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Lissandra Build Guide by Katasandra

Middle How to bury the world in ice | The Lissandra Guide

Middle How to bury the world in ice | The Lissandra Guide

Updated on August 25, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Katasandra Build Guide By Katasandra 845 38 1,903,488 Views 89 Comments
845 38 1,903,488 Views 89 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author Katasandra Lissandra Build Guide By Katasandra Updated on August 25, 2021
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Lissandra
    Standard
  • LoL Champion: Lissandra
    Item overview

Runes: Standard

1 2 3
Domination
Electrocute
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter

Sorcery
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist

Spells:

1 2
Agressive
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

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Ranked #50 in
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Win 51%
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Middle Lane Ranked #50 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
More Lissandra Runes
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Threats & Synergies

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Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None
Introduction
Hello reader, welcome to my guide! A few years ago, there was a frustrated Lissandra player that just wanted to learn how to play Lissandra, but there was no decent guide to be found anywhere. That player wrote this guide. This guide is for all of you who are now that player.

Unfortunately my times of being a new player are long past, if there's anything in the guide that confuses you, you have questions or you think I'm going too fast. Please comment! Feedback is key to improving this guide.

This guide will cover anything, from runes and items to combo's and gameplay. Because there are many levels of detail, I decided to split the guide in two pieces.
Part One: For people that are looking for quick information on Lissandra's setup and how to approach the game when playing her. Basically a 'summary'.
Part Two: All the details I skipped over in the first part, from items to gameplay. This part is supposed to be some kind of encyclopedia: look up the details you want to know about, but do not read the entire thing in one go.

Whether you are looking to learn Lissandra, whether you are a seasoned Lissandra player or someone who is just trying to find out whether Lissandra is an interesting champion to play, I got your back!
About me
Now, before getting into all that I figured it would be a good idea to tell something about myself. I am Katasandra, a Lissandra onetrick playing on the EUW server. I am mostly to be found chilling in normal and ARAM games as I do not have the time and drive to grind ranked. I started playing Lissandra slightly after the runes rework (2017) and have accumulated over a thousand games & a million mastery points by now.
At the same time I'm also to be found around Mobafire, whether it be through reviewing guides or catching baddies. If you're interested in writing guides then you'll certainly come across two other guides of mine, as I wrote about writing guides and tables. If that's not your thing, let's get into the Lissandra stuff!
Close your eyes and let the cold take you.
Why
Liss
Lissandra doesn't have a high complexity like Akali or Yasuo, she's also not really like traditional mages that deal heavy damage while staying at a distance. So why would you want to play this chilly ice witch?

In a nutshell, Lissandra is a weak laner. However, if the enemy gives you freedom or you manage to create some yourself, you can get some pretty good roams. Past the laning phase she starts to show her true self, where she excels in skirmishes and making picks. Once she gets a few items she transforms in a teamfight menace due to her AoE damage and CC.

One thing that stands out to me is her agency. Where other champions, mage or assassin, have to pick their moment very carefully, you can decide it will happen now. Her CC and AoE in combination with Glacial Path can easily lead to victory by your hand or demise...

Despite this, Lissandra is definitely not a flashy champ. Although she is very capable of pulling off highlight plays (most notable massive AoE combo's in teamfights), they are not what defines her. You'll find people accusing you of being a "press R champ" or "your jungler ganks so you win champ". This game isn't some honorable duel, it's dirty and unfair. It is often not possible to out-mechanic other champions as Lissandra and therefore she finds other ways...

Finally, be aware of her conflicting identities. She likes to fight up close, like Vladimir and Swain, but she doesn't have the survivability they do. She has glimpses of zone control, but doesn't have quite the damage or range as traditional control mages. And last but not least, she is very skewed towards burst damage, but fails to reach the same heights as champions like Syndra and Annie. Lissandra has a bit of everything, but excels at none.

Interested? The cold, bitter touch of true ice beckons you to continue reading...
Pros
&
cons
In a way, the section above already (implicitly) lists a lot of Lissandra's pros. However I didn't list the cons yet and as I am a fan of lists, here is an overview:
Pros
Good Teamfighter
Lots of CC
Semi-Mobile
Easy to pick up
Versatile
Most of these speak for themselves, but I'll highlight the versatility. As Lissandra you're not forced to always dive like assassins, or to always play back like mages. You can do both, which means that Lissandra also fits in many teamcomps. I also find it to be very refreshing. Although I play the same champion every game I can alternate between playstyles.
Cons
Low Range
Weak Early
Not a 1v9 champ
High Cooldowns
Telegraphed engage
All of the amazing things in her kit come at a cost: Lissandra's range is depressingly low, you'll find that you'll be bullied by champions with higher range. You'll also be heavily punished if you misuse her abilities. Glacial Path is telegraphed and the cooldowns on her abilities are high. Miss/mess up your window and it'll be gone forever...
She also pays dearly for her teamfighting prowess by having a rather bad early game. Not only because of her cooldowns, also her base damage is low. Most of her damage comes from her % AP scalings, which won't be useful until you have a few items...
When to pick Lissandra
Due to Lissandra's versatility, she works in/against a lot of teamcomps. Nonetheless there are teamcomps that feel better to play against, and there are also things that make you go "ughhh" in champ select.

When not to pick Lissandra
1.
Your team picked multiple AP champs already (2+). Enemies will itemize MR sooner, which makes your all-in power significantly weaker.
2.
The enemy team has multiple tanks/enchanters. It can be quite difficult to play against these comps as they counter what Lissandra does. It's still playable but it requires you to play different than usual.
When to pick Lissandra
1.
Your team lacks CC. Lissandra has a lot of CC and can be a good pick if your team doesn't have a lot of (reliable) CC at their disposal. Please note that she is not a replacement for a tank.
2.
Against short ranged teams. Especially ones with assassins. Due to Lissandra's CC and AoE damage it is hard to dive on her.

Abilities
So what does this popsicle woman do exactly? Here's a basic breakdown of each ability.
If you're looking for more in-depth tips & tricks >>go here<<!
Passive: Iceborn Subjugation
Whenever you kill someone or an emey dies near you, they'll spawn an ice zombie. This zombie slows enemies, chases them and explodes after a few seconds.
Official description
This passive literally plays the game by itself. All you have to do is not die. Occasionally it pays off to walk around your thralls/force enemies to walk through your thralls. Be aware that these can add some extra damage, which can let you snowball fights after the initial burst.
Q: Ice Shard
Linear skillshot that deals (the same) damage to everything in its path. It only slows the first enemy hit and its range extends if it hits something.
Official description
This is Lissandra's bread-and-butter ability. It is her main damage tool throughout the game and her only damage source that doesn't require her to be very close to enemies. Try to hit as many enemies as possible whenever you fight!
W: Ring of Frost
AoE instant root that deals magic damage.
Official description
An extremely straightforward ability. It is mostly used in conjunction with other abilities (+ Ice Shard for burst; after Glacial Path for CC; before self- Frozen Tomb to guarantee damage; to CC chain/kite together with Ice Shard/ Frozen Tomb). The damage can sometimes be as impactful as the root. Unfortunately, the range can be a bit tricky sometimes.

Remember this: better get a lil too close to the enemy than not hitting the enemy at all.
E: Glacial Path
Cast a claw of ice that moves forward and deals damage. Reactivating teleports you to the location of the claw.
Official description
This ability is what makes Lissandra fun compared to a lot of other champions. It let's you dive on top of enemy champions, or escape from nasty situations. Avoid wasting it as it will cost you dearly because of its cooldown. Also bear in mind that the enemies can see where the claw will end up, the only thing they do not know is when you will reactivate it (if at all!).
R: Frozen Tomb
Stuns an enemy, or puts you in stasis and heals you. It also creates a damaging field around the target that slowly spreads out and slows enemies as well.
Official description
This is Lissandra's fantastic ultimate. It allows you to catch enemies' by CC-locking them for days. Or you can hop in the middle of the enemy team, go into stasis and deal a ton of damage. And last but not least, you can use it to protect your allies and shut down mobile enemies.

Disguised as 'press R to win', but it is actually much more than that!

Use Hotkeys to Selfult!
Skill sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18
> > >
Setup
Summoner spells
Always
It is probably not a surprise that Flash is always taken on Lissandra. The only choice you got is whether to put it on D or F. It's just too good for both offensive and defensive purposes. If you ever need to escape from tricky situations or just need to cover this little bit of extra distance to land a game-winning combo, Flash got you covered.
Killing
Ignite is mainly taken in matchups where you can kill your enemy or when you think your jungler will fight early on. It's also my recommended summoner for low elo as mistakes are much common there. The 60% GW can also give you an edge versus healing champions.
Macro
Teleport is a much 'slower' summoner. If you don't expect anything to happen early game or you're in a hard matchup then taking Teleport might be a good idea. Although it's often used to return to lane, it's main power lies in (counter)ganking other lanes and allowing you to sidelane later on.
If you still don't feel sure about whether to take Teleport or Ignite, just try both of them for a few games and see how they feel and what you can do with them. You'll notice that they give you different options in terms of playstyle and neither of them is 'right' or 'wrong'. Don't overthink it and just go with the flow :)
Runes
Keystone & minor runes
Electrocute is Lissandra's main keystone. It increases her burst by that little bit she needs and is very easy to proc once she decides to go in.

Taste of Blood gives some extra sustain throughout the laning phase. Although both other options are viable, this one simply is the most reliable.

Eyeball Collection just gives you some raw AP. Considering you'll pick up plenty of kills/assists you should be able to stack it quite reliably. If you consistently ward then Ghost Poro is also an option.
The hunter rune is based on preference. I'm a big fan of Ultimate Hunter as Lissandra is quite dependent on her ultimate. Having it up more often can make a difference and therefore it is my recommended rune of this row.
However, all the other hunter runes are viable as well. Relentless Hunter makes it easier to move around the map (handy for roaming!). Ravenous Hunter gives you a small amount of sustain (mid/lategame), which you normally wouldn't have. Lastly, Ingenious Hunter reduces the cooldowns of passive & active items which can, like Ultimate Hunter, make the difference.

Just try them all a couple of games. You'll figure out which one(s) you like the most!

If you're completely new and just trying to get the hang of Lissandra: stick with the same rune page for a bunch of games. Switching all the time won't help with learning the basics.
Standard secondary tree
Sorcery is taken in all cases where you don't need Inspiration. Transcendence is a must. Lissandra has quite sizeable cooldowns and the haste, as well as the takedown passive can make or break fights. The second rune depends on preference and playstyle.

If you're a newer player I recommend Manaflow Band since Lissandra is quite a mana-hungry champion. But if you're comfortable with managing mana, then Gathering Storm is a very decent rune, especially in gold and below as games tend to drag on.
Alternative secondary tree
Inspiration is often taken in combination with Corrupting Potion (+ Time Warp Tonic) vs melees to bully them and gain leads early in lane. Give it a go and see how it feels!

Nonetheless, the must-take rune of this tree is definitely Biscuit Delivery. They help with mana (sort of like Manaflow Band), especially when you're about to run out. The cookies also make Inspiration a decent choice versus harder ranged matchups as they'll give you extra (health) sustain as well. If you take Inspiration because of this reason, you could also take Cosmic Insight instead of Time Warp Tonic. This rune gives you added utility by lowering both your items' and Flash cooldown, which has more impact later in the game compared to TWT.
Alternatives
One comment that frequently pops up in the Lissmains Discord/Reddit is the fact that Electrocute is hard to proc in lane. This is true, it's harder to proc it compared to a lot of other champions (more in-depth talk about this in the gameplay section). So for those of you that find it hard to get used to Electrocute or just want a keystone that's more useful in lane:
Arcane Comet is the alternative to Electrocute. Definitely much easier to proc (just tag em with a Ice Shard). But less reliable as the projectile can be dodged. It also gives you less single-target burst as Electrocute, but still scales decently due to its AoE and the fact that you can proc it multiple times in fights.

The minor runes to go along with it are Manaflow Band, Transcendence and Gathering Storm. For the secondary tree there are three things you can pick: Resolve for extra defenses which can help a great deal when jumping into things (you can also run Resolve with Electrocute). This is by far the most 'beginner friendly' page as the extra defenses help with not dying while you get used to Lissandra's close-ranged nature. Inspiration or Domination, both of which give lane sustain ( Biscuit Delivery, Taste of Blood), but give different additional benefits (e.g. Hunter runes vs Cosmic Insight).

Lastly, here's a general overview of all the minor runes I consider to (not) be viable on Lissandra:
Inspiration
Precision

In the spoiler below there is an explanation on some of the runes. I won't repeat things I said above and if I don't mention a rune at all, it means that it doesn't synergize with Lissandra at all. I do not give a concise summary of take X or take Y. The choice depends on your playstyle, just as Riot intended it to be...
Explanation
Rune shards
In the first row you should always go Attack Speed. Autoattacks are extremely important for Lissandra in the early game, both for trading and wave control.
Adaptive is basically the "only" option in the second row.
Take Armor vs AD matchups and MR vs AP matchups in the last row. If you're uncertain of what your matchup is, take Armor. It'll still help vs auto damage and AD matchups tend to be harder if you take the wrong shard.
Items
How do I import item sets?

Lissandra item set
Starting items
The premier starting item is Doran's Ring (+2x Health Potion). It synergizes well with what you want to do as Lissandra early: farm and chill.

Then there's also Corrupting Potion. The major advantage of Corrupting over Doran's is that it gives more mana sustain + burn on abilities/autoattacks. This makes it ideal if you were to lane aggressively and burn through your mana rather quickly. This is pretty much only possible in melee (assassin) matchups. Think of things like Yone, Fizz, Katarina and Akali. To increase combat power you can combine it with Biscuit Delivery and Time Warp Tonic. The 'burst' healing can save your life in close fights.

All that being said, playing this aggressive is a personal choice. It could help create a lead, but at the same time, playing even against these assassins means that you're winning. That's why I myself prefer to stick with Doran's Ring and play the game a bit slower.

First base
The dream base
If you end up going a mana mythic, then Lost Chapter is the "ideal" base. If you have pristine CSing skills you should be able to get this right before level 6. However, most of the time you'll be unable to acquire 1300g before basing (I almost never do!). This is completely okay, get some components.
There are also two other items: Seeker's Armguard and Verdant Barrier, however at the time of writing they're not worth their cost. If you need defenses stick with Cloth Armor or Null-Magic Mantle, don't upgrade them (before completing your mythic).
Your actual base
These are all items you could get on a 1st base. My favorite, by far, are Boots and Sapphire Crystal. Lissandra is has a minimal base movement speed and T1 boots help a ton with dodging skillshots and roaming. She is also quite mana hungry, and a Sapphire Crystal gives you the mana needed to stay on the map for an extended period of time (so you can get that Lost Chapter!).
Then there are also the raw AP options, Amplifying Tome and Dark Seal. The former is kinda the 'I have enough gold, and I don't need anything else so I buy this' item. Dark Seal on the other hand has a clear purpose: if you're snowballing or there are a lot of skirmishes/fights in the game, it is an incredibly good buy.

If you're struggling in a matchup, Null-Magic Mantle or Cloth Armor give you some additional defenses which can help you survive.

Whatever you end up buying on a base, make sure to buy (health) sustain as well! This means a Refillable Potion or Health Potion if you don't have enough gold. If you still have gold left, you should buy a Control Ward as well.
Mythics
Luden's Tempest
Standard Choice
Raw power
Kiting/Fluid fighting
Everfrost
VS Mobility
More forgivable (HP)
Chaining CC
Liandry's Anguish
VS Tanky
Less burst
Slow fighting
Luden's Tempest is the "standard mythic". It synergizes with Lissandra's burst heavy kit and the movement speed can come in clutch in fights. It is also by far the most 'selfish' mythic as it offers raw damage instead of utility.

Everfrost is the 'beginner friendly' mythic in my eyes. It offers an active that allows you to chain CC enemies, or keep them off you in case you mess up. It is also the only mana mythic that offers health, which makes making mistakes a bit more forgivable. It does not give as much raw combat power as the other two mythics however. Nonetheless, it is a great buy when you want to shut down a specific (mobile) member of the enemy team and one (or more) of your teammates have the potential to carry.

Liandry's Anguish is a good buy if the enemy team has multiple bruisers and tanks. Although you won't be killing them as quickly as squishies in other games, the bonus damage and burn will help a ton. It takes time to get going though, you'll need 3+ items to feel powerful. Also mind that is synergizes well with Morellonomicon since the burn reapplies the passive!
Legendaries
Utility
Cosmic Drive is an item that's not often build, but it is actually very good. Together with your mythic, it'll give the minimum amount of haste to fight fluidly (can do Q - stasis - Q). It also gives you more opportunities to go in, since E is maxed last it has a very high CD with non-haste focused builds. Can be bought anytime, but is most effective in games where the enemy team consists of lots of tanks, other melees or when they have a champion with a lot of shielding.
Zhonya's Hourglass is often regarded as a core item on Lissandra. It basically allows you to buy more time and stall for your team. Either go this item second if you're setting up plays for your team, or later on if your intention is to dive into the enemy team and you have trouble staying alive.
Buy Oblivion Orb when the enemy team has healing (e.g. Immortal Shieldbow, Goredrinker, Yuumi, Viego etc). Lissandra is actually extremely good at applying the passive in fights, so don't hesitate to buy it. Get it right after completing your mythic. Upgrade into Morellonomicon when nearing full build or when you need "stronger" GW.
Damage
When the time is there, and you feel like YOU need to be the one to deal the damage, then you should get (one of) these items.
Is more or less THE damage item. Since Lissandra has respectable ratios and a rather ****ty base damage, it is a better buy than Horizon Focus at all points in the game. The later you build it, the more effective it is.
Buy a Void Staff if you want damage, but the enemy team builds MR. It's more gold efficient than Rabadon's Deathcap if the enemy has more than 50-60 MR. This is basically all melee champs (they have high base MR) and ranged champs with any kind of MR item. Note that it flat out deals more damage than Rabadon's Deathcap if enemies have +100MR.
There are two other items: Horizon Focus, which is a bit worse than Rabadon's Deathcap, but can be build if you want more damage but already have dcap & void. And there is also Archangel's Staff which is on par with Horizon Focus but takes too long to stack (and the extra mana is kinda redundant).
Tanky
Tanky?! What kind of heresy is this! Turns out that if your team picks a whole lot of damage champs (and they aren't doing too bad), you can perhaps build one or two items that are definitely not supposed to be build by mages. Makes you more annoying and harder to kill.
"Press W to give your team 15% increased damage". This item enables your team and gives you major defenses against any AP damage dealer. Turns out it is better (defensive AND offensive) than Banshee's Veil... If the enemy team has a bunch of AP champions (that are fed) then this is a good buy. Buy it as a 3rd item or later.
It should be no surprise that this item pairs extremely well with Everfrost, as that mythic also applies the passive.
Other items
Demonic Embrace is mainly good in games where fights are long and the enemy team is on the tanky side. However it loses compared to other damage options and even Cosmic Drive. Can be build as a final item, when you do not really want any of the other situational/utility options.
Just bad compared to Abyssal Mask.
Builds and allies
When choosing your items, it is important to take your allies' items into account. For example, if you have an AP jungler that decided to build Liandry's Anguish, you should avoid building that item because the burn doesn't stack.

If you have a lot of allies that are building tank/defensive items, try going into pure damage yourself. Unless your team is significantly ahead, everyone building defenses might lead to a lack of damage. This also applies to grievous wounds: if your team already has 3-4 people building it, it makes no sense to also get it yourself.

Last but not least, if you aren't doing too hot (you're feeding), but your team is doing well. Focus on 'utility' options, like Morellonomicon, Zhonya's Hourglass or even a Abyssal Mask. It is not really your job to do damage, but to stick with your teammates so that they can.
Gameplay
Laning phase
Laning phase can roughly be divided into two parts: the early laning phase and the late laning phase. The former is the window between levels 1-6 and the latter is from level 6 till midgame.
Early laning phase
In this phase of the game, your main objective is farming. Sometimes you'll end up killing your opponent, but getting ahead (or putting them behind) is not your main objective. You also won't have to worry about roaming yet, but perhaps your jungler (or the enemy's) will grace your lane.
Abilities
At this point in the game, you essentially have three important 'abilities': your autoattacks, Ice Shard and your minions. Ring of Frost and Glacial Path are only used situationally. Ring of Frost is used in all-ins or when setting up a gank for your jungler, or when a melee champion starts trading with you. Glacial Path is only used in all-ins or to escape ganks.

Especially in the early laning phase, you cannot spam Ice Shard. You'll run out of mana in no time. Use autoattacks to pick up CS, most of the trading will be done with autoattacks as well.
Basic gameplan
In melee matchups you should look to damage the minions such that your minions have slightly more health than the enemies. This will make the wave slowly push towards the enemy side. Keep lasthitting/maintaining a minion health lead till the wave crashes. While doing this you should look to harass the enemy with autoattacks and/or Ice Shard when they go for CS. Make sure to hit not too many minions with Ice Shard as that may make the wave push too fast.
Note that I use Ring of Frost here. Since Yone is only lvl 1 he cannot jump on me and I can use it for harass. Otherwise I'd save it for his Soul Unbound. Also notice that I retreat immediately after proccing Electrocute. If I stay the ranged minions will do massive amounts of damage.
Another example
After hitting the tower the minion wave starts slowpushing back to you. Make sure it does so (do not push it back). Now you have to be a bit careful about harassing because you got less minions around you. You can choose to either thin the wave and setup a freeze, or you can let the wave crash into your tower and start another slowpush. In case you need to base you can spam Ice Shard on the wave.

Versus ranged matchups the gameplan isn't so straightforward. A lot of mages struggle with farming under their tower ( Vladimir, Lux, Veigar, etc) so trying to push them in can be a good idea. Also, pushing an enemy to their tower forces them to use spells to farm, so they can't use them to poke you. On the other hand, pushing does make you vulnerable to ganks. Although Glacial Path exists, you can still take a sizeable amount of damage if a jungler decides to gank.

The main objective is to farm, you can try to push the wave before scuttle spawns so you can accompany/help your jungler. When you are level 5 you can push the wave into the enemy, base and get fresh items so you can look for a kill/roam once you hit 6.
Trading with Lissandra
As Lissandra your trades are either quick pokes (autoattacks, Ice Shard) or small rotations where you proc Electrocute. (AA - Ice Shard - AA; AA - auto - Ice Shard). If melees jump into you ( Ring of Frost - AA - Ice Shard - AA) is common as well.

Either trade when the enemy goes for CS or when one/multiple of their abilities are down. Also be careful around minions, avoid autoattacking the enemy when you're close to the ranged creeps/the enemy minion wave is very big.
The importance of autoattacks
Especially in melee matchups, autoattacking is extremely important. Not only weaving them between abilities, but also when the enemy starts retreating. A lot of people scuttle away in fear, but since the enemy just burned all of their abilities you should chase them a bit with autoattacks. This can really make the difference between you trading even/winning the trade and losing it really hard!

In the example above, as soon as the Sylas tries to go onto me all my minions start hitting him. This can also do loads of damage and help you win trades (or lose them, if the enemy cannon/ranged creeps start hitting you). Be aware of this, stay near your minions or be careful when you do not have a lot of them around you.
Late laning phase
In this phase of poking with Ice Shard and shoving the wave & roaming becomes more important. Especially in ranged matchups you should rarely look to proc Electrocute utilizing autoattacks. Most of the time you chip them down from a distance with Ice Shard (or just don't interact at all). You can Glacial Path forward when the enemy wastes an important ability ( Scatter the Weak, Sleepy Trouble Bubble, Pick A Card), but be careful of the enemy jungler!

If your own jungler ganks your lane, Glacial Path forward and either use Ring of Frost or Frozen Tomb. Then use the other CC ability right before the CC effect of the former expires. The enemy laner either dies or has to burn all their summoners. If your jungler has any kind of CC you can also try to play around that.

In some matchups you'll find that you get completely outmatched or fall behind. In that case, just try to farm and avoid fighting with your opponent. If you can walk up to the wave & hit it, do so. But if that isn't possible, wait for the wave to come to you.

You can also look to push the wave and roam. If there isn't anywhere to roam to, just sit out of vision or place a ward. If your opponent roams, only follow if you have vision and you're very close behind them. If you are very far behind them you won't be able to help much, just stay mid, push the wave & try to get a plate.
Midgame
At some point in the late laning phase skirmishing starts to become important (drake fights, botlane parties). Your main goal is picking off targets and bursting them. Your damage won't be that flattering yet and your CC will be much more valuable.

Whether you want to fight or not depends on your ultimate and objectives: you do not want to fight when Frozen Tomb is on cooldown and you do not want to use it right before objectives spawn (because then fighting over that objective becomes pretty hard).

You should always be on the lookout for picks: enemies that run around alone and end up within your range. If you can oneshot the enemy, you can look to do this on your own. But if you cannot you should look to stay near some of your allies so they can follow up.

Once the botlane tower falls the game moves into the phase called the midgame. Your ADC might move to midlane and farm over there. You should vacate the empty lane to avoid sharing farm. If there is a lot of fighting happening for no reason, it is often better to stick with your team. Although having less farm sucks, if you aren't present the game can easily swing out of control if your team loses these fights.

In skirmishes you should look to pick off important targets/burst enemies. For example if there is a fight over the drake I will be trying to single out the enemy jungler. Of course if the enemy ADC or midlane are out of position I can turn onto them as well.
Teamfighting
Teamfighting defines whether a Lissandra player is good or not. There is a thin line between life and death and you have to walk that. In some games it is very easy, as the enemy team decided to clump up and you just hop in there for a 4-5 man combo. In other games the enemies stay away from each other, they got heavy peel or maybe you are behind and then life ain't as easy.

I play a fair bit of ARAM and also run into a fair amount of Lissandra's there. The main issues I see is that they either going in too eagerly (like a tank/engage) or being too slow when jumping in (enemies can run away/get CCed and die). It is extremely easy for you to jump into the enemy team, but a lot of the time this will lead to your doom. Although Lissandra is not a mechanical champion, you need to execute combo's at high speed. If you are too slow either the enemies get away or you get CCed and die.
Comboing in teamfights
Lissandra has a signature combo: E - E - (F) - W - Q - self R - (Q - Zhonya - Q - E - W - E).

This combo is the 'standard' whenever you dive in the middle of the enemy team. And it is very important to execute it quickly. You need to limit the time window where you are vulnerable. It is necessary to understand where the damage of this combo comes from: about 1/3th is from Ice Shard, 1/3th is from Frozen Tomb and the last 1/3th is from Ring of Frost + Electrocute. In some fights throwing Ice Shard can be dangerous due to CC (as it's cast time increases the window of vulnerability), however not using it means you'll miss out on a lot of damage. I personally always throw Ice Shard as not throwing it means that there is no point in diving in the first place.

Always use hotkeys to selfult. It's faster and it's more consistent. You can either use ALT + R or set another keybind in the settings.
When you can't dive
In some games diving will not be an option. Then you should look to play front-to-back. CC their divers and/or CC their frontline. This will happen mostly where the enemy team has a lot of tanks/bruisers or enchanters. It is hard to do threatening damage to both of these due to their HP or shielding. Therefore you should focus less on diving and more on keeping your own team safe. In these kinds of fights you'll rely a lot on spamming Ice Shard and continuously using Glacial Path to reposition. Therefore having high amounts of haste ( Cosmic Drive, wink wink) is favored over stacking flat damage.
Fight example

There is not really a set way of using your abilities in these types of fights. Most of the time you spam Ice Shard, use Ring of Frost to CC divers/frontline. Hold Frozen Tomb for defining moments, to either make sure an enemy dies, to prevent the enemy team from running into your team or to protect yourself.
Fight example
Fight example

Abilities
Passive: Iceborn Subjugation
❄ Has a high base damage so is effective even when behind.
❄ Multiple thralls exploding at the same time will deal massive damage
❄ Walk into/around thralls so that enemies have to follow you through them.
❄ If you have Zhonya's Hourglass you can activate it to buy time for the passive explosion.
Boom!
Thralls can really contribute to your damage. It turns out that it outdamages all other abilities (except Frozen Tomb at high AP numbers). This is true for one thrall already, so spawning multiple can do a lot of damage:
Passive Explosion Damage
You can incorporate the thrall explosion in your combo to kill an enemy. The best way to do is to chain CC them just so that they'll be unable to move right when the passive explodes.

Last but not least, if you're certain that a passive explosion will kill an enemy you can walk away (+ mastery emote) to flex on your enemies (if you're into that sort of thing). Warning: this can backfire
Cool Liss players don't look at explosions
Setting up Thralls
Of course, before the thrall goes boom it needs to hug an enemy. If your enemies are running away from you, getting them to stay next to one is quite difficult (or even impossible). On the other hand, if they're trying to kill you can attempt to walk them into your passive. Sometimes this means walking away from the enemy in a straight line, sometimes this means wandering in all kinds of directions (the Thrall will help with this since it applies a slow).

Of course, only run into directions that won't get you killed. If you're really close to dying and you're being chased by a full HP enemy it might be a better idea to choose the shortest path to safety.

You can also use Frozen Tomb and Zhonya's Hourglass to buy time for the passive to explode. Often when you enter stasis, people will sit around and wait for you to come out (despite your passive sitting right there). This can swing fights in your favor!
Passive + Stasis
Q: Ice Shard
❄ Only slows the first target hit
❄ Has a small cast time
❄ Do not spam this ability early on, you'll run out of mana!
❄ Use it to check bushes: it'll shatter if someone is in it
Clip example
A deceptive range
The max range of this ability increases once you hit something, but unfortunately there isn't any kind of indicator that shows this range. Finding it requires fiddling some time in practice tool, a lot of games and the knowledge that the range goes a little bit beyond the particle effect (Bazinga!). Fortunately, I made a vid that shows this range:
Vague attempt on showing Q range
Interaction with Flash
Unlike a lot of other abilities, it is not possible to Flash buffer Ice Shard. (E.g. when you cast an ability and Flash during the windup time it will be fired from your new position). So if you want to Flash + Ice Shard to kill an enemy, you should make sure you don't cast them in the wrong order or you look like an idiot.

This mechanic can also be used to your advantage. Ice Shard - Flash can be used to create more distance when kiting away. However it can also be used for some really fast all-in combo's.
Hitting every single minion
This ability is your main waveclear tool and you got to use it correctly. If you want to shove/clear the wave you should hit the entire wave with a single Ice Shard. This often requires you to stand in specific spots as you'll only hit 5/6 minions otherwise.
Maximizing damage
You shouldn't look to hit as many minions as possible with Ice Shard. You should also look to hit as many champions with a single Ice Shard in fights. Taking half a second to reposition so you can hit two people instead of one can be worth it!
Gif is under construction :(

Regardless of whether you are fighting minions or champions, try to hit as many targets as possible. If you need half a second to reposition to hit two people instead of one it is worth it.
W: Ring of Frost
❄ Has no cast time: can be used while moving
❄ Does not interrupt dashes
❄ One of, if not the only ability in the game with hard CC without a cast time.
❄ Is not a projectile, goes through abilities such as Yasuo's Wind Wall and Braum's Unbreakable
❄ The range is center to center, it might be a bit lower than it seems
Try hitting a Cho'Gath XD
The main trick of this ability lies in knowing it's max range.
Instantaneous cast
The most important detail of Ring of Frost is that it has no cast time. This means that it can be used while moving and it can be used for instantaneous lockdown after using Flash or Glacial Path, leaving enemies with no time to react.

This can be used at all points in the game, whether roaming to botlane or in teamfights, as the main teamfight combo makes use of this.
Catching invisible enemies
It's AoE radius also makes it an excellent ability for catching invisible targets. If it hits one, a outline will show. Your team and you can throw abilities at the enemies' location, which will kill them more often than not.
E: Glacial Path
❄ Cannot be recasted when you're disabled (stunned, grounded, silenced, etc)
❄ Don't panic if you get stunned; the claw needs ~1.5s to travel to the end location and can be reactivated ~0.2s after it vanishes. You might still be able to teleport after the CC ends (Just keep mashing that button!).
❄ Reactivate Glacial Path after it has traveled a short distance or after it has vanished to surprise your enemies
❄ The enemy can see the indicator as long as they are within range (600 units) of it
❄ The speed of the claw is not constant, it goes faster at the start and slows down at the end

The travel speed of the claw almost halves over the duration. Unless you want to surprise enemies it is rarely useful to wait for it to get to it's maximum range (especially since enemies will run away from it).
Dodging skillshots
You can do really dope things with this ability. I don't know where to start! So let's start with the coolest thing: you can dodge skillshots with it.
Coolest dodge I ever did
This is almost always done preemptively: you see an enemy walk at you (for example: Gragas is ganking you). You know he's going to use a skillshot and therefore cast Glacial Path. Then as soon as you see them throw the skillshot, reactivate Glacial Path.
The nexus trick
An extremely common use is to use Glacial Path over the nexus to get to lane faster. This saves a few seconds which can result in you not missing xp/gold to the tower. It is also a way to extend the homeguard buff as you can cast Glacial Path, run back into the fountain and reactivate.
If Glacial Path is on cooldown at the time, you can also use it a little later to save time anyway. The travel speed of the claw (1200-640) is almost always greater than your own movement speed.
Playing around CC
You can recast Glacial Path for about 1.8s. If you end up getting CCed after casting it, keep trying to recast it (once the CC times out) in some cases you can still get out.
In general, whenever enemies have CC available, make sure to stay out of their range after you cast Glacial Path or recast it to dodge whatever skillshot they throw at you.
Some silly trick
Using it in all-ins
When all-inning/soloing opponents you can time Glacial Path such that it can be recasted slightly after the CC on my target ends. In case you do not have enough damage to immediately oneshot them, you can follow enemies once they try to flee from me. This greatly limits their escape routes and most of the time will result in their death since you can throw another Ice Shard.
Glacial Path can also be used like this when diving turrets. You essentially use it on the enemy and reactivate to get out. But again, this combo can be very dangerous if there are other enemies nearby.
Tower dive

Wall jumping
Last but not least, wall jumping. With Glacial Path you can cross about any wall in Summoners Rift (as long as the claw is halfway through). But there are some places where you can cross two walls at once, shown on the map below. This can come in really handy for escape maneuvers. I recommend trying them a few times in practice tool, if you randomly try them ingame you might end up smacking your face into a wall.
Can be mirrored for the topside

The jumps I end up using most of the time are the ones around the tribush areas and the ones to/from the drake/baron pits (but not the ones to the red buff). The jumps to the T1 turret are also handy sometimes.
Some clips of difficult jumps
R: Frozen Tomb
❄ Use hotkeys to self ult! You can assign these in Options > Hotkeys > Abilities and Summoner Spells > Self cast (spell 4) (Or use ALT + R). This is vital for speed and preventing accidents!
Frozen Tomb will damage (and slow) anything on top of the target instantly. At rank 3 the slow is almost as powerful as the stun.
❄ If you cast Frozen Tomb from max range, make sure to walk a little towards the enemy before using Ring of Frost.
❄ Space out the timings of Frozen Tomb and Ring of Frost to CC enemies as long as possible.
❄ You cast Frozen Tomb on a target that is not in range and then use Flash and it will cast instantaneously. This makes it almost impossible for your target to react.
❄ Not only who you ult is important, the place where you ult is important too.
Avoid lethal damage
One (uncommon) use of Frozen Tomb is to avoid lethal damage. Whether it be Ignite, Death Mark or Requiem. It won't do damage as long as you're in stasis.
Do not ever waste Glacial Path and Ring of Frost in front of your enemy...
Interrupts dashes
Frozen Tomb also has a knockdown effect: it interrupts dashes. Unfortunately, it is hard to interrupt dashes consistently due to it's cast time. Most of the time you'll only interrupt 'slow' dashes (such as Rocket Jump). For the rest you'll have to use it preemtively (e.g. Lee Sin stuck in the drake pit walking towards the wall, enemies attacking blast cones, interrupting Dark Passage).
If you Frozen Tomb too late, the dash can complete but the ultimate will follow enemies. This often leads to wonky situations where you (seemingly) ult enemies that are out of range. It can then be hard to chain CC them with Ring of Frost due to the increased distance (although having a Luden's Tempest makes this significantly easier due to the MS).
E - R on dashing enemy
Towerdiving
As Lissandra you can easily towerdive enemies with Frozen Tomb. There is the way all other champions do it: they walk in and out of range to juggle aggro while dumping abilities on whoever is under the tower. Or you grab turret aggro, you get on top of the enemies and then you Frozen Tomb yourself to reset the turret aggro.
This can be done when diving midlane, toplane, botlane, whatnot. Just make sure you can actually leave the tower range after you've ulted yourself.
Major damage source
One detail you should be aware of is that Lissandra's Frozen Tomb also deals a significant amount of damage. Most people just think of the stasis or the CC, but the ability is actually also responsible for 1/3th of your damage. In the image to the right you can see Frozen Tomb (top) and Ice Shard (bottom) damage at three different points in the game. In some cases Frozen Tomb is used as a finisher and the CC effect is completely disregarded.

This is also a major reason why you shouldn't fight without Frozen Tomb unless full build/ridiculously fed.
Chain CCing
Since Lissandra has multiple sources of CC at her disposal, you should spread them out such that enemies get CCed for the maximum amount of time. The key thing to keep an eye on is the CC bar that's just above the enemies' health bar:

Once you use your first CC ability, you should time your next on such that it applies the CC just before the bar vanishes (let the CC overlap a little bit, otherwise there might be a small gap where the enemy can use Flash). This is very easy to do with Ring of Frost since it has an instant cast time, but requires some practice with Frozen Tomb and Everfrost due to their cast/travel times.
The order of the abilities depends on the situation, but every ability/item has a certain advantage over the others:
Combo's
Key combo: W - R
Because Ring of Frost is instantaneous you should always use it right before self- Frozen Tomb. The root guarantees the spread damage. If you hit people at the edge of Ring of Frost, the slow zone of Frozen Tomb will slowly crawl out before eventually hitting the enemy and possibly killing them.

Together with an Ice Shard this can do up to 2.6k(!) damage (Maximum at full build, lvl 18, vs a target with 70MR). This is often enough to delete any ADC/mid laner as long as they do not have extra health/shielding.
Video example
Animation Canceling
It is possible to cancel Frozen Tomb and Ice Shard animations by using them right before reactivating Glacial Path.
Canceling Frozen Tomb' is extremely rare. However, animation canceling Ice Shard is quite common. Whenever you use Glacial Path as an escape, you can throw Ice Shard at the enemy without repercussions. Especially if they are chasing you this can be a good idea as the slow will make it harder for them to catch up.

Instead of Ice Shard you can also use Ring of Frost (but since that ability is instant, it's not an animation cancel). You can also combine those two abilities:
Escape combo
Trading combo's
The main trading combo is AA - Q - AA. It is the most 'fluid' way of proccing Electrocute in the laning phase. Having an attack speed shard makes this combo quite fluid, which is why I recommend to take that shard at all times.
There are also other ways to proc Electrocute. These are used less, or in other scenario's.
Alternatives
Pre 6 all-in combo's
Used to all-in your opponent before level 6, or if your ult is on cooldown. The damage varies depending on level. Having Ignite can make a big difference, especially at lower levels. Most enemies will Flash away from you as soon as Ring of Frost root ends, but you can reactivate Glacial Path to follow them. Be careful of the enemy jungler since you're using both your escapes offensively (or alternatively, do not use Glacial Path).
Alternative
Post 6 all-in combo's
A common combo to all-in your opponent after level 6. You can switch Frozen Tomb and Ring of Frost (if the enemy is range of the latter). Using Ring of Frost first is slightly more reliable as it does not have a cast time. This combo is also often used when setting up a gank for your jungler. Weaving autoattacks is very important, they can make the difference between killing an enemy and them surviving.
Alternatives
This combo also continues to be used throughout the game (without weaving autoattacks) to pick off targets. The trick is to use Glacial Path to reposition such that you can hit your intended target, but other enemies cannot collapse onto you (In other words, don't yeet yourself in the middle of the enemy team). It (again) is more reliable to lead with Ring of Frost. This will also lead to Electrocute proccing on Frozen Tomb cast, which results in a decent amount of damage.

As seen in the clip, it is custom to retreat a bit after casting Ring of Frost. The main reason for this is to reduce the chances of retaliation of the enemy team. This is possible since Frozen Tomb's range is slightly larger. The combo is extremely effective in chokepoints as the enemy team has to run over Frozen Tomb to get to you.
Teamfight combo's
Lissandra's staple combo. If you have 60 haste or higher, you can use Ice Shard right after Frozen Tomb stasis ends. This combo can make or break teamfights, by either removing key carries from the fight in an instant or dealing massive AoE damage overall.

The engage range of this combo is quite high, so should you use it you have to make sure your team is able to follow up. Even if you land a very good combo, if your team is not nearby it might be wasted anyway.
Alternatives
Note that Everfrost can be used in these combo's as well. ( Everfrost - Ice Shard is slightly smoother than vice versa). However, I do not recommend using it like that. Try to utilize the root, rather then treating it like a budget Luden's Tempest.
Setup
Items
Numbers as of patch 11.14. Click to enlarge graphs.
I've always been not much of a fan of the vague descriptions of 'buy Void Staff when they have MR' blah blah blah, I want to see cold, hard numbers. So therefore I'll be comparing the damage of the four pure damage items ( Rabadon's Deathcap, Void Staff, Horizon Focus). I won't be doing any maths on the utility items, as utility is rather hard to convert into numbers.

The setup is as follows:
Let's start with an 'unfair' comparison: take Luden's Tempest + Sorcerer's Shoes + pure damage item and compare their damage versus enemy MR. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Rabadon's Deathcap outdamages the rest. But it is interesting to see how much damage Void Staff actually does. (It's effectivity is amplified by the flat pen from sorcs and Ludens!)

To make it a fair comparison, we can do two things: either divide the damage by the total gold cost of the build (the higher this number, the more 'gold efficient') this build. Or ''add'' Needlessly Large Rod, Blasting Wand or Amplifying Tome to the builds to sort of even out their costs.

Blasting Wand is added to Void Staff and Amplifying Tome is added to Horizon Focus.

Damage/gold for the four different items.

Damage of the four different item adding AP components to even out the cost.
From all of this you can derive two things:
1) Void Staff is insanely good.
2) Horizon Focus is more gold-efficient than Rabadon's Deathcap at 2nd item, but worse after. However, it is less reliable (the damage enhance is not always active) and scales worse. So to phrase it differently: if you think the game will end after the 2nd item, then Horizon Focus > Rabadon's Deathcap and in all other cases Rabadon's Deathcap > Horizon Focus.

I could leave it like this and just claim that Void Staff is OP. However let's look what happens if we buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead of Sorcerer's Shoes:
Utilizing the method of adding AP components, it turns out that Void Staff is still super good. However this graph shows something else: if you buy Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you'll do A LOT less damage than if you bought Sorcerer's Shoes.

At 38 MR (standard value for a lot of ADCs and mage mids at lvl 16) the difference in damage is about 250-350 for a full combo (Void and Dcap respectively). And at 100 MR the difference is about 300-150 (Void and Dcap respectively). This reinforces my statement that Ionian Boots of Lucidity are there for a supportive playstyle & utility. They are definitely not your boots-to-go for oneshots. It's also a major reason as to why I do not buy defensive boots on Lissandra.
One last graph: Lucidities vs Sorcerer's Shoes
Matchups
TLDR
Lissandra struggles the most vs lane bullies and also has some trouble vs high ranged champions. The difficulty of the matchups is judged from a laning perspective. Please keep in mind that these difficulties are personal, they'll vary from player to player and from game to game.

The champions marked in red are my go-to bans in champ select.

Easy matchups
Ahri
Aurelion Sol
Corki
Fizz
Kennen
LeBlanc
Veigar
Descriptions

Even/skill matchups
Akali
Annie
Diana
Ekko
Jayce
Malzahar
Karthus
Katarina
Kayle
Lux
Galio
Morgana
Nocturne
Qiyana
Seraphine
Swain
Taliyah
Talon
Vladimir
Yasuo
Yone
Ziggs
Zilean
Descriptions (1st column)
Descriptions (2nd column)
Descriptions (3rd column)
Descriptions (4th column)
Hard matchups
Anivia
Azir
Brand
Cassiopeia
Heimerdinger
Irelia
Kassadin
Lucian
Neeko
Orianna
Ryze
Sylas
Syndra
Tristana
Vel'Koz
Viktor
Xerath
Zed
Zoe
Descriptions (1st column)
Descriptions (2nd column)
Descriptions (3rd column)
Descriptions (4th column)
Synergies
Jungle synergies
TLDR
Lissandra synergizes best with AD champions that like to dive in. She doesn't really like AP junglers. Then there are a whole lot of junglers who do neither have bad or good synergy. Most notably the tank junglers (excellent teamfighting, poor early) as well as some AD junglers (diving AD, but poor scaling/teamfighting).

Good Synergies
Hecarim
Kayn
Kha'Zix
Nocturne
Olaf
Rengar
(AD) Shyvana
Viego
Vi
Xin Zhao

Okay synergies
Amumu
Dr. Mundo
Graves
Jax
Kindred
Lee Sin
Nunu & Willump
Poppy
Rammus
Rek'Sai
Sejuani
Shaco
Skarner
Taliyah
Trundle
Udyr
Zac
Warwick
Bad synergies
Elise
Evelynn
Fiddlesticks
Gragas
Ivern
Karthus
Lillia
Nidalee
Volibear
(AP) Shyvana

Notes