On-hit Neeko: How the Curious Chameleon has taken over League of Legends’ ADC role

Running Neeko as an ADC has skyrocketed her playrate.

Image via Riot Games

Ever since she was released in January, not many people have been playing League of Legends‘ newest champion, Neeko. Her kit was pretty unique, but when players got past the novelty of her cloning ability, her playrate dropped significantly.

But players have been recently playing Neeko at an alarming rate. From Patch 9.4 to 9.5, her playrate has increased to an impressive 2.97 percent from a measly 0.14 percent. She even has the highest winrate out of any ADC in the game right now at 54.40 percent. The catch? People are running her as an on-hit, ADC-style champion rather than an AP caster.

Watch Voyboy show off his On-Hit Neeko tech.

The trick lies within her W passive, Shapesplitter. With Shapesplitter, Neeko passively deals extra magic damage with every third auto-attack. By building attack speed and physical damage, you can deal a ton of damage off your AAs alone. She also has some great crowd control abilities, like her Tangle-Barbs and her ultimate, Pop Blossom, which allow you to deal more damage per second to your opponents.

Neeko’s build path can vary based on the matchup, but many pros have been starting with Doran’s Blade first, like a traditional ADC champion. Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo’s Rageblade are a part of her core, since they’re the two constants in many players’ builds. They allow her to deal a ton of damage in the early to mid game, as well as capitalize on her mixed damage.

Pro players have also been seen building Rapid Firecannon to add critical strike chance, attack speed, and of course, the energized, long-range auto. Runaan’s Hurricane is another attack speed item that helps with her clear since her Q won’t be doing a ton of damage.

As for her runes, you’ll want to run the Precision skill tree with Press the Attack. By making your opponent vulnerable after three auto-attacks with the keystone, you can deal that much more damage in a trade.

We aren’t sure if Riot Games will change up or nerf Neeko yet, but try her out for yourself while she’s still strong in today’s meta. It wouldn’t be surprising if we saw her in the bottom lane in a competitive game soon.