So I main support Soraka, and I was Bronze 4 during season 9 (haven't played ranked since) and I've noticed that if the enemy team has a high burst assassin like Zed, the game suggests building Zhonyas Hourglass to wait for my team to help me. However, many guides suggest not itemizing against specific champions and instead building the same items every game for lower tier matches because having more heal and shield power would influence the game more than not dying would. I've tried itemizing and I don't think that it influences my role as much as it supposedly does. So, is itemization important in lower tiers or is it not viable until higher tiers?

Build and Runes

Build: Moonstone Renewer, Warmogs Armor, SOFW/Ardent Censer, Redemption, Mikael's Crucible, SOFW/Ardent Censer

Main Tree Runes: Guardian, Demolish, Conditioning, and Revitalize
Secondary Tree: Zombie Ward, Ultimate Hunter
I'm new here, so sorry for any mistakes. Thanks!

1 Answer 1


Itemizing effectively is important

Itemizing effectively grants you value without requiring any mechanical or decision-making skills beyond the act of itemizing itself. You can win and lose games based upon item choice alone. For example, the decision for a marksman to build armor penetration against a team comp that's invested heavily in armor is important, as if they just stuck to comfort-building lethality (flat armor pen) over % armor pen, they're actively shooting themselves in the foot, as their damage will be far less effective against high-armor targets. The result of this would be that the marksman would be effectively facerolled by tanks through base damage alone.

Your comfort and experience matter too, though

Consider your Soraka example. You built Warmogs presumably because you're quite used to playing that way, I imagine. Sitting back and constantly healing your allies while Warmogs replaces the health you sacrifice with Soraka's W is an effective strategy. What really does cut into that is, as you pointed out, a very good Zed player who knows that you're a fairly squishy target without any armor, and removes you from the equation by all-inning you. Would replacing Warmogs with Zhonya's in this instance stop that from happening? Maybe once in awhile if you're not caught out without teammates to assist you. If you're playing the game out and you're determining that you don't need to defend yourself using Zhonya's active stasis or its armor values, then stick to what you feel works and will benefit your team the most.

You did what you felt was right. You felt that you would be more effective to your team by boosting your shield and heal power. Perhaps that was because you felt Zed wasn't a big threat, or something else made you feel comfortable doing that. Whatever it was, try and quantify that as you play more, and tailor your build to the game at hand. There's no one build that will defeat all others in every single game, but there are specific choices you can make that can make a big difference in each individual game you play.

In summary: Think before you build, maximizing your personal effectiveness

Consider your enemies and allies with each item you purchase, and maximize your effectiveness within that realm. Certain champions have a set of core items they require to get off the ground - for example, Yone and Yasuo require a crit item (typically their Mythic item) and Infinity Edge. Build those first, of course, but beyond that, consider each further option carefully. If you're against heavy magic damage and poke, consider a magic resist item like Wit's End. If you're against heavy physical damage, consider a defensive option like Death's Dance. If you're profoundly ahead of the enemy team, consider building more damage items to accelerate your lead that may also carry passives to cover what you feel may be a later weakness.

It's generally not advisable to brainlessly build a preset build unless that particular combination is really meta at the moment, regardless of your rank/skill level. You will inevitably find yourself flailing against various champions and team compositions if you don't tailor your build at least a little bit per-game.

Riot has done a pretty decent job (at the time of writing) making item choice somewhat varied for each champion. There are some exceptions, such as mage items being pretty bland, but there are very few brainless builds in the meta at the moment. Take build guides you read online as a framework, not a strict set-in-stone contract, and don't be afraid to experiment a little!

  • So if I were to run into a team comp with a high healing champ such as Irelia and a high healing support such as Yuumi, I could build a Chemtech Putrifier to reduce their healing in place of or before Warmogs after laning phase ends to help prevent Irelia and Yuumi from healing during team fights which still allows me to stay back and heal my team. Instead, if I had built Warmogs, I would heal my team more, but they still wouldn't be able to out damage Irelia with Yuumi healing. So would this be an example of not building Warmogs repeatedly and instead seeing how I could affect the game more? Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 19:24
  • @CrypticLucid Yep! Not to mention building Warmogs second is probably not the best idea since you likely won't have enough bonus health for its passive regen boost to kick in yet. Once you do, it's a great purchase.
    – Spevacus
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 19:28
  • haha! Well Warmogs requires 1100 bonus hp, I get 200 from Moonstone and 800 from Warmogs, and I take health shard for the tiny amount of bonus hp that normally gets me over 100, but usually, when I base to buy it I build a redemption if its early enough in the game that I don't have the bonus health otherwise I build SOFW most of the time. Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 19:39
  • 1
    Oh, well, hey, sounds like you've got it all figured out then. ;)
    – Spevacus
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 19:43

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