A lot of supports rushing Philosopher’s Stone and yet, in the LCS, we about never see supports build it. Today I’m going to take a look at all the reasons why hurring a Philosopher’s Stone is a bad idea.
What a stone gets you
Supports usually build Philosopher’s Stone because they want the gold regen and they want the regen in lane for more spells, and they think it will help them buy more wards.
If you start a rejuv bead, it takes two and a half minutes to get as much health back as it does from a pot. If you start a charm, it takes two minutes and 35 seconds to get all the mana back from a pot.
Once you get to Philosopher’s Stone this changes--for mana, it takes 55 seconds to recover a mana pot, and it takes about a minute and 50 to get back a health pot.
A stone costs 700 gold, which equals twenty potions. It also covers the cost of a potion every 70 seconds after you buy it with it’s Gold per 10. If you get a stone at, say, 10 minutes, then own it for another twenty after that, that’s 100 gold for all your regen needs!
But it doesn’t work that way. Even most Stone buyers will buy potions before completing it, because you know that a charm or bead won’t cover all your needs--even if you buy charm, you’ll need health pots. Most buy two or three at the beginning of the game.
And do you need it? How often do you back to base because of running low on mana? Health, due to sustained sieging and poking? How often do you back to base because you’re out of wards or lost a lot of health due to a gank or an all-in or a death (either side)? All those are more likely.
Stone works best on poking or mana hungry supports, and not all supports are created equally mana hungry. Leona only really occasionally uses her E to try to go in. If it misses, she won’t use her Q. It costs 60 mana. She'll get it back within a minute. How often will there be a real opportunity to use it every two minion waves?
Janna is deceptively not mana hungry. Why? Because her ult has a long cooldown, her Q has a moderate cooldown, and her W is often too dangerous to use. Often, Janna’s do not run out of mana, and even more often is when they don’t need to go back because of it. If they managed to use it all without dying, the issue is she was getting a lot of assists or fending off a lot of ganks or kill attempts. If she had to use all those spells, a Stone alone won’t help--pots would work better. And it’s not your fault anyway--it’s your carry’s for getting hit by Nami’s Q for the fourth time in a row or your mid or jungler for not counterganking or following.
At a certain point, even pokey champs like Lulu won’t be able to poke much later in the game--a Q won’t really hurt or cause sustain issues, and she’ll want to stay in the back. And yet a stone doesn’t get purchased ‘til the late party of early game! Then it sits, doing almost nothing in half of games during mid or late.
Sometimes it can be useful on her, but not every game demands it. And remember, there are still pots.
Philosopher’s Stone and warding
A lane is not well-warded with only one ward. You can get away with having only one ward, or heck, even zero, but that’s only if the other jungler is getting owned, or you already snowballed the lane. This is generally not the case and you shouldn’t assume so. A lane is decently covered with two wards, and fully with three. There’s river / dragon, tribush, and brushes.
Ideally, you’ll use a couple at a time and keep your eyes on the minimap and face in the bush for gaps. If you’re purple and they know you warded river, they’ll come through the bush or the tribush, and you’ll be ready for sudden appearances.
If you buy only consumbables you’ll have at least four wards (not including the small one), and that gives you roughly 6 minutes of coverage.
In 6 minutes, if you have 21 GP10 total, you’ll get 726 gold from passive generation. Even if don’t get a single creep or assist, you’ll have about enough money for a Ruby Crystal, 3 more wards and a pot. In another 475, which only takes about four minutes, you can get a
sightstone. Another 600 is Ruby Sightstone.
A Philosopher’s Stone costs 700. It pays for itself after 23 minutes and twenty seconds. It doesn’t actually help you buy wards because it you’re paying 700 gold for it in the first place.
And, the thing Sightstone-haters forget: you can replace if someone pinks you or if you need to “move” a ward. You’re taking a stack out each time; it buys you more vision time than two wards does, because two wards covers decently for 3 minutes, but a sightstone does for 6.
So, a Philo Stone build with both stones and boots costs 1975 for regular stone and 2575 for ruby. If you buy a Philosopher’s Stone, that’s two wards every minute, and you’ve spent 700 already. Plus you will have to buy more regular wards to depend on, so you won’t be finishing your sightstone until later.
A build without Philosopher’s Stone that has Sightstone and boots costs 1275 on regular stone and 1875 on Ruby, and will have purchased fewer regular wards on the way there.
One other thing: in a teamfight, what else can a support use besides defensive stats? Cooldown reduction. And most supports buy a Kindlegem. That costs 850, a little more than Philosopher’s Stone. That’s why it is a very common third item.
Also, if you want to be a boss support, having 5 or more out a time is very boss, especially when your team knows what to do with it. Five wards every three minutes is much easier to pay with a Ruby Sightstone--and you get to that point more quickly
TLDR: in this article, Eyebrows points out why high-level players go straight to Sightstone and usually do not get a Philosopher’s Stone first.
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Well, considering that you WANT this item really early, that would mean you get the GP10 for a slither of time which makes that part kind of useless. And the idea with reducing the cooldown on a summoner spell was your idea, not mine :D Even with Exhaust, Karthus even stronger in Mid, some Tops would just change to exhaust etc.
I though that was obvious for like... few months?
You'd be surprised how many Leonas I've seen rushing philo in silver. When it's obvious that a kindlegem or sightstone would be better, but they still buy philo anyways....and they don't turn it into anything by the end of game......
I'm in silver and when I played Leona or any other support, I'd always rush Philo... So, point proven :D This article made me think about it and made me realize it's indeed useless on Leona and Thresh... You just need health potions to stay in lane. I think I'm still going to rush philo on blitz though as he gets oom very quickly. Thoughts on that?
Hmmm...that's a good point actually, blitz really can't do anything if he has no mana. If you do buy philo, make sure that the next purchase is a kindlegem or sightstone (pref. sightstone but kindlegem works too if you're winning your lane and can still buy a handful of wards). You can even rush Shurelyas if you believe it'll help you make plays (the active with your W can make you run fast enough to catch people), otherwise a crucible will provide you with MR and a useful active.
TBH, haven't played Blitz in a while so I'll have to do some more research on this, but because of how mana hungry blitz is (and the fact that he does nothing useful if he misses his grab), he might be the only tanky support I know of who actually needs philostone.
You can always get Mana Regen from masteries / runes. Blitz is mana-hungry at very low levels (a grab costs half of his mana-pool) and starting a Fairy Charm won't ease the pain that much. I think it's superior to get early vision, which allows you to aim your hooks better - and if you waste less hooks, you'll spend less mana - . :)
Also, Blitzcrank should prefer to not die when he gibs someone. Philo doesn't give him tankiness at all while Sightstone does.
I haven't been buying philo for a long time, but I did buy bead on thresh at lvl 1. I just blindly assumed it was a good idea, because the guides I read suggested it :P It was pretty obvious philo wasn't necessary, but now I know exactly why.
In season 2 it was always important to build Heart of Gold first instead of Philo Stone, due to the health. Now it is just the same order. The Sightstone is the new Heart of Gold. It gives health, and wards. Only now in a more direct way, and at a slightly higher cost.
First, let's look at solo queue and 5s (LCS) as two different metagames. Because they are. In LCS, supports use a lot more wards. The reason for this is that they know where they need vision when. I don't mean this as "ward dragon while laning is happening" and "ward baron after 24 min." It's more of "The jungler will be looking to gank at x:xx, so I should ward. If I don't see him warn top" or "their blue is respawning in 1 min. I want a ward to see when the jungler comes/contest it." They also don't care about keeping the vision for the entire 3 minutes of a wards life. They want vision in certain areas at certain times. Thus, sightstone is better than philo because they can have 3 wards up, and replace them at will when they need. It has less to do with stats than it has to do with gold efficiency and not wasting gold on green wards you only need for 30 seconds.
Now, in solo queue, you just want vision on the entrances to your lane. That's about it. There's no brief wards for specific reasons (Ok, there's some, but not nearly as much as in 5s). As such, Philo is better because of the regen/gp5.
PS: OME, Check your math. You keep making first grade mistakes.
In solo queue you want wards at entrances, but that's not all. If you're playing support, you want wards to cover the whole map when you're roaming, because most laners and junglers aren't going to ward enough. And you need to ward as you go if your team is invading, or you and your adc are pushing a lane - otherwise you will get caught. You want pinks to reduce the opponents' ward coverage, and to open gank opportunities etc.
Wards at the jungle entrances aren't nearly enough.
If you need mana, a chalice or a rushed tear are a better option. A chalice to a crucible is okay, where an archangels would get you AP and mana as well. Or you can just rush a morellonomicon and get a lot of little things to help you out.
If you are starting a phil stone, you are probably going to be rushing shurlia's (expensive), a crucible (more expensive), or an elisa's miracle (why other sustain items were nerfed across the board when S3 started).
However, my biggest problem with the sightstone is it's pretty useless aside from the wards. It doesn't give you enough of them for its price (not an improvement overs greens in a shorter game).
IMO people should skip both and just start on real items. Because real men structure tank... I mean play without wards.
Dafaq is Structure Tanking? I know what Hull Tanking is, but not Structure o/
Personally, I'm still in the mindset that I do want a Shurelia eventually, because in that regard the Philo really does pay itself off by dramatically dropping the cost of the Shurelia while still giving me sustain. Maybe I'm just so old fashioned that I refuse to drop my Philo even though its stats got nerfed...what is it now, 4 times?
However, I am in the camp that advocates skipping the Sightstone in lieu of...well, anything else really. I've been having a blast in Normals by running various Mages as supports and buying 2x Doran's Ring + Wards.
EVE Online reference: 'structure' is the HP of your hull, only accessible after shields and armor have been depleted.
The only time I buy Philo Stone is on ARAM so I can build it into Eleisa's. Or maybe a very late Shurelya's.
Sightstone is mandatory, though. I usually get sighstone and supplemental wards. Intelligence is key. Vision grants intelligence.
"Real men structure tank" is sort of a meme over at Eve online because it's probably the craziest thing you can do.