Edited By: Kolby
[DISCLAIMER: This guide mainly applies to Bound Siege, though naturally, it does affect other modes quite a bit]
“Do you want to play Cassie, but lack the crucial aiming ability? Do you like Lex’s RMB, but prefer long-range strategic champions? Or are you simply getting started with damage dealers in general? And most importantly, do you like stealing kills from your friends?
Okay so Lian got me back into Paladins, months ago. I had lacked a solid damage dealer choice for ages, and was mostly confined to Frontlines and Supports. I think it’s high time I write down the stuffs that I’ve learned about her, before the removal of Cards Unbound forces me to relearn for a bit – particularly in the Loadout section. This way, it would be easier to compare CU Lian and post-CU Lian, I think.
A note before we start, however:
“Lian? A guide? What for? I mean you just have to press F and RMB–“
Okay, the title does imply it to some extent, but just in case —
No. Keep this mindset away, at least for the duration of the read. It’s unproductive, and this kind of mindset tends to result in a subpar Lian performance since you wouldn’t really try to aim.
Anyhow, without further ado, let us start with the basics.
Heirloom Rifle (Direct Damage)
“A rifle that has been passed down through your noble house for ages. Deals 400 damage every 0.45s at medium range.”
With almost 900 DPS, this weapon will be your primary source of single-target damage for the most part, so it is extremely important to have at least a decent aim with it – after all, your auto-aims can’t kill opponents by themselves, and your overall impact will be lacking without decent aim. To put it into perspective, you need approximately five hits to kill a 2000 HP Flank, while they can rather easily 2 or 3 shot you. Of course, your F and RMB buttons mitigate this by quite a bit, but you can’t always count on them to be available.
Valor (Direct Damage)
A highly useful skill, you would be using this alongside Grace to ensure kills on low-health targets. With proper Loadouts, however, you will be using this to reduce Grace’s cooldown. This skill (alongside Grace with the Alacrity Talent) is the main reason that positioning is so important on Lian – you want to hit as many enemies as possible, while making sure that you can notice incoming flanks easily.
Presence (Area Damage)
|It stacks with multiple enemies
|Long range shot
Outside of her ultimate, this is her highest-damage skill, and IT HAS NO FALLOFF. This means that you can exact a full 800 damage at any range, which is highly important when you are forced to position yourself at range. With the Eminence Talent, you are able to play Lian as a pseudo-sniper thanks to the damage increase (though there are only few situations where this is desired).
Grace (Direct Damage)
This is the elephant in the room, Lian’s most controversial skill. While it may not seem like much at first glance, the big thing about Grace is its low cooldown, which, when combined with her Talents, form the backbone of her kit.
|You gon down Androxus!!
“Channel the power of your noble blood to gain damage and CC immunity for 1s then fire a powerful blast that passes through enemies and deals 1600 damage. Killing an enemy with Enlightenment will refund 50% of your ultimate charge.”
This ultimate will be mostly used to secure 1v1 duels, as with this in mind, you only need to hit a couple of shots on most non-Frontline champions to bring them into killing range. While this ultimate has no range falloff, the long wind-up time means that it can be easily avoided at long range. The best thing about this ultimate is that you can quite literally ignore everything else when using it – imagine killing an Androxus during his ult. The charge refund allows you to use it rather consistently. Do remember, however – shields can block this ult, meaning that you should be careful when using it on a Frontline.
Lian is a precision-type champion (no pun intended), and her kit is designed around the word versatility. She can play just about any role related to damage-dealing – medium-range damage, long-range damage, and she can even be a semi-flank to some extent. In exchange, she has lower DPS compared to most other damage dealers and has limited AoE capabilities, but still, she is able to be a nuisance even at range, and in her case, she also comes with the ability to easily pick off weakened enemies (*cough* yes that’s the auto-aims over there *cough*). As all of Lian’s skills count as weapon attacks, she is also your go-to Cauterize slave, though you can pick Wrecker on her if needed.
– Long range
– Reliable ultimate
– Ability to ensure kills
– Decent-good mobility (depending on your Loadout)
– Easy to kill (without her ultimate)
– Lacks major burst damage
– Long reload animation
– No CC
Talents, Legendary and Loadout Builds
Lian is one of the champions whose playstyle is mainly decided by her Talent choice. There are four Talent choices for Lian:
With Alacrity, Lian’s focus will be to deal damage/apply Cauterize as much as possible to the enemy team with her F and RMB combo. As such, it is usually best to choose this Talent in wider maps, or those with exposed objective points (such as Serpent Beach or Jaguar Falls). The downside to this Talent is that it doesn’t increase her single-target bursting ability, which can translate to a lot of ‘wasted’ irrelevant damage on low-priority targets. Also, since your attention will be glued to the point and you need to expose yourself to a lot of enemies to make the most of your AoE auto-aims, you will be more susceptible to flanks.
The most flexible of Lian’s Talents, Precision increases her DPS to almost 950, and the lack of need to reload means that you will be that much better in 1v1 combat. However, it loses out against Alacrity in both damage potential and team-wide Cauterize application, which means that your impact may not be enough in situations where huge damage is preferred to versatility (e.g. intense point fights). In this case, always make sure to ignore the large HP champions and go for highest-priority targets (i.e. supports). This is also the best Legendary choice for a Wrecker Lian, assuming you have other, reliable Cauterize applicators on the team.
[IMPORTANT: You would need to ‘aim’ Grace to some extent with any non-Alacrity Talent. Grace automatically hits the champion closest to your crosshair – meaning sliding directly towards/away a champion allows you to pinpoint your hit.]
Though you will be rarely taking this Talent, it is recommended to have a separate Loadout for this one – just in case. Eminence allows Lian to be played as a pseudo-sniper due to Presence’s lack of ranged falloff. This allows Lian to compete better with champions such as Cassie and Grover in long-range fights (you may even be able to take a surprise kill or two on the actual snipers, since not many people are used to fighting this Legendary). However, due to Presence’s long cooldown, the use of this Talent means that your Q has to be accurate. Your positioning is also that much more crucial since your Loadout will, in one way or another, have less mobility than Grace-oriented Loadouts.
Death and Taxes
|This loadout goes well with Death and Taxes
After the removal of Cards Unbound, Death and Taxes now give you a Cauterize 3 off the bat, which is really significant; however, you lose out on the additional versatility provided by Alacrity and Precision. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t be taking this Talent assuming roughly equal team compositions and skill level, but there WILL be occasions where you have to take it. For instance:
You need BOTH Cauterize and Wrecker on your person (e.g. your team has 2 flanks who are unlikely to go near the point often, and you are going against Makoa + Fernando + Seris).
You risk getting steamrolled in the first round due to overwhelming heals on the other side (e.g. going against double supports).
As can be seen, both scenarios require that your teammates are incapable of providing vital pressures on the opponent. This may be caused by lack of skill – or simply bad match-ups – but either way, if you ever need to take this Talent, you’re likely in a bad position to begin with.
Types of Cards
Bloodline: Heal for 100 Health after using Grace.
This will be your main source of sustain due to Grace’s spammability. Pretty important in Loadouts revolving around Grace, especially for less experienced Lians.
Divine Right: Gain 20% Movement Speed for 2s after using Grace.
Allows you to use Grace to escape easier. Similar impact with Manifest Destiny, though Divine Right is better at helping you fall back.
Eagle’s Emerald: Headshots reduce the Cooldown of Valor by 2s.
A big nope, unless you have the aim of a god.
Heir to the Throne: Move 20% faster during Grace.
While it does allow you to nope out faster and more reliably from things like Jenos’ ultimate, it is pretty situational and thus not recommended.
Heraldry: Hitting an enemy with Presence reduces its cooldown by 3s.
Reducing Presence’s high cooldown by a whooping 20% of its original, this card is essential for Eminence Loadouts, and is still a good choice in any other Loadout – provided you have learned to aim Presence reliably.
Highborn: Gain 10% Movement Speed.
Allows you to reposition and fall back much faster. A must-take in any Loadout.
Inheritance: Eliminations reduce all cooldowns by 20%.
Again, a must-take in any Loadout. Thanks to your auto-aims, you will be getting tons of eliminations.
Manifest Destiny: Increase the dash distance of Grace by 10 units.
An alternative to Divine Right, it is worse in terms of falling back, but it allows you to get into cover faster and with less exposure.
Noble Crest: Gain 100 Health.
Due to her low 2000 base HP, this card is recommended for any Lian who wants to go into the thick of the battle.
Present Arms: Heal for 150 health after using Presence.
Presence has a base cooldown of 15s. Nope.
Revitalizing Gem: Heal for 60 for every enemy hit with Valor.
Valor’s cooldown is significantly longer than Grace. While this may heal her for more than Bloodline, if Valor hits several targets, it is highly more situational – requiring you to be exposed to enemies in order to hit them.
Royal Seal: Presence reduces healing by 50% for 2s.
In Eminence Loadouts, this card may be useful in the initial phases of a fight. However, it is outclassed by Cauterize.
Shining Topaz: Valor reveals enemies for 2s.
Only take this if you have an unhealthy obsession with Strix or Sha Lin. Not recommended.
Signet Ring: Gain 20% Movement Speed for 3s when using Presence.
Again, Presence has a base cooldown of 15s. Take Divine Right or Manifest Destiny instead.
Superiority: You cannot be slowed below 65% of your base Movement Speed.
Useless for the most part, not recommended even though you can technically use this against slow-heavy teams (e.g. Mal’Damba with Ripened Gourd AND Inara with Treacherous Grounds in the same team).
Swift Jade: Reduce the Cooldown of Grace by 1s for every enemy hit with Valor.
This is the single most important card to have in any Lian’s Loadout. It allows you to spam your F button for more burst damage (Alacrity), or for way easier reloads (Precision), and gives you extra combat mobility in general.
As mentioned above, this guide is still a WIP. Naturally, feedbacks and suggestions are welcomed! Also, I will update it further when CU is gone (yay).
|Lian Items when your running other legendary.
|Items when your running Death and Taxes