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Ionic Spark is the Faerie Dragon of Teamfight Tactics: an item which penalizes enemy spellcasters. Its in-game description reads “Whenever an enemy casts a spell, they take 200 damage.” Seems pretty straightforward, right? Turns out, that’s far from the truth. Ionic Spark is actually a strange and complicated item.
As many players have reported, Ionics Spark has been bugged since the launch of Teamfight Tactics, and it still is. The item’s effect activates even if the champion it is equipped on is waiting on your bench. That means that you can equip it on any champion – preferably one you never intend to bring to battle – and count on it to do work consistently.
Unfortunately, consistency is this item’s downfall as well. Its effect doesn’t trigger on just any enemy champion spell. For example, it will not activate when Pyke dashes or when Warwick pounces. It also doesn’t seem to respond to any Shapeshifter transformations. It’s possible that Ionic Spark only activates when an enemy uses an ability which inflicts spell damage successfully. If that’s the case, then an enemy champion hitting your Garen while he is spell damage immune would not be targetted by the Spark.
The damage is also not instant. After detecting an enemy spell, the item plays an animation which inflicts damage over time. On the plus side, multiple Ionic Sparks can hit the same enemy spellcaster, so don’t hesitate to stack them.
How to get the most out of Ionic Spark
First of all, when using the item, you want your enemy’s champions to actually cast spells. So don’t build around Kassadin or any Demon champions. Also, avoid building Ionic Sparks completely if no other players in your match seem to be building vulnerable champions.
If you equip the item on a champion on the field, make sure they actually benefit from the passive spell damage buff. Conversely, if you have it on a benched champion, consider that you are trading flexibility for safety. That extra spot on the bench could prove very useful in the late game, after all.
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