League of Legends: season 4 and offensive masteries

(Guest post by Reverend Zeratul)

My most-played champion/role is Irelia top. I have a few different rune pages that I use, but there are plenty of options to choose from there (personally I like the setup IreliaCarriesU uses). When it comes to masteries, I find that it’s much more limited.

Most people seem to do something like this:


But I do this:


And why is it that I skip Warlord? I’ve encountered this question a couple of times:

“When going 21/9/0 as Irelia why not take the Warlord mastery for +5% bonus AD?”

Short answer:

Because you don’t buy damage, you buy utility. Increasing your bonus AD by 5% won’t do anything significant.

Long answer:

How much AD would Warlord actually give you, late-game? Let’s say you’re super fed and only buy items with AD because you don’t need a lot of resistances. Here’s an example build (side note: you should never go straight damage because you will get CC’d or zoned/kited and die).

  • Trinity Force +30
  • Blade of the Ruined King +25
  • Frozen Mallet +30
  • Zephyr +25
  • Black Cleaver +50
  • Ninja Tabi

This is a somewhat reasonable build if you’re really far ahead (for about 17k gold) since there’s +1150 health and tons of mobility. So let’s add up all the AD if you’re level 18.

  • Runes: 8.5
  • Masteries: 14
  • Items: 160

Total: 182.5

Warlord will give you 5% extra AD, which comes out to 9.125

That’s 3 mastery points for 9 AD when you have a full build at level 18. An Elixir of Fortitude would give you +15 AD and +235 HP.

And that’s if you’re not building properly. The Black Cleaver would likely be replaced with Guardian Angel or Randuin’s Omen even if you buy everything else, which drops your AD by 50. Without Cleaver, the Warlord mastery would give you 6.6 AD, which is less than a Doran’s Blade. I don’t feel like 3 mastery points is worth it for less than 10 AD, since an earlier mastery (Brute Force) is 3 mastery points for a guaranteed 10 AD at level 18 (and Martial Mastery is 1 mastery point for 4 AD at level 1).

Irelia is a fighter/bruiser, which means a typical build will likely be boots, 1-2 AD items, and 3-4 defensive items. In a typical game (where you’re unlikely to have a full build) my bonus AD is usually 50-60, which means Warlord would give me less than 5 AD. If I had a full build, my only offensive items would likely be Triforce and BotrK/Ghostblade. Maybe a Hexdrinker against certain AP tops if I’m doing badly (although it would probably replace BotrK/Ghostblade).

Overall, Warlord is terrible/mediocre for most melee champions. If you’re an ADC/marksman or assassin, then it’s decent… but that’s about it. With just Infinity Edge, a Doran’s Blade, and typical runes/masteries, you’d have about 116 bonus AD at level 18. Warlord gives you 6 AD, which isn’t great (as mentioned above) but for those rare games where you get 200-300 bonus AD, Warlord could give you 10-15 AD. Archmage, on the other hand, is better since AP tends to be higher than AD (and the mastery stacks with Deathcap). It’s entirely feasible to get 20+ AP from Archmage (maybe 40+ if you’re Veigar).

There ARE some interesting applications of Warlord when combined with Maw of Malmortius, however.

As for my other choices in masteries? Let’s answer a second question:

“When going 21/9/0 as Irelia why take % bonus damage?”

Short answer:

What else would you get?

Long answer:

Because of Irelia’s ult, it’s actually possible to use Spellweaving and Bladeweaving fairly efficiently (and this is why Sheen-based items are nearly essential on her). Irelia is an AA-based champion, so generally you’ll stack Spellweaving without any problems (and this is why I take Fury over Sorcery). Each increases your damage by 3% for spells/attacks. I don’t know precisely how masteries stack (additive or multiplicative) but with how I do things, I can often get over 15% increased damage to a target. Expose Weakness was apparently changed to work with your own abilities as well, making it somewhat useful.

While much of Irelia’s damage comes from true damage, she does quite a bit overall.

Damage to champions in a random selection of games (rounded in the parentheses):

  • 41.4k (27k physical, 7k magic, 7k true) largest crit 511
  • 14.3k (9k physical, 3k magic, 2k true) largest crit 570
  • 23.9k (16k physical, 4k magic, 5k true) largest crit 492
  • 9k (6k physical, 2k magic, 2k true) largest crit 461
  • 25.7k (15k physical, 5k magic, 5k true) largest crit 491

13% of 41k is 5330, which is pretty significant. Even if I had the absolute minimum % increase (5%), then 5% of 41k is 2050 – more than two Warmog’s. Lucian has 1860 base hp at level 18 (about 2210 with a Triforce and 21/9/0).

Basically, the damage adds up, and I feel it’s more worthwhile than %AD. It’ll be more useful at every stage of the game.

As for my defensive masteries, they’re simply the most efficient options.

(Side note: Butcher and Dangerous Game are the most optional offensive masteries I take. I just like +2 damage to minions for last hitting since I’m not the best at that, and Dangerous Game sometimes allows me to survive Ignite.)

Posted in Games, League of Legends and tagged , , , , , , , .