In every item build, there are core items that players build on their champions for their most optimal in-game performance. However, the key to itemizing “correctly” means to build the right items in the right situation.
Solo queue, while many play for their LP gain, is also a place for experimentation. Especially for pro players who practice in Challenger queue every day, because of how disorganized the gameplay is compared to pro play, solo queue offers room for experimenting new runes and various itemization on the champions that they practice.
After the durability update on patch 12.10, which increased the durability of all champions across the board, there’s a certain core item build that’s been gaining popularity, especially on certain AD, auto-attack based champions: Blade of the Ruined King + Sunfire Aegis.
So what makes this item strong? Blade of the Ruined King [or BORK for short], makes a champion's auto attack deal for a percentage of the enemy’s current health [12% for melee, 8% for ranged]. Due to the durability patch, the value of percent/health damage went up significantly. When paired with Sunfire Aegis, the champions that build these items rely on BORK for damage, and rely on Sunfire Aegis for tankiness. The question is, which champions build these items?
Lately, players started building BORK + Sunfire on the ‘Mathematics’ brother of League of Legends. Even the mid laner for Gen.G, Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon bought these items on Yone, in game 1 against Nongshim RedForce on the 2022 LCK Summer split.
According to the data from OP.GG, BORK + Sunfire has a 23.06% pick rate, with a 57.08% win rate in Platinum+ solo queue on the KR server. The second most popular build, which is Immortal Shieldbow into Mortal Reminder, has an 11.93% pick rate, with a 58.22% win rate.
The real strength of the BORK + Sunfire comes from being able to deal sustained damage from the unique passives of these items while a champion’s abilities are on cooldowns. For Yone, while this new item build gives him a faster power spike and tankiness, the down side to this build is that he falls off late game, especially in comparison to the Shieldbow + Mortal Reminder build.
Yone as a champion also benefits more from building crit items, and while his power spike may come in the late-game, the current meta is all about late-game scaling due to the durability patch. Again, while building crit seems to be the more optimal choice for Yone, itemization should always be situational, so the BORK + Sunfire may be an option to go for if he falls behind quite a bit in the early game.
With the recent buffs to Master Yi, his win rate spiked very hard in solo queue. To the point where he needed to be hotfixed. Even with the hotfix nerfs, the BORK + Sunfire build [plus Guinsoo’s Rageblade] seems to have filled the weaknesses that he had as a champion. As a hyper-scaling late-game carry, BORK + Sunfire offers him a faster power spike, increased dueling capability, and enough tankiness to look for those resets that he thrives off from. These two items are like the missing two pieces of the puzzle that complete him as a champion.
As mentioned earlier, the real strength of the BORK + Sunfire combo comes from the damage and tankiness that a champion gets, buying enough time to reset their abilities’ cooldowns. Bruiser champions, like Renekton, Rengar [top], and Warwick [top] all seem to fit this profile, as they not only synergize well from these two items, it also fills in the gap from the loss of damage output after using their abilities. Their respective data from Platinum+ KR solo queue all show that players are having quite a bit of success with this build.
Will BORK + Sunfire take over the meta? It's too early to say. However, with the success that players are having with this build, there's no denying the fact that it's strong.
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