League of Legends Tip of the Day: Relic Shield is Still on Top

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(Photo: Riot Games)

While tanks were the major targets of Patch 7.9, they weren't the only champions to get huge changes. The rest of the world might have had their eyes on the flashy new Let's Bounce! Or the insurmountable resistances that Frost Armor offers to Sejuani, but support mains the world over had their eye on a much different set of changes. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to not get autofilled recently, those changes are to the support items. Each of the three was given their own unique quest that would offer a great reward at the end, and their stats were also looked at. The least used of the three, however, got even more than that, as the entire functionality of the Ancient Coin line was changed along with Patch 7.10 to promote more active play. Instead of simply passively giving gold and health on allied last-hits, the new coin would cause minions to drop coins that could be picked up, each of which slightly replenished the health or mana of the player while also helping to fill their coffers.

When it was first released, there was high hopes for the new Ancient Coin line, and with good reason. The quest reward that it granted, an elixir that gave the champion who drank it an extra skill point that would put them ahead of the leveling curve, seemed to be the most potent of the three. Furthermore, the Ancient Coin line has always had a huge draw to it in the form of Talisman of Ascension. Frost Queen's Claim's active has long been panned by support players and overlooked in favor of Eye of the Watchers, and the same has started to be true for Face of the Mountain, which struggles to compare to Redemption and Locket of the Iron Solari. Talisman of Ascension, however, has no competition. It's ability to speed an entire team up considerably has been rightfully viewed as one of the most powerful abilities that an item can have. Every item that's ever done it has either had that functionality removed (Righteous Glory) or been removed from the game entire (Shurelia's Reverie). Talisman of Ascension can completely swing games, since there's really so few circumstances were a huge movement speed boost for your whole team is bad. Need to engage? Activate Talisman. Need to peel back? Activate Talisman. Need to rush Baron before the enemy team can respond? Activate Talisman.

The problem with Talisman, however, has always been the two items that come before it. Practically speaking, Ancient Coin and Nomad's Medallion don't offer a whole lot. The changes the health regeneration back at the beginning of Season 5 have since made the primary attribute that the Ancient Coin line offers much less useful, especially when compared to the flat health of the Relic Shield – which also offers hp regen in the form of it's minion execute ability, just to rub salt in the wound – or the mana regeneration and damage that Spellthief's Edge offers. It was thought that the new rebalancing of the line would make it more palatable for champions like Thresh that might otherwise be interested in getting a Talisman down the line.

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We know now that isn't the case. The reason is quite simple: the Ancient Coin line is abysmal in losing lanes. If you take a bad trade you are now zoned off the minon line in a way that you may well not be if you had the extra HP from the Relic Shield. The Coin's new regeneration ability doesn't come into play at all if you can't walk up to the minion line, and the Coin itself doesn't do anything to help you do that. It's for that reason that most supports are sticking with the Relic Shield line, and we recommend that you do so as well in all but the easiest matchups. If you can make it through the lane then the Coin is great, but that unfortunately just doesn't happen enough to stake your LP on.