No more PBE updates until the 5th! It’s quiet season.
A common trend has been for games to go late and for even supports to be able to buy late game items (if not fully loaded). Because of this and the fact that items haven’t been hit hard recently in the PBE (no guarantee that will continue though!), a review of items on supports or items for their late game, team fight ability might be of use. Sometimes, you’re not used to buying a full build but supporting someone. Some choices are obvious, but there is a lot of room for variation, especially in the 5th or 6th items on a long game. So, for the sake of the late game, especially for supports, let’s take a look.
Furthermore, at late game sometimes an item can be replaced. It’s not the majority of games but the percentage of games where I can buy an elixir or trade up for a better 6th item happens a lot. It’s unfortunate when a support has items that they can’t utilize effectively to do a support’s job.
Locket of the Iron Solari
This item feels underwhelming, but it is great for smoothing over and rounding out your stats, and is also strong in the early game and mid game against burst or in bottom lane (if it’s still laning phase, which will be unlikely). The problem is if an avalanche of huge folks like Dr. Mundo or Shyvana are coming down on you, you want crowd control, not a minor shield. It’s also hard for the average player to use well in team fights. Sometimes it’s an appropriate item, but it’s better to get something with a better active or with stronger offensive or defensive stats. Right now it’s a jack-of-all trades, which isn’t what you need at the late game, so swap it when you get to late and don’t build it if you know it won’t make a big enough difference.
Banner of Command
I like this one’s stats better than last year’s, but by the time you actually get this, it won’t be too helpful. If you’re mid you probably shouldn’t get it, and if you’re a support you’ll want to have purchased Sightstone and a money item before this time, where it’s needed. Waveclearing is more important now, and with supports being better able to do this a fat minion isn’t as good as he used to be. Not that he was that great in the first place.
Athene’s Holy Grail vs. Morellonomicon
While Morellonomicon is cheaper and has more AP, Grail gives you 40 MR and more mana for 400 more gold. As a support you’ll want this more. As a mid you’ll generally want this more. I’d only get Morellonomicon if you really need the passive or if you’re in a hurry to get the CDR and will swap it later. But in the late game, the 40 MR is almost always going to be better. Most of the time, even if the mid is physical damage, the marksmen and/or support will be piling on some magic damage too. Surely you’ve seen Leona putting heavy damage on squishies at late game.
Late game support Gold Items
Ancient Coin > Nomad’s Medallion > Talisman of Ascension is the usually the best choice for items. For one, it’s much easier to get gold with, and you can even benefit from defending turrets by yourself (the passive still hits even if a turret gets the minion or kill: the other two require a friend or enemy to benefit from). With Spellthief’s Edge and Relic Shield, circumstances can prevent you from maximizing the active and the gold generation abilities. This includes if you’re winning and enemies won’t come near you or your teammates won’t let you use your shield stacks while they try to outcs each other during pushing. Don’t forget, only one person gets it, and teammates don’t want to risk not being the one to benefit.
Lastly, the active on Talisman is much more flexible and easy to use, both offensively and defensively, and it supplies 20% CDR, instead of 0 or 10. If you go Spellthief and you want to get CDR, you’re almost always looking are more mana regen you don’t want.
When you choose one of the other two paths, especially Edge, you are saying you don’t care about cooldowns (probably not a good idea) or that you plan on supplying a lot of CDR from a different item. I would usually sell Edge by late game’s end, and rarely upgrade to Frostqueen’s Claim, and replace it with a different mana generating item. Face of the Mountain at least provides tons of siege power, some cooldown, and a shield and with hopeful AOE damage, but you’re committing to finding mana regen elsewhere or being conservative with how often you use abilities.
Awesome for so many people. Heavy MR, which is hard to get, not expensive, 20 CDR, which isn’t on many items, and the passive is great for sieging and works well for so many champs. This is why it isn’t surprising that nerfs for it are on the PBE. Even if the CDR is reduced to 10, it’s still going to be a strong choice.
Yes, even on supports. It can help others, but really it just takes enemies out of the fight (even if they live) and team fights happen much more these days. CDR is also more important in extended fights and games. Most supports can’t use this well, but those that can (Annie, LeBlanc) will get a lot of use out of it, even if it’s simply to make the other team afraid to defend or initiate.
This gets built a ton, even on Annie. With the nerfs to penetration in the offense tree, penetration becomes even more valuable. Plus it is strong against big, fat tanks, and goes well with cc, which is your job. Health makes you a little less squishy. One of the best AP items on a support.
A niche item. It offers no health, you may not need the mana, and a lot of frontline champions don’t suffer from the attack speed debuff (Dr. Mundo or Renekton, for example, who rely a lot on abilities). Marksmen will likely not be in range, and if they are, that probably means you’re in a good position, next to them, with them focusing on escaping. Spirit Visage is usually the go-to for MR, and that will give you your 20% CDR. Buy with caution.
Much more universally useful than FH. The debuff applies to about everyone, and you can chase and save with the active. I will even get this on a non-tank support like Karma if I find it necessary. The ability to kite with this when you’re already a kiting champion is tremendous.
I only get this if I know it will vastly improve a champion’s cc output, or if they’ll get the chance to use lots of procs. If neither of these happens, don’t get it. Also be aware of if enemies aren’t affect by it. A Nidalee, for example, isn’t locked down strongly by it, whereas Annie or Thresh will be.
Again, niche. You already know if your champion has the ability to legitimately use this. If you’re desperate to backdoor or split push this greatly increases pushing power, and not just the damage. More mana means more to clear with and the movespeed lets you escape and splitpush more safely.
It’s cheap! It’s tons of mana regen! It’s got MR that’s hard to get! And it saves people. It’s still not a one-size-fits all item, and you may find that increasing your cooldowns makes you better able to save people. Or, the other team might not really have that strong of cc, or your might have smart teammates. In any of these situations you’ll be left, strangely, with a useful item that doesn’t actually seem to have much use. Furthermore, you can get much better stats in Grail when it comes to the late game, which we’re evaluating. Still, it is the only item with the active that does what it does, which is heal and remove cc on someone else at the same time, and that, at times, can be irreplaceable. If you max your build and still have this, remember to replace it if you need to.
Good for pushing or making plays against really stubborn teams that defend with discipline, when you are pushing with discipline. Late game there will be fewer turrets. Late game you can afford Rylai’s, which has more of the same stats.
If this increases your cc output, lovely. If not, it’s better to get Liandry’s first, or even Rod of Ages, or get your AP and health on separate items.
Rod of Ages
You’re probably not going to need the mana from this, and would do better to get Liandry’s or Rylai’s.
Awesome for if you are bait for the other team. Tons of two relevant stats for the late game. If you are a mage that functions similarly to mid, you won’t be saving others with this item but if you get the point where you can actually afford this, you’re likely going to be benefit from this and playing as if you should have one. If you want to act like you are a mid this is one of the most important items to get.
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Good for mid game. The tenacity combined with Tabi is what makes this item great, and it’s an alternative source of mana regen. Medium power as an item though and junglers might get upset that you got it. Better to move on to Randuin’s and just live with Talisman mana.
Sometimes I’ll see people build this against mostly ranged or mostly magic teams. If you aren’t going to be getting attacked at close range constantly, and you won’t be able to stick on someone with this without dying, don’t get it! Even on Leona and Thresh this item is sometimes a bad decision. Get Randuin’s instead.
With the new vision system, that active on this sucker is better than ever. The extra movespeed is handy for actually living. The biggest issue is it doesn’t supply mana regen or CDR, you need to put it good use if you finish it as one of your earlier items. Late game I might actually keep this for the speed and the active, but this depends a lot on the team compositions, builds, and which people are fed.
Will of the Ancients
There’s no aura on this item anymore. The spell vamp won’t help you much as your teammates will be getting the minions. You have other options for AP, CDR, and mana regen. Get Grail, Morellonomicon, or Talisman instead.
Occasionally. I’d only get this if you are becoming the obvious choice against an assassin like Ahri or LeBlanc, or if you are having trouble with an enemy Annie.
Supports won’t get to use this much due to needing to be in range, and it doesn’t supply HP or CDR. Liandry’s is safer for doing more damage personally, and there are a lot more safer and generally useful options for MR. I’d generally pass.
Tear of the Goddess
If you can build this early without compromising your lane, perhaps you’ll get it fully stacked. This is unlikely and a Mikhael’s or Grail will probably serve your purposes better. If you’re thinking about Sona, she is indeed the best typical support to get it on.
Can’t see this being used much on a support that isn’t Kayle.
Unlikely. You have better stuff to use. Basic attacks isn’t usually something a support can do, even in Preaseason 4.
This is late game we’re talking about--you’re likely to get more AP or damage by getting a different item like Void Staff.
You gotta be carrying hard to use one of these babies. So if you’re not going to be pushing for high AP (as in 300-350 or more before the passive on this hits), it’s better to just get Zhonya’s or DFG.
On some tanks, you can pull this off or might be able to cramp a marksman’s style. Randuin’s or a Warden’s is much safer to start.
We don’t see this much anywhere anymore, and you can usually get enough health from other items. I guess if you managed to go Shen or Mundo support and you’re in siege mode, you could use one of these as long as you have the armor and mr already.
If you’ve been reasonably farmed and have plenty of other AP items and know you can actually blow someone up, this is fine. Just make sure you can actually help your team and aren’t doing it to be greedy.
You’re flattering yourself if you get this without being stacked and able to push hard. If you buy this, and you aren’t able to push hard as one of the last two members of your team, you’ll look like an idiot, so get it so you can push afterward or so that you can bait the enemy for a victorious teamfight (make sure your team understands this).
Most supports will not be able to build attack damage items, and unlike some AP items, there isn’t much utility provided in them while providing no poorer defensive stats to you. The one exception to this is Zeke’s Herald, which should rarely be purchased. To use it you have to have a lot of your teammates get a lot of basic attacks down all while you maintain presence in the fight.
Items to buy the most for a finished build:
The late-game items you should be looking at most often for a support are Randuin’s Omen, Liandry’s Torment, Talisman of Ascension, and the obvious Sightstone, which didn’t require discussion (don’t forget to upgrade to Ruby when you run out of stuff to buy, and to switch your trinket to either drop pinks or clear wards). A support should still be a support. You can tank and you can do a lot of damage, but make sure your items help you do that while also giving you the ability to do your own job. You should about always be building at least one of these three (notable exception: Leona with Sunfire Cape and Face of the Mountain). For the rest, as good as some of them are, there is some flexibility.
Mikael’s Crucible, Twin Shadows, Zhonya’s Hourglass, Face of the Mountain, Deathfire Grasp, and Athene’s Holy Grail are also strong, but not essential items.
Best of luck in your late-game team fights! What’s been working for you? I hope your Christmas was good.
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