[Discussion]Starting item on mages

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Wortel

Junior Member

11-28-2009

I play mages - currently Janna, AP Teemo, Ryze. I've been wondering what the best starting item is. So I started this thread to get a discussion going.

I always queue solo, I don't know my ELO but I am 36/22/0 and usually our team is quite communicative and able to coordinate first blood attempts in the early stages. Hence the skill level is quite decent; I'm not interested in what the best item is for a low ELO game.

These mages are quite squishy; you don't want to give first blood, so extra health is always appreciated. I lane quite aggressively, so mana regen is nice to keep up the spam. Finally some kind of health regen is nice. I also like to go Rod of Ages on all of those mages, so any item that builds into Catalyst is nice.

I'm convinced that Philosopher's stone is not good. It does give a lot of health and mana regen, but zero defense/offense, and the gold refunds very slowly. It takes too long after this item to get Catalyst/Rod of Ages, and in this gap you will lose the early midgame. I found the following post on Ashe, of which I quote the relevant parts - most points are still valid not only for Ashe but also for mages.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirokuma View Post
Health Regeneration
Most likely, players who pick up a Philosopher's Stone start the game with a Regrowth Pendant. This provides 17.25 hp5 at the cost of your entire starting pool of 475 gold. First, let's break it down into health per second.

17.25 health / 5 seconds = 3.45 health per second. Let's assume a rookie to the AoS (I refuse to use the "marketing" term for this genre) style of gameplay picks this item up and heads towards his lane. Not realizing that his opponents are hiding in the bush, he walks right past them and they jump out and hit him a few times. He's now lost 200 hp. In order to gain all of this back, he must now wait

200 health / 3.45 health per second, or roughly 58 seconds in order to fully heal himself.

That's a rather long time to sit back and wait. However, let's look at the opportunity cost scenario that he picked up a pair of boots and a health potion. He's now spent 385 of his starting gold (a saving of 90 gold) and walks to his lane. Under the same situation of losing 200 health from a surprise attack, he uses his health potion. 20 seconds later, he's back at full health, with more gold and more movement speed than his Regrowth Pendant counterpart.

Now, the argument is that Player 2 has now used up his health regeneration, while Player 1 still has it in case he takes more damage.

To counter this, let's see how many health potions it would take in order for the opportunity cost of a Regrowth Pendant to become profitable.

Regrowth Pendant - 475 gold, 17.25 hp5.
Health Potion - 35 gold, 200 health.

For the same price, we could buy 13 (and a half) health potions. This would heal you for 2,600 health.

2,600 health / 3.45 health per second (health regeneration of a Regrowth Pendant) gives us the number of seconds we would have to wait to regenerate this absurd amount of health; a total of about 12 minutes and 30 seconds. Mind you, this isn't 12 minutes and 30 seconds of game time, but 12 minutes and 30 seconds of being damaged below full health.

Now, 9/10 people will tell you they'd never go through 13 health potions in a game, and yet of those 9 people, a handful will tell you that they commonly buy a Regrowth Pendant, which offers both a lower health regeneration per second than the potions as well as a far longer delay until when they become profitable. Why? Simple - until you've crunched the numbers (or read them from someone who has) it's not clear exactly what you're giving up for what you get.

Looking at the fact that the mana regeneration from Philosopher's Stone is useless, you've effectively payed 640 gold for a 60% increase in your health regeneration item. For that much gold, you could buy 31 Health Potions. Don't even get me started on the absurd number crunching here...

tl;dr - don't use Regrowth Pendants; use Health Potions.
So that leaves us with three valid options that I can see:

1) Doran's Ring + health pot.

Great item, gives hp, mana regen and AP. Compared with ruby crystal, meki pendant and ability tome, it gives approximately 60% of each, for the cost of only one such item. Disadvantage is that it does not build into anything, so your Catalyst is delayed. Another disadvantage is that you can only buy 1 health pot, which is not really enough for an aggressive style of play.

2) Sapphire Crystal + 2 health pots.

The item is not so good, it gives max mana while mana regen is more useful early game. Especially if you intend to stay longer in the lane, which you should always - XP is the most valuable resource. However it builds quickly into Catalyst, so if you have Teleport this might be a good idea.

3) Boots of speed + 2 health pots + mana pot.

Boots of speed is not very useful. But you will need this item anyway, and you can harass more effectively and avoid ganks easier with this item. Since it is cheaper, you can get more potions.

So what do you think is the best choice, one of these or maybe something else? Keep in mind I don't have any runes, spent all my IP on getting these champs. As I said I'm fairly convinced Philisopher's stone is bad, so if you advocate meki/regrowth pendant please present a compelling argument.


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Aurax

Senior Member

11-28-2009

Hi!

Almost always, for all casters, Sapphire cristal and 2 HP potions. There are several very nice builds from the cristal (Catalist-RoA, Tear-Archangel, Rylais, Sheen-Lichs...) and the potions will help you to stay in lane longer. So it is must... IMHO

About the Philo Stone, I agree it is not a good item for most casters, however for other champions is OK. Of course you will have much more HP regen with potions, but you will need to go to the shop for them, and click on them every time you want to use them. Sounds stupid but sometimes it is easier to have a constant regen rather that a "on demand", so you can focus in other things. Besides that, the mana regen is a plus (for most non-casters, is all the mana you will ever need) and after a while, the stone is paid itself, so it has been a "free item" that you can sell late game. Is some kind of investment, and the potions are always a "wasted" money.

I use HP potions a lot, even mid game when nobody elses uses them, but Philo Stone is not a bad item, not the best, but not bad.

Cheers! Love for Mundo! :-)


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Vindictiv

Senior Member

11-28-2009

i usually use 1hp and 1mp pot instead of 2 hp pot.

Janna: id go sapphire and come back for tear (with 1 hp pot and 1 mp pot)

AP Teemo : id go shapphire and come back for sheen (hp-mp pots)

Ryze : i dont play him at all. But sheen seams like a good idea.

Else ill usually go shapphire and come back for catalyst


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cazoofoo

Senior Member

11-29-2009

i often aim for chalice... please dont kill me for stupid ideas 0_0

but yeah fiendish codex is good too, i have actually bought amplifying toom at level one


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kalris

Senior Member

11-29-2009

I am always crystal and 2 health pots, if you find yourself needing more health early game then perhaps a change in playstyle is in order.

As Annie you need to do hit and run early game and make sure your spells land on the target and move back, widdle targets down, you're not doing much fighting that should be taking away your hp. Playing a little more defensive should help in the early game on any caster in general, and some casters you should lane with some one while others should be solo like Annie.

The crystal allows for more spells to be cast early game. Which means you can set up an early kill or nab first blood even. You're not worrying about lasting in the lane to much if you regularly make it to level 6-7 and can recall back to base for your first set of items, which as a caster usually catalyst is the best option for early game.


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FalseMyrmidon

Senior Member

11-29-2009

I always go with Crystal + 2 health pots. Meki takes 2 minutes 22 seconds to regen 200 mana (the amount a Crystal would have given you). Fairie charm takes a little over 5 minutes to regen 200 mana.

I usually run with teleport so I just blue pill and teleport back if I run out of mana.


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Onelöve

Member

11-29-2009

Crystal and either 2 Health pots or a Mana pot. Sometimes just crystal if I really want my catalyst fast. Depends on how I feel and what my team looks like/who I am laning with.


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Xocolatl

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Senior Member

11-29-2009

I prefer boot or the cheap armor (cloth armor?) + 2 or 3 mana pots, or if there is a stealther, ward + armor + mana pot + health pot. This is if I want to just go AoE and farm like mad (support build). If I want to be more of an assassin mage, then I'd grab Fairy Charm (180g, 3mp5), and pour the rest into mana pot, build myself a Chalice, then grab Mejai's Soul Stealer. The extra mana helps you harass + farm much better so you get both gold, and push people away from ganking you.

Mana pot is your best mana return per gold early game, no question about that. If you play conservatively, you won't have to worry about HP..mostly anyway.


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Worstcase

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Senior Member

11-29-2009

I play Morgana, and I always go for Doran's Ring and a Healing Potion. Doran's Ring health boost is very nice, considering that Morgana's health scales nicely with levels, and I don't play very aggresively till level 5ish, and that only includes dropping Tormented Soil down on the ranged creeps and maybe get a tick or two on a hero who stood to close.

Not to mention at level 1, I have 600 health (without Runes/Masteries).


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Landa

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Senior Member

11-29-2009

Normally I take the saphire crystal + 2 health pots so I can build it into catalyst quickly (which will keep you full on mana for most of the early mid game. But this is only viable if you take teleport. Since going back for a catalyst without teleport is loosing 1 and a half levels.


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