What are we itemizing for?
Well, good question. Let's look at all the stats Elise needs.
- 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:
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).
- 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.
- 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.
- % 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Magic pen is kind of flavor of the season right now. Combined with your
, you hit really hard with these.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Ability power, more (effective) magic pen, and magic resist? Hell yes.
Ability power, armor, and another invulnerability? This works great with your Rappel, as you can do some huge baits and jukes.
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.
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.
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.
If the enemy team is magic damage focused,
may not be enough. This would be a good extra MR item to have.
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.
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
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.
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.