Items to avoid and WHY(semi-guide)
To all who read this guide before(July 18): I screwed up the math on warmog's originally, any and all comments by me saying that warmog's is inneffecient is WRONG and should be ignored(sorry about that :()
DISCLAIMER: Every item has some situation it can be used well, but this is a general guide on what to avoid based on the idea that in only extremely specific situations will you get one of the items on this list(so until you're past 100 wins I'd recomend avoiding all these items and even then I wouldn't make them a staple item)
This is my humble attempt(I'm level 29 with 102 wins...so yes I am probably a noob by most standards) to help people break away from their habits of getting bad items in favor of better ones and most importantly WHY they are bad.(all items can be justified in a very specific situation but this is set up for times when you wouldn't stack ranged carries to get the most use out of malady for instance). I'd recomend this guide for you're first 100 games, after that you probably are good enough to use your own judgement on whether an item is usefull or not in a situation.
Malady: I'm sorry to all you Yi's who think you're good attack speed will dominate the enemy cause it won't. The problem is you won't be standing next to them enough to be getting the full effect of the attack speed, your going to be running,stunned nad or slowed at some point. The passive is just plain terrible and the extra lifesteal isn't that good. Combined with teh fact that you can't get it before the end of laning then it really just isn't a viable option. It is also very gold innefeciant by istself so even ignoring Starks you aren't getting the bang for your buck you want.
Better option(in most cases): Build a Starks fervor for 600 more gold. You can support your team with the lifesteal aura+reduce your enemies armor(much better passive). The armor reduction will do more damage to the enemy, and the aura is just plain great on anyone.
exceptions to the do not buy policy: Really you either need to be extremely fed or smurfing to make this worth your gold. But if either thing is hapenning knock yourself out.
Beserker Greaves: Once again Attack speed isn't bad, but it isn't good. The other boots offer decreased cc(the only way to get it outside of abilities) and magic reist,armour and dodge, spell penetration(essentially taking away magic resist) and the ability to run much faster. The problem with beserker greaves is that it's only a 25% boots on your attack speed and attack speed can be found on so many items it's completely overshadowed.
Better option(in most cases): Mercury treads is infinitely better for a melee(35% reduction on the time cc effects you is HUGE). If you're facing a dps heavy team get ninja tabi(or if you are a jax...jax players ignore all other types of foot wear the tabi is your item of choice), as a caster grab the sorcerrer shoes for increased damage.
exceptions to the do not buy policy: Kog'maw, twitch and Twisted fate. Thanks to their reliance on on hit effects these 3 characters can make better use of the item then most, and in the case of kog'maw it allows him to drain life(I believe his Q or W gives him something like an 8% drain per attack)
Philophoser's stone: This on paper is actually pretty decent. It can give you alot of health and mana regen while regaining a little bit of the gold you spent on it. However there isn't much use for the regen pasts the laning phase, and since it can't be built into anything you will most likely sell this after limitted use.
Better option(in most cases): Catalyst of the protector: This gives you extra mana and health(serves you better pasts the laning phase), but it also heals you and replenishes mana when you level up. This can save you very easily aswell as keep you in the lane just as well as a philophoser's stone. The reason this is better is it can build into other items that are very valuable. Rod of ages(a great item for many casters) Banshees veil(great item period), and interventing locket(decent in push teams).
exceptions to the do not buy policy: When you first start out philo stone may be good as it is a more constant regen then catalyst and without masteries or runes it can be hard for a noob to keep their mana and or health at a decent level. Just remember that by the time you're level thirty this isn't going to out class the catalyst.
Timiat: First and formost the splash is in a VERY small radius for it's passive effect. If the splash was larger then it might be usefull, but currently it isn't even good for what it was made to be. It just can't let you farm minions well enough to justify the costs. The items it builds out of are terrible as well. Fairy charm and reguvenation bead both costs a very small amount, but give even less back during the laneing phase. After that...you wouldn't even bother to keep them.
Better option(in most cases): Madreds Razer. It gives you armour and a chance to deal 500 damage to a minion. That will mean for regular creeps it's a 1 shot kill and for many jungle creeps that is still a very signifigant portion of their health. It allows you to build a madreds bloodrazer which deals 8% of the targets health as magical damage on top of your standard attack or a wigglers lantern which gives you free wards. Both serve you well through out the game and are much more effecient.
exceptions to the do not buy policy: certain twitch builds like to take advantage of spray and pray combined with timiats. I've never tried this but it could work out well, I'd say it's personal choice in this case. Another character who can use the timiat is poppy. She lacks farming power and if you are unable to secure an early kill the timiat can help you be decent for the rest of the game.
Sword of the divine: Since the Jax nerfs this isn't nessecary to use everytime you see Jax...and so goes away the real reason to use it. The passive sucks since it comes out to roughly 25 damage per hit. And while it can be used to harass it just isn't worth the investment. The active is a good way to take down towers, but once again...do you really want to shell out htis much gold just for a tower killing item? I just have a hard time recomending this except to one character(thank you for proving me wrong league of legends community)
Better option: Starks Fervor: The armor reduction alone will outweight sword of the divine's passive and the aoe lifesteal aura will give you alot of longevity.
exception of the do not buy policy: Twisted fate. I've seen people recently get sword of the divine at a time so the passive matches up with his +damage every fourth attack. In other words, it's big burst damage and combined with a pick a card casts it can be an easy way to take most of a carries life away.
Highly situational items(viable but not in most situations)
Better option(in the case of a semi-hybrid or you're low on money): Guinsoo's rageblade, I will tell you that htis item is my favorite in the game by far. The amount of use this gets on any hybrid will make it a staple for the rest of your play time with said hybrid(in most cases...not sure about all of them). It also works very well in the case of a character who has spammy skills and has nothing to lose by gaining some ad(nidalee with pounce can keep the passive up infinitely and the attack speed stacks with her heal and lets her get takedown out faster for instance). The rage blade is great but getting it doesn't mean you can't get the gunblade(both are great on akali/jax)
when to get: Jax makes good use of it as a damage and survability item, and akali can boosts her passive to monsterous levels. Kayle also can get a great boosts with her ap= ad and ad=ap pasive. Pretty much any hybrids can make good use of it as a rule(although unsure of kog'maw), and the price will be worth it for most hardcore hybrids.
Last whisper: I'm sure you know the drill by now, attack speed isn't that good overall.The 40% armour pen is pretty good...so why is it so situational? It works like this Their base reduction-flat armor pen and THEN wits end and it's % pen is applied so if they had 50 armor(in this theoritcal case I'll ignore the in game system for a simplified version of 1 armor=1% reduction). If they have 50% reduction and then you had 20 armour pen you'd bring it down to 30%(this is NOT the in game values, but is a symplified version to help you understand it). then the last whisper would takee out 40% of their remaining armor reduction so it would leave them at 12% armor reduction. Since the way the system works puts the flat armor pen above the percent reduction it makes last whisper less effective. So against tank heavy teams it's good, but against a regular team I can't recomend it. If your a heavy tower pusher then yes it can be good(and is). This is NOT a bad item, it just isn't the go to item for most situations.
Better option: Yanmu's ghostblade, builds out of a brutalizer(great item for it's costs) and an avarice blade(meh item but it can refund some of it's costs). Also Yanmu's ghost blade has a flat armour reduction which allows you to go to town on the squishies(who should be your main target). Ghostblade also has a great active that increases your move speed and your attack speed(every little bit helps).
When to get: Against a tank or armor stacking team it works just fine. Generally not recomendded though due to the fact most dps should be attacking the tanks.
NOTE: I got help from others on this(thank you all who pointed out how wrong I was!)
Wits End: This is an anti caster(or people with REALLY small mana pool) item at heart(and should be seen as such). I can't recomend it in most situations even against an all mana team. The attack speed is once again not that great but the fact every hit removes 42 mana and deals 42 magic damage makes it slightly stronger. Still can't be put up there as a great item due to the situational nature. However Warwick's ultimate does proc the mana drain which can make it a very deadly combo against nearly everyone. It only costs 2k so against an all mana team it can be gotten early for the passive(since it will do more damage early on it's LIKE having attack damage added)
Better option: Really can't give you one in this case :(. It's an anti-caster item and it does it's job well. It just isn't justifiable in most games. I'm saying you could get Ghostblade in the slot against less mana oriented teams, but Wit's end is very one of a kind item which fills an exclusive role and fills it role very well.
When to get: Against magic heavy teams on an auto attacker or carry(possibly even kassadin)
Phantom dancer: A good item for very specific characters and builds. I'm a broken record by now, but the attack speed is decent at best. The movement speed is actually very good since it makes you much faster then most of your enemies. The dodge it has will let you last a bit longer, and who doesn't want some crit chance The problem is it's a VERY expensive item and will take a lot of time to make. It works very well with certain champions or after you've completed some attack damage items, but I wouldn't make it a standby item unless you already have attack damage.
Better option: None really, it builds out of zeal so you could get two zeals and then make phantom dancers or something like that. A ghostblade would be like a cheaper version of the phantom dancer(and yes I do love the ghostblade)
When to get it: After you're main item build on a carry who has trouble chasing(although frozen mallet would work here to)or when you're Jax or Tyrdamere.
Warmog's armour: (to all who read this guide before July 18th I screwed up my math on warmog's so it IS effecient).. Warmog's is here because you need to rush it and be a decent farmer to make it worth it(probably around 60 charges is the break even point). It's a fine item to rush at the beginning but if you don't want to get it early I wouldn't recomend getting it(get sunfires instead if you don't have time to farm)
Better options(if you don't build a warmog's asap): Guardian Angel,Randuin's Omen,Force of nature and Sunfire cape. The first 3 give you large amounts of resistances(which would work better then the health gained), and allow for you to gain a passive that is very strong. The Guardian angel can revive you at 40% health and mana, Randuins Omen can slow enemies that attack you and Force of nature increases you're movespeed and health regen besides hard countering casters(tons of mr will make their burst near useless and the regen lets you recover between bursts). The sunfire cape allows you to farm amazingly well. It deals 45 magic damage every second to those around you which can lead to farming like crazy or getting a kill from your carry(the former is good the latter is funny).
when to get: If your a tank with good base resistances(runes could help this), good farm, and your enemies aren't forcing teamfights often(aka you have time to farm up alot). If these 3 requirements are met then it may be a sound investment. However it is a gamble and you could just get a levi instead. Alternatively I hear alot of people combine this with Atma's but both are extremely expensive items and shouldn't be your whole strategy
NOTE: Since Force of nature hard counters casters to the point they can barely touch you it would be good even without the passive effect.
NOTE: please don't get this on Mordekraiser, Morde's strength as a tank is his shield and you want resitances to keep the shield up.
Nashor's tooth: This is a decent item but it's nature makes it useless for most champions. The attack speed is decent enough, the cooldown reduction is pretty good and the bonus ap and mana regen is usefull. However most champions don't have a use for every stat this item has and with it's high price(almost 3k) it is definately a situational item by it's very nature. Certain champions like Kayle and Kog'Maw can get good use out of this but it is often overlooked in favor of Guinsoo's rageblade. HOWEVER some ap hybrids don't have as much use of attack damage(ap cho, cho in general, kog'maw and taric all come to mind)., AP Teemo should at least in theory also be a very elgible champion to use the item(cdr=more shrooms, poison is now direct damage or at least has a direct damage component, and the attack speed helps him put on more poison). Those ones can make good use of the Tooth over rageblade because they use on hit effects more then the ad and or don't spam enough to keep it up at eight stacks or just have great synergy with the nashors in general.
Better option(in some cases): Guinsoo's rageblade. This item has it ALL it's somewhat cheap, it's gold effecient, it has AD, AP, and AS(attack speed is gained from the passive component+is much better thanks to the AD). Alot of champions use guinsoo's since it bolsters both their ap and ad not to mention it's only about 2k gold so it can be gotten early on.
NOTE/explanation: Why attack speed isn't that good
Attack speed IS usefull but since most engagements are short and people are often moving stunning ect. it makes it so you're not spending as much time just auto attacking. Also since damage has more effect per hit it allows for better harass and last hit. Attack speed should not be shunned but it isn't as good as AD
Thanks for reading and please give comments and or thoughts(up vote if you agree with me on most items)
EDIT/NOTE: OMG 3k views?! That is about 2,999 more then I expected. Thanks all who have viewed this guide
EDIT/NOTE: OMG 4k views?! Can you push me to 5k?
EDIT/NOTE: Been gone for a month and just updated the guide\
EDIT/NOTE(of an EDIT/NOTE): What does the sidebar say about views? IT's over nine thousand!!! :D (you know some one had to do it)
Can you go over the numbers for Warmogs? Even when the bonus health is maxed you say it's still not cost effective?
I'm sorry I don't have the numbers exactly but I'll do the math and have it in about 5 minutes
Apparently there is no break even point for warmogs
So you're saying my Teemo build with five Maladys and zerker greaves isn't good?
it takes 125(more then most champions get in a full game) minion kills to get the full effect of warmog's armour. At which point it would be 1,220 health and 66 regen per 5. The problem is that the amount of minion kills is nearly impossible to achieve without farming the whole game(which smart opponents will interrupt). Combined that most champions who get warmog's aren't good farmers...it isn't that usefull for the most part(not bad per se...just overshadowed)
I think you are missing the point a little when it comes to the reasons why Malady is worse than stark's. The main problem isn't even the attackspeed, (since stark's mostly gives you attackspeed and lifesteal as well) but the horrible cost efficiency. You still shouldn't start out with attack speed on a dps-char (with a few exceptions (MUNDO!!)) imho, not even with stark's.
Feeback?(this is also on the genral forums now)
What about Kayle? Her E does splash damage, and with Tiamat that doubles. Admittedly every time I build it lanning phase is over, you can still farm, farm, farm and push sidelanes until someone tries and stomps on you(but with haste you get away too easy.)
As is, it's only marginally more useful than a bf sword which doesn't upgrade into anything.
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