If you were a part of League of Legends in its early days, then you probably remember how different the game was compared to the modern day.
Back then, Riot’s developers tried to incorporate so many things from other popular video games, especially Warcraft’s III DotA and World of Warcraft. From runes and masteries to the old achievements/challenges that were quickly dropped.
And, of course, Summoner’s Spells!
In LoL’s early seasons, the sheer number of Summoner’s Spells was much bigger than today’s. And these spells were all different, some impactful more than others, but all interesting and fun.
For example, you could revive yourself instantly after you die and empower a cannon minion to push the lane for you.
Over the years, Riot Games removed many of their original Summoner’s Spells, some because players never used them, and some because they didn’t fit the overall goal of the game.
So, let’s go over all removed Summoner’s Spells in League of Legends and remember how they used to work.
These Are All the Removed Summoner’s Spells in LoL
For those of you unaware, Observer was a temporary Summoner’s Spell in League of Legends that wasn’t actually meant to be used by players. Instead, it was a way for Riot Games’ employees to observe tournament matches and record them so we could watch them.
Here’s how it worked.
A Riot Games employee would enter a match as the 11th player. They would select a champion and pick up Observer. And when the game starts, they would cast Observer to reveal the entire map and gain permanent invisibility so that they could monitor everyone.
The funny thing is that Observer didn’t prevent the Riot employee from receiving gold and buying items. They could actually go to a lane and get shared XP with a player there while being invisible.
Lastly, Observer wasn’t immune to Nocturne’s ultimate. So when Nocturne would cast R, the observer’s map was also shadowed in darkness, even though they needed to monitor the match.
Riot Games later developed more sophisticated tools for monitoring and recording professional matches.
Clairvoyance was another Summoner’s Spell for vision, one which players could enter a game with until it was removed at the end of season 3 and the beginning of season 4.
Clairvoyance used to work in a very simple way. You cast it anywhere on the map to gain a vision of that spot for 5 seconds. The animation featured a blue beacon that couldn’t be damaged or destroyed by enemy champions.
The idea for Clairvoyance was likely taken from DotA where this feature existed even before LoL was created. And the goal of Clairvoyance was to give you the ability to check where the enemy team is, whether they’re doing Baron, or if the enemy jungler is pathing toward you.
The closest thing to Clairvoyance we have in the modern League of Legends is the blue trinket, Farsight Alteration. Of course, this doesn’t have a global range but it does stay up longer than 5 seconds.
Many LoL veterans won’t remember Garrison as a playable Summoner’s Spell. That’s because it was only limited to Dominion, the game mode that Riot Games removed as well around season 4.
Since Dominion revolved around capturing bases, Garrison allowed you to restore an ally capture point and increase its attack speed for 8 seconds. But if you use it on an enemy capture point, the spell would prevent it from attacking you.
Garrison was a helpful spell to have in Dominion and it was pretty effective. However, it never made it to Summoner’s Rift, and the majority of players never actually used it even once.
Fortify was a very short-lived Summoner’s Spell that didn’t even make it to season 1. It was an experimental idea for the game that already existed in DotA.
When cast, Fortify would grant invulnerability to all of your turrets globally and increase their attack speed. In other words, the spell was supposed to counter an enemy push so you can protect your base even when you’re dead.
Riot Games tested things with Fortify for almost an entire year before removing it completely. They even made the spell give you bonus damage to minions when it’s ready to cast, which is definitely interesting.
We don’t know the exact reason why they gave up on this idea but we could guess how impactful it could be in the modern game.
Nowadays, the only effective push you can make in LoL is when the enemy team is dead, so imagine running into fortified turrets when that happens.
Just as Fortify’s intent was to give you more defensive options, Promote’s goal was the opposite. It was an extremely fun cooldown to use in the early days and it’s fondly remembered by players worldwide.
Promote could only be used on cannon minions to heal them and empower them with bonus stats, including damage and health. The funny thing is that when the empowered cannon minion would slay other minions, the player that empowered it got the gold instead.
And so, Promote was supposed to be used to increase your push power. Champions like Tryndamere could go into a side lane to split push and use Promote to quickly take down turrets.
Promote was also removed pretty early but its effect got reworked in an item called Banner of Command. But since that also proved kind of broken, Riot Games removed that item as well.
Rally was a very interesting concept for a MOBA game such as League of Legends. I personally liked it a lot because the idea for it was obviously taken directly from raid settings in MMORPG games, most likely World of Warcraft.
When you cast Rally, you basically empower all allies around you with bonus AD. This spell affected both minions and allied champions, but also units like Heimerdinger’s turrets.
And so, you would cast Rally when you’re trying to push an enemy turret or enter a teamfight. The bonus AD was a significant buff in the early days, so it was impactful.
But as with the two Summoner’s Spells before, Rally never even made it to season 2.
Surge also existed very briefly during the initial launch of League of Legends and it was supposed to be an offensive cooldown you could use in a teamfight.
What Surge used to do is empower your champion with bonus ability power and attack speed for 12 seconds. You would cast Surge just as the fight starts to instantly gain enough power to topple your enemies.
However, the two stats that Surge provided weren’t really optimized. Even in the modern League, there aren’t too many champions that make use of both AP and attack speed apart from Azir, Diana, and Katarina.
Unfortunately, Surge never made it far and we never really saw all the implications it could’ve had.
Stifle was another offensive Summoner’s Spell that Riot Games removed pretty early on. However, this is the only spell on this list that I really think could fit the modern League of Legends.
With Stifle, you essentially silence an enemy champion and remove all of their buffs, including shields. It’s a sort of counter to Surge where you can instantly cleanse it from an opponent if they use it.
But Stifle could be used to counter so many different things in LoL. For example, let’s say that you’re up against Tryndamere and you want to kill him. Well, if you cast Stifle to silence him, he can’t use his R to prolong his life.
The global range of Stifle could easily be changed to be the same as Ignite or Exhaust. But even as such, the ability for any champion in the game to have silence is way too much for Riot to even consider putting this spell back, which is a shame, of course.
Revive is one of the few Summoner’s Spells on this list that made it a couple of seasons before it was removed in 2015. And as its name suggest, it was meant to revive your champion upon usage.
Revive had an extremely long cooldown but it did provide you with bonus movement speed when you respawn. This spell was meant to correct your mistake after you’ve been killed so you can quickly return to the fight.
Even though Revive wasn’t heavily used in competitive play, it does provide advantages that some champions and roles can abuse. Just imagine killing the enemy jungler so you can secure Baron but he uses Revive and comes to steal your objective away.
No to mention that Revive could be used in combination with Teleport to instantly get into the middle of everything.
Backtrack was just a temporary Summoner’s Spell that many of you probably missed it. It was alive only during an event in 2019, but it was a fun one to use.
Backrack could dash your champion backward while also giving you a shield and cleansing you of any CC. This fit very well with the chaotic gameplay of the mode, which was essentially ARAM Howling Abyss but in the theme of Bilgewater.
And out of all Summoner’s Spells on this list, this is the most likely one for us to see again if Riot Games decide to bring the Bucher’s Bridge event as well.
Read Also: How to Find Your Main Champion in League of Legends?
11. Smite – Multiple Versions
Smite is definitely the most reworked Summoner’s Spell in League of Legends. It seems like every couple of years Riot Games give it completely new effects with the latest being the jungle pets.
But in the past, these are all the Smites we used to have.
The purple Blasting Smite is still fondly remembered by so many old-school junglers. It was removed at the end of season 5 with its effects being AoE damage and stun when used on monsters.
Blasting Smite used to come from the item Ranger’s Trailblazer.
Scavenging Smite was Blasting Smite’s counterpart and came from the item Poacher’s Knife.
This Smite was meant to be used on aggressive junglers that liked to invade and counter-jungle. It essentially halved the cooldown when used in the enemy jungle, so you can use it again after a short period of time.
Challenging Smite was one of the most long-lasting Smites that the LoL community ever witnessed.
The red smite used to give you bonus true damage against an enemy champion while also reducing the damage you take from your target. And it worked fantastically well on champions like Graves!
And Chilling Smite was the friend of Challenging Smite when they were both removed at the end of season 12.
The blue smite used to slow your target so champions like Rammus and Zac could easily keep up with the fleeing enemies.
Read Also: How to Get Enough Mythic Essence in League of Legends?
In its early days, League of Legends was far more experimental. And before Riot Games defined clear intention with their title and found their recipe for success, League had inspiration from all kinds of games.
You can make the argument that that was exactly what made it more fun. And I’d agree with you that LoL has currently a very small number of Summoner’s Spells that don’t ever change. Almost every mid laner runs Flash and Ignite while all top laners run Flash and Teleport.
All in all, here’s a link where you can read more about all the Summoner’s Spells I mentioned on this list and check what they looked like in-game.