League of Legends Gwen guide: abilities, runes, builds, tips & tricks
Gwen has arrived in League of Legends Season 11. Get to know the snippy top laner with the best runes, builds, tips & tricks to master her before you even take her to solo queue — here’s how to master the Hallowed Seamstress.
Gwen is a pretty straight-forward top (or mid) laner with a low skill floor and a high skill cap. She’s pretty easy to pick up and learn, but real Gwen masters will be able to take over a game 1v9.
Thankfully, if you’re looking for a launch pad to start learning the champion, we’ve got you covered right here. With all the combos, runes, builds, and more you need to know, be sure to take this Gwen guide to heart before you jump into League of Legends for some easy wins.
LoL Gwen abilities
Passive: Thousand Cuts
Gwen’s basic attacks deal bonus on-hit magic damage based on a percentage of her enemies’ maximum health. Basic attacks against champions will heal her for some of the damage dealt.
Q: Snip Snip!
Gwen rapidly snips her scissors between two and six times, dealing magic damage in a cone. At a minimum, Gwen will snip twice, adding one snip per basic attack Gwen has landed on an enemy (up to four, for a total of six).
Enemies in the center take true damage, as well as bonus magic damage from Thousand Cuts.
W: Hallowed Mist
Gwen spins up the Hallowed Mist to surround her for five seconds, gaining some armor and magic resist when inside. Enemies outside the Mist cannot target Gwen or hit her with any abilities. The mist will move to follow Gwen the first time she tries to leave it, but will dissipate the second time.
E: Skip ‘n Slash
Gwen dashes a short distance and empowers her attacks with increased range, speed, and on-hit magic damage for four seconds. Attacking an enemy during this time refunds 50% of this ability’s cooldown.
Gwen can cast Needlework up to three times, but needs to hit an enemy within 8 seconds to unlock each subsequent cast. Each cast fires needles in a line that deal magic damage, slow enemies, and apply Gwen’s Thousand Cuts bonus magic damage.
The first cast will fire one needle, the second will fire three, and the final cast will fire five, for a total of nine needles and nine applications of Thousand Cuts to enemies hit.
LoL Gwen runes
Like most top lane duelists, Gwen excels with Conqueror. The Precision rune is basically a must-run on Gwen. She can get it stacked up quickly, and in trades, the healing off of her Q damage and her passive is oppressive.
The rest of the Precision tree is super good on her as well. Presence of Mind solves a lot of Gwen’s mana problems, while Legend: Alacrity and Coup de Grace have been staple picks for top laners for years.
If you’re going for a bit more of an assassination build, you can get away with Electrocute, but Gwen’s kit doesn’t really let that succeed.
The other option is Phase Rush if you want to dash in and out of a fight, which also opens up more tools in Sorcery. However, they’re both sub-par compared to Conqueror.
LoL Gwen builds
Gwen actually has a few Mythic paths she can go down. Everfrost is probably the most versatile and powerful. Without CC, Gwen does struggle with sticking power, so having Everfrost to lock an enemy in place and chase them down is very handy. It can also secure true damage with your Q.
This, combined with Nashor’s Tooth, Zhonya’s Hourglass, and Cosmic Drive has the perfect combination of utility and damage.
Need a bit more utility? Take Banshee’s Veil. Need more damage? Lich Bane isn’t bad, and neither is Rabadon’s Deathcap or Void Staff.
However, you can take a few different Mythics and find success. Riftmaker has great in-built sustain, although lacks a bit of utility and losing out on mana hurts. You can even choose — if you want — to go tank Gwen with Frostfire Gauntlet (not 100% advised, but if you’re limit testing, try it out). She’s surprisingly flexible.
How to play Gwen in League of Legends
There’s a pretty basic principle to Gwen that Irelia players will be familiar with: Always try and maintain four stacks on your Q passive as much as possible. This is basically the crux of her kit, and maintaining it will win you almost every trade.
The reason this is the case is that it’ll maximize your Q DPS. Hitting six times compared to two is a huge increase in DPS. Partner that with the increased range and damage on his from her E, and that’s Gwen’s very basic trading combo.
So, to keep it up, you want to be weaving auto attacks as much as possible. If you’re not looking for a trade, don’t keep the passive stacked up on minions because you’ll shove your wave into bad positions.
However, at level 1, maintaining four stacks for a quick level 2 trade on rank up with E can win you lane (much like the Irelia five-stack engage with Q and E).
In team fights, Gwen doesn’t necessarily have the tools to assassinate backline carries like other duelists. However, she has one very powerful tool to ignore them, and that’s her W.
Her W acts as a shield while she shreds up tanks with her true damage and infinite healing. The enemy carries then need to decide to step up into the shroud — closer to Gwen’s team and danger — or run and leave their frontline for dead. Playing around her W is a must.
Then, when it comes to her ultimate, it’s not key to hit the first or second one. However, hitting the third one is a must if you want to commit to a fight.
You should be able to weave it in between auto attacks to really maximise her damage. As long as you’re trading and making use of Gwen’s passive, you’re winning.
Gwen drops on April 15 on League of Legends patch 11.8.