Wednesday, December 26, 2012

League Analysis: Items for Hybrids (Guinsoo's Rageblade, Nashor's Tooth, and Malady)

A set of items that have been bothering me since my early days of playing the game are some items that have been mentioned occasionally. One of the more recent articles (right before the Season 3 patch) on LoLKing highlights these "Teemo items," noting how they are rarely used and probably slated for changes. While these items, which I will call "hybrid items" because they have stats oriented for both AD and AP champions, thus making them intended to be strong on champions that scale off both stats, did receive a few modifications for Season 3, I feel these items could use further improvement due to several reasons.

The Problems

Rageblade has a couple of problems, despite gaining an awesome new Unique Passive. The first one that comes to mind is the fact that it gives Attack Damage and Ability Power, but the first Unique Passive grants stacking Ability Power and Attack Speed. While this is beneficial for some champions like Kayle, Jax, and Teemo, other champions, such as Katarina and Akali don't benefit as much despite benefiting from the base stats on the item (and the new second unique passive).

Another problem is that it suffers from being an Advanced item, meaning that in terms of its cost efficiency per slot compared to Legendary and Mythical items, it isn't that great. While the unique passives make up for this pretty handily (in fact the second passive almost made me think about not writing this section entirely), there should still be suitable Legendary tier items that fall under the design of this item or something similar, as they are rare and it would open up for some options for champions that benefit from hybrid stats.

I grouped these two together because the items are similar by design. This is actually where the problem lies, in my opinion. Because these items are so similar (they both have Ability Power and Attack Speed) despite having some different effects, they cover roughly the same bases, making it something of a choice between which item to get based purely on the strength of the items (for some reason I have a tendency to see more Malady than Nashor's Tooth).

The Solutions

For Guinsoo's Rageblade, I would use the following solutions:
  • Firstly, remove the current incarnation of Guinsoo's Rageblade.
  • In place of the removed item, add two new items similar to it. The first would be oriented towards champions that benefited from the previous incarnation of Rageblade and the second would be oriented towards champions that don't benefit well from Attack Speed. In addition, both items would be Legendary tier and much stronger than the original Rageblade. The items could be something like this:
Guinsoo's Rageblade (Legendary Item)

Builds From: Stinger, Longsword x2, Blasting Wand
Total Cost: 3300 (2910 Item Cost, 390 Build Cost)
Effect: 30 Attack Damage, 40 Ability Power, 40% Attack Speed, 10% Cooldown Reduction
Passive: Your basic attacks or spellcasts grant you 5% Attack Speed and 5 Ability Power for 8 seconds. This bonus stacks up to 5 times.
Unique Passive: Falling below 50% health grants you 8% Life Steal and 8% Spell Vamp until you exit combat - 30 second cooldown.
Hextech Annihilator (Legendary Item)

Builds From: The Brutalizer, Longsword, Blasting Wand
Total Cost: 3300 (2597 Item Cost, 703 Build Cost)
Effect: 45 Attack Damage, 45 Ability Power, 10% Cooldown Reduction
Unique Effect: 10 Armor Penetration, 10 Magic Penetration
Passive: Your basic attacks grant 5 Attack Damage and Ability Power and your spellcasts grant 10 Attack Damage and Ability Power for 8 seconds. Maximum 25 Attack Damage and Ability Power.
Unique Passive: Falling below 50% health grants you 8% Life Steal and 8% Spell Vamp until you exit combat - 30 second cooldown.
Note that I had to nerf the passive effects a little bit otherwise the item would have become too cost-efficient, making them far better choices compared to other Legendary items (they might actually need more of a nerf, actually).

For the latter two items, I simply decided to make them part of the same item upgrade tree. Malady would be a lesser item that costs even less to craft with a weaker unique passive (only retains one of them), while Nashor's Tooth builds out of Malady and some other items and gains the other passive effect Malady had. In addition, Nashor's Tooth retains most of its old stats (to a point). It will also cost a little more to make Nashor's Tooth. The result could be something like the following:
Malady (Advanced Item)

Builds From: Amplifying Tome, Dagger, Faerie Charm
Total Cost: 1300 (1015 Item Cost, 295 Build Cost)
Effect: 25 Ability Power, 20% Attack Speed, 5 Mana Regen per 5 seconds
Unique Passive - Affliction: Your basic attacks deal 5 + 10% of your Ability Power as bonus magic damage.
Nashor's Tooth (Legendary Item)

Builds From: Malady, Stinger, Amplifying Tome
Total Cost: 3400 (2985 Item Cost, 415 Build Cost)
Effect: 50 Ability Power, 60% Attack Speed, 10 Mana Regen per 5 seconds. 15% Cooldown Reduction
Unique Passive - Affliction: Your basic attacks deal 15 + 10% of your Ability Power as bonus magic damage.
Unique Passive: Your basic attacks reduce enemy Magic Resistance by 5 for 8 seconds (effect stacks up to 5 times).
One thing I will immediately note about these changes is that the items might have too many stats on them and thus fill a lot of niches at once. I am aware the impact could be tremendous but the items in their current stat aren't used all that much and are sometimes not even optimal on champions that could benefit from the usage of such items. With that said, feel free to give feedback because these suggestions are far less rigid than most of the previous League Analysis articles (you may even see some revisions as a result).

Finally, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone (a bit late, but oh well).

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