Coaching to Gold: Fantastic plants and where to find them

Header Image:
Blast Cone = Red
Scryer’s Bloom = Blue
Honeyfruit = Green

Ever since Patch 6.22, the flora of Summoner's Rift has changed drastically, giving birth to a new mechanic in the game known as "Plants." Though we've had plenty of time to dwell on plants and their uses, a lot of lower Elo play sees the game-changing greenery largely ignored, unless someone is trying to use a Blast Cone in desperation to escape death.

Plants can make or break a game for you, and their constant usage gives you advantages that you may not even have thought of. Even better, their usage and denial of your opponent’s plants can be a way to turn the tides at key objectives or at key times in the game, and can help you win games as a result.

The Blast Cone

The Blast Cone is the most diverse strategic option available on Summoner’s Rift. The mobility options that it provides to champions is immense, and creates a lot of interesting internal decisions for champions who have access to it. Like other plants, the Blast Cone is consumed after one hit. It functions like Ziggs’ Satchel Charge, pushing people away on the other side or carrying them with you if they’re on your side of the plant.

The plant can be used for a lot of creative ganks, and can help with rotations. For ganks, it becomes a lot more surprising for the enemy, even if the bush you blast cone into is warded, just because you appear immediately in a position where you threaten the lane. These split second realizations can be the difference between securing the gank and letting someone get away.

On rotations, the Blast Cone can be used to help with jungle invades, jungle invade escapes and avoiding vision on a gank. The shallow red jungle Blast Cone is a great example, where you can use it to take the Krugs camp, hop over the wall to avoid a ward in the tribrush, or take a camp such as Krugs or Red Buff and use it to escape over to the Baron pit.

Denying the Blast Cone from your enemy is just as important as securing one for yourself. Even as a laner you can do this very easily. If you have your lane pushed out (top lane on red side, or bottom lane on blue side), you can wrap around and take the enemy’s blast cone very early on, ensuring that immobile gankers don’t have an extra way of getting onto you. You can also pop the one behind Baron and Dragon pits to make sure the chances of a big objective steal are even lower.

The Scryer’s Bloom

Scryer’s Bloom is a great tool to provide vision and deny vision from the enemy team. It spawns between 3:00 and 3:30 and roughly every five minutes after its use. In lower Elo some of the ways that Scryer’s is utilized is very suboptimal. Often, individuals use it to clear vision in very particular places, such as the pixel brushes in the river.

However, Scryer’s Bloom can be angled such that they can cover many really common warding spots. This is especially true when invading, as you can hit Scryer’s towards the mid lane to reveal common defensive wards, rather than forward into the jungle. Popping Scryer’s Bloom into your own jungle can also be a great defensive play if you lack Sweeper Lenses or Control Wards.

As well, invading to take Scryer’s Bloom can allow you to catch the enemy jungler, or destroy flank wards in places such as the tribrush or raptors ramp. As most junglers don’t actively seek to use Scryer’s Bloom in lower Elo, it’s well worth quickly securing it using a multitude of different early paths. One thing to be nervous about is that the use of Scryer's Bloom shows up on the enemy minimap for a second, so astute individuals can point out your location.

The Honeyfruit

Though you are encouraged to keep up your bloodthirstiness both in and out of lane, sometimes a diet that includes fruits and vegetables can keep you healthy. Enter the Honeyfruit, which is Summoner’s Rift’s edible delight. It heals you and restores mana once you pop it, making it a great way to recover after a fight or jungle route. There’s two major ways by which the Honeyfruit is underutilized in lower Elo.

The first is that pushing lanes don’t often use their priority to secure the fruit and ensure that they get free sustain to keep their lead. Every lane has the opportunity to do this, especially during warding missions meant to gather information on jungler whereabouts. By securing the Honeyfruit, you deny it from the enemy jungler and are able to be healthier for any incoming ganks.

The second way is that junglers can utilize the Honeyfruit during their first clear to stay in the jungle for an extended period of time to get your full jungle item earlier. Using modern jungle paths can help with this. They can also use Honeyfruits for sustain right before or after a gank to stay healthy against invades or counter ganks.

Gabriel Zoltan-Johan is a news editor at theScore esports and the head analyst for the University of Toronto League of Legends team. His (public) musings can be found on his Twitter.

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