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Elise Build Guide by NinjaSquidy

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League of Legends Build Guide Author NinjaSquidy

Elise "Blad Tarantula" Solo Top Bruiser Destroyer

NinjaSquidy Last updated on November 16, 2012
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Jungle Role
Ranked #15 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
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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

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Before we begin...

Hi Mobafire, this is my first guide so play nice! I have, and still do, use mobafire a lot. I knew I would love Elise and so I looked up guides (it's her free week) and I actually disagree with pretty much all the builds, and I've been in so many games where she has been played and failed. Just on a couple of key items that are mainly missed.

IMPORTANT There's a lot to read. I'm clearly not going to, how do I know it's not a waste of my time? Simple. Scan down for Light Yellow Comments for snippets of info. I bet you end up reading around these ;-)

Obviously, as she is new, I havent been playing her long but this is a guide to playing her solotop as that's where she belongs! Try it and see :)

If you don't get the title...

If you are new to Elise I advise you read the Chaining Skills and Basic Tactics sections, and just follow my items build and play her against bots until you are completely confident that you know what all her abilities do, and where they are without thinking. Obviously in PVP you will be solo top, vs bots go mid to best simulate the 1v1.

Once you are confident with Elise's abilities read the guide thoroughly. There's too much to say here without constantly reminding you what her abilities do, and if you dont know what I mean by "Spider Form E" or "Humanoid Form W" you wont take as much from this guide.

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This guide is for getting started with Elise through to successful normal PVP. It is not a guide to high elo - please don't downvote this guide for something it isn't meant to be.

IMO Elise is not mainly an AP champ. She is all about splash them down a bit with AP, then turn into Spider Form for some sustained AD. The single most important thing about Elise, above all Runes, Masteries and Items is Chaining Skills. This really is a champ that needs to be practiced against bots first, just so when you jump into PVP you don't have to think about what her abilities do.

You pause to think with Elise, you die. You chain your abilities swiftly, they die. And then they blaime their jungler.

After practicing her against AI I went pvp. Why to follow this guide: I lost my first pvp match. However here is matches 2-7 (I promise this is true, these are my first games with Elise):

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Chaining Skills

This deserves a section to itself with Elise. Most champions you will get this naturally but with Elise she has so many options for how to engage, I've seen people get it wrong a lot.

This section is about laning.

In theory you want to engage in Humanoid Form, and quickly switch to Spider Form. Remember in Humanoid Form you are at range, in Spider Form you are melee so you need to close the gap.

Let's begin..

When to Engage

You need to land your Humanoid W and E, both will hit minions instead of the champion if they get in the way. The best time is as soon as a minion wave arrives. This means you can start by hitting a couple of auto attacks. The enemy will either run back or come to engage you. Either is fine. Also whenever they attack you, run back a couple of steps till they are clear of their minions. Now engage..

The Engage

(Practice vs bots, they will run towards you regularly, run away and then begin when clear of minions)

When clear of minions in human form you just want to spank all your abilities once without pausing. Your order is W - E - Q - R.

W, delayed homing nuke. E fast skill shot immobolize. Q instant nuke. R Spider Form!

You will notice if you do this quickly that your Q and E will actually hit together, before W. This is exactly what you want. Your W will hit as you hit R into Spider Form.

Now it's straight in with Q - W - 1 - 2 - Ignite - E.. Let me explain.

Q, non skill shot damage and small gap closer (they should be immobilized by your Humanoid E). It also brings all your spiderlings to them instantly.

W, faster damage and lifesteal.

1, Whats this?? Now everything is on cooldown most people will stand and hit, waiting for cooldowns to end. You have more weapons. In your item slots you can move items around, and they are by default hotkeyed 1 through 6. Always have 1 as a health pot. Pop it once, I wouldn't normally include this but read on...

2, Always have your Bilgewater Cutlass in the second slot. Use it now, while everything is on cooldown. Instant damage, and slow - they have probably started to run.

Ignite, ONLY use this depending on your location. If you are near some safety for them, eg. Turret or Teammates, use it. If not save it.

E, Your only ability that isn't on cooldown and hasn't been used, and the most commonly wrongly used Elise ability. Hang on though, isn't this a gap closer to be used to engage? No. It takes you out of the fight for 2 seconds, making you untargetable. Epic. It's a gap closer for re-engaging. You really want to save this for the end of a fight/cleaning up. Ignite will tick them down for an extra 2 seconds, your health pot will continue ticking you up for 2 secs. Now this doesn't sound like much but how often has your Ignite killed someone after you die? Well now it happens before.

When you drop back down on them you can clean up if you still need to with a Spider Form W, or pop back to Humanoid for a homing W, or Q. Or even another immobolizing E by now.


Elise doesn't suffer cooldowns like other champions. You should constantly be casting something in a fight.

After Fight

They probably died. If they didn't they do have to back. Either way there's minions around. If safe stay in Spider Form and clean up minions with your W. It's important to note that your spider abilities cost nothing. W's life steal will regain your health and maybe keep you in lane. Back if you need to buy, that's it.

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Basic Tactics

  • Chain your skills!
  • Avoid engage until level 3. They will have 3 abilities, you will have 6 (not including switching between forms).
  • Play your opponents game.
  • If the opposing champion is really aggresive in lane you can poke hard with Q and auto attacks. Don't force them out of lane though, keep them at about 75% health ready for your killing engage. Take the engage when they push and you back off - just like the simple engage you got when practicing in AI Bot games.
  • If they are a little more passive, be overly passive. Top lane will have life steal or some form of sustain. Q is good, but you will run out of mana long before getting a kill.
  • In passive lanes you need your jungler. But he doesn't need to be good. Be more passive, they will push harder than you. When jungler is there go for your engage. Only a little help from jungler will result in kill, whether its extra Crowd Control or Damage.
  • Wards. Wards. WARDS. Get it? You need to know when the enemy jungler is coming. Don't fall behind as Elise, you will get left behind. There are plenty of guides of where/how to ward. Always buy 2 wards when you back.

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Advanced Tactics

Wasn't the Chaining Skills advanced enough..?? No.

Remember this, follow this guide and Elise is designed to 1v1 bruisers who normally run around safe. You are Bruiser Bane. A Bruiser loves nothing more than a sneaky tower dive.

Getting Tower Dived

Oh no! I'm low health and they aren't. A Bruiser can easily tank a few tower hits and kill me! No. This will happen a lot. You kill the enemy laner, you are in lane low health and their jungler appears full health. If they pursue you under the tower, they die. Stay in Spider Form. You are quicker like this, and slightly safer. Don't be tempted to try to trade damage, or change to Humanoid Form to get a stun off, just get them as deep under the tower as possible before hitting your Spider Form E.. That's it. Your re-engager. They are now stood under a tower waiting 2 seconds before being able to damage you again. 90% of the time they will run. If you have enough HP left drop down on them. Otherwise drop down where you were, change to Humanoid Form, now stun/nuke.

I have gained so many kills this way.

Tower Diving Them

There are no minions, the tower will attack me anyway, I have to jump in with Spider E and start attacking instantly! No. Save your E. Always tower dive in Spider Form. Wait to attack till the moment is right. Until you attack the Champion the Tower will automatically target your spidery minions. Two situations:

They hug the tower. Let the tower attack your minions and run right up to them before attacking. They will be surprised by how much health you have when you get to them. Attack just as the tower fires at a minion. This gives you crucial seconds till the next tower hit. Now Q - W and E (E after W has worn off). That magical re-engage. They will normally have changed tactic and run, this is a blessing. 2 seconds to let them get out of range of the tower before you drop on them for an easy kill and survive.

They run for base. Chase them in Spider Form, save E for as long as possible and directly cast it on them, preferably when you are stood next to their turret. You won't have taken any damage from the turret as it will have been killing your minions instead. You will drop on them out of tower range for an easy kill and survive.

2 v 1 Lane

With the jungle changes I have found myself caught 2vs1 without them having a jungler. I have never lost a game 2 vs 1 as Elise top lane. 2 of the games in the top picture were 2 vs 1 top lane.

It's really simple. They will get a bit over confident. Play really safe and rely on experience over gold. You will level quicker than them, but get denied farm. Nothing you can do here. Be a team player and tell the jungler to make sure they dominate the mid and bot lane. The jungler will get fed.

You will find yourself getting a little extra early tower dive. We know how to deal with that and you may pickup an early kill! The tactic here is a little different. Poke down minions equally and open with your Humaoid W. They will have stayed near the tower too long with low minions, your W can damage the enemy Champion and kill all the minions forcing the tower to attack the Champion, even if they didnt attack you. So its a quick Humanoid W - E, and R to play it safely into Spider Form. Jump up with E. Let them take 2 secs of tower hits while immobilized and then jump on them if needed for an easy kill and survive.

You will level hard and when the laning ends you will regain your feed by roaming and focusing on the, hopefully, dominated mid and bot lane enemy champions.

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Pretty standard. Elise is a bit squishy up top so you need the Armor Seals and MR Glyphs. Early game most of your poke is AP and surprising with your opening splash damage can get them on the run which is what you want! So flat AP Quints and Magic Pen Marks are where it's at.

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I'm all about 21/9/0 on Elise.

Whilst I've said when killing someone, most of your damage will be AD in spider form, you set this up with your AP splash so the Offense masteries are geared towards getting you set for the kill. 9 in Defense to make you that bit more of a bruiser.

You wont get buffs very often top lane so little point in building towards it in the utility tree. That being said if mid and jungle don't need blue (eg. Katarina mid, Lee Sin jungle) getting blue will make you a bit of a beast - if you don't have to worry about mana you will easily zone most opponents. Also you are very deadly with red buff, but don't count on your jungler to be that much of a team player.

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Boots and pots at first. Standard.


Then straight into Malady. You probably wont be able to get this on your first back, the peices you take first are a bit situation but I recommend attack speed - easier farm and more killing potential in spider form. This item is CORE. It was designed for Elise! Combined with spider form W it will melt your enemies very quick.

Ninja Tabi

Next upgrade your boots. This is situational, I put Ninja Tabi because up top you normally find they are doing AD, if you find yourself taking more magic damage take Mercury's Treads. I wouldn't take any other boots as you need the Armor/Resistance. If it's about even AD vs Magic damage take Mercury's Treads as your next item gives you armor...

Glacial Shroud - can get Bilgewater Cutlass first if you suits your playstyle more.

A bit more Armor, more Mana (you will have found yourself running short a bit) and Cooldown Reduction - might get you that extra spider form W in.

Bilgewater Cutlass

The Attack Damage and Life Steal are obvious help when you get into Spider Form and you're trading blows. As soon as you have done this and you have popped your Q and W use your Bilgewater Cutlass - the initial damage will make them run and the slow keeps them happily in range. Dead.

Now to make yourself OP, if the game goes on long enough...

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

You need more health so take the Giant's Belt first. Then the AP and Slow in Humanoid Form will make it easier to splash damage with spells and then get within range on your Spider. Simple.

Hextech Gunblade

Upgrade your Bilgewater Cutlass - Improves damage in all forms, and the range and damage on use.

Zhonya's Hourglass or Rabadon's Deathcap

You already have 2 sets of abilities. One for Humanoid, one for Spider form. You also have a core item with an On Active ability essential on killing 1v1. If you can master all this and add in another Active ability take Zhonya's Hourglass (can replace pots slot in number 1). You will find yourself playing the assassin in late game team fights. Being able to pop this to force focus off you is, IMO, better than the extra 40 AP you end up with Rabadon's Deathcap. Obviously building Elise without Rabadon's Deathcap will seem controversial but I never once had it in any of the games at the top of the page. I don't think you need the AP.

Frozen Heart

Simple upgrade of Glacial Shroud, keep spending when you can!

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Skill Sequence

Really simple. Your W is your main damage dealer in both forms. Max this first.

Q next, blast damage in both forms which can't miss (not skill shots). Max this second.

E is utility in either form, doesn't do any damage. Always max this last.

R - ulti. Always take when you can. Improves your Spider Form, and every kill pretty much you will be in your Spider Form! No brainer.

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Summoner Spells

Pretty simply.

Flash is core to anyone who doesn't have a natural flash. Your spider form E is good but can only take you to enemies/enemy minions. Use this near the jungle to jump over walls onto neutral monsters, but when running to your tower from a gank.. There's no replacing Flash.

Ignite again quite standard, turns the battle slightly in your favour - combine this with Bilgewater Cutlass, popping your spider form E and a health pot most fights in lane will go your way no matter what they do!

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I'm no League of Legends Pro. But Elise is a champion worth practicing. If you can chain her abilities quickly, the normal safety of a Bruiser will get unavoidably caught in your web.

As this is my first guide please comment, I had no help so before downvoting please give advice!