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Unlike the defensively inclined Fortify which it was designed to replace, Promote in Summoner's Rift is geared towards pushing. But I've found myself curious as to when it should be used. I've tried bringing it with me a couple games, and while "looking for an opening", I find that I end up using it maybe twice or thrice a match. As such I want to rethink how to use this Summoner spell to maximize its effectiveness.

Should its healing effect be capitalized or an afterthought? Is the pressure better by using it whenever it is off cooldown, or by using it when there's an open opportunity? Are there certain character/archetypes/builds which are geared towards it? It may not be the core of a gamebreakingly powerful strategy, but the spell has the utility to be used, so I'd like to find out that utility.

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2 Answers 2

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I decided to write my own answer on top of Zamual due to the fact that his answer deals with what the benefits of using Promote rather than the actual question being asked: "When do you optimally use Promote?"

First and foremost, Promote should not be used whenever it is on cooldown. This will most likely lead to you pushing your lane way too much and getting ganked. Or at the very least prevent your jungler from ganking your lane.

It SHOULD however be used when:

  • You are low mana/health and need to recall to heal and buy items. The Super minion can last quite a while. (Once just for fun I tried to 1v1 a promote minion as a lvl 5 Sona and almost died to it. haha) This will buy you enough time to get your items and come back before they take too many hits on your turret.
  • If you are in a 1v2 lane or if you are against a really good pushing Champion (Malzahar, Morgana, Cass), use it to counter push so your turrets dont eat all your minion farm.
  • Or if your 1v2 and your enemy decide to not push at all and just zone you out of any gold or exp at all. In this case the promote minion can go ahead and get the kills so you will be able to get the exp and gold from the promoted minion's kills.
  • If you are 1v1ing(because you are forced into it or because you set it up) promoting a minion will deal a surprising amount of extra damage to your enemy would will not really be expecting it.
  • If you have already taken down their first turret a lot earlier than you were expecting, you don't really want to push to the middle turret because that is a sure way to insure you get ganked. Just promote the canon minion so it can push to the next turret and then you can go do something else. With the new jungle spawn time, you can easily take the wolves and wraiths without messing up the jungler. Or you can try to gank another lane. Just remember to not stay in another champions lane. This will lower the exp the other champion will get and is counterproductive. Just gank and then leave.
  • Use it when you are pushing as a team, it will tank the turret and your team can easily take down the turret before the promoted minion dies.
  • In late game when everyone is moving together as a group, sometimes people forget that the minion still exist and can still push. Just promote one of your canon minions and watch as he BD a turret while you are teamfighting the enemy team.

This is all assuming you are not playing Dominion. If you are on dominion, you SHOULD be using promote on recharge. Mostly because there is no downside to pushing really hard at all AND the fact that the games usually last a lot shorter so you want to get as much use out of it as possible. For the most part usually the person pushing bot will optimize this the most.

Generally champions with high mobility or assassins should not touch promote. Promote are for defensive and slow champions. Champions like Heimerdinger can use this better because they usually stay in lane and set up a "base" with his turret and the super minion. Champions who are perhaps able to heal or buff the promoted minion can also get the most out of it. I think Janna would be a good choice. Since as a support she has passive movement buff AND her tornadoes are great to escape with, she can replace flash with promote. On top of that, her shield can add additional damage on to the promoted minion.

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I really like this. Not too much depth, yet not too little. Dabbles in a variety of strategies I never had really thought of. Especially the "Use it to aid in a minion push during the late game". One question I do have, though - Malzahar and Morgana both have % damage effects on their area attacks. Wouldn't that make Promote less effective on them, or am I missing something in my understanding of that strategy. –  Grace Note Dec 20 '11 at 14:58
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You're right. I forgot about Malzahar's Null Zone doing percent damage. Morgana however does not do percent damage with her Tormented Soil. However Malzahar can't spam Null Zone since its very mana intensive. He normally just uses Malefic Visions to farm/push since it returns mana. AND even if he does uses null zone, at rank 5 in null zone(which is late late game since most malz level their call of the void and malefic vision first.) it only does 40% of total health. That still leaves plenty for it to continue anti-push. –  Jay Dec 21 '11 at 19:17
    
Ah, I got Morgana's wrong, then, but I did also forget to think about Malzahar focusing more on Malefic Visions for pushing due to its sheer power on non-Promoted minions. –  Grace Note Dec 21 '11 at 19:19

I have found several strong uses for this spell, especially as a support or solo top character.

  • Aiding in gold farm: The carry can't get them all and that big minion can help get you the ones they miss, or maybe you need to leave lane and don't want to miss on some farm.
  • Distracting enemies: The minion gets a LOT of health and defenses, enemies trying to clear the wave will have to spend extra time on him, he can become you own little tank.
  • Pushing: Obviously, but also good if you have to leave your lane, you can pop this on the siege minion and let him push away while you and your team take another.

This spell is also very strong early game. Enemies won't have the damage to get him down fast, so if you need to push them back, hit it, and watch them pull back. I typically like to keep it on cooldown if possible, but I do find that nearer the end I can't. When it comes to the healing effect, I only worry about it when I am pushing a tower, I let him get down to just about dead and then pop it to let him soak more damage. I have once or twice used it against champions just to watch them freak out a bit. :)

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As a support early game, the last thing I want to do is summon a minion that pushes my lane hard. It makes you far more open to get ganked. –  theorise Dec 19 '11 at 14:28
    
@theorise: I agree with you on that, but I generally find that it does not cause that much of a concern, especially if you have warded. I am not saying push all the way to their tower, but moreso to push them back to the safe farm position. –  Doomy Pie Dec 19 '11 at 15:10
    
I can see what you mean, although clever junglers know how to avoid wards. There is also the issue of having to sacrifice either CV or flash, which are core on all supports imho. –  theorise Dec 19 '11 at 15:28
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I disagree with you about the support getting promote. Flash is necessary on most of the supports since they lack escape mechanisms (except maybe Janna). And CV or Heal(with the new buff) is definitely a way better choice than promote. On the other hand, Top Solo with promote can be pretty awesome. Especially if the other team does not have a jungler and you are 1v2ing. This can help if they are pushing really hard to your turret or if they are trying to zone you, the promoted minion can do some of the farming for you while you are zoned. And as Zamuals said, it can push when you need to back. –  Jay Dec 19 '11 at 18:04

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