Today marked Faker’s first game back on T1 after an extended absence, but who would have thought the unkillable Demon King would be making his return on a pink-haired, skateboard riding, indie musician?
Seraphine mid lane picked up momentum across the global League of Legends meta, and Faker got a chance to show the world why she is such a power pick with a 2-0 victory against Gen.G in the LCK today.
Other notable Seraphine enthusiasts include Fnatic’s Nisqy and Damwon KIA’s ShowMaker. It takes a special kind of mid laner to sacrifice their own carry potential for the good of the team, and these chivalrous players have proven just how beneficial that decision can be. Playing for your team can be a risky strategy in solo queue, but if you can find a duo partner with a preference for hard-engage supports, Seraphine mid might just be able to net you some sweet, sweet LP.
As with a lot of support champions, Seraphine has the freedom of multiple options in terms of runes. Korea’s mid laners tend to favor her with this Unsealed Spellbook rune page, the page that brought Faker to a 2-0 victory against Gen.G today. Spellbook allows Seraphine to swap between summoners oriented towards both mid lane and support, with Faker choosing to run Teleport in both games but allowed the freedom to pick up exhausts and heals when necessary.
Seraphine’s early healing can be a little lackluster. Taking the Resolve tree as secondary gives her a little extra oomph in her survivability in lane. Into Azir’s poke, Bone Plating is perfect to avoid the attack speed of his soldiers, and Revitalize is a must-choose for any champion as heavily reliant on healing and shielding as Seraphine.
But there’s another option, the Guardian variant favored by Nisqy. This is the more supportive of the two rune choices and works best if you’re planning on spending a lot of quality time with your jungler. Shield bash synergizes perfectly with Seraphine’s kit, and Revitalize is once again a no-brainer for a champion with any kind of ally-buffing abilities.
There is one more option for Seraphine, and that’s Aery. Although less popular in pro, it’s been seeing a decent amount of play in solo queue, where amplified damage is often prioritized over defensive stats. Nisqy chose to take the Aery route in Fnatic’s loss to Misfits, and although it gave him a little extra damage in lane, he was sorely lacking the defensive stats of Guardian in the late game.
Sorry, carry players. We’re not going to be building mid lane Seraphine for her damage output. Moonstone Renewer is a must-buy for the champion, providing ability power and ability haste, both perfect for supportive mages. The real kicker for Moonstone, however, is the area-of-effect healing it provides. This healing turns Seraphine’s team into a parade of unkillable monsters if they stay close by her, and can proc Revitalize completely for free.
The Moonstone Renewer/Staff of Flowing Water combination that saw so much play in the jungle role earlier on in the season has since been nerfed. With Staff having 10 base ability power removed to try and tone down its power in the jungle, it’s fallen out of favor. But nobody said anything about power in the mid lane—Seraphine doesn’t care all that much about her damage output when she’s making the rest of her team unkillable.
After the Moonstaff combo is completed, Chemtech Purifier is a popular choice for the pros, with Faker building it in both his Seraphine games. It offers healing reduction for both Seraphine and her teammates, which can often allow said teammates some freedom in itemization to prioritize damage over healing reduction.
When to pick and how to play
One word: engage. If you’ve got a team composition that likes to go forward at all times, Seraphine is the perfect mid laner. Her ultimate’s length is extended by her teammates, and who better to carry that ultimate into the enemy backline than a very angry tank top laner?
Seraphine’s strength in the current meta is largely owed to the support pool. She’s not strong enough to lane into champions like Alistar, Rell, and Rakan, but when they’re on her team, she can enable them to essentially engage on every single teamfight with the promise of immortality levels of healing and shielding. Rell in particular is a match made in heaven for Seraphine. Currently, the jungle meta also favors Seraphine’s preferred playstyle. Junglers like Hecarim and Lillia like to move quickly in the direction of the enemy team, and they’re even more terrifying when they’re carrying an area-of-effect charm.
In solo queue, Seraphine’s best laning matchups are Azir, Akali, and Ryze. Her superior range and sustain allow her to throw spells at them from afar and avoid taking any meaningful damage. She’s almost never going to solo kill them, but they won’t kill her either. Coming out of lane slightly behind in farm is fine for a Seraphine because of her economy-mode build, and she can provide far more utility in the late game than an Azir who killed 20 more minions in lane.
Your teammates might not be Selfmade, Canna, or Canyon, but solo queue Seraphine is a pocket pick that, if played correctly, can be incredibly oppressive. Go forth and prosper with the Starry-Eyed Songstress in the mid lane. And remember: when in doubt, it’s probably your jungler’s fault.
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