Often times when playing a match the biggest decisions you make are item builds. Building one item over the other can be the difference between winning your lane, getting a kill, or winning the game. That being said Melee Carries have an array of items to choose from, all with generally the same purpose. Your goal is to always be able to kill someone. This week of Melee Carry Monday will examine the stats you need to get the job done, and the one build that covers everything.
What are the Stats a Melee Carry needs?
The stats required for a melee carry to reach his or her late game potential are Critical Strike Chance, Damage, Armor Penetration, Life steal, Attack Speed, and possibly some utility. While every melee carry is different, it should also be noted that movement speed and CDR can greatly increase your ability to stick to your target. The reason you need all these stats is that they work better intertwined than they do alone. If you have 400 damage and are attacking at a 1.0 Attack speed someone with 300 damage at a 1.5 attack speed is doing more Damage per second (DPS) than you are. Likewise someone with 300 damage and 40% life steal has more dueling potential than you because he is gaining health back on every strike. Even if you are attacking with 300 damage and a 1.5 attack speed someone with critical strike can easily beat you because occasionally his attack will do double its damage. Defensive stats on melee carries should come only in items that dip into offensive stats or provide a special purpose, such as a spell shield or cleanse.
How do I know which stats I should choose in which situations?
Generally, if it is damage you need to do your first priority should be that. The order list I like to follow is Damage+ “Life steal” > Attack Speed/Critical Strike Chance > Armor Penetration > Utility/Life steal. The reason Lifesteal is listed twice is that it is important to have at least a vamp scepter before finishing off more important damage items. This provides better dueling/trading and sustain. It is important to know that stacking damage will not always result in having the most damage; you need attack speed and crit to have a solid amount of DPS. And so, a balance of all five is necessary for a solid build. Now that we understand how important mixing these stats together let us look at the best way to reach carry potential early within the game. Early game – When you just can’t quite finish those core legendary items. If you cannot afford to pick up a single strong item early or need all the forms of Carry stats following combo will help you make it through the early game. Keep in mind that all single offensive item buys such as infinity edge, Blood Thirster, Phantom dancer, Ghoatblade, are still a very good thing to have for the early game. This is for those who cannot reach that single item because of the need for advantages/stats now.
Vamp Scepter, Brutalizer/BF Sword, Zeal (3312/3525) [The Early Game Carry]
This combo is for those champions who find themselves in a situation where they cannot quite complete an item, or need numerous amounts of different stats. This build is strong because it provides Armor Penetration, Movement Speed, Critical Strike Chance, Attack Speed, Damage, and Life steal for around the price of a Bloodthirster. Champions who need help sticking to targets and critical strike should go this build especially if they feel they will be hitting targets who have begun building some armor. If they are not building armor you should replace the Brut for a BF Sword. Keep in mind that steroids within your kit/runes and masteries can alter whether you want to pick up the Brutalizer or BF and the effectiveness of the zeal. Taking lethality and frenzy are very important to critical strike, and thus are basically a necessity when attempting to play melee carries. You can sit on the brutalizer and pick up a bf sword into a infinity edge. You can also depending on your kit steroids opt to finish the Phantom dancer/Shiv or even Trinity force. If you don’t feel like sitting on the Brutalizer and want to increase your armor pen without saving up for a Last Whisper, you can finish a ghostblade for a small price of 1363. If you need increase damage and lifesteal you can finish a Blood Thirster. Overall this build provides the stats needed to carry early while also putting you in control of what you decide next. There are many more extreme early game builds that you can use in specific situations. This build however helps you get items that will build you into your mid to late game as well. That being said this is not the only early game build. Next week on Melee Carry Mondays I will go into deeper into mid and late game builds. From there we will progress into Picking the Role that is right for you and playing a glass cannon melee champion that most suites you.