Fast Track with League of Legends Pro Builds

By | March 12th, 2019 | Categories: League of Legends

One of the biggest factors contributing to low elo players being stuck at their rank is an inability to correctly understand itemization. What this means within the context of League of Legends is building the items that are the most efficient with both team compositions taken into account. Too often obvious blunders are made such as a tank building magic resist against a full AD team, and it is these small mistakes that accumulate over the course of a game and very much make a difference when all stacked together. The most surefire way to improve at this specific aspect is by watching professional games and adapting League of Legends Pro Builds to your own games.

What influences League of Legends Pro Builds?

  • Most important factor is the meta
  • Meta affects the success of teams

The meta is the single most important factor teams must take into account when prepping for matches in League of Legends. The current meta at any given point in time dictates drafting strategy, macro decisions, and itemization, as well as other aspects. A competitive region’s understanding of the meta plays a pivotal role in that region’s success or lack thereof at international events. The best teams have either a good understanding going into the event or adapt quickly to it once the event begins.

As the spring split is underway in all of the competitive League of Legends regions around the world, there is a meta that is in place that changes on a patch-to-patch basis. The meta influences itemization as champions and classes of champions fall out of favor frequently. Understanding the meta is the first step towards better itemization but it also goes hand-in-hand with not only what items work best for a champion generally speaking, but what items are best in specific situations.

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What are professional players currently building in the top lane?

  • Shift away from tanks
  • More focus on bruisers
  • Black Cleaver is an essential item

Beginning last season, there was a move away from tanks in League of Legends. Historically, tanks have been frequently played in both the top and jungle positions. A larger focus was put on bruiser champions, picks like Urgot and Jarvan. This meta shift resulted from Riot pushing League of Legends towards faster games.

A criticism levied against the title, especially in Korea, its most competitive region, was the fact games were boring to watch and often stalled out too long. These drawn out games were facilitated by the presence of tanks that were difficult to kill and as a result could delay turrets from being taken and could also draw team fights out longer. Interestingly enough, as the change happened, it coincided with the prevalence of top lane talent on the best teams in the world, resulting in a top lane focused meta that occurred during the World Championship last year.

For the most part, this has continued into 2019, and tanks while they are played, are far outnumbered by damage champions. With bruiser champions, a core component of any build is Black Cleaver. Black Cleaver is an important item on these types of champions because it gives three valuable stats for them, namely HP, AD, and CDR.

All three stats are valuable for bruisers because it helps them both stay alive longer and gives them damage. Furthermore, it has two helpful passives, giving both armor penetration and movement speed, valuable tools for any team fight. What must also be taken into account is how gold efficient the item is. It costs only 3,000 gold and as a result can be picked up rather quickly, typically as a first item for many different champions.

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What does jungle itemization look like?

  • Removal of tracker’s knife
  • Warrior enchantment is the most frequent choice

The single biggest change to professional jungle builds was the removal of tracker’s knife in patch 8.4. Tracker’s knife was a jungle item which allowed for extra wards to be placed. Riot felt that its presence in professional play allowed teams to avoid fighting in the early game, something the developer wishes to prevent. In order to further limit the vision available to a team, tracker’s knife was removed from the game. As a result, all junglers only currently have access to two different jungle items: Skirmisher’s Sabre and Stalker’s Blade.

Each has its own advantages and both are used frequently in professional games. The enchantment chosen for either item entirely depends on the champion being played, with tanks opting for Cinderhulk, and AD champions choosing Warrior. Runic Echoes and Bloodrazor also exist but the reason professional junglers opt for Warrior most of the time is because not only are physical damage champions favorable in the jungle in the current meta, they benefit from immediately available physical damage and CDR whereas the attack speed from Bloodrazor is less useful.

What does good itemization look like for mid?

  • Current trend towards mages
  • Dark seal is efficient
  • AP and CDR make Luden’s Echo an attractive option

In the current meta, AD champions are rarely played in the mid lane. The two most popular champions for the role, Irelia and Urgot, both received considerable nerfs in recent patches, which made them fall out of favor with professional teams. In their place, mages once again rose to prominence, especially because mid lane is sometimes the only AP threat on a team and without one, it becomes too easy for enemy teams to itemize in response.

As a starting item, corrupting pot has become standard, mainly because of the sustain it gives during laning phase, when going back to base as little as possible is crucial. Often it is complemented by the purchase of two dark seals which might seems strange to the casual observer. However, dark seal is a very efficient item in the mid lane because it low risk, and high reward. It costs only 350 gold and (if sold) sells for 245, meaning only a 105 gold loss. It works incredibly well with corrupting potion because it has a 25% increased healing effect from potions and refillable potions, and this effect stacks. Furthermore, because of the Glory passive which grants additional AP on kill or assist it can have a huge upside if the game is going well.

One other mention is the prevalence of Luden’s Echo on a lot of different champions because of the raw AP it gives combined with the CDR. There are not a lot of items that give both a high amount of AP and CDR, making it very appealing due to a lack of competition. Furthermore, it is valuable because of the Lost Chapter component that builds into it, which grants mana restoration upon level up, which is incredibly useful for mages in the mid lane.

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How about the bot lane?

  • Move towards crit based ADC items
  • Essence Reaver entirely changed
  • Supports focused on vision maintenance above all else

The ADC role is more straightforward because significant changes were made to ADC items when season 9 launched. Specifically, critical chance items were brought back into the limelight, pushing the meta towards crit focused ADCs once more. Other ADCs are still played, most notably Ezreal with his unique build path, but ADCs that rely heavily on these changed items have been the most popular. The most significant changes were those made to Essence Reaver. Before patch 9.3, Essence Reaver was primarily used on champions like Jax and Riven because of its passive that refunded CDR on basic abilities. This passive was moved to a different item altogether and Essence Reaver became a crit item, granting AD, CDR, 25% crit chance, and a passive that restores mana on-hit. This became a first purchase item on some ADCS, most notably Sivir and Xayah, and this has been reflected in League of Legends pro builds.

Although there have been recent nerfs to support items, support builds have remained the most consistent out of all the positions. In professional games, vision is the key to success and support is the primary role providing it for the team. As a result, support builds are heavily catered towards vision, both supply and denying it. For a support in a pro game, it is incredibly important to not only finish your gold income item as fast as possible, but also to leave an inventory slot open for pink wards, which are an incredible tool in taking away vision and securing objectives.

Final Thoughts

League of Legends has evolved over time and this is especially evident in the shifting metas that happen between patches. In turn, the meta plays an important role in determining both team composition and from that, itemization. Professional teams often build differently from the majority of the player base and this is the result of a better understanding of the game and the difference between solo queue and pro games. There are different essential items depending on the type of champion and role played, such as Black Cleaver for bruisers in the top lane or Luden’s Echo for control mages in mid. No matter the position played, if you are looking to improve, a lot can be learned by understanding and using League of Legends Pro Builds and you may very well fast track your goals by doing so.

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