Syndra Build Guide by FalseoGod

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League of Legends Build Guide Author FalseoGod

Balls to the Walls: a Syndra Guide

FalseoGod Last updated on February 12, 2014
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Build 1 (Cheat Sheet)

Champion Build: Syndra

Health 1784
Health Regen 16.8
Mana 1150
Mana Regen 37.09
Armor 131.5
Magic Resist 82.06
Dodge 0
Tenacity 0
Movement Speed 400
Gold Bonus 0
Attack Damage 105
Attack Speed 0.838
Crit Chance 0%S
Crit Damage 0%
Ability Power 504.85
Life Steal 0%
Spell Vamp 0
Armor Penetration 0
Magic Penetration 22.83
Cooldown Reduction 30%


Recommended Runes



Ability Sequence + Notes

1
3
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
4
14
15
17
18
Ability Key W
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R

Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tenacious
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 9




























Welcome to my Syndra guide! If you are interested in knowing how to play Syndra, then surely you find interest in learning a high skillcap champion with a really strong laning phase, who also brings a lot of damage and good utility to teamfights if you play her smoothly.

Syndra is an Ability Power Carry who brings damage by both casting and manipulating her Dark Sphere. Her single target damage is remarkable, and her kit is meant to allow her to stay in the back of a fight until an opportunity arises to blow someone down with Unleashed Power. She is frequently compared to Orianna due to her mechanics, although they have some essential differences.

You want Syndra in your team when your front line is sturdy. Syndra has great synergy with meat walls like Cho'Gath or Leona, who can either use her target displacement with Force of Will/ Scatter the Weak or give her clearer shots with their own CC. You also want Syndra if you got strong peelers in case the enemies are too mobile, if their midlaner has short/medium range range ( Ryze, Evelynn, Annie) or even versus some long-ranged ones ( Orianna, Lux).






Pros:
+ Great laner;
+ Good CC (slow that increases with passive;knockback that can stun);
+ Strong single-target damage and AoE damage;
+ Rewarding to learn;
+ Awesome design;
SPACE
Cons
- Vulnerable to high mobility;
- Three abilities are skillshots, dodgeable;
- Can be hard to teamfight with;
- CC not as obvious as that of other midlaners, so people won't always followup;
SPACE







These are the Masteries I currently use with Syndra. Not being sure what's 100% optimal yet, I'll give you a walkthrough for my options:
Offense Tree points:
- I feel like it's all standard on champions like Syndra; most picks are AP-Oriented, Butcher is kinda bad on her because her only non-AoE farming tool are auto-attacks and everything else is the best alternative;

Utility Tree points:
- Favor Fleet of Foot or Meditation depending on your personal preference;
- The rest is also pretty standard, your main goal with Utility is getting Runic Affinity ;








Marks:
  • The obligatory choice, for early game penetration to bypass some magic resistances;





Seals:



  • You want Armor if laning versus an AD Caster (such as Talon);
  • Scaling or flat mana regen help you with Syndra's pre-fix mana issues (preferably scaling);
  • Scaling or flat AP increase your damage output, in case you're confident about your mana management;





Glyphs:


  • Flat MR for defenses versus magic damage;
  • You may consider scaling MR or AP/Scaling AP if you know you're against an AD in lane and have Armor Seals





Quints:

  • Flat AP increases your power in lane;
  • One or two movement speed runes can help you travel around the lane while casting spells, as well as retreating from ganks;





Flash

A great disengage if Scatter the Weak is on CD, good to pick kills, juke, etc;
Ignite

Helps finish off kills in lane, as well as picking a kill here and there throughout the game;
Barrier

A great option versus harder high-burst lanes like LeBlanc, helping you survive her burst;
Teleport

If you feel Ignite isn't necessary, nice for some power ganks due to Syndra's power;






A thing you should note about Syndra is that all of her abilities apart from Unleashed Power can be cast while moving. This means you can be a lot more of a bully when you learn to path and connect her skills, as well as run and leave spells behind without worries. It is also recommended that you smartcast all of her abilities since it'll facilitate moving and casting simultaneously - as well as a more responsive ability chain - but it's all up to you.

Transcendent
  • Increases each of your skill's power whenever it is maxed: Q for more damage, W for prolonged slow, E for wider cone and R for bigger range
  • Makes your level 9 power jump with Dark Sphere very relevant


Dark Sphere
  • Basic harass tool in lane, all your abilities revolve around this skill
  • Abusing this early game will push the lane and leave you out of mana. Practice harassing without hitting many minions

Details



Force of Will
  • Setups easier Dark Sphere and Scatter the Weak hits
  • Can help you chase/run due to it's slow
  • Hitting an enemy unit in the fog of war will reveal this unit temporarily
Details


Scatter the Weak
  • Long cooldown cone knockback
  • Hitting a unit with a Dark Sphere using Scatter the Weak will stun that unit
  • Helps you become a farming machine
  • A good way to setup lane kills, usually allowing a free Dark Sphere and Unleashed Power
  • Hitting an enemy unit in the fog of war will reveal him temporarily
Details



Unleashed Power
  • High Damage spell, but requires you to have some Dark Spheres around in order to get full effect
  • The new spheres can be easily be subjected to Scatter the Weak for a potential AoE stun fiesta (higher chance with Max'ed E)
[*] You can get an extra sphere if you cast Dark Sphere immediately before the ultimate (casting animation hits and then the sphere is tossed)
Details







  • Unleashed Power is obviously maxed first due to it's burst damage
  • Dark Sphere is maxed second due to damage increase through level, Transcendent and because it's a spell you will spam a lot both in lane and while poking the enemy/teamfighting. It also has the lowest cooldown of the remaining abilities
  • You will usually max Scatter the Weak third due to it's utility, but do remember the wider cone makes it harder to calculate Dark Sphere projectile direction. Also, it provides great wave clear;






->

Basic method to peeling someone from you or another friendly champion.




->->->->

Your basic lane kill combo, which takes some time but you can usually pull it off after some practice versus most opponents. You may skip Force of Will if you think you got a good Scatter the Weak cast.




->->->->(->))

Unleashed Power ultimate powering up, requires practice and CDR. You cast the first sphere, a second and immediately grab the first with Force of Will (which will reset the sphere's timer), then you cast another Dark Sphere as you throw Force of Will and finally cast Unleashed Power. You may then Scatter the Weak for multi purpose stun.

Being able to pull this off is great, it's something you should practice since it'll teach you to manage a lot of things at once, but do not overstress it: it can be interrupted, make you forget your positioning coz you'll be all EUREKA BALLS! Scatter the Weak can be cast between any part of the combo (if done fast) for the perfect setup stun.




->->

If you cast all these spells while moving, you can usually pull off Scatter the Weak on the sphere you just tossed with Force of Will, getting an almost guaranteed stun.




->->(and/or)->

A good teamfight combo if you want to takeout a decent offtank or frontline assassin, brings in a lot of damage and the balls from Unleashed Power can allow multistunning with Scatter the Weak.














Starting Items


or




  • Standard season 4 options, the first intended to give you lane presence and harass power, the second versus AD gap close matchups with good early game damage;
  • You may start Null-Magic Mantle versus huge bursters ( LeBlanc), since it builds into Chalice of Harmony;
  • If starting Cloth Armor, you may replace one or two health pots for mana ones;

Starting Items


or









First Recall
or or
  • If everything goes well, you should be able to go ahead and get your chalice of harmony, since all of it's stats are great on Syndra;
  • You can get up to three Doran's Ring and skip the early chalice for something more bursty (dfg, rabadon, zhonya) if the lane went bad. If you're afraid of the lane but it hasn't gone downhill, you may also consider a Catalyst the Protector for a rod of ages, although this is a real exception;
  • The Armguard is a continuation of warding yourself against the power of mid ADs;
First Recall
or or





Main Items to Consider
  • After your mana fixer, you want to rush a Needlessly Large Rod. It's upgrade will depend greatly on what you're facing;
  • Deathfire Grasp gives you CDR, AP and a great active. It's a priority unless lane phase is already over and you have difficulties moving about in teamfights. If so, consider deathcap;
  • Zhonya's Hourglass rush can be good versus high mobility teams (think Diana/ Lee Sin), AoE comps or AD-Focused comps. Also good to survive Requiem;
Main Items to Consider






Other Good Survivability Choices
  • New Blade of the Ruined King and the Liandry buffs have made Warmog's a sort of less reliable defensive item. Check your opponent's items and decide if Warmog's Armor or Guardian Angel are better - it'll depend if they have a lot of max hp% abilities or items;
  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter is also a nice item on Syndra, especially because the slow, albeit short (due to AoE), can help her pick someone up with Dark Sphere and immediately pin them with Force of Will without big dodge chances, giving you a potential initiate right there. Picking this versus teams without too much mobility is usually a decent choice;
  • Banshee's Veil is good versus some situational engage CC, such as Rocket Grab and Event Horizon. Quicksilver Sash is ok but most of the things you want it for shouldn't really be hitting you anyway (Skarner/Malz/Mordekaiser ultimates);
Other Good Survivability Choices
[/center]





Honorable Mentions
  • Liandry's Torment is pretty decent on Syndra, although it cuts her burst a bit. You could consider against comps with a lot of HP, but most of the time you'll prefer Void Staff;
  • Abyssal Scepter can work versus high-mobility APs (diana, akali, fizz) to increase your resistance and damage;
  • Morello is a nice early game item as well, with a decent passive. However, paired with you usual items (Athene's/DFG) it overkills in terms of CDR, so you're better off without it unless you desire to replace Athene's;
Honorable Mentions






As said in the pros/cons subsection, Syndra is a generally strong laner. She has a huge zone due to her range and her auto-attacks are very responsive for last-hitting or harassing. Her skillset puts a lot of pressure on your opponent - even long ranged ones - and, if well managed, can allow you to harass and keep enemy junglers away.

Syndra's lane power peaks once at level 6 with the acquisition of Unleashed Power, and once again at level 9 with the maxing of Dark Sphere (further power spikes usually are past lane phase, such as level 11 and 16). Versus squishies, a full level 9 rotation usually means certain death. At level 9, Syndra also becomes an even stronger pusher, specially with crest of the ancient golem or Chalice of Harmony. Take it as your job to apply pressure from level 1, but always keep Scatter the Weak safe up until you ABSOLUTELY need it, for it has a long-ish CD and ganks are always a possibility.

When pushing alone, I recommend saving Scatter the Weak and spamming Dark Sphere (unless your mana is at a risk]], in case a ganks comes in. This gives you both a disengage or an engage if they are squishy and you have Unleashed Power.

Also remember that mid laners can and should roam a lot. Keep your mid lane warded on both sides of the river (around wraiths entrance and enemy blue buff entrance). Remember to create your first Dark Sphere as you enter the lane you're ganking so you can Force of Will it and Scatter the Weak for the stun. You may consider other approaches by measuring your botlane comp versus theirs.





When teams gather, remember you can poke them. However, you are no Nidalee; always remember to stay out of range of their big initiators unless you have the right defenses. Blitzcrank, Jarvan IV, Malphite, Amumu, etc can all lock you down before you can even cast a single spell.

During the fight, always think how you can best use Scatter the Weak and Unleashed Power. The "kill the carry" thought is always nice, but the carry isn't always available, and sometimes taking out a strong damage dealing bruiser like Jax or Riven is halfway towards a victorious teamfight. Remember that Dark Sphere is usually easy to hit during these fights so get some good ones.

If you used Unleashed Power, consider Scatter the Weak for the followup AoE stun, remember it has ~1400 range with the spheres. Other good uses of StW is peeling yourself, your carry or stunning a single target. Force of Will too can help peel, should it be required.





  • Syndra does exceptionally well versus low mobility short ranged mages. She can bully them around with her skillset without many issues and overall perform better than them in lane;
  • Avoid taking risks either way. Be aggressive but patient;
  • Many of these laners will attempt to roam (TF, Eve) since that's how they play during lane phase. Try to pressure them hard, keep them behind and force them to stay or lose the tower. You may also try to roam, although often you won't be able to cath up with them;/list]

Medium
  • Most of these are decided by skill alone. It is a matter of timing Scatter the Weak to stun/knock Katarina when she decides to ult and counter-ult, a matter of measuring opportunities to finish the job or when to stay back. Pantheon can be deceivingly easy, but do remember your autos have a lower range than his stun paintrain combo, so farm with skills if necessary. Pushing hard also helps, since he's really mana thirsty early on;
  • Yasuo is 100% a skill match. Your Q isn't blockable and you can still play around his engages, disengages. Stun + insta ult is nearly unblockable. Remember to use autos to pop his shield early game;
  • New Xerath still has a pretty nice zone but only his W is actually harder to dodge (hence making the rest of his kit harder to dodge as well). Just poke him down and abuse your movement + cast potential;
  • A few of these are easy lanes but on champs that can bring more than you to fights. Such an example is Orianna, whom you can hurt a lot in lane but can still change things due to her utility;
  • Lissandra is a very special matchup, you really have to evaluate the player (aggressiveness, mechanics) and remember that her ult can ignore yours completely, so you either ult after stunning her or after she ulted;
  • We also have burst wars, such as Veigar or Viktor which will depend solely on knowing when to go in or get bursted before you can do jack;

  • Mobile high burst champions usually hurt Syndra a lot. You need to build really smart and manage your kit REALLY well versus these, or they can easily snowball on you;
  • A few of these you can screw early game by pushing hard with skills and harassing now and then. LeBlanc is such a champion;
  • Others, like Akali, Diana or Kassadin depend a lot on how you do before their level 6, and how you build to fight that power and mobility increment. Akali, per example, can be hard denied early if you do smart, and your burst with Unleashed Power may dispatch her before she gets kills;





Thus my guide reaches it's end: Syndra is a champion that rewards investment. She might require more games to understand than many other champions, but in the process tarts exhibiting her strong potential.

Hopefully, this guide has brought you one step closer to carrying through faceballing.





My sincerest thanks to:
  • Jhoijhoi, Astrolia, LaCorpse, MissMaw and GrandmistressD. I learned a lot about how to make a guide look appealing and reader friendly thanks to them, some due to guides, others to the way they put their content.
  • Polsemanden for making me check that my favorite Syndra guide was no more and for the awesome "balls to the walls" title. MissMaw for making me take it further (got nerfed tho).
  • Any reviewer who contributes towards the betterment of the guide.





25/01/2013: Published (unleashed guides are fun. You should try it sometime.)



12/04/2013: Changed Muramana according to a recent patch.




03/06/2013: Added Lissandra to the matchup section.



03/06/2013: Content tweaks.


13/12/2013: S4 and Patch 3.15.


07/01/2014: Guide title nerfed.


07/01/2014: Patch 4.2 barely did anything, still Xerath updated.