If you’ve ever been on the wrong side of a fed Malzahar ult, then you probably already understand the importance of Quicksilver Sash (QSS). If you don’t know what it is, I will give you a quick rundown. QSS is an item in League with an active ability that removes most CC and is a popular situational item on most ADCs in the game. QSS primarily benefits ADCs like Vayne or Samira have to charge into the fold to get their damage off.
They are the most vulnerable to crowd control abilities like stuns, slows, etc. This same logic will apply to AD assassins, champs like Zed or Talon. Notice that every champ I’ve talked about has been AD because QSS can only build into Silvermere Dawn or Mercurial Scimitar, which are not good on mages or AP users. Now that we’ve covered the basics of the item let’s move on to some specifics.
How Does QSS Work in League of Legends?
In this section, I’m just going to give a quick run-through of all the little nuances of Quicksilver Sash. If you’ve built QSS a lot and know how it works, go ahead and skim or skip this because you will probably already know everything I’m about to say. If you’ve never built Quicksilver but are trying to learn how to use it, then this is for you! Okay, let’s start from the beginning:
- Auto-targeted and No Cast Time: This means as soon as you press the button to use QSS, it will activate. You do not have to select yourself or press any other button. You can just slap your QSS button as soon as you’re hit with any CC (Crowd Control).
- QSS Only Removes the CC of an Ability: Some abilities like Warwick ult do more than just stun. They will apply on-hit effects or debuffs. QSS will remove the crowd control (the slow, stun, etc.), but it will not remove these other persistent effects. A specific example is the summoner spell, Exhaust. QSS will work on Exhaust and remove its slow, but it will not remove Exhaust’s damage reduction.
- Quicksilver is not Cleanse: Cleanse is a Summoner Spell similar to Quicksilver Sash’s, but QSS and Cleanse are not the same. Cleanse, for example, WILL remove Exhaust’s damage reduction (and even remove Ignite) while QSS does not remove Summoner Spell debuffs at all. On the flip side, QSS will remove suppressions like Warwick ult, while Cleanse will not.
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Which Abilities Can You QSS?
Quicksilver Sash can be used on just about any crowd control effect you find yourself stuck in. These effects include slows, stuns, snares, and suppressions. Some abilities in League of Legends work a little differently than the average stun or slow. Things like Lissandra ult, Lulu Polymorph, and Teemo Blind.
These abilities do not have an intuitive reaction with QSS like a Lux Q would and are not intuitive to many people. Below, I’ve compiled a list of some of the abilities you can cleanse with QSS. The items in this list include common abilities that you’ll want to QSS in-game, not-so-obvious abilities that you can QSS, and abilities with unique QSS interactions.
- Malzahar Ult: It all comes full circle. If the enemy has a Malzahar and you’re playing a short-ranged ADC, an ADC without an escape (Jinx, Jhin), or an AD assassin, you will probably want a QSS, so you can deal with a flash Malz R when the time inevitably comes.
- Warwick Ult: Like Malzahar ult, Warwick ult is a suppression, and QSS will cleanse it immediately. Note that you will still be damaged by the on-hit portion of Warwick’s ult, but the stun will be removed immediately.
- Lissandra Ult: This ability is weird, but you can QSS Lissandra ult like any other stun. Her ultimate looks unique, but it is no different from your average stun, so spam that Quicksilver then run for the hills.
- Yasuo Ult: I hope this comes as a pleasant surprise! You can QSS Yasuo ult, but it will only get you out of the extended knock-up. You will still take damage from his ult, but at least you won’t be stuck in the air while he unloads his pent-up anger on you. It is also important to note, if you get knocked up, you have to wait until Yasuo ults to use your QSS as you cannot QSS knock-ups.
- Urgot Ult: This is a fun one, and not many people know that you can QSS Urgot Ult. The catch is, you have to do it while his chains are dragging you to your imminent doom. So if you’re not frozen with fear and your QSS is off cooldown, then you may live to see another day.
- Mordekaiser Ult: Another ability that is not intuitive. As soon as he takes you to the shadow realm, you can QSS Mordekaiser ult and run into the waiting arms of your team. I still find myself forgetting this is an option and ignorantly 1v1’ing a fed Mord more times than I’d like to admit when I could’ve just pressed a button and bailed.
- Skarner Ult: This one might seem obvious to some, but not to everyone. Skarner’s Ultimate not only stuns, but it drags as well. If you find yourself being ulted by Skarner every fight, a QSS will make his ult useless. Be careful, though, as he has other stuns to use on you.
- Nasus Wither (W): This is huge. If the enemy team has a Nasus, and you’re playing ADC, you’re going to want to build a QSS. Nasus W is one of the most common abilities you will be using QSS on in your League games. This is because QSS will remove the slow and the Attack Speed debuff. I cannot overstate the importance of building Quicksilver against a Nasus, whether he is fed or not.
- Hooks (Thresh, Blitz): You can QSS both Thresh hooks and Blitz hooks. There is a little bit of nuance here, however. For thresh, you can remove his stun, but he will still be able to jump to your champion by reactivating Q. For Blitzcrank, you have to have swift reflexes to QSS his Q before he can knock you up with his E.
- Irelia Stun (E): This may seem like an obvious one, but I added it here for a reason. You can QSS Irelia E to remove the stun, but you cannot remove the mark that it places on you.
- Teemo Blind (Q): If you are playing ADC or any AD champ against a fed Teemo, you will want a QSS. This is a lesser-known Teemo counter, but it works wonders if Teemo blinds you, just QSS and auto the rat until he dies a painful death.
- Graves Smokescreen (W): Many people do not realize that QSS will remove the near-sighted debuff. When Graves lands a Smokescreen, you get slowed and can’t see anything beyond a short distance. Using QSS at this moment will remove both the slow and the vision impairment.
- Lulu Polymorph: I’m not saying it isn’t fun being a little bunny/fox critter thing. But if you need to get your autos in or use a big ult, this could lose you a team fight. Thankfully, you can QSS Polymorph and do what you need to do.
- Nocturne Ult (R) (Kind of): You can QSS when Nocturne ults, but you’re not removing his ult. You’re removing the near-sight debuff that comes with his ult. He will still be able to fly to you and use his fear, so it will be better to save your QSS for that most of the time.
- Exhaust: Finally, you can QSS the summoner spell Exhaust. This is the only summoner spell QSS will work on. Note that QSS will remove Exhaust’s slow, but not its damage reduction.
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Which Abilities Can’t Be Countered With QSS?
- Knock Ups: This is a mistake you only make once. Or twice. Or every time you build QSS against a fed Cho. QSS is deactivated during a knock-up, meaning you cannot get out of things like Cho’gath Q or Poppy R.
- Zed Ult: If you’re a veteran player, you may remember the good old days when building QSS made the enemy Zed useless. Nowadays, however, you cannot QSS Zed ult or anything similar such as Vlad’s. This is not likely to change anytime soon as it was a blatant decision made by Riot’s design team, so enjoy your single Stopwatch and be sure to rush a GA anytime your mid laner feeds.
- Fiora Ult: This falls under the same category as Zed ult. These abilities cannot be QSS’d away because they are not stuns or CC. They are debuffs. So no, you cannot QSS Fiora ult, but you can QSS her W stun.
- Bard Ult: Bard ult is technically a Stasis, not a stun, so no, it cannot be removed by QSS. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t build QSS against an annoying Bard, as they will still have plenty of stuns left to tilt you.
- Fizz Ult: This is another ability that used to be voided entirely with a well-timed QSS. Nowadays, though, you cannot remove Fizz ult with QSS. If you QSS during Fizz ult, you will remove the slow, but the shark will eventually get its meal.
- Camille Ult: There is no way to QSS Camille’s ult. Once you’re caged, you’re caged, and you have to just sit there and accept your fate. It’s best just to avoid the champ as much as you can and stay around your teammates if you find yourself up against a fed Camille.
- Vi Ult: There are two parts to Vi ult. First off, she will mark you and start flying towards you. Secondly, she will knock you airborne and murder you in cold blood. Unfortunately, you cannot QSS either part of Vi ult. It is essential to know this so that you do not waste your QSS, and then you can remove the stun from her Q that she inevitably throws after ulting you.
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When Should I Build QSS?
So when should you build Quicksilver Sash, and when should you build Guardian Angel? The answer isn’t always straightforward, but you can use a few rules of thumb. Are you only dying because of a particular ability? If a Malzahar is ulting you every fight or a Nasus W is the bane of your existence, then a QSS is probably the answer. It’s cheaper than a GA, and you don’t have to sit out of the fight for 4 seconds while you resurrect.
Sometimes though, the enemy team will have multiple threats against you. You can only QSS one ability, so you have to choose wisely. Sometimes you can afford to take a whole Warwick Ult if he jumps into your whole team and has no one else around to finish you off. In a case like this, you should save your QSS for the next stun that the enemy could capitalize on.
Now, what if the enemy has a champ that can one-shot you, even if you QSS? Then maybe it’s time to bust out the Guardian Angel. If you find yourself dying in the middle of your team a lot, and feel like you would have done a lot of damage had you survived that one champ, then GA is the way to go. You must be honest with yourself. Would you have won that fight if you resurrected? Or would the enemy team have just blown you up again while your team suicides to save you?
There you have it, a definitive guide on when to build and how to use QSS. Since the beginning, QSS has been the ace up ADCs’ sleeves and is built very often by high-ranked and pro players alike. It takes practice to get into the habit of using this item, and you may find yourself forgetting to activate it quite often. But keep building it and trying to build the muscle memory and your game sense, and I promise you will level up your gameplay.