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Elise Build Guide by snakebytes

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League of Legends Build Guide Author snakebytes

Elise Queen of the Shadow Isles (In-Depth)

snakebytes Last updated on October 30, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

Guide Top


Elise the Spider Queen is a high potential mage with great percentage burst damage and stun/gap closer all in one package. Although she has a somewhat slow start, she can dish out a lot of damage in an open duel and overwhelm her opponent leaving them with little to no escape.

I've been playing her since her release and I'd like to share my knowledge on what I have learned so far. Note that this is still a work in progress just like all the rest of the guides out there and I will be updating it frequently as I play her even more!

Credits to jhoijhoi for an awesome guide on coding to help format my own guide, which you can find here.

Credits to IceCreamy's: How to Use Columns Guide

Elise wiki

Guide Top

Pros / Cons


+ Stun and gap closer.
+ Percentage based damage.
+ Great anti carry.
+ Spider Queen spiderlings can block skill shots!
+ Isn't mana hungry.
+ She's a ****ing spider!

- Can't stick to her target easily.
- Needs to build more tanky than other mages.
- You must quickly rotate your entire kit between Spider Form / Human Form to be most efficient.
- No reliable escape method.
- Somewhat high cooldowns.
- Lowish sustain

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Summoner Spells

I like to give Elise the standard Flash and Ignite for summoners.
But I will go over a few others that will work as well.

Preferred Summoner Spells

Flash is such a great summoner with so many uses you can't afford to pass up.
Ignite is a great spell to add extra burst to your champion which is just what Elise needs. It's also a great way to secure kills.

Alternative Summoner Spells

Why: Is an excellent substitute for a summoner spell for Elise because she is extremely vulnerable to crowd control. This spell can save your life probably more than Flash will.
Why Not: Flash still has more uses.[/clear]

Why: Surge adds a lot of potential burst damage.
Why Not: You have to be constantly attacking for the duration, unlike Ignite.[/clear]

Why: Makes Elise an excellent chaser.
Why Not: Elise is built for burst not chasing. Flash is better in a pinch.[/clear]

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I prefer to give Elise flat bonus runes to help compensate for her weak early game. I use this page mostly for no-cost, high burst champions, like Katarina and Akali.


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Greater Mark of Insight
Standard marks for all AP casters ( Elise included). Gives you almost 30 magic penetration along with Sorcerer's Shoes.

Greater Seal of VitalityGreater Seal of Vitality
Elise's combination of low cost/no cost spells allows her to choose a more durable set of seals that benefit her spider form by adding more health. These seals are also amplified by Durability .

Greater Glyph of Warding
The extra MR is great for early game laning and trading, while further increases durability in Spider Form.

Greater Quintessence of Potency
Standard for all AP casters really the best option you have,
unless you prefer Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed.

Guide Top

Items (Subject to change)

Most of Elise's items must include some form of durability but she still has a pretty good spectrum to choose from. The build I've been working in so far is as follows:

Item Sequence

Rabadon's Deathcap

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Zhonya's Hourglass

Abyssal Mask

Game Start (455 Gold)

Doran's Ring/Health Potions x3
The new standard start for pretty much every champion in the the current meta. This set allows you to sustain yourself in lane pretty well and gives you better mobility.

First Recall (950 Gold)

Doran's Ring
Getting 2 Doran's Rings will neutralize any mana issues, and give you extra health and ability power as well. Don't forget to buy a Sight Ward and a few extra Health Potion's if you need them. If you feel you don't need the extra mana regen, then Haunting Guise is a great substitute for double Doran's Ring.

Second Recall (1,860 Gold)

Sorcerer's Shoes
Finishing your tier 2 Sorcerer's Shoes will greatly increase your laning potential, allowing you to exchange or even zone your opponent. Your Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite will be dealing a large amount of damage at this point as well. Don't forget to buy a Sight Ward and a few extra Health Potion's if you need them.

Giant's Belt
With a Giant's Belt you'll gain a huge chunk of health. This should carry you through the mid game until you get your Rylai's Crystal Scepter after Rabadon's Deathcap.

Core Items (6,705 Gold)

Rabadon's Deathcap
This is my first major item I buy from the shop. You'll notice an immediate change in your damage when you get back to lane. Being able to clear caster creeps much easier with Volatile Spiderling. It also allows you to easily exchange and zone your opponent.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
This item will add slows to all your spells adding a great slow effect. Along with a needed boost to your durability and damage.

After Core (5,750 gold)

This is the part of the game where your last few items can vary and be situational
but as a standard template I will go with the following:

Zhonya's Hourglass
Zhonya's Hourglass compliments Elise very well giving her a total 4 seconds of invulnerability with Rappel. The bonus stats are amazingly helpful while she is in Spider Form as well providing durability towards those vicious late game AD carries. Then another big ability power boost.

Abyssal Scepter
This item greatly increases your damage in Spider Form with its passive 20 magic resistance reduction aura and adds even more durability and damage.

Your last item in my opinion is completely optional.
Here are some suggestions:

Guide Top

Alternative Items/Experimental Builds

Since Elise has such a unique play style, there is really no one way to build her.
In this section I want to go over a few other item options I have considered.

Alternative Items

Rod of Ages brings a really good overall stat boost to any AP. It also gives me a lot more mana to work with which is very valuable as well unlike Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Haunting Guise is a very cost efficient item for early/mid game offering great stats. Unfortunately this item doesn't build into anything late game.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity gives Elise some form of cooldown reduction that would be very usefule. But so far I haven't compared them to Sorcerer's Shoes as a better alternative.

Nashor's Tooth offers a huge attack speed boost which can give Spider Form a lot more potential damage. It also gives a nice chunk of CDR as well.

Malady also offers attack speed but a really effective debuff to your target as well. This item has a lot of potential because of your Skittering Frenzy which can help you stack this pretty fast.

Madred's Bloodrazors offers a really nice on hit effect to amplify your percentage damage output along with extra attack speed as well. The recent nerfs to Deathfire Grasp have made me shy away from buying this item compared to Madred's Bloodrazor, it also doesn't work well in conjunction with your Neurotoxin.

Experimental Builds (Still testing)

x3 > x2 > > > Finish Core

This build gives you some early cooldowns with Ionian Boots of Lucidity and compensates for missing magic pen with Abyssal Mask. The problem is that your slacking in the health pool department.

x3 > > > Finish Core

This build incorporates a variety of stats you would like to have early on. But the biggest problem is Haunting Guise will eventually need to be sold late game for a better item.

x3 > Catalyst the Protector > > > > After Core

This build gives you better lane sustain and statistics than Doran's Rings without having to sell it either, and allows you to get Rabadon's Deathcap soon after. Problem is that you loose the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter unless you decide to sacrifice getting up your armor/magic resist instead.

x3 > Catalyst the Protector > > > > > After Core

This build incorporates extra attack speed and magic pen before your Rabadon's Deathcap while giving CDR and stats at the same time. You'll loose some magic resist but after your deathcap it won't really matter because the laning phase will be over.

NOTE: All of the above builds are completely theoretical and have not been tested yet. As I experiment some more I'll have better details and insight as to which build is the most efficient. As of right now the build I recommend is the main one listed at the top.

Guide Top


Elise's transforming nature calls for a little extra durability
So I've decided to adapt a basic Health AP kind of set.



Offense Tree (21)

Summoner's Wrath : Extra utility to Ignite.

Brute Force : Last hitting in lane.

Mental Force : Extra AP.

Sorcery : Cooldown reduction.

[[Arcane Knowledge]: 10% magic pen.

Blast and Archmage : Late game power.

Executioner : Synergy with Venomous Bite.



Defense Tree (9)

Resistance and Hardiness :
Boost of durability.

Durability : In conjunction with Greater Seal of Vitality.

Veteran's Scars : Flat health boost.

Guide Top

In-Depth Skill Kit Analysis (A Must Read)

Elise being a transform champion has up to 7 abilities. Her kit is revolved around disabling her target and bursting them down using strong percentage based damage and steroids.

Spider Swarm (Passive)

INNATE: When Elise's Human Form spells hit an enemy, she readies a Spiderling. When Elise transforms, she summons Spiderlings to attack nearby foes. Spiderlings deal physical damage and take reduced damage from multi-target abilities. The maximum number of spiderlings is increased with Spider Form's level.

Spiderling Damage: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 (+10% AP)
Maximum Number of Spiderlings: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Spiderling Damage Reduction: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40%

Things to Note:


ACTIVE: Deals magic damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of the target's current health. Damage is capped against monsters.

Cooldown: 6 seconds
Cost: 60 mana
Magic Damage: 50 / 95 / 140 / 185/ 230
Bonus Magic Damage: 8% of target's current health (+2% per 100 AP)

Things to Note:
  • The more health the more damage a it deals.
  • Can chunk carries health with ease.
  • Can be used to help last hit in early lane phase.

Venomous Bite

ACTIVE: Lunges to a target with a poisonous bite that deals magic damage equal to a base amount plus a percentage of the target's missing health. Damage is capped against monsters.

Cooldown: 6 seconds
Magic Damage: 50 / 95 / 140 / 185/ 230
Bonus Magic Damage: 8% of target's current health (+2% per 100 AP)

Things to Note:
  • The lower the health the more damage.
  • Provides a small gap closing lunge similar to Bushwhack / Pounce.
  • Good execute move to secure kills.
  • Great last hitting tool.


Volatile Spiderling

ACTIVE: Summons a venom-gorged Spiderling that moves to target location and explodes, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies when it nears an enemy unit or after 3 seconds. The Spiderling will chase down enemy Champions, if it does not hit an enemy at target location.

Cooldown: 12 seconds
Mana Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100
]Magic Damage: 75 / 125 / 175 / 225 / 275 (+80% AP)

Things to Note:
  • Will prioritize and chase a nearby champion BUT will explode past 3 seconds or collides with another enemy.
  • Gives vision where ever it travels before it explodes.
  • Your primary farming/poking tool.

Skittering Frenzy

ACTIVE: Increases the attack speed of Elise and her Spiderlings for 3 seconds. While active, Elise is healed for a small amount when she or her spiderlings attack.
PASSIVE: Spiderlings gain bonus attack speed.

Cooldown: 12 seconds
Attack Speed: 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 / 140%
Spiderling Attack Speed: 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25%
Heal: 4 per attack (+2% AP)

Things to Note:
  • Provides Elise with a little sustain in lane and jungle.
  • The active applies to both Elise and her spiderlings.



ACTIVE: Fires a web that stuns the first enemy hit for 1.5 seconds.

Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
Cost: 65 mana

Things to Note:
  • This skill has very long range but travels fairly slow.
  • This spell does NO damage.


ACTIVE (on enemy cast): Reveals nearby enemy targets, while she and her Spiderlings lift up into the air, and then descend upon the target enemy.
ACTIVE (on ground cast): Reveals nearby enemy targets while she and her Spiderlings lift up into the air, becoming untargetable for 2 seconds. During that time she can cast Rappel again to descend upon a nearby enemy.

Cooldown: 26 / 24 / 22 / 20 / 18 seconds

Things to Note:
  • Has amazing range making it easy to close in on your prey.
  • Does NO damage.
  • Can be used to get out of sticky tower dive situations.
  • Can be used to escape through targetable jungle camps and minions.

Spider Form

ACTIVE: Elise transforms into a menacing spider, granting access to arachnid abilities. While in Spider Form, she deals bonus magic damage with her auto attacks and gains 10 movement speed as well as bonus armor and magic resistance.
INNATE: Provides spiderlings deal physical damage and take reduced damage from multi-target abilities. The maximum number of spiderlings is increased with Spider Form / Human Form's level.

On-Hit Magic Damage: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 (+20% AP)
Bonus Armor & Magic Resist: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25
Maximum Number of Spiderlings: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Spiderling Damage: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 (+10% AP)
Spiderling Damage Reduction: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40%

Things to Note:
  • Bonus movement speed is lost upon switching back to human form.
  • All Spider Form abilities are NO COST.
  • She becomes a ****ing spider.

To maximize your damage output I suggest using this rotation:

Cocoon > Volatile Spiderling > Neurotoxin
Spider Form > Rappel > Skittering Frenzy > Venomous Bite
>> >> >>

Stun your target using Cocoon > Cast Volatile Spiderling towards them and as it's closing in quickly cast > Neurotoxin because it will hit right before the spiderling explodes dealing huge burst damage, then > Transform into Spider Form and cast > Rappel to get into melee range with your max number of spiderlings ready and use > Skittering Frenzy to create insane DPS and finish with > Venomous Bite!

Guide Top

Early/Mid Game & Laning

Elise has a weak laning phase early on and needs to focus on farming for most part.
Unless it is guaranteed you'll come out ahead in an aggessive exchange.

Passive Laning

  • Focus on farming and don't be afraid to use Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite to help since you won't be using it for much of anything else at this point.
  • Don't forget Spider Form gives you magic damage on-hit which can help you last hit as well.
  • Don't stay in Spider Form to long or your Spiderlings will push the lane.
  • If you find yourself taking damage use your Spider Form to increase your durability and then Skittering Frenzy to help regain some health.

Harrassment and Exchanging

Harassment can be fairly difficult early on with Elise but when opportunity strikes take advantage of it.
  • Aiming Volatile Spiderling behind a minion wave will chase your opponent for a while making them run away from the minions and loose some Gold and EXP.
  • Simply using Neurotoxin can chunk for quite a bit. But be careful because its short range leaves you vulnerable to counter aggression.

Because of Elise's weak early laning it is crucial that you only be aggressive with the proper advantages, by following these basic rules:
  • Their spell(s) on must be on cooldown.
  • They must have current lower current health % than you.
  • They're going near the minion wave to take a last hit.
  • They're out of position.
  • They're taking turret shots.
  • They're at risk of taking lethal/fatal damage.

When Exchanging with your opponent I recommend using a simple Human Form rotation:

Cocoon > Volatile Spiderling > Neurotoxin


  • Depending on the situation, you or your ganker will open the gank using crowd control.
  • If the Ganker opens using their crowd control first, make sure you follow up with a Cocoon to lock them even longer.
  • At this point you can start your standard kill combo: (Listed in "In Depth Skill Analysis")
Cocoon > Volatile Spiderling > Neurotoxin
Spider Form > Rappel > Skittering Frenzy > Venomous Bite
>> >> >>
  • If You need to open the gank, start with heavy aggression so they are forced to fight you. Here's a skill combo:
Spider Form > Rappel
Human Form > Cocoon > Neurotoxin > Volatile Spiderling
>> >> >>
Spider Form > Skittering Frenzy > Venomous Bite
>> >>
  • These combo's can also apply to ganking other lanes with you being the Ganker instead. Use these combo's as you see fit.
  • Note that these are subject to change varying on counter ganks, summoner spells, and how comfortable you are at utilizing Elise's kit. Adapt them to the situation as you see fit.

Escaping Ganks

  • When getting ganked, Cocoon stun the closest enemy, then transform into Spider Form for extra move speed and durability then get to safety.
  • If you find yourself still in danger you can Rappel to the nearby Wraith Camp!
    Note: Keep wards near the Wraith Camp so you know it is safe to escape there. (See Diagram)
  • If your being tower dived you can use Rappel for invulnerability giving the enemy a challenging ultimatum weather to wait and tank the turret, or let you live which will usually be the case this early on. (See Diagram)
  • If they decide to wait and tank the turret you could Rappel back onto them and possibly get a kill with Venomous Bite if you time it right!

Guide Top

Late Game & Team Fighting

Late game is where Elise shines, using her strong percentage based burst damage and crowd control to kill her target. Your role in a team fight is to follow up the initiator and lock an important target to burst down afterwards.

  • In the beginning of a team fight use your Human Form abilities Cocoon and Volatile Spiderling to poke the enemy team.
  • Once your team has initiated the fight (preferably on the carry) follow up with Cocoon to further disable them.
  • As your team closes in on there priority target it's your time to bust into your Aggression Combo!:
Spider Form > Rappel
Human Form > Cocoon > Neurotoxin > Volatile Spiderling
>> >> >>
Spider Form > Skittering Frenzy > Venomous Bite
>> >>
  • This will finish the priority target if your team was focusing it with you.
  • When they have died take out the next easiest champion you can find.
  • If you see an opening to initiate with Cocoon yourself TAKE IT and use your Lethal Combo!: (With your team right behind you)
Cocoon > Volatile Spiderling > Neurotoxin
Spider Form > Rappel > Skittering Frenzy > Venomous Bite
>> >> >>

Things to Note:
  • These are only IDEAL scenarios for team fighting, there are a lot of variables where up to 9 other champions are involved.
  • If you are the one being focused, do as much damage as you can with Human Form abilities then quickly Spider Form and Rappel yourself out. Once they have switched focus, come back down and attack as normal.

Baron control is very important at this stage in the game,
always makes sure it's Vision Warded even if you have to buy one.

When taking Baron Nashor
  • Save Venomous Bite in case the enemy tries to steal Baron Nashor .
  • You can help tank Baron with Skittering Frenzy if your team is a little weak.
  • Use your kit to help damage it like you would a champion.
  • Save Cocoon / Rappel in case the enemy team shows up.

When contesting Baron Nashor
  • Use Volatile Spiderling to poke at the enemy and do damage.
  • Sight Ward to get vision if you can.
  • If you want to get ballsy, use Rappel within range of baron, jump down and Venomous Bite to steal!

Guide Top

Needed Changes and Fixes to Elise (Discuss)

Elise is a very fun champion to play, but unfortunately still needs some fine tuning
and adjustments that are very clear in her gameplay.

I'm not the only one who feels the same. Check it out

Needed Changes: One of Elise's biggest issues right now is being able to stick to her target. In theory a stun/gap closer would be more than enough, but only for a burst mage who relies on spells for there damage. With Elise that is not the case, most of Spider Form's damage comes from the auto attacks on-hit magic damage and Skittering Frenzy.

  • Make Skittering Frenzy's passive a small stacking slow to both her and her Spiderlings.
  • Give Skittering Frenzy's active an appropriate move speed buff for the duration.
  • Add a slow to Venomous Bite.
  • Add a slow field to Rappel while you are up in the air AND on target when you come back down.
  • Give Spider Form / Human Form a move speed buff on activate (similar to Jayce).

Needed Changes: Rappel has the tendency to be a very counter active spell. If you click on your target using this spell sometimes it will go way out of range bounds, or it won't cast down at all and you will be stuck for 2 seconds.

  • Give players the option to cancel Rappel before the 2 second duration.
  • Slightly increase the range of Rappel and make the cast time slower.
  • Slightly decrease the range of Rappel and make the cast time faster.

Guide Top


Skill Sequence Explanation