LoL: Lux vs Morgana

A friend of mine asked on Twitter “In what way is Lux not a direct upgrade from Morgana?” This is the overly long answer.


Lux: Poke Poke Poke

Lux’s passive deals damage and scales with AP. A 20% AP ratio is, in technical terms, kind of crappy, though. At level 18 with no items, Lux’s passive does 154 damage; with a Rabadon’s Deathcap, you’d deal 186.4 damage. If you build CDR, you can get in 3 hits with this every 6 seconds, which should let you gently poke an enemy to death fairly quickly.

Morgana: Sustain

Morgana’s passive gives her 20% spell vamp at level 18, which is more than a Hextech Revolver will give you. This gives you a pretty nice chunk of survivability in team fights, considering the damage potential of Morgana’s ult.


These are both skillshots.

Lux: It’s A Snare (Light Binding)

Lux’s snare is longer than Morgana’s at spell level 1 (3 seconds versus 2 seconds), and it can hit two enemies (if they’re standing near each other). At a 75% AP ratio, you might think it does a lot of damage. But hang on a second…

Morgana: This Is Secretly A Damage Ability (Dark Binding)

The secret of Dark Binding is its huge damage output. At spell level 1, it does 80 damage - already 30 more than Lux’s snare. At spell level 3, it does 300 damage. On top of that, it has a 90% AP ratio. One Deathcap puts it at 445 damage.

The snare is shorter than Lux’s at non-maximum spell levels, and it can only snare one target. But that’s a ludicrous amount of damage. A decent carry should be able to finish them off pretty quickly after you shave off 400 health for them.

And you have 20% spell vamp, so you get a decent chunk of health back. Nice.


Lux: It’s A Slow (Lucent Singularity)

Hit an area. Slap people with a slow - up to 240% slowness at max spell level. After 3 seconds, it explodes, with a 60% AP damage ratio. Good for getting into teamfights, getting out of teamfights, or jumping onto some unfortunate enemy’s face when they’re out of position.

Morgana: Low Level Damage Machine (Tormented Soil)

Morgana’s AoE doesn’t slow. That’s not its purpose. It’s purpose is to deal damage and annoy the heck out of enemy champions. At low levels, Tormented Soil is great for farming creeps - it’ll do 16-24 DPS (depending on missing health) to anything in the zone, and creeps are too stupid to get out of it. If you hit someone with Tormented Soil, and then slap them with Dark Binding before they can escape, you can do 160 damage to them by yourself. At level 2. Your carry should be able to finish them off while they’re snared.

The low AP ratio (22% for healthy enemies, up to 33% for very damaged ones) means that during the endgame, this isn’t really a viable damage ability. It’s now an annoying one. An enemy at full health will take 400 magic damage if they stand on Tormented Soil for the entire 5-second duration. Most enemies don’t actually want to take 400 magic damage, so you can use this to keep enemy champions out of zones.


Lux: Group Hug (Prismatic Barrier)

Lux’s shield protects both herself and any friendly that it hits within its range - and its range is pretty long (1075). In a teamfight, if you’re good at skillshots and positioning, you might be able to get 2 other champions in your shield. It’s also a pretty short cooldown (10 seconds at max spell level), so you can easily use it multiple times per engagement.

The downsides are its mediocre AP ratio (35%), its relatively low base shield HP1, and its relatively short duration (3 seconds).

Morgana: I Am Invincible (Black Shield)

Morgana’s shield protects one target from a lot of damage, and it also prevents disables. At max spell level, it’ll take 350 damage, assuming you have never built a single AP item. At a 75% AP ratio, one Deathcap means Black Shield now absorbs 470 damage. And it prevents disables.

In my time playing Morgana, I’ve found two scenarios where Black Shield is really useful:


Lux: Firing My Laser (Final Spark)

Lux’s laser deals a stupidly large amount of damage once the channel completes2, it has a stupidly large range (it goes off the screen), and it has a pretty good AP ratio (75%).

As with Morgana’s ult, any enemy who isn’t snared or slowed is likely to get out of the way. Unlike Morgana’s ult, it doesn’t deal any initial damage, so anyone who does get out of the way will be unharmed.

Morgana: Oh Look, Another Disable (Soul Shackles)

Morgana’s ult has a much shorter range - 625 means you have to be nearly in melee distance in order to trigger it. And you have to remain that close for 3 seconds in order to hit the second phase of the ult. There’s a 20% slow, but that’s sometimes not enough slow to keep them in range. That said - this is a great time to coordinate with a teammate, or with yourself (via Dark Binding), to snare the enemy in place. Because the second phase doesn’t just deal damage - it also stuns them.

The AP ratio is a bit worse than that on Lux’s ult (70% versus 75%), but the point of this ult isn’t the sheer damage - it’s the stun at the end.

Incidentally, this ability has great synergy with Amumu’s ult (a 2-second AoE snare). I have been on the wrong side of this synergy once. Three teammates died in 4 seconds. It was hilarious.

In Conclusion: Different Playstyles

Morgana’s abilities generally have a higher damage output; Lux’s abilities are generally able to hit more targets.

In single-target chases, or in more spread-out teamfights, Morgana tends to do better. She does a pretty decent amount of damage, and with good coordination with a carry (or a tank with a snare), she can both damage and disable enemy champions. In chases, her ability to prevent disables on one person is incredibly useful.

In clustered teamfights, Lux has the advantage. She can snare 2 enemies at once, or shield herself and an ally. And a Lux doesn’t need to be as careful about picking targets as a Morgana does, because of her multi-target abilities.

The best Morganas I’ve seen are good at keeping enemy teams spread out (via careful use of Tormented Soil), and they communicate closely with their allies. I haven’t ever seen a really great Morgana who wasn’t using voice-chat to talk to at least one teammate. Lux’s abilities don’t require as much coordination (in my experience), so they tend to work better when playing with random people.

And if you want to hit someone with 1500 damage in 5 seconds, you gotta play Morgana - not Lux.

A word on sources

I mainly used the following three pages for numbers:

but in some cases, the official pages just list something fairly useless:

Morgana has spell vamp, healing herself whenever she deals damage with her spells.

or obviously incorrect:

Light Binding: Cost: 55/60/65/70/0 Mana

In those cases, I used the MOBAfire page for lux and the MOBAfire page for morgana. If you know of a better source, let me know.

  1. The page for Lux says “3”, which can’t be right. MOBAfire puts it at 180 at max spell level, but that page has the older, slightly shorter range there.
  2. In another instance of “that can’t possibly be right”, the official page says it deals “{{ e1 }}” damage. MOBAfire has 300/400/500.