Climbing Elo: Ekko
Onto my second-to-last installment of my Climbing Elo series for this group, I’m going to be talking about everyone’s favorite time bender: Ekko. While both builds I have here are very viable, one is much stronger than the other at the cost of overall fun.
With this series, I will be telling you ways that I enjoy playing these champions. I am not implying that these methods are the best, nor am I saying that these champions are meant to be played the way I play them. Simply put, these are fun builds to use in ranked that are effective and don’t force you to be a meta slave to win.
My History With Ekko
Since Ekko’s release not too long ago, I fell in love with his lore. His persona on top of his snarky attitude and background make him a really interesting figure as opposed to just a kid who found a cool tool. After seeing the immense outplay potential he could have as well as his overall play style, I had to give him a try. As soon as the mastery system came out, he was my first Mastery Seven champion and is still one of my favorite pocket picks today.
After experiencing the great fun that full AP Ekko offers as well as the hilarity of never dying through Tank Ekko, I have landed on two semi-popular builds that offer viability and engagement. Like always, I’m not saying my prefered ways are the best, but in my opinion, they are the most fun.
Ekko is either a strong burst mage with great outplay potential or a very annoying tank that seemingly never dies.
Passive: Z-Drive Resonance - After landing three successful auto attacks/hits with abilities, Ekko slows his enemy, dealing massive amounts of magic damage and gaining some movement speed in the process. At it’s simplest, Z-Drive Resonance is a three auto attack proc that deals significant damage, but after some time mastering it, it can be the difference between life or death. Keep in mind, this ability procs spell effects (Luden’s Echo, Rylai’s Crystal Sceptre, etc.), so it basically acts as another damage ability for Ekko. Without this ability, Ekko would be quite immobile and wouldn’t be able to catch a lot of his opponents, so it is very important to his kit.
Q: Timewinder - Ekko throws a projectile that travels until it hits its first target, where it then slows down for a short distance before returning to Ekko, dealing damage both on the initial throw and on the return. Both hits from Timewinder apply a stack of Z-Drive Resonance, so it is very important to land it if you want to effectively proc your passive. I should also mention that Timewinder will always return to Ekko, no matter what distance he covers, meaning you can maneuver Ekko in such a way where you can catch opponents off guard with the return. Without this ability, it is very difficult for Ekko to proc his passive, lowering his overall damage output by a significant amount.
W: Parallel Convergence - Ekko selects a small area around him and summons a hologram of himself that channels for three seconds before sending a projectile to fill said area. The circle persists for a short duration, slowing all enemies caught within it. However, if Ekko is also in the circle, all enemies inside will be stunned for two seconds and Ekko will be given a sizeable shield. In an upcoming pre-season patch for Season Seven, Ekko will be able to ult through his W in order to proc the stun/shield, but for the sake of relevancy, we won’t go too much into that. Landing this ability can be very difficult at first, as you have to predict where your opponent will be three seconds ahead of time in order to utilize it fully. At the very least, it is a zoning tool used to cut opponents off from an area, while at most, it is a huge five-man stun.
E: Phase Dive - After rolling a short distance towards your cursor, Ekko gains the ability to teleport to a nearby enemy, hitting them with a magic damage imbued auto attack. This ability is a great mobility tool, as you can go over walls and close gaps with it, however, the damage this ability offers is nothing to scoff at. Assuming you hit both halfs of your Q, your E nearly guarantees the proc for your passive. Something that makes this ability amazing is that even if someone tries to Flash, dash or blink away, you will still follow them due to the small cast time of the teleport. Not only is it a strong chasing tool, but also something you can take advantage of when positioning for your W. Overall, without Phase Dive, Ekko wouldn’t be nearly as annoying and strong as he is now.
R: Chronobreak - This is the likely the most fun ability in all of LoL in my opinion. When this ability is OFF cooldown, Ekko is followed by a hologram of himself that portrays where he was four seconds ago. When the ability is activated, Ekko becomes immune as he teleports to his hologram and heals for 20 percent of the damage he has taken in the past four seconds. No other ability can really compare to the sheer utility this ability offers. Not to mention, the ability also causes Ekko to send an explosion of energy around the area where he lands that deals an insane amount of magic damage, as well as applying a stack of his passive. When building full AP, you will see that the ability has a 150 percent AP ratio, meaning it hits like a truck. If you manage to catch an unexpecting squishy with this ability, you are nearly guaranteed a kill. Also, if you’re quick enough, you can go back to base, buy your items and ult back to where you were before you backed, essentially giving you a free Teleport if you can buy quickly.
AP Ekko Mid
- Sorcerer’s Shoes
- Luden’s Echo
- Lich Bane
- Rod of Ages
- Rabadon’s Deathcap
- Rylai’s Crystal Sceptre/Void Staff/Abyssal Sceptre
Champs to AVOID playing against
- Most people with some way to inflict Grievous Wounds passively
- On-click CC that lasts over two seconds
Summoners and Keystone - Flash/Ignite/Teleport & Thunderlord’s Decree
While this is the lesser build of the two in terms of popularity, AP Ekko is extremely fun while staying viable. His high base damages as well as mobility off-set his main weakness of being a melee mage assassin. Similar to Kassadin's, your laning phase as Ekko will likely be annoying to deal with until you start getting levels into your abilities. You likely won’t be able to fight for CS unless you’re up against another melee laner. Thankfully, Ekko scales fairly well through base damages, meaning he doesn’t have to be 3/0 or so to carry.
Starting the game, you will likely want to get a Doran’s Ring, unless you feel you can get away with a few kills, then you should get Dark Seal. Either way, Dark Seal is a very strong pick up for Ekko if you sense that you can manage to steal stacks through assists here and there. The reason I didn’t include it in the item list above is that it isn’t going to be an every game thing. After laning phase is over, you will look to upgrade it into Mejai’s Soulstealer if you have around 10 stacks. If not, it is likely in your best interest to sell it and focus on finishing your Luden's/Lich Bane combo.
As teamfights start to break out, Ekko starts to excel in the objective control portion of skirmishes. If you can manage to get a surprise stun off on a few key targets, your team should have no problem with follow-up. Even if you can’t seem to find an opening to engage, you can always just poke down the enemy with your Timewinder. Usually, the pressure of constant Q's is enough to ward off squishy targets from trying to make it into the fight.
Outside of objective control, Ekko has no real shining area. At that point, it is up to you to roam with the team and look for pick opportunities. You have your ult as well as Flash, so you should have no problem with surviving long enough to scale into late game and be a strong carry force for your team. If you manage to get three or four kills in lane, however, you will likely have freedom to do whatever you want to the enemy's back line, within moderation of course.
Overall, AP Ekko is fairly straightforward if you have a grasp on how to play Ekko. No matter what, you will always be relevant due to base damages, so don’t think you’re too weak for an engagement because more often than not, your damage will surprise your opponents as much as it does you.
Tank Ekko Top
- Mercury Treads
- Triforce/Iceborn Gauntlet
- Dead Man’s Plate
- Spirit Visage
- Sunfire Cape
- Banshee’s Veil/Abyssal Sceptre/Warmogs
Champs to AVOID playing against
- Grievous Wounds once again
- AoE stuns or very strong disengage
Summoners and Keystone - Flash/Teleport & Fervor of Battle/Grasp of the Undying
Unlike its AP counterpart, top Ekko isn’t meant to do a lot of upfront burst damage while being tricky. Instead, Ekko, when put into this role, will be a huge annoyance for the enemy backline while being near impossible to kill. If you want to go for the ultimate troll build, you can take Grasp of the Undying to stay in the backline as long as you want. Otherwise, you will usually take Fervor of Battle since you will be constantly auto attacking enemies.
Laning with tank Ekko is fairly simple unless you’re against a ranged top bully like Teemo or Kennen. Since most top laners play like they’re stranded on an island, you should have no issues farming up in order to scale into your unkillable late game status. If you do manage to go up against that hyper aggressive Renekton or Riven, your passive plus your E should secure your escape. Odds are, unless your opponent has no idea how much damage Ekko does, you won’t win most skirmishes early game, but you will more than make up for it in the late game.
After the lane finally ends, your job will consist of constantly diving the enemy back line and poking at their key targets. After you finish one or two tank items, you will be tanky enough to survive nine times out of ten unless the enemy is coordinated enough to CC you long enough to keep you from using your ult. Outside of that, Triforce and Fervor give you more than enough damage to kill an ADC before your health gets low enough for you to have to pop ult.
If anything, you are an annoying pest that tries to force the enemy to burn resources so your team has an advantage in fights. However, with enough practice, you can often carry games entirely by yourself with no real threat of the enemy having all the right answers to stop you.
Ekko has the potential to be an explosive mid lane mage/assassin or a very annoying tank that constantly harrasses the enemy back line.
Did this guide help you? Is Ekko one of your favorite champions? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @GAMURScom.
With this part of this series coming to a close after one more episode, I’m looking for different champions to do guides over. If there are any chamions you want to see a guide on, you can tweet me @iEnglishBetter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will consider your suggestion.