In the new season of GCS, the greatest difference is the introduction of 4 active items for supports, who play a critical role in the current version. After some research, I’ve written a brief guide on all 4 of these items and my thoughts on how to use them properly.
Essence of the Wind
This item is the most popular and most practical item of the 4 newly debuted items. It not only gives protection, health recovery and movement speed, but also allows an advantage in assisting other lanes and team fights in the early game.
Its passive also greatly improves the experience and gold gap between support and other teammates, especially in disadvantaged matches. (This is probably one of the reasons why most of my friends dislike playing support roles, you’re like a bait running all over the map).
Its active is also really useful in initiating team fights and protecting teammates. It can provide 3 seconds of a shield with up to 2000 and 30% speed increase, which are both extremely critical in turning the tide.
Because of its movement speed boost and shield which are both useful in fight initiating or retreating safely, and also because this item can be used by any type of support, I give it a 5 star score.
Ring of the Fiend
This item is the one used the least compared to the other new support items. Although its passive is the same as Essence of the Wind, the effects given by the item itself are not as practical. Magic Damage, CD reduction and mana recovery do not meet the current meta of tanky supports, and decreases the ability of the support to stay alive. There’s this saying that goes: Dead heroes deal no damage. If you can’t survive on the battle field then it’s useless having a high damage.
There are a few situations where its active could be useful, like when a team composition is relatively low on health and needs someone to scout around in the bushes or chasing down heroes after a team fight…etc. However, I still think this item is not a good choice in the current patch.
Tidecaller’s Mark & Purifying Bracers
I’m going to discuss the 2 of these items together because the passive of these 2 will force the support to stay in lane longer to maximize its effect. However this compromises the vision that can be provided by support, leaving the jungler in a passive stance. All this could mean that even if the lane the support stays in has an advantage, the game could still be lost with the slightest error. In addition, the effect of the item is weaker than the 2 items built out of the Wind Stone.
The Tidecaller’s Mark is the only item among the 4 that lacks an active skill, but it has an additional passive, which is the effect of the removed Asterion’s Buckler. The effect of this item works better in the late game, and I only use it when I’m playing Lumburr, who isn’t that dominant in the current meta either.
The Purifying Bracers can remove controlling effects from one teammate and recover a small amount of health and increase movement speed. However, because the effective range is relatively small and the HP, movement speed buff is weaker than that of the Essence of the Wind, therefore this item is rarely used.
Below I’ll give you guys a tip on how to assemble your item build of most common support heroes, please don’t forget to adjust these to the actual circumstance in battle!
Teemee: Essence of the Wind, Gilded Greaves, Knight’s Plate, Gaia’s Standard, Mail of Pain, Medallion of Troy.
Mina: Essence of the Wind, Herme’s Select, Knight’s Plate, Gaia’s Standard, Mail of Pain, Medallion of Troy.
Grakk: Essence of the Wind, Gilded Greaves, The Aegis, Gaia’s Standard, Mail of Pain, Medallion of Troy.
Chaugnar: Essence of the Wind, Sonic Boots, Knight’s Plate, Frosty’s Revenge, Gaia’s Standard, Tome of the Reaper.
Arum: Essence of the Wind, Gilded Greaves, Gaia’s Standard, The Aegis, Medallion of Troy, Rock Shield.
Cresht: Essence of the Wind, Gilded Greaves, Knight’s Plate, Gaia’s Standard, Mail of Pain, Medallion of Troy.
Xeniel: Essence of the Wind, Gilded Greaves, Knight’s Plate, Gaia’s Standard, Mail of Pain, Shield of the Lost.
Alice: Tidecaller’s Mark, Herme’s Select, Frosty’s Revenge, The Aegis, Tome of the Reaper, Medallion of Troy.
Peura: Tidecaller’s Mark, Sonic Boots, The Aegis, Frosty’s Revenge, Gaia’s Standard, Medallion of Troy.
Lumburr: Tidecaller’s Mark, Sonic Boots, Knight’s Plate, Gaia’s Standard, Mail of Pain, Medallion of Troy.
The above is my two pence on the 4 new items in the new patch, if you have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below, I’d be glad to discuss with you!