[Guide] The Definitive Item Guide
The purpose of this guide is to help players with specifics of all items in the game, including when to use what. The guide is organized by their category. This is not a guide for information such as how to combine a item.
Please consult http://www.leagueoflegends.com/items for basic stats and item combination. For most basic item and aura mechanics,
please refer to http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ead.php?t=3287 by Stumpster. Some items may not belong to the most obvious section due to the nature of their attributes. Intermediate items (such as Giant Belt are not discussed).
Table of Content
1. Starter Items
Starter items are ones that are not upgradable (i.e. cannot be combined with something else to make a better item). These items are most likely temporarily and will be replaced as you get better items.
A good starter item for just about any AP based champion that has low starting HP, but is especially good for Fiddlesticks jungling at level 1 using Drain. I would not get this item for champions that has medium to good starting HP and/or HP increase per level. It is semi-useful for Evelynn to have a starting edge on ganking, but I'd rather rush Mejai's.
It is a pretty useless item. If you are a melee champion, the lifesteal is almost useless for you unless you lane against someone who wouldn't harass you. If you are a ranged champion, getting vampiric scepter is much better due to the better life steal and potential upgrade to Stark's or Malady. It is not even useful for jungling unless you want to sell it right after getting Madred's Razors (even then I would have gotten cloth armor with potions).
2. Damage Items
I shouldn't need to explain this item, almost any DPS champion will need this. High burst damage is almost always better than sustained damage since unpredictability is what scares away your opponent. Rush this item for any champion with critical strike based abilities (Shaco with Deceive, Tryndamere, or Gangplank).
This item is known for high damage and -60 armor "reduction" at 5 stacks (which is better than penetration). I've seen various debates over Infinity Edge and Black Cleaver, and I'd say that Black Cleaver is great if your champion has armor reduction abilities, such as Corki, Nidalee with traps, and DPS Taric with Shatter. You might as well get this and then get Infinity Edge, or the other way around if you see this being more beneficial. I believe this item is stackable for more armor reduction fun.
I'd say that black cleaver is better at keeping sustained damage while infinity edge grants you better burst damage, but we all like burst damage :P.
A great damage + life steal item for DPS carries that can stay alive! For every kill, you gain +1 damage and +0.25% life steal, up to +40 damage and 10% life steal, and this is a stackable item. This is the perfect item for DPS Sion and Nasus with the crazy life steal (as long as you can attack continously without getting stunned or otherwise chasing the enemy without dealing damage).
I have personally never used this item, and I don't know anyone that would use this item. The special effect on this item is a very small splash damage, which is potentially good if the enemy champions lumps up, but it is most likely going to occur for farming minions only.
3. Attack Speed Items
Pretty much a must-get item if you combine it with Black Cleaver. 40% armor penetration is just too good, along with the extra attack speed. Again, a great item for Corki, or anyone who likes Black Cleaver.
A very good item with life steal, attack speed, and hp regen aura, coupled with an armor reduction aura against nearby enemies. This item is preferred over Malady for almost all the better traits except for attack speed (only 5% difference). It is great for any DPS champions.
The selfish version of Stark's Fervor, with a lot fewer icing. Malady costs 1890 gold while Stark's Fervor costs 2550, a differnce of 660 gold. It seems like Twitch and Teemo players like this item over Stark's for its stackable infection damage (up to 6 times, dealing 5 bonus damage each time they are attacked by any champion), which basically means that at 6 stacks, they can deal a bonus 30 damage to you every attack.
Pretty much the ultimate critical chance item with additional dodge and movement speed. A perfect item for Gangplank and Tryndamere for the crit; and Jax for the dodge. If you're an infinity edge person, get this to complement the additional crit damage.
This is a pretty expensive item (3800 gold) for an anti-tank item. It deals 4% maximum health per hit, which is an additional 40 damage per 1000 enemy HP. I can see great use for this item against tank carries such as Poppy, Udyr, and Malphite, otherwise this is a reactive item that should only be obtained for this situation.
4. Ability Power Items
Rod of Ages
This is the item to get for any tankish AP builds. It provides excellent HP, MP, and AP and gets better the longer you keep it (requires 15 minutes before its benefit caps). I would get this as early as possible if I want it in the first place. It works wonders especially on Singed and Karthus, who requires both survivability and high mana pool.
This item is usually reserved for champions that benefits from a large mana pool, which includes Ryze with overload and Kassadin with Riftwalk. You wouldn't otherwise need such a large mana pool unless you want to get owned by Veigar. This item increase your mana each time you cast a spell.
I'm gonna talk about all of these items at the same time because they're all used for exactly one reason: magic penetration. These items are the perfect choices for champions with poor AP to damage scaling, such as Fiddlesticks, Morgana and Karthus. Some people would argue that these champions have DoT abilities which would effectively make up for the immediate damage burst (for example, dark wind lasts for 5 seconds with +0.4 dmg per AP, which provides effectively 2.0 AP). However, magic resist reduction works even better since it improves the damage on EVERY TICK where as AP is reduced by your target's magic resist EVERY TICK.
Please read this guide by TiberiusAudley: http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=49359
Here's an example on level 1 crow storm with +100AP (4 Kage's Lucky Pick) or +40 magic penetration (Sorcerer's Shoes + Haunting Guise)
Assuming the target has 50 magic resist and is under the full duration of crow storm
+100 AP (4 Kage's Lucky Pick):
Gold cost: 3060
damage per tick: 150 + 0.4*100 = 190
damage reduced: 50 / ( 100 + 50) = 1/3
damage taken per tick: 190 * (1 - 1/3) = 126.67
total damage: 633.33
+40 magic penetration (Sorcerer's Shoes + Haunting Guise):
Gold cost: 1337 + 1110 = 2447
damage per tick: 150
magic resist after reduction: 50 - 40 = 10
damage reduced: 10 / (100 + 10) = 0.091
damage taken per tick: 150 * (1 - 0.091) = 136.36
total damage: 681.82
This is a great item for AP champions that does physical attacks. The best champions for this item is Sion and Evelynn. It is also a good item for AP Cho'gath and Twisted Fate, although much less seen and attempted. This item is more intended with pure AP build physical attack champions. Trinity Force is a better item if you need AP/DPS hybrid build characters (such as Corki, Udyr... etc).
This is an otherwise O.K. item when compared with Frozen Mallet, except that it gives more ability power in exchange for ****pier slow effect based on spellcast. This is great item for spammable attack characters such as AP Corki, otherwise get it for its AP and HP boost if you need survivability but don't need Rod of Ages or Banshee's Veil for some reason.
If you play AP-build champion, get this. This will give you 25% more AP based on your current AP, which means this item is giving you 100 + 25% = 125 AP to begin with. It also grants a lot of mana for spell spamming, pretty much the perfect item for Ryze.
5. Tank Items
These items are well known for providing excellent health, armor, and magic resist.
This item is a must-have for any DPS champion who is either lacking survivability (often) and chasing mechanisms. Jax and Poppy are some of the champions that could use this item (or would otherwise need Exhaust for a good chase). I would also get this on most of the tanks just for its immense HP bonus and ease of chasing.
THe first item to get if you are up against excess crowd control (stun, slow, ...etc) or AP enemy champions. I would say this is a priority item for Fiddlesticks unless there is 0 crowd control. Getting stunned while channeling crow storm is not fun.
Force of Nature
The perfect item for regeneration purposes and comes with great magic resist. It is, in general, a must-get item for Dr. Mundo and tanky Cho'gath since they can have so much HP that regen by % max health will be much better. Its additional movement speed is also nice. This item is a solid choice for any tank against a mostly AP opponent team, but only after Banshee's Veil.
The item has a semi snowball effect on minion kills and champion kills which grants additional HP and HP regen, and is thus a great item to go with Atma's Impaler. Anyways, get this item for survivability. I would say just about any champion can use it. Note that this item is stackable since its passive is not unique.
A very good tanking item for any champion that has AoE abilities centered around himself (herself?). The sunfire cape would complement their AoE abilities while boosting their survivability. It is a great item for Amumu, Karthus, Malphite, and Rammus. Sunfire Cape is stackable. I would stack as many of them as possible so that the damage would pretty show up in team fights.
The healing per ability cast that it provides is so marginal and is on a 3 second cooldown. It is an O.K. item for champions with spammable skills such as Alistar and Soraka with Starcall. Don't try this item with Jax, Karthus, or Evelynn; it's not worth the gold. Heimerdanger may use it to heal his turrets; however, I don't think any of his skills have low enough cooldown for it to be useful.
A decent item for its auto-revival passive every 5 minutes. However, this item can be countered by Executioner's calling or Gangplank/Tristana's healing reduction, which will reduce it from 40% HP upon revival to 20%. This is a great item IF you don't die alone (i.e. being a tank), else just get more Warmog. This item combined with Anivia's pheonix egg and Zilean's chrono shift can really piss the other team off (in attempt to kill her about 4 times?).
Aegis of the Legion
Excellent support item for any support champions and tanks. I would always get this as Taric or Soraka. As for other champions, it becomes more or less a matter of choice between better tanking or better team support.
6. Hybrid Items
This section is for any item that is difficult to be categorized into any of the above groups.
The sister weapon to Lich Bane (both coming from Sheen). Trinity force is an all-round item made for AP/DPS hybird build champions (Corki and Udyr are perhaps the most well known). It can work on just about any DPS champion that uses mana and has good use for AP. If you don't know what to get for your champion, get this and it'll probably work. Note that the bonus damage after casting an ability deals 150% base damage rather than Sheen's 100%.
Possibly the item with the oddest combination of attributes, Nashor's Tooth is useful to champions who has poor mana, mediocre cooldown, and needs attack speed and ability power boost. AP Jax, AP Teemo and AP Cho'gath are perhaps the only build that I would use this item (note that all of these champions have auto-attack enhancers and spammable abilities). I have considered trying this on Janna (in combination with Eye of the Storm), but have never materialized.
Probably the most contradictory item, since physical damage and magical damage are mutually exclusive of each others and thus you may only (under most occasions) be able to benefit from 50% of this item. I'd say it can be useful for champions that has attack damage as % of ability damage, such as Corki with Gatling gun and Kayle with Righteous Fury. I've tried Corki with this item with mild success.
This is a pretty good item for its cooldown reduction aura, not to mention you get to start off with mana manipulator aura to aid your lane mate. The additional HP provides excellent survivability. I have gotten this item for Taric, Zilean and Soraka to improve their support role. There are better cooldown reduction items if you're selfish :P.
This is a horrible item in general. However, it has the best -cooldown per gold ratio (-12% cooldown for 1250). The only champion I've ever gotten this for is Soraka playing full support role, but only after Soul Shroud. Since she sucks at farming, this item is marginally useful due to low cost.
This item provides 2% additional damage per health, which hypothetically means that it'll provide 20 damage per 1000 HP. For it to be better than Infinity's Edge, you'll need 4000 HP, which is really only achievable by Dr. Mundo or Cho'gath. However, it does give 45 armor and 18% critical strike; therefore, it may work on tanky dps tryndamere build?
Chalice of Harmory
This item will solve almost any champion's mana regen problem, especially in the late games. Very important for champions with spammable ability and activable skills. I would always get this for Taric with Radiance and Amumu with Despair. Other champions can more or less get by without this item.
This item is supposed to be used by dps champions that benefits from cooldown reduction and armor penetration (which is probably everyone). For the price of 1330, it is pretty good; however, not very many dps champions would benefit from this more than other items. I've used it on Blitzcrank, Warwick (god all his abilities have crazy long cooldowns) and Nidalee in Cougar form. I've seen people use it on Ashe but never figured out if it's good.
A good mechanics guide by TiberiusAudley regarding movement speed: http://www.leagueoflegends.com/board...ad.php?t=49359
This is the perfect item against an onslaught of dps carries and can be used by any champions, and this is almost a most for Jax due to Counterstrike proccing on dodge.
Boots of Swiftness
This item is slightly underpowered for what its worth due to movement speed diminishing returns. I think most champions in the game would have better use of other boots unless you need that tiny edge in movement speed and consistent in-combat speed advantage. Singed with his poison comes to mind.
Boots of Mobility
A very good substitution for Teleport if you just can't get it. Also perfect for any stealthers since they would be moving around out of combat while attempting to gain positional advantage. I would suggest against this boot if you are up against too many disables, since its major advantage is to outrun the opponent during escapes (where you wouldn't go back into combat).
I flat out dislike this boot because attack speed is readily available in other items. I would get this as a starter boot for any champion that benefits from attack speed greatly (i.e. high starting damage or poison attacks) but would replace it with other boots once my inventory is full.
A very nice choice any AP heavy champion due to 20 magic penetration, which works out to approximately 16.7% extra magical damage. The only reason you wouldn't is because of uneven opponent team composition and/or too much enemy crowd control.
If your opponent has too many crowd control skills (stun, slow, ...etc), get this unless you are Gangplank or Sivir.
8. Snowball Items
Snowball items are items that improve each time you kill or assisted kill an enemy champion. When you kill a champion, you gain 2 stacks, when you assisted kill, you gain 1 stack only. Whenever you die, you lose 1/3 of the stack, rounded to the nearest integer. (i.e. If you have 2 stacks, that's 2 * 0.33 = 0.66 -> 1, leaving you with 1 stack left). The stacks max out at 20, at which you receive an additional bonus effect.
This gimmick gives you 32hp per stack, and 15% less damage at max stack. This means at max stack, it'd give you 820HP and 15% reduced damage. Personally, I think that's about 3/4 as good as a fully charged Warmog's armor, but on the condition of 10 champion kill streak? Not worth it unless you have great difficulty in farming up. Leviathan costs 1275 gold while Warmog's armor costs 3200. I've tried this item with Jax, Udyr, Poppy and Heimerdanger with varying success.
This item is the perfect AP build carry item. It gives you a maximum of 180AP (which is better than any other items in the game) and 15% cooldown reduction at max stack. The only AP carry that I wouldn't get this on is Ryze, who should be more mana dependent due to Overload (based on mana).
Sword of the Occult
This item will give you +30 damage and +20% critical damage along with 15% movement speed at max stack. For 1165 gold this item just isn't very attract to ANY physical dps champions because if you are a physical carry, you'd get any one of the high damage items since you can probably either farm or gank well anyways (this item starts at +10 damage only, boo). Even if you are Gangplank (crit build) or Tryndamere, you would buy Avarice Blade over this. The ONLY good candidate for this item is Pantheon with Heartseeker strike and Shaco with Deceive, since both of those abilities guarantees crit.
9. Gold Items
The cheapest +5 gold per 10 second item for 750 gold only, which takes 25 minutes for the item to pay for itself. Great item for Gangplank and Tryndamere going for max critical chance (I typically get 2~3). Other than those 2 champions, I don't think there's any other candidate for this item.
Heart of Gold
A very good item for 975 gold (32.5 minutes to pay for itself). Aside from the gold bonus, you get 20 more hp and 9 more armor for 200 gold, which is more than a good bargain. I would suggest this item for any tank that has difficulty with farming. For Rammus, I would get 2 of these before any other items. Some other candidates include Alistar and Taric.
Kage's Lucky Pick
This is more of a toss-up for me for 765 gold, which provides 25 ability power. It has great AP per gold ratio (only behind Zhonya and Mejai's Soulstealer. However, any ganker who wants lots of AP with very little investment should get Mejai's anyways. I would get one of these only if you want to upgrade it to Deathfire grasp. The only exception I have with this item is Soraka, who sucks at farming and ganking.
This is a great starter item for 1115 gold, but takes 37 minutes to pay for itself (you're looking at about 50+ minutes of gameplay since you'll need time to make it anyways). It is a good item for just about any champion except for Mundo, Tryndamere and Katarina. I personally dislike it because there are always better items for these purposes. Get it if you find yourself always low on hp and mp.
This section is for items which no one would acquire except during special situations. In another word, these items are used in reaction to the opponent's team composition or to counter individual champions.
Sword of the Divine
The infamous -50% healing effects sword. It is typically not needed by any champion other than Tryndamere's crit build, but is very useful whenever the opponent team has Soraka, Mundo (regen ult), Taric, Kayle, Nidalee, Alistar, or just a lot of Heal summoner's spell in general.
Gives you a 150 sec cooldown cleanse with 48 magic resistance. Only useful if the opponent team's composition is completely AP based. Most of the time you'd prefer Banshee's Veil over this item for the situation.
A great item for tanks against physical carries such as Ashe and Yi. It returns 25% of the damage back to the opponent! Remember not to stack it as it is a UNIQUE passive. The best champion for this item is Rammus, to be used in conjecture with Defensive Ball Curl.
The perfect item to finish off that tank! Get this for your AP champion whenever you have trouble with tanks. It even deals more damage the more AP you have.
Great item to boost your mana while vastly increase your survivability against dps champions. A great choice against many physical carries as an AP champion. The perfect candidate here is Ryze, Karthus, and Kassadin.
A slightly situational item, often used for DPS champions to gain attack speed. Its mana burn effect (Physical Attacks remove up to 42 mana from the target and deal additional damage equal to the amount of mana removed) is excellent against low-mana champions (Jax in particular due to his spamming of Counterstrike). However, it really doesn't burn enough mana late game to be useful.
This item, again, is great against physical carries by slowing their movement and attack speed whenever they attack you, but only procs 20% of the time. This item is stackable but seriously, would 35% movement and attack speed reduction really help you against late game Yi? It also provides decent armor and health regen, but both of those traits are shadowed by better items.
Consumables are items that has a set number of usages before expiry (mostly 1).
Elixir of Fortitude
A very good starting item (I'd say better than Doran's blade) if you want to gank at the beginning of the game. Shaco getting Elixir can greatly boost Deceive's crit damage, giving him excellent early gank advantage when combined with crit damage runes.
Elixir of Brilliance
A great starting item for jungling Fiddlestick, who can solo the golem with Drain. The only reason I dislike for AP jungling it over Doran's Ring is that as a starting item it doesn't give you anything permanent. However, get this elixir regularly for any AP ganker/carry. Sion with this potion during early game is just too good (1 dmg per AP on 2 skills). Other candidates include AP Corki, Fiddlestick (with Crow storm), Evelynn, Anivia and Annie. A semi-useful trick as Karthus is to drink this potion at your fountain and cast your ult if several enemies are fleeing with low health. You'd be surprised how much gold you get back right away.
Elixir of Agility
I see very few champions use this during early or mid game. Its critical strike bonus is great once you build up Tryndamere or Gangplank, but isn't particularly great until you've actually build them up. I'd get this only if you have too much money and is owning your opponent.
Oracle's Elixir/Vision Ward/Sight Ward
Self-explanatory item. Get it whenever you have the gold and the opponent has stealth characters that's owning your team or you want more map awareness.
12. Tips and FAQ
Number 1~6 (above QWER) is the hot key for active or consumable items. Use them.
Consumable when out of item slots
Most likely you'd sell your shoes for half the price, buy your consumable, drink it, and re-purchase your shoe. This is assuming that the shoe is the cheapest item in your inventory. Consumable slot may be coming in 2~3 patches but god knows.
Thanks for reading this extremely long guide. Please let me know if I've missed any items or could use some of your insights for this guide! Full credit will be given when due of course.
I didn't read it too carefully but you made a few mistakes.
The main one is starter items.
Starter items are whatever you can afford in the beginning of the game; and vary for your champ and what you're going to build.
Items are commonly in multiple categories; listing things into one category only will simply confuse new players.
I suggest revamping the layout of that post and putting colored symbols next to things of certain categories.
For example a Ruby crystal is a starter item, health item, support item and a defensive item. Because it builds into multiple things and has multiple uses.
Doran's Shield is a good starting item for most tanks and some carries. All of the stats it provides are excellent for early game and level 1 fights and it gives you room for 1 HP pot. It's far from useless.
The regeneration on Force of Nature is tiny; even at 5000 hp, you only get 17.5 HP/5 from it. I'd only build it if I were seriously running out of room and needed a lot of MR... for just getting MR you're better off with BV/Merc/Aegis and then Negatron Cloaks.
Warmog's price is too restrictive to say "any champ can get it" imo.
I'm personally not a fan of Sunfire Capes. You're paying about 1000g for that aura. At the same price, you can have a LOT more eHP than what Sunfire Capes provide. When people do manage to stack them they're pretty badass though.
You should take note that Trinity Force doesn't seem to have a cooldown. It works especially well on Corki and Nasus.
Soul Shroud is overpriced even for a support champion IMO.
Sorc Shoes are far from a "must get" - you'll often need Merc's instead.
Philo is pretty weak IMO. Catalyst is almost always better and builds into a BV, which everybody benefits from.
I'll add some of your comments into the post!
I really like this, though it isn't perfect. If you clean it up/tweak it, I can see this as a sticky.
Teemo likes Guinsoo's rageblade. Boost to auto attack damage, plus builds up his passive poison with each successive strike.
Tiamat splashes for 1/3rd whatever you strike for, and it stacks.
This is particularly useful against melee heavy teams and will quickly out-damage any other item in a team fight. It's relatively cheap: you can buy 2 tiamats for the cost of 1 infinity edge, giving you +80 base damage, more mana than you'll ever need, and 66% splash. This is by far, the best way to brutalize a melee heavy team fight. ...that's what its for.
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