The Race to Get a Sightstone
Sightstone is the best Support Item, and Better Than Philosopher’s Stone
I feel it has been hammered into the ground and is self-evident, but I need to make sure you understand something before I continue with this article and the one after it. Sightstone is the most important item a support can get, and should almost always be the first one purchased. You get 300 gold’s worth of health from it, and then you get 2 wards at a time for life, 4 per trip. 400 gold’s worth of wards is 5 wards. To pay itself off entirely, simply use 9 of them. It’s two at a time, so if they don’t disappear and you don’t need to replace any of them before the time is up (another benefit that we aren’t even calculating the gold cost of), it takes 12 minutes to use up your 8, and after that 12 minutes the 9th can be plopped down. The upgrade gives you an extra ward, costs 600, gives 175 health…you only need to use two sets of 3 wards to pay that one off entirely.
Furthermore, there’s the ambient gold change. In Season 2, you had a base 13 gp/10, or 18 gp/10 with Greed and quints at the start. Then, you’d have to buy your Stone and Heart of Gold to have 28 gp/10 and buy heaps of wards all game. You’d have 18 gp/10 with which to buy 1625 gold’s worth of gp/10 items, all while buying wards and pots throughout. Now, you have 21 gp/10 off the bait, no waiting. This is stronger than it looks; yeah, there’s no Heart of Gold, but you didn’t have Heart of Gold at the beginning of the game, and there was no Sightstone then, and the bonus here starts right away. Sightstone and the gold gain is enough to compensate. Let the junglers and tops worry about what to do instead of Heart of Gold. Supports shouldn’t have to think about it.
A Philosopher’s Stone is a nice item still, of course, and it gives you 30 gold per minute. But that’s one ward every 2.5 minutes, or every 150 seconds. It is not as ward-friendly. Sightstone is one ward every 90 seconds, assuming you have two out a time (two every three minutes equals one every one and half minutes, or 90 seconds). You can, however, get it more quickly, as it’s only 700 gold, and the pieces are both cheaper. Still, Sightstone is safer and more helpful, and as far as sustain goes Phil Stone gives 7/hp 5 compared to the 15/hp 5 of old. Effectively, Sightstone gives you more gold’s worth of stuff, it’s just that its health and wards and not health, mana, and gold regen.
Plus, in teamfights and out of the lane phase, the Sightstone stats are more applicable. Regen is for the laning phase—health and wards are for all phases.
Why Getting Sightstone First is better for your lane
Do you want to lock down your lane before the other support? This is what you do. You get the Sightstone first. Seriously everyone: if you can get Sightstone on your first trip back, or at least one trip before the other support, then bottom lane scores a huge victory. The enemy jungler will find you an even bigger waste of time than he previously did, and you will have better bush control. If it is equivalent bush control, it will be because the other support has to buy more wards, and the next time, when he goes back, you will have Sightstone and some real items, and he will only be getting Sightstone.
How to get it first
You have 21/GP 10 to get to Sightstone. At 122 gold per minute, that’s 5:57 of waiting in order to get it, or the 7:27 mark. If your goal is to get a Sightstone before the other support, there’s basically two things that help you toward this. First, you make your stuff last long so you don’t have to buy more wards or recall before 700 gold, setting the timer back. Second, you simply get there before the other support does by earning money.
The second item, getting more gold first, is simple in concept. This mark is reduced by assists/kills, pickpockets, and minions your carry spares you out of the generosity of his soul or the noobiness of his death. You obviously don’t want to get the kills, though you do want to the stuff a support always does, set up kills or force recalls. If you force recalls and make the other support have to recall before he has 700 gold, or buy more wards or pots before Sightstone, good job. You’re beating him. If you’re ranged, and you get 1 assist for 80 gold, 1 minion for 15 gold, and 10 pickpocket hits for 30 gold, you’ve earned 125 gold and reduced the time by about one minute.
Of course, kills and assists are no guarantee, there’s matchups, your carry’s skills, and you might get ganked but not receive any of your own. But you must do the best you can.
Making your stuff last longer is all on you though. Ways to do this:
- Take Wealth, which is 50 gold. That’s 24 seconds off your time, taking it to 7:03.
- Either take flask and four wards, or charm, two pots, and four wards. Note you can only do these if you take Wealth. These should be your typical setups. Flask is safer, but it doesn’t help you get Philosopher’s Stone afterwards.
- Take the Explorer’s Ward and the Biscuit. This buys you more time. Remember the Biscuit can be used with a flask or pot, but a pot and flask cannot be used together.
- Learn how to make the wards last until at least the 7:27/7:03 mark.
Lasting at bottom lane
How do you do that last one? Again, all you. You need to learn how to watch the other jungler. Where did he start? Red or blue? If you’re purple and he starts blue, don’t ward for jungle ganks so quickly. He will either go top or need to go wraiths and then probably red before he even tries to go to you. Try to make sure you have the bushes in your control so you can go wardless longer. If you’re blue, and he starts red, the same thing applies. In the opposite situation, stay around tri or the gank bush. If a jungler doesn’t come by 3:00 or even 2:45, he almost certainly has moved on to the other side of the map and you can forget about him for about a minute (or longer). If he goes top, you have at least 30 seconds in the clear. If he goes mid, watch which way he goes out. If it’s bott, wait for about 20-seconds, then ward against him.
As for bushes, that’s just the matchup. If you are ranged and it’s Taric or someone you don’t want to get close to you, use the Explorer’s Ward (if you didn’t use it for invade/counterinvade stuff) for bushes at a point when the minions are locked at a certain point. It will only last a minute, but the wave will push strongly one way or the other by the time it’s over, and you will have some breathing room to let the bushes be wardless for a little bit.
Learn to control one area or have your on it, and keep the other warded. If you have four wards and an Explorer’s Ward, and you have one bush and one gank ward up at basically all times, that’s 6 minutes. You are set.
If you deviate from this setup, let’s say you don’t take wealth, you will then have 3 wards or fewer pots. Or, if you take flask and a pot, or you take a vision ward instead of sight ward, or you get a cloth armor + 2 wards + 2 pots or whatever…then that means you have put yourself at risk. You are saying, “I can make up for this deficit through skills, knowledge, and control until the 7:27/7:03 mark, and I know I can do it with the partner I have.” That can be a true statement. Just know it is one you are making, and that you can back it up.
You don’t want to go back when your wards are out, buy a ward or two, and not have Sightstone for a few minutes. Or go back again soon, having to ditch your retard AD Carry who is upset he has to 1v2 already and then out of frustration for missing cs, tries to cs, then gets stunned by Taric and blames you for his death.
Don’t be that guy.
This season, you are the guy who makes your lane retard-proof for the sake of TWO people, not just one. You aren’t the AD Carry. You are the support.
You know what your goal is. Get that Sightstone first. You are the boss.
You own the bushes. They are yours!
The jungler on the other team will whine when your lane opponents ask for a gank. If their mid comes, he will have wasted his time.
You will maybe actually deal damage!
You can be more aggressive because you will have more wards, pickpocket (if you’re ranged at least), and perhaps a flask.
The jungles are less safe. You are warding them now (right?)! You will buy one or two on top of your stone sometimes!
You will buy all sorts of crap. You will buy Aegis, Twin Shadows, Shard of True Ice, Crucible, Shurelya’s, or Locket! The enemy will blame you for their frustrations. Sometimes your team will even credit you with awesome play. And if they don’t, you can mute them, and get yourself to a higher elo.
It’s a good time to be support, gentlemen. It really is.
Old Man Eyebrows
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