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ELISE BUILD GUIDE: Eight Legged Terror: Comprehensive Elise Guide by tigerking

by tigerking (last updated over a year ago)

3,115,631 Views 53 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration( +7.83 magic penetration)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +12.06 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power( +14.85 ability power)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
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mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
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mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
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mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
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mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
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mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
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0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Spider Swarm
QNeurotoxin/Venomous Bite
WVolatile Spiderling/Skittering Frenzy
ECocoon/Rappel
RSpider Form/Human Form
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 3/4
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mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
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mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
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mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
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mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
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0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Spider Swarm
QNeurotoxin/Venomous Bite
WVolatile Spiderling/Skittering Frenzy
ECocoon/Rappel
RSpider Form/Human Form

Champion Matchups

Introduction

Elise is a really fun and unique champion to play. She's also incredibly versatile, playable mid lane, top lane, or in jungle. Like Jayce and Nidalee, Elise has 2 forms (human and spider), which means she has 6 skills.

Pros
  • Fun and Versatile (can play in 3 lanes)
  • 6 spells means she has a lot of unique gameplay
  • % damage on 2 of her spells, meaning she can do damage without buying damage
  • Long range hard CC
  • Free spells in spider form
  • Can clear waves really quickly
  • Destroys turrets with her spiderlings
  • Has a gap closer and an untargetable form
  • Can zone a lot of top laners, especially melee champs
  • Some inherent tankiness
  • Good base speed
  • Has a little bit of sustain
  • Lots of build paths
  • Is a spider

Cons
  • Takes a few games to learn how to use her spells effectively
  • Relatively squishy early on
  • Pitiful auto attack damage in human form (tough to last hit)
  • You need to master her cooldowns to team fight effectively
  • Requires knowing when to change forms
  • Very long CD on her CC and gap closer / escape
  • No slows (hard to stick to target)
  • Mediocre AP ratios
  • Jungling speed is mediocre
  • Each skill must be leveled individually (unlike Nidalee, where each point in R raises all skills)

Throughout this guide, I'll be addressing these weaknesses and how to get around some of them.

Getting a feel for her cooldowns is the single most important piece to learning Elise. Nidalee (usually) and Jayce are both mainly AD heroes, which means that if your cooldowns are down you can auto attack. Even worse, you can't see the cooldowns for the form you're not in, so you need to have a really good feel for what they're like. While Elise does have spiderlings, most of her damage comes from her spells, so those need to be used soon after they are up (and her ult cooldown needs to be accounted for) or you are hurting your long term damage output. This is especially true for her E in both forms - for example, you are running away in spider form (because it is faster), you need to morph into human and stun them at the right time.

Updates / Elise Current State

Elise Changes
10/26/12 - Elise Released

Really fun champ, but slightly underpowered. Her early game is very lackluster.

11/13/12 - Human and Spider Q AP ratios increased from 2% health per 100 AP to 3% health per 100 AP; Cocoon (stun) projectile speed inccreased from 1300 to 1450 and now reveals; Spider Form on-hit bonus AD AP ratio increased from .2 to .3.

A decent, controlled set of buffs. This makes it so that if you build some AP, your Q's and spider auto attack scale a little bit better. AP Quints are now better for lane. The stun speed is a nice little touch that makes it marginally easier to land, and it's nice to be able to see if you hit your enemy when you fire stuns over walls. Elise is now in a pretty good spot.

I still think Elise is kind of a crappy mid laner, but I've played her a bunch top and she has quite a bit of presence and can actually zone a lot of melee tops. Right now, I'd say Elise mid and jungle are meh-tier (pick her if you like her, but there's usually better options for everything she does), and Elise top is above-average to strong (can really dominate some lanes, but is average in others).

2/1/2013 - Neurotoxin mana cost increased to 80/85/90/95/100 from 60, Cocoon mana cost reduced to 50 from 65.

Ouch. This one hurts a lot. It means you can't spam your Q on cooldown (which was really strong), and they increased the level 1 cost too, so your poke costs 33% more mana even if you max W. It means that Doran's Rings or Catalyst has to be considered in lanes where you know you're going to spamming a lot if your flask can't sustain you. The one upside to this is that the cocoon mana cost is reduced, which allows you to be a little bit more aggressive with that, but let's be clear, this is a big Elise nerf. This is also pretty much the end of mid lane Elise, since they nerfed the one thing that gave her a chance vs most casters - spamming Q on cooldown.

3/18/2013 - Neurotoxin cast range reduced to 625 from 650, damage reduced to 40/80/120/160/200 from 50/95/140/185/230. Venomous Bite damage increased to 60/110/160/210/260 from 50/95/140/185/230.

So, Riot is basically admitting that Elise is too difficult to balance if her human and spider Qs have symmetric damage. This was aimed at further nerfing her early-mid game top laning while trying not to hurt her late game presence. I'm hoping this will be the last time that Elise top gets nerfed, because I thought she was strong before this and after this she'll be very meh.

On a side note, her jungle isn't impacted by this change, and her ganks / executions are arguably better with the new and improved Venomous Bite. For all you top lane Elise players, give her jungle a try!

5/15/2013 - Skittering Frenzy ability power ratio increased to 0.04 from 0.02, Spider Form no longer grants bonus Armor and Magic Resist.

This one really hurts - 10 armor / MR is a decent bit early on, and later on when you get a little more free armor / MR it makes your health scale that much better. The AP ratio on your sustain is kind of nice though - it now heals you twice as much, which is actually pretty sweet. Still definitely a nerf overall though. In my next major update I'll have to go through and edit all points where I talk about Elise scaling so well with health since she gets free armor / MR :P.

Major Guide Updates
10/26/12 - Guide Released
11/1/12 - Added more information about summoner spells, especially for newer players that aren't familiar with why Flash is so common. Elaborated a little bit on build paths.
11/22/12 - Made big updates throughout the guide to account for Elise changes in the most recent paths, including item builds and especially early/mid/late game info. Also updated masteries for the solomid.net S3 mastery template.
1/6/13 - Massive Season 3 update, along with general updates to reflect increased experience with Elise and her place in the game right now. Expanded all laning sections, team fighting section, and most importantly the item choices section. Also added a brief section about playing against Elise.
2/1/13 - Talked about her nerfs, as well as a couple of item additions.
3/18/13 - Discussed the newest Elise changes, and I want to recommend jungle even more.

Where Do I Play Elise?

There are advantages and disadvantages to all 3 lanes you can play her in (support will not be discussed in this guide). Her laning is decent; she focuses more on wearing enemies down with her Q rather than bursting, but she actually does have a decent bit of burst in a gank with a CC jungler (allowing you to hit your stun and spider-mine).

Elise mid is nice because you get a bunch of farm, but she has a really tough time trading with other mids. Assuming you can't hit your W consistently (it isn't easy to hit vs an opponent that positions well), you can only trade with your Q, but basically every mid has an equal damage spell at about the same range as well as other spells to follow it up with. Mid lane also gives you less room to maneuver with. Pick mid only if you're sure you're against an opponent that won't shut down in lane, and make sure you ward both (yes, both) sides so you can jump on your opponent when the chance arises without dying to a jungler gank. After the Feb 1 2013 nerfs to her Q mana cost, Elise mid is basically dead. You always struggled to trade damage if you didn't buy damage, and you can't trade at all with Q spam unless you buy some mana help.

Elise top is, in my opinion, her best lane, and you can actually zone many opponents in this lane. This is because you have too much poke (with Q) for most melee champions to deal with if they sit back, and too much burst / escape for them to deal with if they try jumping on you.

In the jungle, her initial clear speed is kind of slow for the first couple levels, but picks up once you get more ranks in W. Because you'll mainly be using spider form for jungling, you don't need any blues after the first one to jungle effectively because your spells are free. While her speed and safety is mediocre, she's not gonna be dueling any of the top junglers in the current meta unless she can kite effectively. Where she shines is in her ganking ability and transitions. There is very high kill potential on Elise ganks, especially with lanes which have hard CC so you can land your stun.

tl;dr Jungle, mid, and top Elise are viable; play whatever lane you like best. I will discuss all 3 in this guide. Top is definitely her best.

How Do I Play Against Elise?

Some of you may be here because you recently got owned by an Elise, or are about to lane against one, so I thought I'd give a quick overview of that here.

Generally, Elise wins lanes one of two ways: she slowly wears you down by outpoking you, or she outdpses you either when you force trades or when she engages on you.

One of the most important things is to figure out whether she is maxing or . If she is maxing her Q, her poke (and execute) will hurt, but she will have very little burst damage, and you should be able to win any (sustained) trades you are able to force. If she is maxing her W, she will have a lot of frontloaded burst in a trade at close range, because she will blow her spider mine on you and then morph to spider, frenzy her spiderlings, and attack you. Thus, if it's a brief close-range engagement, she will often come out ahead, but in a longer duel she will have to disengage or lose it.

Another thing to note is that while her Q is a fairly short cooldown (6s), both W's are on 12 second cooldowns, meaning that you have a lot of time to force more trades before her stuff is up again. More importantly, her rappel is going to be on a 26 second cooldown until level 14, and when that's not up her only way of engaging or disengaging you is a skillshot stun that can be dodged.

Elises usually get tanky mid game when they get a couple of big items, but early levels (2-5, especially), she is very squishy. A calculated all-in on her may get you a kill and snowball the lane in your favor.

Most mid lane champs that have any sort of CC can beat Elise. Her Q is her only reliable damage spell for mid, and almost all mids can put out more damage at that range. She could potentially outdamage you by jumping on you, but that risks jungle ganks and minion damage and burns a very long cooldown. If you have any CC, you can disengage when she jumps you.

In team fights, she is most dangerous when she is attacking your carry, so make sure you peel! Be sure to dodge her stun; she's likely going to toss it at her target after jumping on them so it's a close range stun, but it can still be dodged.

Masteries

Elise is very flexible in terms of masteries. There is only one requirement: Arcane Knowledge (15% magic pen), so you will always have at least 9 in offense.

In season 2, 21-9-0, 21-0-9, 9-21-0, and my personal favorite 9-12-9 were all viable. In season 3, the Utility tree is worse than it was before (no move speed at tier 2) unless you invest heavily in it, which you're not going to do. The Offense tree is about the same, and the Defense tree is greatly increased. There are fewer good mastery options now, but the options are just as good.

Elise Mastery Pages

  • Lane Elise
[http://i49.tinypic.com/3305ojp.png]

As I mentioned above, the Season 3 Defense tree is really awesome. In addition to the bonus armor/MR/health early, there's cool stuff like slow reduction and champion damage reduction in there. This mastery setup is great because it gives you a bit of inherent tankiness early and late, and you aren't stacking mass AP like most other AP carries so you don't need more than 9 in offense.

  • Jungle Elise
[http://i47.tinypic.com/125q7ps.png]

Jungle mastery page is very similar to top lane Elise - the main difference is the early defense masteries are geared towards jungle creeps, not enemies.

  • 21-9-0
[http://i49.tinypic.com/ieqrlf.png]

I am not a fan of this page because the extra 12 points you put in offense after the first 9 don't really give you much unless you stack a ton of AP. It's worth considering on mid lane if you really want to do more damage at the expense of dying faster, but I would definitely discourage this if you're top or jungle.


Masteries You Want

Offense Tree
  • Sorcery / Arcane Knowledge - Always take this.

Defense Tree
  • Durability / Veteran's Scars - I think these are some of the best masteries. 36 health at level 1 and 138 health at level 18 is nothing to scoff at.
  • Tough Skin / Bladed Armor - Take this if you're jungling.
  • Hardiness / Resistance - Put 3 points in one of these, depending on whether your lane opponent deals magic or physical damage. +5 resist early game is awesome.
  • Relentless / Tenacious - Almost essential for a champ that does a lot of chasing (spider form) and some kiting (human form).
  • Honor Guard - Not a great mastery to be honest, but you're heavily invested in the Defense tree so you might as well finish it off.

Runes

My laning rune page:
[http://i47.tinypic.com/vexco0.png]

Gives you a bit of extra damage to trade in lane and a bit of early tankiness. Explanations of each individual rune are below.

My jungling page:
[http://i45.tinypic.com/2nqcwno.png]

Same as above, but scaling MR is better in the jungle because they make you more tanky late game and creeps don't do magic damage. I prefer move speed for jungling so you can get to lanes quickly to gank early on and chase and engage better late.

Here's your entire pool of rune options:

Marks
Take Marks of Magic Penetration and don't look back. Same as basically every other primarily magic-damage dealing champion.

Seals
Your two main options here are Seals of Scaling Health (health/level) and Seals of Armor. I like health/level for mid because you need health more than armor for mid. For jungle, take armor. For top, either works.

Glyphs
There are a few good options:
  • Magic Resist - Helps you deal with magic poke in lane. These are great on anyone, especially jungle. If you're jungling, take the scaling ones.
  • Celerity (CDR/Level) - More damage from your Q in both forms. More stuns. More rappelling. More morphing. You get the idea. A set of these gives almost 10% CDR at level 18.
  • Force (AP/level) - Decent if you're mid and want more late game damage, but not my preference. You need the lane help early.

Quintessences
Again, take your preference. Here are my favorites:
  • Potency (AP) - In lane, your main poke damage is Q; if you're top you can also W. These quints give both those spells a bit of oomph early game. Laning is Elise's weakest phase, so having these really helps you try to keep even on trades if you're mid and wear down your opponent if you're top. Highly recommended for laning. If you're jungling, these help you a bit with her crappy jungle speed early on.
  • Swiftness (Movement Speed) - Adds to your already awesome speed, but necessary because you really need to be able to catch people in spider form to be able to kill them. Especially recommended for jungling. These runes + Rylai's make you a terror when chasing.
  • Fortitude (Health) - Helps you not die in lane.
  • Transmutation (Spell Vamp) - Extra sustain is always nice, but the other options here are generally better.

Summoner Spells

OR always.

OR OR for laning.
for jungling.

Explanation:
Take one (or both) of or . Flash is the most picked summoner spell for a reason; almost everyone runs it because that blink allows you to get away from ganks early on, set up ganks, surprise someone or escape by flashing over a wall, position yourself in team fights, and just about anything else. On Elise this helps you get out of a fight you are low in, or get a bit closer so that you are in range for Rappel or one of your other spells. Ghost is less common than flash because you don't get the surprise element and can't hop terrain, but over a period of a few seconds you cover much more ground with ghost than flash. If you play top or jungle Elise and are a fan of Ghost by all means go for it.

If you're jungling, take . All junglers need this to secure buffs for themselves and dragon and baron for their team. On Elise, Smite is even more important because she's a slow jungler to begin with.

If you're laning, gives you some kill potential by giving you an extra mini-nuke in lane and a heal debuff and bit of extra damage late game. Elise's solo kill potential is limited unless opponents stick around and get poked down, but with a jungle gank and Ignite your opponent should be very scared.

is just a great spell all around - it helps you get out of a sticky situation by slowing an enemy or debuffing them so you can duel them, and you can use it offensively in a gank. Late game, you can use it on a carry you are trying to kill or to help disable someone on you carry.

is also a great option if you're top and want global presence, because you can run down for dragon and force a 5v4 or a dragon before your lane opponent responds and teleport back to lane before they take your turret. You can also teleport to wards or minions and try to set up ganks with this. But if your opponent has two summoners they can use in lane, they have another advantage over you in lane, which hurts your laning phase. Late game, when baron is in play, you can tell your team to sit by baron while you push bot, which (if your team doesn't get caught) can lead to a bot turret or a free baron.

and are highly situational options, but if you know what you're doing and you decide one is a good choice for that game go for it. Heal can be useful to avoid dying in lane, and you can do some sick turret baits with heal + rappel. But Heal is less useful late game. Cleanse is an option if they have a ton of CC and you're a primary damage dealer (meaning, most likely if you're mid) and afraid of getting CC'd to death.

Skills

Passive: Spider Swarm
When Elise's Human Form spells hit an enemy, she readies a Spiderling. When Elise transforms, she summons Spiderlings to attack nearby foes. The maximum number of spiderlings increases with Spider Form's level.

Explanation:

Spiderlings don't do a whole lot of damage, but they are great for pushing turrets and waves and their damage does add up. Don't think too much about this, as you'll be generally using spells enough that you'll usually be maxed on spiderlings. If they die, you'll probably get your spiderling count up pretty quickly in lane. Do be aware of this with a fight impending, especially late game when you have a max of 5 spiderlings - if you have 0 and you have mana, feel free to throw your spells so you build your army.

The spiderlings AI is okay; they don't always attack the target you are attacking, but they do follow you into a bush if you go into one. When you morph into spider, there is a short delay before your spiderlings appear and can attack. Spiderlings also seem to really like dying to turrets, so remember that you can always hit R to "pick them up".

Since they walk behind you, spiderlings are incredibly useful for blocking skillshot spells, such as Morgana's Dark Binding.

Q: Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite
While in Human form: Deals magic damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of the target's current health. Damage is capped against monsters.

While in Spider form: Elise lunges to a target with a poisonous bite that deals magic damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of the target's missing health. Damage is capped against monsters.


Explanation:

Your main poke skill. It's nice for taking a chunk out of a full-health squishy or softening up a tank with little MR. A great spell all around, and even nicer because it has a flat mana cost.

In spider form, this is your finisher. Your execute. It doesn't hit quite as hard as a Lee Sin Q or a Volibear W, but it does do substantial damage.

Try to use this spell whenever it's up, especially in human form, as long as you have mana.

W: Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy
While in Human form: Summons a venom-gorged Spiderling that moves to target location and explodes, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies when it nears an enemy unit or after 3 seconds.

While in Spider form: (Passive): Spiderlings gain bonus attack speed.

(Active): Increases the attack speed of Elise and her Spiderlings for 3 seconds. While active, Elise is healed when she or her spiderlings attack.


Explanation:

In human form, this spell actually does a surprisingly large amount of damage. It is kind of a skillshot and kind of like a Maokai sapling. It can (and should) be used to give vision of bushes). It does good AoE damage, so this is your main wave clear. But it is very slow and doesn't explodes on any enemy contact including minions, so it's not worth using that much in lane if you're mid. If you're top, this is a great way to punish that aggressive Lee or Irelia that jumps on you. It does home a little, so if the enemy is too close and not blocked by minions feel free to fire one straight at him and it'll chase him on. Later on, it can be used to effectively zone people.

In spider form, this is the other half of your wave clear. It's also a bit of sustain. In jungle, it's your main damage. In lane it doesn't heal you that much, but it is free, so if the enemy lets you attack minions from melee range for free then take the free health. Late game, when you have more spiderlings and AP, you can easily get 300 health back from this. The duration is short, so make sure your spiderlings have fully spawned and are attacking before casting this!

Oh, and this spell absolutely destroys turrets. Abuse this.

E: Cocoon / Rappel
While in Human form: Elise fires a web that stuns the first enemy hit for 1.5 seconds.

While in Spider form:

- On enemy cast: Elise and her spiderlings ascend high into the air and descend upon an enemy target.

- On ground cast: Elise and her spiderlings ascend high into the air, becoming untargetable for two seconds. Casting Rappel on a nearby enemy during this time will descend upon your target.


Explanation:

In human form, this is a pretty decent stun, but it's a thin projectile and not easy to hit. In lane, don't spam this unless you're bullying your opponent and have the mana to spam this and try to go for kills. Try to save it for when your jungler is ganking or you need to make a hasty escape. In fights, I like to hold this as a clutch stun / peel unless I can hit a priority target with it (for example, sniping their AD carry after someone else CCs them).

In spider form, this is your gap closer and escape. Use this to dodge CC as well as to avoid heavy damage spells or global ults like Requiem or Enchanted Crystal Arrow. This is also your gap closer; you will come down on top of your opponent as long as they are in your circle when you cast it (even if they flash or blink away). As you're falling, you should be hitting Q to execute them if they're low. Unfortunately, once you're up in the air, you can only come straight down where you started from or onto an enemy, so if the enemies just sit under you and wait you can try to escape to a minion or jungle creep. This skill also gives you vision in the circle, so you don't need to have a teammate or ward on the other side of a wall to hop it as long as there as an enemy or minion to hop to. You can use this spell to chase down enemies, engage, or escape by jumping to a different enemy or creep.

This spell's cooldown is really really long in both forms, so make sure you are careful with it (especially in spider form). Keep in mind that if you use it as your gap closer, you have no way to escape.

Here's a little video with an example use of Rappel to escape. Our team has lost a fight, but I see a chance to pick off Rammus. When I get taken low, there is one melee minion to jump to, so I flash the side wall to draw enemies that way and then Rappel to the creep:



R: Spider Form / Human Form
While in Human form: Elise transforms into a menacing spider with new abilities. While in Spider Form, Elise deals magic bonus damage on attack and has increased Movement Speed, Armor, and Magic Resistance. Each level of her ultimate allows Elise to summon an additional spiderling.

While in Spider form: Elise transforms into a human form with new abilities. Each level of her ultimate allows Elise to summon an additional spiderling.


Explanation:


This is what makes Elise unique. You have this available from level 1. It gives you an extra bit of beefiness and move speed, so always use this when you are running around to or between lanes or camps. It also gives you a bit of damage on auto attacks as well as spiderlings, so use this whenever you're clearing waves or pushing turrets. The spiderlings don't seem like they do much damage, but it adds up, especially late game when you have a small army of them and some AP to scale them.

Skill Order

Your Q and W are your main source of damage, so you want to max both of these by level 13. The order depends on your lane and opponent. I recommend Q for most mid lanes and W for most top lanes. If you're jungling, you should always max W. Take one point in E by level 3, and at level 1 if there's going to be a level 1 fight since a long-ranged stun and then gap closer is great in a level 1 situation.

Maxing
  • Better poke damage
  • Less mana-hungry
  • Reliable source of damage, especially vs melee opponent
  • Shorter cooldown
  • Hits pretty hard with your +15 AP quints - you can wear opponents down
  • Much slower wave clear and turret pushing
  • You are vulnerable vs opponents that get in your face and can outduel your spider

Maxing
  • Big burst damage, but unreliable unless you're right on them
  • Faster pushing (absolutely rapes turrets, especially around level 11 with the extra spiderling and W maxed)
  • Can brawl better (more AS)
  • Can punish opponents that like getting in your face
  • Longer cooldown
  • Low reliable poke damage (from Q)
  • Higher mana cost - you must have one of the mana items

Item Builds

What are we itemizing for?

Well, good question. Let's look at all the stats Elise needs.

Ability Power - Because this gives her more damage, right? Right... but her ratios are only mediocre. Let's look at all of them. It's .03% damage per AP on human Q and .03% damage per AP on spider Q. This is a little bit hard to understand, so here's a graph of the scaling:
[http://i47.tinypic.com/fy3fy0.png]

What this basically means is that if your opponent has 1000 health, you're getting about a .3 AP ratio (regardless of how much AP you have), and if they have 3333 health you're getting about a 1.0 AP ratio. So what does this mean? Well, late game it's actually a pretty decent ratio (let's say .7-1.0 vs most champs), but remember this is either current health or current health missing (meaning you don't always get the whole full amount). Also, remember that you have 2 Q's, so the ratio on this skill actually scales really well.

The bottom line is that AP is great late, but you don't need it early-mid game.

Here's the quick breakdown on the rest of the ratios: .8 on human W (great, but on a hard to hit spell), .02 heal per AP on spider W (very mediocre), .2 on ult auto attack damage (OK, but you don't auto attack that much), and .1 on spiderling attack damage (OK). So they're decent across the board, but nothing gamebreaking. It's worth buying some AP, but remember - AP in spider form is useless if you get 1 shot when you get close to them. As I said above, having AP late game is needed, but not early or mid.

It's really counterintuitive, but when you stack mass AP, Elise essentially becomes an AD carry (because of her spiderlings).

Mana Regen - Since they gave Elise Q scaling mana cost and constant nerfs, Elise can't get through laning phase without some sort of mana help. Don't go overboard in this, but pick up a low-tier mana item so that you can keep up your poke through lane.

Cooldown Reduction - You have 6 valuable spells, and can change between them once every 4 seconds. You need CDR. You get your big % damage spell more often. You get more stuns. You get more rappels. You can change more often than once every 4 seconds (which feels like forever sometimes). I like to make sure that I'm maxed on CDR with blue, which means that you need 20% from masteries / runes / items. There's no need to go over 20% if you're confident you always have blue. You should be aware of the CDR cap and plan a little bit - for example, if you have CDR/level blues, you probably don't need boots of lucidity, and vice versa. Also, once you invest in CDR, each % in CDR is worth more than the last.

Magic Pen - % damage scales much better with magic pen than AP. Void staff is a core item for exactly this reason, and it's even more important if you don't get Sorcerer's Boots.

Movement Speed - Because kiting is important on Elise, as is chasing people down. As great a spell as Rappel is as a gap closer, you're probably not going to be able to use it more than once a fight.

Health - Tanky stats are important so you can actually use your spider spells. Elise scales slightly better with health than with armor/MR because she gets some armor/MR from her R...

Armor / Magic Resist - But armor/MR are still important. You'll be getting plenty of health from Rylai's (and maybe RoA), and you might as well scale that with some better defensive stats.

NOTE: If you're jungling, there's an early game jungle build in the jungle section below.

Starting Items:



A standard start for most solo laners. The speed is great for kiting early, because as Elise you get outbrawled by a lot of melee champs and boots help you kite.


This is a nice start if you know you will need sustain early on. Flask is great because it gives you both health and mana regenaration; if you know you will be poked a lot, this can help you heal it back up and trade back. It refills each time you go back to base, which ties in nicely with your awesome move speed. Not as good since they increased the cost and you can't start with a ward and this, but that was OP anyway and now the health and mana heal is increased so it's still a good start.


Still a good start against physical damage dealing ADs that you think will kill you early on in lane if you don't have the extra armor. However, starting this means you don't have boots, and are therefore more likely to get caught. If you think you'll be able to run away with boots and kite instead of tanking the damage with your cloth armor, I'd recommend boots as a better start. However, against someone like Jayce that will hit you regardless, this could be a good option.

Lane Help


You will need some form of sustain in lane. How much depends on the lane matchup and player skill. Your options are


Catalyst will help you the most in lane, but it is also the most expensive. is a fantastic all-around item, but it delays your core the most. If you think you can get by with only a flask, I'd recommend doing that. Doran's Ring is basically a mini Rod of Ages; it gives you a bit of health and mana regen and a little bit of AP is also nice. The most aggressive option is Tear; it lets you spam your skills and it's good when you finish it later on, but gives you absolutely nothing in terms of defensive stats in lane. Get this if you know you won't need the defensive stats in lane and your team needs damage later.

Boots


sorcerers-shoes

Magic pen is kind of flavor of the season right now. Combined with your , you hit really hard with these.

mercurys-treads

If the other team has a large amount of CC, treads are a nice counter for that. This stacks with your tenacious mastery, so you have close to 40% CC reduction. I usually take these if my lane opponent has a dangerous hard CC (Kennen, Riven). If your lane opponent and their jungler both have hard CC, you're almost certainly going to want these boots.

ionian-boots-of-lucidity

As discussed above, CDR is a great stat on Elise. You get more out of it than on most other champs because it gives you cooldown reduction on 6 normal spells instead of 4. It also gives you over half a second off your morph cooldown (15% * 4sec = .6sec). With blue buff, you'll have 40% CDR and no mana issues, leaving you to push your lane with W, and basically spam Q at your opponent every time it's up - they'll start getting low really fast. Don't take both and CDR runes. Currently, the magic pen route is more popular, but if your enemies have a lot of MR these will serve you better.

Core Items



Before this item, your Q is enough to be annoying, but no one is going to complain about it. After this item, your Q or W (whichever you are maxing) will chunk enemies, and they will fear you. The magic pen helps a lot early to mid game; combined with your , you can do close to true damage to a lot of champions. The extra bit of health is always nice too.


Rylai's is the most important item on Elise. You do your damage in human form, and morph to spider and... oh wait, can't catch them to hit anything. And yeah, you do have your E, but it's cooldown is super long and you'd like to save that. This item lets you stick to people, lets your spiders attack, and provides general utility. And it obviously also makes you somewhat tanky and gives you damage. Your Q's both proc the full 35% slow, and they are on low enough CDs that you should be able to stick to most opponents. This also makes it easier to land your stun. Your human W slows 15% as a multi-target spell.

Additional Damage Items


rod-of-ages


If you start with a catalyst in lane, finish it off. This item gives you tankiness, damage, and a large mana pool, and a lot of each one. I am a big fan of this item in general, but on Elise it delays your core so I don't build it as often. But it's a good choice.

void-staff


I've talked about how awesome magic pen is. Against opponents with a lot of MR, this is better than. Since the season 3 magic pen changes, it's not bad to have both.



Finish off your . This is not a priority, but do upgrade it eventually.

rabadons-deathcap


Deathcap is the most important item on most AP champions, but Elise's ratios are mediocre enough that you benefit more from other stuff. Still, if you like doing huge burst damage, it's a decent item for her.

abyssal-scepter


Ability power, more (effective) magic pen, and magic resist? Hell yes.

zhonyas-hourglass


Ability power, armor, and another invulnerability? This works great with your Rappel, as you can do some huge baits and jukes.

lich-bane


It's easy to proc on Elise, and in season 3 the new Lich Bane is set up so that you don't need massive AP to make it cost effective. It's a good item, but I find that there is usually something else I want more.



If you got a tear, this or Muramana are your options. I prefer this since you're in the enemy team a lot and a fat shield is always nice. Muramana synergizes great with your Qs, but doesn't go well with your other spells. Seraph's also gives you a bunch of additional AP so you can take down their squishies fast.

Defensive Items


glacial-shroud


Buy it for the CDR and armor, and be happy with the extra mana. In my opinion, upgrading it to can be postponed until after you have other important items. When you upgrade it, you lose the passive you get from the other component. Get this right after your Rylai's if you need armor.

guardian-angel


Huehuehue never die item. Late game item which you should buy when the next fight will probably decide the game. There are situations when everyone has one of these, and if your game is one of those then you should join the club and grab one of these too. When your build is maxed, sell this item when the active is down and rebuy it when you have it up.

banshees-veil


If the enemy team is magic damage focused, may not be enough. This would be a good extra MR item to have.

warmogs-armor


Because you have % damage, you will always do some damage. You're better off being tanky as hell with little AP then being a glass cannon that dies to a sneeze. I believe Warmogs Elise is popular in Korea right now.

sunfire-cape


This gives you health, armor, and a pretty decent passive that helps you push quickly. This item is very fotm, but it is still a good pickup on Elise. You can build this against heavy AD comps.

Utility / Aura Items


philosophers-stonekages-lucky-pick


If you want to play really passively and wait for late game, GP5s aren't a bad option, but I think there are generally better options. But if you like GP5s, these are both good for you, and build into useful things.

runic-bulwark


A great item all around - it's usually built on jungle or support, but occasionally top. Make sure someone gets one.



This item's active is great for engaging, disengaging, kiting, or chasing.



Builds out of your Kage's. A not-very-expensive item that gives AP, MR, and a medium-range engage.



The sheen is nice. The glacial shroud is nice. The slow is very nice. Take your pick between this and . I usually prefer that one because of the big health pool and I prefer slowing the enemy to the region since Elise is more of a single target assassin, but they are both good options. Don't get both, since the slows don't stack.

Early Game

Note: If you are jungling, see the jungle section below.

If you are playing top lane, you have a chance to really take control of your lane and zone your opponent. If they are a champ that likes to sit back, max your Q so that you can poke them with it all game - while mids can trade with your Q, most tops can't. If they like getting in your face, max your W. If they jump on you, you can generally Q+W (a decent chunk of damage, especially when you get to levels 8-13) and then choose to continue fighting (spider form W) or disengage (stun or Rappel or walk out). If possible, throw a spider Q on your way out. If you have one of the sustain items ( or ), you can be a bit more aggressive trading. Farm up until you get your ; it makes your Q and W poke actually quite substantial, and that's when you get scary. Elise's auto attack damage is really crappy and takes some getting used to, so you can switch to spider to last hit if you find that easier and can do so safely.

Elise's mid laning early on is somewhat weak. You generally want to be in human form, because being a melee hero puts you at a huge disadvantage mid early game. As great a spell as your Q is, it's not enough to trade with combos of most currently popular mid laners. You generally want to try to Q them as much as possible (obviously not if it means losing trades). If you get a clean shot when they are close to you with no minions in the way, feel free to fire off a W, but otherwise that spell is usually not worth the mana. Try to save your stun for jungle ganks or when you really need it, unless you think you can get a kill or force them out of lane if you hit it (rare early on, as you don't have that much damage). If they are not good at standing behind their minions and you think you can land your W consistently, go for it.

For the love of god, if you and your jungler are planning a level 2 gank, take at level 2. You can easily get a kill without your W, but it is very difficult to get a kill with no E.

In either lane, be careful being aggressive early on, as minions will often sway the fight in their advantage, but your all-in combo would be stun + human Q + spider mine (W) + transform and go in. If your jungle is ganking, try to get close to them so that you can use your Rappel and execute them even if they flash away, saving your flash in the process.

Another combo you can use is to start in spider form, E on them and use Q (it won't do much damage), then morph to humans and throw all your spells on them. This is a guaranteed engage, and you have the downside of doing less damage instantly but you can still morph to spider later to do more damage and possibly finish the kill. This is also good for baiting fights, because when you go into spider form you often bait out attacks or spells.

As long as you have the mana, there's nothing wrong with sending a spider mine into a side bush to scout a jungler if you don't have it warded.

Elise is a strong roamer and ganker, but I'd suggest waiting until you have at least and to do that.

Mid Game

At bare minimum, you need and .

Mid game is where you should be trying to accomplish as many as posible of the following objectives: start to take control of your lane, roam to get kills on other lanes or the jungle (preferably without losing your lanes), push down turrets across the map, and secure dragon.

Once you have some of your core items, you should be able to push your lane or jungle camps fairly quickly using your W spells. I discussed how to gank above; if you push your lane, you can roam from top to mid, or from mid to top or bot, and try to pick up kills or snowball other lanes. Giving up top turret (or some health of it) for dragon is a common trade mid game; you should do this if you think your lane is lost anyway, or if you can win the lane even after leaving for a couple minutes. Ideally, you would have already won your lane and shoved it further, allowing a safe dragon. If you're jungling, you can donate your buffs away to your solos or carries, although if your mid doesn't need blue it's nice to be able to keep it for yourself. And until you have , red gives you some nice sticking power.

At this stage, you push turrets very quickly once you are level 11 (with level 2 ult, TONS OF SPIDERLINGS, a few points in W), so if anyone leaves turrets undefended use your speed to get in there and knock those down.

When you gank a lane that isn't yours, start in spider and Rappel straight on the enemy (in a 2v1, this is generally safe to do). Get a Q (spider bite) off, then morph to human form. Now that you're at close range, you should be able to land your stun easily, so follow this up with your human W+Q. Hopefully your teammates will have also been doing some damage. If the enemy is still alive, go back to spider form ASAP. Your spider W will still be up and your Q will be up again, so hopefully you will be able to finish the enemy off.

If someone is ganking your lane, you can either use the combo above, or an alternate version starting with human. I prefer the latter if the ganker has some reliable CC, allowing you to hit your human Q+W and then reliably hit your stun from range. If you can hit your stun from range, this is a huge advantage, because you can change to spider and get on the enemy without using your Rappel, meaning that if they use an escape like Flash you can still follow them without burning summoners.

Here's an example of Elise's counterganking potential. With my friend in trouble, I jump on the enemies attacking his egg, stun Malphite when he jumps back on him, and use Flash to pick up the kill on Morgana.

Late Game

Late game is about finishing off the win for your team, which means this stage of the game is dominated by team fights and Baron Nashor.

Your core items are (in addition to boots):


So with these items, you have a fairly substantial health pool, one big MR item, and one big armor item. Tankiness? Check. Damage? Check. A permaslow so you can kite and chase? Check. The magic pen and CDR are icing on the cake.

Generally, at this stage of the game, you want to stay with your team, because getting caught can lead to a baron or an inhibitor. Try to catch out enemies with your stun if you can, but if you catch a tank, make sure he is completely alone before going in on him. Too many games have been lost by a team thinking they have caught a tank, trying to focus him down, and then getting initiated on while all their big spells are on cooldown.

If you have , this is your time to shine. With your item core and skillset, you will be able to either duel or escape from almost all enemies. The bottom lane split push when baron is up is one of the most difficult things for a team to defend. If they send someone for you, you can teleport into baron, and it's a 5v4. If they try to force baron, you can teleport into a 5v5 when they are in a bad position. And if they stand around indecisively and do nothing (as is often the case), you can push bottom lane and increase the pressure on them to commit to one course. At this point, you will take down turrets in the blink of an eye. Your pushing power, turret killing speed, escape ability, and 1v1 duel ability make Elise with one of the most lethal split pushers in the game.

When you are defending your turrets, try to keep poking W. If you can stun their carries from range, your team may be able to initiate on the enemy team.

When pushing turrets, try to poke with your W. If the enemy team backs off for enough time to let you morph to spider and use your W, they can kiss their turret goodbye.

When your team decides to Baron (and this is a guide to Elise, not a guide to LoL), you should usually be alternating tanking it because your spider W gives you sustain. Keep spamming your human and W spells on it, and if you're the jungler, make sure you last hit it with !

Team Fights

This is the hardest and most important part of Elise. You need to be aware of exactly how you are playing her, how well you are doing, what items you have, how important you are to your team's success, and who the priority targets are on the enemy team. There are 2 wrong ways to team fight Elise:

1) Sit behind your tank line. Fire Q, W, and E at enemy tank line. Sit back till all your spells come off cooldown, and repeat.
2) Morph to spider, hit E and click on a random enemy, and mash all buttons furiously as you land in the instant before you die.

The problem with #1, obviously, is that you're not using half your spells. If you are a pure AP carry that built straight AP items, this is the safe way to do damage at a distance. And you will do damage. But why are you playing Elise? There's plenty of APs that fit this style of play way better than you.

The problem with #2 is that... well, you're basically useless unless you take forever to die.

DYou can play similar to either of these, but you have to be smart about it. For example, if you are squishy and the enemy team has a lot of CC, it's fine to sit back while your spells are on cooldown - but make them count the first time. Fire your Q at whichever high-health low-MR target is in range. Try to use your spider mine to zone the enemy carries by sneaking it by their tanks or sending it some other path. Even if you are mainly using human form, be opportunistic - if you see an opportunity to jump in and grab a kill and think you can do so safely, go for it! And don't just burn your stun on the tank because it's the only spell you have off cooldown and their tank is the closest to you. Unless it's needed to peel someone off your AD, try to use it on a priority enemy.

If you are a very tanky Elise - you've done well in the jungle or top lane, you're kind of fed, and you already have your Rylai's, Abyssal, and Frozen Heart, and maybe you're the main initiator on the team - try to engage with your stun or someone else's long range CC instead of burning your Rappel right off the bat. With that said, if you think you could do the most damage if you just jump straight in and you're tanky enough to not get focused down, go for it. Again, you need to be very, very tanky to initiate, or when you jump you'll just get CC'd and killed instantly.Jump straight on their squishies and give them hell. Elise can do a lot of damage with not a lot of AP items (that's the power of % damage and magic pen). If you jump on their AD and then Q+W them from human form, that could take them down to half and make them run, allowing you to switch to spider and hunt them down for the kill.

Most of the time you'll be in between one of these extremes. You generally want to start team fights in human form so that you can use your Q when people are high and your W as much as possible. You generally want to end team fights in spider form so that you can use your Q when people are low and use your superior speed and chasing abilites to hunt down survivors. But these are guidelines; break them all the time. Morph between the two often as you see fit. When you are squishy, try to kite for a while until it is safe to go in. When you are one of the main tanks, don't jeopardize your team's chances in a fight by being afraid to go in.

Elise is particularly terrifying in jungle fights, because your Rappel grants you vision of the nearby ground and you may be able to isolate and pick off a squishy. Good wards can also allow you to start fights by hitting clutch stuns.

The short version of all this: Make sure you're aware of what your role is on your team and make sure you fulfill it. Since you have long-ish cooldowns, make each spell count, but also try to keep putting out damage instead of hoarding your spells.


Because of her base damage and skillset, I find that even if their AD carry is fed and I am not, with a glacial shroud, Rylai's, and haunting guise, I can often 1v1 them. If I think I can burst them down before their team peels, I wait for my tank to soak the first round of spells and jump straight on the AD carry, and then immediately go to human form so I can hit my stun + Q + W (+ ignite). You will usually do all this before their team realizes "oh shit, my AD carry is down to half health already and has an army of spiders on him". Morph to spider form as soon as you can and start attacking, remembering to use your W to deal damage quicker and your Q to execute them.

Jungling

You usually use a standard route, starting with wolves and blue. You want to take W first and max it first, taking one point in E whenever you first gank but and taking Q when you can't take W. Open each camp with a spider mine, a human Q, and an auto attack or two, and then morph to spider form when the creeps start attacking you and use your W (once your spiderlings have engaged!).

As long as you have the mana, you get the fastest clear with Human Q+W, morph, spider W+Q, and keep repeating this. Basically keep using all your spells once they're off cooldown.

Elise jungle speed is kind of slow, so make sure you get a good pull early on. But she is a great ganker out of jungle. The mid game chapter above has advice on how to gank lanes with Elise.

As far as jungle builds go, I'd recommend starting . You want to get your literally as soon as possible, because it does wonders for your jungle speed. You should eventually turn it into a . The rest of the build would be similar to the laning builds.

Final Comments

A lot of this guide was written based on extensively playing Elise on the PBE. The early results on the main client are promising; I've done well most games with her, although her lane presence is very meh. But once you get your Rylai's and start roaming / kiting / wrecking she's a ton of fun and very powerful.

I will continue to release updates for this. Please leave me comments about this guide, especially if you downvote - I'd like to know what I can improve on :).

Matchup and video sections coming soon!

Comments

April 23, 2013 - 08:40 AM #1

Athene's is decent, because it does give you a decent amount of CDR. If you really plan on spamming your spells go for it, but I usually don't get it because it delays your haunting guise / rylai's core. It's better mid than top though, since the extra MR usually helps some. Sorry for the late response!

April 10, 2013 - 09:05 PM #2

what about athenes? would that be good on elise mid/top?

March 21, 2013 - 10:34 PM #3

Well done guide mate!

I want to share my own retrospective High Elo

Season 3 Commentary + Setup for AP Mid ELise!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFuXurC2vq0



Enjoy! :)

PS: You can add this video to your guide if you think its cool feature.

February 17, 2013 - 09:01 PM #4

dammnitdan - Basically any setup that involves most of your points in the offense / defense tree is viable. The one you posted would certainly be fine. Especially with the most recent nerfs to her mana, a few utility points might help.



I'm not an expert on the masteries, but block seems like it's kind of useful in some lanes and tenacious seems useful every game. But I'm sure someone has done the analysis on that.

February 8, 2013 - 10:05 PM #5

what do you think about a 11-15-4 setup?

in offense i took 4 in cdr and one in last hitting (personal preference)

defense tree was 3/3 armor, 1/1 safeguard(reduce tower damage), 2/2 relentless(slow reduction), and 3/3 tenacious(tenacity)

utility tree was mana regen and flash summoner



is block(autoattack damage reduction and champion damage reduction) more beneficial toplane or tenacious?



and thanks i enjoyed your guide :))

February 2, 2013 - 01:41 PM #6

really good guide mate , nice work =)

January 28, 2013 - 12:52 AM #7

@TheCompte - Sightstone isn't a fundamental need for junglers, but I agree that spectral wraith is a much better choice for her. I tend to think that the spirit stone upgrades aren't that good so I don't usually upgrade them until late in the game, but I haven't played a lot of AP junglers S3 so I completely forgot about spectral wraith. That would be efficient for Elise, but I'm still not sure if it's worth rushing it since it would delay your Rylai's so much and I don't think the spell vamp is absolutely essential.

January 24, 2013 - 03:27 PM #8

Subskill's question about MPen vs AP quints reminded me of an argument I saw. I can't remember where I saw it but it basically suggested that early game the % health components of Elise's Q are small compared to the flat damage components (enemy health values are low) and so the early game damage bonus from MPen is actually more significant than the scaling from AP runes. Since Elise generally stacks MPen it would therefore be the better choice at all stages of the game.



The logic behind it seems good but I guess it would need testing to determine if the MPen really is stonger early game or not. I don't know how valid it is to assume that they would scale into mid game either as you might find Mpen marks and items already mean you're dealing true damage to most enemies.

January 21, 2013 - 02:22 AM #9

Very good guide. Just wanted to make a couple comments, notably on the Jungle section.



First of all, if you get just a little help on wolves and blue, you really don't need 5 pots. I usually start with 2 and a ward, that I place to protect either mid or top. Second, junglers fundamentally need a sightstone. Third, high AP Elise may be a little weak mid game, but more than makes up for it late game. I get spectral wraith notably because of the added spell vamp.



Mid game ap scaling is only particularly weak her q. On her w, it's pretty solid. And I (at around 1200 elo) can land her w most of the time (or at least force them away from my adc), so I wouldn't call it unreliable.



Final note, I don't think you stressed enough quite how important it is to be constantly changing forms. Here is my standard combat skill order, starting in human form: e q w r q w e (wait) q r e w q at which point, if need be you can almost repeat the whole thing.

January 20, 2013 - 06:55 PM #10

Holly shit, finally somebody explained thing about her ap scaling. Well done, excellent guide.

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