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Elise Build Guide by DeadSight

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author DeadSight

Elise, the Spider Queen - Hybrid Fighter, Assassin, and Mage

DeadSight Last updated on November 2, 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: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hey everyone! This is my first guide here at Mobafire and i'm pretty excited to share this build with you. The main purpose of this build is to make Elise into a reliable dps and finisher in team fights. First things first, i'm going to ask that you try your hand with this build and see how it works for you, i'd love to hear feedback especially from those who have tested it and seen how it works for themselves! The build offers great versatility that's complemented by Elise's amazing skill kits. The build is so versatile that you can actually play with it as a solo top laner, mid, or jungler. What you should be looking for in your gameplay if you're pursuing this build should be somewhat edgy, high-risk/high-reward playstyle, making this build incredibly fun to play but not the best choice for ranked ELO queues. I'd suggest getting used to the build in normal before trying to play this in ranked, in addition to Elise in general. I apologize in advance if the guide seems lacking, I am currently trying to learn all the basics to building a guide here (as simple as it seems) and will update whatever is needed. Please comment on what you would like to see added or changed in the guide, if it seems reasonable or helpfull then i'll surely get on it.

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Pros + / Cons -

+Great Counterpick against Solo top/mid tanks
+Great Ganks and team fight.
+Strong pokes and harass, can zone out enemies.
+Good escapes
+Can sustain and control in lane
+Can counter-jungle, and steal buffs and dragon.
+Incredibly fun once you catch-on.
-Mana hungry
-Weak early basic attack
-Passive doesn't impact game, inbuilt into Ultimate
-Depends on a decent early game
-Weak early game
-High-Risk/High-Reward gameplay style
-Awkward to learn

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Our Quintessences will be made to optimize early game ability power in order to control our lanes, farm, and harass. Remember that every single one of Elise's skills scales with ability power besides Cocoon and Rappel
Our Marks will instead be used for magic penetration, a useful stat all game long. Greater magic penetration will allow for easier take downs on tankier enemies or those sturdy adc's that grab either Guardian Angels or Force of Natures. Remember that both of Elise's Q spells, Neurotoxin and Venomous Bite, scale to either current hp of target or current missing hp of target; making her an incredibly useful counter pick for tanky tops or the rare durable mid champions.
Our Seals will focus on durability, giving you flat armor for early game trading, harassing, and poking. This seal mainly depends on your enemy counterpart however, so if you're going mid against the usual AP champ, have another rune set ready to switch out these seals for either a set of Greater Seal of Fortitudes or Greater Seal of Magic Resist to help with survivability.
Our Glyphs will once again be focusing on early flat AP. The bonus AP will help you harass, poke, farm, and simply control your lane early game. It will give you a great edge over an opponent without the bonus AP or without great MR. Combined with your magic penetrations marks, will you have a relatively easy time keeping your opponent zoned.

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Laning Masteries

The masteries for this build are a different take on a 21/0/9.
Your Offense tree takes advantage of alot of Elise's mechanics.
4 Points into Mental Force gives a slight early game boost of 4 AP. In addition to
4 Points into Archmage giving a decent boost of 5% increased AP.
4 Points into Alacrity will offer a 4% attack speed boost, which can actually create an advantage while in spider form, giving you and your spiderlings better attack speed to heal up when using Skittering Frenzy
4 Points into Sorcery will give a 4% Cooldown Reduction bonus, allowing you to shave off some time between changing in and out of forms, using rappel, and anymore of Elise's skills, which all seem to have a decent Cooldown.
1 Point into Arcane Knowledge will allow you to deal more flat damage with 10% magic penetration. Remember that in spider form, even your basic attacks gain a decent amount of bonus magic damage in addition to whatever items you will be carrying.
3 Points in Vampirism offers greater sustain from basic attacks in spider form with 3% Life Steal, for both you and your spiderlings. Remember that while in human form, your basic attacks are going to be pretty weak, so dont spend any time vulnerable in the form unless you plan on harassing.
Ending your offense tree with Executioner capatilizes on elise's ability to finish off enemies in Spider Form with the use of her Venomous Bite.

Skipping your defense tree and going into utility, you capitalize on your ability to control a lane.
1 Point into Summoner's Insight grants a great cooldown reduction to your Flash summoner spell.
1 Point for Improved Recall capatilizes on elise's ability to escape from ganks or early harass in lane and find a safe place to recall with her reduced recall time can make the difference between handing a big chunk of gold to the enemy team.
3 Points of Expanded Mind and 3 points in Meditation give great early game mana, and great mana regeneration. If you're lucky enough to have a jungler who no longer needs their blue buff,
then 1 Point in Runic Affinity allows you to carry the buff 20% longer and hold down your lane.

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Item Build Order and Alternatives

Start your match with Boots of Speed : these will be incredibly useful for putting in some early game damage and escaping skill shots and ganks.
Hold your lane until you can recall safely with your creeps pushed into their tower, being sure the enemy has to compete with their own tower for farm. On recall purchase your Fiendish Codex and hopefully upgrade to Sorcerer's Shoes.
If you can afford to, purchase up to two Daggers in order to start building your Stinger and eventually combining Stinger and Fiendish Codex to create your Nashor's Tooth.
Staying in lane as long as possible should allow you to buy your Nashor's Tooth on second recall. This item is incredibly useful for Elise early game; it will give a good bonus to her spider form basic attack damage, her spiderling damage, and also her self-heal from her Skittering Frenzy spell in spider form.
At this time, you will be able to gank allied lanes along with your jungler, using your Rappel and Cocoon combination. Once you have farmed enough gold, recall and purchase your Malady which will give nearly the same bonus as your Nashor's Tooth.
After purchasing your Malady plan to buy a Hextech Revolver the next chance you get. Your hextech will give great sustain in lanes and teamfights. It should be more than easy soloing most enemy champions with this item, assuming you are not either behind and they are not fed.
Depending on your current situation, your next purchase will either be a Needlessly Large Rod or Chain Vest if you need survivability.

If you have purchased Zhonya's Hourglass or a recommended counter item at this point, begin building your deathcap.
If you have purchased your deathcap, begin building your Zhonya's Hourglass or a recommended counter item.
Got this done? Then upgrade your Hextech Revolver to a Hextech Gunblade. Gunblade will offer some incredible sustain, as well as an incredibly useful activated ability to chase and finish enemy champions after a gank or team fight.

At this time you should have Sorcerer's Shoes, Nashor's Tooth, Malady, Rabadon's Deathcap, Zhonya's Hourglass, and Hextech Gunblade. Grab some elixirs for a nice stat boost, each one helps out Elise so take any and all that you'd like.
If you want to interchange some items from this build then i'd suggest some of the following:
Offensive items that you can replace include...

Defensive item(s) that you can interchange include...

Keep in mind that the original item build in this guide isn't intended to be followed strictly, especially late game, it would be best to follow this guide until you need to replace some of the items. The build is incredibly useful but most likely, it would be best to replace some items after purchase late game with some of the suggested from above. Elise's kit does not restrict to her to particular roles like most champions, so don't be afraid to counter the enemy team with your build.

More Alternative Builds Include...
Credit and thanks to Teyso for contributing greatly to this section.

Sorcerer's Shoes for magic pen.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter for Health and AP.
Wit's End for Magic Resist and Attack Speed.
Frozen Heart for armor, mana, and CDR.
Nashor's Tooth to buff all of your offensive stats.
Hextech Gunblade for sustain and that kickass active.

AP Caster
Sorcerer's Shoes for Magic Pen.
Abyssal Mask for AP and Magic Resist.
Rabadon's Deathcap for crazy AP.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter for Heath, AP and Slows.
Zhonya's Hourglass for armor, AP, and the active.
Lich Bane for AP, Movement Speed, and dat passive (works really well since she is a transform champion).

AD Top
Mercury's Treads for tenacity.
Madred's Bloodrazor for attack speed and DPS (not sure if this should be on ad top build, maybe wriggles would be good enough, or another strong ad item like another bloodthirster).
Trinity Force for all the stat boosts and the passive.
The Bloodthirster for sustain and damage.
Maw of Malmortius for magic resist and damage.
Randuin's Omen for armor and the active.

Sorcerer's Shoes magic pen, move speed.
Nashor's Tooth for attack speed and +AP
Rylai's Crystal Scepter +HP, +AP, and slow passive.
Rabadon's Deathcap Huge +AP boost, increases all damage from spells and spider form basic attacks.
Lich Bane for all offensive stats.
Void Staff magic pen, +AP.

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Alternative Items - Analysis

Why These Items...?

Nashor's Tooth Takes incredible advantage of Elise's spider form bonus attack damage, as well as her "W" which drastically increases her attack speed and gains life on hit.
Malady Gives a good reduction to your targets magic resistance, opening them for you to ravage them in spider form with basic attacks and spells, or just human form with spells.
Maw of Malmortius gives good basic attack damage and magic resistance for durability, the passive shield definitely helps alot too against those burst champs.
Wit's End bonus magic damage from basic attacks and increased attack speed and magic resistance? Sounds like a good deal if you're having problems against AP or Hybrid champs.
Madred's Bloodrazor gives a bit of armor, a good chunk of attack speed and damage, and of course it's passive. Great for dealing with those tankier or more durable champs.
Athene's Unholy Grail mostly useful for the large amount of Ability Power and magic resist. The mana regen is nice allowing you to poke alot before going OOM, but you really shouldn't be having mana problems at all on this champ.
Hextech Gunblade fantastic hybrid item. Item activation spell helps clean-up/finish, the passive attack damage, ability power, spell vamp, and life steal? Basically everything you could ask for as a hybrid bruiser.
Will of the Ancients good if you're taking solo top and your AP mid could use a bit of a boost. Not really preferable over Hextech Gunblade but can help your team if they really need it and the support/AP Mid doesn't pick it up.
Frozen Mallet gives awesome durabilty, passive slow from basic attacks, and damage. Really good item to help out your roundedness in team fights.
Void Staff ability power and magic pen, really useful if you're facing a team that you can burn down quick save a tank or support. Also really helps your basic attacks get through to the more durable champions.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter health, AP, and passive slows from spells? Really useful in both forms for elise. Allows her to soak up a bit more dmg and cc a bit more on those seperated enemies in team fights.
Trinity Force mainly only useful if you're going for a more AD Elise instead of hybrid. Item gives good base stats but the passive isn't as useful as Lich Bane's let alone Elise's CD counters make it harder to spam the item passive.
Lich Bane more favorable choice for Elise over trinity force. Gives great ability power, mana, magic resistance and move speed. But that passive can really wreak some havoc when cleaning up a fight.
The Bloodthirster can really help out elise in spider form, up to 100 attack damage and 20% Life steal? Can turn you into a sustain machine.
Abyssal Mask another item that gravitates more towards the AP Elise. But it can help out your team a ton if nobody already has it. That MR Reduction Aura can turn a team fight rather quick.
Rabadon's Deathcap pretty self explanatory. More AP, more damage. No other stats, making it interchangeable for some other more versatile items. Great to have no matter what though.
Guinsoo's Rageblade i've tested this item on Elise a few times before. Honestly, it's good if you've gotten a good jump ahead of the enemy team on gold. Can really help you snowball with it's passive and the ability power and attack speed make it a really great substitute for some of your similar weapons.
The Black Cleaver another item that can help out your team in team fights. If you find your enemy has a champ or two that can really turn the tide of battle late when they are left standing, this would be a nice item to have so long as the champs focus themselves on durability and prolonging a fight. Can really help your ADC dish out some damage.

Zhonya's Hourglass is an amazing item if you find yourself in need of more armor against the enemy ADC or bruiser. Item activation right before or after a rappel can give you up to 4 seconds of safety. Allowing you to wait a bit for your team to dish out damage, siphoning life through your spiderlings with an activated W in spiderform, and come out of your stasis ready to finish the fight.
Frozen Heart really helpful because of its armor bonus and passive to reduce enemy attack speeds. The mana won't help a ton but isn't bad to have. Really great item to grab if none of your teammates have and you have found that the enemy takes advantage of its attack speeds.
Guardian Angel what's better than a second wind? Can help you clean up those team fights when you're really needed, offers good defensive attributes, not a bad item to pick up if you feel you're getting tunneled or you're taking too much damage early in the fights.
Force of Nature if the enemy has a fed AP champ who seems to deal too much burst damage then this is definitely an item worth picking up. Not to mention that the movespeed and health regen can help you disengage and re-engage to finish the job more often should you be caught out of position.
Thornmail really not the best choice for Elise since she isn't a primary tank. Not worth grabbing if your only worry is an enemy ADC since they should be the primary target of your team in most fights. But can help turn a bit of damage back at your non targets like some attack speed reliant solo-tops or junglers. Not the best late game item, but helpful.
Randuin's Omen most of the time you should leave this to your support, but if they aren't planning on it and your team is suffering, then you may need to grab this item. More of a last resort item, just be sure your support knows they may need to be the one to get it, not you.

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Skill Sequence and Descriptions

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Elise has an amazing dual kit experience for any player. So while leveling her abilities you need to keep in mind which TWO abilities you are leveling.
All of Elise's human form spells are ranged while her spider form spells are melee.

Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite
Neurotoxin shares it's spell slot with Venomous Bite in Spider Form. Neurotoxin casts a ranged bolt which deals bonus damage based on the target's current hp. This makes the skill incredibly effective for poking, especially against tankier and durable enemies. Venomous Bite however deals bonus damage based on the target's missing hp. This makes Venomous Bite great for finishing enemies and forcing them to recall early. However, this is only going to be your second max'd skill due to the incredible versatility of Elise's "W" ability in both human and spider form.

Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy
Volatile Spiderling sends out a spider that will explode on contact, or act as a ward if it reaches its destination without hitting an enemy. Once reaching its destination, the spider will lay in wait for an enemy for just a few seconds before detonating. Should an enemy come by before it explodes, it will begin to pursue the enemy hopefully detonating on contact and not from its inbuilt timer. Using angles, you can send the spider around mobs of minions to poke an enemy champion from very far away, or you can use the a better angle in order to hit more minions for last hits, making this skill incredibly useful early and late game. Sharing its spellslot is Skittering Frenzy which will increase both your attack speed and your spiderling's attack speed once activated in spider form. Not only will you attack faster, but each attack you and your spiderlings land will restore a set amount of health to you. Use this ability to grab alot of quick last hits, or sustain in lane.
The incredible versatility of these two skills makes this your top priority in leveling your skills.

Cocoon / Rappel
Cocoon will be the second skill you unlock, but the last that you max. This is only because the skill is made to stun an enemy to escape, or stun while pursuing. The skill offers great ganking capability when combined with Rappel. Rappel, sharing Cocoon's skillslot, is used to make you untargetable for two full seconds and allows you to descend on enemies after activation. Activating rappel also makes all enemies in the vacinity visible to descend upon, including jungle creeps and enemy minions, allowing you to make easy escapes over trees or great ganks from bushes. Despite its usefullness, it will be the last skill you maximize.

Spider Form / Human Form
Spider Form is unlocked at Lv1 but can still be leveled up like any other character's ultimate ability at Levels 6, 11, and 16. So grabbing points in this skill at those times should always be no-brainers. Increasing the skill increases armor and magic resistance benefits while in spider form as well as the maximum number of spiderlings (2/3/4/5).

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Skill Strategies

Due to Elise's dual skill kit (Human form and Spider form) she can perform incredible skill combinations for finishing, zoning, laning, and escaping.

Team Fights
A great method for zoning an enemy adc during a team fight would be to start in Spider Form and use your Rappel (E) while targeting the enemy to close the gap. Follow up by changing to Human form and hitting them with your Cocoon (E) followed by a quick volatile spiderling (W) and Neurotoxin (Q). Change back into Spider form and continue to harass with your Venemous Bite (Q) and Skittering Frenzy (W) active.
You can also use the Rappel (E) + Cocoon (E) combo to initiate in early lane phase for quick kills or ganks.

Laning: Harassing, Poking, and Finishing/Ganking
During lane phase, your primary pokes will be your human form Neurotoxin (Q) and Volatile Spiderling (W). Once the enemy is below 40%-35% health, you can go in for the kill with a Rappel, Skittering Frenzy and Venemous Bite. As soon as they begin to pull away, switch to Human Form, cocoon > volatile spiderling > neurotoxin. If the target lived, then be sure to be more patient next time to poke their health down more before attempting to finish or open in human form with a cocoon beforing attempting to finish, saving your rappel for a tower dive.

Escaping can actually be fairly easy with Elise so long as you're near minions or neutral jungle creeps. Remember that rappel will reveal all enemies within it's range, allowing you to rappel over trees to neutral creeps, minions, Dragon, etc. You can also hit the enemy with a cocoon right before in order to make it a bit easier to find the best path. Primarily near wraiths you can rappel down to any of the wraiths then flash away into the red buff spawn in order to get to brush and recall even in enemy territory after a tower dive.

Tower Diving
Tower Diving with Elise is fairly simple. Save your Flash until you have your enemy around 33% HP. Hit them with a Cocoon, Volatile Spiderling, then Rappel in. As you come down from your rappel, activate skittering frenzy and hit the target with a venomous bite, this should kill them immediately. If this doesnt kill them, leave them with an ignite and flash out of the lane, change to Spider Form for the small boost to movement speed and recall if needed. If you are caught recalling near the lane or in the jungle, immediately activate rappel and descend on an enemy minion or jungle creep. Rappel can also be used to get out of the lane if you use flash to open instead of it.

Healing and Sustaining
Elise has an incredible ability to heal up in lane safely. Skittering Frenzy, when activated, will heal you for each attack from your spiderlings and yourself. The key to healing up is to get close to a crowded lane and activate this skill. Spiderlings will attack so long as you hit a target once, as soon as you've done that, you can begin to walk away and keep yourself moving in order to avoid any skill shots. So long as you stay in range, the spiderlings will be hitting those minions and grabbing you health. Take advantage of this if you have a Zhonya's Hourglass ... hit you're hourglass' stasis activation, and watch as your spiderlings soak up some health for you. This can be incredibly useful in a team fight to allow you to stay in the fight long enough to finish enemies with your Q Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite.

Spiderling Strategies
Elise's spiderlings (those summoned in Spider Form) can do alot for you than just deal damage. The spiderlings can be used in a number of ways from sustaining your health (Explained earlier) to keeping you safe from enemy skills.
Being sure to get behind your minions is a pretty common way of avoiding certain skillshots; i.e: Volley, Rocket Grab, Dark Binding and any skills of the sort. So it's important that you use your spiderlings to take these hits for you. Switching into spider form can cause an enemy snare to hit one of your spiderlings, leaving an enemy irate as you skitter away. Using your Spider Form's Venomous Bite to slightly dodge an enemy skillshot is another way to stay safe. Even if you dont get out of the skillshot your spiderlings jump with you to the target, making it more likely that one will take the hit for you. Keep in mind little things like this during a gank, escape, or simple laning and you may just save your own life with one of those pesky little martyrs.

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Summoner Spells

The most viable summoner spells for Elise, as shown above, are:

Ignite : Elise is going to regarded as the team's finisher in team fights, or she can zone an enemy carry. Ignite simply helps you make sure the target dies after the engagement or after the disengage. Ignite can also rule out a support who relies on heals to keep an adc alive.

Flash : Speaks for itself, can get you in great positioning and out of sticky situations. Great for tower diving, escaping, chasing, etc.

Exhaust : Much like ignite, this can help you secure kills, or get out of a chase. Not incredibly needed on elise b/c of flash or rappel, but can definitely help get the job done or zone an adc out of team fights.

Ghost : Elise's spider form only gives a 10 move speed bonus, which really isn't much. Ghost can help get from Point A to Point B that much faster, but you may want to keep flash on dock in order to get through terrain when bein chased.

Teleport : Really takes advantage of Elise's ability to gank, teleport to a ward in a bush, rappel in and stun an enemy for a great gank they never saw coming. Or recall when you absolutely need to buy and teleport back to lane in time to keep control of your lane and not give the enemy any chance to farm.

Smite : Fairly obvious, grab it if you're jungling. Along with Rappel you can have a pretty good chance of stealing an enemy baron or dragon. If you aren't jungling, don't take it.

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Elise is a very well rounded champion and can potentially be a great pick in ranked games. This build is focused to exploit all her mechanics and take advantage of the advantages she starts with. She may not be a great first pick, but can definitely fit in as a counter pick. Building Elise, like most champions, requires alot of reading and reacting to the enemy team and how they have influenced your performance in the game. When it comes to this champ, you simply just have to pick your poison; but this guide may help you wrap em up and bite down that much easier.