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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uh, no the definition of the word definitely applies here. Selection bias, Sampling bias, Confirmation bias, they're all in there...
"Biased article" is literally meaningless when it come to an opinion piece like this, because by definition, all opinions are biased in some way. I mean, there's an obvious opening bias here, in that there's an assumption that high-level players are building Philostone less often and that they have a reason for doing so.
Like I said, pet peeve, but it's an empty argument that basically serves as a fancier-sounding way of saying "I disagree".
but this isn't an opinion post. Its an analytical post. And, when it comes to analysis, bias has a specific meaning, and it most certainly applies.
Nothing biased about an explanation on why higher level players do a certain thing.
Philo builds into... Shurelyas. Great item, but if you don't get it, you don't get philo. Simple.
and Mikael's. Which people have simply not realized is fantastic. 2500 gold in total, sure. But frankly, there are many situations where I would rather my teams adc find a way to give 1500 gold to the support to get Mikael's than blow that 1500 and an item slot on a QSS.
But then, the days of the whole NO FARM SUPPORT are numbered I think. People are already noticing how handy it is to give some farm to the jungler, the support will follow soon.
Simple...except that's neither true for high level players nor provably optimal. Philo Stone is still built at the Diamond level without upgrading to Shurelia's, and it still wins more games than it loses.
And then when you look at the game mechanics surrounding it, Philo Stone just isn't a bad item. It gives stats that are useful in lane to every support, and it offers 60% of the gp10 of Sightstone for 70% of the cost. Yes, it's not as good, but it's also cheaper and only incrementally worse in the early game. Moreover presenting this comparison as a reason not to buy Philo Stone presents these two options as a dichotomy when they really aren't.
The problem with this explanation is that it is neither particularly descriptive of what high-level players actually do, nor does it present a compelling argument for not buying Philosopher's Stone in a wide variety of situations.
Crucible is trash. That missile mechanic for the active RUINS that item. For that price until they make the active work like a targeted cleanse, it will remain one of the most unpopular items in the game. People haven't missed that it's fantastic, what you haven't figured out is that it's not good.
"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"
This actually hasn't been touched on yet. But this, is confirmation bias. You missed some relevant situations here. Such as
hp5 and mp5 is not flashy, and its hard to appreciate, but that is not the same as not being useful.
You seem to assume that there's no other source of regen besides philo or bead in this situation. From what I got out of the article, is that I should be buying pots to cover regen needs, until basically the end of the laning phase, after which the situations you laid out here are much less relevant.
Even if you rush philo, "it takes about a minute and 50 to get back a health pot". Also, if you rush sightstone, you have that extra health to buffer against incoming damage. You might be sitting in lane at 80% with sightstone and have X health, or at 90% with philo and have the same amount of health.
I have to say, I'm not yet convinced by your arguments :) I'd like to be, if you're right.
No, I'm assuming that as long as you aren't ON 100% health, the regen is relevant. You can only run one pot at a time, wether you have a philo or no. As the article mentioned, you still get pots when you have a philo.
its just at the end of the 15 second pot duration, one person went up 150 health, and one went up 171, and then continues to get that 7 hp5. Its not pots vs stone, its pots vs pots AND stone.
Personally, I rarely spend much time in the lane on 100% health. If I'm on 100% health, I'm not pressuring enough. But I'm also not going to pot because I took an auto attack.
And you're right, you might be 80% of your health with the 180 of the sight stone, and 90% with the stone. But the stone IS giving you regen. And, what matters isn't so much what percentage of your life remains, but how MUCH remains.
it takes 128 seconds for the philo stone to regen 180 health. Generally speaking, i want to be in lane for longer than that at any given stretch. Over the course of that time i will take poke damage, so i wont be on 100% for the vast majority of it. If im in lane, not on 100% for 3 minutes (the length of the wards, but really even that is a lot less time than id like), the philo stone supplied me with 252 health over the course of that laning, and the sight stone only gave me 180. The stone ALSO gave me 324 mana, often allowing me to be more aggressive with my poke.
And, of course, ill have pots too, as will my opponent. those neutralize each other.
Ah yes I see what you mean. This is true.
That was my point. With the sightstone's extra health you have higher effective health in short engages, so more of it remains after the engage.
I suppose this may be more of a playstyle and matchup dependent consideration really... If you're going to go all in, the health from sight stone helps more than the regen from spiritstone, and if you're going to be poking/sustaining for extended periods, the spiritstone ends up giving more health.
On the other hand though, with the spiritstone, wards end up limiting your time in lane. A sightstone alone gives you 6 minutes of ward coverage, provided you didn't need to move your wards. To match that without a sightstone, you need to buy 300g worth of wards.
correct. But, you don't get that until quite late. and you blew 475 gold on the 180 health in the first place, and then you blew 475 on actually getting the sight stone. the same 950 will get you the philo stone and 250 gold, so most of the 300g for the first 6 minutes is already accounted for, and as long as you built the philo stone 1 minute before you could have built the sight stone, (in my experience, its usually more like 3-5 minutes, depending on kills) covers the remaining 50.
So untill you reach that point of having bought the items THEN used the 6 minutes it gave you, then you're still basically comparing the 180 health to the philo stones regen until well into the mid game.
and yeah, this is basically the case. Obviously if you're Leona you're going to want that sight stone, because your "poke" consists of flying into 2 people and slamming them with a shield. Thresh and Taric too, probably.
In general though, in solo queue, I'm a bit 50/50 on all in engages. Great if you can trust your ADC to all in, but not so much when you get that perfect engage, land the solar flare on both opponents, dash in, stun the ADC, throw down ignite and...
your Graves is miles behind doing that spinning in circle dance waiting on CS... All in's can be very successful, but only when you can trust the ADC to actually all in. Its why i like Sona so much for a solo queue support, she can morph herself to suit the random strangers play more than any other support. Shes got poke, sustain and (post 6), a heck of an all in. And Sona benefits a lot from the Regen the philo stone provides.
It's not that one should be rushed and one should not. It's that both are still a viable option.
True, what I said is valid after the sightstone has been actually built.
This depends somewhat on how the lane is going though. If you need to b before you can afford both philo and wards at the same time, you quite possibly won't have it built much quicker.
In any case, once the sightstone is built, it's the more gold efficient item, which means more gold to spend throughout the game.