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Inconsistent or Consistent: Syndra's Design

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Senior Member


Warning: I love Syndra but I think Riot shafted her so much that it has made me bitter about Riot.

Let me begin in reference to Syndra's pre-PBE nerfs,
Syndra seemed much more consistent until Riot decided to deny her some of her power. (You guys are just as terrible as those Ionians who treated her like **** Riot).

Some of that power is consistency.
Riot had Syndra nerfed all around when she was released onto PBE. Let's start discussing about her Dark Sphere.

Pre PBE Stats
Dark Sphere (Q)
Magic Damage: 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+0.55 AP) magic damage in an area.
Transcendent Bonus: +20%
After being conjured, the sphere will last for 8 seconds before expiring, and can be manipulated by Syndras other abilites during this time.
Cost: 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 mana
Cooldown: 5 / 4.5 / 4 / 3.5 / 3 seconds

Release/Live Stats
Magic Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+0.5 AP) magic damage in an area.
Transcendent Bonus: +15%
After being conjured, the sphere will last for 6 seconds before expiring, and can be manipulated by Syndras other abilites during this time.
Cost: 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 mana
Cooldown: 4 seconds

Riot dampened her by a great deal upon PBE release. Her spheres no longer last that extra 2 seconds which would be key to her Unleashed Power/R's damage. The AP ratio and base damage got nerfed by a great deal. With base damage and AP ratios nerfed, Syndra's most effective skill in lane has become a joke which can lead to her losing out on trades very often. The only thing that made sense is setting her cooldown fixed at 4 (aka to effectively build her, you must have at least 1 AP item that provided cooldown reduction like Deathfire Grasp [15%] and hope that your jungler actually provides Syndra blue buff for the full 40% CDR to bring Dark Sphere cooldown to 2.4 seconds for maxing out the potential of Unleashed Power. If your jungler is being a jerk, building Deathfire Grasp and Athene's Unholy Grail will give you 2.8 seconds for Dark Sphere's cooldown to utilize for Unleashed Power and mana to boot around during long stand offs where consistent setup duration is required incase a battle was about to erupt. However this may be going against what Riot was attempting to achieve in the first place: there's only a very small amount of viable builds for Syndra).

On the current PBE though, Riot has released some restraints on Syndra's Dark Sphere:
Base damage and mana has been reverted back to pre-PBE values which helps out with Syndra's early game. She can effectively trade better now skill for skill in mid lane. This is a step in the right direction for her.

Force of Will/W is Syndra's longest single ranged spell but its projectile speed is slow which adds to the unresponsive/clunky/"high skill" factor. At first, initiating/opening up with your first point of damage should come from Force of Will due to its clunkiness, but because it is one of those skills that you can see coming from a mile away and Syndra's subpar move speed, it can be difficult to maintain the consistency that it will hit unless the enemy misjudges the range or the indication that Syndra wants to initiate/aggro or the enemy is within a very close range in which Syndra can land her W fairly easily. Missing with Force of Will really lowers the amount of Syndra's overall damage.

Comparing pre-PBE and live stats:
Magic Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+0.6 AP) magic damage
Slow: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 % for 2 seconds.
Transcendent Bonus: Projectile will briefly knock enemies into the air.
Cost: 60 mana
Cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8

Release/Live Stats
Magic Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+0.7 per ability power)
Slow: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 % for 1.5 seconds.
Transcendent Bonus: Slow duration increased to 2 seconds.
Cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 mana
Cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 seconds

Again, Riot chose to restrain her powers upon release. Endgame, Force of Will becomes one of Syndra's best spells on the live server but its inconsistent and it punishes the player more for missing the spell now with its increased mana cost. A little fine tuning such as slightly increasing the missile speed and refunding a bit of the mana cost if a grabbed target is not thrown and let go of due to the spell duration wearing off would help improve its overall consistency for Syndra. The knockup was a bit overpowered though and I agree with its removal. Syndra already has a stun and does not need a knockup as well otherwise great syndra players would be able to stun & knockup combo all the time.

Scatter the Weak/E is Syndra's shortest ranged spell. It is best used to stun targets with a combination of Q, assisting teammates to escape or providing utility/initiation for your team. It is an OK spell to peel bruisers off of you. The stun does NOT work when you try to scatter the weak/E an enemy champion that is within the cone of scatter the weak and a dark sphere. If an enemy gets hit by scatter the weak and dark sphere at the same time, the stun does not proc. The Dark Sphere must be about 1 teemo away from the target enemy champion for the sphere to actually proc the stun. Let's look at stats though.

Magic Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 200 (+0.5 AP) magic damage in a cone
Utility: Knockback, Stun
Transcendent Bonus: Cone width increased by 50%
Cost: 50 mana
Cooldown: 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds

Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.4 per ability power)
Utility: Knockback, Stun
Transcendent Bonus: Cone width increased by 50%
Cost: 50 mana
Cooldown: 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 14 seconds

Not much was changed with the exception that her cooldown was increased by 4 seconds and base damage was buffed. As it is Syndra's primary utility spell, if she uses it to stun, she cannot peel for herself. If she uses it to peel, she loses a lot of utility during a team fight to stun and peel for others. It is rare Syndra would use this skill for damage. Should Syndra get her cooldown unnerfed? I'm not sure. The high cooldown is for Syndra to have some kind of counterplay for the enemy. Miss the stun? She's open for a kill. Part of Riot's balancing act. However Syndra's stun is very easy to read. Just don't stand directly across from her with a sphere in between you two and she will never have the opening for a stun. Her scatter the weak can also be a little awkward. Considering you are using Q and W to poke all the time, you might not have a sphere near you to use to stun. Your scatter the weak doesn't reach the enemy AP champion or AD carry so it can feel like dead weight.

Now onto Syndra's Unleashed Power/R.
This is where I am a little baffled. Did you know that Syndra's R in some cases has the shortest range of all of her spells? Force of Will has the longest range by itself while Dark Sphere/Q and Scatter the Weak/E combine to have the longest range together. Scatter the Weak itself has a range that is about 1 teemo less than R but it hardly matters since the proper way to use Scatter the Weak is utilizing Syndra's stun and like other AP mages, best at ranged combat not close range. Syndra's Unleashed Power/R actually had some range previously.

Magic damage: 70 / 105 / 140 (+0.2 AP) magic damage per sphere.
Minimum damage (3 spheres): 210 / 315 / 420 (+0.6 AP) magic damage.
Damage with 9 spheres: 630 / 945 / 1260 (+1.8 AP) magic damage.
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 100 / 90 / 80 seconds
Range: 800

Magic Damage: 90 / 135 / 180 (+0.15 per ability power)
Minimum Damage (3 spheres): 270 / 405 / 540 (+0.45 per ability power)
Damage with 7 spheres: 630 / 975 / 1260 (+1.05 per ability power)
Cost: 100 mana
Cooldown: 100 / 90 / 80 seconds
Range: 675

Here is where Syndra's released design is inconsistent again. You have Dark Sphere and Force of Will with excellent ranges but with Unleashed Power... you basically have to walk up a lot closer to be able to cast it. Her other skills are AOE so she can always edge the range to get in the damage but not Unleashed Power. Syndra is already below average movement speed and it really gives time for the enemy champion to get away.

(Note that Riot probably had to buff the base damage of her Unleashed Power for release to bring it in line with her pre-PBE stats with the nerf of her sphere duration. This move I agree on as it caused Syndra way too much mana problems to bring onto the field and just made Syndra even more situational than she is right now. Her current incoming PBE buffs as of this post's date increases the AP ratio of her ultimate from +0.15 to 0.2)

Compare other AP champions: Veigar's stun range and the rest of his skills all have similar ranges that really allow him to follow up and burst. His kit flows.
Zyra's E has the longest range but given the large aoe of Q and R plus the range on W, she can easily burst and consistently respond and make her kit flow into some single burst.
Or look at Cass, her Q and E combos flows really well. Even hitting R then the rest of her combo flows well. There's no delay and her damage is consistent.

Syndra doesn't have the same consistency. Q+E, you stun an enemy champion. Depending on the range you stunned the enemy, you might need to walk up closer to grab your sphere or a minion to follow up. Your next skill is Force of Will/W but there's a delay in grabbing and throwing damage. In preparation for your ult, you drop a Q and then hit R for a 5 sphere attack. Syndra could not maximize the potential of her ultimate but this is a common skill follow up for her to burst.

You could also Q then leash the sphere with W, wait for Q to finish cooldown, throw sphere, Q then R then E but there's so much delay and time for the enemy to read that you are committing into a burst combo that it can be flashed out. An enemy can just side step the possible follow up stun in such that there is no combo to follow through anymore.

Current PBE buffs are great. It gives her the damage she needs to feel rewarding but she still needs a little tweak. Her responsiveness just does not compare too other AP champions. Riot needs to fix this. She's all over the place.

Buffs that she could use (take this with a grain of salt):
Force of Will's missile speed (slightly).
Movement speed to 310.
Increase R's range so it doesn't feel so disconnected with her other skill ranges.

Post buff remarks:

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Suck my Bieber




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Senior Member


Im confused.
She looks perfect Pre-PBE...

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I agree, this is a well-thought analysis on all that is so very wrong with Syndra.

I'm not against damage buffs, but what I really want to see is her W being faster to use. It's already as obvious as a TF locking in gold card what your next move is going to be, so I don't understand why it's so hard to hit with, considering its really not that powerful a spell (not bad, but not Uber powerful).

And a range increase on R. Maybe make it a skillshot linear pass-through projectile so she can dish out some more damage at a good range without there being very little counterplay to it (800-900 range on a targetable ability is quite dumb, tbh). And maybe to balance it, make it so that it deals less damage the more champions it pass through (like Cait's Piltover Peacemaker or Ezreal's Trueshot Barrage).

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Senior Member


A little more feedback please.

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Senior Member


Now going to post-buffs, her damage is there and a bit more consistent but it has made me realized some of her other problems:

Movement speed is still something I would like to see buffed slightly on Syndra because without it, she gets initiated on too easily and almost 100% she will not be able to respond fast enough like some other AP carries due to her setup requirement and clunkiness. However I can understand why they do not want to give Syndra that buff as she can already play a very very mean zone game given her Q requires no standstill animation cast and with perfect position, she can punish very well with her combo of Q+E->W->Q.

Force of Will's missile speed still needs to be buffed so it reduces the time between Q+E->W or straight up Q->W though. The stun is not long enough sometimes that an opposing AP carry can respond fast enough to break the combo or retaliate (one of the common counters to Syndra is Katarina imo. Katarina can shunpo onto to you right after the stun finishes before W lands and burst you for tons of damage.) The delay on skill damage hurts Syndra a lot just like Karthus and Cassieopeia. Meddler mentioned some nice QoLs which are great and solve some of my frustrations like Force of Will bug, Unleashed Power going on CD when a target is killed mid-cast etc.

I would still like to see a Force of Will QoL change to refund some mana/cooldown if a minion or sphere is not launched on the 2nd part of the spell. Also the tricky thing with Syndra is that there are a lot of times during a moving battle, you might get zoned out of your spheres and "grabbable" targets that the Force of Will becomes deadweight. Given Q's range and CD, you cannot recklessly poke with Dark Sphere otherwise you might just get forced out of Force of Will/W range to grab and make use of the spell. Has happened to me a few times.

Also good to see they're fixing the Force of Will/W damage delay bug. Happens often enough on the live servers to lose a great deal of damage.

Would be nice to also have an Orb counter with a life timer of the next expiring sphere.

I'm glad to hear that Riot is willing to look at the Unleashed Power/R range again because she needed it to keep that connection between spellcasts.

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Senior Member


Im confused.
She looks perfect Pre-PBE...

+1 to OP.

She was perfect during PBE, but RIOT felt the need to secret nerf her force of will on neutral monsters AND her scaling in fear of having another release Zyra among the roster.

I like this thread.. I add more to it just to clarify that Syndra is really weak compared to other mages.

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Senior Member


More to come, This is a comparison for Orianna and Syndra. For argument sake, both champs are level 18 and has 400 AP and zero CDR on both ends
to remain reasonable.

Syndra: The Dark Sovereign

Passive: Transcendent Each of Syndra's basic abilities gain an extra effect at maximum rank.
Dark Sphere: Deals 15% bonus damage to Champions.
Force of Will: Increases the slow duration by 33%.
Scatter the Weak: Spell width increased by 50%
Dark Sphere: Conjures a Dark Sphere at a target location, dealing magic damage. The sphere lasts for up to 6 seconds and can be manipulated by Syndra's other abilities.

Range: 800

Cost 40/50/60/70/80 Mana
Cooldown 4 seconds all levels

magic damage: 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+ 60% AP)

Magic damage to champions at max rank: 264.5 (+ 69% AP)

265(rounded up because LoL doesn't give health decimals)

265 + 276 = 541 damage

Force of Will

ACTIVE: Grabs a dark sphere, enemy minion or neutral monster for 5 seconds. If a dark sphere is grabbed, its duration is refreshed. Dragon and Baron Nashor cannot be grabbed by this ability.

Range: 925 cooldown: 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 cost: 60 / 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 Mana
Magic Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ 70% AP)
Slow: 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% / 45%

240 + 70% AP

240 + 280 = 520 damage

Scatter the weak
Knocks enemies and Dark Spheres back, dealing magic damage to them and any enemies they collide with. The distance of the knockback increases depending on how close the affected units are to Syndra upon cast. Dark Spheres that are knocked back also stun all enemies in their path for 1.5 seconds.

range: 650 cooldown: 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 14 cost: 50 Mana all levels

Magic damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 40% AP)

Missile Speed: 2500

250 + 40% AP

250 + 160 = 410 Damage

Unleashed Power
ACTIVE: Draws upon Syndra's full cataclysmic power, harnessing all Dark Spheres to deal magic damage to her target per sphere. Unleashed Power will use the three spheres that orbit Syndra, ensuring a minimum damage.

Range:675 cooldown: 100 / 90 / 80 cost:100 Mana
Damage per sphere: 90 / 135 / 180 (+ 20% AP)

Minimum damage(3 SPHERES): 270 / 405 / 540 (+ 60% AP)

Max damage (7 SPHERES): 630 / 975 / 1260 (+ 140% AP)

180 + 20% AP(this isn't actually calculated)

540 + 60% AP

540 + 240 = 780 damage MINIMUM damage.

1260 + 140% AP

1260 + 480 = 1760 MAX damage

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Senior Member


Since there has been a lot of talk that Syndra is fine the way she is, lets have a comparison with a similar champion.

For argument sake; both champs level 18 and has 400 AP and zero CDR since it's reasonable.

Orianna: The Lady of Clockwork


Windup: Orianna’s autoattacks deal an additional 10 / 18 / 26 / 34 / 42 / 50 (+ 15% AP) magic damage every hit. Additionally, attacking the same target within 4 seconds deals an extra 20% magic damage on the second hit, and 40% extra on the third and further hits.

3rd hit = 26 +40% AP

after 3rd hit = 186 a hit

after 5th hit = 210 a hit
Command:Attack: Orianna commands her ball to fly towards target location, dealing magic damage to all enemies that the ball passes through and that are on the destination area. However, the ball deals 10% less damage for each subsequent target hit down to a minimum of 40% damage done. Her ball remains behind at that location afterwards.

Range: 815 Cost: 50 mana all levels

cooldown: 6 / 5.25 / 4.5 / 3.75 / 3

Magic damage(First hit): 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+ 50% AP)
Magic damage (after first hit): 24 / 36 / 48 / 60 / 72 (+ 20% AP)

180 + 50% AP =

180 + 200 = 380 damage on first hit

72 + 80 = 152 damage after first hit


Command: DissonanceOrianna commands the Ball to emit an electric pulse around its current location, dealing magic damage to all units around it and leaving an electric field on the area for 3 seconds.
cooldown: 9 Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana

Magic Damage: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 70% AP)
Range of effect: 500 from ball

The field speeds up allies and slows enemies that walk over it. This effect diminishes to normal over 2 seconds after leaving the area.

250 + 70% AP

250 + 280 = 530 damage

Command:Protect range: 1100 cooldown: 9 cost: 60 mana all mana
the allied champion the Ball is currently attached to is granted bonus armor and magic resistance.
Bonus armor and Magic resist: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30

ACTIVE: Orianna commands the Ball to fly to and attach onto an allied champion, dealing damage to enemies it passes through and shielding the allied champion when it arrives for 4 seconds

Shield Strength: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+ 40% AP)
Magic Damage 60 / 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 (+ 30% AP)

240 + 40% AP

240 + 160 = 400 Shield power

180 + 30% AP

180 + 120 = 300 Magic damage

Command:Shockwave cooldown: 120 / 105 / 90 cost: 100 / 125 / 150 mana

Orianna commands her ball to unleash a shockwave after 0.5 seconds, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies and flinging them into the air a set distance towards, and possibly over, the Ball.

Magic damage: 150 / 225 / 300 (+ 70% AP)
Diametere of Effect: 800 from ball
fling distance: 350 from opposite side of ball

300 + 70% AP

300 + 280 = 580 damage

More to come..

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Senior Member


(You guys are just as terrible as those Ionians who treated her like **** Riot).

oh how dreadful, living in the lap of luxury as a mages apprentice while all the other ionians go through the noxian insurgence or live within the bowles of the league citystate place under the watchful eye of those who control the world from behind the curtains... simply dreadful. How dare they put a limiter on a childs power just because she's overflowing with dark power. For shame!