Noob Traps and You

Gentleman Gustaf here to talk to you about noob traps. The wrong summoner spells, items, champions, and even playstyles can cause you to lose your lane or late-game fights, or cause you to lose out on game objectives. The following is a description of common noob traps, and why to avoid them.


Summoner Spells

Clairvoyance – Clairvoyance is about map control. It used to be a necessary pick on support champions, but with its nerfs at the beginning of S2, it fell out of favor, with exhaust taking over eventually Clairvoyance’s primary uses are to keep tabs on the jungler/roamers and to aid in dragon/baron fights. Why is Clairvoyance a noob trap? You pick it for security, not viability. If your ward coverage is dead and you CV, either you see something or you don't, and either way, you're just as in the dark a few seconds later. Having CV to make up for situations without wards is a bit like taking iron supplements when you're bleeding out. Sure, you need iron, but you need to stop bleeding first. Working to avoid losing ward control is simply going to outclass CV, and then you can take another summoner spell.

  • Who should take Clairvoyance? Currently, nobody really does, but if somebody did, I'd prefer to see it on a support. I've toyed with the idea of running it on a long-ranged mid who wants to avoid aggro (Lux?).

Clarity – Clarity is a bad choice. There are a few champions who have really low mana pools and high costs, and it can feel like Clarity could make them work. This is an illusion. Either they can survive the laning phase by not spamming abilities, or they need early mana items, or they are simply bad champions for the lane you’re trying to fit them into. A perfect example is Skarner. He was a very strong top before his Q mana cost skyrocketed. The response should be one of two things, early mana items on Skarner, or no more top Skarner. Running Clarity on Skarner is like running a 5'0" Center on a basketball team, and putting him in 2 foot tall platform shoes. Sure, you've solved the height problem, but why not just put a fuck-off tall guy in his place and move on?

  • Who should take Clarity? Bad players. That way they’ll stay bad and not end up in my games with their bad Clarity.

Heal – Heal is stronger than it used to be, and can actually help 1v1 fights early or team fights later.. Some people will take it on top laners with little early game sustainability, but much like with clarity, you are wasting a summoner spell to force a champion into a play style they don’t really fit. You are much better off just picking a more sustainy top and getting two real summoner spells. The main problems with Heal are as follows: Ignite counters it (and who doesn't like ignite), and when taken on a support, it doesn't heal the AD enough. Look to see this solved in Season 3.

  • Who should take Heal? Mostly supports. Maybe Volibear, but I don’t like it.
  • Yes, some AD carries, especially in the Korean meta, take heal, and run ignite on their supports. They're really, really good. When you're really, really good too, you can do that.

Ignite ON EVERY CHAMPION IN THE GAME – Ignite is considered an auto-pick for the three farm/kill roles, top/mid/AD. No doubt, it is good, but I do not see it as a necessary pick. Exhaust can often help with the same thing (1v1 fights), and exhaust is much more useful late game. Ignite is, however, an important counter-pick against heavy healing compositions, and good to secure kills with. By no means is it bad, but not EVERY mid and top needs an ignite.

  • Who should take Ignite? Not as many people as currently do, as per my comments above. Bursty AP champions with long cooldowns, and assassins who want to blow escapes and leave right away (Talon, for example). But if you're somebody like Karthus, you're probably better off with Exhaust, so you can keep AoEing even longer.
Revive – Revive is a troll pick on most champions, but on champions who are likely to be focused and have ultimates that allow them to re-enter the fight immediately (or teleport), it can be a very viable pick that turns team-fights into a 6v5.

Jungling without Smite – Smite is for junglers. Some junglers can clear the jungle without it, but if you do jungle without smite, the enemy jungler will steal half of your buffs, dragons, and barons with their own smite. Don’t do it.

  • Who should take Smite? All junglers. If you think you can jungle without Smite, I have one question for you. Are you on my team? If so, screw you. If not, thank you for the buffs and the elo.


Teleport – You want teleport, not (as is commonly thought) to get back to your lane quickly (although that is a nice benefit), but to get to team-fights when need be. Top should be constantly farming, but sometimes dragon fights happen when you’re out of range. At these times, you want Teleport up to enter those fights. But honestly, most of the time, taking TP is a sign that you don't have good enough game sense to know where you need to be. There are a few champions in a few compositions who want Teleport for a split comp, and if you're 1v2, it could be nice, I guess, but wouldn't you prefer an Exhaust so you can not die?


Black Cleaver - It's just weirdly designed. If you're attacking a target a lot (to stack up the debuff), I assume it's tanky, so why aren't you wanting % Pen? And if it's squishy, why do you want an item that forces you to attack 3 times to get to max efficiency; your target will almost be dead before BC does anything! I guess I could see it on your top bruiser if he can safely and quickly apply stacks (Renekton/Jayce). New Black Cleaver should remedy these problems, by allowing abilities to apply stacks, and by making stacks % of armor, not flat.

Guinsoo's Rageblade - Suffers from the same problems Surge does: AS and AP don't necessarily have that much multiplicative value, and there are better items.

Tear of the Goddess - I don't really feel like explaining this one. It's the Clarity problem all over again. It's good on one or two champions designed around spam (Yorick), but I feel there are typically better mana items (Glacial Shroud)


Mana Regen - Mana Regen is just Clarity all over again. But basically, it's a laning stat. All the mana regen in the world won't help you in a team fight, but Mana will. Chalice and Athene's are a clear exception because they give you % Missing Mana Regen, so the lower you get, the more you get.

Damage on junglers/supports - You are poor. Who do you think likes that Infinity Edge, you, who attacks twice every three seconds, or Tristana, who attacks three times every 2 seconds?

Multiplicative damage on junglers/supports - Let's say you want damage anyway. Please don't go for the type of damage that's only good if you have a lot of damage (crit chance). Because you won't have a lot of damage. Go for something like BT, which will give you burst from spells and lifesteal (good with the resistances you bought).


Lower tier champions when higher tier champions who do largely the same thing are available. Yes, I'm sure you love them and they're your favorite, but unless you're picking them in a situation where they excel in a way the higher tier champion doesn't (their niche), you're essentially handicapping yourself. Yes, there is room for skill, but if one champion can be 'as good' as another champion if you are better, why not just apply being better to the 'better' champion, and do even better?

Basically, whenever you pick anything in game, an item, a mastery point, a rune, a summoner spell, you have to think 'what advantage do I gain from doing this?' A lot of times, the answer is 'this is what I'm used to', or 'this is what suits my playstyle', and it's often better to change what you're used to or change your playstyle than it is to force a square peg into a round hole. I love Skarner as much as the next guy, but if I have to give up a summoner spell (by running Clarity) just to make him viable top, I'm going to run another champion top, or run Skarner somewhere where he can deal with the lower mana.


Don't worry, I'm not moving away from mathcrafting and more technical articles, I just feel like the game's about to change so much, so the current math isn't worth looking at, and the future math is in flux, so I don't really want to invest weeks of effort into it when everything I write about will be a week or more too old.



  • #122 Basinator

    One note about revive. It is OP lategame, yet mostlikely other summ spells are mostly better

    Also, if you take revive you might want to execute yourself at lv1 so you start with a lot more HP giving you a better start during laning. Death timers are low first levels anyways.

  • #115 fatovarius

    Why aren't madred's bloodrazor and ionic spark in there?

  • #116 pmpch

    .. because they don't exist in Season 3.


  • #117 inb4jelly

    .. because they don't exist in Season 3.

    jax party

    Last edited by gekkos: 11/30/2012 7:03:57 AM
  • #126 fatovarius

    Oh, right. Duh! (also lol blade of the ruined king on jax)

  • #114 TreeBurrow

    CV is changing next season... Grants additional vision of the enemy champions which were revealed... So even if they leave the CV's vision range, you'll know which dirrection they're going... I'm not sure how long the extended vision lasts, but it's definately worth looking in to... Knowing not only where the enemy jungler is, but also knowing here they're heading next...

    It's definatly something I want to try out next season, but it's viability depends on how long that extended vision lasts... Don't write it off yet IMO, it could still be rather useful, especially if you plan on buying Elise's Miracle and investing points into the utility tree, wonder if those Passives stack to 30% summoner spell CDR... I think i't would probably stack multiplicatively, thus only 28%... 28% off 70seconds will make the CV cooldown 56 seconds... Plus it will likely last for 4-6 seconds depending on whether you hit the champion on not? I'm not sure... Anyway, assuming you buy Elise's Miracle, that's a rather short CD on CV now...

  • #120 Douggie

    I agree with you that somethings shouldn't be written off just yet due to a lot of changes. I personally think Heal may make a comeback due to its changes (and the mastery point giving you 5 hp per level is pretty good too). The problem with CV is that it is fairly hit and miss in a whole filled with certainty. I say certainty because season 2 brought about the rise of the 0 CS support (even though it was viable before that) and as such ward coverage has become impulsory.  This cause CV to really be strong in the early game, during say a lvl 1 invade. Beyond that you can garner the information you need through proper ward coverage and so as summoner spell it becomes like Clarity. Back in season 1 when it's duration was longer and the cool down much shorter it was more effective then wards. Now season 3 it may be getting a "buff" but you also have an item that gives you free wards and the "buff" to the spell just rewards you more for being right, while you are still not knowing anymore then you did before if you are wrong.

  • #127 Mockstar

    I play a lot of Nidalee mid, and I've actually been thinking about running CV/Flash on her. Ignite isn't really necessary, and CV could potentially help her steal blue with those rediculous mid game spears. 1.2k before they smite and you could get it. Or if they see the spear coming they may smite just in case, there by giving it to you easier. Just a thought. Lux too. Plus Baron checks, invade checks, etc. Its cooldown is relatively low, you might be able to track the enemy jungler fairly successfully with good knowledge of clear speeds (thank you Stonewall).

  • #102 TKEturtle

    The one thing I disagree with is the mana regen. I find it useful to harass more often in lane very early in the game. I never get it after level 6 though. 

  • #113 Douggie

    Unless you are utterly spamming your spells to the point where the button on your keyboard is wearing out you can and still harass effectively while managing your mana. And if you no longer care about mana regen post lvl 6 then why even get it in the first place. You would be better off with something else that gives a more long term benefit. You know, for the remaining 12 levels you have.

  • #99 ClosingFrantica

    I run Clairvoyance/Exhaust on support Nunu every once in a while, but only when I'm playing in a 5-man premade team with my friends so they can call for it. Yeah not running Flash can be a big deal sometimes, but I found myself using it no more than 3-4 times per game, maybe due to the extra mobility I get from Blood Boil, or the fact that me and my carry play very defensively... but it can be really useful for my team, I obviously still buy wards, but it comes in handy to check their jungler's position, check bushes for your own jungler, check buffs, Dragon, Baron etc.

    Sure, I know it's not the best option out there, but I wanted to experiment a little before declaring it "omg useless". And I absolutely LOVE yelling "HELLO ENEMY JUNGLER" on Skype rofl

  • #93 CrazedMcCrazy

    Haha I actually ran Clarity on Lux a couple of times, back in the day, even though it actually was with the purpose of building severe CDR and constantly spamming abilities.

    It kind of worked properly early to mid game, but late game I might has well not have a second summoner's spell, because it was completely useless. Yeah, it was interesting but definitely not something to even consider viable nowadays >.>...

  • #94 MerryLane

    Now, you just have Athene and Blue ... That solve both mana problems and CDR.


  • #101 CrazedMcCrazy


  • #103 MerryLane

    Btw, am I the only Lux player, that thinks everyone is stupid about her.

    I've seen so many mid lux that failed totally. Not only at last hitting, trading, ... but mainly their itemisation.
    So many I could see rushed lucidity boots, then things like tears, sheen and catalyst.

    I simply don't get it, don't they realise the damage potential of a Lux with Sorcerers, athene, rabadon, voidstaff, zhonya and rylay?

  • #104 Forfeitish

    Any mage is going to have stupid damage with all those items, that's a full build. They get sheen because if you aren't AA-ing with lux you're losing half her potential. At least in the lane phase that is.

  • #105 MerryLane

    Yeah well I meant the building path is optimal, as I described.

    I doubt the sheen is that useful, it gives what, 50 dmg every two seconds? In a "full-in" engage, you might maybe get 2 or three procs.
    But most importantly, you shouldn't AA as a Lux unless it's definitely free damage.
    The goal of a Lux is winning trades safely, thus your passive might be unnecessary in some occasions. Especially after lvl 6 where squirmishes require you to be really behind your team, and always move between casts so you don't risk getting caught and use the most of your abilities.

    Also, for the price, I think that haunting guise gives more damage output than sheen.

    And, most importantly, if you don't go sorcerers, athene then rabadon and voidstaff as fast as you can, you really loose a lot of damage at one step or another of the game.

    Last edited by MerryLane: 11/29/2012 9:21:30 AM
  • #85 Dj0z

    CV: how about making sure you're not going to get hit by some Nida spear / Morg binding / Blitz grab before you get near that bush for putting your ward? These things will definitely hit if you get in range for warding without knowing they're there, and not every team has an Ashe or Rengar to make up for it. CV can also be used to pinpoint missing laners or as setup for things skills like Noc's/Lux'x/Ez's ultimates, Xerath's full combo, Maokai's snare / Akali's dash / Diana's dash through a wall onto someone who flashed over said wall, or a jungler taking their buff. It also completely counters juking.

    Whether those champions themselves should take it or not only regards their players, but i know for a fact i've secured many kills/escapes for me or my teammates with properly timed CV's (takes practice and map awareness so, not for everyone), and that can be done almost 3 times more often than igniting. I don't think taking more than 1 per team is wise, but not having any is a tactical limitation.

    Clarity: might get more useful with the new ToG final items, since both effects are based on current mana.

    Heal: can negate a part of the AoE burst from an AP carry in a teamfight, even more so in S3.

    Ignite: i agree entirely. Cleanse also trolls it every time if you wait out the extra 30 seconds of cooldown difference, while also removing everything else that it can remove.

    Revive: agreed, i wonder how long it will take for the community to abandon the extremely negative opinion they have on it ATM, especially with the new tools reducing its cooldown in S3 (can be brought to 380-ish cooldown, which is frankly reasonable), and the fact that combined with Homeguard, you can get back to a fight up to the middle of the map in no time, not even counting Teleport.

    Because of that I think S3 candidates could also include Kog/Zyra/Yorick for maximizing presence regardless of being focused down early in teamfights or not; Tryndamere; Noc/Ziggs/Ez/Draven for surprising enemies who thought they had eliminated the global ult threat for that specific fight.

  • #90 Sreimund

    I like these arguments but I disagree at the same time for a few reasons,

    Clarity will simply never be useful, champions that require mana will continue to use chalice and blue buff to sustain through long fights and clarity is simply a useless skill, exhaust can shut down an opponent who is either extremely fed or simply very strong while clarity will not help you in any way since it does no damage, does not mitigate damage and only serves to keep you in a fight longer while any currently viable champion will not ever go out of mana during a fight. If this does happen then you are probably sticking around too long anyway.


    CV is an interesting topic, I always wanted to imagine CV as a viable option but I have not seen it in maybe a thousand games now. While I agree with the argument that CV can be really good for certain champions to make plays where they could not if fog of war was involved   this is really rare, and noone likes a summoner spell that is situational just like clarity. Heal ignite and exhaust are not situational because you WILL be fighting, and these spells WILL help you. CV is not always going to pay off.

    Perhaps that won't convince the remaining CV fans, but the only way I see it really work right now is in a fully premade team because people are so distanced from CV nowadays that noone in solo queue will make plays that are made possible by CV.

  • #91 Dj0z

    Quote from Sreimund »


    Well i run CV in specific cases where i know it will be useful regardless of what happens. This is based on facts like:

    1) There will always be fog of war; 2) There are bushes everywhere especially in the jungle; 3) You cannot cast single target spells at targets you don't have vision of for any of the aforementioned reasons; 4) Walking all the way back to base from almost everywhere in the map is a waste of time, so enemies who survived a close fight will stop somewhere in fog for 8 seconds of recalling.

    With that in mind, i found good use for CV (and by good i mean, giving greater overall results to me specifically, than Ignite or whatever else would have) on assassins and long-ranged nukers. I wrote a whole guide about how to make Nocturne an assassin, which he was originally designed for, and it's based around proper use of CV, which fixes problems 1, 2 & 3 in his case, and exploits fact #4. When i still had any hope for Xerath, i used it to prevent all the dashing bruisers/assassins from ever getting in range of jumping at me from any angle (combined with wards), and for surprise assassination of enemies in their jungle. Similarly, it made for alot of easy kills with Lux/Ziggs on people recalling after a fight or flashing over a wall.

    I think it's also dramatically underrated for counterjungling: earlygame you can sometimes watch the entire route of the enemy jungler, which allows you to know precisely where and when he ganks; once you lost track, you can CV two camps at once to see if they're up and if he's there. If he's not and you have uninterrupted sight up to that area, that's a secured path you can use to ward enemy jungle for an immediate or delayed steal/assassination.

    CV also remains the only SS you can cast anywhere.

    PS: about the need for premades, when an ally is chasing someone and the chased is about to hide in a bush, you can CV that, denying any form of protection to the chased, and whoever your teammate is will benefit from it. Especially true when the teammate is ranged+squishy, and the chased is melee and could pull a surprise kill by having your teammate get in melee range to see them in the bush *cough*garendariusjaxireliaakali*cough*.

    Last edited by Dj0z: 11/29/2012 6:28:12 AM
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