Analyzing Unsealed Spellbook on ADCs
Sat 3rd Feb 2018 - 12:41pm
Unsealed Spellbook is a keystone in the Inspiration tree, which has taken the meta by storm. At first, keystone-less champions such as Vladimir took it for the reduced cooldown on the Summoner Spells, but this keystone has since been picked up by many roles and champions. Top laners such as Vladimir, most mid laners such as Azir, Ryze, and Malzahar, and the role we will focus on today, the ADC position. We’ll investigate why the keystone has risen to prominence, what makes it beneficial for the role, and what impact it’s currently having on the meta.
Why is Unsealed Spellbook Good?
First, let me explain the keystone itself. The keystone Unsealed Spellbook gives you a Summoner Shard at two minutes and an additional one every six minutes. You can carry two shards at a time, and when you are in base, you can swap out Summoner Spells! To put it simply as to why this keystone is good and why people are taking it: your Summoner Spell cooldowns are reduced by 25%. This is a massive advantage to have over someone else! Having your Flash up sooner than your opponent means you can go for much more aggressive plays because when your Flash is up again, theirs will not be for quite a while. This also allows you to play more defensively as well! It makes ganking bottom lane much harder for the enemy jungler because they have a lower window of opportunity to gank and punish you if your Flash is down if it is going to be up 25% sooner.
Another reason why it is so good is because of your ability to swap Summoner Spells based on what you need to do. For ADC, you will still start the game with Heal, and often you'll switch to Teleport on your first base and Teleport back to lane. Towards the later stages of the game, you can either swap back to Heal, keep Teleport, or even take Cleanse if they have no suppression so you don’t have to build QSS. The flexibility of this Summoner Spell is a big reason why pros and solo queue players alike are beginning to pick this keystone up for ADC’s.
One of the prime users of this keystone and one of the first ADCs to pick the keystone up was Sivir. For most ADCs, there is still a bit of a toss-up over what is better between Unsealed Spellbook and Fleet Footwork, but not for Sivir. Sivir always takes Unsealed Spellbook. This is because of her insane amount of waveclear and allows her to play a super safe game. The goal with Sivir is to constantly shove the wave, back when you need items/mana, and then Teleport back to the lane and do the same thing again. It’s been a pretty effective strategy, and we’ve seen Sivir creep back into the meta because of it. Now that we know why Unsealed Spellbook is so good, we can analyze why the keystone has risen to prominence.
Why is Unsealed Spellbook Being Taken?
A large reason that Unsealed Spellbook is being taken is because of how powerful the Inspiration Tree is. If we run down the Inspiration Tree, people are generally taking Perfect Timing (which grants you a free Stopwatch), Magical Footwear (which gives you slightly improved Boots of Speed at 10 minutes, or earlier by 30 seconds if you secure a takedown on an enemy champion), and Cosmic Insight (which grants you 5% CDR, 5% max CDR, 5% Summoner Spell CDR, and 5% item CDR). Most people were already taking Perfect Timing and Magical Footwear in the Secondary Tree. By taking Unsealed Spellbook they can take both of those Runes, as well as Cosmic Insight, which synergizes with Unsealed Spellbook by granting an additional 5% CDR on Summoner Spells. This also allows players to be more flexible with their Secondary Tree when they are no longer forced into Inspiration.
Another reason why it’s being taken is because of its power relative to the other keystones that ADCs could take. Back in 8.1 when ADCs went Relic Shield in the bottom lane, Fleet Footwork was by far the superior choice because of the insane amount of healing and defensive stats Relic Shield gave. However, we are now in 8.2. ADCs are back to taking Doran’s Blade, and Fleet Footwork lost a major proponent of why it was being taken. So, ADCs are choosing to give up a bit of that immediate impact that Fleet Footwork gives you, and instead choosing to go Unsealed Spellbook and play for the later game where having Summoner Spells up is crucial.
The Effect on the Meta
Surprisingly, the meta has not been changed as much as one would think, especially in the bottom lane. A lot of the late game carries such as Tristana, Varus, and Kog’maw remain in the Metagame due to their ability to scale very quickly into the late game without being punished very heavily. Early/Mid game characters such as Kalista, Xayah, and Caitlyn also remain in the meta mostly as a counter to the late game ADCs, but the only one seeing major competitive play currently out of those 3 would be Kalista. Ezreal also sticks around in the metagame but is still mostly taking Kleptomancy as his keystone due to its amazing synergy with his Q ability. The largest meta shift would have to be the addition of Sivir into competitive play after her disappearance for a while. As we discussed, the goal of Sivir is to play safely and utilize her pushing power with Teleport to become a tower pushing menace.
In conclusion, the shift towards Unsealed Spellbook for ADCs has been an interesting development. Whether you are a fan of Unsealed Spellbook/the Inspiration Tree, this branch of Runes has affected the metagame in one of the largest ways since the beginning of League. The gravitation towards Stopwatches, free Boots, and a ton of CDR makes the game incredibly slower, but at the same time teams are finding a way to play that to their advantage and pick up the tempo. The development of this keystone will be an interesting thing to watch over the next few months, and what Riot decides to do with this branch will affect the game in a large way.
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