Aery or Guardian: Which one should you take?
Utility champions are dominating the current meta with the likes of Janna, Lulu and Soraka being the top dogs of the Support role. While they’re strong right now, they’re always pretty good regardless of the matchup and the meta they’re in.
One thing that makes these champions in particular so strong is their ability to swap their rune choice depending on the matchup they’re in. For example, all of the champions listed above and many more can take either a standard Summon Aery page, or go for a more defensive Guardian page when they need to.
In this Mobalytics guide by PicklePants, we will discuss the subject of rune choices for these champions and tell you when you should go Guardian and when you should go Aery.
Before we begin, we should go over the two rune pages players typically use with these keystones.
Most utility champions like Janna, Lulu, Soraka, Sona, and Nami will take a variation of this rune page. This rune page or a variation of it benefits these champions heavily as it allows them to deal more damage and empowers their heals/shields.
Of course, this rune page does a lot more than just empowering their abilities and each of the follow-up runes are valuable to a champions kit. However, when you’re in a matchup that is hard for your champion, this page will not offer you much protection in lane and you may fall behind. In those cases, taking a Guardian rune setup will be more beneficial to you.
When you’re in a matchup where the enemy has lots of kill pressure over you, taking Guardian will offer you some more protection and increase your defensive stats. As soon as the enemy engages on to you or your ADC, the shield will protect you from some of the damage. This makes it a good resource to increase your survivability in lane.
Getting a shield at level 1 and 2 will probably safe your life when you’re playing against a champion like Leona who has a lot of pressure in the early game. In particular, in a snowball heavy meta, taking Guardian will reduce their ability to kill you as long as you play aggressive when Guardian is up and not before.
So when should you take Guardian over Aery
For the most part, you’ll always want to take Aery over Guardian unless you’re in a matchup where the enemy has lots of all-in or kill pressure. I like to look at it this way: is there a chance I am going to die often in lane? If the answer is yes, then I take Guardian.
If I am in a matchup where the enemy lacks kill threat in lane, but their allies have lots of hard engage or who are assassins, I also like to take Guardian as it offers me and my ADC more protection when they engage. For example, taking Guardian against a Camille, Malphite, Zed, or Evelynn will help protect me and my ADC in a team fight.
When taking Guardian, you do lose quite a few valuable stats that empower and buff your champion, but taking Guardian offers you more protection. You need to weigh up the pros and cons of each and pick the one that is best suited for the matchup you’re in.
The champions who can make this change
We’ve talked about it previously, but there are a bunch of champions who can take either Guardian or Aery. These include, but are not limited to:
- Janna – Aery, Comet, Guardian
- Karma – Aery, Comet, Guardian
- Lulu – Aery, Guardian
- Lux – Aftershock, Aery, Comet, Guardian, Dark Harvest
- Morgana – Aery, Guardian
- Nami – Aery, Guardian
- Rakan – Aery, Guardian, Aftershock
- Sona – Aery, Guardian
- Soraka – Aery, Guardian
- Yuumi – Aery, Comet, Guardian
Each of these champions should take the rune page that is best suited for them in the matchup they’re currently in. In some games it will be Aery, in some games it will be Guardian, or sometimes it will be a completely different rune.
When taking Guardian, you may often need to adjust your starting item choice as well. Summon Aery and Spellthief’s Edge go hand in hand together, but it’s not necessarily worth it some times to go Guardian with Spellthief’s Edge as you’ll still be putting yourself in danger of dying when you try to poke the enemy.
This is why it may be beneficial for you to go Relic Shield when playing with Guardian as you will not have to put yourself in a position where the enemy can all-in you. Taking Aery should, in many occasions be taken with Spellthief’s Edge. Guardian can be taken with Relic Shield.
If you’re unsure when you should take Spellthief’s Edge or Relic Shield, check out our guide on Support Item Quests where we compared the two.
I hope this guide has helped you in understanding when and why you should take the rune Guardian over Summon Aery. Stop auto-piloting and try it out when you’re in a tough matchup. Remember, take what’s best for you in every game to have the best chance of winning it!