Sejuani Build Guide by movip1991
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Hello everyone, I’m movip1991, a summoner that mainly plays the support role on NA servers. I’ve been playing tanky champions since the first day I tried League of Legends, and Sejuani caught my eye the moment she was released. She’s been incredibly fun to play as, so now that the season 3 patch has been released, I figured now would be a good time to write a guide for her.
My objective is to get as in-depth with the nuances of Sejuani’s gameplay as possible; she really is a deeper champion than one might expect. I also have attempted to provide advice for some alternative play styles for her so that players wanting to try something different aren't totally on their own. So, if you’re interested in seeing how to play effectively as Sejuani, read on.
Pros / Cons
+ Excellent late-game tank
+ Good at engaging and locking down opponents
+ Reliable in team fights
+ Best initiating ult in the game
+ Prevents escapes
- No natural tankiness
- Doesn’t fit well into any particular role
- Weak early game
- Very item-reliant
- Requires a lot of patience
Sejuani is the kind of champion you want to play if you like kiting people, want strong engagement later on, and are okay with playing for the late game. Sejuani does very well with planning, but her late-game nature means that most people will overlook her because of her poor laning viability. If you prefer a strong laning phase, Sejuani is not for you.
Season 3’s masteries are still pretty new, and people are getting used to the new setups. For now, I’m running Sejuani with 9/21/0 masteries. The most important part of this setup is the Defense tree. You want to make sure that youget as much health as possible – dumping the full amount of points into Durability and Veteran's Scars , then taking the full 3 points in Juggernaut afterward. After that it’s pretty much up to you, though you definitely want to make sure you get a point in Defender , which gives armor and MR for each nearby enemy. Sejuani’s skill setup means that she’ll spend most of her time locking down groups of enemies, so this mastery is important.
For your secondary mastery tree, you can really go with either Offense or Utility based on your play style. I personally prefer putting points in the AP side of the Offense tree. Getting cooldown reduction right off the bat, as well as some magic penetration, goes a long way in improving the usage of Sejuani’s skills. If you instead decide to put your points in the Utility tree, your goal is to get Biscuiteer . Sejuani’s poor early game makes that free item necessary for lane sustain.
Of course, these mastery setups are general and may not fit your play style or needs. If you want specific masteries for a specific role, see the Gameplay section below.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Health
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Helps improve Sejuani's damage output with her AOE abilities.
Greater Seal of Armor: Helps with survivability during the laning phase. Especially true for jungling, when you want all the early survival you can get.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Keeps you from getting bursted down by AP carries throughout the game, and improves your tankiness.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Health: Health is especially important on Sejuani because of the bonus damage on Northern Winds. I go for the scaling version because it emphasizes Sejuani's late game on both axes.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Some people use this to be able to apply Frost more often. It might be a solid option in the jungle, but in team fights it won't really help you too much.
Greater Seal of Scaling Armor: Can take the place of Greater Seal of Armor. However, it weakens Sejuani's early game with little effect on the late game, so it's not optimal.
Greater Quintessence of Percent Health: Can give a little extra boost to health late-game. However, you generally won't reach your full build during a game, so it won't be as effective as you might think.
Greater Quintessence of Armor / Greater Quintessence of Scaling Magic Resist: To improve certain resistances. Can be advantageous if you're up against a team that you know leans one way or the other, but generally not as useful as the Greater Quintessence of Scaling Health.
Flash: Always take this. It’s true that Arctic Assault can be used in a similar way for positioning and escapes, but it has a long enough cooldown that I wouldn’t rely on it in every fight. Flash will always be there if you need an extra boost to get away.
Exhaust: With this summoner spell, you can either slow down an enemy that’s just out of range of Sejuani’s abilities, or throw it on a damaging champ to keep them from shredding your team. It’s versatile enough that I love having it around.
Smite: Essential for jungling as Sejuani. It helps you clear faster, secures the Dragon and Baron Nashor, and nets you some extra gold if you put a mastery point in Summoner's Resolve .
Ignite: Mostly for maximizing Sejuani’s damage output – she can’t always finish a kill, but putting Ignite on someone who stayed too long can do just that.
Teleport: For sticking around during laning so your opponent doesn’t get too far ahead while you’re away. With the new boot upgrades, Teleporting into the bottom lane and running straight into a bush can be an excellent tool for Sejuani in a support role. However, Teleport has no immediate effect on team fights most of the time, so it’s a risky pick.
Frost is pretty simple: Sejuani’s basic attacks slow their targets by 10%. She can also apply Frost using most of her abilities, which is great for slowing multiple targets. It’s not a very good passive for survivability, but it certainly enhances her team fight capabilities.
Arctic Assault (Q):
This ability is what I’ll usually refer to as Sejuani’s charge. When used, Sejuani charges to a nearby point, damaging minions along the way and stopping when she either reaches the end or collides with an enemy champion. She applies Frost to all targets hit during the charge. This ability has a rather long cooldown, so be very careful with how you use it. I generally save it for either escaping or following up an ult. Arctic Assault can also be used to dash through walls, which can be incredibly useful.
Northern Winds (W):
Northern Winds is Sejuani’s main AOE damage source. For a few seconds, a cold wind appears around Sejuani that deals magic damage to nearby enemies. There are two important things to note about this ability: First is that it deals extra damage to targets that have Frost or Permafrost on them, but it does not itself apply Frost. This means that Sejuani’s number one priority is to slow her enemies so she can hit them with Northern Winds. Secondly, this ability scales off of Sejuani’s health, which is why I emphasized health so much during this guide’s Masteries and Runes sections. Building health on Sejuani greatly increases her damage output with this attack. Northern Winds also scales off of AP, but it’s so little that it’s mostly negligible. Health is the way to go to make this ability effective.
When a nearby enemy has Frost on them, activating Permafrost increases the effectiveness of the slow. The debuff shoots up from Frost’s normal 10% to 30% (with one rank in Permafrost) up to 70% (with full). This is a MASSIVE slow, and one that means enemies hit with it will generally not be able to escape. Permafrost also deals magic damage when used, which scales off of AP. No matter what role you’re playing as Sejuani, Permafrost is the one you want to max first.
Glacial Prison (R):
This is the ability that makes Sejuani invaluable in team fights. Glacial Prison throws Sejuani’s weapon forward until it either reaches the end of its range or collides with an enemy champion. When it does, it explodes and encases all nearby enemies in ice, stunning them for a short time and applying Frost. Glacial Prison is excellent for engaging or starting a team fight, and can also be used to escape if necessary (though that’s usually only in the early game). Just remember that, if your enemies aren’t all grouped up, Glacial Prison won’t be very effective; it’s usually wise to wait until they’re all together, even if that means doing basically nothing at the start of a fight.
At the start of the game, your first ability is going to be either Arctic Assault or Northern Winds depending on your lane setup. If you anticipate being harassed a lot during lane, take Arctic Assault and play carefully. However, if you’re up against a tank in the top lane, starting with Northern Winds can help you farm and push your lane. Similarly, starting with Northern Winds while jungling is the most reliable way to clear monster camps. Once you have all three of your abilities, you want to focus on maxing Permafrost to improve the damage and slow. Second comes Northern Winds for damage output, and last is Arctic Assault because it only serves as a positioning tool. Of course, upgrade Glacial Prison whenever you get the chance.
When a fight breaks out, Sejuani’s main order of skill usage stays mostly the same. You will generally want to lead with Glacial Prison, and then charge in with Arctic Assault while activating your Northern Winds and use Permafrost immediately afterward. This means that Sejuani tends to blow all of her abilities at the start of the teamfight, but it puts her right where she wants to be. This skill chain can damage an entire team for up to half of their health, and positions her right in the middle of everyone to start locking people down and doing AOE damage. After that, it’s mostly about letting your team do the rest of the damage.
Season 3 items are still fairly new, but the general idea of building Sejuani is mostly the same: Health combined with damage and debuff auras. You are mostly going to want to buy things that are effective when surrounded by enemies, such as Sunfire Cape and Frozen Heart. Additionally, you want to buy health items to improve Sejuani’s Northern Winds, further emphasizing the AOE builds. Here’s the breakdown:
Cloth Armor: Improves your sustain during lane, allowing you to take a bit more punishment from enemies. However, it means you’re relying entirely on Arctic Assault for mobility, which doesn’t always work out.
Null-Magic Mantle: Similar to the Cloth Armor, this is useful for improving sustain against AP champions such as Vladimir. Only allows for you to take two Health Potions at the start, though.
Boots of Speed: If you take Boots of Speed instead, you’ll be able to move around and dodge skill shots more easily, but might run into problems staying in lane. You definitely want to have Boots of Speed by the first time you recall, but starting with Cloth Armor is generally the much better option for staying in lane.
Hunter's Machete: Use only when jungling. It puts some extra damage on neutral monsters, helping you clear faster.
Mercury's Treads: My preferred boot upgrade on Sejuani due to the tenacity. It also helps with magic resist, which Sejuani tends to lack somewhat at higher levels.
Ninja Tabi: The other boot option. Only take this if you need some extra armor to help against your lane opponent, or if the enemy team has very little crowd control.
Philosopher's Stone: The very first thing you want to buy after you have Boots of Speed. Because Sejuani has very little lane presence early on, taking the gold-producing item helps her not fall behind too much when she can’t farm.
Rod of Ages: A bit of an odd choice compared to other builds, but it's very useful for Sejuani during the early game. One of its components, Catalyst the Protector, helps with sustain by restoring some of your health and mana when you level up. Additionally, most other items that are useful on Sejuani cost a lot of gold, making Rod of Ages one of the items that you can build reliably while laning. If you get to a full six items, you can sell this item and build something that's more useful for the late game.
It's important to note that however you build Sejuani during lane, she's going to seem weak. Sejuani's power doesn't really start picking up until you're able to finish building your first late game item.
When you start building later items, you want to hold on to that Philosopher's Stone for as long as possible for the income. You’re eventually going to upgrade it into Shurelya's Reverie to provide improved mobility for yourself and your team. However, that item will not be useful early on, so don’t start building it until team fights have begun breaking out regularly. You really need to make the most of that gold passive.
Shurelya's Reverie: Provides you with some regeneration, but the most useful part is its active ability. You get to temporarily increase the movement speed of you and your surrounding allies, which helps with many situations in the game, especially initiating and escaping.
Sunfire Cape: This is a huge health item that does exactly what Sejuani needs by giving her armor and health (for Northern Winds). The fact that it does AOE damage too synergizes well with her usual positioning. Sunfire Cape is not a strictly necessary item for Sejuani, and can sometimes emphasize her weakness to casters, but I consider it essential for improving damage output during fights.
After you've bought a Sunfire Cape, you should take note of how the game is going. Check on who's getting ahead, who's behind, and what both teams are building when deciding what items to get in the late game. Additionally, once you have a full six items, you can sell the Rod of Ages from earlier to free up a slot for an item that has more usefulness in the late-game.
Frozen Heart: The attack speed debuff on nearby enemies helps reduce the opposing carry to near uselessness, and the cooldown reduction sure is nothing to sneeze at.
Warmog's Armor: Gives you a ton of health and regeneration, which is perfect for Sejuani. Not only does it dramatically improve her tankiness, but it increases the effectiveness of Northern Winds. However, this item isn't useful for the rest of your team, so only build it if you're far ahead or are looking for a final item.
Abyssal Scepter: The magic resist is helpful, and the item's passive helps Sejuani deal more damage by reducing enemies' own magic resist.
Randuin's Omen: Tends to work well for initiating a fight and then chaining slows together by using Randuin's Omen with Sejuani's abilities. However, the removal of Heart of Gold from Summoner’s Rift makes Randuin's Omen that much less appealing.
Banshee's Veil: Gives you a bit of extra magic resistance, and nullifies an enemy ability in team fights. Can be put to especially good use against Teemo, Caitlyn, and Karthus.
Liandry's Torment: This item gives more health, as well as a bit of ability power, but the real kicker is its passive. Getting 15 magic penetration and burning enemies when using spells is excellent, and the fact that they take more damage if crowd controlled (read: slowed) makes it potentially terrifying on Sejuani. Couple that with the fact that Liandry's Torment seems to be single-handedly capable of taking over games with tanky AP champions, and it’s a very good item for Sejuani to build. However, Sejuani’s main role is as a tank rather than a damage-dealer, so I’d save this item for last unless you’re fed or have another tank on the team.
Enchantment: Captain: Helps your allies engage when you charge into a group of enemies, and can also help push lanes. Because Sejuani is on the front line so much, this is hands-down the best enchantment choice for her.
Enchantment: Homeguard: Gives a movement speed boost and immediately regenerates all of Sejuani's tons of health when at base. Can be useful with Teleport, but generally I'd only take it if your team is losing.
Enchantment: Distortion: Reduces cooldowns on Flash and Teleport. Not terribly useful for Sejuani due to having little effect on the team as a whole, but can be nice if you chose Teleport as your second summoner spell.
When setting up your runes for jungling, make sure you take Greater Seal of Armor.Your masteries should be something like 0/21/9, using normal Defense distribution and putting points in Wanderer and Mastermind in the Utility tree. You can also try going 0/9/21 for more mobility with Nimble , but it greatly sacrifices Sejuani’s late-game usefulness and makes her first couple of jungle clears a bit more difficult. That said, if you’d rather clear faster and gank earlier, feel free to switch it up. Either way, make sure you put a point in Runic Affinity to keep buffs around longer.
A jungle Sejuani should typically start with a Hunter's Machete and five Health Potions. Season 3’s updates to the jungle make it more important to focus on the large monster in each camp, and the Hunter's Machete combined with Northern Winds + Frost puts out quite a bit of damage. Alternatively, you could start with Cloth Armor in place of the Hunter's Machete, trading jungle damage for early survivability. This might be smart if you’re planning to gank immediately, or expect an invasion from the enemy team. (Credit to Crumbzz for pointing that out in his guide on Lolpro)
At the start of a game, ask your allies for heavy damage on the wolf camp and/or blue buff so you can get through your first clear faster and more reliably. They won’t need to stay long enough to miss out on farming, but Sejuani’s early game is weak enough that every bit of damage helps. After that, your clear order moves to wolves, wraiths, and then golems. When farming in the jungle, take Arctic Assault at level 2 and use it to charge into the jungle camps, Frosting the monsters so your Northern Winds does more damage to them. If you took wolves before getting the blue buff, you can go back up to clear them again after getting the golems, though you definitely want to watch your health when doing so. Finally, you can recall back to your fountain and start buying items.
As Sejuani, you have a couple of options for when to start ganking. Your level 2 engagements are absolutely great – starting with Northern Winds and Arctic Assault, you immediately can start slowing and damaging people pretty well. That said, you’re completely reliant on your lanes and matchups during a level 2 gank because all you’re really capable of is slowing. Because of Sejuani’s low speed, you’d pretty much have to engage using Arctic Assault, meaning that you would have few escape options should things go awry. However, if your team is competent at low levels and you don’t get counter-ganked, you could end up putting one of your lanes far ahead, so it might be a worthwhile option.
Your other option is to farm in your jungle until at least level 4. Because Sejuani is a late-game champion, waiting a bit longer can let her mid-game power come into play. Once Sejuani hits level 6, she gets access to her ultimate ability, Glacial Prison, which almost always results in a successful gank if the enemies are out of position (and sometimes even if they’re not). When determining when to start ganking, look at whether any of your lanes are pushed back to their tower – if so, they could use your help. Regardless, after you have access to your full combo, you want to gank whenever possible and farm in your jungle the rest of the time, taking objectives like the dragon when you can.
Mid and bot lane will most likely be the first places for you to gank. When it comes to ganking mid lane, you have a lot of power – Arctic Assault allows you to wait in a bush or just outside of the enemy’s vision before rushing in. This gets better if your mid laner has a stun or similar crowd control ability, which can let you charge in before they can react. A good engagement here, combined with Sejuani’s natural slowing capabilities, can easily force your enemy to retreat or die.
In the bottom lane, Sight Wards are your friend and your enemy. Friendly Sight Wards can help you by providing a safe place for you to enter the lane – just be sure to ask your teammates if they know of any enemy Sight Wards that are lying around. Entering from the river is the best case scenario, as it allows Sejuani excellent positioning for trapping enemies, preventing their escapes. Glacial Prison is powerful here, as it can hit and disable two targets, letting your carry focus whomever they want. You want to make sure that you stay behind the enemy as long as possible to prevent their escape, keeping them in range of your carry. If you miss with Glacial Prison, it’s probably best to just leave, as they already know you’re there and you’ve blown your most useful skill.
Ganking the top lane is probably one of Sejuani’s least favorable engagements. This is mostly because all that Sejuani really has to contribute to top is slows. Although you might be able to force a Flash, all of your killing power relies on the champion matchup in the top lane due to Sejuani’s lack of damage output during the laning phase. If you have a tanky champ in the top lane, rather than a damaging one, you might as well not even bother ganking. Not to mention that it’s quite likely the opposing top laner will be building up quite a bit, making them hard to take down. That said, if you have to gank top at some point, be patient when you head up there. The river and tri brushes are the best places to lie in wait, at which point you have to wait for the opponent to push to the river or further.
If they do, lead in with Arctic Assault to slow them, then launch your full combo. If you’re level 6 or higher, you can also engage with Glacial Prison, though it’s better to save for when they’re already slowed and trying to run away (because by then your cooldowns will be almost back up). Everything after that depends on what happens – if you can get them low enough, you can try a tower dive, though it’s a risky endeavor in many cases. If they focus your teammate down and haven’t taken much damage in the process, it’s best to back off and let them do what they want; Sejuani’s low solo damage output means it’s better to stay away and live. If something like that happens, just try to focus on helping yourself and your other lanes. Even if your top laner complains, it’s better than senselessly dying while trying to help.
Gameplay: Solo Top
This is one of the most common places for Sejuani to go. Fortunately, she scales much better than most other top laners. Unfortunately, other top laners are much better than her early on. Because of this,your goal in top lane is not necessarily to farm. Instead, you should allow the enemy to push to your tower, taking what minion kills you can, and then farm underneath your tower. It’s not the best option, but attempting to farm normally can easily result in getting annihilated by the opposing champ. That said, if you’re up against a tanky top like Malphite, feel free to play a little on the aggressive side and take farm before they’re able to retaliate effectively.
In terms of items and abilities, you should follow the general recommendations I gave above. It’ll seem weak, but that’s mostly because Sejuani has a poor early game and this is a lane that’s all about getting ahead. While you’re still building up, be sure to grab a Sight Ward or two each time you go back to base. For one thing, Sejuani can be susceptible to tower dives from enemy junglers before she reaches level 6, and even for a bit after that, so even warding your own tri brush might be an excellent idea if you’re having to stay at your tower or being harassed a lot. Also, if you manage to get your lane pushed out a bit, throwing a Sight Ward into the river brush is great for your jungler. If your jungler gets a good opportunity to come up and gank your lane, you have the crowd control abilities to ensure that it’s successful. You want to enable this as much as possible to make sure you minimize your losses in lane.
If you manage to get ahead in lane, you still want to ward the river as much as possible. Pushing your lane and getting ganked from behind sucks, and you want to be able to inform your teammates if you notice someone roaming. Depending on your lane opponent, you might also want to ward the lane bushes to keep from getting jumped on. Rengar in particular is a huge pain for Sejuani, since he can keep her from farming pretty much at will using his abilities.
If you get pushed to your tower and see no sign of your lane opponent, call MIA as soon as you can. It’s very easy for top laners to roam when against Sejuani, so you want to make sure your team knows to be careful. Believe me, your mid lane will be thankful. On the other hand, if you manage to push your lane all the way to the opposing tower, you have to make a decision. If you stay and push, you’ll probably be able to win your lane sooner and start helping your team. However, sitting there and attacking the tower can leave you very susceptible to ganks, and in most cases, seeing someone in the range of one of your Sight Wards means it’s too late to get away. Instead, you might want to consider roaming down to mid lane and helping them out, or just taking a bit of jungle farm from the golems if you’re on the purple team. Which action you decide on will mostly depend on whether your other lanes are stable and if the opposing top laner is still present.
Once you’ve won your top lane, you want to go help out your other lanes as much as possible. However, your laning opponent will likely still be farming and pushing up there, so you want to keep an eye on your lane so your tower doesn’t go down while you’re away. Your goal during this time will be to help your other lanes win, usually by ganking when your jungler isn’t able. Remember to ward around a bit, though, so you don’t get surprised by their own top laner joining the action.
If you lose your top lane, you’re not out of luck. In fact, as Sejuani, you can pretty much expect to lose your lane against aggressive solo laners. Let your team know that your opponent will be roaming, and then focus on farming some more while not going out too far. During this time, don’t even think about pushing the enemy’s top tower unless you’re certain that their top laner is on the other side of the map. Instead, you’ll probably want to push your lane out to the river, scour your jungle to make sure it’s not being invaded, and then help mid or bot push out. There’s not much else for you to do until team fights start, but farming when you can (and when you’re not taking minion kills from your carry) can help keep your gold count up and let you upgrade your items.
Gameplay: Support Bot
You won’t see Sejuani in the bottom lane very often, but she can be effective in the right champion setup. The biggest thing to pay attention to is the new masteries. When it comes to your own masteries, I would personally avoid putting more than 9 points in the Support tree – you need toput all the points you can in Defense to help maintain your late game. Explorer is tempting, but will keep you from doing what Sejuani is really good at. You’re probably going to be playing safe early on, anyway.
That said, you need to remember that your opponents have access to the Pickpocket mastery. Bottom lane supports used to be more about passive safety, but this mastery means that your enemies are much more likely to poke you whenever you show your face. You have to play much more carefully until you have access to your full combo at level 3 or so.
The hardest part about this role is figuring out how to start, because you need Sight Wards. I'd suggest starting with a variant of the normal support item setup – Rejuvenation Bead, three Sight Wards, and two Health Potions. The Rejuvenation Bead won't make a big difference in your effectiveness in lane, but it’s a nice head start on the Philosopher's Stone.
Ability-wise, you can start with either Arctic Assault or Northern Winds as normal, but this time the reasoning is different. Arctic Assault is definitely the more useful ability here, since it lets you engage the enemy carry when they get out of position.
There’s also some art to using it: If your enemy isn’t warding much, you can sometimes just hang out in the lane bushes, and then jump out to trap their carry between you and your own carry, cutting off their retreat in the process. This doesn’t become too effective until you get your full combo, of course, but Arctic Assault gives many more engagement options and is definitely the ability that I would start with in lane. Permafrost should be the last thing you take, but the first thing you max for the slow.
In the early parts of the laning phase, you are most concerned with keeping your carry from taking damage. You have no healing abilities, so if you see the enemy carry moving to engage, be sure to hit him and force him to retreat. This requires a lot of awareness and knowledge of attack ranges, and reading the enemy incorrectly can lead to you making a wrong move and dying. Since Sejuani is certainly not made for the support role, you need to be exceptionally careful and make the most of every action you take. Because of this, your early Sight Wards are incredibly important. Throw one in the river bush when you can, but prioritize placing them at the dragon and tri brush if you're able to push out a bit.
Item-wise, you want to buy Boots of Speed as soon as you can for mobility. Boots on Sejuani as a support make her much more able to engage enemies, and helps her slow them when chasing. After you get basic boots, that’s when you want to finish building your Philosopher's Stone. After that, buying a Sightstone will be incredibly useful for providing consistent ward coverage, and you won’t have to worry about buying wards after you have one. At that point, you want to upgrade your boots (most likely to Ninja Tabi to keep their carry from shredding you), then begin building your regular items. Keep an eye on how much gold you have each time you go back to base – if you can complete an early item like Rod of Ages, take the opportunity to do so. If you don't have the money for that, just buy some components for other items, as well as a couple of Sight Wards for vision. Rod of Ages has proven to be incredibly useful in lane, giving you a lot of health and damage output in a normally squishy lane.
If your jungler comes to gank your lane, you suddenly become the most important part of the lane. It is solely your job to engage the enemy, after which your jungler will come in and keep them from getting away. This is especially true once you hit level 6, because Glacial Prison followed by your full combo makes your enemies utterly unable to get away in almost every instance. Even if you’re low on health, you still want to engage when your jungler comes. It is completely okay if you simply throw your ult combo out and die, as long as it means your jungler and carry can pick up the kills reliably. You’re a tank – get used to dying.
On the other hand, if you get ganked, it is once again your primary concern to keep your carry alive. The moment you see the enemy jungler in one of your ward locations, you want to make sure your carry starts to retreat. After that, keep an eye on your side of the jungle to make sure the jungler doesn’t try to tower dive you. If he does, or if your carry gets caught out of position, your most powerful weapon is Glacial Prison. Throw it out there as soon as your enemies are together, and do your best to take aggro off of your carry. If you can get back to the tower or force an enemy to die for some reason, you have done your job. However, if you’re close enough that you can use your abilities without having to charge in, then save Arctic Assault to use as an escape. It’s quite likely that your carry will be focused and die in this situation, so if your attempts to save them fail, you want to be sure that you yourself can get out.
After your laning phase is over, whether you win or lose, you’ll be doing the same thing. You want to help out your other teammates as much as possible, wherever they are. After the laning phase, Sejuani does best at starting and controlling team fights, so this is when you’ll switch to the main tank role. Since you’ll have a Sightstone, keep that around for as long as possible and keep wards on both the dragon and Baron Nashor while working on your other items. In the meantime, smartly start fights when you can.
Gameplay: Solo Mid
This is not really a position where Sejuani wants to be, but things can end up that way due to strange team compositions, odd laning choices, or sometimes stubborn teammates. Or maybe you just want to try it out, I don’t know. Regardless of how it comes to be, Sejuani mid can happen, though there are a few things you need to be aware of going into it. First, expect to die. Mid laners tend to have range and power that Sejuani doesn’t, so she’ll tend to get harassed a lot. Second, be prepared to call MIA all the time. In fact, let your team know to always expect your laning opponent to be wandering if they’re not on the mini-map. You’ll be pushed to your tower a lot during the laning phase, so your opponent will have a lot of opportunities to gank somewhere. You can mitigate this somewhat once you get your full Permafrost combo leveled up a bit and start pushing out, but that won’t mean they’ll stick around.
When setting up for solo mid, you want to keep the normal runes and masteries for Sejuani. You’re really just a replacement for a more conventional mid laner here, so you’re playing for the late game just the same. You may decide to take some extra magic resist to help lane, but I wouldn’t invest much more than a couple of mastery points or a Greater Quintessence of Scaling Magic Resist in that.
When starting a game in the mid lane, take a point in Arctic Assault. You’re not going to be farming much in your first couple of levels, so making sure you aren’t susceptible to harassment and ganks is important. For items, you generally want to take either a Null-Magic Mantle or a Crystalline Flask. I personally would go with the Null-Magic Mantle for the magic resist, just so I don’t get bursted down immediately when an engagement happens. The Crystalline Flask would provide some extra sustain, however, and the extra Health Potions you’d get because it costs 100 gold less than the Null-Magic Mantle can be useful for staying in lane. The choice is yours.
After you’ve been in lane for a bit, you might want to consider upgrading the Null-Magic Mantle into an item with some more magic resist, such as an Aegis of the Legion or just plain Mercury's Treads. Otherwise, rushing straight into a Rod of Ages is a good idea so you can start building up health.
Somewhere around levels 5-7, your Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist will start to kick in, greatly reducing the amount of damage you’ll receive in lane. If you’ve managed to die less than thrice at this point, it’s a good time to start farming. You’ll have your full combo doing quite a bit of damage by now, so killing minion waves takes no time at all. You now have the option to either freeze your lane or push it out and help with ganks. Which you decide on depends on how the game is going overall – if their jungler is fed, you don’t really want to leave lane and get jumped on. If your team is winning though, you might be able to help another lane push out while your own lane opponent is busy, turning the tables on them. Once you’ve hit this stage of the game, your late-game options start opening up.
Gameplay: Late Game and Team Fights
No matter what lane role you took as Sejuani, your ultimate goal is the same: Start favorable team fights, stun as much of their team as possible, and then single out enemies in fights to keep them from being effective. You mostly want to stay with your own team as much as possible, which maximizes Sejuani’s effectiveness because of how reliant she is on team damage.
When looking to start team fights, there are a few things to consider.
First, how many of them are there, and how many of us? An even team fight tends to be best for Sejuani because not only does she rely on her own team for damage, but Glacial Prison is most effective against more targets. We’ll get to that part in a minute.
Second, where are the rest of them? Catching people out of position is the best way for team fights with Sejuani to start, because Sejuani is so capable of single-handedly ensuring that they can’t get away. If you suspect the enemy team is nearby and just out of sight range, you may want to wait to engage so you don’t waste your abilities and get into a bad position.
Third, where are we? Fighting in the jungle can be useful for making the most of Sejuani’s charge, but the low visibility in there can mean having difficulty finding targets. On the other hand, fighting in or near a lane alleviates that, while also inviting the possibility of being attacked from several angles. It can sometimes be difficult to gauge this properly, and it really depends on where your team fights best. That said, engaging around Baron Nashor tends to be excellent for Sejuani; it has enough space to allow her to get into the middle of the enemy team, and she can charge over nearby walls if anyone retreats (or if she has to).
Your ultimate ability, Glacial Prison, is your trump card when fighting. It’s one of the greatest engagement tools in the game due to its ranged area-of-effect stun, and synergizes with Sejuani’s other abilities. If you lead an engagement with Glacial Prison, you usually want to follow it up with an immediate Arctic Assault to get into the middle of them. You can then activate Northern Winds during the charge, which lets you start damaging enemies right away. Once your charge is over, activating Permafrost slows everyone you hit with Glacial Prison even more, so even once they’re out of the stun, they have difficulty moving away from you. Combined with a Sunfire Cape and other AoE items, this full combo can disable their entire team immediately.
However, leading with Glacial Prison isn’t always the best idea. Sometimes the enemy team will be spread out, or one enemy will be closer to you than the rest of the team, making Glacial Prison ineffective against more than one person. In these cases, it’s best to either wait for a better engagement, or just fight normally and use Glacial Prison when the opportunity presents itself. If someone runs straight into a bush you’re hiding in, you only need to use your Northern Winds and Permafrost. Your first auto-attack against them Frosts them, after which you can start Northern Winds to do more damage. Permafrost then slows them, keeping them from getting away. This lets you initiate a fight without using Arctic Assault or Glacial Prison, meaning you can save them for when they’re most effective. This usually means waiting until the enemy team shows up, then ulting for a standard engagement.
That said, always make sure your team is around when you start a fight. Engaging under unfavorable conditions often results in unnecessary deaths, so patience is a virtue as Sejuani. You may have to play as her a lot to get used to the best times to use her abilities, but generally speaking, having a team around is what really makes her engagement talents work.
Once you’ve used your ult and full combo in a team fight, your job is to lock down single targets. This can be done in two ways. The first way is to take note of which enemies are being focused on by your team and help take them down. This method tends to help with team collaboration, but sometimes results in higher priority targets being free to do what they want.
Alternatively, you can focus on whoever deals the most damage or provides the most crowd control. This option locks down high-output targets very effectively, but you always have to be careful to make sure your team doesn’t get overwhelmed by the rest of the enemies. No matter which way you choose to engage, always remember that you don’t get to decide who the enemies attack. If they choose to ignore you and focus on your teammates, the most you can really do to change that is continue to attack and slow them. As long as you’re in the middle of the fight and are locking down targets, you’re doing your job right.
Synergies and Counters
These are mostly champions that benefit from Sejuani’s crowd control and AoE abilities, especially if their ults are AoE-based as well.
Anivia: Only a little bit, but the combined AoE ults and slows can annoy the heck out of any team, and allows your AD champs to take them down with relative ease.
Ashe: Acting as a support for Ashe is fun, and can result in a surprising amount of kill potential. You both want to play it safe for the first few levels, but after that, the duo’s combined slows and target focus can be devastating. Sejuani’s damage output tends to surpass that of traditional bot lane support roles, too, giving a lot of hurt to anyone that gets into a fight with the two of you.
Corki: Mostly just because enemies have trouble dodging his abilities when slowed by Sejuani. His Gatling Gun and Missile Barrage are helped most by this.
Darius: Darius’ and Sejuani’s abilities go well together because they rely on grouping the enemy team together and then focusing out targets. This setup can also be funny if the two of you just want to steal kills from your team, you jerk.
Fiora: Sejuani’s Glacial Prison sets up Fiora’s Blade Waltz rather nicely. Beyond that, though, these two just do their separate things.
Miss Fortune: One of Sejuani’s best synergies is with MF. A good Glacial Prison from you leads into a devastating Bullet Time from her, and both can follow it up with good single target damaging abilities. I always like having a Miss Fortune on my team.
Nunu: For eternal slows. Their ults set each other up, too.
Pantheon: Your Glacial Prison sets up his Grand Skyfall pretty nicely, allowing for it to damage just about everyone on the enemy team. His Heartseeker Strike benefits similarly by having everyone grouped in one area.
Sivir: Similar to the above, Sejuani’s Glacial Prison sets Sivir up for a nice Boomerang Blade. This is most useful during the early and mid game, when Sivir’s damage output is the highest comparatively.
Xerath: One of the best synergies Sejuani has with a caster. Your Glacial Prison sets up his Arcane Barrage to do the most damage, and also allows him to reliably use his other abilities.
Ziggs: BOOM. You benefit pretty much all of Ziggs' abilities.
Sejuani tends to perform well when playing against champions that use stealth mechanics or involve single-target abilities.
Akali: Surprisingly enough. If Akali goes into her Twilight Shroud, Sejuani can just sit there and activate Northern Winds, continuing to deal damage to the invisible target.
Caitlyn: You are excellent at blocking her Ace in the Hole for your teammates. This goes double if you have a Banshee's Veil.
Hecarim: You shut this guy down hard. Hecarim relies on movement speed for his passive, but Permafrost keeps him from getting that bonus.
Jarvan IV: Your Arctic Assault can go through his Cataclysm as if it were a normal wall. So, if he ults onto you, you can just charge away. Conversely, if he ults onto your teammate, you can charge in and punish him.
Malphite: When against Malphite in the top lane, you don’t really get harassed often, meaning you can often free-farm. Don’t bother harassing him, though, because he has many ways to just not care.
Miss Fortune: If she ults you first, you can interrupt it and turn the tables.
Poppy: If Poppy uses Diplomatic Immunity on you, you can easily punish her. Sejuani’s damage output is higher than one might expect from a tank, so even though your teammates can’t hurt her, you can still take down her health by quite a bit. If uses Diplomatic Immunity on someone else, you get to keep doing your regular thing anyway. It’s a win-win.
Teemo: His Noxious Traps can be annoying, but if you notice him going into Camouflage, your abilities can easily reveal him.
Vladimir: Vladimir’s damage tends to fall off a bit as the laning phase goes on, while yours only gets stronger. Once your Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist kicks in, he can’t hurt you much at all.
For the most part, you want to avoid playing Sejuani with a team that does crowd control via moving enemies around. These effects easily get in the way of Glacial Prison and make you less effective.
Amumu: You seriously do the same thing. Even if the AoE and stuns are nice, the team needs more damage then what having both Sejuani and Amumu can provide.
Blitzcrank: He has a tendency to Rocket Grab people away from a perfect ult position. It can work, but you’d need to be much more conservative with your Glacial Prison.
Gragas: Similar to Janna, his Explosive Cask blasts people out of the way of your Glacial Prison. It’s not fun.
Janna: Similar to Gragas, her Monsoon blasts people out of the way of your Glacial Prison. It’s not fun.
Lee Sin: His Dragon's Rage has the same effect as the above three: Moving opponents. If he Q’s in and kicks someone away while you’re using Glacial Prison, things don’t really go so well. That said, in a laning setup, either one of you can jungle while the other goes to the top lane, which is quite convenient.
Xin Zhao: Again, he has an ult that spreads out your enemies, making your Glacial Prison less effective.
Admittedly, Sejuani has more bad matchups than good ones, especially while laning. This list includes aggressive solo laners and champions that are capable of dodging Sejuani’s Glacial Prison.
Ahri: She can poke you quite a bit, and her Charm is great for getting you out of position and doing nothing. She’s annoying to go up against.
Darius: This is actually one of the better matchups in top lane, but still suboptimal by a long shot. His Hemorrhage effects can easily kill you if you’re not careful, and his true damage Noxian Guillotine doesn’t care how tanky you are.
Elise: During the early game, Elise has a lot of poke ability that keeps you from farming. She falls off later, but it’s very easy to get behind when up against her.
Fiddlesticks: Terrify keeps you from doing anything you need to. Once it’s gone, you’re fine, but those initial moments can result in death if you’re in the middle of trying to set something up.
Fizz: He can dodge your Glacial Prison. You usually won’t see it, but it’s annoying when it happens.
Galio: He tends to get in the way of Glacial Prison's line of fire and just sit there. It’s very difficult to be effective when he’s blocking you from their team.
Gangplank: Remove Scurvy cleanses your Glacial Prison, and then he can just Parrrley you and run away.
Jayce: He’s an incredibly bad matchup for Sejuani in lane. He does plenty of damage and doesn’t care about what damage you do to him, so often your jungler can’t even gank for you. He’s very problematic.
Karthus: Sejuani’s kit and item builds rely on being able to stay near enemies and focus them down. Karthus’ Defile, coupled with the fact that he can keep it on for a while when he dies, really hurts Sejuani’s capabilities.
Master Yi: Can’t be slowed.
Mordekaiser: The shield from his Creeping Death pretty much shuts you down immediately. And like Darius, the bleed on his Children of the Grave can easily be the death of you with the way you have to play as Sejuani. If you die to it, he gets a boar on his team for a while, which just plain sucks and sometimes results in your ghost killing your teammates while tanking a lot of damage.
Olaf: Can’t be disabled. Also, his armor penetration from Ragnarok and the true damage from Reckless Swing make it pointless to try building against him.
Rengar: This guy is one of the strongest top laners right now, despite recent nerfs. His Unseen Predator makes it difficult to farm, and even trying usually results in getting half of your health taken away in no time. Rengar is a ridiculously bad matchup for Sejuani in lane.
Thanks a lot for reading through my guide! I hope you found it useful for the many situations you may encounter while playing as Sejuani. If you enjoyed reading and like the guide, please give it an upvote so I know. If you have any issues with the guide, suggestions, or feedback of any kind, please leave a comment and I’ll try to respond and update the guide.
Thanks again for reading, and have fun stunning whole teams with Sejuani!
jhoijhoi - "Making a Guide" and templates
Meiyjhe and Vacuumen - Formatting help and advice
21 December 2012 - Finished first draft of guide.
31 December 2012 - Guide posted to Mobafire.
9 January 2013 - Updated formatting and organization. Added information about Abyssal Scepter and some alternative rune and item setups.