For the longest time, Sejuani has been a bad champion attached to a phenomenal ultimate. Picking Sejuani meant you would be able to provide your team with some of the strongest CC in the game, but only about every two minutes or so. The rest of Sejuani’s kit was a bad combination of boring and ineffective. Recognizing this problem, Riot has given Sejuani a massive update this mid-season.
Sejuani has lost some serious power to her ultimate in this update, but considering how good it was before, this is the only option. Riot frequently refers to a power budget when designing champions. The idea is that certain abilities are more powerful than others, and champions should only have so much baseline power. That is how we originally got a champion like old Sejuani (which is technically her second iteration, this new version being her third). Her ultimate was incredibly powerful, thus the rest of her kit has to be weak. Riot has siphoned some of Sejuani’s ultimate power and spread it amongst her other abilities. In theory, this should make her a much more well-rounded pick.
So, let’s get into some of the changes.
(NEW) Passive - Fury of the North
This passive has two different aspects to it.
The first is Frost Armor, which grants Sejuani additional resistances and makes her impervious to slows as long as it holds. This bonus is gained if Sejuani isn't harmed for a few seconds and it remains (briefly) after being damaged by champions or large monsters.
Think of this as a tank’s version of Malzahar’s ultimate from the Season 6 mid-season update. While this doesn’t quite make Sejuani impervious to damage, it does make her very, very tanky for a few seconds. This, combined with the slow resistance, allows Sejuani to charge headfirst into the enemy team, allowing for an engage where your tank doesn't get chunked out immediately. Sejuani is a relentless tank who is very difficult to stop for the first few seconds of a fight.
Be precious with this passive. While it does recharge fast, it can be easily popped with long range poke abilities. Try engaging from a non-obvious place and catching your enemy off guard. This will be fairly easy with the use of Sejuani’s updated ultimate.
The second aspect of this passive is Icebreaker, which will come into play a little more later. Whenever Sejuani stuns a target, they are instead frozen, meaning that her first basic attack against them will do massive percent-of-health damage. This will mostly impact her new E and updated ultimate.
Q - Arctic Assault (Max third)
This ability is largely unchanged, aside from some small tweaks to balancing. Arctic Assault deals a little less damage then before, knocks up for a shorter amount of time, and only knocks up the initial target hit, rather than the target and allies around them.
(NEW) W - Winter’s Wrath (Max first)
Sejuani swings her flail in a large arc in front of her, dealing damage, applying Frost (important to her E), and pushing minions and monsters away from her. A little less than a second later, Sejuani will slam her flail down in a line directly in front of her. This will deal increased damage and apply Frost. Sejuani can move while waiting for these abilities to fire (they both have a brief delay on cast).
While not entirely dissimilar from her last W, this new Winter’s Wrath does give Sejuani a little more range and a much more rewarding ability to use. There is certainly a skill element to landing both the the initial swing and the slam. This is Sej’s primary damage ability, both in fights and jungle clears.
(NEW) E - Permafrost (Max second)
Sejuani’s basic attacks, as well as the basic attacks of her nearby melee allies, apply stacks of Frost. Once Frost is stacked four times on an enemy, Sejuani can target them and freeze them in place, dealing damage and stunning them briefly.
This is basically a Braum passive that you can target and trigger yourself. Permafrost has great synergy with her passive, Icebreaker, allowing Sejuani to do massive damage to targets within her melee range. Keep in mind that Winter’s Wrath also applies stacks of Frost
(UPDATE) R - Glacial Prison (Level when available)
Sejuani tosses a bola filled with ice, just like she used to. However, now it only stuns the first enemy struck. After a bola travels a certain distance it will become empowered, dealing additional damage, stunning for longer, and dropping an ice storm that explodes after a short delay. The storm itself slows those inside and the later explosion deals additional damage as well as slowing those hit by a much greater amount.
In practice, Glacial Prison will not be used that differently. It is still an engage, and a powerful one at that. As long as you can get your Bola to be empowered, it will do a nice chunk of damage as well as prep the enemy team for some exceptional wombo-combo. This ult can now also be used to aid in skirmishes as well, essentially enter a fight before you even arrive, due to its long range.
Her build hasn’t actually changed too much. You want to build lots of tank items to make yourself an even scarier force of nature. The more resistances that she has, the more potent her passive.
These are great starter items on Sejuani:
- Hunter’s Talisman
- Refillable Potion
This is a great build on Sejuani:
- Gargoyle Stoneplate
- Abyssal Scepter
- Randuin’s Omen
- Dead Man’s Plate
- Mercury’s Treads
As long as you are building resistances, you are building Sejuani right. Keep her tanky and do your best to protect your team. As a side note, do not underestimate the wealth of already fantastic skins that Sejunai has at her disposal. She finally seems worthy of being a Poro Rider.