Myths and Realities - A Guide to Choosing Mythic Items in League of Legends
Fri 12th Feb 2021 - 4:27pm
As per usual, the most recent Preseason brought about numerous changes which shook the core of League of Legends’ gameplay. This time, it just so happened to be overhauls to the item shop, and particularly the implementation of Mythic items. These items, of which your champion can only purchase one, provide bonus stats with every Legendary item completed, making their gold efficiency increase massively over the course of the game. However, because you can only purchase one of them, it can often be a bit of a dilemma which one you should pick. Naturally, there are many factors which need to be taken into account in order to make this decision, including cost, stats, passives, and bonuses. This guide will hopefully help make this process easier by going over a few examples wherein a choice needs to be made between two Mythic items and offering input on when or why you’d choose either item.
Divine Sunderer versus Trinity Force
In this battle between the Spellblades, there are several factors that need to be taken into account about either item. Trinity Force is, just like before the Preseason changes, an item which offers many stats in moderation; it provides its wielder some ability haste, health, attack damage, attack speed, along with passives which grant movement speed and additional, flat on-hit damage. Alternatively, Divine Sunderer serves a more niche and focused purpose, skipping over the movement speed and attack speed to provide on-hit damage that scales with enemy health, along with healing when that damage is dealt. Furthermore, where Trinity Force provides bonus attack speed for each Legendary item completed, Divine Sunderer provides armor and magic penetration. As a result of this, Trinity Force is often most efficiently purchased on champions who focus on utilizing on-hit effects, whereas Divine Sunderer is best used on champions who already pack a punch and want to increase their damage via penetration.
Two champions who showcase the reasons why each of these items should be purchased are Jax and Nasus. Both champions have a wide-damage profile, dealing mostly physical damage with some magic damage, and both rely on attacking opponents with Spellblade activations. However, due to Jax’s synergy with attack speed and on-hit effects, his build path tends to lead him to a Trinity Force so that he can deal damage and stick to targets more reliably. Alternatively, Nasus’ damage is applied in large bursts rather than consistent patterns, so he much prefers the penetration and healing provided by Divine Sunderer. Overall, although these two items both provide bonus on-hit damage, the little differences between them prove rather important in terms of deciding which champions will buy them.
Goredrinker versus Stridebreaker
With the item changes in the Preseason came a new component item – the Ironspike Whip – and these two Mythic items which build out of it. However, their activation effects are significantly different, with Goredrinker dealing area-of-effect damage and healing the user whereas Stridebreaker causes your champion to dash forward, dealing damage in an area and slowing enemies in the process. Goredrinker is also more focused on long-term benefits, providing both health and health regeneration in conjunction with the ability haste it grants as you complete more Legendary items. Stridebreaker is instead oriented around speed, granting its user both attack speed and a percentage-bonus to their movement speed with each Legendary item completed. As a result, Stridebreaker is often built by champions who struggle to engage without it whereas Goredrinker is good on champions who need more survivability once they’ve engaged.
Although Darius and Olaf are often played in different roles, they are still good examples of when to buy each Mythic item. Darius, while having strong crowd-control built into his kit, can often struggle to engage on foes due to the fact that his best approach is simply walking at them. Stridebreaker allows him to catch-up to his targets more easily, and his crowd-control abilities allow him to keep enemies in place afterwards. Alternatively, Olaf’s ability to slow at a range and negate crowd-control means that he rarely struggles to access his desired target. However, late-game teamfights often involve him being struck down with a burst of damage quite quickly once he gets there. Goredrinker enhances Olaf immensely, letting him run straight into the middle of the enemy team while staying alive in the process. Ultimately, although these items both feature an area-of-effect active, it is what this active does which alters whose inventories they end up going in.
Turbo Chemtank versus Sunfire Aegis versus Frostfire Gauntlet
Bami’s Cinder, while remaining mostly unchanged going into the Preaseason, did end up becoming a key component in several Mythic items. However, while all of these items do utilize the constant damage done by their passive, Immolate, only one of them leans into this damage heavily: Sunfire Aegis. Providing increased damage as your champion deals immolation damage, along with slow resistance and tenacity with each Legendary item built, Sunfire Aegis is great for champions who can stick to targets and just need a bit more damage. Turbo Chemtank, alternatively, is good on champions who need help engaging, allowing you to activate it in order to provide your champion with a temporary surge in movement speed which slows enemies at the end. It also provides ability haste with every Legendary item completed, allowing your champion to use more abilities once they arrive at their destination. Frostfire Gauntlet compensates on the other end of the spectrum, aiding champions who can engage just fine but need help sticking to their targets once they arrive. The additional health and size that it provides your champion with each Legendary item built also means that they are able to absorb more hits for their allies in fights. Aside from what has been listed, these items are generally similar in stats, only varying due to cost. In short, Sunfire Aegis is good in general sense, where Turbo Chemtank and Frostfire Gauntlet are useful on champions who lack something in their kit and benefit by compensating for it with an item.
A good example of a generally strong champion who builds Sunfire Aegis is Amumu. Between his long-range engage and otherwise strong crowd-control, this item is perfect on Amumu because he can naturally stick to targets and it amplifies his existing area-of-effect damage. Alternatively, Sett often builds Turbo Chemtank when played in the support role, as it compensates for his lackluster engage. However, Sett can already prove quite the menace one he’s in a fight, so the engage-boost from Turbo Chemtank is really all that he needs to empower him. Similarly, Volibear sometimes builds Frostfire Gauntlet when played in the top lane since he already has a relatively strong engaging tool in his kit. Frostfire Gauntlet allows Volibear to stick to targets impeccably well, making his engage all-the-more deadly. Overall, although these items look quite similar on paper, it is clear that their differences mean that champions choose them for a variety of reasons.
Immortal Shieldbow versus Galeforce versus Kraken Slayer
Like the previous section, marksmen are faced with a selection of three items that build from the same component: Noonquiver. Stat-wise, these items are also quite similar, with the major difference being that Immortal Shieldbow offers lifesteal on top of the attack damage, attack speed, and critical strike chance that all of them provide. However, going beyond the stats and into the passives and activatable effects that these items provide, their differences and why you would choose one over the others becomes clear. Kraken Slayer is incredibly effective on marksmen who rely heavily on utilizing on-hit effects, as every third hit deals additional true damage and each Legendary item that you build provides bonus attack speed. Immortal Shieldbow is instead strong against burst damage and good to build on marksmen who like to sustain throughout fights due to the fact that its passive provides a sizable shield and bonus lifesteal upon taking significant damage. The additional health and attack damage that it provides for each Legendary item built compounds upon this, as your champion becomes overall much harder to kill in the process. Instead of having a powerful passive like the others, Galeforce instead provides you with an activatable ability which allows your champion to dash, dealing damage to a nearby enemy in the process. It also provides bonus movement speed for each Legendary item completed, meaning that your champion ends up quite mobile when building this item. In short, the marksmen items are very clearly more responsive than other items on this list; while they do enable champions in a general sense and compensate for their weaknesses, these items also serve to counter enemy champions and abilities.
While these items do respond to what is on the enemy team, there are champions who consistently prefer one option over the others. For example, Vayne typically thrives when building items which provide on-hit effects, as they synergize very naturally with the on-hit effects already in her kit. As a result, Kraken Slayer has proven to be the best option that Vayne can build from among these items, as it enables her to deal even more true damage than she already deals. Alternatively, Samira’s ultimate notoriously activates lifesteal, allowing her to dive right into the fray and sustain her way through enemy burst. From this, it should be apparent that Immortal Shieldbow proves to be quite a natural fit, as it gives her the survivability necessary to perform optimally. Rounding out the list, marksmen who deal damage in large bursts like Miss Fortune and Jhin tend to build Galeforce, as its active and Mythic passive provide the mobility necessary for them to get into range and secure kills. From these examples, it is apparent that these niche items all compound upon the strengths of certain marksmen.
Luden’s Tempest versus Liandry’s Anguish
Last but not least, mages often end up choosing between these two options. However, when just looking at the stats, they might not really seem that different; they both provide 80 ability power, 20 ability haste, and 600 mana, and the only difference between them in this regard is that Luden’s Tempest also offers 6 magic penetration. However, it is their passives which immensely differentiate their purposes. On one hand, Luden’s Tempest is very evidently meant for champions who wish to deal burst damage, as it periodically deals additional damage to several targets when dealing magic damage and grants movement speed when doing so. This is also on top of its Mythic passive, which grants the wielder 5 magic penetration for each Legendary item built. Liandry’s Anguish, on the other hand, is oriented towards champions who are fine with prolonged fights. This is made apparent through its two passives: one which causes enemies to take magic damage over time which also makes them more vulnerable to other sources of magic damage from whoever has this item, and the other which grants the champion with this item 5 ability haste for each Legendary item built. Thus, as might be obvious, burst-damage oriented mages tend to build Luden’s Tempest, and mages who prefer to deal damage-over-time end up building Liandry’s Anguish.
Two rather immediate examples of champions who have to choose between these items are Malzahar and Lux. However, in most cases, the choice is rather obvious based upon the rest of their kit. Malzahar already has damage-over-time in amongst his abilities and prefers fights where this damage can add up over time. As a result, Liandry’s Anguish coincides quite naturally with his existing skillset. Alternatively, Lux is all burst damage; her goal is truly just to lock an enemy down with her crowd-control and then light them up with her ultimate. Luden’s Tempest only amplifies her burst damage in this regard, allowing her to punch through targets with additional damage and magic penetration. While these items might seem similar on paper, providing similar stats and ultimately just allowing the user to deal more damage, these examples make it clear which type of champion would purchase either option.
In short, what this guide has hopefully shown is that there is a lot of nuance when it comes to choosing which Mythic item to build on your champion. However, with this nuance comes more options and ultimately more ways to play and enjoy League of Legends. Just because one item might be optimal on your champion in one game doesn’t mean that said item is the universally best choice. From this, it could be said that the most important takeaway from this article is to put some thought into why you build certain Mythic items. Even if you’re following an item guide or just doing what the shopkeeper suggests, having more game knowledge is never a bad thing, and knowing why exactly you’ve built one Mythic item over the other options can be the key to knowing what advantages you have over your opponent. Make sure to know the realities behind which Mythic item you’re using, and you’ll surely be more likely to win games.