Background Image

The Power of Global Ultimates in League of Legends

Published: September 16, 2021
League of Legends Global Ultimates

Global ultimates are ultimate champion abilities that have effects or consequences across the map! They can have both vast and subtle impacts. We will discuss the different types of global (or nearly global) ultimate abilities and how they should be used and defended against.

What Are the Different Types of Global and Semi-Global Ultimates?

In League of Legends, some ultimate abilities can reach any (or all) champions, no matter how far away they are. These global ultimates have far-reaching consequences and can be split into three different types: global teleports, global effects, and global projectiles.

Semi-global ultimates have great range, but they can’t hit enemies no matter how far away they are. They are either limited by range, duration, or map collisions. There are three kinds of semi global ultimates in League of Legends that we will cover: semi-global teleports, semi-global charges, and semi-global projectiles.

Global Teleports

First, let's start with the global ultimates. While some things in League have changed, global ultimates remain some of the most powerful abilities in the game!. The first type of global ultimate is the global targeted teleport. The only example of this currently in the game is Shen's Stand United. His ult allows Shen to Teleport to an ally after a brief duration, shielding them for the meantime.

Global Effect Ultimates

Next are global effect ultimates. These ultimates aren't targeted because they affect all Champions on a given team. Karthus' Requiem damages all enemy Champions after a short period. Soraka’s Wish is a global ultimate that does the exact opposite and heals all allied Champions!

Soraka Ult healing all allies on the map

Another case of a global effect ultimate is with Gangplank's Cannon Barrage, a global ability that creates an area-of-effect in a concentrated area dealing damage and slowing enemies. As Gangplank progresses in a game, his ultimate also provides allies with movement speed bonuses.

The last two ultimates with global effects are Twisted Fate and Nocturne. The first activation of Destiny (Twisted Fate) makes enemies visible anywhere on the map for a short duration. The first activation of Paranoia (Nocturne) makes global enemies nearsighted, meaning they can only see a reduced radius around them and cannot see via the minimap!

Global Projectile Ults

The last type of global ultimate is global projectiles. Global projectiles are ultimate abilities that send a skill shot that can travel across the entire map! This type of ult is only available on marksmen champions! Draven, Ashe, Ezreal, Senna, and Jinx all have a global projectile ultimate ability. The common feature of these abilities is that they all damage champions hit (some more than others). These abilities allow marksmen to snipe kills across the map!

Semi-Global Teleports

With semi-global ultimates, the first type is targeted teleports. There are two examples of semi-global targeted teleports. The first is Galio’s Hero’s Entrance, which allows him to teleport to an ally knocking up targets around him when he lands and providing the teammate with bonus resistances in the meantime.

The second example of a semi-global targeted teleport is the second activation of Nocturne’s Paranoia. The second activation of Nocturne’s Paranoia causes Nocturne to dash to a targeted enemy Champion!

Paranoia global ult in League of Legends with Noctrune dashing in

The key to using semi-global targeted ultimates, like Paranoia is that you need great ward placement to enable long-range ability targeting, or the ability will be wasted.

The next type of semi-global ultimate is the semi-global untargeted teleport. Currently, there are three prominent examples of this mechanic. Pantheon's Grand Starfall allows him to leap into the air after a short cast time in any location he chooses within its casting radius. After another short duration, Pantheon lands in the selected area dealing damage to enemies hit.

Another example is Ryze’s Realm Warp, allowing him to teleport himself and any allies in the radius at the end of the casting time to a chosen location within the ability's range. The final example of a semi-global untargeted teleport ultimate is Twisted Fate's second activation of Destiny. The second activation allows Twisted Fate to teleport himself to a chosen location after a brief casting time.

Semi-Global Charges

Semi-global charges are another semi global ultimate. The three examples of this are Kled, Sion and Taliyah. Kled and Sion both charge in a specific direction that the user can modify. However, Kled is much more agile and able to move around walls, whereas Sion has a wide turning radius making that very difficult. The other difference between them is Kled’s ‘Chaaaaaaaarge!!!’ speeds up his allies behind him! Sion's Unstoppable Onslaught instead allows him to hit multiple enemies at once in a radius around the end of his onslaught.

Taliyah's Weaver's Wall is slightly different as she weaves a wall in her path. Upon recasting the ability, she will dismount the partition, so she does not have to travel the fixed distance of the ability.

Semi Global Projectile Ultimate Abilities

The final category of semi global ultimates is semi-global projectiles. These abilities have projectiles that travel up to a specific distance or a fixed distance that is semi-global in size! Champions with abilities like this include Bard, Jhin, Nami, Lux, and Xerath. These abilities all have a vast casting radius that makes them appear as if they could be global but are not!

Why are Global Ultimates so Impactful?

Global ultimates are very useful because they allow Champions to influence a situation without being there or enable them to get there faster than walking. They are incredibly versatile and produce strategies that can result in an easy edge over your opponent.

Having a global teleport allows the Champion to join a fight from anywhere. With Stand United, Shen not only will join the fight, but he also shields his ally in the meantime until he can get there. Thus, it has an instant influence over the fight's outcome regardless of where it is on the map!

Soraka’s Wish allows her to heal all allies significantly irrespective of where they are (or she is) on the map! Suppose her top laner is about to be dived by the enemy top laner and jungler. In that case, Soraka can use her ultimate to buy more time for her top laner to escape the situation potentially, or even outplay the dive and get a kill! These ultimates are highly beneficial to have on your team when used correctly.

Ashe ult arrow to freeze enemy in mid lane for gank
Ashe's Ult may be Used to Setup a Gank in Another Lane

Semi-global ultimates work similarly; however, they usually require the user to be about half or less of the map away from the area they want to cast their ability. These ultimates can either teleport themselves (and even allies) from mid-lane to bot lane to gank the enemies.

Bard uses Tempered Fate semi-globally to lock down enemies for the team to set up a play, or he can use it to stop them from chasing down teammates! He can even use it to save allies from certain death or stop turrets from attacking his teammates while diving! Any global ultimate or semi-global ultimate is very impactful to the game.

How Should Global Ultimates be Used?

Players should save global and semi-global ultimates for when they are needed the most. The problem with these influential ultimates is that they have long cooldowns because of how strong they are! The long cooldown means that players should save them until it is imperative to a play's success.

If Bard can stop an ally from dying to the last tic of Ignite, he should use it! If Shen can join a fight and help a frontline ally block some damage, he should use his ultimate ability! Some ultimate abilities are more straightforward than others. The ones that have more leeway for creativity are the ones that have the most incredible opportunity to master!

Abilities like Tempered Fate, Cannon Barrage, Realm Warp, Destiny, Paranoia, Hero's Entrance, and Stand United are great examples of unique opportunities for synergies and creative uses! Tempered Fate, as previously mentioned, can be used to stop charging enemies, retreating enemies, save dying allies, delay a fight for help to arrive, or even prevent the turret from attacking teammates! The best Bard players, however, will use Tempered Fate for multiple of these reasons at once! Cannon Barrage is an excellent ability for initiating a fight or zoning enemies in or out of an area! It's suitable for dealing damage, but the slow can make it easy for allies to catch up, and the damage can force enemies to have to reposition to avoid it.

Ashe arrow ult to save teammate by tower in League

Realm Warp is another unique semi global ultimate for its wide array of uses. Ryze can teleport himself and his allies to join a fight, his team away while retreating, fake teleport, teleport his team to rotate to objectives easily. Or he can even teleport his minions and Rift Herald to another turret to take it down. Twisted Fate can use Destiny to check if enemies are doing an objective, setting up an ambush, or rotating and split pushing a turret! Nocturne can use Paranoia as a fight begins to prevent enemies from Teleporting into the fight! Galio can use Hero's Entrance in combination with crowd-controlling or zoning abilities to create a guaranteed knock-up like with Camille's Hextech Ultimatum!

Last on the list of ultimate creative uses is Shen's Stand United. Although it doesn't seem that complex, Shen's Ult can be paired up with other abilities to create a real surprise for the enemies! For example, If Shen has a jungle Nocturne, When the Nocturne is about to use Paranoia to jump to an enemy, Shen can use his global ultimate on Nocturne, and he will end up joining Nocturne on top of the enemy! Another prime example of its synergies is with a Champion that can go invisible. The Champion can use an ability to turn invisible, walk into the enemy team while Shen is using Stand United, and he will pop up out of nowhere! You can even combo this with Yuumi attaching herself to one of the allies, and out of the blue, three Champions are attacking you!

Shen ultimate to save Akali

How Do You Play Against Global Ultimates in LoL?

With all of this said, it's essential to know how to counter these abilities. The best way to play against these abilities is to remember they exist and understand and track their cooldown in the game! Stand United starts at a 200-second cooldown! That's over three minutes where Shen will not be able to impact the rest of the map, and you should use that to your advantage!

The last gameplay strategy for dealing with global ultimates is to go to the source of them. As a jungler, if you are running a good jungle path and want to gank a lane against a Shen, if his Stand United is available, you should expect Shen to use Stand United and potentially creating a lousy fight for you. Instead, if you gank his lane, then you know he cannot use it to save himself, and while he is dead, he also can't use it on his allies! This play will put Shen further behind, so when he uses Stand United, he may even be easy enough to kill that him using it is just delivering him on a silver platter!

The last bit of advice for global ultimate projectiles is to avoid prominent positioning when recalling on low health. If you are in a conspicuous position, the enemy with the global projectile will almost always try to snipe you for a free kill!

Ashe recalling from obvious position where she may be hit by global ultimate ability
Don't Stand Where Everyone Expects You to When You Recall

Final Thoughts on the Power of Global Ultimates in League

All semi-global and global ultimates are very impactful in their own unique ways. Make sure to use them in the best way possible to win, and remember to consider how they can work in the enemies’ favor before making any decisions!

Images Courtesy of Riot Games.