With the overhaul of Assassin abilities, Riot Games needed to reevaluate the items they were supposed to buy as well. Also, a problem existed, where if an AD assassin got ahead, it started snowballing against mages and AD carries, the two roles which aren’t known for building armor in the early game exacerbating the problem. To try and fix this, the flat armor penetration stat has been replaced with Lethality, which scales with your level. Let’s discuss all of this.
Let’s talk about Lethality first. The new stat is supposed to give 40% of its value as flat armor pen and the rest with levels. This means that, for example, if you have 14.4 Lethality in your runes, this would be the same as having 5.76 armor pen at level 1 in patch 6.21 and it would scale up to 14.4 flat armor pen at level 18. In the case of Lethality runes, they should break even with the old iteration at about level 12. This is definitely a nerf to AD Assassin’s early game snowball, however, this makes up for it with hopefully allowing you to keep up better in the late game, where assassins were known to fall off.
It’s time to talk items now. Serrated Dirk was changed to work better with the Assassin playstyle, which involves a lot of roaming instead of staying in lane and trading. To facilitate this, Dirk’s AD was increased by 5, it’s flat ArPen was replaced with Lethality, which should become as strong as the old stat was at level 8, and you will gain +20 movement speed while out of combat. While Serrated Dirk used to be built from 2 Long Swords, you have another option now. You can get a Poacher’s Dirk if you plan on invading the enemy jungle. After you kill 3 unique camps from the enemy jungle (it has a 60 second cooldown, so you will have to take multiple trips), it will transform into a Serrated Dirk.
If you’ve ever played Zed and dove into a fight only to get stuck in a mire of CC, Edge of Night is the item for you. While the stats aren’t the most gold-efficient, it has an active, which, after channeling it for 1.5 seconds, gives you a spell shield that will block the next enemy ability. The shield lasts 10 seconds on a 45 second cooldown. You will be able to move while channeling, but any damage will interrupt it.
The mini Deathmark, Duskblade of Draktharr, also got an update. Now, it will be able to spot enemy wards and disable them for a time. This is used to enable Duskblade’s Passive, Nightstalker, which boosts your next basic attack after you haven’t been seen for at least 1 second. Before you jump at it, the Vayne God, Gosu, tried it with Vayne on stream. He said that it’s not worth it, because you would have to run around while invisible for a second, losing DPS in the process.
The Jack of All Trades of AD items, Youmuu’s Ghostblade, also got changed. Besides the stat and cost tweaks, it also no longer increases your attack speed. Instead, it will allow you to ignore unit collision.
Maw of Malmortius is no longer the item of choice for Assassins looking for Magic Resist. It lost its ArPen, gaining CDR instead. also when the shield is triggered, you will gain +20 AD in addition to the old +10% spell vamp and 10% lifesteal while you remain in combat.