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So this is a decision I often have to make, is it faster to run back to base or Recall?

For those unaware recall is a 8 second cast time before instantly being transported back to base; thus we can rephrase this question as: "When are you 8 seconds of running time away from the fountain?"

This rephrasing allows us to realize that there is a parameter here: Hero speed.

Thus for me to make this decision, ideally I'd like to know the 8 second distance for a couple common speeds to use as rules of thumb. Specifically:

  • 300
  • 350
  • 400
  • 450
  • 500

Preferably this would be a picture for easy reference.

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@Nick sorry, that wasn't meant to be accusatory. I really like the suggested edits feature and wish people would use it more. BTW reference for 8 second cast time –  tzenes Jun 18 '11 at 18:50
    
I'm not sure the highest two speeds you list are commonly attainable (and thus I may be unable to test). –  Raven Dreamer Jun 19 '11 at 4:08
3  
@Raven Due to the movement speed caps, you'll need a raw movement speed of at least 553 to have an actual movement speed of 500. Which is indeed not all that commonly attainable. It takes ~459 movement speed to hit 450, though, so that's not all that much of a boost. Part of me figures that for any hero when you're not immediately under fire, though, it's a better cost to spend that little extra time with Recall than to blow off all your movespeed-boost abilities (which, if anything, would be better off after Recall as a means to get back in the fray). –  Grace Note Jun 20 '11 at 12:21
    
It should also be taken into account that teleporting back sets you to a position in the center or even backmost corner of the fountain. To get the regneration you only need to hit the tip of the fountain stairs. Using the shop is possible from even further away. This means running back is better from slightly bit further. –  F.S. Nov 15 '12 at 9:05

3 Answers 3

up vote 36 down vote accepted

So I did some informal testing, with probably a large margin of error, I have some pictographical results.

I picked Blitzcrank, because I own him(it?) and he has a base 300 ms. 8 Seconds of walking down the bottom lane put me a little ways behind of the inhibitor.

enter image description here

Purchasing boots of speed boosted him up to 350 ms, and 8 seconds brought him past the inhibitor, put not yet past the inhibitor turret.

enter image description here

I attempted to record results for 406 and 455 (like I said, it's hard to get the higher numbers precisely) but botched the results, and in each case I was only about the same spot as 350 ms.

Finally, I bought Phantom Dancer and Boots 5, hit ghost (un-talented, sadly) and activated rank-5 overdrive to see how far I could get when speed was pushed to egregious levels. Since Overdrive lasts for 8 seconds, it made for a far more accurate timestop. I made it here.

enter image description here

So we can safely conclude that, unless you're backed in to your own base, it is always faster to recall.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go avenge my horrendous 6 - 4 previous test game. I will get Ashe Bot this time. grumble grumble

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1  
Nice test. Are these points from the center of the fountain, or the closest edge where you can heal/buy? –  Dave Andersen Jun 20 '11 at 16:24
    
@Dave - they are from where you end up after using "recall". –  Raven Dreamer Jun 22 '11 at 19:37
    
+1 for the mention of the 6/4 score. :D –  LTPro Jul 25 '13 at 11:45

The speeds are in units/second, the same units that the ranges are measured in. Waiting for the 8 second cast vs a relatively quick 450 speed hero (seemingly average for some quicker heroes with boots), that means you'd have to be more than 3600 units away from the platform to with with recall.

I'd estimate that vision range is about 1200 (Janna's Gale is 1700 range and that goes a bit beyond sight), so it would be about three times as far as you can see.

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Also important to note that you can't walk "as the crow flies," so being in the jungle will certainly increase the effective distance from the fountain –  Dave McClelland Jun 18 '11 at 19:16
    
And if enemies are closing in on your position (or have cut you off, some distance ahead) the teleporting of recall may be better than running, and failing, to retreat. –  Raven Dreamer Jun 19 '11 at 3:58
    
Or, running may be safer than trying to hide and recall, if they're on the hunt...lol. Then again, it seems like once you get back to your (hopefully still alive) inhibitor turrets, you still might benefit from recall... –  Tux Jun 22 '11 at 16:04

This video shows exactly where the fountain stops, and tests several champions with various movespeeds. Check 3m for a summary of the results with no boots, lvl 1, and lvl 2.

tl;dr: With lvl 2 boots, it's faster to recall if outside your base.

Edit: Another image to help visualize this:

enter image description here

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With the season 3 changes, champions can run a little father due to a higher base MS. leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/… –  Toast Jan 14 '13 at 6:43

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