Exhaust vs. Ignite – Which One is Better?

Summoner spells are one of the most important parts of the game when it comes to planning a successful tactic against your enemies. However, there are multiple choices, and you have to be careful when it comes to it because you can choose only two. 

Flash is the most frequently utilized one, but the other summoner spell really varies depending on what role you play. In this guide, we’re going to compare two Summoner Spells that are very often used by the Summoners, and they are Exhaust and Ignite. 

They are very good tools to gain an advantage over your enemy lane but are not usable in every situation. Stick with us until the end and learn how and when to pick Exhaust or Ignite.

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Exhaust is a Summoner Spell that targets a single unit, applying slow and reduced attack damage on the enemy target. The cooldown of the spell is 210 seconds, and it has a 650 range. 

Although it reduces most forms of damage, Exhaust will not reduce the true damage dealt to your champion, so you have to know this before you apply it to your enemy. 

The cooldown of Exhaust can be reduced by summoner spell cooldown reduction, and the enemy cannot remove the effects from Exhaust by using Cleanse.

Exhaust is a very good tool when you play against champions that deal a massive amount of damage, especially assassins, bruisers, and ADCs. Moreover, if you chase an enemy and you need that slow to catch the champion in a quicker manner. 

Also, if you try to escape from enemies, Exhaust will help you in this process because it will slow them down and it will reduce their attack damage, minimizing the chances of you dying in the process of escaping away. 


Ignite is a spell that deals true damage to a single-target enemy over an extended period. The damage is divided into “ticks”, and every tick deals 14-82 damage based on summoner level. 

Because of the fact that Ignite deals true damage, it cannot be mitigated by any form of damage reduction. However, shields and invulnerability effects will absorb the damage. 

Ignite is very useful when you chase an enemy not because it deals extra damage, but because it grants vision of the enemy for the time being active. The total amount of damage that Ignite does goes from 70 to 410 based on the level, and the champion that you cast Ignite on has 40% Grievous Wounds applied to him for the duration of Ignite. 

This means that the healing effects will be diminished by 40%. The cooldown of Ignite is 180 seconds and it has a 600 range. 

Both abilities can be used to make excellent plays, but they aren’t suiting every champion well. Therefore, we’ll talk about whether you should use Ignite or Exhaust on every lane. 

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Top Lane

Top laners are usually going with the combination of Flash/Teleport, so both of these summoner spells aren’t very good for these categories of champions. However, if your enemy is Darius, Garen, or Nasus, Exhaust would be an excellent addition when they’ll try to collapse on you. 

On the other hand, Ignite could be useful against Darius because it will mitigate the healing effect of his Q, and it will apply more damage to him, easing the process of slaying this very strong champion. 

However, if you choose to play Nasus on the top lane, choosing Exhaust would be a silly mistake because most of the “benefits” from Exhaust are contained in his W. Ignite wouldn’t be a bad choice, but when he combines W+E, there is a nice amount of damage that could be compared to the one from Ignite. 

With that being said, there are cases in which Teleport would be the best Summoner Spell next to Flash.

So, both of these abilities are good when it comes to fighting tanky bruisers but Ignite is probably utilized more due to the offensive nature of the spell. Exhaust is a more defensive-orientated one, and it is probably used when you want to defend more in your lane and depend on ganks to win your lane.

Mid Lane

The same story goes for mid-lane too. Most of the midlaners go with the standard Flash/Teleport build, but Flash/Ignite is also very utilized. However, if you play against Zed, Yasuo or Yone, Exhaust would mitigate a huge amount of damage done to you, especially from their ultimates. 

This way, you’ll play more defensively and wait for ganks, and when they happen, Exhaust will vastly increase the chance of killing your enemy.

If you are a mid laner that wants to roam and secure kills on bot/top, then Ignite would be the perfect choice for you. Ignite is very useful for killing enemies on roams because that way they won’t be able to escape on a small amount of HP due to the damage applied over time from Ignite.

Bot Lane (ADC and Support)

ADCs don’t rely on Exhaust mostly because their support picks this summoner spell for them. They do rely on Heal and Ignite, however, and these two are usually the ones that an ADC has to choose from apart from Flash. 

If the support is one that can heal frequently (Soraka, Bard, Nami), then the choice should be Ignite for the ADC because it’ll help you secure kills easily. However, Heal would be the better choice if the ADC is more stun-orientated.

As for supports, Exhaust would be the no-brainer choice if they can provide extremely well healing! As we mentioned earlier, champions like Soraka, Bard, Nami, or Janna would make good utilization of both Ignite and Exhaust. 

But if their ADC goes with Ignite, then Exhaust would be the better choice. Champions like Braum and Leona who are hard tanks and have slow/stun in their skillset would make better utilization of Ignite. That is, again, if your ADC goes with Heal, which should be an automatic lock due to these champions missing the healing abilities.

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As we mentioned earlier in this guide, both Exhaust and Ignite are very good summoner spells and are very frequently utilized in the game. Depending on which champion and which role you play, they do provide different qualities. 

If you want to burst in a quicker manner and mitigate the healing power of your enemies, then Ignite is the right choice. However, if you want to have an ability that will help you in both chasing and escaping “tight” situations, then Exhaust would be the no-brainer pick for you. 

Either way, both of them can be used in every stage of the game and do not “fall off” in the mid/late stages of the game. So, make sure that you know how to use them properly (it’s not a big philosophy, you just point-click on a single target) and learn how they help your champion to gain leverage over your enemy thanks to these summoner spells! 

We hope that our guide will help you with these “tasks”! 

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