Elise Build Guide by sua1ty
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Recommended Runes + Notes
Starting Items + Notes
Ability Sequence + Notes
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Masteries + Notes
So, this is my take on Jungle Elise. At some point in the future, I may consider adding a Top/Middle version to the guide for people who want it. Before I even entertain that idea, I think their are plenty of good builds already on this site for that specific role, so I don't really see the need for it on my guide. I want to stress up front, that I think Top/Middle Elise is extremely viable, so please do not be under the impression that I think it is bad. I have seen and played both roles and know they are excellent for her. With that being said, I feel like my Jungle guide to Elise is rather unique and powerful. As with all my builds, I want my Champion to fill its role and do so in a competitive manner. I use this build in ranked games and am never disappointed, so I thought I'd share it with you guys.
I might as well say this up front as well, I build Elise as a Hybrid Off-Tank. These pictures below are the two different builds that I have crafted for Jungle Elise (I made these stat sheets using Leaguecraft.com because Mobafires champion specs have been down for a good bit now. Oh and there are some extra stats on here that I have never seen on Mobafire, so that's a nice perk as well):
As I like to mention with all my guides, if you have any questions, comments, recommendations, etc.. don't be afraid to private message me or leave a comment below.
***Update (02/03/2013): Added another picture to the results chapter showing a nice result of Hybrid damage.
*Also wanted to note that the new patch that came with Season 3 didn't have barely any effect on Elise. Yes she got a small nerf by increasing the cost of her Neurotoxin, but a small buff by reducing the cost of Cocoon. Ultimately, nothing severe.
***Update (02/13/2013): Made some revisions (almost primarily to the Items chapter and build) and updated the guide. I should have some more scores to put up soon.
***Update (02/14/2013): With patch 3.02 now live, there has been a very small change to the build. Iceborn Gauntlet has had its CDR reduced to 10% from 15% so I go over some options on what to do with that change if you want to retain the missing CDR.
***Update (02/28/2013): So I added some stuff to the Items, Runes, Masteries, and Jungle chapter (along with a few other little things here and there). The biggest additions were probably to the Jungle and Item chapter. I added some pretty detailed stuff that will hopefully help out new Elise players. As for my pictures on the site, I think I exceeded my bandwidth with Photobucket, so I will work to resolve that issue as soon as possible, sorry for the inconvenience for the time being.
***Update (03/11/2013): I added another build that I'm playing around with right now that really lets me capitalize on my early leads. I'll be sure to add some more details in the near future on my results with the new "Snowballing" build.
Alright, we'll follow up the Intro with the Mastery selection chapter. I would like to think that my Mastery build is quite unorthodox compared to most other Junglers. I'll spend a little extra time on this section to elaborate on my decisions. If you don't like my Masteries, you can use any standard Jungle Mastery selection for Elise, she is extremely versatile.
As I mentioned briefly in the Introduction, I build Elise Hybrid. If you took a look at my Masteries, you will see exactly what I mean when I say Hybrid. I stack all the way down Deadliness to Weapon Expertise AND all the way down Blast to Arcane Knowledge to get as much Hybrid Damage and Penetration as possible. Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge go really well with the Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration that we will talk about later in the guide (under Runes). Last but not least in the Offense tree, I end on a Spellsword for the extra punch. Spellsword adds about 5 damage every 100 AP, but don't worry, I have an entire paragraph of the Masteries Chapter dedicated to a few other options to put that last point into if you don't like it.
In the Defense tree I stack the good ol' Summoner's Resolve first. I think the extra 10 gold per use is awesome. I mean sure, if you really want, you can put the point somewhere else, but getting free gold out of Smite just seems like a must have for only 1 Mastery point. Next I grab Durability , Hardiness , and Resistance to get some really solid defensive power for my early ganks (and jungling of course). Obviously, I finish off my last 4 points in Veteran's Scars and Juggernaut for that extra Health/Survivability.
Despite the nerf to Iceborn Gauntlet that came with patch 3.02, this is still completely up to the players preference. I typically go with Fury to get as much as I can out of my auto-attacks, but Sorcery is great for getting in that last Skill shot etc.. The extra attack speed early will help you get through the Jungle faster and the extra cooldown reduction will potentially, let you use more spells per fight early to mid game. Regardless, late game you are still at least hitting 30% CDR with your Items alone, so you can just pack a 250g Elixir of Brilliance or Blue Buff to get the rest of the cooldown reduction you want for the big team fights.
vs vs vs
As I mentioned earlier in this Chapter, Spellsword only gives about 7 extra damage a hit if you go with the AD build and ~17 if you went with the AP build. Bare in mind, this is with the full build (maxed items), so early game you will be lucky to get 3 extra damage out of it with the AD focus and a hopeful 9 with the whole AP bit. If you don't feel like that is explosive enough for you, or just not even worth it in any way shape or form, the next two options that I would suggest are Destruction and Safeguard . Safeguard in particular is actually pretty amazing for Elise, because you know every now and then you are going to have to dive a tower to get that kill. Destruction is also nice for obliterating towers and potentially split pushing later in the game (rush your Iceborn Gauntlet and Manamune if this is the case).
I have just recently started packing Exhaust on Elise for that early game ganking power. Don't get me wrong, Flash is a great SS for any champion, Elise included, but as I play her more and more, I find myself almost always able to escape using her Rappel alone. Another thing people might be thinking is, "Well, she has a snare in her Cocoon, so why would you also need a slow in Exhaust?" The answer is, Exhaust + Cocoon = higher probability of securing the kill. I came across this logic trying to gank top lane over and over again, failing sometimes even after landing the snare. Ultimately, its going to come down to preference, but I thought I would at least fill you guys in on what has been successful for me lately.
Another option, not one I particularly suggest, would be to take three points out of Resistance and put two into Tough Skin and one into Bladed Armor for that extra push early game while Jungling. I'm not going to list every single possible option, but I'm sure there are many others that work just fine for Jungle Elise, its up to you, these are just my top suggestions.
Hopefully that gave you guys an idea on how and why I build Elise the way that I build her. Now I will repeat, you can go a really standard 21/9/0 or 9/21/0 build (among others I'm sure) and still do great with Elise. Don't be afraid to try new things.
Moving on, lets go over my Rune selection. With few exceptions, I use pretty standard Runes.
Upon first building and playing Jungle Elise, I heavily favored the Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration on her. Then, through more and more testing, I found myself going the Greater Mark of Attack Damage pretty much every game. I started playing with the Greater Marks of Attack Damage again while trying to get a Wriggle's Lantern start to work for a commenter. To be honest, I can't really say one is better than the other. I mean technically, the Greater Marks of Hybrid Penetration would be better late game per cost effectiveness, but they can be a bit lacking early game compared to the Attack Damage. The difference is very minute, almost unnoticeable in fact, but it is definitely big enough to make it worth noting. To sum it up, go what you want here. Personally, I'm going with the Attack Damage for the AD build and the Hybrid Pen for the AP build, but that's just me, go with what you feel here.
Greater Seal of Armor
This is pretty typical of any Jungler. You want an early game boost in your armor to make it through the Jungle easier. Not to mention, late game you will take as much armor as you can get to battle all the Armor Penetration and Attack Damage from the Bruisers and ADC's.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
This is also pretty standard for any Jungler. Throughout the game you are going to be tanking a lot of damage of all sorts. AP damage can be relatively high in burst, so these runes will be nice in the late game team fights when they're maxed out. One more thing I want to mention on glyphs, is when I made this guide, Iceborn Gauntlets gave 15% CDR, and now they give 10%. With that being said, you are at exactly 30% CDR from Items alone, with another 4% available in the Masteries if you want to sacrifice the Attack speed. So if you want to be able to attain maxed out CDR (40%) with this build, I would recommend getting 6x Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, 3x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist, and 4 points into Sorcery . Or of course, as I mentioned in the Masteries Chapter, you can just buy an Elixir of Brilliance or steal an enemy Blue Buff .
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed and Greater Quintessence of Health
I go 2x Movement Speed Quints and 1x Health Quint. I only want a small amount of extra movement speed and a little edge in Health. My reasoning is obviously for early ganks and overall survivability, but some people may go all +health, or +movement speed, or +attack damage etc. There are always tons of options with Quints, but I've gotten all I need out of this combination here. I have to put a bit of emphasis on the Movement Speed Quints, they really make people play honest early game if they want to survive your ganks.
Just because this is what I use, doesn't mean you can't mix and match/splash something different here or there. For example, Greater Mark of Attack Speed/ Greater Mark of Attack Damage is pretty good for any Jungler, so if you feel more comfortable with either of those over my hybrid penetration Marks, by all means go for it. I'm sure a lot of people are like me when it comes to Mobafire guides, you see a pretty good guide minus that one little thing, so you revise it and make it your own. Always good and fun, just +1 the original in these cases. ;]
In this chapter I'm just going to talk a little about each Ability that Elise has, the overall function/purpose that I have found with it, and the order in which to prioritize each ability. Towards the end of this chapter I'll talk a little bit about the order in which to perform her "rotation" and why.
Basically, in Human form your spells are generating Spiderlings for when you transform into Spider form (a maximum of two spiderlings at level 1, three at level 6, four at level 11, and five at level 16). These Spiderlings are only with you in Spider form, but they can be used to tank some of the damage while Jungling. You have to kind of learn a little dance with them, but its really not that complicated and it really helps you early game to save on using your Health Potions. These spiderlings Attack Damage actually scale with your Ability Power (40 + 10% of your AP).
Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite is Elise's percentage based damage ability. Fully leveled they deal 230 damage plus 8% (+3% per 100 AP) of the targets current health in Human Form and 230 damage plus 8% (+3% per 100 AP) of missing life the target has in Spider Form. That is obviously extremely important to know. What it means is, in Human Form, you will be doing more damage the more Health the Target has and visa versa in Spider form (more damage the more health is missing). In the current environment, 4000-4500 HP tanks are pretty standard, and they can be quite the problem. However, Elise doesn't really care how much life they have overall, she just takes a straight percentage of health away with this ability each time she uses it. These moves are very powerful and incredibly harmonious with one another.
Now, because of how much damage you are potentially capable of with this ability, its priority number one to level. Combined with an item like Liandry's Torment or Deathfire Grasp, you can really push your percentage damage over the top.
Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy is a great ability, with immense utility in Human form and insane damage output in Spider form. Volatile Spiderlings can be used to face check grass areas, deal AoE damage, and clear minion waves out quickly (especially when built Hybrid AP). Skittering Frenzy on the other hand is a bit of a flip from its Human form counter part. Skittering Frenzy has a passive that increases Attack speed of Elise and her Spiderlings. It can also be activated to increase it furthermore for about 3 seconds. Upon activation, it also allows the Spiderlings to heal Elise with each attack.
This is priority number two on the Ability leveling list. Fully leveled, you get 25% increased Attack Speed flat and 140% increased Attack Speed on activation. Combined with Items like Blade of the Ruined King or Muramana you are going to be able to really make dents in your opponents health regardless of how much Armor or Health they have.
While Cocoon is a skill shot, if you land it early game when ganking, the target is more than likely going to be grey screen (dead). Rappel is another great utility spell for Elise, similar to Volatile Spiderling, but in a slightly different way. Rappel can be used to get to an opponent running away, get away from opponents trying to gank you (if enemy/neutral creeps are nearby at least), reveal grass areas in its range, or best of all, completely evading some of the most annoying ults in the game (like Karthus).
Another really nice thing about Cocoon / Rappel is that you only need one point into it to get the full effect out of it. Literally as you level it, all you are doing is decreasing the cooldown by 1 second each level in Human Form and 2 seconds each in Spider Form. So obviously, this item is in last place on the priority list.
Well, even though you start off with this ability, its still technically Elise's "ultimate." Basically, you have Human form where Elise is a Ranged caster and Spider form where Elise becomes a Melee bruiser. In Human form, all of Elise's abilities cost Mana and in Spider form, everything is free.
I pretty much always run around in Spider form for the additional movement speed, but I start every fight in Human form. The reason for this is simple, I use my Caster spell rotation and finish the target off in Spider form with all my fresh new spells. This only makes sense, Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite synergize like that. In Human form, Elise can cast Neurotoxin to do its most potential damage on the target while his health is still high and then switch into Spider form and have Venomous Bite do its most potential damage now that the target has lost health.
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I figured I would add a Skill Rotation for Elise in this chapter of the guide. I have to mention up front that some time you aren't going to be able to go through any particular order, so just play smart, but if you can finish the whole sequence, more power to ya.
With that being said, this is the standard rotation for Elise in each fight (especially clearing Jungle camps):
I throw the Volatile Spiderling out first because it takes a while to get where you are slinging it too some times, but yes technically Neurotoxin should be the first ability to hit the target in order for you to get the most potential damage out of it. I follow up with Spider Form / Human Form and proceed to bite them to death with Venomous Bite and Skittering Frenzy (to put it plainly lol). Every now and then you will have to switch out of Spider form in the middle of the fight and toss some more Neurotoxin's and Volatile Spiderlings their way to refresh your Spiderling Minions from Spider form.
If you have to start in Spider Form, the rotation doesn't change, you just have less actions to choose from. At the end of the day, you want to start every fight in Human Form and quickly switch into Spider Form after you use all your relevant Human Form Abilities.
Using Rappel and Cocoon are very technical in the rotation. In fact, I would go as far as to say they aren't even part of the rotation at all. Neither cause damage, but they both have multiple purposes. They are utility and should be used as such. Lastly, just to touch on it again, Rappel can be used to dodge some real damage, so use it VERY wisely.
Here is the way that I build Elise:
I don't recommend going Hunter's Machete into some kind of Wriggle's Lantern or Spirit Stone build. I go Cloth Armor so that I can go directly into an early Warden's Mail, which ultimately allows you to dive towers early. The first time that I go back to buy items is anywhere between 750g and 1050g. This will allow you to buy Boots of Speed + Ruby Crystal and a few Health Potions (Sometimes even your second Cloth Armor or a Vision Ward if you were at the higher end of the gold spectrum).
As suggested in the comments by Nyadnar17, I'm going to include this small Item tutorial on what to prioritize when going back early game as Jungle Elise:
1. 475g (game start) = Cloth Armor + 5x Health Potion
2. ~800g (1st trip back) = Boots of Speed + Ruby Crystal
3. ~1000g (2nd) = Giant's Belt
4. ~1200g (3rd) = Catalyst the Protector + Null-Magic Mantle / Cloth Armor
After my third trip back, I pick one of the options below according to who I am going against:
5. ~1400g = Warden's Mail + Mercury's Treads
6. ~1600g = Rod of Ages
7. ~1400g = Glacial Shroud
So essentially, you are building towards this: Mercury's Treads, Rod of Ages, Giant's Belt, and Frozen Heart
Early to Mid-Game Items:
This is the least you are looking at for your Mid game items. Anything else you can throw on their or whatever you can complete by that time is great, but you should at the very least have this. As I mentioned a little bit earlier in this chapter, with these items you can tower dive and confirm some kills for your laners. Never over-extend, but don't be afraid to take some tower shots if you are going to get the kill and have over half health.
So this is the core of the build. From here, you can go down whichever path that you want (AD/AP) while still maintaining the solidity shown by the stats/images in the introduction (over 3k Health, 3.5k Mana, 275 Armor, etc..). Personally, I like the AD Hybrid more than the AP, but I don't think either is better/worse than the other. Preference preference preference.
Muramana is pretty insane on Elise all by itself. It gives great damage from the Passive, but when you activate the Toggle, you are dealing an extra 200+ damage every attack and single target spell cast. Now of course, as your mana starts running thin (about half) you are going to only be doing about 100 damage extra. So in other words, toggle wisely or steal their blue buff. ;].
I use to prioritize Blade of the Ruined King over Frozen Mallet because of the percentage damage. If you can start the fight with a 10-15% life swing from your Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite combo and then follow up with a continuous 4% off of their current Health every auto-attack, you are going to start to look very fierce. The Activate and 10% Lifesteal is nothing to ignore either, great sustain in those awkward 1v1 engagements late game, but things have changed for me recently. While BotRK still does job just fine, I have began to go with the Mallet over it. Me and my brother (who play test builds of ours quite often) found that around mid game, it hurts to not be able to go back and grab a 1k gold Giant's Belt. All in all, it just flows better with Elise to grab the mid game belt and have the greater survivability late game.
Seraph's Embrace has the same synergy for AP as the Muramana has for AD. It ties together all the Mana you've been accumulating from the items like Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet putting you at 1900 mana from just those three items alone. Add in Rod of Ages and the Mana that comes with eighteen levels and you get some 170 Ability Power from Seraph's Embrace all by its lonesome. Last but not least, a 900 point shield whenever you're in a pinch can really make the difference. Realistically, this item + Rylai's makes the AP Hybrid build tankier and harder to deal with than the AD Hybrid build (because of the shield).
I use to go Liandry's Torment over Rylai's Crystal Scepter, because lets face it, Liandry's speaks for itself. It is obviously an amazing Offensive item for Elise. More percentage damage? Magic Penetration? Ability Power? AND Health? I still recommend going this item if you are snowballing hard, but for those games where you actually have to pick the entire team up by yourself and carry them across the finish line.. I suggest going with a mid game Giant's Belt so that you don't get a hernia in the process. Ultimately, I'm just using the same excuse here as in the AD build above, that mid game belt flows so well.
I have a few other options for Situational/Preference Items listed under each Build's Item section, but if I were to change out my Frozen Mallet or Rylai's Crystal Scepter it would more than likely be for one of these five. Randuin's Omen adds some really nice survivability and additional presence in team fights. Blade of the Ruined King adds some big percentage damage, life steal, and an awesome Activate. Maw of Malmortius has always been nice for me on my off-tanks and bruisers because of how low they tend to get and still survive. Oh, and the Lifeline on Maw can be a real life saver. Liandry's Torment is kinda like the AP version of Blade of the Ruined King for this build, great for its damage, Health, and AP. Last but not least, Zhonya's Hourglass, which is really nice for Elise as well.
That about wraps it up for the item chapter, so if you have any questions, or if I didn't cover something that you think would be really important to talk about, please tell me.
Jungling in and of itself with Elise is pretty easy/self-explanatory. I feel that the real problem with most people who go "Jungle Elise," is their Build (Masteries, Runes, and Items). So I wont be spending too much time on the actual Jungle patterns of Elise, they are completely normal. As in, she can start Red, Blue, Wolves, Wraiths, or Golems and still not be behind, she is a very fast and effective Jungler.
Now as far as Skills go, I start off with my "W" / Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy. While in Human form, you throw your Volatile Spiderling at the creep camp, and immediately switch into Spider form and use your Skittering Frenzy. Next, you obviously get your "Q" / Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite. Once you have your Toxin/Bite, you start to see how quickly and efficiently Elise can clear things. Remember, when she is in Spider form, on top of being tankier and faster, she doesn't use Mana like she does in Human form.
Some people who were using this guide were having some trouble getting through the entire Jungle as Elise without going back. I will do my best here to explain the process in which you are to use Elise and her Spiderling's in combat so that you take minimal damage from the Creep Camps:
(This Pattern applies to level 2+ for Jungle Elise, level 1 you should be having some lane help you clear your first camp and first buff camp. Regardless, you cast Volatile Spiderling, switch into Spider form, and cast Skittering Frenzy)
2. Still in Human Form, cast Neurotoxin at the strongest creep
3. Change into Spider Form
4. In Spider Form, cast Venomous Bite at the strongest creep
5. Still in Spider Form, cast Skittering Frenzy (target strongest creep)
6. Still in Spider Form, cast Venomous Bite to finish off the strongest creep
7. Still in Spider Form, cast Skittering Frenzy to finish off the smaller creeps
8. Change into Human Form, kiting away, but not resetting the camp
9. Still in Human Form, cast Neurotoxin
10. Still in Human Form, cast Volatile Spiderling
11. Change into Spider Form, and repeat steps 4-7
Once you reach level 5+ you don't have to waste mana on casting Neurotoxin on the creep captain, but if you are trying to clear as quickly as possible, or if you have blue buff, obviously it won't hurt.
Starting off at blue buff is probably the easiest or at least, the most solid start for Elise. She can start off at wolves, followed by Blue buff if you have a team that understands whats going on, but its really not even necessary. Elise clears the Jungle very quickly and has great sustain in the Jungle, especially after her first trip back to buy. Nevertheless, an early blue buff is going to make your first 4 levels sail by insanely fast. Oh, and just like any other good Jungler, every blue buff afterwards goes to Mid.
Starting at Red:
Starting off at red buff is fine too, especially if you can situate your spiderlings to take some hits in the middle of the fight (I go over how to do this above in the 1-11 steps). I use to not start red very often, but as I became more and more aggressive as a Jungler, I do all the time. As is the case with most games, it all depends on if your team is going to cooperate with you or not, because if the other team comes in to counter you and your team is nowhere to be found you are real dead. Especially if you start off with Exhaust over Flash. The higher you climb the ladder, the more help you will get from your team. Last thing I want to mention here is, don't be afraid to ask your team to help you with whatever buff you want, most the times they will help, they are just in dream-land waiting for the game to start haha.
If you are on a team that knows what they are doing and they want to invade, you may want to start Elise off a little bit differently. "Q, Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite" or "E, Cocoon / Rappel" are probably your best bet, because its better for ganking. Your team is going to help you take the buff and what not afterwards so that you can get to level 2 quicker and get the appropriate starting skill/ability. Elise isn't the best jungler for invading, but she can definitely get the job done. It doesn't hurt to start off with Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy while invading for the utility of revealing brushes without face checking, but Cocoon can do the same thing while also snaring the target. Do what you feel is best.
That really sums it up as far as I know for Jungling. If you have any question on Jungling that I didn't answer, go ahead and ask me in a message or comment below.
I always like to have a "Results" type of chapter in the build so that people can see that I'm not just doing this all on paper, saying it looks good, and then making the guide off of no actual in game experience. I also want to point out that I'm not posting these scores to brag or anything stupid like that, this is just to show the consistency and strength of the build.
This first image is to show why I build Elise Hybrid (I'm sure I will post more screenshots in the future or upon request, but these should be good enough for now):
Now, as you can see here, the damage is split pretty nicely down the middle, even after rushing a Rod of Ages in all three games. The early Rod of Ages explains why my Magic Damage gave a bit more overall than my Physical Damage did. However, if I stopped at Catalyst the Protector and went for an early Manamune, it would have been the opposite results (slightly more Physical Damage than Magic Damage). I do want to mention that if you can ever get in a game where it lasts more than 35 minutes and you can get the full build going, you do eventually start to see a good bit more Physical Damage than you do Magical Damage.
In concluding, I must urge all Elise players to try this build out. I thoroughly enjoy using it on Elise and stand by it very confidently. In testing this build (the Masteries, Runes, and Items), I have found it quite good on multiple champions (such as Yorick, Blitz, Ezreal, and a few others) so I will more than likely be making a guide that talks about how small variations of this Frozen Heart, Iceborn Gauntlets, and Tear of the Goddess can be used on just about any Mana using champion. As for the guide, I hope it was insightful and helpful. Please don't be afraid to leave any comments, suggestions, etc.. Thank you for taking the time to read it.