Evelynn Build Guide by Astharil
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Not Updated For Current Season
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I have been playing league of legends almost since release and i like to alternate between many different champions and play styles. Evelyn is the one champion i keep going back to and never seem to be tired of. Contrary to popular belief, she is rather hard to play and require a lot of good judgment calls but once you get the hang of it her play style is very rewarding. She can deal insane amount of damage at the end of the game if she is doing well but getting her to this point is very challenging. This guide will cover how i have been playing her and consistently done it with a lot of success.
lvl 1-6 The night is my veil
As the game start, buy a sapphire crystal and two health potions and head to one of the duo lanes. Good laning partners are naturally strong laners, ranged attackers and tanky champions with good burst damage like Jarvin. Evelyn is a very weak laner and you will probably have to tower hug for at least 70% of the games you play. I see many Evelyn starting with stealth but i think starting with hate spike (q) is a lot better. It helps you kill minions faster and get precious last hits more often plus it makes you more dangerous for the enemy team. Stealth is good for the stun but you do not have enough damage for it to be worthwhile at start. Most of the time i get 2 levels of ravage (e) before i get stealth. Once again this ensures that if a gank happens you will do enough damage to be a threat and when you finally get stealth, it will be useful right off the bat. If you're getting badly owned and even staying near tower is difficult (for example in a lane vs Caitlynn and Urgot) you may get stealth sooner (so you can at least stay near the minions and get some experience). No matter what you decide, you should have (1 hate spike, 1 stealth, 2 ravage) at lvl 4. From there on the spell order is the same as described in the graph.
I can not stress this enough: you have to be defensive during this phase. Do not try to gank or harass in any way unless you are 100% certain that it's risk free. Do not overextend to avoid suffering enemy harassment and try to last hit when you can. If you are overpowered by the enemy team let them push until you can tower hug and still get your last hits. Try not to go back to base until you have enough money to buy sheen (860) but if you have no choice buy boot 1 first instead. It is more useful than an amplifying tome and will help you with your ganks. When you have sheen, boot 1 or both you can now start being more offensive and go to the next section (you should be about lvl 5 or 6 by then).
*Important: Do not worry if you have 1 or 2 deaths at the beginning. The laning phase is the hardest one and it is not a good indicator to tell you if you are going to do well or not later. In most games where you go like 15/3 many of your deaths will happen during the laning phase.
lvl 6-14 They will suffer
This is the phase where you can start truly playing your role as a ganker. By now you should have bought a brand new sheen or pair of boots. Before getting back to your lane, check if any enemy champion on the other lanes have low health or would otherwise be ripe for a gank. When you have a choice try to favor the middle lane as it's nearer to your lane and usually carry less risks for you. Go back the lane of your choice and pop stealth BEFORE you are in the sight range of the minions (*see General playing tips below) and gank the unsuspecting fool.
From there on you have to carefully balance laning and ganking. The first few ganks are harder because you don't have your full movement speed and your lvl 1 stealth only last 10 seconds (this is the worst part of the nerf forcing you to take lvl 2 stealth to be fully efficient). As soon as you have the money go back to buy boots of mobility and get lvl 2 stealth at lvl 8. When you have this you are ready to switch to full ganking mode. Lvl 2 stealth which last 20 seconds should be enough for all your needs. You can be offensive all you want but keep in mind that you don't deal insane damage just yet so be wary of taking too much risks.
lvl 14-18 Their pain is my pleasure
If you did well in the previous phases you will be an absolute monster. You will be able to pull stunts worthy of Chuck Norris himself like two shotting an Ashe from full health when she's standing between the dual towers at her own base. Just keep in mind that while your damage got insanely better, your survivability also got worse because everyone probably has more damage also. You can solo most squishes is less than 4 seconds but some tanks might still give you trouble and you will tend to be focused a lot in team fights. Basically, you can get more impressive kills than ever but you will have to remain careful because they will definitely have taken notice of you by now.
Once you have your main items (lich bane, boots, mejai's, deathcap) you are free to customize the rest of your build according to the needs of the game (but most game should be finished by now). I usually try to add a little survivability without sacrificing too much damage (ex: instead of buying banshee's veil i buy abyssal scepter). If they are stacking magic resist i buy a void staff etc.
The case for mejai's
Some people do not like taking mejai's or other snowballing items because they are too dependent on how well you are doing. You clearly shouldn't buy this item every game but it's nowhere near as bad as some people would think and work even in slightly unfavorable games (at least with Evelyn). First off, you need 5 stacks to ensure that mejai's pay for itself (20 AP + (8*5 AP)=60 AP which you could get for about the same price with an amplifying tome and blasting wand). Since you have a basic 20 AP even at 0 stacks the maximum amount of gold you can lose is 800. However, it is possible to sell the mejai's for 800 if you realize you made a mistake (but i almost never sell it) so ultimately, the only thing you can lose is time and 400 gold.
In my experience from playing many games with Evelyn, constantly having around 5 stacks or more is not that hard even if the game is not going too well. Evelyn can chose her battles and she is naturally good at killing other champions. The less stack you have, the less stack you can lose when you die and it's almost impossible to fall back to 0. With mejai's, you are trading the option of potentially changing 1200 gold into more powerful items (but don't forget you can sell for 800) for the possibility of having an extreme AP gain (up to 180 AP and possibly -15% cooldown). To be honest, reaching 20 stacks is rare (and seriously op when you succeed) but having somewhere between 8 and 14 is very likely and definitely worth the gold.
Another point i would like to make is that Evelyn needs lich bane ASAP to have good damage but rushing it straight away after sheen is not a good idea. The damage from lich bane's proc rely on ap and if you rush it it will do 80 damage which is about the same damage sheen would do. You would be spending a lot of gold for almost no damage increase when you could simply add more raw AP for the same result at a lesser cost. This is where mejai's starts to shine. This item is relatively cheap (so it won't delay lich bane too much) and allows you to some get some stacks as you save gold for lich bane. Even in extremely unfavorable games where you decide not to buy mejai's you should at least buy an additional blasting wand before building lich bane (which you will use to build deathcap later).
Tips for the laning phase
Beware the bushes of death:
Be VERY CAREFUL if you couldn't check the first bush before the minions appear. Some champions duo can burst you down from full health at lvl 1. This can happen even if you're very close to turret range and your lane partner is with you. You will not have enough time to react and escape and while most champions would survive with low health, Evelyn WILL DIE.
To prevent this, be as far away from the first bush as possible and do not move too far ahead to make sure that enemies in the bushes cannot go behind you until you are confident that the bush is not occupied.
Hate is a powerful weapon
With hate spike at lvl 1 you can out damage most champions. People tend to underestimate this because they have more burst damage and see your health drop faster at first so they commit to the fight but you always end up closing the gap with your smaller but more consistent damage. This can sometime give you first blood : wait until you close the gap and the enemy realize he has to run away then pop ghost or exhaust and finish them.
Tower diving is my ally
Most of the time you will have to tower hug because the other team will out harass and out farm you. This is not always a bad thing. If you or your teammate have low health you can be almost certain that the enemy team will try to tower dive to get you very soon. Try to anticipate this and pop stealth when that happens. Burst down the nearest champion as soon as he's too far in turret range then pop exhaust and spam hate spike like crazy and watch him die helplessly.
General playing tips
Map invisibility is a far better skill than just stealth.
Do not ever be seen on the map unless you are farming minions. I see many evelyns pop stealth while they are in the sight range of enemy minions or get out of stealth in plain sight. While this may not endanger you, people will be more careful and you will miss many gank opportunities. Never do this unless you don't have a choice. If you are waiting for a chance to gank while on stealth and your stealth will end soon try to unstealth where you won't appear on the enemy map (either in the bushes or far away from the action). Do not get out of the bushes until your stealth is refreshed. More often than not ganking with eve is a game of patience. Never be in a rush to gank someone and always wait for an opportunity that will ensure your success. Sometimes it may take 2 or 3 stealth refresh but it's well worth it and this is mostly what separates good Evelyn players from mediocre ones.
Counterattacking is more efficient than just attacking.
Evelyn's greatest asset is her ability to cloud the judgment of enemy heroes. Try to think like the enemy hero(es) would think. I have had many successful ganks by just standing near an ally that i suspected would soon be ganked by an enemy hero and intervene when that happens for a guaranteed kill. Another trick is stand near the enemy and wait until he's isolated or his allies are distracted to strike. This is the main method to use for team fights. For example, i know from playing Lux that she has a tendency to step forward do some burst damage and step back until her cooldown are renewed. Wait until the team fight start and she has just stepped back and kill her then pop malice and spite and run away from the opposite direction. When your stealth is ready go back to the fight.
Evelyn is a yoyo
Evelyn is all about burst damage and if the initial burst doesn't kill the target or put him on very low health you most likely won't be able to kill him. For this reason, some people are hesitant to harass with her but it doesn't have to be so. If for example, you meet someone alone with full health and you burst him down to half health two things might happen:
1- He run away in fear... harassment successful
2- He attack you knowing he will win. If this is what happens pop ghost and/or malice and spite to run away. When stealth refreshes pop stealth, turn back and burst him down again for a free kill.
This same tip can be applied when you run away from any champion. No matter how low your health is you can often stealth, turn back and win.
Ganking is all about opportunities.
Do not be afraid to use ghost and/or malice and spite to travel to your next gank faster. Many ganks are missed not because you can't chase the enemy but because you couldn't get there at the moment he was vulnerable. For this reason i prefer boots of mobility to sorcerer's shoes. Sure you do more damage with sorcerer's shoes but most of the time you can get more kills simply by always being where you need to be (plus escaping is very important also). I find myself using ghost and malice and spite to travel more often than to chase an enemy.
Even an oracle cannot predict his own death
The detection range of an oracle potion is smaller than your sight range. You can always follow someone with an oracle without being seen by him if you're careful not to get too close. When his team is distracted or you otherwise see an opportunity pop malice and spite + ghost and burst him down. He may see you coming but you will be so fast that he most likely won't have the time to react and if he does he still won't be able to run away. Wards are much more dangerous than oracles as you don't always learn of their existence before it's too late. Sometimes it is also more practical to ignore the hero with oracles (especially if he's a fed tank) and do this to someone else in their team.
An assassin is cold and calculating
Be careful about choosing when to help your team. Most of my deaths are usually because i decide to appear and help my team run away by stunning enemy champions or enter too soon in a losing team battle hoping to turn the tide. I usually know that's it's not a good idea but i want to save my team. As harsh as it may sound, you sometimes have to just watch them die and do nothing. Save what can be saved but decide carefully when to intervene. Do not die for other people needlessly as this doesn't help your team at all.
As a parting note, here is a few weaknesses that you should be aware of when choosing Evelyn.
Teams with 3 tanks or more.
You will still get kills but if they are moderately good you won't go on a rampage as usual. Your k/d ratio should be closer to 1:1 if you're doing well. You should be aware of this in ranked games.
- Mushrooms take away half your health bar often forcing you to go back to your base and waste precious gank opportunities.
- Mushrooms stop you from ganking someone and even worse alert them so they can finish you off
- Mushrooms prevent you from escaping after a gank.
- It's very dangerous to wander around with low health (which you often do since you have stealth).
- His ultimate take away half your health bar or more often killing you outright making most gank/escape tactics impossible.
- He's squishy and easy to kill but he will take you with him most of the time. Even if you have full health his passive combined with his aoe and ultimate will pretty much guarantee that you can't kill him without dying yourself.
- He often HAS to be focused otherwise he will slow you down to a crawl and kill you very quickly. (so no matter what you decide you always end up with a lot of deaths).