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@Morello/Xypherous Upcoming Tanky-DPS-Related Item Changes

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2xHero

Recruiter

04-04-2011

With patch 1.0.0.115, a few relevant item changes were made:

  • Heart of Gold
    • Recipe Changed: Ruby Crystal + 350 Gold
    • Now gives: +250 Health +5 Gold per 10
  • Randuin's Omen
    • Total Gold Cost decreased to 2775 from 2925
    • Health increased to 350 from 300
    • Armor reduced to 55 from 80
  • B.F. Sword
    • Attack damage reduced to 45 from 50
    • Gold Cost decreased by 200 (this reduces the Gold Cost of all items built out of B.F. Sword as well)
  • Cloak Of Agility gold cost decreased by 50
  • Infinity Edge
    • Attack Damage increased to 80 from 75
    • Critical Strike increased to 25% from 20%
Riot nerfed what was arguably the best armor item in the game, as well as buffing the best physical carry item in the game in several ways.

I am very confused by this. If carries have few viable items, why buff what is already the best one instead of making new viable items?

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Thoughts Pre-patch 1.0.0.115

I was very concerned when I read a recent post by Morello.
Quote:
Morello:
I'm going to make a post about this soon. We're testing a lot of different options right now - this patch we have a Last Whisper change that's closer to its older values - making it a go-to on carries.

% Armor Pen is a good carry stat to deal with Fighters - we'll see how that ends up testing out. LW changes + Green Pot nerfs may have been a big factor in Fighter power,so we're going to test that theory.


Having every single ranged carry every single game building 3 Doran's Blades, Last Whisperer, Infinity Edge, Red and Green Elixirs then melting everyone was really not fun to me. It was literally the one-best build for every ranged carry every game. The biggest change toward that build was the Last Whisperer being changed from an AS to an AD item, as well as %ArPen being applied after flat ArPen.

Changing Last Whisperer back into an AS item will be bad for this game. First, unless other changes are also made, ranged carries will dominate again. Flash and Banshee's Veil will still be too good at keeping ranged carries alive, so assassins will not be able to do their job. Second, changing Last Whisperer to an AS item will also make it a bad item for physical nukers like Pantheon, Urgot, and Garen. The AS was essentially wasted on them before, and I would not like to see that happen again. Instead of changing Last Whisperer, let's look at problems with current AS items.

A common problem with several current AS items is that they do not work particularly well with AD/crit builds and instead offer on-hit effects, which only encourages stacking more AS. See Madred's Bloodrazor, Sword of the Divine, Wit's End, and Malady.

A second problem occurs with Stark's Fervor and Black Cleaver. These are both decent items, but they aren't carry items. With Stark's Fervor, you pay 1500 gold, and the only damage increase you gain is 20 armor reduction aura. This is great for helping your primary DPS, but it isn't great for a true carry. It's the same with Black Cleaver - it just isn't a viable alternative to Infinity Edge, and it costs too much to be your main AS item.

A third problem is how many AS items are hybrid items. See Guinsoo's Rageblade, Malady, and Nashor's Tooth. Most carry's really don't need the AP these items offer.

A better solution would be to make new AS items and/or improve current AS carry items. For example, Phantom Dancer is a decent item. However, it is too expensive. This has nothing to do with the efficiency of the item, though. Old Last Whisperer was around 2k gold while Phantom Dancer is 2.9k. A simple fix for PD would be to change the recipe to use a Brawlers Gloves instead of a Cloak of Agility. That would reduce the cost by almost 500, putting PD much closer to the price of the old Last Whisperer, while still offering higher AS. [EDIT: I no longer think that scaling down Phantom Dancer is an ideal solution]

Another thing that has bugged me for a long time are mid-tier carry items that do not upgrade into better carry items, in particular, Stinger, Bilgewater Cutlass, Phage, Hexdrinker, and Executioner's Calling. These are all cost-efficient items and do not necessarily need upgrade paths, but it baffles me that carry items like Phage and Stinger upgrade into tank and hybrid items like Frozen Mallet and Nashor's Tooth, but not into higher tier carry items. I think that a Phage/Stinger combo item would be incredibly useful for carry's - especially those that do not have great synergy with Trinity Force.

A final option worth considering is reverting the order penetrations are applied, allowing %pen to be applied before flat pen again. That would help Last Whisperer to be more effective against tanky characters at the cost of making it very good against squishy's again. However, I am not certain that that would be a problem if Last Whisperer is left as an AD item.

EDIT:
I was thinking of some more new item fixes for ranged physical DPS carries, and modified my theory slightly. I think putting this in list form will make it the easiest to understand.

  1. Physical Ranged carries should need 3 items for a fully functional build
  2. These three items should be one core item and two secondary items
  3. Core items should offer large amounts of two of the three DPS stats (AD, AS, Crit)
  4. Secondary items should be supplementary to the primary, stat sticks, or counter items.
  5. Supplementary items should be scaled-down versions of core items to fill in the missing stat from the core item.
  6. Stat sticks should offer large amounts of one stat.
  7. Counter item should add non-core offensive stats (life-steal, ArPen) or other counters (grievous wound, slows) or defense (armor, MR, HP).

Using those rules as my guideline, I looked at how current items fit into this.
Core items would be Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, and Black Cleaver.
IE is the crit/AD item, Phantom Dancer is the AS/Crit item, and Black Cleaver is the AS/AD item. Currently, I only see IE as a viable core item. I think that Phantom Dancer itself, is OK - it should be cheaper because AS and Crit are cheaper than AD. However, it needs more viable secondary items. Black Cleaver needs to be scaled up to be more in-line with IE. The recipe should be changed to BF Sword and Longbow, and offer at least 40% AS and 60AD.

Current supplementary items would essentially be scaled-down versions of the core items. The items that most fit my description are Zeal, and Atma's Impaler. We have a smaller AS/Crit and AD/Crit item, but are missing a smaller AS/AD item. I believe that a good place to start would be to add a Stinger/Phage combination. Although that probably fits better into my counter-item category, it would still fill the need of an AS/AD item. Making a more AD-heavy option like a pickaxe/dagger item would also be a good option. Secondly, Atma's Impaler needs to be split into two items. A while ago, Xypherous posted about an Atma's Impaler remake. I do not remember the exact change, but iirc, it removed the crit chance and armor and added health. The problem was, it just created more item holes. Pushing that change through now would be ok as long as a new AD/Crit item is added. If the armor is also removed from Atma's Impaler, it is important to make a new armor item that also has some physical DPS stat for a counter-item. As it stands, Atma's Impaler fills too many secondary roles.

Stat sticks are pretty self-explanatory. Stat sticks in the game right now are Sword of the Divine and Bloodthirster. These also function as counter items because of their ArPen/Dodge counter and lifesteal. Bloodthirster needs to be changed to be a more reliable source of mass AD. A Hextech Gunblade offers the same base damage, more base lifesteal as well as the 75 AP, 20% spell vamp, and active slow for only about 300g. In my opinion, the ideal fix to Bloodthirster is to model it after Warmog's - charger slowly off of minions and quickly off of champions, but never lose stacks. It's maximum charge should be lowered a little as well. We lack a crit chance stat stick. I am not sure if that sort of stat stick is even necessary, but it is not a high priority.

Finally, on to counter items. I consider ArPen, lifesteal, armor, MR, HP to all be counter stats. For better or for worse, ArPen is currently so powerful that it is essentially a core stat. I think that that should be looked at eventually, but does not need to be a top priority. In it's current state, ArPen should be added sparingly. Life-steal, on the other hand, is in a pretty solid spot. We have Bilgewater Cutlass, Executioner's Calling, and Stark's Fervor. The only change I would do at the moment is to scale down Stark's Fervor to put it's cost in line with the other lifesteal items. Removing the HP regen would probably be the best solution here (but, it would be nice to add a new HPregen aura item).

For defensive items, let's start with armor. We only have Atma's Impaler which has armor paired with both crit chance and AD. Did I mentioned that item needs to be split up? For MR, we have Wit's End and Hexdrinker. I think those are ok, but Hexdrinker should be scaled up a little bit. For health, we have Frozen Mallet (and a possible Atma's split). I think that it is ok to have plenty of cost-efficient defense/offense combo items, as long as they are not exceptionally powerful at offense or defense. If they are relatively low on stats, stacking them is not efficient because of the limited number of item slots.

TL;DR
Do not change Last Whisperer into an attack speed item. Instead, buff current attack speed items and make new attack speed items for carries (instead of hybrids and off-dps). Also, add more situational carry items.


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Teldin

Senior Member

04-05-2011

I agree with pretty much all of this, with the exception of making Phantom Dancers cost less. While expensive, they should be a "luxury" item to squeeze the last drop of juice out of attack speed/crit/movement that you can - and if you have the extra cash to throw around. I'm very certain that already-powerful champs that rely a lot on AS/crit/movement (Tryndamere springs to mind immediately) would be far more devastating if they were 500 gold cheaper each.


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2xHero

Recruiter

04-05-2011

Quote:
Teldin:
I agree with pretty much all of this, with the exception of making Phantom Dancers cost less. While expensive, they should be a "luxury" item to squeeze the last drop of juice out of attack speed/crit/movement that you can - and if you have the extra cash to throw around. I'm very certain that already-powerful champs that rely a lot on AS/crit/movement (Tryndamere springs to mind immediately) would be far more devastating if they were 500 gold cheaper each.


That is a pretty good point. Even if they aren't purchased every single game, it is important to have strong luxury items available. Maybe it would be better, then, to just take the longsword out of the Last Whisperer in addition to adding new attack speed items. After all, the problem before was ranged carries could get all 4 needed stats (AS, ArPen, AD, and crit) in two items. I think that it is still important to have a three item requirement, but there is no need for that to require extensive farming for 10k gold. Riot wants to lower the gold requirement for a functional carry build.

I guess Ghostblade + IE technically provides all of the stats, but the Ghostblade ArPen is not as powerful as the Last Whisperer ArPen, plus Ghostblade only gives AS during the active, which is primarily beneficial for melee champions.

Another thing I've been thinking about is splitting Atma's Impaler into two items. I don't think that it is OP (like Zhonya's Ring), but the stats it offers need to be more available. Xypherous posted a rework a while back that turned Atma's Impaler into a health/armor/AD item. The problem was, Atma's Impaler is the only good AD/Armor item as well as one of two good AD/Crit Chance items. Since that rework would remove a viable AD/Crit Chance item, it got a lot of resistance. Now might be good to try that Atma's rework in addition to adding a new AD/Crit Chance item.


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Ducktaped

Senior Member

04-05-2011

Quote:
2xHero:
That is a pretty good point. Even if they aren't purchased every single game, it is important to have strong luxury items available. Maybe it would be better, then, to just take the longsword out of the Last Whisperer in addition to adding new attack speed items. After all, the problem before was ranged carries could get all 4 needed stats (AS, ArPen, AD, and crit) in two items. I think that it is still important to have a three item requirement, but there is no need for that to require extensive farming for 10k gold. Riot wants to lower the gold requirement for a functional carry build.

I guess Ghostblade + IE technically provides all of the stats, but the Ghostblade ArPen is not as powerful as the Last Whisperer ArPen, plus Ghostblade only gives AS during the active, which is primarily beneficial for melee champions.

Another thing I've been thinking about is splitting Atma's Impaler into two items. I don't think that it is OP (like Zhonya's Ring), but the stats it offers need to be more available. Xypherous posted a rework a while back that turned Atma's Impaler into a health/armor/AD item. The problem was, Atma's Impaler is the only good AD/Armor item as well as one of two good AD/Crit Chance items. Since that rework would remove a viable AD/Crit Chance item, it got a lot of resistance. Now might be good to try that Atma's rework in addition to adding a new AD/Crit Chance item.


Phantom Dancer plus Ghostblade gives all four stats.


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2xHero

Recruiter

04-05-2011

Quote:
Ducktaped:
Phantom Dancer plus Ghostblade gives all four stats.


That is true. I don't consider that combination as problematic since the Ghostblade only gives attack speed during the active which lasts only 4 seconds on ranged characters. Also the ArPen is flat 20 on Ghostblade as opposed to 40% on Last Whisperer.


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PhailRaptor

Adjudicator

04-06-2011

Morello said closer to it's old values, not stats. Attackspeed is a stat, not a value. Most likely what he means is matching the effective DPS of old LW versus the new one (so likely higher AD).


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Mrluntman89

Senior Member

04-06-2011

PhailRaptor, that is a great point and im thinking your right. this doesnt seem like a situation where riot is saying "we failed with LW, we are changing it back." no, i think it will just be a buff, but not a rework.

in regards to the OP, i really like where you are going with this. it does seem like there are a ton of mid-tier AD items that are so hybrid they are worthless on carries or they just dont give you what your looking for. why build an executionars calling on Ashe or Cait when i can build 3 dorans blades then an infinity edge? gonna try and come back to this thread tmw and see if more people have feedback.


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2xHero

Recruiter

04-07-2011

Quote:
PhailRaptor:
Morello said closer to it's old values, not stats. Attackspeed is a stat, not a value. Most likely what he means is matching the effective DPS of old LW versus the new one (so likely higher AD).


I understand that he said changing values, but I'm not sure that changing numbers alone will fix where the weaker ranged carries.

Before its rework, Last Whisperer recipe was:
Recurve Bow (1050g)
Longsword (410g)
Combine (500g)
Which gave 40% attack speed, 10 damage, and 40% ArPen for only 1960g. Now, Last Whisperer costs more and offers no attack speed, and I think that the attack speed really was needed by ranged carries.

That still leaves me with the puzzle of why Ashe and Corki are still considered viable when carries who actually have AS steroids aren't. I think it's pretty easy to see that Ashe's utility will always keep her viable. For Corki, I think it's the combination of Gatling Gun, which reduces the need for ArPen, and his true-damage passive.

Second-tier carries, like Ezreal, Tristana, and Miss Fortune, already have attack-speed steroids, but aren't considered to be on the level of Ashe and Corki. Maybe it is only because the ArPen on Last Whisperer is not accessible enough. Maybe removing the longsword from the recipe would be just enough to make put second-tier carries on part with first-tier carries. I'm not sure either way. I just don't want to see LW/IE be the one best build for every carry again, and there are still a lot of itemization holes for physical carries. I'm just concerned that if Riot might do a more drastic change to LW if number changes aren't enough.


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