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Pyro's Item Overhaul 7 - The Tank Project

Lukeatlook December 15, 2014 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.

What is the scope of the overhaul?

Pretty much everything. The idea is to increase diversity in item builds by introducing new items and rebalancing the current ones. 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.

Premise of the Tank Project

Fixing up leftovers from the changes to resists made in preseason, plus redefining the tank item class. Basically: defensive items are a tiny bit cheaper, but less slot efficient - unless you invest into "heavy stuff" that makes your lategame tank build feel better. This is similar to how Rabadon's Deathcap enhances your overall AP.

The guideline here is to provide different means to mitigate damage, not just balls of stats. Proactive tanking - not just through activated effects, but suiting the passive to match the threat. Something similar to the current Warden's Mail reducing AS-oriented damage - just expanded to few other options.

One significant change you need to keep in mind is that in this project Void Staff item.png Void Staff and Last Whisper item.png Last Whisper penetrate 50% of bonus MR/armor, not 35% of total. This means they're more effective against heavy resistance stacking, but not as good against umarmored targets - so if the carry decides to shread through your durability, they have to give up some damage to your teammates. In a similar manner, Blade of the Ruined King item.png Blade of the Ruined King and Liandry's Torment item.png Liandry's Torment lose a bit of their absolute power and become more situational. Additionally, Executioner's Calling item.png Executioner's Calling makes a comeback.

New items

These are divided into three categories:

  • CC reduction - opportunity to counteract stacking a specific type of CC (displacements, slows)
  • Hybrid resistances - 2-step item line dedicated to balancing out laning against champions who deal hybrid damage, allowing to put them in a better place balance-wise
  • CDR revamp - more related to the Support Project, but some of the Kindlegem item.png Kindlegem or Glacial Shroud item.png Glacial Shroud upgrades could be used by tanks as well.

Every category is exclusive, so if for example you don't believe a particular set doesn't need to exist, it doesn't affect the other ones. However, many of the changes to existing armor/MR items that I suggest assume that items such as Colossus Chestplate (more or less a tank Deathcap) exist.

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Tanks are getting kited to death, even though unlike bruisers they can't really kill the carries by themselves. These items provide situational counterplay to crowd control effects.

Leviathan item
2400 Gold (750 Gold)
  • +400 health, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Passive: Increase your maximum health by 15%.
  • Active: For the next 5 seconds, displacement effects stun you instead for the duration.
    • Alternative: For the next 5 seconds, displacements move you for half the distance (50% time reduction on knockups, 50% distance reduction on knockbacks).
Knockups, knockbacks... Seems like the latest few dozen releases are overloaded with those. Since Tenacity does nothing to mitigate them, there is no way to work around heavy displacements. This solves the problem while requiring skillfull utilization (you have to anticipate the displacement) and not shutting down the caster (you're still under CC, you just stay in place). Raw stats are so-so, but situationally this could become really worthwhile (Yasuo comps, AoE effects that you want to maintain in the original location, etc). Bonus % health is just like the one on Spirit of the Ancient Golem item.png Spirit of the Ancient Golem, but scaling off total HP. This is calculated into the cost - the item breaks even at 3000 health from other sources. Overall it's designed to be rather a finishing item than a starting one.
Force of Nature item
2400 Gold (550 Gold)
  • +70 magic resistance, +50% base mana regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Mana Font: Restore 2% of your missing mana per 5 seconds.
  • Unique Passive - Slow Resistance: Movement slowing effects are reduced by 25%.
It isn't particularly gold efficient, but the slow resistance could be a godsend against permaslowing champions. Heavy MR makes up for the slight nerfs to MR rating of SV and BV when needing this raw stat (the 55 ones are down to 50 in this project), and the fact that Void Staff cuts all bonus MR in half. This purchase will challenge the mages to invest in Void Staff, which in the reworked version would be slightly inefficient against squishy targets.

Early season 4 was dominated by tanky bruisers with built-in %health magic damage. The likes of Shyvana and Mundo (also: BotRK Jax/Trundle) thrived on lack of hybrid resistance items to counter their kits. With this item in existence, it should be easier to balance out hybrid damage dealers and make them more satisfying to play.

Renewal Tunic item.png Dragonscale
  • Recipe: Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor + Null-Magic Mantle item.png Null-Magic Mantle + 400g (total cost: 1200g)
  • +25 armor, +25 magic resistance
  • Passive - Reinforce: Whenever hit by a basic attack, your bonus armor and magic resistance increase by 4% for 5 seconds (effect stacks up to 5 times).
    • Alternative: Whenever hit by a basic attack, your armor increases by 4% of your bonus MR and your magic resistance increases by 4% of your bonus armor for 5 seconds (effect stacks up to 5 times).
This item is very much not cost efficient by itself unless the passive is triggered, and even then it depends on your bonus resistances (runes, other items, built-in steroids) - but should be a very clear response to hybrid damage. Having two Dragonscales gives you two stacks per one incoming attack.
Soul Shroud item.png Colossus Chestplate
  • Recipe: Renewal Tunic item.png Dragonscale + Renewal Tunic item.png Dragonscale + 600g (total cost: 3000g)
  • +50 armor, +50 magic resistance
  • Unique Passive - Reinforce: Your bonus armor and magic resistance increase by 20%.
    • Alternative: Your armor increases by 20% of your bonus MR and your magic resistance increases by 20% of your bonus armor.
  • Unique Passive: Reduce damage from enemies affected by crowd control by 20%.
Pretty much a "tank Deathcap" suited for a lategame build, a soft response to % penetration items. It's not that gold efficient unless you have resistances from other items - this is to prevent it from becoming a one-item wonder for all fighters. The damage reduction from CC-affected targets known from the Oppression mastery s4.png Oppression mastery also suits the theme of tanks being the CC dealers rather than damage dealers.
Runic Bulwark item.png Runic Vanguard
  • Recipe: Glacial Shroud item.png Glacial Shroud + Negatron Cloak item.png Negatron Cloak + 800g (total cost: 2600g)
  • +50 armor, +50 magic resistance, +300 mana, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Active: Grants a shield equal to 10% of your health for 5 seconds. While the shield persists, nearby allies take 25% reduced damage from abilities. 90 second cooldown.
Soft taunt. "Hit me or you'll deal less damage to my team".

Currently, CDR doesn't feel like it's in a good spot. This is particularly visible in the middle lane, where almost everyone rushes a 20% CDR item with absurd cost efficiency, and support role, where it's easy to overshot CDR. Guideline of this revamp is as follows:

  • CDR doesn't double out of nowhere anymore - All 20% CDR items build out of two 10% CDR items, like the current Morellonomicon.
  • Stinger item.png Stinger in its current form is removed from the game, Nashor's Tooth has a new component with on-hit damage passive and Zephyr item.png Zephyr builds out of tweaked The Brutalizer item.png The Brutalizer
  • Most other items that used to have 20% CDR - Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart, Nashor's Tooth item.png Nashor's Tooth, Athene's Unholy Grail item.png Athene's Unholy Grail - are rebalanced and down to 10%.
  • In order to reach the CDR cap, you have to include several 10% CDR items in your build or use one of the following new ones:
Spirit of the Ancient Golem item.png Blackfrost Helmet
  • Recipe: Glacial Shroud item.png Glacial Shroud + Kindlegem item.png Kindlegem + 700g (total cost: 2500g)
  • +50 armor, +400 health, +300 mana, +20% CDR
  • Unique Passive: Reduce damage taken from critical strikes by 25%.
It's a tank item, mostly. The situational crit protection is the item's highlight.
Zhonya's Ring item.png Chillwind Crown
  • Recipe: Glacial Shroud item.png Glacial Shroud + Fiendish Codex item.png Fiendish Codex + 730g (total cost: 2500g)
  • +50 armor, +300 mana, +60 ability power, +20% CDR
  • Unique Passive: Nearby enemy spell casts restore 5% of your missing mana. (1100 range)
For midlaners, this should be an alternative to Zhonya's Hourglass as their anti-AD core.

Pendant of Zephiris item.png Sanguine Orb

  • Recipe: Kindlegem item.png Kindlegem + Fiendish Codex item.png Fiendish Codex + 830g (total cost: 2500g)
  • +400 health, +60 ability power, +20% CDR
  • Unique Active: Gain 50% of missing mana at the cost of 50% of your current health. 60 second cooldown.
Designed with mages in mind, but can be utilized by supports as well. With mana-oriented passive it probably shouldn't be a problem on manaless champions.
The Rose's Pride item.png Sage's Runestone
  • Recipe: Kindlegem item.png Kindlegem + Forbidden Idol item.png Forbidden Idol + 150g (total cost: 1600g)
  • +200 health, +100% base mana regeneration, +20% CDR
  • Unique Passive: Increase experience earned by 10%.
It's meant to be picked up early for the accelerated leveling, so the item is cheap, but not really slot efficient (the user is encouraged to sell it and buy something better later on).
Ichor of Illumination item.png Elixir of Spirit
  • 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.

Most of these concepts are expendable and/or subject to change, but Blackfrost Helmet and Chillwind Crown should be the cornerstone of this revamp.

Health items

Items with less than 400 health will be covered in other sections or other parts of the itemization overhaul. Overall, most items that are oriented around their health threshold are rather unchanged.

400 health

Health is usually one of the two defining characteristics of the item. Their updated state and build is described in their respective section (armor/MR).

Righteous Glory item
2100 Gold (300 Gold)
  • +400 health (-100), +300 mana, +100% base health regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Valor's Reward: On leveling up, restores 150 health and 200 mana over 8 seconds.
  • Unique Active: Grants +60% Movement Speed to you and nearby allies when moving towards enemies or towers for 3 seconds. When this speed boost ends, it emits a shockwave, slowing nearby enemy champions by 80% for one second (60s cooldown).
Cheaper by 400, health lower just by 100. Won't make you as beefy, but you'll be able to get your hands on the active earlier.
Rod of Ages item
2500 Gold (440 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 rebalance in stats granted by this item - cheaper, less a tank item, more a mage item now. Should remain viable on Maokai for example, just not as overwhelming.
Sunfire Cape item.png Sunfire Cape, Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen
see: #Armor items
Banshee's Veil item.png Banshee's Veil, Locket of the Iron Solari item.png Locket of the Iron Solari, Spirit Visage item.png Spirit Visage
see: #Magic resistance items

New item in this category: Leviathan - see: #New items (CC reduction section)

600 health

These items are meant for tanks and durability is their primary attribute.

Frozen Mallet item
3300 Gold (975 Gold)
Phage item
1325 Gold
  • +600 health (-100), +30 attack damage
  • Unique Passive - Bash: +10 armor penetration (new, from the revamped Phage)
  • Unique Passive - Icy: Your basic attacks apply a 20% slow and reduce the target's armor by 10 for 2 seconds.
  • Active: Doubles the strength of this item's slow and armor penetration for 5 seconds. 60 second cooldown.
Part of The Fighter Project, let's just ignore it for now. Subject to change.
Juggernaut item
1500 Gold (50 Gold)
  • +600 health (+100), +100% base health regeneration (new), +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Passive - Tenacity: +35 Tenacity
Just a stat buff to make it comparable with other enchantments.

800 health

Big chunk of health. No resistances on the items past that line.

Overlord's Bloodmail item
2300 Gold (300 Gold)
  • +800 health (-50)
  • Unique Passive: On champion kill or assist, restore 300 health over 5 seconds.
The TT version - a little bit tweaked. I guess the big question would be - why not allow Warmog's there? Original reason for not allowing Warmog's on other maps was the stacking on creep kills. That passive was removed years ago.
Warmog's Armor item.png Warmog's Armor
  • Unchanged.

Armor items

50 armor

The item's main strength is not the armor, but its utility.

Iceborn Gauntlet item
3000 Gold (850 Gold)
Sheen item
1200 Gold
  • +40 ability power (+10), +500 mana, +50 armor (-10), +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Passive – Icy/Spellblade: After using an ability, your next basic attack critically strikes and deals bonus magical damage equal to your crit modifier to surrounding enemies, creating a field for 2 seconds that slows enemies inside by 30% (2 second cooldown). (rebalanced)
  • Unique Passive – Critical Strike Modifier: Your critical strikes deal magical damage equal to 100% of your armor.
    • Only highest critical strike modifier counts.
    • Details will be talked over in the Carry/Fighter Project - basically crit is no longer 200% AD damage, but 100% AD + crit damage modifier. The default CDM is 100% base AD (like the current Spellblade), but it can be replaced by a higher scaling modifier.
Parallel to Sunfire Cape, it provides some tankiness-scaling AoE damage.
Randuin's Omen item
3000 Gold (950 Gold)
  • +50 armor (-20), +400 health
  • Unique Passive – Cold Steel: When hit by basic attacks, reduces the attacker's attack speed by 15%.
  • Unique Passive - Shield Block: Blocks 5-45 damage from ranged basic attacks from champions depending on distance from the attacker (5 at 300 range, 45 at 700 range). (new)
This item provides more protection against basic attacks when you have high armor rating from other items. Anyways, the armor+health+slow bundle made it a one-item wonder for bruisers. that became a little bit too overused. Now it's better against ranged champions, but significantly worse against melee ones.
Sunfire Cape item
3000 Gold (1000 Gold)
  • +400 health (-50), +50 armor (+5), +100% base health regeneration (new)
  • Unique Passive - Point Runner: Grants + 30% bonus movement speed that build up over 2 seconds when near turrets or Void Gates. (new)
  • Unique Passive: Deals (2% of your current health) magic damage per second to nearby enemies (400 range). (rebalanced)
Sunfire gains some tank identity as well and should be noticeably worse on bruisers. You can build it for towerdiving, but it needs other tanky items to scale its damage. It also gives you a soft taunt - "hit me and i'll deal significantly less damage".
  • Armor up to 50 from 45, just to match the pattern :P
Ohmwrecker item.png Ohmwrecker, Zhonya's Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass
  • Unchanged.
Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel, Moonflair Spellblade item.png Moonflair Spellblade, Zz'Rot Portal item.png Zz'Rot Portal
see: #Hybrid resistance items

New items in this category: Blackfrost Helmet, Chillwind Crown - see: #New items (CDR revamp section)

100 armor

No other resistances, just pure armor.

Frozen Heart item
2700 Gold (700 Gold)
  • +100 armor, +400 mana, +10% cooldown reduction (-10)
  • Unique Passive - Cold Steel: Reduces the attack speed of nearby enemies by 15%. (700 range)
  • Unique Active - Icy: Slows the movement speed of nearby enemy units by 40% for 2 (+1 second per 500 bonus mana) seconds. 60 second cooldown (700 Range). (new)
Less CDR (part of the cdr revamp), but gets the Randuin active - however, without armor/MR scaling on the duration. The mana scaling is there to make use of things like Righteous Glory and Iceborn Gauntlet if you were to feel like you're wasting gold on too much flat mana.
Thornmail item
2200 Gold (700 Gold)
  • Unchanged (recipe slightly altered).
Smoother buildpath.

Magic Resistance items

Aegis of the Legion item
1900 Gold (800 Gold)
  • Stats unchanged.
A small change to Aegis recipe.
Hexdrinker item
1350 Gold (490 Gold)
  • +25 attack damage, +25 magic resistance (-5)
  • Unique Passive – Lifeline: Upon taking magic damage that would reduce health below 30%, grants a shield that absorbs 250 magic damage for 5 seconds (90 second cooldown).
This item received a slight buff to MR with price increase that wasn't really needed. The shield is strong enough already.
  • +30 magic resistance (-5)
  • Active – Quicksilver: Removes all debuffs from your champion. 90 second cooldown.
As it is, QSS is too cheap for an item with as much MR and as powerful active. It became 300g cheaper while losing only 200g of stats. This slightly tunes down its sheer power.

30 magic resistance

The typical MR items, although the other stats are still significant.

  • +80 ability power (+20), +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: Restores 15% of your max mana on kill or assist.
Grail loses 300g worth of CDR and gains 400g worth of AP - and is 100g cheaper. CDR is now found in other - new and old - items. Grail becomes centered around its AP, MR and mana regen.
Maw of Malmortius item
3100 Gold (875 Gold)
Pickaxe item
875 Gold
  • +50 attack damage (-10), +30 magic resistance (-10)
  • Unique Passive: Grants +1 attack damage for every 1% of missing health, up to 70 Attack Damage. (buffed as hell)
  • Unique Passive – Lifeline: Upon taking magic damage that would reduce health below 30%, grants a shield that absorbs 400 magic damage for 5 seconds (90 second cooldown).
Part of the Fighter Project. A bit less raw AD and MR, and a TON of AD when you get low on health.
  • +80 attack damage, +30 magic resistance (-5)
  • Active – Quicksilver: Removes all debuffs from your champion and grants +50% movement speed for 1 second. 90 second cooldown.
Not a part of the tank project directly, and possibly a subject to change.
Wit's End item
3000 Gold (900 Gold)
Malady item
850 Gold
  • +50% attack speed, +30 magic resistance, +42 magic damage on hit
  • Unique Passive: Basic attacks steal 5 magic resistance from the target (stacks up to 5 times).
  • Active – Quicksilver: Removes all debuffs from your champion and grants +60 Tenacity for 3 seconds. 90 second cooldown.
Old Wit's End is... old and busted. Behold the new aweseomeness. Malady item.png Malady in this project is an AS component with on-hit damage, building into Nashor's, Devourer and BotRK.

50 magic resistance

"Heavy MR", but with other stats (such as health) bundled in.

Abyssal Scepter item
2400 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 % penetration)
  • +200 health, +60 ability power, +30 magic resistance (+10), +10% cooldown reduction
  • Aura - Legion: Grants nearby allies +20 magic resist and +75% base health regeneration.
  • Active – Promote: Greatly increases the power of a lane minion and grants it immunity to magic damage. 120 second cooldown.
Slightly buffing this as a lategame item, enabling purchasing it on midlaners.
Banshee's Veil item
2600 Gold (800 Gold)
  • +400 health (-50), +50 magic resistance (-5), +100% base health regeneration
  • Unique Passive: Grants a spell shield that blocks the next enemy ability. This shield refreshes after no damage is taken from enemy champions for 30 seconds. (buffed)
  • Unique Passive - Spectre's Regeneration: Grants 100% base health regeneration for 10 seconds after taking damage from an enemy champion. (new)
-5 MR, -50 health, +100% regen in combat, -160 cost and CD on spellshield is down from 40 to 30. Overall part of the tank identity revamp, emphasizing the anti-poke element while slighlty worsening its one-item wonder status for carries.
  • +400 health, +30 magic resistance, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Aura - Legion: Grants nearby allies +20 magic resist and +75% base health regeneration.
  • Active: Shield yourself and nearby allied champions for 5 seconds, absorbing up to 60 (+100% magic resistance) damage. 60 second cooldown. (600 range) (rebalance)
Shield scales with MR instead of levels, making the item less of a must-have item in every situation, and more a specialized purchase.
Mikael's Crucible item
2300 Gold (450 Gold)
  • +50 magic resistance (+10), +100% base mana regeneration, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Active – Quicksilver: Removes all debuffs from an allied champion (cannot be used on other champions while unable to use items). 180 second cooldown (90 when used on yourself).
Without the heal, Mikael's should be a more situational and specialized purachase - and no longer a must-have on every support. If there's some hard CC, you can buy it - otherwise, other options are better.
Odyn's Veil item
2500 Gold (450 Gold)
  • +300 health (-50), +300 mana (-50), +50 magic resistance
  • Unique Passive – Valor's Reward: On leveling up, restores 150 health and 200 mana over 8 seconds. (new)
  • Unique Passive: Reduces and stores 10% of the magic damage dealt to your champion (max 200 damage stored).
  • Active: Deals 200 + (stored magic damage) magic damage to nearby enemy units. 90 second cooldown. (500 range)
Item loses 50 health/50 mana and gains the Catalyst's Valor's Reward (otherwise it would be the only Catalyst upgrade losing it in the upgrade).
Spirit Visage item
2600 Gold (550 Gold)
  • +400 health, +50 magic resistance (-5), +100% base health regeneration, +10% cooldown reduction
  • Unique Passive: Increases your self-healing, health regen, life steal and spell vamp by 20%.
MR down by 5, cost down by 150. Part of the tank itemization revamp (Colossus, FoN).

Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel Moonflair Spellblade item.png Moonflair Spellblade Zz'Rot Portal item.png Zz'Rot Portal

see: #Hybrid resistance items

70 magic resistance

Not necessarily cost-efficient, but strong against heavy AP teams.

Orb of Winter item
2000 Gold (790 Gold)
  • +70 magic resistance, +150% base health regeneration (+50)
  • Unique Passive: Grants a shield that absorbs up to 30 + (10 per level) damage. This shield refreshes after no damage is taken from enemy champions for 9 seconds.
Just a small regen buff. Item still remains Howling Abyss-only.

New item in this category: Force of Nature - see: #New items (CC reduction section)

Hybrid resistance items

Placed at 50 armor and 50 MR, these items belong to both groups at once.

Moonflair Spellblade item
2500 Gold (450 Gold)
  • +40 ability power (-10), +50 armor, +50 magic resistance
  • Unique Passive - Tenacity: +35 Tenacity
Introduced to Summoner's Rift with 10 less AP, better build path and price lowered by 100. Followup to changes to Abyssal Sceepter - those two should make for a neat anti-mage mage bruiser build.
Zz'Rot Portal item
2600 Gold (750 Gold)
  • +50 armor (+10), +50 magic resistance, +100% base health regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Point Runner: Grants +30% bonus movement speed that builds up over 2 seconds while near turrets or Void Gates.
  • Passive: Your Summoner spell Teleport can target Void Gates, spawning 5 Voidlings at once. (new)
  • Active: Create a Void Gate at a target location. 120 second cooldown.
Rounded up to 50 armor and slightly tweaked - basically, sacrificing your Teleport summoner spell all but guarantees a turret takedown.
Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel
  • Unchanged.

New item in this category: Colossus Chestplate, Runic Vanguard - see: #New items (Hybrid resistance section)

Coming Up Next

  • The Support Project, based more or less on feedback to this Boards post.
  • The Carry Project, including but not limited to a complete Critical Strike rework.
  • The Fighter Project - combining the tank project with the carry project.

Of course I'm looking forward to any feedback from you guys, it's the only way to move the project forward :) Keep in mind this is the first iteration of the first part, so we still have a long way to go :)

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