the early-game to compete with the Lee Sins and Nocturnes of Season 2. Some junglers (such as SKT Bengi in the final game) continued purchasing Madred’s Razors, but it had fallen as the rush item of the jungle. The key selling point was its Maim passive, allowing for faster jungling and neutral objective control, and Maim was rebalanced mid-Season 3 in order to increase its consistency. Yet despite the use of its component part, Wriggle’s Lantern was not seen within the bracket play of Season 3’s Worlds. In its place was the new wave of jungling items: the Spirits. The component item, Spirit Stone, was a common rush item among junglers, providing them with the Mana per 5 and Health per 5 necessary to stay healthy and prepared for the increased ganking seen in Season 3 jungle-play. Spirit of the Ancient Golem was a common rush for the tankier junglers such as Jarvan IV or Lee Sin, its Tenacity allowed for junglers to build Mobility Boots for increased map control, or Ninja Tabi against AD-heavy teams. However Lizard Elder was occasionally seen, such as GMB Diamond’s Evelynn in the Quarterfinals. While Ancient Golem was quite common, the changes to jungle
While the builds of bottom lane didn’t change up as much as top or jungle in Season
Top lane has long been the realm of the bruiser, and while tankiness is nothing new here, changes to items such as Warden’s Mail and Spirit Visage have solidified that metagame whilst encouraging diversity in early game builds. The aforementioned movement speed tweak allowed top-laners to forgo level 1 Boots of Speed in favor of even earlier damage. Elixirs of Fortitude, Crystalline Flasks (the new addition was popular in both top and mid lanes for sustain), and Long Swords became commonplace among the old standards “Cloth/Pots” and Doran’s items. Build diversity opened up from level 1, top players were now able to pursue a slew of different routes to midgame builds. Changes to Warden’s Mail transformed it from an AD carry counter item to an extremely common pick against top-lane AD casters and attackers alike. Spirit Visage’s new component, Spectral Cowl, became a solid pick against the occasional AP bruiser top like Rumble, Kennen, or Vladimir. Amongst these champs, the Liandry’s Torment became an increasingly popular choice to whittle down late game health-bricks such as Cho’Gath or Garen. Black Cleaver, returned in Season 3 with increased utility for AD-heavy teams, found itself falling second to Last Whisper in pro’s picks for armor penetration (however SKT Faker built both in every Zed bracket game he played). Far from the Heart of Gold and Warmog’s spamming of Season 2, top lane developed into a more versatile and diverse position in Season 3.
items allowed for alterations in builds and rushes from the Season 2 standard of Madred’s Razors and Wriggle’s Lantern.