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Pyro's Item Overhaul 8 - The Support Project

Lukeatlook December 21, 2014 User blog:Lukeatlook

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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.

Why?

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.

The Support Project

Let's start with an observation: Support builds are quite limited. You have your one unchangeable GP10 item, which most of the time is defined by your champion pick (some champions have a choice between two items, the rest always buy the same item), you upgrade it for 500g, you get a Sightstone item.png Sightstone, and possibly boots (90% of the time it's Boots of Mobility). Aside from the situations when you don't upgrade your Frostfang item.jpg Frostfang, that's over 3000 gold on the GP10 item and Sightstone alone, not counting boots. This is far less diversity than the laners - or, with the new season, jungler - have. At no point after starting lane is there any path decision to be made - all you can do is to pick the next components towards your unchangeable core set.

For most supports, Mikael's Crucible item.png Mikael's Crucible or Locket of the Iron Solari item.png Locket of the Iron Solari is the only bigger item they get to choose before the game ends, especially on higher levels of play. And even in the long matches, it's the things like Randuin's Omen item.png Randuin's Omen, Banshee's Veil item.png Banshee's Veil or Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart that are more popular than Zeke's Herald item.png Zeke's Herald and Ardent Censer item.png Ardent Censer. Oh and with the preseason, prepare for occasional Righteous Glory item.png Righteous Glory and Banner of Command item.png Banner of Command - still picked over Zeke's and Censer.

As for full AP support, they will often leave Spellthief's Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge unfinished and opt for the usual AP things like Zhonya's Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass and Liandry's Torment item.png Liandry's Torment. This is fine and whatnot, but the higher the elo, the less viable the full AP "support" is. And some supports, like Nami Nami and Sona Sona, aren't really that much into the idea of going full AP - and they shouldn't be forced to.

Supports need more choices in their builds. They have the least gold and yet they're forced to spend 3-4k of it on the same few items every game. Junglers have 16 ways to finish their core 2250g item, most of them having 2 viable Smites and 1-2 viable enchantments. Supports deserve some choice, too. If you believe that support builds aren't limited, then go and check the scoreboards for the last few competitive games.

The GP10 Lines

I've been going over this for almost a year now, but we need alternative finished GP10 items. Here and there I've sketched a few designs, and it's time to revisit that. Guidelines of the changes here:

  • Tier 1 items are slightly altered to make up for changes to regen
  • Tier 2 upgrades now have a Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead and/or Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm as a component (this is a fluff change)
  • Tier 3 upgrades - 2 per item line:
    • Old upgrades are slightly tweaked - Talisman is 100g cheaper (2000g), FotM and FQC are a bit buffed in their main stat
    • New upgrades cost 2400g (Medallion's one is 2600), build out of bigger (1000g+) components and don't grant CDR
  • Overall designed around HP-regen-AP symmetry, with the Ancient Coin now having MS as the defining stat of that item line

Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield
  • +80 health (+5)
  • Unique Passive - Spoils of War: Unchanged.
What a buff!
Targon's Brace item.jpg Targon's Brace
  • Recipe: Relic Shield item.png Relic Shield + Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead + 320g
  • +200 health (+25), +50% base health regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Spoils of War: Unchanged.
The regeneration from this item took a hit with the preseason changes, so the raw health got a tiny bit buffed.
Face of the Mountain item.png Face of the Mountain
  • +600 health (+100), +10% cooldown reduction, +100% health regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Spoils of War: Unchanged.
  • Unique Active - Deadly Phalanx: Unchanged.
Again, following the trend of making up for the preseason changes to regeneration. It used to grant 20 flat regen - now it grants about 12-15 upon purchase, coming back to 20 around level 16.

New Targons upgrade

Crescent Shield of the Lunari (new item)
  • Recipe: Targon's Brace item.jpg Targon's Brace + Raptor Cloak item.png Raptor Cloak + 535g (total cost: 2400g)
  • +50 armor, +400 health, +150% health regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Spoils of War: (same as FotM)
  • Unique Passive - Point Runner: Grants +30% bonus movement speed that builds up over 2 seconds when near turrets or Void Gates.
  • Unique Passive - Moonlight Shadow: Shrouds target area with fog that obscures all enemy vision from the outside and renders allied champions invisible to minions and turrets for 4 seconds. 90 second cooldown (700 range, 1000 radius)
    • Alternative: Unique Passive - Vengeance: Whenever a nearby ally dies, you gain 50% of their total AD and AP for 10 seconds. If you take down their killer, they also get the full gold reward. If more than one ally wields the item, the passive procs for the closest one only.
TOWERDIVE. WE MUST TOWERDIVE. This item obscures vision from towers, wards and minions. If there's an enemy champion inside, their whole team sees you. Very good to secure dragons/barons.

Ancient Coin item.png Ancient Coin
  • +10 movement speed (new), +25% mana regeneration
  • Unique Passive - Favor: Unchanged.
Movement speed is now the defining characteristic of this item line.
Nomad's Medallion item.png Nomad's Medallion
  • Recipe: Ancient Coin item.png Ancient Coin + Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead + Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm + 140g
  • +15 movement speed (+5), +25% health regeneration, +50% mana regeneration (+25), +2 gold per 10 seconds
  • Unique Passive - Favor: Unchanged.
With changes to regeneration, this item received a huge nerf (it used to have same flat regen as Frostfang). This is to bring it back to its old state.
Talisman of Ascension item.png Talisman of Ascension
  • Combine cost lowered to 535g from 635g (total cost lowered to 2000g from 2200g)
  • All stats and effects unchanged.
100g cheaper, no changes to its functionality. Cheapest GP10 tier 3 item.

New Medallion upgrade

Option A
Mask of Emperors (new item)
  • Recipe: Nomad's Medallion item.png Nomad's Medallion + Haunting Guise item.png Haunting Guise + 350g (total cost: 2600g)
  • +15 movement speed, +40 ability power, +300 health, +50% health regeneration, +50% mana regeneration, +2 GP10
  • Unique Passive - Eyes of Pain: +15 magic penetration
  • Unique Passive - Favor: (same as Talisman)
  • Unique Active - Overwatch: Reveal a large nearby area for 5 seconds (2000 range). 60 second cooldown.
This item, huh? The active isn't as powerful as the one of Talisman, but the stat bundle is quite impressive. With both health and AP, it's the middle ground between the other two item lines. The regeneration, however, is a bit lower.
Option B
Ankh of Regrowth (new item)
  • Recipe: Nomad's Medallion item.png Nomad's Medallion + Crystalline Bracer item.png Crystalline Bracer + Aether Wisp item.png Aether Wisp + 185g (total cost: 2600g)
  • +15 movement speed, +40 ability power, +300 health, +100% health regeneration, +100% mana regeneration, +2 GP10
  • Unique Passive - Ethereal: +5% movement speed
  • Unique Passive - Favor: (same as Talisman)
  • Unique Active - Divine Aid: Increases the strength of your heals and shields by 1% per every 1% of health you're missing.
Core item for healing/shielding champions, but wokrs only if you're in the fight yourself. No sitting in the back.

Spellthief's Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge
  • +10 ability power (+5)
  • Mana regeneration and gold per 10 removed
  • Unique Passive - Tribute: Also restore 7 mana on proc
Mana regeneration moved to the Tribute passive. Now you need to be active to restore it. AP increased to 10, flat GP10 removed - you're encouraged now to upgrade this item. A bit more risk involved in choosing this item line.
Frostfang item.jpg Frostfang
  • Recipe: Spellthief's Edge item.png Spellthief's Edge + Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm + 320g
  • +20 ability power (+10), +25% mana regeneration (-25), +2 gold per 10 seconds
  • Unique Passive - Tribute: Also restore 10 mana
Following the trend of moving mana regen to Tribute procs.
Frost Queen's Claim item.png Frost Queen's Claim
  • +60 ability power (+10), +10% cooldown reduction, +50% mana regeneration, +2 gold per 10 seconds
  • Unique Passive - Tribute: Also restore 10 mana
  • Unique Active - Arctic Embrace: Unchanged
A straightout buff to the item, as the tier 1 and 2 are now a bit riskier.

New Frostfang upgrade

Goblet of True Ice (new item)
  • Recipe: Frostfang item.jpg Frostfang + Chalice of Harmony item.png Chalice of Harmony + 535g (total cost: 2400g)
  • +40 ability power, +30 magic resistance, +100% mana regeneration, +4 GP10
  • Unique Passive - Mana Font: Restores 2% of missing mana every 5 seconds.
  • Unique Passive - Tribute: (same as on FQC)
  • Unique Active - Cryogenesis: Restore 20% of missing health and 40% of missing mana to target ally. 90 second cooldown.
This is the healing and mana restoring part of Mikael's Crucible. The cleanse stays there.

Opinion on adding new final forms of GP10 items?
 
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The poll was created at 23:13 on December 21, 2014, and so far 54 people voted.
Opinion on tweaks to existing items such as Ancient Coin and Spellthief's Edge?
 
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The poll was created at 23:18 on December 21, 2014, and so far 47 people voted.

The Sightstones

Problem: All supports build Sightstone item.png Sightstone - and upgrading it to Ruby Sightstone item.png Ruby Sightstone doesn't feel rewarding for some of them (especially the ranged ones).

We need to state few things outright: Sightstone is a support item. Yes, it's not a problem when the jungler gets one occasionally - but that decision has to have some drawback. If the meta requires junglers to get the second Sightstone, it supresses diversity in jungle roster (domination of Lee Sin and other champions who can afford to not spend gold on their own items). So, to put it briefly, we need Sightstones that feel satisfying for supports as items, but aren't a must-buy for junglers. Basically junglers need to either be restricted from buying it or buying it needs to have a drawback.

I've came up with two designs, one leaving the current Sightstone intact and expanding on it, and one shaking things up a bit:

  • "Healthpack" version: Sightstone upgrades grant 200 health + one of the few available statistics (health, mana, regen, AP). Sightstone upgrades require a GP10 item to purchase.
  • "Specialized" version: Sightstone costs 400g, grants no health and requires a GP10 item to purchase. Sightstone upgrades grant a select statistic (health, mana, regen, AP).

In both cases:

  • At level 9, the upgraded Sightstone unlocks a unique passive that affects your Stealth Wards and Vision Wards.
    • This is consistent with how the trinkets upgrade at level 9.
  • Power of a Unique Passive is inversely proportional to the versatility of provided statistics.
    • This means a Sightstone with mana will have slightly better vision enhancement than the one with health or AP.
    • Increasing the Stealth Wards limit from 3 to 4 is out of the question - every support would have to go for it every time.
Sightstone item.png Sightstone
  • Healthpack version: Unchanged.
  • Specialized version: Cost lowered to 400, ward charges lowered to 3, health removed (no longer builds out of Ruby Crystal). Requires GP10 item to purchase.
Ruby Crystal item.png Ruby Sightstone
  • Recipe: Sightstone item.png Sightstone + Ruby Crystal item.png Ruby Crystal + 400 g (total cost: 1600g/1200g)
  • +400 health (in both versions)
  • At level 9, gains Vigor:
    • Your Stealth Wards last for 4 minutes.
    • Your Vision Wards have +2 health (7).
  • NOTE: Doesn't have 5 ward charges anymore (down to 4).
Pretty simple and can be used by anyone. The Vision Ward effect is probably more important than the Sight Ward effect.
Sapphire Crystal item.png Sapphire Sightstone
  • Recipe: Sightstone item.png Sightstone + Sapphire Crystal item.png Sapphire Crystal + 100 g (total cost: 1300g/900g)
    • Healthpack version: +200 health, +300 mana
    • Specialized version: +400 mana
  • At level 9, gains Serenity:
    • +2 charges (total: 6)
    • Whenever your Vision Ward is being destroyed, you retain vision of the area for 5 seconds.
Cheap, yet effective. 6 charges is a lot.
Rejuvenation Bead item.png Emerald Sightstone
  • Recipe: Sightstone item.png Sightstone + Rejuvenation Bead item.png Rejuvenation Bead + Faerie Charm item.png Faerie Charm + 240 g (total cost: 1400g/1000g)
    • Healthpack version: +200 health, +50% base health regeneration, +50% base mana regeneration
    • Specialized version: +50% base health regeneration, +50% base mana regeneration, +15% cooldown reduction
  • At level 9, gains Transmutation:
    • You gain one charge whenever a nearby ward is being destroyed.
    • Your Vision Wards regain their health points if they haven't been attacked in the last 10 seconds.
A "sustain" option, allowing you to restock wards during vision wars as long as you're near them when they're killed.
Amplifying Tome item.png Opal Sightstone
  • Recipe: Sightstone item.png Sightstone + Amplifying Tome item.png Amplifying Tome + 565 g (total cost: 1800g/1400g)
    • Healthpack version: +200 health, +40 ability power
    • Specialized version: +60 ability power
  • At level 9, gains Insight:
    • You can place wards at an increased range (1000 units - Feral Flare range).
    • Your Vision Wards reveal all enemy Stealth Wards in the range, even those obscured by brush/walls.
Allows you to ward from longer range, which could be a lifesaver on squishy champions.

This is a closed system, which means it's possible to change things a lot as we see fit.

Does Sightstone need more upgrades?
 
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The poll was created at 23:13 on December 21, 2014, and so far 54 people voted.
Which version is better?
 
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The poll was created at 23:13 on December 21, 2014, and so far 50 people voted.
What do you think about enhancing Sight Wards and Vision Wards?
 
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The poll was created at 23:13 on December 21, 2014, and so far 51 people voted.

The Actual Support Items

This is where supports say "Okay, I have my two core items. What do I buy now?

Ability power

It turns out that supports actually do need ability power after the season 4 changes as well as CDR. Most support items don't grant as much of it as they could, and to make up for that we occasionally see Mejai's Soulstealer on champions like Janna, and of course the core Zhonya's on Morgana.

Aether Wisp item
950 Gold (335 Gold)
  • +30 ability power, +25% base mana regeneration (new)
  • Unique Passive - Ethereal: +5% movement speed
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.
Ardent Censer item
2200 Gold (650 Gold)
  • +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 Chalice/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.
Twin Shadows item
2600 Gold (830 Gold)
  • +80 ability power, +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

Armor

As it is, supports have no satisfying way to gain armor that wouldn't be a typical tank/bruiser item. Seeker's Armguard item.png Seeker's Armguard is a risky investment that doesn't really suit the support role, used only by Morgana to get the insane synergy with her ultimate. This should be solved by introducing the following upgrades to Glacial Shroud item.png Glacial Shroud. For the full list of changes to tank items, see The Tank Project.

Spirit of the Ancient Golem item.png Blackfrost Helmet (new item)
  • 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 (new item)
  • 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.

Magic resistance

For the full list of changes to tank items, see The Tank Project. Overall Mikael's got a huge hit as a standalone item, but if you want to stack anti-AP defense, it's actually better - suggested new Frostfang upgrade Goblet of True Ice functions as the new Mikaels (upgrades from Chalice) with the heal, just without the cleanse; old Mikaels retains the cleanse.

  • +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.
  • +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.
  • +400 health, +30 magic resistance (+10), +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 and Mana Font, Mikael's should be a more situational and specialized purchase - and no longer a must-have on every support. The active removes ALL debuffs now. This is possibly the most controversial change - even though it loses the heal, removing things like DFG damage amplification or the Death Mark (!) is probably going to affect the game balance a lot more than I can anticipate.
With Goblet of True Ice providing heal and a better Censer, can we stomach a nerf to Mikael's Crucible?
 
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The poll was created at 23:13 on December 21, 2014, and so far 37 people voted.

Health

If the suggested changes to Sightstones go through, some champions could need raw health after getting the AP version of Sightstone. Also, with some of the GP10 items not having CDR, some champions might want some heavy CDR after their core GP10+Sightstone build.

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).
A slight buff to supports. They don't need more health on the item, but they very much do need the lowered price.
Pendant of Zephiris item.png Sanguine Orb (new item)
  • 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 (new item)
  • 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).

Other

Ichor of Illumination item.png Elixir of Spirit
  • On use: Gain 15% CDR and Tranquility for 3 minutes.
  • Tranquility: When out of combat for more than 10 seconds, 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.
Zeke's Herald item.png Zeke's Herald
Moved to the Figher Project. More about it in the next post. It could still be bought by supports, I guess.

Next Step

  • The Carry Project, including but not limited to a complete Critical Strike rework.
  • The Fighter Project - combining the tank project with the carry project.
  • The Mage Project, taking a close look at items like DFG and trying to put an end to the everlasting war between Athene's Unholy Grail item.png Athene's Unholy Grail and Morellonomicon item.png Morellonomicon.

Please leave your comments below, they're the only way for me to move the project forward :) The more critical the comments, the better.

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