(Summoner) Spell It Out for Me

Love them or hate them, Summoner Spells are part of “League of Legends” and there is no changing this fact. Summoner Spells are vital for in-game situations. Having access to two spells to use with their own respective cooldowns means they are quite precious. Poor use of Summoner Spells can separate the good players from the bad.

However, I believe two Summoner Spells should honestly be removed completely from the game and/or buffed significantly: Promote and Surge. In regards to the main map of League of Legends (Summoner’s Rift), these two spells are just unappealing options among better choices.

For instance, let’s take a look at easily the BEST Summoner Spell in the game.


Effect: Teleports your Champion to target nearby location.

This spell does just about everything for a standard match of LoL, except make you breakfast. You can escape, reposition, gap close … and so forth. It is so versatile, which is why it is common to see at least 9/10 players grab this as one of their spells. Having the means of moving a few spaces is so powerful in this gaming genre that it becomes a must to take in most situations, give or take a few exceptions.

Point is, if Flash is one of your main Summoner Spells by default (essentially anyway), then it boils down to what you are going to take for your second slot. This is where Promote and Surge have no real place.

The common Summoner Spells you will see people use for their second spell slot are:






And, to a lesser extent …



Now, I do realize that Clarity and Revive are never really used either, but I still think they are better than Promote and Surge. Same with Cleanse.




But the common theme here is how you will never see Promote or Surge during the course of a regular game. All of the other Summoner Spells mentioned are used in some shape or form along with Flash, but where do Promote and Surge fit in? They could honestly be secretly removed from a patch and I can bet you that no one would probably notice. These two Summoner Spells are just too obscure for their own good.

Let’s examine why these two Summoner Spells suck so much/why they are rightfully ignored.


Effect: Metamorphoses the nearest allied siege minion into an anti-turret cannon, healing it, granting bonus stats, and causing it to grant the caster gold for its kills.

OK, so its effect is very simple. You upgrade a “cannon minion” so it’s stronger. Anything the cannon minion blows up grants you the gold value of the things it kills. On paper, it doesn’t sound too shabby. But here is the thing … Why?

Sure, there are the very specific situations where this ability can do some good. Remember that we are talking about Summoner’s Rift here. I realize you can upgrade a cannon minion as you are pushing. Yeah, so? It is not like you really need this upgraded cannon minion to do so. Furthermore, though mass pushing is a doable strategy in LoL, not a lot of people would use Promote to execute said push strategy. And gee whiz, you can get the gold that the enhanced minion happens to nab you … OK?

Again, do you really need the upgraded cannon minion to accomplish both of these tasks you can do by yourself already?

The fact is, Summoner Spells are often used for either A) escaping or B) fighting enemy champions. Promote doesn’t help you escape, nor does it really do much against enemy champions. Seriously, has anyone ever died against a Promoted minion before in Season 2? Oh wait. No one uses Promote, so how can that ever happen?

And here is a bit of LoL history … Promote was a “classic” spell back in the day of LoL. It was removed because people did cheesy stuff with it, namely all five players grabbing Promote and doing … what the video below demonstrates.

So then Riot decided it was time to reintroduce the Summoner Spell again, but they really restricted it by making it so only cannon minions could be fair game for the spell. Again, what’s really the point then? It is taking a special option provided by the spell and making it very restricted beyond anything competitive. Sure, you could try to run it for fun in casual games, but I think all the Summoner Spells should be practical in some shape or form.

Promote is just too niche for all the wrong reasons. If it had any true merit, it would see use beyond troll games/games where people don’t know better (again, I am stressing in regards to Summoner’s Rift).

And then we have Surge.


Effect: Empowers your champion, increasing ability power by 10-78 (depending on level) and attack speed by 35% for 12 seconds.

Looks can be a bit deceiving with Surge. So it’s a boost in ability power and attack speed for 12 whole seconds. It may seem promising, but think about it for a second. The AP takes awhile before it becomes worthwhile, plus the extra attack speed is only significant on champs who actually need to attack quickly. Throw in the 180 second cooldown, and you got a Summoner Spell that I have only seen on champs like Master Yi, and even then this spell is super rare.

So one would think that a mage champ may find Surge useful because of the AP. However, mages often run Ignite because it can do more good in a situation when you just need the extra damage from the burn effect. And it is not like the mage needs the attack speed because, after all, they should be relying on their spells anyway.

And then you try to look at the other side of the coin. Perhaps a champ who relies on auto-attacks could use Surge to its full potential? Well, yes and no. Sure, the attack speed can be helpful in this regard, but then the fact that other spells are just plain superior becomes an issue. Because, honestly, I would rather have Exhaust than Surge if I were a champ who needed to attack quickly. A boost of 35% is tempting, don’t get me wrong, but I would rather have my target enemy weakened by Exhaust than relying on attack speed.

In LoL, at least in many cases, there are two item builds that are generally bad: lifesteal-centered ones and attack speed builds. The latter is often ineffective in most cases because raw damage will yield greater impact than just trying to strike quickly over and over again.

Surge is understandably a weak choice, which is why you never come across anyone who uses this spell. Perhaps if the cooldown got shaved by at least 15-20 seconds or maybe if you could use the spell on a target ally champion … It just needs something else.

But yeah, I strongly believe Promote and Surge are bad Summoner Spells for LoL. Though part of their problem is tied to the fact that better Summoner Spells exist in the game, I still think Promote and Surge could use some love, even if it takes Season 3 of LoL to do so. Summoner Spells should be appealing enough so people will actually consider using them. It will help with game diversity so games become less about everyone grab Flash + Ignite/Exhaust or Smite because they are jungling.

Down with stagnant choices!

3 thoughts on “(Summoner) Spell It Out for Me

  1. fischfail September 8, 2012 / 2:37 am

    For me, it really depends on the character I am playing and the build I am going for. In some cases, surge has been absolutely required, and in others not so much. For instance, surge is nearly useless (imo) with Olaf or Yi, and yet has potential with Nautilus (at least at times).

    I don’t know, I’ve seen some very interesting builds for characters that utilize Surge. And I’ve never actually seen anyone use promote with any real “success.”


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