League of Legends Items Guide: Supports

League of Legends Items Guide: Supports

A Beginner’s Guide to Support Items

In a game with over 200 different items and an ever-growing roster of champions, itemization is one of the more challenging aspects to learn as a beginner. At the start, knowing what League of Legends items to buy, and when to buy them is where many players fall flat.

In this beginners guide by PicklePants, we will go over every Support item in the game to help you understand when you should and shouldn’t buy them.

Because there are 3 main Support playstyles, we will discuss what items are viable for each of the utility, tank and mage Supports, while providing a few examples along the way.

The Basics

Before we move on, it’s important to discuss the terminology and provide a little background information. When you first start playing League of Legends, you won’t understand what every item does. This is natural for any game, as nobody expects you to know the ins and outs before playing.

Many players copy the same build path over and over again, and never change their item order. On the other hand, some players don’t buy items, or buy items that are not going to benefit their champion such as AP items on an AD reliant champion. This is where our Mobalytics guide will come in handy. By knowing when to buy each item, you will have an advantage over the enemy who hasn’t fully grasped the concept yet.

Items fall into one of two categories within a build:

Core:
Core items are almost always brought on your champion and syngerize really well with your champ’s kit and what they want to do. As an example, Boots will nearly always be a core item and it’s an expected inclusion.

Situational:
Situational items are not necessarily purchased every game, apart from when you need them. More often than not, situational items will be reactive to what the enemy has. For example, if the enemy has lots of AP damage, you should buy magic resist.

Essentially, every Support item will fall in one of these categories depending on the champion you’re playing.

Support Pre Game Builds

If you stumbled upon this article in search of how to build your Support champ, you’re in luck. Our free Pre Game tool gives you a build curated by our high-ELO experts right before your match begins.

Janna pre-game items

This is Janna’s build, skill order and rune setup. Find more information about Janna or any champion’s build by checking out our champion pages.

If you’d like to try the Pre Game, just click here to sign up for an account! It’s quick and easy, and there are a ton of other useful tools within the Pre Game feature itself and the rest of our platform. Now, on to the rest of our adventure through Support items.

Starting Items for Supports

Support Starting Items

From left to right: Spelltheif’s Edge, Spectral Sickle, Steel Shoulderguards, Relic Shield.

There are 4 starting options for the Support, and each is designed to be taken by specific champion archetypes that can benefit from it. Each of the items provides gold income and allow you to eventually gain wards via completing a quest.

Spellthief’s Edge

Spellthief's Edge

Spellthief’s Edge is an item that is taken on AP Supports or champions who can deal damage. It provides AP, health, mana regeneartion and gold.

If you’re in a matchup you can play aggressively and poke, Spellthief is your item.

It is the most challenging and difficult Support item to stack as it relies on the player to be proactive in lane. For example, making sure to consume all of it stacks whenever possible and minimizing the downtime between gaining stacks.

You can have a maximum of 3 stacks which can be consumed by dealing damage through auto attacks, abilities or hitting a tower. Make sure to consume them as often as possible.

Examples of champions who benefit: Janna, Zyra, Brand.

Steel Shoulderguards

Steel Shoulderguards

This item should be purchased on champions that will be building tank as it provides health, health regeneration, gold and attack damage. It is very similar to Relic Shield except it gives AD not AP.

If you have available stacks, you should auto attack and last hit the minion. The priority goes as follows: cannon minion, melee minion then ranged minion. I would prioritize the first two and never last hit a ranged minion with this item as it gives little to no gold for your quest.

Examples of champions who benefit: Braum, Thresh, Pyke

Relic Shield

Relic Shield

The next Support item is the Relic Shield. This is an item that is purchased on champions that will be building primarily tank, or who are tanky in general as it provides health, health regeneration, AP and a little bit of sustain.

The quest for this item requires the user to earn 500 gold through last hitting minions (you share gold with your laner). You will find that there are orbs that float around your champion to tell you how many minions or stacks you can take. You can also check how many you have available to you by looking just above your ability bar.

If you have available stacks, you should auto attack and last hit the minion. The priority goes as follows: cannon minion, melee minion then ranged minion. I would prioritize the first two and never last hit a ranged minion with this item as it gives little to no gold for your quest.

Examples of champions who benefit: Janna, Alistar, Nautilus.

Spectral Sickle

Spectal Sickle s10The final Support item provides AD, health, mana regeneration and gold. It is usually taken on AD Supports who like to trade often and deal damage.

This item is basically an AD version of Spelltheif’s Edge. You should look to harass and auto-attack the enemy whenever you have 3 available stacks on this item to make the most of its gold income and to complete your warding quest quickly.

Examples of champions who benefit: Senna, Ashe, Pyke.

Multiple options

You may have noticed we used Janna as an example twice when suggesting who benefits from an item. Janna is a prime example of a champion that works with multiple starting items. This is just one example of a champion who can take more than one starting item.

Since you’re limited to one, you will need to pick the item that is going to help you the most during the laning phase. For example, if you’re in a good matchup and able to trade frequently, take Spellthief’s Edge. If you’re in a poor matchup where you’re unable to hit the enemy, take something different.

Complete (finished) items for Support

Completed items are items that no longer need upgrading and have reached their final form. They cost quite a bit but are cheaper for Supports compared to any other role. Because we can’t cover every champion or playstyle, we’re going to go over some of the more popular items that a Support can take.

There is a range of different Supports with different item builds, we will only go over items that are more commonly found on Supports and are not unique to each champion. For example, we won’t be talking about Pyke because he is a fringe case that can be built full AD. If you’re wanting to learn specific item builds, stay tuned because we will touch on that subject later on.

Ardent Censer

Ardent Censer

Ardent Censer is a core item for many utility or healing and shielding Supports. Ardent Censer gives AP, increased healing and shielding power and mana regeneration.

If you give an ally a heal or a shield, they will gain extra attack speed for a few seconds.

Examples of champions who benefit: Janna, Lulu, Nami.

Chemtech Putrifier

Chemtech Putrifier

Chemtech gives AP, ability haste and mana regeneration. It’s Passive also applies grievous wounds. If you deal magical damage to an enemy champion, they’ll have reduced healing briefly. If you heal or shield an ally champion, their next auto on an enemy champion will apply grievous wounds.

This item is great on champions who have healing or shielding tools.

Examples of champions who benefit: Janna, Soraka, Nami.

Imperial Mandate

Imperial Mandate

Imperial Mandate is a great item that allows you and your allies to deal damage. It gives AP, health and ability haste. It also gives mana regeneration.

Using CC tools on an enemy marks them, and when an ally autos or deals damage to them, the mark will detonate and deal extra damage.

This is a Mythic item, which grants all other Legendary items additional ability power.

Examples of champions who benefit: Zyra, Nami, Seraphine.

Knight’s Vow

Knight's Vow

Knight’s Vow is a good item on tank Supports. This item redirects incoming damage to a chosen ally and forces it to hurt you instead. This item gives health, haste and health regenreation.

Examples of champions who benefit: Nautilus, Thresh, Alistar.

Locket of the Iron Solari

Locket of the Iron Solari

Locket’s active gives your team a large AOE shield. While they’re near you, they also gain extra armor and magic resistance.

Locket gives health, haste, armor and magic resistance.

As Locket is a Mythic item, all your other legendary items provide increased defensive stats to Consecrate (which is the name of the passive that gives your allies extra defensive stats).

Examples of champions who benefit: Alistar, Thresh, Pantheon.

Mikael’s Blessing

Mikael's Blessing

Mikael’s is a very situational item. You buy it against teams with a lot of CC. The active removes all CC debuffs apart from knock-ups and suppression from an allied champion.

Mikael’s gives increased healing and shielding power, magic resistance and ability haste. It also gives mana regeneration, which makes it a good item on utility Supports.

Examples of champions who benefit: Janna, Soraka, Lulu.

Moonstone Renewer

Moonstone Renewer

Moonstone Renewer provides the user with AP, health, ability haste and mana regeneration. It is a great team fighting item as it offers healing to your allies in fights.

As this item is a Mythic item, it gives all of your other legendary items 5 ability haste.

Examples of champions who benefit: Seraphine, Janna, Lulu.

Redemption

Redemption

Redemption offers a large AOE heal that can give your allies additional healing and extra protection. It provides vision and deals a small portion of damage to enemies who are hit by it.

Redemption makes your heals and shields stronger, it also gives you health and mana regeneration. Finally, it gives you some health too.

Examples of champions who benefit: Soraka, Karma, Seraphine.

Shurelya’s Battlesong

Shurelya's Battlesong

Battlesong offers AP, health, ability haste and mana regeneration.

This items active gives you and your allies a large decaying movement speed buff while also empowering some of their next outgoing damage sources.

As Shurelya’s is a Mythic item, it grants all your other legendary items extra movement speed.

Examples of champions who benefit: Alistar, Rakan, Nautilus.

Staff of Flowing Water

Staff of Flowing Water

Healing or shielding an allied champion grants both of you additional movement speed and extra ability power briefly. This item works great on utility and healing champions as it gives AP, healing and shielding power and mana regeneration.

Examples of champions who benefit: Lulu, Janna, Seraphine.

Vigilant Wardstone

Vigilant Wardstone

Wardstone gives additional movement speed and ability haste.

This item will allow you to store up to 3 Control Wards. It will also allow you to place more Stealth and Control Wards. This item is not very good but if you intend to get it, you would get it as a last item.

Examples of champions who benefit: Thresh, Alistar, Rakan.

Zeke’s Convergence

Zekes Convergence

Zeke’s gives health, armor, mana and ability haste. It is a good item on champions who have lots of CC tools as it will allow you to deal extra damage to targets that have been immobilized by yourself.

This item is good on tanks who have CC tools.

Examples of champions who benefit: Thresh, Nautilus, Alistar.

Support items Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips for itemization as the Support:

  • Learn to adapt.
    • Adjust your item build whenever you need to. While our build paths or item suggests are a good basis to go by, make sure you adapt to whatever circumstance you’re playing in. For example, if the enemy has lots of AP damage- purchase Mercury Treads.
  • Make sure to purchase Control Wards.
    • You should always purchase a Control Ward whenever you can and place it somewhere on the map. Also, make sure that you buy them consistently throughout the game.
  • Prioritize Control Wards over items (in the late game).
    • Unless you’re going to complete or buy a much needed advanced item, instead of purchasing and filling up your item slots, save it for Control Wards. This will make warding objectives and taking Baron much safer.

How to find the right build for Support

If you’re struggling to find an appropriate build path for your champion. You have a few options available to you:

  • Trial and error
    • Just play the game and try to find an appropriate build path yourself by seeing what works well on your champion.
  • Copy the build from the Pre Game
    • As we mentioned at the top of the article, in the Pre Game, you can see what we recommend to build on your champion and when. This is useful as you can just launch it automatically before every game and get a build without having to search prior to the game starting.
  • Research Summoner Profiles
    • If you want to keep track of your own builds in your match history and study the builds of any summoner, our Summoner Profile feature for your LoL match history is your go-to tool.
  • Try Probuilds.net.
    • This is another great option because pro players are really smart and do a lot of mathematical equations and research to work out what fits best and when.
  • Try out some of the recommended items.
    • Each champion in the game has a dedicated list of items that Riot recommends to build. Give some of them ago and see what tickles your fancy.

If you have any questions or want to learn more, check out PicklePants stream.

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Thanks for reading! We hope you enjoyed this Support item guide. As always, you can find Picklepants in our Discord if you have any questions.