Let's take a look at one of our favorite supports, Senna, the Redeemer.
Senna is best described as a Marksman type champion, like most in her archetype she finds her home in the bottom lane, though with Senna she does so as a support. With good early game harras, a strong transition into the mid to late game, and a global ultimate at level 6, Senna is the type of support that can carry a match.
In this guide below, we’ll go over some popular builds, item sets, counters, and abilities overview of what could very well be your next main.
- Global AOE DMG & Healing Ultimate
- Camouflage + speed
- Decent early DMG once you hit 20 stacks
- Good root
- AA reduces the CD on your Q
- Strong mid to late game team fighter
- Can deal a lot of focused DMG for a support
- Heal is very weak at level 1
- Slow AA speed, will take practice to not skip AA animations
- Squashy and lacking escapes
- High cooldowns in early lane phase
Senna Ability Overview
Absolution - Passive - The key to Senna scaling, and a key component to her later game damage as a Support is her passive stacks. Collected by fallen minions, monsters, and enemy champions — Senna gains increased damage with each collecting along with crit and range per 20. A key part of Senna’s early game is harras and hitting a champion twice will also drain a passive stack from the target.
Piercing Darkness - Q - Equal parts harras and sustain. Senna’s Q is a key part of her kit in the early laning phase, allowing her to harras the enemy lakers while giving her and her ADC sustain. Timing can be crucial here as multiple targets can be hit by this straight line directional ability. Key note here, Senna’s Q must be cast on something other than herself, this can be a ward, an ally, a tower or an enemy, etc. Senna will always receive the healing effect to herself.
Last Embrace - W - Senna throws out a root at the target dealing damage and rotting the first enemy hit after a short delay. Last Embrace can chain to multiple targets, so landing it on one could set up a nasty chain reaction for your enemy.
Curse of the Black Mist - E - Senna surrounds herself with an aura (mist) gaining the camouflage effect for the duration of the spell. Allies withing Senna’s E will become enveloped in the mist gaining the obscured vision effect for enemies. Both Senna and her allies will break the effect if they attack or cast abilities.
Dawning Shadow - R - Senna fires two beams of light in the target direction, granting sight of the area briefly. The central beam damages enemies hit by it with the broad beam (and the center) will give allies a 3-second shield.
Firstly, let’s get a cheat sheet on the go for those who just want the build, skill order, runes, and items at a glance.
Glacial Augment build for Senna
Firstly let’s look at Glacial. This is pretty much the standard right now for Senna support, her range, sustained damage and CC, Glacial adds another layer to her kit by offering her a pretty nasty slow. It also synergizes well with her passive stack gain by making the target easier to catch for the second auto.
Grasp build for Senna
Grasp is a slightly newer build on Senna and has gotten some fairly decent play across ranked queues. The downside is that Senna loses one layer of CC, she does, however, gain even more sustain and trading power via the Resolve Keystone. But the item build will help to make up for this.
Skill order will be Q>W>E. The only really exception is if your team is looking to invade and you need W first, otherwise Q is your best bet. Your Q is both your main harras and your primary support ability, getting it maxed as soon as possible is going to be key to making support Senna work, and allow her to deal enough damage to make up for some of her kits lacking features.
As we mentioned before, spacing the W (root) can be a good option first, and should certainly be what you opt to max second. However, the job of the root should be more than enough at rank 1, while the root duration increase with rank (max of 2.25 from 1.25), the 1.25 second slow should give you enough time to land a Glacial proc slow and let your team catch up. E should always be left till last, while the stealth duration is nice at higher ranks it won’t make or break the early game.
Always make sure to spec R at the appropriate levels.
Note - You won’t need to buy crit items on Senna, as she gains crit chance for every 20 stacks of her passive*
This is a pretty solid look with an item build. If your team needs support items, the usual will apply like Redemption etc. Boots are pretty situational, either depending on a high amount of one DMG school, my standard look is to go for Swiftness boots more often than not.
If you go Grasp Senna, building a Frozen Mallet early can be a solid option and if you’re laning against a healing support (especially Yuumi) buying an early Executioners (800g) is very advised (especially in low elo). Black Cleaver can also be a great item on Senna, allowing her to gain high AD while stripping enemy tanks of armor in the process.
It can also be wise to put some more traditional support items into the build. Depending on your ADC, Ardent Censer is often a solid item, Redemption is always a nice item to give your team some healing outside of Q cooldown. Athene’s Unholy Grail is an item that gets a lot of value on Senna, with the healing/shielding buff storing healing when you do DMG, Senna is able to get near-constant uptime on the full 250 max bonus healing. Locket of the Iron Solari also helps if you need some tanky-ness yourself, while still providing a good amount of shielding to your teammates.
Flash + Ignite is the standard right now for all supports, so make use of that most of the time. If the enemy team has a high DMG focus such as YI or Olaf, look to take Exhaust. Barrier is gaining popularity with supports and can help mitigate some of the weaknesses in Senna’s survivability.
It can also be an option to go heal, though this will only happen if your ADC is looking to take another summoner spell instead like Teleport etc.
Generally speaking, the hook champions can be pretty rough for Senna to deal with. Blitzcrank, Thresh, Pyke etc, if a champion can run at you and pull you in, that might not be an ideal matchup.
Slightly lower down the list will be the other healer supports like Soraka or Nami, who can dish out more healing than you can and will likely counter your trades with their own. The big shield supports like Janna and Lulu can cause some issues, but you should more than out trade them. Morgana can be an issue due to her Black Shield, however, if you look to abuse the long cooldown you should win comfortably.
Images via Riot Games.