League of Legends Champion Review: Syndra the Dark Sovereign


Syndra makes me feel kind of stupid. Not in the sense that she gives me condescending looks or hesitates whenever I give her orders. I’m just constantly reminded while playing this new power-hungry mage that I’m not using her abilities to their full potential. Not even close.

If you want a full rundown of Syndra’s physics-defying abilities, look at her official profile. The TLDR version: She’s a floaty dark caster that likes power and prefers to manifest it as little orbs that she can chuck around the battlefield. And when there’s no orbs, she’ll just throw people.

God of minions

According to the lore (I read it so you don’t have to!), Syndra thinks she’s better than everyone, and she likes to prove that by tossing the little guys around. Her W ability lets her grab pretty much any minion in the game (including jungle creeps, most pets, and the orbs she summons with her Q ability), put them on a mysterious magic-y leash, and then launch them like a trebuchet when she grows tired of them.

It’s exactly as crazy and entertaining as it sounds. Did the enemy team spawn super minions on your lane? Grab ‘em and chuck ‘em over the wall! Is Yorick tossing all sorts of gross undead ghouls at you? Throw ‘em back and watch ‘em burst into a pile of goo when they hit the ground.

It’s not just for chuckles either. This is your biggest reliable damage dealer: anybody hit by your flying minions or orbs take heavy damage and gets slowed.

Crave power

I played Syndra almost exclusively as a mid carry. She has great range with her Q and E: summon an orb from afar and then boot it even further to stun/damage enemies at Ziggs-like range. And her W (grab a minion/orb and put it in invulnerable stasis before throwing it) is great for securing last hits or dealing heavy AoE damage on minion clumps.

As a gamer that leans towards the tactical side of things, I really liked having the ability to move minions around the battlefield to adjust the flow of the creep waves. Removing the right minion from battle (or transplanting them to the front lines) can make a huge difference. I was able to lure a few rivals closer to my tower and into gankable territory for my jungler that way.

And when all that brainy stuff got boring, I’d just go grab a giant jungle creep and toss it at someone for a good laugh. The leash only lasts for five seconds, however, so don’t expect to drag minions too far from home.

OP or QQ?

Alright, let’s get down to brass tacks: is Syndra fun, and is she so overpowered that she’ll the fun of everyone else? Riot did a great job balancing Rengar, the last champion that we reviewed (LINK), and I think the trend continues with Syndra. She felt a little underpowered when I was at the helm, and the numbers back it up—Syndra’s spells (especially her Q) have pretty terrible scaling ratios that mean her abilities’ damage won’t ramp up as fast as other mage’s go-to spells.

But that minor dip in raw firepower (she can still hit like a truck when she lines up all her abilities right) comes with a boost in utility. She has one of the most potentially devastating opening attack for teamfights in the entire game with her combination of Q, ultimate, and E. That combo will let her start with a huge burst of DPS on a single target, followed up by a huge AoE cone blast that knocks up, stuns, and damages all champions and minions in the clump—all from fairly long range!

That alone makes her interesting and her ranged AoE stuns on short cooldown have the potential to be brutal in the hands of a player with good micro skills, turning Syndra into a bursty caster with incredible group utility.

Shut up and tell me what to do

Do you like Veigar? Do you like Morgana? Do you like Lux? Do you like being challenged to the point of severe depression caused by your futile attempts to escape mediocrity? If so, pick up Syndra. She might not end up being one of the must-have champions at top-tier play, but she’s crazy—and sometimes that’s more fun anyways.

If you do buy her, here are a few tips to get started:

1. Don’t be afraid to “miss” enemy champions when dropping orbs with Q if that placement will let you set up the perfect angle for your stun shot.

2. Your ultimate will throw any orbs you have on the ground in addition to the ones revolving around you. Make sure you keep orbs on the ground if you expect to ult soon.

3. Focus on getting one ability maxed out by level 9 to gain the benefits of her passive ASAP.