Syndra Build Guide by Bearsub

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Bearsub

Syndra, a New Look for Season 4

Bearsub Last updated on December 1, 2013
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Disclaimer

It's fair to say that this build isn't exactly for the faint of heart. While it does provide unique advantages, some might be put off by the uneven power curve and repetitive Tear of the Goddess charging. For a less micro-managed play style, I wholeheartedly recommend:
FalseoGod's Syndra guide


It doesn't exactly present a clean-cut build or play style, but will give more of a general sense as to how Syndra interacts with various item sets. I encourage readers to experiment with other builds and find the one that most closely fits their needs.


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Introduction

There's been some talk lately, namely among trolls and theory-crafters, of Muramana Syndra. At a glance I saw no guide covering this particular play style, so I decided to tackle it. Essentially the build takes advantage of an odd interaction between Muramana and Syndra's ultimate. Turns out, every sphere used in the ability procs Muramana, which can dramatically increase its burst potential. Because Muramana's active stacks with mana, the key is to have as much mana as possible while still remaining viable after your ultimate has been used. You'll find yourself literally one-hitting any AD or AP carry not stacking MR; something other Syndra builds can't offer... which brings us to the advantages and disadvantages of our play style.

Syndra's greatest asset: Karthus doublekiller!

Better fix that glitch... On Syndra's damage!


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Why Muramana?

Muramana's Active:

Toggle: Dealing damage with single target, non-periodic spells or your basic attacks will consume 3% of your current mana to deal 6% of your current mana as physical damage.

Yep, this means that Muramana's active procs on every sphere in your ultimate! If you stack mana, not only will your ultimate deal up to an additional 25-35% of your mana pool as damage, you gain the great tank benefits of items such as Frozen Heart and Rod of Ages, to name a few; all while putting out burst on par with or better than traditional builds!


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Advantages and Disadvantages of Muramana Syndra



Advantages



*Extremely high burst potential (instantly eliminate a carry)


*Brutal auto attacks


*Far tankier than normal


*1000 shield from Seraph's Embrace (XD)


*Practically unlimited mana while not using Muramana active


*Hard to counter; need target in range for only one click


*Good 1v1'er


*High sustained DPS (Muramana auto attacks)


*Extraordinary late game (approaches standard build AP with Rabadon's Deathcap)





Disadvantages




*Sacrifices some early game kill potential


*Needs Blue buff to charge Tear of the Goddess quickly


*You literally have to mash "Q" constantly


*Potentially lower AP = less potent late game poke


*Takes at least 35 minutes to fully charge two Tear of the Goddess


*Need to manage your mana carefully when using Muramana active


*Performs poorly when caught low on mana


*You need blue buff to keep your damage up late game


* Tear of the Goddess now takes slightly longer to charge due to nerfs


The lists of advantages and disadvantages are similar lengths, but after you try this build I think you will agree that the benefits far outweigh the downfalls.


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Runes

Runes

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3
We just take the standard mage setup here. Two changes to consider would be:

3X Greater Quintessence of Ability Power


These runes can be helpful in compensating for this build's lack of early game damage. Your poke will be a bit less negligible, but it comes at the cost of Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, which enables you to better survive tough skill shot based matchups.

9X Greater Glyph of Magic Resist


If you aren't planning on buying a Rabadon's deathcap, you might opt for these. They make you *almost* impossible to burst down once you have your Rod of Ages. I would suggest non-scaling runes, but have had success with scaling as well (in which case I often take something like 4 flat and 5 scaling)


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Masteries

Masteries
1/1
4/4
1/1
3/3
1/1
3/3
3/3
3/3
1/1
1/1
3/3
3/3
1/3
1/1
1/1

I'm still trying to work through the new masteries to see what's most effective. The page above is what I'm currently using, but any suggestions regarding the new changes are appreciated!


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Items



Core Items




Rod of Ages is a good pick for this setup as it grants mana for Muramana, health for survivability, and some AP to boot. An early Catalyst the Protector helps you sate your obscene mana needs as well as absorb any enemy harass; it allows you to focus on what really matters: charging your Tear of the Goddess. This item is a must. It is your main source of AP until you get Archangel's Staff.

Muramana spikes the damage on your ultimate, and is the centerpiece of this build. It will also make your auto attacks hit for some hard mixed damage. Remember not to buy Manamune until your Tear of the Goddess is fully stacked, though!

Seraph's Embrace again synergies extremely well with this build. You get a ton of mana for Muramana, 60 AP, a passive that provides nearly 150 AP lategame, and a disgustingly large shield.



Situational Items




Iceborn Gauntlet gives much-appreciated CDR, a stellar passive which capitalizes well on Muramana's AD bonuses, armor, and even more AP.

Banshee's Veil is the item that makes you infuriatingly tanky and guarantees that wont be killed quickly, save the most extreme cases of focusing. It no longer grants mana but still boasts a strong passive, should you need more bulk
Frozen Heart should be purchased when three or more people on the enemy team are dealing significant physical damage and eliminating the ADC only somewhat mitigates AD. Paired with Iceborn Gauntlet, you become very hard to kill physically.

Rabadon's Deathcap can help you put out enough damage to "insta-gib" even moderately tanky targets. You should purchase Rabadon's as an endgame item when the enemy team goes full-bruiser composition and you really need the extra damage to halt their advance/deter tower diving. Don't buy Rabadon's if you can already 1-hit their main damage dealer; then it's better for you to get more survivability and dish out consistent CC and damage than hit their 2k HP Ezreal for 4K damage... That being said, it brings your AP way up and is typically a good option regardless.

Deathfire Grasp, if replacing Frozen Heart/ Iceborn Gauntlet, will tehnically give you the highest burst damage on your ultimate. However, I find most of my ultimates coming from max range (cocky AD carry trying to kite you, etc.). Deathfire Grasp is a good option, but the range on its active can be incompatible with Syndra's long range kit. Admittedly, the same could possibly be said for armor/survivability; you really just don't want to be that close in the first place. Choosing between Deathfire Grasp and a defensive item should always be situational. Don't buy it if you can already one-hit your main target. If their AD carry starts buying things like Maw of Malmortius and Banshee's Veil, you might very well need the extra damage. Just don't overbuild for damage or you will regret it when their tank one-shots you!

NOTE: Now that Muramana does physical damage, I highly discourage you from getting this item! Buy lich bane instead if you need more damage!

Lich Bane built in place of Iceborn Gauntlet gives you absolutely obscene sustain damage. This is risky, but allows you to legitimately enter "rambo-pentakill-mode". You are squishy, but your damage is nothing short of sickening. Get this if you want to trololol or smurf.


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Summoner Spells


Look, it's time to stop pretending that Flash and Ignite aren't totally overpowered. The only other spell I would consider would be Clarity, if you are really worried about not being able to manage your mana while charging Tear of the Goddess. Still, you should mostly consider Clarity if you have a very blue-dependent jungler such as Amumu, or, uhh, Karthus. You should be able to have blue most of the time otherwise. Clarity can also help you out in unexpected teamfights, boosting the shield on Seraph's Embrace, for instance, by up to around 400-500 points. It can boost prolonged damage from Muramana auto attacks. Overall a viable option if you wouldn't miss the early game aggression Ignite allows for.


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Abilities

Most of you can probably explore these for yourselves, so I'll keep this brief.

Transcendent is your passive, which happens to be more vanilla than playing Nasus (sorry, Nasus players). It gives you slight upgrades to your abilities at their max ranks. Nice, but nothing to really worry about.

Dark Sphere is your "Q" ability. It sets down a sphere which deals damage and can be moved by other abilities. It's on a short cooldown. You have Tear of the Goddess. Get the idea?

Force of Will is your "W" ability. You can pick up your spheres, neutral creeps (not baron nashor or dragon , you naughty boy), and enemy minions. Yes, Annie's Tibbers, Zyra's plants, Heimerdinger's turrets, etc. can also be picked up. If you ever face these people, make a point of grabbing their stuff... Nothing says "screw you" quite like throwing Tibbers into the dragon pit. Lol. Anyway, this ability is normally used to slow enemies, to harass with its insane range, and to be a general troll. Try warding a buff and grabbing it just as the enemy jungler is about to smite. Throw it away, and its health will reset. This can be downright infuriating for the enemy team ;).

Scatter the Weak is your "E" ability. By itself it is a knockback, but things get interesting when there is a Dark Sphere in its area. The Dark Sphere flies in the direction of the knockback, stunning any enemies it hits. Yes, this can be used on multiple Dark Spheres, allowing you to stun practically everyone within a large cone in front of you after you use Unleashed Power. This is your main escape move, and a major teamfight asset, so get accurate with it.

Unleashed Power is your "R" ability. It is a single target nuke that does damage based upon how many Dark Spheres you have out. Each sphere used also procs Muramana, which is the basis of this guide. Importantly, it drops all of the spheres used in an area around your target, which is a great setup for Scatter the Weak. You should be able to nearly 1-hit AD carries and AP carries with this by mid-game.


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Laning/Matchups (In Progress)

How aggressively you play and farm depends mostly on your lane opponent. The section below highlights the aspects of playing against difficult groups of champions with tricky characteristics.

Akali/ Fizz/ Kassadin (The A-F-K trio: convenient, I know.)


These champions are a major pain. If they know what they are doing, they will simply leap at you as soon as you use Dark Sphere, leaving you open to whatever they had in mind. You have a couple of options against these characters. You can try to zone them with your range, and assert lane dominance (risky but effective if pulled off), or you can play passively until they jump on you and you stun them.

Some quick tips:

Do
*Always have Scatter the Weak ready for when they leap
*Abuse them when they're on cooldown
*Use your range
*Take advantage of their weak early lane presence
Don't
*Use Dark Sphere purely to farm. You seriously have to have a sphere ready to stun them. Be conservative.
*Allow them to free farm or roam. (these champions can easily feed off other lanes if you don't control them.)


Specifics:



Akali



A skilled Akali will ruin your day. Her multiple leaps from Shadow Dance wreak havoc on your ability to escape and her lifesteal/spellvamp from Twin Disciplines allow her to soak your sustained damage. To play against Akali, you must make her early laning unbearable. The goal, essentially, is to make her farm with her Mark of the Assassin rather than harass you. Every single time she goes in to last-hit a minion, tag her with Dark Sphere. You want her to fear you before she has the chance to get truly aggressive at level 6. This way, she is less likely to engage and will not only miss out on kills but minions as well. Beware of Akali roaming despite your lane dominance. Keep your team well-posted on her whereabouts. If you find yourself losing in lane, it's wise to buy a couple of Vision Wards, which when placed in lane can help your jungler initiate on her.

Fizz



Fizz is terrible to play against. He has insane mobility, good sustained damage, and an ability that makes your ultimate worthless ( Playful / Trickster). I really hate saying this, but your best option may be to ask your top laner to switch lanes with you. If you do get stuck facing Fizz, there are a couple of ways to control him in lane. First, keep in mind that, though he is very mobile with Urchin Strike and Playful / Trickster, Fizz is still melee. You can harass him if you're careful, and he is very vulnerable when these abilities are on cooldown. If you manage to bait Playful / Trickster punish him with everything you have; exploiting mistakes in spell usage is essential to dealing with Fizz. Otherwise, just try not to die to him early game or you and your team will be in for a world of pain as he puts his ganking potential to use.


Kassadin



Kassadin is a bit like Akali in that he only gets mobility Riftwalk after level 6. Before then, he is one of the poorest laners in the game. He is melee, and can only last hit with Null Sphere if zoned effectively; a practice that will leave him under-farmed and constantly out of mana. The only chance Syndra has at defeating Kassadin in lane is found within the first five levels. Bully Kassadin mercilessly until he gets his ultimate. After this point, you just have to pray that he doesn't have the items or nerve to begin zoning you. This is another lane you might just try to avoid.



Bonus: Easy Farming



If you have middle lane well warded, you can farm very effectively by using Dark Sphere twice on the caster minions. This will kill all three and allow you to focus exclusively on last-hitting the other minions in a wave. Don't push like this if your lane opponent could easily kill you or the brush is unwarded.


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Playing Practically (no, not a 7-sphere ultimate)

We all want to see it; that Muramana-empowered 7-sphere Unleashed Power that makes Mundo cry himself to sleep. Unfortunately, this is a seldom realized dream. Far too many Syndra players are so obsessed with reaching 6, or even 7-sphere ultimates, that they forget their purpose:

Kill the Enemy Damage as Fast as Possible

I'm going to tell you right here: most of your ultimates should, and will be, 5 spheres. You ought to, however, always have at least 5 spheres. Recall that every second spent setting up your ultimate is another second of your team taking damage from enemy carries. Honestly, few high-damage builds allow for the survival of a 5-sphere ultimate to begin with; if they do, they will be so low on health that they will instantly die to stray AOE, or be forced to retreat.



Note: If a tankier top lane bruiser is your main problem, it may be worthwhile to stall for a 6th sphere. Just ask yourself, "What will kill my target the fastest?"



TL;DR:
A 5-sphere ultimate will do enough damage to take a carry out of the picture. Don't fall victim to the often frivolous practice of micro-managing a 6 or 7-sphere ultimate.



The combos below are the most commonly used, but they are subject to change as the situation calls for.


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The Lane Duel Combo

Most of your early ultimates will be ideally well-prepared, 6-sphere ultimates. This can be a bit tricky. Naturally, stockpiling spheres and going for a full combo is pretty suspicious. The moment you use your Force of Will you tell your laning opponent that you mean business and will soon attempt a combo. Though you must charge your Tear of the Goddess, constantly using your Force of Will on top of Dark Sphere can take its toll on your mana pool, as well as severely cripple your ability to react to ganks.

In light of this, the main purpose of this combo is to:
Initiate, clearly, a to-the-death trade.

Dark Sphere -> Dark Sphere -> Force of Will -> Scatter the Weak -> Dark Sphere -> Unleashed Power -> ( Ignite)
(Q, Q, W, E, Q, R, [ignite])



Remember to use your Force of Will on the first Dark Sphere you put down. This ensures that you will have maximum damage output on Unleashed Power. With no CDR, your window for achieving a 6-sphere ultimate is rather small; you have only a couple seconds with 3 on the field. Make sure your lane opponent will commit if you spend the effort on setting this up.


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The Panic Combo (Know this if nothing else)

So, perhaps you have naughtily been roaming around the enemy jungle when an enemy appears. Maybe their jungler has caught you alone in lane. You need to know the Panic Combo. This is a 1v1 strategy, which may or may not not be superior to simply stunning your pursuers and running if, say, three people are on you. This combo should also be used against very passive lane opponents as it requires little setup (make sure they have taken a bit of harass before this if you don't have Muramana).

This is your standard, foolproof combo.

Dark Sphere -> Scatter the Weak -> Force of Will -> Dark Sphere -> Unleashed Power -> ( Ignite)
(Q, E, W, Q, R, [ignite])



After you have Muramana, this will kill any "squishy".


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The Teamfight Combo

This combo utilizes that awkward time during which you are travelling to a running conflict. Try to get your Dark Spheres ready for action.

Dark Sphere -> Dark Sphere -> Force of Will -> Dark Sphere -> Unleashed Power -> Scatter the Weak
(Q, Q, W, Q, R, E)



It is similar to the Lane Duel Combo, except you use Scatter the Weak after Unleashed Power for maximum shotgun stun potential. It isn't hard to stun an entire team like this.


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No Pain no Gain- the Most Slavishly Boring 22 Minutes of Your Life (early g

2:00-5:00
So you have Boots of Speed, Health Potions, and a sight ward. Your goal now is to kill all of the minions that come at you as fast as possible (until you have 700 gold). This accomplishes two things: getting the money for Tear of the Goddess quickly, and pushing your lane so you can actually recall to buy it. You really need to buy Tear of the Goddess before the 5:00 mark.




5:00-9:00
Now that you've got your precious Tear of the Goddess, it's time to start devoting every waking moment to charging it. Blue buff won't be back up until around 7:00, so don't completely blow mana until then. Use your Dark Sphere to harass your lane opponent and farm. Do this every time it's off cooldown once you have Blue. Stay in lane until you can afford Catalyst the Protector and at least one Vision Ward Remember to always mash "Q"!




9:00-14:00
After you have Catalyst the Protector and Unleashed Power, you stand a chance at killing your lane opponent. Try to harass them down to about 50% health and use either the "Panic Combo" or the "Lane Duel Combo" depending on how defensively they play. Most will underestimate the damage from your ultimate and die to these combos. By 14:00 you should be able to buy a Rod of Ages. If you can't, know that it isn't GG, and continue to diligently farm your Tear of the Goddess.



14:00-22:00
You honestly should have Muramana by 22:00. In fact, a devoted player under perfect circumstances should be able to fully farm their Tear of the Goddess by around 20:00. At this point, my build usually looks like: Sorcerer's Shoes (if I nabbed a couple kills), Rod of Ages, and Muramana. Now you can most likely take on your lane opponent with ease.



*VERY IMPORTANT*
Remember to activate Muramana's active effect by clicking on it in your inventory! Doing so will also make your auto attacks consume 3% of your maximum mana, so farm using your Dark Sphere and Force of Will. You must buy a second Tear of the Goddess as soon as you finish Muramana. You have to charge this dutifully, but not as desperately as your first one. Try to get Blue buff as much as possible.


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Mid Game and Beyond

From 22:00-24:00 on, begin charging your second Tear of the Goddess and then evaluate the enemy team to decide which items to buy from there. The standard build I presented is often the best, but toying with the other suggested items can pay off huge in some games.



In team fights, your goals are as follows:
1. Kill the AD carry (you should be able to tag them with a 5-sphere Unleashed Power for the kill).
2. Stun as many enemies as possible with your Unleashed Power/ Scatter the Weak combo
3. Protect low-health teammates and kill fleeing enemies
4. Deal as much damage as you can with Muramana proc'ed auto attacks.



Note: remember to use Seraph's Embrace's active if you are focused, it will shield you for up to 1000 damage. Use Clarity right before if you are running it.


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Baron/Dragon

You can usually dispel a baron nashor attempt, or at lower levels, a dragon attempt, by using Unleashed Power on the AD carry. If you have extra money/inventory space, buy a ward or two to help map awareness. You are disruptive enough to make a team already struggling against baron nashor extremely vulnerable. additionally, their stationary positions will make a 6-sphere ultimate easy to execute. Be sure to stun as many people as you can when you go in for the ADC; this will ensure your survival.


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Conclusion and Successes

I hope you found this guide to be fresh and informative. It's my first guide, so I would fully appreciate any constructive criticism! With any luck you now have a better idea of how to play Muramana Syndra and will continue to improve upon the basics I've laid out. If you have any build suggestions, interesting play tips, or thoughts, please leave a comment.



I'd like to thank jhoijhoi for their informative guide on making guides, which can be found here: here



Here is a decent run I had using the above build. If this guide helped you, don't hesitate to submit your own record!


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