Gaming on an IP Budget -- What to Buy

Gaming on an IP Budget -- What to Buy

Today's post may not apply to people that have been playing League of Legends for a long time, but rather for those who always seem to run out of IP.  For those who are constantly running out of Influence Points because they need to buy new runes or champions, you should pay close attention. The average summoner earns around 60,000 IP by the time they hit level 30, and many of these players jump straight into ranked. My assumption is that the average player spend 20,000 on bad purchases, which leaves around 40,000 IP for relevant purchases to ranked play. Listed in today's article is my personal recommendation/guide for those players who want to optimize the use of their IP for relevant use into solo queue play.

Most players would recommend not jumping straight into ranked after you hit level 30. My opinion is that as long as you:

  1. Own at least two champions in each role
  2. Know how to play these champions
  3. Have the runepages to play each of these champions optimally

You should be able to jump straight into ranked without hesitation, regardless of number of wins. Especially with the transition from the Elo system into the League system, you have less disincentives to play ranked because you won't be constantly losing Elo; instead, you're more likely to be placed into a division and league that you belong to straight out of your placement matches. This goal of today's edition of #VVinning is to show how an IP-savvy level 30 (or smurf) can jump straight into ranked and be prepared for the horrors of solo queue.

Runes to Win, part 3.5

As a player that owns a minimal amount of runes, do not buy any of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 runes. Instead, save your IP until you hit level 20 so you can buy good Tier 3 runes en masse. Don't get anything fancy and champion specific (that means no mana runes for Ryze). Instead, start with universal runes -- these runes can be and should be used effectively on every champion, regardless of role or abilities. This means, no matter, what, you should start with buying armor seals and MR glyphs. These are the bread and butter of 90% of runepages and they also happen to cost 205 IP each, which makes them a bargain considering how much you'll be using them. Then, move on and specialize, buying the runes that best suit your preferred role.

A while back, I published Runes to Win #3, an infographic chart designed to help new players buy new runes but I don't think many people saw it as it was pushed down quickly by patch notes. Even with a gigantic shift in the metagame most of these are still the go-to runes on most champions, which goes to show how far a simple investment into good runepages can get you.  The chart was designed very simply: the cheaper and more universal a certain rune was, the greater priority I gave it for purchase. You'll find that if you have own all of the "basic" runes listed, you'll be able to make an effective runepage for every champion in the game for a low cost.

Click on the image below and read it for my advice for beginning runepages!

Click to see a bigger picture!

As I mentioned before, the runes I recommend are the cheapest of the cheap. If you buy all of the basic runes listed, you can build a runepage for every single champion in the game for only 20,610 IP. And even though you only start with 2 runepages, you can even buy one more and still have at 8,000 IP left over to spend on champions assuming a minimum of 35,000 lifetime IP.

Champions to Dominate

Now that you have your runepages set, you need champions. If you are a typical level 30, you spent most of your games maining one or two champions through the XP climb and you need to buy new champions to fill out your roles. Especially if you're a newer player, I would highly recommend staying away from new champions. No matter how awesome the new champions look, their novelty will wear off after a few games and you'll feel like you've wasted your IP. Instead, consider buying your entire champion pool out of 450 and 1350 IP champions. Most of the choices in these categories are tried-and-true, low skill cap champions that have been in the game for years. They are highly unlikely to have low win rates (with a few exceptions) and they are cheap for a reason -- you were meant to play these 32 champions, which are listed below.

450 IP champions

Annie Ashe Garen Kayle Master Yi
Nunu Poppy Ryze Sivir Soraka


1350 IP champions

Alistar Amumu Cho'Gath Dr. Mundo Evelynn
Fiddlesticks Janna Jax Malphite Morgana
Nasus Singed Sion Taric Teemo
Tristana Tryndamere Twisted Fate Udyr Veigar
Warwick Zilean      


If you buy the ten bolded champions above in addition to receiving free Alistar and Tristana from Riot's Facebook and YouTube, you will have at least two viable AD carries, 4 supports, 4 junglers, 3 top laners, and 3 AP carries. Together, all of these champions cost 9,900 IP. That's not a bad deal -- instead of buying Karma and Fiora for over 9000 Influence points, you could get 10 useful champions to be used on a regular basis!

Price Recap

Budget: 35,000 IP

Runes: 20,610 IP
Champions: 9,900 IP

Total: 30,510 IP (36,810 with optional runepage)

Look guys, it's not that hard. If a fresh level 30 (or smurf) knows what they are doing with their IP, they could easily descend into solo queue and effectively be able to play every role. The budget I've given for 10 champion purchases and 4 runepages is for 30,000 IP, and most players earn between 40,000 and 70,000 IP by the time they hit level 30 depending on the number of FWotD bonuses they get. Even if you waste some of your hard earned Influence Points on a new champion, there's still plenty of leeway for the ability to play ranked games optimally as soon as you hit 30.

Even if you've passed the point where you have purchased all of the basic runes and champions needed, the lesson applies for maximizing your IP use continues into the next tier of champion costs. I've been playing on and off since 2010 and I only own around half the champions in the game. If you find that your choices are too limited by 450 and 1350 IP, always look at the 3150 IP champions before you jump into the expensive 6300 IP champs. A 6300 IP or even 7800 IP champion can take upwards of 100 games to farm for. If you take an IP risk without previously playing a certain champion, you may only be able to get half a dozen games of fun in before you give up your investment. Instead, buy all of the basic champions before you expand your horizons, and you'll be able to learn much more about the game.

The same goes for runes -- minimize your costs, and buy what is both universal and effective. While I have nothing against experimenting outside of common purchases, you'll generally find that most players use a universal set of runes. Wandering off the beaten path of rune purchases may be hazardous for your IP wallet, and you should seek to emulate common runepages if the basic runes I've suggested are not enough for you.


Please comment with your thoughts below and please like my Facebook page!
-- VVinrar

For more of my work:

To contact me, come to the "A DIFFerent View" chatroom (NA) or drop a line at [email protected]




  • #97 Heulfryn

    I just got to level 20 and have not play a single game as jungler. Now is time for me to start to learn jungler role. From the 10 bolded champions, which are consider as jungler and which you all recomended for new to the role.


  • #98 CaterpillarCake

    Amumu Cho Malph and Nunu

    Fiddle and WW are also easy junglers.

    I would probably recommend WW Jarvan Amumu Cho Malph and Xin.

  • #88 dumbitdownjr

    I'm not sure where u get the 2 adc's from, but other then that good post.

  • #90 SummonerSupreme

    Sivir still exists lol, I said the same thing

  • #91 dawnscythe

    Janna is the other one

  • #92 Tarmean

    Ashe and the free Tristana, I would guess. Although they might be way harder to play then newer carries like Graves or Cait for newer players...

  • #93 DaarkPaladinX

    The purpose of this post is good IP investments for beginners if you are getting new champions and runes with only IP.  The reason he suggest grabbing Ashe and the free Tristana from Facebook is because they're good investment with your IP AND they are good adcs to learn.  Both Ashe and Tristana have interesting quirks of you learning how to CS properly (Ashe E passive gives you 2 gold per kill, and Tristana has the E passive that explodes and damages other units).  Both gives you the idea of "adcs have very weak games and you need to play carefully and farm until late game" (although Tristana is a weird case where she has decent early game due to her W and E burst, but it's hard to utilize it properly).  This is why Tristana and Ashe are considered to be the easiest adcs to play as.

    Caitlyn and Graves, however, aren't usually worth the IP investment for beginners since they cost 4800 and 6300 IP respectively.  Both of these adcs are early game bullies that will eventually have terrible lategame (Well, Caitlyn does have a good late game thanks to her 650 AA range, but other adcs like Kog'maw, Tristana, and Vayne have steroids that bring more than Caitlyn).  Now unless if you manage to buy RP or do lots of IP farming in Coop vs. Ai or Dominion for months; trying to get Caitlyn and Graves isn't worth it.

    Thus being said, if want to be good with adcs, you need to learn how to CS properly with them.  Thus being said, I'm usually quite good with CSing with Tristana, and a slightly higher learning curve ADC, Kog'maw.

    Last edited by DaarkPaladinX: 4/14/2013 5:41:19 PM
  • #95 Itachi

    I disagree about Tristiana being considered one of the easiest ADC to play. Also, her early game is not merely "decent," it is actually amazing compared to other ADC, and after level 30 you actually get more IP from SR normals than the game modes you suggested.

  • #96 DaarkPaladinX

    True, but like most early game ADCs, it's more of a "high risk, high return" type of thing.  Tristana's late game has better value than early game.  Keep in mind of that.  Her midgame is the weakest because of the lack of AD scaling.

    EDIT: It takes a lot of games to get around 30-40k IP needed to get the runepages and runes that you want, and an additional more IP to get the 4.8k-6.3k IP champions that you want to get, even if you play a lot of normal PvP SR.  I think by the time you get to level 30, you should have at least 14k IP to spend for your runes if you play a lot of Coop vs. Ai and playing in Intermediate difficulty level 10 and beyond.  It actually took me roughly a month to get to summoner's level 30.

    Last edited by DaarkPaladinX: 4/17/2013 11:00:31 AM
  • #94 Itachi

    They are Ashe and Tristiana. Notice how Trist is in italics. If you read the article it explains it.

  • #99 Basinator

    Tristiana :) :x

  • #86 Basinator

    I would recommend FS and WW, just because they are basically jungleable without runes.

  • #80 dawnscythe

    Or you can just play more normals to get more experienced and get your specific rune pages for your best champions xP. Seriously, getting higher in your placement games is a great shortcut.

  • #74 Beanna

    Although I always like your job VVinrar, I have to disagree on your champions recommandations. 
    I understand you choosed to bold easy to play champions for beginners but I believe it is more important to purchase good champions earlier and learn them during lvling to exploit their full potential at higher level.

    I would never buy Annie over Ryze or Kayle. The last two are really great picks and are actively played in competitive environment. They deserve to get bought and learned by every player.
    The same reasoning can be applied to Nasus, Jax, Singed... They may not be the easiest to master but they are definitely worth trying considering how well they perform in the current state of the game.

  • #75 xaneius

    i think that the choice of winrar is about ryze and kayle need specific runepage. Ryze needs %ms and mana. kayle goes hybrid pen red or attackspeed red, ap quints. Nasus lane needs ms or hp5 quints (based on matchup).

    On the other side, i agree that jax would be a really good addiction, becouse i can't see any other true jungle bruiser and jax can do extremely well with base runeset and can cover two roles. I would forgo going for janna and chogat (3 supports are enough and ap-ish bruiser is already covered, and both have a quite high skill cap) and going for tf and jax instead, both great additions. 

  • #79 Beanna

    Ryze does not need his own runepage anymore, he is actually played with classic MPen/Armor/MR and MS or AP as Quint (preferably MS), a pretty common set of gems for AP.

    Nasus is a tricky champion when played as a laner because he is very CS dependant but as a jungler he is really easy to play. I would call him a very "noob friendly" jungler thanks to the sustain from his passive and his ganking potential with W only.

    Last edited by Beanna: 4/12/2013 10:58:05 AM
  • #76 PedestrianA

    if we are talking about meta, it is, but if we consider the skill cap of people, no.

    Ryze has a tough early game that new players may not be able to break through easily(stacking tears). Kayle is not even a traditional mid lane and requires one to really know about the lane to a certain degree to be effective.

    While for Nasus, the cs in low elo is so bad so does the jungling skills, and low elo Singed would easily overestimate their toughness.

    There are not really a meta when you are at low elo, so it actually be better for one to know better about the game before they manage to learn more.

  • #72 drewqt

    No one has mentioned it in the first 3 pages of comments, but Tristana is no longer free on Facebook. Alistar is still free on youtube though. 

  • #68 Gunthore

    If you can get a PBE account you can try all new champs (or even older ones) before purchasing and play as much as you want to get a feel for a champ before dropping IP.

  • #73 Aquamadur

    "IF you can get a PBE acc"
    or buy one for 25 €on ebay. Damn.

    Riot should actually allow player to use EVERY champion on Bot games. Maybe after lvl 20 or lvl 30, so new played dont get confused about to much champs.

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