Morgana Build Guide by utopus
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Threats to Morgana with this build
|Leona||You destroy her. When she zenith blades to your carry, just shield him, and 90% of her killing power is gone like the wind. She will have to kite back to her adc, and both you and your carry should use that opportunity to damage her - when she's running away. Make sure to stay close to your ADC, but not to clump up. If she zenith blades to your black shielded ADC, and then stuns you, you will probably die.|
Table of Contents
|Quick Guide||Basic Info||Tactics||Conclusion|
Synergy And Counters
Strengths And Weaknesses
How To Hit Every Skillshot|
Zhonya's Hourglass-> Righteous Glory does well when snowballing.
Synergy And Counters
Morgana is good against:
Morgana is weak against
Morgana works well with
Ignite is good to choose if you have kill pressure in lane, and you don't have very desirable targets that you'll want to exhaust later in the game (e.g. LeBlanc, or Zed)
In most situations, Exhaust definitively beats Ignite after you hit level 9 or so. It is usually better to grab Exhaust if you have very low kill pressure in lane and will not be able to snowball off the early game, or if you would like an extra layer of protection to give to your carry during the mid-late game.
greater mark of hybrid penetration
I take greater mark of hybrid penetration when laning against other ranged, mage-like supports so that I can keep approximately even with their damage. When going against tanky supports, I opt for Greater Mark of Armor so that I can keep approximately even with their inherent tankiness.
Click to Enlarge
Hello, I am Utopus, and I am a diamond rated support/mid laner on the north america server. I have been playing support frequently, ever since I started playing league back in 2011. Though things have undoubtedly changed since then, I do like to say that I am very comfortable in the role.
As you can see from the picture below, I do play quite a bit of Morgana, and I consider myself quite knowledgeable when it comes to playing her.
Click Here to see my op gg stats on Morgana
Or, if you prefer lolking, click this
I hope you get something out of this guide. If you have additional comments, criticism, or questions, feel free to comment on this guide, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will also be accepting screenshots of your successful games. Depending on how many screenshots I get from you guys, I may compile them and add them to an imgur album at the bottom of the guide.
Morgana is an AP mage who was designed to be played in the middle lane. Her lack of mobility, and her reliance on skill shots to secure kills slowly made her grow out of favor in the mid lane. Oddly enough, her kit works quite effectively in the bottom lane - as a support. Her kit gives her the potential to pressure turrets, catch champions, start fights, disengage fights, and aid your team in kiting.
Morgana is a low risk, medium-high reward champion, who is adept at both laning and roaming. Her kit can catch champions, pressure objectives, disengage fights, and peel for her team. Every game, the sheer utility that Black Shield provides saves several teammates' lives each game.
Morgana's ultimate, Soul Shackles has dynamic applications. It serves as a means to split up an enemy team. Using it as a follow up to spells like Cataclysm, or Glacial Prison can cause a lot of chaos and disrupt your opponents in a team fight.
This guide is intended for players who already have an in-depth understanding of the support role, runes, masteries, and are looking to master the mechanics of Morgana. The content in this guide is strictly limited to the scope of mastering support Morgana. I focus more on mechanics, and will not be distracting you by explaining in great detail content that seems logically justifiable, or content that does not focus on the mechanics behind playing Morgana. If you would like clarity on a particular rune loadout/mastery loadout, or why a particular item is a good purchase, I'll answer your question in the comment section and i'll do my best to answer it :) Alternatively, Emikadon's Morgana Guide does an excellent job explaining item choices or rune loadouts as well, so if you are a new player, her guide is an incredibly helpful resource!
As I said earlier, feel free to post any questions, comments, or thoughts you have in the comment section below, and I'll try to answer them within the week.
|(Innate) A weak passive, intended to give Morgana the ability to sustain and outlast her opponents in lane. It gives a slight, extra little boost in healing, when in fights, and acts as a good out-of combat heal for herself during the mid-game, when roaming is much more prominent. If you run into a situation where you need to rotate to another section of the map, but will not confront opponents any time in the near future, Try throwing a Dark Binding onto a jungle camp - mana permitting of course. Those extra little bits of healing might just save your life during a future encounter.|
|(Active) This is Morgana's primary damaging spell, and utility spell. This skillshot allows Morgana to damage or poke champions from afar, and if the spell hits, possibly engage or disengage fights. Knowing how to land this skillshot is critical to your performance of playing Morgana. I expand on the usage of this skillshot in another chapter further down into the guide.|
(Active) While intended to be the main damaging tool for AP Morganas, this spell functions as almost pure utility for support Morgana. The main use of this spell is as to face check brush. Cast this spell on a brush you are looking to ward/enter. If there are opponents in the brush you are checking, you should notice yourself getting some extra gold, if you've gotten Spellthief's Edge. Taking this extra little safety precaution can save your life!
Additionally, use this spell on a clump of minions to shove your wave with surprisingly high efficiency. Lastly, if you are near full mana capacity, casting Tormented Soil on your opponents in lane can get you a little extra change.
Perhaps most importantly, this spell can be used to get juggle tower aggro when you're looking to do a tower dive with your jungler. You can Tormented Soil on a champion to get tower aggro while both your carry and your jungler walk closer to your opponents, tank 2 or so tower shots (health permitting), walk out of tower autoattack range, and then Soul Shackles your opponent after the tower's aggro has switched to your jungler.
(Active) A instant-speed spell that just generally makes any trades, or extended fights easier for you and your teammates. The CC immunity that this shield grants while it is up gives it a very dynamic usage. Used offensively, this spell stops any negative CC effect to facilitate normally difficult tasks, like tower dives. Defensively, this spell can be used to help you or your carries escape ganks, kite better, commit to fights better, or just act as a cushion against some imminent AP damage. When Black Shield is down, Morgana and her carry are vulnerable! You should try to play safely if your opponents bait out your Black Shield and they still have CC of their own.
N.B.: If multiple shields are applied on a target, they behave like stacks.
This means that a target that's shielded like this: Black Shield -> Locket of the Iron Solari will have health taken away from the locket before health is taken away from the black shield, effectively increasing the health of the black shield.
A target that's shielded like this: Locket of the Iron Solari -> Black Shield will have health taken away from the black shield first, effectively decreasing the amount of CC immunity they have.
|(Active) An area-of-effect spell that tethers all champions in range, dealing massive damage, slowing them, and possibly stunning them. The long CC, and high base damage from this spell, coupled with other elements from Morgana's kit make Morgana one of the best supports to commit to an all-in fight at level 6. Additionally, this spell reveals invisible units, making it very easy to mess up someone's stealth. I'll discuss how to position to get the best ultis off in a later section.|
Morgana's early game skill leveling order can be confusing. Once you've played some games with her, you'll get a feel for what's right and what isn't. You can put a point into Tormented Soil at level 1, 2, or 3. In every lane you play, there will be one right answer, and two very wrong answers. This point can determine which team has lane dominance for the first five minutes of the game and can also determine whether you will win or lose an all-in at level 6/7.
This is the flowchart that I generally use to find when it'd be best to level my Tormented Soil
An itemization path that consists of a Spellthief's Edge, three Health Potions, and one Mana Potion has been quite conducive to my success in my early laning phase. The healing potions give you enough sustain to survive and commit to skirmishes and all-ins that would normally be impossible when starting with two Health Potions, and a Stealth Ward. The Spellthief's Edge gives a little extra punch to your auto-attacks and spells, making trades a little more advantageous for you.
Morgana's core item set is quite logical. I tend to buy Sightstone first if, by the time I first recall, I have more than 800 gold; If I recall with less than 800 gold, I tend to just get a Ruby Crystal and maybe like a Stealth Ward. I no longer upgrade my Spellthief's Edge to Frostfang, as I have found that that 500 gold is better spent investing in defensive stats and because the gold income granted from Spellthief's Edge is so good that you won't notice yourself starved for gold, provided that your laning phase went okay.
If it's not obvious already, you should switch your trinket to a Sweeping Lens right after you get your Sightstone, since the extra ward from your Warding Totem won't really do much. When you hit level 9, you should look to upgrade your Sweeping Lens to a Oracle's Lens as well - Your ability to catch your opponents is a function of your vision control, and your ability to land skillshots: good vision control can make it easier for you to catch your opponents, and poor vision control will make it harder for you. With vision control being such an important thing to control, the small amount of gold you pay for the upgrade is definitely worth it.
Try to always have 1 Vision Ward on the map at all times. Because supports are limited to a cap of 3 stealth wards at one time, having this extra ward that doesn't expire makes it much easier for you to keep vision on critical areas. These items give you everything you need to smoothly transition into the mid game: vision, gold income, tankiness, and mobility.
When my team is ahead in a game, these are the items that instinctively come to mind for me as desirable mid game purchases. These items here will help you catch opponents, or vastly increase your team fight power.
If you are ahead Zhonya's Hourglass is the only must-buy; If you're planning on getting any of thees items, Zhonya's Hourglass comes first. While it's nice to have extra damage and catching power, I don't get more than two of these even when I'm winning - utility is just that important on supports like Morgana.
Zhonya's Hourglass is absolutely amazing on Morgana. While it is an expensive and unforgiving build route, with one of its components being a Needlessly Large Rod, the AP and defenses granted by Zhonya's Hourglass enable Morgana to really hurt opponents in team fights. Additionally, the active on Zhonya's Hourglass allows for Morgana to make more dynamic Soul Shackles.
Items like Righteous Glory, Frost Queen's Claim are helpful in a different way, facilitating your attempts to catch opponents that are out-of-position. This item especially stands out if your team is bad at sieging turrets: You have a Twitch, or your opponents have god-like wave clear. You can take neutral objectives like dragon and baron, and if your opponents leave their base to try and contest it, you can quite easily catch them out with the actives from these items.
Abyssal Mask is a desirable purchase if your team is AP heavy. It massively increases the power spikes of any casters like Corki, Orianna, Fiddlesticks, or Xerath. In my experience, I think that mages benefit from the MR reduction more than AP assassins.
Utility / Defensive Items
The following items are the standard support items that you'll likely be seeing built most games. These items tend to give defensive stats, and have a nice active ability.
Mikael's Crucible is generally the best item to rush when you've come out of lane behind. The instant speed healing + cleanse can sometimes give your carries just enough survivability to carry your team back into the game. When you are behind, you are looking to try catch your opponent out in a bad position as they try and gain vision control on your side of the map. The extra mana regen you get from this item makes it much more forgiving to your mana pool if you miss Dark Bindings
Locket of the Iron Solari is a consistently reliable item to followup your Zhonya's Hourglass if you are unsure what to build. I believe it is effectively the jack of all trades, and the only time it really doesn't belong as a major item is if your opponents have an AD heavy team ( Zed, Master Yi, Hecarim, Janna, Draven or something.) After some extensive testing, I have found that you can use your Locket of the Iron Solari active AFTER Black Shielding a target to effectively increase the amount of CC-shield they have.
Randuin's Omen is a really strong item to get against AD teams. While the item itself is expensive and is quite a selfish purchase for a support, the combination of health, armor, and slows make it a strong counter to heavy AD stacking teams. The active also works well to keep champions in tether range of your Soul Shackles
Frozen Heart barely makes it onto this list. It's a relatively cheap purchase, and can deal with AD autoattackers quite well. The extra armor is a little wasteful unless you have some means to stack HP as well though. Realistically, I get this item in <5% of my ranked games, which is why I don't even include it on my cheat sheet. I would only get this item if my opponents have more than 2 autoattack carries on their team.
This is undoubtedly the most important part of my guide. This section of my guide will teach you how to position yourself to land most of your Dark Bindings, as well as dodge most line skill shots.
Watch this video until you really understand that the map has a flow to it. There is so much to learn from this video. My mastery of this video is probably the single biggest factor contributing to my success as Morgana support. It has also improved my quality of play on other skillshot reliant champions.
While the video is not excellently done, it is crucial that you understand the flow of the map. Learning to position yourself in the gradient of the map allows you to land skillshots easily, and also predict the movement of the opposing player, if he successfully dodges the skillshot. In addition to this, learning and knowing the contours of the map allows you to predict the movement of line skillshots that are coming towards you, and juke accordingly.
Below are pictures that i made, that were "custom made" to give you an idea of what the gradient of the bottom lane looks like, and why positioning yourself to shoot skillshots into the gradient of the map will maximize the chance of you landing your Dark Binding on your opponents.
CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW TO EXPAND THEM!
|In this picture, I got into the same gradient of the lane that the enemy Jayce was in. Because of this, the only way he could dodge a dark binding that I cast at him would be by juking up towards his minion wave. If he moved backwards at all, the Dark Binding would still snare him.|
|In this example, I was a little too far away from jayce. If I cast my binding, he could have outran the binding. For this example, we will ignore my blunder though. I do not quite match the gradient of the map. Because of this, it is easier for Jayce to dodge Dark Binding by juking to the left of it, as opposed to the right (I exaggerated my green arrows to show this). You can sometimes use this knowledge to your advantage. For example, if my allied jungler was starting his gank from river, and had just come into vision of the Jayce, you can predict that the most desirable course for jayce to take would be a trajectory towards tower and slightly away from river - into your binding.|
||Because I follow the gradient of the lane in this picture, Jayce will only be able to dodge my Dark Binding by walking orthogonal to my skillshot|
|In this picture, I am in a little bit of a pickle. The gradient of the map totally stops, and I can only guess the direction in which Jayce is running. Until he commits to running to the river, or running to lane, he can dodge my Dark Binding quite easily. In these kinds of situations, I often like casting my Soul Shackles, to force my opponent to commit to a direction. Only after my opponent commits to a direction, and/or gets stunned, would I throw my Dark Binding|
These two pictures serve as a sort of compare and contrast. Jayce is standing in the exact same spot - the only thing that has changed is Morgana's position. In the first picture, Morgana is shooting into the gradient of the map. Because of this, Jayce can only dodge her dark binding by stopping his run towards his turret, and running almost straight to the left - which is quite difficult, especially because people don't tend to move like that.
In the second picture, Morgana is not shooting into the gradient of the map. Because of this, Jayce has a much easier time dodging her skill shot - in fact, if Jayce continued to run straight back towards his turret and didn't even change his trajectory, he may still be able to dodge the Dark Binding.
You'll usually want to level Dark Binding for level 1, but I never level a spell until I get into lane. If you get invaded, quickly leveling your Black Shield could prevent your teammates from getting chain CCed, and first blooded. There are a couple cute tricks that you can use to phish for your opponent's location if you're attentive. For example, before minions spawn, there are various animals in summoners rift that will disappear through the fog of war if any champion walks near them. Below is just one example of how you can use the animals to your advantage. Click the images to enlarge them!
If you look closely, you'll see a frog near this banana brush. You can examine this through the fog of war.|
When a champion comes close to the frog, or enters this banana brush, the frog will hop away and disappear.
Getting level 2 first also means that your opponent loses a lot more opportunities to cheese you; So in a way, pushing and beating your opponents to level 2 can make it safer for you in lane. It takes the first whole minion wave and 3 melee minions to hit level 2, so for those first two waves, if I'm not poking my opponents with Dark Binding and autoattacks, I'm always autoattacking high health minions. In certain lanes, beating your opponent to level 2 can be so critical that it'd be okay to autoattack minions & force your ADC to lose as much as 2 CS!
In the early game, you are looking to make advantageous trades for you & your carry. The easiest way to do this is to Dark Binding a squishy target (preferably the ADC), and focus down that target so that if the opposing lane continues to fight, they would lose an all-in exchange. I find it more advantageous for me to trade when I have a larger minion wave than my opponent. If my opponent has a small minion wave, it is easier for me to land Dark Bindings; Having a large minion wave on my side makes it so that if my opponents try and retaliate, they will take more damage from my minions than they will likely end up dealing to me.
The converse also applies. I try to avoid trading if my opponents have a large minion wave. In extended trades, you have to treat a large minion wave focusing you/your carry as a 'third champion' in their lane. The minions will deal a lot of damage to you and you should only look to trade heavily in your opponent's minion wave if you caught your opponent and are looking the quickly kill them (e.g. they were hit with a Dark Binding and are at 40% HP compared to your 80% HP carry.)
Remember that you have your opposing ADC only has one Health Potion as opposed to your 3-4 Total Biscuits of Rejuventation. Because you can heal up a lot more health than your opposing ADC, a trading 300 HP on you for 300HP on your enemy carry is usually considered a trade that you won.
You hit a power spike once you hit level 6. Your Soul Shackles has a pretty high base damage, especially if you get both instances of damage off. The CC from your Soul Shackles allows you to more easily land your Dark Binding as well. Complemented with my summoner spell, I have been able to lock down squishy champions with health as high as 70% and kill them in one combo. By the time you hit level 6, the strength of Ignite and Exhaust are about equal in terms of the magnitude of kill pressure that they both give you. Ignite has more kill pressure than Exhaust before level 6, and Exhaust starts definitively outscaling Ignite as a summoner spell once you and your bot lane carry get past level 8-9 or so unless your opponents team has a lot of health regeneration in their kits. If your lane have very little kill pressure, or you are doing a lane swap, it may be better to look into Exhaust over Ignite.
I've compiled a list of rules that I've learned to follow over my ranked climb last season. Most of these should be obvious, but hopefully some of these may be of use to you.
- If a trade isn't going well for you, try to disengage as quickly as possible
- If a trade is going well for you, try and push the envelope as much as possible, while maintaining fluidity between you and your ADC. If your ADC is backing off from a trade, you back off with him. If your ADC is chasing your opponents, you chase with him.
- Always try to pop a potion at the start of an extended trade, or if you are below 60% health. This can make a life or death difference in all-in exchanges.
- Never, EVER take free damage. If you're taking too much free damage, learn to stand farther back, or position yourself in a way to punish your opponents with a Dark Binding for poking you.
- Dodge Skillshots :)
- Never pre-emptively Black Shield. Only cast your Black Shield if a CC projectile is already in the air, and that it'll hit you or your ADC.
- Scared that a dodgeable CC ability will hit you or your opponent? Black Shield.
- Pay attention to the health of your own minions. You can often get free autoattack harass on your opponent's ADC, since he'll be looking to last hit the minion, instead of you. You own minion's health bar can also sometimes telegraph your opponent's ADC's behavior well enough that you might land a good Dark Binding on him while he's trying to walk up and auto one of your minions
- It is important to keep track of the cooldowns of your Dark Binding, and Black Shield. If you or your carry gets engaged on when you do not have Black Shield, things can get ugly fast. The same holds for Dark Binding - If you commit to a fight, and your Dark Binding is not available, it can sometimes be very hard for you to win a trade.
- It is important for you to keep track of your opponent's cooldowns. If a Blitzcrank early on misses his Rocket Grab, you know that you have a 0% chance of getting hooked for the next 13-15 seconds. Punish him by trying to trade during this time, disengaging before his Rocket Grab comes off cooldown.
- Often times, the threat of hitting a binding is a scarier prospect, than actually attempting to land a Dark Binding. If your opposing ADC is at low health and your Dark Binding is off of cooldown, you can kind of zone him from lane and CS, because if he gets hit by a binding, it is quite likely that he dies.
- After the ADCs recall and buy their first major damage item (usually a Pickaxe or B. F. Sword), you should really try to avoid trading autoattacks with them.
- In fights to the death, I try and lose aggro from my opposing bot lane when I'm around 30% health in general. If they continue to chase me, my ADC can get free damage on my opponents, and they won't get as much damage onto me.
- When you put a point in Tormented Soil, try to only use it if:
1. You have 3 Spellthief's Edge stacks that you are looking to cash in.
2. Your opponents are really low
3. You have more than 70% mana (in general)
4. You are looking to push your minion wave
5. Your jungler is looking to dive and you want to take the first part of the tower aggro
Laning Phase, Blue side Ward Map|
o - Warding Totem & Stealth Ward placements before you get Sightstone.
o - Placements for Sightstone wards in the early game.
o - Good places to put Vision Wards
You'll only have your Warding Totem for your early levels, so don't see too many spots for those. You have to choose between having river vision or lane vision early on. Placing your Warding Totem ward in river will allow your lane to have increased safety from jungle ganks. If you find your lane is pushing hard, it'd do you good to ward this as a safety measure.
If you place your Warding Totem ward in lane, you'll have more vision control over your opponents far brush. This can be critical in dodging skillshots like Death Sentence. It also makes it easier to land a Dark Binding if your opponent really like sitting in his brush.
The exact placements of your Vision Wards depends on your current success in the game. If you are slightly behind/even, it might do you good to make the most out of your Vision Wards by placing them in the tri brush near your lane, or to place them in the brush behind your jungler's red buff - places that are really safe for you to ward, and really difficult for your opponents to clear. In contrast, if you are ahead in your lane, it may do you good to place your Vision Wards in more aggressive places, like the death brush in the bottom side of the river, or near the dragon pit. While these are easier for your opponents to clear these wards, placing your pinks in river will allow you to control vision near the dragon area much more effectively; You can use this vision control to catch an opponent, or force a dragon fight that may end up in your favor.
Mid/late Game, Blue side warding map|
When tied, or slightly ahead
o - Possible Sightstone warding locations
o - Possible Vision Ward locations
Mid/late Game, Blue side warding map|
When VERY ahead
o - Possible Sightstone warding locations
o - Possible Vision Ward locations
When you're tied, or very ahead, your goal is try and get as much information of your opponent's movements. More importantly, you want to get intel of your opponent's location NEAR AN ACTIVE OBJECTIVE. For example, if you JUST took dragon, then you probably don't need to have many wards near that area since there isn't much for your opponent to take near that area for another 5 minutes. You'd be better off rotating to the baron side of the map and deep warding there.
Consequently, if both baron and dragon are active objectives that can be taken, it might be good to have ward coverage of both areas. Keep in mind that Towers count as active objectives too. If you plan on taking a tower, it may do you good to ward areas around that tower so as to see how many opponents at a given time are close enough to that tower to defend it against an organized push.
As a general rule of thumb the deeper your ward coverage extends, the more information you can get on your opponent's location. However, it can be risky trying to place very deep Stealth Wards in your opponents jungle without teammates being nearby, or you already having vision of the area near the area you're trying to ward.
While it is important to have deep wards of your opponents jungle, you may need to place tactical wards too. Tactical wards are wards that you use to cover blind spots in an area close to you, if you know a team fight is about to happen. For example, placing tactical wards is critical when you are playing against a team composition that can flank well, like Fiddlesticks (with his Crowstorm), or against high mobility assassins that are looking to pick off a carry, like LeBlanc or Rengar.
Mid/late game, Blue side warding map|
o - Possible Sightstone warding locations
o - Possible Vision Ward locations
When you are behind, it is important for you to get as knowledge of your opponent's location, while also being sure not to get caught out. When you are behind, you are looking to try and ward your own jungle. It's important to try and stratify your warding, and ward areas where current objectives may be contested. For example, if you're at the 35:00 mark, and your opponents have a lead on you, but they are not sieging your inhibitor turrets, they will probably be looking to get baron to make their sieges easier. To get vision of baron, it's safest for you & an escort to first ward the two brushes near the wolves area, and then place a ward over the blue buff wall, into river.
Morgana's team fighting presence is really strong. There are three ways to do team fights with Morgana; Depending on your team composition and your opponents team composition, you will need to adjust your playstyle accordingly.
Way 1: Initiate The Team fight with catching someone with a Dark Binding, and following up with an aggressive Soul Shackles on your opponents.
Way 2: Facilitate the Team fight initiation Dark Binding, stay slightly behind your front line, and try to Soul Shackles your opponents main tank line as well as any champions that that try to walk past your tank line to disrupt your carries.
Way 3: Rely on your allies' ability to initiate the team fight. Stand in between your tank line and your carries, and save your Dark Binding, Black Shield, and Soul Shackles for people that try to disrupt your carries.
The start of the team fight:
Morgana can facilitate your allies' attempts to initiate team fights by landing a Dark Binding - preferrably, on a high value target, although this is not always needed. For instance, if your team has a Wukong, he can Nimbus Strike -> Cyclone to initiate a team fight, without the help of your Dark Binding. If your team initiates a fight without the help of your Dark Binding you should avoid casting your Dark Binding at that monent, unless you are sure that your team needs that extra bit of CC to start a team fight.
The middle of the team fight:
The easiest way of peeling assassins off of your target is to stand directly in between the assassin, and your carries, and when the assassin tries to jump your carry, shooting a Dark Binding directly at your carry, when the assassin is about to jump him/her.
The next most important part of the team fight, is landing a desirable Soul Shackles. Ultimately, the best kind of Soul Shackles is the soul shackles that forces half of your enemy team to go in one direction, and the other half of your enemy team to go in the exact opposite direction. While this can sometimes be done by aggressively going past your opponents front line and casting Soul Shackles there, opportunities don't always present themselves. The video below shows a good example of a 'zoning' ulti.
Notice how far forward I was positioned. I was slightly ahead of my front line. I forced Jinx to walk out of my ulti, and then walk really far back in order to start autoattacking me or Amumu. Jinx was effectively zoned out of this fight: She couldn't autoattack anyone for about 2 seconds, while her tanks were getting focused by my carries.
Often times, it's quite difficult to get these kinds of zoning ultis off. Instead, what you'll find yourself doing most often is using your ulti as a means to peel for your back line. I've included a video example of this below.
There are times when your ulti can do a combination of both zoning carries from a fight, and peeling for your carry. Here is an example of a well played fight in one of my ranked games. I believe this also reflects my playstyle of Morgana quite well. Click the pictures below to expand them in a new tab.
|In the picture above, Tristana and I get dived by a Kog'Maw, and a Leona. I had expected the dive to happen, so I warded my tri-bush earlier, and positioned myself directly between my Tristana, and my opponents.|
When I saw Leona Zenith Blade towards my carry, I immediately Black Shielded Tristana, and then cast my Soul Shackles. My ultimate greatly separated the Leona, and Kog'Maw, to the point where Kog'Maw could not actually get in auto-attack range of Tristana. Leona was left all alone, and with no damage to follow up her initiate, Tristana was able to kill her and Rocket Jump away to safety.
Kog'Maw was forced to either back off, or continue chasing Tristana past our tower. With so few of his friendly minions left under his tower, choosing the latter would force him to proxy farm past our turret, and leave him vulnerable to a jungler gank - which is actually what ended up happening.
Having such a high CC kit, it is quite easy to shot call for your team. Your ability to catch your opponents makes you have a terrifyingly large map presence. While mastering Morgana's team fight mechanics is critical, the best way to carry as a support role is to have as much map presence as you can.
Here is a list of objectives that you can control to get an edge over your opponents, in order from most important to least important.
- Nexus turrets
- Inhib tower + Inhibitor
- Vision Denial
- Large Forward pushing minion wave
If you were to put me in a sandbox environment, where I could choose any objective and take it without negative repercussions, I would start at the top of this list - at nexus turrets, and then work my way down. Realistically, though, teams don't simply give away their nexus turrets. In fact, that might be the most difficult objective to get. For instance, it'd be difficult to waltz over to baron and take it freely without first catching a carry and killing them. Because Morgana is adept at facilitating sieges, and excels at catching people, this is the list of the reward you get from controlling an objective that you can while weighing in risk.
- Vision Denial
- Inhibitor Turrets
- Nexus Turrets
- Large Slow Pushing Side minion wave*
The list will vary a bit from team to team. For example, if your team composition is good at sieging turrets (e.g. they have poor wave clear, you have a Tristana), taking an inhibitor turret may be easier and therefore less risky than a baron. Conversely, if your team composition prefers team fighting (e.g. your opponents can defend towers easily, you have a Vayne), then tower sieging will be more risky than baron.
Try to get the most out of any advantage you get over your opponents. Pay attention to windows of opportunity in which you can gain an objective. Whenever you have a numbers advantage over your opponents, it does you good to use that to your advantage. For example, whenever you kill an opponent, you should always look at your minimap and try to force an objective. Keep in mind that if an opponent has to leave the side of his team to clear a large minion wave in a side lane, or recall because they were being poked down too low, you can use that to your advantage to gain an objective.
While the best way to force a numbers advantage is to catch an opponent with a Dark Binding and kill them, there are other ways to force a numbers advantage. One way to do this that is even overlooked in high ELO play is slow pushing a wave. A slow pushed wave can single handedly take towers if set up correctly. With some good planning, you can manipulate your slow pushing wave to force your opponents to a far lane to address the minion wave, while you take another objective like a tower or a dragon.
to slow push your minion wave.
As you can see from the pictures below, all you need to do to slow push a wave, take a neutral minion wave (6 creeps vs 6 creeps) and kill the three caster minions in the back. This will cause the wave to push, and severely damage turrets if gone unanswered.|
While the exact time that a slow pushing wave will reach your opponent's tower will vary, it's best to try and force some objective about 20-30 seconds before your minion wave hits the tower. Small objectives like dragon and a tower can easily be forced from this. Timing your objectives around your slow pushing minion wave gives you leverage on forcing current objectives.
For example, in my second set of pictures, if I synced my slow push to start at 14:30, and the next dragon would respawn at 16:30, my slow push would be successful. My opponent's top laner can defend his top tower, or participate in contesting dragon with his team, but he could not do both.|
During the mid game and late game, it is also possible to use your slow pushing minion wave as a means to cascade a won team fight into more objectives. For example, if your team was in the end game, and you caught your opponents 2-0'ing them, you can take a slow pushed minion wave, clear any minions blocking it's current path, and then use that wave to get an inhibitor tower, an inhibitor, and a Nexus turret, whereas a team may only be able to get an inhib tower + inhib without the slow pushing wave.
To slow push a wave with Morgana, you're looking to kill the caster minions as fast as possible. I find that dropping a Tormented Soil on your opponent's ranged caster minions and throwing in a couple autoattacks is enough to slow push a wave in most stages of the game.
With Morgana's dynamic kit, it is no surprise that she works well with many champions. For laning, she synergizes well with people who can make the most use of her snares. Some champions that work well with Morgana are Jinx, Caitlyn, and Corki. Jinx and Caitlyn have snares of their own, and all three of the aforementioned carries have skillshots that can punish immobilized enemies. Additionally, the three benefit greatly from Morgana's Black Shield; Jinx won't lose stacks on her Pow-Pow, the Minigun from CC, Caitlyn will get the extra little bit of safety that will guarantee her survival in fights, and Corki will have an easy time landing Phosphorus Bomb and damaging champions.
Champions that can really benefit from being on your team are Zed, Katarina, Master Yi, and Fiora, among many others. These champions really benefit from her Black Shield, because they can devastate your opponents so long as they don't get locked down with CC.
Champions that mutually synergize with Morgana are champions that have some way of initiating, or following up on her initiate. Some examples of champions that can do just this, are Jarvan IV, Vi, Wukong, Rumble, Maokai and Lee Sin. It is important to note that all the champions I mentioned are tanky; Having a top laner, and/or a jungler itemize a tanky build path will greatly improve your chances of success in team fights.
There are three mechanics that give Morgana a little bit of trouble throughout the game.
The mechanic that hinders one's success as Morgana the most, is extreme mobility. Champions like Karma, Lulu, and Nami can make it very difficult for you to land Dark Bindings on them or their allies. Other champions like LeBlanc can give you trouble too, as her strong burst and high mobility make even simple tasks like warding a dangerous endeavor. When playing against these types of champions in lane, try your best to avoid getting whittled down by their poke, and mobility, and only committing to trades that you know you will win (i.e. you caught an opponent with a Dark Binding and have the damage to follow through). These champions can make it quite difficult for you to keep high value targets in your Soul Shackles. Because of this, it is often best to use your Soul Shackles defensively, as a peeling mechanism for your teammates, rather than offensively.
The second mechanic that Morganas struggle with is long range champions. In team fights, long range champions like Tristana, Caitlyn, Orianna, and Ziggs can give Morgana trouble in team fights, because it is difficult for you to zone them out of fights with Soul Shackles, and it is very easy for them to continually damage you. Against these champions, it is important to not tunnel on them, trying to land a Soul Shackles on them, unless it is obvious that you can do so successfully, with little to no consequence.
The third mechanic that Morgana struggles with is massive AoE damage. With Soul Shackles and Zhonya's Hourglass, Morgana can cause chaos and confusion in the enemy team on the right person to focus. When she goes against champions with large AoE damage, like Katarina, Ziggs, and Fiddlesticks, she can take tons of damage, and will be largely unsuccessful in drawing focus from her opponents. Against a heavy AoE team, the most important thing is to spread out, and not clump up. If your team positions themselves in such a way that your opponents can only hit 2 people with their AoE abilities, then the opposing team will have great difficulty focusing the right people.
I'd like to extend my thanks to several people:
GrandmasterD, for letting me use his beautiful guide template
My friend Tien, who reviewed and critiqued drafts of this guide
Ipodpulse, for making the beautiful Morgana Banner
Foxy Riven, for making spectacular artwork, and for helping me with BBCoding & Tables
OTGBionicArm and Maintained, for taking the time to help me with visuals
Vynertje, whose guide writing style I tried model, so I could better organize my thoughts
Thanks for taking the time to read my guide. As always, I hope that you got something out of this.
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