League of Legends has always had a huge champion roster, but for the first time in months, an AP Caster has been added into the game.

In this article I will discuss the ins and outs of the new champion, based on my extensive play time with her.

Time for you to meet Lissandra: The Ice Witch.

Skins and Purchase options:

If you’re one of those people who worries about not having a skin for your beloved champion, Riot have you covered with the Ice Witch. Although Lissandra only has one skin at the moment, it sure is a fancy one. Lissandra’s Bloodstone skin not only has a new splash image, but it also comes with a new custom recall effect and re-textured abilities.

If you’re going to play the new champion, you should do it in style, right?

As of now, these are the only purchase options available for the champion and respective skin:

  • Lissandra (IP) – 6300
  • Lissandra (RP) – 975
  • Lissandra Bloodstone Skin (RP) – 975

As is the way with new champions, the IP price is relatively high, but reasonable if you’re willing to stick with Lissandra for a while to unlock her full potential. I would recommend buying the champion with IP and the skin with RP. That way, you’re not risking wasting your hard earned cash on a champion you may, or may not like.

On the other hand, if you’re sure you’ll love this femme fatale, or just want to outfit her with a new skin, RP is the way to go. It’s going to be a good while before the IP price of the champion lowers, possibly months, so it’s really not worth waiting for it to drop if you want to get casting.

Introduction to the Champion

Capture copy

As you can already tell by the stats above, Lissandra is not one of the easiest casters to play in League of Legends. Her high combo reliant skillset makes her quite difficult to use, and this may be off-putting to new players. But don’t let the stats above fool you, Lissandra can be fun and rewarding. As soon as you become familiar with her effective combos, you’ll be encasing any enemy champion that opposes you on the Fields of Justice in a tomb of dark ice.

As mentioned before, Lissandra is reliant on fluent skill usage, and if you miss a skill you could be in a whole heap of trouble. However if you chain every move together correctly, boy oh boy, will you be racking in the gold. Lissandra has a mixture of low range attacks with the exception of her long ranged E move.

Before I begin explaining effective combos that can be produced with her skills, it’s important to know what you’re actually dealing with. Here’s a breakdown of the champion’s skillset:

 lissandra-iceborn

  • Passive – Iceborn
  • Every 18 seconds any ability Lissandra  casts will cost no Mana. Items will not effect the cooldown of the passive, but the cooldown is reduced by 1 when Lissandra impairs a players movement with an ability.

lissandra-ice-shard

  • Q Ability – Ice Shard
  • Base Mana Cost – 85
  • Base Cooldown – 6 Seconds
  • When Lissandra activates the ability she will fire a shard of ice that travels in a line and shatters when it hits an enemy. The target will be slowed for 1.5 seconds whilst also being dealt magic damage.

lissandra-ring-of-frost

  • W Ability – Ring of Frost
  • Base Mana Cost – 70
  • Base Cooldown – 18 Seconds
  • When activated Lissandra will freeze the ground around her, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies whilst snaring them in an icy tomb. However, enemies trapped in the snare will still be able to cast abilities and attack the opposing team.

lissandra-glacial-path

  • E Ability – Glacial Path
  • Base Mana Cost – 80
  • Base Cooldown – 24 Seconds
  • When activated Lissandra will fire a claw of ice in a straight line that will deal magic damage to all enemies it hits. Reactivating the ability will cause Lissandra to blink to the claws current location.

lissandra-frozen-tomb

  • R Ability- Ultimate – Frozen Tomb
  • Base Mana Cost – 100
  • Base Cooldown – 130 Seconds
  • Lissandra can cast her ultimate on either herself or and enemy. When cast on herself Lissandra will encase herself in dark ice for 1.5 seconds, making herself invulnerable. If cast on an enemy the target champion will be encased in ice whilst being effected by magic damage and a 1.5 second stun.
  • When the ultimate is cast on either herself or an enemy the ice will spread and do magic damage to all enemies in the area. The ice will last for 3 seconds and slow all enemies caught by 20%.

Lissandra has quite a varied range of skills that both, in theory and in practice, could form some amazing combos. Usually, if I want to attack an opposing champion, I initiate with my E move by throwing it towards them, then blinking to their position. As soon as I land, I hit my W to encase them in ice and follow up with my Q move. If needed, you can also use your ultimate ability to finish them off, but if you poke down the enemy beforehand with Q, you’re pretty much guaranteed an easy kill without the need for maxing out. Your ultimate really should be saved for team fights. There you can utilise the area of effect damage correctly by activating it in the middle of the team once you have blinked in with your E.

This combo is good enough to effectively combat most of the mid champions in the game with ease. Early game Lissandra’s Q will do enough damage to champions to ensure that you have sufficient poke damage. In turn, this allows  you to maintain a high creep farm due to lane dominance.

Once you hit level 6, you can begin to play more aggressively, nailing that combo and eliminating the enemy champion, therefore giving you more time to farm uninterrupted.

Early game 

Early game is the real test on Lissandra. As you would expect from a mid champion, you need to be fluent at last-hitting and effective at skill usage if you want to ensure you win the lane. Thankfully, Lissandra excels in both of these areas due to her fluid attack animation and natural poke ability when using Q.

You will want to start with either Tome and a Potion, or Boot and 3 Potions, depending on who you are laning against. Tome will be used to gain a distinct power advantage and boots will be used for mobility and sustain. Regardless, at level one, ensure you take your Q ability (I can’t stress this enough). This allows you to both poke the enemy champion, and deal damage to minions at the same time. This can be very effective when it comes to farming, but, as always with early game, save your mana and learn to last hit with just your basic auto attack, unless, of course, you’re using Lissandra’s neat passive ability.

After level one you’ll want to level up your W then E, afterwards stacking your Q until ultimate becomes available. This is when you can begin to be a bit more aggressive.

If you think you can pull it off, level 6 is a very good time to get a kill. Ensuring your enemy has no means of escape and is sufficiently low on health so that your full combo will kill them, you should proceed to try and finish the job. Usually, I use my E ability to blink towards them, W to encase them in ice, R, if needed, to ensue that they have no means of escape and, if i’m under a turret, to ensure I don’t get damaged, then finally follow up with Q to seal the deal.

If you can get this kill early on, you will have a distinct advantage when it comes to laning due to the items you will be able to afford.If you then have enough time, I advise you gank either the top or bottom lane. By utilising Lissandras’ high mobility, you will then be able to move your way to either the top or bottom lane and pull off an effective gank almost perfectly if timed right.

When you see an opportunity, use the same combo previously mentioned to move in towards the lane you are tying to gank. Hopefully it will help your team mates push the enemy back to where they belong; behind their turret or if you’re lucky, their grave.

Late game 

As you would expect from a late-game mid champion, if fed correctly, Lissandra is very, very powerful. When building her, I usually go for the bog standard AP items. These items being; Athene’s Unholy Grail, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Rabadon’s Deathcap, Liandry’s Torment,  Deathfire Grasp and finally, the beloved Sorcerer’s shoes. All of these items allow Lissandra to crank out insanely high damage within short periods of time due to the reduced cooldowns on her abilities and the huge AP increase the items provide.

The items allow you to effectively initiate during team fights with your E and deal huge amounts of damage by instantly casting your ultimate ability. If played correctly, Lissandra can simply execute squishy targets on the field by using the E > W > Q combo. By following this build, you’re not going to be ensured high kill deaths every game, but it does work well for me and has produced some amazing results.

Example games and builds

Since the release of Lissandra, I have been playing around with her development quite extensively in normal 5v5 matches. Here are some examples of games where my score has been reasonable and the build to my liking:

2

Capture

Game one

17xaUt0

As you can see, if the correct build is used, Lissandra can become a very effective DPS Caster. Late game, if you have farmed correctly and have snowballed a few kills, you will have no problem sustaining in team fights whilst cracking out insane amounts of damage.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very high damage output
  • High mobility champion
  • Quite good at poking early level even if she is a bit squishy
  • Great for getting CS
  • Early lane dominance providing you know how to zone

Cons

  • Squishy at low levels
  • Predictable escapes
  • Has long cooldowns compared to a few other casters of this type

My Impressions

Lissandra is amazing. Her high mobility, high damage and high sustain make her one of the most viable champions in the game when playing in the mid lane. Although her passive becomes useless late game, early game it gives you a distinct advantage needed to ensure you crush all who oppose you.

Personally, I think she is a worthwhile purchase for anyone who enjoys playing casters. Although she has a somewhat steep learning curve due to her high combo related abilities, she is definitely one of the stronger champions in the game. Once you become familiar with Lissandra, you will be dominating everyone on the fields of justice, showing them the true power of dark ice. Once again Riot have managed to create a completely new champion that has a very unique and diverse skillset.

To that I say, bring on Aatrox.