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Why do people buy this item over and over? I usually play as AP Nuker or CC, and so I have no use for it, but in the last game I played Caitlyn. I got one Doran's Blade at the beginning, just to get some health, that 10 Damage that can help, and that 3% that I can barely notice. What I noticed is that if the enemy tries to kill me, I can't use lifesteal to heal myself nor can I use potions in the early game to survive. Now I see people buying more Doran's Blades; is it really worth it? Would it be better to start with a Vampiric Scepter, play maybe a little more defensively, and save the money for the boots and for an Infinity Edge, for example?

So let's see: 2 Doran's Blades are worth 950g, and they give you +160 Health, +20 Damage and 10 life per attack. I see people buying 3 of them, but I usually buy 2 of them.

I would rather buy a Vampiric Scepter (800g) and a Ruby Crystal (475g) and if I wait 10s I can even buy a Healing Potion (35g). I know I get a little less damage, but what I noticed this way is that you can stay longer in the lane and if you are skilled with a Champion you can still get those last hits. And another thing I find useful: With my items I can build something later (Vampiric Scepter -> Bloodthirster). With the Doran's Blade I have to sell them later, and it results in another cost loss.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Sure, you lose money selling them back later, but if that extra health and damage let you tower-dive to get that early kill (or stay alive in the reverse scenario), that is worth far more. –  Nick T Jan 2 '12 at 11:28
    
Ok but with ma build maybe you should have in less time more gold and buy batter things, that will really give you the opportunity to take towers and more Summoners. –  PifMeister Jan 2 '12 at 11:45
    
Note that the cost of Vampiric Scepter has increased to 800g, and Doran's Blade now grants 10 damage, 80 health, 5 health restore per attack. The item is arguably worse than it was when you wrote the post, as it scales more poorly into late game. That said, your question still has merit, as many people are still stacking blades far past when they should be spending money on other items. –  Curtis Tasker May 24 '13 at 4:47
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3 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The only role that can viably buy an early Vampiric Scepter is a jungler. This is because lifesteal procs off auto attacks, and in early game you should not be auto attacking creeps because it will push your lane too much.

One of the main ideas behind stacking Doran's is that it provides a cheap advantage for early game harrasment. If two champions with similar base stats are harassing each other, the champ with 2 Doran's will have greater sustain in lane and most likely will win the harrasments. Having more health allows you to win the skirmishes against your opponent, survive jungler ganks, last hit easier, and stay in the lane after a failed jungle gank or harassment.

This does put you behind for getting your first big purchase item, however given that a B. F. Sword (the most common big purchase for AD champs) is 1550g, spending an early 475g on a second Doran's, and consequently getting greater CS (note that after ~25 CS the dorans has paid for itself) and champ kills, can actually allow you to get that B. F. Sword sooner.

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The thing is Doran's blade provide health, damage and lifesteal benefits, all at the same time. If you open up with Vampiric Scepter because you don't have the bonus +200 health, you will be squishy, and you will be forced to return back if you are playing against a good harasser. If you open up with Ruby Crystal, you will be missing the lifesteal and replenishing lost health will be harder while staying on the lane. Doran's blade provides good balance between those perks.

And the main idea behind stacking Doran's items is to make difference in short term. If you manage to get a couple of kills, thanks to Doran's items, you will have enough money to buy something else. Stacking Doran's items are more suited to aggressive playing styles, short term high return investment. If you are playing for long term, it is better to be careful on the lane and buy something that can be combined later to get higher level items.

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I see your point. Maybe cause I like to play patient I don't actually like the doran's combo! Thanks ;) –  PifMeister Jan 2 '12 at 11:53
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People buy them because they give you a big advantage in early-to-mid game with AD carries. I will not speculate on whether it's the best item build to have, I am only saying it is viable.

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