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Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Before and After 6.24

onlywrin

onlywrin

Tue 10th Jan 2017 - 10:33am

With 6.24 hitting the gates like a battering ram a lot of people have been left scratching their heads. Questions like "should I pick up Akali?" and "Is Santa Braum worth it?" filled every message board around alongside "Is Azir viable now?", "How broken will Camille be?", and "Is Rylai's bad now?"

That last one is an interesting question. 

Most people's knee jerk reactions to stat reductions on an item is to consider it trash tier now; nerfed beyond belief and gone into the nether of forgotten items. The reality is a bit more complex than that and our first impressions are not always right. 

In Patch 6.24 Rylai's Crystal Scepter received the following changes: 

  • Recipe changed and cost reduced to 2600 from 3200.
  • Ability power decreased to 75 from 100
  • Health reduced to 300 from 500
  • Slow changed to 20% for 1 second in all cases (We'll get back to this one)

At first glance most people would call this a hefty set of nerfs. With the health and AP reduced the item is certainly no longer as slot efficient as it was but with the average game time under thirty minutes1 slot efficiency isn't as important as it used to be. What we should be looking at here is Gold Efficiency.

In order to grasp the nature of this analysis, it is imperative that you understand Gold Efficiency. Every stat in League of Legends has a set value per point. This value is typically calculated using the cheapest item that possesses only that stat. For example, Health uses Ruby Crystal while Attack Damage uses Longsword.

Some stats, like Cooldown Reduction, have to use other items to figure out their Value Per Point (VPP). In CDR's case Glacial Shroud is an excellent contender.

Keep in mind this article is only going to focus on the gold efficiency of Rylai's. This doesn't mean the item is overpowered or underpowered but it does give us some insight into the developer's minds when they made the changes and a clue on the future of Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

The one thing that keeps this whole silly mess in balance is the cost reduction and recipe change on our favorite frozen menace. Before the changes Rylai's was sitting at a hearty 500 Health and 100 Ability Power for 3200 Gold. To get a good grasp on how efficient the item was before the changes we'll have to break it into individual components.

The cheapest item with only AP is Amplifying Tome. We'll be using this as our standard to obtain the cost of a single point of Ability Power. 

20 Ability Power / 435 G = 21.75 Gold Per AP.

We can use a similar formula to find the cost of one point of Health using Ruby Crystal. 

150 HP / 400 G = ~2.7 G Per HP

To check the old Rylai's stat efficiency (without the passive) we just need to grab a few variables and plug in the correct amounts. The item had HP (h) and AP (a) as well as a total cost (t). Using the base values we generated earlier, we can check the stat efficiency by using the following equation:

t / (2.7h + 21.75a) = x

Which looks something like:

3200 / (1350 + 2175) = x ; x = ~0.908

Using this data we've determined that the old Rylai's Crystal Scepter was only 90.8% Gold Efficient without its passive. This means the passive would need to be worth 294 gold to make the item "efficient". Worth it? Probably.

With a similar method from above we can find the gold efficiency in 6.24 as well! It's simple, we just change our variables.

2600 / (2.7(300) + 21.75(75)) = x 

This works out to roughly 93.5% gold efficiency!

So without the passive we've established the new Rylai's is actually more gold efficient than the old Rylai's. Great right? Case closed, pack it up, go home!

But wait, there's more!

Our Scepter's biggest change was to the passive. While the loss of some health and ability power may seem like a lot they pale in comparison to the overall changes in Rylai's slow. To figure out just what kind of impact this has on our gold efficiency we need to look at each piece of the passive individually.

Single Target: Changed FROM 40% slow for 1.5s to 20% slow for 1s

AOE: Changed FROM 40% slow for 1s to 20% slow for 1s

DOT: Unchanged

So our biggest changes are apparent right off the bat: Single Target and AOE lost 50% of their slow. Additionally, Single Target lost 33% of its duration! We need to take these figures and convert them to an equation that can determine how much gold efficiency was lost here. We know from our earlier calculations that old Rylai's was 90.8% gold efficient, meaning the passive was worth 294 gold as it was.

We'll use three different formulas here based on how Rylai's was used by different champions:

1. Constant Refresh, Single Target (CRST)
2. Full Duration, Single Target (FDST)
3. Full Duration, AOE (FDA)

For CRST we can leave duration out of the equation. This part is easy; we know that Single Target's slow was cut in half. This means Rylai's passive will lose 50% of its gold value, which brings the new passive down to 147 gold!

For FDST the calculation is still simple but has an extra step. Since we are now taking duration into account we can use it as a modifier on the slow, artificially increasing its value. The number comes out to 60 on the old Rylai's passive, while the new is a drop down 20. FDST experienced a 66% drop in gold value making it worth only ~97.02 gold.

Our final calculation is also easy - AOE slows simply experienced a 50% drop in power which puts them on par with CRST at 147 gold value.

If we keep these values separate we can get more accurate numbers, however we can also include an average total to get the gist of how Rylai's changed overall. In this final step we'll compare the old Rylai's excess gold (294) with the new Rylai's excess gold (169).

CRST: Slows valued at 147 gold. Loss of 13.01% gold efficiency.

FDST: Slows valued at 97.02 gold. Loss of ~42.6% gold efficiency.

FDA: See CRST

TOTAL AVERAGE: Average slow valued at ~130.3 gold. Loss of 22.8% gold efficiency.

So, who wins out here, old or new? Well... Unfortunately, old takes the crown here. Using our previous calculations, with Rylai's losing a total of 22.8% gold efficiency from the passive and gaining 2.7% from the stat changes we can conclude that Rylai's is 20.1% LESS stat efficient than before. That's almost exactly 1/5! It's like someone planned it that way.

In the end, numbers are just that - numbers. A group of master mathematicians could stand here all day and pour over every detail of this change but gold efficiency is only one of many aspects when determining the viability of the item. These changes were necessary and healthy for the balance of the game. Rylai's is still a great item but only when champions can truly synergize with it rather than just shoving the competition out of the way. Kayle, Cassiopea, and even Amumu can still look to build it, though we may not see it on the likes of Viktor or Ahri again. Item viability is a madhouse and it takes a lot more than spreadsheets and calculations to determine the true value of an item. Get out there and test it yourself!

Sources:

1 http://www.leagueofgraphs.com/rankings/game-durations

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