Promo poster for Netflix show Arcane with faces of main protagonists on the right
Promo poster for Netflix show Arcane with faces of main protagonists on the right

Learn how to play champions from Riot Games’ hit Netflix series ‘Arcane’

by Xander Torres

Riot Games is on top of the gaming culture world and not necessarily for their PC game, League of Legends, but for their latest hit Netflix series, “Arcane.” The series currently boasts a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and currently ranks No. 2 globally on Netflix’s weekly top 10. With the success of the series, the show’s main characters, Jinx and Vi, have seen increased playtime in League of Legends alongside a few other champions from "Arcane." If you’re not quite well-acquainted with some of Piltover’s finest, we have you covered with in-depth tips, tricks and build guides for four of the champions in the show: Ekko, Jayce, Jinx and Vi!

All images are courtesy of Riot Games.

Ekko

As depicted in "Arcane," Ekko is a creative, technological genius who can manipulate time. Since being released in 2015, Ekko has seen play as a top laner, jungler and mid laner in both solo queue and professional play. These days, Ekko is primarily played as a jungler, but most tips and tricks apply regardless of his role in the game.

Firstly, when playing Ekko, you always want to max out his Q ability, Timewinder, in order to maximize your jungle clear time, waveclear and early-game damage. Timewinder is Ekko’s primary combo starter for proccing his passive, Z-Drive Resonance, which deals bonus damage to enemies and grants movement speed after a combo of three auto attacks or damaging spells. Z-Drive Resonance makes up a significant portion of Ekko’s damage, so be sure to keep the passive in mind at all times.

Following Timewinder, Ekko players should max out his E ability, Phase Dive, and W ability, Parallel Convergence, in that order. Phase Dive is Ekko’s primary mobility tool and combos for huge burst damage alongside Timewinder to proc Z-Drive Resonance. Parallel Convergence is a powerful shield and Area of effect (AOE) stun for Ekko, but it’s best as a one-point wonder until later in the game.

Ekko’s R ability, Chronobreak, causes an afterimage to tail Ekko and when activated, teleports Ekko to that afterimage, healing himself and dealing damage around the afterimage location. Take a point in this whenever possible.

A typical build path for Ekko features Hextech Rocketbelt, Lich Bane, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Void Staff and, of course, Sorcerer’s Shoes. For runes, you will want to prioritize either the Domination tree with either Dark Harvest, Electrocute or Predator as your Keystone.

Here are some small tips for Ekko:

  • Hextech Rocketbelt grants Ekko extra mobility, but it also resets auto attack timers, allowing for Ekko to quickly proc Z-Drive resonance. Try engaging with a combo of Phase Dive, Timewinder and Hextech Rocketbelt to one-shot squishy carries.

  • Parallel Convergence takes three seconds to activate, giving opponents plenty of time to react, but using it from Fog of War will be more effective as it cancels the sound cue. Take advantage of this for crafty ganks!

  • Chronobreak is an incredible ability that can turn any teamfight, but it can also be used for cute macro plays. After recalling at any given point, Ekko can use Chronobreak to return to lane or regroup with his team without losing any time on the map. Be cautious, though, as your opponents will look to take advantage of the cooldown!

Jayce

Jayce is a genius in his own right and has been one of League of Legends’ most prolific champions since his release in 2012. As one of the game’s few champions that can switch between a ranged and melee form, he largely thrives in the top lane as an early-game lane bully.

Firstly, unlike other champions, Jayce lacks a true ultimate and instead switches between Mercury Cannon and Mercury Hammer form, granting him a ranged and melee variation of each ability, making each skill that much more important. Now, much like Ekko, you want to max out Jayce’s Q ability, Shock Blast (Ranged) and To the Skies! (Melee). Shock Blast is Jayce’s primary form of ranged poke damage while To the Skies! is his combo starter for a melee assassination.

Following Jayce’s Q ability, you will want to max out W, Hyper Charge (Ranged) and Lightning Field (Melee). Hyper Charge will function as one of your primary trading tools in lane alongside Shock Blast, while Lightning Field is a key portion of Jayce’s melee assassination combo and waveclear. Lastly, you will want to max out Jayce’s E ability, Acceleration Gate (Ranged) and Thundering Blow (Melee), with the former augmenting your movement speed and Shock Blast damage and the latter finalizing your melee assassination combo.

Jayce’s build path often varies, but nowadays he prioritizes a Lethality-focused build with Eclipse and Muramana as core items alongside Boots of Lucidity. From there, it is best to branch out to Youmuu’s Ghostblade and Serylda’s Grudge. Edge of Night and Serpent’s Fang are both great options to round out the build, with the former providing extra defensive capability against teams with a lot of crowd control and the latter dealing bonus damage to teams with excessive shielding.

Jayce can succeed in almost every rune tree, but the Inspiration tree is currently the most popular with First Strike synergizing well with his identity as an early-game focused champion. Make sure to dip into the Sorcery tree for Gathering Storm and Transcendence.

Here are some tips for Jayce:

  • Jayce deals bonus damage with his first auto attack when he switches between Mercury Cannon and Mercury Hammer form. Mercury Cannon’s first auto attack shreds physical and magical resistances, so be sure to open with Mercury Cannon before closing in with To the Skies! and the rest of Jayce’s melee combo for maximum damage.

  • When you activate Hyper Charge in Mercury Cannon form, you can switch to Mercury Hammer form and retain the bonus attack speed for even more burst damage on your melee assassination combo. Combined with Thundering Blow’s auto attack reset, this makes for four quick auto attacks on any opponent.

  • Try mixing up your usage of Acceleration Gate and Shock Blast. You can either shoot your Shock Blast and place Acceleration Gate for a quick combo or play alongside your Acceleration Gate and aim the Shock Blast, giving you the increased movement speed immediately after the blast.

Jinx

Jinx is “Arcane’s” explosive and riotous main protagonist, and while her character isn’t as deep in League of Legends, she certainly makes things go boom in the same fashion. As a marksman, Jinx is as simple as they come -- if she stays safe, she runs amok. Jinx’s kit doesn’t have the same flare as most marksmen these days, but her best fights are just as explosive.

As Jinx, you want to max out her Q ability, Switcheroo!, to get the most out of both guns as you scale later into the game. Jinx will switch between Pow-Pow, a short range gun that stacks attack speed with each auto attack, and Fishbones, a long range auto attack with AOE splash damage.

Following that up, maxing her W ability, Zap!, takes priority as a strong long-range damage tool. Jinx’s E ability, Flame Chompers!, are a one-point wonder due to their long cooldown and poor damage scaling. And, of course, with most champions, you want to take a point in Jinx’s R ability, Super Mega Death Rocket!, whenever possible.

Compared to the rest of the "Arcane" crew, Jinx has an incredibly straightforward build and gameplan -- scale up and snowball a teamfight. As such, her build is a cookie-cutter Marksman build of Kraken Slayer, Lord Dominik’s Regards, Runaan’s Hurricane, Infinity Edge and Berserker’s Greaves. Guardian Angel is a strong defensive item choice against assassin-based compositions, while Mercurial Scimitar is preferable against long-range crowd control.

When it comes to runes, the Precision tree is king with Fleet Footwork and Lethal Tempo being strong keystone options. The former is stronger in rough lane matchups, but the latter scales better into the late-game, especially in conjunction with Jinx’s passive, Get Excited.

Here are a few tips for Jinx:

  • Always play on the edge of a fight. Jinx is easy to lock down so maintaining long range is crucial for maximum teamfight damage. Once your passive activates, go to town.

  • Gun management is key. Pow-Pow is stronger at close range thanks to its additive attack speed, while Fishbones is best for cleaning up low-health targets on the run. Avoid spamming Fishbones in lane as Jinx’s mana costs are especially punishing in the early game.

  • Super Mega Death Rocket! is global, but does reduced damage at close range. Jinx’s Zap! is a nearly identical range to the point where Super Mega Death Rocket’s damage scaling takes off -- keep this in mind for executions in teamfights.

Vi

Vi has a bit of a different look in League of Legends compared to “Arcane,” but fear not, for she is the same punching machine. Vi originally saw some play in the top lane upon release in 2012, but she has been at home in the jungle ever since. As Vi, you’ll almost always be in the middle of the fight either peeling for your team or locking down key targets.

With that in mind, Vi’s Q ability, Vault Breaker, is her bread and butter ability for getting into the fray in both the early and mid game. Maxing this out maximizes Vi’s burst damage, as well as mobility, ticking the ability down to a six-second cooldown at Rank 5.

Next up, you will want to max Vi’s E ability, Relentless Force, in order to maximize its cooldown and base damage. Combined with Vault Breaker and Vi’s W ability, Denting Blows, Relentless force will help burst down squishy targets before they can fight back.

Denting Blows is a passive ability that procs on every third auto attack from Vi, lowering armor and dealing percentage damage based on the opponent’s maximum health, making it an efficient one-point ability to max out last. Vi’s R ability, Cease and Desist, locks Vi onto a target, knocking up the target and dealing damage to all champions in the area. Take a point in this whenever possible, as it is arguably Vi’s strongest ability throughout the course of a game.

Vi has a wide array of viable build-path options from deadly physical assassin to full-on tank. In most games, a middle-ground bruiser approach will do the trick as you stack up health, damage and cooldown reduction to be as bulky and dangerous as possible.

As Vi, you will traditionally lean into Divine Sunderer as your Mythic item, with Sterak’s Gage, Black Cleaver, Death’s Dance, Thornmail and Plated Steelcaps rounding out the build. In games where the opposing team has more magic damage, Spirit Visage and Force of Nature are both great situational items to make Vi even more tanky.

When it comes to runes, Vi loves the Domination tree with Hail of Blades as the go-to Keystone. Hail of Blades allows Vi to quickly proc Denting Blows in any engagement, making her a deceptively bursty champion in the early game.

Here are a few tips for Vi:

  • This is a classic for Vi players. After charging up Vault Breaker and releasing the ability, you can use Flash to extend the range of the ability and immediately collide with your desired target. This gives your opponent the least amount of time to react and may also force early Flashes later in the game.

  • Always use Relentless Force immediately after auto attacking to reset your auto attack timer, immediately stacking Denting Blows twice on an opposing champion. Since Vault Breaker applies a stack of Denting Blows and also queues up an auto attack, immediately using Relentless Force afterward will instantly proc Denting Blows on the opponent.

  • Enemy champions can’t Flash from Cease and Desist’s knock up, but using Zhonya’s Hourglass or abilities that make the champion untargetable will cancel the knock up. Be mindful when playing against Fizz and his E ability, Playful/Trickster, Zed and his R ability, Death Mark, and Vladimir and his W ability, Sanguine Pool.
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