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So I see a lot of players, including skilled ones, buying items like Doran's Ring and Doran's Blade, that don't build into anything. Why do this? You'll just have to sell them later, they don't give a significant boost to stats, it would seem like a terrible idea. Yet people keep doing it! Why?

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  • They are actually some of the most gold efficient items in the game, give lots of good stats at a good price, give you better sustain and trading than other starting items, and are priced so you can still get potion(s) at the start of the game
    – Ben Craig
    Aug 6, 2016 at 13:55
  • Oh, okay. But is it still worth it once you've sold it?
    – user91193
    Aug 6, 2016 at 14:26
  • @Gamer3001 They probably are worth it, since they give handy passives to get the upper hand in the early game (ie the 3% life steal on Doran's Blade and mana regen on Doran's Ring). Other similarly priced items don't give such effects.
    – MC ΔT
    Aug 6, 2016 at 14:58
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    @Gamer3001 you typically dont sell it until you've hit 2-3 items and need the gold to finish an item, or you've completely run out of space in your inventory and can buy another item.
    – Ben Craig
    Aug 6, 2016 at 16:08
  • Alright, thank you for explaining. If you put an answer I can accept it, or you could just leave it in the comments if you don't mind missing out on the rep.
    – user91193
    Aug 7, 2016 at 9:20

2 Answers 2

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Same reason people buy pots, including the refillable + variants. They give a better early boost than anything else. Often the dorans are meant to give a similar level of sustain, but with more stats. Dorans ring allows you to use more than 10 spells before level 6 in the mid lane. Dorans shield (which doesn't actually get used that much due to blade / ring / corrupting being better on the current meta tops, and tbh in general) allows you to withstand some harass and heal it up while still csing. Dorans blade can give even more healing than pots if you play safely as you should if you need that healing. They also give a wider variety of stats usually than what else you could start with, you COULD start with a ruby and get 180 health + some pots, or long sword for +10AD + 1 more pot even, or you could get a dorans blade and get 70hp, 7ad, and 3% lifesteal which not only is factually more expensive stats that you can't get any other way early, but can also give even more healing. While yes this doesn't save you the 350 gold or 400 gold build into an item that you want, it allows you to stay in lane and not only be the same level (and therefore able to trade) as your opponent, you also will (hopefully) not miss so much cs that you're even more down than that 450 gold.

You usually don't sell this until you're buying your 2nd / 3rd item and that last bit of gold puts you over or until you need more space in your inventory to finish something more useful, so you make a very good use of those stat boosts by using them as long as you do.

Occasionally in dominant lanes top I'll buy long sword + 3 potions or refillable instead. I often do this on trundle, because his passive gives so much healing that you don't need more on attacks usually, and his q is such a good dueler of other melee champions that even with 10 ad vs 70hp + 7ad + 3% lifesteal (significantly better / more expensive stats, especially early) I can still dominate trades. A lot of people also go corrupting on trundle, I find the long sword is more damage, the normal potions are more healing, and he just doesn't need the mana unless you're wasting his Q on cs. Of course I'm only a 2x ex plat and current gold so I'm definitely not the end all be all of what's the best start on champions, but I know enough about the game to make informed decisions (and hopefully help you do the same), regardless of whether it's best or not haha.

I'll take Ben's rep here too by saying what he did as a tl;dr: "They are actually some of the most gold efficient items in the game, give lots of good stats at a good price, give you better sustain and trading than other starting items, and are priced so you can still get potion(s) at the start of the game."

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  • a better tl;dr, in my opinion, is that Doran's Items are incredibly gold efficient, but also incredibly slot inefficient.You're trading a mid-game spike for early game power. Only mentioning the positives in your tl;dr might be a bit misleading.
    – RFKomos
    Aug 8, 2016 at 19:09
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You can either buy 10 AD (for 350 gold), or 8 AD (280 gold value), 80 HP (213 gold value) and 3% Lifesteal (112.5 gold value) for nearly the same gold (400 gold). (Long Sword vs Doran's Blade).

You can either buy 20 AP (435 gold), or 15 AP (326.25 gold value), 80 HP (213 gold value) and 50% base mana regen (250 gold value) for nearly the same price (400 gold). (Amplifying Tome vs Doran's Ring).

You can either buy 15 Armor (300 gold), or 8 flat physical reduction, 80 health (213 gold value), and 6 flat health regen (216 gold value), and given that early game, with low AD values and the fact that Armor is % reduction, the flat reduction is stronger for a while. (Cloth Armor vs Doran's Shield)

Given that the Doran's items are much more gold efficient than the other similar non-Doran's items, and you only have a small amount of gold at the beginning of a match, it is generally best to start with one of the Doran's items. However, the other items can be upgraded into different completed items which are also gold efficient and have a higher item slot efficiency (i.e. more stats per item slot) so it generally isn't good to purchase more than one or two of them Doran's items, and they should be sold later on for better items that scale in late game.

TLDR: Doran's Items are about the most efficient early game items, thus it is usually best to buy them early game for the most efficient use of gold. However they don't scale into late game, so stacking a bunch usually isn't good, and they should be sold later on for room for more important items that scale in late game.

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