League of Legends: Y U NO HEAL/IGNITE ANYMOAR

Hi humans.

A few of you have been checking out my stats on LoLKing and have noticed that I haven’t been using my signature summoner spell combo of Heal and Ignite anymore. I was confronted by a few people about this, and decided it would be worth addressing.

The main issue is that Heal got nerfed too much. Before Preseason 3, Heal scaled off your level by 25; now, Heal scales off your level by only 15 (that’s a 40% nerf). The counterbalance to this is that Heal now heals surrounding allies by 100% of its strength rather than only 50%. Basically, Heal got turned into a support spell, and ended up becoming too weak for my needs.

A valid alternative for Heal is Barrier, which has a base protection value of 20 higher than Heal (95 vs. 75), and scales off each level by 20 (which is a 33% improvement from Heal). However, the effects of Barrier only last for two seconds. So, if you’re trying to bait your enemies into over-committing, you better find a solution within two seconds, or your health bar is going to go right back down to where it was before.

In summary, neither Heal nor Barrier is, in my opinion, effective enough at baiting with a high-enough projected success rate.

Of course, these are all numbers, but how do they work in practice? As most of you probably know, I play on the Public Beta Environment, which means I was able to experience Preseason 3 changes weeks before they went live on the main servers. During that time, I tested out the new Heal and Barrier extensively. Overall, without changing any other play styles or strategies, I ended up failing my baits more, and Heal and Barrier just weren’t enough to keep me alive in tight situations.

After these two spells, I concluded that the next best option is Flash. Although I hate Flash as a summoner spell and feel it should be removed, I still can’t deny the extreme utility it provides in a wide variety of situations.

It seems like it will be to my benefit to start learning how to use Flash effectively, and adapting my the way I play such that I still continue to use psychological manipulation and trickery as the fundamental core of my play style, but now use Flash to do it instead of Heal or Barrier.

One of the main reasons I haven’t ever used Flash is because I suck at using it. More often than not, when I try to Flash, I either Flash in the wrong direction, or Flash into a wall. But, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is eventually something I can get better at with practice, and I can even use fail Flashes as a strategy.

For example, in a game where I was playing Zyra, while we were pushing down one of the enemy’s inner turrets, we just couldn’t get good positioning to attack the turret or kill the enemies. So, I set up a scenario where I purposely overextended, baiting the enemies’ attention. Then, I intentionally Flashed into a wall, which made the enemies think that I thought I was in danger and was trying to get out.

Seizing the “opportunity,” all five of the enemies came forward to try and pick me off. While all of them converged towards me and began to clump up, I hit a majority of them with my roots, threw out two seeds, hit them with my thorns, spawned two plants, then caught all five of them in my knock-up ultimate. I ended up dying because I had no escape mechanism after using my Flash as bait, but I hit about three of them with my passive before fully dying.

Seconds later, my team swept forward and cleaned up the rest of the enemy team’s health bars, giving me five assists and pushing for the victory.

Of course, things like that are really difficult to pull off, but with enough practice, I’m pretty sure I can get as good with Flash as I was with Heal in Season 2.