This week in Pro Play, we looked at some of the more unusual startiing items and why we see them.
Starting with Long Sword (ADC)
The first one is the Long Sword Start on ADCs. While it does have more AD than Doran's Blade, it doesn't have health or Lifesteal. It’s important to factor in the whole buy and look at the concept of effective sustained health.
With Long Sword and 3 potions, you can restore up to a maximum of 450 health, which in a prolonged scenario where you get to sustain back up with pots equals 220 more health than with Doran’s Blade.
The other reason for the long sword start is because it leads to earlier power spikes and reduces the gold waste. Doran’s Blade has an incredibly low sell price at 180, so you lose most of your early investment. On the other hand, Long Sword builds into a ton of items AD carries itemize for.
Starting with Boots (ADC)
The other iteration that has shown up recently has been the Boots 4 potion start and this is mostly for Jhin but is a valid option for other champions too.
In general, early boots can help you dodge skillshots which can be important when laning versus a karma or a zyra for example who have strong presence versus low mobility targets. You will be missing the extra AD for last hits but instead you have access to 600 health from potions.
For Jhin specifically it helps him close the gap to land his 4th shot in lane.
Starting with 3 Rejuvenation Beads (Shen)
Finally, you might have noticed that some Shen players have been starting with Triple Rejuvenation Beads up in the top lane.
Rejuvenation Beads have a pretty high sell price. You buy each for 150 gold and sell each for 105 gold, resulting in a mere 45 gold loss per bead, which is less than a potion. As Shen you will also likely be keeping one, as you will later build a Tiamat.