What Are the New AP/Enchanter Support Items and Why You Should be Running Imperial Mandate as a Support
Sat 2nd Jan 2021 - 3:50pm
With preseason for 2021 already having been out for quite a while now, players have been able to test all sorts of spicy builds with the new items that Riot Games has released. In particular, many players are excited about the introduction of the new mythic items. You can only buy one of these items, but the point of them is to give each role a unique ‘finisher’ item that really tops off their kit. However, there are certainly some items that shine above the rest.
For tanks, Sunfire Aegis is a powerhouse and has brought champions like Amumu into the top tier of champions in the current meta. For assassins, or even some ADCs, Eclipse is a rushed item that gives protection to an otherwise squishy champion as well as some damage. However, since support is such an underappreciated role, players don’t always understand what they should build when they get autofilled. But hopefully, this article will fix that.
There has been a new item released called Imperial Mandate that is catching the attention of many AP and enchanter support players due to its immense power and versatility. In this article, we will go over what Imperial Mandate is, what the other AP/enchanter support items are, why Imperial Mandate is the best of them, and why you should be building Imperial Mandate on your AP/enchanter supports and maybe even your mid lane AP champions.
Imperial Mandate is a new item introduced to League of Legends in the preseason of 2021. The item as a whole costs 2500 gold and gives the user 40 ability power, 20 ability haste, 200 health, and 100% base mana regeneration. This item also has a unique ability which is called Coordinated Fire, which does 36-60 bonus magic damage to enemies that have been crowd controlled. Crowd controlled enemies are also marked for four seconds, and allied champions that damage marked enemies use up the mark and does 90-150 bonus magic damage and grants Imperial Mandate’s user 20% bonus movement speed for two seconds. It also has the mythic passive of giving your Legendary items 15 ability power.
This item is obviously very strong on any champion with crowd control, but when it comes to supports in particular, this item is even stronger because you will always have a player with you to use the mark and do even more damage. With the health bonus and mana generation on this item, it gives the user some extra survivability in the laning phase and the extra mana they need to use abilities to keep using those marks on enemies.
Moonstone Renewer is an item that certainly caters more to the healing/shielding-centric supports like Janna or Nami, however, Imperial Mandate is still the best item for even these supports, but to understand why that is, you first must know what these other items do.
Moonstone Renewer is also 2500 gold in cost and gives the same stats as Imperial Mandate, which is 40 ability power, 20 ability haste, 200 health, and 100% base mana regeneration, however, its uniqueness lies in the unique passive. This passive, called Starlit Grace, works as follows: Whenever the user does damage to an enemy, Moonstone Renewer heals a nearby ally with the least amount of health for 70-100 health, and each second in combat increases the healing by 12.5 and stacks up to four times with a maximum of 50%. It also has the mythic passive of giving your other items 5 ability haste.
The stats on this item are good to have for the same reason as Imperial Mandate, but the ability on this item is quite different and, quite frankly, is not as good. Yes, healing is always great and is even more important in teamfights, but the item doesn’t offer as much as it sounds. Most supports that would want to use this item aren’t really frontline champions and don’t excel in teamfights, meaning that it is more difficult to make the most of this item. Also, the fact that it needs time to scale and requires fighting means that it is difficult to maximize the use of the item before your team is already dead and it just isn’t as effective in lane.
This item replaced Athene’s Unholy Grail, which had a similar, but much better, effect. Unholy Grail gave the user stacks upon doing damage that, upon healing or shielding an ally, consumed the stacks and did gave a huge heal that could easily save a frontline champion with one ability. The stacks, when not consumed, gave the user more AP damage, so even when it wasn’t being used to heal it gave enough damage to really make a difference. If Moonstone Renewer worked more like this item, it would suddenly become much more viable.
Locket of the Iron Solari
Locket of the Iron Solari, like the previous two items, costs 2500 gold, however, the stats are a bit different. For this item, the stats are 20 ability haste, 20 armor, 200 health, and 30 magic resist. This item’s unique passive, Consecrate, grants nearby ally champions 5 bonus armor and 5 bonus magic resistance, which is new. However, its unique active is similar to the previous Locket item, which, upon activation, gives allied champions a 230-385 shield that decays over 2 seconds. It also has the mythic passive that synergizes well with itself, because the mythic passive allows other legendary items to increase Consecrate’s bonus resistances by 2.
This item, similar to the way it was before, is a bit more situational and isn’t always just thrown onto a champion. This item is normally put onto tankier champions like Braum or Leona, but can certainly be taken by a Lulu or Janna if the game calls for it. When going up against champions with a lot of burst, like a Viktor or a Talon, Locket does fairly well because it can protect you and your backline from enough damage for them to survive and turn around a fight. This item has its uses, but it simply isn’t for every game, especially when Imperial Mandate is an option.
Shurelya’s Battlesong costs 2500 gold and, similar to Locket, gives statistics unique from the first two items. For Battlesong, you get 20 ability haste, 350 health, 5% movement speed, and 50% base mana generation and its mythic passive gives your legendary items 2.5% bonus movement speed. Its active works exactly the same as the previous iteration of this item, where, upon activation, the user grants themselves and nearby allies 40% bonus movement speed for 4 seconds as well as dealing slightly more magic damage damage for the next 3 attacks.
This item is good for champions that already have strong engage, or even for champions that themselves or an ally has weak engage or disengage, allowing for that extra burst to chase down an enemy or to escape a risky situation. Champions like Blitzcrank and Rakan love this item because they already have good engage, but with this item they can capitalize on that on top of giving their allies the extra speed for a strong follow-up.
Why Imperial Mandate is the Best Support Item
All of these support items have their place in the game, however, Imperial Mandate still stands high above the rest, but why? What makes this item so good that it is an auto-run on most AP champions? The answer is simple, because even if you play a support that does no damage, with this item you can do tons of damage.
Let’s have an example, imagine taking Janna as a support playing with a Varus ADC. Now, as of patch 10.25, Varus is not a top tier champion by any means, but with Janna taking Imperial Mandate, he can at least have a fighting chance. By having Janna stand in front of or beside Varus and throwing down her Q (Howling Gale) or W (Zephyr) she can get a bit of damage off as well as marking the enemy. With the mark now on the enemy and with Varus’ long ranged abilities, he can easily follow up and deal damage with a barrage of abilities and auto attacks. Now, this is a bit of a worst case scenario when it comes to ADC picks, but what if there was a scenario with a meta ADC?
Imagine there is still a Janna support with the same goals and play style as before, but with a Jhin as ADC instead. Now, with Janna constantly putting stacks on the enemy and with Jhin’s W (Deadly Flourish), the duo would be using so much crowd control that the enemy would have a hard time getting away, and with Janna being able to protect Jhin, they can easily chase down an enemy with the movement speed from Mandate as well as execute with an easy fourth shot or an ultimate, if need be.
Other support items simply do not offer what Mandate does. The fact that you can give most supports this item and immediately improve them is a huge deal. All of the other support items have unique effects, but they are much more defensive and are usually bought if your team is trying to hold on to a losing game. Imperial Mandate is an item that gives you and your team a huge advantage with all of the damage you can do to enemies. Building this item makes laning so much easier and sets your team up for a more secure victory later on in the game.
Why You Should Almost Always Build Imperial Mandate
Imperial Mandate isn’t a ‘must-run’ perse, but if you aren’t running it then there is already a power gap between you and your enemy. For most AP/Enchanter supports, you should be running this item. On Champions like Nami, Yuumi, and Janna, this item sets up you and your ADC for success by constantly doing damage and using that mark that Mandate gives, which a good ADC will always be activating. These supports also work with the meta bot-lane picks because they can protect them with healing or shields that can keep them alive and allow for enough of a chase to take down enemies that have already been crowd controlled.
Even on support champions like Swain, Brand, and Karma, this item is a winner. With all the damage they do, they can easily abuse the power of Mandate’s unique passive and do even more damage. With the follow-up from a powerful ADC like Jhin or Miss Fortune, the enemy laners won’t even stand a chance.
Imperial Mandate is so strong that it can even be taken on some mid-lane champions. Champions like Anivia, Ahri, or Zoe can all benefit from this item. With their already good damage and crowd control, taking Imperial Mandate can give them an extra burst that they need and, come late game or when a jungler ganks, can even put marks on enemies for their allies to use up. The possibilities on Imperial Mandate are really limitless at this point in the season, so if you are looking for a new item to try out on your favorite AP champion, consider putting Imperial Mandate on them and see how it handles.