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Elise Build Guide by Laran
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During Season IV, I became more and more familiar with the Jungle, as I was trying to figure out how to impact the game as much as possible in order to climb up the ranked ladder. From this moment, Elise became one of my favourite champions.
In this guide, I will expose my method for being successful with Elise in the Jungle, and give you advices regarding her playstyle and itemization, so that your enemies fear the Spider Queen as they should.
The purpose of this guide is to provide summoners with an extremely detailed description and explanation of Elise gameplay, so as to make any reader feel like a Spider Queen main by the end of it. However, you WILL (obviously) NOT carry games with Elise just by reading this guide. As the French proverb says, "c'est en forgeant que l'on devient forgeron" (practice makes perfect). Do not attempt to learn everything right away, especially if you are new to Elise : make sure to play her regularly and come back to this guide whenever you feel stuck and want to improve your playstyle. Read without moderation !
Elise's entrancing beauty and grace conceal the pitiless, black heart of a deadly predator. With ruthless cunning, she lures the unsuspecting with promises of favor from the spider god. Having exchanged her humanity to become something far more sinister, Elise sacrifices the innocent to maintain her power and seemingly eternal youth. No one can fathom how many have been caught in her web, slain to feed her insatiable hunger.
Elise is an Ability Power (AP) based Champion. Her versatile kit, composed of burst damage, high sustain, gap closer spells, crowd control abilities and inner mobility make her a very efficient Jungler, even though she can be played on Toplane or Midlane as well. Elise can fit in many team compositions, and her playstyle may very to a large extent depending on summoners ; however, Elise players tend to focus essentially on ganking and counter-jungling. Eventually, she requires a lot of training to be played effectively, but becomes a monster once completely mastered.
+ Versatile champion.
+ Powerful early game.
+ High sustain (health and mana).
+ Good inner mobility.
+ High burst mid-game.
+ Amazing look !
- Tricky in teamfights.
- Does not have a "ultimate" ability.
- More squishy than most junglers.
- Expensive runes for new players.
- Hard to master effectively.
- Victorious skin unavailable !
There is no AP Champion in your team
This situation typically happens when your teammates pick an AD Toplaner ( Olaf, Darius, Riven, Renekton, etc) & an AD Midlaner ( Zed, Talon, Yasuo). In this case, you should consider picking Elise ; if you pick an AD Jungler ( Vi, Jarvan IV, Lee Sin, the enemy team will most probably build a ton of armor and completely negate your damages by 20min. Elise will bring a nice amount of AP damage and force the enemy team to buy magic resistance in order to lower your burst.
There is one AP Champion in your team
This situation is probably the most common, since most midlaners remain AP based (all of them except the three previously listed). However, you can also possibly have in your team an Assassin such as Talon or Zed on Midlane, and an AP Bruiser like Ryze, Kennen or Lissandra on Toplane. In this case, picking Elise is still relevant : a double AP composition will be the most balanced, since your Marksman will always deal physical damages.
There are two AP Champions in your team
What it means basically is that both your Midlaner and Toplaner are AP. In this case, I would not recommend you to pick Elise, as the only source of physical damages will be your AD Carry. In other words, if the enemy team builds a ton of magic resistance and quickly eliminates your Marksman in fights, you'd rather go back to your base and wait for the game to finish. The Spider Queen can wait.
There is no tank in your team
As mentioned previously, Elise is not a natural tank, and remains overall squishy. Moreover, she's far from being the best teamfight initiator of the game (unlike Junglers such as Hecarim, Sejuani, Amumu, etc). For these two reasons, you should not pick Elise in such a composition, and consider picking one of the previously listed Champions instead.
There is one tank in your team
In this kind of composition, the tank will be either the Toplaner or the Support. Tanky Supports ( Alistar, Braum, Leona, Thresh) are usually based upon their Crowd Control (CC) abilities ; so are tanky Toplaners ( Malphite, Shen, Maokai). If either your Support or Toplaner is a heavy tank, you can pick Elise and go for an off-tank build. If your Support is rather squishy ( Janna, Sona, Nami) and your Toplaner is a Bruiser ( Darius, Riven, Irelia), you can still pick Elise ; however you should consider going for the Tank build to stand for your team's overall lack of tankiness.
There are two tanks in your team
If both your Support and your Toplaner are Tanks (even if the Toplaner is only a Bruiser), Elise may be an excellent choice, as you may, depending on the enemy composition, be able to build a significantly agressive set and therefore increase your damages, becoming an even more lethal threat for your opponents.
Smite is mandatory for every single Jungler. You will need it to realize your first clear, and most importantly to secure buffs and objectives ( Dragon & Baron ). Moreover, since Season V, Smite can be upgraded with one of the four jungling items, which give it a specific effect.
Flash Teleports your Champion to target nearby location under your mouse cursor.
Flash is mandatory for almost every single character. Use it to make plays, to secure kills, or to escape difficult situations. As Elise, you can use it in combination with Rappel, to bait enemies who would try to dive you for instance.
- greater quintessence of hybrid penetration: Elise's abilities don't scale very much with Ability Power ; therefore you will want to use penetration to increase her damages. Hybrid runes will empower both her Human and Spider forms, since Skittering Frenzy is based upon her auto-attacks, and will greatly help you to clear the Jungle.
- greater mark of hybrid penetration: As for the quintessences, hybrid penetration marks will add this little penetration which will significantly increase her damages and clearing speed.
- Greater Mark of Attack Speed: Attack speed is extremely relevant on Elise, as Skittering Frenzy is your sustain ability when clearing the Jungle. More attack speed, means more auto-attacks, which means more health regeneration. Some builds recommend nine marks of attack speed ; six are enough in my opinion, but the choice is up to you.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: Magic resist will help you survive to the enemy AP Carry, and will reduce the damages taken from the other AP damage sources of the enemy team. We choose scaling glyphs over flat ones as you will not be exposed to your enemies as much as a laning Champion, and scaling glyphs will surpass flat ones at level 9. That is to say, the time when the first teamfights occur.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Armor seals are mandatory as they will reduce the damages taken from the Jungle monsters as well as those dealt by the enemy team, mainly their AD Carry.
Credits for these runes go to C9 Meteos and his build published on Solomid.net. Make sure to check out his guide if you want some more advices or different views on her playstyle and itemization.
: We're the Spider Queen. We want damages. This extra-percentage helps us erasing isolated Champions without suffering retaliations, as they are trapped in a Cocoon while our Spider Queen devours them.
: This slight attack speed increase completes our Greater Mark of Attack Speed set, and helps us regenerating even more while jungling.
: Deals more damages to monsters and minions and helps us either to clear the Jungle or to push out lanes. Or both.
: Stacks really well with Elise's Skittering Frenzy, as each auto-attack benefits from the increase in Attack Damage.
: Some more AP to increase the damages our spells deal. Increases as well the regeneration we get from the Spider Queen.
: Skittering Frenzy increases our attack speed, and allows us to make the most of this mastery very quickly, and thus to deal even more damages with our spells.
: Even more Attack Damage. Cute spiderlings.
- Arcane Mastery: Even more Ability Power. Your enemies look a bit pale now.
: Helps us securing kills when ganking lanes. Stacks also really well with our Venomous Bite, and deals insane damages to low-health targets.
: Opposite of
. Works well too as our spells have a rather low cooldown, especially Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite.
: Hybrid penetration, which completes our marks and quintessences, and helps us dealing massive damages without building full AP.
: Even more damages. Your enemies just ran away. Cowards.
: Gives you some survivability when switching to Spider Form in teamfights. You hurt, but enemies hurt you too. Too bad.
: Helps you clearing the Jungling without having to return to base every thirty seconds, especially in the first levels.
: Completes the points we put in
. The less damages you take, the more damages you deal.
: Some extra-health to survive tough fights and starts from the very start your transition to an off-tank or tanky build.
- Juggernaut : A nice health extra-percentage which stacks very well with our various builds and turns out to be very effective in late-game.
Again, this mastery tree is highly inspired of C9 Meteos' build. However, whereas he put two mastery points in Sorcery, I put them in Fury as my builds already provide a 40% cooldown reduction (CDR), which is the maximum possible. In some cases though, putting these points in Sorcery can be an interesting option (which will be discussed later on) ; in such cases all credits go to C9 Meteos.
- Masteries Switch from
to Sorcery to get 2.5% of CDR instead of 2.5% of Attack Speed. Drawback : Reduces your sustain in the Jungle, especially in your early levels.
- Runes Switch from greater quintessence of hybrid penetration to Greater Quintessence of Cooldown Reduction to get 7.5% of CDR instead of 5.37 of Armor Penetration and 4.23 of Magic Penetration. Drawback : Reduces your overall damages.
Taking this Runes & Masteries grants you 10% of CDR. As we choose to purchase the enchantment: magus, which gives us 20% of CDR, you don't even have to build another CDR item, if you decide to keep the blue buff for yourself, or if you manage to steal the enemy blue buff. In the itemization section, I will specify which Runes & Masteries you should pick in order to always get 40% of CDR.
- Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy: Elise's jungling main ability. It gives her AoE damages in human form, and an amazing sustain in the Jungle as a spider, used in combination with her spiderlings. We want to take it first to clear the first camp quickly without losing much health, but we max it second as it does not deal as much damages to Champions as Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite.
- Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite: Elise's main source of damages. In human form, it deals damages depending on the target's current health ; in spider form, damages depend upon it's missing health. We take it second to finish off the two buffs quickly, but max it first as it will deal massive damages to enemy Champions throughout the game.
- Cocoon / Rappel: Elise's ganking ability. In human form, Elise throws a Cocoon which stuns the target. In spider form, Elise can use Rappel to target an enemy Champion or minion or a neutral monster to jump to its location. We take it third, as we get level 3 right after our second buff and usually try to gank a lane at that point, and max it last as it has mostly a utility purpose.
- Spider Form: Elise transforms into a menacing spider, granting access to arachnid abilities and summoning her Spider Queen. It is Elise's "ultimate" ability, even though it is available at level 1 and doesn't have a direct damaging or controlling effect (like Jayce's Mercury Cannon / Mercury Hammer or Nidalee's Aspect Of The Cougar). It grants Elise one brand new Spiderling at each level, which makes jungling even easier and allows Elise to take objectives such as Dragon alone without any problem. We max it everytime we can, at levels 6, 11 and 16.
Professional players like C9 Meteos sometimes max Cocoon / Rappel second in order to reduce the cooldown on Cocoon and increase the stun duration. This skill sequence is viable when playing in team, and makes sense when building Elise as a Tank / Utility Champion (usually with Ranger's Trailblazer - Cinderhulk and a Sightstone). However, in Solo Queue, I would not recommend to do so, as you most of the time will only rely on yourself. Therefore, maxing Volatile Spiderling / Skittering Frenzy second will allow you to clean the Jungle faster and increase your damages against enemy Champions.
|Spider Swarm Elise's Human Form spells will ready a spiderling when cast on an enemy. In Spider Form, Elise summons her spiderlings to fight by her side. Spiderlings deal physical damage and take reduced damage from multi-target abilities.|
Elise's passive is what makes her such an effective Jungler. Her Spider Queen allows her to regenerate on monsters so much that I most of the time do not use a single potion during my first clear. Everytime you upgrade Spider Form, you gain a new Spiderling. During your first clear, you should make your spiderlings tank the monsters last hits (just like Shaco's Jack In The Box), as they increase your sustain ; try not to sacrify them straight away. At level 6, you will have three Spiderlings, meaning that they should be able to tank all the damages Jungle monsters deal. At level 11, you should not even need your Human Form spells anymore to clear the Jungle camps ; you should also be able to take objectives like Dragon quickly without any help. From mid-game to late-game, Spiderlings should help you surviving fights, and even bait enemies in thinking you're low enough to die, whereas you keep regenerating. Don't forget to land Human Form spells regularly in order to get new Spiderlings whenever you switch to Spider Form. Eventually, remember that whenever you use Venomous Bite, your Spiderlings will jump on your target and start attacking it ; be also aware of your Spiderlings' ability to protect you from enemy skillshots ; if positioned correctly, they can save you from a Javelin Toss or Rocket Grab for instance.
Q (Human Form)
|Neurotoxin Deals Magic Damage equal to 40/75/110/145/180 plus 8% (+[3% Ability Power]%) of the target's current Health. Max 75/100/125/150/175 bonus damage to monsters.|
A powerful skill based upon the target's current health. When clearing the Jungle camps, cast it on the most powerful monster (like the Blue Sentinel or the Red Brambleback) in order to maximize your damages, before switching to Spider Form. When ganking, cast it right after you trapped your target in a Cocoon. If the enemy is surrounded by minions, it may be hard to cast a successful Cocoon ; in this case, get closer to the enemy Champion, and spam Neurotoxin until you can actually stun him and switch to Spider Form. As soon as you get Rylai's Crystal Scepter, try to cast Neurotoxin before your Cocoon to apply the 35% slow on your opponent and maximize your chances to stun him (the same logic applies whenever you have the Crest of Cinder buff ; in this case, try to use an auto-attack first to apply the slow effect). If you can't finish off an enemy in Spider Form after a gank, switch back to Human Form and cast Neurotoxin again to secure the kill. When both teams gather to feamfight, use Neurotoxin to poke down your oponents ; this technique becomes even more effective once you finish off Liandry's Torment, as it deals serious damages regardless of your enemy's tankiness.
Q (Spider Form)
|Venomous Bite Lunges to a target with a poisonous bite that deals Magic Damage equal to 60/100/140/180/220 plus 8% (+[3% Ability Power]%) of the target's missing Health. Max 75/100/125/150/175 bonus damage to monsters.|
A costless ability with a rather short cooldown based upon the enemy's missing health. When jungling, cast it as soon as it is available, as it will not cost you any mana ; it will also deal more and more damage as your target gets low on health. To be as effective as possible, use it right after you attacked in order to cancel the auto-attack animation. When ganking, use it right after you used your Human Form combo and switched to Spider Form. Venomous Bite as a short range, but makes you jump on your target, which makes it very effective when it comes to chasing enemies down. When running away from a difficult situation, use it on a minion to put some more distance between you and your enemies.
Z (Human Form)
|Volatile Spiderling Summons a venom-gorged Spiderling that moves to target location and explodes, dealing 75/125/175/225/275 (+80% Ability Power) Magic Damage when it nears an enemy or after 3 seconds.|
A spell which combines damage and utility. This is Elise's only one skill which scales really well with Ability Power (80%) ; it thus deals massive damages whenever you choose an Assassin build. However it has a rather long cooldown, meaning you should always consider purchasing some Tank items. In the Jungle, cast Volatile Spiderling along with Neurotoxin before switching to Spider Form. When cleaning the Blue Sentinel or the Red Brambleback, cast Neurotoxin first and wait for the monster to walk to you, or Volatile Spiderling will only hit the smaller monsters. When ganking, cast it once you stunned your opponent with Cocoon. When you use Venomous Bite, the Volatile Spiderling will jump on your target just like your regular Spiderlings. This spell is also very useful when it comes to clearing minion waves once you start pushing lanes accross the map. Place yourself in the middle of the wave in order to hit as many minions as possible with the explosion. Once you get your core items, you should be able to one shot ranged minions, and finish the others with Skittering Frenzy. Eventually, Volatile Spiderling gives you vision around the spider ; use it to check dangerous bushes instead of facechecking in order to avoid any lethal trap the enemy team may have set up.
Z (Spider Form)
|Skittering Frenzy Passively, Spiderlings gain 5/10/15/20/25% Attack Speed. On activation, increases Attack Speed by 60/80/100/120/140% for Elise and her Spiderlings for 3 seconds. While active, Elise is healed for 4 (+4% Ability Power) health when she or her Spiderlings attack.|
Your inner source of sustain. In the Jungle, use Skittering Frenzy to clear monster camps faster while your Spiderlings tank damages ; not only you will not suffer any damage, but you will even regenerate, just like Champions such as Warwick or Xin Zhao. When ganking, cast Skittering Frenzy right after you jumped on your target with Venomous Bite. If you have Crest of Cinders , your improved auto-attacks will refresh the effet and apply a constant slow on the enemy. When taking down a turret, activate Skittering Frenzy to destroy it at the speed of light. In this regard, it is very similar to Xin Zhao's Battle Cry or Fiora's Burst of Speed. In teamfights, Skittering Frenzy will help you to stay alive by providing a high sustain and will allow you to finish off low-health enemies. When walking around the map, activate it to destroy enemy wards faster, especially Vision Wards ; this little trick may prevent you from staying for too long in a dangerous spot and sometimes save your life.
E (Human Form)
|Cocoon Stuns the first enemy hit for 1/1.25/1.5/1.75/2 seconds and reveals them if they are not stealthed.|
Elise's Crowd Control (CC) ability. You should not use it when clearing the Jungle, as it has a rather long cooldown and does not significantly reduce the damages you take from monsters, since your Spiderlings tank them anyway. When ganking, cast your Cocoon first to stun your target and burst it down with your whole combo and the help of your allies. In some situations, enemy Champions might be surrounded by minions, which may make a successful Cocoon difficult. In this case, use Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling first, while you walk towards your target, and cast Cocoon once the enemy Champion walks in an open area. If there is no way that you can stun him, just don't cast it and switch directly to Spider Form. Thereby, you will still have an available Cocoon if you switch back to Human Form later to finish off your opponent. At maximum range, it may be difficult to hit an enemy with Cocoon, as the projectile travels quite slowly. If your laner have some CC abilities as well (like Annie's Pyromania, Ahri's Charm or Lux's Light Binding if you decide to gank the midlane), wait for them to use them, and make sure to cast your cocoon at the end of the stun to ensure an optimal CC rotation and stun your target for ever. In teamfights, Cocoon is particularly effective to cancel channeling spells (like Katarina's Death Lotus). Otherwise you can use it in two different ways : stun the enemy carries or protect your own carries. Eventually, Cocoon reveals the enemy Champions. If you cast it in a bush and hit an enemy, you will see him for the duration of the stun. If you deem it appropriate (if the target is low on health for example), you can quicly jump on him with Rappel and kill him with Venomous Bite.
E (Spider Form)
|Rappel Ascends into the air, briefly becoming untargetable, and then descends upon an enemy. On Enemy Cast, Elise and her Spiderlings lift up into the air and then descend upon the target enemy. On Ground Cast, Elise and her Spiderlings lift up into the air, becoming untargetable for 2 seconds. She can then cast Rappel again to descend upon a nearby enemy.|
Elise's trickiest ability. In the Jungle, you can use it to jump over walls and clear camps faster. You can also perform this move in order to escape a difficult situation ; this may allow you to save a flash for instance. However, make sure the monsters you plan to jump on are still alive, or you may end up being killed by giving more time to your enemies to catch you up. Using Rappel gives you a vision of the map equal to the ability's range ; use it to check buffs (especially when counter-jungling) or objectives ( Dragon & Baron ) without putting yourself in a hazardous situation. When ganking, wait for your target to use its escape abilities (like Ezreal's Arcane Shift or Lucian's Relentless Pursuit) before using Rappel to close the gap between you and the enemy Champion. Rappel allows you to dive under enemy turrets very easily, since it removes the turret aggro from you. Because it makes you untargetable, you can also use Rappel to dodge very damaging abilities (like Nidalee's Javelin Toss, Fizz's Chum the Waters or even Zed's Death Mark) or lethal CC spells ( Thresh's Death Sentence or Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab, especially when their whole team is behind them). Be aware that is doesn't remove DoT (Damage over Time) damages ; it will typically not save you from an Ignite for example. Finally, I use Rappel a lot to bait enemies into diving me. Once they get right under your turret, use Rappel (you can even use it in combination with Flash) and watch them die while you are in the air. Always remember that Rappel has a rather long cooldown, so make sure to use it only when you really need it ; it may save your life and / or allow you to secure a kill / objective.
R (Human Form)
|Spider Form Elise transforms into a menacing spider, granting access to arachnid abilities. She deals 10/20/30/40 (+30% Ability Power) bonus Magic Damage per attack and gains 10 Movement Speed. Her Spiderlings deal 10/20/30/40 (+10% Ability Power) damage and take 20% reduced damage from multi-target abilities. Max 2/3/4/5 Spiderlings.|
Elise's Spider Form is what makes her such an interesting Champion. When walking around the map, switch to Spider Form to benefit from the extra movespeed it grants you. Remember to switch back to Human Form 3-5 seconds (depending on your current CDR) before clearing a new camp, in order to get into Spider Form again right after you used Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling. Also be aware of the extra damage the Spider Form grants you. If you are out of mana and in a difficult duel against an enemy Champion, make sure to be in Spider Form, as your spells don't cost any mana. Eventually, the Spider Form turns you into a melee Champion, and thus exposes you to retaliation ; be aware of this weakness whenever you commit into a fight.
R (Spider Form)
|Human Form Transforms into Human Form, removing Spider Form bonuses but granting access to her regular spells and to the ability to generate new Spiderlings by casting spells.|
Switching to Human Form gives you access to your regular abilities, but deprives you from your damage and movespeed bonuses. Before ganking a lane, make sure to be in Human Form in order to perform your full combo successfully. If an enemy Champion escapes a gank with a very low health, switch right away to Human Form to gain access to your ranged abilites again and secure the kill. When preparing for a teamfight, use your Human Form abilities to poke the enemy team down, and switch to Spider Form when everyone jumps in. Finally, remember to cast spells in Human Form whenever you run out of Spiderlings to generate brand new ones.
Here is Riot's Elise Champion Spotlight. Watch the video if you want to see Elise's spells in action. It also gives a short description of the Spider Queen playstyle, which this guide will present in detail later on.
The Passive Smite - Ranger's Trailblazer
|A safe option, especially for summoners learning Elise. Gives you even more sustain and allows you to farm your Jungle very fast (using Smite along with Volatile Spiderling will for instance immediately clear the Raptors camp from mid-game). When fighting in the Jungle, use it on a monster close by to gain extra-health and win the fight or survive. Eventually, you can use it on a minions wave to push out a lane faster and get some additional CS.|
The Agressive Smite - Poacher's Knife
|The most effective jungling item on Elise in my opinion. As you get more confident with her, you will realize that your inner sustain is high enough not to need the regeneration Ranger's Trailblazer provides, and that you can clear your Jungle faster than a lot of other Junglers. That being said, Elise's skillset also makes her really strong at counter-jungling. In this regard, if there is nothing better to do (ganking an overextended enemy Champion, taking an objective, teamfighting, etc), you should try to clear the enemy Jungle in order to hinder the enemy Jungler and make him slowly fall behind in terms of gold and experience, or to directly impact lanes (by stealing the enemy blue buff for example). Be aware that when you smite a monster in the enemy Jungle, you get the movespeed bonus when the monster dies. If you intend to clear the camp entirely, you should kill the smaller creeps first, and then Smite the biggest to run as far as possible and put yourself back in a safer spot.|
The Lethal Smite - Skirmisher's Sabre
|An interesting option if you decide to build Elise as an Assassin. Deals true damage to the target on hit, what stacks really well with Skittering Frenzy. Also reduces the damage you take from this target, making you a deadly threat for isolated squishy targets, like the enemy carries. You can also purchase this item if you want to kill the enemy Jungler in his own Jungle, for example if you get an early kill on him and want to push your advantage further. Eventually, this item gives you vision of the target, which is very effective against Champions who can become invisible (like Akali, Shaco or Twitch).|
The Bad Smite - Stalker's Blade
|A very tempting option for summoners who started playing League of Legends prior to Season V (it was not possible to smite Champions back then). However, I do not recommend this item on Elise, for one main reason : her sticking potential. First, Cocoon has a really long duration, and a rather low cooldown for a CC ability in late-game. Second, Venomous Bite and Rappel allow you to stay close to your target for a very long time, meaning that you don't need an extra slow. Third, once you finish Rylai's Crystal Scepter, both Neurotoxin and Venomous Bite apply a 35% slow on the target, with a very low cooldown. Fourth, if you decide to buy Randuin's Omen, its active ability triggers an AoE slow. Count how many CC abilities you have there, and you will realize that you don't need another one. Eventually, it can be fun to Smite a Champion that escapes a gank or a fight with 50hp and secure the kill. However, with Elise, you can just switch back to Human Form and cast Neurotoxin to finish him off. All these reasons make Stalker's Blade a completely irrelevant item on Elise, unless you decide to build her as a Tank / Utility, which I don't recommend neither.|
|Sorcerer's Shoes Mobility / Damage Boots are mandatory on every single Champion, as they provide a high amount of movespeed ; you will need it to move around the map faster, chase enemies down or escape difficult situations. Moreover, Sorcerer's Shoes increase your Magic Penetration, which is particularly effective on Elise as her spells do not scale really well with Ability Power. I purchase these boots in 90% of games ; however in some specific situations other options can turn out to be more relevant (description below).|
|Liandry's Torment Health / Damage Gives you a nice amount of health to increase your tankiness, provides you with a decent amount of Ability Power and Magic Penetration to increase your damages, and adds a useful bonus to your spells, which stacks really well with Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite and Volatile Spiderling (particularly effective when you poke the enemy team down before committing into a fight). Always purchase Haunting Guise right after your boots and jungling item, but upgrade it to Liandry's Torment last.|
|Rylai's Crystal Scepter Health / Damage / Utility All summoners do not recommend this item, but it fits Elise too well not to build it in my opinion. Gives you a massive amount of both health and Ability Power, two core stats on Elise. Furthermore, its passive applies to your Q in Human Form ( Neurotoxin) AND Spider Form ( Venomous Bite ; it makes Cocoon much easier to cast successfully, and allows you to stick your enemy for ever in Spider Form, as you can spam Venomous Bite at no cost and very often with 40% of CDR.|
|enchantment: magus||Enchantment : Magus Damage / Cooldown Reduction This enchantment gives you a high amount of Ability Power for a rather cheap price and very early in the game, that is to say, when you are the most powerful, making you likely to impact the game straight away, unlike farmers such as Shyvana or Udyr. It also provides you with half of the maximum CDR you can get, whereas the other enchantments only give you 10%.|
|Oracle's Lens Map Control A mandatory item on every Jungler. Upgrade it as soon as possible and use it whenever it is available to deprive the enemy team of vision, especially around objectives ( Dragon & Baron ) when they are about to spawn. Use it in addition with Stealth Wards and Vision Wards to follow the enemy movements, avoid traps and pick up favorable fights.|
|Ninja Tabi Mobility / Armor A relevant item if the enemy team is mainly composed of auto-attacking champions. For instance, if you face Tryndamere on Toplane, Yasuo on Midlane, Vayne as ADC and Master Yi in the Jungle, Ninja Tabi will signicantly increase your survivability, especially if they tend to focus you in fights.|
|Frozen Heart Armor / Mana / Cooldown Reduction An Off-Tank item which fits Elise really well. Gives you a massive amount of armor, an appreciable amount of mana (useful when spamming your Human Form spells to poke the enemy team) and half of the maximum CDR you can build. Its passive turns out to be very effective when you jump onto the enemy team with either Venomous Bite or Rappel, as it has a rather important area of effect.|
|Zhonya's Hourglass Damage / Armor / Utility A core item on most AP Carries, relevant on Elise if you decide to purchase an Assassin build. Gives you a huge amount of Ability Power, a decent bonus of armor and above all an incredible active ability which makes you invulnerable for 2.5s. Use it to survive Ultimates (like Zed's Death Mark or Katarina's Death Lotus), temporize fights while your allies come to rescue you, wait for your abilities to reset or bait your enemies into diving under a turret or right in your own team (especially against anti-carries like Vi or Rengar).|
Magic Resist Items
|Mercury's Treads Mobility / Magic Resist / CC Resilience A relevant item if the enemy team is mainly composed of AP based Champions and has a high number of Crowd Control abilities. For instance, if you face a Lissandra on Toplane, a Lux on Midlane, a Sejuani as Jungler and a Leona as Support, you should definitely consider buying Mercury's Treads in order to increase your survivability and your chances not to get stunned for ages in every fight.|
|Banshee's Veil Health / Magic Resist / Health Regeneration A Tank / Off-Tank item designed to survive AP Carries. Gives you a good amount of both health and magic resist, as well as a useful regeneration, especially against poke-based Champions (like Xerath, Ziggs or Ezreal). Grants you a shield which completely blocks an ability and can save you from combo-based Champions like LeBlanc or Brand.|
|Spirit Visage Health / Magic Resist / Health Regeneration / Cooldown Reduction An excellent Tank item on Elise. Gives you slightly less health than Banshee's Veil (-50) but the same amount of magic resist and health regeneration. However, provides you with CDR (10%) and an interesting lifesteal bonus, which stacks really well with Skittering Frenzy and helps you regenerate in the Jungle and survive teamfights.|
Off-Tank VS Hybrid Damage
Regular Runes & Masteries - Elise's standard build. Gives you a fair amount of health, important hybrid resistances, high damages and 40% of CDR. Choose this build if there is one Tank in your team, and a balanced distribution of AP and AD damages in the enemy team. If you think you can counter-jungle effectively, you can purchase Poacher's Knife instead of Ranger's Trailblazer.
Tank VS Hybrid Damage
Regular Runes & Masteries - A more tanky build which gives you additional health, sustain and utility with Randuin's Omen's active ability. Choose this build if there is one Fighter in your team. Be aware that it provides you with only 30% of CDR, meaning that you will have to keep blue buff for yourself or steal the enemy one to reach 40%. For this reason, you should purchase Poacher's Knife to get as many enemy buffs as possible, while steal giving yours to your Midlaner.
Assassin VS Hybrid Damage
CDR Runes & Masteries - A very agressive build. Gives you massive Ability Power, decent resistances but very low health. Choose this build if there are at least one Tank and one Bruiser in your team. This is a very risky build, and I would recommend it only if your enemies lack tankiness and if you are really ahead. Your only source of CDR is enchantment: magus, which means that you will have to pick CDR Runes & Masteries AND get a blue buff to reach 40% of CDR. It makes sense to purchase Skirmisher's Sabre instead of Poacher's Knife, but it will make counter-jungling even more difficult.
Off-Tank VS AD Damage
Regular Runes & Masteries - A very effective build against AD based compositions. Gives you less health than that previous Off-Tank build (against hybrid compositions), but more armor and Ability Power, as well as Zhonya's Hourglass's active ability, which should never be underestimated. As mentioned previously, you can purchase Poacher's Knife instead of Ranger's Trailblazer, but you will not need to steal the enemy blue buff to reach 40% of CDR, since you already have enchantment: magus and Frozen Heart.
Tank VS AD Damage
Regular Runes & Masteries - A terribly effective build against AD based teams. Gives you an insane amount of armor, a lot of health, Randuin's Omen's utility and decreases the attack speed of your opponents, while still having high inner damages. Pick the jungling item of your choice as, once again, this build gives you 40% of CDR.
Assassin VS AD Damage
CDR Runes & Masteries - A powerful Assassin build against AD based compositions. Gives you some armor, and a very high amount of Ability Power and Magic Penetration in order to burst your opponents down before they even realize what's going on. Zhonya's Hourglass's active will help you to survive if the enemy team starts focusing you. Try to steal the enemy blue buff and pick up the CDR Runes & Masteries to get 40% of CDR and maximize your damages. In close duels, use Zhonya's Hourglass's active while you wait for your spells to reset, use Rappel to jump on your target if it decided to run away and finish it off if it is rather low on health.
Off-Tank VS AP Damage
Regular Runes & Masteries - A balanced build again AP based teams. Gives you a lot of magic resistance along with Ability Power and Magic Penetration. Moreover, it allows you to sustain more effectively when jungling and fighting with Spirit Visage's passive ability. enchantment: magus and Spirit Visage only give you 30% of CDR, so try your best to steal the enemy blue buff with Poacher's Knife to reach 40%.
Tank VS AP Damage
Regular Runes & Masteries - A tanky build against AP based teams. Provides you with a ton of health and magic resistance, with still rather high damages. Banshee's Veil's passive is especially efficient against combo-based AP Carries (like LeBlanc or Brand), and can save you from a lethal CC ability (like Morgana's Dark Binding, Thresh's Death Sentence or Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab), particularly in late game, when teams often stick together. In parallel, Spirit Visage's bonus lifesteal will help you to survive poke damage by regenerating on the enemy Champions.
Assassin VS AP Damage
CDR Runes & Masteries - A lethal build against AP based teams. Gives you decent magic resistance, a lot of Ability Power on the highest possible amount of Magic Penetration. This build only gives you the 20% of CDR enchantment: magus provides, so pick up the CDR Runes and Masteries and make sure to get a blue buff whenever you can. Remember that, like every Assassin build, this one is likely to make you a prority target (as you don't even have Zhonya's Hourglass to survive a hard focus), so mind your positioning and try your best to eliminate the enemy carries first.
Bonus Build - Tank / Utility
Defense / Utility Runes & Masteries - As I already underlined throughout the guide, I am not a big fan of this build, for a simple reason : Elise was designed to make damages ; if you want to bring utility to your team, go straight away to a Tanky / Utility Champion with high CC abilities and inner tankiness ( Sejuani, Nautilus, etc). However, if you really want to try out this build in game, the choice is up to you. In some situations, this build makes sense, especially when playing in Ranked Team (I would never choose this build in SoloQ, as it makes you rely too heavily on your allies in my opinion, especially at rather low elos). The idea of this build is to act like a support for your team : Boots of Mobility will allow you to wander around the map faster, Stalker's Blade will give an additional slow, Ruby Sightstone will give your team more vision and therefore map control, Randuin's Omen will give you an AoE slow to protect your carries in teamfights, Locket of the Iron Solari will grant a small temporary shield to your allies and save them from an ignite for instance, and lastly Banshee's Veil will give yourself a barrier to block lethal abilities.
Congratulations Summoner, you pretty much read half of this guide ! Time for you to grab a drink and some cookies before going further. Meanwhile, I will specify some points about the guide itself. Until now, we mostly presented Elise, her strengths and weaknesses, how do her skills work, and which items to purchase when playing the Spider Queen.
We thus know what to play with Elise. Time to learn how to play her ! The second part of the guide will be actually dedicated to Elise's playstyle throughout a game on Summoner's Rift : how to clear your jungle effectively, how to counter-jungle safely, how to gank successfully and how to overcome your weakness in teamfight. Let's go down into the net !
Summoners who read the guide entirely until now may find some elements repetitive. I will nevertheless explain things in details for readers who would jump directly to one specific chapter and skip some others. Feel free to skim certain parts if you deem them redundant.
Regarding general stategy questions (like warding spots for example), I advice you to check out dedicated guides, as they do not only concern Elise but all Junglers and Champions.
Early Game - Reign of Chaos
|Elise is one of League of Legends most powerful Champions during the early game, that is to say, until the first turrets go down. Once you will have played a couple of games with her, you should be able to reach level 3 and get your two buffs without using a single Health Potion. At this moment, try to gank an overextended lane, typically Toplane or Midlane, as you will most of the time start on bottom side, at least in Solo Queue. If your allies are themselves overextended, stay nearby or use your Warding Totem to ward their lane for them and be ready to counter-gank if the enemy Jungler shows up. Don't lose time staying in a bush forever though ; try to always clear your own jungle or the enemy one on order to maximize your income and experience, especially when your Smite is up. It is not rare to pick up 5 Kills / Assists or more during the first 10min of the game when playing Elise, especially at low elos, where player tend not to ward, or not to look at their mini-map, or both. Get your core items whenever you can buy them to be as effective as possible when jungling and ganking.|
Middle Game - Feed the Beast
|Mid-game usually starts between 10min and 15min, depending on how fast the first turrets get destroyed. By that time, teams start gathering and roaming much more intensively, and teamfights usually occur around objectives, like Dragon or turrets. As Elise, you should have your core items, that is to say Sorcerer's Shoes, enchantment: magus (with the Jungle item of your choice), Haunting Guise and your Rylai's Crystal Scepter started. At your first or second back, trade your Warding Totem for a Sweeping Lens in order to deprive the enemy team of vision in important spots ( Dragon pit for instance). Keep alternating between farming (either in the Jungle or on lanes) and ganking, and push out lanes in order to destroy turrets whenever you see an opportunity. Always keep an eye on timers (Blue Sentinel, Red Brambleback, Dragon and even Baron , especially in Ranked Teams) : this is vital if you want to secure objectives, make the most of your buffs (give the blue buff to you midlaner as often as possible for example) and steal the enemy ones. I would recommend to use Stealth Wards offensively (to ward the enemy jungle in order to follow the enemy team movements) and Vision Wards defensively (to have vision of your own jungle and destroy the wards the enemy may have put there). By the end of mid-game, start building some extra defensive or offensive items depending on which build you choose to purchase. Your damages should already be rather high ; try to catch isolated targets (like an enemy carry pushing a lane alone) and nuke them to deny them gold and experience, and of course feed yourself to enter late game as ahead as possible.|
Late Game - Spread the Web
|So here we are, finally. The game have been going on for 30min (approximately). You should roughly be level 16, meaning your ultimate ability should be completely upgraded. Time of ganks is over, from now on teams are very likely to start 5v5 fights, unless they choose to split up in order to push out lanes. The second option is the easiest : keep removing enemy wards to catch spliting enemy Champions off-guard and kill them. If the enemy team sticks together, you will have to teamfight, which is not what Elise excels at. When facing the enemy team, try to poke it down with Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling : the Liandry's Torment passive will make it very effective. When the fight starts, try to reach the enemy carries, kill them if you can, zone them otherwise. If you can't reach them, you should rather focus on protecting your own carries with Cocoon, or the bonuses items provide you ( Rylai's Crystal Scepter's passive or Randuin's Omen's active for instance). Remember that switching to Spider Form forces you to commit in the fight, so be careful and do not die uselessly. Keep securing Jungle objectives ( Dragon & Baron ) destroy turrets and inhibitors whenever you can, and push out lanes alternatively with your allies to apply as much pressure as possible on the enemy team. Keep warding as well, as you do not want you or your teammates to get caught alone and force you to suffer a 4v5 teamfight. Whenever you can, rush the enemy Nexus and win the game !|
When jungling in Solo Queue, you will most of the time start on bottom side of the map. That means, that you will have to clear the Krugs (golems) camp first if you are in the southern team, or kill the Gromp (toad) if you belong to the northern team. Clearing the camp will allow you to reach level 2 and get a second ability to kill the first buff more easily.
N.B. It is not possible to talk about the Blue or Red team anymore, since Patch 5.5 introduced a relative colors system to the game : you will from now on always see your team as blue and the enemy team as red. This is why I choose to talk about southern and northern teams.
In Season IV, junglers used to start off by killing a buff (Blue Sentinel or Red Brambleback). However, in Season V, you should rather start with either Ancient Krug or Gromp, as smiting them gives you a enchantment that helps you clearing the Jungle faster, and thus gank a lane earlier, with more health. On Elise, Gift of Heavy Hands may be slightly more effective, as Skittering Frenzy will proc the stun very often. However, Gift of the Toadstool works fine as well, and even if you take a bit more damages, smiting the Red Brambleback will heal you anyway.
Once you're done with the first camp, go straight away to the closest buff : Red Brambleback if you are in the southern team, Blue Sentinel if you belong to the northern one. This is the hardest part of your first clear, since you don't have your Smite up anymore ; however your Spider Queen will allow you to clear it without losing much health (you will not even use potions anymore after a few games with Elise). Kill the biggest creep first, then finish off the smaller ones, and start walking towards the second buff. Stay in Spider Form to benefit from the movespeed bonus, and remember to switch back to Human Form 4-5s before reaching the next camp. While you walk, have a look at every lane, and see how game goes for your allies. Try to evaluate which lanes you will have to gank : if your Toplaner crushes his opponent for instance, you know you will have to focus on Midlane and Botlane instead. When you reach your second buff, clear it and Smite the biggest monster to secure it (you don't want Shaco to steal it for instance), regenerate health (Red Brambleback) or mana (Blue Sentinel) and reach level 3.
The Season V Jungle. From Millenium (in French).
If both Toplane and Midlane are pushed by your allies, kill the Rift Scuttler to grant vision to your team : this is very useful to spot the enemy Jungler whenever he walks through the river. Once you're done with it, if lanes are still pushed, go back to farming, and clear every single camp, one after another from top to bottom of the map, and recall to get your first items. Always look at your lanes regularly in order to be ready to counter-gank in case the enemy Jungler shows up. If your laners are really overextended, it can be relevant to stay nearby, or at least to use your Warding Totem if you suspect the enemy Jungler to be there.
If Toplane or Midlane is being pushed, there is probably an opportunity to gank and therefore force a flash or even get a kill. Always leave your Warding Totem behind you to spot the enemy Jungler earlier in case of counter-gank. Tips and tricks about how to gank as effectively as possible will be detailed in the Ganking chapter. Whether your gank succeeds or not, go back to farming (unless you left the enemy Champion really low on health and he decides to stay ; in this case you should consider coming again to take him by surpise as he may not expect another gank straight away, and finish him off) and recall when there is no lane to gank, no camp to clear, or if an objective or a buff is about to spawn (you should try to recall 30-40s before your buffs spawn in order to reach their camp right on time and maximize your chances to counter-jungle effectively and avoid being counter-jungled).
As soon as you bought your items and regerated your health and mana, go to your buffs, or if they did not spawn yet, towards an overextended enemy, or eventually to another camp if you don't see any gank opportunity. Try to use Smite as often as possible to maximize your gold, experience, and make the most of the Jungle buffs, unless Dragon or Baron are about to spawn ; in these cases, save a Smite to be able to secure, contest or steal this objective. Follow this scheme and don't forget to buy wards regularly in order to keep trace of your enemy and avoid traps. Use Oracle's Lens everytime it is available to destroy any potential ward, especially around objectives (it is much harder to steal an objective when you don't have any vision of it). If teams start gathering and prepare for a teamfight, stay nearby and be ready to help your teammates if they get engaged or decide themselves to start a fight. Don't forget to farm when there is nothing more important to do, to keep gaining gold and experience throughout the game.
N.B. If you are clearing a camp and a fight starts next to you (if you are killing the Ancient Krug and a fight starts on Botlane for instance), don't hesitate not to finish the camp and join the battle instead. This may save your allies if they are in a difficult situation, or even get you some Kills / Assists, which are worth more gold than Jungle creeps. Nevertheless, don't forget to come back to the camp once the fight is over not to counter-jungle yourself (creeps respawn only if you clear a camp entirely).
You're now as confortable in the Jungle as in your spiderweb ; time to learn how to use your skillset efficiently ! In this section I will go over the different ability combos to perform in order to optimize your gold income and experience, so as to spend more time ganking and helping your team out.
The Level 1 Combo
|Elise's first combo. Unlike other Junglers (except Nidalee as she can now be played in the Jungle), the Spider Queen has two spells from her first levels. Volatile Spiderling detonates after 3s, and Jungle creeps spawn at 1:55, so cast it at 1:52 and switch to Spider Form. When the monsters appear, Smite the biggest straight away to benefit from the enchantment as soon as possible, use an auto-attack and cast Skittering Frenzy right after to cancel the animation. Clear the camp with the help of your Botlane (ADC and Support). Don't ask your Midlaner to help you out, as it is absolutely not necessary and may put him into trouble (he could miss some crucial CS, causing his opponent to reach level 2 way before him and most likely engage an undesirable trade). Remind your Botlane to leave the camp a few seconds before you finish it off, as sharing experience will prevent you from leveling up and will make your first buff very difficult to kill. Once you're done with the camp, switch back immediately to Human Form in order to prepare for the next camp.|
The Standard Combo
|So you just reached level 2, and put a point in Neurotoxin / Venomous Bite. This ability will significantly increase your damage output and help you kill either the Blue Sentinel or Red Brambleback easily. When you reach the camp, engage with Neurotoxin (use it on the biggest monster), wait for him to get closer, cast Volatile Spiderling (otherwise it may hit small creeps only) and switch to Spider Form. Use an auto-attack, cast Venomous Bite right away to cancel the animation and follow up with Skittering Frenzy to start regerating. As soon as it is available, use Venomous Bite again (as it is costless and has a rather low cooldown) and finish clearing the camp. Once you're done, go to your second buff, and stay in Spider Form to maximize your movespeed.|
N.B. I called this the "Standard Combo" instead of "Level 2 Combo" because this will be your regular combo when farming the Jungle throughout the game, regardless of your level.
Some "First Clear" Tricks
When performing your first clear, don't sacrify your Spider Queen straight away, as it deals a decent amount of damages and increases significantly your health regeneration. If you want to save your Health Potions, always let your spiderlings tank the very last hits to maximize their efficiency and utility. Once you hit level 6, your Spider Queen should be able to tank all the damages from Jungle creeps, making this trick somehow obsolete, but still relevant when taking down Dragon or Baron .
Another possible way to proceed is to let your Spider Queen tank the damages right away, then walk back, switch to Human Form, cast Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling in order to renew your Spider Queen, get back to Spider Form and finish the creeps off. However, this combo is much harder to perform (as you must keep the monsters exactly between the point where they attack you and the one where they walk back and start regenerating) and not really more effective. That being said, I would recommend to perform the first combo, which is easier, as effective and in most cases faster.
Eventually, to gain even more time, you can activate Human Form when only one monster is still alive, and rather low on health. Kite it to finish it off while you walk towards your next destination (either another camp or a lane if you plan to gank an enemy Champion), and switch back to Spider Form to benefit from the movespeed bonus.
The Rappel Combo
|A combo used to optimize your time when farming the Jungle from mid-game. At level 11, your Spider Queen will count 4 spiderlings, meaning that you should not need your Human Form spells anymore to clear camps efficiently. When walking towards a camp, instead of skirting the wall, get close to it, use Rappel (don't forget to target the ground if you want it to work properly), and jump on one of the creeps ( Rappel gives you vision of the units in its range, so don't use a ward, like you would do with Xin Zhao for instance). Rappel does not deal any damage, so creeps won't attack you right away. Engage them with Venomous Bite and follow up with Skittering Frenzy, just like in the Standard Combo. When creeps are low on health, you can get back to Human Form and cast Neurotoxin and / or Volatile Spiderling to finish them off. Remember that Human Form spells cost mana though, so avoid it if don't have a blue buff or if you're already low on mana.|
N.B. Remember that Rappel has a rather long cooldown and is your one and only escape ability, so don't use it unless you are sure there is absolutely no hazard around. It is always disappointing to jump on a creep when the enemy Jungler is waiting in the next bush with some of his friends, ready to spend an unpleasant time with you. That is an additional reason to regularly buy Stealth Wards and Vision Wards in order to avoid such inconveniences.
Since Season V, Jungle creeps grant you a specific enchantment when you Smite them. In this section we will go over the different monsters and the buffs they provide, and explain which ones you should Smite in order to maximize your efficiency and utility.
N.B. Mobafire didn't update its database regarding Jungle creeps yet ; therefore I'm not able to use such codes at the moment. I will fix it as soon as Mobafire allows me to.
Early Game Smites
As mentioned earlier in the Jungle Routes section, the best option to start with is either the Ancient Krug or Gromp.
||The former grants you Gift of Heavy Hands, which stuns a creep (monster or minion) when you auto-attack it right after you obtained the enchantment, and then every six auto-attacks. Attacking Champions does not increment the stacks, and attacking turrets deals additional damage on your first auto-attack but makes you lose the enchantement right away. This buff fits really well with Skittering Frenzy as the attack speed bonus procs the stun more often, and allows you to kill the buff camps very easily.|
|The latter provides you with Gift of the Toadstool, which deals DoT (Damage over Time) damage to creeps that attack you. Just like Gift of the Heavy Hands, it helps you to clean the buff camps faster, although it is not as efficient, since it does not really fit any Elise skill (unlike Sejuani's Flail of the Northern Winds for instance). However, starting at Gromp means that you will use your second Smite on the Red Brambleback, and thus regenerate any missing health, making these two options equivalent.||
Once you're done with your first clear and have maybe ganked a lane, try to Smite either a Gromp or Ancient Krug again and farm, gank or both until your first recall.
Middle Game Smites
So you finally recalled and got at least a Tier 2 (without any enchantment) jungling item. If you had a really successful early game (let's say you picked up 2 Kills and 1 Assistance), you should even be able to buy a complete jungling item right away. In both cases, this will make your Jungle a lot easier (even though it was easy already thanks to what you've learned in the previous chapters). As a consequence, you will not need to Smite the Ancient Krug or Gromp anymore, and will have have two categories of options instead : sustain or vision.
||Even if you should not lose any health against Jungle creeps from level 6 (as your Spider Queen will tank the totality of the damages), you may still get injured during a gank, a fight, or if you have to tank an objective such as Dragon . In these cases, it may be interesting to Smite the Red Brambleback and regenerate some health in order to stay on the map longer and be ready for another showdown. However, if you're full on health, you'd rather save your Smite for another monster or objective, unless the enemy Jungler shows up to steal it : in this case, use your Smite to secure the buff.|
|Even though Elise does not rely too much on mana thanks to her costless abilities in Spider Form, she can run out of mana pretty fast if you keep spamming your Human Form spells. As you should start giving blue buff to your Midlaner from the second one, it can be interesting to Smite the Blue Sentinel to regenerate some mana to be as effective as possible in case a fight starts, or if you want to gank a lane short after. Make sure not to kill the creep with Smite though, as you would get the buff instead of your Midlaner, making him losing time, CS and probably insulting you deservedly. Break this rule only of the enemy jungler attempts to steal the buff, in order to secure it, at least for yourself.||
||In League of Legends, the Jungler has always been a key element of map control. Since Season V, this role goes even further, as smiting the Crimson Raptor grants you Razor Sharp, which gives you true vision for a short moment whenever you get spotted by an enemy ward (a small exclamation mark will appear above your head and your Champion will emit wide pink waves), before disappearing. When spotted, check out nearby bushes to seek and destroy enemy wards. However, remember to upgrade your Sweeping Lens into Oracle's Lens so as to get an additional mean to deprive the enemy team of vision. If a Crimson Raptor is alive (yours or the enemy Jungler's one), try to Smite it before ganking a lane to surprise your target.|
|Greater Murk Wolf is the last monster you can get an enchantment from. When Smited, a small mobile ward appears and tracks enemy Champions who walk into this part of the Jungle. This is particularly useful against counter-jungling Champions (like Shaco, Udyr or Shyvana) as it will warn you and your team and allow you to react quickly and catch the enemy Jungler. This is also very relevant when you counter-jungle, as it will prevent you from being caught, by spotting any enemy Champion who would try to punish you.||
Late Game Smites
After about 30min of game, here we are. At this point, both your Midlaner and AD Carry should be able to pick up respectively the blue and red buff. Therefore, you should not use your Smite on Blue Sentinel or Red Brambleback anymore. This leaves you two options : vision Smites, as described previously, or objectives : Dragon and Baron .
||Dragon is the second most powerful monster of Summoner's Rift. It deals AoE high damage, is very resistant and repels surrounding Champions when it takes off (right after taking damage from any source). Killing the Dragon grants you and your teammates a Dragon Slayer permanent stack (except the last one which only lasts 3min) ; each stack has a specific effect and gives you a slight advantage over the enemy team (damages, pushing power, movement, etc). Since Dragon only spawns every 6min, it is crucial to secure it everytime you can, even if you have to fight for it. When it is about to spawn, make sure to save a Smite to be able to secure, contest or steal it.|
|Baron is the most powerful creature of Summoner's Rift ; it spawns for the first time at 20min and every 7min when killed. It grants you the Hand of Baron enchantment when your team takes it down, which increases both your Attack Damage and Ability Power, promotes nearby minions and halves your recall time. This is particularly powerful when split pushing and besieging enemy turrets. As for Dragon , always remember to save a smite when it's about to spawn, as in late game many fights will occur around Baron pit in order to contest it.||
N.B. Don't wait for late game to take objectives : since Season V the first drake is now usually taken between 5 and 15min of game. Calling this section Late Game Smites simply means that by that time Dragon and Baron should almost be the one and only thing you should save a Smite for. Always try to put Stealth Wards around objectives when they are about to spawn and one Vision Ward in the pit to destroy enemy wards and deprive your opponents of map awareness.
A Short Introduction to Counter-Jungling
Counter-Jungling is a playstyle which consists in killing creeps on the enemy side of the Jungle. The limit between the two sides of the Jungle is the river. For example, if you are in the southern team, you will kill monsters of the northern side if you decide to counter-jungle, and vice versa.
The goal of counter-jungle is to deny gold, experience and buffs to the enemy team. Whereas farm, kills and objectives set you ahead, couter-jungling sets your enemy behind. In a word, if the logic is different, the result is the same. However, counter-jungling can have an important psychological effect over the enemy jungler : it is always very frustrating to realize that your Jungle is completely empty. Moreover, if you manage to steal the enemy blue buff, their Midlaner will sometimes even blame his Jungler for not being able to look after his own Jungle. It is not rare to see players rage quit if you counter-jungle them really well.
Counter-jungling requires an excellent awareness of enemy Champions and creeps timers. That means that you should not attempt to steal enemy camps if you have no vision of your opponents. However, if you are in the southern team, and see the enemy Jungler ganking toplane right when his blue buff is about to spawn, go straight to the Blue Sentinel and steal it. You can even clear some more camps if you think that you have enough time before the enemy Jungler notices you. As soon as one of your allies signals a missing enemy, walk back to a safer spot. While counter-jungling, you should constantly keep an eye on your mini-map so as to avoid any undesirable surprise. It is highly risky to walk in the enemy Jungle without any idea of enemy wards ; always remember to use Oracle's Lens in order to make sure that you are not walking an enemy Stealth Ward. Also remember to carry one or two wards when couter-jungling so as to see prospective incoming threats earlier and be able to react accordingly.
When counter-jungling, you usually want to leave only one small creep in camps, as they will not respawn until they get entirely cleared. This will force the enemy Jungler to finish off all the camps himself, making him lose time, gold and experience. In some situations however, clearing camps completely can be an interesting option. If your map control is definitely superior, I would recommend you to clear entirely the Blue Sentinel and Red Brambleback camps so as to get the timer and be able to steal the next one again. If your whole team is completely dominating the game, by mid-game you will probably spend more time in the enemy Jungle than in yours. In this case, it can be relevant to clear all the camps entirely so as to maximize your own income and experience, as the enemy team will not be able to contest them anyway. Eventually, if your dueling power is higher than your opponent's (if you face a Sejuani or a Zac for instance) and if you keep track of his moves, you can even wait for him in a bush and burst him down before he even realizes what is going on.
Counter-Jungling with Elise
In this section I will go over a few tricks you can perform as Elise to counter-jungle as effectively as possible. Her skillset offers numerous possibilities to contest enemy buffs and camps ; we will see below what they are and how to use them properly.
The Spiderling Ward
When you pick Elise, the enemy Jungler may expect you to counter-jungle him. In anticipation of this possibility, he might wait for you (sometimes with some of his teammates) in a bush nearby a camp to catch you right away and burst you down. In order not to take any risk, send a Volatile Spiderling in the bush right next to the camp you plan to steal, and wait for it to give you vision over the bush.
If there is no one there, kill the monsters and walk towards your next destination. If the enemy Jungler is actually waiting for you, just run away and put yourself in a safer spot. This sounds like an obvious hint ; however I've seen many Elise players not using it and ending up being caught and giving away free kills.
The Rappel Escape
As explained previously, Rappel is Elise's trickiest ability. When counter-jungling, always make sure that it is available, as it is your only way to get away from a difficult situation. If you get caught while stealing a camp, use it to jump over a wall and put some distance between you and your opponents. It is especially effective when jumping on Krugs, Blue Sentinel, and Raptors. However, depending on the situation, any camp can be used, or even minions if they are close enough to Jungle walls.
N.B. Be aware that you can also use Rappel on enemy wards, if you have vision of them ! This is a particularly random trick, as it highly depends on wards positions and timers, but if for instance you see an enemy putting a ward on the ground on the other side of a wall, use your Oracle's Lens to reveal it and jump on it. Remember that this move does not work on your own wards, unlike Lee Sin's Safeguard or Katarina's Shunpo.
The Flash Rappel Juke
A tricky combo, hard to perform but absolutely hilarious. It is particularly efficient when stealing blue buff. The situation is the following : you decide to kill the enemy Blue Sentinel and walk in the enemy Jungle. You cast Volatile Spiderling to check out the bush, and use Oracle's Lens to destroy any potential ward. Confident, you start killing the buff. All of the sudden, for an unkwown reason, the enemy Jungler (let's say Udyr as you probably could not beat him in a duel) shows up and seems to look for retaliation. What can you do at that point ? Perform the Flash + Rappel combo. Flash over the wall in order to escape your bellicose enemy, and if Flashes as well to follow you, use Rappel to jump back on the Blue Sentinel, Smite it to benefit from the Poacher's Knife movespeed bonus, and watch that old good Udyr facepalm. Nevertheless, make sure that there are still alive monsters in the camp, or you may end up facepalming yourself.
N.B. To make it shorter, I will only describe pathes from the southern team perspective. If you get placed in the northern team, just reverse them (turn Midlane upside down and reverse Toplane and Botlane).
||Toplane is often recognized to be the easiest lane to gank. The distance between the two turrets as well as the position of bushes make successful ganks very likely : that's why Toplaners are usually tanky, in order to survive such ganks. Depending on the matchup, focusing on Toplane can be relevant or not. If the enemy Toplaner is a rather squishy Champion ( Kennen, Fiora, Jayce) which tends to rely on kills, or if your own Toplaner tends to snowball well ( Riven, Tryndamere, Lissandra), ganking Toplane is worth the time. However, if the Toplane matchup is, let's say Singed (enemy team) against Malphite (your team), there is no real point in ganking, as Malphite essentially relies on farm and Singed is very difficult to catch (you may even end up dying after chasing him for ages). In game, you will have to assess yourself if ganking Toplane is relevant or not.|
There are three ways to gank the Toplane : by the river, from behind, and from the lane. Ganking by the river is the most common way to do. It is efficient when your target is really overextended, almost under your turret. In this situation, cast Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling while you walk towards your enemy, and use Cocoon only when you are close enough to your enemy not to miss him. Once he is stunned, switch to Spider Form and use your Venomous Bite and Skittering Frenzy combo. If your enemy stands between the middle of the lane and the tribush wall, consider ganking from behind. Wait for your laner to provoke a trade with his opponent and engage by using the same combo as previously explained. Eventually, when going for a lane gank, hide in a bush as far as possible without being seen ; wait for the enemy laner to commit in a fight, and engage. Use Cocoon first to stun your target ; in some cases you may have to land it at maximum range, which makes it fairly easy to dodge. If your ally has a CC ability ( Renekton's Ruthless Predator, Ryze's Rune Prison or Maokai's Twisted Advance for instance), let him use it first, and land Cocoon at the very end of the stun duration, in order to optimize your CC rotation, before casting your regular combo ( Neurotoxin, Volatile Spiderling, Spider Form, Venomous Bite and Skittering Frenzy).
||Botlane is identical to Toplane except that it is reversed. That is to say, that you cannot really gank by the tribush, as even if your enemies are under your turret, they will still have time to walk back (unless you play a Jungler with multiple gap closers such as Vi or Jarvan IV). However, you can wait in the tribush for an opportunity, and then surprise them from behind. This statement also works for the river bush. Eventually, going for a lane gank is slightly different, as you will find three small bushes on Toplane, and only two large bushes on Botlane : it is therefore easier to enter the first bush without being seen, but harder to get into the second one. Botlane is probably the hardest lane to gank, as you will fight not only one but two Champions, among whom the Support with both protective abilities ( Thresh's Dark Passage or Janna's Monsoon) and a Sightstone (Botlane should be the most warded).|
However, this is also the most rewarding, as it is always worth getting your AD Carry fed, and as you will pick up not one but two assistances. As for Toplane, when ganking by the river, if your enemies are really overextended, cast your Human Form spells while walking towards them, and stun one of them (the AD Carry if you can, the Support if you can't) once you're close enough. Switch to Spider Form, burst one of them down, and use Rappel to jump on the other. If you can't finish off the second one in Spider Form, get back to Human Form and secure the kill. Whether you choose to go for a river or lane gank, always try to let your allies provoke a fight before you engage, and wait for them to use their CC abilities ( Sona's Crescendo or Leona's Shield of Daybreak for instance) before casting Cocoon and release your whole combo. If your enemies walk back as soon as you enter either the tribush or the river bush, remember to use your Oracle's Lens, as it is most likely warded, and come back short after. Also, don't hesitate to ask your teammates whether they saw a ward being put or not, and adapt your path in order to surprise your opponents.
||Whereas Botlane and Toplane are relatively similar, Midlane is very different from the two others. There are two parallel walls on each side (at the river level) bound by wide bushes. This setup puts ganks difficulty at an average point between Toplane and Botlane. However, ganking Midlane is also rewarding, as you want to get your AP Carry fed as well. Moreover, taking Midlane turrets quickly hugely increases your map control and allows your Midlaner to roam and pick up kills on other lanes, especially if he is an Assassin (like Zed, Talon, Fizz or LeBlanc). Ganking Midlane is especially easy with Elise if your target has a little or no mobility, like Brand, Xerath or Zyra, as it won't be able to dodge Cocoon, and will most likely get killed very fast due to your own burst added to your laner's damages.|
The usual way to gank Midlane is by the river if your target stands beyond the middle of the lane, and from behind if it stays between the middle and the back wall (the upper one on the picture). When ganking from the side, try to let your ally engage and successfully cast a CC ability (like Ahri's Charm, Xerath's Shocking Orb or Syndra's Scatter the Weak). Cast your Cocoon so that it hits right at the end of the previous stun and use your regular combo. When ganking from behind, go by either the left or right wall, and walk towards your target. In this situation, you may be the one who should engage. Get as close as possible of your target, cast Cocoon and use your combo. This should give enough time to your Midlaner to get in range and cast himself his CC ability and finish off the enemy Champion. A wave of minion showing up at the wrong time may result in you being seen and the enemy Midlaner running away. To avoid this, make sure to look at your own minion wave in order to predict when the enemy wave will reach the battlefield.
In this section, I will go over the two main combos to perform in order to gank lanes successfully with Elise. Please take note that icons are to be read from top to bottom first, then from left to right. I chose this setup for aesthetic purposes ; if it is not visually clear enough, make sure to read the description to make it more understandable.
Human Form Engage
|Elise's standard ganking combo. It is very similar to your jungling combo, except that you use Cocoon in order to stun your enemy and maximize your damages so as to secure the kill. As explained previously, always try to maximize your chances to cast Cocoon successfully (get as close as possible to your target or wait for your laner to use a CC ability himself). Completing Rylai's Crystal Scepter while slightly modify your ability sequence. In order to make the most of the 35% slow, start off using Neurotoxin to increase your chances to hit your target with Cocoon. Once it is stunned, switch to Spider Form and trigger Skittering Frenzy. Wait for Cocoon to be over and cast Venomous Bite right away to apply the slow again. Given that Rylai's Crystal Scepter's effect lasts 1.5s, this combo will slow / stun your enemy for 5s once Cocoon gets maxed.|
Spider Form Engage
|A trickier combo that I only use in very specific situations. Indeed, by using this ability sequence, you significantly slow your burst down, even though you end up dealing the same amount of damages. This gives your opponent much more time to walk back towards a safer place. Moreover, I would not use it before completing Rylai's Crystal Scepter, as you would not have any CC ability to cast right away when jumping on your target (whereas Venomous Bite will apply the slow once you finish the item). This combo can nevertheless have a great utility, especially when you intend to surprise your enemy by jumping over a wall for example. If a fight starts in the Jungle for instance, use Rappel to land on an enemy and cast your Spider Form spells before switching back to Human Form and using Cocoon as well as your regular combo, so as to give some extra time to your allies to finish him off.|
As mentionned in the "Spells Explanation" chapter, Rappel is certainly Elise's trickiest ability. When ganking lanes, it often turns out to be an essential part of your combo to secure kills or survive plays.
If you decide to go for a Human Form engage, wait for your target to use its escape ability ( Zed's Living Shadow, Fizz's Playful / Trickster for instance) or Flash before casting Rappel in order to bridge the gap and stick to the enemy Champion. If you can, wait for Venomous Bite to be available again before using Rappel so as to give the shortest possible reaction time to your opponent.
If you the gank gets a bit dangerous for you (let's say you lost half of your health) and the enemy has high burst damages (like Zed's Death Mark), he may try to turn around, kill you, and get away with the kill. In such cases, as soon as your target engages, use Rappel to bait him and temporize the trade while your allies finish him off.
Eventually, Rappel allows you to dive enemies hard and walk away without much retaliation. If you have a couple of minions by your side and your target is low on health, make sure to engage it first so as to provoke the turret's aggro. Once you killed the enemy Champion or know that your allies can finish him off, cast Rappel to lose the aggro, and pass it to one of your allies so as to share the damages. If you can, jump on an enemy minion in order to put some more distance between the turret and yourself.
Poking the Enemy Team
In Human Form, Elise's spells are very effective when it comes to poking the enemy team down before a fight. Cast Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling towards overextended enemies in order to wound them and increase your chances to burst them quicky when the fight really starts. This strategy will force you to get rather close to the enemy frontlane, so make sure to dodge lethal CC abilities such as Thresh's Death Sentence or Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab (use Rappel to become untergetable if you can absolutely not avoid it). However, unless you can stun one carry, don't use Cocoon, as it would be wasted on a Tank (particularly if he built tenacity, through Mercury's Treads for instance). Wait for the fight to start off to cast it and try your best to stun a more damaging target.
Protecting Your Carries
Let's say both teams gather on Midlane and wait for an opportunity to engage. The most likely situation is that either your or the enemy initiator (usually a Tank such as Sejuani, Malphite, Amumu, etc) uses his ultimate ability and waits for his teammates to follow up. If the one who engages is an enemy, and if he gets separated from the rest of his team (as it often happens with Champions like Vi or Jarvan IV who have numerous gap closers), Cocoon him and cast Neurotoxin to deal significant damages. Meanwhile, send a Volatile Spiderling towards their backline to wound them. Thanks to the Rylai's Crystal Scepter effect, both Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling will slow their targets and help you temporizing the fight. If your own backline gets focused hard, use Randuin's Omen active if you built it, so as to help your carries able to kite their opponents more effectively. If the enemy team does not focus you, switch to Spider Form and either kill the enemy frontlane or zone the enemy carries.
Zoning Enemy Carries
This strategy is especially relevant if you are part of your team's frontlane. If an enemy Champion jumps on your carries (like Irelia or Renekton), choose the most overextended enemy carry (AP or AD) and cast your whole combo in order to burst him down quickly (you may not kill him, but at least he should be forced to play very passively). Then use Rappel straight away and jump on the Champion we just mentionned (who is still zoning your carries) to go back with your team without hard retaliation, and start protecting you own carries, as explained above. Once you have killed the enemy Tank, jump in the fight again and use your Human Form combo on the remaining enemy Champions. Make the most of your Rylai's Crystal Scepter's slow in order to stick to them and secure the kills.
The main question (and difficulty) when teamfighting with Elise is the following : when should you switch between Human Form and Spider Form ? To be honest, every teamfight is different ; it is therefore rather hard to tell "you should switch at THIS precise moment". In most cases, you will have to assess yourself whether it is relevant or not. However, always remember that being in Spider Form forces you to commit into the fight. If your enemies tend to focus you hard, try to stay behind and deal constant damages with Neurotoxin and Volatile Spiderling from a safe distance. If you can finish off a low-health, overextended or isolated enemy, choose the Spider Form (never underestimate the damages Venomous Bite deal to low-health targets). If the enemy team does not focus you, you should also select the Spider Form in order to both deal high damages and regenerate with Skittering Frenzy (especially if you decided to build Spirit Visage). Remember to switch back to human form everytime your enemies are out of melee range to keep dealing significant damage and slow thanks to your Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Save your Rappel for crucial moments, as it will in many cases heavily modify your impact in teamfight. Eventually, stick to your team, as in teamfight, an isolated Elise is too often a dead one.
I actually had a really good time writing this guide, and got so much into it than I finished it way faster than expected. If I forgot anything in my haste, please leave a comment and let me know. Moreover, as mentioned in the introduction, English is not my mothertongue, so if I made any grammar mistake, don't hesitate to point it out.
I will of course try to update this guide as regularly as possible in order to take into account prospective changes future patches may bring to the game or to Elise. If you have any question about her that you think I didn't answer, please let me know and I will integrate it to the guide.
If I find the time I will add videos to the gameplay chapters, as pictures speak louder than words. Meanwhile, I recommend you to watch high elo streamers or professional players (like TheOddOne, Santorin, C9 Meteos) in order to improve your playstyle. A matchup section and a synergy chapter are also to be added.
First of all, I would like to thank the whole Mobafire community for putting so much effort and dedication in writing awesome guides ; I always check them out whenever I decide to learn a new Champîon or try to improve with him.
I would also like to thank jhoijhoi for her awesome Making a Guide work. Make sure to have a look at it if you ever decide to write a guide yourself.
Runes & Masteries were highly inspired by C9 Meteos and his Only the Spider is Safe in Her Web guide, published on Solomid.net. Check it out if you want a professional perspective on Elise and how to build or play her.
Eventually, I would like to thank Ludwig von Beethoven for inspiring me the title of the guide. He was certainly deaf, but he could nonetheless see, and I'm pretty sure that if he had read this guide, he would have approved it. Cheers Ludwig.