Ice Witch Revealed For League of Legends!

The Ice Witch has been revealed, and she looks freakin' sweet.
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Oh Riot…  You heard me!  My last article about the League of Legends reworks for Trundle and Sejuani ended with asking when we’d get to see the Ice Witch.  The answer was, apparently, the next day.  And she looks awesome.

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But what does she do?

What, indeed.  Her passive (Iceborn) is similar to Nunu’s, in that it makes a spell free to cast.  Unlike Nunu’s, it is on a timer rather than based on how many auto-attacks have been made.  On top of that her abilities that impair movement, which is all but one of them, lower the cooldown on the passive.

So her passive gives her free spells, and casting spells reduces the cooldown.  Lots of sustain in lane for a careful player and a similar effect to Cassiopeia’s passive in a tense and frenzied teamfight.  The passive definitely gets a gold star.

Her q (Ice Shard)  is the almost obligatory boring skillshot.  It hits a target, damages, and slows them.  It does do damage to enemies behind the target actually hit, so it has some slightly more interesting play, but for laning phase it is just one more basic skillshot.

Now we get to the fun abilities.  The second (Ring of Frost) ability on her list is an AoE centered on her.  The cool part is that it also roots targets hit.  This is a big deal.  Anything that freezes (hah!  Ice Witch. I get it) an enemy in place is gorgeous for laning phase both for surviving ganks and for setting them up yourself.  The fact that it is an AoE centered on Lissandra herself means she’s also less helpless than most AP carries if she gets caught in the middle of a team, and can add not only damage but crowd control to AoE team comps.  Definitely another gold star.

Third (Glacial Path) on Lissandra’s list of capabilities is another skillshot.  It is slow-moving and long range and is her only ability that does not slow or better.  It is still possibly even better than her w for escaping enemy ganks, because if she activates it again while the skillshot is traveling, she flashes to wherever it is.  The juking and kiting potential of this is amazing.  Think about every trick you’ve ever seen Zed pull with a shadow clone, then increase the range out to the full length of the screen and add a root.  It’s good.

The Ice Witch’s ult (Frozen Tomb) is fitting, given her moniker.  Frozen Tomb can be cast on either an enemy or herself.  On an enemy, they are damaged and stunned while other enemies are damaged and slowed in an AoE around them.  If she casts it on herself, the AoE damage and slow still happen, but she roots herself and becomes both invulnerable and untargetable.


So let’s do a quick summary.  She has a skillshot nuke, a skillshot nuke/flash, an AoE root, and an AoE slow that is also either a hard stun or one of League of Legends’s exceedingly few invulnerability skills.  The actual numbers on her abilities are going to have to be very poor for her to not be strong.

There are two potential vulnerabilities I can see for Lissandra just based off the reveal.  First is that her root is an AoE centered on herself, so she needs to go all in to make it work if she wants to use it offensively.  Her ult definitely helps her to survive such things, but teamfights can turn around very quickly, so it is still worth noting as a downside.

The second possible issue is dependent on the range of her q.  She doesn’t have much long range firepower unless Ice Shard travels longer than most skillshot nukes.  Having the range of a Nidalee spear would largely negate the issue of range, but without it she lacks in tower siege potential (though she has a lot of diving and counter-diving ability).

On top of all that?  Lissandra looks downright badass.  I cannot wait for her to go live on League of Legends.  Hurry up, Riot and take my money!

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Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.