Syndra Build Guide by CheeseLuvas
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Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Welcome folks! My name is CheeseLuvas and this is my Syndra guide! I'm an avid Syndra player and have been in love ever since I saw gameplay of her at Gamescom. Unlike a lot of other champions, I've never been bored of playing Syndra. There's always something new to discover with her versatile playstyle, similar to Orianna. Anyways I decided to make a guide on Syndra to help other aspiring Syndra players get settled. Do note that this is my very first Mobafire guide so feedback to improve this guide would be much appreciated.
Syndra is a ranged AP carry with a wide array of unique mechanics such as being able to throw minions with Force of Will or controlling her Dark Sphere. The lynchpin of Syndra's kit are her spheres, as they can be picked up with Force of Will or used as a projectile with Scatter the Weak, allowing the player to devise clever strategies and combos using her skillset. Last but most certainly not least, is Syndra's ultimate, Unleashed Power, which causes Syndra to launch her spheres at a single enemy dealing tons of damage. What's unique about this ultimate is that the damage actually relies on the amount of dark spheres you have on the field making it great for finishing off an enemy.
Syndra is a high skill-cap champion, in order to play Syndra effectively you must know how to position and aim her skills. Additionally, all of Syndra's skills (Even her ultimate) have some delay such as Dark Sphere with its initial startup, Force of Will which takes time to actually be "thrown", launching spheres with Scatter the Weak, and the small cast-time on Unleashed Power.
Overall, Syndra is a great champion to have in your roster. She's versatile, unique, challenging, and most importantly, fun. I strongly recommend her to any summoner who wants to play a champion with a new and clever playstyle.
Pros / Cons
+Ultimate deals extreme damage at the right condition
+Mobile, most skills can be casted while moving
+Has a knockback, stun, and slow
+One of the best late-games
-Squishy (Like most carries)
-No passive until level 9
-Requires good positioning and timing
-Iffy early game
-Skills such as Scatter the Weak can be a bit buggy
Mental Force - As an AP carry you obviously need AP, therefore you should upgrade this.
Butcher - This mastery helps with Syndra's early game when last-hitting in lane.
Sorcery - Syndra benefits greatly from cooldown reduction, in general, a lot of AP carries do.
Arcane Knowledge - The 10% penetration is pretty big, especially when the skill costs only 1 mastery point. A must-have!
Blast - As Syndra is a late-game champion, Blast synergizes quite well with her.
Archmage - 5% additional AP is pretty good. Although the mastery is hardly visible early game, by late game AP carries generally have about 400ish AP, giving you a nice boost averaging about ~20 additional AP.
Executioner - Not much to say about this skill other than it helps ensure kills on low health enemies.
Expanded Mind - We are taking this mastery to remedy Syndra's mana problems. Bonus mana is always a good thing to have.
Meditation - Another mastery for Syndra's mana. Meditation is like Expanded Mind except it offers bonus mana regen.
Improved Recall - It is the Utility tree and is your best option compared to a level 1 speed boost (Which we already have Runes for) or spawn time. Besides, the reduced cast time of recall can sometimes even save your life.
Runic Affinity - Syndra is reliant on blue buffs, which your jungler should give you (Unless they need it themselves), so if you want to make more out of it, max this mastery.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: Positioning is key, especially with Syndra. Movement quints help Syndra get into position quicker and synergizes with her luxury of being able to cast skills while moving. Movement quints are definitely a solid choice for Syndra.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Choose these quints if you want as much damage early-game as possible. I won't say that they're the wisest choice but these Quints are still a decent option. Simply put, they give Syndra a very nice AP boost that helps most early game, where she's most weak at.
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist: Since you're going mid lane, you'll almost always be fighting an AP carry during the laning phase. So what exactly do you do? Build MR of course! There's always going to be a chance that the enemy has MR penetration himself, however, you can at least reduce his or her incoming damage.
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Like Syndra's AP Quintessences, these Glyphs also provide AP. Not the best option but if you feel like you don't need MR than this is the next best choice.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: There's not many other useful AP marks, so we go for the next best thing: Magic penetration! Magic penetration ignores the enemy's defenses and you won't have to worry as much if the enemy builds MR. Additionally, these marks go quite nicely together with a pair of Sorcerer's Shoes.
- Greater Seal of Replenishment: Like rune marks, there's not really any other useful AP seals. So what should we do? Why we give Syndra needed mana regen. If you have been reading this guide then you should already know that Syndra is mana-reliant.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration: You can choose these as an alternative to Replenishment seals. Like Replenishment, Clarity runes supply mana regen to Syndra except they become stronger as the game progresses rather than having a set value.
What I Take
: Flash is probably one of the best summoner spells in the game. You can use it to escape, go through walls, chase, flashult like Cassiopeia, or initiate if your someone like Maokai. I highly suggest taking flash on Syndra because of how useful it is.
: Ignite is a great summoner spell due to its ability secure kills from fleeing enemies. Unlike Flash, Ignite is an offensive summoner spell. I personally like to bring this spell to finish off my dying opponents right after I land a combo.
Other Viable Choices
: Exhaust is another offensive summoner spell. Unlike Ignite which damages the target over time, Exhaust gives them a large debuff. I only see myself take Exhaust when I'm a support or playing a duelist champion like Fiora or Jax. That's my opinion though, you can decide to bring Exhaust over Ignite if you want.
: Ghost, in a way, is similar to Flash. You gain a pretty long speed boost lasting 10 seconds allowing you to chase or escape coupled with a lower cooldown. But the reason I don't take this spell is because you can still be struck by CC during the duration of the speed boost. Meaning if you use Ghost to run away from a gank, what's stopping that Veigar from stunning you? Same for chasing. Nevertheless, Ghost is a nice spell but I find that Flash is a better alternative.
: Cleanse is alright at most. It clears all CC and lowers all incoming ones. The reason I don't like Cleanse too much is because I see it as situational pick. You should really only bring the spell if your fighting an enemy team with lots of CC or if your a high-value target which is the AD carry. (You're a high-value target as well, but ADCs just have the bigger spotlight :c)
: Heal is a decent summoner spell. Its useful for new players and supports, that's about it. Spells like Ignite or any skill that applies Grievous Wounds counter Heal as well.
: Teleport is a convenient summoner spell that helps you get around much easier. You can use it to quickly get back into lane or to teleport to that vulnerable top tower dying from a minion wave. In a nutshell, Teleport makes your life a lot easier but I feel that a champion like Syndra doesn't need it.
: Back when I was new, I used to always take Clarity with me when playing AP mid. Clarity does its job well and you'll hardly ever run out of mana. But why did I stop using this skill, especially on Syndra whose very bane of existence is going oom? Clarity encourages players to mismanage mana and use it as a crutch. It's also useless late-game or when you have a blue. I'd only recommend to take the spell if your a new player or just started Syndra.
When starting a game, you should always level Dark Sphere first. It has the lowest mana cost out of all of Syndra's abilities and her skills won't nearly be as useful without spheres. After that, you can either level Force of Will or Scatter the Weak. Personally I prefer Force of Will so I can hold a minion to scare the enemy, but if the opposing team has an early ganker like Shaco then I highly suggest maxing Scatter the Weak second.
Like any champion, you should always prioritize on maxing your ultimate, Unleashed Power whenever you get the chance at levels 6, 11, and 16. Now as I have said before, Syndra's Dark Sphere's are the entire key to her playstyle and helps with farming minions so max this skill second. Force of Will, Syndra's W, should be maxed third as it is another good source of damage and also slows. Max Syndra's E, Scatter the Weak last as the skill is primarily for utility.
Transcendent (Passive) - Each of Syndra's basic abilities gain an extra effect at maximum rank.
- When a skill obtains the Transcendent bonus, it obtains new red particle effects.
- Always try to focus on maxing one skill at a time, don't try to spread out levels.
- Her ultimate does not have a Transcendent bonus.
Dark Sphere (Q) - Conjures a Dark Sphere at a target location, dealing magic damage. The sphere lasts for up to 6 seconds and can be manipulated by Syndra's other abilities.
- Although the cooldown and cost is tempting, try not to spam this skill during the laning phase. You will go oom (Out of mana) quickly. I mainly use it to farm group minions that are about to die.
- If a sphere is about to expire, its outline will have a sort of blue "shimmer".
- When aiming with dark sphere, try to place the sphere slighty behind the enemy if they're farming. Most players, when seeing the incoming animation panic and go backwards, which is what you want them to do. Avoid aiming the skill directly in the middle of the enemy champion, it won't work.
- When aiming spheres at a running opponent, try to predict their pathway.
- Despite what many people think, dark spheres do NOT grant vision.
Force of Will (W) - Grabs a dark sphere, enemy minion or neutral monster for 5 seconds. If a dark sphere is grabbed, its duration is refreshed. Dragon and Baron Nashor cannot be grabbed by this ability.
- Just because you can grab minions doesn't always mean you should. Dark spheres are much more important as they can actually be manipulated more easily. I only grab minions if I'm running from an enemy and don't have time to summon a sphere.
- You can also grab jungle monsters. There's even a neat effect of grabbing blue and red buff. Grabbing and throwing blue will refund Syndra 10 mana and reduce Force of Will's cooldown by one second. Throwing red will apply the debuff to the enemy.
- With the new Shadow Isles patch, Riot has improved Force of Will's speed and fixed a bug on it. The skill is now a lot smoother and more convinient to use!
- In addition to jungle monsters, Force of Will can grab these following:
- Annie's Tibbers!
- Elise's Spiderlings!
- Heimerdinger's Turrets!
- Malzahar's Voidlings!
- Shaco's Jack in the Box!
- Yorick's Ghouls!
- Zyra's Plants!
Scatter the Weak (E) - Knocks enemies and Dark Spheres back, dealing magic damage to them and any enemies they collide with. The distance of the knockback increases depending on how close the affected units are to Syndra upon cast. Dark Spheres that are knocked back also stun all enemies in their path for 1.5 seconds
- Unleashed Power uses all of Syndra's lying spheres (And 3 from herself) and launch it all at a single target. After that, all used spheres lie on the ground waiting for a perfect launch with Scatter the Weak (Seriously, there's a reason Riot made it so you can still use the spheres after). You'll almost never miss and I use this technique most in teamfights (Ult carry/squishiest enemy, follow with Scatter the Weak).
- Aiming a dark sphere proficiently with Scatter the Weak can take some practice. You have to take a moment to know where the sphere is going to and even I still have trouble trying to hit an enemy with it long-range. Therefore I tend to use this skill when I have multiple spheres out on the field to secure a hit or if the enemy isn't that far from me. More spheres = Easier hit.
- When using Scatter the Weak to escape, I've noticed many Syndra players simply use the skill on the enemy and expect a "Get out of Jail for Free" card. Avoid doing this as chances are your enemy can still catch up if he's someone like Lee Sin or Nocturne. If you think you have enough time, then I recommend to summon a Dark Sphere and then launch it back to the enemy. If your opponent is that close to be hit with Scatter the Weak, then anyone half-decent can easily land a stun.
- The new Shadow Isles update fixed the Scatter the Weak so that it stuns and knocks back.
- Keep in mind that you can interrupt and cancel out channeled skills like Karthus's Requiem or Nunu's Absolute Zero when stunning them with your E. Use it to save a teamfight!
Unleashed Power (R) - Draws upon Syndra's full cataclysmic power, harnessing all Dark Spheres to deal magic damage to her target per sphere. Unleashed Power will use the three spheres that orbit Syndra, ensuring a minimum damage.
- NEVER use Unleashed Power with only the three starting spheres. The damage is horrible and you just wasted a potentially good ult. If you want to use it right, use Syndra's ult as a way to finish a combo. You'll always have spheres lying around with a combo (You should have 2 at least) ensuring a kill or an enemy with hardly any HP left.
- Even if you die when casting Unleashed Power, the ulti will still work, don't worry.
- The damage from your potential 7 spheres is tempting, and its possible with enough CDR. But seriously...? Do not set up spheres just to put more damage on your ulti. Its so situational and you'll be doing be much better simply transitioning it within your combos. I've seen too many Syndra players make this mistake thinking its practical in a real game.
- Be careful when using this skill on champions who have skills that can make them untargetable like Fizz or Vladimir. They can easily dodge your ultimate using Playful / Trickster and Sanguine Pool which can instantly screw you over.
One of the main things that caught my attention was how Syndra can combo using her dark spheres with ease. Unlike other champs that just go "OMG TIME TO FACEROLL" *cough* Ryze*cough* or champions who have a set combo that they always use ( Veigar, Anivia) there are so many things you can do with Syndra, all relying on skill and creativity.
Here I will list some of my favorite combos. Some are easy and you can get them in your first try, some are difficult and require practice. Obviously some combos will be better than others depending on difficulty. Of course, there are many more combos that aren't in this list, so try to come up with some yourself.
Q > E > ...
Place a Dark Sphere and launch it at the enemy with Scatter the Weak. Fairly simple. This isn't a combo in itself but more as a combo starter as the stun leaves your enemy vulnerable for an easy hit with Dark Sphere or Force of Will. Not only that, but you can take advantage of the long range and stun from your combos to save an ally being chased.
In the new Shadow Isles update, it's much easier to land this combo as Syndra can now shoot out the sphere before it forms. This allows your combos to be landed almost instantly without the enemy expecting it.
W > Q
My favorite combo. It's simple, easy to use, quick, and does its job right. Hold a minion using Force of Will (Preferably I would summon a dark sphere and use that) and aim it at the target, while the minion is being thrown, quickly land a Dark Sphere onto the same area. The combo is great for clearing minions that are grouped up and if your confident, aim it at a champion and it deals a LOT of damage. Do note that hitting a champion with this combo is difficult but rewarding. Obviously you would not be spamming this sequence early game.
Q > E > W > R
Only use this combo when your jungler is about to gank your lane. Stun the opponent with a Dark Sphere + Scatter the Weak. Then keep your opponent tight shut by slowing him with Force of Will. By the time you stunned your jungler should be doing some damage to your opponent as well. Secure a kill with Unleashed Power right after your slow.
Q > W > Q > E
Use this combo if you want to kill an opponent with around half health. Land a Dark Sphere at the enemy, hold and throw it with Force of Will, land another dark sphere at your enemy again. If your opponent survives, then he/she should be running away by now, so land a Scatter the Weak with your two remaining spheres as a good finisher. I find this to be effective most during the laning phase due to the linear pathway which allows easy hits for Scatter the Weak.
Q > E > W > Q > R
A kill combo that can be difficult to aim but well-worth the risk. Land a Dark Sphere at the enemy and then use your Scatter the Weak to hit him/her right after. Grab the dark sphere you just used using Force of Will and throw it onto the enemy. By that time the CD on your Q should be off so place another sphere and finish the opponent off with an Unleashed Power. If the victim still survives then land an Ignite.
Q > E > Q > R > W
Use this combo during teamfights. Try to find a safe spot and land a Dark Sphere at the AD carry. If you can't then try to find the squishiest enemy you can find (Don't even THINK of picking the tank just because he's easy to hit). Then grab and throw your dark sphere at the same opponent you just hit using Force of Will. Land another dark sphere and then ult. After that launch a Scatter the Weak, a well-positioned scatter can stun an entire team. Do this sequence as quickly as possible, if you can't or feel you don't have time then skip the second Dark Sphere or Force of Will. Your goal in teamfights is to distract the enemy team as much as possible.
Syndra should be built as a generic AP carry. Rabadon's Deathcap, Doran's Ring, Blasting Wand, the typical stuff. Additionally, I like to include some CDR and mana sustain, something which benefits Syndra greatly. I would also like to add that you shouldn't follow this build exactly. There are situational items or other viable choices that do better in different scenarios. The build I'm giving you is just a generic one that I use.
: EVERY AP carry should be getting a Rabadon's Deathcap. It gives so much bonus AP and you should never leave it out of Syndra's build. Self-explanatory.
Other Viable Picks
: The recent nerf hit DFG hard, removing its cooldown reduction and nerfing its active damage. Due to this, I've decided to reduce DFG as an optional pick. Of course, that doesn't mean Deathfire Grasp is bad. The item is still a great choice to instantly burst someone down from full health.
Your goal during the laning phase is to try and get as much farm as possible from minions to get items. Quite simple, really. Do keep in mind that you can deal heavy damage to a group of minions with your Force of Will and Dark Sphere combo making easy last hits.
Use your Dark Sphere as harass. While hard to aim, the damage is well worth the risk and can keep the enemy on their toes. Just don't spam your Q unless you have a blue. Alternatively, hold a minion (or sphere) with Force of Will, it'll scare your opponent, when the duration is about to end then you can simply throw it away. The damage from your W won't be big at this early in the game.
When reaching level 9, you should've maxed your Q by now which deals a hefty 15% bonus damage with the Transcendent passive. This is when you can go aggressive on your enemy as you start to deal major damage with your combos.
Your Jungler and You
During your laning phase, when the second blue is up, ask your jungler for it (Unless they need it themselves if they're someone like Fiddlesticks or Diana). Having blue will give you much-needed mana and CDR and will allow you to spam your skills without much consequence. It makes farming and harassing easier in general.
As I have already explained in the Combos section, when your jungler is about to gank, wait for your laning opponent to overextend as much as possible. Then land a quick Dark Sphere + Scatter the Weak. The stun will give the jungler an opportunity to gank and by now you should be settting up a combo yourself. Make sure to slow your opponent to keep him shut.
In terms of matchups, Syndra has much difficulty with mobile champions that have gap closers. Scatter the Weak can create some space, but the cooldown is quite long. In general, any "Anti-mage" are nightmares for Syndra to face.
Such examples are:
When playing against them, play safe and don't overextend. Catch minions who are about to die using Force of Will, you also have the advantage of long range meaning farming won't be that difficult. The reason Syndra has such difficulty against these champions is that they can burst you down very quickly, leaving little time for you to aim and set up your spheres.
Now if your fighting long-ranged champions such as yourself, then the lane turns into a test at who's better at aiming their skillshots. Now most of these champions are squishy, meaning that bursting them down won't be difficult. Whenever the opponent is open, always try to land a stun using your Dark Sphere and Scatter the Weak. If the stun hits, then combo them. Do note that you shouldn't leave yourself vulnerable when trying to stun them (IE: Right in the middle of the lane with no minions).
Such examples are:
Now who does Syndra counter? She has it easy against champions that don't have as much range as her such as Annie or Twisted Fate. Its difficult for them to fight you as you can land more hits in easily, but take caution as they can still set up a Flash combo.
Such examples are:
- Twisted Fate
Your goal in teamfights is to try and distract the enemy team as much as possible, if the AD carry is vulnerable then go for him/her. If you have read my guide thoroughly then this is achievable with summoning Dark Spheres, using your ultimate, Unleashed Power, and then launching your spheres with Scatter the Weak, a well-positioned scatter will be able to stun a whole team. You don't always have to use this method, but it is one I like to use.
Like the AD carry, you do damage but you're squishy. Therefore you should stay behind the tank when dealing damage. Remember that most champions have their own mechanics for teamfighting so don't expect to always win even if you land a successful combo.
Warding saves lives. You can have vision and protect yourself from incoming ganks for just 75 gold. Remember, EVERYONE should be getting wards. You should never rely on your Support or Jungler to be the only ones placing them.
Well that's about it! Thank you for reading my guide and I hope you learned a thing or two about Syndra. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the discussions section!
Remember, if you have any suggestions or improvements you feel that I should add to this guide, don't hesitate to ask me in-game! My IGN is: Not Enough Yaoi.
Finished and published the guide.
Revised the Pros/Cons, adjusted the Runes section.
Added more skill tips, started the changelog.
Revamped and added much more detail to the Gameplay section.
Updated the guide in response to the DFG nerfs and Syndra fixes, also modified the Items section.
Added an early Kage's Lucky Pick, removed the AP oriented build after seeing that Syndra doesn't need one.
-Special thanks to Synonysis for making these awesome banners!
-Credits to jhoijhoi and his guide on how to make a guide!
-Credits to Mobafire's League Wiki for the source of the warding map!