Gwen hit the rift on patch 11.8 but hasn’t had much success, even for a newly released champion. She maintains a 42.72% win rate in Platinum+ Elo across all servers despite a hotfix buffing her Q ability, ‘Snip Snip!’. Some players and pros are citing the lack of AP bruiser items, her shoddy itemization, or her kit just being underwhelming as the reason for her performance thus far.
However, while she may be a little underwhelming now, it doesn’t mean she’s weak by any means. With a strong early game, good dive potential, a flexible mythic item choice, and good scaling into the late game, this guide will help players understand and bring the Hallowed Seamstress to victory.
Runes and Starting Items
For runes, Gwen usually can utilize Conqueror, Press The Attack (PTA), Fleet Footwork, or Grasp of the Undying as her keystones, depending on the matchup.
In general, Gwen wants to go Conqueror, as she can easily stack it in extended trades. Against squishier teams or those looking to nab an early kill, PTA can take unaware enemies by surprise, being able to proc it with an Auto → E → Auto → Auto very quickly. She does lose out on extended trades with PTA, though.
Fleet Footwork helps Gwen sustain in the lane against ranged bullies such as Quinn, Vayne, or Jayce. She won’t be able to get PTA or stack Conqueror enough against these champions, so she might as well farm it up and sustain it in the lane.
Lastly, Grasp of the Undying can work against melee bullies like Aatrox, giving her some tankiness throughout the game.
As Gwen, you have a lot of kill pressure in a lane, especially early, so Ignite isn’t a bad option. For players feeling confident, they can opt to go Ignite and Teleport, which is seen on other snowball-y champions such as Jax, Camille, Akali, or Ekko. These champions often have enough mobility to make up for the lack of Flash, and while Gwen’s mobility isn’t as strong as the champions listed above, it can still work in her favor.
For starting items, Gwen has a few options. Doran’s Blade, Shield, and Ring all work well on her, as does Corruption Potion with Time Warp Tonic, all depending on the matchup.
Gwen can serve as a strong early game bully, going toe-to-toe or even out-trading champs in the top and mid, such as Yasuo, Yone, Renekton, Irelia, Wukong, and even Darius at level 1. The reason for this is her E, ‘Skip ‘n Slash’.
Gaining 100 bonus attack range, 40% attack speed, refunding 50% of its cooldown upon first auto-attack, and dealing bonus on-hit damage, this is one of the strongest abilities in the game at level one. It enables Gwen to proc Conqueror or Press The Attack quickly and trim her opponents down to size.
Starting at level one, look to start trading with your opponents whenever possible. As soon as the enemy closes in to hit a minion, auto-attack them first, then use E to reset your auto-attack. The E serves as an auto-attack reset and lets you close the gap if the enemy tries to disengage. From there, with the increased attack range and attack speed, you should have no problem chunking your opponent down.
With the refunded cooldown, you can look to keep doing it again and again, wearing down your opponent before either of you even hit level 2.
Keep in mind that against some matchups, this strategy doesn’t work. Such champs include Jax due to his ‘Counter Strike’ or Quinn with her ‘Vault’.
Due to minion aggression, the wave will likely end up pushing towards the enemy, so watch out for level 3 ganks.
Once you get your Q, you can start really punishing the enemy for minions. You want to try to be constantly fighting and trading as the Hallowed Seamstress, as your kit has built-in sustain, but only if you damage enemy champions due to her passive ‘Thousand Cuts’.
Stack up the Q on minions, then Q, then E towards the enemy. You can cast both of them at the same time and dash forward the instant you use ‘Snip Snip!’.
Once Gwen hits level 6, she has very strong all-in potential with her ultimate. Make sure you engage with your ultimate first, as it applies a slow.
Your skill max path should be Q → E → W generally, but against some matchups, you may opt to max E instead for the lower cooldown and higher attack speed steroid. An E max would be beneficial against opponents whom you can’t land ‘Snip Snip!’ reliably on, such as Quinn.
Don’t be afraid to use her W in trades as well, it gives her substantial armor and magic resistance and can stop enemy abilities in their tracks. An example would be to W after Quinn uses her E on you. This stops her from getting her empowered auto-attack on you unless she walks in the mist, in which case you can jump on her and fight on your terms.
Gwen has a few options for her mythic item. Some pro players are going Everfrost as she has some trouble sticking on opponents, while some Korean Challenger players are opting for Protobelt instead. Riftmaker also remains a good option.
Frostfire Gauntlet is also an interesting option that gives Gwen some much-needed slows to stick on her opponents, all the while giving her tankiness. While she has impressive scaling, she also has a lot of base damage to make up for a Frostfire rush.
Whatever mythic you end up building first, you usually want to rush a Nashor’s Tooth next, as the item synergizes extremely well with her kit. Rushing it first can be viable, but a Nashor’s rush is fairly underwhelming due to the weird components.
Magic penetration is also not needed on Gwen, as her Q does true damage in the center, which is usually more than enough to shred through tanks and bruisers.
Demonic Embrace, Lich Bane, Cosmic Drive, and Zhonya’s Hourglass are all good options for her.
As for her boots, Ionian Boots of Lucidity is too hard to give up given how well she utilizes ability haste. Plated Steelcaps or Mercury Treads also work just well on her against AD heavy or CC heavy team comps respectively.
Gwen functions as a strong duelist and a split pusher in the mid-game, utilizing her fully stacked Q to clear waves and auto-attack resetting with her E on towers. She has decent disengage as well due to her W ability ‘Hallowed Mist’ and her E.
In team fights, depending on the build, her job is to either shred enemy tanks down with her true damage Q or dive the backline with her ultimate and E.
Also, look for objectives depending on which side lane you’re pushing. She is able to take both Dragon and Rift Herald fairly quickly and efficiently due to her attack speed steroid and true damage Q.
Her most important ability while alone is her W, ‘Hallowed Mist’. It shuts down a lot of collapses and champions who would otherwise kill a lone split pusher. Blocking Twisted Fate’s gold card after he teleports in, blocking Amumu’s long-range Q, the list goes on and on.
Gwen has extremely strong scaling and AP ratios come late game while also naturally having a lot of armor and HP. She sports one of the highest base armor stats in the game, and due to her build path usually including a Demonic Embrace, she usually has around 3000 HP.
Her job remains mostly the same late game, but only stronger. She shreds towers and waves as a split pusher, snips tanks down, and can dive the backline depending on the team comp.
While not as weak as people claim she is, she also has some clear weaknesses.
As previously mentioned, she has trouble sticking to her opponents due to lacking any CC in her kit. She also outright loses to other split pushers and bruisers at certain times in the game. Gwen has little options against champions like Jax or Tryndamere, and although able to bully champions like Garen in a lane, she is unable to keep up the pressure against some juggernauts as the game goes on.
She also lacks outright burst damage, which can make diving the backline hard and risky. While she is able to shred tanks with her true damage Q, it isn’t too hard to just walk out of the center of the ability.
She also isn’t the best in 1v2 or 1v3s; while there is potential with her ult and Q being technically AoE, she’s too easily kited and CC’d to death while outnumbered.
Despite these weaknesses, however, Gwen has a lot of potential and a very high skill ceiling for one tricks.