The Dragons in League of Legends have undergone severe changes over the years. From a basic enemy that gave nothing more than gold – to a wide variety of effects and buffs that can change the course of a match. It has been a wild ride for the League of Legends Dragons, and we can only anticipate what can come in the future.
The current state of the Dragons may leave some players confused. With five iterations, all with different mechanics and importance, it may be hard to discern the best. Due to how randomized the Dragon spawns are, the most essential Dragon is the one currently on the map.
However, we’re here to do some meta-analysis by comparing the Dragon Souls with each other. Comparing their regular buffs would be futile as you will always have 3 of them in every game. The Souls are just one per game, and that’s what we’re here to discuss.
Keep in mind that the situations can vary vastly, and this is just an on-paper overview of what the Dragons offer. We will go over them separately first and then make a complete, free-for-all, head-to-head comparison.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
The Infernal Drake is likely the one players love the most. It grants that juicy thing we all crave for – damage. Doing more damage is all we want to do in a League of Legends match. Well, if we aren’t a Support, that is.
The Infernal Dragon’s Soul grants you some extra bit of damage on your attacks. The stats are as follows:
Damaging basic attacks and abilities trigger an explosion around the target, dealing 80 (+ 22.5% bonus AD) (+ 13.5% AP) (+ 2.75% bonus health) adaptive damage to the target and nearby enemies (3-second cooldown).
That additional explosion can be insanely impactful, as it can lead to easy kills and enhance burst attacks. The Infernal Soul is sugar on top for Champions that can do huge amounts of damage instantaneously. It is pretty interesting how much a Dragon Soul can change the game.
Despite being so strong, the Infernal won’t have that much of an impact in the late game. However, when paired with an Elder Dragon buff, the Infernal Soul becomes a death sentence for the enemy team. Also, if you happen to have anyone with a Collector on your team, the Infernal Soul will make them a walking nuclear weapon.
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The Cloud Dragon has been considered the most critical and valuable one. Having your cooldowns reduced is always a nice thing, especially if there are some high-intensity mages onboard your roster. The Soul, however, is quite underwhelming. I mean, it does fit the theme, but it pales in comparison with the others. But the comparison will have to wait for the end of the article, so keep on reading for that.
The Cloud Dragon Soul grants 10% bonus movement speed, increased to 60% for 6 seconds after casting your Ultimate. This has a 30-second cooldown.
As you can see, it doesn’t do much. The extra movement speed after you use the Ultimate does have its uses. Champions like Kassadin or Zed can cast their Ultimate frequently and use it as a primary engaging tool. The extra MS can make it easier for them to chase down escaping enemies, which can lead to extra kills.
These kills can and will have a good impact on the game. However, as it is pretty situational and closed to a few Champions – this Soul isn’t that good, in my opinion. The passive effect of the Cloud Dragon is much better and does serve as a redeeming quality for this Drake iteration.
The Hextech Dragon is the newest addition to the League of Legends Dragon roster. He was added alongside his buddy, the Chemtech Dragon, but the latter was swiftly removed from the game. It was so utterly broken that Riot didn’t even bother to fix it – they just up and kicked him out entirely. If only they did so with some Champions. I’m looking at you, Akshan.
This Dragon Soul is similar to what the Infernal Soul offers, only slightly different. It is more in tune with Volibear’s passive lightning. However, as it is pretty powerful and helpful to have, it’s a great Soul.
It works like this:
Dealing damage to an enemy with basic attacks or ability damage causes them to be struck with electricity, dealing 25 − 50 (based on level) bonus true damage and slowing them by (45% / 35%) (+ 3% per 100 bonus AD) (+ 1% per 100 AP) (+ 0.5% per 100 bonus health) decaying over 2 seconds, while chaining the effect to up to 3 enemies near the primary target. The slow can stack from multiple sources, and the decay rate is decreased against ranged champions (8-second cooldown).
Unlike everything else Riot has recently put into the game, the Hextech Dragon is an excellent addition. Riot couldn’t have gone with a perfect release since they added that Chemtech wretch. Thankfully they saw their mistake and decided to act upon it for a change.
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The Mountain Dragon is my worst nightmare. It seems to spawn every time the enemy team is packing three full tanks. And they always manage to get it, somehow. Whatever the reasoning behind my bad luck with this Dragon, it is undoubtedly one of the best to have. Extra defenses are incredible and will boost your team’s fighting potential significantly.
The Mountain Dragon Soul only adds to that. After not taking damage for 5 seconds, you will gain a shield for 200 (+ 18% bonus AD) (+ 13.5% AP) (+ 13.5% bonus health). This shield protects you from a ton of incoming damage and might be the saving grace against those pesky Assassins that are creeping around the map.
Honestly, this Soul is so useful in so many ways, and each of them is self-explanatory. Having boosted defenses is always a welcome thing, and this Soul is a gift that keeps on giving.
The Ocean Dragon is perhaps the one that I love stacking the most. If you get 4 Ocean Dragons and manage to pick up the Soul, you’ll become nigh unkillable. The extra healing makes survivability a non-issue, and recalling is almost obsoleted. Getting it early, without the Soul, is also a nice thing as it makes Laning much easier than it would usually be.
The Soul emphasizes increasing your sustain in combat. Dealing damage to enemies heals you for 160 (+ 36% bonus AD) (+ 22.5% AP) (+ 9% bonus health) and restores 80 (+ 3.5% maximum mana) mana over 4 seconds. Damage to minions and monsters regenerates with 30% effectiveness. This will allow for more aggressive gameplay and reduce the chances of overextension.
Even if you do overextend, the punishment won’t be as severe as the Soul will heal back any of the damage you took as a result.
Also read: How to Play Against Ranged Top Laners?
Now, it is almost impossible to compare and discern the best here. All of the Souls above have particular use-case scenarios. Going from the overall impact on the game, I’d say that the Mountain or Ocean Dragons are the best.
Mountain Dragon Soul gives you that awesome shield that may protect you from all damage. Combined with what the Dragon passively does, it will turn even the squishiest target into a semi-tank. It has a permanent and effective impact on the course of the match.
The Ocean Dragon Soul grants incredible sustain and healing, allowing for aggressive and pressure-heavy gameplay. You will be able to attack relentlessly without worrying about recalls. Paired with some extra healing sources, you will get insane sustain, and the enemy will undoubtedly feel the impact.
However, the Infernal Dragon Soul has you covered when damage is intensely required. That explosion can make burst Champions into walking weapons of mass destruction. Nuclear chaos will befall the enemy that has to face the Infernal Dragon Soul.
The other two, while not useless, cannot be compared with the three named thus. I like them both, and they do have their particularities. However, they don’t have that much overall impact, and losing them is pretty forgivable. The three above will certainly make you sweat once you see the enemy sporting them.
Dragon Souls all have their own unique and particular uses. While some are inherently better than others, I can’t pick out just one. I’ve named the three above as the best and with the most uses. The other two had to be left out for obvious reasons. If you have a differing opinion from mine, please let me know in the comments. I love feedback; it only helps me improve.
I hope you’ve found this article informative and fun to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift!