The Summoner's Guidebook: Stealth mechanics, stiletto heels, and League of Legends

Patrick Mackey
P. Mackey|08.08.13

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The Summoner's Guidebook: Stealth mechanics, stiletto heels, and League of Legends
The Summoner's Guidebook Stealth mechanics, stiletto heels, and League of Legends
Recently my League of Legends games have included a lot of solo mid (mostly by choice), and while I play Syndra quite a bit because she's really fun, I've had the most success playing Evelynn. I've had a fair number of games where I've carried my team kicking and screaming over the goal line despite their insistence on making awful decisions. I just walked into teamfights, hit R, and proceeded to steamroll their entire team after a completely dominating laning phase where I ganked everywhere including the enemy jungle.

Evelynn's pretty much the polar opposite of Poppy. They both have blue skin, but the similarities pretty much end there. Poppy is a tiny tomboyish warrior in plate and chain with a mighty hammer and a direct approach to problems. Evelynn is a subtle temptress with stealth, vampiric abilities, a supermodel figure, and an outfit that suggests that "lady of the night" might have a double meaning.

It takes a lot of effort to move like this in heels

Eve is almost a parody of vampire temptresses everywhere. She wears practically nothing, and what she does wear is adorned with spikes. Her hairstyle is... really out there, and her voiceovers emphasize just how much of a "bad girl" she is. "I love it when they scream," Evelynn says when she's told to attack. She's actually more creepy than she is sexy.

There are characters in the LoL universe that work well, like Ezreal or Irelia or Jarvan. There are some designs that are a little goofy, but fit in, like Heimerdinger or Mordekaiser. There are, however, a few characters that are just silly, like Veigar. Although there's nothing to suggest in her lore that she's not a serious character, I really can't look at her design and take her seriously. She's just not a real character, unless she's dressed up as something that isn't a bunch of spikes strapped to a bikini.

I'd feel a lot better if she were a parody, at least.

The Summoner's Guidebook Stealth mechanics, stiletto heels, and League of Legends
Once again into the mid lane

I have a sort of dilemma where I have characters I want to play, like Akali or Syndra. Unfortunately, I also want to win, and that usually means telling my team I can play ADC or jungle. When I do get the mid slot, I still want to win, and I am just not very good at mid laning. However, despite her melee autoattack and short spell range, I do surprisingly well as Evelynn. Thus, I end up playing her unless I feel confident in my teammates' ability to work with another character like Syndra.

The first and biggest reason I like Eve is her stealth. I remember when it was her W, and I still loved it then. It was so strong to be able to scout completely invisibly. I could hide in the same bush as the enemy to tip my team off, and they would come in and fight. Back then, Eve was really weak, so I couldn't really contribute to the fight, but my eyes helped clear the uncertainty of the games where I played her.

Now, Eve's stealth is her passive, and it is pretty awesome. It cuts enemy vision range roughly in half rather than making Eve actually invisible, and gives you an indicator that shows how close foes can get without spotting you. This would be useless except only players, towers, and vision wards can see Evelynn when she's stealthed. Because minions and normal sight wards can't see her, she can blink out of sight while laning and make it impossible for the enemy to set up any kind of pressure.

Furthermore, because she's invisible, the enemy has to play as if he's right outside Eve's detection ring. This creates a sort of aura of fear, especially after you do just that a few times, then suddenly hit W, dash in while mashing Q and hit her enemy with E and autoattacks. This is extremely scary for most mid lane opponents. Eve does a lot of damage rapidly, and these ambushes are hard to react to. Instead of a normal lane opponent, about half the time Eve's enemy is facing an invisible threat that is a bit like having a jungler in the lane all the time. In my mediocre skill bracket, most opponents just don't learn and end up feeding me kills. I have yet to actually have an opponent threaten me as Eve in lane (the smart ones just play safely). This isn't a challenge at all. I'm sure there are quite a few of you readers who could establish a lane presence against my Eve, but at my level no one has ever handled her well. She seems like a character that is hard to learn how to counter, which is nice for me.

I'm a huge fan of stealth mechanics in general, so she's really attractive to me on that front. However, what is really exciting about her stealth mechanics is that she's invisible to wards (except vision wards). It is funny because I can go stealth in my lane, run somewhere else, and be halfway there before my lane opponent can be reasonably sure I'm MIA. Normal sight wards can't see me, so even if they know I'm missing, my foes have no idea where I've gone until I show up somewhere. Also, if I establish a tendency to go stealth for longer than normal (losing last-hits), I can use the uncertainty about where I am to increase the amount of time before my lane opponent is sure I'm missing. Unfortunately, I'm a little OCD, and losing last-hits actually damages my psyche on a fundamental level because I'm trained to get upset at myself if I miss them.

The Summoner's Guidebook Stealth mechanics, stiletto heels, and League of Legends
Using the hooker dash

Evelynn's W, Dark Frenzy, is one of her most important abilities. Eve is pretty fast right out of the box with a zippy 340 MS, but her dash is how she really gets around. However, using it is a bit tricky.

Dark Frenzy is like any regular old move speed buff. It gives her a very large buff to movement speed for a short time and makes her ignore unit collision (like the Ghost summoner spell). It also breaks movement slows, making Eve one of the few characters who can get tagged by a Nasus Wither or Nunu snowball and still be able to run away. The other trick is that, since Eve's stealth is broken if she casts a spell, when she casts Dark Frenzy, it removes her stealth for six seconds (or longer, if she starts fighting).

Because her W breaks stealth, using it properly takes some finesse. Also, because it breaks slows, you don't always want to use it before a fight breaks out. And lastly, because it refreshes if she gets a kill or assist, you want to use it in pretty much every engagment.

Sometimes you want to get somewhere fast, and Dark Frenzy helps with that. However, if there are wards on the way, using your W will reveal you to the wards. Sometimes it's better to just run normally, especially if you think there are wards about. Unless you're absolutely sure that the enemy isn't warding, you should probably consider carefully where you're walking when you press W and also consider whether you want to be seen or not (usually not).

Generally, the best time to fire your dash is right as you're about to become visible to the enemy. The short burst of movement speed gives your opponent less time to react, and that generally means you will be able to hit him with a Q and your E before he has time to react (it's around 1s from the edge of the bubble to E range, so it's possible, just difficult).

The other thought is to use it later in the fight to pursue your enemy if he decides to flee. This is more of a positional thing. If your target is a fair distance away from a tower, it can be good to hold your W to use for pursuit. If he's already moving away from you, though, it's best to use it early.

It can also be important to use it to break a slow. If I'm in a lane against Anivia, I will almost always use my W reactively to dodge her Q after she drops her ultimate on me. In general, if my opponent has a slow-type ability I will hold my W until after the slow is used to give me more time to attack. However, there are times when your window of engagement is fairly small (near a tower, especially) and you should just use your W to dash in and deal as much damage as you can in that small window.

In general, it's one of the most interesting abilities because of how it interacts with her stealth. Eve's emphasis on mobility and quick strikes means that she has to pick the right times to use her W.

Her other abilities? Not so much. She pretty much wants to use E anytime she's in range of an enemy champion, and she wants to hit Q as often as she can if there's something she wants to attack. Balancing her naturally aggression with subtlety and stealth can be tricky, but it's really fun and rewarding.

We understand what it's like to climb the skill ladder in League of Legends. The Summoner's Guidebook teaches you the tools you need to get a competitive edge. Whether you're climbing the ranked ladder, playing Draft Dominion, or getting crushed by intermediate bots, every enemy has a weakness. And every Thursday, Patrick Mackey shows how you can improve improve on yours.
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