League of Legends has yet another champion prepped for launch, hot on the heels of Aphelios’s release – a pace of content release we haven't seen since before the LCS was founded!
Luckily, Sett is nowhere near as complicated as Aphelios. In fact, the hard-knuckled bruiser is a throwback to old-school design: easy to understand, easy to pick up, and easy to have a brawling good time with.
Here’s how to squeeze out every ounce of hurt from his knuckles.
Sett’s abilities are pretty straightforward (like his personality).
You punch things, and then – this is important – you keep punching them. In fact, punching things only once is downright wasteful, thanks to how his passive works! Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Passive – Pit Grit: Sett’s auto-attacks alternate between left and right hand punches. The right hand gets extra range, and bonus physical damage too. He also gains extra health regeneration based on his missing health.
- Q – Knuckle Down: Sett moves faster towards enemy champions, and his next two basic attacks deal (even more) bonus physical damage based on the enemy’s maximum health. It also resets his basic attack timer.
- W – Haymaker: Sett passively stores damage taken as Grit. Once activated Haymaker blasts a large cone in front of him with physical damage, dealing true damage to anybody caught in the center, scaling with the Grit he’s accumulated. He then gains a shield equal to the Grit expended.
- E – Facebreaker: Sett pulls in enemies behind and in front of him, slowing them. If he successfully caught an enemy on each side, all enemies are stunned instead.
- R – The Show Stopper: Sett does a flying tackle at an enemy, suppressing them, and slamming them down to deal AOE damage at the point of impact, then slowing them by 99%.
In short, while Sett is more than ready to leap right into a fight, he’s going to struggle a bit to get out of one without Flash.
Of course, the whole point is to force your opponent to Flash instead – given Haymaker’s reversal potential, trading blows with Sett is a losing proposition in most cases.
Sett’s closest analogue would actually be Darius – not necessarily in terms of specific abilities, but for what players will want to do on both ends of the matchup. Like with Darius, he necessarily struggles into ranged matchups, requiring patience and waveclear-farming to get past the laning phase.
But also like with Darius, his raw burst power is not to be underestimated, even before level six: getting caught in Facebreaker’s range while Sett’s Flash is still up can easily end with a quick death, just as it is with Darius’s hook.
Of course, if ranged top laners are a problem, you can always just put him in the jungle, where Pit Grit, Knuckle Down, and Haymaker should make for fast and efficient jungle clears.
Of course, even Sett can’t just wade into a fight without weapons on hand, especially later on in the game.
What to build on him, however, has to factor in two issues: one, that his explosive damage potential puts him right in the middle of everybody’s crosshairs, and two, that his job involves sticking to a key target of opportunity for the entire duration of a fight, meaning he needs to actually keep them in range.
Luckily, there’s quite a few options to make his job easier. Here’s what will likely end up being his core item set:
- Mercury’s Treads
- Frozen Mallet
- Titanic Hydra
- Black Cleaver
Tenacity and on-hit slows are complementary, thus Mercury’s Treads and Frozen Mallet. Naturally, they also both make him tankier.
Titanic Hydra as his main source of damage is a little more nuanced – while the item’s damage values are solid, and the AOE cleave great when wading into a fight with Sett’s ultimate, the real juice is in the 100% bonus base health regeneration, which complements his passive’s regeneration bonuses to keep him going for longer.
There’s a lot of temptation to slap a Sheen on him and go for broke on autoattack-centric burst too, and doing so isn’t without merit. However, while Trinity Force is an acceptable endgame item for him, Iceborn Gauntlet is definitely inferior as a way to slow down targets.
The two Sapphire Crystals used to build into it are a massive waste on Sett, whose manaless playstyle would be much happier with even just raw HP.
That doesn’t mean giving up on the Phage that’d otherwise go into Trinity Force, though. Instead, maxing it out into a Black Cleaver gives him stacking anti-armor debuffs too.
Of course, once he has his item core, there’s the matter of surviving late-game fights against mages, AD carries, and all sorts of other obstacles. And here’s where this gets complicated, as there are some non-intuitive interactions with Grit and defensive stats.
Making full use of Haymaker means that you actually do want Sett to bleed a little, but Grit only stacks after armor and magic resistance’s mitigated the damage he’s taken – so that its full power might not be immediately available in a fight.
That means he might actually want triggered shields and lifesteal more than he wants heavy armor or Negatron Cloaks. This is what Sett should consider building:
- Sterak’s Gage
- Maw of Malmortius
- Death’s Dance
The first two are shield-deploying defenses, letting Sett weather burst attacks that would otherwise instantly KO him. Death’s Dance is similar, instantly healing damage done and letting it drain away slowly instead of all at once. All three options means having full access to Haymaker even at the opening of a fight.
Of course, you only really need one of the three, depending on how the game’s playing out.
By end-game, everybody’s armor and magic penetration items will make you want “actual” defensive items anyhow, whether it be a Guardian’s Angel or otherwise.
Finally, consider Thornmail. While its hard armor doesn’t necessarily play nicely with Haymaker and Grit, the reflected damage and Grievous Wounds makes it much easier to survive into anti-tank teams or champions boasting a lot of Lifesteal.
While Runes, in particular, are subject to major revisions by the end of the pre-season, there are definitely optimal build paths to consider for Seth. Here are two builds that should prove functional:
- Legend: Tenacity
- Last Stand
- Shield Bash
- Second Wind
- Grasp of the Undying
- Shield Bash
- Second Wind
- Legend: Tenacity
- Last Stand
Conqueror is currently an overloaded keystone rune, granting both significant offensive power and healing – over 15% for melee champions like Sett.
Secondary runes like Shield Bash and Last Stand are also complementary to Sett’s bruiser playstyle, making Haymaker’s shield tougher to wear down while making him punch harder at low health.
But the most important stat here is probably the heaping servings of Tenacity.
The more crowd control that Sett can shrug off, the deadlier he is to the enemy team. Maximizing his resilience in the face of stuns, slows, and other annoyances makes for a bad day for everybody that isn’t The Boss.
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