The key takeaway from the most recent quarterfinals matchup between Gankstars and Infamous is how the top players maximize their gameplay and try to milk any little advantage they can get. In particular, this game contained a good illustration of how leveraging gold efficiencies in item builds can give you an advantage over your opponents and lead you to victory
The standout example of leveraging a gold-efficient item build was Gankstar’s CullTheMeek on Ringo in game one. By 4:30, he had purchased two Minion’s Feet with a Heavy Steel. By 9:00, he had three Minion’s Feet with a Sorrowblade. This was a textbook example of good theorycrafting, which many of you know is a topic that is dear to my heart. Lets’s talk about why this was such a great build decision.
First, it’s important to note that most tier one items offer the most amount of gold efficiency. As an example, each Minion’s Foot provides a 10% critical strike chance and a 10% bonus to critical damage for only 300 gold. For an additional 600 gold, a Minion’s Foot upgrades into a Lucky Strike – a tier 2 item – which provides a 20% critical strike chance with a 12% bonus to critical damage – i.e. less than twice the benefit for triple the cost.
Rather than buying a second Minion’s Foot, many players tend to spend 600 gold to upgrade their first Minion’s Foot into a Lucky Strike. However, after doing some quick math, purchasing three Minion’s Feet cost the same but provides significantly greater value. Additionally, the critical strike chance (30%) scales perfectly with the attack speed boost from Ringo’s Twirling Silver, with one out of three attacks dealing 180% damage. This created a lot of burst damage in a way that was much more synergistic with Ringo’s kit than the more typical Tension Bow.
The advantage of gold-efficient items is that it provides a lot of early-mid game strength. However, there’s always a caution when using using a gold-efficient item build: you only have six items slots. Using an ultra-gold-efficient item build often doesn’t leave you with room to buy defensive items, Scout Traps, or Halcyon Potions, so you are often reliant upon perfect positioning and a good support to keep you of trouble.
In the first game, Infamous’s Taiwantilt playing as Ardan also did a great job of leveraging gold efficiencies in his item build. He had an Ironguard Contract, four Oakhearts, and a Light Armor. All of these were not only efficient, but applicable to his role as a tanky support. Admittedly, he didn’t have enough room to build boots, but that’s a matter of preference for some Ardan players. Conversely, this actually hurt Infamous because their support did not have room for vision items, such as Flares Guns and Scout Traps. As a result, their own jungle was a large blind spot and Gankstars was able to exploit this with Scout Traps and Flares of their own.
I’ve been learning a lot from watching players in the World Invitational and how they use their gold most effectively. I’m really enjoying these matches and I look forward to learning a lot more from the world’s top players as this tournament progresses.
If you weren’t able to watch Gankstars vs. Infamous yet, here is the twitch.tv VOD, below is the YouTube VOD.
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