Thursday, January 9, 2014

League Analysis: Ruby Sightstone

Since I was but a lowly underleveled summoner, I've dabbled in the concept of supporting occasionally. While I found myself in other roles (top, jungle, mid) because I found them more enjoyable, they eventually got boring or certain champions or tactics worked less effectively in ranked. When struggling to climb through Plat 1, I switched my primary role twice: from top to mid, then from mid to support. The second switch paid off, allowing me to barely reach Diamond before the season's end.

This is only part of the story behind my move to playing the support role more. For instance, I didn't feel miserable playing support in Season 3 because of the inclusion of items like the Sightstone, allowing me to get some time to play with some ranked teams for a time. Season 4 brought changes that readjusted support income through item (and mastery) changes, motivating me to try out support even more. However, given all the Season 4 changes that came that seemed to favor the support role, the Ruby Sightstone was left behind. Why is it almost never built now given the fact it was core in Season 3? Read on...

The Issue
The first issue with Ruby Sightstone is that the passive mechanics of the item are a relic from Season 3. It has a capacity of 5 wards, which is 1 more than the Sightstone, but the notable perk of the Season 3 Ruby Sightstone was it allowed the placement of 3 wards over the Sightstone's 2 at any given time. With the Season 4 changes to vision, the 2 ward limit on Sightstone was lifted, thus essentially making a Ruby Sightstone purchase result in a 1 ward capacity increase, which isn't that useful.

Since the passive effect isn't as useful anymore, it's also worth pointing out that for a measly 600 gold, it's not worth upgrading from the Sightstone for a slight boost to the passive, as mentioned before, and 180 additional health. Furthermore, the slot efficiency of Ruby Sightstone is terrible (effectively an item that gives 360 health and about the same amount of vision control as a Sightstone), making other items far more desirable to purchase first.

The Solution

Ruby Sightstone could be a more effective purchase if its passive had more power. While I don't necessarily agree with allowing Ruby Sightstone to increase the hard cap on wards that a player can place because that would place the burden of warding back on the support when the Season 4 changes want to depart from that mentality. Instead, significantly increase the ward capacity of Ruby Sightstone so the player using it can gain a great advantage in vision wars by stalling out the usage of stealth-ward revealing tools and reducing how often the player has to recall to refill on wards. If I had to give a number on the ward capacity Ruby Sightstone should have, 7 or 8 seems like a good choice.

Increasing the stats is a nice additional option. The boost doesn't have to be so significant that the Ruby Sightstone suddenly becomes as good as another fully-upgraded item, but increasing the total price of the item to around 2000 gold and making the item grant 500 Health makes Ruby Sightstone a fairly decent upgrade without obsoleting other health items.

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