Author: MMOsite Writer DJWest
Elise is one of the most versatile champions in the League, who is capable of performing well in multiple lanes and has multiple uses within the meta. Her combination of mobility, utility, and outright damage allows her to fill almost any niche within a team. Elise takes a lot of skill to use properly, however, and as with most champions, the first step is figuring out how you want to build them. As such a versatile champion, Elise's article will include two builds, one for the Jungle and one for Lane.
Starting Items: Doran's Shield + Health Potion / Machete + 5x Health Potions
Doran's Shield might not seem like the best item for a caster, especially if you plan on taking her into the mid lane, but with half of her kit bringing her into melee range survivability is very important in the early game. Elise's Q in both forms also derives its damage based on your opponent's health, so the advantage you lose from having a lower AP is much less significant.
Meanwhile, Jungle Elise needs the raw damage from her Machete and the burst heal of a few extra potions to survive as a squishy caster in the early game jungle. That being said, her spiderlings and enhanced durability using her Spider Form means that she will have a much easier time than a pure caster.
Items: Haunting Guise + Sorceror's Shoes / Spirit of the Ancient Golem, Tank Items, + Sorceror's Shoes
Here is where you start to decide how you want to build Elise. If you want to get a lot of early damage and kill potential, picking up a Haunting Guise and Sorceror's Shoes gives you a potent amount of Magic Penetration that, with Masteries and Runes, can give you almost 100% effective damage on carries or anyone else not building MR.
This means that even with only a little bit of armor and no MR, Vulcan's Xmithie was able to dive into the center of this teamfight and then effectively avoid most of the damage dealt by her enemies, dealing damage but still saving enough health to make plays after the fight was over.
If you want to be a bit more aggressive in melee and take more hits, building Spirit of the Ancient Golem is a must – it gives Tenacity as well as Health, which is important since even Tank Elise typically builds Sorceror's Shoes so that she can be more of a threat without building AP. Combine this with whatever items will aid you the best – against heavy AP teams, Spirit Visage boosts Elise's MR as well as the healing potential of her spider form. Against more AD teams we saw items like Sunfire Cape and Randuin's Omen come out; with a Sona as a support, SSO's DanDy even got an Aegis during their game against FNC. Whatever will help you survive against the enemy team's burst damage is acceptable.
Items: Sunfire Cape + Abyssal Scepter / Abyssal Scepter + Haunting Guise
Here is where the builds begin a bit of overlap. Even carries need tankiness as the game drags on, and as a melee caster, Elise needs even more of it. That being said, she still needs to deal damage at a quick pace – which is why items like Sunfire Cape and Abyssal Scepter are perfect. Sunfire gives Elise a passive AoE (something missing from most of her kit), and Abyssal not only boosts her own damage but buffs the magic damage of every other member of your team.
For a similar reason, tanky Elise needs items like Abyssal Scepter and Haunting Guise so that even while not building other AP items she can still deal fairly significant damage. Both builds by this point should have the ability to penetrate/reduce 50 MR, once again pushing her closer to that magical 100% damage number – or even above, if you're against a particularly unprepared foe.
Elise requires surprisingly little tanking ability to avoid being killed; even being caught out of position here by a Shen and a Varus, Xmithie survived long enough for Caitlyn to arrive from farming mid lane and combine their damage to massacre the squishy Varus.
Items: Void Staff, Deathcap, Guardian Angel, finish Liandry's / Zhonya's Hourglass, Frozen Heart, Warmog's, Guardian Angel
Once again, while most pro games rarely went on long enough to even approach full builds, Elise has a few staple items. If you built a highly offensive Elise and are getting focused, you may need to cross over into the Tank items from previous sections; if not, items like Deathcap and Liandry's Torment will give you huge damage boosts when you get them, and a Void Staff will make your already impressive MPen into an absolute nightmare for even the enemy tanks. On the other hand, if you're playing a tanky Elise and you're getting ahead, you might want to pick up items like an Hourglass or even a Rylai's Crystal Scepter, providing you with additional durability while simultaneously boosting your offensive potential.
Elise, as with other champions with transformative ultimates, is all about adaptability and figuring out exactly what is needed to make yourself into the deadliest black widow the League has seen.