Riot Games has always been a strong advocate of champion diversity, and rightly so. Build paths, lane matchups and team compositions change with the type of champions picked, bringing dynamism to the game.
Looking at Week 9 of the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), 9 supports (Alistar, Thresh, Braum, Rakan, Tahm Kench, Morgana, Taric, Kennen, and Zyra) have made appearances on Summoner’s Rift. Janna (56.5%), Sona (53.7%), and Soraka (53.0%) stand as the highest win-rate Supports in Solo Queue, while Blitzcrank and Lulu remain the crowd-favourites. It’s great that so many Supports are playable, but how do the starting items fare?
That’s what we’re here to find out. Let’s start off with the first support item on the headline.
Ancient Coin has been on the rise recently, sitting at a 9% pick rate in Patch 7.15 of Solo Queue, compared to 5%in the previous patch. With easy gold generation and mana regen, it is the staple for Supports will low kill-potential in lane, such as Janna and Soraka. The mana regen pickups allows the Supports to spam spells without going OOM. The 8% movement speed buff for allies moving towards you is great for kiting and peeling during teamfights. Once upgraded to Nomad’s Medallion, gold drops off kills and assists. Even if the Support with Ancient Coin is on the losing team, she can easily end the game with more gold than her non-Coin counterparts.
The win rate with the Coin line averages at 55.2%, while the other Support starting item lines sit at about 50.0%. When KT Mata picks Morgana and Rakan and decides to start with Coin, it clearly indicates how strong the item is. According to PBE notes, the item is receiving a mana nerf, and possibly further nerfs to tone down the numbers.
Recommendation:Go for Ancient Coin when you’ve locked in a Passive Support and/or are going to be playing passively. The lane sustain is pretty strong, but the item offers no combat stats. Embrace the OP gold generation in all stages of the game.
But what of the other Support items used for competitive play? Let’s take a look at these two other alternatives.
Relic Shield remains a staple for Alistar and friends. The sustain it provides when last hitting a minion helps the Support and ADC stay in lane. It also gives the Support the little bit of HP needed to win bot lane skirmishes. Though not as strong as Coin or Spellthief’s in gold generation, the item builds well into Face of the Mountain, and ensures that Supports upgrade their Sightstone to a Ruby Sightstone. These items synergise well with the Locket of the Iron Solari’s shield active, which scales off the buyer’s bonus health.
Recommendation: You can never go wrong with Relic Shield on Tank Supports. But try not to tilt your ADC when you miss your last hits with Thresh!
This item offers kill potential, but requires the bot lane to play aggressively and go for constant harass. Brand, Zyra and Morgana can still do well with Spellthief’s, since they can proc the gold generation with ease. The combat stats from the Spellthief’s line is strong, and can help to snowball leads. But with Coin being OP, even some of these Mage Supports are opting for the Coin line instead.
Recommendation: If you’re planning to ‘win lane, win game’ with a Mage Support, Spellthief’s is probably the best bet. The gold generation is not as strong as Coin, but you have way more kill pressure in lane.
Your first buy will influence the rest of the game. Choose wisely, Summoners!
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