A quick disclaimer: I’ve only analysed a single full Unsealed Spellbook Sivir game: SKT vs ROX, with Sivir played by Bang.
I am by no means the first person to write about this subject.
However, the writeups I’ve seen fail to adequately explain why you specifically use this setup on Sivir, not other champions that may at a glance also meet the criteria for this build according to those articles.
Taken together, these posts say that this works on Sivir because:
- Sivir has good pushing
- Mostly as a consequence of her pushing ability, Sivir’s generally safe in lane
- The meta is somewhat slow
These points aren’t wrong (they’re very much correct), but they’re missing a crucial piece of the puzzle. It’d be like assembling all the ingredients for a pizza and then leaving it uncooked – you’ve got enough there to still call it “a pizza”, but the last step is needed before anyone’s actually going to eat it.
That last step? Sivir’s team fighting.
Feed the Jackals
There’s a reason that western casters so often use the term “6 item win condition” when talking about Sivir – she’s one of the strongest AD carries for team fights once she’s at 3-6 completed items. Wards may save lives, but crit ricochets take them.
- Sivir doesn’t have the constant dashing of Lucian and Vayne, but her ult provides mobility to not only herself, but her entire team.
- She doesn’t have the single target damage of Kog’Maw, but can nonetheless match his total damage contribution thanks to crit-ricochets.
- While she doesn’t have the range of Caitlyn, her ability to damage the enemy backline is arguably better than the Sheriff’s despite that fact because of those same crit-ricochets.
To return briefly to the list at the start:
- A slow meta favors any champion with good scaling, which in turn means basically all ADCs. This in itself might comprise an argument in favor of Unsealed Spellbook more generally, but doesn’t specifically address the “why Sivir?” part of the equation.
- Sivir is not the only bot laner that offers good pushing with a fairly safe lane, yet nobody’s writing about why this setup should be taken when playing a Caitlyn + Karma lane.1
One other important part of Sivir’s kit in this strat is her Spell Shield (E). Someone who has either Spellshield or Flash is difficult to catch out. Since Everything is Roughly Balanced, every tool over the baseline is significantly more powerful than just the baseline. Sivir having both Spell Shield and Flash makes her many times more difficult to focus out in a fight.
Unsealed Spellbook’s less dramatic (but just as powerful) effect is reducing the cooldown of summoner spells by 25%. Windows for team fights are not permanent, and do not always exist. At the end of most team fights, there’s a period of varying length where both teams need time to recover before they’ll want to brawl again (e.g. death timers, farm, buying items, waiting on ultimates). That actually means that 25% more uptime on Sivir’s summoner spells translates to more than a 25% increase in survivability if summoner spells are the difference between living and dying.
- Flash with no buffs has a 300 second cooldown.
- Flash with Unsealed Spellbook has a 225 second cooldown.
If you imagine that every team fight has roughly a 100 second “cooldown” at the end of each fight where both teams are unlikely to actually fight again, the difference between the two Flash cooldowns is very significant: 200 seconds vs 125 seconds – nearly half!
Okay, so How Does This Work?
What’s the full picture here? What’s the whole strat? Well, in a nutshell:
- Pick Sivir, and take Unsealed Spellbook for your keystone. Some players take Minion Demateraliser to enhance their pushing – that part is optional.
- Start with Heal, or whatever other summoner spell you want for the earliest part of the laning phase as your “oh shit” button. Your other summoner is Flash, per usual.
- Play Sivir roughly as normal: push like you’re giving birth.
- Back either when you can afford a good buy (e.g. Caulfield’s or B.F. Sword), or if you run out of health/mana and can’t lane.
- Swap your [Heal] to Teleport. Teleport back to lane.
- Continue being Sivir: push a crapload.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until laning phase is ending or has ended.
- Swap Teleport to whatever you want for team fighting. This typically means Heal, but Cleanse can be an option in some situations.
- Play the game as normal. Enjoy having your summoners ready for virtually every fight thanks to Unsealed Spellbook’s passive effect.
Why Nunu, Why?
Most AD Carries are taking Fleet Footwork right now. It allows them to stay relatively healthy in lane (so that they can farm up and scale with items later), and provides modest benefits when it comes to team fighting.
Having a combination of best-in-class pushing and the ability to heal up to full and then appear back in lane immediately (via Teleport) allows Unsealed Spellbook Sivir to not require the help of a combat-keystone to lane effectively.
Once it comes to team fights, having much more frequent access to summoner spells equals out the loss of extra kiting and healing from Fleet Footwork, while the extra farm / gold income from having constant lane presence and pressure means that Sivir will — on average — typically be slightly ahead of her AD carry counterpart in the items department. That itemisation edge combined with crit-ricochets means that Sivir will usually dish out more damage over the course of a team fight.
If you were to put those elements into a score tally it would look something like this:
|Laning Strength||1-1 (roughly even)|
|Team fighting: safety||1-1 (roughly even)|
|Team fighting: damage||0-1 (Unsealed Spellbook wins)|
So yeah, Unsealed Spellbook surprisingly makes sense on Sivir, and in a very simplified sense (as seen above) is a strict upgrade over Fleet Footwork for her. Now take your knowledge and go deliver some properly cooked pizza!