Looking into the math: are avarice runes worth it over straight armor or health?
When you are talking about rune pages, you are talking about the most marginal of marginal advantages already. Games are won and lost with luck and skill, and runes give just that little bit you need to make the best plays possible, allow for narrow escapes or narrowly clenching a kill. However, sense runes are one of the few things you can control in a game, it is worth investigating.
On a support you want to build up as much passive gold as possible because a support should not be getting many kills or creep farm. Naturally, many support rune pages have avarice runes on them. There are two kinds, the quintessence of avarice give 1 gold per 10 seconds, and you can have as many as three of them giving you 3 gold per ten seconds. You can also buy avarice seals worth .25 gold per ten seconds, and with 9 of them you can have a maximum of 2.25 gold per 10 seconds. Specifically, I challenge that the avarice seals are not worth it on a support page over armor or health.
A typical game of LoL lasts about 30 minutes. In that time, 9 avarice seals will net you about 380 additional gold, accounting for the fact that you don't gain any passive gold for the first two minutes of the game. This amounts to a little over 1 kill worth of gold advantage for your team, and gives a support about 5% more gold in a game than they would normally have without runes.
More than half of all games of LoL are usually decided by about 20 minutes, and the gold that you earn in that time usually buys the most essential items. In 20 minutes of play, avarice runes will net you 243 additional gold. This is clearly less than one kill.
In order to prove my argument I have to speak in hypotheticals, so bare with me. In many of my games playing support, I have often had the experience where a combination of abilities, flashing, and blind luck allowed me to escape a gank with just a fraction of my life. Being able to just get away without dieing is really important for a lot of reasons; staying alive for more utility and experience is one, but more importantly not giving the enemy team an early gold advantage is a bigger reason. We have all played games where we gave away a kill or two early, and the game just snowballed out of control after that. As much as possible, you want to be safe early game so that it is possible to get to the late game. It is for this reason that I think armor runes or health runes are preferable over avarice runes.
In standard support page, with avarice seals, would looks something like this:
9 greater marks of Resilience - 8.1 armor
9 greater seals of Avarice - 2.25 GP10
9 greater glyph of Replenishment - 2.8 mana regen/s
3 Quintessence of Avarice - 3.0GP10
combined armor is 8.1. Using greater seals of resilience instead would give the support 21 additional armor.
Soraka is a very popular support. Using these runes pages, soraka would have the following stats. Shown with avarice runes on the left, with resilience runes on the right.
level armor %dmg
1 19/32 16/24
2 23/36 19/26
3 27/40 21/28
4 31/43 24/30
5 35/47 26/32
6 38/51 28/34
7 42/55 30/35
8 46/59 32/37
9 50/62 33/38
10 54/66 35/40
11 57/70 36/41
12 61/74 38/42
13 65/78 39/44
14 69/81 41/45
15 73/85 42/46
16 76/89 43/47
17 80/93 45/48
18 84/97 46/49
Looking at the numbers, with seals of resilience soraka can withstand 8% more AD damage at level 1, and 3% more AD damage at level 18 (assuming no items are bought that give her armor). Using Averice seals you max out at about 5% additional gold and only then in the late game. Also consider that in the few games that go into the "super late game" where you have your ideal build bought already, averice runes are going to be exactly useless even while armor runes are going to be rather insignificant.
If you use health runes instead (+1.08 hp per level), on soraka at level 18 you are going to get about 10% additional health, 171 additional hit points overall. This is more significant than armor seals in the late game, but much less so in the early game. At level 1, health per turn runes would give soraka about 2% more health.
Now obviously if you can make it to the late game with avarice the extra gold will be helpful. 380 gold at 30 minutes could be the difference between just getting an item or not, that makes the most marginal of difference in the battle that allows you to swing a game into your favor. However, these games are exceptionally rare. Your core items, those being the items that are essential to your support and have the most impact on the game, will have been bought by then. Consider also, that your allies and enemies will likely have their core builds complete as well. Everything bought after that should give increasingly diminishing returns (AD carries perhaps excluded). Understanding this, the added gold from avarice runes is even further marginalized.
Armor runes, however, give tangible benefits to your support when it matter the most; in the early game. The extra armor can and will make the difference between just getting to safety or not, just allowing a dual in bottom lane to go your way, just allowing you to chase a little longer to secure a kill. It also helps that resilience seals are half the IP of Avarice seals.
In conclusion, I think that Quintessence of Avarice make sense on a support, because their cost/benefit and scaling compared to armor or health quintessence is better overall; especially if you use armor seals in place of avarice seals. I think the argument could still be made to use armor or health per turn quintessence as well though. With seals, however, I think that avarice seals, given the data, are not as significant as resilience runes. Considering the goals and role of a support in a traditional composition, resilience seals are clearly the better choice. If you give up just one kill that could have been avoided with different runes, then the extra GP10 is never justified. Also, considering that an extra one or two kills are far more significant early game as compared to late game, it makes much more sense to guard against them with extra armor instead of risking this for the benefit of a little extra gold.
Unless you are Taric :)
you want all the gold you can get so you can get your 2/3 gold/10 items asap, after that they really aren't noticeable
but after that if you have gold/10 quints and seals you get a free ward every 2min
also if you insist on not using them armor>hp/lvl seals even late game since the majority of support items have hp(s-rev, iron locket, aegis, zekes, ect)
i read ... some of that.
Here's my 2 cent's on it.
If you are running 8 ave seals and 1 armor, your getting the full usage of your averacie seals.
my support page consists of 3 quints 8 ave seals, greed and +40 gold on assists in the utility tree.
My first item is a philo, just because I'm cool like that. And this ensure's that I will be getting gold even though I'm only killing the occasional creep, and helps me out if my lane cant give me any assists. This happen's. Even sometime's when a jungler comes to gank, and we kill both enemie's, due to my positioning or whatever I may only get an assist on one of them.
But having this gold no matter what ensures I can buy my cheap item's throughout the game. pots, boots, philo, ruby, tome, wards wards wards wards.
Also try to think of it this way, how do your runes work for you?
If you put on flat arm seal's they only work for you when a minion hit's you, or if you are taking AD dmg.
Whteher you have ave or arm seals on, mgc dmg is going to affect you just the same, and if your sittin back buffing and not taking any dmg, nothing is happening.
Ave seals however are alway's working for you! There's your value.
Also consider this.
is 12.6 armor going to be that deciding factor in a life or death situation?
If your support, your playing bot lane. Which means your facing 1 ad, and likely a support, or a tank who deal's ap dmg and bring's cc to the table.
Your not facing 2 ad's, and you only gain minion aggro if you are attacking an enemy champion. Which only happens when you hit them with your CC. Which with your positioining you will likely slap them with that, then back off to heal/buff your lanemate.
If you find that in your early lane phase you are taking alot more physical dmg than you expected, buy a cloth for 300. It sure as hell doesn't hurt to buy an aegis when your going to be on the backline and you can provide MR arm and AD for your entire team.
If you are taking random AD poke's, so what? You have a heal dont you? alistar, taric, roka, karma, plus your supposed to be on the backline anyway, so your natural hp regen should be enough to keep you close to full. especially if your grabbing philo anyway.
I find with alot of support roles I want to be building hp/armor/utility/mr anyway, all of which mitigate dmg. So why do I need this 12 armor early? It's not going to mitigate alot and in the endgame it will litteraly do nothing for you.
If you have 500 hp remaining and they throw 600 physical at you and 300 mgc, your going down whether you have that armor or not. But at least now when your dead for 45 second's because you sacrificed yourself or got out of position, now your ave's are still working for you. Enjoy it!
I also suggest with support roles that you are going to be hit by anybody that can reach you anyway. You can't predict if it will be AD or AP, at least HP mitigates both equally. And there are several attractive options a support can build from a ruby.
In this respect I guess one could argue that 9 hp per level seals would be just as effective as your armor seals. This will give you an additional 9 hp per level.
Ending with 171 hp at level 18. This alone will mitigate more than 12 armor.
Note that buying the Cloth Armor early essentially negates all those avarice runes/quints for 10 minutes. That may not mean a whole lot for the seals, but you could have gotten something useful with the quints.
Also note that 12 armor is roughly 10% off the damage you take from every AD shot. As such, those 60 damage autoattacks early are reduced to 54 damage. Two auto-attacks and you're doing better than those HP/level seals.
The idea that you can't predict whether you're getting hit with AD or AP isn't the way to look at it. You're going to get hit with *both*, and having more Armor or MR instead of more HP also means your HP/5 and any heals are more effective on you.
Another thing you're failing to take into account here (sorry if I missed it in the wall of text) is how much faster you're able to get your gp10 items built when you have gp10 runes and bonus gold masteries. The faster you are able to get your 1st, 2nd and 3rd gp10 items on your support, the better. I've recently played a few ranked support games before I bought my gp10 quints and when you're purposely not getting any CS, and if your carry doesn't get some early kills, with having to buy wards and boots1, it's hard to even get your philo stone sometimes in a lane with not much action, and especially in a lane where you or your carry dies early. With the gp10 runes and bonus gold masteries you can get your philo stone super early, which is giving you bonus gold earlier in the game that you wouldn't have gotten without the runes to begin with. And it keeps scaling faster and faster, since you're able to get your first gp10 item faster, that means you'll be able to get your 2nd and 3rd much faster as well, and without having to gimp your ward coverage or neglect buying boots for 25 minutes. I didn't think at first it would make a huge difference running gp10 quints and such but I could tell an immediate difference in the first game as soraka after finally spending the chunk of IP for gp10 quints. I was able to finish my philo stone earlier, which let me finish my kale's pick earlier, which let me finish my HoG earlier, all the while keeping ample ward coverage and also buying boots1. I'm probably not explaining this very well but IMO the gp10 quints and runes are a must have now, just closing the gap by several minutes on when you're able to complete your philo stone without gimping ward coverage/sniping cs or kills.
Now if you're playing with a good carry/jungler and can get a few assists early, the gp10 runes aren't as necessary, even though you'll still be able to complete your 3 gp10 build much earlier than you normally would have.
Just thought I'd correct that small thing.
Can someone explain to me why a support would *want* 3 gp10 items? Philo Stone I can understand because it's awesome, and the similarly awesome Emblem of Valor requires a Heart of Gold to upgrade to the amazing Locket later on, but Kage's Lucky Pick? The 25 AP by itself isn't going to do much for you, DFG isn't used well by Supports, and Morello's is very situational. Unless, of course, you're suggesting getting an Avarice Blade, which is just...
In any case, gp/10 items are generally not worth the expense if you don't actually upgrade them at some point or really need the base stats early. At some point, you have to spend this free gold you're getting on items with more substantial effects.
I play Sona a lot, and have been reasonably successful at times. I buy Kage's Pick because it's useful at the time, and while I usually really want a Morello's, more often I sell it off some 15+ minutes later to make space for something else.
It's useful early game (straight power, after all), and it pays for itself after 10 odd minutes; not counting how you may have taken advantage of it while you had it.
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