In ranked solo queue, it’s rare that you’ll find someone who volunteers to play support. It’s even rarer to find a dedicated support player who absolutely knows what they are doing. But even without “knowing” what you are doing, there is one way to cheat your Elo and automatically make yourself a better support player: Avarice runes. After reading this post, I want you to consider making a 5235 IP investment in avarice runes; for less than the cost of a champion, you will be able to outplay your support counterpart and make more gold than them without even trying. Supports don’t necessarily carry games, but they do carry lanes. With avarice runes, you WILL carry your lane.
For most calculations below, I am assuming that the standard build order is Faerie Charm/4 Wards with 15g to start (1pt in greed). For the calculations without GP5 masteries, the start is Faerie Charm/3 Wards/HP potion with 35g to start. All calculations are assuming no extra gold from dragons, towers, kills, or assists. In addition, I am assuming that items are purchased as soon as the support as the gold available to buy those items. I am aware that build orders vary between different supports and that many people get Heart of Gold before boots as well as Kage’s Lucky Pick; however, I will be using the following build as a comparison:
- Purchase #1: Rush Philosopher’s Stone
- Purchase #2: Boots + 2 Wards
- Purchase #3: Heart of Gold
- Purchase #4: Oracle + Ward
- Purchase #5: Kindlegem + 2 Wards
- Purchase #6: Shurelya's Reverie + Ward
In the above table, I have listed a series of game times at which you can expect to buy the items listed in the assumptions using different combinations of GP10 masteries and runes. As shown, even a slight difference in starting gold generation makes a giant difference in the speed you will be able to buy your early and mid game items. The item targets/times listed in the bottom half of the chart may not be accurate because it is likely that you will exit the laning phase or get objective/assist gold before most of those times.
Passive gold generation is a snowballing effect. The more you have to start the game, the faster you reach your mid game; the further ahead you get from an opponent with no GP10, the greater of an advantage you have. Assuming both supports are strictly following the build listed above, that means the ability to gain an oracles more than 5 minutes faster than your counterpart with no runes, which ensures mid-game domination for your team. Although the gold gain from GP10 arguably drops off after mid-game, this should not be a problem for you because your primary source of gold should now be from teamfight assists and objective gold
Looking at gold generation from a different perspective, if you have all of the avarice runes and masteries and your opponent only has masteries, it is not difficult to keep up with your opponent with items. By the time the mastery-only support has purchased a Philosopher's Stone, the support with runes will have the ability to buy a Philosopher's Stone, a pink ward, and 2 green wards, with all of this gold coming ONLY from passive gold generation. This will allow you to gain a giant advantage over your counterpart during the laning phase because you will be able to provide superior ward vision to your carry while denying the enemy vision of bushes and the river. In other words, you will win your lane without doing anything above your normal ability level just because you have a greater arsenal of gold and wards at your disposal.
With all things, nothing is free. To pick up these runes, you are sacrificing survivability or damage in your quints and seals. Your very early game may suffer in trades, but it is worth it, especially since supports shouldn't be the primary champion taking damage in a duo lane. But the loss in power runes is made up for with passive gold generation since you will be able to pull ahead of your support counterpart within 7 minutes.
Conclusion and Opinions
Buy avarice runes. The next time you decide to buy a 6300 IP champion that you may play half a dozen times, think about this: avarice runes only cost 5235 IP and come at the benefit of swinging the game to your favor in 20% of your ranked games. With the benefit of farming a philosopher’s stone 3 minutes faster than someone without GP10, it’s a no-brainer to buy these things. It’ll turn you from “dat useless noob support” into a support god(dess).
If my table and explanation above didn’t convince you to buy GP10 runes, think about it this way: an extra 7.25 GP10 at the start of the game will net you 175 gold every 4 minutes. That means even if you are losing your lane, the enemy support has to assist a kill every 4 minutes just to keep up with your gold generation at the beginning of the game.
TL;DR: Buy GP10 runes; using them as support as an easy way to blast out of Elo hell.
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