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

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