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Sylas Build Guide by support_diff

Middle "No Prison Can Hold Me" | The Perfect Sylas Guide

Middle "No Prison Can Hold Me" | The Perfect Sylas Guide

Updated on March 10, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author support_diff Build Guide By support_diff 150 4 341,184 Views 10 Comments
150 4 341,184 Views 10 Comments
League of Legends Build Guide Author support_diff Sylas Build Guide By support_diff Updated on March 10, 2024
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Sylas Item Builds In a Nutshell, No Item Explanations
  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Sylas In-Depth Build Options, Matchups And Ultimate Synergies
  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Skip Build Options

Runes: Electrocute + Sorcery

1 2 3
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Manaflow Band

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10-180 Bonus Health


1 2
Flash + Ignite
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite



Boots Options
Sorcerer's Shoes
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Plated Steelcaps
Mercury's Treads
Core Item Options
Cosmic Drive
Zhonya's Hourglass
Banshee's Veil
Mejai's Soulstealer
Oblivion Orb
Lich Bane
Rod of Ages
Liandry's Torment
Luxury Item Options
Zhonya's Hourglass
Void Staff
Banshee's Veil
Rabadon's Deathcap
Cosmic Drive
Shadow Flame
Mejai's Soulstealer
Lich Bane
Situational Items
Abyssal Mask
Spirit Visage
Liandry's Torment
Frozen Heart
Banshee's Veil
Mejai's Soulstealer
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I am Support_diff, but don't let my name confuse you, I have mained every role during my gaming career, support is just the role with the playstyle I like the most. I saw that there wasn't a "perfect" Sylas guide yet so I decided to create one.
Hopefully you read the guide and learn to play Sylas!
If you have anything to ask, feel free to dm me, I'm just happy if I can help someone!

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Amazing combo damage
Very good if mastered
High outplay potential
Can steal enemies' ultimates
Can oneshot enemies
Short cooldowns on abilities from mid game onwards
Great stat increases on abilities
Melee champion
Depends on hitting your abilities (Q and E)
Requires knowledge of other champions' ultimates
Mana thirsty in the early game
Requires a lot of practise to master
Train your combos in the practise tool
Focus ingame
Play some unranked before trying in ranked
Target squishier enemies if you have a choice
Get familiar with other champions' kits
Control your mana use, don't waste it to farm if not necessary
Aim to improve as a Sylas player
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Electrocute Main Runepage

Electrocute is a great keystone for Sylas as it provides you combo damage and early game pressure. It is extremely popular right now and it is pretty obvious why.
Sudden Impact is the best option for Sylas because it provides you some magic penetration every time you use Abscond / Abduct or Flash which is a really nice help in both long and short fights
Eyeball Collection is the only option here as Sylas doesn't need the extra vision so much, but has a lot of use for extra damage.
Both Relentless Hunter and Ultimate Hunter are viable options here, but I like Relentless Hunter more as mobility can be a real game changer later into the game.

Conqueror Main Runepage

Conqueror is a great keystone for Sylas as it provides you attack damage and healing. Additionally, your passive makes it fairly easy for you to proc it.
Presence of Mind is the best option for Sylas because Sylas is a very mana thirsty chamion especially in the early game
Legend: Tenacity is a good rune for Sylas because you need tenacity to survive enemy cc and additionally the other two options are completely useless for you
Last Stand works well with your W as it heals more when you are low and it also gives you more survivability. You can also take Cut Down against tankier team comp

First Strike Main Runepage

Because Sylas has very lethal and fast combos, First Strike is a great rune for him. Apart from damage, it also provides you gold, which is great as you want to get every advantage you can in the early game and after that
Magical Footwear gives you free boots, so it is good as you save 300 gold with it. If you know you are going to buy Zhonya's Hourglass early, you can also take Perfect Timing as it saves you even more money
Because Sylas doesn't have too much mana early, Biscuit Delivery is a great rune for him as it both restores mana and gives bonus maximum mana
Cosmic Insight is a great rune for Sylas because it gives you both summoner spell and item haste, which you have good use for as you have high cooldown summoner spells ( Flash and Teleport) and you can have multiple item actives to use at once

Dark Harvest Main Runepage

Dark Harvest is not a keystone for ranked or high elo, but the snowballing power is great for low elo hyper carry games. Don't take it into a hard matchup.
Sudden Impact is the best option for Sylas because it provides you some magic penetration every time you use Abscond / Abduct or Flash which is a really nice help in both long and short fights
Eyeball Collection is the only option here as Sylas doesn't need the extra vision so much, but has a lot of use for extra damage.
Both Relentless Hunter and Ultimate Hunter are viable options here, but I like Relentless Hunter more as mobility can be a real game changer later into the game.

Resolve Secondary Runepage

Second Wind is one of the best runes for survivability as it is strong at all the stages of the game and the healing is percentage of your missing health, not just a number that stays the same no matter how low you are
Sylas loses hard against cc, and Unflinching provides you up to 25% tenacity and slow resist (based on your missing health) which is enough to save your life in many situations

Inspiration Secondary Runepage

Because Sylas doesn't have too much mana early, Biscuit Delivery is a great rune for him as it both restores mana and gives bonus maximum mana
Cosmic Insight is a great rune for Sylas because it gives you both summoner spell and item haste, which you have good use for as you have high cooldown summoner spells ( Flash and Teleport) and you can have multiple item actives to use at once

Sorcery Secondary Runepage

As Sylas is very mana thirsty champion especially in the early game, it is very important to have enough mana to fight if there is a situation you can't miss, and that's exactly why you should take Manaflow Band from the Sorcery rune tree
Transcendence is generally a great rune for any champion, and Sylas is not an exception. It helps you to have your abilities more often which is crucial when you are in a longer fight

Electrocute Secondary Runepage

Sudden Impact is the best option for Sylas because it provides you some magic penetration every time you use Abscond / Abduct or Flash which is a really nice help in both long and short fights
Eyeball Collection is the only option here as Sylas doesn't need the extra vision so much, but has a lot of use for extra damage.
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Flash is a mandatory for Sylas as it provides so much survivability through all the stages of the game, and you can also use it to secure a kill or as a part of a combo.
Ignite is a great summoner spell for early kill pressure but pretty much falls off late game if the enemy doesn't have champions with a lot of healing as it gives the enemies it hits grievous wounds
Teleport is a very good summoner spell for more passive lane or if you don't need the kill pressure early. It is great throughout the game and can win you games if used well
Cleanse is only viable as a summoner spell if the enemy team has hard cc you need to cleanse because it can save your life more easily than Flash. If they don't have hard cc, it is useless
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Doran's Ring is the "neutral" starter for Sylas as it isn't overly aggressive or passive. It is a great all-rounder as it provides health, ability power, damage to minions and mana restoring speed
Dark Seal is by far the most aggressive starting item in the game as it only works if you get takedowns early. It is also great for snowballing and builds into Mejai's Soulstealer. Only take it if you are sure you are going to win your lane
Doran's Shield is Sylas' passive starter item as it works extremely well against ranged champions poke mages and other champions that hit you a lot to poke you out of lane. Buy it into a harder lane matchup
Sorcerer's Shoes are the basic boots option for Sylas and all the other full ability power champions. It helps you to deal a lot more damage with its magic penetration which is very good for you
Ionian Boots of Lucidity are another great boots option for Sylas as it provides you both ability and summoner spell haste which are both great stats for Sylas. It is up to you if you take Sorcerer's Shoes or Ionian Boots of Lucidity
Plated Steelcaps are the first one of the two situational boots here, they should be built if you are facing hard AD and auto attack champions as it is really good against the and has a great unique passive against auto attack damage
Mercury's Treads are the second and last situational boots here, they should be bought against hard magic damage and crowd control as it provides you both magic resist and tenacity
Health Potions are the basic potions, they are very good for extending and are also very cheap. When you visit shop, consider buying some
Refillable Potion is the more expensive potion but can be very worth it if you use it regularly as it refills every time you visit shop (you need to be on fountain). It contains two potions which makes it even more worth it
Control Ward is a very important item and very underrated especially in the low elo. It both provides you vision and scans enemy wards and it also only disappears if an enemy destroys it
Stormsurge is a great new item that has quickly become popular for a good reason. It provides a really good amount of damage even in the early game and doesn't cost a lot
Rod of Ages is a good first item for Sylas as it provides a lot of different stats and scales well into middle game.
Liandry's Torment (earlier known as Liandry's Anguish) is a great anti tank item with its burn and extra damage passives. I don't usually build it, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't
Lich Bane is one of my favourite items in the game and also good for Sylas as it works really well with his passive.
Shadowflame is generally a great core item for Sylas and isn't situational, it provides you a good amount of ability power and also helps you ignore the enemies' magic resist
Cosmic Drive is another great core item for Sylas that isn't situational, it is great for longer fights but does also well in quick trades. It also provides you a very impressive amount of ability haste
Zhonya's Hourglass is a very good item overall for Sylas as it can save you from a lot of bad situationals with its passive and is good especially against enemies with hard attack damage as it provides you a lot of armor
Banshee's Veil is the best item for Sylas against hard ability damage as it provides you a spellshield and a lot of magic resist
If you started with Dark Seal and have a good start, you should definitely buy Mejai's Soulstealer as it can give you an enormous advantage, builds from Dark Seal and costs less than any legendary item listed here. It is the best snowball item in the game, use it well
Oblivion Orb is Sylas' antiheal item early as it isn't worth it to buy Morellonomicon yet. It is very worth it with its stats and grievous wounds. Only buy it against an enemy with hard healing
Void Staff is the item with most magic penetration, so it is generally good for any full ability power champion. It is good especially in the late game where you need that magic penetration
Rabadon's Deathcap is a must for any champion that builds full ability power as its stats are just too good and it is really game changing for Sylas
Lich Bane is an amazing item for Sylas and it can be built as a core item too. Sylas can proc it multiple times in a fight which makes it really gold efficient and worth purchasing
Cryptbloom isn't really an anti tank item but works well against them as the heal helps in longer fights and the magic penetration is good against tanks (but also champions that aren't that tanky)
Only buy Abyssal Mask against enemy team comp with a lot of magic damage as otherwise it will be useless. It also helps you reduce nearby enemies' magic resist
Banshee's Veil is another item that is great against magic damage team comp as it provides you a lot of magic resist and a spellshield
Only buy Frozen Heart against a team comp with very high attack damage, it has amazing armor stat but it otherwise kinda useless
Mejai's Soulstealer is the ultimate snowball item, only buy it if you are ahead and know that you will get a lot of takedowns without dying. If you can't stack the passive, it is a waste of gold
Morellonomicon is Sylas' antiheal item, only buy it against a team comp with a lot of healing or it will be completely useless. Don't finish it too early, only buy Oblivion Orb in the early game as it provides you the antiheal passive for less gold
Malignance is a good item for Sylas overall, but I think it is situational as it works best against tanks that have less mobility because of its passive
Spirit Visage offers a lot of magic resist, so don't buy it against enemies that deal physical damage. The passive is great if you have a healer support like Soraka and also increases the healing of your Kingslayer
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Ability power is the most important stat for Sylas as his abilities have incredible ability power scalings, which makes it crucial for him to get enough of it
Ability haste is a very good stat for Sylas as his passive is based on using abilities often and with some ability haste you can use your abilities multiple times in a single fight
Health is the basic survivability stat for any champion and it isn't too important for Sylas as you can ignore most of the enemies' damage with armor and magic resist. It is more important if you have Demonic Embrace as it grants bonus ability power for health
Mana is very important stat for Sylas as he is really mana thirsty especially in the early game, and with Seraph's Embrace you also get bonus ability power for mana
Attack speed is useless for Sylas as his passive already gives him a massive attack speed. If you don't have passive stacks, your auto attacks are useless anyways, so you don't have to speed them up
Armor is a great stat for any champion if the enemy team has a lot of physical damage dealing champions as it can ignore most of their damage. Sylas' main armor items are Zhonya's Hourglass and Plated Steelcaps
Magic resist is like armor but against magic damage. You don't have to build it at all if the enemy team doesn't have a lot of magic damage. Sylas' main magic resist items are Banshee's Veil and Mercury's Treads
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The first item is pretty self explanatory, build one of the core item options, most likely Stormsurge or Rod of Ages.
Boots are usually built after the first item, but you might buy the basic Boots before that
As your third item, I suggest you to buy one of the core items like Shadowflame or Cosmic Drive. You can also buy Oblivion Orb if the enemy team has high healing or Rabadon's Deathcap if you already built Mejai's Soulstealer
Here are actually two options, you can buy one of the "situational" items if you feel like you need it, or you can buy Rabadon's Deathcap. Remember that if you build Rabadon's Deathcap now, it can be a bad choice if you needed the situational item instead, so think about it carefully
I put the Rabadon's Deathcap's icon here as in my opinion now is about time to build it if you haven't built it yet. You can also buy some of the other items if you already have it or a situational item if you really need it
As your last item you can build whatever you want as long as it is the best option for you. If you don't have Rabadon's Deathcap yet, now it's the time to build it
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After casting a spell, Sylas stores a charge of Petricite Burst. Sylas's basic attacks will expend a charge and whirl his energized chains around him dealing bonus magic damage to enemies hit. While Sylas has a charge of Petricite Burst, he gains attack speed
Petricite Burst's damage to secondary targets executes minions below 25 health

You can only have 3 passive stacks stored, so I suggest you to use at least one of them during your full combo and the rest after them to maximize damage input
Sylas lashes his chains out, intersecting at his targeted location dealing damage to and slowing enemies. After a delay, magical energy explodes from the intersection point dealing damage
You can farm safely with Chain Lash from far if you don't want to get closer to the enemy

Use Abduct to secure Chain Lash' second explosion hitting the enemy

Chain Lash has a static mana cost meaning the cost doesn't increase with level
Sylas lunges at an enemy with magical force dealing damage and healing himself against enemy champions
Kingslayer's heal is increased by 0-100% based on Sylas' missing health making it an amazing survival ability

Kingslayer's cooldown is massively decreased between levels which makes it very good ability to max out first

The heal only works against champions so don't waste Kingslayer to damage minions if it isn't necessary
Sylas dashes to a location. Sylas can recast the ability to throw his chains out, pulling himself to an enemy he hits
Using both casts ( Abscond and Abduct provides you two Petricite Burst auto attacks

Abscond is a great combo starter as it is very surprising when used in a normal farming situation

If the target is spellshielded, Abduct won't make you dash to the enemy

When trading, use Abduct after Chain Lash so Chain Lash' second explosion hits the target
Sylas steals an enemy's ultimate ability and can cast it freely. After some time or using the ultimate Hijack goes on a cooldown and you can't steal the same champion's ultimate again for a while, the champion cooldown is based on their ultimate's cooldown
Get knowledge of different champions' kits so you know when to steal their ultimate

Always think about what ultimate is the best one to steal at the moment so you will have the most game impact possible

Yasuo can use Wind Wall to block Hijack, really frustrating

Try to predict teamfights and steal an AoE ultimate before them to maximize your damage input. On lane, single target ultimates are often more useful
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Hijack is your ultimate, so you should upgrade it whenever you can. It is a great ultimate as it can be whatever ultimate you want and upgrading it massively reduces its cooldown.
Kingslayer is Sylas' main basic ability in fights as it deals a lot of damage, has a somewhat low cooldown and heals you. It also has a great ability power scaling which increases its damage a lot.
Abscond / Abduct is Sylas' both main mobility and cc ablity and it has the highest cooldown out of all Sylas' basic abilities, so it is important to decrease its cooldown. It also has a great ability power scaling
Though Chain Lash is a great ability, upgrading it isn't important as upgrading your other abilities as it doesn't have a too high cooldown or high damage that would make it worth upgrading before Kingslayer and Abscond / Abduct
Abscond / Abduct is generally Sylas' best level 1 ability as it deals a good amount of damage and procs your passive with both casts
Kingslayer is a great ability in the early game as it allows you to both deal damage to enemies and heal yourself with the same abilities. The heal is also increased based on your missing health
Chain Lash isn't an important ability in the early levels as its damage is low if the enemy doesn't get caught in the explosion which is unlikely to happen if you don't have Abscond / Abduct up, so you shouldn't upgrade it until level 3. If the enemy has hard poke and won't let you farm, you can also take it at level 1
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This is a very effective combo, first you use your E1 to get E2 available, then Q the enemy, then E2 the enemy to make sure that Q's second explosion hits the enemy, after that you auto attack the enemy once, then W the enemy and after that use all your passive procing auto attacks you have left
This combo is very similar to the combo above as it has the same abilities, does the same amount of damage and takes the same amount of time. E1 to get closer to the enemy, W to the enemy, Q the enemy, hit one passive auto attack, E2 the enemy to secure Q's second explosion and use the rest of your passive stacked auto attacks
This is the hardest Sylas combo in my opinion, it has a great damage and is very fast when done right, but it takes some practise to master. First E1 to get near to the enemy, then W the enemy, use one passive AA, then everfrost the enemy, AA the enemy again, Q the enemy, AA the enemy, E2 the enemy to secure Q's second explosion and then use the last passive stacked AA
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Stealth Ward is the basic trinket. When you place it, it will reveal the area around it for 90-120 seconds based on champion level. It is Sylas' go-to trinket as it is a good all-rounder that works well for any situation.
Oracle Lens is another basic option for trinket, but it is in my opinion slightly worse than Stealth Ward. When used, it reveals the wards and traps around it for 10 seconds. Wards will also be disabled, lingering for 2 seconds after no longer being revealed. That makes it a great trinket against champions like Teemo, but otherwise I prefer Stealth Ward.
Farsight Alteration is a less-used trinket for Sylas, but it has some features that make it worth considering. They last forever if not destroyed, they have a range of 4000 when placing, they don't count towards the ward limit and they have lower cooldowns than Stealth Wards
Control Ward is the most valuable trinket in the game. It costs 75 gold, but is definetely worth the price. They reveal area like Stealth Ward, reveal Stealth Wards and traps and disables them like Oracle Lens and last forever like Farsight Alteration. You can place them in important areas where you need vision to like river bushes, or put them to other places with a high probability of having an enemy ward nearby to reveal them instead of using Oracle Lens (dragon pit for example). I suggest you to buy one or two of them every time you go back to base as they are a really important source of vision.
= Control Ward
= Stealth Ward
Vision is a very important part of the game, as it can literally win you games. Players especially in the low elo are having a low vision score every game even though it is very easy to fix. When I talk about vision, I don't only mean vision score, but vision overall, spotting enemies etc. Here are some of the best tips for better vision:

Buy Control Ward every time you go to shop

Ward to the spots shown earlier to maximize the information of enemy movements

Use Control Wards to both gain vision and destroy enemy wards

Switch your Stealth Ward to Oracle Lens if your team has four or five players with Stealth Ward

Remember warding. Try to have something that makes you remember warding in game, seeing an unwarded bush for an example
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Only last hit the minions if you don't want to push the lane forward

Don't go too near ranged champions so they can't poke you

Avoid getting poked to keep health and farm up

Wait for your chance, it isn't always the right time to fight

Use Chain Lash to finish minions if it isn't possible to auto attack them

When you are ahead, don't let the enemy farm to prevent them from getting gold

Avoid excessive mana use

It is okay to be a bit behind in cs as long as you don't feed the enemies so don't be overly aggressive to get a little cs lead while going 0/4/0
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Sylas' game plan in the early game depends a lot on his opponent. There are opponents you can't really win ( Cassiopeia for example) and then there are opponents you can win easily ( Malzahar for example) so I suggest you to check out the matchup section for more info.

Overall, in the early game you should focus on farming and trading, depending on your lane opponent. Try to help your team with objectives such as dragon and rift herald as you might regret it later if the enemy team manages to catch them. Ping when your opponent isn't on the lane, ward and watch out for enemy jungler. Always play with your team, it is always hard to solo carry games.

Playstyle depends on matchup
Focus on farming and trading
Help your team with objectives
Keep up your vision
Play with your team
In the middle game your goal is to play towards objectives and gold income to increase your team's chance to win the game. Sylas starts to get really strong. If you got a bit fed in the early game, you can also start picking up enemies around the map, but you also have to keep up with your cs.

Split pushing is a really good way of gaining control over the game for your team. You can go to roam and help with taking turret down after that for example. Always keep your cs up, it is the most important source of gold in games where you don't get fed early. Also remember to ward a lot and buy Control Wards every time you visit the shop to gain vision control for your team.

Play around objectives
Don't be too selfish, help your team
Keep your cs up
Keep your vision up
Try to split push/roam
In the late game you have to play with team, it isn't good idea to split push at anymore. In the late game there are a lot more team fights than in early or middle game, so your game pretty much revolves around them. Protect your team, focus on close enemies but don't focus tanks as Sylas isn't a great tank killer even with the tank killer items. Steal a good ultimate and use it to deal as much damage as possible.

You still have to keep your vision up, map control is a really important part of the game especially in the late game where you can lose games because you don't have enough vision. Of course you have to win the game, so after you win a team fight, try to push a lane as far as you can without dying to get better game ending opportunities in the following minutes.

Play around objectives
Play with your team
Don't splitpush if it isn't safe
Keep your vision up
Target the frontline in teamfights though not tanks
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Level 1 (if you start with E and have an easy matchup)

Level 3 against any matchup (all abilities available, huge damage increase)

First back (depends on the amount of gold you have)

Level 6 (ultimate available)

First Item (always a huge powerspike no matter what you build)
Level 11 (ultimate cooldown reduction, also increases the effectiveness)

W maxed at level 9 (great base damage increase)

Situational items (makes game a lot easier)

More roaming opportunities equals more takedowns

Middle game is overall better for Sylas
Level 16 (ultimate cooldown reduction, also increases the effectiveness)

E maxed at level 13 (great base damage increase and cooldown reduction)

Item powerspikes (stat increases on every item)

Rabadon's Deathcap (one of the biggest power spikes, huge ability power increase)

Q maxed at level 18 (massive base damage increase throughout the levels)

Sylas is great overall in the late game
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As a Sylas player, you must understand your role as a fighter mage, or you may end up being completely useless for your team. On lane, your goal is of course to win, but also to help your team with objectives and roam. You also need to look out for your lane opponent's roams so the enemy team doesn't get easy kills. This is pretty much same for every champion in the game. In teamfights, you have to be able to stay in the frontline, as in the backline you are literally useless. Choose your ultimate well, as Hijack can be a really impactful ability especially in teamfights. Sylas isn't a very good tank killer champion, so you should try to target squishier targets while clearing space for your team. Don't try to tank all damage, that is your team's tank's job. When there is not an objective spawning soon and the enemy team is separated, you can try to splitpush a turret from the enemy team, it is pretty easy as Sylas because your attacks against turrets deal a good amount of damage in the middle / late game. You can also assassinate enemies that are alone as you can win most of duels from middle game on.
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Great damage input
Very good if mastered
High outplay potential
Very good if ahead
Can oneshot enemies (if they are assassins)
Melee champion
Bad when the enemies are further
Generally need a lot of practise to master the combos
Bad if you manage to ruin their combo
Wait for the right moment to fight
Play less aggressively if you know you can't trade against them
Focus especially on Q + E timing to not miss the second explosion
Wait until they miss an important ability so you can win a trade
Use Abscond to bait out their important abilities ( Death Mark for example)
Poke them with Q and possibly use E if it's safe
Keep a safe distance if it's not safe to get close
Don't use Abscond towards them if not necessary

Keep your combos short as melee champions generally win you in long-term trades

Start combos with Q so you don't need to approach them immediately
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Great damage input
Very good in poking
Very good if ahead
Great if far from enemies
Bad if behind
Loses easily when close to enemies
Tend to feed when behind
Avoid getting poked
Don't let them get a cs lead
Focus especially on Q + E timing to not miss the second explosion
Try to get close with Abscond
Surprise them with Abscond
Keep a safe distance when you are not going for a trade
Always do full combos if possible
Start combos with Abscond

Get as close as possible

Do full combos to maximize damage input
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Aurelion Sol






















Twisted Fate











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If you win in early game, you have to play a bit differently from normal to secure the win for your team. Firstly, Sylas is a great snowball champion, meaning that if you get a couple kills early, you can turn into a late game monster. You need to play around minimizing the enemy team's gold income as your gold income doesn't matter if your enemy team has the same gold income. Roam a lot to help your teammates gain control over their own lanes, get vision control over the map to pick up enemies easily when they are too far from turrets. You should also buy Mejai's Soulstealer as it is the best snowball item in the game.
Play aggressively
Play around minimizing the enemies' gold income
Buy Mejai's Soulstealer
Roam on every lane
Ward a lot
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If you somehow lose the early game, you can't play normally as otherwise you would probably end up as a feeder. If you are behind, try to maximize your gold income by taking cs a lot. Your main goal is to have 10 minutes without deaths and a perfect cs for gold income. Don't join fights you know you can't win, and don't fight on your own, only with a team to minimalize the enemy team's gold income from takedowns. You can roam if there are lanes where your team is winning as sometimes it is better to gain control on other lanes for a more succesful late game.
Play safely
Play around gold income
Don't fight if it isn't necessary
Don't fight without help of your team
Roam on winning lanes if it's worth it
In-Depth Video

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Freezing is one of the most well known wave management tactics, but I think I will just try to tell you what is freezing in a nutshell so you get the point. Freezing lane is farming tactic in which you only last hit the minions to get the wave to your side of lane and then freeze it there. It is great against good early game champions as they can't kill you and you can't be ganked. Sometimes it is really hard to hold the freeze in the same place but it will get easier over time.
In-Depth Video
Fast pushing isn't really a tactic, it is basically just pushing the wave fastly to the enemy turret. Sylas has a great wave clear if he uses his abilities, so it shouldn't be too hard to perform. For example, when you kill the enemy, try to push the wave to the enemy turret before recalling, roaming or whatsoever. The turret kills your minions so the enemy can't kill them which gives you even higher gold lead. It also gives you a great chance to roam as the enemy needs to push the wave towards and the enemies don't probably expect you to roam right after a kill.
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Roaming is often overlooked by players especially in the low elo. A good roamer can provide control over every lane to his teammates, gain a greater gold income for themselves and keep up the control over their own lane at the same time. This might sound like a lot, but it is really easy when you know how to do it. Roaming can both help you and your teammates, so it is a great thing to do as it can help a top laner win the lane against a hard matchup by giving them gold and time to gain more cs. Also, Sylas is a great roamer as he has cc, burst damage and can steal anyone's ultimate which makes him a really solid roaming champion.

Help your teammates gain control over their lanes
Get gold
Decrease the chance of an enemy becoming fed later
There isn't a "timer" that tells you when to roam, but there are definitely some situations where roaming is a great option. For example, after you have killed your lane opponent. If you have enough health after getting a kill, you can roam pretty freely as most players expect you to recall after the kill. Another one, straight from base. Your lane opponent won't expect you to roam but to go back to your lane. It also is great to roam after power spikes which often revolve around visiting shop. Other great times to roam are when you have your ultimate up or the ally whose lane you are going to roam to has their ultimate up as it gives a good advantage to the roam based on the ultimate.

When you have killed your lane opponent
Straight from base
When you/your ally has their ultimate up
There are a few things you should take care of before going for a roam to make it more succesful. Firstly, communicate with your team. Tell the teammates you are going to help that you are going to their lane before you go in or before you even leave mid lane. Also, clear your own lane before roaming. You can use your abilities pretty freely to clear the wave as you are going to have them back before you enter the other lane. Also look out for your lane opponent as they might follow you to counter roam. If they do, it isn't a problem, you just have to inform your team that they are coming.

Clear your own lane
Communicate with your team
Look out if your lane opponent is following you
In-Depth Video
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The map above shows you the all the roaming paths that are worth showing. There are three different ways to enter the lane for both top and bottom lane. Firstly there is the middle way, go through river straight to lane. This is best for a situation where the enemies have pushed the lane over their own side (it makes it easier for you to roam). The second one is through tri-bush. This path is also made to flank the enemy, so it only works on one side of the map for both lanes. It is mostly for situations where the wave is at the middle of the lane as you can't walk through the river then. The third path goes through the enemy jungle to behind the enemy turret. This path is for towerdiving the enemies. You can also towerdive the other turret if you walk from tri-bush to the nearest bush behind the tower. These are all the paths you should consider using.
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There are some situations that allow you to splitpush pretty freely as otherwise splitpushing might not be worth it for you or your team. First situation is when your team can fight without you. They don't need you to win fights, so it doesn't matter if you aren't there. Otherwise you have always to be ready to join a fight when necessary and your split pushing might not be as effective. Second one, when you can fight the enemies that try to stop you. This is really important as you can split push a lot more safely if you know you can win the enemies that try to end your split push. The final one, when you have Teleport. Teleport makes it easier for you to get to the lane or get out of there, which makes your split pushes much more effective. Sylas is generally a good split pusher as he can clear waves really fast.

When your team can fight without you
When you can win the enemies that try to stop you
When you have Teleport
Now I will try to teach you how to split push. First you have to understand what it really means. Split pushing is pushing a side lane forward to gain control over the lane and game overall. That is my personal description of it, surely someone can explain it better. To split push, you must have minions with you as of course you can't tank the turret yourself as Sylas. One way of split pushing is slow pushing, meaning that you clear a wave sometimes to gain your own minions advantage. This only works if the enemies don't visit the lane. While your minions are moving towards the enemy base, you can for example take down nearby enemy jungle monsters to maximize your cs. By doing this you have a really good amount of minions when you arrive at the turret which makes it easy to destroy. Another tactic is to just push the wave fastly, clear every wave immediately and try to destroy the turret while doing so. This is more often seen as it is more simple and faster, but I don't think Sylas is too good in a split push like this.

Think if you want to slow or fast push the wave
Clear the waves using all your basic abilities
If you slow push, be ready to defend your wave against an enemy
In-Depth Video
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Tracking the enemy jungler can be very important as getting ganked by the enemy jungler unannounced can get you easily killed depending on the jungler. Tracking enemy jungler is about two things, vision and predicting the enemy jungler's movement. Providing the vision is easy, you just have to ward to places that are most important for enemy jungler to move through. The best spots are shown in the ward map in the warding chapter but I'll link it here so you don't have to scroll there. Keep in mind that the map is for every lane, not only mid lane. Predicting the enemy jungler is harder as you need to look a lot in the mini map and communicate with your team. The jungler's movement depends on the jungle camps. They want to clear jungle camps as soon as they spawn to keep up with their cs if they don't have a objective to clear or a lane to gank. I suggest you to use an ingame app like Porofessor that shows you the time when the enemy jungle camps will be up again, they have other useful features as well. Ping the enemy jungler when they appear on the minimap to inform you teammates. Try to figure out the enemy jungler's pathing, where they are going to etc. it will be hard at first but it will get easier over time.
ward map

Keep your vision up to prevent them from surprising ganks
Download an in game app that shows you the jungle camps' respawn timers
Try to predict the enemy jungler's movement based on vision and the jungle camp timers
In-Depth Video
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Gank setups are very important because they can easily get you takedowns and Sylas is great at making them. Firstly, ask for a gank when you need it or you know you can set it up well. Always keep an eye on your jungler's pathing so you can ask for a gank when they are nearby. First thing to make sure in the setup is that you are not too close to the enemy turret as that leaves an easy escape for the enemy no matter how perfect your setup is. The second one is timing. You can tell your jungler to stay in a river bush until you use Abscond or then you can use it right away when your jungler comes to the lane. It also easiers the jugler's job if you have a Control Ward in the bush he comes from as they will know that the bush is unwarded. So, when your jungler comes to the lane, your job is to use Abscond and Abduct to prevent the enemy from escaping. Then you can use your abilities pretty freely to maximize your damage input. If your gank setup works, it will usually at least burn the enemy's flash or kill them.

Ask your jungler for gank
Use Abscond immediately when the jungler comes to the lane
Use Abduct after Abscond
Finish your combo
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Ultimate priority is very easy to understand and utilize in game so I needed to make a chapter of it as I felt like this guide wouldn't be a perfect guide without it. Ultimate priority means using Hijack in different situations for maximum game impact. To do it well, you need to predict the game a bit. You will have the ultimate you steal up to 90 seconds, which gives you a lot of time to use it. What will happen in the next 90 seconds? Is a dragon spawning? Are you going to stay on lane and try to kill the enemy? Is there any reason to Hijack an ultimate at all? Those are questions you should be asking yourself. If you know there will be a teamfight over an objective soon, Hijack an ultimate that has AoE damage to maximize your impact. If you are going to stay on lane, you should prioritize a single target ultimate that makes all-ins easier for you. If you feel like you aren't going to need an ultimate in the following 90 seconds, don't Hijack one as it has an unique cooldown for every champion meaning that you might lose ability to Hijack a useful ultimate later.
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Level 1


When the game starts, you should think about one thing. Invading. Invading the enemy jungle can be a very good strategy but it can also end miserably if your team doesn't play it right or if not enough teammates comes to invade with you. Sylas is a good invading champion as he has a great damage and a stun at level 1. You need to upgrade E at level 1 if you are going to invade as it is just too good to miss. Also, only go for winnable invades. Don't invade for example Braum or Alistar as generally they are very good at countering invades. Your team should have good level 1 champions in the invade like Draven and Blitzcrank, not bad ones like Aphelios as the winner of the invade hardly depends on burst damage and first blood. When you invade, you can lead the team or let the support lead as you are pretty tanky at level 1. When you see an enemy, you can either Abduct them or let someone else cc them. Hitting a cc ability on enemy while invading is very important as the enemies are very vulnerable when they are rooted/stunned.
best invading paths

Counter Invading

Invading is a very powerful strategy, so you need to also know how to counter it. There isn't a particular thing that counters invading, but you need to be as aware and helpful as you can in order to minimize the damage of the possible invade. You need to grant vision of one of the entrances to your team's jungle. I suggest you to stand near an entrance to provide vision without putting yourself in danger and without using a ward as there will be a lot of situations where you need a ward so using one for a thing you can do yourself is waste of a ward. If you see the enemy team coming, you can flank them or go straight to your team. The most important thing is that your team is in the same place and knows that the enemy team is coming so the fight will be as even as possible. Don't pick your level 1 ability until you see if the enemy team is invading as Abscond / Abduct is your best counter invading ability. If you were going to take it at level 1 anyways, do it when the game starts, but if you are going to take Chain Lash at level 1, wait, don't upgrade it yet as without your E you will be pretty much useless for your team if the enemy team is invading. Try to target only one champion to get your team a better chance to win the fight.
Where to Stand


Overall level 1 is about the first wave (if there are no invades). It is rare that you would have a fight at level 1 though it can be a good thing as Abscond / Abduct gives Sylas a great level 1 trade potential. Last hit the minions and be aware of getting poked. If you started with Chain Lash and you are facing a hard matchup, you should just try to take whatever farm you can from far with Chain Lash in order to not get poked/killed by the enemy.
Levels 2-3


Trading as Sylas pretty much culminates at level 3 as you have all your three abilities available, your combo damage is crazy and pretty much undefeatable among mid laners. Of course your damage gets better and you get your ultimate later, but this is the point of game where people don't want to get in your way. When trading, use the combos I told you earlier, they are really good for burst damage. If you have a lane opponent like Pantheon, it isn't still the best idea to trade him as he has more damage, cc and everything that counters you, so think before going for a trade.

River Fights

As the game reaches 3:30, the scuttles will spawn in both top and bot side rivers, meaning that the both junglers try to take it. Sometimes the junglers meet, which causes a fight in the river. To be as helpful as possible, stay on the side of mid lane that is near to the river side where your jungler is pathing to in order to be in the right spot as fast as you can. There is not really anything special in river fights compared to other fights, just try to be there as soon as you can to secure kill.


Overall the levels 2 and 3 are still about farming and gaining control over your lane. At level 3 you have a great chance to trade as your damage is nearly unmatched at level 3. Ward to provide vision as the enemy junglers normally start ganking at this point of game.
Levels 4-5


dragon spawns at five minutes, which is when you are around level 5. dragons are very important objectives as they give your team permanent buffs that are surprisingly strong considering they don't take too much effort to get, just map awareness and possibly a won teamfight. As mid laner it isn't your job to lead your team to take the dragon, leave that to bot lane and jungler. If you see that your team is going to take the dragon, be sure that you get there as fast as possible in order to secure the drake for your team. If your team doesn't have a ward in the dragon pit, I suggest you to put one there if you have time as it is really important to know if the enemy team is taking the drake theirselves to prevent them from doing so.

First Recall

At this point of game you should have gained some gold (hopefully more than the enemy has). This means that you have to buy some items with the gold you have gained to get an item lead compared to your lane opponent. Of course, buying items requires a recall unless you die, which isn't a great option. Before recalling, I suggest you to fast push the lane a bit to prevent the enemy from taking plates from your turret while you are gone. You have to know when you have enough gold to buy a useful item from the store, so decide which item you are going to build first to know what component you need to buy first. Some of the best first back items are Blasting Wand, Hextech Alternator and Mejai's Soulstealer but if you don't have gold to buy them, you should buy Amplifying Tome or Boots instead. Always when you recall, buy some Control Wards and Health Potions for a better vision and laning.


As levels 4-5 are still laning phase, they don't differ a lot from the prior levels. You have to farm, trade and try play depending on your matchup. There isn't much to say about these levels other than that dragon is possibly the most important objective towards the rest of the game so you really need to try to secure it for your team.
Level 6


As you probably know, at level 6 you get your ultimate, Hijack. It isn't a normal ultimate, not at all. With your ultimate you can steal any ultimate your enemies have for your own use. This means that you should have some knowledge of the different ultimates on the rift so you know what of them you should use and when. For 1v1's the best ultimates are single target ultimates with a lot of damage, but in teamfights best ultimates are AoE ultimates with a lot of damage, cc etc.

Rift Herald

I could have put this section to the "levels 4-5", but I thought that it's better to have about same amounts of text in every section to keep this more good looking and easily understandable. rift herald, like dragon is a epic monster, but isn't as important in my opinion. However, it has a huge impact in the early game as it can help your team get an enemy turret down without too much trouble from whatever lane. rift herald spawns at 8 minutes for the first time, and permanently despawns at 19:45, or 19:55 if in combat. The rift herald can respawn if the first one is killed before 13:45. If it is killed at 13:44, the second one will spawn at 19:45 and instantly despawn, so if you want to get two rift heralds to your team in one game, you should hurry up a bit with the first one. Once again, you are a mid laner, so you can't take it by yourself and you always need help of your jungler. Really, you don't even have to help your team with it as it is generally for your top laner and jungler to take care of. However, you should look out for fights at rift herald as they can seriously damage your team's farming and laning if the enemies win.


Level 6 doesn't differ a lot from the rest of the laning phase except that you get your ultimate which easiers you all-ins a lot. The rift herald also spawns at around level 6-7 so you have to be careful of fights that might occur there. As this is still early game, you need to focus on your gold income and laning rather than roaming and split pushing.
Levels 7-10

First Item

Your first item is your greatest powerspike so far as it gives you a big advantage compared to enemies that don't have their first item yet and also increases your overall damage a lot. No matter what your first item is, this is a huge powerspike and I can't highlight enough this powerspike's importance. You can 1v1 nearly any lane opponent now if you haven't died and have a decent cs/cs lead. You can also roam for once now as you should use this powerspike as much as you can to get a more gold to yourself. You still have to remember farming as it is really important, so don't sacrifice your farm to roam around the map hoping for kills. If you roam, I suggest you to do it straight from base as your powerspike is now at its best and the enemy probably doesn't suspect you to roam as they haven't seen you.

Max Level W

I don't have much to say here, I just wanted to highlight that at level 9 you will have your Kingslayer maxed meaning that it has reached its maximum base damage. This happens at about same time as the first item so you have two powerspikes at once, making you even stronger. However, you have to remember that your goal is to snowball, not to hunt takedowns and lose in farm, so keep your farm and gold income up in order to be as fed as you can in middle and late game.


It was really hard for me to mark out the exact levels where early game turns to middle game etc. but I thought that level 10 is a good last level of early game as at level 11 your ultimate gets a level which happens at about 15 minutes which is often refered to as the start of middle game. Levels 8-10 aren't too special as levels except that your Kingslayer gets maxed out at level 9. However, a lot happens during these levels, for example you probably get your first item if you haven't got it yet (which is pretty unlikely to happen if you don't buy Mejai's Soulstealer). You have some good powerspikes during these levels, try to use them wisely to snowball later. Keep up your gold income to get even more fed.
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Level 11

Ultimate Level 2

At level 11, you get your ultimate to level 2 which is a decent powerspike as its effectiveness is increased and its cooldown is decreased by 25 seconds which is A LOT. Now you can roam and fight more as you will usually have your ultimate up. I know that I have said this for like 10 times already but no matter how big your feed and powerspikes are, you need to keep up your cs to really dominate the game even after the powerspike is gone.


I could have placed this in some of the earlier sections but I just connect roaming in my mind to middle game so this seemed like an obvious choice. Sylas is overall a great roaming champion as he has a decent movement speed, great burst damage and a good cc ability ( Abduct). However it always ins't the best time to roam so I suggest you to check out the "roaming" chapter for more information of that as I don't want to write a multi-section chapter down in here.
roaming paths


Overall level 11 is about the second point to your ultimate but it gains you multiple new chances to fight more often, roam etc. which makes level 11 a really important powerspike for Sylas and also in my opinion officially starts the middle game on Sylas. Keep your gold income up whatever you do and you will be fine.
Level 12-14

Split Pushing

As you are now a lot stronger than you were before, you can now also split push. Split pushing means pushing side lanes of the map towards enemy base to gain more control over the game overall. I suggest you to read the "split pushing" chapter if you didn't already read it as I won't write a novel here about "split pushing and the power it holds" or something like that. Sylas is ok split pushing champion but isn't even nearly among the strongest ones in the game but does well with his great wave clear.

Baron Nashor

At 20 minutes, rift herald will be replaced by a new epic monster, baron nashor. It is the hardest epic monster to kill, so don't try to kill it by yourself no matter how fed you are, you probably couldn't kill it and if you can, it would take several minutes as baron nashor has special abilities and resistances that make it harder for a single player to take it down. baron buff lasts for 3 minutes and is lost upon death. Team members that are dead at the time baron nashor is killed don't get the buff either. The buff gives you a 4-second recall, increases your attack damage and ability power stats and gives a buff to allied minions that are near to a champion with baron buff.

Max Level E

At level 13 you get your Abscond / Abduct to the max level meaning that it has now the lowest cooldown and the highest base damage it will get. This isn't a great powerspike but it's still a considerable buff to your damage and kit overall. It allows you to take longer fights as you will have a chance to use it more than once now when its cooldown is lower.


Overall the levels 12-14 are just middle game, roaming, split pushing, playing around gold income and objectives such as dragons and turrets. There aren't any vital changes to your gameplay except that you get your Abscond / Abduct maxed out. Like I remind you in every 'overall' section, keep your farm and gold income up.
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Level 15

Rabadon's Deathcap

Though I generally don't mention item powerspikes, Rabadon's Deathcap's powerspike is so huge I couldn't leave it without a mention. The time when you buy it varies a lot, so I decided to put this section here. Rabadon's Deathcap provides you the most ability power for one item in the whole game, and its passive also increases your othere ability power sources which makes it the greatest full ability power item. With the ability power comes the damage, and with damage comes the powerspike. The powerspike this item gives you is huge as it increases your damage so much that you can pretty much 1v1 any champion if they aren't fed and you have a decent build compared to their builds.


As this chapter is about late game, it would be a literal crime not mentioning teamfighting. Teamfights are the real gamechangers in the late game as they usually occur on objectives. In a teamfight, Sylas' most important job is to use Hijack. Steal the ultimate you think is the best for the situation, probably an AoE ultimate with high damage to give your team advantage to the fight. Don't tank all the damage, you are too squishy for that. Don't rush to the backline unless you know you can kill the enemy carry. Try to pick one enemy at a time and play with your team to get the best result possible. As I said, teamfights are game changers and they can easily win or lose you games, so play them well.


Level 15 here is the point where the late game starts in my opinion as everyone has started roaming around the map and teamfights start to occur more frequently. There is nothing special about this level, I just marked it as the starting point of late game, that's all. Yet again, keep your gold income up.
Levels 16-18

Max Level Ultimate

At level 16 you get to max your ultimate, which is again a great power spike for Sylas. Now your ultimate is extremely powerful and has a really low cooldown comparing to the ultimates you can get with it. This doesn't give you pretty much anything new you can do, but it means (at least for me) that your abilities really don't have nearly any cooldown at anymore, based on the amount of your ability haste.

Max Level Q

At level 18 you get to max out Chain Lash. Hooray. It really doesn't mean much to you but I gave a mention to the maxing of the other abilities, so in the name of equality I have to give this a mention too. Now you can't level up any of your abilities, but your damage is already great so it doesn't affect your game much.

Elder Dragon

elder dragon is the last epic monster I haven't talked about yet, so now I will. elder dragon, unlike the other epic monsters, doesn't spawn at a certain time. It spawns after a team has collected a dragon soul e.g. has killed four dragons. Elder dragon buff gives your teammates ability to execute enemies that go below a certain amount of max health. elder dragon is probably the most game changing objective as it makes winning teamfights extremely easy and you can easily end the game with the buff, so don't miss it.


Overall levels 16-18 are the end of the game as they are the last levels. Now you should play around teamfights instead of gold income as you have full build or you are close to it. Move around with your teammates, running around the map alone can easily get you killed at this point of game as enemies can pick you easily and then push to your base as your team can't 4v5 them.
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Ability videos:
Ability infos:
Ward Map:
Roaming path map:
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This is the end of this guide, hope you liked it. If you did, leave a like. GG!
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