Updated for patch 1.3.
Alysia has a fun kit of abilities that can put out tons of damage, especially with some of her more aggressive battlerites, but at the same time can be frustrating to play. She lacks mobility and escapes, which makes her extremely vulnerable to rushdown matchups. Safe positioning and game sense are essential. Not recommended for newbies.
Frost Bolt (M1)
Frost Bolt is a typical ranged M1 attack with average damage, with bonus damage on Chilled targets. This may sound identical to Ashka’s M1, but whereas Ashka’s M1 completely refreshes the debuff that gives him bonus damage, Alysia’s M1 only extends Chill by 0.8 seconds, which means most of the time you’ll only get a few hits of bonus damage. A permanent uptime is possible but requires near-perfect accuracy.
This ability is your main source of damage so get used to spamming it, even on targets who aren’t Chilled. It still packs quite a punch.
Whenever you inflict Freeze, your Frost Bolts are empowered for 3s. They deal 4 bonus damage and inflict Chill even on targets without Chill.
It’s better in 3v3 than 2v2, but still pretty bad in both. The problem is that Alysia excels in the role of single-target sustained pressure, and in order to activate this battlerite, you have to either Freeze your current target (and then switch to someone else) or Freeze a separate target (blowing both M2 and Flash Freeze to do so). Neither quite makes sense.
And even when you do pull it off, the empowerment only lasts long enough to get about three hits, amounting to about 12 extra damage. You could think of it as inflicting 61 total damage (63 if the target is already Chilled), but only if you hit all three. It’s too inconsistent and too difficult to get value out of.
Ice Lance (M2)
Ice Lance is a deceptively complex ability. On non-Chilled targets, it only deals mediocre damage but sets you up with stronger M1s or an opportunity to Freeze. On Chilled targets, it deals burst damage and extends the duration for even more follow-up M1s. It’s the only reliable way to Chill somebody.
Prefer to use this on Chilled targets because the bonus damage is scary good, and it extends Chill by quite a bit, but don’t hesitate to use it on non-Chilled targets either. You lose out on the bonus 6 damage, but you can make up for it with 3 M1s, which is more than possible with an M1 accuracy above 50 percent. Since the M2 > M1 sequence is so easy to pull off, it’s perfectly fine to use bare Ice Lances.
Remember to cancelcast this ability to bait defensives. The audio cue and casting animation are both unique, and many players will dodge or counter whenever they hear it. Learn more about this in our guide on cancelcasting.
Ice Lance hits inflict Chill for 1s bonus duration and explodes on impact or reaching max range to inflict Chill for 2s on nearby enemies.
Cryogenic Lance is good. Hitting M2s for a 3-second Chill is better for CC, making your follow-up M1s more accurate and giving you a better opportunity to keep it extended, and the AOE splash is a nice bit of extra CC. It’s also good for poking against ranged since you can still get the Chill applied even without a direct hit. This will boost your Chill uptime by quite a bit, and that alone can disrupt the enemy team’s rhythm.
Ice Lance deals 3 bonus damage and breaks Freeze before dealing damage.
With how often you’ll cast M2 throughout a round, the extra damage adds up to be significant. Striking for 31 instead of 28 is also nice, bringing that much closer to stripping away recovery health with a single blow.
Ice Breaker shines in conjunction with Snow Cone and Frozen Gallery, which lets you burst a target down by quite a bit without having to wait for Freeze to pass. This means Freezes won’t arrest your own momentum and you can keep pressure on a single target, which is what Alysia does best.
But here’s the best part: normally when you break a Frozen target with M2, Ice Lance does not apply Chill, but if you break it with the Ice Breaker battlerite, it does apply Chill. This is great because it empowers your follow-up M1s with all of that extra damage.
Ice Lance pierces enemies and range increases by 10%. Damage reduces by 30% per hit.
Piercing Cold is a solid choice in matchups with lots of ranged champions where you expect to do a lot of ranged poking and trading. The extra range gives you that threatening edge. It’s also a good pick against Blossom and Pestilus, who can no longer hide behind their Trees and Queens — not to mention the double energy gain on double hits!
Arctic Wind (Space)
Arctic Wind is literally her only escape ability, so you need to guard it with every fiber of your being. Never, never, never use it aggressively. While Alysia does have other defensives to help mitigate damage, none of them can reliably get her out of danger. One bad misplay with Arctic Wind is enough to get you killed no matter how much health you have.
Arctic Wind blasts nearby enemies with a frost nova as you leap, inflicting Chill for 2s. Inflicts Root for 1s to enemies already affected by Chill.
Frost Nova can be pretty good against melee pressure. Blast the aggressor with an Ice Lance before leaping away with Arctic Wind and they’ll be rooted in place. You can follow up with empowered M1s to take advantage of their Chill status. However, the key to good Frost Nova usage is to wait until all of their gap closers are burned, otherwise they can still follow you even while rooted.
I’m not convinced this battlerite is worth taking, since you’re better off locking down an aggressor with Snow Cone, which leaves Arctic Wind unspent and ready for when you really need it.
Recast Arctic Wind to perform a short leap.
“Hey look, a second iframe! This ought to be a must-pick!” No, not quite. While a second iframe can be useful for dodging attacks, the range on this recast is so pitifully short that it doesn’t even matter.
The reason why Blossom’s double-space battlerite works is because she gets extra movement speed in between and her second leap is full distance, allowing her to put actual distance between herself and attackers. Alysia’s second jump is only an iframe, which has close to zero practical use since the first jump is usually what dodges.
Never pick Twirl. Alysia has much better options elsewhere.
Glacial Prism (Q)
Glacial Prism is a subpar ability that’s only good because it’s better than having nothing. The shield value is too little to make up for Alysia’s lack of mobility, and the resulting Chill application is too unreliable to matter except when you’re being tunneled by a melee. It needs one of the battlerites to make it valuable.
Try to reserve this for yourself rather than your teammates. First, you aren’t a support character. Second, you’re likely the most fragile on your team. Third, if your teammate is in so much trouble that he needs your shield, the shield value is so little that it probably won’t save him anyway. That’s not to say you should never shield your teammates… you just have to be very mindful and intentional of when you do.
Glacial Prism absorbs up to 12 more damage and its explosion range increases by 20%.
Not a bad pick against melees and bursters, but still somewhat questionable. Remember that Glacial Prism has a pitiful duration of 1.4 seconds, so even though this boosts the shield value up to 36, it’s only useful if you consistently take more than 24 damage in that short window. Shifu’s Impale and Sirius’s Crescent Strike come to mind as good examples.
Glacial Prism grants the target a 60% Fading Haste for 1.4s.
Figure Skating is hard to pass up. The Fading Haste proves valuable in so many situations: escaping AOEs, outrunning melees, maneuvering while trading M1s, repositioning yourself when you’ve pushed too far, etc. For a champion who severely lacks mobility, Figure Skating comes up huge and is pretty much a must-pick. Plus, on the rare occasion you throw a shield on your teammate, they could be saved by the movement boost too.
Glacial Prism deals 10 damage to nearby enemies when it explodes and increases Glacial Prism Chill duration from 2s to 3s.
The damage occurs both when an enemy breaks the shield or when it simply expires. However, Alysia is already good at dealing damage and needs her battlerite slots to cover for her weaknesses. She can’t afford to dedicate an entire slot to something that doesn’t always connect and only deals 10 damage when it does. It just isn’t enough value.
The only possible exception would be in conjunction with Arctic Cloak since the extra damage does apply when Lesser Glacial Prism breaks or expires. Even then it can be hard to justify.
Flash Freeze (E)
Without battlerites, Flash Freeze is simply okay. The damage is nothing to get excited about, and the delay is long enough to make it unreliable as a Freezing tool. It’s mostly useful for applying 3 seconds of Chill, which is nice because most other abilities only apply 2 seconds. The radius is small though, so try to use it when targets are mid-cast, self-snared (e.g. d-barriers), or self-disabled (e.g. counters).
I prefer to reserve Flash Freeze as an opener rather than using it in the middle of an engagement because Freezing a target gives them a shield and arrests your momentum. As an opener, however, it boosts your M1 damage and gives you the opportunity for empowered Ice Lances. The only exception is if you have the Ice Breaker battlerite, which lets you immediately resume pressure even after Freezing.
Hitting yourself or allies with Flash Freeze applies Lesser Glacial Prism, absorbing up to 12 damage.
Arctic Cloak is obviously designed to mitigate melee pressure. They jump on you, you cast Flash Freeze on yourself to Chill them and ward them off, and now you have a shield for no additional effort! The Lesser Glacial Prism does synergize with Figure Skating, in which case it doubles as an escape tool, and it also synergizes with Wintry Blast, providing AOE damage when the Lesser Glacial Prism breaks or expires.
The downside is that you get zero value when you use Snow Cone instead, and that’s generally more effective against melees. This is a highly situational battlerite that works best against melee matchups.
Flash Freeze radius increases by 20% and cooldown reduces by 1s.
Blizzard’s shorter cooldown leads to higher Chill uptime and more chances to Freeze. And since Chill is so integral to M1 and M2 damage, Blizzard is a subtle but big DPS booster. Casting Flash Freeze more often also helps with zoning enemies.
The radius increase is also nice since Flash Freeze can be tough to hit due to its size and delay. For reference, it’s normally a bit smaller than Ashka’s Flamestrike and a bit larger than Varesh’s Shatter — the 20 percent enlargement is both significant and potent.
Keep in mind that both of this battlerite’s aspects increase your energy gain. Larger radius? Hit more often, gain more energy. Shorter cooldown? Hit more often, gain more energy. And since Alysia relies on energy to survive, this is essentially must-pick.
Flash Freeze impact leaves a lingering snowstorm that deals 15 damage and inflicts Chill over 2.5s. The damage affects targets with Freeze directly.
Snowstorm is versatile and powerful. Now enemies don’t just have to worry about being Frozen, they have to worry about eating twice the damage. Follow up with an M2 and the target will have no choice but to back off and play more carefully, giving you an edge. It also improves Flash Freeze’s zoning power: cast it at a chokepoint to isolate enemies with the lingering effect, which could be enough time for your team to chunk down someone else.
Ice Block (EX-Q)
Ice Block is situational, mostly useful against heavy CC. It has a fast cast time, allowing you to dodge big incaps, silences, and petrifies without burning Arctic Wind. The next time Destiny tries to Charged Shot or Sirius tries to Lunar Strike, consider wrapping yourself in Ice Block to negate it entirely, then resume pressure. (Cancelcast to end Ice Block early.)
But it costs energy so don’t use it to evade small or moderate CCs, like Ezmo’s Shackle.
If you want to use Ice Block to mitigate damage, only use it when you’re injured. With the Crystalline Lattice battlerite, Glacial Prism can absorb almost the same amount of damage without requiring energy or keeping you locked in one spot. The only reason to use Ice Block would be for the healing, which is especially nice in 1v1 situations.
Snow Cone (EX-E)
A must-use ability against sticky melees, to the point where you should be spamming it. Combined with the Ice Breaker battlerite on M2, you can put out 24+31=55 damage with just two abilities (or 72 damage including the follow-up M1). That kind of pressure will make any melee back off. Just be sure to hold Snow Cone until they can’t interrupt you.
Ice Crown (R)
A very nifty ability that can be hard to use at first. It works like this: the Ice Crown is a destructible object that gets sent out like a projectile, it collides with projectiles and players, and explodes when it takes too much damage. Any projectile that collides gets destroyed, even if it’s piercing (e.g. Jade’s Snipe). Note that collisions can happen from the front or the two sides, making it an interesting tool for intercepting Snipes and such.
I mainly treat Ice Crown as a kind of ranged counter: throw it just as they’re about to fire off a big shot and it’ll negate the projectile, cause damage, and inflict Chill. Bonus if the shatter cone hits multiple targets.
If you throw it at a player, it knocks them back. Great for getting melees off of you, but risky because you can miss and waste that energy. If you’re going to do this, do it after they’ve burned all their outs or else they’ll just jump back on you. Then use the Ice Crown itself as a barrier, hiding behind it while you throw out M1s.
You can break your own Ice Crown with a single Frost Bolt, consuming the bolt in the process to launch the cone of icicles.
The usual argument against Vandalism is that it sacrifices Ice Crown’s defensive value, eliminating your ability to hide and throw M1s from behind it. But I’ve found that Ice Crown’s duration is too short to make much use of it in that way, barely long enough for 2 M1s.
Actually, I view Vandalism as a win-win.
Often you’ll throw out an Ice Crown to block a projectile that doesn’t do enough damage to shatter it (such as Thorn’s Entangling Roots or any of Lucie’s attacks). Vandalism allows you to wring additional value out of Ice Crown by completing the shatter, applying Chill, and boosting the damage of your following M1s.
If you do block a projectile big enough, then that’s fine. You may not get any Vandalism value on that particular Ice Crown, but the whole point of Vandalism is to get full value out of Ice Crown every time, so it’s not actually a bad thing.
It also allows you to punish champions with counters and d-barriers (but not reflects because Ice Crown gets reflected) because the shatter goer through. And when you’re trading at range, the distance of Ice Crown is the max range of M1 — you can throw it out and shatter it to extend your reach and hit enemies you normally can’t.
Frozen Gallery (F)
Easily one of the best ultimates in the game. Short cast time? Check. Huge area coverage? Check. Good damage? Check. Long duration disable? Check. Goes through walls? Check. What’s not to love about this ability? It’s an absolute game-changer.
But as strong as Frozen Gallery is, you still need to time it well. It has a slight delay before it activates, and it’s more than enough time for an enemy to escape using an out. Wait until their outs are blown before you cast it. If you can wait until they clump up, even better. Striking two enemies with a Frozen Gallery can swing everything in your favor.
There is an occasion where you want to whiff it: when both teams are in a stalemate and you want to create an opening to capitalize on. Throw out Frozen Gallery under as many enemies as you can to force them to blow their outs. This gives your team a cooldown advantage and hopefully you can now collapse on a vulnerable target.
Frozen Gallery inflicts Chill for 4s to all enemies in the area after cast and Freeze duration increases from 3s to 4s.
The 4-second Chill on this battlerite makes it a bit harder for targets to walk out of the area. The ability is already pretty easy to hit though, so it usually won’t make a difference except when trying to score three enemies at once. The Freeze duration increase is pretty nice though, turning it into the longest-duration disable in the game. Not a bad choice for premade teams, but generally useless in solo queue.
Increases movement speed by 10%.
Agility is normally a never-pick perk, but it helps to sidestep AOE attacks with only movement, which can be huge since it saves Alysia from blowing Arctic Wind. It also pairs nicely with the Figure Skating battlerite, allowing for more distance when running away.
Against ranged, the speed increase is noticeable enough to help when trading M1s, and if you throw a shield up as you’re about to tank an attack, the extra speed gives you an even bigger advantage when trading or chasing. Against melee, you can slightly outpace M1 spam and, with Figure Skating, you can actually get away quite far.
Increases your maximum energy by 25% and energy gained from abilities increases by 10%.
Extremely useful and can always be fit into a build. Inspiration helps Alysia get a fast ultimate, which is devastating and helps dictate the pace of the rest of a round. But it’s arguably more useful in that it enables her to spam Snow Cone against melees and Ice Crown against ranged and Ice Block against heavy disablers.
The boost to maximum energy won’t come into play much since you need your energy abilities to survive, but it does allow you to pull off an extra long CC chain with Snow Cone to Freeze then Frozen Gallery to Freeze again. Rare but fun, especially with Permafrost.
Alysia revolves around Chill, not Freeze. M1 should be your main source of damage and you should aim to put out sustained pressure on singular targets. With Glacial Prism, Ice Crown, and Snow Cone, she can be surprisingly good at trading. And since almost every ability applies Chill, her damage output can climb quickly and she has ways to chunk down health with the right attack sequence.
Stick to a target and try to make them eat as much Chill and Ice Lance damage as possible without putting yourself in danger. Ideally you’ll want to start with Flash Freeze or Ice Crown or Glacial Prism, then blast with M2 followed by M1s. If you see someone with a lot of black health, you might choose to open with M2 and just M1 to take advantage while you can.
People say Alysia isn’t a comboer, but here’s what she can do:
With the Ice Breaker battlerite, Snow Cone > M2 > M1 deals 66 damage for one bar of energy. Pretty useful against melees as long as they can’t interrupt the Snow Cone.
Another Ice Breaker combo is Flash Freeze > M2 > M1 for 63 damage, which is harder to lan but better against ranged targets. In this case, Ice Breaker is only there for the extra bonus damage. You can increase this to 78 damage if you have the Snowstorm battlerite.
If you have Ice Breaker and Vandalism, Ice Crown > M1 > M2 > M1 deals 68 damage. This one’s pretty good against melees since the knockback and Chill with Ice Crown keeps them off of you for a bit. You can replace the last M1 with a Flash Freeze to disable the target if you need to relieve pressure.
As a ranged champion with near-zero mobility, Alysia players need excellent movement, positioning, and zoning skills in order to survive against competent players. Stay at range, somewhere between the midline and backline. In 3v3, you should never be the most upfront player on your team unless forced, and even then you should be moving/playing in a way where you always end up close by your team. Stay by your healer.
You have to play as if you don’t have Arctic Wind and only use it when you’re absolutely going to eat a big spell. It’s you’re most valuable ability by a longshot and a single misplay can end with your death. No aggressive Arctic Winds. Ever.
If you want to Freeze someone, use either the M2 > Flash Freeze combo (if they’re far away) or Snow Cone (if they’re in your face). It’s obviously great for arresting pressure, but pretty costly in terms of cooldowns and energy so reserve for dire situations only.
With the Snowstorm battlerite, you can throw a Flash Freeze on the orb, hit with an M1, wait a bit, then clinch the last hit with another M1 or an M2. The timing on the last hit is crucial or else someone could come in and steal it.
That’s pretty much it. Alysia doesn’t have much else in the way of orb control except for maybe Ice Crown to push it away, but the distance is too short to warrant the energy cost.
- Ice Breaker (M2)
- Figure Skating (Q) or Cryogenic Lance (M2) or Piercing Cold (M2)
- Blizzard (E)
- Snowstorm (E)
- Inspiration (Perk) or Agility (Perk)
Alysia has some flexibility depending on who you’re up against, but I feel that this is her most consistent build. Blizzard dramatically increases the value of Flash Freeze, which then boosts the zoning power of the lingering Snowstorm. Ice Breaker is picked for the extra M2 damage, not so much for the breaking aspect (though it helps). Inspiration against melees so you can spam Snow Cone, Agility against ranged to aid in M1 trading and dodging. The last slot is basically a toss-up, open for whatever you like best.
- Vandalism (R)
- Ice Breaker (M2)
- Blizzard (E)
- Snowstorm (E)
- Figure Skating (Q) or Inspiration (Perk)
Vandalism builds are slightly more aggressive than usual, but can put out big damage. I’ve come to like this one the best, regularly using the Ice Crown > M1 > M2 > M1 combo with Ice Breaker to burst down unsuspecting targets. Blizzard and Snowstorm are too good to pass up in this aggressive playstyle. The last slot is flexible, Figure Skating and Inspiration just happen to be ones I personally use.
Alysia is a glass cannon in the truest sense of the term. She can pop off and ruin somebody’s day when played well, but can have her own day ruined in the blink of an eye if she misplays her Arctic Wind. As of this writing, she’s far too risky and there’s no good reason to pick her over other ranged champions who have just as much damage and CC, although she is admittedly fun to play.