Lissandra is the newest addition to the Mage category. People still don’t know what exactly to think about her except that she is seeing some competitive play. I’ve been playing the poop out of Lissandra recently and I just wanted to put together a comprehensive match-up guide so that people can adjust to playing with and against Lissandra.
Before I go over any specific champions let’s go over the upsides and downsides of Lissandra. Her strongest game element is her wave clear. At max rank one cast of Q and one cast of either W or E will clear an entire wave. Picking her into champions with poor wave clear is usually going to be a solid choice. Second is her initiate. She has the longest range initiate of out any mage in the game. The downside that comes along with that is a period of extreme vulnerability. Lastly, Lissandra is amazing at facilitating ganks. Her biggest weakness as a mage is her short range and mediocre damage in a single rotation. She also has to be in harms way to deal damage outside of lane phase. Lastly her cooldowns for her W and E at early ranks are HUGE. Junglers are easily able to capitalize off of a burned cooldown because of this. Without further adu, let’s get into the champions.
Note: If you don’t see a champion on this list it’s because they aren’t commonly picked into mid lane. Cho’Gath for instance does fine in mid lane, but is commonly picked as a jungle or top lane. I hope that you can infer from the other examples how well Lissandra would fair against a champion like Cho’Gath. Also I’ve excluded champions with reworks/huge changes because the match-up completely changes. (Examples: Heimerdinger/Master Yi)
Ahri: She may seem like a good pick against Lissandra, but don’t pick into this if you can help it. Ahri has good damage, but Lissandra has better wave clear and Ahri is horrible at farming under turret without using abilities. Once both champions have their ultimates, Lissandra still wins because she can lock down Ahri in the middle of her charges, or just ignore some of the damage. When team fights come around Ahri fairs better because she doesn’t have to duel Lissandra. I’d consider them tied in team fights.
Akali: Akali might have the worst pre-six lane phase vs Lissandra on this list. Liss has the AOE to hit her in shroud, and the damage to out duel her early. Post-six is tricky for Lissandra however. You’re likely not going to have your Seekers by then, but Lissandra can’t prevent multiple engages. The lifesteal also makes is very hard for her to full burst Akali unless she’s already ahead. In this match-up you should shove lane and then start roaming. Lissandra’s E allows her better ganks than Akali. Team fights are where Lissandra will have the advantage. Akali still is a monster, but you can at least lock her up for your team to burst her down.
Anivia: This is a battle of utility mages. The winner: Anivia. Pre-six Anivia has some issues with last hitting because Lissandra can shove the lane so well, but post-six it all goes to the bird. Anivia’s AOE with her ultimate is just flat out better. Lissandra does have the upper hand when it comes to initiate, but Anivia is all about turning initiations on their head.
Annie: Annie is a mixed bag. She doesn’t have the mobility to compete with Lissandra when it comes to ganking or assisting an invade/counter jungle, but her damage is FAR superior to Lissandra’s. Couple that with a similar ultimate and you have a deadly recipe for Lissandra players. Annie is going to be weak to ganks, and that’s how you’re going to beat her.
Brand: Brand is another example of damage over mobility. Lissandra isn’t going to be able to trade with Brand. In fact she can’t even use her biggest advantage to her advantage as shoving the lane vs Brand is going to prove disastrous. Last hit and wait for ganks in this match-up. Team fights EASILY go to Lissandra however as her ultimate is so much more powerful and reliable than Brand’s.
Cassiopeia: Lissandra loses this lane…badly. Cassiopeia’s damage is so strong and Lissandra just doesn’t have the range to do anything but disengage. Cassio can match her wave clear also. Post-six predicting Cassiopeia’s ultimate is tricky so pressing R to avoid the damage is all instinct. She’s very weak to ganks however. In team fights Lissandra carries the edge because she is going to be able to more easily avoid Cassiopeia’s damage and, with Zhonya’s completed, completely ignore it after Frozen Tomb.
Diana: Lissandra is the reason you are seeing less and less of Diana in LCS. In every phase of the game Lissandra counters Diana. Diana is melee so Lissandra can zone her pre-six. She doesn’t have burst and relies on her passive to do enough damage to kill. She also is easily killed by ganks with Lissandra’s follow up. In team fights Lissandra outshines Diana with CC and Initiate.
Fizz: Lissandra is the number one counter to Fizz in the game. Pre-six you have the CC and zone to duel him. The kicker is that Fizz can NEVER deal damage to you with his ultimate if your ultimate is up. EVER. Seriously just body block that thing all day for your team. You can even teleport with the fish on you!!!
Gragas: Gragas pre-six is going to lose this match-up. He falls under the same realm as Diana here. Melee range means he has to use his barrel to last hit. You’re going to be hard pressed when assisting on ganks however. Once Gragas hits six the fight is mostly even unless you have the clutch reflexes to Frozen Tomb his Explosive Cask. Team fight impact is equal between these two.
Jayce: Jayce is a safe pick against Lissandra. The lane is 100% a skill match-up however. Whoever can land more poke on the enemy will win this. Post-six Lissandra is going to be pretty much unkillable in this match-up however unless she’s taken poke from a gated Shock Blast. The team fight’s aren’t really comparable because they try to do two different things. We’ll call this match-up even all around.
Karthus: Karthus is the only champ everyone can beat in lane that no one seems to be able to beat. Lissandra has the initiate over Karthus in team fights, but he has the damage. Another Even match-up with a slight edge in Karthus’s favor.
Kassadin: Pre-six Lissandra absolutely trash cans Kassadin. Post six she STILL has the edge in a 1v1. HOWEVER. When Kassadin gets damage finally, it’s going to spell doom for Lissandra. Kassadin is pretty much impossible to catch and lock down with Lissandra. He’s too slippery in team fights and he WILL make comebacks for his team. You have to make sure to crush the other members of his team. Very hard late game match-up for Lissandra.
Kayle: The first time I faced a Kayle as Lissandra I forgot that you can cast your Ultimate on her while she has her ultimate up. Don’t make the same mistake as me. As long as you don’t waste your ultimate on Kayle’s Ultimate this is an even matchup.
Kennen: The trick versus Kennen is to maintain your creep block. Shoving the lane vs Kennen isn’t the smartest thing in this matchup because his shurikens will hurt and you want to punish him with Q if he goes in for a proc of Mark of the Storm. The upside is that you can avoid a lot of damage from his ultimate, or prevent him from moving while he’s using it. Unfortunately you can’t protect your team at the same time. This is an even match-up with both characters providing good initiate and damage.
Kha’Zix: The nerfs only made this match-up harder for Kha. Go ahead, Kha leap onto Lissandra’s ADC. Nope. “ENTOMB”. Kha is melee so he’s going to be taking harass from Lissandra and can’t continue to follow and hit repeated Q’s himself. There just isn’t a point where Kha can work effectively when there is a Lissandra in the game.
LeBlanc: LeBlanc is an anti-mage. If Lissandra has one glaring weakness in lane it’s champions with full burst. Lissandra does have the edge in team fights because of her initiate and lock down. If you can get to actual team fight, you should be able to win. You won’t have fun though.
Lux: Short range versus long range. Lissandra always has a tough time with this matchup. The advantage here is pre-six with Lissandra. Shoving the lane is great early versus Lux because she can’t instantly clear the minion wave. Post-six, remember not to use Frozen Tomb on Lux when she uses her ultimate, but rather yourself. I’ve learned from experience. It doesn’t stop the laser. Again, they accomplish two different things in team fights. The match-up is even in team fights.
Malzahar: Pre-six is going to be pretty even as Malzahar is going to be able to farm safely, and so is Lissandra. Post-six is going to be really difficult for Lissandra because once Malzahar casts his ultimate Lissandra can’t use hers to protect herself. But then again, neither can Malzahar. Team fights are going to have to go to Lissandra, who just has more team presence. Slight edge to Lissandra.
Mordekaiser: Morde just can’t seem to get a break versus Lissandra. Lissandra can safely harass. Lissandra can safely assist ganks. Morde can’t assist ganks on Lissandra. Morde won’t be chanting “huehuehue” in this match-up.
Morgana: Black Shield makes this a really tough match-up for Lissandra, but only in the sense that killing Morgana becomes impossible in a 1v1. Pre-six has no clear advantage, and post-six has no clear advantage. This is an even match-up.
Nidalee: Pre-six Lissandra will have the edge here. Post-six, if Nidalee chooses to engage Lissandra she will fall flat. Cougar form can’t fight Lissandra. Nidalee needs her spears to kill Lissandra. I will give team fights to Lissandra ONLY if Nidalee hasn’t poked someone out of the fight.
Orianna: This is just about as even a match up as I can picture from top to bottom. This is a skill match-up all the way. If you have good enough reaction time though, Orianna can’t land her ultimate on Lissandra in a 1v1.
Pantheon: This is a very volatile lane. I would recommend playing passive as Lissandra until you have your ultimate. The risk of pantheon getting early kills isn’t worth any duel pre-six that you would have. Once you hit six however, you will be able to duel Pantheon if he didn’t get early kills. Team fights are a no brainer in favor of Lissandra. Edge: Lissandra.
Swain: Swain has absolutely horrendous wave clear. Lissandra should be able to force him to lose tons of CS to the tower early EVEN post-six. Swain definitely has the dueling power if Lissandra doesn’t get ahead though. Lissandra isn’t a full burst mage. Both champions are strong in different areas here. Even match-up.
Syndra: Syndra is probably the most aggressive mage in lane other than Cassiopeia. She’s going to bully Lissandra really hard in lane pre-six. This lane is a shove fest. Syndra will shove lane, then Lissandra will shove back. Post-six Lissandra can negate Syndra’s ultimate to prevent herself from being full bursted, but she will never be able to duel Syndra. Team fights are a draw. They have two different functions and so it’s hard to directly compare their team fights. Edge: Syndra.
Talon: Talon is the only melee champion who actually has a shot at killing Lissandra because of his silence. This is a very dangerous lane for Lissandra pre and post-six. As long as you play passive your team fight will be stronger as Lissandra, but it’s going to be difficult getting there. Edge: Talon.
Twisted Fate: Twisted Fate is kind of like Karthus in this match-up. TF is going to roam. The good news is that you can punish that roam as Lissandra with excellent wave clear. Pre-six is an even lane. Post-six Lissandra will be able to win duels, but TF is hardly in lane post-six. Team fights are slightly in favor of Lissandra, but TF is going to be giving advantages to his teammates because of his ultimate. Edge: TF, because of his map presence.
Veigar: Remember when I said full burst champions are bad for Lissandra? This is the one case where that rule is broken. Good luck to Veigar ever hitting Lissandra with anything other than Q. Lissandra just has too many tools at her disposal vs Veigar, on top of the fact that she rushes Zhonya. That’s two 1.5 second invulnerabilities versus Veigar. Veigar needs to hit stun, and even then will only hit with half of his DPS. Team fights are a definite edge for Lissandra also. This SHOULD be a big edge for Lissandra.
Xerath: Xerath’s long range gives him the edge all game long in this match-up. It only get’s worse and worse the more points into Locus of Power he gets as it allows him to stay farther and farther away. The only shot Lissandra has is ganks. Team fights are also problematic for Lissandra because of Arcane Barrage. Edge goes to Xerath from top to bottom.
Zed: This is just Fizz in an assassin’s body to Lissandra. Zed might as well not even have an ultimate. Without an ultimate what is a champion even? Zed still does damage, but I wouldn’t recommend picking Zed into Lissandra any time soon.
Ziggs: Lissandra’s ultimate is so good that it makes dueling her with ultimates like Ziggs so difficult. Ziggs also doesn’t have the initiate or crowd control to compete with Lissandra in team fights. Lissandra just has to worry about early aggression and if she can survive, she’ll scale much harder late game. Edge: Lissandra.
Zilean: Zilean’s bombs in lane are going to hurt hard. Pre and post-six he’s going to be able to farm safely and put out a decent amount of damage. The problem here is that they have two completely different play styles and objectives. I’m not quite sure how to measure these two champions in team fights because honestly, I haven’t even seen Zilean mid in around 1000 games.
Zyra: These two mages occupy the same role in two different methods. This is Lissandra’s second closest skill match-up out of all the mids. Pre-six watch out for Zyra’s E->WW->Q combo. If you can avoid that then you will be fine.
- Lissandra is great versus melee champions and champions with delayed ultimate abilities.
- Lissandra is bad versus full burst and heavy CC champions.
Thanks for reading guys!
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