Riot Games has released information on their newest champion; Sylas, the unshackled, and he is squaring up to be a formidable mage capable of stealing a victory if left unchecked. I will give a brief overview of his kit before I dive too deep into a conversation about potential roles and builds for him and I will link the official reveal at the bottom of this article. Sylas’ passive grants him an AOE empowered auto after every spell cast. (think Dianas’ third hit auto.) His Q lashes his chains in front of him with an extra pop of damage wherever the chains intersect. I believe this will be the first spell to max level given that it’s his only poke and wave clear ability. W will give Sylas a short lunge about the range of a Vayne tumble that will damage a selected target. The lower in health the W target is, the more the spell becomes and execution and vice-versa the lower you are, the more health you will heal from the ability, making dueling a Sylas much more difficult than expected. The third spell in his arsenal is a two-part ability. First, you dash in a direction and gain a small shield you recast to throw your chains out to a target that, if landed, will stun and pull you to them. As a small note, during my playtest, I realized that both parts of this ability will activate Syalas’ passive, make do with that information what you will.
And finally the ultimate, by far the most fun and intriguing part of this champion, Hijack. Another two-part spell first you point and click an enemy, and you gain use of that enemies ultimate ability. To be used (or missed in some cases) however you see fit after which, that enemy can’t be stolen from again for a short duration. This is what will make or break Sylas regarding team comp viability. He adds so much stress to a pick phase because the champion you select will in some effect be hurting your team as well. Sylas can match a Galio ult for ult in bottom lane collapses, or Sylas can go on a dunking spree in the middle of a team fight if he steals from a Pyke or a Darius.
As far as what role to go with I would recommend a roam heavy mid laner. Clear the wave with your Q and passive combo, steal the enemy mids ultimate and go. While he could work in the jungle, you run into the problem that you are hindering yourself come level six. Since Sylas doesn’t have an ultimate of his own to gank with he would have to rely on lane crowd control or try to find the enemy jungler, steal their ultimate while not dying, then decide where to best use it. But by then you have revealed your self on the map so if the enemy isn’t coming to kill you already, they at least know where you are coming from. So all in all its much easier to play mid where you have a constant source to steal from.
As far as builds, I have been liking protobelt into lichbane and spellbinder. Proto and spellbinder will help with the kiting because after all, you are a melee bruiser, and lichbane meshes so well with his passive. For runes, I have been using Dark harvest which you can really feel when you utilize his W for its execution, and going sorcery tree second for nimbus cloak which may make landing some of the ults you steal a bit more manageable. Sylas is of course still on PBE, so all of this is subject to some change and of course, someone somewhere who is much better than me at our favorite game will improvise and create better runes and build paths. So, for now, we can just watch and speculate what this fun new champion will do for the teams in the upcoming season.
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