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General Guide by HoterianWarrior

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League of Legends Build Guide Author HoterianWarrior

For Etherealites

HoterianWarrior Last updated on March 12, 2012
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Team 1

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Top Lane
Ranked #33 in
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Win 51%
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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

Guide Top

Disclaimer to Viewers

Please Read Before voting or commenting.

To begin The guides I will be writing pertain mostly for help with some of my friends I play with. I have only been playing the game for a few months now so I do not claim to know the best mastery setups or the best item builds for most characters. That being said, if you happen to find yourself looking at this guide and are more familiar with the characters or believe there can be improvements I will not shy away from suggestions. My only real goal is to help introduce the game and its concepts to my friends who are very new.


Please remember this is just a basic guide nothing fancy on how to build the characters.

This Guide is Still Under Construction

Guide Top

What do these Heroes have in common?

Our Champions


All of these guys have the ability to be a solid Off tank / general physical DPS.

Each of these heroes are melee based each with a slightly different play style when it comes to being able to sustain, harass, and teamfight.

Off tanks will generally have a mild amount of both armor and magic resist and a fairly hefty amount of health to keep them from being quickly taken out like carrys or assassins.

A vast majority of their damage can be seen from being able to stay in a fight for prolonged periods, capitalizing on their abilities that scale well with attack, and break through front lines to harass their carrys who will be unable to quickly take them out.

Its not entirely necessary to build a source of life steal but if you are doing well or the enemy lacks in either ability power or heavy attack damage these characters have the option of swapping some of their armor for some more damage without sacrificing alot of their beefiness.

Guide Top

Summoner Spells

So lets go over some of the summoner spells you are going to use on your champions and why.

Escape Spells


With ghost you gain not only a substantial movement bonus but also the ability to bypass minions to guarantee a direct escape OR a direct path to finishing off an enemy.

This spell is generally your first and primary method of escape from enemies when you start the game until level 12 when you get access to...


With flash you get a very short teleport that can bypass pretty much any terrain in between the point of teleport and the point of landing so long as you are able to clear that distance. You don't need vision of the area you want to teleport to but be warned it is very short ranged so its mainly used to position in and out of awkward terrain for quick escapes and quick ganks.


Teleport is not quite the most efficient escape tool but can be used very will to help team gank quickly, return back to a tower to defend, or come in for a quick kill on a fleeing enemy.

The upside is if you decide to use it to escape from a battle you only need 3 seconds to get the spell off and successfully escape however, the downside is if you get stunned in the middle of channeling by any method the skill will cancel and you will waste it.

Most people will rank Flash over Ghost but it all depends on the type of hero

Crowd Control / Offensive Spells


Exhaust is a wonderful spell for two reasons;
One being a giant speed reduction for those few seconds in which the enemy champion can either be prevented from escaping a killing blow OR used as a method of escaping an enemy that would have killed you.
Two it has a damage reduction applied with the slow movement, sometimes using this in a teamfight can help turn a hopeless battle around by simply slapping this on a ranged attack damage carry that is blasting away in a teamfight.


Ignite gives a nice DOT (Damage over time yes yes I know we are familiar with this playing RPGs) that can help not only secure a kill but also reduces healing effects from all sources, lifesteal, spell vamp, outside healing from spells, and personal healing spells INCLUDING Heal.

Slapping this during a teamfight on someone like Vlad or an AD carry that has a ton of lifesteal to sustain themselves will help disrupt their survivability and make them easier to burst down, OR placing this debuff as the enemy runs away with a sliver of health can help guarantee you a kill even from beyond the grave.


Surge gives a decent attack speed buff along with a small amount of AP boost. This skill being new to season 2 of LoL is rather unique, there arent alot of heroes that can actually utilize this skill fully on both ends of the skill spectrum but as an early game, however those who do are usually an AP mixed hero or AD carrys that dont usually build for full attack speed.

Exhaust trumps Ignite if you are aiming at more of support and crowd control but ignite is best used for champions who are benefited with additional kills rather than assists.

Support Spells


Heal thanks to a decent buff with the introduction to season 2 has become more significant in being able to turn a teamfight around by restoring alot more health to teammates.

Heal is a viable option for AD champs who need to survive longer in a fight to secure kills or to support champs to keep allies alive long enough to turn the tables or escape.


Clarity is a less used spell but still has its benefits for early game fights. Restoring mana for mana hungry champs or to give just enough to use that final ability to secure a kill is mainly its use. Its secondary use is staying longer in a lane for champs that have mana but use it to harass or protect themselves. Most champs wont consider this spell even if they play support or tank because mana is not as much of a problem in the mid to late game.


With season 2 nerfing the duration of the area revealed and the recast time Clairvoyance has now been reduced to being used for its original purpose which is for scouting MIAs or seeing critical positions before facechecking, even being able to scout dragon and baron before jumping into a trap.

The Final Breakdown

The general rule when choosing your support spells will follow these steps.

Do I have a successful and reliable method of escape built into my hero?

Are you a support/tank or an AD/AP champ?
Take an offensive spell

Take a support spell

Do I have a successful and reliable method of escape built into my hero?
Take an escape spell

Did you take an escape spell?

Consider a debuff spell


Consider a support spell if you need to survive longer or consider an escape spell anyway for helping to close distance between you and the enemy to secure kills.

Guide Top

How do I determine my items

4 Things to Consider when Buying

1. What are my Core Items
2. What is my Build Order
3. What will synergize well with my team
4. What will counter my enemy

Core Items

Core items usually denote what items are usually built and kept on the majority of standard builds. The usual reason is because it works well on your champion no matter what kind of build order you choose to do.
Example: Nasus

One of his core items to his build is usually a trinity force

But why?

Looking at the item and the way it works on how the hero is generally built we see it:

1. Provides health to a champion that usually plays either like a tank or a tanky dps.
2. Sheen part of the trinity force provides a damage boost on his Siphon Strike and his normal hits.
3. Movement speed to help chase and escape.

Another example: Gangplank

One of his standard boot choices being:


Well one thing we consider is why doesnt he take another boot choice?

With he gets the same movement speed but just higher attack speed, this can be helpful if you want to help max your stacks of his passive on an enemy but that is only if you can catch them and simply kill them with melee attacks which wont always be the case.

With he will get higher movement speed constantly which isnt a bad thing but is simply a movement speed bonus that can be gained from other gear choices and only helpful if you find yourself trying to constantly catch fast champs to secure kills.

With you will get magic penetration... that effects only one skill he has on his list which is his level 6 skill, making this pair of shoes pretty worthless for him.

Does that mean he is only locked into just 1 pair of boots?

Not really, depending on how you want to play him

With you get magic resistance and tenacity to lower the duration of debuffs on you. Sure you can relieve yourself of debuffs with your but sometimes a team will have alot of crowd control spells such as stuns and slows that your skill alone wont be enough this pair can help curve being hit with alot of CC if you are playing more like a tank.

The basic jist of what you would consider a core item is what items will work on my champion with;
The most effectiveness.
Compliments how you want to make your character.
Will remain pretty constant from game to game.


Most Ability power Carry champs will try and get

for the massive AP boost.

Most Attack damage Ranged Carry champs will try and get

for the massive amount of damage and crit damage boost

Most Tank champs will try and get

for the great amount of armor and the added effect of a frozen aura that slows attacks

(Consider it your boots and generally the first 2 items you want to shoot for to define your champion and its playstyle)

Build Order

Build Order can be generally seen as what items will you take in what order.

At the beginning of each match you start with 475 Gold (Unless you put mastery points in a certain skill in the utility tree.)

With this starting gold you have a few options to consider as your first items.
Generally when you want to have a nice early game advantage you take a Doran's Item because of how durable it makes the user but the downside is you only have enough gold to simply start with that item only. This means you arent able to get an extra potions to sustain yourself in a lane for longer periods of time or utilize boots for a movement speed advantage over the enemy.

Boots should always be considered as your first item for mobility and you will be able to take 3 potions to help keep yourself sustained. Your boots will eventually build into a Tier 2 boot that you want to use so you have already begun on your build at the start of your game, the only downside is you will have no extra benefits from extra attack damage health regen or mana in the beginning to the game to secure kills.


If you plan to farm early and dont have to worry too much about harassment getting the first item of whatever major item you will build into is not bad and you usually get space for a potion.

For Example


One of her items she will want to build into her core build is:
Hextech Revolver

(Used primarily for an early AP boost and one of the only options for spell vamp to keep her sustained)

With this item goal in mind she is free to pick
Amplifying Tome

As a first item.
This would mean she doesnt have to save up the full 1200 Gold price from the start if she decided on boots and potions or heaven forbid a doran's item she cannot fully utilize, but instead only a mere 765 Gold is needed after starting with half the recipe.

She will also have a full 40 gold leftover from this initial purchase to purchase a health potion to keep herself in the lane long enough to get her Revolver.

And if you plan to get outfarmed early or zoned out of gold early consider a Gold per 5 item that can work with your build even if you dont want to make the end resulting item. The longer you have it and the longer you keep it the more it will pay off.

Kage's Lucky Pick Philosopher's Stone

After you have picked your first item you need to be able to gauge what items will you finish in what order.

One of the first things to ask is:

Who are my opponents?

After a while you will be able to look at your team composition and the enemy team composition and reasonably determine what each team can and cant do and what role will you best fit into.

Lets say this is the enemy team... What can we gauge from what they can and cant do?

Well first we can see from their composition there is alot of crowd control with 3 AoE stuns a 4th Stun that can stun/slow those around them a 5th single stun that is ranged and 2 forms of slow both ranged.

This means in a team fight if they are well coordinated anyone they end up catching is almost guaranteed to die.

In a team fight reasonably you cant simply target tryndamere as he will be able to survive for several seconds at the brink of death. Targeting Amumu is also out of the question as he is the tank and will probably build to absorb damage.

Knowing these few facts we can determine that

1. Tenacity will be very helpful on you and your allies
2. Having a bit of magic resist will be helpful in surviving Annie and Veigar's initial burst damage
3. Targeting down Ashe and Annie will most likely be priority to eliminate the majority of damage from long range.

Being able to assess an enemy teams strengths will determine several things about your game play.

If you are having a good game catching opponents out of position, zoning them out of experience range, or landing alot of last hits for high creep score without alot of harass then maybe you can afford to go a little heavier with damage rather than straight into armor and magic resistance from the start.

So long as you know what to shoot for with your hero and how you want he/she to be played.

So for my example in this guide I selected champs that could be made into beefy bruisers that wont be easily 2-3 shotted by an AP burst or simply plucked off by an AD carry.

For Tanky DPS characters there are several items you want to consider for early to mid game.

For Defense consider the following items

These items with a mix of armor magic resistance and health are very affordable early to mid game.

For Offense consider the following items

These items give bonus to your attack while some giving a bit of utility like health and armor.

Moving from Mid Game and leaving the laning phase you will want to consider more finished/polished items that will truly benefit your build.

For defense consider the following items

With a mix and match of armor, magic resistance, and health these items shine from being able to counter most of the damage you will be getting hit with.

For offense consider the following items

With a good amount of bonus to attack damage and some more bonus utility to movement speed and crit chance these items make great choices to consider for the damage part of your champ.

But Marty Chang is that all?

There are also situational items that can help synergize with your existing build to make you harder to kill and harder to survive from.

Atma's synergizes with your health to give you more damage the higher your maximum health is while still providing a decent amount of armor and some critical hit chance.

Banshee's Veil can be pretty much be considered a mulligan from getting hit with single target spells that would normally debuff you or put you in a bad position.

Thornmail, for those annoying AD champs that just love to smack on you they get to have their faces smacked back. Not only is it a whole 100 armor but you get the nice effect of magic spikes every time you are tapped.

Guardian Angel or in familiar terms, RERAISE this item gives a nice chunk of defensive stats and provides essentially a free reraise every 5 minutes to stay in the teamfight much longer or even sack yourself to draw the enemy into a bad position.

Synergizing with my Team

This question can best be answered as why did you pick the hero you did in the first place and how can you play it that will not only best benefit you but your entire team.

Sure there are troll games all the time when someone wants to go AP Taric or AD Annivia but these builds wont be very helpful if they are not actually contributing to the team as a whole or giving the ability to win the game if it drags on.

When we consider Tanky DPS champs usually there will be 2 ways you will approach the champion, either as a melee who can hit really hard or a beefier champ who cannot simply be ignored in a teamfight. Both styles of play have their advantages but what it will eventually boil down to is "will it work well with my team?".

If your team consists of 3 squishy champs with high damage outputs and a support it may not be in your best interest or in the team's best interest to forgo building as a solid wall to play your champs as a drive by assassin.

If your team consists of 3 other tanky DPS champs and 1 squishy burst then it might not be such a bad idea to build yourself with a little more damage to help crush the enemies in a teamfight since it wont only be you taking the fire from enemy champs.

Countering Enemies

Whether they are physical attack damage, ability power based or simply a tank, knowing what items can be used to counter a champions build or playstyle can help turn around a game in your favor.

When wanting to counter attack damage champions usually the hard counter is to simply build a

The only downside to a thornmail is that it only works if someone is actually hitting you.

2 Items that will generally off set the problem of hard countering attack damage champs that may not focus you right off the bat are:

Both provide a good amount of armor but with their active/passive effect of giving a debuff to attack speed on enemy champs it can be more useful in team situations to protect people other than yourself.

When looking at Ability power centered champs usually there are 2 ways you will want to counter them.

The first method is to simply build loads of magic resist and health to survive any damage they throw at you. This can prove useful against champs who dont necessarily have a high burst combo but have a solid rate of spell casting.
Items to consider

The second method is a more direct counter against more single target focused champs.

The Banshee's Veil is used to prevent the initial hit from a combo and utilizing the Quicksilver Sash to erase very debilitating debuffs can interupt and easily turn the tables on very burst oriented champs.

Tanky champions are usually a little harder to crack depending on how they are built.

When attempting to break through armor there are generally 3 items you want to consider:

Last Whisper with a solid 40% Armor Penetration (capping at 46% with the 10% armor reduction mastery) This item will generally help penetrate through almost any defense.

Black Cleaver is another standard item giving a very large attack boost and attack speed boost, these are combined with a flat armor reduction debuff that is applied and stacked up to 3 times making it a very good tank piercer.

Infinity Edge is the last item that shines when it crits. With a large damage increase paired with a 50% crit damage increase this will make your critical hits devasting. This item pairs very well if you happen to get the 10% bonus damage to crit damage on the mastery tree. This item works very well if you have a good crit build.

Guide Top


Obviously because you have a few games under your belt you are fully aware the game revolves around gold and accumulating more than the enemy.

First let us simply Assess the methods in which Gold is accumulated.

1. Gold is accumulated over time, though very small with 1 a second gained this can be increased with gear and runes.

Kage's Lucky Pick Philosopher's Stone

2. Gold is accumulated through minions with sword wielding minions yielding higher gold than wand wielding minions, and cannon minions spawned every 3 waves worth about double the gold a wand minion is worth. Knowing how to capitalize last hits on minions can make or break early gameplay but we will discuss this at a different part.

3. Structures, 150 Gold is awarded to every member for every tower taken in a match.
50 Gold for every inhibitor

4. Neutral Creeps all jungle enemies give a relatively modest amount of gold for every big enemy slain and very little for the smaller creep.
Dragon (spawning at the 3 minute mark) respawns 5 minutes after death and grants a bonus of 190 gold to all team members and 25 gold to whoever landed the killing blow.
Baron Nashor (spawning at the 15 minute mark) rewards the killing team with 300 gold.

5. Kills
First Blood awards the killer an extra 100 Gold for obtaining first blood.
When you kill a champion you normally get 300 Gold per kill with less gold for every additional death the champion you kill goes without obtaining a kill.
When you kill a champion that has more than 2 kills without dieing the are given an extra bounty for kill streaks they have achieved making them more worthwhile to kill.
When you assist in a kill you gain a fraction of the gold he/she is worth + additional gold for contributing damage to the kill or mastery points placed into Mercenary

Now that we have went through the methods in which gold is accumulated we next have to discuss about Farming Minions

Farming Minions and the Concept of Last Hitting

So first off we need to ask why is this a stressed concept of the game in the first place, why cant we simply auto attack creep in front of us and why do we care if the minions get pushed up in the first place?

The simplest way to answer this question is it helps accumulate gold faster if we are focusing on landing the finishing blows on minions to receive the gold faster at the very early stages of the game.

The more intricate answer to the question is we are trying to prevent the idea of overextending the wave of minions to an area that will detriment you.

During the laning phase there are generally 3 things to keep aware of:

Lane Swapping resulting from teleport, recall or a roaming champion going lane to lane can quickly offset the balance of strength in a lane.

Junglers in either enemy or ally territory that usually have skills to help suppress and secure kills or force an enemy into burning abilities/keep them from free farming.

Bad Initiations which can factor from face checking a bush with enemy heroes in it to having split heroes forcing you or an ally into a bad position.

So how is focusing on last hitting really going to prevent these situations of overextending?

So lets just overview the big picture.

If left alone every wave should technically just counter itself to death never making any progress one way or another because every wave on both sides contain the same minions with the same strength and the same distance to travel. What happens when any damage is applied to these minions is they will slowly push further forward the less damage they are taking and the less enemies are on the field. Yes yes this is very simple ideas but what we are aiming for when last hitting is capitalizing on the fact that a minion so close to the brink of death would have been killed by another minions sword swing or wand blast that you smacking the minion right before it gets hit generally does nothing to the wave to move it forward or backward.

When last hitting you need to know how much health does a minion have to have before you can one shot it (especially at low levels).

How fast does your animation for an attack take to actually go off to kill an enemy;

Ashe With her normal attacks can generally hit a minion rather quickly as the arrow shot takes no real animation time to land onto an enemy. However when she turns on her Frost arrow she slows down her arrow animation causing a lag time of a split second longer for the arrow to finish traveling to the target.

How to prevent from hitting minions accidentally.

Usually when trying to NOT hit a minion moving back and forth with your mouse to keep up actions in preparation for combat will prevent your attacks from automatically going off.

If it becomes a little to much to constantly move back and forth simply hitting the {S} key will tell your hero to completely stop.

If these things are done correctly you can successfully farm without alot of fear of the minion wave pushing further than it needs to and should essentially always create a stalemate in the middle of any lane.

But Marty Chang cant we just push the wave?

There are some cases in which your composition is very strong and you can afford to hard push a wave because the enemy cannot simply counter. Exploiting this weakness of the enemy by hard pushing the wave to the tower, if done right, can result in taking a tower early or forcing a jungler out earlier than he really wants to, or let the lane reset itself by getting killed under tower range causing the minion wave to come back to the middle of the lane again.

This Guide is Still Under Construction


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