Minion Smash - A Look at Banner of Command
Wed 16th May 2018 - 10:34pm
Banner of Command has been an item that has seen its time alongside meta staples such as Infinity Edge and it has also seen its time as a so-called ‘troll item’, alongside items such as Ohmwrecker. However, currently the item is at the forefront of the meta on both tank top laners (such as Ornn and Sion) and utility tank supports (such as Thresh and Braum). But why? Well, there are several reasons and, in this piece, I hope to educate you on why Banner of Command is in a good spot right now (and so is being used a lot in the forefront of the meta).
Banner of Command’s active is essentially the old summoner spell of Promote in the way that it promotes a minion by giving it a series of buffs. However, there are some notable differences in the end effect, the most notable being the fact that the now in play Banner of Command grants the minion an immunity to magic damage (rendering caster minions unable to damage a minion under the effect of Banner) and an increase in model size.
A great thing about Banner is the fact that it can be placed and then left to push a side lane which means the effect of Banner can effectively be a ‘sixth man’ for your team (this is even more prominent in the fact that any minion or turret kills will give the kill gold to the owner of the Banner) and seeing as to how much minion priority in side lanes has an effect in higher elo and competitive play (especially seeing as to how support users of Banner of Command can drop it in the bottom lane then pressure around the Baron pit to force a bad choice either way for their opponents) it is no surprise that Banner of Command is seeing priority in this current meta.
The active on Banner of Command is very similar to the summoner spell ‘Promote’ from S1 and S2
Counters AP Waveclear
Another staple of the current meta has been magic damage AP Waveclear in the mid lane with picks such as Anivia, Cassiopeia, and even Karma being very prominent in professional play. However, this gives Banner even more power as it means that these mages will find it very difficult to deal with a wave with a Banner of Command cannon minion in it as they now have to deal with a pushing wave that is immune (as the Banner minion is immune to magic damage) to their wave-clearing, area of effect spells and so are forced spend more time auto attacking it down, or, alternatively, send the ADC away from a fight to deal with it.
Either way, the use of Banner of Command once again generates pressure by forcing your opponents to deal with it at a major cost and pressure in this manner is a major defining factor in what defines a meta because of how much effect it has by making your opponent take a bad trade by spreading their carries away from objectives and team fights which the meta defining high elo players prefer.
AP mages such as Anivia and Cassiopeia hate dealing with BOC Minions.
The Stats It Offers
Banner of Command is most definitely a tank centric item (hence why it is built by both tank top laners, such as Ornn and Sion, and utility tank supports, such as Thresh and Braum) seeing as to how it offers armour, magic resist, health regeneration, and cooldown reduction which are all great stats for a tank to have.
However, for an item to be meta it almost certainly has to be gold efficient, as every item that is bought in high elo/pro play needs to have an impact as every piece of gold counts in the pursuit of the win. Thankfully Banner of Command is an item with a positive efficiency of 108%. This is due to the effective stat value that banner offers is 2382 gold (1200 from the 60 armor, 267 from the 10% cooldown reduction, 375 from the 125% health regeneration and 540 from the 40-magic resist) which is higher than the total cost of 2200 that Banner has (2382/2200*100=108.27). This means that the stats offered a worth buying as they give you more than the gold input which means the purchase is viable and this may be one of the reasons that Banner of Command is seeing its place in the forefront of meta when it comes to tank builds today.
P.S. The item is even more efficient when near a turret (regardless if it's alive) as the item is providing even more stats in the form of movement speed (the item’s passive bonus is 20% when near a turret, turret remains or void gate. The 20% movement speed is worth 790 gold which raises the efficiency to 144% which is extremely high.
As we see here, Banner is an extremely gold efficient item which high tier builds require.
To conclude, the main reason we are seeing Banner of Command in today's meta can be summed up with the following statement, "Banner of Command offers the potential to force bad decisions upon your opponents via presenting bad decisions regardless of choice, all at a cost that has no negative effect on the purchaser meaning that its free usage gives its user a win-win scenario which smart players will always take." With this breakdown, I hope you now understand why Banner of Command is such a power item and with that I leave you with the thought of GL, HF, and GG.
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