Late Game items for AP middle
Sat 15th Dec 2012 - 10:24pm: League of Legends
As we discussed in my first article, which focused on early game items for AP middle, there is a fairly good amount of choice AP middles have for items. In the second article, we talked about moving into mid game, and brushed upon some of the new items that are coming in the preseason 3 patch. Now, we'll discuss finishing off your builds.
Disclaimer: This guide is meant to be a stepping stool. Please help it trigger thoughts and discussion. Also, this article often mentions Void Staff but with the recent patch you may want to go for Liandry's instead! Try it out and see what works best for you.
Lets talk about what your end game should be:
Tier 2 Boots
You shouldn't wait until endgame to buy these, but the different types of boots, and now their new upgrades could consist of an entire article on their own. But you're generally going to want to buy Sorceror Shoes for Magic penetration, Ionian boots for Cooldown Reduction, or Mercury treads for Survivability.
Rabadon's Deathcap. Every AP build should include this item. There are really no exceptions that I can think of, the amount of Ability Power that this item provides is insane, and if you do get to late game, every item slot counts. This item is incredibly slot efficient, and although it comes at a hefty price, 3200 g., it gives 120 AP and a unique passive that increases all of your AP by an extra 25%. So clearly, the item is awesome. I need to stop reiterating that. However, the question that really remains is when to buy it.
Many champions should prioritize damage and buy this item early, like Karthus and Ahri, but some champions should focus on buying items that are fit more with their role, like Diana or Akali. So make the decision as to when to buy this by asking yourself a few questions. If you're incredibly squishy and being focused in teamfights, go for items that increase your survivability. If you're losing lane and have no money, go for cheaper items to try and recover the lane, don't try and save up for a Needlessly Large Rod. However, if you think you'll be able to get away with dealing damage, or if you can just die in the middle of a teamfight and press R, receive Pentakill, I would recommend rushing this item, it's really too damn good.
One Defensive item (Zhonya's, Guardian Angel, Quicksilver Sash)
The best defense is a good offense. Sadly, this mindset won't stop an enemy Darius swinging his axe into the air and onto your head. So we do our best to try and counter this. There are really three different options here. First. Zhonya's: we already talked about in the mid game article; it gives both Armor and Damage, and an active that turns you invincible for two seconds. This is a pretty sick passive, and can be useful on most champions, especially those that have shorter ranges and end up in the middle of teamfights, like Morgana, Karthus, Vladmir, etc. It is expensive though, and sometimes the passive isn't really enough. If only there was a way to have two lives.
Wow, I apologize for that set up. But there is a way to have two lives; Guardian Angel gives both armor and magic resistance, and a passive that revives you in the same spot after a few seconds with 750 health. Now, this item doesn't give you more damage, but it does because hopefully you can get a few spells off after you revive. So it's a pretty cool item, the biggest drawbacks being the insanely long cooldown on the passive, five minutes. Also, it takes over one of your item slots, which become inanely precious in late game.
This item is great on some champions who get focused right off the bat, but want to be constantly dealing damage, like Cassiopiea, or Diana. Or maybe you're playing Zilean and want to have three lives.
The final defensive item shouldn't really depend on your champion, but the enemy team. If the enemy team has a Malzahar or Warwick, or another champion that is capable of dealing insane amounts of crowd control, look into a Quicksilver Sash, which provides a cleanse every 60 seconds. It also provides Magic resistance, but like I said, this item should be used to counter your enemy, not to coincide with your champion.
This item is kind of in the same boat as Rabadon's, it really provides too much damage to ignore. For 2295 g., it provides 70 Ability Power, and 40% magic penetration. Yeah, 40% of Your enemies magic resistance just died because of this item. It lets you burst down people, and increases your damage exponentially, don't pass this up. Just one thing to note: Don't buy this item before Rabadon's. There may be a couple of exceptions, but not really.
The item works well with Rabadon's, but while Rabadon's works by itself, Void Staff doesn't. Too often do I see low level players go back to base with a blasting wand with 1435-1550 gold, and instead of waiting for the Needlessly Large Rod, they instead just buy a Void Staff. Please don't do this, Void Staff is not a good stand-alone item, but can work well with other items.
Two other items
For your next two items, you really have some freedom. There are a lot of choices. If you have a Rod of Ages or Athene's Unholy Grail from your mid game, keep these. There's one of your items. Honestly, most of your choices here can be found in my article on mid game, you can go with Abyssal, Rylai's, Deathfire Grasp, Will of the Ancients, or whatever. It may not be a bad idea to buy another defensive item in addition to the one you already have.
Don't be afraid to experiment with these two open item slots, this is where you have your most manuverability. Try out some of the new items that has come with the preseason, and be a friend and buy some wards!
AP middle items have a set build. However, this build has some flexibility, there are really only three items you should buy every game, (Sorc shoes, Rabadon's, and Void Staff). With your other three items however, you start to get some maneuverability, and don't be afraid to use and abuse this. Build for your team, your role, and against your enemy.
Some of this will come through playing and practice, or buy watching Professional streams, like Scarra's, who discuss their item builds through commentary. So use this guide as a guideline, not as a set. So go out there and dominate the Fields of Justice!