How to Play Against Samira
Samira is the 151st champion Riot Games have released. The champion has definitely lived up to the hype around her name. If you’re struggling to play against her at launch, or haven’t had the fortune of playing against her in-game yet, you’re not alone. This guide will increase your chances of winning against the newest champion to hit Summoners Rift
In this Mobalytics guide, we will talk about how you can play against Samira and truly shut down the 200 year-interactive experience Riot Games has given the pleasure of playing against.
If you want to know more counter tips, her build or how to play as her, check out our Samira Champion Page. Keep your eyes peeled for more Samira guides coming soon.
Note that Samira was hotfixed but the information in this guide will still hold true.
1. Pick hard engage champions against her
In my experience of playing against Samira, she struggles against all-in and CC. I’ve played numerous games against her with a variety of Supports like Zyra, Taric, Senna, and Leona and I’ve done the best when playing as Leona.
All-in champions like Leona and Alistar can lock Samira down with CC which makes it incredibly hard for her to escape a skirmish and trade back with you. Even with her E, she struggles to escape or reposition in the fight (which can be capitalized on).
Champions with lots of poke like Zyra can be good too as you can use your range advantage to poke and harass her in the early game. However, when Samira is paired with a Support that empowers her kit or buffs her damage like Lulu, it can be difficult to survive against her once she has some levels behind her.
At this stage, it’s difficult to say what the best champions are to play against her, but hard engage and CC seems to be the go-to pick to make killing her much easier. If you happen to be playing with Samira, hard engage champions work well with her and so do enchanters with abilities that heal and shield.
Champion is balanced.
Bonus tip: Try to keep the minion wave closer to your side of the map to allow the hard engage champion to do their thing and engage. If you constantly push, it gives the Support a much harder time to look for picks and go in as the tower will protect the Samira.
2. Play around Samira’s E
Her E is her only real mobility tool. If she uses this ability aggressively, you can capitalize on the cooldown and look to play aggressively in return. When her E is down, she is rather immobile and easier to kill, so you need to play around this cooldown to gain a lead.
In team fights in particular, if she uses her E to close the gap, you should try to collapse on her to take her down. Taking her down at the start of a fight will make it difficult for her to use her Ultimate to deal lots of AOE damage to you and your team.
Playing around certain abilities is key for every champion and more so champions with dashes or dodges. When playing as a hook champion like Blitzcrank or Thresh, make sure you play around her E to maximize your windows of opportunity.
3. Avoid grouping too close with your team
One of the most obnoxious parts of her kit is her Ultimate which deals a ton of AOE damage to champions who are within range. Thankfully, this ability can be countered in a few different ways. First off, avoid fighting when she has maximum Style points as she is unable to activate her Ultimate unless it’s maxed out, so try to keep an eye on its indicator.
This isn’t always a viable option though, but you can counter her Ultimate directly by not grouping to close together. By splitting up slightly, it will reduce her AOE damage and prevent her from skinning your whole team alive.
You can do this by grouping but not standing on top of one another. Having appropriate spacing between everyone will make it hard for her to get a good Ultimate off. Additionally, you should avoid team fighting inside the jungle or around the Dragon or Baron pit as champions will usually be grouped close together inside these areas of the map.
During the laning phase, try not to stand too close to your ally in lane. Having appropriate spacing will reduce her damage and make it harder for her to gain a favorable trade. Stand in line but not next to one another if possible.
4. Lock her down as she engages
Samira is very similar to a lot of other champions. Once she engages, she is overextended and vulnerable. You need to ensure that whenever she goes in that you and your team take her down as quickly as possible.
If she moves forward, try to lock her down with CC and get inside of her W so you can deal damage to her. You shouldn’t let Samira jump in and dish out damage for free. You need to focus her and take her down so she is unable to deal tons of AOE damage.
5. Invest in an Executioner’s Calling
It’s still the early days for Samira right now and there are tons of builds being tested by the community. In its current state, Death’s Dance seems to be a great item on her. This item, among others, will increase her sustain in fights and allow her to dish out a lot of damage while remaining relatively healthy.
Healing is incredibly strong in League of Legends right now. It feels like basically every AD champion gets an item that increases their sustain which can make them hard to deal with. One way of countering Samira’s sustain is by purchasing an early Executioner’s Calling. Dealing damage to her will reduce her sustain and make it easier for you to kill her.
When paired with a healing or shielding Support like Soraka or Lulu, you need to get this item as quickly as you can before she becomes a huge problem. If you do not get this item, she will out heal all the damage you do to her in a trade.
For AP Supports, you may need to get a Morellonomicon even with its terrible gold value, especially if you’re playing Brand or Zyra.
6. Ignite as soon as you can
Taking Ignite when playing as a Support is common knowledge right now. It’s by far the superior secondary Summoner Spell over Exhaust. Did you know that Ignite inflicts Grevious Wounds similar to Executioner’s Calling?
When trading with Samira and committing to the all-in, make sure you Ignite her as quickly as possible. This will reduce the healing ability from her kit and the items she buys. In turn, this will make her easier to kill. Do this in team fights and in trades during the laning phase.
7. Play around her W
Samira’s W will block all projectiles that enter or are in the vicinity of her W when it’s active. This means auto-attacks, skill shots, and most importantly, CC like Hooks or knockups (like Nautilus Ultimate).
Using these abilities from range is not recommended as she can easily dodge them. Instead, you should try to get as close to her as possible to make it easier for you to land them. You can also use the bushes in the bottom lane to your advantage to sneak up on her and take her down.
In general, playing around her W is crucial as it can block a lot of damage. Whenever it’s down, try to abuse the cooldown to gain a health lead and set her behind. If you can bait it out before initiating a trade, you will make it so much more favorable.
8. Ban Samira in ranked (for now)
As a side note, if you’re wanting to climb right now, make sure you ban Samira in every game so your allies cannot pick her and the enemy cannot play her. Samira is very strong right now even with her nerf, so it’s best for you and your team to not have to deal with her period.
In particular, if your bot lane doesn’t know how to play against her and the Samira has some games under her belt, she will be able to draw circles around your allies in the bottom lane and snowball a lead.
For the first patch, I recommend banning her in every ranked game you play to increase your chances of climbing in patch 10.19.
Riot keeps creating new and unique champions with complicated and difficult looking kits. We hope this guide has given you some information to help you play against her when you face her on Summoners Rift.