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Sylas Build Guide by Yeager

Middle Yeager's Master Sylas Guide

Middle Yeager's Master Sylas Guide

Updated on April 20, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Yeager Build Guide By Yeager 2635 151 6,914,309 Views 51 Comments
2635 151 6,914,309 Views 51 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Yeager Sylas Build Guide By Yeager Updated on April 20, 2022
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Mid build
  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Jungle build
  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Support build
  • LoL Champion: Sylas
    Top build

Runes: Conqueror (Meta build)

1 2 3
Presence of Mind
Legend: Tenacity
Last Stand

Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10% Tenacity/Slow Resist


1 2 3
Standard setup
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


Champion Build Guide

Yeager's Master Sylas Guide

By Yeager

Welcome to my master tier Sylas guide. I'm Yeager, a high elo midlaner in league of legends, achieving master tier the last 2 seasons. I'm also a partnered YouTuber & affiliated streamer. I started playing league at the end of season 3. I finished in Platinum 5 in my first season of ranked, Diamond 1 seasons 5-6. At the start of season 7 i decided to take a break so i could focus on studying. 8 months after i returned to league, broke the diamond 1 barrier and climbed to Master tier EUW and Challenger EUNE.

These are my recent games with Sylas, all games played in high diamond/master tier on EUW with this account.


+ Hijack enemy ultimates
+ Versatile
+ Powerful sustain and huge shields
+ Great dueling & waveclear

Sylas' ability to steal enemy ultimates and use it against them, makes him a solid pick into a lot of different teamcomps. His combos feels very smooth and rewarding to use, and he's also very versatile when it comes to keystones. Sylas has powerful waveclear, and dueling potential that makes him a powerful pick in multiple roles, so he can work as a flex pick, making it rather difficult for the enemies to counterpick him.

- Short range
- Ultimate can backfire if used wrong
- Requires solid positioning
- Squishy

Sylas is melee and a squishy mage, so when caught off-guard in the later stages of the game, you will most likely get one-shot by the carries, and this can be a big problem, especially when you are required to get within range to steal ultimates. He can't steal the same enemy ultimate for a while after taking their ability, so wrong usage of Hijack can end up backfiring, and make you useless in fights. Sylas also has no real built-in escape ability, so having solid positioning is even more important.

FLASH: Pretty self-explanatory. Always take this.
IGNITE: The go-to summoner for having kill pressure in lane. If you are sure that you can get some easy solokills in lane, then this is a good option to ensure the targets don't escape with Flash and 10 hp.
TELEPORT: Can work great into difficult lanes as it allows you to base early and teleport back with an item advantage. It also allows you to splitpush and pressure the enemy team from the sidelane.
CLEANSE: Since Sylas has very limited mobility, he can be vulnerable to heavy CC comps, especially since he's quite the squishy champ. Having Cleanse will make it much harder for the enemies to shut you down, so be sure to take this whenever you're against a lot of CC.

Sylas can proc this easily due to how fast he's able to execute his combos, which further empowers his trading and burst potential.

Magic penetration is always needed on AP champions. Sylas can use this with both casts of Abscond/abduct, and even his ultimate Hijack if he manages to steal something that procs sudden impact.

Solid rune that rewards you for playing aggressive, and for taking out enemy vision. More AP is always helpful for mages, so you can't really go wrong with this. If you do prefer having more vision, then Ghost Poro is also a decent option.

It's weak early, but when you start getting kills on the different champions in the game, the sustain this rune provides you with is just too good.

When above 70% HP, it will give you a lot of free AP if you manage to stay healthy, and even if you don't, you can easily heal up with Ravenous Hunter.

Weak early on, but slowly ramps up. From minute 20 you will start noticing the difference this rune can make. Sometimes your team will get a huge lead, but since it's soloq, they will most likely fail to close out the game. This rune is basically the late-game insurance if you aren't able to end the game.

Petricite Burst (Passive): After casting a spell, Sylas’ next basic attack whirls his chains around him, damaging nearby enemies.

Chain Lash (Q): Sylas lashes out with his chains, damaging and slightly slowing enemies. After a brief delay, the intersection of the chains detonates, applying an increased slow and damaging enemies again.

Kingslayer (W): Sylas lunges at a target with a powerful strike, damaging them and healing himself. If the enemy is at low health, the damage is increased; if Sylas is at low health, the heal is increased.

ABSCOND / ABDUCT (E): Sylas dashes a short distance.

For a short time, he can recast the ability to whip out his chains, stunning, damaging, and pulling himself to the first enemy hit, shielding himself if the target is a champion or a monster.

Hijack (R): Sylas hijacks an enemy’s ultimate for his own use.

Enemies can still use their ultimates if Sylas takes them. Sylas can take an enemy’s ultimate whenever Hijack is off cooldown, but can’t hijack the same enemy for a while after.

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Chain Lash is maxed first or second as this is his main source of waveclear AND poke. Max it out first against ranged match ups.

Kingslayer is maxed first or second. Gives you a free gap closer, damage as well as sustain that makes it difficult trading against you. I max this first against melee match ups to really abuse the low cooldown on this ability.

Abscond / Abduct is maxed second. A couple patches ago, this ability received a nerf to the cooldown, especially the first 2 points was increased by 6 and 5,5 seconds which is huge in the laning phase. Kingslayer also saw a lot of nerfs over several patches, so it's a lot better to max this second now and leave Kingslayer for last.

Hijack is maxed third. This is without a doubt the reason Sylas is so versatile and fun to play. It steals an enemy ultimate and allows you to use it against them. Put a point in this whenever possible as we want to lower the cooldown. In latgame with enough cdr, the ultimate will be at such a low cooldown that you can keep stealing ultimates during 1 fight.

Doran's Ring
  • Doran's Ring: Is still the standard starting-item for most AP champions because it provides you with a safe early game.

Refillable potion
  • Refillable Potion: You will never have to buy Health Potion's again for the rest of the game. I usually get Dark Seal and this as starting items so i get lots of sustain. When i want to sell it, i get a decent amount of gold back.

Corrupting potion
  • Corrupting Potion: This is a great offensive starting item that you can use to harass the opponent a lot early on with abilities mixed with autoattacks. There are some match ups where it's super strong, for example against Malzahar and Yasuo. They both have a passive shield that slowly stacks up, so if you activate Corrupting Potion when harassing, the ticks will make their shields useless.

Control Ward
  • Control Ward: Vision is one of the most important things in league. Make sure you always have a control ward on the map throughout the entire game. If you have good vision control, you're able to play more aggressive and take over the lane.

Luden's Tempest
  • Luden's Tempest: Great item on Sylas as every single stat it has, is crucial on AP champions. Ability haste, AP, mobility and more mana. The active also helps a bit with waveclearing and poking. Sylas is a champion that must utilize his combos and versatile ultimate to make plays and carry. Having these on lower cooldown is essential so you can make it happen more often. The additional stats is perfect for a mage first-buy item.

Hextech Rocketbelt
  • Hextech Rocketbelt: Strong early game item with burst and a gap closer. Hextech Alternator is one of the strongest item components in the game, so you will have a lot of kill potential already after your first base.

Night Harvester
  • Night Harvester: This item is also meant for pure burst, so you only want this with Electrocute builds. Compared to rocketbelt, this item doesn't give you that extra gap closer, in exchange you have more reliable burst damage and mobility once you are already in the fights. You also get more ability haste from the passive instead of magic pen.

Liandry's Anguish
  • Liandry's Torment: This item helps a lot against tankier champions with the max health damage as well as the magic resistance shredding passive, so you want to use this with your conqueror build. It also gives the highest amount of ability haste in the game out of all AP mythic items.

  • Mercury's Treads: Offers magic resist and 30% tenacity. If you are playing against hard CC, these boots are a must-buy. Sylas is very vulnerable to ganks in lane, so these boots will gives him that extra bit of safety. Here are some examples of when you should buy Mercury's Treads. When you face Ryze + Sejuani or Syndra + Elise or LeBlanc + Skarner. Basically you want mercs, when you are up against any combination of mid+jgl, that has some form of hard CC.

  • Rylai's Crystal Scepter: The slows can be quite useful so you can stick to your targets and provide more utility for your team through slows. It's rarely bought this season but still a viable item.

  • Morellonomicon: Great item that's made to give a nice early game spike. More flat pen combined with the healing reduction makes this a good purchase in most games. Be sure to have this against healing focused champions like Soraka, Sona etc.

Lich Bane
  • Lich Bane: This is a powerful item on Sylas because of his passive that gives him an empowered auto every time you use an ability. Because of this you have to weave in autos between each spell cast, so you will get multiple procs of Lich Bane. It adds a lot of damage to your burst, but it also allows you to take down turrets and jungle camps much faster.

  • Rabadon's Deathcap: Super cost efficient item that provides you with the biggest AP boost in the game. Buy this before Void Staff unless the carries are stacking MR.

  • Void Staff: Buy this if your targets are buying magic resistance. Against mages that are ahead, people will often rush magic resistance in order to survive. Void Staff will help us shred through their resistances.

  • Banshee's Veil: Provides some some CDR and AP which Sylas loves to have, but it also gives MR and a spellshield for "flashy" champions. I buy this against for example AP Gragas and Annie, because they rely on catching people off-guard with the Flash+combo. This item counters them completely. If you're disguised as another champion, the shield will be hidden, even though it's still active, so you can bait out a lot of abilities with this item.

  • Zhonya's Hourglass: If you are facing a heavy AD team, or just AD assassins, this item has great value. This can help you out in a lot of scenarios, especially because Sylas is a squishy melee champion that has to be close to deal damage. Against for example Talon and Kha'Zix you can get away with just building Seeker's Armguard and then upgrading this item later on.

  • Quicksilver Sash: This is a must-buy against Malzahar and Skarner, as it is the only item that cancels Suppression. I only buy this item to counter Suppression - for everything else you should get Cleanse, so you don't have to use up a item slot.
Gameplay + Combos

Sylas struggles a bit during the early game because most matchups will be against ranged champions, who will take control of the lane by harassing you whenever possible. Being melee with long cooldowns early on definetely doesn't help, so your goal here is to let the enemies push the lane towards you, while you use Chain Lash to last hit multiple creeps when they are within kill range. For the early game, EXP is way more important than the CS, so don't trade half your hp for a few CS because it will screw over the rest of your laning phase. As you level up, you will have access to more combos that will greatly increase your trade potential by proccing Electrocute, if you do it right. Even though you are supposed to play it out safe the early laning phase, you can still capitalize on enemy mistakes by using Abscond / Abduct to dodge skillshots and gap close, and then comboing it with your passive and abilities. If you end up fighting a lot, be sure to utilize his passive by weaving in autos after every ability to maximize the dps. Your goal for the laning phase is to farm towards your core items, but if you find opportunities to Hijack a powerful ultimate, then try to coordinate the next move with your jungler for a potential free kill. If you can, abuse your level 6 spike, and roam towards another lane who have some powerful ultimates you can steal. The enemy botlane will be lower level because they share exp, but you can still steal a ultimate even if they aren't level 6 yet. Every game will be different because you rely on the opponents ults, so you have to adapt and play around that.
Midgame is usually when the outer turrets start falling and people begin to rotate around the map. This is where Sylas waveclear will be a lot better since we have a few items in our pocket, so it allows us to push faster and roam to assist our teammates. You get a massive powerspike when you finish your first mythic item + Lich Bane, so you will be able to delete squishies immediately. Therefore it's important that you always look for opportunities where you can roam, and setup free kills by denying vision and communicating with your team. Having the ability to copy ultimates, makes Sylas very hard to counter. Even though you are super strong at this point in the game, keep in mind that whenever you copy an ultimate, that same ultimate will be on 200% cooldown before you can use it again, so don't copy and waste powerful teamfighting ultimates, but rather save them for when you really need it.

It's important that you switch to Oracle Lens during the mid game. Sylas is a melee champion, so he has to get in relatively close range before he can use Hijack or his other abilities, so it's important that you clear out any vision the enemies might have. Else you might risk getting caught and die. Your goal for the mid game is to extend the lead as much as possible by forcing solo kills / dives, and by taking objectives, so you can close out the game and deny the enemies any chance of comeback.
Sylas in the lategame has massive damage but keep in mind that he's rather squishy, so bad positioning or missplays CAN get you killed and give the enemies free objectives. This stage of the game is all about objectives like baron and elder dragon that will help either team to break open the base. Set up and deny vision around these objectives and look for enemies you can pick off. Your playstyle in teamfights depends heavily on the ultimates you steal. If you have a Malphite ultimate, you can be the one to engage, unleash your combo and then pop Zhonya's Hourglass to save yourself time, until your teammates catch up. You can also be the one to disengage or peel for your ADC if you have a supportive ultimate like Monsoon. Lategame you will have low cooldown on Hijack so you will be able to steal multiple ultimates, making it rather hard for the enemy team to play around you. Whoever wins the lategame fight, usually wins the game because the death timers are so long, so play around your teamcomp strengths and don't waste ultimates that have the potential to carry fights.

- Weave in autos between abilities to maximize your DPS output.

- The AOE range is pretty big, so you can damage nearby enemy champions by hitting minions.

- You can decide where the secondary explosion will appear. Try predicting the enemy movement and aim at where they will be walking towards.

- Whenever you steal an enemy ultimate, it will go on cooldown for 200% (the original ultimate cooldown). Getting CDR will reduce that cooldown as well, which is also one of the reasons CDR is highly prioritized on Sylas

- If you steal ultimates from champions that can transform, for example Shyvana and Nidalee, then you will get ALL their abilities.

- The ability is considered a "projectile", so it can be blocked by Yasuo's windwall.

What does it mean to freeze and how do i do it?

Freezing is a advanced technique that lets you deny your opponent exp and cs if done correctly. Freezing a lane means that you kite/tank the minions without letting your tower hit the creeps. You need to make sure the enemy minions always beat yours. After the enemy killed your entire wave, you let 2-3 of the enemy creeps live, and kite them until the next wave is here. When the next wave arrives, the wave will freeze right outside of your turret range.

By doing this, you are safe from jungle ganks, while your opponent takes a big risk everytime he overextends for a cs.

When to freeze the wave

You can Freeze the wave when you and the enemy are even or ahead, and it can be used to help you win back the lane after you screwed up and died. You can attempt to freeze the wave already from level 1, leaving your opponent vulnerable to jungle ganks or be within your kill range, if you are able to kill them. When you get a lead, and you can solokill an overextended enemy laner, that is exactly when you want to freeze the wave. You force the enemy midlaner to either be in your kill range, or miss a ton of cs and exp, putting them further behind.

Freezing a wave is a great way to snowball a lead, if you have no objectives to fight for, such as dragon, herald or towers.

Here is a youtube video that explains wave management very well. I recommend watching the entire video. All credits for this video goes to Blitz Esports LoL

Thanks for reading my Sylas guide! As the champion is still new, people still haven't found the best build / playstyle yet, but i have gathered everything i know and i will keep updating the guide as we get to know more. Big thanks to Jovy for the graphics!
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