Counter Healing, Before It Counters You (2024)

Everyone I’ve talked to in recent days have had a similar complaint when it comes to the meta in League of Legends; “I can’t out-damage them; they just out-heal all the damage I can do.” This is one of the most frustrating moments; you do everything right, but because the meta isn’t in your favor, you just lose. In this article, I’m going to teach you how to work around the immense healing that a lot of champions currently have so you will never again have to struggle with a champion who heals their health bar with one ability.

First, if you know they have picked a heavy sustain champion, they most likely will out-heal you late game unless you play to the meta. But, playing to the meta isn’t what makes League fun right? It’s playing the champion you like and feeling powerful doing so. One of the best counters to heavy sustain compositions is a champion or team structured around early game. Most champions don’t get their absurd healing until mid or late game with a small bump early if they build Vampiric Scepter (specifically champs like Fiora, Irelia, Aatrox, and Kled) or Leeching Leer (Ahris, Akali, Mordekaiser, Swain).

Anti-Healing Items

If it is the case that they will build an early Omnivamp/ Lifesteal item, then counter them with an early Executioner’s Calling (800g) if you are a melee champion that builds more like an ADC, Bruiser, or even Assassin. This will cut the healing by 40% and give you a boost in damage. 40% doesn’t sound like much, but if it’s an even match up this will make a world of difference in early skirmishes.

Counter Healing, Before It Counters You (1)

If you are a Mage of any kind (or at least someone who builds heavy AP) then you should build Oblivion Orb. The difference with Mages as to any other class of champion is that a Mage’s healing doesn’t come into play all too strongly until late game when they have scaled and gotten the damage to heal from. For this reason, I recommend building Oblivion Orb after tier two boots, or whatever you choose to purchase as a first item.

Counter Healing, Before It Counters You (2)

If you like playing tanks and even juggernauts, build a Bramble’s Vest. This way when they hit you, they will take damage and inflict Grievous Wounds onto themselves. Bramble’s Vest isn’t just for tanks! It can also be used on Bruisers and on rare occasion Skirmishers like Yasuo who are against a full AD team and want to build armor to further sustain themselves in teamfights.

Counter Healing, Before It Counters You (3)

Why build Grievous Wounds so early in the game when the champions that have high sustain can still be easily burst down with high amounts of damage or from a gank? You build it early because the champions that have sustain built into their abilities or passive are balanced so they do less damage or resistances on average than other champions, but in return they can survive longer because of the healing. If you build a Grievous item like Bramble Vest when playing top lane into a champion like Fiora or Irelia who hit a power spike after buying Vampiric Scepter making them unkillable 1v1 until later, you will have no issue actually fighting against them at that power spike. What’s more is that most champions begin to sustain through damage at a decent amount around level 6. This is primarily because these champions heal either majorly from their ultimates or they have leveled their base ability to the point where it can make the difference in a fight.

A lot of issues that players have against champions like this where they feel the game to be unwinnable against any of the champions mentioned before, and more, stem from having lost lane early against them whether it’s through a bad fight, getting ganked, or just getting poked away from your minions so you fall behind in gold. These are some of the biggest reasons that players come to feel some champs are unbeatable.

Real World Examples

Take (for example) Fiora and Vlad. Two champions that heal early with abilities but are completely different in playstyle. Vlad is a Mage who pokes with Transfusion (Q) from a distance until he is ‘overflowing’ (he uses Transfusion twice then gets an empowered Transfusion) then tries to get in range of you to take a good chunk of your health as his own, making poking him out complicated. Fiora ‘dances around’ until her passive marks a vital facing her at which point, she Lunges (Q) in to do a nice bit of true damage, as well as gaining move speed and a heal, and resetting her passive creating a new vital. When you build Grievous Wounds into these champions, they can be poked out of lane as their primary way of continuing to CS is by harassing while doing so to keep their health up. If harassing no longer heals for nearly as much, you can push the advantage and come out on top with a kill.

There are of course instances in which Grievous Wounds “works”, but don’t seem to do a lot. Champions like Viego, Mundo, and Soraka seem to almost heal through the healing reduction without so much as blinking. Even champions that are currently on the unbalanced leaning towards overpowered can still be countered. Soraka is the easiest counter in theory as she is a support that builds primarily health and general support items meaning her resistances are low and she can’t do a lot of damage. Have your DPS focus her first then continue the fight as normal and the team will melt faster than butter on the stove. Viego is one of the strongest Junglers at the moment, making him very hard to fight against; if you are to fight him, get CC on him early in the fight and you basically have ended him as he needs to ramp up by getting kills/assists and stealing the champs to heal. Not to mention most of his abilities revolve around using basic attacks to heal and shred through you based upon your max health.

Counter Healing, Before It Counters You (4)

It doesn’t matter the champion you are playing against or how broken they are currently. If after seeing them fight, they emerge from the scrap healthier than before; there are only two reasons this happens. One, they are fed or got ahead early and as such are just generally more powerful and feel like they heal way too much. Two, you/the laner didn’t buy Grievous Wounds. Even if it’s just 800 or 1300 gold early for the part of the full item that gives you the ability to apply Grievous Wounds, it will make a big difference. Sure you might not get a full item first, but they will never get their full healing.

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