Lissandra Build Guide by Hashtag Twerking
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Standard Play (Control Mage)
Example Final Build
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.
Me, Myself and I
I'm Hashtag Twerking, a Platinum-ranked player on the Oceanic server, and this build outlines my preferred method of playing Lissandra. I believe the build encompasses both the damage and survivability needed to complement Lissandra's heavy crowd-control kit; allowing her to get into a team-fight, do what she does best and survive while doing it. Hopefully whomever reads this finds it helpful, discovers they love using Lissandra as much as I do or just discovers something new about her that they hadn't considered before.
While I like to use the main, control-mage build (build one above, which this guide is written for), burst mage Lissandra has become rather popular, especially with some fantastic pro-players utilising it amazingly. I personally find that burst Lissandra has a much higher skill-cap, as you sacrifice a lot of defence for raw damage. Give it a shot and let me know how you go with it; I'd be thrilled to hear about it!
||Lissandra... How do I begin to explain Lissandra?
Lissandra is flawless.
I hear her hair is insured for 10k gold.
I hear she does summoner spell commercials... in Demacia.
Her favourite song is "Here Comes Vi".
One time she met Jayce on Summoner's Rift...
- And he told her she was pretty.
One time she threw an Ice Shard in my face... it was awesome!
In all seriousness, Lissandra is an AP mage who favours mobility and heavy crowd-control over raw burst damage. She has great kiting potential and her mana-efficient kit allows for an aggressive lane phase, while her long range mobility makes her a fantastic roamer throughout the entire match. Her ability to dive straight into the enemy lines and disrupt their team with enough crowd control to make your head spin, all while managing to mitigate any amount of counter aggression they can throw at her makes her an interesting and unorthodox mid-laner. She has managed to make herself one of my favourite champions to play due to her unusual skill-set and unconventional play-style - I hope you learn to love playing her as much as I do!
As a disclaimer, I generally don't like giving stringent rune and mastery builds. The most effective method here is to build according to both whom you will be laning against and the entire opposing team in general. The following section is just a general guide as to what I would use in most situations; don't forget to alter your rune and mastery builds to effectively counter the enemy team!
Greater Mark of Precision
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
The other runes used are basically the usual for any AP midlaner.
are your one-stop-shop for an effective defence, along with . As an initiator, Lissandra needs to be able to take a moderate beating to be adequate at her job and these help achieve that. The reason we use magic resist glyphs is that magic resist is a difficult stat to itemise for so the more we have at our disposable during the late-game, the better. are used to boost our damage throughout the whole match.
There are two main mastery set-ups you can use effectively with Lissandra - the 21/9/0 approach (which I personally favour), or 21/0/9. The trade off here is sacrificing a small amount of mana regeneration, summoner spell CDR and a neutral buff duration increase in order to gain an increased amount of health, damage reduction and health regeneration.
In all honesty I only favour the 21/9/0 set-up a small amount over the other, and it's generally because I feel I can live without the mana regeneration. Once you learn how to manage her mana pool and passive effectively, mana regeneration becomes less important. On the other hand, defensive stats strengthen Lissandra throughout the entire game and aid her in diving into the enemy team.
Both builds complement Lissandra well so choose whichever you feel most comfortable with: extra defences or a more reliable mana pool. You can't really go wrong with either.
This section takes a look at Lissandra's skill-kit. I won't write out full descriptions of each ability as you can easily just mouse-over each icon to read exactly what the ability does and all sorts of other interesting information about it. Instead I will be looking at how one might utilise her abilities to set up for harass and kill combos, engaging and escaping and the finer mechanics of her kit.
The most widely accepted skill order for Lissandra is R > Q > W > E.
- Ring of Frost and Frozen Tomb will reduce the cooldown on this by 1s for each individual enemy they hit.
- The crowd-control of the spell affected by Iceborn with reduce it's cooldown. For example, if Iceborn is available and you use your Ring of Frost to root 4 enemies, the cooldown will begin at 14 seconds (rather than 18).
- Your bread-and-butter skill to farm, push and harass. Short cooldown, mid range, fairly high damage and a shatter effect allowing it to damage multiple enemies.
- Interesting to note: while the range of this spell is listed at 725 units, this only includes the original hit. Once the shard shatters, the range is increased by ~150 units giving it a range of ~875 units.
- Point-blank area of effect ability that roots all nearby enemies for a duration between 1-1.5s scaling with rank.
- Ring of frost has no cast time and thus can be used while being chased to root nearby enemies without disrupting Lissandra's own movement.
- Exceptionally useful to hold enemies in place while you cast Frozen Tomb, ensuring the maximum amount of enemies take the damage.
- A pass-through long-ranged skill shot and Lissandra's key mobility skill. This is what allows her to make those interesting ganks and amazing escapes!
- Has a visible range indicator that makes it extremely obvious what direction it is being used in.
- Two important things to note: The claw takes ~1.5s to travel to its end point and disappear, which means you have 1.5s to use the skill again and teleport. Also, Lissandra cannot use the secondary cast of the ability while under hard CC, meaning that if you cast the spell and get crowd-controlled, you will not be able to teleport.
- Single-target ability that can either be used on Lissandra herself or any enemy champion.
- On casting it spreads ice from targeted champion, causing nearby enemies to take large amounts of damage and slows them while standing on the ice. The ice persists for 3s.
- If self-cast it will put Lissandra into a 2.5s stasis, rendering her untargetable, invulnerable and unable to take any other action until it wears off.
- If cast on an enemy champion they will be stunned for 1.5s and take the spell's damage.
- The interesting part of this spell is its duality; you can either use it on yourself to devastate and disrupt the enemy team while keeping yourself out of harm's way or use it on an enemy to lock out a high priority target and allow your team to destroy them.
In this section I'll be taking a look at what items to use on Lissandra. I'll be focusing on my core final build and why I think it works well with Lissandra as well as looking at some other situational items that are also useful.
As with runes and masteries, use this section as a general guide. You'd be a fool to use the exact same build in every game you play on any champion; itemise to counter the enemy team!
|Your go-to boots option for most casters; we want these for the extra magic penetration they provide, ensuring your spells do as much damage as they can. Not much else to say here.|
||Choose one of these two items. These items have a little bit of everything you could want for a mage - Lissandra scales exceptionally well with CDR as her spells (excepting Q) have rather high cooldowns. Athene's Unholy Grail is useful in ensuring we are well stocked with mana, although once you learn how to use Lissandra's passive to manage your mana-pool it becomes less useful. Finally, in a generic AP vs. AP lane, 40 magic resistance is fantastic for our defences. If you consider yourself a more advanced mid-lane player, I would pick up a Morellonomicon instead of Athene's Unholy Grail as your main CDR item. You sacrifice a mana regeneration passive and 40 magic resist, but you gain more AP and save gold, allowing you to build your stronger items earlier.|
|This item is one of my favourites for Lissandra; combining magic penetration and AP for offence, health for defence and an amazing passive. As the majority of Lissandra's spells impair the movement of her enemies, the passive on this is twice as potent without needing to grab a Rylai's Crystal Scepter like a lot of other mages. Use this to increase our damage significantly. I would also not recommend using this item if you are going for a burst build. Liandry's Torment offers plenty in the way of sustained damage but is not suited to a burst build. Take Void Staff instead if you're playing as a burst mage.|
|A huge boost to our damage output. Not much else to say on this one either, it's stock standard on most mages at some point in the match. Used to make our disruption even more deadly!|
Again I would like to stress that item choices and build orders are purely for informative purposes. If you're laning against an AD assassin such as Zed or Talon, don't make a Chalice of Harmony your first item, go straight for Seeker's Armguard. Conversely, if you're playing against an Ahri or Akali for example, getting an Abyssal and an Athene's earlier is a good choice; build to each situation independently.
Lissandra has a fairly good early game, being an extremely capable farmer and pusher. From levels 1 through 4 you generally want to use only auto-attacks to last hit the minions for farm and some moderate auto-attack harass on the enemy laner. You generally don't want to use your abilities unless required to grab a minion kill, otherwise you will find yourself out of mana very quickly.
Once you hit level 4 the real fun can begin! Try and get a blue buff as early as possible and hold on to it for dear life, if you manage to lose it to your opponent you'll find yourself in a lot of trouble very quickly. Lissandra's main harass comes in the form of repeat Ice Shards and, when the time is right, Ring of Frost. With a blue buff (or at the very least a Chalice of Harmony) you should be able to keep up the pressure on your opponent without draining too much of your mana pool. I don't recommend using Glacial Path to harass or farm with, unless you're using it to push your lane while your opponent is at base. As it's Lissandra's only escape, you should have it up to escape from any opposing ganks. If you do find yourself in trouble and can't escape with Glacial Path, often a well time Ring of Frost is sufficient to escape.
Once you get Frozen Tomb and hopefully have your opponent on 50% health or less, you should be able to burst them down. Lissandra's burst combo involves using your Glacial Path to close the gap between yourself and the enemy (if you manage to damage them with it, even better!), opening with Frozen Tomb and unloading a quick Ice Shard and Ring of Frost on them. At this point, you can ignite them if available and continue to whittle them down with Ice Shard as needed until you get the kill.
Lissandra's early game roaming potential is also high; if your opponent has gone to base or has left lane, utilise her mobility to get to and gank either top or bottom lane. Again, her crowd-control allows the players in these lanes to capitalise, often ensuring a kill.
- Wards are your best friends to prevent you from getting ganked. I generally like to ward the river brush on both sides of the map (indicated by blue circles on the map below). This gives you a fair amount of vision, protecting you from any incoming river ganks. For extra protection, warding in the red circles below allow you to watch for ganks coming in from the opposing jungle. For this reason, beginning with a affords you some fairly useful protection. Place it in the river brush on only one side and while you're in lane stay towards the side of the lane where the ward is. This means that if you're going to get ganked from the warded side, you have more time to escape and if you're going to get ganked from the opposite side you have a headstart in an escape!
- It's useful to open with a Glacial Path from a place where your opponent will not be able to see you. While they will still see the range indicator, you might be able to buy yourself some time and surprise them. The location below is one of my favourites.
- Lissandra is fantastic at setting up great ganks for your jungler to jump in and help. Her crowd-control oriented kit allows her to lock down her target for a great gank, whereas many other mages require their jungler to open as they lack the CC Lissandra has.
the mid-game tends to begin when a few turrets have been destroyed and laners begin to roam the map much more often. Lissandra is considered at her best during this phase of the game. Hopefully you will have a couple of core items ( Athene's, Zhonya's and/or Liandry's) which will allow you to travel with your team and pick off squishier targets quickly (using your burst combo outlined above). If people are still sticking in their lanes for the most part, use your crowd-control and mobility to jump into these lanes and lock-down the high priority targets for the kill.
In the event of a team-fight you'll need to make a big choice with your Frozen Tomb: to self-cast or to cast it on an enemy. As a rule of thumb, I generally neglect self-casting if I am not in any trouble myself or if I have my Zhonya's active available for use. If you're able to use Glacial Path to get close enough to use your Frozen tomb on the enemy ADC or mid-laner then go for it. The damage and slow will be enough to disrupt the enemy team, allowing you some easy hits with with Ice Shard and Ring of Frost.
Basically you will want to use the phase of the game to farm creeps and push lanes, use your CC and some help from your team to kill high priority targets and, in the case of a team-fight, use your CC to disrupt and nuke the enemy team.
This point of the game mainly revolves around large scale team-fights and taking objectives (towers, inhibitors and Baron). Lissandra is still exceptionally useful and relevant during this part of the game, using her kit to initiate on and disrupt enemy teams during fights, usually enough to break the enemy team up. Winning team fights at this part of the game is crucial, as a win allows your team to push down multiple objectives and break into the opponent's base.
With your Athene's Unholy Grail/ Morellonomicon and hopefully a blue-buff you will be at 35% CDR, meaning your abilities are much more spammable and available for use during team-fights - make sure you have a blue buff as often as you possibly can. Stay towards the back of your team; you do not need to be in front as your Glacial Path allows you to get up close and personal with your opponents from a safe distance. Once a team fight breaks out, find a target, Glacial Path in and Frozen Tomb them. If you find yourself in danger or under fire, activate your Zhonya's Hourglass. If the enemy team isn't paying you much attention, unload your Ice Shards and Rings of Frost as often as their cooldowns allow. From this point, if the team fight was successful you might want to use your Glacial Path to catch up to and kill any runners, or, if the fight is looking bleak, use your Glacial Path to escape from the fray.
At this point of the game the objective is to simply win team-fights and push into the enemy base for the win.
Disclaimer: don't follow websites that tell you strict counters to champions. For example, if something is telling that Lissandra heavily counters Katarina, don't pick Lissandra and expect a win. Lane match-ups are much more weighted on the skill of both parties in a lane, an excellent Katarina will eat a rookie Lissandra alive. Play to your strengths and don't give up on a champion just because some website told you than X counters Y.
While I don't want to go into a great amount of detail in this section, I'd like to point out a few champions that have kits allowing them to both naturally play well against Lissandra or have a hard time dealing with her. The list is not exhaustive and is merely used to outline abilities and kits that either work well or aren't as effective against Lissandra.
|Has a long duration silence and even greater mobility than Lissandra from level 6 onwards, rendering her short-ranged kit at a disadvantage.|
|Anivia has a fairly long ranged kit with high burst and a fair amount of sustained damage. If you're not careful she will whittle you down and go in for the kill.|
|Exceptionally high burst at a longer range than you have with a silence to boot. A huge lane bully with high mobility, it will be hard to lock her down for a kill before she silences you and does the same.|
|While she has great burst damage and mobility she is exceptionally vulnerable to any kind of CC. Lock her down for the kill when she jumps on you and attempts an assassination.|
|An odd counter, you are able to use your Frozen Tomb on yourself to completely negate his ultimate while still dealing damage and slowing him. Afterwards, use ring of frost and a well timed Ice Shard or two to knock him out.|
|When he engages on you lock him up with a well timed Frozen Tomb (you can even use this on yourself if he's used his ultimate on you). Similar to the above champions, he's vulnerable to hard crowd-control.|
Remember: the most important thing you have at your disposable to win your lane is skill, high skill trumps a counter in any match-up!
Thank you for reading my guide and (hopefully) getting the entire way through it to read this section, I really appreciate it. I'd love to hear any feedback people have to offer in the comments section, or just some positive words to make writing this all up a little more worthwhile!
Good luck on the fields of justice and I hope I've been at least a tiny bit helpful to anyone attempting to learn to play Lissandra.