When Black Cleaver was first revealed, a designer described the difference between it and Last Whisper as a matter of selfishness. Black Cleaver, it was explained, does an armor reduction your whole team can take advantage of. Last Whisper, on the other hand, will do more for the individual using it than Black Cleaver would.
Last Whisper is more cost efficient damage forthe wearer. If someone has 100 armor, Last Whisper supplies 40 damage and 35% arpen (32 if the 8% was taken in masteries, for a total of 40%) against the wearer. From 100 armor to 65 or 60 armor with 40 damage. Black Cleaver shaves off 25% after four pieces of damage have been dealt, and has 50 damage.
Of course, Black Cleaver is pretty powerful, especially on certain champions, and the key is that the armor reduction applies for everyone else dealing damage also. And you’ve got the health and cooldown. It is saddening when an Ezreal on a team of Mao’Kai, Singed, Orianna, and Sona buys a Black Cleaver. He shouldn’t be.
Black Cleaver overpoweredness aside, there are other selfish decisions you can make as a player. Some of them, I would contend, are actually more likely to get you wins when you’re in solo queue to compensate for other teammate weaknesses. But, which ones?
Champion Role: Yes
If a person knows how to do another role, and you know for a fact you are better, you should simply tell people you’re going that role if you’re earliest in the pick order. I have searched for ages for a great line to use at the beginning of picks that captures my desire to reserve the right to pick what I want without having to say the exact role. “I’ll fill” is what I say as 5th pick, but what I usually say is “I try to be helpful, but no guarantee on any calls.” This has helped quite a bit.
Is it selfish? Yes. Is it necessary? Often. There are many factors to consider but if someone’s stats suck or they express a lack of understanding of the matchup or they’re going to pick someone they clearly don’t know how to play, don’t feel the need to give them the role.
This is probably the rule used most often by people, and I don’t have the discipline to do it, but I really ought to.
Warding isn’t always unselfish. There are different kinds of wards. There’s a ward for your own lane, which is common sense and to protect yourself.
There’s warding baron, which prevents the other team from going baron and your own teammates from spamming the chat or from making poor facechecks in a baron-prevention-panic. This also applies to dragon, though obviously to a lesser degree as the game goes on.
There’s also warding wraiths, warding buffs, and warding other players’ areas. The principle for this is: will the other player use the wards? Will he perform even better? Take note this can be true even if he isn’t very good, or is reckless. However, some players will do what they would do without using wards to gauge jungler presence. Or, they won’t countergank even when it’s a super free kill. If you realize this, don’t waste your time warding for them.
As for supporting, I advocate rushing sightstone but I see a lot of players rushing Philosopher’s Stone. This actually will give you more money down the road, but only if you don’t buy enough wards over it. Will your team suffer from lack of it? Depends on how the other jungler is going. If he is raging at top and mid and the other 6 people in the game are having a party without you, and you don’t trust the carry, you could secretly get your Pick and gear up for AP items.
Item Purchases: Yes
I find Aegis is not as strong in Solo Queue due to penetration changes and to how powerful AD mids and carry junglers are getting. I’ve played some games where I do the tank think and go 2-1-6 to start only to discover to my dismay that my team doesn’t know how to carry, and that if as Nocturne I’d built more damage items, I’d have been able to end the game before my team could throw it.
For smart teams, and against teams that have a lot of AP, I will always get Bulwark, because man is that item great.
Other aura items like Abyssal Scepter or Frozen Heart seem to follow suit. If your team follows up but not efficiently enough, buy a Randuin’s over a Frozen Heart. Why? You get a ton of armor, the attack speed debuff still applies to you, and you get health and an active for running away or chasing people down. Frozen Heart, on the other hand, assumes you’ll get to use your abilities more and that your team will take advantage of the global debuff. If you’re playing with some dodgy people, Randuin’s ends up being safer, even if the math is better in team vs. team format for Frozen Heart. The math makes the assumption everyone is being smart or knows their role. They don’t.
As support, is I last longer in fights and am capable of getting away, but a jungler or top is stupid to the point of unsavability, I’d rather get Athene’s than Mikael’s for more poke, more damaging poke, and way more chances to give my team to make a safe play and the other team to get caught. Curiously, I’ve never seen a team complain about my getting Athene’s on Lulu or Zyra.
Plays and Farming: No
My team is being stupid. I don’t have enough farm. Better farm so I can catch up and carry the team right?
Almost always wrong. By doing this you’ll lose turrets and your teammates will just probably die more. You won’t get a lead from this.
During the recent qualifiers, I saw an AD Carry at top who had 3 minions that each had one hit left on them, all about to be hit by the tower. He ditched them immediately for a fight at mid or dragon. That’s how important it is to go to the fights. Once they start, go. Make sure you know where the other enemies are and that you take as safe a route as possible.
Old Man Eyebrows
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