League of Legends

Preseason: loose ends in item builds

LeagueofLegends6 - Preseason: loose ends in item builds

One patch ago, I've made a more comprehensive post on why Tanks will feel bad to play in the upcoming season. TL;DR of that one is that while the item shop for other classes is expanding, for tanks it is shrinking (loss of mana and health regen, key items like Adaptive Helmet and Catalyst into Abyssal Mask gone, no novelty factor in their options).

But now let's take a look at the full item system and see if there's anything simple to fix. Something Riot might have overlooked that's not the obvious general "oh my God, AD assassins are going to be so busted", because that one is a given.

If you need it, LoLShop by /u/rio_riots is a helpful tool to preview the S11 items.

Let's start with the obvious – some finished items grant less stats than their components:

  • Chemtech Putrifier loses 5 AP
  • The Collector loses 10 AD
  • Youmuu's Ghostblade loses 5 AD
  • Umbral Glaive loses 5 AD

Stat or buildpath adjustments are needed. But what happens when the full items are updated… but the components not?

Components Stat Check

Preseason is a hectic, chaotic time and sometimes things go awkwardly missing. Full item gets nerfed, then its compoments grant more stat than what it used to, then some compoments get nerfed without changing their price – it happens a lot. For example after nerfing Locket of the Iron Solari down to 20% Ability Haste, Aegis had to lose 5% from its 15% AH, but its cost didn't change – leaving it at awkward 1500g cost (S10 Aegis costs 1100g with 0 AH). Similar thing with Winged Moonplate – after nerfs to Shurelya's Battlesong, it's down from 7% MS to 5% MS. Forbidden Idol used to grant 10% CDR, now it has a bit more Healing and Shielding Power instead… Problematic components:

  • Aegis of the Legion should probably just get its cost down from 1500g to 1200-1300 g
  • Winged Moonplate (400g for 5% MS) is hilariously inefficient when compared to Zeal (150g for 7% MS) or Aether Wisp (200g for 5% MS) – Moonplate should cost around 600 gold
  • Bandleglass Mirror is worth 900-950 gold, not 1050, remember it's low-budget supports we're talking about
  • Forbidden Idol would feel better to buy at 600-700 gold
  • Verdant Barrier is barely efficient when fully stacked – even considering it can't be too strong to keep it from being abused in all AP matchups, it could use some love (stacking to 5 more MR?)
  • Hearthbound Axe – considering it's sort of a Phage (passive) replacement with a bit less desired statline (early laning favours Health over Attack Speed), it might actually need a slight buff
  • Rageknife makes you lose damage on completion – this item actually can be thrown away now and replaced by Recurve Bow in Guinsoo's recipe, now that Guinsoo nor Rageknife no longer deal magic damage
  • another possible item to stat check is Crystalline Bracer, which could easily go up to 100% health regen (with price increase?), that way it would finally feel like it has a purpose

Mage Mythics

Mage Mythics are not only expensive as hell but also painfully inconvenient to build when compared to other classes. 1100-1250 combine cost is something uncalled for in the entire item system with the exception of Deathcap. In the laning phase especially the difference between the person with a finished item and unfinished one will be just too painful. Meanwhile, most AD Mythics have around 700g combine cost, some even as low as 200g.

The solution would be simply to add more components to the build path, for example:

  • Luden's Tempest = Lost Chapter + Hextech Alternator + Mana Crystal + 700g
  • Everfrost = Lost Chapter + Hextech Alternator + Ruby Crystal + 650g
  • Liandry's Anguish = Lost Chapter + Fiendish Codex + Mana Crystal + 850g
  • Hextech Rocketbelt = Hextech Alternator + Blasting Wand + Kindlegem + 500g
  • Night Harvester = Hextech Alternator + Blasting Wand + Kindlegem + 500g
  • Riftmaker = Leeching Leer + Amplifying Tome + Fiendish Codex + 765g

There: much easier upgrades, in line with Mythics of other classes. Some further adjustments can be made, differentiating between "easier" builds and "harder" builds, much like it used to be between Luden's Echo and GLP. I would even go as far as introducing Kindlegem to Everfrost's build path and buffing its Ability Haste to 20, but that's another discussion entirely.

Tank Mythics

Laning phase is when you have the most free item slots, so for Mythics upgrading to Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak isn't actually necessary – sitting on two Cloth Armors or two Null-Magic Mantles will do the trick just fine, if needed. What would help the build path of Frostfire Gauntlet and Turbo Chemtank is adding Aegis of the Legion to it – it allows you to gain that Ability Haste a bit before finishing the full item. That should be paired with the forementioned stat/cost check for Aegis.

So the proposed adjustment goes as follows:

  • Aegis cost down from 1500g to 1200g (see first section), armor/MR down to 25 if mythics stats can't change
  • Sunfire Aegis = Bami's Cinder + Aegis of the Legion + Ruby Crystal + 600g (can even swap that ruby for Kindlegem with some stats adjustments)
  • Frostfire Gauntlet = Bami's Cinder + Aegis of the Legion + Cloth Armor + 700g
  • Turbo Chemtank = Bami's Cinder + Aegis of the Legion + Null-Magic Mantle + 550g

Like I've said in the beginning, this is only a band-aid compared to the full picture of tank items, but it would still be appreciated.


Assassin Mythics

Well, this one is set in stone – there is no AD to add in the builds, so the 1000g combine costs of Duskblade of Draktharr and Prowler's Claw are here to stay.

If anything, some AD support players (Pyke, Senna, Pantheon) may find themselves in an awkward spot as the first item they want to buy (Umbral Glaive) is not a Mythic. But maybe they're meant to go Umbral first, Mythic second.

Fighter Mythics

These actually are the reference point for other classes, the definition of convenience. Four items to choose, all building from the same set of components, with combine costs from 200 to 700g. Components form a simple 2×2 grid – you choose Phage or Hearthbound Axe, and Sheen or Ironspike Whip – and for evey combination of these (plus a Kindlegem), there is a Mythic.

xPhageHearthbound Axe
SheenDivine SundererTrinity Force
Ironspike WhipGoredrinkerStridebreaker

Marksman Mythics

Again, pretty understandable buildpath, especially with Noonquiver being a neat lasthitting crutch. The main topic of discussion here will be the stat balance and synergies (Kraken Slayer Vayne here we go).

Support Mythics and Enchanter Items

Supports, more than anyone, are often limited to one finished item, maybe two. And their Legendary items were kept cheap on purpose (around 2300 gold) to remedy their reduced gold stream. With that in mind, 2700 for a Mythic might feel a bit gating. A stat check is also needed for Forbidden Idol and Bandleglass Mirror, see first section. As for Ability Haste – late in the game Wardstone is going to grant a high amount of AH, yes, but when considering the second item for Enchanters (which many will finish the game with), there are 4 items with Healing&Shielding Power (by the way, this stat deserves its own short name like Lethality has – consider "Enchanting"), and two of them – Ardent Censer and Staff of Flowing Water – lack Ability Haste, which is the primary Support statistic. Paired with lower H&SP (10% compared to Redemption's and Mikael's 20%) they might feel pretty underwhelming.

Here's a proposed set of changes:

  • All support Mythics down to 2500g-2600g cost (if balance/poaching is a concern, adjust stats as needed)
  • Ardent Censer and Staff of Flowing Water both: Blasting Wand in recipe replaced with Bandleglass Mirror, now grant +10% Ability Haste, Ability Power reduced from 60 to 50
  • Enchanters have 4 cheap items to choose from, tanks who can't utilize healing and shielding power only 2 (Knight's Vow and Zeke's Convergence); consider adding a third option for low-budget tanks (2300g grievous wounds?)

One Trick Ponies

And some items are in this weird category where they are a pretty useful component item that only builds into a single finished item. You could imagine some other purposes for them – and the destination item doesn't fill all the imaginable needs. Examples:

  • Leeching Leer – builds only into the Riftmaker, and I imagine it's to keep the Omnivamp away from assassins?
  • Verdant Barrier and Seeker's Armguard – if we want to use this season to create itemization for AP bruisers, wouldn't this be the time to do more?
  • Bramble Vest – perhaps an armor + MR version that procs on ability hits on you as well? All the other anti-healing items have two upgrades, here maybe a cheap 2300g support item?
  • Hexdrinker – AS alternative?
  • Spectre's Cowl – now it will only build into Spirit Visage, and some champions will really miss Adaptive Helmet (and Abyssal Mask)
  • Glacial Shroud – for non-support tanks it builds only into Frozen Heart now
  • Blighting Jewel – if ADCs can have two upgrades to Last Whisper, perhaps mages could have two options as well?

Final Touches

Some items could use a tiny bit of love:

  • Morellonomicon without its magic penetration is an inconvenient occupant of an item slot. Compared to Chempunk Chainsword or Thornmail it's pretty underwhelming
  • Gargoyle Stoneplate doesn't have the "oomph" effect that Deathcap and IE do. The previous self-slowing HP increase version felt better. Lack of Stopwatch in the item build is a downside as well
  • Warmog's Armor got straight out nerfed (more cost, less value in Ability Haste), same goes for Spirit Visage which has 15 MR less
  • Tanks will have a hard time going against AP champions now with the loss of old Abyssal Mask (new one is straight up garbage), and no, the new Force of Nature doesn't really come close to it

There's also some roads yet to be explored, like:

  • Mythics and Demonic Embrace are fine, but it doesn't really feel like the "AP Bruiser itemization" problem has been thoroughly exhausted
  • Tanks, as per the linked piece, got the short end of the stick
  • There could be more items/effects gaining more Ability Haste slowly over time, other than just specific Mythics
  • Completely offtopic: None of the Mythic Items are from Demacia? (maybe Stridebreaker is?)

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