Note: Parts of this article are outdated as of 13.10. Mikael's now gives Health instead of MR/Haste. The active remains unchanged.
Mikael's Blessing is an enchanter item that grants a wealth of stats and an incredibly powerful active while being in the cheapest price class of items. Despite it's strengths, you won't see this item being built very often on any champion. In this post, I want to explain just how strong this item is (and how everybody is using it wrong).
Let's look at this item's details:
Forbidden Idol + Negatron Cloak + 700g (2300g total)
+15 ability haste
+100% base mana regen
+50 magic resist
+16% heal/shield power
ACTIVE - Purify: Remove all CC debuffs (except knockup/suppression) from an ally champion and restore 100-180 health.
(650 range • 120s cd)
At first glance, Mikael's stats look grossly overtuned. If you look at the gold efficiency alone, it grants 2900g of stats while also having an extremely powerful effect. However, it's important to understand why the stats are so high.
Many people (mostly redditors) will jump to conclusions about an item based on gold efficiency without trying to understand why it was made that way. We saw this when the entirety of r/leagueoflegends had a meltdown from Hullbreaker being 198% gold efficient. Despite what you might believe, League of Legends is a game with a lot of thought put into it, so you'll often be able to look into aspects of the game and read the intent of the designers, which is what I want to do here.
Right off the bat, there's 2 things that stand out about this item:
- It doesn't grant any ability power, which is a very important stat for enchanter champions
- A lot of it's value is in magic resist, which will generally be less useful on enchanters
This means that when you should build Mikael's comes down to if the magic resist and active can outvalue the lack of ability power. It's a very efficient item, but that efficiency can only be used under specific circumstances. In other words, it's a highly situational item that gains extreme value from being able to identify when it's good.
Active - Purify
You're probably using Mikael's active wrong and it isn't your fault. The item description both in game and on the wiki are both extremely inaccurate, and the only way I found out was through my own testing. Here's what happened:
If you were to only look at the ingame tooltip, you would be led to believe that this active is extremely limited. Since it cannot be cast during hard CC, it can't be used as a self-cleanse or for aoe abilities on your allies like Amumu R if you also get caught in it. It also means that you have to have good timing to get max value out of the active, since it's a lot harder to instant-cleanse abilities on an ally than it would be on yourself.
Since the tooltips have to be barebones for simplicity's sake, the inaccurate description is understandable. What's really bad is that even the wiki won't tell you what this active actually does.
If we look at the wiki's description for Purify, we'll find that this ability isn't just a cleanse, but actually grants CC IMMUNITY for 0.2s. This means that if you hit the timing window just right, you'll be able to self cleanse CC like Ahri charms or Varus chains. On a 0.2s window, it's also technically possible to cleanse things like Amumu R, but not consistent enough to rely on.
So this leads us to just recently when I decided to hit up practice tool to get comfortable with the Mikael's timing. I had also been under the impression that the wiki was accurate, so I never tried to hit the 0.2s immunity window unless there was no other choice. While practicing, I noticed that it was suspiciously easy to meet the cleanse window. It definitely did not feel like 200ms.
To confirm my suspicions, I recorded the cleanses and counted the frames. As it turns out, the window is actually an extremely generous 0.5s, which completely changes how the item should be used. With this, you should be trying to use the active before the CC hits pretty much every time since consistency shouldn't be an issue. You can also pretty reliably cleanse in the Amumu ult scenario. It's crazy how whoever tested this for the wiki was off the mark by such a large margin.
This discovery significantly changes the way you interact with this ability. For example, Syndra will usually Q -> E or W2 -> E for the stun, so with a 500ms immunity window you can cast Mikael's any time between the cast of the first ability and the E stun to guarantee an instant cleanse. As another example, if you cast Purify halfway through Taliyah's W -> E combo, the target won't get stunned by the rocks, leaving them free to move.
Purify is extremely effective if you know the exact cues that you can cast after to guarantee immunity, and I'm still working out the specifics for all champions/matchups. Even though I've just started testing, it's insane how much untapped potential there is with this item's active alone.
How does this apply to Ivern?
Because of the lack of AP, it's difficult to recommend this as a first or even second item, but anywhere past that you can build the item without much downside. AP on Ivern is much more effective in the early-mid game skirmishes but becomes less effective in larger scale teamfights, so plan your purchases accordingly.
Aside from regular use, there are a few cheese scenarios that are worth a Mikael's rush. Here are some examples:
- Ivern mid vs Fizz: Purify will detach his ultimate from it's target which pretty much completely negates it. You also get enough magic resist to still be comfortable in trades (although you might need a dark seal to make up for the missing AP). Pretty unplayable matchup for Fizz if you play it right.
- Ivern mid vs control mage: If you know what you're doing, Ivern is actually capable of contesting a push against a control mage. The main problem comes from how vulnerable you are to ganks in the process. Most control mages have strong CC to set up ganks in lane, so Mikael's can cover up that weakness while also making you resistant to their poke. Also bonus points if the enemy jungler is also an AP champion.
- Frontline Ivern: In 2v2/3v3 skirmishes, it's a lot easier to fight when you have a target in front that is soaking damage. This is especially true for Ivern since it makes the choice of who to shield very simple. In games vs heavy AP comps where you want to play around a ranged lane, Mikael's magic resist can help a lot with getting in their faces, even if the active can only get moderate value. (note: Banshee's Veil is also a good magic resist item for situations where you can't get Purify value)
Outside of the weird edge cases, keep this item on your radar as a 3rd-5th item. It's a bit tricky to use (especially considering 99% of enchanter players have brain damage), but if you can get the timing down it's one of the best items in the game.
As much as I wanted to write more about Mikael's (and I definitely could), I think I've already said more than enough in this post. If you thought this was a lot, just wait until you hear what I have to say about Staff of Flowing Water. Until then though, thanks for reading!