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Hi there, and welcome to my Morgana support guide! You will be shown example builds and how to utilize her a abilities in a way to benefit your team as a whole. Keep in mind this guide will be very long. If you believe this guide has helped you, leave an upvote!
Why is Morgana a viable choice? Morgana possesses a skill set that can be used to protect her team and be utilized as a support. She has a long ranged snare and a massive AOE slow/stun. Due to these abilities, she can easily set up kills for her carry all the while being able to peel enemies off of them as well. Not to mention, Her Black Shield can keep your carries safe from the CC abilities of the current meta picks.
Hi there! I'm Emikadon, a Plat V ranked player on the NA Server. I main Support and ADC, and Morgana is one of my favorite supports to play.
This guide is a free to use resource, but if you find it's really helped you, a donation is always appreciated! Any tiny thing helps! :)
If you liked this guide, you should check out my others as well! I have 4 published ones at the moment, and you can find all of them here. In addition, I have a Graphic Café and a Review Shop, which are free-to-use resources if you need some help on any guides you write yourself!
There is a world far away populated by graceful and beautiful winged beings gifted with immortality, where an ancient conflict still rages. Like so many conflicts, this war split families. One side proclaimed themselves as beings of perfect order and justice, fighting to unite the world under their law and strong central governance. Those that fought against them saw their kin as tyrants, creatures incapable of seeing the larger view, who would sacrifice individuality and freedom for the illusion of efficiency and safety. Morgana was one who fought against what she perceived as the tyranny of her kind, and for that she was branded "fallen". Morgana was not innocent, having plumbed forgotten ways to gather forbidden might to become a powerful mistress of the black arts. This goal was driven by her obsession to defeat the general of the opposition's army - her sister, Kayle.
While the two were in fact birth-sisters, Kayle struck the first blow by disowning any filial connection when Morgana refused to join her cause. Eventually, Morgana grew in power enough to not only reach, but challenge Kayle. As the time approached when the two would meet in what could be their final conflict, Morgana was suddenly summoned to Valoran. At first, Morgana made a deal with the League's summoners to fight in exchange for greater power. With the advent of Kayle into the League, Morgana now willingly fights in the League of Legends for the privilege of being able to destroy her sister again, and again, and again. She lies in wait for the day the bonds of the Institute of War no longer hold her, and on that day she plans to destroy Kayle once and for all and return home a hero.
"There is no rest while Kayle's brand of tyranny still exists."
If you're really dedicated to learning more about Morgana and you want to hear it from the pros, check out any of the following articles. They all discuss what the pros we see in the LCS think are the best way to build and play Morgana. Just click on the title to go to the actual page, or you can just open the spoiler for the article itself!
Ever since Royal Club's Tabe took to the stage back during the Season 3 World Championship, the support game just hasn't been the same. It's been a season for pyromania and terror as Annie and Fiddlesticks have turned the Garena Premier League's duo lanes into tense sudden-death showdowns. But all of this plays into Taipei Snipers captain and support player MiSTakE's hands. While most teams fear the Flash-Tibbers drop, the Taipei Snipers are undeterred, protected by a Black Shield and living up to their name with cannily aimed Dark Bindings.
For one week, the top KDA in South-East Asia's Premier League wasn't an AD carry, mid laner or gank-happy jungler, but the Season 2 world champion support player. This is how MiSTakE pulled it off.
Long-time Taipei Assassins fans will remember how the team broke out at the beginning of Season 2, debuting their legendary teamwork against World Elite as Toyz Flashed over the Ancient Golem wall to lock up the entire Chinese team with Soul Shackles. But Morgana lost favor as a mid laner in subsequent patches and fell off the radar until recently.
MiSTakE's revival of the champion isn't due to nostalgia, but the shift in the support metagame: with professional supports increasingly less reliant on defensive skills and more so on disruptive toolkits like Pyromania, Death Sentence or Rocket Grab to outright win lanes, the stars have aligned just right for her return to Summoner's Rift.
“Morgana has been played as a support against Blitzcrank and did quite well,” states MiSTakE. “The reason why I've play Morgana recently is that Morgana works according to our current team compositions, and she deals with Annie and Thresh quite easily.”
But these champions had been played before without Morgana's presence. Explains MiSTakE: “It's not because Morgana's a bad champion, but that other supports were much stronger and preferred by pro players.” He notes that the subsequent nerfs to those champions, such as Zyra and Thresh, has directly increased her viability and pick presence.
Syngergy and Timing
With Dark Binding's long range, twice the distance of any of Annie's offensive spells, Morgana's capable of ensnaring a target from far across the battlefield - thematically appropriate for a team that calls themselves the Snipers. But it isn't just a matter of naming conventions, as it fits their preference for long-range poke as well.
“Morgana can deal tons of damage with a poke-style AD carry (Ezreal, Sivir or Caitlyn) when her Q hits the enemy,” says MiSTakE. Her shield is a direct answer to the hard crowd control currently found in bot lane, and her ultimate, Soul Shackles, is a great answer to bruisers that try to close in.
However, with supports traditionally poor on gold, a bot lane Morgana lacks access to Zhonya's Hourglass, and its temporary invincibility is usually considered a core element of her mid lane play. To offset this, MiSTakE recommends heavy defensive investments: a 1-25-4 mastery spread to provide better survivability in lane. Runes, however, go towards maximizing her spell impact: magic penetration marks, armor seals, and heavy AP investment for both glyphs and quintessences.
MiSTakE favors playing her offensively as well. “I'll have Dark Binding and Tormented Soil ranked up by level two,” he said. “It'll allow your team to fight with better damage against your opponent.” But past the first couple of levels, skill-ranking is based on need. “If the enemy has crowd control skills, E will be leveled to avoid their initiation.”
MiSTakE prioritizes his skill ranks as followed: R > Q > E > W. “I'd considered leveling Q and W to do more damage, but I'd rather pick a support that does that better than Morgana,” he explains. “E is the second priority because the level of the support is usually behind the team. Not all skills can be maxed out, so the extra levels of E provides better protection at late game.”
Even with Annies and Fiddlesticks running rampant as supports, there are key considerations before a player locks in Morgana. “If we miss Dark Binding during the laning phase, we'll lose the advantage on the exchange,” explains MiSTakE. “I'll try another support if we picked Graves, Corki or Lucian, as Dark Binding is rather easy to dodge.” Her impact is also mitigated against supports with healing abilities, or against AD carries that have invested heavily in lifesteal.
MiSTakE's experience on her has been based on Season 3's items and gold income, but he is optimistic about her relevance after the 2014 preseason. “Patch 3.14 is great!” he exclaims. "The current patch restricts the variability of the support role's item builds. Only champions like Thresh and Zyra, those with a bunch of crowd control skills, could affect team fights well.
Increased gold and adjusted skills of support-only characters give more flexibility for their item builds, and also grants Morgana more viability with our team compositions… Higher AP is great, as it makes Morgana more threatening to the enemy during the laning phase.”
As the game transitions to a more support-friendly environment, be on the lookout for dark wings and darker winds. The terrifying sound of Soul Shackles winding down to a full-team stun will soon return to Summoner's Rift.
By Mattias "Gentleman Gustaf" Lehman, February 28, 2014
The Fallen Angel of Bot Lane
The last few weeks of LCS have seen a little bit of a surprise in bot lane: Morgana support. Morgana support isn't anything new, by any means. She has always been a support with extremely strong and extremely weak matchups, and one of her best matchups is Leona. With Leona's huge recent popularity, it should come as no surprise that Morgana should come into the limelight.
While Taipei Snipers support Mistake ran Morgana support in Season 3, in Europe, Roccat's VandeR popularized Morgana as a counter to Leona, with 3 dominant wins and a KDA of 1-6-30. Since then, Alliance's Nyph and SHC's Migxa have both played support Morgana, and her overall win rate has moved to 7-1. I sat down with VandeR to talk about his team taking the No. 1 spot in Europe, the state of bot lane and what brought about the Morgana pick.
VandeR credits his success at support to a combination of important skills. As a support, "you have powerful initiation abilities, but at the same time you are much squishier and have less damage." To him, the most important thing to learn as a support is to "match timing with your team, so they are in position to defend you after initiation, and bring damage to finish off the targets." Unlike with tankier champions, if you initiate too early, you may die before you team can follow up on your initiation, and leave them 4v5.
As for being the top team in Europe, VandeR had seen them "in the top 3, just behind Fnatic and Alliance," but was "surprised" when "both of those teams didn't perform that well, and ROCCAT did much better than expected." Now that they are in first place, he feels confident that they "are going to improve a lot, so if other teams want to fight for first place, they will have to train hard." While he hesitated to place them in the top 3, he realized that the No. 1 spot was an option "when they won decisively against Gambit in Week 2."
VandeR's top support has been Thresh, on which he is 6-2, and who he believes to be "the best support besides Annie," which they tend to ban. As such, "picking Thresh is somewhat natural." What makes him so strong? "He gives you everything you need. Pretty strong laning phase, good peel, good initiation, and great escape/repositioning tool for your team. Every skill can be game changing."
The Setting of the Sun
Among the top 3 supports, this only leaves Leona, whom VandeR believes "a good Morgana counters completely," for a number of reasons.
First, "when Leona is initiating, she often puts herself into dangerous positions, and if you block her stun then, she is extremely vulnerable." Essentially, while Leona is already a high-risk/high-reward support who often relies on going all-in, Morgana can bait her in, then spell shield her stun and ultimate, which mitigates almost all of the reward she would get, while still opening her up to counter-ganks or bad trades.
When Leona uses Zenith Blade to go in, she puts herself in melee range, which allows Morgan's Soul Shackles to get a full channel on her.
Finally, Morgana is very mechanically simple to play against Leona, since "when she goes in with Zenith Blade, it's easy to hit Dark Binding, because you will know where she is going to appear." As well, the long animation time of Zenith Blade gives you more than enough time to land a Black Shield.
On the other hand, in the Morgana vs Annie matchup (VandeR's least favorite), "you have less time to react, especially when she does flash -> Tibbers combo. In laning phase, it's not that complicated because most of the time you can predict it, but in teamfights it's hard." He thinks that Morgana should in theory do well vs Thresh or Annie, but "everything comes down to proper execution, and Alistar or Leona are much easier to counter as Morgana than Thresh or Annie."
At this point, VandeR mused: "Maybe one day my reactions will be good enough to use shield when Annie does her flash combo!" Until then, it sounds like he'll be saving Morgana as a counter to Leona, or a team-reliant pick.
Inspiration, Trust, and Success
He also revealed that Morgana wasn't the only surprise he had up his sleeves, but that he "was thinking about Morgana a lot and tested her in many games." When he told his team Morgana was good, "others agreed to try it, and it worked. We share those ideas between ourselves and if everyone on the team agrees, we test it and see how it plays out." It's very clear that this new team already has built up bonds of trust, and it shows in their play.
But where did he get the idea? "Someone in solo queue picked her against me. I couldn't do anything. Obviously solo queue is much different from a tournament game, but I could definitely see the potential of this champion. All I had to do was transition it into a complete pick."
It's pretty amazing watching this champion at work in the dive-heavy meta; here are some examples of Morgana plays:
Vi's Assault and Battery - once Black Shielded - dragging her into harm's way for no benefit, only to be locked down by a Dark Binding and killed away from her team.
Leona's gap-closer is almost useless, as the follow-up Shield of Daybreak and Solar Flare fail to stun an isolated target she thought she could catch, leaving her out of position and out of abilities.
Essentially, Morgana is best against high-risk/high-reward champions who all-in, because her Black Shield nullifies their attempts and leaves them out of position.
Other players have picked up Morgana since, with an overall KDA of 3-26-83, for a KDA ratio of 3.3, but VandeR has truly mastered her, with a 1-8-37 KDA and 4.75 ratio, and a 1-6-30 KDA and 5.2 ratio vs Leona.*
One thing is clear: ROCCAT's players trust each other with new picks, and we should continue to see innovation from them, especially as long as they hold the #1 spot.
Morgana has an impressive 20.3% pick or ban rate in the EU LCS as of week 7. It’s impressive because it’s only recently that she’s come to her true fruition. Week 7 saw Morgana’s first picks in the NA LCS and she was picked in 3/4 games. She currently has a 72.7% win rate in the EU LCS which is by far the highest of all the common supports. Annie has a 56% win rate, Thresh has a 50% and Leona has a lowly 43.5%.
The main reason that she’s so popular at the moment is because she effectively counters the other members of the ‘big four’ supports. Her Dark Shield makes it incredibly difficult for a Thresh and Leona to make plays because it negates all their crowd control. Annie is a slightly better pick against Morgana – perhaps this is why her win rate is above 50%.
Morgana is also very good against some of the popular top laners like Dr Mundo and Shyvana. Shyvana has a single gap closer which is both easy to shield and easy to predict her movements. Mundo is similar and it’s extremely easy for a proficient Morgana to nullify their movements for long periods of time with very little effort. The Shyvana case study is evident in the (week 7) EG v Dignitas game. Krepo made the game very frustrating for Cruzer and there are a couple of really clear examples which underline how annoying Morgana can be to play against.
As all the ad carries playing in the LCS are extremely skilled, the very notion that they could be free from crowd control for up to 5 seconds is mind boggling. It’s even stranger that a team like CLG hasn’t picked Morgana up yet. I would be shocked if they didn’t pick or ban her at all in Week 8.
Runes and Masteries
Some of these are based upon educated guesses. I know that they are approximately 90%-100% accurate because I’ve reproduced the starting stats that Sheep had. Obviously I can’t know if he choose hybrid or magic penetration marks but it’s a better choice to take hybrid against melee supports anyway. You can land a fair amount of free auto attacks when you land a Dark Binding too.
Sheep’s choice of runes and masteries is deceptively balanced. The 22 starting ability power gives an initial impression that it’s a very aggressive page. But the defensive glyphs as well as the focus on movespeed and cooldown reduction give a really nice mixture of kiting and bursting. Starting the game with 10% cooldown reduction is great for Morgana because Dark Shield has a high cooldown when you have low ranks in it. It also allows you to play more aggressively with the bindings because the zonal control you lose if you miss is lost for a smaller amount of time.
In every Morgana game I’ve analysed so far, the preferred choice is that maxing Dark Binding is superior to maxing Black Shield. Not only does maxing Dark Binding increase the damage, it also increases the root duration from 2 to eventually 3 seconds. This is an incredibly long crowd control effect and I can see it being nerfed to 2.25s in the future to keep it consistent with other nerfs. The argument can be used that a snare is not as brutal as a terrify or a taunt, but the reality is that if you get snared for 3 seconds then you are probably going to die.
In almost cases it is not worth the damage per second drop to max Morgana’s shield first because the amount of magic damage you will be needing to avoid with it should be negligible in the early parts of the game.
Another point of contention is to whether you put an early point into Tormented Soil. It increases your damage per second and as long as you don’t need the increased shield or reduced cooldown then putting a point into Tormented Soil at level 3/4 is sensible.
Most Morgana supports in the LCS take a very standard support core of Talisman of Ascension, Sightstone and Mobility Boots. They often then branch out into a Mikaels Crucible. Roccat’s VandeR almost always buys a Zeke’s Harbinger on Morgana. This is because Roccat often run a Trundle in the top lane. It synergises efficiently with both Trundle and their carry.
Other, more niche, items which could be used are Locket of the Iron Solari and Zhonya’s Hourglass. A Zhonya’s is only necessary if you are needed to initiate fights with flash-Soul Shackles. Locket would be useful against Fnatic’s double ap compositions, but normally you’d expect the jungler to buy this item.
When patch 4.3 is used in the competitive scene, I fully expect people to buy the Frost Fang over Nomad’s Medallion because it gives superior gold generation and lane dominance. The only downside is that Talisman’s active is incredibly useful. Perhaps they will switch to Talisman later in the game. I’d also expect supports to take the Mobility Boots far less often because of the roaming changes. I anticipate Lucidity and Swiftness boots.
How do her abilities help her support?
I think it’s pretty frustrating as a top laner because you usually do only have the one gap closer and she can just ulti you, you’re slowed down and then you get bound and then you just kind of sit there and do nothing for a long time.
Cruzer on fighting against a support Morgana
Soul Siphon (passive)
Although it’s not particularly useful in terms of supporting, it still allows for marginally better than average sustain for a support without an obvious healing spell.
Dark Binding (q)
Dark Binding is very easy to hit on champions who charge at your team. A good example of this is when Cruzer charged EG with Shyvana’s ultimate only to find himself snared mid way through his flight. It turned a potentially losing fight for EG into a winning one because Cruzer found himself negated for a long period of time.
Watching Sheep play Morgana against CLG’s Leona Jinx botlane demonstrates her ability to control zones in the lane. Having already blown Doublelift’s Barrier with a fantastically aimed Dark Binding, Sheep is able to single handily zone both Aphromoo and Doublelift.
Another example of this zone happens a few minutes later when Sheep is able to zone Doublelift from a tank minion despite CLG being ahead in the bottom lane.
Of course none of this would be possible if Sheep was playing someone like Annie or Sona because Morgana’s spell shield completely negates Aphromoo in the laning phase.
Tormented Soil (w)
Tormented Soil reminds me of support Fiddlesticks’ drain. It’s not neccessary to skill, but in general, it will increase your early dps. Sheep started with 22 ap against CLG and he was therefore happy to put a point into it at level 3. It certainly adds to Morgana’s zoning potential and when the new Spellthief’s edge line comes into play, it will be a really safe way of picking up and gold and harassing with the time dependent Tribute (15 extra damage on abilities / auto attacks) passive.
Black Shield (e)
This is definitely what makes Morgana stand out as a support. Black Shield is a crowd control nullifying spell which allows Morgana’s target to escape or chase freely. It’s an incredibly powerful spell which runs out after five seconds have passed or it gets destroyed by magic damage.
Morgana is seen as a complete counter to Leona in lane. Sheep asserts his dominance onto Aphromoo from level 2.
As soon as Aphromoo closed onto Zuna, Sheep spell shielded him and therefore Doublelift wasn’t able to follow. This left Aphromoo in a difficult situation because he’s stuck between Sheep and Zuna. It’s a case of not respecting Morgana’s shield which almost costs him life.
A more aggressive example of a Black Shield is when YellOwStaR shielded Cyanide’s Wukong so xPeke’s Gragas couldn’t knock him back. It really is a jack of all trades spell and can be used in a variety of ways to frustrate and over-run your opposition.
Soul Shackles (r)
This ability deals an initial burst of damage followed by a 3 second tethered slow. This eventually stuns for 1.5 seconds providing they stay in range. It’s useful in a wide range of circumstances; while it may not be effective against a burst assassin like Kha’Zix because he can jump in and out, it’s far better against champions who like to charge at you like Trundle, Shyvana and Dr Mundo.
Soul Shackles, of course, can be used hyper aggressively. It’s still a very good form of initiation and YellOwStar showed this in the game against Gambit. Having already got a non-lethal pick onto Darien, YellOwStaR followed up by flash Soul Shackling Gambit which got them two kills.
Soul Shackles is also effective against ‘dive buddies’ as it can hit multiple targets. The 20% slow makes it far easier to hit your binding onto a target and should the aggressors leave your ultimate range before it finishes then you’ve successfully zoned them away from your ad.
As Morgana’s ultimate is a tether, it has a pretty big advantage of following champions who become untargettable like the popular Elise. Simply Soul Shackling a ganking Elise should be enough to survive the gank because she shouldn’t be able to stun you with your Black Shield up.
Aiding the jungler
Morgana is especially skilled at helping the jungler with ganks. Her Black Shield and Dark Binding combination make it incredibly hard for the opposition to escape. Black Shield is also useful to prevent your junglers gank from failing. It can prevent a crucial stun from annie or a flay from Thresh. When you hit 6 you can then lockdown both players.
WildTurtle flashed over LemonNation’s Dark Binding but that made it impossible for Xpecial to dodge without prior warning. 2 seconds is such a long crowd control in the early game that it was almost guaranteed that Xpecial would die.
Sneaky traded his flash for Xpecial’s to pickup the kill.
LemonNation demonstrated two niche playstyles on support Morgana.
Firstly, he roamed mid at the seven minute mark when his lane was pushed. He utilised the fog of war well but the snare missed and it didn’t result in a kill. But it put further pressure onto Reginald who was already having a tough time. I’d like to see more roaming supports in the LCS especially if they have a safe laner like Caitlyn.
Secondly, he bought a really effective Elixir of Brilliance against TSM at 17 minutes and 24 seconds into the game. LemonNation activated it a couple of minutes later as soon as Butt 9 began to siege the tier two bottom tower. If he started, as I suspect he did, with 10% CDR then the Talisman and Elixir would have taken him to his 40% CDR cap. LemonNation sat in the brush just below the tower and spammed bindings until he eventually got a non fatal pick unto Dyrus. It forced Dyrus and the rest of TSM to retreat and relinquish the tower.
It’s arguable that the Elixir was overkill but it allowed LemonNation that extra zonal control which helped Butt 9 continue to steam roll TSM.
Not only did Fnatic’s YellOwStar use Morgana to pick people off, he also used her as a poke enabler. In a similar fashion to LemonNation, YellOwStaR would catch someone in a binding so Nidalee and Lulu could unleash their burst. It gave them multiple free towers. Morgana is great at this because her Dark Binding has such a long range that you can abuse the fog of war making it far harder to dodge.
The blue circle is where Diamond had been snared just milliseconds before.
Judging by recent patches, I expect Morgana to get nerfed. She’s not only strong but she’s frustrating to play against. I imagine Riot will perhaps nerf the total snare time on her q and perhaps remove a second from her Black Shield. I’ve been playing support Morgana for the best part of a year now so I would be tremednously happy if they did leave her alone. That said, she’s only at her strongest because she counters the other 3 main support champs so well. If they fall out of favour then perhaps she will too.
With Thresh, Annie, Leona being the priority supports right now [Morgana] is going to be a very strong pick.
Over the past few weeks we have seen an increasing amount of our favourite fallen angel, Morgana, being played in the support role. The survivability, disengage and strong team fight presence all make her a perfect candidate for a number of possible compositions, but the real question is why she is chosen when a number of other champions offer the same thing. With the season 4 changes to the general role of support alongside the introduction of new Gold per 10 items, more specifically Frostfang, it becomes clear why she is a solid pick. However, what a lot of people don’t see is how much of a counter she is to the current meta, and finally, what it would take to bring her down from power.
So why is Morgana being played support instead of mid?
First of all we should consider why Morgana is a viable support. She has peel for her ADC with Dark Binding and Black Shield, and I cannot stress enough how Black Shield is the most integral part of the Morgana support playstyle. Together with the peel, her Dark Binding is an amazing engage for both bot lane skirmishes and making picks on the enemy team because at max level it binds for 3 seconds; comparable to Ashe’s ultimate. The next thing we wonder is why she’s being played as support instead of mid, the main question of this section. There are a number of reasons for this, all revolving around the season 4 meta change. Morgana used to be a strong pick in mid lane due to her insane wave clear, allowing her to farm up the minion waves, take the jungle camps and roam to pressure other lanes. Unfortunately this is no longer an asset for Morgana, as the meta mid laners being played mainly have good wave clear themselves; Ziggs, Gragas, LeBlanc etc. The advantage these champions bring that Morgana doesn’t have herself is mobility. This means not only can she not wander off to farm jungle and gank lanes, but the current mid lane flavours can do it better than her.
But Morgana has always had this kit, why is she being played as support now?
To start with think about why she’s an attractive pick on bot lane. She directly counters the meta supports. Thresh hook? Black Shield. Leona engage? Black Shield and disengage with Dark Binding. Annie wants to blow up your ADC? What a surprise, Black Shield! The current support meta is hard engage, and Morgana says no to that. That’s right, Morgana’s actual counters in lane aren’t actually being played on a consistent level, and all of the current favourites are an easy match-up for her. After this we look at why she fits into the season 4 meta as a whole. If we think about the popular playstyle right now champions like Pantheon, Vi, Elise and such come to mind. What do all of these champions have in common? Single target engage and hard initiation. Morgana counters exactly that and its extremely simple for her to achieve. She Black Shields the target player on her team and they’re free to disengage from the fight, or at least position themselves out of harm’s way. With the absence of AoE CC that we used to see regularly (Sona, Amumu, Lissandra etc), we now see a new way of engage, the almighty pick compositions, and Morgana has been discovered as the counter to it.
The last and one of the most influential changes to appear in season 4 was the change to the gold generation items for support. Let’s take a look at Frostfang.
Now the reason this item is so strong on Morgana is due to two reasons. Firstly, the AP she gets from the item is enough for her to have a presence in lane alongside the correct set of runes and masteries. Secondly, the main reason, is Morgana’s Tormented Soil periodic damage ticks all proc the passive on Frostfang; free gold!
When did Morgana support start making an appearance in pro play?
If we’re going to get into the origins of Morgana support then we would have to travel slightly further back than when she officially started to be introduced into the professional scene. Ex-Gambit support player Darker made a thing of it in solo queue, when he realised that it was the direct counter to the holy trinity of season 4 supports (Annie, Thresh, Leona). It was seen perhaps once or twice around the very start of season 4, until it became a staple pick in the NA and EU LCS as well as GPL Winter 2014. We saw Morgana being played a great deal in NA due to Krepo being a huge fan of her and calling her out pretty early on in the season. We also started to see her in EU LCS, one of the most memorable times being Roccat’s Vander playing her in week 5, and Vander actually picking her up as one of his go-to supports. Surprisingly we never saw Korea playing Morgana much, which lead to a great deal of speculation as to why it was being played in EU and NA until very recently. SKTT1 in OGN Master’s played a Vayne/Morgana lane only last week, which the pro players saw as validation of the champion’s viability.
But what is the real reason perhaps that Morgana isn’t picked as much in Korea as everywhere else? Well, Korea tends to ban out Annie/Thresh/Leona slightly more than its western and Chinese counterparts. This brings in more champions like Sona, Nami, Karma etc, which Morgana has trouble with, and this leads us onto the next point.
If Morgana support is so strong, what would it take to see her fall from grace?
With the changes to Frostfang being one of the main reasons everyone is picking Morgana support up, this also means that players will be taking a look at other AP supports that are able to take advantage of this item. The champions we are most likely to see using it are either poke or sustain orientated, think Sona, Nami, Janna, Zyra, Karma and Soraka. These champions are the hard lanes for Morgana to play against. So how do these champions counter Morgana? Let’s focus on the champions that we have seen slowly edging themselves into competitive play in the past few weeks. Sona, Nami (mainly picked in OGN), Karma and Zyra (seen from Fnatic at IEM) are all either sustain or poke lanes, something which Morgana struggles against due to the only defensive spell she has is her Black Shield. Now Sona and Nami are easily able to out-heal any damage that Morgana is going to throw out in lane phase, but also their AoE abilities make it so Morgana’s Black Shield can only shelter one person from the engage. A Black Shield isn’t going to save more than one person from Sona’s Crecendo or Nami’s Tidal Wave. Karma is the champion we have seen more and more often, and if we think about it, isn’t Karma an amazing counter to Morgana’s Ultimate too? She can speed up her ADC and herself to easily run out of stun range.
The next major point comes with the Doran’s Shield Nerf. The nerf came at the same time as the changes to Frostfang, and with it made tanky supports like Thresh and Leona slightly less strong. This made Morgana’s offensive ability to kill them a lot easier on top of the fact that she could stop their engage.
Where will Morgana go from here on out?
Chances are Morgana will still be seen in competitive play for a while until the meta changes with the current favourite team compositions and tanky engage supports. Morgana should be eventually pushed out when her counters come into play, ironically for the same reason she was brought into flavour. What we see overall is a bigger triangle in the support meta more than just Annie, Thresh and Leona. Tanky supports are countered by disengage/AP supports, which are countered by sustain supports, which are countered by tanky supports… and it goes on.
Morgana is a support who has fantastic AP ratios on her skill set due to her being played as a Mid laner often. In addition to her powerful spells, her passive makes her hard to push out of lane. Thus, she can pressure the enemy bot lane with her constant presence. She has 2 major stuns/slows, and one of them is a huge AOE. These used correctly can set up kills easily for her carry. Her black shield makes all CC useless so long as it isn't broken, and this makes the big three (Annie, Leona, and Thresh) much less intimidating.
Even though Morgana's sustain for herself is huge, she has no outside heal for her team. In addition, she is very squishy early game, and can easily be bursted down. Her abilities have ridiculously long cooldowns, which can be dangerous if they've been wasted or if you're stuck in an extended trade. Finally, Morgana is short-ranged. She has one of the shortest autoattack ranges in the game at only 450. This is shorter than every single ADC, with the exception of Urgot. She also has no escape and is very slow. Poor positioning is a guaranteed kill for the enemy team.
Cons -No outside heal -Squishy Early game -Long cooldowns -Short-ranged -No mobility
Flash is the standard for any champion, due to the sheer amount of uses of this summoner spell. Morgana has very little mobility, so Flash can be used as an escape tool if the situation ever calls for it. By flashing away from an enemy or even over terrain, you can avoid a situation that ends up with you dead. It can also be used offensively. One of the ways Morgana can initiate teamfights is by Flash + Soul Shackles + Zhonya's Hourglass to CC the entire enemy team.
Exhaust is typical for any support. It renders their ADC useless for 2.5 seconds, and it can secure kills with its slow. Also, it can shut down any assassins that come to burst your ADC/APC. With the rise of champions like LeBlanc and Zed, it can save your carry's life more often than not. In addition, it'll help you out in early laning trades as well.
Heal can be great for saving you and your carry, especially early game. It heals for a really nice chunk of health, as well as grants movement speed. It can give you just that little burst of movement so that you can escape. Plus, it can heal an ally, which will help them escape (in this case, most likely your ADC). However, it doesn't stack very well, so only get it if your ADC did not.
Ignite is a very aggressive summoner in general. It isn't taken very much anymore since the buff on Exhaust, but it can still have its uses. It can be used to kill secure, since it'll take of that tiny bit of health left if the enemy escapes. In addition, it has a healing reduction debuff, which will destroy any chances of the enemy ADC's health regen through Life Steal.
In this build, I am focusing on emphasizing Morgana's high damage output, all the while maintaining her survivability early game, when she is the squishiest. The following are recommended runes, but there are also other viable runes listed if they do not fit your style of playing.
greater mark of hybrid penetration
Hybrid Pen runes are the go to marks for most supports, since it allows both your autoattack and abilities to do more damage. Even with Morgana's extremely low autoattack range, she can poke with them in conjunction with her long ranged spells.
At the very start of the game, you can have an addition 72 health. This helps provides a little extra survivability and helps in early game trades due to the increased tankiness.
Most enemy supports deal magic damage when they poke, so these will minimize the impact they have on you. Also, they help out a bit later against the enemy APC.
The combination of health seals and armor quints is very useful. This will still give you enough defense against any auto attack poke from the enemy and will make you tankier early game.
Other Viable Runes
If you want to play more passively and only poke with your abilities. This is a much more safer pick, since you won't be putting yourself in close proximity to the enemy due to your low range, and your abilities will do more damage themselves.
If you're still feeling like you're taking too much damage from the enemy ADC, you can take Greater Mark of Armor runes instead to block out some of it. However, you'll be sacrificing some of your own damage as well.
Used to be the standard for supports, or any role in general actually, but they were nerfed pretty badly. You can still run these if you'd rather have the extra armor instead of health.
If plan to have even more AP to scale with once you finish your core items and start building damage, these could be a good place to start. Only choose these if the enemy team has minimal magic damage! This way, your black shield should block most of it.
Morgana's AP ratios are really good, so 15 AP can go a very long way. Especially early game, 15 AP on a support with amazing scalings can hurt a lot. Most supports would go with Health Quints, but due to Morgana's spell vamp off of her passive, the extra AP will help you regen more anyways.
I personally, have never tried out these, but I can see how they would work! Morgana's base movement speed is extremely low, and she has no dashes/gap-closers/movement speed buffs. The extra 4.5% movement speed is amazing. It'll allow you to keep up with any enemies so your Soul Shackles won't break, and it'll also allow you more mobility in and out of teamfights.[/columns
In regards to masteries, 0/18/12 are the way to go. On an AP Support like Morgana, the 18 points in the cunning tree are really good for early game poke and harass, while the 12 points in resolve tree give you more survivability and playmaking potential.
Wanderer allows you to roam more efficiently, so placing down wards or roaming to help other lanes won't lose you as much exp.
Secret Stash helps you with sustain, which is especially useful if you had a bad trade.
Bandit synergizes very well with Spellthief's. The passive gold generation will help since you don't CS, and each time you manage to autoattack, you'll get a total of 8 gold instead of 5.
Thunderlord's Decree is very powerful. Not only does it give you the ability to take control of the lane with its burst, but it's easy to proc with your W as well.
Recovery is more of a filler mastery than anything. However, it outweighs
Unyielding because the only armor/MR you have are from your runes. If you'd prefer to have a late game edge instead of early, that's another option.
Tough Skin migh not seem like much, but it's actually very noticeable in the long run. The damage reduction will add up, and can sometimes save your life with the extra 15-20 health in a fight.
Veteran Scars give you a bit more survivability. Since you'll most likely be building resistances later, this will make them more efficient.
Insight is very strong. It decreases your summoner spells by a lot, and that will give you more playmaking potential. For example, the more often your Flash is up, the more often you can Flash + ult.
Morgana is a heavy damage dealing support, much like Annie, who also has some skills that that can lock down enemy champions, thus setting up kills for her carry. She also is able to protect her carry with these same skills. In this section, I'm going to explain the basics of her abilities and provide some tips to keep in mind.
You can use this ability to check bushes, as the animation will stop moving. There will also be a distinct sound, like a cage being locked.
By chaining the root from this ability into the AOE of your W, you can prevent the enemy from escaping the magic damage of Tormented Soil. This is useful for poking and harassing from a distance.
With AP, this ability alone can do massive amounts of damage. It has a really good AP ratio (90%), so building AP scales really well with her kit.
Things to note
Dark Binding has a very long cooldown, and it doesn't decrease with rank. If you're going to use it to check bushes, be wary if you miss. It gives the enemy a full 11 seconds where you don't have a reliable stun.
The animation is pretty slow moving, so be sure to aim the direction where you think they will go while they try to dodge!
Tormented Soil (W) Morgana infects target 175-radius area for 5 seconds, causing enemy units who stand on the location to take magic damage every half second. The damage is modified by 0.5% for every 1% of the target's missing health.
Black Shield has no cast time, making it very useful to cast when enemy CC is still in it's animation. For example, if Leona uses her Zenith Blade, she has the projectile time whereas you do not.
Casting Black Shield on champions with channeled abilities, like Katarina or Caitlyn will help keep their abilities from being interrupted.
During a teamfight, you can use this ability on your ADC to ensure they do not get locked down. The prevention of CC will let them do their job: dealing sustained damage to the enemy team.
Things to note
Remember that the CC immunity is tied to the shield. If your opponent does too much magic damage and breaks the shield, you will lose your CC immunity along with it.
All physical attacks will damage your health, as the shield only blocks magic damage.
Soul Shackles (R) Morgana latches chains of energy onto nearby enemy champions for 3 seconds, dealing initial magic damage to them after a brief delay of 0.5 seconds and reducing their movement speed by 20% if the target(s) stay within 1050 range.
If the target(s) does not break the tether after 3 seconds, they are dealt the same amount of magic damage again and they are also stunned for 1.5 seconds.
Soul Shackles can hit stealthed enemies. Thus, if the ability lights up but you see no one else around, they are invisible.
Used in conjunction with Dark Binding can stun the enemy for nearly 5 whole seconds.
Going untargetable does not break the shackle. The only way to escape it is to physically walk out of the range. So champions like Fizz or Vlad cannot escape this way.
Things to note
Using this spell in teamfights often requires you to be in the very heart of the fight. If you don't have any defensive items, you can be wiped out easily. Stay back and peel for your carry, and save your ult for the enemy ADC/APC to lock them down.
Even though the ability itself cannot be interrupted by CC, other forms of disables, like slows or stuns, will hinder you from keeping up with enemies.
For Morgana, she only has 2 major CCs that make her viable as a support. The first, and most reliable, is her Q, Dark Binding. Even at rank 1, it is one of the longest duration CCs in the game at 2 seconds. By rank 5, it's at 3 seconds. This 3 second root is more than enough to catch out, burst down, and clean up the enemy with just you and your carry. Max it first, as it won't only scale with root duration, but also with damage. It has a 90% AP ratio, and that hurts a lot.
Next max E, Black Shield. The 5 second CC immunity is priceless in most cases, and by rank 5, it shields almost 400 magic damage. This is especially good in teamfights, where the AP carry on the other team will be present. I don't usually max this first, as the base 100 shield should be enough to keep it from breaking from the support's damage. However, if you're going against high magic damage supports, it may be worthwhile to max this first, as they can easily break your shield by level 6.
Lastly max W, Tormented Shadow. When in a duo lane, this can push the lane too quickly and can lead to the possibility of ganks. Take a point in it early for the extra harass potential. However early game, your job is not to deal damage (unless you're poking, of course), but to protect your carry, so the other abilities are more viable in this case.
And of course, always take a point in your ultimate, Soul Shackles, whenever you can. The cooldown is decreased, and the damage it deals increases with each rank. It will be available at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Usually, you want to put your very first point into Dark Binding for the catch potential. If you invade/are invaded, the 2 second snare is more than enough time for your team to catch and kill a person. Even if you don't invade, you can pull off level one trades as soon as you get in lane due to the long range.
Next, you typically want to take a point into E so you can go for a level 2 all in with little danger of being traded back on. Black Shield will make most supports useless due to the CC immunity. If you engage, immediately putting the shield on your ADC will allow him/her to freely attack without worrying about the enemy support stunning then.
Finally, whether you take Tormented Shadow or a second point into Dark Binding is completely up to your playstyle. I myself prefer having the extra pushing power and utility, but the extra damage on Q is pretty nice since it doesn't cost that much more mana. However, by taking your W, you have a little more pushing power, as well as a way to safely proc your Spellthief's Edge.
This item synergizes extremely well with Morgana due to her Tormented Soil easily procing 3 ticks for the +15 gold. Your abilities themselves deal a little more damage, since you have 5 extra AP, as well as a bonus 15 damage on each proc of the gold item.
These are absolutely essential because Morgana does not have a spammable heal. If you get into an all in trade and come out low, these will ensure you stay healthy for any additional trades afterwards.
With coordination with your ADC, you can have sufficient vision coverage with just these alone. Vision at the moment is very weak because of the short duration and long cooldown, so be sure you don't accidentally waste a charge!.
The first thing that you should be buying is Sightstone. Sightstone will hold 4 wards, which refill upon visiting the shop, which is enough to cap out the max ward per person of 3 wards. This will provide sufficient ward coverage for laning phase.
If you do not have enough gold for Sightstone, or you feel like you won't need quite as many spammable wards, you can upgrade Spellthief's Edge into Frostfang. This will give bonus damage on your poke, as well as give a lot more gold income.
Another item you can get on your first recall. This item gives you much more mobility, and you can get to lane much faster. It'll allow you to roam just a tiny bit more for warding, and the +25 Movement speed is great for chasing down kills.
Finally, as soon as you get Sightstone switch out your Warding Totem for Sweeping Lens. If you're going back to lane, this will increase your control over the enemies' wards exponentially. Even after the laning phase, Sweeping Lens can help you clear wards over Baron or Dragon.
The 105 movement speed out of combat allow you to do roam, ward, or help other lanes without missing a lot lane experience. Plus, this lets you reposition yourself quickly for good bindings, shields, or ults.
If you'd rather have the extra damage, you can grab these instead. It will make your abilities hurt more, but still provides a good amount of movement speed for you to do your job as a support.
If the enemy team has a lot of magic damage, the 25 MR can go a long way. Also, the tenacity can help you survive against heavy CC team compositions.
And now for the infamous debate as to getting Frost Queen's Claim and talisman of ascension. Here, I'm going to explain the situations in which you should get one of the other. I will list the pros and cons of getting each and compare them, but in an actual game, it is up to you to decide which one you should get! However, keep in mind that selling and rebuying such an expensive item is extremely cost inefficient. If you decide to sell, be sure that you're willing to spend the extra gold!
talisman of ascension
50 AP gives more damage.
Casting spells gives you gold.
Builds from starting item.
AOE slow against enemy.
More health and mana regen.
Safer gold generation.
Bonus passive movement speed.
AOE speed up for team.
So as you can see, both items have really good aspects to them. However, you can also see that they are very different. Frost Queen's Claim builds directly out of your starting item, and the AP makes your abilities more powerful in both damage and utility. In addition, the active is good for chaining your own CC, and can be used to disengage, peel, chase, and even escape.
In contrast, talisman of ascension offers more sustain because it gives 15 health and mana per 5, in addition to getting 10 health for every minion that dies near you. The active can be used for quick engages or swift disengages. However, this does not build from your starting item, and thus you will be spending more gold by selling Frostfang and then upgrading from there.
> As soon as you have finished Frost Queen's Claim and Sightstone, you want to build start building towards Zhonya's Hourglass. The stats and active allow you to contribute in terms of damage as well as utility.
> 120 AP will increase your individual abilities' damage by a huge amount. It also gives 50 armor, which is nice since you'll be in the middle of the enemy team to maximize your ult's potential. In addition, it will give you some defense against the enemy ADC.
> The main, important reason why this item is so good is the active. The 2.5 second stasis will make you completely untargetable, but the chains from your ultimate will still be channeling. The invulnerability will make sure you're safe from people who try to shut you down before you get the stun off.
> Don't start building this until you already have Frost Queen's Claim and Sightstone. This is because the other items provide more utility and will benefit your team more if they are built first. Damage is a luxury. Besides, the active isn't very useful until teamfights start breaking out.
> Mikael's Crucible offers a lot of utility with the massive amounts of mana regeneration so you can spam your abilities, 10% CDR so they'll be available more often, and 40 MR against magic damage teams.
> The active can save someone's life due to it acting as a cleanse. It will remove any hard CC like stuns, snares, taunts, suppresses, silences, etc. as well as heal the target for a percentage of their maximum health.
> This is especially useful because the current meta picks have a lot of CC (Nami, Thresh, Maokai, etc.)
> Locket of the Iron Solari is most known for the +20 MR Aura it provides for nearby teammates, as well as bonus health regeneration. In addition to that, you have 20 MR for yourself as well as 400 health.
> The active is a low cooldown shield, which shields all nearby allies for a good amount of health. It can be used during teamfights, individual skirmishes, or taking down objectives.
> Coordinate with your tank to make sure you don't overlap. The aura does not stack, so it's generally advised you don't get more than one per team.
A really nice item that gives you a good mix of damage and utility. The 40 AP will increase the effectiveness of all your skills. The CDR and mana regen will allow you to spam your abilities, and the movement multiplier will let you roam and ward much easier. Finally, your shield will let someone on your team have increased attack speed. This works out nicely, because usually the person shielding will probably be your ADC, who will make good use of the attack speed buff.
The 75 AP is a huge amount, and the 20% CDR is nothing to laugh at. Just be sure you don't go over the cap of 40%. The passive is extremely useful, since it applies grievous wounds, which is detrimental if the enemy team relies on healing for sustain. If you manage to get the passive on the enemy ADC, their Life Steal will be cut in half, and your team can lock them down and kill them. In addition, if the enemy has a health regen champion like Dr. Mundo, Nasus or Irelia, this will cut down their survivability by a lot.
Zeke's Harbinger is good if your ADC is snowballing well and you can afford to give up some utility in your build. The 50 AP will help your own damage, the armor will help your survivability during teamfights or individual skirmishes, and the 10% CDR will allow your abilities to come up more often. The active allows you to bind to someone (most likely your ADC) and, if timed right, will give your ADC a huge boost in damage during fights. However, it's very difficult to coordinate the 100 charges due to the long charging time and short window in which you can use it, so the item is situational.
Randuin's Omen and Frozen Heart are very similar, and accomplish pretty much the same thing. However, they have slight differences that make them more more viable in one situation, or less viable in another.
10% A.S. Reduction
35% Slow on active
15% A.S. Reduction
Randuin's Omen provides less armor than Frozen Heart, but it makes up for it with the 500 health, which increase the effectiveness of the armor. Also, while the Attack Speed reduction is less, it is not by very much. In addition to these stats, Randuin's provides an active, which slows neaby enemies by 35%. This synergizes extremely well with Morgana's ultimate. If you ult and then use the active, you will stun more easily, since it'll be more difficult to escape you.
In contrast, Frozen Heart provides more Armor, but no health to really make use of it. However, it does provide 400 mana, which increases your mana pool significantly. While it may not give as much tankiness compared to Randuin's, it reduces nearby Attack Speeds by more, and does not require the enemy to physically autoattack you to apply the debuff. Finally, it offers a 20% cooldown reduction.
Typically, you choose to get Randuin's Omen when you really need the survivability when diving headfirst into teamfights. The active makes a big difference if you need to focus on landing a good AOE stun. On the other hand, if you're not as worries about how long you live, taking Frozen Heart will let you spam your abilities more, as well as shut down A.S. carries more efficiently.
> Provides 450 health, 55 MR, and 45 health regen per 5 if your spell shield is popped. Really nice against heavy magic damage enemies.
> The spell shield will protect you if there are any long ranged skill shots on the enemy team (Blitzcrank, Leona, Thresh, so on). Especially since no activating or timing is required and it will refresh every 40 seconds.
> While it doesn't provide a lot of utility for the rest of your team, it contributes by helping you not get caught out and can prevent 4v5 teamfights from happening.
> Gives slightly 50 less health than Banshee's at 400 total, but gives more reliable health regeneration. In addition to the tanky stats, it gives 40% CDR.
> This will increase your spell vamp passive even more. Putting down a Tormented Soil in the middle of a teamfight will give you a lot of health back even during the fight.
> This is a pick when you need heavy, heavy sustain. The 20 health regen per 5 seconds plus the increased regen passive are more self-oriented and doesn't provide much utility.
In this section, I will describe how you should play Morgana early game and add any tips and tricks that you can keep in mind while playing. Playing smart and taking advantage of Morgana's amazing kit is essential to getting past laning phase and making sure your ADC is able to get fed and carry.
Morgana is one of the most short-ranged supports in the game. In fact, baring melee champions, she is the most short-ranged. Her auto attack range is only 450, which is a whole 200 less than let's say Caitlyn, who is well known for her super long range. Due to this tiny autoattack distance, it is extremely easy to get caught out when you're poking with your AA. Make sure that you're always looking at the enemies' zones, and be careful to not get into a spot where both the enemy support and ADC can engage on you. A couple autoattacks is not getting bursted down to less than half health or even getting killed outright.
LANDING YOUR CC
Morgana's snare on her Dark Binding is one of the longest roots in the game. 2 seconds at the very first rank, which then increases to 3 seconds by rank 5. With any additional AP, it does quite a bit of damage as well. However as a consequence, it has a ridiculously long cooldown as well. The root and damage together could land you a kill should you decide to go all in on the enemy. But if you end up missing, you have a period of time in which a major ability is not available to you, which leaves you at a disadvantage if the enemy counter-engages.
In addition to your Q, you have your ultimate Soul Shackles, which when used correctly can easily land you a double kill. However, due to the channeling nature of your spell, you won't always be able to land the stun on both the enemy ADC and the enemy support. If the two of them split, you'll have to make a split second decision on who you'd rather have stunned. Generally, you want to prioritize the ADC but if they manage to somehow get away under their tower (such as using Flash or some sort of dash ability), it can be very dangerous to dive.
INTIMIDATE THE ENEMY TEAM
Even if your Tormented Shadow doesn't do much damage since you aren't going to max it until very last, you can force the flight reaction from the enemy team. In general, people will shy away from a sudden dark and scary spot when it's suddenly thrown on them, so you can use this ability to scare the enemy duo into playing more passively.
For example, after snaring the opponent with your Dark Binding, you can place your W directly on top of them to make them squirm a bit. No one likes being forced in the same spot
while taking damage and being able to do nothing about it. Keep in mind this will chunk your mana bar. Use this tactic sparingly. You don't want to go OOM just in case the enemy jungler shows up. Always have at least 150 mana so you can cast Black Shield and Dark Binding to help get out of bad situations.
If you ever push up to the enemy tower, you can place your W next to the tower, which makes the difficulty of CSing under tower even more difficult. This is amazing for applying huge amounts of pressure and make enemy ADC very sad. However, this will most likely draw the attention of the opposing jungler, so be sure you have everything warded.
USE YOUR BLACK SHIELD WISELY
Do not use it to shield incoming poke or harass. The cooldown on this spell is extremely long (over 20 seconds), and early game this can be very dangerous if you allow it to be baited out. Black Shield is what makes Morgana such a valued support, since it blocks all incoming CC so long as the shield is not broken. This is beyond helpful against heavy CC dealers, like Leona, Braum or Thresh, and can virtually make them in terms of Crowd Control.
Most of signature CC moves have a wind-up time, like Thresh's Death Sentence, Leona's Zenith Blade, Taric's Dazzle, so on, which allows you to apply your Black Shield on your ADC before the CC actually reaches them. At first, it may be a little difficult because you have to be very quick, but with practice your reaction time will dramatically improve. Even if you can't land your shield in time before the inital CC lands (Thresh's Death Sentence for example), you stop any additional CC from adding on top of it (Thresh's Flay). This way, a bad situation won't be a really bad situation.
These are the generic warding spots. Of course, now the Vision Wards are visible, so they will need to be actively defended. Or you can be clever and stick them somewhere where they can't be seen by the enemy team, while simultaneously granting you vision. Also, since each person can only put down 3 wards at a time, be sure to coordinate with your teammates about warding.
Also, another big thing I don't see much of (especially in lower ELOs) are Lane Wards. For some reason, a lot of people are very touchy about putting wards down the middle of a lane. But you should come to see this as a major advantage. If you had a handy ward down pre-teamfight, it can make landing your Dark Binding for a potential catch out much easier. In addition, it makes up for lost tower vision, which is useful in the case of seeing the enemy splitpushers before they get to your tower that's still standing.
This is from a series of videos in the LeagueCraft 101 series. They have fantastic videos, and I've learned a lot from them. I linked this from the Support Leaguecraft 101 video. It shows you how to ward along with tricks (warding over walls) at 47:58. If you have the time, watch all of it because it covers supporting mechanics and decision making as well.
Last chapter, I discussed tips and tricks on how to get through the laning phase. Here, I will go through what is expected of Morgana support during teamfights. The supports job is to CC and control the tide of the fight. Knowing what your job is and how to execute it is vital in making sure that the fight swings your way.
CC AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE
Morgana's ult, Soul Shackles is a large AOE ability that can CC almost the entire team if positioned correctly. Because of this, it is her job to get in the teamfight, and lock down as many people as she possibly can. One of the best ways to get as many targets as possible is by catching the enemy off guard. The best form of initiation that Morgana can offer is her Flash + Soul Shackles combo. This allows you to gap close to the enemy, and then hitting R while you're in the center of the entire team.
After you have your ult active, you can immediately Zhonya's Hourglass so that you become untargetable while your own allies catch up and start wreaking havoc. This will allow you to stay alive, despite the fact that you're right in the center of the chaos. Alternatively, if you don't have flash, you can initiate with your gold item ( Frost Queen's Claim or talisman of ascension both of which can be useful to starting the fight) and then chain that into your ult as your come into range. This option is good if you need to make sure your carry isn't immediately being picked off by assassins.
PROTECTING YOUR TEAMMATES
In the current top meta team comps, there is always at least one assassin on each team. Your job is to make sure that assassin fails in killing your squishies. If the enemy assassin succeeds, then you basically lose that teamfight because you don't have your damage dealing champions to clean up the fight. Keep in mind that it is not only assassins that will try and force their way to the back line. If your ADC/APC mispositions themselves, they leave themselves at risk against everyone else on the enemy team as well.
Sometimes you won't have the option of being in the middle of the fight and using a large scale Soul Shackles. Sometimes you have to stay in the far back, playing babysitter. Instead of using your ult to initiate, you use it to peel anyone who threatens your carries. If someone has a lot of burst damage (like Zed or Akali) and is diving into the back line for the kill, you need to make sure you Exhaust them before they can do anything. In addition, using your Black Shield will protect someone from all CC, which can mean the deciding factor between you winning or losing the teamfight.
We've pretty much gone through every thing you need to know as to how to build or play Morgana. Now, I'm going to go over the different match-ups you might encounter, and how you would deal with them. I will give each match-up/synergy a rating, and then tell you how you should go about playing in that specific one so that you can take full advantage of it!
One of the main reasons why Morgana rose as a top tier support is her ability to block major CC abilities that come from early game bullies, like Annie. If you could shield your carry in time before Annie can land her stun, it effectively cuts down on her early game power, since your Black Shield also blocks magic damage. Consider maxing Black Shield first, since Annie does scale pretty well in terms of magic damage. Mid to Late game however, it's a bit more difficult, since most Annies will Flash + Summon: Tibbers, which is much more difficult to predict and block. However, the point still stands that by shutting Annie and her carry down early, you can easily snowball your own ADC to victory.
Blitzcrank's Rocket Grab is a bit more difficult to block, because a good Blitzcrank won't make it obvious when they plan on grabbing you. However, the travel time isn't extremely fast, so good reflexes can let you shield your carry in time since Black Shield doesn't have a cast time. But even if Blitz hooks you or your carry, you can shield them in time so they won't be knocked up, which cuts out half of his major CC abilities.
You outdamage Janna in the laning phase, but Janna out utilities you later in the game. Early game, you can easily stomp on her, maining because you can block her Howling Gale with ease, and your long-ranged poke is much more deadly than anything she can come up with. However, Janna's shield allows her carry to out damage yours in trades, since the bonus AD can really hurt, especially early game. In addition, late game, she out scales you in terms of utility. She can peel for her allies incredibly well with her Monsoon, which basically is Morgana's Soul Shackles counter.
This match-up can be difficult, since Karma does a lot of poke damage, which can be pretty detrimental since you don't have a shield to just throw around casually. If you allow your Black Shield to be baited out, Karma can just pull out the rest of her combo, and you won't be able to block any of her CC. However, saving your shield will open you to a lot of poke, which isn't good because aside from your passive spell vamp, you don't have a shield. Play safe, and get your jungler to help you whenever they can.
With one correct placement of Black Shield at the right time, you can make all of Leona's CC useless and force her into a vulnerable position. If you manage to shield your carry just as Leona Zenith Blades to them, you can block the immobilization, as well as her Shield of Daybreak that's probably going to be combo'd into it. In addition, all of Leona's abilities have a wind-up time or delay, such as her ultimate. When Solar Flare is still in its cast time, you can shield your carry and they'll get away completely un-CC'd. However, as Sirell pointed out, she can only shield one person, so switching targets can easily be done by Leona.
This matchu-up can honestly swing either way. This is mainly due to the fact that most of Lulu's abilities can be used on either her allies or on her enemies. Because of this, you never actually know how she'll combo her abilities. However, you can still block a lot of Lulu's CC, as long as you have good reflexes. Be wary of her poke damage, since you shouldn't use your Black Shield to block it. Over time, the damage can stack up, so play defensively and don't get into autoattack range! With your tiny AA range, Lulu can probably get 2 full AAs on you while you can only get one. This isn't counting Pix's damage either.
Lux out ranges you horribly. Not to mention, her poke damage is huge if she manages to proc her passive every time. Early game, this can be detrimental, which is when you're at your squishiest, and your cooldowns are at their longest. Try and dodge her Lucent Singularity if you can, and shield your carry when she launches her Light Binding. In other words, play safe and don't make any plays unless you're sure you can come out on top.
May the more skilled Morgana win ;)
You can easily shield your carry in the time that Aqua Prison is in its animation. You can easily 100-0 Nami, because of her extreme squishiness, even with her heal. The bonus magic damage from her Tidecaller's Blessing can easily be mitigated by Black Shield. However, Nami is known for her disengage. Even if you can get really close for a point blank ultimate, she can ult, knock up, and slow you so you can't get the second proc. Plus, you can only shield one of you at a time, so don't stand too close to your carry in case her bubble will hit both of you!
This lane is annoying for one reason, and one reason only. Spears. They hurt like ****, especially if Nidalee started with Spellthief's. You can't allow your Black Shield to be baited out, other wise you're left vulnerable to CC. Even though Nidalee doesn't have any CC herself, the enemy jungler usually does. By allowing Nid to bait out your shield, you leave yourself wide open to jungler ganks. Otherwise, just stay behind minions unless you can land an immediate Dark Binding to 100-0 them.
Sona's only form of Hard CC is her ultimate, Crescendo. These can be difficult to predict, since most Sonas will Flash + Ult. However, if you can Black Shield your carry in time, you can easily turn the tides of the trade and lock in the kills. Pre-6, Sona out damages you with her Power Chord, but once you get Soul Shackles and Dark Binding is being leveled, you'll out scale her in terms of damage Mid-Late Game.
Soraka's heals are extremely annoying. Any poke damage that you might do will be negated, so the only way to kill this lane match-up is to 100-0 them. The good thing is, Soraka only has one mode of CC, and that's her silence. However, her silence doesn't cancel your ultimate, and she doesn't have any way to slow or stun you if you're chasing with it. During trades be sure you Black Shield your carry, so they won't take the MR reduction if Soraka starts spamming Starcall.
Taric's stun has a pretty slow animation, so you can easily Black Shield your carry even if Dazzle is already casted. In addition, Taric's passive on his Shatter only offers Armor, which is useless since most of your poke damage will come from your abilities. In this case, since the enemy is melee, you can risk a few autoattacks since Taric won't be able to trade back.
This match up is a lot like Annie or Leona. The main reason why Morgana is such a valued support to counter these guys is because her Black Shield can negate a lot, if not all, of their CC. Thresh's Death Sentence has a long wind up time, which gives you plenty of time to Black Shield you or your carry. Even if you can't shield in time, you can still shield afterwards to block Flay or The Box. Consider maxing E first, so it'll block a lot of the magic damage from The Box, and it'll be on shorter cooldown. Shorter cooldown=more potential more trades against a heavy CC champion, such as Thresh. It is slightly more difficult for Thresh to switch targets, so he is a slightly less difficult champion to go against.
Not too bad of a lane. The only thing to watch out for is Zyra's insane amount of poke. Since none of her abilities are blocked by minions, standing behind them won't help at all. Avoid standing next to her plants, since they do a lot of damage. Don't Black Shield you carry to block the poke damage, unless they're literally going to die. Save the shield instead for when Grasping Roots is used. The animation for her snare is really slow, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem shielding in time. Consider maxing Black Shield first, because of Zyra's large amounts of AP scaling and magic damage.
And that's the end of my Support Morgana guide! In summary, Morgana is a heavy damage support, all the while able to maintain some utility through her abilities that allow her to protect her carry. In this guide, I hope I've showed you a good way to build and play Morgana that allows her to be a major threat to the enemy team. If you have any suggestions, any suggestions at all, please comment and tell me what to improve! All feedback is welcome, so long as they're aimed at helping me improve. If you enjoyed the guide and it helped you, please upvote! It always makes my day~
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