League of Legends: LoLth
By Jason Harper (Hhean), OnRPG League Reporter
League of Legends‘ Elise is an odd dual form character that switches between a mage and an aggressive bruiser. This unusual combination gives her the feeling of playing two champions simultaneously, rather than being in possession of two halves of a single kit. People familiar with the other dual form characters, Jayce and Nidalee, will likely be most at home with her. Experienced junglers may also find her an interesting change of pace, as her kit gives her plenty of tricks to use when not in the lane.
One of the strongest AP junglers in the game
Strong ganks after level 3
Good mid game presence
Has good base stats, allowing her to stack gold items in the jungle
Her spiderlings make a great shield, especially against Blitzcrank
None of the abilities she gets in spider form cost mana
Her spider form can do a lot of damage, while also being fairly durable
Still isn’t as good as the typical jungle picks
Her laning ability is not great
While her one stun is very good, it’s her only form of crowd control
Her human form is only useful for setting up her attacks as a spider
Limited mobility when she has nothing to attack
Like other dual form characters, she lacks a real ultimate
Her human form has a very limited mana pool
Spider/Human Form [Ultimate]: Switches between her human and spider forms. When switching to spider form, it will trigger her passive to summon spiderlings around her. Her spider form adds some of her AP onto each auto attack, while granting her durability and speed. All the spells in her spider form have no mana cost, which offsets her tiny mana pool in human form.
Spider Swarm [Passive]: Elise spawns with a number of spiderling stacks governed by her rank in Spider Form. When in spider form, she will summon a number of spiderlings equal to her spider swarm stacks. If any of these spiderlings are killed, she’ll lose a stack for every spiderling lost. These stacks can be regained in human form by casting spells. Her in-game tooltip for how this passive functions is awful.
Neurotoxin [Q Human]: Targeted nuke that deals bonus damage based on the target’s current health. Her most mana efficient harassment tool in the lane. After the laning phase, or when jungling, just use it at the start of a fight then forget about it.
Volatile Spiderling [W Human]: This one’s probably one of the more oddball abilities in the game. Upon casting, Elise will summon a spiderling next to her that will then scuttle to wherever you clicked. If the spiderling doesn’t hit anything before reaching its destination, it will move towards the nearest target, prioritising champions over minions. Once it reaches an enemy target, the spiderling will explode, dealing damage. If there’s nothing that the spiderling can attack, it will stand about for a while providing vision. While this ability can be used as a scouting tool or conventional skillshot, abusing its added AI can make for some weird trick shots. If you aim the spider so it deliberately misses an incoming creep wave and ends its movement near the enemy caster minions, you can have it threaten your enemies hiding around the backline, or simply blow up those squishy caster minions for mucho mucho moolah.
Cocoon [E Human]: Skillshot that stuns the first enemy it hits. As her only crowd control, being able to reliably hit with this is essential. Every time a Cocoon misses an enemy, a baby spider cries.
Venomous Bite [Q Spider]: Targeted leap that deals bonus damage based on how much health the target is missing. Functions very similarly to Trundle’s Rabid Bite. Useful as a short range gap closer, and a bit of free damage.
Skittering Frenzy [W Spider]: Grants an attack speed boost to Elise and her spiderlings, while also giving health gain per attack. This ability will melt anything that Elise is able to fight for the full duration, ideal for clearing jungle camps or tearing down stunned targets.
Rappel [E Spider]: Elise spidermans off into the sky, making her untargetable while she’s not on the ground. While in the air, Elise can see all possible targets in her range, including those in brush, but not stealthed targets. If there’s an enemy in range, she can drop down on them. Even if the target leaves her range while she’s dropping, she’ll still land on them provided the command was given before they get outside of her reach. Very long range gap closer that also doubles up as an evasion tool. Great for use in the jungle, where she can leap into the air, then drop over a wall onto a jungle camp for some satisfying escapes. If you don’t grin like a madman after dodging a Crystal Arrow with this thing, I’m afraid you have no soul.
Combos & Shenanigans
It is always in Elise’s benefit to start fights in human form. Since she should spend most of her time in spider form when moving around the map for the added movement bonus, this can require some preparation. You’re going to need to get used to her movement speed, and always arrive at a fight with the cooldown on her ultimate at 2 seconds or less, so you can immediately switch to her spider form again after blowing her human form’s spells.
The most critical spell for any Elise player is going to be her Cocoon. Once you have a target locked down with a Cocoon you might as well display “FREE KILLS! COME ‘N GET IT!” in giant neon letters above their head. The ideal combo would be to hit your prey with some Neurotoxin, followed by a Volitile Spiderling, switch to spider form, Rappel towards them as they begin to get out of the stun, activate Skittering Frenzy and give them a Venomous Bite just to finish the job. If your target is still breathing, either switch back to human form for a last bit of burst to finish them (Volatile Spiderling is great for this at close quarters) or run off as a spider, waiting on your cooldowns for a second round. If you didn’t use Rappel when attacking, you can use it after blowing her damaging abilities to act as a reset during the fight, buying time for her cooldowns before attacking again.
Riot have released so many Grim-Dark characters recently that I’m just gagging for an upbeat character again. If Zyra, Diana and Syndra hadn’t come out recently maybe I’d be a bit more forgiving on Elise, but her personality really doesn’t stand out. Looking back, Jayce is the only exception in a long line of dark characters that have been coming out in a steady stream since March.
Elise’s mechanics, however, are as interesting as they come. While she doesn’t have the same tight feel as Jayce, with his clever cross form combinations, she has a load of very unusual abilities that make her play like no-one else. Much like Syndra, who also had a bunch of interesting tricks, she feels like she’s far too weak to make up for her unusual gimmicks. A character like this is really unlikely to be popular, given she’s hard to play and spiders are hardly a theme people get enthusiastic about, so why hobble her with some atrocious base stats?
She’s a bit weak, but these dual form characters have a tendency to get much stronger with mastery. Pick her up only if you’re after a completely oddball character.
To discuss Elise yourselves, post in the massive League of Legends thread in the free to play MMOs section, or post in the comments section below. If you haven’t tried League of Legends yet, you’re missing out.