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Learning the Pattern in the Weave - Taliyah Guide (Midlane)
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Rock Surfing (PASSIVE)
Taliyah Passive Ability
Threats & Synergies
Zed is the hardest match-up altogether. Even with an advantage you must play around his cool-downs and post-six wait for ganks at tower. (A lead does not mean he does not counter you!)
Fizz is a slippery fish but can be bested. With this match up you must try to poke him down before 6 and zone him from the wave. After six, freeze the wave near your tower and always have Worked Ground near you to assist in dodging his ultimate, Chum the Waters (R).
Katarina can be a very difficult match-up and you generally do not want to pick Taliyah into her. You must keep in mind to watch her daggers and try to combo her when she Shunpos (E) to them or near them. Otherwise, poke her down as much as possible and call for ganks.
In the early levels, you definitely have an advantage against Diana so utilize your window of opportunity. When she hits level six, she can and will attempt to jump you and can kill you solo. Avoid dying by using your tower to protect yourself.
Leblanc is a skill match-up that requires finesse. Use your Unraveled Earth (E) to try and keep her off of you as her dashes will damage her in the field. Avoid her Ethereal Chains (E) at all costs to not get bursted down and killed.
Syndra's kit is similar in nature to Taliyah's but has more overall range as well as lower mana costs. This can make her very dangerous against Taliyah as she has safe poke options to melt Taliyah down into kill range. Without Scatter the Weak (E) though, Syndra does have lessened kill pressure. However, if you are low, never engage her unless her ult is down.
Before 6, Kassadin has little all-in potential and is susceptible to Taliyah's poke. Keep in mind he can block magic damage and can silence you. Post six is a skill match-up that leans in his favor due to his mobile ultimate, so be careful when engaging him.
Focus on farming and dodging Xerath's skill-shots in lane. Overall, use your ganking potential to avoid dealing with him directly or by yourself.
Aside from flashing and ulting you, Malzahar will struggle to kill you. Kill his void-lings and focus on shoving the wave to roam.
This match-up is skill based but leans in your favor. Use your Unraveled Earth (E) to punish him if you think he will dash. Otherwise, poke him down with your range and call for ganks.
Thanks to your Threaded Volley (Q) and your Unraveled Earth (E), you can kite and zone Twisted Fate. Watch out for his Pick A Card (W) as it can stun or slow you. When it is on cooldown, play aggressively.
Similar to Lucian, your Unraveled Earth (E) will punish Ekko for jumping on top of you and it is also a larger window. Kite him and zone him from the wave but watch out for getting ganked, especially post-six!
Yasuo is one of the easiest lane match-ups for you. Just like Ekko and Lucian, his dashes are punished in your Unraveled Earth (E). He is also very easy to kite as he is melee. His passive is not effective against you as you will constantly be able to activate it. Be wary of his ult, however as it will allow him to gain access to you.
Ryze is very short-ranged and with your Threaded Volley (Q) you can kite him with ease. Your Unraveled Earth (E) can zone him from the wave as he has no abilities to assist him in dodging Seismic Shove (W). Be careful of his Flash+Rune Prison (W) combo as it might signal a gank or assist one.
Jhin is a low mobility ADC who is easy for you to combo. Also, your Seismic Shove (W) and your Weaver's Wall (R) can interrupt his ultimate channel.
Miss Fortune is another low mobility adc that is easy to kite and burst down. Use your Seismic Shove (W) to flank her when she is channeling her ultimate to stop her.
Draven is a difficult ADC to handle for other ADC's but not for you. Like other ADC's, Draven is susceptible to burst and has low mobility. Use your Unraveled Earth (E) and your Seismic Shove (W) to make him drop his axes and lower his damage output.
Caitlyn's damage is best used over extended trades and Taliyah can burst her down before she can apply her damage. Watch out for her 90 Caliber Net (E) as it can help her get over your wall (hurts her in your Unraveled Earth (E) though)!
Xayah is also sustained-trade dependent as well. Due to the nature of your abilities, Xayah will have trouble rooting you and bursting you with her feathers.
Vayne's mobility is higher than most ADC's but is limited in range. Her Tumble (Q) damages her within your Unraveled Earth (E) and can not be used to scale your wall. Be careful though, as she might try to reposition away from your Threaded Volley (Q) and can stun you to your Weaver's Wall (R) with her Condemn (E).
Poke Ahri down and use your Worked Ground to dodge her spells. Post-six, be wary of her mobility as she can evade your Threaded Volley (Q) and Seismic Shove (W) but also know that your Unraveled Earth (E) will damage her if she dashes through it (zone her).
Azir has plenty of range and damage to poke you down so landing spells on him can be difficult. Focus on shoving the wave and roaming to avoid him directly. Post-six, be wary of his ultimate as you push so you do not get trapped between him and his turret.
Lux is annoying in general regardless of champion match-up. Here, force Lux to focus the wave with her spells to neutralize her poke and to prevent her from using her CC on you as much as possible.
Orianna is a pretty neutral match-up as she can not stop you from farming and you really can not stop her. Call for ganks to force her to farm under tower so you can roam safely.
Talon is not an easy opponent to deal with as his ultimate provides movement speed and invisibility and he does not heavily struggle to waveclear. The best way to protect yourself is to shove the wave and roam so he is forced under tower.
Akali can either be a devastating match-up due to her mobility and burst or a free lane if she can not gain access to you. In any case, Akali has very weak waveclear and shoving her out to roam is your best option.
All of your abilities out-range Annie which will allow you to poke her down and zone her from the wave. I do not recommend Seismic Shoving (W) her towards you unless you are certain she can not stun you. Also, beware of her flash+dump her kit on you combo as it can one-shot you.
Ashe is the typical example of the low-mobility ranged champion. As a result, she is weak to being bursted down as she requires sustained trades to be effective. Her passive slow also does not help her dodge any of your skillshots, leaving her further vulnerable.
Cho'Gath is a match-up that leans heavily in your favor, especially early. Although he has a silence and knock-up, he can be easily kited and combo'd. Shut him down early before he becomes tanky by zoning him from the wave and being aggressive. Keep in mind that his kit is very strong at securing ganks on you so stay mobile!
Although Garen mid is not something you see ever, his presence in the game can make your life difficult. He is tanky, can silence you, and can simply run you down. Try to fight when he can not assist his team so he does not focus you. If he continues to group, communicate with your team to help zone him from you (your abilities alone may not be enough).
Leona is another annoying champion that is never fun to deal with. Her boatloads of crowd control can make it hard for you to get in range to cast spells so play around her cooldowns to maximize your damage output while avoiding hers'.
Jinx is another low mobility ADC prone to being abused by burst. Jumping her down with Weaver's Wall (R) or Seismic Shoving (W) her towards you and your team can make it difficult for her to participate in fights. Be wary of her increasing range and damage as she scales into the game. End the game is early as possible.
Similar to Orianna, this match-up is very neutral for you in terms of lane control, though Heimerdinger's turrets can make it hard to step up to the wave. Cs as much as you can and call for ganks to place pressure on him to not camp the middle of the lane. However, encourage your jungle to not engage if they are low on health so Heimerdinger does not get potential free gold.
Varus (whether mid or ADC) can be hard to hit with your spells as he has long-range poke and crowd control to neutralize your engage. However, he still suffers from low mobility so utlitize his flaws to your advantage to remove his potential pressure.
Zyra inherently is one of the easiest champions for you to combo. She is low mobility and her only consistent crowd control option is a root (which does not stop you from casting your abilities). Her plants, however, can provide excellent damage so do not forget their presence when attempting an engage.
Galio can be threatening as he has tankiness, built in magic resist, and item synergy that provides health and more magic resist. This can make it hard to effectively kill Galio as he can neutralize much of your burst. He also has great wave-clear for a tank so shoving him out can be difficult. In this match-up, focus on out-ganking him as much as you can and establishing a stronger team presence. If he decides to heavily split-push, communicate with your team to take control of more objectives than he can to weaken his approach.
Aurelion Sol is a rare champion to see these days but he is not to be underestimated. His stars have similar range potential in comparison to your Threaded Volley so kiting him without taking damage in return can be difficult. However, his low mobility in lane can make it easier to punish him with Seismic Shove (W) so look for opportunities to punish him for mispositioning. When he is missing, communicate that with your team as he has great roaming potential as well.
Master Yi is another potentially tilting champion you must be wary of. Although his abilities can allow him to dodge yours, he has cooldowns like every champion. Focus him down when he lacks options to fight back. Warding will also make it harder for him to attack you in the first place so ward up!
High range and burst damage is what Brand is all about, similar to Taliyah in some ways. Use your Worked Ground and Runes, as well as certain items stats, to dodge his abilities. When his abilities are on cooldown, be aggressive as he is low mobility. Keep in mind to not be fooled by his passive burning effect as it can lead you to being stunned!
Riven's kit is consistent of dashes making it difficult for her to approach you thanks to your Unraveled Earth (E). Utilize this to zone her in fights and skirmishes to limit her ability to assist her team. If she steps forward, punish her and with Threaded Volley (Q) you can safely mow her down.
Mostly a jungler but sometimes a midlaner, Gragas's abilities can provide him poke damage and slows that can zone you from casting spells on him and his teammates. Abuse his cooldowns and be wary of his ultimate, which can displace you towards him and his team, post-six.
Karthus is very low mobility and tends to do better in extended trades. Use your Worked Ground to dodge his (Q) and be as aggressive as possible. If he does not focus the wave and misses, punish him. If he does focus the wave, punish him for not focusing you. He is also very easy to roam against as pushing him under tower is not very difficult.
Vel'Koz can be very frustrating due to his high range and how he tends to spam. Attempt to punish his cooldowns as much as possible and call for ganks if and when he pushes up.
Ziggs can be difficult to approach because of his long range abilities, crowd control, and burst. If he wants to push you in, let him and call for ganks as he has very little escape options. If your jungler can not assist you (or just will not) push the wave as much as possible and try to have a global presence.
Veigar's Event Horizon (E) (the cage), can zone most champions in the game very effectively and Taliyah is unfortunately no exception. Dodge his skillshots as much as you can to avoid him stacking ability power with his passive and call for ganks when his (E) is down or he is low on health.
Pantheon can be difficult for you to handle as he has a point and click stun and spear as well as a 5500 range ultimate that is harder to dodge than it may seem. Play safe when he is missing or in your vicinity as he can mean certain death for you. When his stun is on cooldown, he is easy to kite and your abilities are not easy for him to block.
Tryndamere is similar to Pantheon in kill pressure towards Taliyah but is slightly easier to deal with. Punish his dash with you Unraveled Earth (E) and zone him with it. Kite him with your Threaded Volley (Q) when chasing him down or zoning him. Try to engage him when he can not ult (he is stunned or suppressed) or wait until it wears off.
Vladimir is one of the few match-ups where taking Ignite can be beneficial to you. Vladimir has too much sustain for you to handle extended trades with him and he can even negate some of your burst as well. Call for ganks to neutralize his lane pressure and focus on roaming to gain leads.
What makes Karma so threatening to Taliyah his her constant movement speed buffs for her team. This makes landing Threaded Volley (Q) and Seismic Shove (W) harder than it already is. If possible, focus her down early in fights and if she lanes against you, zone her with Unraveled Earth (E) and call for ganks.
Janna's ability to disengage is almost unmatched in the entire game. Her Howling Gale (Q) and her Monsoon (R) can make it difficult to get in range to land spells on her or her team but careful positioning and cast placement can make it easier for Taliyah to handle.
Kog'Maw has high range, but is very easy to land spells on. He also does not provide much for his team outside of damage so focus him down!
I do not think Xin Zhao is heavily threatening to Taliyah as she can zone him and kite him, but his ultimate can make it difficult to damage him if he is not focusing you. Also, his ability to jump you down is very direct and his damage is not to be laughed at. Try to focus him down when his ultimate is down or expires as he is extremely vulnerable at that point.
Rengar can make Taliyah's life a pain due to his mobility, burst damage, crowd control, and invisibility. Try to stand behind your team and within minions to avoid being crowd controlled. If he intends on focusing you down over and over, buying Zhonyah's Hourglass might be a necessity.
Teemo's abilities are effective against auto attack based champions, making Taliyah particulary effective against him. He is also low mobility, making it easy to combo him and punish him. Beware of his mushrooms and burst potential, however as Teemo can go from being easily bursted down to a nuisance very quickly. Buy Control Wards and Oracle Alteration to clear out his mushrooms (Keep in mind that Oracle Alteration only allows you to see his shadow and Control Wards do not allow you to see him at all so be careful!)
Introduction to Weaving Stone
*Note: If you want to see a summary of everything I will explain, scroll down to "The Pattern in the Weave".
*Note: Check "notes" next to "Ability Sequence" for sequence explanation.
All of Taliyah's abilities are very flexible and can provide more uses than simply being used together.
A. Threaded Volley (Q) should be used to kite her opponent and poke them down as much as possible (it is her main damage source). The Worked Ground passive from casting can also be used to dodge skillshots or to place Taliyah in a more effective position due to its movement speed buff. Keep in mind that you can only cast one stone from your (Q) when standing on it so try to weave and bob on and off of it.
B. Unraveled Earth (E) is arguably one of the best zoning abilities in the game as it damages upon cast , damages after a delay, damages anyone who dashes through it, provides an aoe slow, and can be used with Seismic Shove (W) or any other champion's abilities that displace enemies to proc the earth and damage them.
C. Seismic Shove (W) is also a very underrated ability as it is a 360° displacement that can be used to "wombo combo" with other abilities as well as providing excellent disengage and engage potential (it is also aoe so multiple targets can be hit simultaneously).
D. Weaver's Wall (R) is a massive game changing ability that can make or break a game. Learning where and when to start the wall, whether to ride it or not, and what can be gained from using it comes with practice, however the most practical use for it is to trap your opponents and force them to use abilities or summoner spells to escape. The best way to use it though is to zone them from escaping when they have no options to get over the wall. Other ways are using the wall to simply close the gap between yourself and your opponents to get on top of them or near them to rock and roll your way into a teamfight or skirmish or to stop them from running your teammates down by placing the wall between your allies and the enemy team.
I have played against a decent number of Taliyahs that do not understand how prevent me from accessing them. As I mentioned before, Seismic Shove (W) and Unraveled Earth (E) provide incredible zoning potential in lane or in a teamfight when utilized properly. High mobility champs can be stopped in their tracks in the presence of those abilities and low mobility champs are very susceptible to them as they have limited options to escape. Something to keep in mind is that zoning is not just about protecting yourself, it is also about suppressing your opponent through non-aggressive pressure. Just the fact you have your abilities at your disposal is often enough to suede your opponent into submission, denying them farm in the process.
3. Wave Control
Kills in lane are not everything, especially with Taliyah (most people are going to pick champs that counter you in an attempt to limit the reach of your influence over the game). Focus on controlling the wave in different ways that depend on the situation to gain "invisible" leads.
A. Assassins are hard to shove under tower as pushing up leaves you vulnerable: counter this by freezing the wave and denying cs closer to your tower until you are ready to roam.
B. Poke champions tend to have decent wave-clear but also can have mana issues if they spam. Force them to focus the wave with their abilities by shoving (pun intended) them under tower.
C. Control mages almost always can wave-clear forever. To negate this, call for ganks from your jungler to force them to cs slowly and/or under their turret to deny them cs and so you can roam.
*Note: Runes are explained in the "notes" section next to them.
1. Heal over Barrier
I personally think both spells can be effective, however I think Heal is a more flexible spell. Barrier only prevents damage when it is active, which may stop an assault but most likely will only prolong it. Heal on the other hand provides a boost of movement speed and can be used while taking damage or after depending on the situation. It also can be used to protect your teammates as the the healing can extend to one ally. The only drawback to taking heal over barrier is a longer cooldown but with cdr from your runes and items, the cooldown window is not much longer anyway.
This spell has one use: kill pressure. Take this spell with precaution as you will have less defensive options in fights and it might put you in the hot seat to be focused down. However, in match-ups that are advantageous to you or the enemy has sustain options (such as Vladimir or Ahri), Ignite can secure a snowball lead and help you close out a game.
Ghost is one of the best spells for Taliyah in terms of synergizing with her kit. Ghost can be used to escape when you are in a situation that has a high probability of resulting in your death or to engage when you are far from a teamfight as it provides a lot of movement speed. Ghost can also help secure kills as your opponents will have a harder time dodging your abilities and Ghost can neutralize zoning during a gank as you will be able to dodge skill-shots more effectively. Keep in mind that Ghost has to rev up over the course of two seconds so do not expect immediate use!
This spell is very situational and is often not what you want to take. However, in match-ups where avoiding cc can mean the difference between life and death, it can be a must-have. Against champions like Syndra or Twisted Fate, their hard cc is perfect for setting up ganks (and in Syndra's case, she has the potential to completely kill you by herself). It is important to note that this spell becomes less effective the more cc the enemy team has so most of the time it is more effective to build items such as Banshee's Veil or Zhonya's Hourglass over taking Cleanse. Use at your own discretion.
Much like Cleanse, this spell is very situational and does not generally provide much use. Due to your passive Rock Surfing and your Weaver's Wall (R), you generally will have plenty of ganking potential inherently. Plus, Teleport has the longest cooldown (along with Flash) and does not provide any utility for you or your team at all. Typically, Teleport is better for low mobility midlaners who need more options to assist them at showing up for teamfights and objective control. Luckily, Taliyah is not one those champions thanks to her kit and with the correct runes (and items like Luden's Echo) Taliyah should have no issue moving between lanes and participating with the team.
A. Threaded Volley (Q) and Worked Ground
As your number one poke option, be careful when casting this ability to wave clear. It creates Worked Ground and this will limit how many rocks you can weave while you stand on it (5 rocks -> 1 rock) (also, it costs a hefty amount of mana if you spam it so limit your usage). Usually, you want to use this ability on caster minions unless you can line up the entire wave to be hit at once. This will help you save mana by not having to use it as often.
B. Seismic Shove (W)and Unraveled Earth (E)
Seismic Shove (W) alone does not help you clear waves but when paired with Unraveled Earth (E), the minions (especially caster minions) will melt easily. Position your (E) over the entire wave or a portion of the wave while facing it. Then, cast (W) under the target minions (caster or melee) in the direction that provides the most damage (they fly over the most rocks). *Note: The direction of the shove is determined by re-casting your (W) towards your cursor. It will take time to develop the finesse for it.
C. Abilities and Passive
When used together, Taliyah's shoving (pun always intended) power is rarely matched. Although many different approaches can be taken to clear a wave, I will provide a standard step-by-step example that works well in general:
Step 1: Face the minion wave and cast (E)
Step 2: Place (W) under the melee minions and shove them away from you towards the end of your (E). If it is a cannon wave, try to incorporate the cannon minion as well.
Step 3: In the midst of performing Step 2, press (Q) in the direction of the wave. Try to time it to when all of the minions are clumped together to gain maximum damage. *Note: You can move while casting all three of these abilities. Move while casting (Q) when necessary to continue to hit the minions.
Step 4: If necessary, recast (Q) on your Worked Ground (1 rock) towards leftover minions to finish them off without expending as much mana as you would on fresh ground. You may even have to resort to auto attacks to ensure you last hit them.
*Overall Note: All of your abilities are aoe to some extent so clumping minions (or champions) can be invaluable targets!
This is an obvious one but the most critical to mention. Vision controls the effectiveness of your ganking and whether or not you can at all. Taliyah is a champion that can go even or even play from behind, but she is particularly potent when ahead. Roaming is how you will establish a lead with her for the most part and vision secures that route to success. Make sure to place wards and to buy Control Wards often to create a path you can take to gank. Clearing enemy vision is also very important so they do not see you coming from a mile away. You may have bonus movement speed and a long wall to your advantage but diving a turret to secure a kill is less effective than performing the gank in the middle of the lane or closer to your team's turrets.
2. Objective Control
I could have included this under "Abilities and Control" but I feel it fits better here because of the game-wide impact of objectives. When you combine Taliyah's roaming and zoning potential, it is easy to say she is unmatched. Weaver's Wall (R) is an ability that does not fit exactly "cookie cutter" into your kit but learning how to incorporate it and how to maximize its usage is key to heavily increasing the chances of securing towers, Dragons, Rift Herald, and Baron. Cutting off the enemy team while destroying a tower or sealing them in the Baron pit are two examples of the usefulness of the wall. It is hard to deal with terrain that can just pop up out of what seems like nowhere you know!
With your Weaver's Wall (R) and Rock Surfing, Taliyah excels that crashing into other lanes and ruining their parties. Although you do not have to ride the wall, when you do ride it you can place yourself right on top of your opponents or right next to them. This will allow you to cast your abilities automatically and this will force your opponents into the range of your spells. Without any Summoner Spells (and/or if their abilities are on cooldown), the enemy champions will be exposed to all of your damage and your crowd control.
*Note: Item explanations are listed in the "notes" next to each item.
1. Base Stats
A. Doran's Ring: 15 AP, 60 Health, 50% Mana Regeneration
B. Lost Chapter: 25 AP, 300 Mana -> Morellonomicon: 100 AP, 400 Mana, 20% CDR
C. Haunting Guise: 25 AP, 200 Health -> Liandry's Torment: 80 AP, 300 Health
D. Needlessly Large Rod: 60 AP -> Luden's Echo: 100 AP, 10% Movement Speed
E. Blasting Wand: 40 AP -> Rabadon's Deathcap: 120 AP
F. Fiendish Codex: 30 AP -> Banshee's Veil: 70 AP, 10% CDR, 60 MR
G. Seeker's Armguard: 20 AP, 30 Armor -> Zhonya's Hourglass: 70 AP, 45 Armor, 10% CDR
H. Amplifying Tome: 20 AP -> Rylai's Crystal Scepter: 75 AP, 300 Health
I: Blasting Wand: 40 AP -> Void Staff: 80 AP
J. Catalyst of Aeons: 225 Health, 300 Mana -> Rod of Ages: 60 AP, 300 Health, 300 Mana
2. Item Actives and Passives
*These are important effects to note when purchasing items so you can maximize item effectiveness*
A. Grievous Wounds
This effect reduces the healing of the target by 40% and for Morellonomicon, it only activates when they are at 35% health or below.
B. Magic Penetration
This effect allows more of your damage to pass through their resistances. Every champion has natural magic resist and some have more in their passives and item builds. Sorcerer's Shoes, Liandry's Torment, and Void Staff provide magic penetration.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter provides a slow, Banshee's Veil provides a spell shield, Zhonya's Hourglass provides a stasis, Luden's Echo provides a charged "critical strike", Liandry's Torment provides a burn effect (% health damage) that is enhanced on movement impaired champions, Rabadon's Deathcap provides bonus percentage AP, and Rod of Ages restores mana upon taking damage as well as restoring health when spending mana.
1. The Control Roamer
One of the major jobs of a midlaner is to control their lane and the map in order to open up options for their team. This can be done by gaining leads over your enemy laner through roaming, one of Taliyah's greatest strengths. Due to her Rock Surfing passive and her Weaver's Wall (R) ultimate, Taliyah has unmatched out-of-combat mobility.
2. In-Lane Control
Due to her waveclear abilities, Taliyah can measure and control how much of the wave she wants to clear so as to gain leads over her opponent. Whether you need to push the wave to roam or to fall back to your turret to defend, Taliyah can do it fast or slow depending on the scenario. This allows her to indirectly force her opponent to behave mechanically (they basically have very limited, predictable options).
3. Earthbending Teamfighter
All of the Stoneweaver's abilities are aoe and as a result make her teamfighting fantastic. When her Threaded Volley (Q), Seismic Shove (W), and Unraveled Earth (E) are woven together, Taliyah can burst down and obliterate enemy team members, creating number advantages and eliminating the enemy team's pressure over her team and objectives. She also can set up teamfights by cutting off opponents with her Weaver's Wall (R) and leaving them vulnerable to dying without blowing Summoner Spells and cooldowns (if those are down already, they are roasted and toasted).
There you have it! That is the entire "Taliyah, The Stoneweavers" Guide. As a Taliyah main and an aspiring pro player, I really enjoyed making this because I got to see how much I knew off the top of my head and how much I have learned about the game. I hope this guide helps you to understand Taliyah better than you did before or to even help solidify what you already know. If you have any questions, please leave comments and I will answer them the best I can (I am learning too after all!). As a midlaner, I will make more guides in the future that center around midlane champions so please keep a look out! See you on the Rift! :)
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