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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  • #76 Dondy1

    she's no adc, it's still the strongest build on her that scales well and e does scale with crit because it's a friggin auto attack. the ap ratio's on E/W are horrible - Q is another matter.

    guinsoo's is bad because you don't want to fight for 4s and you won't get the advantage on your Q (despite not even having any magic penetration because you need the AS more because of your shitty base AS) since you will loose most longer trades because you're rather squishy - you want to bully.

    it's fine if you want to max Q early and go hybrid items but you are gimping your "threat level" by going for hybrid items that don't even scale well into mid/late. just saying "they gud!" doesn't make them better than they actually are, btw. you're not talking about old kayle who actually had a "rabadon's of hybrid" style of passive that actually MADE hyrbid items work and let her carry with it?

  • #77 Felsong

    the passive on-hit damage doesn't scale with crit is what I was saying. The AP ratio on her W does suck. but Her E is fine. cost for cost .4 scales about the same as AD for cost. 20g per point of AP vs. 37g per point of AD.
    Q scales better with AP for cost because of that fact.
    Guinsoo's is good because u want longer engages to make use of her passive. As well as bruiser damage being frontload. This is why she has invincibility ulti. they'll blow all theyre burst and youll still be at 90% HP. (this is where surge is really powerful) (and Kayle has one of the highest base health in the game. also run HP/lvl seals. after phage u should have like 2700 HP.)
     You proceed to deal massive DPS while they attempt to run away (or fight as lose) Arp and MP passive is offense + kayle Passive is a lot of early pen. (22.5%). The only bruisers that are really a pain ATM are Malph and Olaf (before madreds) and after u can 1v1 again.

    Hybrid items don't scale as well (at least on guinsoo's/nashor's), but once u get madreds you scale a lot more with AS. So those items get better for the cost after. (like I said, its the IE of hybrid builds) AS is the best DPS stat in this game. its just hard to build.

    I had only just started playing before the rework, Kayle was the first champ I played, the rework was a few weeks after I started playing. The new kayle is not stupid OP now? that passive along with pre-nerf Gunblade was stupidly broken. The new passive fits better with her role, Since scaling into late game was always her biggest problem (when not stupid fed). She does that better now, and stays relevant throughout the game.

  • #20 pagansaint

    Jax, Teemo, Volibear, Kayle, Fizz, and even Skarner double dip on Surge; anything from, "yeah its ok" to "oh holy shit where'd that damage come from". (Pro tip: Jax triple dips, he even gains durability)

    Better questions: "Clarity? Really?" or "Clairvoyance? Really?" 

  • #31 scruftypufty

    Better questions: "Clarity? Really?" or "Clairvoyance? Really?" 

    clairvoyance isn't bad at all, though i agree that clarity is one of the worst ss

  • #19 Psyke

    Trolling? I raise you: Surge + Volibear's Ult + Lulu's Ult + Ionic Spark, AKA Megabear.

    Although Surge is only situationally good and it is certainly hard to make the best out of it, I find this combination of abilities and items to be most effective.

    Some arguments in it's favor:

    1. Megabear is hilarious;
    2. Powerful chain lightnings further boosted by AP and AS everywhere;
    3. Continuous damage is easily dealt because of Lulu's ult knockup and slow as well as Volibear's constant slows and flings;
    4. A giant armored bear shooting lightning bolts. Yes;
    5. Lulu's ultimate further increases Volibear's Ferocious Bite's insane damage potential;
    6. It. Is. Hilarious. (Did I mention that?)

    As I said, this is a combination that is purely situational and mostly for the fun factor, especially since Lulu's ult can sometimes be of better use on a carry in trouble or such and that Surge is, in most circumstances, a liability when you could get some better summoner spell instead, but I suggest to try it out with friends! It's worth it!

    Last edited by Psyke: 10/30/2012 11:00:46 PM
  • #25 Snuffrix

    His point was ignite still does more damage or at least more reliable with heal debuff added too. The cool lightning effect in your head jsut makes you think it does more.

    Lulu ult has nothing to do with this discussion, it only synergises visually. Ignite or surge volibear could have a Lulu on the team, it makes no difference in a comparison.

  • #27 Psyke

    Only synergizes visually? Lulu's ultimate offers a giant increase in maximum health, which not only offers more survivability, but also a lot more damage to a character who's main ability (in this case, Ferocious Bite) scales off of his maximum health. It also gives a big AoE slow around Volibear, which as I said, allows continuous damage with surge and Volibear's ultimate.

    Surge only makes me think it does more? Didn't notice I never ever compared with ignite on my comment? I suggested something that is hilarious AND effective when it comes to Surge. And Surge IS doing more for Volibear's ultimate. More attack speed and more ability power?
    I am aware Ignite is more reliable. But this combination is huuuuuuge. And more effective than it seems.

    I also think I made it clear that it was mostly for fun.

    Last edited by Psyke: 10/31/2012 9:03:38 AM
  • #18 Matthew50

    Diana and AP Jax with surge is fne by me though

  • #26 Snuffrix

    Why would you when ignite does more damage due to their resists and give a heal debuff?

  • #17 cottonycloud

    I enjoy using Surge-Ignite in place of Heal-Ignite or Flash-Ignite. I'm considering Cleanse-Ignite instead for Tristana.

  • #16 Blacknsilver

    It makes me sad to see just how bad Surge is. I thought it was better than this :/

  • #11 brainsickhater

    I think a big thing you miss is that the AS boost really helps out with on-hit effects, one of the big ones being lifesteal.  Not to say this makes surge great, but ignite can't keep you alive.  Surge has given me enough AS on AD carries in the early stages of the game to win fights just because I had a vampiric scepter.  However, it must be said, I used surge when I was trolling, but trolling to win.  Still, ignite goes along with burst, and surge goes along with sustained damage, which I think was the intention.

  • #32 scruftypufty

    he mentioned surge working and being created for on hit's, have you even read the post?

  • #10 TreeBurrow

    Ok, you've showed the math for Graves/Corki... What about MF, Tristana or Varus... You know... AD carries who have grevious wounds and therefore don't require ignite for the DeBuff... These 3 also have AP ratios... 2 of these champions have on-hit effects...

    I thank you for the maths you did, at least you raised a good example with Corki/Jax... But you've left quite a lot un-answered, and that makes the spell look bad... It's already under-rated and mis-understood, you kinda just made matters worse by not including MF/Varus or Tristana in your AD carry examples... Or for that matter, Cho'gath / Diana / Elise or Fizz... As mages...

    Maybe GentlemanGustaf would have elaborated better, I mean... He said he was planning to write an article in the future explaining the synergy between Kog'maw or Varus with Surge... Did you read his article and steal his idea? Because... Yea, I'm kinda annoyed... I feel he would have done Surge more justice by using better examples... But, oppotunity lost? I hope he still writes his article dispite the fact that it will probably come to a different conclusion than this one...


  • #13 corallein

    Corki and Jax have AP ratios. This isn't especially in-depth, but the fact that Ignite damage is true and ignores resistances makes it add significantly more damage in most scenarios, even ignoring the added AD and AP from the summoner spell mastery.

    Will Surge pull ahead if you assume you get full use out of it for 12 seconds? Probably, but that's an unrealistic scenario for most of the game, and is even rare in late-game team fights.

  • #15 OldManEyeBrows

    Crossover is inevitable, and if he says he'll do it, he'll do it.

    There are 105 champions in the game. I'm not gonna analyze every single one of them for the spell. I'm going to use a few examples to make a few general points. Fortunately, our illustrious commenters will fill in some blanks. 

    I still maintain that for the AP section, I drove the point home--Karthus hits more aoe and rapidfire AP damage than almost anyone, which is a big reason he is a top and consistently picked mid. That it almost isn't good on him tells you a lot about what will happen if you do the analysis on others.  

  • #33 TreeBurrow

    One major factor that you didn't mention about Karthus is the fact that 9/10 times, Karthus will build glass-cannon and try to die in a suitable position in a team-fight, attempting to apply as much damage as possible with Defile... Then, at the end of his Passive (Or sometimes at the start) he'll cast his Ult... This means that the majority of Karthus' damage in a team-fight will happen when he's already dead... He casts his Ult while dead so that it cannot be interupted... Early game this may not be the case, but in a real team-fight, the Ult will almost always be cast when he's dead... If he's Dead, he doesn't receive the AP bonus from Surge... So yes, Karthus has some of the best AP ratios in the game, therefore he's more likely to achieve that 410 damage target... But half of his damage is dealt while dead... He's very unlikely to remain alive for the full duration... Also, he doesn't benefit from AS at all, infact I'd go as far as saying that he is the only champion who doesn't benefit at all from AS... Therefore I honestly believe he was a terrible example...

    Similarly, you could have easily substituted Graves for MF/Varus/Kog... Graves is a typical carry, but he has no on-hit effects or AP ratios... He was a decent example, but you should have included one of these other champions alongside Graves, to give a less biased review... Show how it CAN be used effectively, have a small list of champions who benefit from both AS and AP...

    I understand that their are 105 Champions and you can't go through every single scenario, but just having 2 more examples would have gone a long way towards helping people realize how good Surge CAN be in certain situations... Provide data from both sides of the argument etc...

  • #9 FleurDeLiz

    It's about as useless as Rally was, and was being made to take over that slot

    The biggest problem it has is the visual effect just screams GTFO. And that's exactly what your target will do. .

  • #14 OldManEyeBrows

    Yeah, I noted that at the beginning. The effect is cool visually but it is way more powerful and psychological than other, similar effects.

    There we go, that's why to take it. Using it as a bluff. 




    (Don't take it.)

  • #8 fydorm

    I'm not going to say Surge is a good summoner spell. But your analysis is trash. "Pretty much junk." is all you say in regard to Graves using Surge for the Attack Speed. At level 18, a fed AD Carry can be critting for over 1000, meaning the boost from Surge has a huge advantage over ignite. That doesn't mean you should take Surge, but at least try to think before you write, okay?

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