Crystalline Flask Changes


Due to its problems, Crystalline Flask was changed.

The old Flask cost 225 gold, sold back for 90 gold, and gave 100 health and 40 mana per charge. Each trip was worth 2 health pots and 1.2 mana pots. To make the money back, you just needed to use about three charges.

The new Flask is 345 gold, sells back for 138 gold, and gives 120 health and 60 mana per charge. Each trip is worth 2.4 health pots and 1.8 mana pots. To make the money back you need to use 4.22 charges if you have mana, and 7.39 charges if you don’t.

So, is it still good? There are two parts to the answer to this question. The first part is that it depends on the role.

Jungle: No. Jungles usually didn’t get this, even if they went 14 points in Utility, but now it is completely not an option for them, which is fine.

AD Carry: No.  If you were losing and had a horrible support or had to 1v2 due to a dc and needed to use spam to farm, you could get one of these without worrying about it. Missiles, Buckshot, Mystic Shots, just had to get about 6 minions to cover the difference between sellback price and retail. No more. This isn’t that big a deal though.

Top: Maybe. It’s a higher investment and not as strong an opening, and ends up being a conservative choice. If you get a ward with it, you can only get one pot. Or, you can get this and 3 pots to start. Or you could get just this. But to me, starting this against someone who goes cloth/5 or boots/3 and not gaining an advantage because of it means you lost or are assuming you lost. While it’s obviously nerfed, it’s still a good top opening and I don’t feel the changes do anything to change the nature of top deaths being relegated mainly to 100-0 fights from ganks, burst, or overcommitments.

Mid: Maybe. Might be better to just go boots/pots or sapphire/pots. Don’t get if you’re an Athene’s champ, don’t get if you’re a Rod of Ages champ. If you buy this I also wouldn’t get Doran’s Ring. It’d be better to start on your AP recipes.

Support: No. This is the worst, because you can’t afford this anymore without being irresponsible about your warding. If you get it early you can’t get charm or beads (unless you get both points of Wealth and want to buy 0 wards or pots). If you get it early you can buy this and two wards and that’s it, and that’s only if you get at least one point in Wealth. Sightstone might be getting its cost increased to 900 total, making the problem worse.

The other part to answer the question that it’s obviously much, much weaker, and the weaknesses it had are now exacerbated. It is just not an automatic decision right now.

If you start bottle, you’re saying that is the best decision for your matchup. Each charge is worth 1.4 pots. It’s safe to assume you’re saying you’re going to refill it at least once, so that’s your opening and you will not have 345 gold for your opening, and the 120 you get back will not be spent on your second and probably third recall either. In the meantime, your opponent will have boots, cloth armor, or the majority of a different first item in exchange.

Flask also encourages you to spend mana you normally wouldn’t because you feel like you want to get your money’s worth. This can affect your playstyle. Also, if you chug it only to get mana or only to get health, this actually makes the item less efficient. If you’re going to buy Warmog’s, Philosopher’s Stone, Tiamat, Locket, or Aegis, you could get a Beads early and that would take some of the load off.

Champions have 4.5 to 9 base hp/5, with .4 to .95 increased per level. If you take one hit, regen starts immediately, including any additional regen. But with Flask, you have to be at least 120 down. Again, playstyle.

You’re saying you want to spend 345 gold on pots. You will have 2.4 health pots and 1.8 mana pots at a time. 42% of the money is for mana, or 6.5 pots, and only 120 of that gold will come back later. If you want to buy that many pots, are you going to gain an advantage because of it? How many potions would you buy instead? Three? Five? Would you buy potions with the flask? Will you gain that big of a gold lead over your opponent?

Will you?                      


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  • #35 DemonicHiruma

    Thoughts on J4 starting with flask? Or would a different start be better?

  • #32 B3hr7

    One interesting duo-quo comp that a friend and I discovered helped make flask a viable starting item for my buddy. I ran Ashe with a long sword/ward and my buddy ran Taric with a flask/double ward (and also took the masteries for the buscuit and extra ward). It may look like I gimped myself pots or a doran start, but with the extra ward and my hawkeye shot we were able to maintain strong vision on the opponent, while Taric was able to provide me with sustain and I could overall take pot shots at the opponents. The flask gave him a strong aggressive start, something that would be difficult to accomplish with the standard philo start-up route. Not saying that flask is still the go-to item for supports at the beginning, but with a little preparation, a good duo-quo might be able to make a flask start still a viable option.

  • #31 scruftypufty

    prize is up, doesn't mean it's not viable as a starting item after all, a bit to negative on it, if you're playing a kill lane it's a great pick, 1 ward is enough to keep you safe since you're probably gonna be pushed against your tower, and the flask will let some1 like leona be able to take some poke and be at enough health to go in, yeah of course you lose some wards going for it but it's deffinantly an option and not just straight up bad as you said

  • #30 per_killer

    I feel that the flask is kind of an "insurance".

    You might say: Insurance?? That's a waste of money - no, it is better to just not crash your car!

    While this is true, and perhaps holds up in most cases, there will be scenarios (for example @ bot with a non-sustain support) where flask lets you push the lane before backing, maybe even hang around for a gank from YOUR jungler.

    I feel GentlemanGustav (I think it was he) kinda exaggerated alittle upon the release, about how the flask was a "must have", and kinda implied how it was so OP, and I think OldManEyebrows kinda exaggerate now, when practically saying "flask is usually just a noobtrap".

    I still often feel that the flask is a nice 1slot-insurance in SoloQ, and it's sitting there, at my disposal, the entire game, often letting me hang around as an ADC after a TF->disengage, instead of being forced to say "ALL BACK, OOM!" :)

    But hey, I'm a n00b, you guys are pr0s, there's a good chance my opinion on the matter is worthless. :-)

  • #29 Waaargh

    Nice article and arguments for the different roles and flask.

    I'd say the item moved from being pretty nice, to being situational. In some match-ups you will take poke and spend mana and be forced back relatively often (enough to make flask worth it). In these cases flask is worth considering.

    When I have bought v1.1 flask, thinking it over I might not have gotten value for the money very often, comparing to what a reciepe item would have given me, or how simple potions would have worked for me.

  • #28 mathjooce

    havent bought it since the nerf

  • #27 Migotliv

    It's not an automatic decision, but it is still useful at what it does.

    It's THE start for farmfest champions (Nasus top could get this alongside Philo and defenses) but you need enough defensive runes and careful play to not die to burst. The meta favouring burst so much (and bursty jungler ganks) is why it's seen inferior to other choices. And of course if you have a Manaless champion, it's simply not worth it, Bead will be better for regen and raw Health for general bulk.

    If you have a farmer/poker (Nidalee can make good use of this WHILE packing Tear too) and the enemy lacks burst, Flask should let you come out on top, at least in the early game and if you don't die to ganks. Sounds like a reasonable niche with a fair price for what it does.

  • #26 PhilNye

    My favorite for Tear/chalice APs now is faerie charm + pots + ward(s), it has almost the same sustaining power as the old flask start, and gets a good early component into a nifty laning item.

    I think Wukong could be decent still with flask, it certainly helps him in some losing lanes (mostly in top lane) to let him spend more mana to trade/cs more passively and let him survive until 6 or so when he starts to become more relevant.  Could be a nicer alternative v. AP tops when null mantle + pots is kind of expensive w/o a lot of sustain.

    Last edited by PhilNye: 1/22/2013 9:03:28 PM
  • #18 Kotetsu534
    I've been spamming 9 pots/2 wards (and encouraging my friends to do the same, with varying success!) and have found it to pretty much crush everything else. Even on weak early game champions you can get nearly every cs and not worry about harass at all with even halfway decent positioning/timing. On strong champions, against someone who bought an item, you can force the first back near 100% of the time. And with 2 wards, you're immune to ganks unless you derp.
  • #19 B3hr7

    I do consider running this every once in a while, but, then I remember that I'm running Rengar and Nunu top lane and that I don't need 9 pots when all I need is my trusty flask, lol. Though I definitely will consider this idea when I run Volibear top lane for now on.

  • #20 Loinator

    Siv did play Garen with 11 pots start. It can work, but is just bad XD.

  • #22 Cerbereth

    Well the advantage of potion master Garen was Siv almost never had to leave lane when combined with Garen's passive which gave him a huge farm advantage as his lane opponents recalled 3 or 4 times before Siv had to. He ganked mid frequently as well.

  • #23 Loinator

    Because it's SIV playing against randoms. He's good at the game.

    With anyone playing vs anyone... I don't have that sure...

  • #24 sushimkr

    Doesn't Dyrus do that on morde?

  • #16 Cerbereth

    I think it's a must if your heavily counterpicked in top or mid. If it's a normal matchup you can probably skip it.

  • #15 J5DubV

    You basically made a case for why its powerful in your own article..."  just had to get about 6 minions to cover the difference between sellback price and retail." If just one time you would have backed instead of being able to farm an oncoming wave of minions it has made itself worth while not even taking into account charges.  One time of nearly getting ganked but still having 2 charges to be able to spam some skills to clear the wave or after a kill you have just 1 charge to cleanup those minions before your ward runs out.  The only role this doesn't make sense for is support... and even then if your carry is dead and so are the two opposing laners (or both are low and back) while you have 360 health and mana of charges left to push to their tower and reset the lane.  Even if just once it allows you to survive a gank then that is 400 gold denied to the enemy team.  These factors can't be predicted obviously but they are not unlikely at all.

    Last edited by J5DubV: 1/22/2013 7:24:12 PM
  • #13 poiu991

    What Scarra said about the flask changes on twitter.

    I agree with him for the most part, mana pots are 35 gold and you get 100 mana from them. Great! Now, why would you need a flask? You might even do okay in lane and not use all of your consumables, henceforth having consumables still hanging around you probably would otherwise buy on your first back. Flask is better now in terms of value over time, but pots are so cheap and give you more health and mana. You get 120 mana from flask on the 3 charges. 100 mana from one. Its really difficult to see why you'd start anything but the 9pot+2 ward or the 7pots 2mana 2 ward if you're top or mid. Supports dont need flask, nor do ad carries or junglers. Its kind of an item which is just "there" now. 

    Really it should be a 425 gold item with 4 charges on it for 140 hp and 80 mana. Make it similar to bottle in dota 2. Strong, but something you wouldn't rush in a lane because its going to put you behind, but something which will be efficient for regen along with some hpots after your first back. 

    Last edited by poiu991: 1/22/2013 7:03:28 PM
  • #12 aTomic

    I think there's value in just having it, to be honest. I run into a lot of scenarios while playing in which I wouldn't have expressly bought potions, but I would have appreciated them if I had. So I easily get my 4 trips worth out of a Flash, if only because I never sell it and midgame just stack three charges any time I do anything that causes my HP to drop. Ganks, jungling, dragon, tanking minions, you name it.

    Now, the thing is, I have no idea if this is valuable or not in the context of a game, at least outside the laning phase. But I do know it's reassuring, much more so than Philo Stone (which just sort of sits there, being passive and unnoticeable and generally rather dull). That might help to explain why people are so attached to the Flask. It's like Philo Stone, only you can see it working!

  • #14 B3hr7

    This right here pretty much sums it up. The thing with flask is that you'll end up in situations where you wished you had a potion handy, but chose not to grab the flask. It's nice knowing you have a mobile healing source that recharges at each return and knowing that you could be saving gold overall while keeping urself alive out there. It's the reason why people love flask, and the reason more than likely why people will continue to use flask even with the price nerfs.

    Although, one thing I will agree on is that flask is no longer a worthy starting item for supports, better now to go the philo route and however the new sightstone's gonna end up.'s still nice to eventually get that flask, gonna still grab it for my supports eventually, maybe after the philo or sightstone first.

  • #11 B3hr7

    For top lane I still get flask for even non-mana champs like Rengar. Flask overall can save money ( I won't bother with the math since it's already been done) as well as keep you healthy. Staying healthy = winning top lane, even if the champion has built-in sustain, it's nice knowing you have a backup plan in case the original plan goes to high hell. Best part? You can still get a ward and an extra potion if you wish on the side, or cut down on the potion if you feel you can play conservative enough (though tbh my playstyle is pretty aggressive so I get the extra health pot anyways, never can be too safe).

    Last edited by B3hr7: 1/22/2013 7:41:31 PM
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