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Both items are great when they have some stacks, but when you buy them they have 0 stacks and are not really gold efficient.

  • Sword of the Occult is 30% gold efficient with zero stacks. Its gold efficiency increases by 15% per stack, becoming gold efficient at five stacks and reaching 404.3% gold efficiency at maximum stacks.

  • Mejai's Soulstealer is 35.2% gold efficient with zero stacks. Its gold efficiency increases by 14.1% per stack, becoming gold efficient at five stacks and reaching 354.9% gold efficiency at maximum stacks.

Buying them early is really risky because it puts you behind (you could have gotten something more efficient with that gold).

Should I only buy them when I know I'm already fed?

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Do you want 2 games where you wreck everything and everyone and 8 games where you are worthless? Or do you want 6 won games and 4 lost games? (spoiler alert you want the latter) –  bolov Aug 23 at 10:28
    
whats that question. really useless –  DropDeadSander - EUW Aug 23 at 10:56
    
These items were pretty heavily re-worked in patch 4.20. An update might be in order. –  GeneralMike 2 days ago
    
but then the answers are outdated too. people should see that this was askes before 4.20. –  DropDeadSander - EUW 2 days ago

4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I personally never buy them in a PvP situation. It's always a risky choice, even if you're fed. The enemy team tends to focus you if you have a lot of stacks to shut you down.

I mean, if you're like 20/0/0, and it looks like you could kill everyone 1v5, then it would be a nice item to get. As for when you should get it, if you ever are going to get it, get it early so you can stack quicker. As you said, it is really risky. That's the risk you have to take when purchasing stackable items.

However, purchasing the item can be viewed as unsportsmanlike.

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unsportsmanlike? why? –  DropDeadSander - EUW Aug 22 at 12:24
    
@PhilippSander There was actually an incident earlier where Riot was considering fining an LCS competitive team for buying these items when they were snowballing the opposition (sorry I don't remember the teams). They were intending to fine them for unsportsmanlike behaviour, probably because people can view the items as something which rubs into the opposition how poorly they may have played –  Haidro Aug 22 at 12:25
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found the article: dailydot.com/esports/riot-games-alliance-copenhagen-wolves i still wouldnt say its unsportsmanlike... IMHO! –  DropDeadSander - EUW Aug 22 at 12:29
    
It was just youngbuck being a sore loser :P –  Brian Aug 22 at 15:11

I have to say I almost always buy the soulstealer when I'm playing Normal games with friends that have a lower rating than me. It is a really great gameplay experience if you know how to play with such a high risk item.

But for serious competitive play: Don't Buy it!

It's really only good if you are 100% sure that you're gonna snowball this game and it's a huge wast of gold if you die once. For competitive builds replace the item with another Offensive or maybe even defensive one. But if you are platinum or diamond and you're playing normal games with your bronze and silver friends, go ahead and have fun with the item.

An additional thing: The AD Item isn't that useful. Usually you are better off with normal AD items.

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In almost all cases, you should not buy this item. You should only even consider buying them when you know you'll be able to maintain at least 5 stacks (7-10 is much better).

As a result of this, in most cases, an AP or AD carry should rarely (never) buy these items (as outlined in @Haidro's answer.)

BUT, there are some supports that can make decent use of Mejais. Supports that can't help but to get assists and have AP scaling can make use of Mejais. These supports are generally Janna, Soraka and sometimes Sona. While the item is less risky on a support, you still have to (on average) get 3 stacks (3 assists or 1 kill and 1 assist) per death. If you're doing poorly in lane, it would be a bad item to acquire.

There is only one case where I would buy Sword of the Occult, and it only really works in lower ELO. That case is using Yi. Once again, due to alpha strike and reset potential, he can get a lot of assists or kills in-between deaths.

Once again, the key is to get 5 stacks and then get an average of 3 or more stacks per death - then at least the item will be 'gold efficient'.

Either way, in practice, I buy one of these two items in less than 1% of my games and never in a competitive game. Although, I do tend to buy it when fooling around versus bots.

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I think these are items really gameplay-dependent. You should only buy them if you feel like that is a good idea (and if you know you'll get feed of course).

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