[Discussion]: General Caster Item Builds

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JunkRamen

Senior Member

12-07-2009

I recently wrote a huge post in a Kassadin thread about mid-game item builds that I think may be applicable to discussion about casters overall. I've edited it slightly and would like to discuss it here. Note that this thread assumes that you're going for early DFG (it's a **** good item) but it's about the same price as Scepter/Archangel's/Void Staff or only about 500g away from RoA/Rylai's if you want to replace it.

Haven't had access to my gaming computer but I've been theorycrafting some builds lately.

Basically the builds I see going up to midgame (~7.5kg) are:

Chalice/Boots/DFG/Rylai or Void
Catalyst/Boots/DFG/(Upgrade to RoA)/Chalice or Blasting Wand
Tears/Boots/DFG/(Tears->Archangel)/Blasting Wand
Chalice/Boots/DFG/Haunting Guise/Codex
Haunting Guise/Boots/DFG/Codex/Blasting Wand or Chalice, depending on mana

From there, most of the builds would probably start building Void Staff/Rylai's/Zhonya's/Survivability depending on what hero you're playing.

Chalice/Boots/DFG/Rylai or Void is a pretty aggressive build that leads into good end game potential no extra health until Belt. It's been found that this build is very strong on Kassadin but it might not be as good on the less survivable casters.

it seems Catalyst -> RoA is the build if you want to be tanky. RoA build would be really slow if you're aiming to get DFG asap after boots (which is ideal). It seems this is one of the better builds for the long stretch because of the way RoA works and the need for HP later on. Getting AP through RoA is pretty expensive though and not all heroes need the survivability it grants. If you can manage without chalice, you can go Blasting Wand instead and have an AP lead on the current build at 7.5kg.

Tears -> Archangels for a good boost to mana/damage, but you'll probably struggle early-mid game while building it up. Again, you'll be weaker mid game. If you can manage somehow to get another mana item like Zhonya's or RoA or something from here, you'll have a ton of AP in the end game. The problem with this build is that no matter how you look at it, it's really slow. Many casters don't spam enough spells to max out Tears early enough and even when you do Archangel's isn't all that powerful unless you have a Zhonya's/RoA/Frozen Heart or something to make that 2% bigger. In the end it might just be better to have another RoA.

I've been itching to try out the Chalice/Boots/DFG/Guise/Codex build. You'll have a disadvantage in AP or health, but -35% cooldowns and 20 magic penetration once you get there. With enough MP5 runes you may be able to switch out of chalice and go Beads + Charm/Boots/DFG/Guise/Codex/Blasting Wand -> (Zhonya/Rylai) or Book (Void Staff) instead and help out with the AP problem, but the question would then be if -35% CD's is really worth it. Eventually you'll probably sell the Codex, which is a disadvantage.

What does everybody else think?


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Guthrek

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Almost all of them have no extra health until late game or no extra health at all. DFG is a good item, but picking it at the expense of survivability is a ticket to getting yourself wtfgibbed. most of these builds would be suicide if you were playing fiddle/karthus/morgana. Good for really abrupt heroes like veigar/kass/annie, but they all feel like snowball builds, namely that they work great if you're outganking and leveling the other team but dangerous if you're not.

Even with the nerfs to catalyst, I would have it instead of chalice most of the time because it can either be upgraded to ROA or (more often) banshee's veil, and it gives you extra health/mana and more laning time while leveling up. Mana regen becomes closer to useless the later the game goes for most heroes, and whlie I know these are midgame builds, you need to prepare for end game.

IMO. But I haven't entirely decided how I feel about deathfire grasp yet, so I reserve judgement.


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JunkRamen

Senior Member

12-07-2009

Yeah, I built these under the assumption that you would do some heavy ganking mid game a la Annie/Kass. Like I said, RoA and other Catalyst builds will grant you more survivability and you can replace DFG with RoA/Rylai's/some other survivability item if you need it. This came from a Kassadin thread, which is why you see less concern for tankability here.

DFG is awesome. It gives you another nuke and is itemized pretty well (just missing survivability and magic pen). For Kassadin, the trade-off is pretty easy unless you're going for some kind of AP/Tank build. For others, maybe not so much.


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Fireseal

Senior Member

12-07-2009

For Annie, I go:

Catalyst
Boots (9/10 this is Mercury's)
Rod of Ages

The order from this point depends on the enemy team. If they've got beefy tanks, Codex-->DFG comes next. If they're mostly DPS, I build another RoA. If they're squishy, Rylai's.

This build is very slow on building AP, but the extra survivability from even the first Catalyst makes a huge difference, and the mana restore on level up is huge from the early game through the mid.

IMO, at least for Annie, the AP doesn't make that much practical difference. She does good damage anyway through the midgame, and from the midgame on, I see my job as setting up kills for my carries, not killing things myself. Even so, Incinerate and Tibbers will still burn a big chunk of health off an enemy team, and with DFG taking 25% off the top of their biggest tank, it makes the tanks a lot easier to kill.

Deathfire Grasp is excellent. I don't think I'd build a caster without it.

Endgame build is

RoA
RoA
Boots
DFG
Rylai's
Void Staff or Archangel's


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Rudeboymike

Senior Member

12-08-2009

Tbh.. the best caster build is stacking Rod of Ages. 2-3 of em a game. Most casters are squishy, you need it in team fights where Annie is focused ridiculously fast.