Senna’s no-farm playstyle is taking over the traditional ADC role

The Redeemer found a comfortable spot in the meta.

Photo via Riot Games

More professional League of Legends teams have started picking up the Senna no-farm playstyle in the bottom lane after Cloud9’s debut of this tactic last week against Immortals.

Instead of going with the traditional build on Senna, Zven built the damage-oriented support item, Spectral Sickle, while his partner in crime Vulcan went with a Doran Ring for Tahm Kench. This tactic was quickly brought over to other regions as well. So what makes Senna ADC with no farm strong?

Recent nerfs to Senna’s soul production made her AD play a bit tougher. But because the Tahm Kench was the one farming, she was still able to pick up plenty of souls. In fact, Zven had around 100 souls by 25 minutes. Senna simply has too much raw stats and damage, so Zven was able to take over the game with early kills from the bottom and top laners.

The mist wraiths nerf intended for ADC Senna hit her too hard and nullified her presence as an ADC, but she was still being played as a support—until now. Since she doesn’t gain extra attack damage per level like every other champion in the game, collecting mists is crucial to increase your damage. Without mist, she’ll be much weaker than any traditional ADC, such as Miss Fortune, Ezreal, or Xayah. 

While this tactic is similar to the previous Sona/Taric or Sona/Tahm Kench lane, the main difference is that the support won’t purchase a support item. Purchasing a support item would reduce their gold generation due to farming the minions, which is the opposite of what you want to do. 

Non-farming Senna stack around 20 mists per five minutes, making it a valid strategy since every mist grants her extra attack damage, crit chance, life steal, and range (upon reaching certain thresholds). Most pros reach 100 stacks around 25 minutes with this tactic, while the traditional ADC Senna reaches 100 stacks around 40 minutes. 

While your gold generation will suffer and you’ll end up behind your opponent early on in terms of items, the stats granted by mists will compensate for the gold difference since every mist is valued between 40 and 50 gold. The silver lining of you being behind slightly on gold is that your support will be much stronger. As an example, in the clip below from the LCK, the farmed up “support” Volibear kills the enemy mid laner in a one-vs-one with no issues.

While the permanent pick/ban status of Senna ADC was partially fixed with the nerfs to her mist generation, pros have found a way to overcome this with innovation. 

It’s unclear if Riot will let this go on or if the company will deploy a hotfix, just like it did with the ADC Sona situation.