Items Guide – Damage Part 1

Posted: July 12, 2011 by xenocidebrm in Items

I’ve had it. I’m sick and tired of seeing Last Whispers on Ashe when the opponents build no armor or Banshee’s Veils against AD teams. I present to you the Items Guide article, where every week I will explain the purpose of a particular subset of items in the shop. This week and next week, I’ll be tackling everyone’s favorite section, Damage items.

Aegis of the Legion – More a defensive item than anything else, the fact that it does damage does NOT give you permission to put it on a character who is going for an Attack Damage build. The benefit occurs in an area of effect, so it’s more useful for a support character like Janna or Sona who already have an incentive to stick together with their team. While the benefit is great early and mid game, its usefulness falls off in late game, so buy one early after the laning phase ends and sell it for something else as you approach end game. Only get one on a team.

Atma’s Impaler – Simultaneously the most underrated and overrated item, this is the tanky-dps’ wet dream item. It is a mistake, however, to assume its primary goal is to give you damage. In the League of Legends spotlight for Vayne, we see Phreak build an Atma’s on Vayne. In the three weeks that followed I saw everyone put Atma’s on Vayne for no reason at all other than Phreak did it in the champ spotlight. Atma’s gives you a nice bit of armor and crit and 2% of your HP is added to your AD. If you do the math, a character with 2500 HP gets 50 AD from this item for 2355 gold. A B.F. Sword, by comparison, gives you 45 AD for only 1650 gold, more than 600 gold less. Long story short, unless you’re a character who expects to have 3000 or more HP late game, don’t buy this item. If you are an AD character who expects to have that much HP, there’s no reason not to get this item, but get it late game when it actually matters.

B.F. Sword – Ah, the almighty B.F. Sword. If you are an Attack Damage character with decent AD ratios on your abilities, this is practically mandatory to rush. It builds into the best AD weapons in the game, so there’s almost no reason not to get this item, and its effect is so huge for its gold cost that getting it earlier guarantees you an advantage for the rest of the game. One of the few items I would actually cut back on ward buying to get.

Bilgewater Cutlass – An underutilized item, you should only ever get this on characters who are hybrid AD-AP characters. It builds into the amazing Hextech Gunblade, and its ability to smack on a bunch of damage and slow always surprises the enemy. Get it earlier in the game and during laning phase, as its usefulness gradually wanes until you upgrade it to the Gunblade.

Black Cleaver – If you see the enemy buying a little bit of armor, the Black Cleaver gives any auto-attacking AD character an edge. Built from the awesome B.F. Sword, it gives you a nice Attack Speed boost while giving the enemy a stacking armor debuff. Circumstantial, as pure AS or pure AD items tend to be better, but if you see that little bit of armor on the enemy this item is a game changer. Only get one on a team.

Bloodthirster – Heaving. Meaty. Bloodthirsters. These bad boys give tremendous power, up to 100 AD and tons of lifesteal. If you are an auto-attacking character, get this item. The lifesteal is incredible, the AD bonus destroys almost every other item, and the only reason I wouldn’t get this on an AD character is if I’m going for an on-hit build (Kog’Maw, Shaco, Vayne). This is a late game item, but if you can get it early you will not be disappointed.

Brutalizer – Arbitrary price aside, the Brutalizer is wonderful for a handful of characters and borderline useless for everyone else. The most striking part about it is the cooldown reduction, particularly useful for, surprise, AD characters who are very reliant on cooldowns. Renekton and Yi in particular love this item, but it must be their first item for full effect.

Doran’s Blade – If you are a ranged AD carry, this should be your first item unless you’re doing some sort of jungle build. If you get an advantage in lane, buy another one. If you’re doing really well, get a third. These items stay useful all the way through to mid game, after which you can sell them off for a decent amount.

Frozen Mallet – The first item I’d really consider a late game item, the Frozen Mallet is built from the excellent Phage and equally cool Giant’s Belt to give incredible 100% assured slowdown on an enemy and a large chunk of health. Good on either melee or ranged characters, this is an item you can usually delay getting until late game. Synergizes well with tanky-dps builds and Atma’s Impaler.

Guinsoo’s Rageblade – Somewhat similar to the Bilgewater Cutlass, this item can be combined with a high Attack Speed character who is going for hybrid AD-AP. It sounds good, but in reality it needs to be bought early to have any serious effect, and even then it really should only be built on Jax and possibly Nidalee.

Hexdrinker – Let me start off by saying that I thought this weapon was completely worthless until one game I actually bought it. I was playing Shaco and the enemy had a fed Karthus who kept ulting me down to less than half of my health. I could barely jungle with this Karthus ulting and couldn’t kill him because his team was smart and stuck together. Enter Hexdrinker. For a modest 1800 gold,  you get 35 AD and 30 Magic Resist. “This item looks like crap!” you say. That’s what I thought, until I found out that its passive gives you 300 extra HP against magic damage. With this item, I was able to successfully survive Karthus ults and split push our team to victory. Hexdrinker turns any squishy AD character into a tanky-dps against Ability Power champions and turns certain death into narrow escapes. While it is circumstantial when facing a lot of enemy AP, I have found it always pays for itself. Even better, if I find I don’t need it the Hexblade can be sold for 70% of its base cost, making it one of the most cost-effective items in the game. Get it mid game for the best effect, as there are better items to rush first.

Hextech Gunblade – For hybrid AD-AP characters, there is no better item. High AD and AP, lifesteal and spell vamp, and a better version of the Bilgewater’s activated ability, this item does it all. The activated ability even uses the spell vamp from the Gunblade. If you need to rush any item as hybrid AD-AP, this item is it.

All pictures provided by the League of Legends Wiki. Thanks guys!

Well, that’s it for part 1 of the Damage items! Come back Tuesday for the rest of the list. Disagree with anything above? Send us an e-mail or comment below!

  1. Gorgosch says:

    Nice overview.
    If you could manage to put a picture to each item it would be more usefull.
    I am playing on German account and always have to translate. In some cases easy in other not.
    So a picture of the item would defentive help.

  2. damndirtycat says:

    Good suggestion! I’ve added pictures to all of the items to make it easier to identify which ones I’m talking about. Thank you for the feedback, Gorgosch!

  3. Gorgosch says:

    Thanks for the picture. I even read the articel again. And will for certain in the future, if I go other champions.
    Should be sticky.

  4. […] Rageblade – I’ve already discussed this item in the Attack Damage Items Guide, and the same applies here. Only get this item on Jax and Nidalee, and get it […]

  5. […] am not known for making popular guides to characters, but I did build Hexdrinker on Shaco before it was cool and still carry games with AD Leona. So I’m going to take a look at the […]

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