The hardest part about playing any new game is familiarizing yourself with the different elements of the game. For MOBA games like League of Legends, you’ll need to study not only champion specifics but also general factors such as League of Legends items if you want to learn how to play like a League of Legends pro-player. While a recommended set of items are already given to provide newer players an easier time when purchasing items, it might prove to be important to explain why these items are chosen for those specific champions. After all, learning which items to build are not only dependent on the champion you’re using but also on the matchup and situation.
Importance of Items in League of Legends
League of Legends items contain stats, skills, and bonuses that help your champion unlock its maximum potential in-game. Proper itemization is important especially when you are facing a situation that is not ideal for the specific champion you’re using. Items will increase your champion’s kill pressure or help you survive longer in situations that will usually make you an easy target for the enemy team. Knowing these details will help you personalize what items you’ll use in the future.
League of Legends Items Stats Breakdown
The most confusing thing about itemization is understanding the stats and their usages during the game. While it’s easy to understand the overview of what each stat does, providing details such as LIMITATIONS and PRIORITY will help you itemize better in your future games.
Attack Damage (AD) or Physical Damage is your main damaging stat which increases the strength of your basic attacks or AD abilities. This stat is prioritized by Marksmen, Fighters, and AD Assassins. This is best when your champion relies typically on Basic Attacks to deal damage or push towers.
Attack Speed increases the rate at which you fire basic attacks on an enemy target. This is a secondary stat when building attack damage and is especially important for champions who rely on basic attacks to deal damage or push towers. This stat is prioritized primarily by Marksmen but some mages who also use this stat.
Armor decreases damage dealt by basic attacks or abilities which are boosted by Attack Damage. This stat is prioritized by Tanks but should be taken by everyone if the enemy team has a high amount of AD champions.
Armor Penetration helps break a percentage of the enemy champion’s armor value making your AD attacks more effective on the target. Build this stat if your enemy team has been building a high amount of armor. Works especially against Tanks and Bruisers.
On the other hand, lethality breaks a flat amount of armor from the enemy champion meaning that it’s more effective against champions with lower armor. Lethality is usually built by AD assassins who focus on less tanky targets such as Marksmen, Mages, Enemy Assassins, or Support Enchanters.
Critical Strike Chance
A critical strike doubles the amount of damage you would usually deal from a basic attack or ability. All champions begin with 0% critical strike chance so that means you need to build items to increase this stat. Critical Strike Chance can’t be increased beyond 100% and should be prioritized by champions who rely mostly on basic attacks to deal damage.
Life steal is the percentage of health you take back when dealing damage. Build this stat when you have a good amount of attack damage and you need to last longer during fights. Life steal applies when attack champions, minions, or jungle monsters.
Ability Power (AP) increases magic damage on spells and effects. There are some champions whose basic attacks are increased by ability power but this is because of abilities. This stat is prioritized by Mages, Enchanters, or AP Assassins.
AP is not blocked by Armor but is instead nullified by Armor’s counterpart known as Magic Resist (MR). Use this stat when you are a Tank or the enemy team has a heavy focus on dealing Magic Damage.
Magic Penetration is the counterpart of Armor Penetration and will reduce the effectiveness of Magic Resist. Use this only if you have a good amount of AP and the enemy team has a high amount of Magic Resist.
Health Points or HP is the amount of life you have which is shown as the green bar on your user interface. Having higher health points means you’ll last longer in fights. HP Regen helps you refresh a certain amount of health points after a certain amount of time. All champions will typically take a few amounts of health points but Tanks and Bruisers will prioritize having this stat.
Mana is a resource used by most champions which is shown as the blue bar right below your Health Points. This stat is usually taken by skill-heavy champions along with MP Regen which helps refresh your resource bar faster. Take note that some champions don’t use Mana as a resource and building otherwise is typically a waste.
Cooldown Reduction (CDR) is a stat that reduces the amount of time before you can use a skill again. CDR can’t increase beyond 40% unless you have the Cosmic Insight rune. All champions who rely on using abilities as their main source of damage must build the maximum amount of CDR.
Movement Speed is the amount of pixels your champion moves from one place to another. Typically, almost every champion will build movement speed at maximum through their boots advancement but champions who rely on being extremely mobile during fights, such as Marksemen, will build more movement speed items.
Gold Income items are typically reserved for supports. Gold Income produce an extra amount of gold per second. This is useful for supports who do not kill minions in lane or have a very limited source of income during the game.
League of Legends Items Situationals
There are countless active and passive skills in the League of Legends items list but to make it easier to understand, we’ll only include situational items that are necessary to build on certain situations. These keywords should be prioritized in some games depending on the situation you are in.
Guardian Angel (GA) isn’t a keyword for an item but is the name of the item itself. This item is used in three situations, when you have a lead against the enemy team, when you are being assassinated constantly, or as your 4th (or later) item in the game. GA will give you better survivability and is a good AD item in general.
Grievous Wounds is a passive that reduces the amount of healing received by the enemy team. Items that contain these include Executioner’s Calling, Bramble Vest, and Morellonomicon. This item is built when enemy champions such as Soraka, Vladimir, Dr. Mundo, Sylas, or Aatrox, which have high healing capabilities, are present in the game.
Lifeline is a passive that gives you a shield when your health bar reaches a certain point. Building Lifeline is great when the opponent has a high burst damage capability and will help you better survive the opponent’s combo. Items that have this include Hexdrinker, Sterak’s Gage, and Phantom Dancer.
Cleave and Crescent is are skills which allow your attacks to damage enemy units surrounding your attack target. This is good when your champion doesn’t have any means to clear minions waves quickly. You might also want to pick up Black Cleaver against extremely tanky champions as this items helps soften up tanks which are really hard to kill.
Spell Shield is a passive ability that blocks the next ability that helps you. Usually, you build Spell Shield when the enemy team has a high engage threats like Blitzcrank’s Rocket Grab. This will protect you from being picked during crucial teamfights.
Stasis is an active ability that puts the user in an invulnerable state for 2.5 seconds but will not be able to move during that time. Having a stasis item such as a Stopwatch is always good as it helps you survive fights longer and prevent you from being bursted down or delay time until your teammates arrive to help you.
Stat Priority For Each Class
There are several ways to build around each class but here are some basic ones to help you get started and give you an overview of how you might want to change it up in the future. This will also help you understand what items to build from first to last during a League of Legends game. However, as you progress, you’ll come to understand that there will be situations where this priority will become interchangeable.
Health > Armor/Magic Resist > Cooldown Reduction > Health Regeneration > Movement Speed
Health > Attack Damage > Cooldown Reduction > Armor Penetration/Lethality > Armor/Magic Resist (only one) > Movement Speed
Attack Damage > Armor Penetration/Lethality > Cooldown Reduction > Movement Speed > Health > Armor/Magic Resist
Ability Power > Cooldown Reduction > Magic Penetration > Mana Regeneration > Movement Speed > Health
Ability Power > Cooldown Reduction > Magic Penetration > Mana Regeneration > Health > Armor/Magic Resist > Movement Speed
Attack Damage > Attack Speed > Critical Strike Chance > Movement Speed > Life Steal > Armor Penetration > Health/Armor/Magic Resist
[Gold Income] Cooldown Reduction > Ability Power > Movement Speed > Mana Regeneration > Health/Armor/Magic Resist
[Gold Income] Health > Armor/Magic Resist > Cooldown Reduction > Health Regeneration > Movement Speed
Common Rules When Building Items
- Always buy boots as your second item.
- Build one full item at a time, never build two or more at the same time.
- Build for survivability if you are falling behind
- Always leave one slot in your inventory for buying Vision Wards
- Only buy items if you have enough money to fully upgrade it by one or more stages. Don’t keep coming back to the base to buy parts.
What is the best way to learn how to build items?
If you want to learn how to build items without being a liability to your teammates, you can go to the practice tool or play AI games to experiment some itemization skills. However, it’s always a good thing to play vs real players as this is where you’ll learn how to use situational items.
Will learning how to build items help me improve in League of Legends?
Yes! Learning how to utilize League of Legends items will help you learn how use your champion efficiently. However, this is only one factor on how you can learn how to improve as a player. Luckily, we have several guides here at LolFinity to help you improve as a League of Legends player.
What should I do if I build the wrong item?
That depends, if you built an item that kinda works for your champion then it’s best you keep it until you reach the point where you can afford to replace it. But if the item does not work for your champion (building AP on an AD champion), then you might need to sell it. If you bought it within a few seconds while still inside the base, you can simply click the UNDO button to fully refund your purchase.
Alternative Ways To Learn Building League of Legends Items
Another way to learn how to build League of Legends items is by watching streams of high-level League of Legends gameplay. You can also direct yourself to the League of Legends forums to engage with discussions with the community. Or simple go to websites like u.gg, Mobafire, or op.gg to research on how the general public builds items on specific champions. if you want, you can play with friends you are comfortable with and just experiment on some normal games by building whatever you think might work on certain situations during the game.