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Lissandra Build Guide by HoogieFletz

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HoogieFletz

Lissandra - The Ice Witch

HoogieFletz Last updated on January 24, 2014
Guide Top

Introduction

Hello all, I'm Hoogiefletz, Eu-NE player, and this my guide to Lissandra - the Ice Witch.
While keep playing with this new champ i will constantly update and upgrade this guide and i will do as much as i can to cover as much info as possible.
Please feel free to share your opinion about my build to help me improve the guide.

Guide's main goals:
+ Fully understand the mechanics of lissandra, maximizing her potential.
+ Understanding your items choice for lissandra, and analyze the game situation for best picks.
+ Being relevant for all skill levels, this guide is aimed to help players from all tiers, no previous LoL knowledge required, i tried to simplify things as much as possible.





I hope you like it, have fun :)


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Pros\Cons

The pros

+ Extremely mobile.
+ Harcore ganking ability.
+ Hard CC.
+ High damage output.
+ Useful in team fights.
+ Fun to play.
+ Good farmer
+ Awesome built-in chasing\escaping ability ( Glacial Path)
+ Damage output is not mainly relied on ultimate.


The cons
- Can be mana starved if passive is not utilized wisely.
- Very high cooldowns.
- Considered squishy.
- Somehow item depentand.
- Skillshot abilities.
- Passive is somehow useless at late game.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9
Why Greater Mark of Magic Penetration?
The more magic penetration you have the more damage you deal, best choice out of the other marks since flat magic penetration is much more useful than little AP bonus.

Why scaling per level AP over flat AP seals?
With quick calculation, the scaling per level runes gives you the same AP bonus at level 6-7 as the flat AP gives, in my opinion the bonus 10-15 AP at level 1 wont do much difference anyway compared to the scaling AP which triples it late game.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health - After thinking and calculating, I've decided the the best seals would be scaling health, defense and magic resistance might be an equal pick but it is depended who you are facing against, compared to health which is good vs. every kind of opponent.
AP seals are just too low scaled into late game and definitely not efficient as 175 health at level 18.


So why flat Greater Quintessence of Ability Power??
With quints this works a little different, the scaling AP quint wont exceed by much the flat one, the total difference in the end of max utilizing the scaling quint is just about 12 AP (at level 18), I think it is worth to pass on that to gain that little early advantage.



Other options
As you noticed, this guide prioritizing offensive gameplay, if you prefer a little more solid option, you can swap the glyph or the seal with flat magic resistant runes (glyph swapping means less AP more MR, and seal swapping is less hp less MR than the glyph)
Greater Seal of Magic Resist Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Why flat over scaling per level?
This will help us the most in the very early game and the scaling per level runes just wont do the job in the right time.


After hearing some new ideas in your comments, i think this might be a good option that worth mentioning:
Greater Seal of Armor, Since we might face alot of AD casters ( Talon , Kha'Zix , Zed and more) in the new meta this one becomes a considerable pick, also helps to reduce auto attacks damage even versus AP opponents plus helping us to tank wraiths camps more easily.


Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration - In my opinion mana hunger issues are way overrated on Lissandra, our passive solves this problem at the early game phase, and at the later stage we got enough items that support our mana sustain. Anyway, Do not get this one!


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Masteries

Standard AP caster masteries, The only doubts we might have is swap our defense tree with more utility.
Bottom-line, for solid game-play as you can see i chose the defensive tree over the utility,
and for the glass-cannon build i chose the utility for a little more sustain and aggressive laning.


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Summoner spells


Those are our top choices.
Ignite - Since we're going for offensive game-play, this is a natural choice. Helping us to secure early kills and enhances our trading capability.

Flash - Goes both for offensive and defensive use. our Glacial Path + flash will making every chase successful and will make you ungankable.


Other good choices
might be good for beginners, gives us a little sustain and trading boost. You can also consider replacing with Barrier for the same reasons, might be ever better for trading since heal is reduced by enemy's Ignite


not one of my favorite, but might be useful. enhancing your ganking capability and gives you global presence feeling.


Can be useful to secure successful hits. can help both chasing and escaping.



Never get those -
Clairvoyance - Usually goes for supports, useless for us.
Cleanse - You have enough abilities to survive when focused.
Ghost - If you want to enhance your chasing\escaping capability, just pick Flash.
Clarity - Not the worse pick, but I still dislike it because we are aiming for the offensive path and this spell is nothing but sustain which also becomes even less efficient in late game.
Smite - We are not junglers.
Revive - Probably the most useless spell, Even if we die, Teleport will be a better option to get back to your lane faster.


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Abilities Explainations

-
Every 18 seconds, Lissandra's next ability costs no mana. Cooldown reduction does not affect Iceborn, but the cooldown is reduced by 1 second whenever Lissandra impairs an enemy's movement with an ability (does not apply to movement-impairing effects from items).

This passive is so helpful when harrasing at early game, we can stay on full mana permanently if we use it wisely. less efficient late game.

Note:
When passive is available we can use our abilities even when we have lower mana than required.
I've seen some confusion about it, people thought that we need to have enough mana to cast the spell and the passive prevent the draining, but in fact we can have 0 mana and still cast the spell.

-
Throws a spear of ice that travels in a line and shatters when it hits an enemy, dealing 75 / 220 / 245 / 180 / 215 (+65% of ability power) magic damage and slowing its Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds. Shards then pass through the target, dealing the same damage to other enemies hit (but not slowing them).

Main damage and harras tool for all game long, Cooldown is very low but the mana consumption is might be problematic at early-mid game. We max is first because its very reliable damage source, low cooldown and good AP scaling. in short:
* Main damage tool.
* Low cooldown.
* Long range (when properly used)

-
Freezes an area around Lissandra, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies and rooting them for 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4 / 1.5 seconds.

Awesome ability, very decent damage which is really easy to land successfully, rooting the target for 1-1.5 sec which is just perfect for escaping\chasing, great synergy with Glacial Path
(teleport to target and root him), In short:
* 1-1.5 sec AOE root.
* High cooldown
* Enemy is rooted but still able to hit and cast spells.
* High damage and good AP scaling.
* Easy to successfully hit.
* Great farming tool.

-
Casts a claw of ice that moves forward in a line, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to all enemies hit. Reactivating this ability transports Lissandra to the claw's current location.

The skill which makes us truly overpowered, its a built in chasing\escaping ability , awesome synergy with all of our kit, its more utility than damage but the damage is still nice.
Since the high cooldown, save it for the perfect moment.
To confuse enemy or open a bigger gap for escaping shoot Glacial Path to the opposite direction of the one you are running to while you keep running, in other words, get as far as possible from the final destination of the shot before pressing E again.
* Perfect for escaping and chasing.
* Goes troughs walls
* Very easy to confuse enemy.
* High cooldown

-
Enemy Cast: Freezes target champion solid, dealing 150 / 300 / 450 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and stunning it for 1.5 seconds.

Self Cast: Lissandra encases herself in dark ice for 1.5 seconds, becoming untargetable and invulnerable but unable to take any actions.

Dark ice then spreads from Lissandra's target dealing 150 / 300 / 450 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to enemies. The ice lasts for 3 seconds and slows enemy Movement Speed by 20%.

Our ultimate, very bursty and useful on team fight, a bit tricky but not really hard to understand, there is 2 ways of using it, on our selves, or on the enemy, if you cast it on your self you will become untargetable for 1.5 sec, and on enemy cast you will stun for the same duration.
if you find your self in a sticky situation self-casting will be a smarter choice, otherwise, maximize the stun utility.
* Very high cooldown at early levels.
* Awesome synergy with Zhonya's Hourglass - Up to 4 seconds of being untargetable.
* Awesome damage and ap scaling.
* Decent cast range.
* Very large AOE cover.
- TIP: For instantly self cast without worrying about where your cursor is hold alt when casting. in short- for self cast hit alt+R, That works with every self-castable spell or item.
- TIP: - When diving to turrets, we will prefer self casting, if we wont hit any champion with our damage after the 1.5 sec, the turret will focus minions thanks to the untargtable time. (btw, works with Zhonya's Hourglass as well)


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Skill Sequence - and why?

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Frozen Tomb - Always pick when possible (6\11\16) - boosting the damage, reducing the cooldown.

Ice Shard - We max this first mainly because of the cooldown, the damage output is pretty similar to our other spells, this one is more reliable hitting as well. Will be our main damage tool all game long.

Ring of Frost over Glacial Path - Why?
Both of them are having pretty high cooldowns and the damage is similar.
After testing both paths i've decided that Ring of Frost's damage is much more reliable and easier to successfully hit, since the damage and the scaling are the same on both skills, and the utility of Glacial Path remains the same over the levels, unlike Ring of Frost which increasing root duration.


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Combos and team-fighting

I saw few of the commenters pretty confused about doing the spells in the right order in order to maximize their damage output, i'll try to clear that out.

In lane, random trades etc:

The basic:
First, we hit our Ice Shard, we will always open with it since the low cooldown, even if we miss we can have a second chance in about 4 sec, than we hit our Glacial Path and we press E again to teleport to target, and than we use our Ring of Frost.

in short:
-->-->-->


When you want to involve your Frozen Tomb in the combo, i will never open with it as first spell, unless i need the stun\untargetable urgently. its basically can be used at any time you feel you need your stun or untargetable time , the most efficient use will be after the whole basic combo.
in some situation like chasing someone or anything you feel that might fit, we can save our Glacial Path unused and hit our ulti earlier than get closer and hit Ring of Frost.

Important Tip: - When diving to turrets, we will prefer self casting, if we wont hit any champion with our damage after the 1.5 sec, the turret will focus minions thanks to the untargtable time. (btw, works with Zhonya's Hourglass as well)


In team fights:

Dont initiate, Never dive in alone with your Glacial Path, i know its tempting to dive in and spam all your spell and thinking that our 1.5 sec of untargetability will save us. in fact, its not working well and we will die right after.
spam your Ice Shard, it has a long range so we are able to fire it from safe distance, when you see that the fight has began, this is your time to make our ulti, dive in with Glacial Path, than hit Ring of Frost, of course keep spamming your Ice Shard.
The Frozen Tomb might be tricky and it really depended on the situation, i will always prefer the stun utility, unless i have to save my self with self-cast.

Important Tip:
Sometimes its hard to target your self with the cursor in the team fights, if you want to self-cast quickly without a chance of miss clicking or you somehow lost your self hit ALT+R
ALT+R will automatically cast the spell on our selves.
BTW, That works with every self-castable spell or item.


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Gameplay

Always try to hold the blue buff, 20% cooldown and infinite mana regeneration will be more than OP on Lissandra , i assume that no one can be hold the blue buff more efficiently than a mid ap carry, and especially Lissandra with those high crazy cooldowns. This tip goes for all game long.


Early game:
Our main goal is farming, make sure you last hit as much as possible.
Under turret: 2 shot from turret to melee minions, than 1 auto attacks, 1 turret shot for the ranged ones.
Make sure you utilize the passive whenever possible, use it to harass, secure farming or pushing if necessary.
We have very high harass potential thanks to our passive and long ranged Ice Shard, keep in mind that we have extra range when it hits something. try to hit as less minions as possible to prevent lane pushing, only last hits and direct Ice Shard hits.
Do not waste Glacial Path on harassing, it has a very high cooldown and without it we are really vulnerable to ganks.
After getting level 6, our ganking ability will be much stronger, easily possible to secure kills if some lane is over extended, so always keep your eyes open on other lanes.

As Lissandra most players would be afraid of you early game, which would be great, but there will also be a lot of players, who are there to bully you out of lane, you can't go straight 1v1 when both of you on full health, the cooldowns are way too high to do another burst rotation in 1 trade, we need to harass enough so we can go in on full trade, however i do not recommend go on a trade before level 4 when we have level 2 Ice Shard and all of our other abilities.


Mid-Game:
Mid game usually starts when players start to roam and when the outer turrets have been destroyed, at this point, Never ever go alone, and always stay with your team mates. anyway, This is when we truly shines, We should have our 2 core items and our burst damage can 100-0 squishy targets with full combo.
Always look for pushed lane with a bunch of minions for easy farm with Q+W.
little skirmishes might be happening often so it's better to always have your Glacial Path and not just throw it in minion waves.


Late-Game:
At this point, the game will mainly be a team-fight game, always stick to your team mates, never solo on roam at risky areas, if you are dead your team just lost her main damage source and fight-changing crowd control.
Again, blue buff is really helpful, with our other items we should be at max CD value (40%)!!
My main tip is don't die, do anything to stay alive, don't go stupid trades, or roam without a point, don't push alone and always keep your eyes open for over pushed large minion wave waiting for you to be cleared.
When team fight is about to happen, stay in the back, since we are one of the main damage source in team we will be focused more than others, remember to use your Zhonya's Hourglass's active, so many players forget to use their active items and this one is a life saver.
Be smart when using your Frozen Tomb, self-cast may become a life saver when focused or getting mispositioned.
Always aim for getting the baron, i do not recommend doing it when the enemy team is all alive, wait to have at least +2 more champions alive than the enemy team.
More info about team fighting can be found at "Combos and team-fighting" chapter.


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Glacial Path - Useful teleport spots


Glacial Path is very versatile ability that becomes really handy when used properly, knowing the following spots will help you to improve your ganking ability with surprising and passing over wards.
Escaping trough blue buff, shortcut for top lane, passing over warded river.
Work on both sides pretty much the same way.


Nothing special actually, good for opening a bigger gap when escaping, regular flash not pass this wall if not used carefully, most of the flash-like abilities wont pass it, but with Glacial Path it shouldn't be hard at all.



Pretty basic escape mechanic, work from the higher ground to the lower and vice-versa, same goes for the baron area.



Very good spot to gank overpushed bot lane, you can come from the jungle if the river is warded, very surprising spot.


From this spot you cannot be seen by the mid-laner, exploit it.



Another basic escaping mechanic, if you pull this off when running away you are certainly safe, especially if you confused the enemy with running the opposite direction.


This one is my favorite, very good for turret defense, passing a warded river and ganking overpushed\diving top laner, another surprising spot.


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Glass-Canon explaination

Lissandra has a very high burst potential which sometimes goes unfulfilled when going for sustain and tankiness at early game, when you go for glass-cannon you are more able to maximize the burst potential that you hold with Lissandra, this build is appropriate when you got some early kills and you feel that you are ahead and you want to snowball, which Lissandra doing it awesomely from what i've seen.
In this build, we are on high risk high reward path, requires higher skill cap than the regular itemization path, and we should play aggressive from early on.
I do not recommend using it when you fall behind early game, snowball can also go the negative way.

In short -
+ Funner gameplay, in my opinion.
+ High risk high reward style, if you got something like 0-3 you this build is not worth it anymore.
+ Higher damage output, almost no defense.
+ Generally used at solo-queue and not ranked games.
+ Harder to manage, requires constant position awareness.


About early items -
We're aiming for Chalice of Harmony first, we can start with Faerie Charm x2 and x3 Health Potion, which is my favorite, or we can get only 1 Faerie Charm, Sight Ward and mixed health and mana potions.
the opening which i wont recommend is open with Null-Magic Mantle.

After that, get the basic Boots of Speed, and rush Needlessly Large Rod, if you didn't get your early kill that you should have done already, now you got a big AP boost that enhances our early burst big time.
Rush your Rabadon's Deathcap right after, and than its your choise whether getting Athene's Unholy Grail, or Zhonya's Hourglass, personal preference and mainly depended on your farm, good farm you go for Zhonya's Hourglass, just another great ap boost.
About the Sorcerer's Shoes, i never rush them, usually after the Rabadon's Deathcap, unless i got exactly 1600 gold for another Needlessly Large Rod already, i trust you to consider it by your self.


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Core Items explanation


Pretty trivial, more magic penetration means more damage. you can delay the purchase if you want to rush your Rod of Ages




This item is just great, gives us the tankiness and sustain we need in the laning phase thanks to Catalyst the Protector , We need the tankiness since our abilities kit force us to dive into the battle sometimes and we need to survive some sticky situations.
The AP bonus is pretty mediocre but we will solve it at the moment we get our Rabadon's Deathcap



As other AP carrys, Rabadon's Deathcap will be our core item, giving huge boost to our damage output.
I recommend farming 1600 gold if possible to buy Needlessly Large Rod first and than the rest, that would give us a huge advantage on lane.


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After the core

Ok, so we got our core items, what's next? we got various options and it is really depended on the game situation, let me collaborate:



- Awesome item, if you are confused about the game situation and you're not sure what you should buy, this will be our natural deviance.
Gives us very high AP boost, pretty good amount of armor and the awesome passive has a great synergy with our Frozen Tomb, 4 sec untargetable(!!!), enough said.
I would recommend getting the Needlessly Large Rod first if you are getting this item in the late game, We're in the late game phase and tiny pieces of Seeker's Armguard wont be felt, plus considering that we're also short of free item slots.



- Good choice if you feel like you need more magic resistant. this will also provide a nice passive that will also give a little boost to our damage, the passive will be more effective than Void Staff when the enemys are having less than 85-100 magic resistant, keep that in mind (not sure about that? - get Void Staff!)



- Enemy stacked a lot of magic resistant? this is our answer. this is a MUST versus high magic resistant stacked. If you are having doubts whether to choose Void Staff or Abyssal Scepter, than Void Staff will be more solid decision.
I personally always getting this items since the great synergy with Liandry's Torment and Sorcerer's Shoes.



- Very nice AP bonus, 10% cooldown reduction, and the nice active.
This item gives us very nice single target burst (thanks to the active), very good HP stackers.
Get this if you are fed and you want to go extra offensive, otherwise, i think we got some better picks to make.



- Another nice item that might go well with our build, ENORMOUS amount of cooldown reduction with a pretty nice ap bonus, the passive is a very helpful vs hp regeneration champs (like Dr. Mundo and Master Yi). I usually pick this item only for the passive if the situation requires it, otherwise, Other items will be more viable.



- This item is like a permanent blue buff, gives you the ability to just spam your skills without running out of mana. the enormous cooldown reduction is extremely effective on Lissandra This item might be a good pick when you need a lot of mana with your team line-up (poking teams), i would say this item is more utility and defense than offence and you should consider this fact according to how the game goes.
I almost getting it every game mainly because of the cooldown reduction.


- This item is a may be game changer. when you hold this, enemies will automatically less focus you which is what we need as AP carrys. gives us some nice defensive bonuses as well besides the passive.
This item works really well on thanks to her quick re-positioning abilities that will maximize the effectiveness of coming back to the battle without dying again right away.




has a great synergy with our kit (built-in slow) since the double passive effect. giving you more magic penetration, some nice hp boost and of-course the awesome passive, enough said.
I would complete Haunting Guise first (and not double Amplifying Tome or any other possible combination).



-
I personally don't like this item, i always feel like there is always a better option.
this item is not giving much until its completely purchased since Sheen (which covers around 40% of the item's full price) is not so efficient.
If you like this item, its a viable choice despite i personally dislike it.


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Never get those!

- Very arrogant item, the loss upon death is too heavy to make this item worth it. players tend to be tempted buying it after they are doing well in the early game, this may lead into a big success, but in most cases it ends in the loss of our advantage after a death or two.


- Tear of the Goddess is too hard to be stacked with our cooldowns, since we don't have enough mana and the cooldowns are too long in order to get this full stacked quickly. Plus, this item is a huge delay to our early damage output.


-
All our abilities are AOE, means the spellvamp is much lower, the damage output is very low and we have enough sustain with our other items.
Since we're not getting Hextech Revolver, we also wont get Will of the Ancients, this item is a much less efficient than other late game choices.


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Smartcasting

Smartcasting
I hear a lot of confusion about this issue, there is a lot of information about it in many guides,
I will try to simplify it generally, so, first of all, what is smartcasting?
quoted from lol wiki -
''Smart cast automatically casts the selected ability at (or towards) the current mouse cursor position, as if you had first pressed the ability button and then left-clicked at the target position. Smart cast works for self-buff abilities, targeted abilities, ground-targeted abilities and skillshots. Smart casting a support buff ability (an ability that can be cast on yourself e.g. a shield or a heal) when the cursor is on an invalid target will self-cast the ability instead. Note that you can use self-casting to self-cast support buff abilities regardless of cursor location. Using smart cast can be invaluable because it reduces the time delay between activating and casting by cutting the user input in half; activate vs activate and click.''

In other words, you don't have to click the mouse on your target, you just need to mark it with your cursor when pressing one of your skills.

How this is helping?
Smartcasting saving a lot of time when casting, allows us to smash the keys with just caring about putting the cursor on the right place. I recommend using smartcast with all the champions, and particularly with Lissandra, skill shots in generally are just much more comfortable and faster to use with smartcasting and it will give us a major enhancement to our playstyle.

Where can i configure it?
The regular Options menu, you go on key settings, scroll down a little and looking for smartcasting, than you replace the q\w\e\r in the right places.


Important Tip:
Hold alt when using a spell that you want to cast on your self, this will automatically cast the spell on our selves without bothering about putting the cursor on our selves.
That works with every self-castable spell or item.


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Scores

Some of my random successfull games, feel free to send your scores too :)


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Change log

1.5.13
- Guide created and few cosmetic enhancements applied.
- Added 2nd build - "Glass-cannon".


2.5.13
- Added "scores" chapter.
- Added "combos and team-fight" chapter.
- Added "gameplay" chapter.
- Edited "runes" chapter, additional option added to "other options" sub-chapter.
- More Cosmetic and BBCode improvements.
- Added "change lon" chapter.
- Added some useful general tips marked in red scattered in different chapters.

5.5.13
- Some cosmetic improvements.
- Added some helpful notes and tips.
- Added improved separators.
- Edited "introduction" chapter.
- Edited "Pros\Cons" chapter.
- Added "Glacial Path - Useful Teleport spots" chapter.

6.5.13
- Edited "Runes" chapter and rune build.

7.5.13
- Visual changes.
- Added "Credits" chapter.

10.5.13
- Changed "Glacial Path - Useful teleport spots" chapter, added new photos and improved explanations.

18.5.13
- Added "Coming-soon" chapter".


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Coming-soon

In this chapter, i'll share my future plans about improving the guide.


* "Match-Up" chapter - I'll add a whole guide about Lissandra's hard match-ups and how dealing with getting pick-countered, still testing and collecting some more information before publishing.
* "Video" chapter - I'll add a video chapter to demonstrate some useful tricks, show the difference between the regular skin and alternate one, and some nice frags.


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Credits


First of all, thanks to all up-voters and constructive commenters, without you this guide is nothing.

Another credit goes to jhoijhoi, her guide taught me a lot about building a guide properly. also, the blue separators that i'm using are copied from her.


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Closure

This guide will always be under construction and I will do my best to keep him as updated as possible.
If you have any questions or any constructive feedbacks i'll be glad to hear.

Thanks for reading.


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