If there is anything people will remember from the early days of the preseason from season 11 of League of Legends, it is that assassins dominated the mid lane. Specifically, AD assassins. The new mythic items that were presented to them for not only offensive stats, but crucial defensive stats, made them a force to be reckoned with on the Rift. Today, we will be going over their mythic items as well as their new legendary items to prepare for the new upcoming season!
Duskblade of Draktharr
To begin our journey through the world of new items for AD assassins, we’ll begin with the only mythic item that has been a mainstay in League and that is the Duskblade of Draktharr. This item comes with 20 ability haste and an additional 60 attack damage. Its passive is its lethality, which starts off at 11.2 at level 1 then increase up to 18 lethality at level 18. The real kicker comes with its unique passive, Nightstalker. When you basic attack, or auto attack, an enemy champion, you deal 65 bonus physical damage on-hit plus 25% bonus AD, but not only that, it slows the champion you targeted by 99% for 0.25 seconds, with the slow getting a 15 second cooldown once activated. If you take down a champion within three seconds of activating Nightstalker, you are given a reset on the cooldown and you will become invisible for 1.5 seconds. Finally, the mythic passive empowers your other legendary items with 5 ability haste, allowing you to use your abilities far more often.
This revamped version of the Duskblade grants assassins huge opportunities to get the kill and sneak out without a hitch like never before. That only comes if your target dies quickly, so it is best to try and get ahead early so you can snowball hard and be able to make those blink of an eye kills. This item can pair well with almost every assassin, but those that will benefit most would be Talon, who can also parkour over walls, Rengar, who can also dash in and out of bushes, and Zed, who can use the invisibility on top of his shadow abilities. Kha’Zix also wouldn’t be a bad choice, as you can stack the Duskblade’s invisibility with Kha’Zix’s ultimate.
The first new item we are going over, Eclipse is a mythic that can be used for virtually all AD champs but was primarily made for the AD assassins. The item grants 55 additional attack damage, 18 Lethality (based on level) and a 10% Omnivamp increase. For those that do not know, Omnivamp is a statistic that grants healing equal to the percentage of damage, be it physical, magical or true damage. It also stacks additively, and it benefits from additional heal power, like self-healing for example. Now back to the item, its unique passive, Ever Rising Moon, goes like this. When you hit an enemy champion with two separate attacks or abilities within 1.5 seconds of each other, it deals 6% of the target's maximum health as bonus physical damage and you gain a 15% movement speed bonus. Furthermore, it also grants you a shield, 150 if you are playing a melee champion, which is increased by 40% based on your bonus attack damage, for two seconds. For the finale, the mythic passive empowers your legendary items with 4% armor penetration, making it easier to one-shot those ADCs.
This item works extremely well for assassins, as it allows them to dive into a fight with an opponent and have a layer of protection thanks to the shield if they activate it. The passive can be activated quickly thanks to sources like Zed’s shadows, which can easily trigger Ever Rising Moon with a few attacks. As previously mentioned, Zed is one of the AD assassins that benefits the most and other AD assassins like Talon also benefit greatly from this. Now this item can also be upgraded by Ornn if he is on your team, turning it into the Syzygy. So, make sure to get that item upgraded early if you can.
The final mythic item for the assassins on the rift, Prowler’s Claw is one for more unique champions and you’ll understand why soon. The item offers 60 additional attack damage, 21 lethality, that scales based on level, and 20 ability haste. The active ability for this item, Sandswipe, is when things really get dicey. You dash in a line through the enemy target’s location. Once you do that and complete the dash, you will deal 65 physical damage, with a 25% bonus based on your AD at the time, to the target of the dash and the damage dealt to that target over the next three seconds would increase by 15%. The item’s mythic passive empowers the other legendary items you have purchased with a 5 bonus lethality, making it easier and easier to cut through armored enemies.
This item’s active ability makes gap closing for assassins much easier than ever before. There are a few things to note however about Sandswipe. It deals spell damage instead of default damage, meaning that any spell effects you have in your items will also be added to the damage. It can also be blocked with the spell shield, but the effects will still be applied. There are more to it as well, more importantly is that the dash can be interrupted if you are knockdown or sent airborne, as well as being disabled if you are grounded or rooted in place. Despite these drawbacks, the item works well for jungler assassins, like Kayn and Rengar and even Pantheon can use this item to great effect. Just be aware of its limitations and work using its advantages and you will be clawing away at the enemy team in no time.
Now we move onto the new legendary items for assassins and we will start with Serylda’s Grudge. This item offers 45 attack damage, 30% armor penetration and 20% ability haste. It’s passive, Bitter Cold, takes some inspiration from the Rylai’s Crystal Scepter for mages, as it slows down units that are attacked by 30% for one second.
This item works extremely well for assassins that lack crowd control, like most AD assassins. Combine this item with the slow you would get from the Duskblade of Draktharr, albeit only for a brief second, and you could get a really good combo of holding your target in place and not allowing them a chance to escape immediately. Another thing to note is that it offers armor penetration instead of lethality. While armor penetration does not have the same type of effectiveness for assassins as lethality does, it is still useful in making your enemies' armor as thin as paper. For this item, use champions like Talon and Zed to maximize its passive. Shaco can also be a good champion to use with this item if you are building him into AD, as the slow combined with his fear will deal more damage to anyone unfortunate enough to walk right over one of his boxes.
The second and last new legendary item for assassins, the Serpent’s Fang offers more towards a specific enemy team composition. The item gives 60 attack damage and 18 lethality, scaling based on level. Its passive, Shield Reaver, is where it shines against shield based compositions, as basic attacks, or auto attacks, and abilities deal 70 bonus physical damage, with 40% bonus AD, against shields.
As previously said, this item does wonders against shields. This item is strictly situational, as it won’t be good in an assassin’s item kit if they do not have to fight against a team that has any shielding. One key thing to note about Shield Reaver is that it does not apply to magic damage shields. So, you won’t be dealing extra damage to things like Morgana’s Black Shield, Galio’s Shield of Durand, Kassadin’s Null Sphere and even Camille when she has her magic shield up instead of her AD shield. For champions, classic mid lane assassins like Talon and Zed can make this item work well and if the situation calls for it, jungle assassins like Kha’Zix and Lee Sin can add this item to their inventory to make shield busting much easier for them.
The preseason has made assassins the talk of the town. Make no mistake, with the buffs other mid lane champions have received like Anivia for example, they remain a force to be reckoned with when they are played on the rift. Like with Zed, Pantheon and Talon, remaining at the top of the mid lane food chain weeks into the preseason. If this stays true throughout the rest of the preseason, I am eager to see what mayhem assassins will wreak onto the Rift when Season 11 kicks off. Until next time, good luck and see you on the rift summoners!