League of Legends Champion Guide: Lissandra

The key to mastering Lissandra is her hidden Q range.

Learning a new champion, particular those that aren’t played too often, can be challenging at times, especially when it’s difficult to figure out (just by playing the champion) what sort of builds, skill paths, skill orders, and so on are needed to be succesful. With that in mind, I thought I’d explain some things about one of my favorite champions: Lissandra.

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Abilities

 

Before anything, obviously, you must understand the basic abilities that a champion possesses.

Q:  Ice Shard

Throws a spear of ice that travels in a line and shatters when it hits an enemy, dealing 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 / 215 (+65% of ability power) magic damage and slowing its Movement Speed for 1.5 seconds. Shards then pass through the target, dealing the same damage to other enemies hit (but not slowing them).

Proper usage of this ability is what will allow you to dominate your lane. While hitting a secondary target with Ice Shard doesn’t slow them, what you’re interested in is the damage aspect. Interestingly, though, there is a hidden component to the ability: when passing through a minion, it gains significantly longer range (around 1.5x~ normal range).

This is incredibly important, especially versus lower elo players and those who don’t play Lissandra (considering she is rarely played, this is most mid laners you’ll likely encounter). With your opponent likely not aware of how important this aspect of the ability is, you can abuse it to win many lanes you might not normally.

You do need to be careful of pushing the lane too hard, but as long as you’re landing your shards on the enemy laner, it’s usually not that big of a deal. By abusing this tactic from level one on, you can whittle your opponent down rather quickly, setting up an easy flash engage (Flash > W > E, Q, + Ignite) for an early lane kill, or an even easier one at level 6.

W: Ring of Frost

Freezes an area around Lissandra, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to nearby enemies and rooting them for 1.1 / 1.2 / 1.3 / 1.4 / 1.5 seconds.

This is a fairly straightforward ability, a small AOE damaging root that has a relatively long cooldown. It’s her easiest ability to comprehend and use, and simply is combined with all of her other abilities when trying to burst someone down, or rooting someone in place while you run for your life.

E:  Glacial Path

Casts a claw of ice that moves forward in a line, dealing 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to all enemies hit. Reactivating this ability transports Lissandra to the claw’s current location.

This long cooldown ability is excellent at wave clear, provides a decent chunk of damage, and is her primary escape option. It is, however, different than other teleport-esque abilities in the game. Unlike LeBlanc’s Distortion, for example, she has significantly less time to activate the ability, and can teleport at different intervals of the designated target area. This can be useful in dire situations when trying to trick an opposing player. For example, say that you’re low HP and desperately trying to escape a Nidalee, setting your claw unavoidably in a reachable spot for her spear to hit you. In this situation, you can set your claw and then activate it early, as to not telegraph an easy kill for the Nidalee to set up.

Another small trick is useful for gaining extra net ground on your opponents. If you set your claw one way, and then run the opposite while they are chasing you, the enemy is forced to decide whether or not they want to chase you or the claw destination, offering an easy decision of whether or not you want to take the claw.

That said, the ability doesn’t wait too long for the user. Once it reaches max distance, you need to press E again quickly, or it will not be able to be activated again, unlike the generous amount of time granted by Distortion.

R: Frozen Tomb

Enemy Cast: Freezes target champion solid, dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+70% of ability power) magic damage and stunning it for 1.5 seconds.

Self Cast: Lissandra encases herself in dark ice for 2.5 seconds, becoming untargetable and invulnerable but unable to take any actions.

Dark ice then spreads from Lissandra’s target dealing 150 / 250 / 350 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to enemies. The ice lasts for 3 seconds and slows enemy Movement Speed by 20 / 30 / 40%.

This ability offers Lissandra the most burst of her four, but on an extremely long cooldown. I HIGHLY recommend setting up self-cast keybinds for R if you have not already, otherwise you risk accidentally ulting an enemy player on top of you instead of yourself, likely getting yourself killed in the wrong situation.

This ability is devastating to enemy ADCs and squishies alike. A good engage with your ult spells certain doom for non-fed enemies, and offers strong dive potential at level 6, something not many champions have. Couple this with a rushed Zhonya’s Hourglass, and you have solid teamfight capabilities early in the game.

Also, once you reach level 6, be on the look out for enemies under your turret. Baiting people under your own turret with a full ult combo, especially at level 6, is an insanely easy kill if they’re not wise.

Skill Path is typically as follows: Max R > Q > E > W

W can be maxed over E if preferred, especially playing against a melee like Yasuo who can constantly go in on you.

Items

Like most other mage midlaners, Lissandra doesn’t offer up too much variety or fun in terms of item builds. A typical build will be as follows:

Doran’s Ring + 2 HP Start > Zhonya’s Hourglass > Rabadon’s > Void Staff > Liandry’s > Abyssal Sceptor/DFG

Considering that Lissandra has quite literally no mana problems, Athene’s is really not necessary (though the CDR is quite nice, the mana stats are almost useless). Going Zhonya’s first even versus AP mids is totally alright in most situations, especially considering the efficiency of Seeker’s Armguards and the incredible utility it offers Lissandra when paired with her ult. When facing 2/3 AP  compositions, playing against a LeBlanc, or paired with 1/2 other AP champions on your team, consider rushing an Abyssal Sceptor first item.

Masteries

Versus AD laner (or really heavy AD team):

 

Versus: AP mid (for more sustain):

 

Thank you to Arohe for inspiring me to write about this champion! The biggest thing to mastering Lissandra is simply abusing her Q range early in lane, many people, especially in lower elos, simply don’t know what she’s capable of, and many level 3 all-in kills can be had.


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Author
Vesthis_lol
Vesthis is a 19-year old sophomore college student in Philadelphia, PA, an avid League of Legends player, and a Diamond mid lane main player.