League of Legends Playing AP Carry


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Nov 4, 2018
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We had previously discussed the AD carry and how to play one without going blue in the face. But there’s another similar role that aggressive players relish, and that’s the AP carry. While somehow similar in name, the way this role works is much less different, but no more or less important to a well-balanced team. If the AD carry brings the lightning, the AP carry calls the thunder down (if that makes sense).

Why Playing AP Carry is Hard
The goal of the carry is simple — do damage and don’t die. It’s like how boxing is the sweet science of hitting without getting hit, this is true with all expert carries. However, the AP carry in particular don’t have as much leeway as the AD carry has due to abilities being the main source of damage instead of the auto-attack.

Despite this, the AP carry’s damage is tremendous, so much that he is literally a game changer. This makes the AP carry a great threat to the opposing team. Champions that are focused on ability power have relatively large mana pools and abilities that hit hard and do lots of other things to enemies that are hit by them.

It still requires a considerable amount of skill to play this role perfectly as AP champions tend to have low health pools, so mistakes like bad positioning and getting into bad fights are easily punished. They are also fairly item dependent, almost equal to the AD carry in the need to farm lots of gold as soon as possible.

The thing with AP carries though that differentiates it from AD carry in this regard is that there are abilities to go with, especially AoE ones to take out multiple enemy minions all at once. They can’t really engage that much during the start of the game as defenses are still weak, so the AP carry must build up considerably with care to become ready for the mid and late game.

You’ll be getting into champions like Ahri, Brand, Kassadin, Sion, Karthus, Cassiopeia, and so on. Each have their own unique abilities, but all depend on having as much burst damage as possible in order to have a significant effect in the game. Some are better in the role than others, while those who weren’t made up for it with

A good AP carry champion should have at least one AoE ability that helps with farming. You are also able to harass your lane opponent in an attempt to put him behind in gold and experience. While you’re at it, put down wards so that you don’t get taken by surprise from behind or from your flanks.

AP carries usually take the mid lane position, and they can go solo there to farm as much experience and gold as possible to get the items needed. Due to being in the mid lane, the AP carry is a prime target for the enemy team, so good positioning is crucial to not get ganked out of the blue. The AP carry himself will find it difficult to gank unless the enemy gets careless.

Upon reaching level 6 and acquiring the ultimate ability, things will start opeining up. Depending on what kind of champion you’re using, you may have either sustained damage like Cassiopeia or nuke like Veigar. Study your chosen champion’s abilities in order to optimize your play according to its capabilities.

As the name suggests, this role is all about ability power. However, having something that’s absolutely a brittle glass cannon won’t have good sustain in lanes and survivability in team fights. Your damage is no good if you die before you can even dish it out, so you may want to get some defense. If you’re up against mostly physical damage, then get some armor; if you’re up against mostly magic damage, then get some magic resistance.

You’ll also need magic penetration, especially if the opposing team has figured out that they should up their magic resistance due to being up against a competent AP carry. This need for different characteristics is covered by items that give good bonuses to most of these stats as possible while being affordable enough to be acquired during most games.

Common items for AP carries are Sorcerer’s Shoes, Archangel’s Staff, Rod of Ages, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff, Zhonya’s Hourglass, and Deathfire Grasp. Depending on the chosen champion, there could be more that can be used, but these are the best examples of items for AP carries.

Team Fights
You are the primary source of damage for the team, so don’t be prissy about it, but also make sure that every ability hits. Know what to start with and what to finish with, like using your primary abilities first to soften the target up before going for the ultimate to close.

Dying in a team fight early is the number one cardinal sin for the AP carry. Therefore, you would most likely not be the one to initiate the fight, but you’re surely the one who can change its course to your team’s favor. Make sure you know when to go in and quickly bring the thunder down after your teammates have brought the lightning in.

What Not to Do
An AP carry must be calm and composed; he does not panic and spam every ability at a single moment on one target in a matter of a few seconds only to drain himself of mana and options. What separates a mediocre AP carry from a great one is being able to make decisions properly before every cast.

This isn’t to say that the AP carry must always stop and think before every engagement as that would only result in death. It just means that you need to get familiar with all the little nuances with each champion you’ll be up against. You’ll still pretty much nuke everything in your path anyway, but it’s not a bad thing to go nuts, but only when it’s called for.

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