General Guide by glizdka

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author glizdka

In-deph guide to building a champion

glizdka Last updated on May 4, 2012
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Example of build


Nothing's here :)

Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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  • 26/04/2012 - fixed most typos and not working interactive graphics
  • 27/04/2012 - made "effective health" and "myth about armor and magic resistance" more detailed, clear, and easier to follow.
    Changed chapters' order. General improvements.
    Added chapter about armor shreeding.
  • 28/04/2012 - Made "myth about armor and magic resistance" a stand-alone guide [click me],
    deleted chapter about armor shreeding (will make it stand-alone guide later)
  • 4/05/2012 - Added stand-alone guide to "optimal ratio between armor and health" and linked to it in this guide, in chapter with the same name

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Hello guys, I'm Glizdka and after my Poppy Guide I want to introduce some few features for you, that may be found helpful, when you create a build.

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Looooooooooooong ='(

...but it's worth reading entirely, or at least "advanced tips" section.

And it mostly consist of graphics and formating with enters, so it looks bigger than it is :)

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What does that build containt?


  • General tips about building runes pages.
  • Runes recommendations for each type: marks, seals, glyphs, quintessences.


  • General tips about building masteries.
  • in-deph and detailed look over masteries.


  • General tips about creating item build.
  • Detailed overlook on creating item build with example.


  • Introducing effective health feature, and detailed overlook.
  • Giving economical optimum in order to build as much survivability for gold as possible.
  • Interessting fact about lifesteal with high armor/resistance.
  • Detailed explaination why you should ballance attack and defense, and how to build carry well
[*]Details how does armor shreeding work, and what does it give

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To do

  • Add items cathegorization for cost efficent, ok efficent and low cost efficent to help you with building your champions
  • Add "how to skillorder" section
  • Add "how to summoner's spells" section
  • Add "how to synergize with your allies" section

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There are plenty of possibilites how to build your runepages.
Most new users do it wrong - so how to build it correct ?

  • Rule #1 - Runes should be used at their primary effect and never at secondary effect
    unless you are in real need for certain stat.

  • Rule #2 - Runes should synergize with your advantages,
    make what your champion does good even better, or fix main problems.

  • Rules #3 - Runes don't give much - all in all it's just another brick in a wall, so if you, say, build your champion with high amounts of certain stat, you won't feel much difference by adding few more points, unless you are in real need for this.

    For example if you play Tristana - extremly huge attackspeed champion,
    you don't need to build more attackspeed with runes (you won't even feel a difference), but armor penetration is something, that is not only hard to itemize, but also give you the kick,
    that is shap through entire game, from early to late, and always noticeable.

  • Rule #4 - Runes are best earlygame so think about what you want, and what you need earlygame and fix it with runes,
    that's why flat bonuses are usually better than bonuses per level.
    Also pay attention on what level your flat bonus would be the same as bonus/level.
    Because if you can have same effect at, say, 15th level with bonus/level runes, as with flat bonus runes, it's better to use flats because they are useful for longer

  • Rule #5 - max your bonus - as rule #3, runes don't give much, so if you take different stats from same kind (for example 3 marks giving 1 thing and 6 marks giving 2nd thing) you will not even feel the bonus.

    Basic pattern is: 9 marks/9 seals/9 glyphs/3 quintessences.

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Primary effect + Best runes to use

Primary effect is what certain kind of runes are best at, if you use secondary effect, runes are weaker.

Look at the difference between primary effect and secondary effect from 2 types of runes and same stats to gain:


MARKS are offensive runes, and physical attacks runes


For champions that lack attackspeed or utilize it with something, like Vayne

greater mark of desolation
For nearly every phisical damage dealer

For champions that need earlygame kick with extra AD like Pantheon

For nearly every magic damage dealer

Greater Mark of Critical Chance and Greater Mark of Critical Damage are sometimes used for certain champions,
that use critical strikes a lot ( Shaco/ Tryndamere etc.)

SEALS are defensive (withotu magic resistance!) runes, regeneration runes and utility runes


For nearly every champion, flat ones because difference is most noticeable at early level, when you don't have much armor itemized/gained from champion itself

greater seal of replenishment
For nearly every champion that lack mana regen early game a lot,
keep in mind that at level 7 bonus/level ones are better, so use it ONLY if you need mana regen early game, during laning phase like for Sona or sometimes for Sion

For the ones that lack mana regen through entire game like Kassadin

For supports, with 9 seals you get 2.25gold/10 seconds which is good when you don't have lasthits

Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power and Greater Seal of Ability Power are also used for some mages, that don't need mana regeneration, just pure ability power (like Kennen)

Greater seal of vitality and Greater Seal of Health are used sometimes for squishy champions, althogh you benefit much more defense with armor and magic resistance runes.

GLYPHS are magical runes and anti-magic defense (magic resistance is their primary effect)


To get as much ability power as possible for champions, that need strong kick in midgame like Cassiopeia

For champions that need to steamroll enemies on laning phase with extra AP like Lux,
keep in mind that at level 7 flat ones are almost as good as bonus/level ones

For nearly every champion, it improves your anti-magic defense in midgame when mages are strongest, usually those are better than flat ones for champions that don't build magic resistance with items, and don't have magic resistance gain per level

For nearly every champion, it improves your anti-magic defense in early game when you get a lot of harras from skills. At level 9 they are almost equal to bonus/level ones

For champions that lacks cooldown reduction a lot, or just need that almost 10% cooldown reduction at level 18 given by 9 that glyps, to reach 40% cooldown reduction cap with items.

Greater Glyph of Mana is used sometimes for Ryze instead of Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction

QUINTESSENCES are always best, althought pay attention to bonus/level and flat bonus differences, because they have different ratios, and because of that sometimes it's inefficent to use bonus/level ones when it was better to use it with non-quintessences runes. Also there are several effects that are provided only by quintessences, like lifesteal


Frequently used by mages, not Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power as at level 12 only they are better

For mages that have a lot of AP on their own like Veigar and won't even feel exta ability power from
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. Also it's good to increase natural magic penetration of champions that have it on their own like fiddlestick

greater quintessence of desolation
For nearly every champion that deals high physical damage

For champions that need early game kick with extra AD like Pantheon. Also it's important to note, that if you want from runes both: extra AD and armor penetration it's more beneficial to use set: greater mark of desolation+ Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage than Greater Mark of Attack Damage+ greater quintessence of desolation as the ratio for trade AD for armor penetration in these runes is more effective that way

Good for supports, supported by Greater Seal of Gold and Greed it provides 7,25 gold/10 seconds which is free gold generator since game starts and that is important for supports, that don't have lasthits. Also it's like a free ward every 21 seconds, and 1740 gold gained total, during 40 minutes match (that's +/- 25% more gold than ordinar support reaches in that gametime)

Good for ranged physical damage dealers, especially after all lifesteal items nerfes.
If supported by Vampirism it provides 9% lifesteal, which also makes you less independant on lifesteal items (and it sometimes allows you to not buy them at all)

For nearly every champion, especially for melee champions that have problems at sticking to their target. Also this stat is not easily itemizable. Supported by Swiftness provides extra 7,5% movement speed!

As with marks, there are sometimes used Greater Quintessence of Critical Chance and Greater Quintessence of Critical Damage for champions that utilize critical strikes a lot like Shaco and Tryndamere.

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Masteries and runes are very alike at their purpose. So all 5 runes are also applicable for masteries.
Also there are several additional rules:

  • Rule #1 - you should never use Summoner's Wrath , Summoner's Resolve
    and Summoner's Insight if you do not use summoner's spells they upgrade

  • Rule #2 - you should keep the 21 and 9 scheme, so for example 21 points put into defense and 9 into offence, or 21 into utility and 9 into defense. That's because it's most efficent to reach the most beneficial masteries from tier 3 and last tier

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Tier 3 and last tier masteries are usually something you want to achieve, and everything from lover tiers is just to allow you to reach your key-masteries

Tier 3 key masteries:

It's for every champion that deals physical damage, and 10% armor shreeding is awesome thing

This one is for magic damage dealers, like Weapon Expertise for physical damage dealers

This one is huge kick for earlygame health, not only because of Veteran's Scars itself, but also because if you want Veteran's Scars you need to take 4 points into Durability too.
Can save from death in situation when 1-2 attacks more would kill you (and those situations are very common)

Great for junglers as it improves buffs duration, also good for mages that usually take blue buff from their junglers, and ranged physical damage dealers, that usually take red buff from their junglers

Last tier key-masteries:

Bread and butter for all magic and physical damage dealers, as it helps with landing a kill, works even better with Havoc . And last thing to notice - Pantheon with his Heartseeker Strike is just that mastery lover!

Bread and butter for tanks and offtanks. Not only nice to have extra 3% health,
but also very important 10% crowd control reduction which is one of hardest to itemize stat

It's nice-to-have thing as summoner's spells usually have really long cooldowns.
Although it's not so great as 2 previous mentioned masteries.

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Summoner's spells improvements

Well, if you use certain summoner's spell it's good to spend just 1 mastery point to improve it right? Well... not always, sometimes that improvement is very weak or just useless. Let's have a look, shall we?

  • Exhaust gets now extra 10 magic and physical penetration, is that good?
    Think about when do you use Exhaust - when you are in 1vs1 situation, when you chase down the target and when you escape. For first 2 purposes it's very beneficial, as it makes you kill target faster, for 3rd purpose it's OK because when you use it to escape it makes your allies kill chaser faster, or force him to stop chasing

  • Ignite now adds 5 AD and AP during cooldown, is that good?
    Ignite is used mainly as a finish-off spell, and extra AP and AD will give you a little kick to kill faster. Also if you keep in mind that this extra 5 AD and AP stays on you during most of the gametime (as you use Ignite frequently) so yes, every bit of damage is good, especially for only 1 mastery point spent.

  • Surge gives even more AP and attackspeed, is that good? Ofcourse it is, the only problem is that Surge is very weak summoner's spell itself

  • Ghost now gives even more movement speed, is that good? You use Ghost to run faster, so yes - running even faster is always worth spending that mastery point

  • Revive now grants huge movement speed bonus when activated - that's great because you use Revive for quick respawn, and you will get to the location you want to even faster... too bad Revive has so long cooldown, that it's nearly useless

  • Cleanse has now increased duration of crowd control reduction, is that good? Well, you usually use Cleanse as a "get out of jail free card" so only to take off current CC, so it's not as good to have for this purpose because if Cleanse doesn't save you in certain situation itself, it won't when improved either.

  • Heal is now 10% stronger. You use Heal to heal, here you heal more = very good.

  • Smite now adds 10 extra gold upon use, is that good? Well, as a jungler you usually use Smite when it's possible, as it's pretty useless out of jungle. And as a jungler you usually have less farm than lane champions so it makes odds a bit more equal.
    Also you can spam Smite even on minions to get that extra gold, so yes - it's good

  • Garrison now provides 50% splash damage to turrets in dominion. I don't play dominion much so i can't tell, but Garrison seems very weak itself so i guess it's not worth it.

  • Teleport now casts 1 second faster, well... it's not so great, although you use Teleport usually in situations when each second counts (when you use it to save allies/turret, tele-gank or escape from no-stun chasers. But still, it's not so great improvement

  • Promote now creates even toughter minion - if only Promote wasn't so bad summoner's spell itself...

  • Flash has shorter cooldown - 15 seconds, if you take a look at cooldown, then 15 seconds isn't much. Ofcourse there are some situation when miliseconds from getting Flash off cooldown saves life but those are very rare.
    I'd take Summoner's Insight to improve Flash only when supported with Mastermind - because then entire cooldown reduction is very noticeable

  • Clairvoyance has 2 seconds longer reveal time - well.. Clairvoyance is mostly used as a "check" and duration doesn't matter so much. Situations when that longer duration made me able to see important thing are so rare i can count them on hand without fingers :)

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Other masteries - Offense


Extra AD is always good to have, especially earlygame - good not only in order to reach higher tier masteries, but also very good itsef

As with Brute Force it's also good to have. Although it's usually spent as 3/4 with Summoner's Wrath , not full 4/4 points, because it usually acts higher tier unlocker, and you need to spend only 4 points on 1st tier masteries to unlock higher ones

Was good before all jungle nerfs, now that nearly every champion can jungle it's almost useless


Just to reach Weapon Expertise , but kinda OK to have itself too

Mostly to reach Arcane Knowledge , but 4% cooldown reduction sometimes helps to reach 40% cooldown reduction cap, with items, runes, and also Intelligence so it's kinda good mastery itself

Useless at all as during team-sieging a tower you have enough damage to manage destroying it


Mostly to reach Lethality , bonus itself isn't very high but OK to have, especially for AD casters like Urgot

It's commonly said to be useless, but it's not true. It's weak, but sometimes still better than other masteries,
it's usually taken because "there's nothing better, and i need to reach Executioner ".
Comes good in AP masteries because it increases also AP like Rabadon's Deathcap or Archmage (increases damage of skills too, so also it increases AP gained from extra %AP item/masteries even more),
Also it has use for AP/AD hybrids, as it increases damage regardless what's the source of damage, so it improves both: AD and AP aspects. And don't forget it improves damage from on-hit effects too!


Extra 10% critical strike damage is very good thing for physical damage dealers, that will build critical strike chance and those that rely on critical strikes themselves like Shaco or Tryndamere, also keep in mind that for Pantheon it's always stronger finish-off with Heartseeker Strike. Also it's very hard to itemize stats because the only item that provides extra critical strik damage is Infinity Edge

Kinda weak stat itself, works best with lifesteal items and runes.
It's good if you start with Doran's Blade because you'll have 6% lifesteal, and if you have also Greater Quintessence of Life Steal you start off with 12% lifesteal and if you got to the jungle with Vampiric Scepter you start with 19% lifesteal. So it's very good, but only as a synergy effect

Like Vampirism it's kinda weak itself, but if you also have Mental Force , Greater Quintessence of Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - then the bonus is quite strong. So again, it's good, but only as a synergy effect


It's very weak itself as for such a high tier mastery, but it works extremly well as synergy effect with other flat armor pierce things. With 9 greater mark of desolation and Sunder you get strong 21 armor pierce against low-armor champions. With greater quintessence of desolation you reach 31, and if you have also flat armor penetration from The Brutalizer or Youmuu's Ghostblade, or even skill from champion itself, like Olaf's Ragnarok, you can shreed target's armor down to minus values. Only then this mastery is strong.

Increases damage output of mages, because usually around 50% od skills' damage comes from all colleced AP, this will increase total damage output of mages by around 2,5% - not much? Add Havoc and Rabadon's Deathcap and you'll feel it a lot.

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Other masteries - Defense


Very good thing earlygame, for those champions that lack magic resist. Works even better with Greater Glyph of Magic Resist because you can have extra 18 magic resistance resulting in 58 total magic resistance for most squishy champions that don't have magic resistance per level gain, and usually don't build magic resistance. Also worth to remember is that it counters Sorcerer's Shoes which with Greater Mark of Magic Penetration could shreed 29 of your magic resistance down to nearly 0 if you hadn't any extra magic resistance

Works like Resistance , usually earlygame your magic resistance is higher than armor so it can fill the hole in your shield a bit. Works better with Greater Seal of Armor resulting in 19 extra armor, which usually sets 1st level armor at level around 35 for most squishy champions. If you did read about Sunder you know how much armor shreeding your opponents can have earlygame from runes and masteries only. So it's perfect counter against that

Same as with Butcher - after all these jungle nerfs you totally don't need that. And spending points only to reach Bladed Armor is not worth it, as Bladed Armor is, for the same reason, not needed


Very weak itself, used usually to reach Veteran's Scars , and then it's kinda OK thing to have. The main case here is also to pick it because Vigor is worse

Very weak mastery as health regeneration is very easily itemizable, especially earlygame where you can buy Regrowth Pendant and a bit later philosopher's stone. Goes totally useless lategame, midgame, and even later-earlygame


Very weak mastery, again. The only reason to take it is that there are worse masteries here, and you sometimes need to spend that 2 points in order to reach Juggernaut

Nice mastery, as area of effect spells are common, works even better with Honor Guard

As I said before with Tough Skin - you don't need it anymore after jungle nerfs


Even more useless than Demolitionist

It's very good movement speed bonus for initiation, during real clash you loose health turing off that mastery's effect. But movements speed bonus during map travelling or chasing target when you are on almost full health is very strong, when supported with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed and Swiftness

Well, it seems like comparable thing to Greater Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction but tanks usually don't need cooldown reduction unless they gain it from items like Frozen Heart - then it can come in handy if you want to reach 40% cooldown reduction cap


Kinda weak mastery as for 5th tier, but it's very good if you add Evasion to make its effect stronger. Also works very good with Ninja Tabi and champion's skills that reduce damage taken (like Poppy's Valiant Fighter).

Well, if you go for 21 points into defense from masteries you usually are a tank or an offtank. And those usually don't have problems with gaining gold unlike supports for which it would be kinda nice. It provides around 600 gold per average match.

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Other masteries - Utility


Some people say "it's good only if you die - you don't want to die = don't take it". Tell me, how many matches you've had with 0 deaths? Almost none. This mastery is surprisingly good as for tier 1, especially lategame, when respawn time is so long, and because of that 1 ace is usually lost game because during spawn time enemies can destroy even 3 or more turrets (not talking about inhibitors)

Very weak mastery. Usualy taken only in order to reach Meditation Bonus isn't noticeable during entire game. Could be good only for Ryze as it gives him extra damage for skills (so it's like extra AP) or Blitzcrank as his Mana Barrier transforms that mana into temporary shield when in danger. Could have use for Manamune or Archangel's Staff but bonus isn't very strong then either.

It's like nearly nothing, sometimes you recall in bush and manage to escape milisecond before hit, but that situations are rare and it's not worth spending that mastery point


Very good mastery, if you add other bonus movement speed sources like Initiator , Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Zeal, Phantom Dancer, Trinity Force and skills like Master Yi's Highlander. Kinda weak itself

It's good for mana hungry champion like Karthus from early level, works better with greater mark of replenishment or Greater Mark of Scaling Mana Regeneration

5% bonus sight range for wards is so weak thing that i can honestly say it's worst mastery ever


In order to get Wealth . Better with gold generator runes. Usually for supports.
I's also a free ward each 6 minutes and 15 seconds

Like Vampirism but for mages. The huge downside is that spells aren't so spammable source of life regeneration like atuoattacks, although mages usually aren't in need for spellvamp as their usual purpose is to nuke down squishies. Could be slightly good only if you plan building Will of the Ancients. Last thing to notice: for mages it's usually better to have other quintessences than Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp so it's not as great as Vampirism after all.


Allows support to buy extra ward early on, and that's it!
Also allows support to start with Regrowth Pendant in order to create philosopher's stone quickly, while it's just enough gold to buy ward you wouldn't have money for if you didn't take Wealth so it's ok... for supports

Well, seems kinda OK but i don't know what to think about this mastery personally. It would be OK to have for farm/level dependant champions, but those usually don't go so deep into utility tree

Same as Awareness


strength of
Could be good for mana bulk champions like Ryze but it's such a high tier that it's not so worth going so deep into utility only for this mastery

Very descent mastery with Sorcery as cooldown is essential for many champions. The huge downside is its high tier that it's not worth going so deep into utility tree only to get this mastery.
But it's extremly worth taking if you are that deep in utility tree anyways

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Items have 2 purposes:

  • Make as much use of champion's advantages as possible
  • Fix main problems of champion

If you want to build your gear you need to think about things below in EXACT order:
  • "What's your champion purpose?"
  • "What are you good at?"
  • "What do you lack?"
  • "What do you want?"
  • "How much money will you be able to farm?"

      Then think abut asked questions with items to transform them into this:
    • "How my items can make me do my job for the team?"
    • "How my items can make me better at things I'm already good at?"
    • "How my items can fix my problems?"
    • "What will make me achieve what i want?"
    • "Will I need additional gold generators for all those items?"

Now that you have basics of your build's features get into item build rules:
  • Rule #1 - NEVER think of 5 items full build

  • Rule #2 - ALWAYS give yourself alternatives in order to adapt to situation you meet

  • Rule #3 - Try to think over few items that can be bought to counter champion that may be problem for you (like building Quicksilver Sash against Malzahar's Nether Grasp)

  • Rule #4 - Think of as few items as possible that are capable of answering as many questions as possible at the same time

  • Rule #5 - Think about which item is good at which point of game, you should pick as first item as cheap one as possible that can do as much as possible for it's cost

  • Rule #6 - Don't build lategame items in earlygame and earlygame items in lategame as usually items that have good cost efficency usually give a lot for their cost and are good kick in earlygame but don't give much in total, so mostly only in lategame you should buy items with low cost efficency but that give a lot in total
  • Rule #7 - Boots shouldn't be upgraded before there is need for it. Boots aren't usually a part of the build, they should be bough depending on situation.
    Ninja Tabi is your cheap and extremly efficent way to shut enemies' physical damage - you should buy them very early if you feel their physical damage should be shut down, also they are fantastic for junglers
    Mercury's Treads is your easiest and best way to get CC reduction and you should thing abotu it THAT way, not as extra magic resistance - you should buy them early-mid if you feel CC disturbs you
    Berserker's Greaves is your earlygame kick for damage per second output - you should buy them early to increase attack
    Sorcerer's Shoes should be bought by mages that need extra magic pierce and mostly after first AP items
    Ionian Boots of Lucidity is good if you feel you don't need anything more than cooldown reduction at point you upgrade them
    Boots of Swiftness doesn't give anything more than huge bump for movements speed and should be bought only if your power doesn't rely on other boots' bonuses
    Boots of Mobility are for champions that ganks/roams very much, like Twitch, that must be in several places at the same time or need good initiation to succeed, like Sion or Blitzcrank

At the end of the process of thinking over build you should come with 3 items (without boots) that will be called a "core" build. Last two slots are for "luxury items" that you will buy after the "core" - those low cost efficent and very expensive but giving a lot in total. That 2 slots are also for "counter items" that you will build in case of situation you meet your "bane" (also called "pain in a**") and to make you able of beating him

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Shyvana as example of champion building

Let's think about Shyvana as out champion to have build made.

She's melee champion that is very tough thanks to strong base defensive stats and stats gained per level. Also Dragon's Descent gives her extra toughtness. She has something to improve autoattacks ( Twin Bite) as well as some burst damage with Dragon's Descent and Flame Breath. She also has Burnout that gives extra movement speed, allowing her to stick to her target better, as well as some nice damage over time.

Because of all mentioned above I decide to build her as an offtank, because she has almost everything that allows her to do that. Now let's ask first series of questions

  • "What's your champion purpose?" - as an offtank I'll have to be able to have enough damage to kill their carry while tanky enough to bare all the punishment from my target's teammates when doing it.

  • "What are you good at?" - I'm good at chasing down target, closing the gap to target when engageing, dealing damage, surviving focus

  • "What do you lack?" - Crowd control as I don't have any

  • "What do you want?" - Attackspeed as thank's to Fury of the Dragonborn I can lower cooldown of my Twin Bite upon each attack, also I want on-hit effects because Twin Bite allows me to deal triple strike (1 normal -> press Q -> attack timer refreshes -> 2 attacks from Twin Bite). It also would be nice to have lifesteal because i want lane sustain and be able to beat most enemies in 1vs1 situations

  • "How much money will you be able to farm?" - a lot because I'll be mid-late game champion, and I'll want to go solo top

Now that we asked these questions we know what are we looking for, time to ask item questions:

  • "How my items can make me do my job for the team?" - They can provide ballanced attack and defense

  • "How my items can make me better at things I'm already good at?" - They can grant me extra movement speed and survivability and mid-late game they can add some nice on-hit effects to add more damage to the damage i already deal

  • "How my items can fix my problems?" - They can add some slow

  • "What will make me achieve what i want?" - Good thing is that attackspeed and on-hit effects are provided by many types of items. And lifesteal isn't expensive thing

  • "Will i need additional gold generators for all those items?" - Probably yes as all these items will require a lot of gold to be spent

Now, according to rules, let's think about our "core" build. Let's make it from cheap and very cost efficent items that will be the answer for as many questions as possible:
  • First thing to build will be Wriggle's Lantern as it provides wanted lifesteal, gives ballanced attack and defense, and allows me to ward solo top so i can farm much not afraid of ganks.
  • Second thing will be Phage as it fixes problem with CC, and again is good ballance between attack and defense.
  • Third thing will be Wit's End as it gives wanted on-hit effect and attackspeed as well as some magic resistance, so again it's ballanced between attack and defense
  • Fourth thing will be upgrading Phage to Frozen Mallet, not Trinity Force as extra mana would be wasted and ability power wouldn't be much useful, also Frozen Mallet gives huge health bonus to make Shyvana even tankier, also it provides sure slow (unlike Trinity Force) so i find it better. I didn't decide to upgrade Phage earlier because Frozen Mallet has low cost efficency and firstly i wanted to make earlygame items.

Then let's think about luxury items now:
  • Lategame Madred's Bloodrazor will be what I want, it provides some extra armor, but most important here is wanted attackspeed and on-hit effect that will increase our damage output in order to help us doing our job better.
  • Force of Nature will be also nice as it provides extra movement speed so we will be even faster, so we will be better at the thing we are already good at, also it makes us able to stick to the target better. It also provides huge magic resistance so we won't be afraid of mages. Last thing is huge health regeneration that works even better because of already high amount of health and high armor and magic resist that make it more effective.
  • Randuin's Omen is by far best anti-physical defense in game as it provides huge armor and attackspeed/movements speed debuff to people that dare to attack us. Also some additional health is nice. Last thing is that after using Dragon's Descent we can immediatelly use active of Randuin's Omen to CC everyone nearby (especially our target) so it solves our problem with sticking to target.

Counter items I buy in case I'll some help against certain targets are:

For runes I'll take those things that will help me most at my task.

Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed


For masteries i decide to take 9-21-0 because i want to reach Weapon Expertise , i didn't go further down offense tree as I'm not going for critical strike with my build, so Lethality would be useless, neither Deadliness nor Sunder would be very good as I deal mixed damage thanks to on-hit effects and Burnout so I won't rely only on physical attacks.
Although Havoc and Executioner would be good masteries for me, I don't want to waste points only to reach them.
In defensive tree i want to take Juggernaut because it makes me a bit toughter but mainly because it reduces CC that might stop me from my task, also i want Evasion and Honor Guard because I want to be even toughter and don't want do feel any threat from my target's defenders, last thing i wanted here is Initiator as it will help me chasing down targets when I'm on high health as well as it lets me do first hit to slow down target with Frozen Mallet before I get damaged and loose speed buff, but after that I'm sticked to my target.

This Shyvana's build isn't perfect, but it's thought over very in-deph, contains a lot of synergies and ballances, and is the way you should think over build each time

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======ADVANCED TIPS======

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Effective health

Many people don't know the way armor and magic resistance works. Well, let me introduce term "effective health" - this is amount of damage required to be taken to die.

EFFECTIVE HEALTH = HEALTH POINTS x (1 + 1% of defense)

It means basically that each point of defense (armor/magic resistance) increases effective health by 1% So if you have very high armor and low health it's like having high health and low armor. And if you have a lot of health it's better to buy more defense than health.

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Optimal ratio between armor and health

Where does the optimum lie? Well, considering average cost of basic defense items i can say that average cost of defense for armor and magic resistance is around 17 gold while for health it's around 2,6 gold.

After few calculations I counted that optimal survivability for gold spent is at ratio around:

117 defense for each 1000 of health

Keep in mind that enemies usually have defense penetration: flat and percentage. If you want to counter %defense penetration from Weapon Expertise and Arcane Knowledge you should keep in ratio around:

130 defense for each 1000 of health

If you also want to counter flat defense penetration from runes and masteries (and for mages from Sorcerer's Shoes too) i can tell you that:

for mages it's from 29 flat magic penetration up to 35
for physical damage dealers it's from 15 up to 31

Now just add this value to the ratio already counted, for example:

I have 2000 health so i should have 130 armor for each thousand of health - resulting in need for 260 armor, I guess they have around 20 armor piercing so i should build 280 armor - ofcourse if i want as much survivability for gold as possible :)

This should help you clear doubts if "to buy HP or armor at this point?"

NOTE: if you believe that you shouldn't go beyond certain amount of armor, because at certain point armor becomes inefficent, please read my guide where i beat that myth - [click me]

NOTE 2: more informations about optimal ratio between armor and health,
can be found in my guide to that feature. [click]

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Heal, Lifesteal and health regeneration vs armor and magic resistance

It's actualy a great synerge between those stats as armor and magic resistance increases health efectivness so, each health point gained either way needs more damage to be taken away. That's why building all-types-of-defense items which is Guardian Angel for high lifesteal ranged damage dealers is so good (other thing that if you are slaughtered by assassins you got "2nd chance" thank's to revival from Guardian Angel)

Keep that thing in mind

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Ballance between attack and damage

There is popular thing, that damage dealers should build damage only and tanks should buy only survivability.

Now let me show you certain thing.

If you have, say 50 AD and buy 50 more, you got 2 times more damage, but if you have 400 and, for the same gold, you buy 50 more, you got 450, just 12,5% more... not nuch difference right?
Same thing goes for health

But other people say "if you are ranged damage dealr you don't have to be afraid of damage taken, because you are safe in your range"...
that's just stupid, ofcourse you are in less danager than melees but, how about CC? How about long range nukes ( Xerath) and how about, finally, offtanks with gaps closers ( Shyvana), or even worse, with gapslocers AND cc AND high burst ( Jarvan IV)? If they manage to take you in 1vs1 fight, you are totally ****ed.

Next thing is positioning, if you are in danger you have to move to position yourself out of danger, if you move you don't attack, if you don't attack your damage output decreases. Look at all those tanks that don't care about focus (bah, they aren't even focused) - they just go in and steamroll anyone they want without any portion of fear.

Last thing: being toughter allows you to not care about tower diving nor focus (at least, not that much) so you are literally unstoppable

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1 vs 1 winner = carry

If you win in 1 vs 1 situation against any other enemy you can call yourself a carry, carry is someone that can literally **** up everyone in enemy team - it's not (like common myth says) someone that deals huge damage. If you are squishy glasscannon you are NOT a carry, you are just damage dealer, extra supportive damage that can be easily shut down by those duelists that are actual carries. If you can't win 1vs1 fights you can't call yourself carry

How to win 1 vs 1 fight? Let's give little simulation, for easy counting i give reality where each 1 damage per second costs same as 10 survivability

now look at 2 theoretical contestors:

20 DPS and 100 HP vs 10 DPS 200 HP

Red contestor went all the way for damage while Yellow contestor went all the way for defense. Both kill each other in same amount on time. Along the game time they get farmed and buy more...

50 DPS and 100 HP vs 10 DPS 500 HP

Damn... draw again... but at this point Red contestor realises he should buy some health while Yellow still goes for defense...

50 DPS and 200 HP vs 10 DPS 600 HP

Whoa... Red contestor won! Because he started thinking and finally increased his survivability to be better in 1vs1 situation and easily killed Yellow contestor, foolish enough to keep on his route to 1 aspect of fighter (defense in his case)

So as you can see, ballance between attack and damage (mentioned in previous chapter) is key to the victory

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The best duelists in this game (and best carries) are champions that have enough damage to kill targets while beefy enough to ignore focus and win 1 vs 1 situations. The best way to do so i being tanky with a little offensive edge, that's because building defense is more cost efficent than building offense (in general)

More about offtanks can be found in this, very good, Duff's guide to offtanks

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Thanks for reading and I hope I helped you, please don't forget to vote :)

Don't read tags

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jhoihjoi's guide how to create - that helped me a lot.

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I can't read chapters after 16# chapter - I don't know if it's just me or guide is bugged - please PM me if you can see this


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