Mid Lane is a very important role as it is connected to both lanes and all four quadrants of the jungle at the same time. For this reason, it is important that you carefully consider what champion you pick in this role as it is likely to have an impact on every other role in your team. This is why our pick for Mid Lane in Season 12 is Sylas.
Sylas is a melee midlaner that lacks strength in the early game. As soon as he hits Level 6, he can steal enemy ultimates and help out his team using them. His trading relies on the sustain he gains from his W. Building Ability Haste allows him to use his abilities more often in the late game.
While Sylas is a melee champ and might struggle in poke matchups early game, his all-in potential is massive because of his E and W. In most games, his strength will vary depending on the ultimates available for him to steal.
Passive – Petricite Burst
Each time Sylas uses an ability, he generates a stack for a total of 3 stored stacks. These provide him 125% bonus Attack Speed. Whenever Sylas auto attacks, he consumes one stack to swing his chains and deals increased damage to his primary target, and reduced damage to surrounding enemies.
This ability is a very potent waveclear tool as it executes minions below 25 health and acts as an AoE source of damage. It is also beneficial in bursting down any champion you are fighting as Sylas relies heavily on ability usage and Ability Haste. Thus Sylas should auto attack between his abilities whenever possible to maximize his DPS.
Q – Chain Lash
Cooldown – 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Sylas slams both of his chains on the ground. They always reach a maximum range, however they coverage at the targeted location. This deals magic damage to enemies and slows them. Then the intersecting chains explode in a small radius, dealing additional magic damage.
The rest of his abilities allow him to set up the explosion of his Q, the total damage done by this ability can prove to be crucial in a teamfight. This ability is also the only one that can deal damage from range, which means it can allow him to CS in tough matchups. The slow can be used to make his E easier to connect.
W – Kingslayer
Cooldown – 12 / 10.5 / 9 / 7.5 / 6 seconds
This is a targeted ability. Sylas dashes a short distance towards his selected target and strikes them, swiftly dealing magic damage to them. If Sylas targets an enemy champion, he also heals. This healing is amplified based on his missing health.
This is probably the strongest ability in Sylas’ kit as far as trading is concerned. The burst of healing ensures that his resource pool comes out on top when trading blows. As the game progresses and Sylas gains more and more Ability Haste, this ability becomes a consistent source of sustain for him.
E – Abscond & Abduct
Cooldown – 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 / 9 seconds
Pressing E casts Abscond, making Sylas dash in the target direction. After a very short delay, you can cast Abduct by pressing E again. Abduct makes Sylas throw his chains in the target direction. If the chains connect to a target, Sylas deals magic damage to them and stuns them for 0.5 seconds. Immediately after this, Sylas dashes himself to their location and knocks them up for half a second.
This ability acts as Sylas’ main source of gap closure as it does not require a target to cast. Abscond allows him to reposition for the rest of his abilities, and can be combined with Kingslayer as well. Abduct allows him to get in the melee range of his target to use his abilities with better efficiency, especially his passive.
R – Hijack
Cooldown – 80 / 55 / 30 seconds
Target Specific Cooldown – 2x the Ultimate’s Cooldown
Sylas throws his chains at his target and copies their Ultimate Ability. He is unable to copy the same ultimate again for a long duration after that. Sylas can recast his R to use the copied ultimate. He also converts the AD ratios on ultimates to AP ratios.
This ability defines Sylas, this is what sets him apart. The ability to take the ultimate of any champion and use it for his own team. Sylas can single-handedly win games by stealing game-changing ultimates and utilizing them better than the original users themselves.
- Presence of Mind
- Legend: Tenacity
- Last Stand
- Transcendence/Second Wind
- Gathering Storm/Overgrowth
- Everfrost/Luden’s Tempest/Laindry’s Anguish
- Zhonya’s Hourglass
- Cosmic Drive
- Rabadon’s Deathcap
- Void Staff
The Mythic Item depends on the enemy team composition and what stats you require in the game. Everfrost provides the most utility, so you can build it if you are unsure. Sylas has a lot of options when it comes to boots. Plated Steelcaps, Mercury’s Treads, Ionian Boots of Lucidity, and Boots of Sorcery are all viable options depending on what you require.
Flash is a very versatile summoner spell. It allows you to make defensive plays or even aggressive plays by closing the distance between Sylas and his target, it can also be combined with his W or E to get in range for these abilities
Teleport is a pretty standard summoner spell as it allows you to get back into the lane after unfortunate setbacks. It also allows you to make plays around the map after 14 minutes.
Ignite strikes fear in the heart of your opponents as the true damage can prove to be lethal in the lane. Take this summoner spell if you are confident that you can get kill pressure over your opponent using it.
Sylas is fairly weak in the Early Game. This is because he is a melee champion and his abilities have too long of a cooldown to prove useful. Still, his kit allows him to play around this weakness until he gains some item components. In ranged matchups, especially those that specialize in poke, you will mainly be using your Q to farm.
You can also whittle down the enemy’s health bar using your Q. Your W will be your main trading tool as it allows you to deal damage and heal in return. Once you are in melee range with your W, you can either continue trading with your E or use it to distance yourself from the opponent. You can also use your E to dodge skillshots.
Your Level 6 Power Spike depends on the enemy’s ultimates that are available for you to steal. Sylas gets picked into champions like Twisted Fate and Galio because his Level 6 allows him to match their play-making but with stronger basic abilities.
As you approach the mid game, your Mythic item will be completed and you will be well on your way to completing the rest of your build. At this point, your W will be maxed out (Level 9 onwards), making fights really easy because of your increased sustain. As laning ends, it gets easier to steal ultimates because you will have more freedom to move around the map and approach enemy champions.
Contesting objectives with the increased Ability Haste you have at this point makes it easier to sustain yourself and deal large chunks of damage. Sylas still lacks heavy burst as he has yet to complete his core items (Rabadon’s Deathcap being the biggest source of damage). He also lacks waveclear at this point in the game, so pick your timings well if you want to step away from your teammates to catch waves.
Sylas is really strong at this point in the game. His two main abilities will have been maxed and he will have points in his last ability as well. His ultimate is on a very short cooldown at this point, allowing him to steal ultimates more often. Keep in mind that the cooldown per target remains twice what it is for the original user, so he can’t continue to steal the same ultimate again and again.
With enough items under his belt, Sylas can easily 1v9 any teamfight. Grievous Wounds at this point can cut down your healing by a lot, so be careful not to jump in without a backup plan. Sylas should stick with his team at this stage and look to play around his cooldowns and mobility to burst down important targets, all while sustaining most source of damage with a very low cooldown on his W.
Sylas is a very strong midlaner at the moment. His versatile abilities allow him to deal a large burst of damage and sustain his way to victory. As he continues building Ability Haste, he can dish out an increased number of ability rotations, leading to unmatched strength. Make sure you pick him in response to strong ultimates so you can give the enemies a taste of their own medicine.