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Pyro's Item Overhaul 11 - The Mage Project

Lukeatlook January 10, 2015 User blog:Lukeatlook
What is "Pyro's Item Overhaul"?

It's a set of custom patch notes that are meant to enhance and/or fix the problems with itemization in LoL. Previous episodes were a hit or miss, sometimes correctly predicting items implemented by Riot (Forbidden Idol item.png Forbidden Idol, Aether Wisp item.png Aether Wisp, Righteous Glory item.png Righteous Glory), sometimes being far off (...almost everything else).

What is the scope of the overhaul?

Pretty much everything. The idea is to increase diversity in item builds by rebalancing the current items, possibly introducing few new ones when necessary. Keep in mind while assessing this part of the project that more or less all item categories will be affected, so this is far from over.


TL;DR here would be: To have more than top 3-5 champion picks for every role in LCS with cookie-cutter builds. Item builds should be more reactive, not predefined for a whole class of champions.


We're getting close to the end.

The Mage Project

I might be a little bit biased about this, but I'm a fan of the "oldschool" class of mages. Toplane mages ruin the fun for the "usual" toplaners, midlane assassins are flashy but overall opressive with no counter ("fight fire with fire", you send assasin against assassin), and whenever a mage sees play in the support role, it usually means a round of nerfs is incoming.

In the midlane itself, the everlasting war of Athene's Unholy Grail item.png Athene's Unholy Grail and Morellonomicon item.png Morellonomicon is just a cover for a bigger problem: champions who are gated by mana need to rush a mana item to farm, and then the only viable route on most of them in competitive play is Rabadon's Deathcap item.png Rabadon's Deathcap into Void Staff item.png Void Staff, which invalidates any MR purchased before it can even happen. This is anything but healthy.

This project consists of two main elements:

  • Mana Scatter - spreading mana and CDR through AP items
    • Mana regeneration and CDR is now found in other items.
    • Variety in laning items is broadened by introducing new ways to upgrade Fiendish Codex item.png Fiendish Codex and Forbidden Idol item.png Forbidden Idol.
  • Penetration Rework - changes mirroring the ones in Fighter Project
    • Flat magic penetration becomes unique between Sorcerer's Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes and Haunting Guise item.png Haunting Guise. This is important only for HG users, as the item itself changes a bit.
    • Void Staff item.png Void Staff now penetrates 50% of bonus magic damage instead of 35% of total. That means it's less effective under 100 MR for squishies (30 base) and about 100-160 MR for tanks (30-50 base). From there on it's more effective than the old VS.
    • Abyssal Scepter item.png Abyssal Scepter becomes an alternative to Void Staff, reducing MR by 25% instead of flat 20. This means it's slightly worse against squishy targets and it lessens the effectiveness of VS. Overall a mage bruiser item, not an assassin item.


AP components

Aether Wisp item
850 Gold (235 Gold)
A straightout buff to the item, albeit rather a small one. The MS passive now doesn't stack now with other items. Possible component for new midlane items.
Mana Manipulator item.png Mana Manipulator (new item)
A different measure to restore mana in lane. Works similar to Guardian's Horn item.png Guardian's Horn.
Now doesn't stack with Sorcerer's Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes, allowing you to buy other boots (for example Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity) while not losing that much on magic penetration.
Sheen item
1200 Gold
  • +25 ability power, +200 mana
  • Unique Passive - Spellblade: On spellcast, for 10 seconds, your next basic attack critically strikes. 1.5 second cooldown. (reworked)
    • Critical Strike deals 100% base AD bonus physical damage (instead of 100% of total AD).
  • Builds into: Iceborn Gauntlet item.png Iceborn Gauntlet, Lich Bane item.png Lich Bane and Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force.
The functionality is basically the same, but the interaction with builds including crit items and Trinity Force item.png Trinity Force changes a lot.
Stinger item
1100 Gold (215 Gold)
Dagger item
450 Gold
  • +25 ability power (new), +25% attack speed (-15)
  • Unique Passive: Every third basic attack deals 5 (+15% AP) bonus magic damage on hit and restores 5 (+5% AP) health.
  • Builds into: Nashor's Tooth item.png Nashor's Tooth
To sum it up, Kayle gets a new, very cost-efficient, core item. Diana should like is as well.


The "typical" burst items, both for assassins and various mages.

  • +120 ability power, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Active: Marks an enemy champion for 4 seconds. Any damage from your allies on the marked target is increased by 15%. After 4 seconds, the mark detonates, dealing magic damage equal to 10% (+4% per 100 AP) of target's maximum health. 90 second cooldown (750 range). (reworked)
Moved the damage component till the end of the Doom debuff, giving the victim some time to retaliate. Doom doesn't amplify your own damage anymore. However, the damage scales now with Ability Power and generally is a strong anti-health move. You can still 100-0 someone with it, but not by yourself.
  • +60 ability power (-5), +50 attack damage (+5), +15% lifesteal (+3)
  • Unique Passive: +15% spellvamp (-5)
  • Unique Passive - Reload: Your basic attacks and single target spells against champions reduce the cooldown of this item by 3 seconds.
  • Unique Active: Deals 100 (+60% AD) (+30% AP) magic damage and slows the target champion's movement speed by 40% for 2 seconds. 60 second cooldown. (700 range) (new AD scaling, AP scaling lower by 10%)
Lower AP/spellvamp and reduced price to make this a good agressive item, but not so slot efficient one. It should still be good lategame, just not as oppressive on Akali. Higher AD and lifesteal are meant to slightly shift this item towards "hybrid" characteristic.
Lich Bane item
3000 Gold
  • +90 ability power (+10), +200 mana (-50), +50% mana regeneration (new)
  • Unique Passive - Ethereal: +5% movement speed
  • Unique Passive - Spellblade: After using an ability, your next attack will critically strike. 1.5 seconds cooldown. (reworked)
  • Unique Passive - Critical Damage: Your critical strikes deal bonus magic damage equal to 75% base AD + 50% AP. (new)
Spellblade is functionally more or less the same. Mana regeneration is inherited from the revamped Aether Wisp. Movement speed is now unique between the Wisp upgrades. Some crit-AP builds should be possible on champions like Twisted Fate Twisted Fate.
  • +120 ability power
  • Unique Passive: Increase your ability power by 25% (-5)
Deathcap as a 2nd item is an immense power spike, probbaly too mandatory as it is. AP amplification nerfed by 5% - not much, but puts the item in a better place, it's almost as much of a culprit as the 35%-total Void Staff. This is compensated for by buffing all 80 AP items to 90 AP.
Void Staff item
2200 Gold (940 Gold)
  • +60 ability power (-10), +200 mana (new)
  • Unique Passive: Your magic damage ignores 50% of target's bonus magic resistance.
Still shreds tanks. Doesn't do as much against targets with low MR now, though. Does more above about 100-150 MR, depending on champion's base MR. A neat calculation would be: This item grants you 1305g worth of AP, so you need to penetrate through 695g worth of MR to make it gold efficient in offensive stats. This means the item is gold efficient when the target has 70 bonus MR. Mana is there for the lategame identity and slot efficiency with Archangel's Staff item.png Archangel's Staff.

Magical DPS

Items oriented around dealing damage over time.

Liandry's Torment item
2800 Gold (715 Gold)
  • +30 ability power (-20), +400 health (+100), +50% base health regeneration (new)
  • Unique Passive - Blast: +20 magic penetration (+5)
  • Unique Passive: Dealing spell damage applies a damage-over-time effect that deals bonus magic damage equal to 2% of the target's current health per second for 3 seconds. This bonus damage is doubled against movement-impaired units and capped at 100 damage per second vs. monsters.
Less raw AP, more magic penetration (doesn't stack with Sorcerer's Shoes item.png Sorcerer's Shoes, though) and a health component to make up for changes to Rylai's Crystal Scepter.
Nashor's Tooth item
2800 Gold (30 Gold)
Malady item
850 Gold
Stinger item
1100 Gold
  • +60 ability power, +50% attack speed, +10% cooldown reduction (-10)
  • Unique Passive: Basic attacks deal 20 (+15% AP) bonus magic damage on hit and restore 5 (+5% AP) health. (buffed)
100g cheaper, relatively better build path, 10% CDR less and healing on hit. On Kayle, you're encouraged to opt for Ionian Boots of Lucidity item.png Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead of Berserker's Greaves item.png Berserker's Greaves if you want more CDR. The Malady item.png Malady component, has 20% AS and 15 on-hit magic damage. Stinger has 25% AS and 20 AP now.
Wizard's Regalia item.png Robe of Pyromancy (new item)
  • Recipe: Needlessly Large Rod item.png Needlessly Large Rod + Aether Wisp item.png Aether Wisp + 750g (total cost: 3300 gold)
  • +120 ability power, +50% base mana regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Ethereal: +5% movement speed
  • Unique Active - Magma Chamber: Create a zone for 15 seconds that reduces magic resistance of all enemies within by 5% per second, stacking up to 6 times. (900 range, 1000 radius) 90 second cooldown.
The fourth NLL upgrade, dedicated for immobile AoE DPS mages. Works similar to The Black Cleaver item.png The Black Cleaver, just with a different condition of stacking. Just like Wicked Hatchet item.png Wicked Hatchet in the Carry Project doesn't stack with Last Whisper, this item is rather an alternative to Void Staff item.png Void Staff than a counterpart. Unless the enemy has absurdly heavy MR, then maybe using both could be a good idea.


AP items with defensive stats - armor, MR and health.


  • +60 ability power, +30 magic resistance (+5), +50% base mana regeneration, +10% cooldown reduction (-10)
  • Unique Passive - Mana Font: Restores 2% of missing mana every 5 seconds.
  • Unique Passive - Soul Drain: Restores 15% of your max mana on kill or assist.
Grail loses 300g worth of CDR, gains 100g worth of MR and is 400g cheaper. CDR is now found in other - new and old - items. Grail becomes centered around its AP, MR and mana regen. Passive gets a name - it's now shared with Magus item.png Magus.
Abyssal Scepter item
2300 Gold (590 Gold)
  • +60 ability power (-10), +50 magic resistance
  • Unique Passive: Reduces the magic resistance of nearby enemies by 25%. (700 range) (rebalanced)
Redefined as a mage bruiser item, with less AP and more anti-MR approach (instead of squishy-stomping one). The debuff is weaker than the old one until about 90 MR (keep in mind flat reduction comes before the 6% penetration from masteries). Just like with Wizard's Regalia item.png Wizard's Regalia, it's an alternative to Void Staff item.png Void Staff and doesn't work that well with it. If MR reduction becomes too problematic, it can share the debuff name with Wizard's Regalia item.png Wizard's Regalia, making sure the two reductions don't stack.


Breathstealer item.png Breathstealer (new item)
  • Recipe: Seeker's Armguard item.png Seeker's Armguard + Mana Manipulator item.png Mana Manipulator + 500g (total cost: 2400 gold)
  • +60 ability power, +50 armor, +300 mana
  • Unique Passive - Mana Warp: On nearby enemy spell cast, restore 5% of missing mana.
  • Unique Active: Copy all temporary buffs from target enemy champion and put them on yourself for 20 seconds or until they run out. 90 second cooldown. (700 range)
    • For the buff to be considered "temporary", it needs to be timed or disappearing when out of combat. See Buff#Temporary (with few exceptions).
For midlaners, this should be an alternative to Zhonya's Hourglass as their anti-AD core. Possible option for AP bruisers or supports. Will probably ruin Zed's day.
  • Unchanged.


Rod of Ages item
2600 Gold (540 Gold)
  • +60 ability power, +400 health (-50), +400 mana (-50)
  • Unique Passive – Valor's Reward: On leveling up, restores 150 health and 200 mana over 8 seconds.
  • Unique Passive: This item gains 10 health, 10 mana and 2 ability power every minute, up to 10 times.
A small yet impactful change - cost reduced, base stats slightly lowered. Can be now picked up a tiny bit earlier.
Pendant of Zephiris item.png Sanguine Orb (new item)
  • Recipe: Kindlegem item.png Kindlegem + Fiendish Codex item.png Fiendish Codex + 730g (total cost: 2500g)
  • +400 health, +30 ability power, 20% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Active: Gain 60 ability power and 15% spellvamp for 10 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
It resembles Youmuu's Ghostblade a bit - not so overbearing during laning phase, but can give you an edge over your opponent in an all-in fight.


Buffs, debuffs and slows. Support items, but not only.

  • Unchanged.
Arcane Helix item.png Arcane Helix (new item)
  • Recipe: Hextech Revolver item.png Hextech Revolver + Mana Manipulator item.png Mana Manipulator + 450g (total cost: 2200g)
  • +60 ability power, +300 mana
  • Unique Passive: +20% spellvamp
  • Unique Passive - Mana Warp: On nearby enemy spell cast, restore 5% of your missing mana.
  • Unique Passive - Mana Leech: Restore mana equal to 2-8% of magic damage dealt, based on missing mana. This effect is only 33% efficient on AoE and DoT spells.
Probably core on Swain and Anivia. Source of sustained regeneration of health and mana through spell damage.
  • +60 ability power (+20), +100% base mana regeneration, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Passive - Ethereal: +5% movement speed (-3)
  • Unique Passive: Your heals and shields on another unit grant them 25% attack speed for 6 seconds. This does not include regeneration effects or effects on yourself.
In sheer stats, this becomes comparable to Athenes/Morellonomicon. If you're playing Karma, Morgana or Lulu in the middle lane, it might actually become worthwhile. Otherwise, it's still great on them in the support role.
  • +90 AP (+10), +75% base mana regeneration (-25), +20% cooldown reduction
Alternative change to the one shipped in patch 5.1.
  • +90 ability power (-10), +300 mana (new), +50% mana regeneration (new), +10% cooldown reduction (new)
    • Health removed
  • Unique Passive - Mana Warp: On nearby enemy spell cast, restore 5% of missing mana to all nearby allies.
  • Unique Passive - Icy: Dealing spell damage slows the target's movement speed by 35% for 1.5 seconds (15% for multi-target and damage-over-time spells).
Part of the "Mana Scatter" project. Manaless mages looking for health should consider some of the new items - Breathstealer item.png Breathstealer or Pendant of Zephiris item.png Sanguine Orb.
  • +60 ability power (-20), +50% base mana regeneration (new), +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Passive - Ethereal: +10% movement speed (+4)
  • Unique Active - Hunt: Summons 2 invulnerable ghosts for 6 seconds to seek the two nearest enemy champions. If they touch an enemy champion, they slow their movement speed by 40% and reveal them for 2.5 seconds. Ghosts that fail to find a target return to the wielder, reducing the item's cooldown by 40 seconds each. 120 second cooldown.
Basically a mage Zephyr. Situational, not as outright efficient source of DPS as Morellonomicon or Athene's, but in right situation a viable pickup. Price goes up by 200g.
  • +90 ability power (+10), 10% cooldown reduction.
  • Unique Passive: +20% spellvamp
In line with all the other 80 AP items getting +10 AP.
Ichor of Illumination item.png Elixir of Spirit (new item)
  • On use: Gain 15% CDR and Tranquility for 3 minutes.
  • Tranquility: When out of combat, your mana regen increases by 100%.
This one fills the niche for champions who prefer maxing out CDR over stacking AP and dealing damage to towers. Since the elixirs are a choice now, we don't have to account for every single champion taking this one. Scrapped.


This part is very important, as it helps moving the project forward and making corrections :)

Mana Scatter - is this a good direction?

The poll was created at 03:56 on January 10, 2015, and so far 37 people voted.
Void Staff rework - yes or no?

The poll was created at 03:56 on January 10, 2015, and so far 38 people voted.
What about changes to other magic penetration items?

The poll was created at 03:56 on January 10, 2015, and so far 35 people voted.

Thanks for keeping up with the series, and see you guys next time! The overhaul is about to wrap up quite soon.

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