How will the new Mythical items change League of Legends?

Declan M. September 12, 2020

The new item overhaul for Season 11 looks to bring big changes to how players build and purchase items while adding fresh and sometimes strange effects to new and existing items alike. Mythical items are the cornerstone of this update with activatable spells, potentially insane statistical buffs, and buffs to other items already in the player's inventory.

There is speculation on what these new changes will bring to the game both casually and competitively. From the video Riot released on the matter, the four items shown look like they can alter the state of the game to the point that these items would be a must-buy in almost every game. So how exactly will these new Mythical items change League of Legends? 

Ranged carries will have more agency

A big complaint from ADC players across Season 10 has been the role’s lack of agency in the game. Champions like Jinx and Kalista feel less important and easier to deal with one-on-one than ever before. The Mythical items seem to be a response to those complaints.

Three items shown in the video were centered around rangers carries and look to help those champions deal with their susceptibility to burst damage and general mobility issues. This will be a welcome change to AD itemization, since few items that increase AD damage also have activatable abilities that do more than slow enemies or increase the user’s movement speed.

By adding in these activatables and passives to the game, ADC players will have more agency, more of an impact on the game, and shouldn't feel as helpless as before.

Changes to average game length

If all the new Mythical items have the same sort of statistical buffs with passives or actives as in the video, then the priority for them will be extremely high. While these items are intended to be purchased later in the game after players have finished one or two Legendary items, there is no reason yet established for players not to build them first.

Game length is normally based on how well a team came out of the early game and how it can snowball with more items, levels, and objectives. If these items are built at an earlier stage in the game, they may cause the average game time to decrease because players can snowball out of the early game that much easier.

The intended effect of purchasing a Mythical item later in the game is to increase the power of a player’s other items, and this could create a scenario where scaling is better rewarded. This could also increase certain champions’ item power spikes. If a champion is most powerful on one item, and now a Mythical item increases that spike tenfold, that champion may be able to end the game with its normal item plus a Mythical one.

Greater emphasis on farming gold

Farming gold is always the best way to increase a champion's power in League of Legends, but as the game has evolved the priority around map objectives has increased. A player with the most gold in the game can still lose if the enemy team secures a Dragon Soul, an Elder Dragon, or a Baron buff.

Mythical items may flip that narrative with how powerful they can be. The items are expensive with a cost of arond 3,000 gold, and could become a necessity for some champions to the point that trading objectives to gather more gold is worthwhile. Sacrificing an entire wave of minions and a turret plate for a Drake may become less optimal as these item changes are implemented.

Gold funneling strategies may return to competitive and casual play, but that will be determined based on how overpowered these items are on champions that scale well with them.

There is no question that these Mythical items will have an impact on the game and how it is played. That is the intention behind these changes. While Riot has made drastic changes in the past, overhauling runes and changing Dragon buffs, the addition of Mythical items and changes to the entire item system will undoubtedly alter some fundamental aspects of the game that have been in place for years.