Ask @lordforte:

hey lordforte... to your knowledge what non-tank midlane/toplane champions counter tanks, ty for your answer....

Hello,
Uhh, off the top of my head:
Midlane: Cassiopeia, Anivia, Brand(?), Ryze, Viktor, Gangplank, Vel'koz(?), Yasuo, Vladimir
Toplane: Darius, Yasuo, Gangplank, Jax, Fiora(!), Olaf, Vladimir(?)
Those come to mind as possessing the necessary DPS/kite options to consistently tear down tanks. Other picks can do it if they 'get ahead', but kind of fall off in mid-late game. The ? marks are ones that 'should', but may not, as I don't actively recall how they're doing these days.
Fiora is notably the best kind of anti-tank pick in top lane you can do, though keep in mind she's very fragile to use.
Hope that helps~

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Hey! Have you seen the new patch? what is your opinion on Syndra ... Is she going to maximise e second or still w?

Hello,
Yup, been playing on it. Very pleased with the changes so far; it brought back Syndra's original playstyle in the mid/late game, while enhancing it. The R nerf was no where near as painful as I imagined, but I've felt it occasionally in the early game.
I suspect Syndra will still max W second, as that is her optimal 'DPS path'. However, E second max playstyle is now no longer overbearingly punished for NOT going W, so there will be situations its good to pick in. To sum up a lot of potential conversation: DPS vs sniper safety, so W or E respectively.
In fact, compared to it's past self, the E route is slightly buffed (the +0.1 AP ratio and -2s CD) but ratios care about items, not levels, so ...

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Hi, First of all I'm spanish so sorry about my english. I have been playing LoL for 3 months. I have played all the roles and I main mid, with Orianna actually. I just want to know if I should "save money" to buy Syndra, I think I'm really skilled, but I wanna know if she is "interesting" to play.

Jaqen H'ghar
Hello! Your English is good from what I see.
Since you've played Orianna, you'll be familiar with half of what Syndra does. They both like to control the area around them; Orianna works with her ball, Syndra works with Dark Spheres. They become quite different after that, though.
Syndra's area control builds into her tempo -- she builds up Dark Spheres, peaks at power, then crashes down as the Dark Spheres die. If you manage her tempo correctly, you can effectively use her Burst ultimate to kill a target. Managing this tempo is a main part of playing her, and her area control is very important in setting that up.
Unlike Orianna, Syndra is very fragile, and is a demanding champion to use. She only has one safety feature--her stun combo--and if that fails, she literally only has damage left, and not a lot of health or defenses. As a consequence, Syndra is quite punishing to play. She demands a good awareness of her strengths and weaknesses, and playing her successfully or not shows itself very quickly.
If you're looking for someone that's more damage oriented than Orianna, and has a steeper learning curve to how she works, you may like how Syndra operates.
I would say I find her quite interestingly to play, but I'm a little biased with the thousands of games I have on her ...

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Hey Forte, I was wondering what some good habits are to form and bad habits to avoid when playing Syndra, if I'm still fairly new to her. Thanks!

Hello there,
Hmm, good and bad habits.
1. Position in a safe, but useful area constantly.
You want to be in a position where you can maximize her damage, reach, and safety. You will constantly have to re-evaluate this, as this is an ever moving place. Mastery of this principle is make-or-break for a lot of Syndra players. Force the enemy to spend a lot of resources catching you, so that even if you do die, your team can punish them in return.
2. Mana management is critical.
Syndra has a lot of hidden mana costs in her kit. Her full 6 sphere rotation is around 400? mana, depending on your 2nd max skill. If you do not have that mana available, you cannot do her high damage ultimate - period. Always be conscious of why you're spending mana, and how much mana you have left. If you can't successfully do a full power combo, in most situations, it's time to leave.
3. Patience for the right moment.
Syndra works on her own time table, with her own conditions and concerns. If you can force a fight, it's because you synchronized the force attempt with her time table. If you hamfist a situation, you're going to be out of position, vulnerable, and probably dead in a few seconds. She has a rhythm to how she works, play with that, and force enemies to deal with her.
4. Never be afraid.
Risk is intrinsic to Syndra's kit. She is among the most fragile glass cannons in the game, so you need to have confidence in what you're doing. This is different from being reckless or pointlessly risky. It's knowing 'if I stun them, I can do X/Y/Z, with results A/B/C'. If you throw out spells without a concern on what the consequences will be, you're never going to have the confidence to follow them up. Syndra's opportunities are measured in split seconds, after minutes of preparation. Have the confidence to follow them up, or know why you're not (e.g, it's too dangerous, wait for the next window).
5. Timing is crucial.
Syndra works on her own time table, measured in the life timers of her spheres. She's stronger the more there are, weaker when there isn't. Know these life timers and your windows of power around them, because you can force when she's powerful, and be safe when she's not.
I think that covers the overall family of ideas. Bad habits are pretty much the opposite of what I say. Awful positioning, always out of mana, never having a plan for a combo execution, never following up what her own power can do, etcetra.
Syndra is a well oiled machine when put on her proper pace, so if she's feeling clunky or difficult, there's probably a bad habit in there somewhere.

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I've always been the intuitive kind of player and but I've never gotten higher than low to average diamond, but you're motivating me to take a more strategic approach with your explanations and thought to playing Syndra. What do you think is the better way to play?

Hello there,
Well, hm. I'm going to paint with a big brush, so bear with me.
The absolute mastery of warfare is the utilization of all resources, techniques, and methods with the knowledge and wisdom needed for a final victory. Those who fall into second place with this are the ones specialized in only a few masteries of some of the tools. This distinction can be difficult to discern, as it's often a difference as small as 0.01%.
The difference between LCS capable Challengers and Masters players, in other words.
Thus, I would not say either way is the better way to play. The objective is the destruction of the enemy Nexus. All other details are merely methods to obtaining this, each offering different terms and conditions at any given second.
Tremendous mechanical skill can be destroyed by strategy if one is not also fighting the enemy on that front. I learned this lesson intimately during my Halo and CoD years. At my age then, I was fully confident in demolishing anyone I ran into with mechanical skill, and I usually did. I almost always lost games, however, because I wasn't fighting the war--just the battles.
The enemy can give you all the worthless battles they can if it means they win the war.
In this light, intuition can give you your unique skill and perception, but you will need to learn to engage the strategy to truly maximize your capabilities. What kills to go for, then what towers to take. What threats to intimidate the enemy, or when to feign weakness. How to capitalize on advantage, when both ahead and behind. So on, so forth.
Look to all your own skills, knowledge, and methods for fighting. Try to find the strengths and weaknesses, because both are always there, and see how it can be applied. It can be strange to do, and even ethereally difficult with how such intangible roads are, but that's the fun of the challenge.

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Hey Forte! Could you give us an overview about Syndra's most-combo to push out an entire wave?

Hello,
Hmm. This mostly depends on her abilities ranks and AP, really.
E->W+Q can punt an entire wave ontop of itself, letting you clear the whole thing in 1 rotation.
E->Q can kill the entire wave (minus the cannon) if you're very ahead in AP for that given time period.
Q+W is a safe way of clearing half, if not most of the wave, if the minions haven't moved much since they met one another. Not using E here means you can keep it defensively if an enemy is going to trade or gank.
W by itself can hit most, if not the whole wave, if you aim dead center. You can think Q or E the different parts as you need to finish it off.
Generally speaking, after the first 5~ minutes of gameplay, Syndra can clear an entire minion wave with one rotation of her abilities. Ranks and AP dictate if you need a third ability to do so, as two are usually enough if you're ahead.

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hey overlord, i usually take q at lvl 1 then w at lvl 2,when do you recommend taking w lvl 2 as compared to e lvl 2?

Hello,
The thought process is usually: I don't need the stun, and I can use the slow to get more auto attack damage out, and if barring the second, I'd just use W's enhanced base damage.
Against LeBlanc, for instance, you need Q+E to trade with her, or she wins with her W.
Against Kassadin, W level 1 or 2 is fairly powerful because he has no mobility and no strong early trading tools. After his Q shield drops, slowing and autoing him is devastating to his lane pressure.
Against Fizz, it's 50/50. You can auto abuse him early but a clever Fizz can be dangerous with his troll pole jump.
The sum total of this decision is how you want to play out levels 1-3. At level 4, all the different starts synchronize to Rank 2 Q, Rank 1 W, Rank 1 E. Or, should, at least.

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Hey Forte! What are your thoughts on W start on Syndra?

Hello,
It is the most useful in situations where the Q+E stun combo isn't needed at level 2, and you aren't going to be using Rank 2 Q damage at level 3. In those same situations, you can capitalize on the added damage and slow to perhaps utilize Syndra's ranged auto attacks.
So, a good deal of Melee picks into her would be susceptible. Most have gap closers and the like, though, so auto attacking can be very risky to outright too dangerous. It's often to the point I simply find the Q+E stun combo more valuable to keep, even if it has a 10-15% lower amount of damage potential, it's much safer.
Worth experimenting on, I just very rarely find match ups I'm ever comfortable doing it in to capitalize on its advantages.

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What are your thoughts on Syndra vs Kennen lane?

Ellie
Hello,
Quite manageable, if annoying. It's classically only a problem because of Abyssal Scepter, but that's having trouble versus the item more than Kennen himself.
You have to respect his ridiculous chain lightning auto combo, which lets him win any auto attack trade by default. It can make pre-level 5 stressful, but afterwards it comes down to his itemization. Syndra's E can completely ruin his initiations, even when he flashes in onto her, if your timings are spot on.

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Any particular reason why I should build Tear if Ahri builds MR?

Hello,
It's the Tear->Void Staff route I do to accelerate the counter to MR. You can usually start dealing with the MR user at around 10-12 minutes with Void+Sorcerers as your first completed item. Tear is for mana sustain in the interim, and then turns into Archangel's useful stat stick later on.
If you do Morello -> X item (Abyssal, Void, etcetra), you'll be delayed personal kill power until around 20 minutes. If this isn't a concern (e.g, you're just farming lane or getting helper ganks constantly), then standard build is fine.

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Hi Forte! What should I build against Ahri? Yesterday i played a ranked game against her and i got tear, then codex>morello, voidstaff and completed archangel. Is it better to rush morello or abyssal? Sorry for the TL;DR and ty x)

Ellie
Hello,
Reactive builds being what it is, your options would look like this:
Ahri doesn't build MR:
Morello's->Abyssal (If shutting her out is desired)->Void Staff->Normal AP (Deathcap, etcetra).
Ahri builds MR:
Tear->Void->Morello's->Archangel's->Abyssal (if MR desired)->Deathcap->Whatever situational is needed (Rylai for HP, Zhonya stasis, etcetra).
Popular theory at the moment is just do 'Morellonomicon into Void Staff'. If no MR is built, it's standard carry and works fine. If they build MR, you're going to have difficulty solo killing until minute 20 (when Morello and Void are both finished). If you go Morello+Abyssal, you're more durable, but may or may not find you don't have much more for kill power if they also built MR.

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on the rylai's question,i played against a syndra mid which built rylais second,her ult slowed me for ages and i felt that its quite viable

Hello,
It would be about a 2-2.5 second, 40% slow, against a target that should die within the first 1 second. Useful if her ultimate will be interrupted/countered (heals, etcetra), but it's a niche situation I wouldn't really consider as a main selling point. You're still going to be thinking about the (+100AP)+(400HP+(Q heavy slow) for item slot purposes.

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hello overlord,is your guide on mobafire updated? and also what are your thoughts on jensen's syndra build against envy?

Hello,
Yes, I generally keep it up to date with anything major. I don't hit it with every new idea/innovation I test, so it can lag behind compared to what is seen on the stream. I may also shy away from the more unconventional elements, as I'm not too certain how well something like 'yeah against triple AD build Archangel's+Frozen Heart' translates across the brackets.
His build sacrificed overall damage potential for more durability, which is ... the meta, basically. There is no reason to almost ever go full glass cannon. Not sure how it worked out for him, I don't generally watch tournament matches.

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what are your thoughts on morello>rylai for syndra?

Hello,
Not too much of a fan of it.
With Rylai's 2nd, you get +100AP, +400HP, +%slow on her Q. It functionally doesn't matter with her other three skills, so it's a 'is this investment worth an added slow on her Q' question. In that context, if you're landing Q's, the slow can help in team fights (making it easier for everyone to hit the target), and it can help in kiting. Though, with her W and E, I'd argue Luden's remains the best kite option. Rylai's fits better for 'having to take a hit'.
If you need HP and AP wrapped together, it can work, but I wonder if GLP ice belt would be more useful (and have mana).
If her W didn't have a massive slow attached to it, there'd be a much more compelling reason for Rylai's in her build, honestly.

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Hey Forte! What are your thoughts on Syndra's lategame? How hard does she fall off, and how should Syndra players play her late game effectively?

Hello,
Hmm.
Her late game is not as great as it could be, though it is strong in very binary ways. She can take out most carries, but can just as easily be taken out. Her lack of natural synergy with defensive itemization means that, where most of her contemporaries can take one or two extra hits, she's still taking the same hits she always was.
This means, even though she could eat an ADC alive in Q+E+R(5-6 sphere ultimate), she'd die in two or three auto attacks. On the other hand, tanks, who would require several rotations of her abilities to even take a modest amount of damage, could kill her just as fast as those same ADCs.
There's two things working at here:
A mechanical problem. Her kit wasn't designed for a world where tanks are as strong as they are now. Tanks in her release era were CC bots and nothing more. She's done well despite it, though this fact stands out sharply whenever she has to confront even a neutrally farmed tank.
An itemization problem, in that defensive items do not generally like her. She can use Zhonya's as well as any AP who picks it up, and Abyssal has some situational usage. Rod of Ages, Rylai's, and Liandry's, however, do not really agree with her. Lacking any synergistic skills (e.g, Viktor's Q), whatever tanky stats she builds don't really go far. Hence, over reliance on Zhonya's (if built at all). Otherwise, one rotation duels to the death are the order of the day.
Thus, the late game Syndra player is concerned with sending out her damage and stuns, while avoiding being caught almost perfectly. Virtually every thing will kill you at this stage in the game, and you may have a one-time safety valve in a team fight with Zhonya's after her stun is used.
It isn't unreasonable to stick in the mid to back line, sending out stuns, and not getting close to use Q or W. Dodging pick off skill shots, like Luxanna or Morgana Q, is much more important. Yet, at the same time, you have to maintain presence and damage, and weave inside those split second windows you can do damage before having to leave.
Your allies are living meat walls meant to eat damage that goes to you, so use them as such.
Picking off an enemy carry, and if your team doesn't kill them, you killing them with her ultimate, is pretty solid
Conversely, her ultimate can be incredibly scary and just having it available can scare enemy carries away. This is especially useful for diving or out of position carries, like LeBlanc, who want to get close.
How well these goals are managed is how well you do late game Syndra, really.

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Hi Forte! I have "discovered" you thanks to an interview that I read on surrender At 20 and I've been watching your stream since that; I really want to than you because I learnt how to master very quickly Syndra and now she is my main! Keep going man! You're great

Ah! Wonderful! :)
I'm always glad to hear how my teachings help. If you have any particular questions that come to mind, don't worry about poking me about them.
Thank you for letting me know~

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Hey lordforte, I really love and appreciate the hard work you put into teaching us Syndra, and I was wondering if you knew other streamers who have the same passionate skills as you! Thank you

Hello,
Thank you :)
I cannot really name any other streamers off the top of my head (for Syndra or in general). I don't actively watch other streams, and as I do not Dynamo Queue in Ranked, I exist in a bubble compared to other high elo players.
Whatever you'd find off a Google search for 'high elo streamers' is about the same as what I'd know, really.

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Wasn't that hidden passive of Nidalee removed some time ago? I think it was.

Hello,
Yes, it was removed along with some other 'gameplay affecting hidden passives' (e.g, the Ninja debuff when multiple ninja were on the same team). Others, which have no gameplay impact (e.g, Zyra getting huge when Leona hits her with an ability) remain, however.
That it existed at all is indicative of the problem.

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What do you think of Taliyah? She feels like a mix of Anivia and Lissandra to me, being a lot worse at what both of those champions do and honestly way to weak damage considering she's supposed to be a control midlaner or am I wrong on that one?

Hello,
Taliyah is a zone control mage with strong disruptor tendencies, so she's almost exclusively about controlling the battlefield. The Anivia and Lissandra comparisons are apt, but it's better to think of her as belonging in the same family as them, rather than a mixture.
Anivia is concerned with consistently locking down one part of the battlefield, for instance. Lissandra actively changes between a diver, lockdown unit, and defensive peel, but cannot really change 'on the fly'.
Taliyah is curious in that she's a mobile controller who punishes enemies that behave aggressively, position incorrectly on the map, or fall into her traps. Her E, R, and E+W/W+E ability rotations, respectively. She has more tools to more decisively influence action, but they are flexible in how they work.
Damage wise she's off the charts and needs to be nerfed, frankly. As of 6.13, a good Taliyah can steam roll a lot of matchups because of that damage (notably her Q and E+W combo). It's difficult to learn to do at first, but once you're familiar with it, it's another Aurelion Sol situation (e.g, where a main is disproportionately powerful on that champion).

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I've always been an Orianna main (well, actually Kata befor she was nerfed to death) and a huge fan of Syndra. I've always though their playstyle was very similar, would you agree with that? Where does Syndra's playstyle differ from Orianna's?

Hello,
Syndra and Orianna do sit in a similar 'control mage' camp (before Riot's reclassification of group types). They both look at area control and denial to exercise their power, and are especially punishing to those who disrespect the zones they influence. Many of the techniques one learns, the other can use, so they're interchangeable in that regard.
I was actually an Orianna main before Syndra came out and I jumped ship pretty much instantly.
They differ in that Orianna sacrifices 'applicable kill power' for more safety and higher zone/trap features. She's more combo reliant on her allies, somewhat slower, and can have difficulty outputting incredible damage if she isn't grotesquely fed. The benefit is, though, she's very consistent and is otherwise difficult to shut out (not only in her mechanics, but she herself is tough with her E ability).
Syndra is supremely selfish in how she operates and is substantially more fragile, but her damage is chart toppingly good if she even goes 'neutral' (no kills or deaths). She's also very capable of toppling of what is in front of her*, given that she has time to setup and get ready. The flipside is, she is one of the most fragile champions of the game and very /tactically/ slow, requiring a fair bit of time in any engagement to get an appreciable amount of power.
While the two of them share the same base skill set, the finer points of their execution dive off into opposite extremes.
* League of Tanks is a problem, admittedly.

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Whats your runes, masteries and skill order for syndra

Hello,
Try giving a glance over to my guide's cheatsheet section: http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/the-sovereign-of-ionia-syndra-season-6-patch-6-9-373428
It'll cover all the quick details and give some explanations if you're curious about them. I also tend to update it every odd month or so with my latest details, so it can be good to check on once and a while.

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Hello Forte, I'm a huge Syndra fanatic, but she's been one of my least reliable picks for the past couple of seasons. Would you suggest playing her against AD assassins like Zed? There are more simple counters, so how would you compare their carrying capability and overall effectiveness? Thanks!

Hello,
This is a tough one because this is where my experience gap shows a little bit. I'm comfortable fighting AD assassins like Zed, Talon, and the like because I've fought them for years. It's ingrained into me how to deal with them and be a powerhouse later, where as many other Syndra players I've talked to absolutely despise the match ups.
I would say you can play her into them, but be understanding of the difficulties doing so. If you're against a Zed+Rek'sai combo, for instance, you will almost always be playing defensively. A Zed+Shyvana/Master Yi and so on, is much less scary because they typically don't gank unless you over extend all the time.
Choosing other, more reliable counters is a matter of preference if you're not playing in Competition, I think. If you don't want to deal with the difficulties of one match up or another, that's entirely your call to make. LeBlanc and Fizz can go toe-to-toe and be as devastating as Zed in a match, for instance, but they tend to bore me, personally.
This philosophy kind of stretches to every match up out there and will definitely be shaped by your desires and skill as a player.

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