League of Legends Items Guide to Increase Your Understanding

League of Legends Items Guide
By | August 26th, 2018 | Categories: League of Legends

Often times, low ranked League of Legends players are confused as to what exactly is preventing them from climbing the ladder. It can be difficult to pinpoint exact reasoning without watching a large volume of a specific player’s games. Despite that, one of the biggest factors that can be cited is an overall lack of understanding when it comes to itemization in League of Legends.

The majority of the League of Legends player base is situated in the bronze or silver elo, and as a result, most players lack the depth of understanding behind items in the game. Itemization is a daunting aspect of LoL with so many different items being available and so many different builds at a player’s disposal every time a game is started. Whether you are trying to improve your ranked situation or are new to the game, this League of Legends Items Guide will do wonders in improving both your understanding of the game at a fundamental level, and your ability to win more games than you lose. If itemization is something you are looking to sink your teeth into, then look no further.

What are the key takeaways with this League of Legends Items Guide?

  • Doing away with recommended items
  • AD versus AP
  • Mixed damage
  • Items for specific roles

One of the biggest crutches for League of Legends players is the recommended items tab available to everyone during the course of a game. The recommended items tab, while existing as a service for players not well versed in itemization, is detrimental to both growth and understanding. Far too many players rely on recommended items without considering why these items are on the tab in the first place. If someone is looking to understanding items in League of Legends on a deep level, making a conscious effort to no longer rely on the tab is an incredibly important first step towards becoming a better player.

While this may seem overly simple for some, when it comes to a champion’s kit and itemization, understanding the difference between AD and AP is essential. In the most basic terms, AD is an abbreviation for Attack Damage and AP is an abbreviation for Ability Power. AD is for champions that rely on physical damage whereas AP is for magic users. This key difference is one that must be remembered at all times because building an AP item on a champion that has only AD scaling abilities can very well be a costly mistake that will directly translate into losing that particular game. It must be avoided at all costs.

However, it is important to note that champions are not as binary as they may appear. There are a number of champions that rely on mixed damage, meaning both AD and AP items can be built. Historically speaking, the most well-known example of this situation is Kayle, a champion that has been in the ecosystem for quite a long time. Due to the nature of Kayle’s kit, she is a champion that benefits from both attack speed and ability power. Attack speed is a stat that is most closely associated with attack damage itemization and being unafraid to venture into those items when playing will help pave the way for your climb up the ranked ladder.

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Even though items are categorized between the two major stats, they are further divided by role. While some roles such as top have a large degree of variance, typically speaking, roles have a specific set of items they want to choose from to have maximum success. Riot has generally been strict about role itemization, restricting items to specific roles to best balance the overall state of the game.

The most notable example of this is tying jungle items to the jungler summer spell, smite. Taking this summoner spell is priority number one in champion select for any jungler, as not only will it be of utmost importance in securing objectives, it will allow you to purchase jungler specific items, which are needed to maximize DPS in the jungle role. Support is another position more strictly defined by itemization, but no matter the role chosen, choices are still present and making the correct ones more often than not will help you improve.

What are some common mishandled itemization situations?

  • No healing cut for healing champions
  • No armor/magic penetration against tanks

There are a few specific champions that heavily rely on healing in order to sustain through the game and become serious threats should the match reach post thirty minutes in length. Dr. Mundo is one such champion and after receiving a significant buff to his ultimate ability in patch 8.9, he became a staple pick in the top lane and can still be seen frequently in solo queue. His ultimate ability not only gives him increased movement speed, it provides him with a lot of healing, which can be incredibly difficult for a team to handle if no healing cut items are purchased.

In League of Legends, there is a status that can be applied to champions when specific items are purchased, known as Grievous Wounds. It is a debuff that reduces all healing by 40% and can be applied by ADCs when Executioner’s Calling is bought. It is an essential purchase against any team that uses Dr. Mundo or similar champions such as Soraka or Vladimir. Many players never buy this healing cut item and understanding its importance is an inherent understanding of how to itemize correctly.

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A similar problem presents itself with tanks in the game, which might see resurgence in play after the most recent patch gave small buffs to different tanks. Tanks are valuable because they are able to soak damage and be a necessary frontline so the carry champions can deal extended damage during team fights. In order to soak the damage and be valuable, they will most likely build a lot of armor and magic defense, typically catering towards one in particular depending on the composition of the enemy team.

These defenses can be mitigated by penetration which reduces how effective armor or magic defense can be. A team without penetration items will be unable to handle tanks and the lack of said items will result in a loss given how long a tank will be able to survive in lieu of their absence. Such a mistake must be avoided at all costs and learning how to itemize correctly will rectify this issue for many players.

Final Thoughts

The simple truth is that itemizing correctly is important for all players. Building correctly given the enemy composition and overall flow of a particular game will dictate how often games are won and consequently, how likely you may be to increase your rank and gain LP. In order to gain this understanding, not relying on the recommended items tab is priority number one and should be followed suit with knowing the difference between AD and AP and which items are role dependent. What must also be kept in mind are the common pitfalls of new and inexperienced players who will often not buy the appropriate items when playing against specific champions. The sooner these lessons are learned the more likely you are to see the enemy nexus explode, which quite frankly is the best feeling of all.

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