Monday, March 18, 2013

League Analysis: Trinity Force - No Longer Deals Tons of Damage

When the Season 3 pre-patch came around, there were many changes to items. New items also got added while others got removed. While a good number of items got nerfed in some way, one item in particular bit the dust pretty hard and even with the slight buff it got later, it has gone from being one of the better items in the game to being underused. The item I am referring to is Trinity Force.
Personally I rarely see this item at all and the statistics seem to reflect it. An interesting quirk when looking at the statistics, the item is used much less at higher ELOs. Restating the above, the item got nerfed and the pre-patch came out, the item became an increasing rarity to see even on champions that normally build the item. So what happened?

Cost and Efficiency

Trinity Force has stat budgeting in terms of gold cost as shown below. For this I calculated the cost-efficient to be as high as possible:
AD: 1200
AP : 652.5
AS: 1000
Crit: 500
Health: 659.7
Mana: 400
Movespeed: 120
Slow proc: 137.2
"Sheen" proc:  474.4
Total: 5143.8 (vs 3903 gold cost)

Efficiency: ~131.8%
Based on the numbers here, the item is reasonably efficient, though it does remain as the most costly item in the game. It almost seems as if the efficiency should be higher because of this, which it was prior to the nerfs (maybe around 150% or so). The cost and budgeting of Trinity Force is only part of the "problem," however. As mentioned above, the pre-patch also added new items to the game. One, in particular, essentially became the "replacement" for Trinity Force - the Iceborn Gauntlet.

For comparing these items, I will go over the stats, costs, and passive effects.

The cost comparison clearly goes in favor of Iceborn Gauntlet, costing 503 gold less (though the "efficiency" may be lower - if requested I will calculate it).

Trinity Force provides a litany of stats, mostly in terms of offense (so many stats that a champion usually won't benefit from all of them too well). Iceborn Gauntlet provides a mix of offensive stats (though the Ability Power isn't that beneficial and/or Mana isn't greatly beneficial for champions that would typically build either this or Trinity Force) and defensive stats.

Were it not for the Cooldown Reduction on Iceborn Gauntlet, Trinity Force would probably be better in most cases unless one really wants that bonus Armor (pretty helpful to avoid getting squished). Therefore, for pure stat comparisons, it could go either way, though I lean towards Trinity Force for offense and Iceborn for defense.

When comparing passive effects on the items, however, Iceborn is the clear winner in a majority of cases, even when accounting for its nerfs. This is because the slowing effect has a 100% uptime and stronger for ranged champions assuming the passive is utilized as much as possible. In addition, the bonus damage is significantly better if the effect damages two or more targets and deals slightly less damage against a single target. Finally, the slowing field that is created can be a decent disruption tool even if an enemy walking through it didn't suffer the damage.

Given these three comparisons, it's obvious why Iceborn Gauntlet became the item of choice over Trinity Force. It costs less, provides better sticking/kiting power, and still allows the champion using it to deal a decent amount of damage while also providing some durability.

Final Words

Even without additional reasons it's pretty clear that Trinity Force isn't great right now. Solving this issue, however, isn't an easy affair. The nerfs could be reverted or Iceborn Gauntlet could be nerfed further. Maybe a full rollback is needed to bring the item back into the limelight. What does need to happen at some point in the future though is that Trinity Force needs a look at. The downfall of this item is sad to see and as the most expensive item in the game, shouldn't it actually be worth it?

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