Just about all of my games since October have been Elise. She is a fantastic jungler. I use 9/21/0 masteries, AP quints, scaling MR glyphs (sometimes flat MR), armor seals, and here's the different part -- hybrid pen marks. I like those marks so much on her.
I buy machete and 5 pots. With this season 3 jungle I have been getting Q first. With the help of your team, Q big wolf in human form, switch to spider and Q big wolf. Then back off for just a sec and let your 2 spiderlings tank. I max Q first because with ganking the W in human form isn't 100% reliable to hit the champ. Plus Q is nice to finish the job, in either forms. Then I max W, and get E at lvl 4 maxing it last.
If you are familiar w/ her she really can stay farming in the jungle forever (especially w/ those hybrid marks). But personally, once I have enough for a giants belt (yes I get that right after the machete). Its time to spend most of your time ganking! You can be confident top or mid hasn't warded yet. If you get the surprise on the enemy laner, your laner is decent, and you are good w/ Elise's skill shots ganking at this time is so good (even without the tier 1 boots). Try to open by cocooning them (if they have most of their health when you begin the gank the repel is good when they run, as a gap closer), use your Q, then your W (make sure to avoid minions obviously), and I think you know the rest. They either die or are under their tower & almost dead. If its the latter, get just in range to repel onto them (to avoid as many tower shots as possible) to finish them then flash out (they don't expect the early tower dive, which is why I rush the giants belt). But most of the time I don't even need to do this. If they turn on me instead of running to the tower they're dead. Most ganks I open with the cocoon, but I am very patient about when to use it. She's an incredible champ to focus on ganking because she isn't very item dependent. After enough ganks the enemy laners get really cautious, this could be time to jump in with your repel after your laner has initiated. It really keeps them on their toes.
My build is very similar to my laning build, but I typically don't finish it because 1. I let the laner get the killing blows if I can help it and 2. The other team usually surrenders before late game. But the basic build is sorc boots, rylai's crystal scepter, liandry's torment, abyssal scepter, then usually situational items. Sometimes I work on rylai's and liandry's torment (haunting guise) at the same time, depending on how much gold I have when I buy. Lots of times it works out where I get haunting guise after the giants belt and tier 1 boots, but before I get the sorc boots. Magic pen is more important for her than the actual AP I think. So many of my games do not last long enough for the situational items anyways because the other team surrenders. But if that doesn't happen I like having a GA for a few reasons. During team fights you really are tanky enough by now to just repel to the back line of squishies after most everyone has blasted through their ability combos (the revive is a very nice backup). Most of the time when I die its after my spider combos were just used. So when I come back I quickly use cocoon and either finish them off by starting my whole combo over again or run (preferably into a jungle).
I see a lot of Elise's build almost as a glass cannon. Way less tanky than me (especially early) and they end up dying where I would survive and still secure the kill. Building tanky early I think is really good for her, so you can be aggressive and get in there to maximize your damage on the right targets.
I've gotten cursed at so many times by the other team, its really quite funny.
But I really think this is better for people who are good w/ her cocoon and position ganks well. I cannot stress enough to be patient with the cocoon. If you position yourself well you can just walk in there and still have plenty of time to make sure you land it because sometimes they can be really jumpy on the flash when the crazy spider lady strolls into the lane. The funniest scenario is when we play ring-around-the-minions while my laner goes on them. Then i can even save the cocoon a tad later after I did some damage.
EDIT (2/1): Due to today's season 3 patch I'm not sure if an early Giant's Belt will be my first choice anymore since it is going to be nerfed. Or how well you would be able to tower dive with it early game. Just a word of warning.
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