Is it better to improve the offense or the defence of a champion? There’s no doubt that carries benefit more from improved attack damage than from buying better armour, but do they? If you are tougher to kill then you can deal damage for longer. A good defence can enable a mage to survive for a few critical seconds that allow another round of spells that win a team-fight.
The question is: which statistics are easier or cheaper to improve? All champions need offense but can defence be just as good for a carry or mage? Should tanks build only offense and rely on their innate sustainability? An analysis of the cost of improving each statistic can shed some light on these questions.
We’ll analyse statistics available at the basic tier of items: attack damage, ability power, armor, attack speed, critical strike, health, health regeneration, life steal, mana, mana regeneration, magic resistance and movement speed. Cooldown reduction, spell vamp and gold per ten seconds aren’t provided by any basic items so we’ll look at them another time.
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