Mid-game items – and the issue therewith. It makes sense that late-game expensive items give you bigger gains per gold spent than other comparatively cheaper items since the late-game item takes a bigger investment and thus longer to complete. But does this really justify the rather sad state-of-affairs with early-mid game items in League of Legends? I don’t think so.
As an example let’s take a look at Haunting Guise - a pretty cheap caster item which grants stats that pretty much every caster can take advantage of. Considering this is one of the very few ways a champion can gain flat magic penetration it’s a pity that this item often goes by the wayside. It’s no surprise that it is overlooked either, especially considering that for a similar investment you can buy a Needlessly Large Rod. Not only is the NLR most likely going to give you more offensive power than buying Haunting Guise, but it also builds into 2 of the most powerful AP items in the game.
Now I can humor the argument that items like Haunting Guise allow you to gain stats in pieces, gaining an advantage while building the item rather than having to wait for a large gold pool, but to me this argument is moot. Considering how passive and farm-oriented League of Legends can be at times there is no reason that a champion going for a big investment item such as BF Sword or NLR can’t get it with relative ease.
Now there are some exceptions to the rule. Items like Brutaliser, Hextech Revolver and Wriggle’s Lantern still hold their place in many champions builds. However these are often stop-gap items, often built as a reactive defense to a lane opponent(s) or tiding over offensive stats until a bigger item may be purchased.
I find it a little sad that there is essentially no incentive for a player with a lane advantage early to invest in some less expensive items to really solidify their power presence in the early-mid game. Even if you do go for mid-game power and an early victory there’s no guarantee you’ll not stall with a 3 tower advantage and then lose anyway. Considering how hard AD carries tend to scale and even how hard AP champions scale with Rabbadon’s Deathcap into the late-game the risk of going a mid-game build is high.
Even a champion like Zilean, who fulfills an AP role early only to switch-out into more of a support setup – rushes Rabbadon’s Deathcap. Now this is not to say that late game items like Rabbadon’s and Infinity Edge are too good, even though they are very powerful I feel like they are justified. I simply believe that the gap in stats gained per gold spent between the most expensive items in League of Legends and everything below them is a little too high. Why build anything else when you can just throw 1-2 late-game items on your AP / AD and be a powerhouse.
On that note: I would like to add that defensive / tank items are done quite well in this manner. Items like Sunfire Cape have a moderate cost matched by a good but not overblown increase in defensive stats + utility and items like Quicksilver Sash have their own unique place in the game so the fact they offer less stats than alternatives isn’t relevant.
So what do you guys think?
Do some of the big powerhouse items need to be toned down?
Do some smaller early-mid items need to be buffed a little?
Are items fine the way they are?
Edited by Rapid99, 22 January 2012 - 08:52 PM.