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Farewell to Season 2: Surge

Here's Lookin' At You

When Season 2 rolled around they brought out a new summoner spell, Surge. Remember that spell? It sure is not popular! In todays' meta, on-hit effects, attack-speed, and trying to get in a lot of auto attacks don't fit, and they haven't for a long time. Also, who uses both attack speed and AP? Hardly anyone. Turn this thing on and you get huge. It's a red alarm that more damage is being dealt, instead of simply a sound effect and muted visible effect, like when Irelia's W turns on. Even Malph's W has a smaller visible effect.

The crazy thing is that we don't know for sure if they'll even keep it!


So in memory or preparation, let's do some number crunching on the AP for everyone's favorite (hah) summoner spell, Surge! Here's a chart showing the number of bonus AP gained for 12 seconds when using Surge, with Ignite compared next to it.

Level Surge AP Bonus Surge AP Bonus with mastery Total Ignite Damage
1 10 11 70
2 14 15.4 90
3 18 19.8 110
4 22 24.2 130
5 26 28.6 150
6 30 33 170
7 34 37.4 190
8 38 41.8 210
9 42 46.2 230
10 46 50.6 250
11 50 55 270
12 54 59.4 290
13 58 63.8 310
14 62 68.2 330
15 66 72.6 350
16 70 77 370
17 74 81.4 390
18 78 85.8 410


Strictly AP (Examples: Anivia and Karthus)

For starters the ratio of AP to damage starts at 6.36 at level 1 and ends at 4.78, assuming you got the offensive mastery, and you should if you're taking this ability. At level 18 then, to get the damage equivalent of an ignite you need to have 4.78 points of damage per AP showing. The ratios will really need to stack with 12 seconds, then, eh? And that's at level 18! Again, if you use spells with the equivalent of 4.78 AP in ratios within 12 seconds, you will equal 410 damage. At a lower level it's even harsher.  Oh, and ignite's damage is true damage, and it also reduces healing effects for 5 seconds. So, add a percentage on top of that because your magic damage will be reduced.

A nicely landed Anivia Q and E have 1.0 AP. That's just 2. Her AOE has .25. Doesn't seem worth it, does it? If her Q hits two people perfectly, that's still 3.25. Maybe we should think AOE instead.

Karthus' ult has .6. If he hits all 5, that's 3. His AOE E has .25, and his Q is .6 single target and .3 two targets. At level 6 the ratio is 5.15. This means if he ults 5 people after he surges, he needs to get in just 2.15 more AP ratio's worth of damage. That's 9 ticks of his E, 4 single large Q's, or 7 targets total in a multi-hit lay waste within 12 seconds, or, say, 2 ticks of Defile on two people plus 2 lay wastes on 2 people. (2 x 2 x .25) + (.3 x 2 x 2). The more it surpasses it, the more Surge helps.

Remember to add 10-50% for all of the MR that reduces the damage done. If you don't have the penetration, it just isn't going to work.

Oh, and we have to get Karthus as our example to even make it work. Most AP champs do not have this kind of opportunity to repeat a lot aoe spells in 12 seconds. Cassiopeia might also work...

Strictly Attack Speed (Example: Graves)

With the mastery, you get 40% attack speed for the 12 seconds. That's a big boost. Graves' E gives him 40-80% from levels 1-5 for 5 seconds. Graves' base attack speed is .638 the addition of 40% AS makes for an increase of .255 attacks per seconds. At 12 seconds, if he is attacking nonstop the whole time (unlikely), he'll get three full additional attacks. Some nice footwork and he'll get two more. This doesn't take into the account the ability to move and shoot as AS gives you, which is also nice, but remember, we're comparing it to a ignite, which does not require us to stay.

At level 1, you have to deal more than 70 damage with your additional auto-attacks. At level 18, it has to be more than 410.

Pretty much junk.

Both (Examples: Corki and Jax)

Unlike Graves, Corki has some magic spells he'll be using. If he gets out one bomb and two non-big one missiles on two people each, that's (.5 x 1) + (.3 x 2 x 2) for 1.7 x the AP given from Surge. At level 6, ignite is 170, and Surge is 33. 33 x 1.7 for 56.1 extra magic damage. That's only 114 extra damage from auto-attacks he'd have to get in.

Jax's magic damage is all single target. Q, W, and E have AP ratios of .6, .6, and .7. At level 6, if Jax uses all of them and gets two of his third explosive hits in, that's 2.6 x 33 for 85.8. He'd have to get an extra 84 damage off of auto-attacks to equal an ignite.

Remember though: no healing reduction and the damage isn't true, it's facing armor and MR.

Why you don't take Surge Unless You're Trolling

Surge isn't good because it relies heavily on continued damage for it to be effective. Most fights are hit and run, not outright spammed damage. Few champions use AP and attack speed both. Few times can you manage to get enough AP use to get an ignite off. Under AOE circumstances, Surge will deal more damage in team fights. Why pick the right champ and play harder to capitalize on it? And what about the fact that most of the game isn't teamfights?

So yeah, in case you were wondering: Surge his horrible. This is why.

I seriously ask: was this ability tested? Was the math done on it? What were they thinking?

Old Man Eyebrows

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  • #96 Dj0z

    When taking down a turret/inhibitor/nexus, Surge deals more damage than Ignite in 100% of cases.

    When trying to clear a creepwave, assuming you can't just do it with 1 spell, Surge deals more damage than Ignite in 100% of cases.


    Good job trying to make the games last longer, Riot. Yet these people remain completely oblivious to it, too busy debating about who's got the biggest spellPeen between Ignite and Surge.

    Different purposes are different, for f*ck's sake. Just because Surge has more versatility than ignite and could help winning faster didn't mean you had to remove it.

    Last edited by Dj0z on 11/13/2012 6:52:28 AM
  • #97 Douggie

    Riot stated they are removing it because it is too inconsistent of a summoner spell, with it's potential benefits being either too restrictive or too difficult to determine. Ultimately it is a spell whose niche can be fill by Ignite, according to Riot.

  • #98 Dj0z

    Yes that's what they said, but my examples show that there are things Ignite simply does not help with. Surge did help with these things, with its removal those possibilities just disappear.

    When surge is gone, LoL loses its only DPS (and AP) summoners-spell-steroid in the whole game. And i really think the AP should have been on a separate summoner spell in the first place. That would fix the whole perception issue.

    Last edited by Dj0z on 11/13/2012 12:21:35 PM
  • #102 pagansaint

    It is actually more likely that they realized a couple of the potential abuse combinations of the spell with their new items.

    Skarner with the new Tiamat for example.

    Last edited by pagansaint on 11/14/2012 7:33:38 AM
  • #103 Dj0z

    Quote from pagansaint »

    It is actually more likely that they realized a couple of the potential abuse combinations of the spell with their new items.

    Skarner with the new Tiamat for example.

    You might just be right. I remember that they removed the effect of Aegis of the Legion on pets, in the same patch where they released Yorick. That's probably a similar decision pattern.

  • #104 Douggie

    It is a possibility, although a lot of choices are made sort of all at once. They could have removed surge at the point they introduced the new Tiamat. They could have not, we are all unsure. I will say it does sort of make sense off of what they have said so far. They are removing Promote in favor of adding an item with its effect since they feel it better as a buy in option rather then a concrete choice. Who knows, maybe they are adding an item with a similar effect to Surge so that way you can continue to use it without using a spell slot. The buy-in idea would be a better approach I think.

  • #106 Dj0z

    One of the Reds did mention something that gives +100% attack speed, for a very short time. I guess that qualifies as what you are talking about. I can't remember where exactly they said it though.

  • #93 Vunjo

    Every champion that is based on buffing him/herself up can also use Surge instead of Ignite. It's just simple, if a champion is made to be used in a way so he/she can fight for certain amount of time, Surge is way better. Just because you obviously never played such champions, doesn't make Surge less powerful as a spell. +LoL is one of the games where you can actually rely only on DPS, since there is Tenacity, which will shorten the effect of CCs on you, + many more items that actually break cc. There's also both spell vamp, and life steal, which means the higher your DPS is -> more defensive you are.

    Ignite sure is easier to use, but if you can't use Surge instead, why not let the rest use it?

    To Basinator, you're right, more damage from items like Infinity Edge make Surge a better use. It's just that people in this community obviously haven't come from games where DPS is actually measured, so they can't learn to create proper builds for their champions, instantly making their DPS lower, which makes Surge worse choice. I laugh every time I see an enemy Master Yi buying Phantom Dancers (sometimes, more than just 2 of them) as first items, while I just get Youmuu's Ghostblade, and Brutalizer (Which do stack, there's wiki if you don't believe me), and literally kill the enemies within 2 seconds...

    Overall, it's just silly to discuss this topic anymore. People around here obviously do not know how to use champions that are based on buffs (Master Yi, Olaf, Kayle, Xin Zhao, Kog Maw, etc.), so they instantly can't use Surge as a spell,

    Last edited by Vunjo on 11/13/2012 1:23:00 AM
  • #95 Douggie

    Well now your just being insulting.

  • #87 Douggie

    This is all a moot point, as it has been announced that Surge will go bye bye in S3

    and OldmanEyebrows, you were right

  • #88 TreeBurrow

    Moot? It's not Moot until S3 starts, that's still several long weeks away...

    OldmanEyebrows is right to an extent, so is Vunjo... It's about applying the math to the game, Sometimes you'll be in a situation in which Surge > Ignite... Othertimes Ignite will be better, we're here discussing those situations and coming up with scenarios in which Surge is useful, and they do exist... It's an under-rated Spell...

  • #90 Douggie

    Useful and Viable are two different things (in my eyes at least) .  I can USE a spatula to hammer a nail, but that's not a VIABLE option as a hammer is more effective.

    I can USE Surge on a few champs, but I have to meet certain perimeters and cater to the spell in order to get the most out of it, which isn't very VIABLE when I can just run Ignite and insure I'm dealing some true damage.

    Even if you can objectively prove that Surge>Ignite 5% of the time, doesn't mean I should drop everything and run only Surge so that way I can come across that 5% occurance and do more damage then Ignite. This is what makes the point moot.  The argument is purely for a sort of academic purpose and may not hold any relevance to real world application.  The fact that it's being removed in S3 just adds to how moot of a point it is (or will become). 

  • #91 sgtcolon


    Way to remain uncouth and obstructive, despite gracious explanations and discussion from your peers.

    You don't have to meet any 'parameters' for Surge to be viable, certain champions (e.g. the much discussed Kog'Maw) meet these requirements for you. (Long range, slow, plenty of time to auto-attack targets safely and rarely close enough to an enemy to even use Ignite).

    You should take a lead from GentlemanGustaf's recent post and get better at realising when it is time to back down from a falsely held opinion when presented with facts. Time to 'man up' and concede that Surge is/was more than viable for some champions, just not many champions (which no one ever argued was the case!). Precisely why Riot are replacing it with something else, was just too niche.

    Last edited by sgtcolon on 11/12/2012 8:39:16 PM
  • #92 TreeBurrow

    Something being Niche doesn't mean it's moot

  • #94 Douggie

    Ok...first off, let me clarify the context that I'm trying to explain; 


    to reduce or remove the practical significance of; make purely theoretical or academic.

    Archaic, to argue (a case), especially in a mock court.

    When I'm labeling the argument as moot, I'm stating that significance is mostly theorectical or academic in that the OBJECTIVITY of the evidence may prove one thing, but the SUBJECTIVITY of it is another matter.  Real world application.  I'm trying to say that even if you can prove something with hard facts, doesn't mean its always going to be applicable and so if it's not going to be consistently applicable then it's argument has no "real" relevance and you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.  A moot point.

    Sorry, but my opinion isn't necessarily false nor is it true.  It's my opinion.  And just because I may be unable (or unwilling) to invalidate your argument doesn't prove it's true, that's an Argument from ignorance.  The presented facts and equations are only accounting for specific and fixed occurences, almost completely ignoring other factors simply because they are intangible.  To state that this makes it true is a ludic fallacy.  Too put it another way, no reasonable person is going to bet on black when the last 50 times its come up red, even if mathmatically the odds are still 50:50.  Even if Surge can do more damage in certain situations mathematically, doesn't always make it the right choice in those situations.

    Last edited by Douggie on 11/13/2012 2:42:11 AM
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