Gwen Build Guides, Runes and Items

Gwen Build Guides, Runes and Items

6. January 2023 by Andrew Williams

Welcome to our guide on how to play Gwen, the doll brought to life by magic in the world of League of Legends. Gwen is a unique champion who wields the very tools that once created her, including her trusty scissors, needles, and sewing thread. Armed with the Hallowed Mist, an ancient and protective magic, Gwen is ready to take on any challenge that comes her way.

Despite being new to the world, Gwen is determined to fight for the good that survives in a broken world, carrying the weight of her maker’s love with every step she takes. If you’re ready to join Gwen on her journey and learn how to wield her powerful magic, read on for some tips and strategies on how to play this delightful champion to the best of your ability.

Pros and Cons

Every champion in League of Legends has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and Gwen is no exception. In this section, we’ll go over the pros and cons of playing Gwen, so you can have a better understanding of her capabilities and limitations on the battlefield. Understanding your champion’s strengths and weaknesses is an important part of learning how to play them effectively, so be sure to pay close attention as we go over the ins and outs of Gwen’s kit. With a solid understanding of what Gwen does well and where she may struggle, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this magical champion.


  • Strong Late Game Potential: Gwen has impressive power as the game progresses, especially once she has acquired Nashor’s Tooth and Riftmaker. These items allow her to deal massive damage, making it difficult for enemies to take her on in a 1v1 situation. Even fighting her with a group can be challenging if she’s given the chance to get ahead.
  • Strong Scaling AP and Attack Speed: Gwen’s E ability no longer requires Nashor’s Tooth to be effective, which is where Rageblade comes in. By following one of the recommended builds, you can easily take advantage of Gwen’s on-hit damage and impressive AP scaling, making it risky for enemies to fight you in lane or in teamfights. As her E increases attack speed and has a short cooldown later in the game, you’ll be able to attack quickly and frequently.
  • Versatility: Gwen can excel in various positions and playstyles. She can be a strong team player due to her healing and true damage from her Q ability, as well as the burst damage from her ultimate. She also scales well even if her last few items are adjusted. If you need a splitpusher, Gwen is the one to do it. The buff to her E ability allows you to get a decent cooldown reduction on E by hitting something after dashing, so when her E reaches level 2 or 3, you can easily use it to quickly destroy towers and surprise the enemy team.
  • Easy and Effective Build Path: Gwen’s build path for the first few items is straightforward, making it easy to remember. Additionally, her most expensive item, Riftmaker, is balanced out by the fact that she can complete her full build faster than some other champions, contributing to her strong scaling.
  • Strong Initiator: Whether she’s built as a tank or full AP, Gwen is a formidable frontliner who can turn fights in her favor due to her W ability, which forces ranged champions to get close to her to fight effectively. Her W also grants her additional armor and magic resistance, making her a force to be reckoned with overall.


  • Weak Early Game: While Gwen can outtrade some champions at level 1, she doesn’t have the strongest lane phase from levels 2 to 5. It’s possible to make it seem like her damage is formidable enough to be respected, but it’s important to play cautiously and get in some poking hits. At level 4, if you have a good matchup and the enemy is low enough, you can try for a kill if your jungler is nearby. Keep in mind that Gwen’s E ability has been nerfed and may not be as effective at level 1 as it is later in the game.
  • Risky Blind Pick: Choosing Gwen as a blind pick can be risky due to the number of champions who can counter her if the enemy team is aware of her strengths and weaknesses. If the enemy team picks a tank that counters Gwen, it may work in your favor depending on the tank. However, it’s generally not recommended to blind pick Gwen, so choose her at your own risk.
  • Lack of Crowd Control: One potential weakness of Gwen is that she doesn’t have any crowd control abilities in her kit. This means that she doesn’t have any abilities that can stun, slow, root, or knock up enemies, which can make it difficult to initiate fights or set up plays for her team. While Gwen does have some abilities that can disrupt enemies or protect her allies, she doesn’t have the same level of control over her opponents as some other champions do. This may require her to rely on other team members or items to provide crowd control in order to effectively engage or disengage in fights.


Gwen has a kit that allows her to adapt to different situations and playstyles. So if you’re ready to uncover the secrets of Gwen’s magic and learn how to wield it to your advantage, read on for a detailed breakdown of her abilities.

Passive: Thousand Cuts

Gwen PassiveGwen’s attacks deal extra magic damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum health. This extra damage is equal to 1% of the target’s max health plus an additional 0.8% for every 100 ability power Gwen has. When Gwen damages an enemy champion with this ability, she also recovers a portion of the damage dealt as health. The amount of health she recovers is equal to 50% of the damage dealt. This passive ability allows Gwen to deal extra damage and sustain herself in battle.

Q: Snip Snip!

GwenQGwen’s Q ability has two parts: a passive component and an active component.

Passive: Every time Gwen attacks an enemy, she gains 1 stack of a buff that lasts for 6 seconds (up to a maximum of 4 stacks).

Active: Gwen consumes all stacks of the buff and performs a series of quick snips with her scissors. The first snip deals magic damage to enemies in a small area, the second snip deals magic damage to enemies in a slightly larger area, and the third snip deals a large amount of magic damage to enemies in a larger area. The center of each snip deals true damage instead of magic damage, and also applies Gwen’s passive ability, Thousand Cuts, to enemies hit. When Gwen uses this ability on minions, it deals reduced damage to minions with more than 20% health, but deals 1000% damage to minions with less than 20% health. This ability allows Gwen to deal burst damage to enemies and clear minions quickly.

W: Hallowed Mist

GwenWGwen summons a protective mist that surrounds her, making her untargetable to all enemies (except towers) outside the mist for a set duration of time. While she is inside the mist, Gwen gains a boost to her armor and magic resist. Gwen can recast this ability once to move the mist to her current location. If Gwen tries to leave the mist, it will automatically recast to keep her within its protective confines. This ability allows Gwen to become temporarily untargetable and gain some extra defenses, making it useful for positioning and surviving in fights.

E: Skip ‘n Slash

GwenEGwen’s E ability allows her to dash forward and empower her attacks for a short period of time. While her attacks are empowered, she gains increased attack speed, on-hit magic damage, and attack range. The first attack that hits an enemy also refunds a percentage of this ability’s cooldown. This ability allows Gwen to close the distance between herself and her enemies, deal extra damage and attack more quickly, and potentially reset the cooldown of the ability if she lands the first hit. It can be useful for engaging or disengaging in fights, as well as for chasing or fleeing from enemies.

R: Needlework

GwenRGwen’s ultimate ability is a multi-part ability that allows her to throw needles at her enemies.


  • First Cast: Gwen throws a single needle that deals magic damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum health, slows the target for a short time, and applies Gwen’s passive ability, Thousand Cuts, to all enemies hit. After a brief delay, she can recast this ability up to two additional times.
  • Second Cast: Gwen throws three needles that deal magic damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum health.
  • Third Cast: Gwen throws five needles that deal magic damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum health.

This ability allows Gwen to deal burst damage and slow enemies, making it useful for finishing off enemies or disrupting their movements. The multi-part nature of this ability allows Gwen to choose the number of needles she throws based on the situation, potentially dealing more damage or covering a wider area depending on her needs.

Runes and Items

Gwen Runes 800x443 1

In this section, we’ll be discussing the optimal runes and items for Gwen in League of Legends. Choosing the right runes and building the right items can greatly enhance your champion’s capabilities and give you an edge in battle. By following these recommendations, you can maximize Gwen’s potential and tailor her build to your playstyle and the needs of your team. Whether you’re looking to play Gwen as a tank, a burst damage dealer, or something in between, we’ve got you covered with some tried and tested options that are sure to help you succeed on the rift.

Conquer with Conqueror

Conqueror is an excellent rune for Gwen because it grants her increased ability power and on-hit damage. When Gwen deals damage to enemy champions, she gains stacks of Conqueror, which provide her with bonus attack damage or ability power (adaptive) and a small amount of healing based on a percentage of the damage dealt. These stacks can stack up to 12 times, providing Gwen with a significant boost to her damage and sustain.

Conqueror is especially useful for Gwen in the early game, as it allows her to win almost every skirmish and dominate in lane. It also works well with Gwen’s passive ability, Thousand Cuts, which deals extra damage based on a percentage of the target’s maximum health, as well as her E ability, Skip ‘n Slash, which empowers her attacks with increased attack speed and on-hit magic damage. By using Conqueror, Gwen can deal more damage and sustain herself more easily in fights, making it a valuable choice for her overall playstyle.

Supporting Runes

For our next set of runes, we’ll be choosing Presence of Mind for extra mana and energy sustain, Last Stand to boost our damage against enemies, and Legend: Tenacity to reduce the duration of crowd control effects on us.


Presence of Mind is a useful rune for Gwen because it helps her sustain her mana and energy in the early and mid game. When Gwen scores a takedown against an enemy champion, she restores a percentage of her maximum mana or energy after a short delay, allowing her to continue using her abilities without running out of resources. In addition, when Gwen damages an enemy champion, she gains increased mana regeneration for a short period of time, allowing her to replenish her mana more quickly. This can be especially helpful for Gwen in the early game, when she may be more reliant on her abilities and may not have as much mana regeneration from items or other sources. By choosing Presence of Mind, Gwen can sustain her mana and energy more effectively, allowing her to use her abilities more frequently and make the most of her kit.

Legend: Tenacity is a good choice for Gwen because it helps her reduce the duration of crowd control effects. Crowd control effects, such as stuns, slows, or silences, can be very disruptive for Gwen and can make it difficult for her to use her abilities or escape from danger. By choosing Legend: Tenacity, Gwen can gain increased tenacity, which reduces the duration of crowd control effects on her. This can be especially useful in team fights, where Gwen may be targeted with multiple crowd control effects at once. By having Legend: Tenacity, Gwen can shrug off these effects more quickly and continue fighting or positioning herself effectively. Additionally, Legend: Tenacity also provides Gwen with Legend stacks for each champion takedown or epic monster takedown she scores, which can further increase her tenacity and make her even more resistant to crowd control.

Last Stand is a good choice for Gwen because it allows her to deal increased damage to enemy champions when she is at low health. Gwen’s playstyle often involves positioning herself aggressively in fights, which can sometimes put her at risk of taking damage. By choosing Last Stand, Gwen can gain increased damage as she takes more damage, which can make it easier for her to finish off enemies or secure kills. This can be especially useful in the late game, when Gwen may have more damage items and can take advantage of the increased damage from Last Stand to burst down enemies more effectively.

Secondary Runes

We will be going with Second Wind and Unflinching from the Resolve tree for our secondary runes.

Second Wind allows Gwen to regenerate health after taking damage from enemy champions, which can help her stay in lane longer or recover more quickly after taking damage in fights. This can be especially useful in the early game, when Gwen may not have as much health regeneration from items or other sources. Unflinching, on the other hand, grants Gwen increased slow resist and tenacity, which can help her mitigate the impact of crowd control effects and maintain her mobility in fights. Unflinching also combines with Legend: Tenacity and this grants us more tenacity.

How to play the early game as Gwen?

During the early game, Gwen can be somewhat vulnerable due to her long cooldowns and reliance on levels and items to increase her power. One way to play safely is to freeze the lane near your turret, which makes it harder for your opponent to harass or attack you and also helps you farm safely. If you find it difficult to freeze the lane, you can try farming inside your Hallowed Mist to reduce the amount of damage you take while farming. However, be aware that pushing up in the lane can increase your risk of getting ganked by the enemy jungler. To protect yourself, you can use your W to gain resistances and shield yourself from skillshots, or use your E to dash back towards your tower. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can also use your flash to create some distance and escape. Overall, the goal in the early game is to play safely, farm as much as possible, and try to avoid taking unnecessary damage.

How to play the mid/late game as Gwen?

In the mid and late game, Gwen becomes a formidable opponent who can be difficult to 1v1 and can also effectively shred towers. She is also able to defend herself well when needed. However, it’s important to note that Gwen can be vulnerable to heavy crowd control and may struggle against teams with a lot of CC.

One way to play Gwen in the mid and late game is to splitpush, which means pushing lanes on your own while your team focuses on other objectives or distracts the enemy team. This can be a powerful strategy because it can force the enemy team to split their attention between you and the rest of your team, or even allow you to take down a tower while your team is distracted. However, it’s important to communicate with your team and make sure that splitpushing is a viable strategy that won’t leave your team at a disadvantage.

The best time to splitpush is when objectives are down or it’s not possible to take them without risking a risky team fight, or when you know a team fight is about to break out and you can use your splitpushing to create a distraction. Overall, Gwen has good splitpushing potential and can take down enemies who are alone or not careful enough. Just be sure to communicate with your team and make sure your splitpushing isn’t jeopardizing their chances of success.

Teamfighting as Gwen

In teamfights, Gwen’s role is to focus on taking out the enemy team’s tanks so that they can’t absorb all of the damage for their team. This allows your team to take down the enemy’s squishier champions more easily. However, it’s important to be careful and aware of your surroundings, as there may be times where you can get overwhelmed if you’re not careful.

For example, let’s say the enemy team has a Nautilus as their main tank and a Jhin as their main damage dealer. As Gwen, you would want to focus on taking down Nautilus first, using your abilities to deal as much damage as possible and trying to get in range to apply your passive’s true damage. Once Nautilus is down, you can turn your attention to Jhin and try to take him out as well. Your ultimate can be particularly useful for this, as it deals true damage and slows the enemy, making it easier for your team to follow up and take them down. Just be sure to communicate with your team and make sure you’re focusing on the right targets at the right times.


Ah, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the matchups! In this section, we’ll take a look at how Gwen fares against some of the other champions in the league. Some may be a walk in the park, while others may require a little bit more strategy and finesse to come out on top. But no matter who you’re up against, Gwen is a force to be reckoned with, and with a little bit of skill and luck, you can emerge victorious in any matchup. So without further ado, let’s dive in and see how Gwen stacks up against the competition!

Difficult Opponents


kennenKennen is a difficult opponent for Gwen to face in the lane. His ranged attacks make it difficult for Gwen to farm as a melee champion, and he can easily run her down if she tries to retreat. Kennen’s stunning abilities also make it hard for Gwen to engage or escape from him. If Gwen tries to all-in on Kennen, he can use his ultimate to stop her in her tracks. To deal with Kennen in the lane, it’s best to freeze the wave near your turret.


jaxJax has extremely high burst potential at all stages of the game, especially in the early laning phase. If you see Jax charging up his E, be careful not to use your W unless you know he has no wards, as he can still place a ward and jump to it or jump to a nearby minion to stun you. If possible, try to avoid prolonged fights with Jax and instead focus on short trades. If you can avoid his stun and he hasn’t built up too much damage reduction, you have a good chance of winning the fight. Late game can be a bit trickier and depends on skill, but if Jax plays smart, his burst damage will help him survive against you.


aatroxAatrox can be a difficult opponent for Gwen, especially in the early game. His Q knockup zones can be difficult to avoid, giving him plenty of lifesteal opportunities. To counter this, it’s a good idea to get Grievous Wounds early on and take Ignite as a summoner spell. When he uses his W or E, try to walk to the side of the ability to avoid it, as the width of the ability is quite narrow. If Aatrox uses his ultimate, try to ignite him if you have the burst power to do so. Late game, Gwen has a better chance against Aatrox, especially if she has built up her damage and has some tenacity to reduce the duration of his stuns.

Easy Opponents


Gwen has an advantage against Irelia in lane due to her ability to dodge Irelia’s E (which is her main gap closer) with her own E (Skip ‘n Slash). This allows Gwen to close the gap between them and get in range to use her Q (Snip Snip!) for some true damage. Gwen’s Q is especially effective against Irelia during her W (Defiant Dance) as Irelia is unable to block the true damage portion of Gwen’s Q.

Additionally, Gwen’s ignite is very effective against Irelia as it cuts a lot of her healing from her passive (Ionian Fervor) and her W. This can help Gwen to effectively trade with Irelia and come out on top.


While Yasuo can be a difficult champion to play against in general, Gwen actually has a decent matchup against him. If he uses his windwall to block your Q, you can still use your E to dash in and auto attack him for the true damage from your passive. Additionally, your W can help you avoid his dash, allowing you to safely farm and get your damage in. Just be careful of his burst potential and try to avoid fighting him when he has his ultimate available and you will be good.


Gwen has a few key combos that can be used to take down enemies in lane or in team fights. Mastering these combos will greatly improve your effectiveness with Gwen, so make sure to practice them in your games. Here are a few of the most important combos to know when playing Gwen.

Burst Combo

To execute the combo, start by auto attacking your target. Then, use your E ability, Skip ‘n Slash, to dash towards your target and empower your attacks. Next, use your W ability, Hallowed Mist, to become untargetable and gain armor and magic resist. While in the mist, continue auto attacking your target until you have used your Q ability, Snip Snip! Consume any stacks of Snip Snip! to deal additional magic damage to your target, then finish off the combo with a few more auto attacks. This combo is designed to burst down your target quickly, taking advantage of Gwen’s empowered attacks and true damage from Snip Snip! to deal a significant amount of damage in a short period of time.

Needlework Dash

To initiate the combo start by firing a single needle at the enemy champion. Then, immediately after, use Skip ‘n Slash to dash towards the enemy and start attacking them with basic attacks. Once you’ve landed a few basic attacks, recast Needlework to fire a second round of needles, then continue attacking with basic attacks. Finally, use your Flash to close the distance and land a final round of needles with your ultimate. This combo is great for dealing a lot of damage in a short amount of time and finishing off an enemy champion.


In conclusion, Gwen is a formidable and terrifying force to be reckoned with on the Rift. With her passive Thousand Cuts and her impressive array of abilities, she is capable of taking down even the toughest tanks and dispatching her enemies with ease. While she may struggle in the early game, with the right runes and a bit of patience, Gwen can dominate the battlefield and emerge victorious. So if you’re feeling brave and want to embrace your inner haunt, give Gwen a try and see if you have what it takes to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. Happy haunting!