Smolder is tricky to build. Right now, researching Smolder items is the Wild West of EXTREME GIGA TANK SMOLDER or Full-AP on-hit mana-scaling kitchen sink (???) builds. And while theorycrafting can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming. Many players wish to learn the fundamentals first (such as stacking quickly), but feel bogged down by the deluge of new ideas and lackluster shop recommendations. Where should a player turn to find good items?
Luckily, pro players have the mechanical skill and game knowledge necessary to determine quality builds quickly. They have already established effective items on Smolder that perform reliably. And this is not just limited to competitive players only: many “Smolder Pros” have achieved dominance through formidable win rates, high KDAs, and champion experience in high elo play.
Classic pros and Smolder pros share many commonalities in their Smolder builds. And data from Challenger games backs up the effectiveness of their strategies. The items that these pros choose may not always be obvious, especially compared to the recommended shop, but they lead to consistent victory. Check out these ideas for a starting item, a key item, and boots on Smolder.
The Ideal Smolder Build Pieces
Many skillful Smolders forgo Doran’s Blade and opt for Doran’s Ring instead. This resolves Smolder’s early game manathirst, allowing for the ideal laning phase.
Since pro data for starting items is scarce, it is difficult to tell exactly how many pros prefer Doran’s Ring start. However, in the last 24 hours (since the time of writing), pros have opted for Doran’s Ring over Doran’s Blade 75% of the time. The day before that, 89% of pro games had a Doran’s Ring start (although many of these games are from the same players). There is certainly a trend toward beginning with ring.
In Challenger games, Doran’s Ring win rate is 4.69 percentage points higher than Doran’s Blade, securing its preferability.
Considering this is just a starting item, the switch from ring to blade packs a big punch. Opening strong with Doran’s Ring can secure Smolder’s early game and allow him to scale quickly and efficiently. “No more getting treated like a hatchling.”
Essence Reaver is the perfect item for Smolder. Critical strike chance and damage for attacks, ability haste to keep the stacks climbing, and extra damage after using an ability are all invaluable with Smolder’s kit.
The experts seem to agree. Pro players purchased Essence Reaver a whopping 90% of the time in recent Smolder matches. And all top ten Smolder pros purchased Essence Reaver in 100% of their most recent Smolder matches.
In Challenger, Essence Reaver has a 62.5% win rate when followed by Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Navori Quickblades. This win rate is significantly higher than Smolder’s champion win rate in the same tier, which is 48.39%. (Note: u.gg cautions a low sample size for Challenger Smolder overall win rate.)
With Smolder players as a whole, Essence Reaver is still quite popular, with a 69.7% pick rate but only 40.8% win rate. Hopefully, players will keep it up and continue playing Essence Reaver. With the pro numbers so strong, Essence Reaver may still have a lot of potential to unlock at this level.
Ultimately, Essence Reaver can provide the power that many Smolder players search for. Essence Reaver’s elements complement Smolder well, and players are bound to win in no time. ROARRR!
Berserker’s Greaves are a staple buy on many ADCs. But for Smolder, only one set of boots helps collect his coveted stacks and spur forward his scaling. Ionian Boots of Lucidity are the way to go, and most pros align with this choice.
59% of the time, pro players opt for Lucidity on Smolder when upgrading from tier one boots. In addition, eight of the top ten Smolder Pros join them. Clearly, these boots are the favorite choice of the professionals.
This tracks for non-pro Smolder games, too. Berserker’s Greaves have a 37.9% win rate on Smolder overall, while Ionian Boots of Lucidity are 40.6%. Even this boost could help Smolder players considerably.
With Ionian Lucidity Boots, players can reach Smolder’s execute ability as fast as possible. With enough stacks, Smolder will rival the Elder Dragon in no time.
Soar straight to victory with these new item selections, tested and implemented by the professionals. New Smolder players can not go wrong with Doran’s Ring, Essence Reaver, and Ionian Boots of Lucidity. As Smolder would say, “Beware the dragon’s power!”
Featured images from League of Legends Wiki
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