General Guide by muggy8
Not Updated For Current Season
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Lee Sin Build
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
This is a guide on teaching how to counter build. I often see that many people who are playing without any idea of how to stop the other team from doing so well. Counter building is not limited to the tank and the supports only and neather is it limited to only if your losing. It's something that can be done all the time and should be done all the time. Many time we will automatically do this when facing a champ we all recognize such as Ashe or Master Yi however there are many ways to counter build other champs that aren't so common to see such as Cassiopeia and Lee Sin.
What is counter building:
Counter building is something you do to reduce the other team's effectiveness. This doesn't only mean stop the enemy carry from hurting so much it also means stop the other team's support from supporting or stop the other team's tank from tanking and so on. It's is not something only limited to supports or tanks as it can be widely used on all champs though some may be harder to do than others.
Why counter build:
Simple answer: To win.
Long answer: So the other team has less of a chance of beating you in a full on team fight so you don't have to rely on very well coordinated split pushing (which often wont succeed) as your primary win condition.
when to counter build:
As soon as you can. For some champs this is alot earlier than others. For example a support who's core build is only 3000G can start counter building as soon as they got everything down but a carry who's core build is 6500G will need to finish farming their core build before they can start building situational items.
How do you do it?
The simplest answer is make items that stop someone important from working. for example team 1 has a very strong healer who is building AP rather than tanky. To counter that, team 2's builds to prevent the focused enemy from being healed out of massive damage. This may be redundent for Tristana as she has however assuming she is any other ranged carry, Executioner's calling would be the appropriate build. The items you build is also not limited to defensive times, but also offensive items. The items that are utlized the most commonly are penetration items such as or . In this case sona sees that team 1 is racking up some armor to stop and . as a result buys to help out both her carries.
The heart of counter building:
The key in counter building lies in being able to see what itmes the other team has as well as being able to recognize how the enemy's team comp works and build to stop it. The most common item utilized for this purpose is banshee's vale however this is not always appropriate as heavy CC will sometimes come after other spells hit such as cassiopeia's
A helping list?
Here's a helpful list on what to build and what not to build in the general situation. However it doesn't always work. There are situations where its good to buy one of these or not to buy these but there are randome situations where another items will actually fit better in the situations even thougth it looks like another item would work better on the surface. By no means is this item list complete so do expect that some items are not here though they should be.
These items are great for general countering against lots of damage. They are generally great to pick up before you find out who's doing the majority of the damage on the other team and who's the biggest threat. Which one to get varies on the situation. Some of these items are gotten for their other effects however they all give the basic function of letting you take more punishment. These aren't always the way to go for defensive stats though.
This is a great item to round out a tank build late game as it offer's great amounts of HP. However this is too great of an investement with not enough stats to it to be worth a frist buy. However if your desprate, it could work as a first item
This is a great first item if your planning on being more defensive early on. It doesn't matter if your a caster, carry, or support. All the more so for champs that rely on spellcasts to do damage. The main problem with getting this off the bat is you're sacrficing alot of damage ( or ) to buy this item. However living longer = more time to dish out punishment so i guess it goes both ways. The reason why this is such a popular item on supports is because it offers alot of health while giving off a strong aura and because supports aren't there to deal damage this is a great first item on most of them.
This is more of a 3rd or 4th item as it offers armor and health. Back in the days of + + this was a fun but not anymore as the health and armor is what you buy it for and the damage, due to recent nerfs, is hardly noticeable.
This item gives a large amount of HP and AP making it naturally a love of AP casters. Not only that as time passes it grows stronger. This is why you will often find this item as a first item on most casters. It doesn't do alot for physical dps champs though.
catalyst the protector This is a probably one of the most commonly seen items on any champ as it builds into both a strong caster item and a strong defensive item. Not only that, it helps you sustain in lane giving a solid counter to hard harassers. The mana portion can be considered as a bones from a counter building perspective. This is a great item to start off on because of how versatile it is assuming you are a caster.
This is a very powerful item when it comes to increasing your health as a general answer to unknown or mixed threats. Its not a great item to start off for most non-tank, non-support champs.
This is an item that offers alot of health and other strong stats. again not an item to be starting with and much better as a second or third item.
This item offers a strong amount of AP and HP to casters making it a very very lovely item for countering. However due to its cost its is not a first item for most players and is most likely a third item mainly utilized for the slow over health and ap.
This is probably the most underrated of all the health counter items. This item is used to counter harassers. If your playing against a strong harasser like Lux then this is probably the best counter to her because of how inexpensive it is while being able to give alot of health in return. The only downside is the health gained is not permanent. Health regen is often used against harassers however its not always a possibility as some champ can harass faster and better than how much health you can recover from health regen thus making this item far more outstanding than others. The problem with this is that the health it gives you is very insignificant once your past the laning phase that it is no longer worth the buy after lv 14 (lv9 for some champs).
These are the type of items to buy when the primary source of damage is identified. Items such as these often come in the form of magic resist and armor. Because these items only counter 1 type of damage it is normally obtained after the first team fight where the majority of the damage output for the other team is found. The weakness with this is when there are 2 major sources of damage (such as Annie and Yi) are present utilizing this method may be tougher than expected. A team's primary damage dealer can also be speculated and often times, if a team has 2 or more physical or magical damage output champs then often the appropriate resistance will be built prior to the first actual team fight because of the presence of more physical or magical damage output.
This is the general go to item to counter heavy physical damage. It is rather inexpensive for what it gives you making this a good item to get once you know that physical damage is the primary source of the opposing team. This is also a great buy because it's cheap and so you can buy a magic resist item as well because you didn't spend too much gold here you can quickly follow up with another defensive item to round out your defenses.
This is more of a serious counter to auto attack champs because it offers a huge boost in armor and a huge debuff in their attack speed resulting in the reduction of damage taken through armor and reducing the damage dealt through its attack-speed reduction. however because this item is rather expensive and as such it's often not worth getting unless there are multiple enemy champs that will be affected by this item.
This is a more expensive version of frozen heart with stronger defuffs that are not permanent. The reason for this item is much like the previous, to counter physical damage by reducing damage taken and damage dealt. However because of its high cost to build, it is highly unlikely that you will be picking this up after the first fight but more likely to have already picked up part of it (heart of gold + cloth armor) earlier.
It offers the most amount of magic resist in the game and is often used for the movement speed and health regen effects. It is relatively cheap compared to banshee's veil making this a good item to go after for tanks. Because of the move speed boosts many carries and anti-carries are also getting this item if the enemy team has alot of magic damage. One its component is a very strong counter to harassers (regrowth pendent) therefore it is a very well rounded counter item
This item is the all time favorite of countering high magic damage champs. It offers a good amount of magic resist and a moderate amount of health. However this item is only effective if the enemy team does not have an efficient way to removing its protective shield. An ultimate such a Twisted Fate's Destiny can easily remove all the protective shield on the other team. However because this item can block off 1 spell its a strong counter for initiation. As well if the enemy Twisted Fate is using his ult to gank unsuspecting foes then this will also prevent him from getting vision of you while you roam in the jungle alone.
This is the cheapest of all magic resist items. Not only that its activated effect is the only counter available to everyone that can stop suppression, making this probably the most desirable counter to heavy magic damage teams. Additionally you can get this item and a cheap armor item for a large amount of damage reduction for both physical and magic damage.
This is to reduce the time you spend unable to control your champ because you have been hit by a disable.
Tenacity Items: They do wonders read up on them
This allows you to inflict damage by ignoring the target's resistances. It is often used against a team that has already taken the above precautions to reduce the damage they take from the key damage output of your team. Penetration is generally most effective on the key damage dealer of the team.
This is a very basic source of armor penetration. Often this is just a temporary item gotten for its cooldown reduction more than its armor penetration.
This item have an increased amount armor penetration. However the amount is too insignificant to be of major use when the enemy has alot of armor.
This is the only item that can directly counter large amounts of armor on the enemy team as it penetrates in percentages instead of a flat amount. This is often the only counter armor item any player will get.
This is the magical damage counter part of Last Whisper
This is a great early game item as it's benefits are small. However it is no longer useful if the enemy team is obtaining large amounts of magic resist making its penetration seem worthless.
This is a defuff that reduces the enemy's armor or magic resist. Some of these are stronger than others. It doesn't always have to be the primary damage dealer who has hold of these items as anyone can have them and as long as the debuffs are able to be attached onto the target then anyone can make use of the reduce in resistance the target has.
This is an item that will instantly reduce the armor of nearby enemies meaning that if your there the effects can be felt. As well, because its an aura effect, you can have a different member of the team hold on to this while you can still benefit from its' effects. Additionally this item's effect is an aura, having 2 players with this item will result in both those player's armor reduction to take effect. However the third will not be effective (Explanation can be found on the riot learning center website)
This applies an on-hit armor reduction therefore as long as you're auto attacking the target the debuff is applied. Because this is an on-hit unique effect having 2 or more players with this item doesn't result in addition armor reduction. However it is often found in the hands of the major physical damage doer of the team.
This is effectively the magical counter part of the black cleaver with less magic resist reduction.
This item is considered both an offensive and a defensive counter item. Tts aura is stackable twice. however it is often obtained for its defensive stats and ap than for its magic resist reduction.
These items are for countering things that cant really fit anywhere into the above list.
This item is often used to shut down champs who can heal alot through built in spells or the help of another champion and even lifesteal and spellvamp. It is often overlooked but its a very strong item.
This is an item that can be uesd to dodge an entire combo or bock out an attack that you know is coming such as karth's ult or vlad's ult.
This is the counter to fast fleeing foes such as teemo by slowing them down.
The magical equivalent of Frozen Mallet.
This item is used to counter champs with dodge such as Jax and Sivir.
This item is used to counter someone who is stacking pure health. Hence why its a bad idea to have just health with no resist
The magical equivalent of Madred's Bloodrazor.
This is a general list not every item is added for obvious reasons. However i tried to cover the general items that are commonly used by AD or AP champs to counter the other team. Hopefully you find this helpful. There will be times when my list fails but nothing in our world is perfect so it can't be helped that this list is also imperfect.
As a closing comment I hope that you are able to put more variety into your build. Just because a build is successful against a set of champions in one game doesn't make it successful in another game. As a result, it's always wise to change up the builds so that your build is the most suitable for the situation you are in. As well wining or losing also factors very heavy into the use of counter building and as well, the length of the game is another factor. Consequently this guide is hardly scratching the surface of counter building but words can only teach so much. You can learn much more from your failures and the failure of others than any guide can ever hope to teach. Therefore it is best that I end my guide here and hope to you the best of luck and enjoy.
2011 july 2 - Publishing
2011 july 3 - Added change log and proof read for grammatical errors