Sylas is such a fun champion to play in League of Legends. He can play multiple roles and be effective in each. This guide is updated for season 11 items.
If you want to know how to play Sylas or have other questions about this champion, we have you covered.
This quick guide will give you the strategy you need to start wrecking the enemy team immediately.
How Does Sylas Work?
Sylas is a high damage AP champion that has the ability to “steal” enemy players’ ultimates.
He has a well-balanced kit that has a little bit of everything. He has a knock up, a shield, a gap closer, and a lot of AP damage that scales nicely into the late game.
Although his win rate has dropped a little bit, recent buffs are sure to bring him back full strength.
Q – Sylas’ Q is his ability with the shortest cooldown. He swings the chains attached to his wrists in an x shape to hit multiple targets in front of him. The hitbox can be manipulated slightly by your cursor placement so that you can hit the maximum number of targets.
W – His W ability is a lunge that both deals damage and heals Sylas. The damage is greater for enemies under 40% health and the healing is greater when Sylas is below 40% health. This is a great short-range gap closer.
E – This ability has two parts. On first cast, Sylas will lunge in a direction. On second cast, he will throw his chains out and pull himself to the first enemy hit. If it is a champion or monster, it will knock them up for a half a second and then give Sylas a shield.
How Does Sylas’ Ultimate Work?
Sylas’ R ability copies the ultimate of a target champion on the first cast. The icon will then change to reflect the ultimate that was stolen.
On the second cast, Sylas performs the stolen ultimate. There are two cooldowns to pay attention to with this ability.
The cooldown for the ability itself is incredibly short. You will consistently steal ultimates all game long. Each enemy champion will have its own cool down for this ability as well.
If you steal an ult, you have to wait a little bit to be able to copy it again. This limits how often you can steal a specific champion’s ult. T
here are also conversions in place to make AD ults effective for Sylas as well. So feel free to take whatever ability helps your current situation.
Can Sylas Steal Every Ult?
The short answer is yes, but it is a little more complicated than that. Some unique R abilities like Jayce’s, Teemo’s, Karma’s and others interact in specific ways.
Rift Herald wrote a great article on all of the questionable interactions and you can read it here.
What is Sylas’ Combo?
The key to maximizing your damage with Sylas is to auto attack between every ability.
His passive deals additional magic damage on each auto that follows an ability. It really does not matter what order you use your abilities, as long as there is an auto between each one.
If you need a gap closer you could E>E>auto>Q>auto>W>auto>Q>auto.
Or you can use your gap closer to counterplay the enemies’ flash with Q>auto>W>auto>E>auto>E>auto.
What to Max First on Sylas
Q does the most damage and has the lowest CD in the early game. Max it first.
The E to get the cool down at a manageable number. You will still need some Ability Haste in your items to get the most out of your E. Lastly max W, upgrading R at every opportunity of course.
Where to Play Sylas
Sylas is very versatile right now. In the current Meta, he is played in three roles – Jungle, Mid, and Top.
Recent buffs seem to be pushing him to more of a jungle role and you should see him there in more of your games.
Both mid and top are still viable with top being the stronger of the two.
How to Play Sylas in the Jungle
Sylas is a scaling champion who used to be easily harassed by the enemy jungler. Do not let this scare you. This has been drastically improved with the last few buffs.
Just get a real good leash to start and path well your first few clears and you will be hard to stop in the 1v1.
The new buffs should improve his clear speed and help you ramp up well. With a good start, he scales hard into the mid to late game and can be tough to beat.
Since each auto after an ability deals additional AOE damage, Sylas team fights really well also.
How to play Sylas Mid
His Q allows you to farm very effectively and push the lane. In the early game, try not to push too hard and be selective with you use of the Q.
You do not want to put yourself in a position that is vulnerable for an enemy jungle gank. As you scale into the mid-game, your kit provides you with a lot of versatility to lock down and abuse your lane opponent.
How to play Sylas Top
If the enemy jungler stays out of top lane, Sylas has time to gain momentum and get to a point where he can take over a game.
Many Meta top laners have a strong early game, so you will have to play safe and make sure to maximize your damage during trades. Once you get a lead, you should be able to exploit that and snowball the lane.
How to Build Sylas – What is Sylas’ Best Build?
For the most part, you will build him as a pure mage. Use a combination of AP and Magic Pen items to increase your total damage output.
With your CC and shield, you should be able to duel single targets really well. The healing in your kit will help during team fights allowing you to get close and deal a ton of AOE damage with your passive.
For the Jungle:
Night Harvester > Lich Bane> Sorc boots > Cosmic Drive > Demonic Embrace > Ryali’s Crystal Scepter
What are the Best Runes for Sylas?
The Precision tree is most prevalent for Sylas. Most players opt for the Conqueror keystone and then round out the build with more damage and utility. This would be a great page to start with:
Conqueror > Presence of Mind > Legend: Tenacity > Last Stand > Sudden Impact > Ravenous Hunter
Use your electives for more adaptive force and either armor or MR depending on your lane opponent.
How Good is Sylas?
The recent nerfs took him down a notch, but this patch brought a new round of buffs and Sylas will definitely be back into the Meta.
I do not think that Riot wants one of their newest champs to be stuck on the bench, so I would wager the balance team is working hard on this one.
The push seems to be more toward Sylas in the jungle, but a skilled player can take him into multiple roles and stomp a game.
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