The Better Item for TSM Lustboy (NA LCS Summer Playoffs 2015, Quarterfinals, Game 2)

In the NA LCS Summer Playoffs 2015 Quarterfinals match between TSM and Gravity, TSM's support, Lustboy, chose to build Righteous Glory in the midgame. Aegis of the Legion may have been the better buy - here is why.

In Game 2 of the Quarterfinals match between TSM and Gravity, TSM may have underestimated the magic damage threat of Gravity’s toplaner, Shen, and jungler, Elise, leading to a suboptimal item build for Lustboy.

At 20:44, Lustboy began building the components for Righteous Glory, finishing the item at 30:37 and then proceeding to sell Relic Shield in order to buy Talisman of Ascension by 43:04.

Righteous Glory is a wonderful item for many champions and many situations. It’s a Catalyst item, so it grants a big chunk of health and mana (and it has a passive that can sustain you through lane). Its active is a one-way speed up and AOE slow that works brilliantly when trying to engage in a fight.

However, Gravity was never significantly behind in gold and in fact reached a 2.7k gold lead between 20:44 and 30:37. Perhaps most importantly, note Gravity’s disengage or counterengage potential (and very well-drafted team composition):

  • Braum’s Stand Behind Me (W) as a dash/escape, Unbreakable (E) to soak up damage and CC, and Glacial Fissure (R) for enormous CC
  • Tristana’s Rocket Jump (W) as an escape and Buster Shot (R) for its knockback
  • Urgot’s Terror Capacitor (W) for its shield and slow and his Position Reverser (R) for its defensive steroids, suppression, and displacement
  • Elise’s Cocoon and Rappel (E) for their stun and her escape, respectively
  • Shen’s Shadow Dash (E) for its CC and as an escape, and Stand United (R) for its shield and potential escape

A well-executed engage using Righteous Glory for TSM onto Gravity could fail or even backfire. Furthermore, Lustboy was intending to purchase Talisman, which serves a similar function to Righteous Glory, and is in fact more versatile as it can be used for disengage as well.

On the other hand, TSM did have a strong team composition for poking and for catching enemy champions out of position:

  • Thresh’s Death Sentence (Q) as a stun/displacement, Flay (E) as a slow/displacement, and Box (R) as an AOE massive slow
  • Corki’s Valkyrie (W) as a gapcloser, and Missiles (R) for poke
  • Orianna’s Dissonance (W) as a slow, and Shockwave (R) for its displacement and massive damage
  • Nidalee’s Javelin Toss (Q) as poke, and the rest of her kit for followup single-target all-in
  • Olaf’s Undertow (Q) as poke and slow, his Reckless Swing (E) for burst, and Ragnarok for chase

Regardless of the feasibility of TSM avoiding full-on teamfights, which may have been difficult given the split-pushing potential of Shen, Lustboy may have benefited his team to a greater extent with an Aegis pickup. 

He first built a Bracer, giving 200 health and 50% base health regen for 600 gold. While of course less efficient, he could have built a Ruby Crystal and Rejuvenation Bead for 580 gold, giving 50 less bonus health but perhaps a better end item.

From Bracer, Lustboy would need 1900 gold (for a total of 2500 gold) to finish the Righteous Glory, giving him 500 health, 300 mana, 100% base health regeneration, the regeneration-after-level-up passive, and the active ability. The stats that are truly beneficial are the health, the base health regeneration, the passive, and potentially the active. The passive is similar to activating a single health potion and two mana potions upon leveling up, with a value of 105 gold per level. Thus, the item is possibly worth only (1693 + 105 per level) gold, in addition to the value of the active, which may be low as discussed above.

From Ruby Crystal and Rejuvenation Bead, Lustboy would need 1320 gold (for a total of only 1900 gold) to finish Aegis, giving him 200 health, 40 magic resistance, and 75% base health regeneration, as well as giving his nearby allies 20 magic resistance and 75% base health regeneration. This is worth 1603 + 670 x (number of other allies with the aura), so given that Thresh was often with at least one other teammate, from a pure gold efficiency viewpoint, Aegis is a superior buy compared to Righteous Glory. Furthermore, for only 900 additional gold, Aegis can be upgraded to Locket, giving an additional 200 health and 10% cooldown reduction, as well as a decent area-of-effect shield for the team. 

Wildturtle often plays with 6.70 flat magic resistance runes, so as Corki, he would have 36.7 flat magic resistance until his Quicksilver Sash buy at 38 minutes. Thus, before the QSS, he would have 26.8% magic damage reduction against Shen, and 17.8% magic damage reduction against Elise with Haunting Guise and 6.3% magic damage reduction against Elise with Haunting Guise and Sorcerer’s.  On the other hand, with the Aegis aura, he would have 36.2% magic damage reduction against Shen, and 29.4% magic damage reduction against Elise with Haunting Guise and 21.1% magic damage reduction against Elise with Sorcerer’s. The Aegis aura would increase Wildturtle’s effective health against magic damage by 14.6%.

If any member of TSM had no bonus magic resist in runes and masteries, that player would have 15.4% increased effective health against magic damage. Lustboy himself would have had 28.1% increased effective health against magic damage, compensating for the lower flat health from Aegis compared to Righteous Glory.

Of course, there is the complication in that magic resistance was perhaps deflated in value because of the greater threat of physical damage, given Gravity’s composition. However, this value deflation may have been overdone, underestimating the high base magic damage of Shen with Sunfire Cape and Thornmail and Elise with Haunting Guise and Sorcerer’s Shoes. The magic resistance aura would have greatly benefited TSM, given that 47.6% of the total damage dealt to champions was magic damage (magic damage of 16.9k from Shen, 17.6k from Elise, and 7.4k from Braum, Tristana, and Urgot, vs. physical damage of 22.0k from Tristana, 20.1k from Urgot, and 4.1k from Shen, Elise, and Braum). 

Dyrus’s build focused exclusively on mitigating physical damage, and perhaps this was the correct choice – the total physical damage received by TSM would have been incredibly high otherwise – but he, and the rest of TSM, could have greatly benefited from the Aegis aura, and the Locket shield afterward, or even perhaps a Banner empowered minion to partially combat Shen’s splitpush potential.

However, Lustboy’s pickup of Righteous Glory, giving himself health and inefficient mana and granting his team an engage tool with questionable usability, may have been inferior to picking up the Aegis of the Legion, with critically useful, efficient, and inexpensive defensive stats for his teammates and him that could have mitigated some of the perhaps surprisingly high magic damage from Team Gravity.