Playing a support champion in League of Legends can be a daunting task due to the variety of characters and items that can be confusing when you first start. While most players quickly figure out what a champion does over the course of a couple of games, learning which items are better than others can be much harder.
Here’s everything you need to know about support itemization and how to spend your gold efficiently on items that can carry you through a game, regardless of which support archetype you’re playing—tank, enchanter, mage, or assassin.
You’ll have a different starting item depending on which type of support you’re playing. While enchanters or mages focus on getting ability power and mana regeneration, assassins want some attack damage while tanks aim to get a health boost.
This mage support item grants ability power, health, and a great passive that gives you additional gold when you poke your laning opponents. It’s recommended for supports like Lulu, Morgana, Brand, or Lux.
This is the AD support item that grants you attack damage, health, and a passive to increase your gold income. This item is perfect for tanky AD oriented supports, such as Thresh, Blitzcrank, or Leona. The priority for the passive goes from cannon minion to melee minion to ranged minion. The cannon minion grants you the most gold, so saving stacks for it is a priority.
This AP tank item grants you ability power instead of attack damage and is recommended to be purchased if you’re playing a champion like Nautilus, Rakan, or Bard. The priority for the passive is the same as Steel Shoulderguards.
This is the AD version of Spellthief’s Edge. It’s mainly purchased by Senna support due to how well she scales with the stats given by the item. It can be argued that this is Senna’s item since no other bottom laners build it.
Boots of Mobility
These are the core boots for most roaming supports. If you picked a champion like Nautilus, Leona, or Alistar who needs to roam constantly, these boots should be a priority for you. They allow you to cover huge distances in the blink of an eye.
Boots of Swiftness
These boots are a great alternative for roaming champions if you’re facing opponents who have a lot of movement-slowing effects. They’ll grant you less mobility out-of-combat, but their in-combat movement is higher compared to Boots of Mobility. The effect also allows you to get back to your normal movement speed much faster if you’re slowed.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity
The Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the core boots for an enchanter who’s hugging their carry. These boots will reduce your ability’s cooldowns by 10 percent, as well as your summoner spells. The movement speed granted by them is nice, but not as high as Swiftness or Mobility. It’s more than enough to allow you to roam if you need to, though.
These are the bread and butter boots for Xerath, Brand, Lux, or any other ability power-oriented mage supporting a carry. You want to get early magic penetration to deal as much damage as possible and harass enemy laners. If you get an Oblivion Orb afterward, you’ll be doing true damage to most champions who didn’t buy a magic resist item.
While other boot options are more valuable than Tabi, these will come in handy against heavy attack damage-oriented teams that rely on auto attacks. An example would be facing Yasuo, Yone, Caitlyn, or Pantheon. Tabi will increase your survivability by a lot against such champions, making it a precious pick in those matchups.
If you’re facing a heavy ability power-focused team or a composition that has too much crowd control, Mercury’s Treads is a must-buy item. It gives you essential early magic resist and reduces the duration from any crowd control landed on you.
If you have champions on your team that’d benefit from this item’s effects, such as a fed ADC or Yasuo, then invest in Zeke’s will make them even stronger. The stats from the item are useful for you and it’s also quite cheap. It’s great to rush on supports such as Rakan, Braum, or Taric.
This is a core item for supports such as Janna, Lulu, Nami, and Karma as long as you have champions that receive a benefit from auto attacking. If you don’t have an ADC in the bottom lane, it’s still worth it to purchase Ardent Censer if you have auto attack-oriented champions in other lanes or the jungle.
Umbral Glaive is a core item on Pyke, Pantheon, or Senna. It allows you to dominate the vision game by constantly denying wards. When this item is coupled with Oracle Lens, it’s going to be hard for the opposing team to secure vision. Rush it as soon as possible.
Luden’s Echo is an important item for mages in the support position. It grants ability power, mana, cooldown reduction, and a AoE damaging effect that scales with ability power.
Control Wards are a must-have on all supports regardless of archetype. You need to give your team as much vision as possible throughout the entire game, so having two Control Wards is a priority every time you leave base. Securing vision is much more important than completing an item as a support.
With your support item upgraded, you can swap your trinket to Oracle Lens instead. This vision-denial trinket is important to set up ganks, objectives, or a trap for the opponents. Aim to get it even before your support item is completed if your jungler is being countered by enemy vision in the bottom lane.
Shurelya’s Reverie is a cheap movement speed-increasing item that’s valuable against compositions that want to run you down. But it can be used to run down other teams as well if you’re lacking initiation or engage abilities. It can be purchased on basically any support but it’s most valuable on champions like Rakan, Thresh, or Bard.
Redemption is one of the best support items. It grants you valuable stats in health and mana regeneration and an AoE effect that heals allies. It can help your team a lot in fights by giving them back a portion of their health or finish the low-health members of the opposing team instead.
Athene’s Unholy Grail
If you’re playing an enchanter or mage who can help out your teammates with shields, then getting this item is important. It allows you to convert your damage into healing every time you shield your allies. It’s a great buy on champions such as Karma, Lulu, or Nami. The stats are great on the item and the build path is cheap.
Mikael’s is a must-have item against champions who rely on picks. It’s a requirement for you as a support to acquire it if the enemy has champions that lock down your teammates. Notable examples would be Nautilus, Leona, Ashe, or Malzahar. The item itself has mediocre stats, but the targeted cleanse can win teamfights on its own.
Locket of the Iron Solari
This is the best utility-oriented tank support item in the game. It scales with bonus health, making it valuable as the game goes on. While the item itself grants you only armor and magic resist, the effect can win you the game during a teamfight. You can deny heavy AoE damage from the enemy composition, saving your team from that Orianna or Karthus to win the game. Purchase it on champions such as Nautilus, Leona, or Rakan to save your team in crucial teamfights.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is a great tank item, giving you solid armor and magic resist on top of an effect to increase your effective health. This is a strong item on engage supports such as Leona, Nautilus, or Braum since it allows you to survive the initial engage and give your team some time to do damage to opponents.
Knight’s Vow is a single-target utility item that grants you armor, movement speed, and a damage reduction effect to your chained ally. It’s great to purchase it if you have a clear carry that needs as much protection as possible. The build-path is generous with a Kindlegem, which is valuable for all supports. You can sit on it for some time before you complete it. Acquire it for champions such as Braum, Nautilus, or Leona.
If you’re playing a mage in the support position such as Vel’Koz, Xerath, Zyra, or Brand, this is a great item to purchase to save you from those pesky assassins. As a support, you most likely won’t have much gold to acquire items to boost your health and defensive stats. But this item can solve all those issues with the invulnerability effect.
Guardian Angel is a rare support item but it’s useful if you’re playing Senna, Pantheon, or Pyke. It makes you stronger while also giving you a second life. The time until you come back to life can give your team enough space to save you from imminent death. But since it’s expensive, you want to get other items early on first.