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Summoner Spell Guide

Summoner Spell Guide
8 min read 2021-05-17 08:09:00 119

Intro

Summoner spells occupy a strange place in League of Legends’ gameplay. Unlike most other mechanics in the MOBA, they are not connected to a specific champion and do not get an Eternals tracker. Instead, they represent the powers of the summoner – the player avatar that remains constant even as they “summon” different champions in matches. While they may seem minor and limited compared to the more impressive champion powers, summoner spells can mean an enormous difference to the outcome of a match in the hands of a skilled user. Understanding them is a vital part of mastering the meta.

Fundamentals

Prior to the beginning of a match, you will be able to select two spells from a roster that expands as you level up your account until you reach summoner level 9. Those spells will be available to you throughout the match at no cost, though they will need to cool down between uses. Each spell has a distinctive effect, helping your champion, hindering your enemies, or sometimes doing both at once. Except for the ones that move your champion, those spells are not affected by anti-casting status effects other than stasis or suppression.

Spellbook

There are currently nine summoner spells to decide between, not including a few modified versions that may be unlocked by meeting certain conditions during gameplay. Some of the spells are exclusive to one of the game’s two permanent maps. In addition to the normal matches and ranked games, past limited-time modes have had their own spell lists including existing spells and their own unique options.

The table below details the standard mode spells. Note that the effectiveness of certain among them is affected by the level attained by the champion within the match. This potential for growth is reflected in the number ranges, from lowest to highest applicable level. Also, note that cooldown periods are reduced by 40% when playing on the Howling Abyss map.

Spell NameSummoner LevelDescriptionCooldown in Seconds
Heal1Restores 90-345 health to your champion and an allied champion who is either nearest to the cursor or most wounded. Both champions gain +30% movement speed.240
Ghost1Enables your champion to pass through other units for 10 seconds and gains 28-48% increased movement speed. Takedowns extend the bonus by 4-7 seconds.210
Barrier4Shields your champion from 115-455 damage for 2 seconds.180
Exhaust4The targeted enemy champion is slowed by 30% and deals 40% less damage for 3 seconds.210
Mark6Throws a snowball that can travel to a 1600 range and deal 15-100 true damage to the first enemy hit. For the next 3 seconds, the enemy is revealed and Mark is replaced with Dash.
 
Dash allows your champion to dash to the target affected by Mark and inflict 15-100 true damage upon arrival. Your champion cannot be targeted while dashing. Dashing also reduces Mark’s cooldown by 25%.
 
Mark reappears and begins to cool down after Dash is cast or when its time window runs out.
 
Only available in Howling Abyss.
80 (47.06 under the Howling Abyss aura)
Clarity6Restores 50% maximum mana to your champion and 25% maximum mana to nearby allied champions.
 
Only available in Howling Abyss.
240 (141.18 under the Howling Abyss aura)
Flash7Teleports your champion a short distance towards the targeted location.
 
Hextech Flashtraption replaces Flash with Hexflash while it is cooling down. It has a similar effect, but its range can be increased by charging for up to 2.5 seconds. Hexflash can be used to teleport after 1 second; releasing the charge earlier or entering combat with a champion puts it on a 10-second cooldown.
300 (20 for Hexflash)
Teleport7After channeling for 4 seconds, instantly teleports your champion to a targeted allied turret, minion, or ward. On arrival, the champion gains 50% increased movement speed for 3 seconds.420-210
Smite8Smiting deals 390-1000 true damage to the targeted medium, large, or epic monster, enemy minion, or pet. When used against a large monster, it also heals the champion by 90+10% of maximum health.
 
Casting Smite 5 times with the Emberknife consumes the item and transforms Smite into Challenging Smite. This adds the ability to mark an enemy champion for 4 seconds, reducing their damage against your champion by 20%, and allowing your basic attacks and abilities to deal 48-125 true damage to them over 2.5 seconds.
 
Casting Smite 5 times with the Hailblade consumes the item and transforms Smite into Chilling Smite. This adds the ability to inflict 20-156 true damage on an enemy champion. For 2 seconds, the targeted champion suffers 20% decreased movement speed, while your champion gains 20% increased movement speed.
15
Cleanse9Removes all disables (except Airborne, Nearsight, and Suppression) and summoner spell debuffs (except Mark) from your champion and grants 65% crowd control reduction for 3 seconds.210
Ignite9Sets a targeted enemy champion on fire for 5 seconds, revealing them, dealing 70-410 true damage over time and applying 60% Grievous Wounds.180

Several items and runes can augment the spells. The Ionian Boots of Lucidity and the Cosmic Insight rune both reduce the cooldowns further. By picking the Nimbus Cloak on the Sorcery Rune Path, you can put your character in ghost mode every time you use a summoner spell and grant an increase in movement speed proportionate to the spell’s cooldown. Finally, there is the Unsealed Spellbook keystone, which is very popular on the solo queue and allows you to swap one spell for a single-use version of another option from the list. You can keep swapping to different abilities and may even use one that wouldn’t normally be available on your map.

Strategy

While all spells can be useful, some of them are much more popular compared to others. Also, there are particular synergies between specific spells, builds, champions, and roles that influence their use. Exploring all the possible angles would require a more narrowly focused guide or a coaching session. Nevertheless, there are some general considerations to keep in mind:

  • Flash is by far and away from the most popular choice because it allows champions to escape dangerous situations or instantly close the distance to engage a ranged and/or fleeing enemy. It is nearly mandatory in ranked games due to its sheer utility. Ghost and Mark/Dash are more situational alternatives for escaping danger and closing in respectively;
  • Teleport is also more situational, but it can save critical time repositioning. It is especially popular among top-laners, allowing them to split push lanes and reinforce allies. Due to its emphasis on teamwork, it is particularly suitable for the duo queue;
  • Ignite is the most versatile damage spell. True damage is not affected by most effects, while Grievous Wounds reduce healing. Taken together, those effects mean that it can tear through many tanks that rely on self-healing and/or damage reduction;
  • Smite is indispensable for jungling, especially early on. It makes up for weak starting damage and reduces the need for healing, giving the jungle a head start that will continue to help later on;
  • Heal, Barrier, Cleanse, and Clarity are all valid picks for Support characters in Mage-heavy teams, where health and mana are both at a premium. They either protect those resources directly or help preserve them with cheap protection;
  • Exhaust is tailor-made for neutralizing heavy damage dealers. It is best picked against a team that would depend heavily on one or two such characters, in which case it may seal a ranked win.

Conclusion

While they may not carry the game on their own, summoner spells can influence it in a number of ways. They can support a strategy or build from the start, providing a critical advantage from early on, or they may be deployed as tools of last resort in an attempt to turn the tables. Being free and hard to block is key to their usefulness, making them a valuable auxiliary to more conventional and generally less versatile abilities. Mastery over those peculiar tools is just as important in its way as champion mastery.

8 min read 2021-05-17 08:09:00 119