This is a cool champion. A really cool champion that throws rocks and rides on rocks, and puts rocks on the ground. She is engaging to play and focuses heavily on positioning, which shouldn’t be surprising considering that she was designed by Daniel "ZenonTheStoic" Klein, who also made Azir. She gives the player a lot to think about when she is being played and pulling off a great E-W combo feels very rewarding.
Here some thing to know before jumping onto your rock surfboard.
Passive - Rock Surfing
What it does: Anytime Taliyah runs close to a wall, she will hop on a rock and gain increased movement speed (this scales off of her overall level). As soon as Taliyah enters combat, this ability will go on a cooldown of 5 seconds.
How it works: Who cares how this ability works because this champion can surf on rocks. It’s dope. This passive really makes Summoner's Rift feel small, in the best way possible. Getting back to lane is fast and roaming through the river feels like it takes no time at all. While it works so well for roams to one of the other lanes, the speed is most noticeable when you are running into the jungle for one reason or another. This passive really feels like perfect tool for Taliyah’s early to mid game objective: turn 1 v 1s into 2 v 1s faster than the enemy team can react.
Q - Threaded Volley (Max first)
What it does: Taliyah pulls up the earth around her and breaks it into 5 different shards, which she then throws, one at a time, in a straight line in front of her. When she does this she creates Worked Ground under her, a large circle on the map that remains for 3 minutes (time goes down as she levels). When Taliyah runs over Worked Ground, she gains a small boost to her movement speed and Threaded Volley will only throw 1 shard, but at half the mana cost.
How it works: This ability takes a second to get used to. You choose a direction for the rocks to fire in and they will continue to fire in that direction until all 5 have been spent. This means that you have to move so that your shards will continue to hit your presumably moving target. While it is your most reliable source of damage you have to be careful how and where you use it. Because of Worked Ground and a small mid lane, you may find yourself unable to poke your opponent as much as you would like after just a few casts.
W - Seismic Shove (Max third)
What it does: Taliyah places a circle on the ground that will erupt after a brief time, doing some damage and knocking whatever is hit into the air. Taliyah can recast Seismic Shove before it erupts and select a direction that she would like her victims to be flung in.
How it works: If you can time it correctly, this ability is great for keeping aggressive champs away from you. Seismic Shove is crucial for deterring ganks and saving yourself from the scary assassins that you may find yourself laning against. While it is an amazing defensive tool, it is also a great offensive tool for when you want to throw your enemies into your team, or perhaps even one of Taliyah’s other abilities...
E - Unraveled Earth (Max second)
What it does: Taliyah raises some boulders from the earth, covering an area and doing a little bit of damage. Enemies who walk over the boulders are slowed. Enemies who dash over the boulders cause them to detonate early, dealing damage for each bolder dashed over (up to 4 per enemy). Four seconds later, all boulders will erupt, dealing damage.
How it works: This ability is extremely versatile. Want to use it to wave clear? No problem. Want to throw it out to block a path? You got it. Want to lay a sick trap and then throw the enemy into it with your W? Perfect. The first step to really getting a grip on Taliyah is learning to lay E in a smart place, close to an enemy. Then, you drop the W under them and recast it so that you can throw them in a direction. Throw them over your traps and watch as they take tons of damage. It feels great to use and looks really stylish. Learn how to use this ability in all of its situations, especially along with the combo, and you will be cooking with gas.
R - Weaver’s Wall (Level when available)
What it does: Taliyah throws down a giant rock wall in a targeted direction. The wall, spanning a great length, will knock away any players standing on top of it and will last 6-8 seconds (depending on level). Taliyah can reactivate quickly, as she is casting, to jump on top of the wall and ride it until she clicks off of it or takes damage. Once the wall is out, Taliyah can destroy it by recasting her ultimate.
How it works: This is a trapping ult and it can work one of a few ways. You could roam down the river and throw your wall between the aggressing enemy bot lane and their tower. Now, they are trapped and have to fight or flash. Or, you could see a teammate running from an enemy, and throw the wall to separate them from their pursuer. In either of these situations, you could also choose to join the party, risking your own life, by riding the wall, or you could run back to your own lane, feeling content about your good deeds.
Taliyah is a mobile mage, so we want to build her up with a little bit of health and a lot of damage. Item builds taken from Champion.gg.
These are great starting items on Taliyah:
- Doran’s Ring
This is a great build on Taliyah:
- Liandry’s Torment
- Rylai’s Crystal Scepter
- Void Staff
- Rabadon’s Deathcap
- Sorcerer’s Shoes
Taliyah is a strange champion. She isn’t mobile enough in fights to be an assassin and she also doesn’t do LeBlanc levels of damage to one character. Instead she casts and casts and casts until everything around her is dead. This is great news, because the last real caster mage that we got was Vel’Koz, released way back in early 2014. When you look at Taliyah, you see a champion with a lot of depth and potential, which is all you can really ask for in League of Legends.