4.10 BotRK and The Bloodthirster

The ADC itemization changes were just released but I have spent time tinkering with the items on the PBE.  Bloodthirster and BoRK had the two biggest changes among current ADC items, and they are currently the most bought ADC items so I felt it would be appropriate to discuss the changes and what their role will be in the newest.  For those of you that don’t know, the changes are as follows:

Blade of the Ruined King
  • Life Steal reduced to 10% from 12%.
  • Proc Damage increased to 8% current health from 5%.
  • ACTIVE: Damage reduced to 10% maximum health from 15%.
  • ACTIVE: Movement speed steal reduced to 25% from 30%.
The Bloodthirster
  • Total gold cost  is now 3500 instead of 3200.
  • AD increased to 80 damage from 70.
  • Lifesteal increased to 15% from 12%.
  • Passive was removed. (Stacking 30 AD and 6% Lifesteal)
  • NEW UNIQUE PASSIVE: Lifesteal now overheals you to generate a 50-440 health shield that decays after 15 seconds out of combat.


Firstly, there was a change to the early laning phase for both BoRK and Bloodthirster.  Doran’s Blades now give lifesteal and to counteract that, Riot nerfed the amount of lifesteal that Vamp Scepter gives.  This is actually an early game nerf because Vamp + Doran’s will give 11% lifesteal as opposed to the 10% + 3 hp on hit that it used to give.  An ADC would need to be doing 300 damage per autoattack to make up for that missing 3 hp.

This issue gets even worse once an ADC completes Bilgewater Cutlass.  Bilgewater only give 8% lifesteal now instead of it’s previous 12%, thus giving you only 11% lifesteal as compared to the 12% + 3 that old Cutlass gave.  This alone makes BoRK rush for ADCs even more unfavorable and you will probably never see an ADC rush Cutlass now.  Bilgewater gives half of the AD that B.F. Sword gives now and the lifesteal is probably not enough to remain in lane against the constant outtrade that the B.F. Sword has over the Bilgewater.  I personally think that nerfing Cutlass while also buffing B.F. Sword effectively removed BoRK as a reasonable early item for many champions.

The components for The Bloodthirster are just a B.F. Sword and Vamp Scepter, and while Vamp Scepter got nerfed, B.F. Sword got buffed by increasing its AD .  The AD increase is small, but it still gives the ADC more power after their first back.  The other change to The Bloodthirster’s buildpath is that it’s recipe was increased and it will delay the spike from acquiring the item by 300 gold or about a minute (2 waves of minions).

Full Item

Upon completing the Blade of the Ruined King, your stats would be 13% lifesteal instead of 12%+3 and the same amount of damage and attack speed as before, however the 15% max health nuke from the active has been shifted to 10% with an increase of 8% current health per auto instead of 5%.  This is a buff for late game when you ADCs have more attack speed and will be doing more damage due to their enemies having a higher health pool, however it nerfs rushing BoRK as a first item.  When you have your first full item, ADCs will be around level 8 (unless they have a large gold influx for some reason).  At this point in the game most skirmishes are decided by abilities in combination with autoattacks  and the 5% max health dropoff from the BoRK active seems like it will lose more fights now.

The Bloodthirster was changed fairly significantly.  It takes 300 more gold to build it, and it offers more AD upon purchase than current Bloodthirster, however it has less damage at 11 stacks and less lifesteal at 16 stacks of the current BT.  It’s new passive seems to work really well for champions with short range or champions that are unable to trade efficiently in lane.  At level 9, it is a 230 health shield, which should easily be stacked up on 6 or so autoattacks on minions.  This extra 230 health (which can be replenished if not immediately broken) will allow for a champion to have extra trading potential.  Most people feel that IE will be the next big item to rush, however, I feel BT may still be viable and could potentially be a better option depending on the situation and playstyles that players come up with.


The Bloodthirster vs BoRK

vayne bork or  vayne bt

For this part, I will compare new Bloodthirster and new BoRK on a champion that can reasonably build either currently: Vayne.   Assuming level 9, a Vayne with Bloodthirster will have a maxed Q with 2 points in W, 1.1 AS, 18% Lifesteal, and about 191 AD.  A level 9 Vayne with BoRK will have a maxed W, 2 points in Q, about 1.3 attack speed, 13% Lifesteal, 134 AD, and 300 gold to spend (another dagger will put you at 1.4 AS).

vayne table

In a duel of Vayne’s, assuming optimal situations (ults active in pink ward range, BoRK Vayne using BoRK active as a finisher, BT Vayne starting with 230 HP shield), BT Vayne will actually win the fight to the death due to having 700 effective HP gained from Lifesteal and the shield while BoRK Vayne would only gain around 350 effective HP from BoRK Active and Lifesteal.  The attack speed acquired for BoRK actually does not play much of a role in the duel because BT has a tumble on a 2s cooldown and the auto-resets allow for BT to keep up and even surpass BoRK in autoattacks over a given time.  BoRK,  however, does scale better than BT into the late game due to enemies having more HP, but BT’s early game components, early game dueling, and insane effective health gains cause it to be a better rush item on Vayne and I would assume that the trend will continue to other champions that rely on Lifesteal to survive laning phase.

Starting Item Predictions

Infinity Edge

Most ADCs probably fall under this category right now.  Lane bullies are #1, with late game  scalers following.

Caitlyn, Lucian, Draven, Jinx, Tristana, Kog’Maw, Ashe, maybe Twitch

The Bloodthirster

ADCs that either don’t usually get an IE normally, ADCs that are short range, or ADCs that need lifesteal to stay in lane.

Vayne, Graves, Corki

Blade of the Ruined King

As I said before, I do not see many champions getting this item first.  Maybe Kog’Maw if he is losing lane and needs lifesteal, and maybe Twitch if he really needs the assassination potential (which probably will be hurt from both his nerfs and BoRK nerfs).

Hard to Place ADCs
  • Ezreal, I don’t play him so I don’t know if IE is a good option on him.  BoRK+Trinity might still be decent on him, maybe BT still. I have no clue.  I do know that Essence Reaver is probably bad unless it becomes a part of a new “blue build”.
  • MF, she relies mostly on flat AD because she doesn’t autoattack much in fights.  The nerf to BT hurts her, but new BT may still be viable with the shield it will give her before she stops moving to ult.
  • Varus, he was already non-existent and with a nerf to his Legolas build, I expect him to be even more non-existent. Not much to say about that. Maybe IE + BoRK becomes broken on him, but I doubt it.
  • Sivir, I don’t think she scales well with Infinity Edge. Maybe she does, but that is unlikely.  BT might be good for her short range, but she might only be picked in LCS and nowhere else because of her utility.
  • Quinn will be Quinn, played only by Quinn mains and probably rushing IE into BoRK.

Closing Thoughts

Riot shifted around a lot of ADC items in patch 4.10 in order to open up the ADC champ pool and to allow for more build paths.  A lot of people are jumping on the IE hype train because it gives the most eye catching stats, however BT may still be a viable in lane due to lifesteal and and the effective health gain from the shield.  I personally really like the change to BT to increase viability for auto-focused ADCs and to lower the prominence of spell-based ADCs.  The BoRK change helps increase the autoattack based ADCs by giving them more late-game damage after they already grab an Infinity Edge.  I expect BoRK to replace Trinity Force as a second item on many builds.  I am a little disappointed that BoRK is not in a good place as a first item now.  It is still strong, but being stuck on Cutlass and having the Active reduced severely hurt its early game.

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is a Chemical Engineering student at Northeastern University. He has played League of Legends for over three years now and has watched the competitive scene for just as long. Message him either on twitter or Facebook @Asolitaryllama.

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