Tonight's red post collection includes information on the new ranked emblems debuting in 6.13, ranked five's queue returning during scheduled windows, a new LCU update and a look at what is next, discussion on the assassin update from Meddler and Reav3, VODs for recent LoL livestreams, and more!
Table of Contents
- Ranked 5s queue returns during scheduled windows
- Earn ranked emblems starting today
- [LCU] Up Next: Champion Details
- [LCU] Alpha client patch .04 changelog
- Support Grade Changes in 6.14
- Meddler Grab Bag
- Reav3 and Meddler on Assassin update
- Set your sights on Kraków for the EU Summer Finals
- Ghostcrawler on reasons for and against more bans
- Patch Chat with Playtest Team - 6.13
- League Merch at Anime Expo 2016
- [VOD] Ryze Champion Update PBE Live Stream
- [VOD] Art Live Stream: Explosive VFX w/ RiotPhoenix & Keyserito!
- Ask a Syndra Main - Overlord Forte
Ranked 5s queue returns during scheduled windowsAs mentioned in the 6.13 patch notes, 5v5 ranked team queue has returned during schedule windows!
"We’re bringing back the Ranked Team 5s during scheduled windows throughout the week where you can compete in premade 5v5 games with no tier restrictions. Read on for the details.
We disabled ranked teams at the start of the season because we were unsure how match quality and queue times would be affected by the addition of dynamic queue. Now that we have a better understanding of how players are using dynamic queue, we believe we can enable ranked teams in limited windows. This gives players who are limited to solo, duo, and trio queues, in high MMR a way to play ranked as a five-player squad.
We’ve also heard feedback that people miss the way they could queue with any of their friends (regardless of rank) as part of the old Ranked 5s queue. This will allow these players to play together in a ranked environment again. There’s a schedule below for your region, but first, let’s briefly cover how Ranked 5s works:
- You must be level 30 to create a ranked team
- You have to own at least 16 champions to play in any ranked queue
- A Ranked 5s team can have up to nine players, with no restrictions on which tiers can join
- Teams must play five games to become officially ranked and placed in the appropriate tier and division
- You can suit up for five different teams at any given time
- You can leave a team at any time, unless you’re the team captain--if you’re captain, you’ll have to remove all players from the team before you can duck out (which disbands the team entirely)
Each region’s windows will be slightly different, as we try to ensure low queue times and the highest possible match quality.
We’ll be monitoring the health of the queue during these windows, and we’re prepared to make adjustments if we need to. So gather your allies (whatever their rank), and claim your spot in the climb to Challenger. GLHF, and we’ll see you on the battlefield!"These times vary from server to server:
Earn ranked emblems starting today
As mentioned in the 6.13 patch notes, ranked emblems are now live - these display on your profile page and denote the most frequent way you play ranked - solo, with friends in dynamic queue, or a 5 player ranked team.
"Emblems help you show off how you work with others to win games. In dynamic ranked, crack 25 nexii to earn a new emblem for your Profile and Leagues pages. Whether you win as a lone wolf, with a premade friend or two, or alongside fully-stacked teams, there’s an emblem for you.
Win counts are retroactive from 6.12, not the start of the season. Check your profile page to see how many more wins you need to earn an emblem. Here’s how they break down:
- To earn and keep a solo emblem, the vast majority of your last 25 wins must come from queuing alone
- Claim a dynamic emblem by winning with a mix of premade sizes
- Unlock and keep a team emblem by winning a majority of your last 25 games with a premade size of four or five
- Your emblem can change over time, reflecting your last 25 dynamic ranked wins
Solo, Dynamic, Team
Emblems are an early effort, we’re exploring updates to the system based on your feedback, so let us know!
- Can I earn more than one emblem at once?
- No. Emblems are meant to reflect how you won your last 25 games, so they can change over the course of the season.
- Where does (or doesn’t) my emblem show?
- Emblems show on your Profile and Leagues pages. They don’t show on the loading screen, or in game.
- Why not show emblems on the loading screen?
- The future of emblems depends on your feedback. We’ve got ideas about how emblems could fold into ranked rewards, so let us know what you think about the feature as it stands, and what it could be in the future.
- I stomp ranked with friends but want to have the solo emblem, can Player Support change it for me?
- No, but you can change it yourself by winning ranked games sans-friends.
- I don’t want my emblem to show. Can I turn my emblem off?
- No, your emblem is like your ranked tier or mastery level.
When asked about the appearance of the new icons and where they fit in the client, Socrates noted:
- Do emblems affect matchmaking?
- No, not even a little bit."
"This is a first step. Before we went super deep on this, we wanted to get your feedback on how it feels functionally.
If you guys like the concept let us know, and we'll use it in more places and make it look more awesome."As for the concern that other players may discriminate against players with a certain type of emblem, Socrates commented:
"It might. The pattern we've seen with other things along these lines like ranked borders and champion mastery has been that if somebody is going to be a jerk, they'll do it with or without this kind of information.
That said, we're going to be keeping a close eye on this. We don't think this is going to be a silver bullet. For players who really want to show that they got their ranking on their own, this allows them to do that.
Play around with it and let us know what you think. We'll be collecting feedback over the next few weeks."
[LCU] Up Next: Champion DetailsNext up for the LCU alpha is the addition of the Champion Detail pages, which will hit the PBE LCU soon!
This post is just to let y'all know about some stuff involving Champion Detail pages that we're pushing out to the PBE alpha client this week (and to the live alpha after).
The changes to Champion Detail pages were all covered in our last blog about Collection and Profiles. Some elements like reworked ability videos aren't yet ready, but the other features (ability descriptions with scalings, the skins viewer, dank lore) are all there.
Also, we're finally storing your client settings server-side, so they'll go with you wherever you play.
While you wait for this patch, please keep your feedback on Collection and Profiles coming."
[LCU] Alpha client patch .04 changelog
Support Grade Changes in 6.146.13 patch notes, Meddler noted they have been bumped to 6.14:
"Changes to Support grades in Champ Mastery took a bit longer than hoped unfortunately. Current prediction is they should be in 6.14 instead though."
Meddler Grab BagMeddler commented:
"We've been talking about the lack of Demacian/Noxian champions ourselves a bit too recently. TLDR is we would like to make some more at some point. We've seen stronger opportunities in other factions/archetypes for a while though. That's in part because quite a few of the bigger Champion Updates (Sion, Poppy, Taric) are associated with those factions (and so too are some of the stronger candidates for future large updates, Galio and Swain for example), so that creative space is still getting worked in. I'm sure we'll see new champions from both Demacia and Noxus sometime though."
Meddler also commented on the current PBE Malzahar W changes, explaining:
"From memory the intent is to both nerf Malz (he's too strong) and clean up how Voidlings function (at present good and bad uses of the spell aren't sufficiently distinguished). I haven't seen these changes in a playtest yet myself though, or had a chance to follow up on them, so not sure if they're hitting the desired mark or need further iteration."
As for if there are any balance changes planned for Miss Fortune, Meddler commented:
"We don't have any current plans for MF. We don't balance solely around pro play to begin with, even there though she's been picked a couple of times in the last couple of weeks (LPL and EU LCS) which suggests she's in a reasonable spot."Meddler also answer the same question on Shen, saying:
"He seems to be stable in a pretty balanced spot at present. No balance changes currently planned as a result."6.13 change to not lose out-of-combat movement speed when attacking wards and if this also applies to Bard's passive, Meddler noted:
"Quote:As for the 6.13 changes to Ardent Censer / Mikael's Crucible and the % heal/shield effect stacking, Meddler noted:
Does the patch 6.13 "not lose out-of-combat MS when attacking wards" apply to Bard?It doesn't apply to Bard yet. We'll be making it so hitting wards doesn't count as in combat for purposes of Bard's passive, Wanderer (the Mastery) and Cloud Drake in a future patch though."
"They're stackable. That's deliberately the case, though also something we'll change should it prove overwhelming."
Reav3 and Meddler on Assassin updaterecently announced for later this year, Meddler and Reav3 returned to the boards to answer a few questions:
When asked about the potential number of assassins getting work, Meddler noted:
[link] here's the list. Also here's the champions being changedQuick clarification here - this is the list of champions we're considering changes to, not a list of champions that are getting changes. At the very least we won't be making major changes to everyone listed there.
Because assassins have been a problematic class for years it's also likely we'll end up doing slightly fewer bigger updates this time than with mages and marksmen (so less than 6).
Edit: Poor phrasing on my part there. What I think's likely here is that we do a smaller number of updates this time, with the updates we do do being bigger than average (more work needed per champion)."
When asked about the number of larger reworks in the upcoming assassin class update, Reav3 noted:
So it might be a Big 4 this time instead of a Big 6?Correct. Though they might be a "Bigger 4." Think Vlad/Graves scope with 2-3 abilities changed for all the projects. Not sure if this will 100% be the case or not, it's just the current thinking."
I don't understand? if the assassin class has been problematic for years, shouldn't you strive to solve these issues with a class update? I mean the size of the project is adequate in order to solve these but you won't tackle them all?We'll be putting the same amount of resources in as with other class updates. We think each individual champion's likely to be a bigger than usual project though to do well. Might have to do fewer champions as a result."
As for what sort of player facing coverage they will do of the assassin reworks, Reav3 commented:
How transparent are you goings to be come this time around? Do you plan to run any rough draft sketches by the community or communicate with mains? Or is this going to be a big SUPRISE when its PBE all at once.We will do direction posts similar to what we did with the Mage update. We won't be posting any exact changelists or anything.
We do communicate with Mains on all our updates/reworks though. We always do internal playtests where we bring in roughly 5-10 mains of a champion, and have them play them here at Riot. We get there feedback and have long discussions with them about the changes."
When asked about the Swain update in the MYMU even though he is on the list for a larger update in the future, Meddler commented:
Swain was always looking at a full rework; he wasn't part of the main 6, and I remember someone way back when (probably Meddler) saying that he might not even be in the mage update since he needed more work than what they could do in a roster update.Yep. The mid-season changes to Swain were very much a case of 'we know this guy needs big changes, but those are a long way off so here are some things we think are worth exploring in the meantime'."
When asked about a timeline on Yorick's champion update, Reav3 commented:
"Current thinking is sometime between now and Preseason."As for Warwick, he continued:
"Its still way to far out to be very confident in a timeline. The team that worked on Ryze should be jumping onto Warwick soon. If I had to give a window, keeping in mind that this is a super rough guess, I would say he could be late this year/early next year."
Set your sights on Kraków for the EU Summer FinalsRiot has announced Krakow, Poland as the location for the EU LCS Summer Finals!
"The EU Summer Finals are making their way to Kraków, Poland, where the top four teams from the Summer Split will fight to be crowned the EU Champions, in addition to earning their place at the 2016 World Championship. Who will survive this trial? The final battle for Summer Split will be held at the TAURON Arena Kraków on August 27 - 28.
The team earning the Summer champions title will represent Europe at the 2016 World Championship in North America, followed by the team with the most championship points throughout the split. The third and final place will go to the winners of the EU Regional Qualifiers, scheduled for the week after finals at the EU LCS Arena. Seeding will be determined by championship points, so every game counts.
Eager to support your favorites on their way to victory? Here’s more information on how you can get involved below:
Venue: TAURON Arena Kraków
- August 27 (3rd place vs. 4th place) at ~5:00 PM CEST
- August 28 (1st place vs. 2nd place) at ~5:00 PM CEST
Tickets: Tickets will go on sale soon. We’ll share more information before tickets go live on Lolesports.
Teams: The top four EU LCS teams from the Summer Playoffs
Format: Best of 5
- 1st place - will represent EU at the 2016 World Championship
- 2nd place - 90 points
- 3rd place - 70 points
- 4th place - 50 points
Based on the final results of EU LCS Spring Split, so far the EU LCS teams have the following Championship Points allocations:
- G2 Esports - 90 pts;
- Origen - 70 pts;
- Fnatic - 50 pts;
- H2K - 30 pts;
- Team Vitality - 10 pts;
- Unicorns of Love - 10 pts;
- FC Schalke 04 - 0 pts;
- Splyce - 0 pts;
- Roccat - 0 pts;
- Giants - 0 pts
We’re excited to see which team will battle their way through to conquer the Kraków stage and who’ll be representing Europe at Worlds this year. The fires beckon. Who will answer?"Information on tickets available here.
Ghostcrawler on reasons for and against more bansHere's Ghostcrawler replying to a thread about the possibility of adding more champion bans, weighing his opinions on the reasons to and not to increase:
"In my mind, here are the reasons to increase number of bans:
- Give each player on the team a choice
- Increase champion diversity by making it easier to shut down no-brainer or over-dominant picks
- Potentially make spectating (especially esports) champ select more interesting
- Maybe less motivation to use picks as an additional ban? I concede this one is iffy.
And here are the reasons not to increase bans:
For champ select, it doesn't have to be the case that duration just keeps increasing, and it still feels a little long to me personally today. Maybe we should just shorten it.
- Champion select lasts long enough already
- If you just keep increasing bans, at some point it gets silly (30 bans?)
- Could shut down some very specialized comps (e.g. protect the Kog)
- Could shut down signature picks (e.g. Froggen Anivia, or just the one champ that you really like to main)
For the slippery-ish slope argument that ban numbers could potentially get silly, we could also just not do that, and as I've said before, it doesn't have to be the case that ban numbers just increase forever. Maybe we go to 10 bans and that lasts for the next several years? (We also make new champions at a slower cadence than we used to, so "What do when you have 200 champs?" isn't a problem we'll need to tackle soon.)
The final two cons ("could shut down") is a little trickier, but could potentially be mitigated with some kind of snake draft so that all the bans don't happen at once. If you sense the enemy team is specifically trying to shut down your strategy, go ahead and lock in those champs you do need, or else pivot to a new strategy. I do think it would be unfortunate if pros and players alike just shifted to more generalist champions since they couldn't count on important team synergies.
Ghostcrawler continued:It's not uncommon in game design to be dealing with competing goals (such as making champion select fairly quick but also making it interesting). You just have to decide if one goal is ultimately more important, or try to come up with a novel solution that can meet both. "
I wish Riot would stop using this argument. It's not going to be a slippery slope - all we're asking for is that the last two members of each team have an option to ban someone they don't want to see in their game. The argument made on one of the podcasts was paraphrased as "Well, if we give them 4 more, pretty soon, there's gonna be 100" or something along those lines. It's purposefully over dramatic for the sake of the idea, I get it, but it remains to be a poor argument with the current roster and their kits. The counter-argument of "we wouldn't demand more bans if the champions were both balanced and healthy for the game" works here was well...just something to keep in mind. Ten is a good even number, and everyone gets to ban one champ - that's about as fair as you can make pick / ban.I don't agree with you that "all we're asking for is the last two members of each team to have an option." I get that is what you are asking for, and as I said, that position makes a lot of sense to me. But frequently we get requests for more bans under the argument of "but look how many champions there are now." We don't think that ban numbers need to scale as a function of champion numbers. That doesn't mean that 6 (or 10 for that matter) is somehow a magic number, and obviously we are talking about changing it. Or put another way, if we do end up changing it to 10, I would not expect it to change from 10 for many more years, if ever.
I thought diversity by means of strategy and strategic banning was something Riot wanted?Ultimately, yes. But there is some risk of driving players to just embrace generalist champions who play well in any comp rather than strategically trying to build a comp that is very reliant on getting certain picks. We like champs with strengths and weaknesses, and the weaknesses in particular encourage teams to build comps where someone's strength can offset your weakness. We want to reward strategic thinking like that. If it is too easy to kill certain comps by locking out a few champions, that would be a risk we'd want to avoid. I think this is a solvable problem, but I am offering it as an example of a negative consequence if we aren't smart with the design.
Shutting down one trick ponies...oh how awful. It's their fault for not knowing how to play more than two champions.I agree that true mastery of the game should mean you can play more than one or two champions, or even roles. But there is also something exciting about a pro being able to play their signature champion - the one that some fans really want to see them play - without it being instabanned."
Patch Chat with Playtest Team - 6.13With patch 6.13 out to live, the playtest team has returned to the boards for another patch chat!
"Welcome back to Patch Chat!
I’m Gentleman Gustaf, and here with me is Riot’s Playtest Team, a group of high-ranking League players whose job it is to play the hell out of things and give actionable objective feedback to designers. Think of us as your high-Elo friends who happen to have played the new patch, rework, or champion long before it ever came out.
Every two weeks (concurrent with the release of patch notes), we’re going to be hosting a discussion here on Dev Corner. Take this opportunity to ask us any questions about the state of the game. Want to know what we think is OP? Curious what it’s like to work as a Riot playtester? Have any questions about how we feel about the most recent patch? We will be around for the next few hours and will try to answer as many questions as possible.
Patch 6.13 brings significant changes to support and top lane, so especially ask us any questions you have about our predictions or thoughts on the new support/top landscape!
Additionally, Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith and Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes will be streaming Wednesday, 6/29 from 6PM to 9 PM PDT, so if you want to join them for custom games, or just continue the discussion there, tune in to the stream tomorrow!
Adam "Afic" CohenCheck out the boards thread for more discussion!
Preston “Hinder” Bunker
Ben “Cezium” Burkhardt
Shawn “I Am The IRS” Currie
Don “Aesah” Ding
Nicolas “Gleeb” Haddad
Dan “Penguin” Hardison
Miles “Daydreamin” Hoard
Bao “Bao” Lam
Robert “RobertxLee” Lee
Nicholas “Nickwu” Smith
Blake “S0be” Soberanis
Trevor “ThEntropist” Thernes"
League Merch at Anime Expo 2016For players who might also be attending the Anime Expo 2016 in Los Angeles, California this weekend, Riot will have a merch booth there as well as a special gift for LoL cosplayers:
"We’re excited to announce that the Riot Merch team will be manning an official League merch booth at Anime Expo from 7/1 to 7/4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Come check us out if you’re in town or attending AX (Exhibit Hall, Booth # 215)!
In addition to the Merch booth, Rioters will be walking the show floor with a special gift for League cosplayers. Also, be sure to head over to Kentia Hall each day from 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM to have your picture taken with the one and only Poro King!"
[VOD] Ryze Champion Update PBE Live Streamchampion update revealed and up on the PBE for testing, Riot Repertoir and crew headed up a PBE livestream to play a few games as the updated Rune mage and answer questions!
[VOD] Art Live Stream: Explosive VFX w/ RiotPhoenix & Keyserito!Riot Phoenix and Keyserito are at it again with another League Art live stream, this time exploring and live demoing making explosive visual effects!
Tune in for more LoL livestreams every day of the week!
Ask a Syndra Main - Overlord ForteLast up is RiotJaws interviewing Overlord Forte, a master tier Syndra main!
"We’re happy to host expert Syndra player Overlord Forte on “Ask a Champion Main,” Forte’s been playing League since its launch and has over 2,000 games on the Dark Sovereign, including a Master-tier rank for the last two seasons.
We dug into his name’s origin, how to delete targets without getting caught, and some sweet tricks to smash laning and teamfights.
How did you get into League of Legends?
Way back in the day, I played a lot of Warcraft 3 ‘DotA’ map types. I never liked the original DotA’s heroes or design, but I liked other maps in that genre. I found League of Legends shortly after it launched and I’ve played ever since because it hit the right notes I looked for in MOBAs.
Where do your Summoner names come from?
The name ‘Forte’ itself comes from the Rockman (AKA Megaman) franchise. Forte would become one of the iconic rivals to Rockman. I really liked his character design and connected with the rowdy, ‘take on the world’ brashness he has, so the name stuck.
‘Lord’ came from a personal philosophy of carrying the regality and responsibilities of a Lord. The goal is a bit lofty, but it’s shaped a lot of my views on interacting with the world.
When I started League, I found ‘Lord Forte’ taken, so I switched to ‘Overlord Forte’, which was the closest I could get at the time.
What got you hooked on playing Syndra?
I liked her design, backstory, and abilities when she came out and wanted to try her, but found playing her to be quite frustrating. At first I thought her design was bad, but when I re-watched the developer video about her, I realized something. If the developers say she has almost no skill ceiling, then I’m the problem. I doubled down on practice because she was a champion I really wanted to learn.
I figured out her mechanics and also dug into her story and personality. I’ve come to love her as a character and find the story she presents one of the most intriguing ones to explore. I’ve seen a lot of people write her off as a ‘power crazy’ ‘insane girl child’ and other less savory things, but when you realize how much social commentary and personal struggle is wrapped up in her, it’s not that simple.
Who is your go-to champion if Syndra gets banned?
Lissandra has firmly settled in as my backup, since I love her mechanics as well as her character’s story. If both get banned, I tend to go into the rest of the non-mobile mages, like Viktor/Anivia/Xerath/Karthus/Orianna.
If you could describe Syndra's playstyle in a sentence, what would it be?
Ranged, kiting battle mage with a high powered, tempo-based Burst ultimate
What runes and masteries do you run on her?
I tend to split my runes into two families: Damage and Anti-AD.
- Damage: 9x magic pen Reds, 9x AP per level Yellows, 6x CDR per level Blues, 3x AP per level Blues, 3x Flat AP Purples. I run these to overwhelm enemies I’m fairly certain I can eat alive in laning phase, like LeBlanc or Ahri.
- Anti-AD: 9x magic pen Reds, 9x Armor per level Yellows, 9x CDR per level Blues, 3x Flat AP Purples. Anti-AD is specifically for problem assassins like Zed or Talon (or even heavy AD enemy teams), where you will need some durability to deal with them later in the game.
I’m personally fond of more damage for her when possible, so my rune setup is somewhat ‘reckless.’ You can run Syndra on more traditional (Health per level Yellows, MR blues, etc.) rune pages for overall durability, which is useful against tanky teams or matches you’re going to be heavily focused against.
For masteries, I typically look between 12/18/0 and 18/12/0, depending on the enemy team composition:
- 18/12/0 uses [Ferocity: Sorcery, Feast, Vampirism, Oppressor, Piercing Thoughts, and Deathfire Touch // Cunning: Savagery, Assassin, Meditation, Dangerous Game.]. The primary purpose of this mastery setup is for more power against durable teams, as Piercing Thoughts and Deathfire Touch contribute the most to ‘sustained DPS’, which is the most effective answer against Tanks and other high-health targets.
- 12/18/0 uses [Ferocity: Sorcery, Feast, Vampirism, Bounty Hunter // Cunning: Savagery, Assassin, Meditation, Dangerous Game, Precision, Thunderlord’s Decree or Stormraider’s Surge]. This mastery setup is more concerned with obliterating squishy targets, and depending on your choice of keystone, can give more burst damage or some very powerful kiting.
Honorable mention: taking Intelligence over Precision in 12/18/0 for 45% CDR Syndra. It’s very fun if you’re super focused on stuns and high sphere ultimates, as the more CDR Syndra has, the faster she can do both.
Knowing what you’re against will greatly affect your rune/mastery choices, but Syndra has somewhat unique versatility in what she can do. She can switch between being DPS or Burst centric, and even take on a fire support role with her stun combo, where as some of her contemporaries (e.g, LeBlanc) are stuck in only one thing they can do.
What is Syndra's core item build?
This was shaken up a lot in the Mid-Year Mage Update, so ‘core build’ is kind of in the air.
Your standard go-to damage build can look like this:
- Sorcerer’s Shoes
- Void Staff
- Rabadon’s Deathcap
- Luden’s Echo
- Zhonya’s Hourglass
Items can be moved around, so you might end up building Zhonya’s before Void Staff against enemies with a lot of AD (or even dropping Zhonya’s for Abyssal Scepter against high AP teams).
Other builds are cropping up these days, such as ones running Archangel’s Staff or Liandry’s Torment, but it’s still pretty early to say how effective they are for her. They’re workable, I’m not certain if they’re her new core yet or not, though. Morello’s+Archangel’s lets you run nearly infinite mana and sphere combos, for instance, but its power curve is very weird.
What are Syndra’s easiest matchups? What are her toughest?
This is a tricky question because it really comes down to the players involved as much as the champions. Annie, for instance, is someone Syndra can easily wallop in laning phase, but Annie’s burst and extremely fast combo is still threatening enough that Syndra has to be constantly mindful of it.
If you respect her burst, you’ll firmly control the Annie throughout the game. If you mess up a couple times, you’ll find life very rough all of a sudden.
Syndra does quite well against champions who can’t answer her long-range damage or have to deliberately walk into her spheres in order to fight her. (E.g, Orianna, Zyra, Annie, Cassiopeia, and the assassins below, but they’re tricky.)
Of all the usual mid lane match-ups,watch out for Yasuo, Zed, LeBlanc, Talon, and Fizz. These five are difficult to manage throughout the game due to how they work. You’ll end up spending a lot of attention keeping them under control.
Always keep track of champs who have abilities that can neutralize her ultimate (e.g, Zhonya’s, Vlad pool, Fizz pole jump, etc.) as you need to play around them to use it safely.
What is Syndra's main job in laning phase? What about Teamfights?
Lane Syndra is always keeping an eye towards killing her lane opponent and establishing dominance by forcing stuns/high sphere ultimate combos. She’s brutal at punishing enemy mistakes, especially those who wander into her spheres lying around.
This is doubly helpful for junglers, who can easily capitalize on her stun engages/follow ups for almost guaranteed kills. Just remember to keep back if you miss her stun, because when her E is on cooldown, she is at her most vulnerable.
Teamfight Syndra is looking for three things:
- Throwing down her ranged damage (Qs and Ws)?
- Setting up her stun windows with E
- Taking out a valuable target with her ultimate
Launching her long-range stun and catching a valuable target is her most noticeable contribution to teamfights. She can also use this to stop the enemy team from running her and her team down.
While this is happening, keep track of her spheres for her ultimate, looking for that right window to grab a carry or other valuable target to delete them.
If someone is playing Syndra for the first time, what is the most important thing to bear in mind?
Positioning is everything.
Syndra is among the most fragile champions in the game, only having a (long cooldown) knockback/stun and a slow for her personal defense. She can usually save herself only once with her stun, and that one stun will be important to make sure you live for the next one.
If an enemy gets around her stun (as can easily be done with Flash or something like Olaf’s ultimate), she can be picked off easily. However, she still has to be close enough to do damage and stun the enemy (and their team) to do her job as an AP carry.
Your mastery of maneuvering in this danger zone is what will make or break her effectiveness as a champion.
What’s the fastest way to burst someone down as Syndra?
Stack one or two extra spheres on the ground, stun the enemy with E, then drop a Q directly on the enemy. The end result is Q, E, and a 6 sphere ultimate damage. You’ll need W to refresh her first sphere’s life timer, so the combo looks like this: [Q1 -> Q2 -> W+Q1->W -> Q3+E -> R, 6 sphere ultimate].
This burst combo will kill most anything, whereas the 5 sphere ultimate can sometimes miss ‘squishy’ targets. If you can land Q1, Q2, and W, everything except the hardiest of tanks should die.
Any tips for landing her stun?
Draw an imaginary line between Syndra, a sphere, and your target. If the enemy is in this line, she can stun them. All spheres are launched on this imaginary line, so there’s no tricky physics to them – it’s sort of a trip wire, if you will.
For targets at long range, try to imagine the enemy tripping the line about a second in advance, which is how long her stun takes to get to its maximum range. If you time the prediction correctly, you can snipe enemies from very long distances.
What are some neat tricks that players may not know about her abilities?
- Objects thrown by Syndra’s W reveals Fog of War on impact, so it’s good for scouting.
- Her ultimate will utilize any Dark Spheres she’s created across the map. Don’t worry about being near them unless you use Teleport.
- The ultimate’s damage is calculated per sphere, which means she can bypass Spell Shields (Sivir, Nocturne, Banshee’s Veil) with it, only losing 1-2 sphere’s worth of damage in the process.
- Q’s Spheres can spawn inside terrain, but W cannot throw them there. You can hide spheres inside the map’s Fog of War to disguise your sphere count doing this. This is also how you launch her stuns through most terrain on the map.
- While doing straight shot Q+E stun combos is usually enough, Syndra’s E can launch on different vectors in one blast. You can put two Q’s apart, E in the middle, and then send them out in a V shape, for instance. Useful for ‘wide area’ stuns, especially in team fights.
What about managing Syndra’s ultimate (spheres, timers)?
Keeping mental track of Syndra’s sphere timers is probably her second most important skill after positioning. Each sphere has 6-8 seconds on its life timer the instant it appears, and it will decay to death unless you use Force of Will on it. Grabbing a sphere refreshes its life timer instantly and this is how you stack for ‘higher’ sphere counts. Keep in mind holding the sphere with W does not freeze it’s life timer – its timer is simply refreshed, and it CAN die while you’re holding it.
A good rule of thumb is for every 2 spheres you create, the 3rd one will require the 1st being refreshed. So, you would have [Q1->Q2, W+Q1 (refresh), Q3] for a 6 sphere ultimate.
Watch Syndra’s cooldowns on her abilities, because this can help keep time – if her Q takes 4 seconds, then 4 seconds has passed since the last sphere was made. You’ll ride her cooldowns hard enough this can be a fairly reliable way of timing everything. 8 seconds on W to come up? Any sphere made in that time period will be dead or near death, so you have to wait until 4 seconds before W comes up if you intend to refresh spheres.
Have you played Syndra in other roles outside of Mid? How did that go?
I actually run her in Top lane on occasion, where she can work quite strongly. Most top laners can itemize to survive her (since they’re usually fighters or tanks), but they can’t really take her out of the lane. If she gets ahead, she can effectively kick them out of their own lane. You always have to be careful about jungler ganks, though, as Top leaves her more exposed than Mid does.
Otherwise, I think she excels in the mid lane role.
What’s your favorite Syndra skin?
Despite its flaws, her Classic appearance still rates as the best to me.
What’s the best Syndra play you’ve ever pulled off?
Here’s one that shows why you never disrespect Syndra’s stun, or any spheres she has laying on the ground.
Sweet sweet penta stuns can make Syndra go from losing to winning in a single spell.
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