An Overview Guide to Summoner Spells in LoL
Sat 23rd May 2020 - 7:54pm
Summoner Spells are one of the unique features in League of Legends, and go with you in every game. Different situations call for different Spells, so let us take a look at our options and when it is best to use them.
Flash and Ghost
Now, Flash is almost guaranteed to be chosen as one of your Summoner Spells, with very few situations calling for a replacement. Flash gives your champion a boost forward, allowing you to escape sudden death, or for you to catch up to an enemy and shut them down.
You can Flash through certain walls and obstacles, like into the Baron Pit or out of Ultimate abilities that could lead to your death. You can also use Flash offensively, getting close enough to an enemy champion to engage on them, or close enough to an ally to save them.
Instances where you can substitute Flash would be if you are playing Yuumi or sometimes even Shaco, Darius, or Singed. Yuumi is usually always attached, and if by chance she becomes detached in a big fight, she is usually dead anyways. It is more important for Yuumi to utilize both Ignite and Exhaust, or perhaps even Heal if her ADC did not choose Heal. When it comes to Shaco, and you are playing him in the Jungle role, requiring you to choose Smite as one of your options, you could then choose Ignite since Shaco's Q functions very similarly to Flash and he can utilize Ignite more effectively than what is basically an extra Q. For Darius or Singed, the movement speed of Ghost is extremely useful for their engages, and it gives them a lot of extra pressure in lane. Instead of going Ghost plus Flash, Ignite or Teleport are key secondary Spells in lane.
You can use Flash to escape in tricky situations, Flashing into a bush that your enemy may not have expected can help you get away safely. When using Flash offensively, be sure that you are not just sending yourself to your doom. The enemy's team could be just around the corner to stop you, or you could get too far away from the assistance of your allies.
If you decide to use Ghost in certain situations, as mentioned above, be sure to use them to close the distance between you and the enemy so that you can shut them down, or you could use it to quickly escape. Ghost usually will not be the best option and can depend on your playstyle. If you plan on taking Ghost instead of Flash, be sure to use it to your advantage to bully your enemy laner.
Ignite is another key Spell for most champions depending on what lane they may be in. Supports usually go Ignite, unless they need the slowing effect that Exhaust gives. When going toplane, Ignite can be useful for tough 1v1 match-ups that Ignite could help you win, especially if your champion is not an effective split pusher, and does not completely benefit from Teleport the way other champions do. In the midlane, Ignite is useful when playing Assassins or Tanks, to help you win 1v1s in lane. It is not always the best option when playing Mages since they are usually constantly out of range of their enemy, especially when playing against another Mage.
Now that you have Ignite, when should you actually use it? Ignite is a good finisher when your enemy is escaping, is low HP, and you have no abilities left to use on them. You should not use Ignite at the start of the fight, and at the earliest, it should be used when the enemy is at half HP. Using Ignite at half HP is helpful when your target is being constantly healed by their items or their ally's abilities, as it will make those heals left effective.
ADCs might choose to go Ignite instead of Heal, but their Support should then take Heal, as it is a huge requirement in the botlane. However, never take multiple champions with Heal, as using this Spell will make all consecutive uses less effective for a short duration. Heal is not the choice when playing other lanes, as Ignite or Teleport will usually take it's place and be more effective.
Heal can be used in two specific ways, saving yourself and your nearby ally from fatal damage, or using it to gain an extra boost to finish the enemy off, as it grants a movement speed increase. The latter is usually not the best use of this ability but can be used if it means you can gurantee a kill or multiple kills on the enemy team. Supports should choose Heal if their ADC has chosen not to, as again, it is a must in the botlane. An example of this is when you engage on the opposing side and one side does not have Heal, usually securing a kill for the side that does have Heal. It makes an ADC or Support more vulnerable during engages, if they do not have Heal, and engages happen very often in this lane.
Usually taken by Supports, Exhaust can help secure a kill by significantly slowing down the target enemy. It is especially useful when faced against champions like Kassadin, Hecarim, or even Pyke, since they can quickly escape or engage with their abilities. Exhaust can be used defensively, to keep an enemy away from your allies, or offensively, to help your allies catch up to them.
Exhaust can be used very early on in the fight, and you should not use it once the kill is already close to being secured, so that you do not waste its cooldown. An example of when it can be used, is when you or your allies have used all their abilities on bursting down a given target, and you can then use Exhaust on the second target to help secure both kills. Cooldowns should be spread across your targets, and hard crowd control abilities should be saved for especially dangerous enemy champions who are fed, or ones who could escape easily.
It is not usually an optimal choice in other lanes, but you could go this route if your enemy laner is rather mobile. The best situation is if your champion can shut down the enemy in quick succession, but the only thing you need is that gap closer to allow you to engage on them.
Mages and Enchanter Supports benefit the most from Barrier, as they are vulnerable to sudden bursts of damage. When going in the midlane, a Mage can choose Barrier to help protect them from a bursty champion or a champion who may turret dive you. Soraka should usually choose Barrier since she is extremely vulnerable due to her HP going towards her heals, and it presents the enemy an opportunity to burst her down. Other Supports can choose Barrier if the enemy laners have very hard engage, like Leona or Nautilus, as it can help them survive a sudden attack.
Barrier should be used to deter incoming burst damage, like an Ultimate ability or a sudden crowd control. It can also be saved for when you are low HP, when the enemy is most likely to make a risky play, like Flashing towards your turret, to try and secure an easy kill. Try not to take Barrier if the enemy Support has healing and shielding abilities, as Ignite will be more vital here. Tanks should also not take Barrier, as again, Ignite or even Exhaust will be far more useful, since Tanks lack the damage rather than the survivability.
Smite is an obvious choice for Junglers, and really should not be taken in any other lane. When it comes to using Smite, you always want to keep track of just how much damage it is going to do to your target, so that you can properly determine when you should Smite a monster like Baron or a Dragon. Be sure to not use Smite on regular monsters when an objective is close to spawning, as you might need to use Smite to steal or secure the objective from the enemy team. If an objective is not close to spawning, you may need to save Smite for the Scuttler Crab, as it can be another key monster to fight over. If both of those instances are not close to occurring, you can use Smite during early Jungler clears to gain HP back if you are having trouble defeating the monsters. You should not need to use Smite on Red or Blue Buff monsters as they can be easily kited and defeated without taking fatal damage.
Once you have upgraded your Jungle item. you can start using your Smite on enemy champions, and this can be done as a small finisher to secure a kill, or you could use it during a fight to gain HP back. Smite can also be used on lane minions in dire situations to help you gain enough HP to survive.
It is a good idea for at least one person on your team to have Teleport, as it helps gain advantages during objectives and lane pushing. Usually the toplaner takes Teleport, as they are usually a champion who can split push a lane and use Teleport to help their team in a fight. To be a split pusher, you should be able to either escape from enemies who may try and stop you, or defeat said enemies, or your efforts may be all for naught.
Teleport should be saved for joining your allies in a fight instead of using it on the lane to go and split push. When you are split pushing, the enemy may separate and go to stop you, which will allow your allies to have an advantage during an objective. On the other hand, your enemy may focus on the objective and use this opportunity to overpower your allies. This is why Teleport is best when saved for helping your allies; you can then stop split pushing and join your allies to secure an important objective, like Baron or Dragon Soul. If your allies are struggling during an objective, and you used Teleport to simply push a lane, you can not join your allies, and it can lead to losing the game overall.
Besides helping your allies, you can use Teleport to stop the enemy team from split pushing and destroying your base. You can also use Teleport to quickly assist your allies botlane or midlane, to secure an easy kill from an over-extended enemy. Keep in mind that using Teleport on a turret is risky if the turret is low HP and is being pushed against, as it will cancel out your Teleport in the event that the turret is destroyed.
ADCs or Supports should not take Teleport as they usually should not be alone in lane, and do not usually split push for the team. A midlaner might take Teleport if their toplaner did not, so that they can still have the perks of this Spell for objectives or ganks. This is especially a good idea if the midlaner is a champion like Irelia, or Garen, who are usually the split pushers of a team.
A Summoner Spell that may be easily forgotten, Cleanse is not a commonly used choice. It can be good in very niche situations, and usually best in the botlane. If the enemy botlane has very hard crowd control, an ADC could go Cleanse to help them survive when they are hit by, say, Ashe's Ultimate. In this case, the Support will need to go Heal, and this can be an even better option when paired with Yuumi, so you can still utilize both Ignite and Heal in lane.
It is not the only option when faced against hard crowd control, as you could go items like Banshee's Veil, Quicksilver Sash, Edge of Night, or a Support can go Mikael's Crucible to help cancel incoming abilities. All in all, it is not terribly useful, as there are other options that can be taken to deal with such matchups, and other Summoner Spells that are more useful. Again, the best situation for this Spell is if you are botlane with Yuumi, and are against a hard matchup with long or multiple stuns, so that Yuumi can choose the Spells you would be missing out on.
To summarize, Summoner Spells are not always a clear decision. Depending on the situation, you could choose from multiple options to optimize your gameplay. Summoner Spells can depend on your playstyle, what champions you are against, and what situations could arise throughout the course of the game.