Items Guide – Ability Power Part 1

Posted: August 2, 2011 by xenocidebrm in Items

There’s only one thing that people like more than stacking tons of Attack Damage: stacking tons of Ability Power. While these items may not all get you to that goal, here’s the first part of my guide to Ability Power items.

Abyssal Scepter – This item is quite character/circumstance reliant, but very effective. It gives you both AP and Magic Resist, perfect for anyone who needs a bit of both. On top of that, it gives a fairly large debuff aura which reduces enemy Magic Resistance. If you can nab this item early in laning phase you will simply win your lane and it stays viable all the way to late game. This item should only be used by short range AP champions or when you’re playing against a melee heavy team.

Amplifying Tome – I know it’s cheap, but please, don’t start the game with this item. A Doran’s Ring give you so much more early on that delaying your build is worth it. I don’t recommend buying these things unless they upgrade into something you need, and even then the money could probably be better spent on wards. Still, a lot of recipies use these, so buy them when you need to get to those items.

Archangel’s Staff – If you want AP, there is no better choice of item. The Archangel’s Staff increases your maximum mana for every spell cast, so you’ll want to grab an early Tear of the Goddess (which builds into the Archangel Staff). This extra mana counts towards its NON-UNIQUE passive, which gives you AP equal to 3% of your mana. With only 2000 mana that’s still 60 AP, and you can stack these! Yikes! If your AP ratio is 1 or greater, get one of these items, but save it for late game, as these are quite expensive and don’t give much of a benefit if you don’t have a huge mana pool.

Blasting Wand – The Blasting Wand is easily my favorite AP item. It’s not the strongest or the cheapest, but just as I prefer the Pickaxe to the Longsword and BF Sword, I prefer the Blasting Wand to the Amplifying Tome and Needlessly Large Rod. It gives you a nice chunk of AP, but its best quality, like the Pickaxe is that it builds into nearly everything. I have had games where I stack these bad boys instead of finishing items. Enemies, unable to tell what I’m building, are forced to build counter items against my teammates, while I have the luxury of counter building against enemy items!

Deathfire Grasp – It looks good on paper: AP item with Cooldown Reduction, Mana Regen, and an active ability that does a ton of percent damage to any one player. In practice, this item can only be used by a select few characters. The problem with this item is that Morello’s Evil Tome does everything that this item does, minus the active ability, better and for 300 gold less. Honestly, I would only absolutely build this item on Veigar because he can compensate for the lost AP with his Baleful Strike. You might be able to get away with building this on Anivia or Brand as well, the active adding damage to champions who are best built tanky anyway.  Void Staff does help this item’s active, so keep that in mind when you build it.

Doran’s Ring – This Doran guy really knows how to make items. I wonder if he’s working on a jungler item, Doran’s Helmet or something… Anyway, this item is great for casters who already have a lot of sustain but run out of mana quickly. It doesn’t have to be your first buy to be effective, but don’t get more than one or two, they’re not exactly as effective as Doran’s Blades.

Fiendish Codex – Low cost, decent AP, Mana Regen, and Cooldown Reduction? Sign me up. The Fiendish Codex is one of my favorite items, great for any caster with AP ratios of 1 or greater. In a way, it’s the Brutalizer’s cuter and better dressed AP cousin. It builds into the Deathfire Grasp and Morello’s Evil Tome as well. Grab it early, and upgrade it ASAP, because mid and late game it does nothing.

Guinsoo’s 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 early.


Haunting Guise – Out of all the items I’ve reviewed so far, I don’t think I hate any item more than Haunting Guise. A wanna-be Doran’s item, it gives you 200 HP, 20 AP, and 25 Magic Penetration. While it sounds good on paper, in practice it absolutely must be your first buy to have any effect at all. It’s absurdly expensive for what it does, doesn’t upgrade into anything, and delays the important rush-one-item builds of AP characters. It sells for a decent amount, but I wouldn’t touch this item even if I was being fed.

Hextech Gunblade – Even though I’ve already reviewed this item, I think it’s worth saying again that this item is excellent for AD-AP hybrids of any kind. Vladimir can also benefit greatly from this item, so if you are AD-AP or Vlad, pick this item up!

Hextech Revolver – In the current metagame, sustain is especially important in lane. For anyone with a decent AP ratio, the Hextech Revolver is your solution to sustain. Spell vamp plus AP equals a good time for most AP champions. AP-AD hybrids will also love its relatively low cost and extra sustain. However, it builds out of two Ability Tomes. Yuck.

Kage’s Lucky Pick – Out of all the gold generating items, Kage’s Lucky Pick is the worst. It builds out of the horrible Ability Tome, gives a measly AP bonus, and can only build into Deathfire Grasp. I guess if you plan on getting a Deathfire Grasp grab this item, otherwise stick with Philosopher Stones, Hearts of Gold, and Avarice Blades.

Lich Bane – Considering this weapon is called Lich Bane, it doesn’t exactly do a good job of killing Liches since you will never hit Karthus with this item. However, it does give any AD-AP hybrid character the opportunity to go all out AP. Sion and Ezreal are the only ones I can think of who could use this to any effect, but it is a great item, granting Magic Resist, Ability Power, Mana, Movement Speed, and an Sheen-like On-Hit (does 100% of your AP as damage). Also a hilarious item to build on Karthus stacking AP, only to hit some poor sap with a 700 damage autoattack.

Malady – If you are going for an Attack Speed On-Hit build, the Malady is your key to doing tons of damage. Granting some Ability Power and lots of Attack Speed, it also does magic damage on hit and has a stacking Magic Resist debuff which makes your On-Hit items nothing short of devastating. It is on the expensive side, but if you don’t mind taking a break from the Madred’s Bloodrazor and Wit’s End rushes, try building a Malady first.

All pictures provided by the League of Legends Wiki.

Tune in next Tuesday for the second part of Ability Power items as well as another item quiz!

  1. Gorgosch says:

    Nice overview again. Thank you.

    Whenever I play Mordekaiser as an AP Monster (just for fun, i know you guys here do not like him) I go for Lich Bane. Not first, but after some decent AP already. Mordekaise is such a great hybrid AD / AP. His spell get better with AP but still he can hit hard with this item.

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