Is Gwen AP or AD? – Quick Guide + Builds (Season 13)

Chris Lee
Chris Lee 7 Min Read

Is Gwen an AD warrior like Xin Zhao or something more? Her melee attacks and snappy scissor skills suggest a classic bruiser, but Gwen’s true strength lies in her surprising damage profile. Riot’s fresh take on ‘balanced’ champions makes her a compelling enigma.

Let’s dissect Gwen’s abilities to see if she’s more about Ability Power or Attack Damage, and how to best wield her unique talents in your League battles.

Key Takeaways

  • Gwen excels as an AP champion with abilities that scale effectively with AP.
  • Choosing an AD build for Gwen is ineffective as her skills primarily scale with AP.
  • AP items amplify Gwen’s immediate and prolonged damage in combat.
  • The best item build for AP Gwen includes Hextech Rocketbelt, Nashor’s Tooth, Rabadon’s Deathcap, and Zhonya’s Hourglass.

Gwen’s Abilities

Understanding Gwen’s abilities is key to making the most of her performance in-game, as they scale primarily off her ability power (AP).

Her passive, Thousand Cuts, deals bonus magic damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum health, which scales with AP.

This makes Gwen a significant threat to tankier adversaries. You’ll want to accumulate AP to maximize the healing from her passive against adversaries and the extra damage against low-health minions, optimizing both her sustain and her ability to clear minion waves.

Gwen’s Q and R abilities, Snip Snip! and Needlework, also gain increased damage output from AP. Making item choices that increase AP will significantly improve the effectiveness of these abilities during smaller conflicts and larger team engagements.

Keep in mind her attacks don’t deal extra damage to structures, so focus your strategy on confronting other players and securing monster objectives.

Is Gwen AP or AD Champion?

Gwen excels as an ability power (AP) champion. Her abilities scale effectively with AP, leading to increased damage output and healing. Opting for AP items bolsters her capabilities, providing a blend of offense, resilience, and strategic value.

When examining her performance metrics, it becomes clear that an AP build amplifies both her immediate and prolonged damage in combat.

Understanding the optimal build path for any champion is key, and for Gwen, that means focusing on AP items.

Her innate abilities, including her passive and her primary attacks like Q – Snip Snip! and E – Skip ‘n Slash, as well as her ultimate ability, all gain more from AP investments, which translates to a more impactful presence during fights.

Therefore, selecting AP gear aligns with a strategy that makes the most of her inherent strengths.

Can You Play AD Gwen in Season 13?

Curiosity may tempt you to try an AD build on Gwen in Season 13, but her abilities don’t synergize with attack damage items.

Her skills scale primarily with ability power (AP), meaning that an AD approach would significantly diminish her combat effectiveness.

Her passive, Q, E, and R skills all benefit from AP, enhancing her damage, sustainability, and utility. Opting for AD items wouldn’t only fail to capitalize on these skills but also cause you to miss out on the power spikes from crucial AP items.

To play Gwen effectively, it’s advisable to gear her build towards AP items that amplify her spellcasting and dueling prowess. Hence, an AD build for Gwen in the current game meta isn’t recommended.

Best Item Build & Runes For AP Gwen

To optimize your gameplay with Gwen, prioritizing an AP build is key, ensuring you select the appropriate mix of runes and items to complement her skill set.

Beginning with Hextech Rocketbelt is a smart move for the burst mobility and extra magic penetration it provides.

Nashor’s Tooth should be your next pick to improve your auto-attacks with its attack speed bonus. Rabadon’s Deathcap is next in line for a substantial increase in AP, while Zhonya’s Hourglass provides extra durability during fights.

For your rune setup, Conqueror stands out as the primary keystone, enhancing your damage over time. Combine it with Presence of Mind and Legend: Alacrity to manage your resources and increase your attack speed. Finish your opponents with Coup de Grace.

Choosing Domination as your secondary path with Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter grants you the much-needed sustain. This configuration is ideal for taking full advantage of Gwen’s scaling potential and the intricacies of her playing style.

Best Item Build & Runes For AD Gwen

An AD configuration for Gwen, while unconventional, can be quite potent when equipped with the appropriate items and runes.

For an AD strategy, the goal is to enhance Gwen’s consistent damage output and her ability to effectively duel. Begin with Kraken Slayer to strengthen your basic attacks with its true damage trait.

Combine it with Blade of the Ruined King for a boost in attack speed, life regeneration, and damage based on the opponent’s health, which works well with Gwen’s abilities.

Regarding runes, select Conqueror as your main rune to accumulate damage in extended skirmishes.

Add Triumph, Legend: Alacrity, and Last Stand to augment your resilience and damage. Choose Domination as your secondary path with Taste of Blood and Ravenous Hunter for extra healing.

This composition requires thoughtful play, taking advantage of Gwen’s ability to efficiently deal with more resilient adversaries.


You’ve now stitched together the fabric of Gwen’s potential, understanding she’s primarily an AP terror on the Rift.

While AD Gwen isn’t her sharpest scissors this season, it’s not entirely off the table. With the right AP build and runes, you’ll cut through opponents like a hot knife through butter.

Remember, the meta is your pattern, but how you tailor your gameplay is the true art form. Play smart, adapt strategically, and you’ll be the seamstress of success.

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Hello, Summoners! I'm Chris Lee, the face behind LaneLectures. Peaking at Master (459 LP) in Season 12 and with nearly a decade in the League of Legends arena, I've explored the depths of this complex game. Now, with LaneLectures, I aim to share the crucial tips and insights garnered over the years to help you climb the ranked ladder. Whether you're battling out of Elo Hell or eyeing the prestigious Challenger tier, together we'll navigate the strategies to reach your League of Legends goals!