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Lissandra Build Guide by MorePierogiVanya

Support Lissandra Support - A generous Queen that helps + Warding guide!

Support Lissandra Support - A generous Queen that helps + Warding guide!

Updated on April 13, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author MorePierogiVanya Build Guide By MorePierogiVanya 236 35 338,953 Views 29 Comments
236 35 338,953 Views 29 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author MorePierogiVanya Lissandra Build Guide By MorePierogiVanya Updated on April 13, 2024
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Runes: Aftershock + Domination

1 2 3 4
Font of Life
Second Wind

Ultimate Hunter
Zombie Ward

+8 Ability Haste
+10-180 Bonus Health
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist


Summoner Spells
LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

Lissandra Support - A generous Queen that helps + Warding guide!

By MorePierogiVanya
An introduction
Hello there, my name's Ivan. I've been playing League of Legends since the end of Season 6 and my go-to role is support. I started as a Sona- Soraka main and got bored of it eventually. So I decided to go for off-meta way. If I can play it as a support, I will.

My first exposure to Lissandra support was a bet in uni. I was thinking about Lissandra and asked a friend what he thought about Lissandra support. He told me "it probably isn't possible, I bet you won't make it work".

He dared a beer - I won that beer as I got to diamond with Lissandra support. Ever since then I've been testing several champs as a support. From Karthus to Orianna and eventually Lissandra. With this guide I want more people to discover Lissandra and give her more love - if at the very least it will result in more fanart and fanart.

This guide is meant to be sort of like a university book but nicer to read and written by an amateur. I want to share my experience and knowledge and always add examples on what I mean. As much as I am not a fan of university math, I have to say that the german book "Teschl & Teschl Mathe für Informatiker Band 2" (Teschl & Tschl Mathematics for IT students volume 2) is a big inspiration for parts of my structure (and some quirky jokes) and if you are ever forced to do university math about integrals and derivaties in german, I can recommend the book.

In turn, this means that my guide will look less fancy, although I am trying to make it look a bit nice, and that I put more emphasis on presenting information and wanting you, the reader, to form your own opinion in what you prefer in each segment. For example, are you more of an Aftershock player and disregard the cyan tree or can you, unlike me, not say no to Ultimate Hunter since you don't like Font of Life?

That being said, I hope you will enjoy reading my guide as much as I enjoy writing it!

PS: Since Katasandra doesn't update her guide anymore, I'm taking it upon myself to, at some point, make a mid Lissandra guide. I've recently been practising mid a bit and builds similar to mine have been working out well so far.
Why Lissandra?

Lissandra is a champion that can offer you a lot of flexibility in playstyle. She has aggressive capabilities with her E Glacial Path as well as defensive capabilities. Her build options are endless as the vast amount of tank items all fulfill their purpose well and her AP scalings are quite good. And let's not forget her core identity as a heavy CC mage - CC is never a bad idea under any circumstances.

A friend of mine once described her as an "AP mage version of Nautilus" and while I don't 100% agree with it, I have to admit that he as a point. However, Lissandra is more about general disruption and has more of an instant effect than Nautilus. Both are good in their own way, but I thought I would give the reader a broad idea of what one should expect from Lissandra.

credit goes to my good friend Rio
Why tank over burst?

This part will be slightly more informal due to this being a more personal matter that I've been fighting other Lissandra mains over ever since I've brought this up.

Burst vs Tank - Explaining the gist of burst mages

Let's start by looking at a few other champions people consider to be burst/poke mages:

All of these champions have one thing in common: They have range with which they can (usually instantly) pepper the enemy from afar and/or disable the enemy in the process, thus in theory not really needing defensive stats. This means that the champions's defensive stat is their range with which they can avoid damage in the first place:

Syndra's entire kit has at least 800 range (excluding her R Unleashed Power) and her E Scatter the Weak as a superb "get off me" tool due to its knockback.
Orianna's gimmick is her ball that has superb range in general; while she has no "get off me" tool, she has a ton of range to offset that weakness.
Zyra follows the same idea - lots of range, root on E Grasping Roots and a delayed knockup on R Stranglethorns.
Vex's Q Mistral Bolt and E Looming Darkness have plenty of range to pepper for some all-ins for your R Shadow Surge.

All of these champions, again, have the trait of a lot of range to wittle down their enemy, thus enabling successful all-ins/burst combos.

Let us look at another batch of champions that can build burst items/are classified as burst mages that do not necessarily have a lot of range:

Ahri doesn't need a lot of introduction: Once she gets her R Spirit Rush, she can easily avoid a lot of skillshots and even stop dashes with her E Charm.
LeBlanc has her damaging blink W Distortion. This basically ensures that she can go back to safety after a trade.
Katarina, just like Ahri, needs no proper introduction. She is the blink-everywhere-before-you-know-where-she-is champ.
While Sylas's dash Abscond isn't anything to write home about, his W Kingslayer ensures a healthy trade if he goes in.

These champions either have blinks/dashes to get to safety, some sort of healing and/or minor dash to emerge victorious out of a trade or just mobility in general. This is similar in terms of advantages to range where mobility/sustain is meant to offset squishiness.

Suppose the following burst mage items:

All of these items are meant for burst mages and their stats reflect that: They all give AP. Some offer small amounts of HP, some mana, most Ability Haste and one Magic Penetration. And they all do their job well - they are meant to aid burst mages do their (burst) job better in exchange for no (proper) defensive stats.
I will go into more detail why these mythic items are not suitable for my playstyle in another section. For now just bear with me.

In turn, due to the lack of defensive stats, you are very squishy and have to use the defensive stats/methods you are given quite well. Otherwise you will die over and over again or... fix the issue with defensive/utility items.

This is where items like Zhonya's Hourglass, Crown of the Shattered Queen, Everfrost or tank items in general come into play since they offer survivability to offset a lack of mobility/range.

Now, let's look at Lissandra:

Does she fit into the category "Range"?
Not really:
Lissandra's Q Ice Shard has no respectable range, including the extention on hit. Her W Ring of Frost has a laughably low range. Glacial Path should not be seen as a damaging spell but a one way blink, so we can't really see this as a reliable tool to poke from range. And Frozen Tomb's range is roughly auto attack range, so again, not that much range.

Well, can we put her into the category "Mobility/Dashes"?
Again, not really:
Besides Glacial Path's one way blink, Lissandra has no mobility whatsoever. Frozen Tomb's cooldown is too high to be considered a proper defensive tool* and Ring of Frost's 1.1 to 1.5s root are not enough. Since Ice Shard only slows the first target hit with a miniscule slow, kiting is out of the question.
*I am not saying that Lissandra's Frozen Tomb cannot be used defensively. In fact, it is a superb defensive tool. But in comparison to LeBlanc's blink or Sylas's Kingslayer which are on a way lower cooldown, it pales.

Burst vs Tank - The contradiction in Lissandra's kit

First, let's analize Lissandra's kit, look at a few basic combos read out of her kit's idea and eventually point out the contradiction:
I will soon add a section explaining Lissandra's spells in more detail. For now I assume that you know what her spells do

First we notice that E Glacial Path might have the higest range, but a very high cooldown; it also is her mobility tool, so we need to use it whenever it counts. It synergises well with her W Ring of Frost which basically has melee range. This means that Lissandra, combined with R Frozen Tomb, would like to all-in at some point. But when is that at some point?
That is where her Q Ice Shard comes into play! With its range being extended upon hit, it is meant to poke the enemy down for the eventual all-in and a kill!
So basically:
into into until low, into and

Another very similar interpretation of her kit would be a short combo of Glacial Path, followed by Ring of Frost and an Ice Shard for good measure, until low enough to commit to the first combo's second half.
In summary:
into into until low, into and and

These are the most common bread and butter combos on Lissandra, regardless of which lane. Of course, you can mix these up in any way you want. Sadly, there is but one issue...

To help convey my point and get a feel for my argument, I will again look at a few champions that are meant to be good in short trades and have means to still emerge victorious:

I again am using Sylas here as he is quite good in short and even longer trades thanks to his W Kingslayer.
Anyone who has ever played against a (good) Tahm Kench knows that wittling him down is out of the question, especially if he uses his E Thick Skin to soak up damage, Doran's Shield with Second Wind to regen back any damage and hits his Q Tongue Lash; let alone the fact that his damage is to be respected due to An Acquired Taste and his high base damage.
Mordekaiser, while also good in long trades thanks to his microwave Darkness Rise, can win trades simply by timing his W Indestructible well after laning his E Death's Grasp and landing Q Obliterate since his W provides shields based on tamage taken and damage dealt!
Pantheon goes in with W Shield Vault, empowered by Mortal Will, stabs with Q Comet Spear and safely disengages with directional damage immunity spell Aegis Assault. No need to add a lot here.

You might have noticed another pattern I want to be noticed:
All of these champions have some sort of spell/tool to ensure that they win the trade by either having a bit of sustain or damage mitigation in form of a shield or damage immunity, despite engaging into melee range. The champions in the category mobility, especially Katarina and LeBlanc, could also fit into this category due to their mobility.

Let's take another look at Lissandra:

What in Lissandra's kit will ensure that she emerges victorious out of a short trade?
...well, that's the thing: There really isn't anything in her kit to aid here as her passive only works once an enemy champion dies and nothing besides her R Frozen Tomb provide any sustain, let alone defensive capabilities. If Ring of Frost was a stun, then I could see it work out, but a root still means that the enemy can fight back.
So combo 2, in the long run, will cost us trades unless we manage to pick really good trades.

So what about "combo" 1 that is about poking the enemy down for a good all-in?

For this, let's compare these 3:

Syndra's Q Dark Sphere has 800 range which is 25 less range than Lissandra's extended Ice Shard. However, the key differences here are that Syndra Q is quite fast (0,6s) and can be placed on an area of your choice while Lissandra's Q originates from herself and, quite frankly, takes a bit to reach its target, let alone no guaranty that the range will extend. So in terms of poking an enemy down, Syndra Q is superior in basically every way.

Orianna's Q Command: Attack has the same range as Lissandra's extended Q and is considerabely slower with a difference of 800 units/s. However, Clockwork Windup's ball range is 1290 units, thus enabling you to use Command: Dissonance in cheeky ways, besides the fact that, if you hit your Q, you can instantly activate W to deal way more damage than any Lissandra Q.

Now a bit of experience from my part: Hitting a Q Ice Shard is only really reliable on people not respecting you or melee champions. Once you need to deal with ranged champions, especially champs like Syndra in mid or Caitlyn on bot, hitting a Q only happens if they need to go for farm or misposition hard, and even then it is not that hard to dodge.

Now, I am aware that my explaination is basically "dude trust me" in regards to Lissandra Q, but even when looking at other spells that are meant for poke like Syndra Q or Orianna Q, we can safely assume that it is quite unreliable

This shows that combo 1 isn't as reliable as it'd need to be to ensure a lot of successful all-ins.
I want to mention that I am NOT saying that it is impossible to poke your enemy down, otherwise high elo Liss mains wouldn't manage to do it. But it is quite hard to do and thus unreliable

So, to recap:

  • Lissandra has no proper tools to survive a trade as she lacks lane sustain in comparison to champions like Mordekaiser, Ahri or Sylas
  • She also lacks some sort of safety-mobility since her Glacial Path is a one-way blink in comparison to champions like LeBlanc or Katarina
  • Ice Shard is a spell that feels slow due to it originating from Lissandra, only having respectable range once it hits a target and being quite predictable, therefore being quite unreliable to hit
  • Ice Shard pales in comparison to other poke tools like Syndra's entire kit
  • Ring of Frost in combination with Glacial Path and Frozen Tomb imply a short trade/all-in playstyle due to their ranges, synergy and cooldowns

As you can see, combo 2 will result in too many losses in the long run while combo 1 is too unreliable/short range to even get a winning all-in/short trade going.

This is the contradiction in her kit: Her W-E-R are short trade/all-in spells that are meant to get prepped by Q, but Q is not reliable enough in most match-ups

This is especially true for botlane where basically every lane has ranged champions that outrange you all the time ( Caitlyn, Jinx, Ashe), ignoring how a bad Ice Shard on bot lane can make your lane so much more difficult
Rune explaination

For Resolve:

Aftershock is, besides Glacial Augment, one of the two core main runes for Lissandra support. You get a lot of armour and magic resist, stats you might need to survive an engage or disengage. You can't go wrong going with Aftershock if you don't like Glacial Augment.
versus While 5 +0,9% max HP per auto attack don't sound like a lot, mind you that there can be a lot of auto attacks, thus meaning that you can easily get into the triple digits in a fight if things go well.
However, there can be teamcomps where your team doesn't have that many auto attack based champions. In that case, Demolish should be chosen.
versus Second Wind if against poke, Bone Plating if against all in/short burst.
Revitalize's best use case would be for an additional 4,5% slow on Glacial Augment which really isn't much. Unflinching sounds alright, but 2-10 armour and MR when stunned is way too niché. The only viable choice in this row is Overgrowth.

For Domination:

versus The standard viable choice is Ultimate Hunter hands down. Lissandra's ult is extremely useful in any case, so you cannot go wrong wanting to lower its cooldown. Anyhow, with how the support upgrades, items like Locket of the Iron Solari, Zeke's Convergence or the occasional Zhonya's Hourglass rely on a cooldown, it is worth considering to switch to Ingenious Hunter just for that.
versus Zombie Ward is good if you can expect your enemy to ward. If not, go for Ghost Poro. Your useage of these gets improved by Ingenious Hunter as your trinket ( Stealth Ward/ Oracle Lens/ Farsight Alteration) gets a lower cooldown as well.

For Inspiration:

This is the rune I have been looking forward to the most. It is by far my new favourite on Lissandra support. If you go in, you root people with W Ring of Frost and then keep them in place even longer with either Frozen Tomb and/or Glacial Augment slows, not to mention that people on top of the frozen fields on the floor deal less damage to the rest of your team. If that isn't compelling enough, I don't know what is.
Triple Tonic sounds good on paper - free skillpoint at level 9 makes it appear as if only level 10 is needed for level 2 R. And as a support, every level you get is valuable. However, you still only get level 2 R at level 11, making triple tonic a bad contender for this row.
Hextech Flashtraption is good for those quirky plays, but in my opinion not as good as free boots. Therefore, the only good default choice here is Magical Footwear.
Lissandra support's laning phase is even weaker as it used to be. This means that you either have to play defensivly until you can afford to get Locket of the Iron Solari or Plated Steelcaps/ Mercury's Treads. To help out with that, we need as much sustain as we can get out of runes - Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will is the rune for that. Besides, if you do not consider building Imperial Mandate or Frozen Heart, you will lack mana. While Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will merely provides an increase of 120 mana, it isn't too shabby either.
Minion Dematerializer is not a bad rune, but as I've said, surviving in lane should be the priority.
Future's Market is a fun rune. One could afford to buy items a bit earlier, so if you prefer that over Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will, this can be your choice.
Approach Velocity is not that useful on Lissandra, considering the only time you could use it would be when running away (where the rune won't do its thing) or when you are already in your enemy's face.
Time Warp Tonic would be useful if you want to get trades done early and abuse Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will and Health Potion's sustain. I personally prefer having Exhaust up a bit earlier, so this is a choice between Time Warp Tonic and Cosmic Insight, whichever you prefer.

Minor Runes:
Lissandra benefits from Ability Haste way more than raw AP because more Ability Haste means more Ring of Frost and Frozen Tomb, thus more flexibility on what we can do
As hinted at, raw AP doesn't benefit us that much. Hence, we prefer the more defensive stats. In this case, this is either 2% Movement Speed or scaling HP (10-180). Math dictates we, if no Movement Speed buffs apply, get between 6.5 and 7.4 movement speed. This hardly matters due to Glacial Path, so the only viable option is the scaling HP.
In this row, we have nothing but defensive options: Health Scaling, Flat Health and Tenacity and Slow Resist. If the enemy has a lot of slows or stuns, pick the Tenacity and Slow Resist. If not and you need the HP for lane, go for Flat Health. Otherwise go for the Health Scaling. I made an amateurish decision tree diagram in the spoiler below.
Decision tree last row
Abilities + Skill order

To begin, let's go over Lissandra's abilities in detail:

Passive: Iceborn Subjugation
While Lissandra is alive, if an enemy champion dies within a 1350 unit radius, that enemy turns into a frozen thrall, chasing nearby enemies, slowing them and detonating to deal damage. You can think of them as exploading zombies, chasing their prey until they die. The following video shows the passive in action:

official text + 1350 radius visualised

Lissandra's passive is a great tool to assert pressure in a fight once the enemy has suffered casulties. It slows and deals quite high damage, but only procs if you are alive, so try to stay alive for as long as possible to get the most out of your passive!
Q: Ice Shard

Straightfoward ability: In a direction of your choice, Lissandra will throw one big icicle. If it hits a target, its range extends. In any case, it will slow every target and deal the same damage to every enemy hit. You can use it to push waves, poke enemies and slow them at the same time. Font of Life synergises very well with this ability.

Original text

W: Ring of Frost

Instant AoE magic damage root. Simple, but effective and is the entire reason Lissandra hardcounters Rakan. With its now mana cost and conservative Ice Shard usage, you will never need a mana increase. Due to its effectiveness, this ability is your bread and butter if you don't enjoy maxing Ice Shard.

Original text

E: Glacial Path

Lissandra's core mobility spell. She casts a claw in a direction of her choice that goes up to 1025 units. She can recast the ability to blink herself to the current location of the claw. This spell can be used in a lot of different ways: Offensivly to engage/close the gap or defensively disengage/rush to your allies's position. It can also be used to do some sneaky engages by casting the claw into the wall, making you pop out next to it. Also, due to it being a blink, abilities like Steadfast Presence or Event Horizon don't stop Lissandra. Besides this, never use Glacial Path for damage unless you are absolutely ceratin that you cannot get punished for it/the additional damage is necessary.

Original text

R: Frozen Tomb

Arguably the most iconic ability that Lissandra has to offer: Point and click stun on a very low cooldown in auto attack range (550 units) or a 2,5 seconds long statis with healing. Once cast, the floor iteratively turns into breaking ice, damaging any enemy touching it and slowing them. It is strong due to its simplicity and flexibility, enabling all sorts of plays. An enemy needs to stay put? Frozen Tomb that guy. Slow the entire enemy team for your team? Frozen Tomb yourself. Getting tower dove/performing a tower dive? Frozen Tomb! Due to it being one of the very few point and click stuns left, the enemy has to either build Quicksilver Sash instead of more cost efficient items or choose Cleanse instead of Heal or Exhaust.

It is also worth noting that Frozen Tomb is first a knock-down, then a stun and finally generates the ice floor. This is great to stop enemy dashes. It is also worth noting that casting Frozen Tomb on Lissandra herself heals her, scaling with AP.
Some useless knowledge: Unending Despair still procs, even when in stasis. Make of that what you will

Original text

Based on this information, what would the optimal skill order be?

There are 2 skill orders:





With this skill order, you're putting more emphasis on engages or disengages as the root duration scales with level. You will also have to worry less about mana consumption in the early game as Ring of Frost only costs 40 mana in comparison to Ice Shard's incremental cost. Glacial Path might sound good due to its high cooldown getting lowered per level, but there is more value in Ring of Frost going from 1-2 important uses to 2-3.





This skill order focuses more on poking the enemy down in lane and having more DPS than a few good engages. This can work well when trying to apply Imperial Mandate more often or if you want to build more AP items than tank.

Some Mobafire veterans will notice that the ability headers and structure are very similar to somebody else's guide. This is because I am using Katasandra's headers which they generously gave me the code for. I am eternally thankful for that and if you read this Katasandra, shoutouts to you! Even when their guide is outdated and not updated, it is without a doubt the magnum opus of Lissandra guides.
Item explainations (including Boots)

The following items are being ordered by how common they are being built:

Boots might just provide movement speed for a low price, but the reason they are so important are their upgrades.
The only question that remains is: When should you prioritise Boots over other items?
Movement Speed is a very flexible stat and can help when you need to either get away or walk towards someone faster. Example situations for this could be playing against a Nautilus, Blitzcrank or Pyke. Dodging their key abilities with Movement Speed is more beneficial than more HP or resistances.

Plated Steelcaps provide more Movement Speed, Armour and a damage reduction against auto attacks, making it ideal into AD compositions.

Offering Magic Resist, increased Movement Speed and Tenacity, these boots are an ideal choice into teams that rely on a lot of stuns and roots. One key information about Tenacity: Suppressions (e.g. Malzahar's Nether Grasp) and knock-ups ( Blitzcrank's Power Fist) DO NOT get affected by Tenacity.

Basically always
Evenshroud is no more, now Locket of the Iron Solari has taken the place of the default first proper item. The reason is simple: Every single stat you can use well: HP, armour, MR and Ability Haste. This alone makes it a good all-rounder, but the active, giving everyone around you a good shield, makes it the item to aid your team.

Pretty common
You get all the things Liss would need: AP, AH/CDR and mana (as mana regen but it's still good).
You also enable more damage for your allies with your entire kit which fits with a more aggressive minded playstyle.

Pretty common
Abyssal Mask now has 300 HP, 60 base MR and 10 Ability Haste for a whopping 2400! That sounds quite good... and then you read the passive:
With your presence alone you decrease the enemy's MR aswell as increase your own per enemy champion. This item you should only build if your team has either a magic damage champion that carries you or if your team has a lot of magic damage.

Pretty common
Highly recommended against mostly AD comps. Mana, Ability Haste, armour and attack speed reduction - good allrounder item. You should build this item over Randuin's Omen if the enemy doesn't have a lot of crit. For example:
Irelia, Lee Sin, Syndra, (Lethality) Miss Fortune, Lulu is a team where Frozen Heart is a better idea as noone in the enemy team builds crit.

However, a team like Yone, Elise, Yasuo, Ezreal, Senna would be a good team to get Randuin's Omen into
(Don't ask why the enemy would pick 4 AD champs, you know how soloQ goes...)

More common than you might think
The theory is simple: Get it if you need to CC someone for a bit longer or if you get focused and need to survive a bit more. The amount of HP you get is bonkers and could definetly help.
After testing it for a while I have to say it has become a worthy item to build. It sure isn't the tankiest item as you still lack a surprising amount of resistances. But if that annoying Sylas got fed yet again, you will love this item.
Definitely recommended if the enemy has one fed champion in order to survive the damage a bit more. Otherwise only if the enemy has a champion you absolutely need to CC for a bit longer.

Highly recommended against crit AD comps. Slows, a ton of HP and crit damage reduction - what else would you want in that case? (A Lissandra dakimakura that I actually own kekw)

I've said it once but I'll say it again - these items are extremly underappreciated and are worth their gold. Dont rush them but keep them in mind.
If you definitely need to ward a bit more often, build this item sooner. Alternatively, build this item if you have enough money for it, you cannot finish an item you were aiming for but you desperately need more stats.
(An example I've run into: I have built Negatron Cloak, aiming for Abyssal Mask, but the next fight might decide the game, but I do not have enough money to finish Abyssal Mask. In this case it might be good to get the ~300 HP and other stats it provides)

Otherwise it should be the last item to finish.

The Anti-Heal choice if Thornmail isn't effective (e.g. enemies not attacking you). Cheap and effective. Also helps Glacial Augment with the AP as well as any skill rotation due to the Ability Haste.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. "Why Thornmail? Applying Anti-Heal with Oblivion Orb is way easier than forcing the enemy to auto attack you!". And you are right Jimmy! However, consider the following:
What if the enemy has a lot of healing champions that are AD based and you desperately need armour but anti-heal is a priority? (consider against Yone, Samira, Yasuo).
In these cases, it is actually worth going for Thornmail.

Only if there is some CC your carry cannot avoid and you need them to survive. Only into CC heavy comps tho.

These items are quite good on Lissandra. You will have to abandon a bit of early game agency as you need to buy a Tear of the Goddess. However, you get a ton of HP and the shields if you hit someone with Ring of Frost and/or Frozen Tomb. The shields you get don't sound like much but feel like much. Highly recommended if you can abandon a bit of early agency.

There are 3 key situations when you'd consider Kaenic Rookern over Abyssal Mask:
  • Your team cannot gain any value from reduced magic resist (e.g. ally full AD team)
  • The enemy team has so much magic damage that getting Kaenic Rookern after Abyssal Mask increases your survivability tenfold
  • You don't like Abyssal Mask and want the generally good option

The first two situations are fairly niché with the third being personal preference, making Kaenic Rookern a situational item

Zhonya's is a good recommendation on Lissandra into certain matchups due to the vulnerability. Mentioned matchups would be Pyke, Darius and similar snowballing ults. Not recommended against Jinx, Caitlyn and champions who can trap you while you are immobile.
Other than that, due to its cost, it has become very situational, but can still be built if just like its active.

A very good idea if you have a carry that needs to survive and you need armour, although the survivability of your carry is the main reason to buy Knight's Vow. Fairly situational, but also quite good in that very situation.

Very uncommon
Quite situational, but works really well if you have a) Font of Life, b) enough auto attack based champions and ideally c) have Glacial Augment. a) and b) ensure the application of Ardent Censer's passive. With the Healing- and Shielding power, the slow from Glacial Augment gets empowered.

Very uncommon/Personal Preference
The selling point of these boots are the Ability Haste and the Summoner Spell cooldown reduction, enabling more frequent usage of Exhaust and Flash and every other ability except Iceborn Subjugation. These boots should be bought when Plated Steelcaps and Mercury's Treads aren't viable options. An example would be a team with very little stuns and roots and very little auto attack based champions.

Very uncommon
Mobility Boots should only be build if you cannot rely on your lane partner at all and/or would like to affect the map instead of your lane. The risk with these boots is that you have to generate a lead on the other lanes that cancel out a very behind bot laner. If Alicopter is your favourite streamer and you're confident, choose Mobility Boots.
Sub-optimal items

These are items that sound good on paper, but have some sort of drawback to them or are outclassed by other items to make them viable on Lissandra support. Each item has a fitting reasoning

Too expensive
Jak'Sho would be a very good allrounder item as it gives you armour, MR and Health. With its passive, you gain even more stats! So what's the catch?

The price tag keeps it from being a valid support item. 3.2k for nothing but stats on a support's budget is only possible if you get a ton of kills - and we aren't trying to get kills. Locket of the Iron Solari gets a similar effect to Jak'Sho, but is less expensive and gives a good shield.

The stats on this item are quite good - 400 HP, 55 armour and 10 AH. Those are good stats. And its passive sounds nice: Dealing damage and healing 250% of the amount of damage dealt ensures a bit more survivability.

However, the passive feels a bit too underwhelming. If you wanted similar stats but for less gold and be more supportive to your team, look no further than Knight's Vow or Zeke's Convergence. In Zeke's case, you could get a similar damage output, so there isn't really a reason to buy Unending Despair over either armour option.

Extremely situational and underwhelming
I was looking forward to this item. It seemed to fit a niché I was looking for: Healing and Shielding power + AP increase for fairly cheap (2700G) to increase Glacial Augment's slow. Due to its stats, this item would only be good as a third item to buy as we first need some sort of tankiness. However, with a standard build of "Support upgrade -> Locket of the Iron Solari -> Dawncore", we only get to around 28% slow on Glacial Augment (see math below if curious). In that case, one should just consider Zeke's Convergence as it comes with a 30% slow from the get to and has generally more useful stats.

And even when considering an increase to Locket of the Iron Solari's shield, the increase of shield goes from anywhere between up to 70 to 133 (implying 5 people are shielded).


The only other selling point of the item would be the summoner spell Ability Haste, but we already have Cosmic Insight or Ionian Boots of Lucidity.

Why Ardent Censer but not Dawncore?

Doesn't work with Font of Life
In theory, this item could help Liss out in the healing niché with Font of Life: A bit of healing, some damage when healing a teammate and stats that Lissandra can use. However, ever since Riot removed the interaction of Echoes of Helia working with Font of Life, this item has sadly lost all its viability on Lissandra support.

Passive doesn't slow on Lissandra + awkward with Glacial Path
The stats on Trailblazer are alright on Lissandra - the best would be the Movement speed. And its passive gives you even more, making it easier to get in range for Ring of Frost if an engage didn't go as planned. However, the passive only slows people when you are melee. We therefore are missing out on one of the bigger benefits from the item.

Moreover, the acceleration trail only works on area you walked on. And since Glacial Path is a blink, it creates this weird gap that doesn't really do much. We might as well get Shurelya's Battlesong if we want more impactful speed (not that I recommend either...)

Too underwhelming without AP
While the magic penetration would be a fairly wasted stat (we aren't focused on damage here), the AP, Ability Haste and its passive sound worth a try. However, with a base heal of 85 (50 + 35 from the item itself), one should ask why Cryptbloom should be built if Locket of the Iron Solari does the same job as the passive but way better: At least 200 shields per teammate compared to at least 85 healing.

However, if you were more interested in building more AP items like Zhonya's Hourglass, Rod of Ages or Malignance, I could see it being a good combination with Locket of the Iron Solari. But realistically, does a support have that budget and enough item slots?
Do cryptobros buy this item first because like "cryptobloom"?

Slow doesn't stack with Frozen Tomb + better alternatives exist
The price for its stats is good: 2.2k gold for quite good stats. And the passive dealing up to 250 magic damage with a 30% slow sounds like a good piece of utility. Yet there are a few issues:

If you wanted an armour item with a bit of ulility, why not get Frozen Heart or Knight's Vow? The former has 40 more armour, the other 5. If you wanted Ability Haste, Frozen Heart delivers an equal amount, Knight's Vow merely 5 less. If you needed mana... guess what, Frozen Heart! And if you wanted an armour item with HP, again, Knight's Vow exists.

Now, the second main selling point besides the stats are its passive which procs whenever you ult. Here comes up the next issue: Frozen Tomb's base slow is 30%, equal to Zeke's Convergence. And in League of Legends, slows don't stack. Using your self cast R will do nothing but add the puny damage in a small area around you. The "best" use case would be to use it on an enemy and moving away, but if you have aura/AoE items like Abyssal Mask, Locket of the Iron Solari, you might be missing out on crucial area coverage.

The item sounds nice, but underdelivers in every way for Lissandra support.

Outclassed by Kaenic Rookern
This used to be the number 1 Magic Resist option. So why has Kaenic Rookern taken its spot, moving Force of Nature down to sub-optimal?

While Force of Nature can provide up to 125 Magic Reist, it needs to proc its first passive, requiring you to get hit by up to 8 abilities. Otherwise, it can only offer 55 Magic Resist until then. In comparison, Kaenic Rookern offers 80 Magic Resist from the get-to and offers a strong magic shield, scaling with HP.

From experience, I can say that by the point you'd get the 125 Magic Resist, the shield from Kaenic Rookern has provided way more value. Reasons are that Lissandra tends to either go in at the beginning or stay back and peel for her carries. In either scenario, an up-front shield will help more than more Magic Resist over time.

The only stats Force of Nature has going for itself are its up to 15% Movement Speed. This could be useful if you intend on moving around a bit more between teammates, but even then would the massive magic shield provide more value.

Support upgrade - Which one do I choose?

In general, I found that Solstice Sleigh feels the best if you want to support your teammates as the heal and movement speed can help in either offensive plays (getting faster to your enemy) or defensive plays (getting away from your enemy + healing). Due to everything but Glacial Path proc'ing the item, the item has constant uptime. You cannot go wrong with this upgrade.

However, if you are looking to survive an engagement for a bit longer, Celestial Opposition will be right up your alley. It is like a weaker version of Crown of the Shattered Queen's passive and acts like a budget Aftershock. Due to this, I feel that it is overkill with Aftershock and works really well with Glacial Augment.
You also cannot go wrong with this upgrade.

Bloodsong is for the aggressive minded player. With a budget Sheen and damage amplification passive, this item was practically made to snowball the lane. In practise, I have noticed however that this isn't made for teamfights as hitting 5 enemies with 1.5s of delay is not only unrealistic, but extremely difficult. Due to this, this item is more situational and less of a general upgrade.

Zaz'Zak's Realmspike is the mage support's option and provides nothing but damage. This alone makes it the least interesting upgrade (to me) as I feel that Bloodsong does the same job but better. The only thing it has going for itself compared to Bloodsong is that it has 3% max health damage and AoE, making it marginally better in teamfights.
Least supportive upgrade and outclassed by Bloodsong.

Dream Maker doesn't work with Font of Life, so this support upgrade is not worth it in any case.
Sample builds

Default builds:

I suggested this build as the "default" build as it covers you against most things that might happen:

- Solstice Sleigh is the default option for the support item upgrade, giving you healing and movement speed whenever you hit an enemy champion

- Mercury's Treads will help whenever the enemy has some sort of hard crowd control excluding airborne and suppression.

- Locket of the Iron Solari is the best choice for the first item due to its superb stats, providing HP, Armour, Magic Resist, Ability Haste and its team-wide AoE shield

- Thornmail with healing being a norm in most games, getting anti-heal with armour isn't a bad call and will cover your armour needs

- Abyssal Mask covers any Magic Resist needs and will aid any magic damage dealers (including you) in your team

- Vigilant Wardstone will give you stats for carrying Control Wards and increase its cap

Very similar to the default build with the exception of swapping Mercury's Treads with Plated Steelcaps and Thornmail with Frozen Heart

- Plated Steelcaps are more useful if the enemy has little to no dangerous stuns but a lot of auto attack based champions

Frozen Heart instead of Thornmail will be more useful if you already have plenty of anti-heal in your team and would instead get the attack speed slow

→ Alternatively, if the enemy has a lot of crit based auto attack based champions, getting Randuin's Omen instead is more valuable

Personal recommendation against very heavy AP teams
- Mercury's Treads are good here as a lot of AP champions tend to have stuns in their kits. Besides the tenacity, the 25 Magic Resist are always welcome

- Rarely will there be a team without any magic damage, making Abyssal Mask not only a cheap, but also team-oriented buy that will provide a lot of bang for your buck

- Kaenic Rookern, as previously mentioned, will make you almost unkillable with the amount of HP this build already has. This is due to the HP scaling on its shield and solid base stats

Personal recommendation against very heavy AD teams

- Plated Steelcaps provides armour and damage reduction on auto attacks. At least one of these attributes is always welcome

← As previously mentioned, Frozen Heart is good against non-crit teams and → Randuin's Omen against crit teams

. Thornmail will usually be effective into these teams as well as most AD champs will weave in auto attacks against you, applying the anti-heal

Here, we decided to add Imperial Mandate to the mix

- Imperial Mandate greatly boosts the damage of your teammates with whatever Lissandra does that has crowd control or slows

The build on the ← left is more focused against AD teams and the build on the → right is more balanced

Situational builds:

In this build, we swapped our armour item for Anathema's Chains

- As previously mentioned, we build Anathema's Chains when the enemy has 3-4 champions of one type of damage and 1 of the other type or a ceratin enemy has gotten very fed.

The ← left build is for an AD champion, the build on the → right against an AP champion

- The 4th item is generally a filler item and can be replaced with whatever you might need. For simplicity's sake, I decided to keep the items from the previous builds in

In this build we decided to insert Knight's Vow into our build due to a fed carry in our team

- With Knight's Vow being the designated cooperation item, these builds focus on keeping one of our carries alive and getting healed in return

- The build on the ← is focused on AD teams, while the build on the → right is more balanced

A snowballer's build across the map, relying completely on AP and Imperial Mandate to carry fights

- Bloodsong will aid in your teammates dealing more damage and adding your auto attacks a bit of oompf. If Movement Speed for easier follow-up is prefered, Solstice Sleigh can be chosen instead

- Imperial Mandate boosts your team's damage, as previously mentioned

The previous build, but the boots have been swapped for a more lane/lower half focused playstyle

These builds will be useful when you need anti-heal and the enemy will generally not auto attack you, making Thornmail useless.

The build on the ← is focused on AD teams, while the build on the → right is more balanced


Playstyle - Laning Phase

In this section, we will go over the playstyle of Lissandra support in the laning phase

For warding specific playstyle tips, check 7.2. Warding - Why, when and where

As per usual with botlane matchups, there is no simple answer as just play safe or just go in. Rather, the question on how to behave in lane depends on several factors; to list the most important:
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are my ADCs strengths and weaknesses?
  • What makes me and my ADC strong?
  • When are we at our strongest?
  • What are the enemy supports strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the enemy ADCs strengths and weaknesses/weakest?
  • When is the enemy at their strongest?
  • Who is the enemy jungler and what does that mean for my lane?
  • Who is my jungler and what does that mean for my lane?

Questions like these dictate what the League community likes to call win conditions, or win cons short and winning lane specifically for lane. As the name implies, these are conditions that enable your team to win the lane/game.
A well-known example for this would be getting a Draven unbelievably fed due to his gold generating passive, enabling him to get more items before anybody else and turning that into a win.

Due to the sheer volume of possible bot lanes, explaining every single bot lane matchup in full detail would be extremely time consuming. Therefore I will attempt analyse a few match-ups, answer a few of the questions above in each and attempt to present guidelines to follow at the end of this section.

Match-Up number 1:

What are my ADCs strengths and weaknesses?

+ Very good slows due to Frost Shot
+ Decent poke with Volley
+ Ranger's Focus makes her strong in longer fights
+ Strong initiation with Enchanted Crystal Arrow past level 6
+ High auto attack range (600 units)
+ Synergises well with Font of Life
+ Hawkshot makes scouting the map easier
- No mobility whatsoever
- Low upfront damage
- Ranger's Focus requires Ashe to stack first
- Ganking her is fairly easy
- No sustain

When are Lissandra and Ashe the strongest?

It goes without saying that these two gets their biggest powerspike at level 6 - Getting someone locked up for up to 6.5 seconds is nothing an enemy can take easily. Ashe starts with her Enchanted Crystal Arrow and Lissandra follows up with Frozen Tomb+ Ring of Frost for Ashe to clean up with her buffed up auto attacks ( Ranger's Focus). Of course Lissandra can also initiate the entire combo

What are the enemy bot lane's strengths and weaknesses?

+ Very strong poke
+ Good follow-up thanks to Deadly Flourish and Grasping Roots
+ Easy way of scouting bushes with Captive Audience and Garden of Thorns
+ Strong pressure when you are low ( Whisper's 4th shot)
- Low mobility
- Mediocre in longer lasting fights ( Jhin needs to reload)
- No sustain (Unless Jhin uses Fleet Footwork)

What makes the combination of Lissandra and Ashe strong?
  • Due to the sheer amount of CC these two have, setting up ganks is very easy. Whoever you jungler is, a gank is bound to at least burn the enemy summoner spells.
  • Any mispositioning mistake by the enemy can be abused to a fatal degree - abusing mispositioning is one of their strengths as either can make it easier for the other to keep an enemy in place
  • Sort of related to the second point: Once Ashe is able to activate Ranger's Focus, unless she gets hit by some sort of CC, she will melt (ha) any enemy foolish enough to be in her range; Lissandra will make sure of that. And if Lissandra picked up Font of Life, Ashe can even take riskier fights thanks to due sustain
  • Even the decision making is aided by Hawkshot: Often enough, fights are lost due to the jungler convenientely showing up when going in. This makes it easier to prepare whatever you are planning: Poking down the enemy, reading an enemy's bluff... And in the best case, Hawkshot makes the enemy jungler drop the idea of ganking you as you already know that they are botside anyways

Who is my/the enemy jungler and what does that mean for my lane?

Ally vs Enemy

Master Yi tends to perma farm until he reaches his necessary items and/or levels, with the earliest good gank timing being once he reaches level 6 or the enemy heavily mispositioning/overextending. Therefore, you shouldn't expect Master Yi to gank your lane, even if the enemy is touching your turret. However, if he does decide to gank bot lane, your roots, slows and stuns, especially past level 6, should result in either kills or wasted summoner spells.

Zac, on the other hand, can gank as early as level 2 and delivers knock-ups/-backs with almost every spell in his kit. Due to the nature of his Elastic Slingshot, he can throw himself onto you from less common positions (Behind walls, tri brushes, etc) . Unlike Master Yi, you therefore have to ward mentioned positions or ideally play according to your game sense and not engage if you suspect that Zac is nearby.

If the enemy is Master Yi, regular warding spots (shown below) will do the trick.

How should Lissandra and Ashe play the lane and what is their wincon in this lane?

Lissandra and Ashe should ideally use their slows and roots in order to punish the enemy's bad positioning. In that case, a longer trade is prefered if allowed to. Ashe should attempt to poke the enemy down with Volley or auto attacks . Because of the enemy's lack of sustain and low mobility, this should be easy, presuming that roots by Zyra and Jhin can be avoided.

If longer trades don't work out , e.g. due to jungle or mid attention, waiting it out for level 6 and taking as little poke as possible is the safest bet as you unlock your strongest phase with Frozen Tomb and Enchanted Crystal Arrow.

Match-Up number 2:

What are my ADCs strengths and weaknesses?

+ Strong pressure when you are low ( Whisper's 4th shot and Curtain Call)
+ Good follow-up thanks to Deadly Flourish's root in medium range and Curtain Call from long range
+ Easy way of scouting bushes with Captive Audience
+ Captive Audience can slow enemies down, adding flexibility
+ He yells four
- Low mobility (Movementspeed from Whisper)
- Mediocre in longer lasting fights due to low DPS ( Jhin needs to reload)
- No sustain (Unless Jhin uses Fleet Footwork)
- Ganking him is fairly easy if Jhin didn't prepare defensive traps ( Captive Audience)
- Bad synergy with Font of Life
- Annoying if you don't like the number four

When are Lissandra and Jhin the strongest?

Starting level 2, there isn't really a time where they aren't strong. While they don't have as much synergy as Lissandra+ Ashe, Jhin can follow up any play due to Deadly Flourish and at the very least chunk the enemy quite a bit, though short trades are prefered due to the lack of sustained damage by both. Starting level 6, Lissandra can ease Jhin's ability to confirm hits in Curtain Call: Be it keeping the "meat shield" or the desired target in place.

What are the enemy team's strengths and weaknesses?

+ Very strong poke
+ Very high range (Minimum of 700 units range on Zyra and Caitlyn's 650 auto attack range)
+ High kill pressure once rooted ( Yordle Snap Trap+ Headshot+ Zyra's plants), especially when low ( Ace in the Hole)
+ Quite good in longer fights ( Zyra's plants + Headshot)
- Low mobility ( 90 Caliber Net)
- No sustain (Unless Caitlyn uses Fleet Footwork)
- Without Garden of Thorns seeds, Zyra does not offer much besides Grasping Roots and Stranglethorns's delayed knock-up

What makes the combination of Lissandra and Jhin strong?

Who is my/the enemy jungler and what does that mean for my lane?

Ally vs Enemy

If there is one thing both of these junglers want to do, it is ganking a lot early in order to get ahead. Both deliver a good amount of CC ( Cocoon and Biggest Snowball Ever!), but in the case of Nunu & Willump, their engage is more telegraphed since he needs to start his charge from a distance. Elise, on the other hand, is more simple and arguably more telegraphed as Nunu & Willump's engage as her options to gank aren't any different than most of the jungler roster.

In Lissandra's case, she should attempt to ward spots where a Nunu & Willump might start his Biggest Snowball Ever! - around Dragon pit, the Blast Cone on either side, the enemy Gromp / Krugs or even the area between tier 1 and tier 2 turrets. If the enemy was the Elise, the regular warding spots will do the trick.

How should Lissandra and Jhin play the lane and what is their wincon in this lane?

Lissandra and Jhin should attempt to get an early lead by reaching level 2 before the enemy to abuse their roots and high frontloaded damage in order to keep the enemy low and prevent the enemy from taking longer fights. However, due to the enemy's high poke, high range and ability to punish bad engages, every engage afterwards has to count. If the enemy missed their abilities, a short engage to punish is a good idea.

This is one of those match-ups where you will definitely have to consider asking your jungler to help. The low mobility of the enemy team and your ability to follow up an engage are very good reasons for your jungler to help you out.

This playstyle doesn't really change past level 6 with the exception of getting aid by Jhin with Curtain Call, either slowing enemies down or killing low health targets.

Match-Up number 3:

What are my ADCs strengths and weaknesses?

+ Very high damage ( Spinning Axe)
+ VERY high snowballing potential ( League of Draven)
+ Good follow-up ( Blood Rush+ Stand Aside+ Whirling Death)
+ Very good in medium length fights
+ Good synergy with Font of Life
- Alright mobility ( Blood Rush)
- Very predictable fighting pattern ( Spinning Axe's catch area)
- No sustain (Unless Draven uses Fleet Footwork)
- Besides Stand Aside, Draven delivers nothing but damage
- Bad from behind

When are Lissandra and Draven the strongest?

Even at level 1 are the two fairly strong, although Draven is the core reason why. As long as it gets Draven some sort of advantage or kill, he will only get stronger. Their level 2 spikes insanely hard due to Draven being able to run faster towards the enemy and Lissandra getting her proper engage tools. The last proper spike is at level 6 as Lissandra can keep enemies locked up even longer, increasing the potential for kills

What are the enemy bot lane's strengths and weaknesses?

+ Big cheese potential ( Ambush)
+ Camouflage can enable escapes ( Ambush)
+ Good shielding ( Help, Pix!) and buffing ( Whimsy's attack speed + Pix, Faerie Companion's additional damage)
+ Good disengage ( Whimsy's polymorph + Wild Growth's knock-up, slow and HP buff)
+ Exceptionally good in longer, clumped up fights ( Deadly Venom + Contaminate + Spray and Pray + Lulu)
+ Flexibility in build ( Twitch can go either AP or AD)
- Low mobility
- No sustain (Unless Twitch uses Fleet Footwork)
- Fairly predictable if anticipated (Infamous Lulu+ Twitch combo)
- Control Wards reveal camouflage
- Mediocre neutral game
- Second Wind is a very good sustain counter when only 1 stack of Deadly Venom is applied (Exception: AP Twitch)

What makes the combination of Lissandra and Draven strong?
  • With Draven's lack of crowd control, Lissandra compliments that well due to her abundance of crowd control
  • Similar to Jhin, Draven can follow up your engages well by running faster towards the enemy with Blood Rush and keeping them slow a bit longer with Stand Aside
  • If Draven wants one enemy dead, Lissandra can tell that enemy to not move
  • Once Draven is ahead, he will be focused down. Yet again, due to Lissandra's crowd control and potential item choices, she can keep him alive

Who is my/the enemy jungler and what does that mean for my lane?

Ally vs Enemy

Similar to the last match-up, both of these junglers aim for early advantages in order to snowball. In this case, the difference is that Kha'Zix scales well but doesn't have to win the early game as hard as Rek'Sai. Rek'Sai also doesn't scale well at all. As a trade-off, Rek'Sai can see hidden enemies with Burrow, use Unburrow to knock enemies up and gank from uncommon angles with her Tunnel, similar to Zac.

In Kha'Zix's case, he needs either evolved Void Spike, overextention or a CC-heavy teammate to successfully gank, potentially giving the enemy team time until level 6 before he ganks.

Warding against Kha'Zix is similar to other junglers. In the case of Rek'Sai, uncommon ganking spots where she can use her Tunnel should be warded.

How should Lissandra and Draven play the lane and what is their wincon in this lane?

One word: Aggression. Draven relies on him cashing out from his passive League of Draven and getting as much gold as possible to buy as many items as possible soon as possible possible, thus snowballing the game. It does not matter if Lissandra dies in the process, it matters that Draven gets ahead and uses the item advantage to dish out tremendous amounts of damage.

In order to do that, a level 2 push is mandatory as every single advantage in lane needs to be grasped. Draven should be throwing Spinning Axes at the enemy whenever possible while Lissandra can throw a few Ice Shard's at the enemy. Rinse and repeat until an engage is possible.

Despite this clear game plan, they should not fall for any cheese tactics by Twitch and Lulu. Ideally, Lulu's mana pool should be depleted by forcing her to shield frequently or the shield might prevent a kill. Even engages have to be thought out because of Lulu's Whimsy polymorph, otherwise she can prevent Draven from dealing damage.

Most importantly, the enemy cannot be allowed to reach the mid to late game as Twitch and Lulu scale really well because of Spray and Pray and the buffs Lulu can provide.

Match-Up number 4:

What are my APCs strengths and weaknesses?

+ Very good DPS with Noxious Blast into Twin Fangs
+ Miasma grounds enemies, denying movement abilities
+ Good defensive tools ( Miasma+ Petrifying Gaze)
+ Very good in long fights
+ Above average sustain ( Noxious Blast+ Twin Fang)
+ Snek
- Modest mobility ( Noxious Blast + Serpentine Grace)
- Extremely mana hungry/useless without mana
- Cannot buy boots and its upgrades( Serpentine Grace)
- Sustain requires AP ( Twin Fang)
- No synergy with Font of Life

When are Lissandra and Cassiopeia the strongest?

Level 2 enables Cassiopeia to deal proper damage as Twin Fang's empowered damage only applies on targets poisioned by either Noxious Blast or Miasma*. Aided by Lissandra's Ring of Frost, Cassiopeia will have an easy time hitting mentioned poision spells and unleashing Twin Fang's onto the enemy. It is important to mention that this has to be done sparingly before Cassiopeia has respectable amounts of mana since spamming Twin Fang costs 50-42 mana each cast.
It is thereby advised to either turn in a win with this risk or wait for Cassiopeia to return with enough mana from items or runes; around level 6 onwards tends to be when she has enough mana for longer fights. So either small engages/punishments or any plays from level 6 onwards, provided enough mana.
*Technically any poision will do, so either Teemo, Singed or Twitch can help out as well

What are the enemy bot lane's strengths and weaknesses?

+ High DPS ( Deadly Plumage)
+ Very high backloaded damage ( Bladecaller(
+ Lots of lockdown ( Death Sentence+ Flay+ The Box+ Bladecaller)
+ Save potential + low shielding ( Dark Passage)
+ Very good in longer, clumped up fights ( Deadly Plumage+ Bladecaller)
+ Untargetability on Featherstorm + Clean Cuts feathers
+ Thresh never becomes useless
- Low mobility ( Featherstorm)
- No sustain (Unless Xayah uses Fleet Footwork)
- Missed Bladecaller removes a lot of damage
- Death Sentence has a fairly high cooldown early

What makes the combination of Lissandra and Cassiopeia strong?

Who is my/the enemy jungler and what does that mean for my lane?

Ally vs Enemy

Ivern's gameplan is to be at the right place at the right time in his own way - saving a teammate with Triggerseed and Brushmaker or being a general annoyance with Daisy! or Rootcaller. With the low cost that enchanter items come with, he can help out the team fairly early and arguably way more than more raw damage.

Bel'Veth, on the other hand, is interested in scaling up Death in Lavender's strength with stacks and on-hit items to provide her tremendous amounts of DPS in the late game. Post 6, her goal is securing void objectives like Rift Herald or Baron Nashor because of Endless Banquet. Her empowered form enables her to spawn her (cute) little minions, giving her a ton of pushing power. Regardless, she has fairly little interest in ganking early, although if obvious ganking opportunities arise, she can provide plenty.

In both cases, the usual warding spots should help out.

How should Lissandra and Cassiopeia play the lane and what is their wincon in this lane?

The core idea is surviving the laning phase and getting into the mid to late game. Cassiopeia needs gold to buy items in order to furnish her high amount of possible magic dps. This does not mean that early fights cannot be taken: Given enough mana, Noxious Blast into Twin Fang spam hurts even early on - add the inability for the enemy to use movement abilities and maybe a bit of jungle help and impossible laning phases can turn into exceedingly good laning phases.

Mentioned situation will sadly rarely happen - with Thresh's identity as a hook champion, bad positioning or engages will be punished severly, guaranteeing kills or wasted summoner spells for the enemy. Even seemingly good engages can be foiled because of Xayah's untargetability or Thresh's Dark Passage. The only saving grace is that Dark Passage and Flash get denied by the grounded effect by Miasma.

As formerly adressed, the amount of match-ups are endless*. The aim of this segment was to give a rough idea of analysing a match-up and deciding what the game plan for laning phase is - knowing your lane partner's strenghts, weaknesses, strong phases, power spikes and assumed behaviour. The same deal goes for the enemy and their behaviour. This knowledge should aid in knowing what the goal of laning phase is and lead to a winning lane.

As shown by the stark contract between the Draven and the Cassiopeia lane, a winning lane can change drastically: Draven wants aggression to snowball, Cassiopeia wants to survive laning phase. Having a combined bot score of 2/1/5 for your bot vs 3/1/6 for the enemy bot does not mean that you have lost your lane. To use the comparison again, the Draven lane might not be as successful as the Cassiopeia lane as the goals of "lots of kills early" versus "survive laning phase" differ.

In any case, laning phase tends to end after turrets have fallen and people roaming across the map, eagerly awaiting either 5v5 teamfights, rigorous splitpushing in a 1-3-1 fashion or getting objectives like Dragon , Rift Herald or Baron Nashor . This is around 15-20 minutes, plus/minus 2-3 minutes.

With this chapter, I'm hoping that you, the reader, have seen the basics of how to identify strengths and weaknesses of each laner (and potentially every champion!), how to behave in a lane and identifying what the win con of each respective lane is.

This concludes the "Laning Phase" section of the Playstyle chapter. In the following chapter, we will talk about the mid- to lategame behaviour of Lissandra support.

*amount of match-ups
Playstyle - Mid- and Lategame

For warding specific playstyle tips, check 7.2. Warding - Why, when and where

Past level 6, I want you to think about a job that we all tend to forget, never want to do but we secretly all respect:

The trusty janitor. A janitor's job is to keep a building clean and intact, repair things if needed, keep bugs out and keep things in check. This tends to include some dirty and unfun work including talking with potentially rude people, but they are basically keeping the building afloat. And the worst of all? Not a lot of people tend to even acknowledge the janitor!

As Lissandra support, you are the janitor of your team.
Your job is to keep the team together, to check on your enemies and holding them at bay for your team. You will do all the warding that maybe your teammates won't even see and take for granted; and if you are lucky, maybe a teammate will notice your work and praise you for it.

You might need to Cleanse your teammates with Mikael's Blessing, stop the enemy Zed with Frozen Tomb, lock the enemy up with Ring of Frost by engaging with Glacial Path or just keep your carry alive by Exhausting and using Knight's Vow and Randuin's Omen.

Lissandra support is the swiss army knife of your team:
  • She excels at locking enemies down
  • She can play aggressively aswell as defensively due to Glacial Path's flexibility
  • She is one of the best anti-carries and being behind on Lissandra doesn't mean much as 3 seconds of hard CC will always be relevant, no matter the circumstances.
  • Tank items are very flexible and due to their sheer amount, as long as you roughly know what you need, you can never really go wrong with them
  • And if you need a bit more damage, Lissandra's superb AP scalings enable her to get the most out of the AP you get

Lissandra is extremly flexible in how she can be played aswell as built. As long as you don't build AD items, you can never go wrong with an item or playstyle on Lissandra.
No Patrick, we will not consider Experimental Hexplate a viable option just because of its ultimate haste

To use this flexibility, we again need to ask ourselves a few questions:
  • What is my team's composition?
  • What is the enemy team's composition?
  • What are my team's strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the enemy team's strengths and weaknesses?
  • How does my team want to fight?
  • How does the enemy team want to fight?
  • What is the relation of damage types in the enemy team?
  • Who is the most fed in either team?
  • Which items will I have to build?
  • What is the priority of the items I will need?
  • How will I have to play then?

In order to show off this flexibility in playstyle, we'll go over a game's teamcomp on both sides, similar to the laning phase segment, try to answer a few of the questions.

Teamcomp number 1:

What are my team's strengths and weaknesses?

+ Very high amounts of crowd control
+ Good engages and peel
+ High physical and magical DPS
+ Good follow-up to any play
+ Good amount of damage
+ Hawkshot makes scouting the map easier
- Ashe is the only physical damage dealer
- Alright poke
- Very low sustain
- Only 1 shielding instance on a high cooldown
- Without Brand or Ashe, you have little damage

When is your team's plan in terms of fighting?

Your team is as traditional as it can get: Lots of crowd control, two damage dealers with good DPS of each type, a solid frontline and follow-up. 5v5 front-to-back teamfights and picks are your forté as whoever wants to reach your damage dealers will get denied from doing so. Reaching the backline will be difficult, but that isn't a priority as with all the DPS and frontline your team has, getting rid of Darius and Zac will leave the rest open for your splendid engages.

What are the enemy team's strengths and weaknesses?

+ Strong poke
+ Long range engage
+ Frequent team wide shielding and in-fight healing
+ Unattended Darius at 5 stacks will destroy anything in his path
+ Good front- and backloaded damage
+ Long range capabilities
- Bad DPS
- Mediocre peel
- No out-of-combat healing without backing
- Not that good at reaching your backline without sacrificing frontline

How does the enemy team want to fight?

Their plan is simple: Poke your team down, get picks and get ahead before your team can muster up their strength; essentially a snowballing composition. Alternatively, they could attempt to give Darius enough leeway to reach 5 stacks on Hemorrhage and wipe out your team. Their team would want to avoid even/behind 5v5 teamfights and rather get picks on overextending teammates. Of course when ahead, 5v5 teamfights aren't a problem.

What is the relation of damage types in the enemy team and what items will I have to consider?

- High physical and true damage
- Medium magical damage
- High magical damage
- High physical damage
- High magical damage

As we can see, the enemy team has lots of both types of damage, meaning we will have to consider both types of defensive stats. Their physical damage is mostly backloaded ( Jhin, Darius) with some potential healing by Jhin and Darius's Decimate.

Therefore, in terms of armour, we will have to consider either Frozen Heart, Thornmail or Knight's Vow if one of our teammates is ahead.

Most of the enemy's magic damage is frontloaded, with some continuous magic damage with Zyra's plants and Zac's Unstable Matter and Let's Bounce!.

Therefore, in terms of magic resist, we will have to consider either Force of Nature, Kaenic Rookern or Abyssal Mask if you want to help out Brand's damage.

What is the priority of the items I will need?

Let me preface this by saying that Locket of the Iron Solari is the first item you build in almost every scenario due to the mixed resistances and the shield it provides. This means that the following items will likely be bought after the support item and Locket of the Iron Solari.

This question requires you to examine the current game state. Let's go through 2 different scenarios. The bigger a champion icon, the more fed they are:

Scenario 1:

As we can see, our Brand is very ahead, while Shen and Galio are doing alright. Lissandra and Ashe managed to get out of with a small lead. In the enemy team, Lux is definitely the biggest threat, with the rest of the enemy team being minor threats. We need magic resist as soon as possible, with armour being the lower priority.

In the last section, we concluded that valid magic resist item choices would be Force of Nature, Kaenic Rookern or Abyssal Mask... well, there is another choice: Anathema's Chains. If you looked at the items in the item section, this would be a good contender as Lux is the main concern.

The choice of magic resist item then boils down to a few factors: Are you interested in aiding Brand's damage with Abyssal Mask and having a fail safe against Zyra and Zac's damage? Do you believe that by keeping Lux locked down longer, the rest of the enemy team will remain weak? Or do you think that you will not be allowed to get close to the enemy, prefering Kaenic Rookern due to its high base stats and magic shield?

All three items are solid choices and depend on how your team will play the rest of the game and personal preference. In my case, I'd rather choose Abyssal Mask over Kaenic Rookern and Anathema's Chains for 2 reasons:
  • Kaenic Rookern costs 2900 gold, meaning that as a support after your first item ( Locket of the Iron Solari), you are committing to magic restist for a while. By the time you can afford it, the enemy's AD sources might've caught on.
  • Anathema's Chains might only cost 100 more gold, but is less flexible and doesn't have the aforementioned fail safe against Zac and Zyra.
If we were to swap Zyra with Senna, Anathema's Chains would be my personal choice as Locket of the Iron Solari's magic resist would be enough against Zac's damage.

With the choice of a second item, we still need an item against the enemy's AD choices: Thornmail, Frozen Heart or Knight's Vow.

Unlike the previous item, the choice here boils down to whether you need anti-heal or you trust Brand enough to carry. If you need anti-heal, the choice is Thornmail. If you trust Brand, consider Knight's Vow to keep him alive a bit longer. Otherwise, Frozen Heart as the default choice.

Scenario 2:

Laning phase was quite rough for you, as Lissandra and Ashe are quite weak. Galio and Brand managed to leave the early game fairly unscathed and Shen took a few too many kills. On the contrary, Zac and the enemy bot lane managed to get ahead quite well, making those 3 the prime threats in this case.

In terms of magic resist, Abyssal Mask would be a good choice again due to the previously mentioned reasons, though it might be a good idea to buy a Negatron Cloak and finish an armour item prior. With around 150 magic resist being a high amount already and no magic damage ally that is very far ahead, armour is the higher priority.

Frozen Heart and Thornmail are the only two viable item options in the armour category. The choice depends on whether you need anti-heal ( Thornmail) or not( Frozen Heart). Knight's Vow is not a good idea right now because of Shen's lack of damage capabilities. An exception would be if, 5 minutes later, Brand or Ashe managed to get like 5 kills, increasing their value to the team exponentially.

How will I have to play then?

This is where Lissandra's flexibility truly shines: Due to her ability of being a CC powerhouse, she can fulfill practiacally any role the team will need that requires her area of experise.

Assume Scenario 1:
  • The obvious plan is to lock Lux and other sudden threats down for the rest of your team to eliminate, assuming they are in range. In this case, your role is to be an engager besides Shen and Galio.
  • Another plan is to let the engagers do their job and engage in peel duty for your Brand. Darius and Zac still have high base damage and have the option of either flanking or ignoring your frontline to beeline towards Brand. Keeping them away with your abilities until the rest of your team handles the other 3 is a viable option to play the game out.
  • If your vision game is on-point, you could even plan some excellent Gorgonzola cheese by picking out singular members of the enemy team that are out of position, ensuring a numbers advantage for the time being.

Generally, playing for Brand is the better option as he is your main damage until Ashe can follow up in terms of damage; Galio and Shen are already quite good at engaging. I chose the wording "playing" and not "peeling" as peeling for him can be just as detrimental as keeping important targets in place for him to melt.

Assume Scenario 2:
  • Engaging onto Jhin and/or Zyra when on their own can turn the tide. With follow-up by at least 1-2 of your comrades, getting picks until your team is on even footing with the enemy should be a priority
  • At the same time, keeping those very targets away from your damage dealers can mean just as much as picking off targets. Brand and Ashe's immobility have to be offset by your stuns and roots
  • Both plans are made easier with proper warding

In any case, you have to aim to abuse the enemy's weaknesses and keep their strength low: Engaging is a good idea due to their mediocre peel; if Lux misses her Light Binding and Lucent Singularity, she will have nothing to keep you away from her. This is generally good against their team due to Zac having to leave his team open in order to reach your backline. Then again, an unattended Darius and Zac can wreck enough havoc in your backline, putting your focus onto peeling.

As you can see, making the correct choice isn't that easy. In each scenario, the playstyle boiled down to what the team needs and how they play. It obviously should not make any sense to force engages onto Lux if the rest of your team isn't interested in joining in; or continuously stick with Brand in a teamfight when the rest of your team struggles with Darius or Zyra (although it could be argued that locking those enemies down in a fight is just as much peeling).

While this chapter might be shorter as the previous and arguably more important, it isn't any different. The same principles apply:
  • Identifying each team's strengths and weaknesses
  • Basing a default fight plan based on that
  • Identifying each character's role in- and outside of a fight
  • Your role based on these factors
  • Builds and the priority of each item

It's the same idea but scaled up to 5v5s instead of 2v2s with a jungler sprinkled in.
I want to emphasise that this is by no means easy to do. In my case, it took me over 4-5 years to gather the necessary experience and apply it. So do not feel bad if you make mistakes. To quote Riven: "Learn from your mistakes."
Warding - Basics

"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." - Sun Tsu

Let's face it: We all know that wards are not just some fancy +30 gold for the enemy and we all know that we should use them more often. Vision wins games and can prevent an unfortunate engagement or enable picks since if you know where the enemy is, you can plan opportunistic strategies to get ahead and eventually win the game!

So, let us start with the very basics then by explaining what wards are, what they are capable of and what their limits are!

Disclaimer: The following segment is about the very basics of warding. If you are already familiar with these basics, feel free to skip to the more nuanced segments.

Setting up vision, ward limits and coverage

Stealth Wards - League's CCTV

The good old trusty Stealth Ward. The bread and butter of warding and the support's favourite object to put up and clear. The very basics of being a support.

A ward can reveal a circular area around itself with its radius being fairly big. They remain on their spot for 1,5 - 2 minutes, have 3 AAs worth of HP and after a delay of 3 seconds, they will remain camouflaged/invisible until they expire.
You can, by default, place a ward by pressing 4 on your keyboard and clicking wherever you want to place it. By default you will get 1 ward in your trinket slot with a limit of 2 wards available to place. You can place up to 3 Stealth Wards (by default!) and the game will show you how many of your wards are active.
On the right you can see the game showing how many of your wards are currently active.

How to get wards - earn 500 gold, get wards for free!

Wards are all fine and dandy, but how does one get these beautiful things? If you play support, you usually are meant to buy one of the following tier 1 support items: Relic Shield, Steel Shoulderguards, Spectral Sickle or Spellthief's Edge. These items have a quest on them that either is sharing a ceratin amount of minions with a teammate nearby or poking the enemy consistently. After this, they upgrade, turning into the tier 2 support items Targon's Buckler, Runesteel Spaulders, Harrowing Crescent or Frostfang.

Congratulations, you can now place wards wherever your heart desires! Be wary that the tier 2 support items can store up to 3 wards at once. The tier 3 support items Bulwark of the Mountain, Pauldrons of Whiterock, Black Mist Scythe and Shard of True Ice can store up to 4 wards. This does not increase your maximum amount of placable wards on the map!

Replacing wards - lim(wards)=3

Now, you might have noticed that if you place a ward in the 3/3 stage, something appears to have broken. That was your ward number 1! Each ward has a number assigned to it which (by default!) will be 1, 2 and 3. If you decide to place a ward in this stage, ward number 1 will be destroyed, previous ward number 2 will now be ward number 1 and previous ward number 3 will be ward number 2. The newly placed ward will then be ward number 3.

So what happens ingame is this:

Notice how the first ward I placed got a red 1 once I wanted to place my 4th ward and how that very ward got deleted and replaced by the 4th ward. This process repeats until you have no more wards left.

I have also made a short animation that might help with the numbers:

Wards and bushes - Watching grass grow

As you probably have guessed and noticed, wards can be put inside of bushes! The relevancy of this statement? Wards can only reveal what's in a bush if it is in the bush itself.

In the following video, you will see that I have put an enemy inside of the three bushes near Lissandra to illustrate what I mean:

Video from previous season. Still just as good, but not fresh

As you can see, the first ward I placed did not reveal the enemies inside the bushes, while the 3 other wards I placed inside of the bushes did reveal them. Have another edited screenshot that shows what the wards reveal. The red area is the left ward's vision coverage while the green area is the right ward's vision coverage.
Old screenshot. Again, just as good, just not new

Now that we have covered what wards are, what they can do, how many we can usually carry and how far they can reveal the map, let's talk about vision denial, a concept as fundamental as vision setup.

Vision denial and control wards

Oracle Lens - Become a walking radar!

Before I explain Oracle Lens, I should briefly explain what it is:
The gist of vision denial is destroying the enemy's wards and denying the enemy vision with Control Wards, the latter I will explain in the next segment.

In the section about Stealth Wards above I mentioned that they are camouflaged/invisible. So how is one supposed to clear them, let alone see them? Simple:
Oracle Lens! It reveals anything around your champion as a red silhouette that you cannot target, unless it is a Stealth Ward or a trap! Stealth Wards get revealed, made targetable by Oracle Lens which you can then destroy by auto attacking them up to 3 times and prevent the ward from revealing vision around it. This, in turn, means that the enemy has no more vision in that area and you have successfully applied the idea of vision denial!

To illustrate, I decided to get a friend as a paid actor to help out:

I asked my friend to put a Stealth Ward into the bottom bush, a Control Ward (Check the paragraph below) into the middle bush and to camouflage himself with Ambush.
As you can see, the Stealth Ward is targetable, stopped revealing the area around it (as seen by the two red eyes below its HP bar), the Control Ward is just a silhouette and Twitch aswell is being shown as a silhouette.

Control Wards - Purchasable wards???

Why would I ever buy a ward for 75 gold if I get them for free from either my trinket or my support item? What a scam!! - Timmy "Naive" Johnson

That is because you actually get something in return for buying this beautiful, extremely useful red ward! Control Wards, formerly known as vision wards or pink wards, are a mix of Oracle Lens and Stealth Wards. They are a type of ward that have the vision capabilities of Stealth Wards, 90% of the uncovering capabilities of Oracle Lens and disable enemy Stealth Wards to reveal the map; they however do not show a silhouette of an enemy nearby and only reveal a silhouette when seen by Oracle Lens. You can usually only place one and buy up to two. They also reveal camouflaged enemies like Evelynn past level 6, Twitch in his Q Ambush or Rengar in Thrill of the Hunt and do not get disabled by any means.

I again got my paid actor to help out with this:

Once again, Twitch is in his Ambush, being camouflaged. There is an enemy Control Ward and an enemy Stealth Ward in the same bush.

This means that Lissandra herself cannot see him. Yet I see him because of the Control Ward I placed in the bush. You can also see that the enemy Control Ward does not stop working, while the Stealth Ward does.

Control Wards are paramount to a support's success, unless you are The Tank Man who rarely buys them, since they are crucial for denying enemy vision since they disable Stealth Wards.

This covers the very basics of vision setup and vision denial. The following segment will explain:

    1. Why you should setup and deny vision
    2. When you should ward and deny vision
    3. Where you should ward and deny vision
Warding - Why, when and where

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Now that we have explained what a ward is, what they can do and what dewarding is, let's go over why we even need these cute little buggers, when we should use them and where to put them!

Why to (de-)ward and its benefits

Reasons for warding - Paint your minimap!

Let's start off a with an example IRL: Why would one want to set up a camera in their shop, their parking lot or in their room?
To feel a bit safer that if someone were to steal some of our goods, break into our room or ram our car, we know who it is, when it happened, where it happened and maybe where our criminal has gone to.
Setting up wards is like setting up cameras: We want to ensure that we feel safer traversing the map by knowing where the enemy is (going), ideally when they were at the ward's location and which enemy is/was at the ward.

Another reason to ward is deeply related to the first reason:
Suppose your team plans on doing drake soon since it would be soul. However, the enemy Lee Sin has managed to steal two drakes off of you. Since you are a good support, your goal is wanting to stop him. While Lissandra is superb at that, it would be better to know where Lee Sin actually is to make stopping him so much easier. Basically: You also ward to make it easier to prevent the enemy from stealing objectives/securing objectives for your team.

Yet again, another reason is related to the first reason:
Let's assume that the enemy Sylas got fed. Like, really fed. Noone can fight him and even when ganging up as a group of 3, there simply is no way to fight him. So, the best course of action is to avoid him until your team can face him. But how do we ideally do that?
By knowing where he is!

With a properly placed network of Stealth Wards and deduction, avoiding Sylas should become easier.

One reason is related to the role of the jungler:
You are minding your business on bot lane with Caitlyn, wanting to abuse your range to punish the enemy under their turret. You decide that you can towerdive them, use Glacial Path and -
The enemy Nidalee decided that she wants to gank bot side. Double kill for the enemy team.

Just like you wanting to know where the enemy jungler is to avoid stealing objectives, knowing where he is to avoid getting ganked is just as important if not more.

One of the last main reasons to ward would be about planning:
Let's get back to the example in the second reason: You are planning to get drake for soul and the enemy knows that. Yet, you also know that your team could absolutely wipe them in a teamfight. If you set up a network of wards beforehand, you can know your enemy's moves and perhaps bait them into your Amumu + Xayah, thus leading to the enemy being severely crippled and you either winning the game after that, get soul or just get back into the game.

There are many, many more reasons as to why one should ward, but these are, in my opinion, some of the most relevant reasons. Most reasons are derived of the very first reason, as knowing the enemy's moves and location enables planning. And a solid game plan can always push your lead or get you back into the game. The possibilities are endless.

Reasons for dewarding - An eye for an eye

After covering the reasons of why to ward, you should be wary that the enemy is very likely planning the same thing as you are - they themselves want to deny your Rek'Sai stealing an objective, to avoid your Zed and to enable plays that ensure their win.

To avert that, we want to deward using Oracle Lens and Control Wards in key positions when it matters, the details for those I will explain in the next segments.

When to (de-)ward

Timing of warding - When warding gets tense

As I have mentioned, warding should be done to secure major objectives like Drake s and Baron Nashor or to ensure safety on the map.

A good rule of thumb:
Try to ward a minute before an objective spawns. In order to know when an objective spawns, hold (by default) Tab and look at the top of your screen. The closer it is to a minute, the more you should start considering to ward key points around the objective. However, if you want to be somewhat technical, you would be alright warding objectives anywhere between 1:45 minutes in later stages of the game and 1:15 minutes in earlier stages of the game before an objective spawns since Stealth Wards last anywhere between 90 seconds and 120 seconds.

Holding Tab should reveal this at the top of your screen:

Relevant objectives are highlighted in red.

However, if there is no objective in mentioned time, just keeping up ward uptime is just as important. Basically, you should be warding whenever you can, but prioritize objectives and key targets/win conditions in your team.

Now, warding should be your top priority, nevertheless:
Playing with your team should be more important! Do not tunnelvision too much into warding and instead learn when warding does not compromise your teammates. Some examples would be:
  • You know the enemy Nidalee is currently topside, the enemy Zed is shoved into his turret and your Ezreal is aware of you needing to ward, so he plays a bit more defensively.
  • You have a feeling that the enemy Nunu & Willump really likes to gank botlane and your Rek'Sai can't help. Putting down a few wards into bushes nearby while the enemy wave is pushing into you could prevent him from getting you killed.
  • You just got out of a good teamfight and your team can secure Drake without your help. Putting down a few wards around Baron Nashor while they fight Drake to get control of Baron Nashor right after would help a lot here

Timing of dewarding - Lowering intensity

Knowing when to deward is just as much of an experience thing as warding.
Generally though, you can follow the same ideas as in the "when to ward" section, but in reverse. Examples would be:
  • 45 seconds before Drake spawns, your plan is to ward asap. However, you just saw the enemy Bard go from bottom river to mid. This is a clear indicator that Bard just warded around Drake .
  • Let's use the first example from above again: The enemy Morgana noticed that you left to ward, so she decided to ward around bot lane to prevent your teammates from helping you out. While on your way back, you should consider dewarding likely warding spots.
  • You are contesting Baron but you notice that the enemy is playing a bit too coordinated, you feel like you are being watched. The enemy very likely has a few wards near your team's position.

Where to (de-)ward

Location of ideal wards, early game - The early bird...

Covering the "when" aspect kind of also covers the "where" part since they are deeply related. As an example, if you know that Drake is spawning in a bit, warding around it is a great idea. However, I will first cover some basic spots that you can never go wrong with and then slowly explain a concept about knowing where you can safely ward without risking too much based on the game state.

Recommended warding spots in laning phase(~15 minutes):

Each yellow dot represents a possible and viable spot to ward but just like with cooking, timing matters as well. For example, warding the rightmost brush as red side isn't all that worth if you are pushing into the enemy. Instead, in this case, it would be more adventagous to ward these spots:

Now, why would you want to ward those spots? I'll pull up another image:

Let's assume that the blue dot called "J" is the enemy jungler. If he plans on using the red route, he will be spotted, thus making his gank harder. Same deal with the blue path the green path.

But what do we do if we are the blue team and we get pushed in? Where should I ward if I can?

The following spots are advantageous:
Reason being: If the enemy jungler decides to lane gank (blue path), we will know where he is and thus can plan around that. Due to having warded the red route, no surprises can come from tri-brush. Same deal with the green path.

The following image will cover a few more examples on red side and other game states that can happen early with blue dots being blue side wards and red dots being red side wards:The upper wards are all meant to cover ganks from river/jungle, the ones in the center to protect against immediate threats from river, while lane wards are generally used to prevent lane ganks and general knowledge of the location of the enemy support

A few wards that are a bit more risky but are worth it if you pull it off are shown in the image below. They are meant to spot the enemy jungler at his camps which might be the only way of spotting them (Looking at you Evelynn):
Be wary that the pixel brush in river is a good ward for both sides! The wards that are not in a bush can, of course, be put into nearby bushes aswell.

This should cover the early game. Of course, putting some wards into bushes on bot lane or the alcove can be a good idea aswell (for baits, etc). But these are the main wards I do in the early game to help me out as much as I can.

Location of ideal wards, mid and late game - ...catches the Baron

Luckily, mid and late game are a bit simpler, but still follow the same ideas of prevention of ganks/flanks and securing area for your team. Just like before, I will show a few images, optimal warding spots and explain their reasoning. Since there can be a lot of wards, I will cover red and blue side seperately:

Drake Pit:

Red side:

As you can see, there are a ton of wards around dragon pit, mostly in the enemy jungle that touches Dragon pit. As mentioned in the "when" section, this is to know where the enemy jungle/team is and to play accordingly. I decided to place this many potential wards since you will always have to play around enemy Control Wards, but I will cover this in more detail later in the dewarding section of this guide. For now, know that if the enemy put a Control Ward somewhere, you will have to act accordingly.

Blue side:

This might seem like a ton of wards, but in reality it's almost as many as red side. I just decided to show more options here aswell.

This follows the same idea as red side, except you ward red jungle instead of blue jungle. The wards close to mid are meant to spot enemies from mid lane/mid jungle, while wards deeper in the enemy jungle/closer to bot side are meant to spot them there. Same deal for bot side wards.

Territorial ("Normal") Baron Pit:

Red side:

A lot of wards, but again, it depends on the game where warding is necessary and where it really isn't. Take a high amount of wards as suggestions

For this specific image, I deicded to add blue arrows to show where the enemy could go and thus get spoted by your well placed wards. There isn't much that needs to be said here, as we are trying to accomplish the very same thing as in Dragon pit.

Blue side:

Similar to the last image, red arrows indicate movement by red side.

The following images will show warding spots for the 2 other types of Baron Nashor that can appear:

All-seeing ("Eye") Baron Pit:

Red side:

Blue side:

Hunting ("Horn") Baron Pit:

Red side:

Blue side:

Now, what if there are no objectives up? In this case, we look at the turrets on the map. To explain the idea of this, I want you to think of the game Risk (or Empire Earth II if you ever played that). You know, the game where you let dice decide whether you own a country? Yeah that one.
In Risk, the area you own covers the area you can move reinforcements to, move freely without worrying about attacks and plan on attacking neighbouring countries. Some areas even have designated paths to send soldiers across as seen below:
Now, let's try to apply this to Summoner's Rift:
At the beginning of the game (until a turret has fallen), the map is sort of split even for red and blue side. If you for example, as a member of the blue team, move in blue territory, there is fairly high chance that no bad thing will happen. This also means that warding in blue territory is fairly safe and should not get you killed.

In return, this also means that moving into red territory has a higher risk of getting caught and getting you killed, but also means that the chances of spotting an enemy are higher.

Now let's assume that red side outer turret has fallen. The map's control now shifts a bit in blue side's favour, see the image below for a rough idea:
In the context of Risk, this means that we have taken over an enemy's country.

As you can see, blue team now has a bit more safety on moving on the map as the enemy's turret has fallen. This does not mean that it is 100% safe to move in the newly "aquired" area, but it does mean that it is safer to ward in mentioned area. This idea of painting the map can work with every turret and every team.

However, what if both mid turrets are down? In this case, we get a sort of "No Man's Land" where it is neither safe nor unsafe to move in. These areas could be declared as minor priority warding spots, especially if it's the jungle that turns into No Man's Land. 2 images to illustrate: The left image shows if both outer mid turrets are gone, while the right image displays every outer turret having been destroyed.

But Ivan, why explain the basics of tactics?
Assume we are in the case of the left image. We want to get closer to destroying the enemy nexus and in order to do that, we need to get turrets. How do we, as a support, ensure getting them? By warding around towers of course! Have another illustration to see a potential course of action:
Just as before, blue dots are potential blue side wards and red dots are potential red side wards.

Whichever of these wards you place down depend on your game state. Is your Tryndamere just barely beating the enemy Sion, but the turret is down soon? Consider warding topside so that Tryndamere can get the turret safely. Is your Tristana doing work and you could get the bot lane turret? Ensure safety by placing wards in the enemy jungle to prevent the enemy Fiddlesticks from ganking you!

Later stages of the game follow the very same idea and are sort of easier as the closer you get to the enemy nexus, the less safe area the enemy has, thus less area in the No Man's Land you need to ward.

Where to deward - A Control Ward's favourite activity

Before I start to explain where, let me give you one word of advise. If you, the reader, are going to take one thing away from this guide, it should be this:

Always have at least one Control Ward in your inventory for objectives like Baron or Drake . If you have none, at least have Oracle Lens ready.

Unless you want to be featured in a montage about objective steals

Similar to "why to deward", "when to deward" is just as short as, yet again, dewarding is just the inverse action of warding. A few examples of where dewarding is a good idea:
  • Let's get back to that Bard from earlier: Dewarding these spots would be a good idea:
    The red area means potential ward locations, while the blue dots resemble a high chance to find wards (from my experience)
  • Baron Nashor is up soon and you want to set it up for your team. However, you remember seeing the enemy Zyra recalling in your topside jungle, so there is a good chance that the enemy has warded your topside jungle and maybe even their own! Thus you decide to deward in your own jungle. Another illustration of where Zyra could've warded:
  • You just saw the enemy Morgana leave for one around 10 seconds but come back to lane. This not only could mean that the enemy jungler might consider ganking you soon, but it could also mean that she just warded tri brush, river bush, etc. If it doesn't compromise your ADC too much, consider going to those places and deward her wards.
  • Remember the enemy Lee Sin in one of my first examples, the one that stole two drakes? Now let's assume that is now our teammate and another fight at drake is brewing. Placing a Control Ward at the spots in the image below (indicated by red dots) will help your Lee Sin a ton in stealing another drake!

    If you are the red team here, a Control Ward in dragon pit should suffice to keep the Lee Sin from knowing the dragon's HP (Unless he hits his Q Sonic Wave on the Dragon as that ability provides vision on the hit target).

And most importantly:
  • You are currently doing Baron and you know that the enemy has vision of the pit since there is a ward in it. Drop a Control Ward to deny the enemy vision or use at least Oracle Lens and stand close to the enemy wards so that the enemy has a harder time stealing Baron .
Again, if you are going to take one thing away from this guide, it should be that you should always have a Control Ward ready for objectives. I can't stress this enough.

And now we have covered the most important things about warding! In the next and final section about warding, I will talk about tips, tricks and quirks I have noticed and learned about establishing vision; be it simple warding spots, how I see Control Wards as nothing but instant Oracle Lens and which items to watch out for!
Warding - Tips, tricks and quirks
Similar to the upcoming Fun Facts section, I will make this a list in which I sum up things I've learned and what to watch out for.

  • Let's start with the elephant in the room: In my Basics section, I kept mentioning how you usually can only place up to 3 Stealth Wards and only 1 Control Ward. And in my item section I praised a certain item in the situational tab.
    I of course am talking about one of my favourite items:
    and its predecessor

    Now, what does it do? It increases armour, MR, HP and AH which is nice. But the main reason you buy Vigilant Wardstone is the increase in placable Stealth Wards and Control Wards by 1. This might not sound like a lot, but being able to place one more Control Ward can mean a ton. It also means that instead of a maximum of 4 wards, you can now place up to 6 wards!

  • Stealth Wards and Control Wards have a radius, as mentioned. But knowing how far that radius goes can make the difference between disabling a ward and keeping it alive. See the image below as an example: I got another paid actor to help me out. As you can see, her ward has not been disabled by my Control Ward as the radius (white circle) of the Control Ward does not reach the ward.

  • Talking about the radius, be wary that walls can stop you from seeing certain angles. An example of such walls obstructing vision can be seen in the video below: A few more examples of where placing your ward can make a difference; due to the high amount of images, I decided to post the collection on imgur(While the specific ward spots are partially outdated, I still feel that the main lesson of being wary of geometrical vision is being taught):

  • Be cautious when attacking a ward! Attacking a ward will reveal your position to the enemy team for around 1-3 seconds after your auto attack lands!

  • Don't necessarily see Control Wards as a Stealth Ward, but see it as the instant, paid version of Oracle Lens. Their main purpose is to deward and deny vision, so you should rather see them as such. While it is viable to put them down in a certain spot (like pixel brush), I personally think that using them to deny vision is ultimately more useful.

  • If you are in a bush that has been warded by the enemy, minions will likely decide to walk into the bush and attack you. So if minions go towards your bush instead of attacking other minions, be careful as the enemy knows you are in that spot!

  • While Control Wards do deny Stealth Wards, be wary that if you place any ward into a Control Wards radius, the Stealth Ward will work for about 1-2 seconds before turning off. This can be crucial when you decide to fight at Baron or Drake and need to see the objective's HP or the enemy's exact location. So don't be shy to use them for a quick glimpse!

  • While this doesn't apply to Lissandra as building it on her is not a good idea, Umbral Glaive is the ideal dewarding item as it can instantly kill an enemy ward and reveal wards around you! Control Wards are the exception, needing up to 2 auto attacks. Truly a beautiful item, I wish it would be viable on Lissandra...

  • Zombie Ward is a very complementary rune for supports that want to squeeze out every last bit out of their vision capabilities! However, as mentioned, it isn't worth it if your enemy barely knows how to place a ward. In that case Ghost Poro would be more advantegous as they sort of prolong your placed wards's life span!

  • The most important stat to me: Vision Score! In short, Vision Score shows you how well a player has kept up vision throughout the game; the higher it is, the more a player managed to keep the map warded. But how exactly does it work?
    If you kill a ward, you get +1 vision score. Per 60 seconds of a ward's lifespan that you denied, you gain +1 vision score. In turn, this also means that per 60s of ward lifespan that was not denied, you gain +1 vision score. This also applies to Zombie Ward, though I am unsure about Ghost Poro.
Warding - Addendum
So, to recap:

The whats

The whys and whens

  • Warding is done for the same reason as cameras IRL: You want to ensure safety in important locations to plan your next moves
  • This involves preventing ganks by the enemy team, enabling ganks by your team, securing objectives, picking off enemies or baiting them into advantageous plays
  • Dewarding follow the same idea, except in reverse: You want to make it harder for the enemy to plan accordingly and have more control over the map
  • This results in the enemy having to ward more, make objectives harder to contest/steal and go for riskier plays
  • It is generally advised to ward a minute before an objective like Baron , Drake or Rift Herald spawns, although one can make an argument for 1:45 later on and 1:15 early into the game
  • Keeping warding uptime up in case of no objectives is just as relevant, so ward whenever you can

The wheres and relevant tips

  • Warding should be done around key points on the map
  • This generally involves big objectives like Dragon pit, Baron pit, turrets, smaller objectives/win conditions like turrets or the safety of your splitpusher, or places where you can expect enemies like their jungle (camps) or the entrances of their base
  • Don't just ward the same spots! Sometimes you need to abuse the range of a Control Ward to still have vision of the area by warding just outside of its denial zone. Being flexible is key
  • Always have a Control Ward ready for objectives and see them as more of instant Oracle Lens than glorified Stealth Wards
  • Auto attacking a ward reveals your position, so be careful where you go after clearing the ward

Now, let me adress another big elephant in the room: I mentioned Farsight Alteration exactly theice (now quadruple!) in my guide. The reason being:

As a support, your key trinkets are Stealth Ward before your first base and Oracle Lens later on. Generally, you have to expect your teammates to not know how to properly deward, so you have to be the one to do it. For this very reason, Oracle Lens for supports is far superior to Farsight Alteration.
Fun facts

This section is mostly about adding a few fun facts I have discovered:
  • Lissandra Frozen Tomb is not only a stun, but also a knockdown! Great to annoy dash users. Examples of dashes would be:
    Sejuani's Q Arctic Assault
    Rengar's passive (and thus Thrill of the Hunt aswell) Unseen Predator
    Irelia's Q Bladesurge
    Tristana's W Rocket Jump
  • People can see your claw...well, not always. If the claw is within 600 units of a champion within a wall, the enemy team can see the claw. However, beyond the 600 units your claw cannot be seen.
    How much are 600 units to be exact? I will add a screenshot to illustrate: I chose Varus here as he has exactly 600 auto attack range

    This also means that the closer the enemy is to your red side turret, the higher the chances that the enemy won't know that you are pulling off the Lissandra special!
  • Adding to the last point: You can use Liss Glacial Path into a wall. As long as the claw indicator is positioned more towards the end of the wall you wanna get out of, you will pop out of that wall. I'll drop a picture to roughly illustrate what I mean.
  • Rakan W Grand Entrance can be stopped with Lissandra W Ring of Frost. If Rakan hasn't reached his destination yet, he can be stopped with any kind of CC. Neat thing I found out on accident.
Closing Thoughts

This is all I have on the pick that I love! I will try to keep this guide updated for the future and the guide has sort of become my pride. What started as a spite project towards other Lissandra mains ( Aftershock will always be viable on her!!!) slowly but steadily became a passion project. Granted, my guide could probably look better, but I have always been more of a person that prefers to read information, have images illustrate things and generally explain things from the ground up. It probably also shows that I am not the most literate person as I have never been much of a reader besides books for university (e.g. Teschl & Teschl for maths), but hey, it is a passion project after all :)

I hope that by reading this guide, I have given you a few tools to improve your warding, get a better idea of tank items and give Lissandra a bit more love. And most importantly, widened your horizon in terms of what is viable. After all, some off-meta strategies became meta because someone was crazy enough to try it!

For example, remember Nautilus? He used to be a top laner before he became a support! Or AP Miss Fortune support after it was played in World's. And if tank Lissandra support ever becomes meta (which I doubt, but hey, a man can dream), you know where you saw it first :p

That being said, I hope you enjoyed reading the guide. Have a good one and obey our ice queen - and most importantly draw more art. She deserves more fanart.

Thanks a ton to MOBAfire for giving my guide an honourable mention. I didn't actually expect to get anything, but hey, I can't complain!

HUGE thanks to @Vaileigh for giving me the beautiful seperator, to all the "paid" actors that helped me out setting up videos/screenshots to explain some concepts and Katasandra again for donating parts of their marvelous mid guide's code. You all are truly wonderful. Take care and have a good one.
Currently Testing
This segment is about things I'm wondering about and testing. I will add my thoughts into the corresponding segments.

Malignance instead of Imperial Mandate
Personal skin tier list

In this order:

Now, how does one have to understand this tier list?
To me, there is no "best skin". I, instead, judge skins based on how often I feel like playing that very skin. In my case, I prefer to use Prestige Porcelain Lissandra the most, with Porcelain Lissandra and Space Groove Lissandra being very close seconds.

Less frequently, but still often, will I play the skins in the second tier. And the least often I will pick Bloodstone Lissandra and Blade Queen Lissandra.

The reason are obviously looks, but I personally prefer the sounds of Space Groove Lissandra as I really love that kind of music and the goo sounds. It doesn't help that self-ult has a disco ball and REALLY funky music going on. That, and the duration of the music helps me weave Ring of Frost into my combo as I can tell how much Tenacity "will play in the song".

The skins in the second tier are definitely still very good, and I'm sure I might be making a few enemies by putting Coven this low. I just don't like how Ice Shard looks and sounds more like spears. Now, one could argue "What about Porcelain? Those are also sort of spears!!". The sounds in that are simply why I enjoy them more. Porcelain in general is something I've always admired and really enjoyed. Add the synergy of blue and white and boom, you've basically won me over already.

And even besides this... this is just my personal opinion. And you know what they say: Opinions are like backsides - everyone has one, but mine stinks :p

Now, why is PROGRAM Lissandra in the second tier? Well...
Let's say my favourite game has an AI as one of the best antagonists of gaming history and PROGRAM Lissandra kind of resembles her, in tone and in looks
26.7.2021 - Added opinion about Anathema's. Added explaination when to prioritize the Wardstone items. Polished the guide a bit. Added a few synergies/threats. Changed the title to something I feel like fits more.
3.8.2021 - Added further details about Zeke's. Updated Testing tab.
11.8.2021 - Added opinion on Mobi Boots. Updated Testing tab.
14.8.2021 .bat gnitseT detadpU . Tidied up the Items tab a bit.
11.9.2021 Tab testing updated. Added more details on when to build the wardstone items. Added more details on when Everfrost is a viable buy. Added Rakan counter trick.
19.10.2021 - Added opinion on Unflinching vs. Overgrowth
20.10.2021 - Added a tab about Season 12, being about my thoughts on the new items and runes
21.10.2021 - Changed opinion about Lucian and potentially more to follow. I dont want to see him again...
18.11.2021 - Added Glacial Augment runepages, added explaination for the runes in the inspiration tree
11.8.2022 - Added "rarity" to how often one buys which item, excluding mythics, Updated testing tab again.
16.8.2022 - Tidied up the introduction to the guide a bit, added a sketch by @cosmicbim to fun facts
18.8.2022 - More tidying up. Prepare for a warding and match-up section aswell as a general outline for the guide!
19.8.2022 - Added segment "Warding - Basics". Will add additional chapters soon.
19.8.2022 (at night) - Added custom made seperator by my friend and expanded on "Warding - Why and When". "where" will follow tomorrow.
20.8.2022 - Further expanded the "where" section. Will add tips, tricks and quirks later.
21.8.2022 - Added a tip and tricks section, expanded on a few chapters aswell as more seperators, thanks to my "paid" actors and artist friends
22.8.2022 - Fixed a few tiny things.
6.9.2022 - (nice) Added a personal segment: Burst vs Tank and why tank is prefered
7.1.2023 - Expanded the "Why tank?" segment
12.1.2023 - Moved Thornmail up to situational tier
20.1.2024 - Shuffled a lot of items around, added the Suboptimal Items section
22.1.2024 - Updated the Support Upgrade section properly
24.1.2024 - Adjusted minor runes, added Ingenious Hunter as a viable alternative to Ultimate Hunter, changed Overgrowth to be the only viable option in its row.
26.1.2024 - Moved Zeke's Convergence into the suboptimal segment
9.2.2024 - Big overhaul of synergies and threats, added parts of the update on the playstyle segment. THAT PART ISN'T DONE YET, BUT I NEEDED TO UPDATE THE GUIDE SOMEHOW SO THAT PEOPLE DON'T THINK I DROPPED THE ENTIRE THING
16.2.2024 - Big overhaul of the Playstyle chapter. Added early game and WIP notification about mid- to lategame
19.2.2024 - Addition of text to the Playstyle - Mid- and Lategame. Not done yet!
21.2.2024 (at 6 god damn AM) - Added chapter "Sample Builds"
22.2.2024 - Fleshed out the Abilities chapter, added pictures by my friend Rio (@Vaileigh) on Twitter (Im not calling it X), added skin tier list

Update: The new season adds a few items that seemingly combine burst and utility instead of just pure, boring burst as it has been so far. I approve of this, despite my dissaproval of burst Lissandra. So... I dont hate it anymore, I tolerate it. I will likely delete the following rant once I've tried the new burst items, but I also might just keep it up for archival sake.

Damn, you read things this far? Coolio! Here, let me tell you something:
If you read this far, you probably share my sentiment/opinion of tank Lissandra and why she is better suited as a CC bot. I keep seeing people desperately trying to rework her into something that she isn't anymore or push her into a direction that she isn't doing well into. Some people want more damage, I ask "why not play a burst mage then?". Some people want less CC to free up some of her power budget, I ask "what will differentiate her from other mages?"

If you want my honest opinion, in case it wasn't clear yet: I think burst Lissandra is dead and has been for a while. I don't blame the people that fell in love with that playstyle and, if anything, I feel sad for them. Lissandra simply is an anti-carry and she always has been and always will be unless they change her kit drastically which, frankly, I doubt Riot will do. I understand that her kit incentivises her to build AP, but as described in my introduction (WHICH BY THE TIME OF WRITING I STILL HAVE NOT FINISHED), her kit contradicts the items's purpose.

However, be wary that I will always stand by the principle that one should play whatever the fish they want. If you want to play burst Lissandra, go ahead. If you want to play AD lethality Lissandra, go ahead. If you want to play tank Lissandra, go ahead. The beauty of League of Legends is that one can play the way they want and make it work if they have a good plan in mind. Let noone tell you otherwise.

To any Lissandra mains reading this: Please, stop trying to force Lissandra into something that doesn't apply anymore. Her main builds revolve around utility ( Everfrost) and double pen. I think that Shadowflame is a wasted item and Liss should rather go into further utility with plenty of items (looking at you Abyssal Mask) as her main strength is being an anti-carry exactly due to her utility and CC. Lissandra is fine as she is and Aftershock is still just as viable. The attempts I see trying to rework her or give her a new passive or whatever the fish, followed up by begging Riot to rework/change her just sadden me and it feels too desperate. Please, adapt. Her WR is at 49% and that is perfectly fine for a champion that is a pro play champion due to her reliable CC. Her main identity is being an anti-carry by being a CC bot and a burst champion second. It's not like I don't understand the concerns and complaints (I personally really loved the old scholar/arcanist in FFXIV but they changed it to something that doesn't feel like the classes I loved anymore), but please. It's been years. I hate seeing all of this and just want to have some fun without seeing people chase a dream that has long gone.

To the people who read even this far: Thank you for reading my guide and this segment. I guess I just felt like ranting a bit.
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