Damage can be a little tricky in League of Legends, especially for newer players who haven’t had the “pleasure” of playing against most of the weird Champions. When picking up a new Champ, or playing against a new Champ, it’s not always intuitive as to what kind of damage they build. A good rule of thumb is usually if the Champion relies on Auto Attacks and physical projectiles, they’ll build AD. While if a Champion relies on spells and stereotypical magic abilities, they’ll build AP. Sometimes Champs do not fit either of these archetypes though, and that’s where it gets a little tricky.
As we mentioned above, if a Champion relies heavily on auto-attacks, they probably build AD. Champions like Caitlyn, Draven, Darius, Etc. Even paying attention to which weapon they bring into battle can be a dead giveaway. IE Darius brings an axe, Master Yi brings a sword. This is just a rule of thumb, however, and not a hard-set rule.
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As with AD Champs, sometimes you can tell that a Champion builds Ability Power based solely on their presentation. If a Champion looks like they cast magical abilities, then they likely build AP. Champions like Lux, Ahri, and Annie are prime examples. Some Champions like Akali and Ekko, however, do not follow this pattern and build AP despite not being magical.
The Ultimate List of League of Legends Champions & Their Type of Damage
|Corki||Hybrid (AP & AD)|
|Dr. Mundo||AP, Tank|
|Nunu & Willump||AP|
|Tahm Kench||AD, Tank|
This list is meant to be used as a reference point only since many Champs have a build that cannot be broken down into solely AP or AD. We have included the word “Tank” on a few Champions that will not bring much to the table if built with damage. There are a lot of Champs that usually build tanky, but can be built with damage. We did not include the word Tank on those Champs. So if you see “Tank” then we highly recommend only building Tanky items on that Champion.
Note: We also only included the most popular or “Meta” damage type. Some Champions like Tristana can build AP or AD, but you will see them go AD more often than not. So we listed her damage type as AD only.
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Is Nasus AP or AD?
Nasus is traditionally a tank, which means he will build tanky items that give him HP and Armor/Magic Resist. However, when building damage on Nasus, he scales off of AD more than AP. This is because his Q is his bread and butter, and Nasus relies on auto-attacks more than abilities. There are also more bruiser items that synergize well with his kit that will give him AD and HP at the same time. Note that there is a Nasus AP build that is immensely fun to play. AP Nasus relies on his E, which will do unreal damage to any enemies caught inside of it.
Is Leona AP or AD?
Leona is another Tank, but unlike Nasus she doesn’t scale very well off of any type of damage items. She is one of those tanks that we recommend a full tank build on, in order to play her to her full potential. Her abilities will do more damage with AP items, so if you really want to play carry Leona, AP is the way to go.
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Is Shaco AP or AD?
Shaco is one of the few Champions that excels with both AD and AP. Both builds are Meta and perfectly fine, it all depends on your playstyle. AD Shaco will rely on his auto attacks, and his E to slowly melt down enemies. AP Shaco will rely on his boxes, and his Clone (R) explosion to deal massive burst damage. AD Shaco is more intuitive for most players, but playing AP Shaco is a great way to catch enemies off guard and have fun wreaking havoc with high-damage traps.
Is Kayle AP or AD?
We gave Kayle her own section because she is another very weird Champion. She can be played AP or AD, like Shaco but she will always have the same playstyle. Kayle should be played like an ADC on steroids. Her auto-attacks are her bread and butter, so she should be built with a lot of attack speed. Whether you build AD or AP, you should always grab Berserker’s Greaves and another attack speed item (Nasher’s Tooth for AP, Phantom Dancer for AD).
We hope this guide serves well as a reference point for Champion damage. It’s important to know which damage to build on your own Champion, but also what kind of damage your opponent builds. Knowing the damage of every Champ in League of Legends is crucial for being a successful player, and there’s no shame in using a cheat sheet to fill in the gaps!