LoL: Introducing Lissandra

Lissandra is the newest champion to grace the pages of Summoner's Rift and she presents some interesting and unconventional options for players.

Ability overview

Passive (Iceborn):

Lissandra's passive grants her a free spell every 18 seconds with the cooldown reduced by one second when she applies a movement impairing effect to an enemy. I've tested this fairly thoroughly and you do get massive reduction in this ability's cooldown by wading into a wave of monsters and popping her W (Ring of Frost). Lissandra is very mana intensive early, but making good use of this ability can allow her to overcome these problems reasonably easily.

Note the cooldown reduction doesn't apply to slows initiated by items so things like Rylai's or Frozen Mallet won't do it. The first hit from her Q (Ice Shard), anyone hit by Ring of Frost and anyone hit by her ult, however, will trigger the cooldown reduction.

Q (Ice Shard):

This is like a skill shot version of Miss Fortune's double-up. It hits a target out to about 750 range. The range feels like it's a slight bit shorter than the graphic as I had numerous times where the tip appeared to make contact with the enemy champion but not actually trigger a hit. The ability then blows back in a narrow cone behind the target, potentially hitting multiple targets.

I say potentially as the hit mechanics for the back half of the ability appear to be a bit ... random? The cone out the back is relatively narrow (about the width of the initial shard) and, especially when firing at oblique angles, tends to behave unintuitively, sometimes hitting things you wouldn't have thought it would and sometimes missing things you thought you'd hit. This skill does, however, make Lissandra a great harasser for melee-oriented champs like Kassadin, Fizz, etc. It also gives her significant wave clearing potential.

Ice Shard does have a short cooldown (6 seconds base, 4 seconds at max level) but the mana cost (85) is too high for it to be spammable at early levels. It's a bit of a noob trap skill in terms of its spammability right now so be warned.

If you can consistently hit multiple targets, the .65 AP ratio is pretty good as well.

W (Ring of Frost):

This is probably Lissandra's most influential ability and should be used liberally in anything resembling a gank or team fight. It deals a fair amount of damage in an area slightly smaller than an Anivia ult. It also roots all targets in place for 1-1.5 seconds. Used correctly, it will seriously impact any champion reliant on movement while simultaneously giving you a significantly reduced cooldown on your passive.

When combined with her E (Glacial Path), Lissandra can make some really incredible ganks. The root duration doesn't scale up significantly (.1 second per level) but both the cooldown and the damage scale well (18-10 seconds and 40 damage per level). A .6 AP ratio on a large AoE spell is fairly good as well.

E (Glacial Path):

Definitely Lissandra's signature ability. They describe this as a "slow moving" skill shot but it looks like it moves at a speed only slightly slower than Diana's Crescent Strike. You probably won't hit too many people at max range with it but closer-in targets will generally be unable to dodge. It also does full damage to every target it passes through (with a .6 AP ratio) so it can be used to clear waves really well if needed. Before you go pushing lanes with it, however, note the very long cooldown it starts with (24 seconds).

The signature thing about the ability is that you can activate a second time and teleport to its current location (also ending its advance).

There are some tricks with Glacial Path you should know right off the bat:

  1. There's a small delay when it arrives to its target such that you can teleport to it despite it having "finished."
  2. It can be used to juke pursuers by throwing it one direction and going another. They can only follow one and you can make your teleport decision based on which way they go. If you're doing this, make your running path the "safest" choice and your teleport path your "2nd best option." That way if you get stunned or something, you're at least a little better off then you would have been.
  3. The cooldown scales down dramatically with level (dropping from 24 to 12 seconds). However, the damage doesn't scale up significantly (35 per level for an ability on such a long cooldown doesn't excite me).
  4. It doesn't impair movement so don't get confused when your passive cooldown isn't reduced.
  5. Don't try to hit people at max range. It's slow enough that they'll dodge and, at that range, they'll almost certainly be out of range for your ring of frost as well.

R (Frozen Tomb):

Another ability that sets Lissandra apart from the crowd. This is a dual modal ult (possibly the first in the game?) that has slightly different effects depending on its target. If Lissandra casts it on herself, it essentially provides a mini-Zhonya's effect lasting 1.5 seconds. If cast on an opponent, it stuns them for the same 1.5 seconds (but does not make them invulnerable).

Regardless of the target, the area surrounding the target turns to ice, dealing damage and slowing opponents in the area by 20%. The ice lasts for 3 seconds.

The ability isn't an overwhelming damage option but it does deal its damage instantly, while providing a stun/invlunerability and a modest slow in a large AoE. It feels a bit like a jack of all trades, master of none ult. You aren't going to have the "run for the hills" type of effect that Katarina or Nunu have, nor are you going to have the "I ulted you, you're dead now" impact of a Malzahar ult. But it will always be useful and improve your team's chances of winning a team fight.

Note that her ult also makes Lissandra nearly impossible to tower dive early in the game. Wait for the turret to acquire aggro on someone and pop your ult. You'll have at least one dead enemy champion.


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