All About Season 3 Item Efficiency
With the release of dozens of new Season 3 items and the reworks of many current items, the mathcrafters here at Reign of Gaming have had no choice but to work out the math for everything League-related. We've already seen posts from writers like Old Man Eyebrows and Gentleman Gustaf analyzing the new item starts and items like Runaan's Hurricane, but today I thought we'd look at items in League of Legends on a macrogame scale. As many of you may or may not know, I was primarily known for my Item Efficiency Spreadsheet that was featured on the reddit /r/leagueoflegends sidebar for nearly a year. Today's A DIFFerent View/#VVinning article focuses on updating this spreadsheet in preparation for the new Season 3 items as well as to explain how the term 'item efficiency' works within the game.
What is item efficiency?
Item efficiency seeks to calculate how efficient each item in the game is based on the most efficient basic (or if unavailable, most efficient intermediate) item possible. For example, to find the cost per statistic of AP items, we use Needlessly Large Rod (20g/AP) as a base item because it is the most efficient pure AP item in the game ahead of Amplifying Tome (21.75g/AP) and Blasting Wand (21.5g/AP). Since Needlessly Large Rod has the best Gold:AP ratio, it is used as the base efficiency comparison for all items that give Ability Power.
In application, to calculate the gold efficiency for a certain item, say a Mejai's Soulstealer with 0 stacks, we take the cost of the item, 1235 gold, and subtract the value of all statistics conferred by the item (20 AP * 20g/AP). In this example, an empty Mejai's has a gold efficiency of -835; in effect, if you are freshly buying a Mejai's, you are only getting 400g of stats for 1235g, or a net loss of -835 gold.
Generally, items with negative item efficiency have side effects that you are paying for which means that you are effectively paying the negative gold efficiency for the listed effect. Items with positive X item efficiency mean that you are actually saving X gold for the unlisted statistics and any effects that are listed for the item are effectively free when you buy the item.
While we strive to make item efficiency as simplistic as possible, there are several drawbacks to this methodology. There are some statistics that are difficult to quantify due to lack of base and intermediate items such as penetration and regeneration. These statistics are referred to as secondary statistics because they are often stats that do not directly increase the power of your champion.
How is item efficiency changing for the new season?
As the design team has stated before, some offensive statistics have become less expensive for Season 3 while defensive statistics are now more expensive to itemize for. It is important to note that even though lifesteal is now more difficult to itemize for, the overall cost has stayed around the same (45 cost per point to 45.56). While some statistics have become more expensive to itemize for, part of this can be attributed to intended changes to game design (Early game aggression -> lower sustain) and the damage formula change which makes penetration a more valuable statistic.
One important distinction that you should keep in mind are that the bottom seven stats in the table below (Rejuvenation Bead/HP5) and below should be considered secondary statistics because they are 'more difficult' to calculate the efficiency for. This is because they are either stats that are only useful at a certain point of the game (regeneration) or the base item used for calculations also has other significant stats as part of its cost (both penetrations, movement speed, spell vamp, CDR, movement speed).
Please excuse my sh*t MS paint skills.
Base statistics that are more expensive:
- Magic resist
- Health regeneration
- Mana regeneration
- Attack speed
Base statistics that are cheaper:
- Attack damage
- Movement speed
- Cooldown Reduction
Notable item changes on the PBE
- One of the most interesting changes (to me, at least) is that elixirs are now universally useful. Both the Elixir of Brilliance and Elixir of Fortitude give you around 830g of stats at level 1 and 1030g of stats at level 18. This is a far cry from the current elixirs where Elixir of Brilliance is far superior to the other two choices.
- Despite the recent addition of the "out of combat" rule, homeguard boots + teleport ganks are still a 800 MS unstoppable force if your enemies don't see you coming. I suspect that the item may be problematic/abusable in the future, but only further testing will show whether or not this is true.
- Warden's Mail is no longer the statistically most effective defensive item in the game. I'm not quite sure which item takes the defensive crown for now, but pending further analysis the new Warmog's Armor appears to be the most gold effective -- you're getting your full gold's worth in health when you buy the item, and that is before you add the Force of Nature style passive that is now on the item. Compare this to the Season 1 Warmog's, which would never be gold effective even with full stacks of health and regen.
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter is now gold efficient on just base statistics provided -- you don't even need the slow on spells to be gold efficient on the item now. I'm not sure I agree with the gold buff because it's already a pretty commonly bought item.
- Upgrading from Quicksilver Sash to Mercurial Scimitar may be very strong (I hesitate to say overpowered) on AD carries. QSS has a base efficiency of -850, but upgrading the item and adding AD/MS to the item only decreases efficiency to -933 (loss of 80g on 2200g upgrade). Compare this to the Hexdrinker/Maw of Malmortius upgrade that loses you 600g in stats for upgrading.
- Banner of Command may be abusable on AP casters with the promote/creep push feature. Way back in Season 1, Aegis of the Legion had to be nerfed to not effect minions because creeps would push too hard -- I think something similar may happen here where mid lane will become a much harder lane to freefarm.
- Hextech Gunblade is much stronger with its new built-in passive -- attacks now reduce the active's cooldown by 3 seconds. It was already statistically efficient before the change. I expect a potential nerf in the future to this.
Thanks for reading today's post! It means more to me than usual that you're reading this article, as this is the topic that is closest to my heart and because it took almost a dozen hours to completely remake my Item Efficiency Spreadsheet in preparation for this article. Please note that I haven't completely finished and the version that you are seeing is a 'first draft' without the inclusion of tenacity, Dominion or Twisted Treeline items as well as a table of aura inefficiencies. Check back in the coming week as I finish updating the spreadsheet with efficiency of passive effects and better item notes.
Please note that this is not a post where I am telling you what items are good. Do not take all of my comments at face value. I'm looking at the numerical strengths of each item and asking you what you think about it because I haven't fully explored the potential of the new items.
As always, thanks for reading!
For more of my work: