Better Take Drake – A Guide on Playing Around Dragons
Sun 25th Aug 2019 - 1:19pm
The Dragon is a very unique Monster in League of Legends, for it is the only Monster to provide a team wide buff that will last from the time you get it until the game ends. There is an exception to this with the Elder Dragon, but we will get to that a bit later! Dragon is also unique in the fact that there is a total of 5 different Dragons that can spawn, with each one of them providing a different buff to your team. This guide will be separated into two main parts: Types of Dragons, How to Play Around Them and When to Let Them Go.
TYPES OF DRAGONS
There are four different Elemental Dragons that have an equal chance to spawn after 5 minutes into the game. These four Dragons are the Mountain Drake, the Cloud Drake, the Ocean Drake, and the Infernal Drake.
After 35 minutes passes if there is not currently an Elemental Dragon up, then the next Dragon to spawn will be the Elder Drake. From this point on, the Elder Drake will be the only Dragon to spawn.
A helpful hint to know which dragon will spawn next is to press tab and look at the top of the screen to see the spawn timer, and which Element the next Dragon will be. You can also look at the Dragon Pit and there will be a picture of the Element that the next Dragon will be!
There are also some mechanics that are shared by all Dragons. For example, every Dragon will spread its wings upon entering combat and take flight. This will knock back all enemies within its radius. All Drakes also have 30% Armor Penetration.
Furthermore, a Dragon’s basic attack deals bonus Physical Damage that is equal to 7% of its target’s current Health. Dragons are also a great comeback mechanic beyond the unique team-wide buffs they provide!
When I say this, I mean that if you are on the team that is behind, then taking the Dragon will grant 25% bonus Experience to your team members based on the average level difference between the two teams. The Experience Bonus is also increased even more for teammates who are the lowest levels at the time of taking the Dragon!
Now that we know about the mechanics shared by each Dragon, let’s take a look at what each Dragon does and their Unique Buffs they provide, starting with the Mountain Drake!
Mountain Drake has the slowest Attack Speed of all the Dragons, but each hit rivals the damage output of the Elder Dragon! Also, each attack from this Drake can hit multiple enemies at once. So, if you are low on Health, I recommend not standing near whoever is tanking the Dragon at that time!
The unique buff provided by taking this Dragon increases the Damage you deal to Epic Monsters and Towers, and this bonus is not small either! If you have slain 1 Mountain Drake you get a bonus 16% True Damage, 23% for 2 Drakes, and 30% for 3 of these Drakes!
You always want to try to get every Dragon, as it is a buff you could get and not let the enemy team receive. However, you will especially want Mountain Drakes if you are running a split pushing team. If you are playing a split pushing Champion, then securing every Mountain Drake will be your dream scenario! Increasing the damage you deal to Turrets and Epic Monsters makes splitting that much easier! On top of that, if you are really ahead and depending on the Champion you are playing, the Mountain Drake Buff makes it much easier to take Baron!
If you happening to have a large amount of damage output and lifesteal, then soloing Baron can become that much easier! This makes your split pressure even more daunting to the enemy! If you are able to solo Baron while you have 4 teammates pushing down a Lane, then the enemy will have to make a choice of what they would rather lose.
The Mountain Drake provides a powerful Buff and is something you will always want to go for, but again, it is best on those who split push! That being said, if the opposing team is a split pushing team, then you will want to take these Dragons just as much as they will.
Taking this to deny the opponent from having it can help greatly, that and you will also get to now benefit from the Buff which can never hurt! Now let’s move on to the Cloud Drake!
The Cloud Dragon is actually the Dragon that has the highest single target DPS! The reason for this is that this Dragon has the highest Attack Speed of all the Dragons! This makes it more difficult for Junglers to solo this Drake early on in the game.
The Cloud Dragon is often overlooked, and many teams seem more willing to let this Drake go than others. In reality, this Dragon can be quite powerful especially if you get multiple Cloud Dragon Buffs. This Dragon provides 3% increased Movement Speed at 1 stack of the Buff, then 4.5% at 2 stacks, then 6% at 3 stacks! These increases are all tripled out of combat!
Movement Speed is not something that should be underestimated! This will help you kite your enemies more effectively, as well as to stick to them so they cannot escape! There are also a good number of Champions who benefit a lot from this stat!
If you have a Hecarim, Rammus, Zilean, or Aurelion Sol, or other Champions that benefit heavily from Movement Speed, then you will want to get these Dragons! This Dragon might be underrated, but you do not often realize how much it can help you until you have it! Now we will move on to the Ocean Drake!
The Ocean Drake deals damage to one target at a time, like the Cloud Dragon, but it also applies a 30% slow to the target it hits for 2 seconds. This is pretty powerful and can make it hard to run from this Drake should you need to when the enemy team comes to contest it.
The Buff provided by this Dragon is decent later in the game but can be very powerful early in the game during Laning Phase! The buff is that you regain 6% of your missing Health and Mana every 5 second (out of combat). This 6% is at one stack of the Buff, then it is increased to 9% at 2 stacks and then up to 12% at 3 stacks.
This makes it powerful in the Laning Phase due to the increased amount of down time there is. After you trade, you can regen a decent chunk of your Health and Mana and are able to trade again before the enemy may be able to or willing to!
If you see this Dragon spawning early or first, then you will want to make a point of securing it so as to have the powerful early advantage over your opponents! This Dragon goes a bit unnoticed as well, not as much as the Cloud Dragon, but enough that you can often take advantage of the power that is provided by this Drake!
This is always just a great Dragon to get as it works with every team composition and gives you that extra survivability throughout the game! Next, we will look at everyone’s favorite Dragon: The Infernal Drake!
Everyone loves more damage, so naturally whenever people see that this is the next Dragon to spawn everyone makes a point to try to secure it! This should really be the case with every Dragon, but there is always a bit more excitement around this Dragon.
The Infernal Drake, much like the Mountain Drake, can hit multiple enemies at once with an attack. The splash damage is akin to the of its Mountain brethren, and you should avoid standing near whoever is tanking this Dragon as well to avoid unnecessary damage.
By slaying this Dragon, you will gain 10% increased AD and AP! At 2 stacks this increases to 17%, and at 3 stacks this jumps to a 24% increase in AD and AP! All people love damage and will always go for this Drake most aggressively. This Dragon is great for every team as every team can benefit from a boost in their damage output!
Now that we know about all of the Elemental Dragons it is time to move on to the final Dragon: The Elder Dragon!
The Elder Dragon is the most powerful of all the Dragons and also deals damage in a small area around its target. Elder Dragon is also extremely powerful in the buff that it provides if slain. This is the one buff provided by a Dragon that is not permanent for the remainder of the game.
The buff provided by Elder Dragon is the Aspect of the Dragon, which lasts for 5 minutes or until you have been slain by the enemy. This buff grants you a bonus of 30 burning True Damage over 3 seconds against non-Turret enemies and this is increased by 20 for each other Dragon buff that you have.
This means if your team has secured let’s say 3 Dragons, then you will have the bonus 30 + (20 x 3) extra True Damage! This is extremely powerful for the obvious reason that you can fight even more effectively to take down the enemy team!
This makes the Elder Dragon a highly contested Objective! If the enemy team has multiple Dragons under their belt, then you will want to secure the Elder Dragon so as to not allow the enemy team to get the extra benefit from all their Dragon buffs.
Now that we know what each Dragon does and what makes each of them so desirable, let’s take a look at when you should go for each of them, and when it might be more worth it to let them go.
WHEN TO PLAY AROUND DRAGON AND WHEN TO LET THEM GO
In a perfect world, you will get every Dragon that spawns, when it spawns, every game. But it is not a perfect world. It is important to secure as many Drakes as you can throughout your game to maximize your potential benefit from the team-wide buffs provided by each of them.
To ensure that you have control of the Dragon Pit throughout every game, you will want to be sure to keep vision of this area at all times, while also denying vision from the enemy team. Always having a Control Ward in or around the Pit is a great idea and will help you to secure more Dragons more often.
When it comes to the first Dragon of the game, you will almost always want to contest it. Getting early vision around the Dragon Pit before 5 minutes will help you to track the enemy team’s vision of the Pit making the first Dragon a bit easier to contest. Getting the Rift Scuttler each time it spawn is also a key factor in making securing Dragons a bit easier for your team as well. You will not only benefit from the vision, but also the Movement Speed which can help you chase the enemy off the Dragon if you are ahead!
The only time you might not want to contest the first Dragon is if you and your team are too behind to really fight. If this is the case it is often better to let the Drake go and focus on other Objectives like farming, or Turrets. If you and your team are ahead, it is a good idea to try to get the first Drake when it spawns to gain a bit of momentum in your games. This is the case no matter which Dragon is the first to spawn. This includes the Cloud Drake.
The earlier you take the first Dragon, the more time you will have to benefit from the buffs provided. Furthermore, you will have more opportunities for more Elemental Dragons before the Elder Dragon has a chance to spawn. This also increases the effectiveness of the Elder Dragon buff later in the game! So, remember to try and secure the Dragon whenever it is up! If you let each Dragon stay up too long, then you will have less opportunity to become more powerful as a team!
When I say to let a Dragon go, I do not mean for free. Always look to make a trade for the Dragon if you know your team will not be the one securing it at that time. If the enemy team is at Dragon, that means there are less of them either in Lane, or in their Jungle, or in their Base! Take other Objectives whenever the enemy is securing the Drake!
There are many times when maybe a single enemy Champion is soloing the Dragon making it harder to take advantage of them securing the Objective, but it is still possible. This can also be the time when it is best to contest the Dragon as a team! You can look to collapse on the enemy soloing the Objective and take them down while securing the Dragon as well! However, there are also times when it truly is better to give up the Dragon, especially later in the game!
As the game goes on, if you already have 2 or 3 Dragons, it is not a bad idea to focus on pressuring Lanes when the next Dragon spawns, as the other team will likely try to stop your Dragon slaying momentum by going for the next Dragon to prevent your team from securing another Drake.
This means there will be less resistance to you shoving in Lanes and pressuring them into their base to secure more Turrets and their Inhibitors. You can also choose to let a Dragon go later in the game if it means securing big Objectives like Baron! If your teams are pretty even and the enemy team is going for Dragon, then it might be best to give up that Dragon and go for Baron, and vice versa. Sometimes you will have to contest Baron if you will not get as much of a benefit from the Dragon at that time.
For example, if you already have 2 stacks of the Infernal Drake and the next Dragon up is the third and final Infernal. If the enemy team is going for Baron, it would actually be better for your team to go and grab the third Infernal Dragon than it would be to contest the Baron, as the benefit of a third Infernal Dragon will outweigh the benefit of the Baron (most of the time).
The reason for this is that the Baron Buff wears off, and you and your team keep that 24% increased damage boost for the rest of the game if you secure the third Infernal. You can also use this to your advantage the other way.
If the enemy sees that you have 2 Infernal Dragons already, then they may just ignore the Baron and go for the third Infernal to prevent your team from gaining this massive increase in damage. This would mean an uncontested Baron at the cost of 1 Infernal Dragon.
Ultimately, this is a favorable trade as well, as you will still have 17% increased AP and AD, while the enemy team will only be benefiting from 10%, while at the same time your team just got Baron for a time. This can often be enough to force a fight and even pressure the enemy to win the game!
This scenario is not just in the case of Infernal Dragons but all the other Dragons as well. Again, if you have a powerful split team composition, then Mountain Drakes would be what your team values more than any other. Play to your strengths with each Dragon, and do not ignore Dragons just because they might not appear to benefit you as much as others at first glance.
The Dragon is a unique piece and crucial part to every game. Dragons can control who gets ahead and how quickly. Understanding this and how to use it to your advantage can assist you in forming better strategies in your games and ultimately lead you to more victories down the road! Hopefully you can all take what you have learned from this article into your coming games and look to dominate your games with the power you take from these Dragons as a team! Good luck in your coming games Summoner’s and we hope to see you out there on Summoner’s Rift taking what you have learned to help lead your team to your next Victory!
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