Itemization Feedback Megathread [May 31st Build]

Long time no see. I used to do these every major patch, but missed some of the recent ones (such as the tank update). I'm Pyro and I like to theorycraft around items. #7.12 Support Item Pass As mentioned in the midseason discussion and perpetuated in most threads since then, the support class suffered from the following issues: * Ancient Coin line felt underwhelming in comparison to the others, as the least interactive item of the bunch * While enchanter supports got easy access to strong CDR, the loss of it on Locket meant that tank supports were left without any * Overwhelming dominance of Redemption on every single support champion * Zeke's Harbinger left in an awkward spot * Items like Banner of Command, Zz'rot Portal and especially Ohmwrecker being on the edge of obscurity I'm happy to say that the current PBE changes seem to **fix most of these problems**. Ancient Coin was revitalized with the addition of Quests, although I'm still not sure if succesfully - many Enchanter players will still prefer Spellthiefs for dem damages (but then again, there's a whole spectrum between "I just want to poke them to death" and "I won't even buy a sightstone", so even Janna players using it are somewhat tolerable). The currently brewing patch seems to do the rest. #Rounding Down Enchanters Changes to enchanters boil down to three major factors: * nerfing Redemption, or rather suiting them for this particular class * nerfing Locket, or rather shifting it towards tank scaling * yet another rework to Athene's The last change seems to have the most positive impact to endgame support builds, as not only does it remove the awkward excess of CDR (20% is too much for a single enchanter item), but it also manages to reconcile the Shield Power vs AP itemization. It's a pretty neat concept, considering how suitable would an item idea like Archangel's Staff be for support champions. {{item:2301}} {{item:3107}} {{item:3504}} {{item:3222}} {{item:3174}} {{item:3117}} An example support build consisting of all heal-boosting enchanter items and Athene's will have 450% mana regeneration. Of course that's 10% excessive CDR going to waste, so we can assume Mikaels might be considered mutually exclusive with Athene's. Nevertheless 300-350% mana regen seems to be the standard here, and **60-70 AP** is a pretty considerable amount - and with Mikael's mana regen converting to 20 AP, the "wasted" CDR is no longer a problem. The aforementioned build would end up in a total of 230 AP, half of it coming from Athene's. Paired with maxed out healing/shielding power, I'm punching all these numbers into a skill calculator and it's making a happy face. #The Supportank Comeback I've been pointing it out since the Locket Rework, but tanks were seriously starved for CDR. At one point Eye of the Equinox didn't even have any, making tank support starved for it for the majority of their playtime. Items like Frozen Heart and Iceborn Gauntlet were always carefully balanced between well-fed toplane or jungle tanks and the gold-starved supports, but it could never satisfy both cases. Keep in mind that in many games supports will never get to complete more than one full item after their GP10, boots and Sightstone. This is why the changes to Knight's Vow and Righteous Glory (and pitching Zeke's to tank supports) were long overdue. RG should have granted CDR ages ago. KV was actually being tested with CDR, but Riot had too many playtesters in jungle/top building the item in that version. Hopefully now things won't go that way, though with the nerfs to Sunfire I could see that coming on some champions. {{item:3401}} {{item:2045}} {{item:3047}} {{item:3190}} {{item:3109}} {{item:3800}} (30%) {{item:2303}} {{item:3047}} {{item:3190}} {{item:3109}} {{item:3800}} {{item:3050}} (40%) There's one outlier, though: Even in a complete supportank build, **Locket of the Iron Solari takes the place of the only non-CDR item**. It's pretty simple. Supportank items give 10% CDR now, so great, you can choose something else than Redemption, but **it means you need four item slots to max out CDR**. Aside from boots (supportanks can't really get away with picking Ionians) that leaves only one free slot. If you go for FotM and Ruby Sightstone, it means that you have to get the last 10% CDR from runes, or opt into Frozen Heart. Sure, there is strategical depth in this choice. You have a seemingly interesting decision to make: do I max out CDR, or do I want Locket? Except, well, too bad for you, you NEED Locket. It's literally the one last item in the whole set that allows you to protect your entire team, not just the ADC. It works when diving, it works when getting dived, and with Redemption geared towards enchanters now, it's a no-brainer. Surely the team-wide auras and buffs are a pain to balance, but when you kill all the other options (Zeke's aura, Shurelya's/Righteous Glory team-wide speedup), the ones left will be picked up no matter how inconvenient they feel. Basically, enchanters have a complete set of CDR in their core builds. Tanks don't. Locket having no CDR currently allows enchanters to complete their core build without any excessive CDR. Assuming the Locket scaling change will convince enchanters to give up the item, tanks will be left with an underwhelming core build. Keep in mind supports don't get to complete their build all too often and rushing Locket will contribute to the no-CDR problem. Things to consider: * scale the shield amount with the number of allies/enemies in vicinity, promoting teamfight use cases and hinting at Knight's Vow being far better for protecting a single target (aside from % bonus health scaling, leave that, that's good) * give Locket back its CDR (perhaps after making sure the item is prepped for specific use cases, moar % health scaling wouldn't hurt either) * (extreme) make the Locket shield magic damage mitigation only Oh and Zeke's might be really interesting, though so far I can't judge it based on description alone. My main question here would be how does it work with champions with short-CD "ultimates", especially form swappers (Nidalee, Jayce, Elise) and Udyr. #The Forgotten Ones I'd like to bring out one example of item design: Morellonomicon. {{item:3165}} Morellonomicon is a perfect generalist mage item. It gives a huge chunk of AP, CDR and mana - pretty much all a typical mage needs. The build path is smooth as butter, with Lost Chapter actually working better in lane than the complete item, making the entire item a pleasant experience. It's balanced by the virtue of the fact that *its passive is complete garbage*. Sure, it's pretty useful when going against a heal-heavy compositions. Sure, you won't even notice how nice is it to never run out of mana while finishing enemy team off. But when compared to other AP items - or even the alternative heal-reducing item, Executioner's Calling, which doesn't need any % HP threshold - it's pretty damn boring. There is one optimal case, and that is when you're going against a self-sustaining champion. Be that Vladimir, Mordekaiser, even Swain - Morellonomicon is not only making up for your resource disadvantage, it's actually helping you pin down these pesky healing champions. Now here's a rule we need to remember: *a situational, wacky passive needs to be balanced by attractive, accessible stats*. And vice versa. {{item:2053}} Raptor Cloak is perhaps one of the worst items in the game. I don't even mean in terms of winrate, gold value, but in terms of *how they feel*. From a design standpoint, it's supposed to be a laning item. You walk to your lane faster (passing the turrets), you're moving faster around the towers, you get some sustain while laning. Except, you know, it doesn't work. In lane, you spend most of your time inbetween the two towers. If you're under your tower, you're already safe. And if you're getting towerdived, moving faster doesn't always help. If you're towerdiving, the bonus won't kick in until it's already done (it might help you escape, though). Towerdiving, one way or another, is not something you can rely on to happen. That's where the Morellonomicon rule kicks in. If the passive is wacky, unreliable and overall unattractive, you make the statline borderline broken. Which doesn't happen here. Sure, in this PBE build on paper it's the sum of the exact components it initially had: two cloth armors and two (and a half) rejuvenation beads. With the passive as an extra. Problem is, Rejuvenation Bead is a highly unpopular item. Aside from few select champions like Shen, nobody ever buys that stuff. In lane, you're always better off buying potions, as % bonus health regeneration scales with your level. After that, you simply do not have free space for that component. All in all, reducing the cost down to 900g might have been enough to make the item viable, but you should consider bringing the % regen back to 150%. The nerf to 125 happened only to bring the Talisman of Ascension stats to the round number of 200%. We can go back to that. Now, here's the true problem with Raptor Cloak: **Its upgrades are just out of place**. One big thing about laning items is that they create imminent power spikes. Luden's, Zhonya's, Sunfire, Iceborn Gauntlet - they enhance your combat prowess in a noticeable, "oomph" effect. Even "boring" items like RoA feel nice to complete. Raptor Cloak, meanwhile, builds into the two most absurdly niche items in the entire game: Zz'Rot Portal and Ohmwrecker. Both of which are far cry from "laning" or "core" items. {{item:3056}} Ohmwrecker is pretty much the epitome of procrastination, low-priority goals, and the "We'd do something here but we're afraid it'll break the game" syndrome: every time there's an item pass on tank items or support items, the design team decides they have more pressing matters to attend and they have no time to give this item justice. It's pretty simple, though. You have two options: * Make the active help you outside of diving. I mean, diving was never really a problem for tanks, soa tank item that disables towers is a little bit redundant. There's many ways to do it: * Give the item a possibility of empowering your own tower * Make it longer-cooldown (single use?), but disabling enemy tower for a way longer time * Give it anti-shield properties people are asking for. Enemy shield duration reduction would be pretty fair - doesn't break the game, just prevents cases when some shields are permanently up, which shouldn't happen in a teamfight anyway. Alternatively just deplete enemy shields in vicinity over time (DoT that applies to shields only). * Just buff the damn stats. It's a shame that out of *FIVE* different armor+HP items (others being {{item:3143}} {{item:3068}} {{item:3742}} {{item:3109}}) Ohmwrecker is the one with the shittiest statistics. Give it 20% CDR or something. Make it stand out based on stats despite situational active that doesn't give you zilch when you're behind. It has less health than a cheaper support item (KV), for crying out loud. {{item:3512}} And a friendly reminder that with the Raptor Cloak price "buff", Zz'Rot Portal's combine cost jumps up to 1080 gold, which is pretty damn much. I'm not sure who even buys this item at this point, but I believe some change is overdue. The Voidspawn are sure as hell hard to balance, as throughout the patches they alternate between "useless" (current state) and "OP shit" (before season 7). Possible options: * Leave it to slowly die together with Ohmwrecker and Banner of Command (lolz) * Buff the statline or reduce the cost * In particular, I'd be a fan of a generalist statline with 40 armor, 40 MR, and, added, 200-300 health. We already have Gargoyle Stoneplate and Aegis upgrades for raw armor+MR. * Introduce a new type of interaction with the Void Gate to promote playing around it. Make the empowered Voidspawn activated through channeling, give the Void Gate a mana regeneration aura around it, or even allow for a faster recall to base by channeling. Thematically, allowing allies to channel and get something from the gate (small temporary AP boost?) would be neat. Oh and perhaps recolor the empowered Voidspwan to make it clear and easy counterplay (just kill the dangerous ones and the tower won't get as damaged). #Wardens and Vanguards {{champion:201}} {{champion:412}} {{champion:89}} This terminology will actually help us a lot in defining the problem. Wardens are definitely getting a nice set of items here. Even tank(y) champions who aren't designated as Wardens by Riot (that would be Braum and Tahm Kench), and are instead placed in the Vanguard (Alistar, Leona), Enchanter (Taric) or "Catcher" (Bard, Blitzcrank, Thresh) category can make great use of Kinght's Vow and Zeke's Harbinger, protecting and peeling for their ADC. One playstyle that's not getting much love, though, is the Vanguard support. Alistar is pretty much a hybrid between disrupting the enemy line and peeling for the carry, but Leona is almost as straightforward as the likes of Nautilus or Gragas, both of which have seen play as support. These champions want to get in the middle of the enemy backline, disrupt them as much as possible, and let their allies kill them. With Leona, she's categorized as primarily support due to her passive being designed for duo lane. Gragas and Nautilus are mainly junglers, but they share her problem: The Warden items aren't *really* for them. Sure, they can do that job and peel a little bit, but they do much better using their AoE to dig deep into the enemy backline. {{item:3025}} {{item:3068}} {{item:3110}} {{item:3001}} {{item:3143}} {{item:3193}} And to their playstyle, the best items are still the same as for the jungle/toplane Vanguards: some AoE, general disruption, tankiness. However, that comes at a price. And Vanguard supports don't have that amount of money. It's a pretty big-picture problem, as it's quite difficult to design a support tank item that won't simply get abused in jungle and toplane. Especially when that item is supposed to support a "leave the ADC behind and dive the enemy team" playstyle. I believe one solution here would be a designated Vanguard support item that requires duo laning to charge up. Basically something that functions as a fully-fledged Sunfire Cape, costs less, but takes a fair amount of laning to complete. Example: > Unkindled Plate * Recipe: Ruby Crystal + Cloth Armor + 200g (900g) * +200 health, +20 armor * Unique Passive - Kindling: Gain 1 stack whenever nearby allied champion kills a unit. Max 30 stacks. > Sunfire Plate * Recipe: Unkindled Plate + Kindlegem + 400g (2300g) * +400 health, +40 armor, +10% CDR * Unique Passive: Deal magic damage per second to nearby enemy champions equal to your number of Kindling stacks. * Unique Passive - Kindling: Gain 1 stack whenever nearby allied champion kills a unit. Max 30 stacks. This is just an example. The item can function on a completely different matter, be more similar to Iceborn Gauntlet, or Gargoyle Stoneplate, or something else entirely. Just something to make up for the gold discrepancy between tanks with their own goldstream and Vanguard supports. #TL;DR: * Good changes to support items, mostly. * Redemption and Locket actives shifted towards Enchanters and Tanks respectively. * Tank supports are finally getting good CDR items. * Locket will continue to feel bad to tank supports. * Vanguard supports (Leona) still lacking support items geared for their needs. * Ohmwrecker is stll forgotten.
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