In the past, Supports would take Exhaust, and Mid / Top would take ignite. However, in modern League of Legends, you’ll see Supports take Ignite most of the time. Dinosaurs like myself remember when this change initially started taking place.
But isn’t Ignite for getting kills? Aren’t Supports supposed to allow their ADC to get the kill? If so, then why would Supports take Ignite over Exhaust? Are they just trying to KS their ADC? Well, not exactly (most of the time). In this article, I will go over all of the reasons that a Support may want to take Ignite, and not all of them are going to be for selfish reasons.
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Okay, so sometimes it is about stealing a kill. However, there is a difference between stealing a kill and securing one. I’ve seen many Supports and Junglers back off of a kill because they were too afraid to take it from their carry, only to end up losing the kill altogether.
It’s so much better for a Support to grab the kill than for no one to. Unless your carry can 100% kill the enemy, you need to throw everything you have at them. If you get the kill, it’s still a net positive since your ADC will get Assist gold as well as XP and farm advantages.
One of the more underrated aspects of Ignite is its anti-healing properties. When you Ignite someone, they receive less healing from items and abilities. This anti-heal is especially strong in modern League because so many ADCs and Supports have healing abilities.
Being able to shut down someone like Samira or Soraka’s healing is incredible and makes Ignite 1000% more effective than Exhaust in any 2v2 situation. Most of the time, during fights in the Bot lane, you’ll want to pop Ignite as soon as you can. Whoever gets Ignited first will receive less heals and likely lose the fight since even the ADC’s Summoner Spell will be less impactful.
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To Get Fed
Fine, you win. Some Supports take Ignite to steal every kill, build Mejai’s Soulstealer, and tear up the map. I say more power to them. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a Pyke running around nabbing Triple kills while I get to farm safely in my lane. (https://icnaconvention.org/)
Support has evolved into a carry role over the years. Sometimes you can carry through macro plays and roaming. Other times you have to carry through force. Ignite helps with the latter by getting you fed enough to wreak havoc across the Rift.
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No One Else Has It
Ignite is necessary for almost every game. ADCs and Champions like Irelia build so much lifesteal that the anti-healing alone is required to win team fights. Especially if the enemy team has a healing Champ like Mundo, you’re going to need an answer for their regeneration. It may be too late if you wait until someone builds Grevious Wounds.
If no one on your team has Ignite, I strongly recommend taking it just in case. You never know when someone will rush healing and sustain through every fight. I double recommend Ignite if you see the enemy team lock-in Dr. Mundo, Soraka, Singed, or anyone else with massive regeneration or healing.
When Not to Take Ignite
So, if no one takes Ignite, then I strongly recommend the Support take it. However, there will be some games where your Mid lane and Top lane have Ignite. Sometimes you may even have a Jungler with Ignite. If you find yourself in this situation, I’d go ahead and take Exhaust.
There’s really no reason to have more than two Ignites on a team, and Exhaust can win fights, especially when used on ADCs and Champs that rely on auto-attacks (Yi, Irelia, Tryndamere, etc.).
So, when I play Support, I always take Ignite unless I’m in a very generous mood. Exhaust allows you to peel your ADC quite well, but if you can’t kill the enemy Champion, you’re only delaying the inevitable.
Supports have realized that Ignite does a lot more overall than Exhaust ever could. It gets your ADCs ahead faster, shuts down enemies, and secures kills.