What is League of Legends?
Defined simply by Wikipedia, “League of Legends, commonly referred to as League, is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. Inspired by Defense of the Ancients, a custom map for Warcraft III, Riot’s founders sought to develop a stand-alone game in the same genre. Since its release in October 2009, the game has been free-to-play and is monetized through purchasable character customization. The game is available for Microsoft Windows and macOS.”
How do you build items properly in League of Legends?
It’s not that easy to generalize it. You want to build items fitting your champ of course. You don’t go Ludens echo on a champ that doesn’t have ap scalings. And you don’t want an on-hit item on a mage and so on. But at the same time, you need to adapt to the circumstances of the game.
I’ll make an example with riven as she’s my main champ. I want to build deaths dance as my first item, followed by Ionians and a Warhammer for cdr and then a ga. That’s my usual build. But if I have to lane against a Kennen for example (generally ap champs) I’d build a hex drinker as my first item instead because it gives me magic resistance and a powerful shield. I might lack damage because I spend gold on defensive stats but without these defensive stats, I wouldn’t stand a chance in most cases.
Another example for mid-laners: When a mage like Viktor plays against something like a fizz, they usually can’t do much from level 6 on. If fizz hits his ultimate they’re dead. Even when under their tower. So what does a good Viktor do in that situation? He builds banshees veil first item. It gives him mr to survive the burst as well as makes the enemy’s flat magic pen weaker and gives him a shield to block one of his 4 abilities.
Then there are items adapting to the entire enemy team. As riven I usually build mostly offensive items, the only defensive ones still give some offensive stats, like GA with its revive passive and armor but still giving some ad, or maw with the mr and shield but again with ad as well. But if I play against a team consisting of Yasuo, Caitlyn, and a crit Master Yi, I’ll get randuins somewhat early on because the crit reduction just becomes so effective.
And then there are items you build to compensate for something your team lacks. If you have me as riven top-lane, a melee champ mid-lane, a tank in the jungle, and Leona as your support, you have no way of clearing minion waves. The enemy can just walk up to your tower and take it because you’re all melee and can’t clear the wave. So what do you do? You get your ADC to build static shiv. It can nearly one-shot an entire minion wave when critting.
Lastly, let’s talk about situation-dependant items. These are somewhat rare though. (complex) example: I play riven again and destroyed my top-laner. Then I just took down the enemy’s top tower and now want to rotate bot to take that tower as well. Unfortunately, the enemy bot-lane consists of Lulu/Tristana. Taking that tower won’t work as long as they’re around. So I will have to tower dive them with my bot-lane. So I get some armor after my back to be able to tank the tower for longer.
The whole thing is rather complex and takes some time to learn properly. Websites can never tell you which items to build because they don’t know what you’re playing with/against.