IntroductionThis guide is now officially completed. Refer to the changelog for recent updates. Continuous updates will be commonplace as I continue to test varying item builds, rune setups, and mastery pages. Please check back often for the most relevant playstyle information. Enjoy!
Greetings to all of you, and welcome to my Sejuani guide. The newest champion to the League is a versatile, multi-role champion capable of laning solo, duo as a support, or jungling. The focus of this guide will be on a Sejuani played in the Top lane, solo, as the title suggests.
Why do I choose to play her this way? It's pretty simple, really. I hate jungling and I'm too aggressive to play a useful support. ;)
On a more serious note, Sejuani makes a good solo top champion in my opinion because she's incredibly tanky if built right, but still has the power to harass and farm as required in a solo lane. In teamfights, her ability to apply slows and stuns (via her ultimate) over a wide radius makes her a natural initiator when combined with her tankiness. All of this, and she doesn't do too bad of damage either makes for a well rounded champion.
Let me emphasize this: There is always more than one way to build a champion. There is no end-all be-all build for anyone, and Sejuani follows suit. The masteries, runes, and item build I suggest are intended to amplify each of these positive characteristics of her kit while making her an incredibly durable ganker and teamfighting beast. Let's get started, shall we?
Changelogv0.1 (1/17/12): Initial item build and mastery/rune/summoner combinations added. Flaming ensues.
v0.5 (1/18/12): Much of the guide is completed, but chapters elaborating early-mid-late game and teamfights are still incomplete.
v0.6 (1/19/12): Skill order revised. Elaborated on teamfighting role/capabilities.
v1.0 (1/20/12): The game stages are complete, and the skill order has been revised once more. The entire guide is complete at this point.
v1.01 (1/21/12): After a lot of testing, I've thrown Philosopher's Stone and Shurelya's Reverie into my usual rotation. I've also removed Lich Bane and Malady and added in Atma's Impaler and Trinity Force. Updated the item builds chapter to reflect this change. Currently testing Jungling builds as I'm often forced into the role as Sejuani--apparently people frown upon my playstyle :(
MasteriesI suggest a 9/21/0 mastery set with Sejuani. The defensive tree amplifies her natural tankiness and the 9 points in the offensive tree give her a little bit extra AP and magic pen to help with her damage.
Other possibilities to consider are 0/21/9, 9/0/21, or 0/9/21. It always boils down to personal preference. Choose your masteries based off of your personal playstyle. I play aggressive but still like to be durable, so 9/21/0 is my mastery set of choice for Sej.
RunesLike masteries, runes are all personal preference as well. Flat armor yellows and Flat MR blues are common for solo top lanes and tanks. The per level variants of these aren't bad choices, nor are the health per level yellows or CDR blues. I chose Magic Pen Reds and AP quints to amplify her damage a bit. Her AP ratios aren't that great, but in my eyes they're not bad enough to justify building straight tank and getting ignored in teamfights because you can't damage a fly. Other options in these categories are health, attack speed, or AP for reds, and movespeed, health, armor, or MR for quints.
As I'll say numerous times throughout this guide, it all boils down to personal preference and your opposing team composition. Sej is a natural tank and her abilities scale off of AP, so pick runes that emphasize those characteristics.
TL;DR--Other options I would consider:
Reds -- attack speed, ability power, health.
Yellows -- armor per level, health per level.
Blues -- MR per level, flat CDR, CDR per level, attack speed.
Quints -- movespeed, flat health, flat armor, flat MR.
Flash is always and always will be useful on any champion, due to the escape/initiate/chase options it gives, even post-nerf. This is no different on Sejuani. Flash + Q gives her incredible range on her initiate as well as offers a useful escape if you get ganked. I've survived double and triple ganks with that combo, so don't underestimate it! For these reasons, it's a no brainer to me.
Ignite is an offensive spell that has merit in any team composition, giving you a way to secure kills and nerf enemy healing abilities (I'm looking at you, Vlad and Volibear). It also synergizes nicely with her W as a DoT. Note that ignite does true damage, so it will be useful throughout the game no matter what your enemy builds.
Ghost is a viable alternative to flash. If you do take it, try and take the associated mastery for the movement speed bonus (a whopping 35%).
Teleport is useful for any solo top due to the utility it gives. If you die, it makes it an easy return to lane; mid-game, it lets you split push as well as defend towers that may go down. It also opens up the option of ganking bottom and gaining a man advantage to dragon (via TPing to a ward).
Heal is actually really nice since it got buffed. I rarely use it, but some swear by it. Try and take the mastery to it if you do take it as it gives you an extra 15% healed.
Exhaust is also nice to have if you're laning against a high-AD champion (Tryndamere, Irelia, etc.). The slow also synergizes with your passive, so it carries offensive and defensive utility. Take this if noone on your team has it.
Sejuani's basic attacks apply frost, reducing enemy movement speed by 10% for 3 seconds.
Excellent, excellent passive. This makes chasing and escaping that much easier, and also sets up your permafrost ability to give you a wide-range AoE slow and damage.
Q: Arctic Assault
Sejuani charges forward, dealing 60 / 90 / 130 / 170 / 210 (+40% of ability power) magic damage and applying frost to enemies. Sejuani stops upon colliding with an enemy champion.
Cooldown 19 / 17 / 15 / 13 / 11 seconds
Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
This is your main initiate and chasing skill, and can also be used as an escape when things get hairy. It does decent damage and applies frost, and the cooldown is relatively short. I like to think of this as a mini-Malphite Ult. Arctic Assault also has a nifty intrinsic ability to charge through walls, similar to Tryndamere's E. Not every wall can be charged through though, so learn which ones you will and won't go through. The ability to go through walls makes initiating and ganking that much easier, and can often put you out of harms way if you need to escape, so keep it in mind.
Because of it's utility, I like to take this as my first point. I'll used to max it last, thinking it was a 1 point wonder, but the increased damage and lowered cooldown make your initiations and ganks that much more powerful. Max this after Permafrost (2nd).
W: Northern Winds
Sejuani summons an arctic storm around her for 5 seconds, dealing magic 12 / 18 / 24 / 30 / 36 +(10% of ability power) + ( 1 / 1.25 / 1.5 / 1.75 / 2% of maximum health) damage each second to nearby enemies.
Damage is increased by 50% against enemies affected by frost or Permafrost
Cost 40 mana
Cooldown 10 seconds
This is a small range, 5 second AoE that scales off of AP and HEALTH. Because it does increased damage when enemies are afflicted by your passive, wait to use this until after charging in with your Q->E combo to maximize it's damage.
Because it doesn't scale well until late game, max this skill last (after Ultimate, Q, and E). If you take this too early the increased health % scaling is barely even noticeable, and from plenty of testing I've found Q and E to be more worth it.
Northern Wind has lots of merit in a jungle build, but not to the same extent here.
Sejuani converts frost on nearby enemies to Permafrost, dealing 60 / 110 / 160 / 210 / 260 +(50% of ability power) as magic damage and increasing the movement speed reduction by 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 % for 3 seconds.
Cost 55 mana
Cooldown 11 seconds
Wide range AoE that can only be used when surrounding enemies are afflicted by your passive. This does great damage to anyone affected in its radius and also amplifies the slow component of your passive, making it nigh impossible to get away if used properly. Because it is Sejuani's highest damaging skill (ignoring her ultimate), and the added CC component (70% slow!!) maxing this first is a no-brainer.
R: Glacial Prison
Sejuani throws her weapon, stunning the first enemy champion hit for 2 seconds and all other nearby enemies for 1 second. All affected targets take 150 / 250 / 350 +(80% of ability power) as magic damage and are affected by frost.
Cost 100 mana
Cooldown 150 / 130 / 110 seconds
Not a bad ultimate in my eyes, it gives Sej some added utility in the form of a small AoE stun and high damage. The range is larger than you would expect, about the same as Permafrost's AoE. It does travel through walls in the vein of Arctic Assault, so keep that in mind when using it. The range of the stun itself is fairly small, probably about a champion width or two, so don't bank on hitting an entire team unless you're very good or the other team is very stupid to stay clumped together.
This skill is incredibly good at initiating a combo (R-Q-E-W) with the stun component and high damage and is also good for finishing off runners. In a teamfighting situation, you'll want to initiate with it, trying to hit as many opposing champions (e.g. carries) as possible before charging in with your Q.
As stated in the skills section, max your E first. It's your biggest form of raw damage and has a 70% AoE slow at rank 5, so it should be first priority. Following that, max your Q followed by your W.
Put points in your ult whenever you can, it's a no-brainer.
Your main skill combo is going to be Ultimate -> Arctic Assault -> Permafrost -> Northern Winds. R->Q->E->W. For the most part you won't need to vary from this as the combo functions as a stun->charge->AoE->damage while chasing. In certain situations you can use Arctic Assault as an escape tool or to move quickly through the jungle as it has the ability to go through certain walls similar to Tryndamere's E.
A useful farming combo is to use your Q to charge through a minion wave completely. This will apply frost to the entire wave, which you can then wipe out in one shot with your E. This allows for fast, efficient farming and excellent lane pushing ability.
Item BuildsSejuani is a tank at her core. That said, she needs a few stats to maximize her effectiveness, in descending order of merit:
1) Health. Self explanatory stat. Northern Winds also scales off of health so it serves a double purpose.
2) Armor/MR. One or the other or both depending on the opposing team will be necessary so you don't melt in the face of focus.
3) AP. All of Sejuani's abilities do scale off of AP, and having some is not a bad thing as long as you keep Health and Resistances prioritized.
4) CDR. Much like Maokai, CDR=Damage. In Sejuani's case, more CDR leads to more initiated teamfights which leads to more wins. It's a snowball effect but you get the idea.
The item build below is intended to maximize all of those necessary stats while creating a mobile, damaging tank.
A typical finished build would consist of core, 1-2 tank items (based on the opposing team), and 1-2 damage items. I rationalize the need for damage by saying this: if you don't do enough damage to be taken seriously, you're of no use to your team as an initiator or ganker.
Starting: or or or
Pick a starting item based on the champion you'll go against. Boots if you're worried about being harassed/want to harass, ruby crystal to build into RoA later, or a Doran's Item to be more tanky (shield) or more aggressive (ring).
is an always useful item to have as the gp/5 takes some pressure off of getting every last hit, and the regens give you much needed sustain. Try and grab this on your first trip back to let the gp/5 work as long as possible. Eventually you'll want to build this into a depending on the opposing team, but usually not 'til the rest of your core is completed and you have another item in addition to that.
/ are self explanatory. The new change to Ninja Tabi makes them very good against champions that autoattack as their primary source of damage (Tryn, Caitlyn, etc). Mercury's Treads are my go-to boots if the other team has any form of CC or magic damage that I'm scared of.
will give you Health and AP, and therein tankiness and some damage. Build it early and let it compound on itself. Sejuani's AP ratios aren't fantastic but if you don't build any AP at all you'll stand the risk of doing little to no damage and being ignored in most teamfights.
should be pretty self explanatory due to the health scaling on . With a fully stacked Warmog's and Rod of Ages, you'll have nearly 4200 health after your masteries--more than enough, in my eyes!
Once your core is built, you'll want to pick one or two tanky items and one or two damage items depending on how the game is going. If you're getting focused, build tankier; if you feel the luxury of already being tanky enough, feel free to grab an extra damage item. Depending on the teams composition, you'll want to go with some of the following:
is my favorite tank item against AD. It gives you armor, mana, CDR, and the slow is always useful.
is so amazing. I love this but sometimes I get tunnel vision and forget about my actives so I don't build this as often as Frozen Heart. If you do, pop the active during teamfights and watch the winning ensue. If you do choose to build this, buy the Heart of Gold early and watch the gp/5 work.
is nice to have against auto-attack champions. I've built this against champions like Vayne and laughed as they hit me to their death. That said, it's not as widely used (or useful) as a FH or a Randuin's.
is my go-to item versus AP teams. MR, Health Regen, and Movespeed all make you a durable, mobile tank that isn't afraid to charge into their team's AP carry and win. It's a personal favorite of mine.
is a must against 1-click wonder champions like Annie. Having the ability to watch Tibbers drop on your head and laugh it off is gamebreaking. The extra health, mana, and MR is very nice to have as well, but the proc is what you buy this item for.
carries MR, AP, and a MR-reducing debuff to nearby enemies that your AP carries will thank you for. It's an offensive tank item that I find myself building every now and then, so it has some merit. If someone on your team already has this then don't bother.
is a fantastic offensive tank item. Recently I've found myself building it when I can because with the amount of health this build gives it synergizes nicely. With a fully stacked RoA and Warmog's, Atma's will give you just over 80 AD. Almost too hard to pass up. If you can afford it, the AD you get from this synergizes very well with .
is another offensive tank item that I like to build every so often. It's not just for Udyr.
carries combined AP and AS and is useful for the reasons as described above. This also has the benefit of giving you some CDR which is useful no matter who you are.
Other options to consider:
is a great all around item for damage and beef, but I would only buy this if I was also buying an .
gives you more health, more AP, and a slow. It can be useful but you're not Katarina or Vlad, and you already have a slow, but it's a decent option nonetheless.
has spell vamp. Spell vamp is awesome, and team spell vamp is even more awesome. If someone on your team refuses to buy it then it's not a bad idea to pick one up. I would never buy this in substitute of a tank item, but as a 6th it's not bad to have.
A relatively balanced end-game build:
Teamfighting/PlaystyleSejuani functions as an incredibly good initiator to teamfights via her natural beefiness and her skill combo. As stated in the skills section, open with your Ultimate and try to hit as many champions at once. Focus on carries in particular, but at the end of the day you'll just want to hit as many people as possible.
Following your ultimate, charge in with your Q and follow it up with a quick E. Your Q will apply frost to whoever you hit if your ultimate didn't, while Permafrost will function as an AoE slow and doesn't do insignificant damage, which will make it easy for your carries to start cleaning up. Put on Northern Winds while the opposing team is surrounding you and watch their life get eaten away.
This same combo can be used very effectively to set up 2v1 or 3v2 ganks at mid or bottom. If you're carrying teleport, TPing to a ward in a bush can be a very effective way to set it up without being seen. Generally wait till the opposing laner is overextended (read: pushed past the mid-line of river) and initiate your combo while your teammates go to work. If you did it right (landed your ult and charge) then watch your enemies melt. Or freeze, as it may be.
Remember, Sejuani has massive amounts of health with this build (nearing 4200 at 18 with a fully stacked Warmog's and RoA). Depending on the opposing team composition, you should also have a fair amount of Armor or MR built as well. It's your duty to be the first one in; by and large you'll be the only one on your team durable enough to survive being focused by a majority or the entirety of the enemy team. Any damage you can throw in the mix will only make it easier for your carries to do their job and clean house.
Early GameEarly game is all about two things as a solo top: farming and wards. Harassing and winning your lane are important, yes, but being able to appear at the 20 minute mark with a Rod of Ages and a Giant's Belt due to your overwhelming CS can turn the tide in a slow lane or give you an advantage in taking Dragon or a Tower. This is why farming and not dying are paramount.
Wards are the single most important item you will buy all game. As a solo top you should be farming more than enough to warrant buying one, two, or three every time you go back to base!
Start your early game with a purchase based on what lane opponent you'll be facing. More often than not, this defaults to in my case as I enjoy having the increase movespeed and sustain right off the bat. The goal here is to keep up with your farm, harass as necessary to help win your lane, and NOT DIE. For safety, you should rarely push beyond the mid-line of river even if you do have it warded (as you should). The rare situation where you would want to push all the way to the tower is if you see the enemy jungler gank across the map. If that occurs you're relatively safe for 10-15 seconds, but no more.
Around the 10 minute mark it's ok to shoot down to mid lane for a gank if your farm has been sufficient and you have a health item or two (). You should have your ultimate by this point and be looking to feed your AP Carry an easy kill with your skill combo. Make sure to have wards in place and feel free to initiate a 2v1 gank when the enemy mid-lane is overextended.
If you're carrying teleport, and your bottom lane has wards up (as they should!), another option is to teleport to a ward and initiate a 3v2 gank. This has the advantage of giving you access to a quick Dragon kill, which is a welcome 190g to your entire team.
If you remain top, you should always be wary of being on the receiving end of a 2v1 gank. If you don't know where the enemy jungler is, play cautious and try to keep your Q up in case you need it as an escape. Don't underestimate the range a Flash + Q combo can give you--I've escaped 1v2 and 1v3 ganks with it before, so keep that in mind as one of your "oh, ****!" options.
By about the 17 to 18 minute mark early game and the laning phase will be over for the most part. At this point, if you're doing well you should have and begun working on .
Mid GameThe definition of when mid-game typically begins varies from game to game, though it's usually a) when the tower in your lane goes down b) teamfights start occuring in another lane or c) around the 20 minute mark. From here and for the rest of the game your job is to be in teamfights wherever they occur and preferably initiate them. Initiating is a skill that takes some practice, but knowing when to go in and when not to is critical. Generally you'll want to go in whenever:
- You have a man advantage
- The opposing team is overextended
- One or more of the opposing team is low health
- The teamfight would take place on or in the vicinity of a friendly tower
Generally, you don't want to initiate if:
- You're outnumbered
- You or your teammates are low health
- More than 2 enemy champions are MIA
If it doesn't feel right in your gut to start a fight, then don't do it. It's very possible to lose a game because of one bone-headed teamfight gone wrong. That said, aggression is also known to win matches. Finding a balance between aggression and pacifism is key to playing Sejuani correctly.
Bushfights are very common around Baron Nashor and Dragon at this point as well. Don't wander around these regions alone or you'll face the possibility of getting picked off. If you have wards/CV, you should be able to figure out which bushes the enemy team is hiding in. When you do, initiate with your skill combo and watch your carries clean house.
One more option is to bait teamfights by waiting in a bush yourself, and waiting for the enemy team to come near. You'll only want to do this when 3-4 of your team mates are close at hand to help you out. Initiate with your skill combo when the moment is right.
Refer to the teamfighting chapter above for further strategy.
Mid-game usually ends when you or your teammates are nearing level 18, or around the 40 minute mark.
Late GameLate game is usually all about one, maybe two, match-critical teamfights. There's very little room for error at this point because death penalties are steep and most players are finishing or have finished their item and skill builds at this point.
As before, you want to be in the thick of things, drawing focus away from your carries with your skill combo and watching your carries clean up what you started.
Winning a teamfight at Baron Nashor, getting the buff or denying the buff to the other team, is often the match-determining factor. Keep that in mind, and always try to have a ward in front of Baron and in the bushes near Baron.
Refer to the teamfighting chapter above for further strategy.
JunglingSejuani has the ability to be a powerful AoE jungler in the vein of Malphite but I won't be covering that in this guide. Maybe at a later date.
Edit (1/21/12): I'm now experimenting with a handful of different jungling builds based on how I play my usual junglers. Expect a comprehensive update within the next few days.
Final CommentsThanks for reading! Like I said in the beginning, there's always more than one way to build a champion. If you want to Jungle, I highly recommend reading FYA Umashi's guide on that role. There's also a couple guides on playing Sejuani as a support in bottom lane, which has some merit (due to her CC/initiate capabilities). All of that said...solo top is my preferred lane, and this guide is a reflection of that. Sejuani has the ability to be powerful in a number of roles, so don't pigeon-hole yourself into just one!
If you liked this guide, please vote as such. If you downvote, say why instead of "bad, bad guide.". Before you downvote, try the build. Comments and constructive criticism are always welcomed and appreciated. I'll be doing my best to keep this guide updated frequently, so check back often!