League of Legends: Dragon / Drake Control

Updated on November 22, 2018
Jowy2000 profile image

Sigbog has been playing League of Legends since Season 1 and is currently a Grandmaster level jungler.

Dragon: A Critical Early Objective

Securing drakes is a primary objective in League of Legends that can easily be the make or break of your victory, particularly during mid to late stages of the game when the pace picks up and the benefits added start to multiply. It spawns every 5 minutes so keep your eye on the timer.

Each perk offers a key strategic advantage, though not all are immediately clear.

  • Wind Drake is good for map control -- rotating to help allies, minimal downtime when farming, maintain pressure, and of course chasing. When facing opponents with multiple wind drakes, be very cautious of lane roams and picks.
  • Mountain Drake is best for rushing objectives, split pushing, and is generally the drake you want if you're winning and need to close out. When facing opponents with multiple mountain drakes, WARD BARON!
  • Infernal Drake is good for high damage team comps, particularly burst comps, but is overall just good for combat, and even farming as it can help early game last hitting and lane harass. When facing opponents with multiple infernal drakes, try to play the map, get vision, and get favorable team fights, picks, or split pushing objectives.
  • Ocean Drake is good for skirmishing and pressure and is particularly effective if you have a poke comp, or are facing a poke comp. It also helps minimize downtime when farming/laning and maintaining pressure around the map. It’s a great convenience dragon. When facing opponents with multiple ocean drakes, fight all in or all out, don't bother poking. Disengage aggressively.
  • Elder Drake is a game ender. It's incredibly powerful, particularly if you've slain multiple drakes already. It's short so plan to push straight from killing elder. It's so powerful you can likely force mediocre engages and win. When facing opponents with Elder Drake, avoid fighting them like the plague. It's very short so try your best to run it out. If they've slain it twice, the buff is stronger and lasts longer, your best choice is probably to surrender. If you don't want to do that, your only option is to catch them in a sloppy rotation and make a pick or execute a wombo faster than they can respond.

Dragon Stat Bonuses

Wind Drake
+3/4.5/6% movement speed. Tripled when out of combat.
Mountain Drake
+16/23/30% additional damage as true damage to epic monsters and turrets
Infernal Drake
+10/17/24% bonus attack damage and ability power
Ocean Drake
restores +6/9/12% of missing health and mana over 5 seconds when not damaged by champions or turrets within the past 8 seconds
Elder Drake (1st kill)
+50% to your team's current Drake buffs. Basic attacks burn your opponent for 45 true damage (+45 per drake you've slain) over 3 seconds. Lasts 150 seconds.
Elder Drake (2nd kill)
Doubles your team's current Drake buffs. Basic attacks burn your opponent for 135 true damage (+90 per drake you've slain) over 3 seconds. Lasts 300 seconds.

Season 9 Updates

In the pre-season of season 9, drake has been tweaked a little bit to add emphasis to it as an objective. Spawn timer went from 6 minutes to 5 minutes, gold rewarded went from 25 to 100, and the buffs have been adjusted. The buffs remain the same but tuning has changed. Previously, each incremental kill of an elemental drake would add the same bonus to the stat provided (so if it was +8% ad/ap for the 1st kill, the 2nd would add another +8% up to a total of +16%). Now, the stats skew to the first take down. For example, Cloud Drake now provides +3% movement speed on the first kill, whereas before it was 2%. However, having 3 Cloud Drakes still nets out to +6% movement speed.

The end result is that drakes are much more important to contest and require a lot more attention! So take notice of all the details in this guide to help you in season 9.

Dragon Images

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Infernal Drake: Bonus AP/ADWind Drake: Bonus move speed & out of combat move speedMountain Drake: Bonus damage to turrets and epic monstersOcean Drake: Bonus missing health and mana regenElder Drake: Bonus true burn damage on hit and a bonus to your existing drake buffs
Infernal Drake: Bonus AP/AD
Infernal Drake: Bonus AP/AD | Source
Wind Drake: Bonus move speed & out of combat move speed
Wind Drake: Bonus move speed & out of combat move speed
Mountain Drake: Bonus damage to turrets and epic monsters
Mountain Drake: Bonus damage to turrets and epic monsters
Ocean Drake: Bonus missing health and mana regen
Ocean Drake: Bonus missing health and mana regen
Elder Drake: Bonus true burn damage on hit and a bonus to your existing drake buffs
Elder Drake: Bonus true burn damage on hit and a bonus to your existing drake buffs

Securing Dragon

To maximize your chance at securing dragon, you need to do a lot of preparation. You can’t go running into vision-less river, without ultimates, potentially unhealed, just because it’s there. If you aren’t prepared, you have to just give it up and make a play elsewhere. If you don’t, you could risk losing a bunch of teammates in addition to dragon.

Start preparing 45 seconds to 1:45 before dragon spawns. Be careful, this is also the time to look for a pick, avoid getting picked, or generally find yourself in early forced fights when trying to make a play for dragon control as enemy champions also look to prepare.

Vision Control:

  • Use your Scryer’s Bloom to to check for any wards placed by your enemies, preferably before placing your own wards so they don't see you do it. You can also use these to scan for enemy champions looking to get control as well. Right around the dragon is priority but entrance points to the river are important too.
  • Place Control wards in the dragon pit to clear any vision. If they don’t know if you’re on dragon or not, they may make a poor decision and face check a bush or make a desperate engage. Control points in the river bush and river entry points are also useful, but second priority. Take note if you drop the control ward on dragon it could bounce a little and leave the back side of dragon uncovered by your control ward.
  • Scuttle is critical in granting vision and speed if there is a fight. The Scuttle speed shrine lasts 75 seconds, so be sure to get it with dragon at most 1 minute away.

Key Ward Positions

Green = High priority vision for everyone Red = Key ward spots for red side Blue = Key ward spots for blue side
Green = High priority vision for everyone Red = Key ward spots for red side Blue = Key ward spots for blue side

Take Control to Get a Favorable Position in the Team Fight

Map Control

  • Top lane is critical for a dragon fight, particularly if first turret blood is still up. If top joins the dragon fight, you risk losing top tower. If top doesn’t join, you risk a 5v4. The best way to handle this is to ensure top is pushing to your opponent’s side before top joins you, and have your top’s teleport spell ready. You could get a 5v4 advantage, or an even 5v5 with a side lane pushing. Your advantage either way. If top does have lane priority but does not join you, and their top does, you do have to deal with a 5v4, but they could claim top tower as a result. This could still be net positive depending on the drake and whether or not first turret blood is still available.

  • It goes without saying your smite should be off cooldown if you plan to take dragon. But you should also save a skill (particularly an execute with % health damage) to use in combo with your smite to minimize chance of stealing.

  • Be sure to grab your buffs 1:30 to minutes before dragon spawns and don’t risk poor dragon control for 1 buff. Buffs are very valuable in combat, but they aren't worth putting yourself at a disadvantage in the upcoming team fight or losing dragon altogether due to the enemy team rotating faster.

  • Beyond the Scryers Bloom granting vision, you need to account for the other plants. Pop your enemy’s blast cones to avoid letting them get into more favorable position. Likewise check and see if your blast cones are available and be ready to use them. The one that is most critical is the one behind dragon pit. Also, if someone is low and needs to b, check for honeyfruit for them to heal from your team doesn’t risk engaging a fight with them at base.

It's Time to Fight!

  • Be mindful of choke points entering the river, do you want enemies there, or not? What are the team comps? If they have massive aoe damage you want to fight in river. Using your vision and poke should let you force them to where you want them as long as you establish control first.

  • Don’t aggro dragon as a forcing function! It creates chaos in your team being unsure if you should rush dragon, peel off it to drop aggro, or let it attack you as you engage the enemy team. Also, only force if you know you can win the smite fight. Champions like Nunu will rarely lose a smite fight with an enemy jungler, but champions like Amumu almost always will. Be mindful of champions with mobility and executes like Lee Sin, Kha'zix, or Shaco.

    The right time to force dragon is to aggro it against your enemies if they are closer to pit, if you think you can burn it down fast enough before they can really react, or if you plan to aggro it, pull it out, back off, and then re-engage when it turns on enemy champions. Or of course, if you're just strong enough to kill them if they come close.

  • Pull the dragon out of its pit if you want to avoid risking a steal or use more space to avoid grouping too closely.

  • Don’t forget that dragon attacks have some secondary things to consider.

    Infernal drake causes splash damage so don't stand with allies when you're fighting it.

    Ocean drake slows a lot so it can be tough to escape from, but nasty if you can force it to aggro your opponent.

    Mountain drakes are slow and overall have low dps but hit harder and have a lot of health. They are the easiest to solo kil.

    Wind drakes are fast and overall have very high dps but much weaker. They are the hardest to solo kill.

    This means, if you are going to

Champions That Will Definitely Steal Your Kill!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Nunu & WillumpKha'zixLee SinShaco
Nunu & Willump
Nunu & Willump
Lee Sin
Lee Sin

Good Luck!

Leave a question or comment if you want me to cover anything else or if you just want to say it's been helpful! Good luck on the rift!

What's Your Favorite?

Favorite Drake?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jowy2000 profile imageAUTHOR


      21 months ago from USA

      Thank you! Sorry for being 11 months late lol but I completely agree. I will update this article and include your feedback, and pull in elder too!

    • Liam Soo profile image

      Liam Soo 

      2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Wow, extensive guide! However, you should include the repercussions of letting the enemy team have the more powerful dragons ie. infernal, elder so that the reader has a better idea of which dragons are more highly contested. Overall, great job!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, levelskip.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)