a good aoe damage per second teamfighter, but will NOT be able to act as your team's tank, he may also take your creep kills.
*****Morgana - Aoe Stun, long snare, black shield, and decent tankyness, plus a great lane presense make her a great choice. Be sure to tell her you are going mid.
*****Nasus - Spirit Fire + Gattling gun go hand in hand. He is a powerful in your face team fighter and pusher who synergizes amazingly with corki. His wither won't be enough CC for a whole team, but it does a good job of locking down a threat, so he definetely gets 5 star status.
**Nidalee - All the heals and attack speed buffs in the world couldnt make up for the fact that trying to get nidalee to a teamfight is like trying to bathe a cat.
**Nunu - A single slow won't keep them off you and his ult is pretty much non-existant. Even with an AS and MS buff he's quite mediocre, as a champ and as a teammate.
**Olaf - He's got the damage and is good at teamfights, but really he has the same problems of yi and mundo. He gets 2 stars for his lane presense and his slow.
**Pantheon - Yes, he has a stun, but it doesnt help the team much, he has good aoe, much of which is physical but he is far too squishy to make him worth it.
***Poppy - I have nothing but hate for this yordle as a champ, but as a teammate to corki she has a decent bit of CC and lasts around in fights for quite a while, and can take down their carry so that he/she cant go after you.
****Rammus - amazing CC, great pushing power, AoE damage, and lowers enemy armor. Yum.
**Ryze - His snare isn't much of a cc, and despite his aoe nuking he is too glass cannon to be a great team fighter. There are better options.
***Shaco - Good champion, bad teamfighter, and I don't count his jitb's as being real crowd control. Average teammate.
*****Shen - Aoe taunt, Ult, amazing in lane, and a pusher. We have a winner here.
***Singed - His CC isn't great, especially when it gets them out of your attacks, but his slow and aoe abilities let him do a good job of tanking for you.
***Sion - MMmmm thats a good stun, though his ranking depends on how he is build (dps may have trouble farming and is weak in early lane) but sion has a great stun and CC and will be putting out heals while sustaining a long time in late game fights
***Sivir - If you can get mid lane and keep golem control, sivir isn't terrible as a support champ, her ult, her aoe attacks, and her starks make for some great team fights.
***soraka - yes, soraka is a healer but she is crazy squishy and can't CC. she isn't a bad choice but i'd make sure the rest of the team can support you two.
*****Taric - Here's a better healer, Powerful heal, increased damage, long stun, armor reduction, amazing pushing power, and armor support.
*Teemo - Get a teammate to take exhaust and use your wriggles, you just made teemo obsolete.
*Tyndamere - See master yi, minus the ability to do anything in lane.
*Tristana - Does the same job as you, just not as well, she pushes well but will stay too far away in teamfights and cant do much to help you. See ezreal.
*Twisted Fate - he's been nerfed pretty hard and you do the job of ranged dps better, his support won't add to you much and he is weak in a side lane.
*Twitch - Corki's rat-faced cousin... there is no way that both of these would work on the same team because they do basically the same job and require all the same support. Corki just does it better. I don't want to start an argument as why, but the main reason why is that corki is more reliable, whereas twitch needs to get lucky with the perfect teamfight setup.
***Udyr - aoe damage, very tanky melee dps, has a stun that is constantly useable, and does well in lane. He makes a good addition.
**Veigar - He is just too squishy and requires too much (mid lane, golem, farming) to be worthwhile, especially compared to other nukers.
***Vladamir - While he lacks any hard CC, he is a great teamfighter with 2 powerful aoe spells, including one that increases your damage. He also does a good job at being tanky
***Warwick - His teamfight abilities aren't great, and he will try to take your jungle buffs, but his attack speed buff is quite nice and he can be a good pusher. Depending on the warwick your lanes will either be much stronger or much weaker because of him (aka, get out of the jungle and gank already)
*****Xin Zhao - aoe physical damage, aoe slow, knockup, tankiness, good lane presense, and high damage. He's great.
****Zilean - His slow isn't a hard CC, but he makes up for it with an amazing ult, a supportive slow, great aoe damage, and an amazing early lane, plus a beneficial passive.
*Miss Fortune - Good champion, but fits the same role as corki completely, although she is even squishier and can't move around while dealing massive aoe
***Swain - Has a powerful CC and good AoE, but he often will want golem and could use some buffs to damage. A useful Mage/Offtank
So, to sum it up, a tier-list according to corki would look like this
5/5 - Janna, Taric, Amumu, Shen, Xin Zhao, Morgana, Nasus, Jax, Galio
4/5 - Anivia, Annie, Zilean, Rammus, Malphite, Kayle, Garen, Alistar
3/5 - Fiddlesticks, Vladimir, Heimer, Sion, Soraka, Swain Udyr, Warwick, Singed, Ashe, Sivir, Shaco, Poppy, Mord, Malz, Blitzcrank, Kennen, Karthus
2/5 - Veigar, Cho gath, Ryze, Olaf, Kat, Akali, Kassadin, Pantheon, Nidalee, Nunu, Gragas
1/5 - Gangplank, MF, Mundo, Master Yi, Kog maw, TF, Tristana, Ezreal, Tryndamere, Twitch, Teemo, Evelynn
5/5 - Get as many of these as you can on your team, they are the people that synergyze perfectly with corki and can really support him
4/5 - These are also amazing to have on a team with corki, but either have someone that can do the job a little better, or may fight with corki over a something like golem or mid lane (they are still very good, just means you need to be wary of them)
3/5 - Characters that are good or still work very well with corki, but either have high demands of their own or are outclassed strongly. Try to limit the number from this group if possible (aka, it would be bad to have Fiddles and heimer with corki, because they would both want golem, or don't get soraka and malzahar, because they will be too squishy to make for a good teamfight team)
2/5 - Chracters that would not work well with corki, but don't have to be automatically disqualified if you know the player is capable or you have many 4's and 5's to back you up.
1/5 - With pretty much any of these characters you would be better off choosing a different champion than corki. They are not all bad champs, most just share far too similar roles to justify having both.
Removed the "dream teams" part here... I feel it made readers feel that corki cannot work except on teams that are all from 5/5. While they may be the best choices, you can be successful with almost any champ, this section is just to help show synergies, such as characters that lower armor or characters that deal high aoe damage. So please remeber that these are champion teammates suggestions not requirements.
Hope this helps some
It's nice to see a guide for Corki, one that I will have to try out in the future (barring problematic servers).
I very much agree with you that Corki is Twitch without the stealth, and positioning / initiating at the right time is HUGE with him. Glad that you included a little disclaimer saying so
I'm also quite sure that your metaphor for armor penetration is possibly the funniest thing I've read guide-wise in a long time.
I have a question regarding mid though. Many people are still reluctant to let Corki mid, especially with the introduction of Vlad, and how he pretty much is self-sufficient barring horrible gameplay. What is the best way to convince the team to let Corki mid? And if Corki can't mid, is there any way he can be effective with this build in a side lane (I.E: Would any alterations to the build need to be made)? I'd love to give our pilot friend more attention, but if he's so dependant on resources that are hard to wrestle away from other heroes and mindsets, it could be difficult.
I'll leave feedback on the build itself after trying it in-game, but thank you for a very well-explained guide!
Nice guide. The problem is, enemy team is going to CC and focus fire you as soon as you get in range (500 attack range is nothing to write home about). And your Corki has only about 1900 HP untill the last item. Obviously you have some way to counter this problem, right?
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