Sep 9, 2015

When to Build Locket of the Iron Solari vs Banner of Command

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Hi everyone! Today's post centers around an item that as a support main, I firmly believe can make or break the game simply by building it: Aegis of the Legion. While pound for pound it doesn't compare to Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage's, it's definitely got a very important role in today's metagame and can easily change the flow of any game drastically.

Introduction

Hi everyone! Today's post centers around an item that as a support main, I firmly believe can make or break the game simply by building it: Aegis of the Legion

All hail

Stats: +200 health, +20 magic resist, +100% base health regeneration.
Unique: Nearby allied units gain +15 magic resist (1100 range)
While pound for pound it doesn't compare to Banshee's Veil or Spirit Visage's +60 magic resist, in a teamfight it not only adds up to more total magic resist with a full team, but also provides more magic resist overall late game (due to scaling returns vs void staff).

Case in point: Against any team with an AP carry, build Aegis (even after the nerfs).

Build Path Divergence

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's chat about the two different build paths, Locket of the Iron Solari and Banner of Command.

Locket of the Iron Solari


Cost: 2750g
Stats: +400 health, +20 magic resist, +100% base health regeneration, 10% cooldown reduction
Unique: Shield yourself and nearby allied champions for 5 seconds, absorbing up to 75 + (15 x level) damage (60 second cooldown)(600 range).
Unique: Nearby allied units gain +15 magic resist (1100 range)

Banner of Command


Cost: 2750g
Stats: +200 health, +20 magic resist, +60 ability power, +100% base health regeneration, 10% cooldown reduction
Unique: Greatly increases the power of a lane minion and grants it immunity to magic damage. 120 second cooldown (1200 range)
Unique: Nearby allied units gain +15 magic resist (1100 range)

As you can see, ever since patch 5.16 when Banner of Command was reduced by 250 gold and locket was reduced by 50 gold, they've been the same price.

The major difference of course, is the active and the trade-off between 200 HP and 60 AP.

How to Pick Which To Build (General Rule)

Generally, "tanky" champions will build locket (Leona, Nautilus, Braum), and backline AP supports will build banner (Soraka, Sona, Lulu).

However, there are definitely exceptions.

How to Pick Which To Build (Big Decisions)

Locket of the Iron Solari is good against:
  • Heavy burst champions (Leblanc, Zed, Rengar)
  • Unpeelable champions (Olaf, Poppy)
Banner of Command is good against:
  • Split pushing champions
  • AP Turtle Champions (Anivia, Vladimir)

Advanced Strategies

When in doubt, buy a locket. It makes you tankier and is generally more useful in more cases.

However, especially now that they're the same price, here are a couple highly effective banner strategies you can employ:
  • Banner + Baron: If your team can secure Baron buff, using Banner on the Siege minion gives you a creep that can attack from outside of turret range that's also completely immune to magic attacks.
  • Triple Lane Push: Using banner on a siege minion almost always ends up pushing that wave towards the enemy base, this means that you'll only have to shove one lane before sieging the third to put pressure on all three lanes at once. This is especially effective in splitting up the enemy team to defend, or you can rotate lanes.
  • Stopping AP Splitters: If you have an enemy champion like Vladimir trying to split push, dropping the banner on a minion effectively puts his split on heavy hold since his only way to kill it is via auto-attacks.

Conclusions

An item that's still rarely built, banner definitely has a ton more utility with locket nerfed and the cost reduced. One of the strongest ways that a support champion can influence a game, it's arguably no longer a niche item, but something that separates high division players from low division players.

One final note though, don't bother building Aegis or its derivatives if the enemy team doesn't have any magic damage dealers. Just pick up a Frozen Heart instead :)

What are your thoughts? Comment below!




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