Picking up Ignite in the mid lane seems to be a standard these days, but what if I were to tell you that it may not be the best option out there? From the many other options such as Exhaust, Barrier, and Teleport that exist, I feel that Ignite can be quite lackluster. Now, I am not saying that you should never pick it up again, nor am I saying it is essentially wrong. What I am saying is that if you are playing a caster such as Lissandra, Xerath, Ryze, or Lux, Teleport may prove to be much more beneficial. There are many reasons as to why I believe this and I will gladly share them with you within the contexts of this post.
Before I begin, let me point out one thing. What I am trying to say within this post is that if you are playing casters that have a lot of ranged spells and/or peel for themselves, Teleport may be the right choice. If, on the other hand, you are playing assassins in the middle lane such as Zed, Kha’Zix, LeBlanc, then Ignite may be the better choice since these champions’ sole focus and role is to burst out ONE single target. This post is directed more towards champions that are team-oriented and offer crowd control in team fights, self-peel, and essentially are not champions that will suicide in order to take the enemy’s ADC out of the fight/game.
With that cleared up, let us dive into the 3 reasons why I think you should start picking up Teleport when playing middle.
Offers Great Lane Sustain
A common tactic that high level players would use is to push the lane as hard as they can, especially if their enemy mid laner has decided to go back to base and pick up items and/or heal. Or, many champions will purposely and constantly push the lane hard no matter what in order to harass you while you try your best to CS under turret and slowly but surely wither you down until you must return to base and heal up, resulting in a loss of a wave of two of minions. All of this can be extremely detrimental to your laning phase and how well you are going to scale out of that phase and be an asset for your team.
This is where Teleport can be useful. If you happen to choose a champion that is not essentially the best laner nor the best pusher, such as Veigar or Kassadin, having the option to return to lane within seconds of leaving it to insure that you miss minimal minions and experience can be very important to winning (or at least coming out even). On top of the ability to return with full HP so quickly, you will also be likely to return with an item or two ahead of your enemy which can cause you to have lane dominance for that short time, causing them to have to back to base as well and spend their gold so they can match or surpass you. You then take this opportunity to push out the lane to their turret and force them to miss CS/experience as you take wraiths, roam to a lane, or back and buy again.
Early-Mid Game Lane Support and Counter Ganks
This is probably my favourite and most influential reason as to why I like taking Teleport on heavy CC casters like Lux or Lissandra. We all know that the jungler can be extremely influential in early-mid game, and can almost be the sole reason a lane would dominate. But wouldn’t it be great to be able to instantly help your top/bot lane when they are getting ganked and possibly turn it around and get kills? This can be huge and nearly game deciding from this alone just from the fact of how much it may snowball certain champions/lanes. For example, assume your jungler is ganking the top lane, and the enemy jungler is making his way to gank bottom. They may think they have the advantage, but then out of nowhere you Teleport in right beside the enemy ADC (whoops I mean Marksmen) and possibly secure a kill or at the very least nullify the gank.
You can also do something like this, but without the need to counter gank. If the top or bottom lane is pushing in to your allied turret, you can simply Teleport to a ward behind the enemy champion(s), notify your top/bot lane that you are coming in, and set up a solid gank since you tend to bring in high CC as a middle laner. Once again, this can be huge and nearly game changing! There are so many options that Teleport opens up that lets you have the ability to support other lanes and help them snowball as well.
Split Pushing Late Game or Countering the Enemy’s Split Push
The ability to split push or counter split push is another important factor that Teleport brings to the table. I personally have single-handedly won a game for my team just from being able to split push effectively. We were behind and I just kept pushing bottom as Lissandra, and since I bring high CC and a great escape tool, it was hard for me to die unless they brought 2 or more people to stop me, which in return would grant my team the option to either force Baron or push for another turret. This is huge late game because it lets you be two places at any time–the first place being the lane you are split pushing, and the second place being wherever your team potentially is forcing an objective. We all know and hate the infamous Shen split pushing capabilities (unless he is on your team), and how annoyingly effective it can be. Well, now you can have the same effect except be able to push even faster and potentially have a better escape option.
Also, this offers the ability to counter an enemy attempting to split push in two ways. First off, let’s say their top laner is Shen or any other champion with Teleport and they keep split pushing a lane. Now you can stop them. You can just simply lane with them the whole time and when they are about to Teleport to help their team when the situation arises, you can follow just as well. Or, you can take the other route and remain with your team as you attempt to push for an objective and force the split pusher to come back; or worst comes to worst, if you cannot get any objective the Shen or whoever it may be is just split pushing too far, you can Teleport back and stop the wave right away without having to walk there or wait for your blue pill to teleport you to base and then walk there.
To me, these reasons are more than enough to make me want to get Teleport over ignite on the majority of casters that I play. Keep in mind, this is all personal opinion and certain play styles will not synergize as well with this summoner spell over Ignite. I simply encourage you to give it a try for a few games and see how it works out for you.
NOTE: The fact that you are not taking Ignite against someone who does have it can make it a bit harder to pressure your lane since you cannot just straight up fight 1v1 unless you are able to read the situation perfectly. Keep this in mind, but also be aware that you are able to help your other lanes instantly while your enemy can’t, and that if you take too much damage and bait out the Ignite, you can simply Teleport back to lane after healing up.
Good luck to those of you who decide to give this a try, I truly think it will be much more game-changing than an Ignite. See you guys on Summoner’s Rift!