Phase Rush is a Sorcery Keystone that grants a champion an extra burst of speed over three seconds. The boost can be less or more potent, depending on the champion you’re using. Keystone is especially great for characters whose abilities and kit scale with movement speed (for example, Skarner).
Given that this is a Sorcery keystone, you will most commonly see Phase Rush on mages and other characters that benefit from other runes from this tree. Although it is especially good during the laning phase, it provides benefits throughout the game. Phase Rush is especially good if you don’t want to build into movement speed items.
Key Info Up Front
Phase Rush is a keystone that increases your movement speed and provides slow protection for 3 seconds. It is a stacking passive, and you can get charges on almost all offensive actions.
Phase Rush Basic Uses
Whenever a champion uses a summoner spell, item, ability, basic attack, or upon applying DOTs and CC, they will get a stack of Phase Rush. It takes 3 stacks for the ability to activate, and each one of them lasts for 4 seconds. Keep in mind that you’ll get a stack only by affecting the champion. It doesn’t work against minions or monsters.
Once you reach 3 stacks, you will get a movement speed boost of 30 to 60 percent (if you’re a melee champion) or 15 to 40 percent (if you’re a ranged champion). The effect improves with levels. Aside from the movement speed boost, a champion is granted 75% slow resistance in the next 3 seconds.
Phase has a cooldown from 30 to 10 seconds based on the champion’s level. So, on higher character levels, you will almost constantly have this buff.
How Is Phase Rush Used?
Although every champion can benefit from the keystone, it has a very particular purpose. The buff is great for mid lane characters and, in particular, slow mages. If you’re constantly poking an enemy and engaging, you will have that extra movement speed that will allow you to escape if things get dicey.
Phase Rush is very important when you’re at a mobility disadvantage, i.e., when you’re facing assassins. Most of these characters have one or more mobility abilities that would allow them to outmaneuver you. So, if you’re getting attacked, this can improve your odds of escaping.
Besides the defensive benefits, Phase Rush can be utilized offensively. Just remember how many times you had trouble catching a low health target. If you’ve already used your nukes and crowd control abilities, Phase Rush can help you follow up and pursue the target. This would give you enough time to land a few more basic attacks and spells, ensuring that you get a kill.
Phase Rush can work really well with Flash and Ghost, making your champion very elusive.
Phase Rush in the Early Game
Like most runes and keystones, Phase Rush will remain relevant throughout the game. It is especially important in the early phases as it helps you not die to something dumb.
Although it might seem like something that works better in large teamfights, as you get a charge whenever you strike a different target with a spell, it is much better during small engagements. This makes it ideal for laning phase, for the type of situation that I’ve previously mentioned.
When talking about the laning phase, the keystone is especially potent during the first few minutes before you purchase boots. During this time, mages are extra susceptible to offensive nukers and jungle ganks. Among others, having a Phase Rush buff on will allow you to avoid skill shots.
Phase Rush in the Later Stages
Phase Rush’s purpose changes a bit as the game progresses. During the early phases, it was mainly a defensive tool. In teamfights, it becomes more important offensively.
For example, mages always stay in the back during larger engagements regardless of whether they have Phase Rush keystone or not. In that regard, you will be relatively insulated from the enemies (although there is always a chance that an assassin will jump the back lines or come from the side).
Phase Rush allows you to position yourself properly when casting offensive spells. Although you will need to get the 3 charges, once you’re buffed, you can move in and out of the engagements. After casting the first rotation of abilities, you can move a bit to the back, wait for cooldowns to come online, and go return to the fray once again.
Phase Rush and Slow Resistance
With Phase Rush, the emphasis is usually on movement speed buff. However, the slow resistance is also worth the mention.
As the game goes on, the enemies will have access to more and more disables and slows. Although there isn’t much you can do against stuns (except increasing tenacity or going into stasis), you can protect yourself from slows with Phase Rush.
This makes the keystone especially important against certain lineups. Among others, it can save you in situations where enemies open an engagement by stunning you, after which they chase you while continuously slowing you. Although you might not survive anyway, the slow resistance might at least increase your odds of doing so.
Best Sorcery Runes with Phase Rush
- Tier 2: Nullifying Orb (alternative Nimbus Cloak)
- Tier 3: Transcendence (alternative Celerity)
- Tier 4: Scorch (alternative Gathering Storm)
Nullifying Orb (Nimbus Cloak)
If you’re worried about the champion’s defense, the best rune you can get is Nullifying Orb. It creates a shield around a champion in situations where a magic spell would reduce you below 30% health.
Before the damage can affect you, a shield will be formed around the character allowing them to absorb some of that punishment. Nullifying Orb gets better with levels, AD, and AP, so anyone can benefit from it.
Alternatively, you can go with Nimbus Cloak. This is a passive that provides from 5 to 25 percent movement speed bonus for 2 seconds (depending on the champion’s level) after using a summoner spell. This makes it excellent with Ghost and Flash as it ensures your escape (if you previously accrued stacks of Phase Rush).
Transcendence is a rune that provides +5 ability haste at level 5, +5 ability haste at level 8, and it reduces cooldowns of all basic abilities on takedown once you reach level 11.
While this skill is not directly connected to Phase Rush, it does help you get stacks. As a mage, you rarely have the opportunity to auto-attack opponents. So, your ability to quickly get stacks is directly connected to your ability to quickly cast spells at enemies. Of course, the haste is always good for mages, regardless of Phase Rush.
Celerity is a rune that gives you an extra 1% movement speed, plus it increases all your movement speed effects by 7%. It also boosts your Phase Rush. Naturally, the effect gets better with every item, ability, or rune that increases your movement speed. It works really well with Phase Rush and Nimbus Cloud.
Scorch (Gathering Storm)
Scorch is a rune that will set the opponent on fire whenever you hit them with an ability, dealing from 15 to 35 magic damage depending on the champion’s level. Although there is no synergy between Scorch and Phase Rush, this is your best option at tier 4.
Gathering storm provides adaptive force bonus ranging from 0 to 48. The boost increases after every 10 minutes of the game. Once again, it is a rune that doesn’t synergize with Phase Rush. However, I think that Waterwalking would be too much, especially if you took Nimbus Cloud and Celerity, which is why I give advantage to offensive AP runes.
Secondary Rune Options (Precision)
- Tier 2: Presence of Mind
- Tier 4: Coup de Grace
- Tier 4: Cut Down
Presence of Mind
Whenever you make a takedown, you gain back 15% of max energy or mana. Alternatively, upon damaging opponents, your mana regeneration increases for 4 seconds. This rune is pretty great for all the active mages. During the laning phase, it will provide you enough mana for poking, so that Phase Rush is continuously active.
Coup de Grace
As the last potential rune, you can choose between Coup de Grace or Cut Down, both of which improve your offense. Coupe de Grace increases your damage by 8% against enemies below 40% health. This makes it great for finishing enemies. Again, this isn’t an optimal rune for combining with Phase Rush, but it is great for mages and other squishy nukers. In that sense, it can be good for most Phase Rush users.
Given that you’re probably a squishy character, you can go with Cut Down. The rune is especially good against tanky opponents, increasing your overall damage by 5 to 15 percent depending on the health difference between you two.
Secondary Rune Options (Domination)
- Tier 2: Sudden Impact
- Tier 4: Ingenious Hunter
- Tier 4: Relentless Hunter
When damaging an opponent 4 seconds after exiting stealth or using Dash or Flash, you gain 6 magic penetration or 7 lethality (depends on character level) for 5 seconds. Sudden Impact is great if you’re using summoner spells offensively; if you also use Ignite, you will gain a stack of Phase Rush, allowing you to pursue low health opponents.
Ingenious Hunter is a rune that increases your item haste with bounty hunter stacks. It provides similar benefits for Phase Rush as summoner spell haste or ability haste. Basically, the faster you’re able to use your item, the faster you will be able to accumulate Phase Rush stacks.
Unlike Ingenious Hunter, Relentless Hunter gives you extra movement speed with bounty hunter stacks. At the last level, you can get up to a 45 movement speed bonus.
Keep in mind that the buff only relates to out-of-combat movement speed. Nevertheless, if you’re playing a mid lane mage, this could help you with rotations and, to an extent, would increase your overall mobility together with Phase Rush.
Secondary Rune Options (Inspiration)
- Tier 2: Hextech Flashtraption
- Tier 2: Magical Footwear
- Tier 4: Cosmic Insight
This rune improves your regular Flash spell into Hexflash. This is another way to increase the overall mobility of your champion.
After 12 minutes of a game, you will get Slightly Magical Boots. Later on, you can upgrade this item as if you had the regular boots in your inventory.
They are a bit better than the regular boots, giving you an extra 10 movement speed. However, you are unable to get regular boots if you opt for this rune. Magical Footwear is a neat upgrade that activates after 12 minutes allowing you to stay in the lane while getting that extra speed from boots.
Cosmic Insight is another multipurpose rune. It gives a champion 10 item haste and 18 summoner spell haste. Both of these scale well with Phase Rush. The sooner you have items and summoner spells available, the sooner you can get stacking benefits.
The Most Common Phase Rush Users
There are so many champions in the game that can benefit from this buff. In theory, it makes sense on almost any character except for a few assassins with high mobility or tanks that have natural initiation tools. As mentioned, the buff is optimal for slow mages but also certain fighters who need mobility tools to pursue enemies.
Here are some of the most common Phase Rush users in the last few meta: Ryze, Garen, Vlad, Veigar, Darius, Shyvana, Cassiopeia, Nasus, Syndra, Swain, Quinn, Xin Zhao, and Orianna.
Given that this is a keystone, you need to think carefully about whether or not to get this passive in the first place. While extra movement speed sounds great in theory, there might be some better keystones for your particular character.
Question: What is Phase Rush Good for?
Answer: Phase Rush is a keystone that is especially great on mid lane mages, but it can also help fighters with limited mobility. It grants you extra movement speed upon attacking an enemy, damaging them with ability, item, summoner spell, damage over time, or disabling them with crowd control.
Question: Does Phase Rush Work with Basic Attacks?
Answer: You will get stacks of Phase Rush with almost any offensive action. This includes various abilities, summoner spells, items, crowd control abilities, damage over time, and basic attack.
However, given that this keystone is usually taken on mages, there is a much better chance you will gain stacks with abilities and items than you would with basic strikes.
Question: Is Phase Rush Good on Darius?
Answer: This keystone is great on Darius and several other fighters with low mobility. It is especially important for Darius as it allows him to pursue enemies and accumulate stacks of Hemorrhage.
Question: What are the Most Common Phase Rush Users?
Answer: Some of the most common Phase Rush users are Ryze, Garen, Cassiopeia, Swain, Xin Zhao, Vlad, Nasus, etc.
Phase Rush Guide: Conclusion
Phase Rush is a keystone that can significantly increase your mobility. It provides extra movement speed once you reach three stacks. You can gain these stacks through various offensive actions by damaging and crowd-controlling enemy champions.
Phase Rush is especially great for mages and certain fighters. It is good in the late game, but it is especially important during the early portions of the match.