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Gold efficiency is the comparison of an item's purchase price in the in-game shop to the amount of gold that item is actually worth, based on the stats it provides. This is a form of theory-crafting within the game, but it does follow a set of guidelines that allows it to hold merit in usage within the community, and is in fact acknowledged by Riot Games Inc. as a lever for game balance.

Calculating Gold Efficiency

The gold efficiency of an item can be determined by comparing its purchase price to its theoretical price, which is the combined gold value of all the stats bonuses it provides. The value of individual bonuses is determined from reference items. Reference items are basic items whith just one effect that provides a bonus to a single stat. They provide a baseline to determine the gold value of the stat they improve.

The theoretical price of an item seldom takes into account any passive or active effects. However, if an item's passive is "Gain a fraction of stat X as stat Y", and the item itself gives stat X, it is customary to include the bonus to stat Y from the item's passive working on its own stats to calculate its theoretical price (for example, the Manamune).

The gold efficiency of an item is the theoretical price divided by its actual price. An item is gold efficient if its gold efficiency is greater than or equal to 100%. Items which are not gold efficient have a gold deficit, which is the difference between their purchase price and their theoretical price. The gold deficit helps in determining whether it's worth buying an item. It is worth buying the item if its passive and/or active abilities are considered to be worth more than their gold deficit.

The gold values assigned to stats are not measures of the effectiveness of those stats. They are simply base prices meant to be used in determining the theoretical prices of higher-tier items. The goal of this page is to provide a valuation of items by comparing the bonuses they provide to the bonuses provided by a combination of base items with the same total price. For example, comparing an item which provides +20 AD and +20 Armor to an item which provides +20 AD and +20 Armor.

An external tabular analysis of the gold efficiencies of items can be found here. (Outdated)

Base Statistic Prices

One way of deriving a stat's gold value is from the least expensive basic item that provides only that stat.

Champion Statistic Base Item Item Cost Stat Raised Gold / Stat Bonus
Attack damage Long Sword item.png Long Sword Gold 350 10 AD Gold 35
Ability power Amplifying Tome item.png Amplifying Tome Gold 435 20 AP Gold 21.75
Armor Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor Gold 300 15 Armor Gold 20
Magic resistance Null-Magic Mantle item.png Null-Magic Mantle Gold 450 25 MR Gold 18
Health Ruby Crystal item.png Ruby Crystal Gold 400 150 HP 0Gold 2.666∞
Mana Sapphire Crystal item.png Sapphire Crystal Gold 350 250 MP 0Gold 1.4
Health regeneration Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead Gold 150 50% HP5 0Gold 3
Mana regeneration Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm Gold 125 25% MP5 0Gold 5
Critical strike chance Brawler's Gloves item.png Brawler's Gloves Gold 400 10% Crit Gold 40
Attack speed Dagger item.png Dagger Gold 300 12% AS Gold 25
Flat movement speed Boots of Speed item.png Boots of Speed Gold 300 25 MS Gold 12

Life steal, Lethality, magic penetration, on-hit damage, cooldown reduction, and percent movement speed are not found alone on any item, so their gold values are calculated using the least gold efficient, lowest-tier items available: Vampiric Scepter item.png Vampiric Scepter, Serrated Dirk item.png Serrated Dirk, Sorcerer's Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes, Recurve Bow item.png Recurve Bow, Kindlegem item.png Kindlegem and Aether Wisp item.png Aether Wisp has been generally accepted to be a fair gold value for life steal, armor penetration, magic penetration, on-hit damage, cooldown reduction, and percent movement speed respectively. Spell vamp (on an item) is currently only found on the non-static passive Lifegrip on Maw of Malmortius item.png Maw of Malmortius, making its gold value incalculable.

Champion Statistic Base Item Item Cost Stat Raised Gold / Stat Bonus
Life steal Vampiric Scepter item.png Vampiric Scepter Gold 900 10% LS
15 AD
Gold 37.5
Gold 35
Lethality Serrated Dirk item.png Serrated Dirk Gold 1100 10 Lethal
25 AD
Gold 22.5
Gold 35
Magic penetration Sorcerer's Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes Gold 1100 15 MC Pen
45 MS
Gold 37.333∞
Gold 12
On-hit damage Recurve Bow item.png Recurve Bow Gold 1000 15 OH Dmg
25% AS
Gold 25
Gold 25
Cooldown reduction Fiendish Codex item.png Fiendish Codex Gold 900 10% CDR
30 AP
Gold 24.75
Gold 21.75
Percent movement speed Aether Wisp item.png Aether Wisp Gold 850 5% MS
30 AP
Gold 39.5
Gold 21.75

Item Statistics

Basic Tier Items

Base Item Item Cost AD Value Gold / AD Long Sword item.png Long Sword Equivalence
Long Sword item.png Long Sword Gold 350 10 35 N/A
Pickaxe item.png Pickaxe Gold 875 25 35 0% Greater Efficiency
B. F. Sword item.png B. F. Sword Gold 1300 40 32.5 7.69% Greater Efficiency

Base Item Item Cost AP Value Gold / AP Amplifying Tome item.png Amplifying Tome Equivalence
Amplifying Tome item.png Amplifying Tome Gold 435 20 21.75 N/A
Blasting Wand item.png Blasting Wand Gold 850 40 21.25 2.35% Greater Efficiency
Needlessly Large Rod item.png Needlessly Large Rod Gold 1250 60 20.833∞ 4.4% Greater Efficiency

Base Item Item Cost Armor Value Gold / Armor Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor Equivalence
Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor Gold 300 15 20 N/A
Chain Vest item.png Chain Vest Gold 800 40 20 0% Greater Efficiency

Base Item Item Cost MR Value Gold / MR Null-Magic Mantle item.png Null-Magic Mantle Equivalence
Null-Magic Mantle item.png Null-Magic Mantle Gold 450 25 18 N/A
Negatron Cloak item.png Negatron Cloak Gold 720 40 18 0% Greater Efficiency

Base Item Item Cost HP Value Gold / HP Ruby Crystal item.png Ruby Crystal Equivalence
Ruby Crystal item.png Ruby Crystal Gold 400 150 2.666∞ N/A
Giant's Belt item.png Giant's Belt Gold 1000 380 2.63 1.46% Greater Efficiency

Base Item Item Cost MP Value Gold / MP Sapphire Crystal item.png Sapphire Crystal Equivalence
Sapphire Crystal item.png Sapphire Crystal Gold 350 250 1.4 N/A

Base Item Item Cost Hp5 Value Gold / Hp5 Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead Equivalence
Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead Gold 150 50% 3 N/A

Base Item Item Cost Mp5 Value Gold / Mp5 Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm Equivalence
Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm Gold 125 25% 5 N/A

Base Item Item Cost Crit Value Gold / Crit Brawler's Gloves item.png Brawler's Gloves Equivalence
Brawler's Gloves item.png Brawler's Gloves Gold 400 10% 40 N/A
Cloak of Agility item.png Cloak of Agility Gold 800 20% 40 0% Greater Efficiency

Base Item Item Cost AS Value Gold / % AS Dagger item.png Dagger Equivalence
Dagger item.png Dagger Gold 300 12% 25 N/A

Doran's items are meant to be powerful early game, but lose effectiveness in the later stages of the game, as they do not build into the higher-tier items found in the late game. In terms of gold per statistics, however, these are among the most cost efficient items in the shop.

Cull item.png Cull provides 7 Attack damage, heals 3 life on hit, and grants 1 extra gold per minion kill. Reaching 100 minion kills gives 350 gold and disables the passive

  • 7 AD × 35 gold per AD = Gold 245
  • 3 Life on hit = Gold ??

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of a Cull item.png Cull is Gold 245, making it 54.44% gold efficient. Once 100 minions have been killed, becomes 154.44% gold efficient.

Doran's Blade item.png Doran's Blade provides 8 Attack damage, 80 Health, and 3% Life steal.

  • 8 AD × 35 gold per AD = Gold 280
  • 80 HP × 2.666∞ gold per HP = Gold 213.333∞
  • 3% LS × 37.5 gold per LS = Gold 112.5

Using the Basic Item Statistics, a Doran's Blade item.png Doran's Blade is worth Gold 605.833∞, making it 134.63% gold efficient.

Doran's Ring item.png Doran's Ring provides 15 Ability power, 60 Health, 50% Mana regeneration, and recovers 4 Mana each time you get a kill.

  • 15 AP × 21.75 gold per AP = Gold 326.25
  • 60 HP × 2.666∞ gold per HP = Gold 160
  • 50% MP5 × 5 gold per % MP5 = Gold 250
  • 4 MP per kill = Gold ??

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of a Doran's Ring item.png Doran's Ring is Gold 736.25, making it 184.06% gold efficient excluding the passive. Doran's Ring is the most cost-efficient of the Doran's items.

Doran's Shield item.png Doran's Shield provides 80 Health, 6 Health regeneration, +5 damage to minions on-hit, and 20 health over 10 seconds after taking damage from an enemy champion.

  • 80 HP × 2.666∞ gold per HP = Gold 213.333∞
  • 6 HP5 × ?? gold per HP5 = Gold ??
  • Basic attacks deal +5 damage to minions on-hit = Gold ??
  • Regain 20 health over 10 seconds after taking damage from an enemy champion = Gold ??

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of a Doran's Shield item.png Doran's Shield is Gold 213.333∞, making it 53.33% gold efficient excluding the passives.

The Dark Seal item.png The Dark Seal provides 15 Ability power, 100 Mana, +25% increased healing from potions, and the unique passive Do or Die and Dread, which grants bonus Ability power upon killing or assisting kills, but losing 12 Ability power upon dying.

  • 15 AP × 21.75 gold per AP = Gold 326.25
  • 100 MP × 1.4 gold per MP = Gold 140

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of The Dark Seal item.png The Dark Seal is Gold 466.25, making it 133.21% gold efficient excluding the passives. The Dark Seal item.png The Dark Seal can reach a gold efficiency of 319.64% at maximum stack of Glory.

Gold-generating items are items that, while being moderately inefficient to start out, boost the gold income of the user independently of obtaining last hits, thus potentially allowing any of them to become gold efficient given enough time. Unlike the Doran's items, these items all have intermediate and legendary-tier upgrades.

Ancient Coin item.png Ancient Coin provides 25% Mana regeneration, 5% Cooldown reduction and the unique passive Favor, which grants 4 gold and heals for 5 health whenever a nearby minion dies that the user did not kill.

  • 25% MP5 × 5 gold per MP5 = Gold 125
  • 5% CDR × 26.666∞ gold per CDR = Gold 133.33
  • Unique Passive – Favor: Grants Gold 4 and restores 5 health each time a nearby enemy minion dies that you didn't kill (1400 range).

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of Ancient Coin item.png Ancient Coin is Gold 258.33, without counting the passive, making it 73.81% gold efficient. By counting the passive, you get Gold 4 for every minion death, making the Ancient Coin item.png Ancient Coin gold efficient after generating Gold 91.67 (~23 minion deaths).

Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield provides 75 Health, 2 gold per 10 seconds, and the unique passive Spoils of War, which grants the user charges which cause melee attacks to execute minions below 195 + (5*level) health, healing you and the nearest allied champion for 40 health and grants them gold equal to the kill.

  • 75 HP × 2.666∞ gold per HP = Gold 200
  • 2 Gp10 = +2 gold every 10 seconds
  • Unique Passive – Spoils of War: Melee auto-attacks execute minions below 195 + (5*level) health. Killing a minion by any means heals you and the nearest allied champion for 15 health and grants them kill gold. These effects require a nearby allied champion and consume a charge. Recharges every 60 seconds. Max 2 charges.

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield is Gold 200, without counting the passive, making it 57.14% gold efficient. The Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield becomes gold efficient after granting Gold 150 to allies utilizing the Spoils of War passive.

Spellthief's Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge provides 5 Ability power, 25% Mana regeneration, 2 gold per 10 seconds and the unique passive Tribute, which deal 10 additional damage and grant 8 gold whenever the wielder damages an enemy champion or structure.

  • 5 AP × 21.75 gold per AP = Gold 108.75
  • 25% MP5 × 5 gold per MP5 = Gold 125
  • 2 Gp10 = +2 gold every 10 seconds
  • Unique Passive – Tribute: Spells and basic attacks against champions or buildings deal 10 additional damage and grant Gold 8. This can occur up to 3 times every 30 seconds. Killing a minion disables this passive for 12 seconds.

Using the Basic Items Statistics, the actual value of Spellthief's Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge is Gold 233.75, without counting the passives, making it 66.79% gold efficient. By counting the passives, you get 2 additional gold every 10 seconds and 8 additional gold after attacking an enemy champion or structure. The Spellthief's Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge becomes gold efficient after generating Gold 116.25.



Trivia

Start a Discussion Discussions about Gold efficiency

  • Mathematical validity of the Gold Value calculation method.

    2 messages
    • It seems to me that the way the gold value of each statistic is calculated is very arbitrary and that slightly changing the definition complet...
    • Moyon wrote: Can anyone justify why picking the small items is better than picking the larger items ? Both seems as arbitrary to me. Beca...
  • Gold efficiency item classification

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    • I really want to change the classification of the items in the Gold Effiency page : * Leave Basic Tier Items where they are, without chang...
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