Exhaust vs. Ignite – Which One Is Better?

Exhaust vs. Ignite - Which One Is Better in League of Legends? Explained

Summoner Spells are very important tools for any champion. While the game does not have a wide variety of them, the ones that do exist are versatile enough to fit any and all needs. Choosing the right summoner spell can enhance your champion, allowing you to do things that would otherwise be impossible.

Ignite has a lower cooldown than Exhaust and is useful against champions with heavy healing. In the early game, Ignite provides additional kill pressure. Exhaust is generally more useful in the mid to late game because it offers percentage damage reduction and can be used to chase slippery targets as well.

After Flash, two of the most popular laning (and sometimes jungling) summoner spells are Ignite and Exhaust. Ranging from the top lane to support, every role can run these spells to assist themselves in the laning phase or help their team out in teamfights. Picking the correct one requires an understanding of its functionality, and the pros and cons it offers.

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Ignite in League of Legends explained

Ignite is an aggressive summoner spell that sets the enemy on fire. It deals 70-410 true damage to the target champion over 5 seconds. The target is constantly revealed for this duration, granting sight. Additionally, Ignite applies 40% Grievous Wounds to the target for 5 seconds. Ignite has a 180 second cooldown.

Pros And Cons

Both Ignite and Exhaust have different benefits, and they must be picked according to your needs. This is why we will now go over the different pros and cons offered by these summoner spells. These are mainly based on the aggressive/defensive potential these spells provide and how you can utilize them to your advantage.


  • Ignite gives you a stack of Phase Rush and Electrocute. It also gives you two stacks of Conqueror.
  • Ignite deals true damage, so there is no way to reduce the damage outside of shields and invulnerability.
  • Ignite provides extra damage which leads to higher kill potential against enemies.
  • Ignite applies 40% Grievous Wounds which can be used to counter heavy healing in fights.
  • Ignite has a shorter cooldown than every other summoner spell except Barrier (same cooldown), Smite, and Hexflash.


  • Using Cleanse completely stops the burn damage from Ignite and stops it from revealing the target anymore. Remember that the Grevious Wounds will still remain after using Cleanse.
  • Ignite does not trigger spell effects, preventing it from triggering certain runes and items (Dark Harvest, etc).
  • Ignite’s damage can be absorbed by a shield, and Ignite’s healing debuff does not reduce shields in any way.
  • Ignite does not apply True Vision, so it will not counter stealth.
  • Using Barrier will negate 40% of Ignite’s damage if used 2 seconds after Ignite activation.
  • The damage offered by Ignite does not hold up well in the mid to late game as every champion has much higher damage, lower cooldowns, and is in general tankier. Thus Ignite’s damage is mainly beneficial in the early game for the extra kill pressure and does not scale equally well into teamfights.

When To Take Ignite

When to take Ignite in League of Legends? Complete Guide

Ignite is especially good against champions that heavily rely on healing. It is an instant, and reliable source of Grevious Wounds since the cooldown is not very long. When laning against champions like Aatrox or Warwick, Ignite can prove to be a great all-in tool. Since these champions rely on healing to win fights, waiting to fight them when your Ignite is up will increase your chances of winning significantly.

Apart from the Grevious Wounds, Ignite is usually taken for its damage. Since Ignite deals True Damage, it will not be reduced by anything unless it gets mitigated by shields/invulnerability. This allows laners to have much higher kill pressure over their opponents. It can catch your opponents off guard and allow you to score kills when your opponent would otherwise expect to survive with low HP.

Also check: Do Ignites Stack in League of Legends?

Champions Countered By Ignite

The following list contains champions that you can take Ignite against. These champions are either dependent on healing or simply require the extra true damage to take down. The list does not imply that these are the only champions that struggle against ignite or that these champions would not be countered by Exhaust.

  • Aatrox
  • Darius
  • Dr. Mundo
  • Fiora
  • Gwen
  • Hecarim
  • Illaoi
  • Irelia
  • Nami
  • Nasus
  • Kayn
  • Olaf
  • Renekton
  • Rengar
  • Samira
  • Sona
  • Soraka
  • Sylas
  • Taric
  • Tryndamere
  • Vladimir
  • Volibear
  • Warwick
  • Wukong
  • Yone
  • Yuumi


Exhaust in League of Legends explained

Exhaust is a summoner spell that can be used mainly defensively or sometimes aggressively. Exhaust weakens the target champion, slowing them by 30% for 3 seconds. Additionally, the damage dealt by the target champion is also reduced by 35% for the same duration. Exhaust has a 210 second cooldown.

Also check: Exhaust vs. Barrier – Which One’s Better?

Pros And Cons


  • Exhaust reduces damage by a percentage, directly countering burst damage sources.
  • The slow from Exhaust can be used to counter slippery targets.
  • Since the damage reduction is a percentage instead of a flat amount, it scales well into the mid and late game.


  • Exhaust can not reduce True Damage.
  • Cleanse will remove all the effects of Exhaust.
  • Exhaust does not provide any aggressive capabilities like damage or vulnerability. It does slow down the target, however.

When To Take Exhaust

Exhaust is a very versatile summoner spell. It is mainly taken because of the damage reduction it offers. Since the Damage reduction offered by Exhaust is based on a percentage, it remains strong throughout the game. Its main use is to limit the burst coming out of damage-oriented champions.

Exhaust can also be used to chase a slipper opponent. The movement speed slow can allow you and your team to catch up to an opponent who would otherwise get away. It also simultaneously discourages them from turning around and fighting you.

Exhaust has amazing value in teamfights or skirmishes. Simply removing a massive chunk of damage and mobility from an important enemy target makes teamfights so much easier to win. Exhaust acts as an anti-carry summoner spell as it allows you to counter an enemy carry in games where the enemy heavily relies on 1 or 2 champions to win them the teamfight.

Champions Countered By Exhaust

This list contains the champions that heavily rely on their damage output to function in lanes/teamfights. Using Exhaust against these champions heavily stunts their carry potential in lane or in teamfights. Ignite will also help you kill these champions, but Exhaust allows you to counter the large burst damage that comes from these champions, allowing your carries to survive longer in teamfights.

  • Akali
  • Aphelios
  • Corki
  • Diana
  • Draven
  • Ekko
  • Evelynn
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Gangplank
  • Graves
  • Kalista
  • Karthus
  • Katarina
  • Kayle
  • Kha’Zix
  • Lucian
  • Miss Fortune
  • Pantheon
  • Qiyana
  • Rek’Sai
  • Rengar
  • Samira
  • Syndra
  • Tryndamere
  • Twitch
  • Wukong
  • Yasuo
  • Yone
  • Zed


Ignite and Exhaust are both summoner spells with very high pick rates. When it comes to combat summoner spells like these, the decision of taking one or the other depends on your lane matchup and the enemy team composition. Make sure to judge who you will be using these spells on, and choose the proper one accordingly.

For similar content, check out this piece on penetration vs power in LoL.

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