Black by Popular Demand – Activist by Choice

Support Gold Items

Yesterday, I went through the jungle items. Today, let’s talk support items!

We’ve got three main gold items, and it feels like a throwback to Season 2!

First, you’ve got the health/tank gold item, Heart of Gold. Only now, it’s called Relic Shield > Targon’s Brace > Face of the Mountain

Then you’ve got the Regen gold item, Philosopher’s Stone. Only now, it’s called Ancient Coin > Nomad’s Medalion > Talisman of Ascension

Finally, you’ve got the AP gold item, Kage’s Lucky Pick. Only now, it’s called Spellthief’s Edge > Frostfang > Frost Queen’s Claim

So which one should you buy? If you’re looking for an easy answer, I’d recommend getting the Relic Shield on your tanks, Philosopher’s Stone on your utility supports, and Kage’s Lucky Pick on your mages.

Why? Because tanks need to be tanky, utility supports need to spam, and mages need a bit of damage.

But Season 4 is different: utility scales now, and supports can buy an extra item if they want to be tanky! So let’s look at item efficiency to dig into the top choices.

Base items:

Relic Shield

Relic Shield gives the following:

  • 50 health – 132 gold value
  • 6 HealthRegen/5 – 216 gold value
  • A funky passive that lets you kill a minion every minute, also giving the gold + 5 to a nearby ally and healing them for 2% of their maximum health.

So the base stats are worth 347. Given that the item costs 365, that’s mostly efficient. How much is the gold worth? Assuming you can use it optimally, about 6.4gp10 (every 3 minutes: 1 minion + 2 cannon minions  for you, and 15 gold for your lane ally). So if you have it for 30 seconds, it’s gold efficient. If you have it for about 9.5 minutes, it pays itself off, not counting the stats.

Finally, the heal is not that bad, giving around 12 early game. That’s another HealthRegen/5, for a gold value of 36.

So the item is worth around 385 + 38 gold/minute. Not bad. It makes you a bit tankier and gives you good sustain (and your lane ally slight sustain).

To maximize Relic Shield, you need last-hit one minion every minute, with a one minute buffer. Leaving lane or being alone will not hurt your gold intake with Relic Shield, so long as you return within 2 minutes.

Ancient Coin

Ancient Coin gives the following:

  • 5 HealthRegen/5 – 180 gold value (Rejuvenation Bead)
  • 3 ManaRegen/5 – 180 gold value (Fairie Charm)
  • 2 gold/nearby dead minion

So the base stats are worth 360; not bad: slightly better or worse than Relic Shield depending on whether or not you count the heal on the active.

And the gold? Well, it comes out to 4.2 gp10* (every 1.5 minutes: 19 minions = 38 gold). So if you have it for 10 seconds, it breaks even with its cost, and pays itself off in another 14.5 minutes.

Unlike Relic Shield, it gives nothing but regen, so you will be a bit weaker in a straight up fight.

To maximize Ancient Coin, you need to spend all of your time in lane. However, so long as you push out appropriately before leaving lane, you probably won’t lose too much gold.

Spellthief’s Edge

Spellthief’s Edge gives the following:

  • 10 AP – 200 gold value
  • 3 ManaRegen/5 – 180 gold value
  • 4 gold/attack on enemy champ every 10 seconds

So the base stats are worth 380, making it the most efficient base item, and gold efficient from the get-go.

The gold is also highest vs a duo lane, having the potential for 8 gp10 (paying itself off in about 7.5 minutes), but the lowest vs a solo lane, having the potential for only 4 gp10 (paying itself off in about 15 minutes). As well, your mileage may vary, as you need to harass 2 champions every 10 seconds to get the full gold. Leaving lane (or having your opponents leave lane) will reduce your income.

Summary

So if you’re going to get into a straight out fight, you probably want to go with Relic Shield or Spellthief, since they both give combat stats, which Ancient Coin doesn’t.

If you’re looking for max sustain, Ancient Coin is obviously best unless you don’t care about mana, in which case Relic Shield is best.

If you want to maximize your GP10: Spellthief’s Edge > Relic Shield > Ancient Coin, although the gold of Spellthief’s Edge and Ancient Coin is less reliable.

If you want to maximize gold value, Spellthief’s Edge > Relic Shield > Ancient Golem

Level 2 Items

Now, we’re onto the upgrades!

Targon’s Brace

Targon’s Brace gives the following:

  • 175 Health – 461 gold value
  • 12 HealthRegen/5 – 432 gold value
  • A funky passive that lets you kill a minion every 30 seconds, also giving the gold + 10 to a nearby ally and healing them for 2% of their maximum health.

The base stats are now worth 893 gold (965 if you count the regen from the gold passive).
The minimimum gp10 is 0.
The maximum gp10 is 14.4 (and again, you can leave lane for 2 minutes without losing potential gold)

Nomad’s Medallion

Nomad’s Medallion gives the following:

  • 8 HealthRegen/5 – 288 gold value
  • 11 HealthRegen/5 – 660 gold value
  • 2 gp10
  • 4 gold/nearby dead minion

The base stats are now worth 948 gold.
The minimum gp10 is 2.
The maximum gp10 is 10.4 (again, leaving lane will cost you some gold, but probably not as much as Frostfang unless your lane is pushing)

Frostfang

Frostfang gives the following:

  • 20 AP – 400 gold value
  • 7 ManaRegen/5 – 420 gold value
  • 4 gp10
  • 8 gold/attack or spell/champion/10 seconds

The base stats are worth 820
The minimum gp10 is 4
The maximum gp10 is 36, because spells and attacks both proc the passive independently. This means champions like Lulu or Sona can rake in tons of gold through this item.

Summary

If you want to maximize the safety of your GP10, Targon’s Brace is still a pretty good choice (because you can stop using its passive for 2 minutes without ‘losing’ gold).

Ancient Coin has the easiest gold to get (merely be in lane), but the lowest gold.

Frostfang has huge potential for gold, but you will likely not reach the maximum.

If you want to maximize your GP10: Frostfang > Targon’s Brace > Nomad’s Medallion

If you want to maximize gold value, Nomad’s Medallion > Targon’s Brace > Frostfang

Final Upgrades

The gold passives remain unchanged for the final upgrades.

Face of the Mountain

Face of the Mountain has the following:

  • 375 Health – 987 gold value
  • 25 HealthRegen/5 – 900 gold value
  • 10% CDR – 322 gold value

This gives Face of the Mountain a 2208 Gold Value (2280 if you count the regen from the gold passive).

In addition, Face of the Mountain allows you to give a % of your current health to another target as a shield that is a % of your maximum health, and explodes for the same damage. This is obviously best on tanks, whose max health will be higher.

Talisman of Ascension

Talisman of Ascension has the following:

  • 10 HealthRegen/5 – 360 gold value
  • 15 ManaRegen/5 – 900 gold value
  • 20% CDR – 644 gold value

This gives Talisman of Ascension a gold value of 1904.

In addition, Talisman of Ascension can give your team + 40% Movement Speed for 3 seconds, which can be used to engage or disengage.

Frost Queen’s Claim

Frost Queen’s Claim has the following:

  • 50 AP – 100 gold value.
  • 10 ManaRegen/5 – 600 gold value

Summary

Gold values:

Face of the Mountain – 2208 (2280)

Talisman of Ascension – 1904

Frost Queen’s Claim – 1600

Minimum Gp10

Face of the Mountain – 0

Talisman of Ascension – 2 (25 minutes to equal Face of the Mountain)

Frost Queen’s Claim – 4 (25 minutes to equal Face of the Mountain)

Maximum Gp10

Face of the Mountain – 14.4

Talisman of Ascension – 10.4 (will never equal Face of the Mountain)

Frost Queen’s Claim – 36 (5 minutes to equal Face of the mountain)

So Frostfang theoretically has the most gold value, while Face of the Mountain has the most expected gold value.

What’s left? The actives. A shield, an AoE slow, or a disengage/engage? Those are probably all strong depending on your champion/team, but the MS buff and shield are probably the stronger options unless their team is very kitable.

*actually, Talisman of Ascension can theoretically get much more Gp10 if you roam to other lanes to soak up gold.

————————————————————–

Mattias “Gentleman Gustaf” Lehman is a big time nerd-gamer who has been involved in both SC2 and LoL. He has ranked as high as Diamond 1 in solo queue and Diamond 3 in arranged 5s.

You can see his other work here:

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