The Ultimate ADC Itemization Guide For League of Legends

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The Ultimate ADC Itemization Guide For League of Legends

As the season begins to wind down double-check your knowledge on when to build items as an ADC with this handy guide.

We all think we know itemization until we get to that awkward moment in a game where our brain doesn’t seem to have the answer. This often happens when we’re put in an unfamiliar situation where we have no prior knowledge of what to do. So why not brush up on some knowledge and learn a thing or two with our ADC itemization guide to become a master of all situations?

Starting Items

A basic sword, Doran's Blade item from League of Legends Doran's Blade:

Doran’s Blade is the standard starting item for ADCs in the Bot Lane, take this item for kill pressure in lane, minor sustain, and scaling stats into the mid-late game.

A wooden shield called Doran's Shield, an item from League of Legends Doran's Shield:

Doran’s Shield is a good item for when the enemy laners have unavoidable poke (or if you’re just prone to getting hit by skill shots) it is an efficient item against champions such as Ashe or Velkoz.

A sickle called Cull, an item from League of Legends Cull:

The ultimate mid-game power spike starting item as an ADC. This item provides strong sustain in lane so long as all-ins are avoided, Cull can be a good starting item in lanes where both supports are enchanters where all-ins are unlikely.

Read more: ADC Starting Item Guide- When to build Cull versus Doran's

First Item

A glowing blue sword, Blade of the Ruined King item from League of Legends Blade of the Ruined King:

Blade of the Ruined King (BORK), is a great item that synergizes well with champions that are looking for on-hit damage and earlier power spikes. The item provides life steal, attack speed and attack damage and synergizes well with champions such as Ashe, Vayne, Kog’maw, Lucian, and Ezreal. BORK can also be considered a situational item for other ADCs when looking to shred through tank-lines that are stacking HP due to the 8% of the target’s current health passive on hit.

Blade of the Ruined King is a great rush on Vayne, Kog’maw, Varus, Lucian and Ashe.

A yellow glowing sword, Infinity Edge item from League of Legends Infinity Edge:

The standard first-buy for all ADCs looking to build crit, Infinity Edge (IE) is the item that makes ADCs pack a punch. Infinity Edge may not be as strong individually compared to Blade of the Ruined King, however, when paired with other critical strike items IE is the item that makes it all come together with it’s passive of making critical strikes deal 225% damage instead of 200%.

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Infinity Edge is a good rush on champions such as Jinx, Jhin, Cait and Aphelios.

A glowing katana, Stormrazor item from League of Legends Stormrazor:

Stormrazor doesn’t quite deal as much damage as Infinity Edge in terms of raw damage output, but it provides a more well-rounded power spike for crit-based ADCs. With well-rounded stats of attack damage, attack speed and critical strike paired with its passive of providing a slow on the first energized auto it gives ADCs a form of self-peel to bring some consistency to their gameplay.

Stormrazor is fantastic on champions such as Jhin and Cait.

A blue glowing spear, Manamune item from League of Legends Manamune:

Manamune, the ultimate scaling item for ADCs. It is an extremely cheap item that becomes cost-efficient the later the game goes. Providing champions with attack damage and a massive mana-pool, Manamune is a good item for any ADC who wants to scale hard into the late game. However, Manamune does require time to scale which means that in lanes where you are struggling it might not be ideal given the time it takes to ramp up.

Manamune is an optimal rush for champions such as Ezreal , Senna and Kai’sa.

A blue glowing staff, Essence Reaver item from League of Legends Essence Reaver:

Essence Reaver (ER), is a good first item for crit ADCs that also need mana and cooldown reduction. It provides a similar first power spike as Infinity Edge and can help ADCs pressure lane by allowing them to spam their abilities without as much punishment.

Essence Reaver is a good rush for champions such as Xayah, Ashe and Lucian.

Mid-Game Items

infinity edgeessence reaverstormrazor Infinity Edge, Essence Reaver, Stormrazor:

These three crit items can be built as secondary items as well if they are not rushed as an initial first item for crit ADCs. They allow for really high burst damage on squishies and pair well with ADCs that have low base attack speed scaling.

These items pair well with Caitlyn, Tristana, Jhin and Lucian.

A red and orange blowing scimitar, Guinsoo's Rageblade item from League of Legends Guinsoo’s Rageblade:

Guinsoo’s Rageblade is a core item for most on-hit ADCs who rush Blade of the Ruined King. It also provides good all-around stats for a strong two-item power spike.

This item is good on Vayne, Kog’maw, Varus and Kai’sa.

 Zeal Items

Each finished zeal item brings an angle to be considered when choosing your itemization.

A bow holding three arrows, the Runaan's Hurrican item from League of LegendsRunaan’s Hurricane:

The best Area of Effect (AOE) item in the game for ADCs it synergizes extremely well with long-range ADCs who are looking to take over team fights. ADCs such as Aphelios, Ashe, Twitch and Jinx benefit greatly from Runaan’s Hurricane.

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A sword emitting lightning, the Statikk Shiv item from League of LegendsStatikk Shiv:

Stattik Shiv is the least popular of all zeal items and is considered the weakest choice for many ADCs. However, Stattik Shiv does pair nicely with Stormrazor providing an AOE slow on the first charged auto.

Two crossed swords, the Phantom Dancer item from League of Legends Phantom Dancer:

The best choice of the zeal items for dealing with assassins providing ADCS with outplay potential from the movement speed bonus on autos and the shield provided when dropping below 30% hp. ADCs such as Vayne, Aphelios and Sivir love to use Phantom Dancer.

A glowing musket, the Rapid Firecannon item from League of Legends Rapid Firecannon:

An extremely useful crit item for ADCs looking to poke out opponents with an increased range on their first auto-attack. This item synergizes extremely well with Stormrazor allowing ADCs to slow their targets from afar with a  charged auto-attack. ADCs such as Jhin, Draven, Jinx and Cait are good users of Rapid Firecannon.

Situational Items

A grey headband, the Quicksilver Sash item from League of Legends A sword glowing green, the Mercurial Scimitar item from League of Legends Quicksilver Sash/Mercurial Scimitar:

Quicksilver Sash (QSS), is a great item against team comps with a lot of crowd control or champions with suppressions such as Malzahar or Skarner. However, it is important to note that ADCs should never buy a QSS too early into the game because it will greatly delay their itemspikes and damage output. ADCs should sit on QSS instead of completing the item into Mercurial Scimitar in most cases because completing other items would have a greater impact in most cases.

A menacing big sword, the Bloodthirster item from League of Legends Bloodthirster:

The ultimate lifesteal item for ADCs providing large amounts of lifesteal, attack damage and shielding. Bloodthirster is a situational item due to its high cost and its situational stats that shine in the later parts of the game. Bloodthirster is a good buy in the late-game when the enemy team comp has poke that needs to be negated by healing and shielding.

A sword with an eye in it, the Death's Dance item from League of Legends Death's Dance:

The best item an ADC can get to combat assassins who are looking to kill them with cheap lethality items. Purchase an Aegis of the Legion as the first item component of this item to negate the lethality damage coming from assassins and then finish the Death's Dance to finally start taking control of fights.

The Stopwatch item from League of Legends A shield with an angelic pattern, the Guardian Angel item from League of Legends Stopwatch / Guardian Angel:

Stopwatch and Guardian Angel are some of the cheapest defensive items in the game for ADCs and the best part about them is the build path provided by going this item route. The Stopwatch is a great purchase for 650g to have a chance to outplay an important cooldown from the enemy team. Once the stopwatch is used then finish off the itemization for Guardian Angel, an extremely effective item when the enemy team has attack damage assassins that are hyper-focusing you.

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Alex Armatas
Alex is a Rutgers University student studying Communication and primarily plays League of Legends in his free time. He is currently ranked Grandmaster as an ADC and his favorite champion is Ezreal. Alex has been following the competitive League of Legends scene since season 3 with his favorite region being the LCK.