Mages are the primary users of mana, practically being useless without their spells. Tanks and carries rely much less on it but always find it useful to have their skills available. Mana is a statistic not always kept in mind when making a build unless the champion relies on its intensive use. That is the case of Anivia abusing Glacial Storm or Karthus having Defile always on.
Whether you are building Kog’Maw as a Living Artillery mortar or a Kassadin that teleports instead of walking you will need lots of mana. The following table shows the items that provide mana and their cost effectiveness: the cost of each unit of mana. Let’s click on the last header and see what the sorted table reveals.
|Archangel’s Staff||1400||+400 Mana, +25 Mp5, +45 AP, Passive: 3% of your maximum mana is converted to AP. UNIQUE Passive: each time your champion uses an ability their maximum mana will increase by 4 mana. This effect has a 3 sec. CD. Bonus caps at 1000 mana||2855||2|
|Banshee’s Veil||375||+375 Health, +50 MR, UNIQUE Passive: blocks one enemy ability every 45 sec.||2715||7|
|Catalyst the Protector||325||+290 Health, UNIQUE Passive: on leveling up, restores 250 Health and 200 Mana over 8 sec.||1325||4|
|Frozen Heart||500||+99 Armor, UNIQUE Passive: 20% CDR and reduces the AS of nearby enemies by 20%||2775||6|
|Glacial Shroud||425||+45 Armor, UNIQUE Passive: 15% CDR||1525||4|
|Lich Bane||350||+80 AP, +30 MR, +7% MS, UNIQUE Passive: 100% chance when an ability is used that your next physical attack deals an additional 100% of your AP in damage. This effect has a 2 sec. CD||3470||10|
|Manamune||1350||+350 Mana, +7 Mp5, +20 AD, UNIQUE Passive: 2% of your maximum mana is converted to AD. UNIQUE Passive: Each time you attack, you gain one maximum mana (3 sec. CD). Each time you use an ability, you gain 4 maximum mana (3 sec. CD). Bonus caps at 1000 mana||2110||2|
|Rod of Ages||725||+450 Health, +525 Mana, +60 AP, Passive: your Champion gains 18 Health, 20 Mana, and 2 AP every 1 min. Bonuses cap at +180 Health, +200 Mana, and +20 AP. UNIQUE Passive: on leveling up, restores 250 Health and 200 Mana over 8 sec.||3035||4|
|Sheen||250||+25 AP, UNIQUE Passive: when an ability is used, your base damage is increased by 100% for your next attack. This effect has a 2 sec. CD||1260||5|
|Tear of the Goddess||1350||+350 Mana, +7 Mp5, UNIQUE Passive: each time your champion uses an ability their maximum mana will increase by 4 mana, up to a maximum of twice in a six sec. period; bonuses cap at +1000 mana||995||1|
|Trinity Force||250||+30 AD, +30 AP, +30% AS, +15% CS, +12% MS, +250 Health, UNIQUE Passive: 25% chance on hit to slow the target by 35% for 2.5 seconds; on cast, your next attack deals bonus damage equal to 150% of your base attack||4070||16|
From a quick look at the price of each unit of mana we can see that mana is a relatively cheap stat. Its price is similar to that of health, both lower than attack damage and ability power; to name the two most popular ones.
Regardless, some items shine in providing mana while others are not as effective. To start with, Tear of the Goddess and its two major items, Archangel’s Staff and Manamune, are very effective ways of increasing a champion’s mana pool. While their flat bonus is good their unique passive is what really sets them apart.
That being said, it’s unusual to find advanced or legendary items being more effective than a basic item; in this case Sapphire Crystal. However, a match in Summoner’s Rift usually lasts enough to make Tear of the Goddess and company a good investment.
In spite of the great effectiveness of the items mentioned, Catalyst, Glacial Shroud and Rod of Ages are worthy purchases. Even though making a Glacial Shroud into a Frozen Heart doesn’t greatly impact the mana pool’s size, it is a sound buy.
Similar is the case of Sheen, itself quite cost effective, in comparison with Lich Bane and Trinity Force. Despite being good items to build from Sheen, they do not provide much mana in relation to Sheen’s bonus. Therefore, Frozen Heart, Lich Bane and Trinity Force shouldn’t be considered a main solution for mana.
Finally, Banshee’s Veil is somewhat average with respect to its mana bonus. While its powerful passive shouldn’t be ignored, as a mana bonus it doesn’t distinguish itself from the rest.
In conclusion, in terms of pure mana bonuses, no items can beat the triumvirate of Tear of the Goddess, Archangel’s Staff and Manamune. There are alternatives but none as effective. Still, Rod of Ages and Frozen Heart are good options with added benefits.
– Acronyms: AD: attack damage, AP: ability power, AS: attack speed, CD: cooldown, CDR: cooldown reduction, CS: critical strike chance, Gp10: gold per 10 sec., Hp5: health regen per 5 sec., LS: life steal, MD: magic damage, Mp5: mana regen per 5 sec., MR: magic resist, MS: movement speed, PD: physical damage, SV: spell vamp
– Chalice of Harmony bonus mana regeneration corresponds only to its flat bonus