Season 3 Masteries Valuation Write-up

(Click to enlarge)  An infographic displaying approximate gold-per-point stats for the Season 3 Masteries.

(Click to enlarge) An infographic displaying approximate gold-per-point stats for the Season 3 Masteries.

This lists the S3 Masteries and attempts to translate their effects into practical measures.  For stat-boosting Masteries, this usually means gold value.  For other Masteries, it might just be a measure of DPS increase or whatever.

For some sample builds with valuations, check out:

If you find this helpful, please consider tossing me an upvote on Reddit:

For Masteries whose benefits depend upon things like the character’s level or time since game start, I’ve tried to identify a few key points, including:

  • Level 6, 10 minutes in
  • Level 12, 20 minutes in
  • Level 18, 30 minutes in

The graphical version uses the level 6 / 10 minute mark for its estimates.  
I chose this point because it strikes a balance between “level 1 Masteries” (“flat” Masteries) and ones that take some time to ramp up.  Additionally, while lategame Masteries can be quite useful, Masteries have the greatest potential to give extra power (relative to your opponents) early on: a 100g boost is a bigger deal when everyone has 1000g of farm than later when everyone has 5000g of farm.  I considered listing multiple values on the graphic, but wanted to keep it simple.

A few general points:

  • Riot isn’t stupid.  There’s probably a use for just about all of these Masteries.  However, it seems that some of them are much more situational than others.  Also, sometimes you end up taking some Masteries you don’t really want to get to Masteries you do want: this will hopefully help you compare the gains to the losses.
  • A Mastery’s gold-value at sticker price is meaningful (only) to the extent that you’re willing to pay sticker price.  If you buy AP all the time, then +1 AP really is worth about 22g to you: if you could, you’d tick a box on your Amplifying Tome that said “I’ll give the Shopkeeper an extra 22g if this Tome gives me 21 AP instead of 20 AP.”
    • However, if you don’t regularly buy the stat at store prices, reconsider its valuation.  For example, if you don’t normally buy AP, then ask yourself: how cheap would AP have to be before I’d make it a buying priority?  Would you be buying AP if it cost 10g/point?  Then cut the listed value of those AP Masteries in half.
    • If you want to be thorough about this, you might consider making a list of “priority stats”, followed by a list of stats that you’d buy if they cost half as much.
    • You might even consider distinguishing between stats that are “worth it” at sticker price and stats which you REALLY love and which are worth more to you than sticker (e.g. MR on Galio, because it’s free AP).
  • The gold valuation approach is, I feel, a legitimate approximation for value in certain cases, and not so much in other cases.
    • Most legitimate:  when we’re talking about basic stats that are sold at pretty regular prices in the store.  (But see caveat about personal valuation.)
    • Less legitimate:  stats, like movespeed, where having just a LITTLE more than the enemy is significant.
    • Less legitimate:  stats that are only sold on a small number of items.  Movespeed sort of qualifies, as does Tenacity.

For the most part, I limit myself to describing the gold value of Masteries, as I’m not a pro player and do not consider myself qualified to declare strategic realities.  However, last time I did this, I ran into a little trouble when I tried to strictly limit the discussion to gold values.  At certain points, I have with reluctance ventured into strategic territory and outlined a few possible arguments.

Offense Tree

General Comments
This tree seems ideal for characters who really want raw stats.  It seems to have gotten better for mages, who no longer have to take total garbage to get down to a few good Masteries.  But in my opinion, you should stay the heck away from Archmage, unless you frequently get so fed that you run out of item slots/upgrades and are desperate to pack a little more AP in there.  Lethality/Frenzy sound pretty good if you’re a straight-up autoattacking carry.  Spellsword looks pretty strong on a hybrid carry.

Summoner’s Wrath (1):  If you’re taking a Summoner spell, you almost certainly want the associated Mastery.  But I’ll give some specifics here for completeness.

  • Exhaust:  Target’s MR/Armor reduced by 10.  Virtually guarantees a win in a trade.  Synergizes beautifully with other ArPen/MPen.
  • Ignite:  +5 AP and +5 AD while on cooldown (5 AP is worth about 110g!  5 AD is worth about 200g!)
  • Ghost:  MS bonus increased to 35%.
  • Garrison:  Splash damage.

Fury (4):  1% AS per point.

  • 33g of AS per point.
  • 132g of AS with 4 points invested.

Sorcery (4):  1% CDR per point.

  • 30g of CDR per point.
  • 120g of CDR with 4 points invested.

Butcher (2):  +2 damage to minions/monsters per point.

  • Laners:  This widens the “last-hit window” for CS.  If you sometimes miss CS because you attack too soon, and this gives you (say) a 10% better chance of scoring those last-hits, then this is worth 1 minion for every 10 you miss.
  • Junglers:  Probably helps if you autoattack?  I don’t jungle much.

Destruction (1):  +5% damage to towers.

  • Not going to try to value this one.

Deadliness (4):  .17 AD/level per point.

  • 7g/level/point.
  • 30g/point at level 4.
  • 42g/point at level 6.
  • 84g/point at level 12.
  • 122g/point at level 18.
  • 490g at level 18 with 4 points invested.

Deadliness → Weapon Expertise (1):  8% ArPen.

  • ~250g of ArPen (using Last Whisper as a reference.)
  • On the other hand, Last Whisper is a lategame item for a reason; ArPen might not be worth much until later in the game.

Blast (4):  .25 AP/level per point.

  • 6g/level/point. (More precisely: 5.5g)
  • 33g/point at level 6.
  • 66g/point at level 12.
  • 99g/point at level 18.
  • 396g at level 18 with 4 points invested.

Blast → Arcane Knowledge (1):  8% MPen.

  • ~300g of MPen (using Void Staff as a reference)
  • (Assuming a 25% item premium on Void Staff.)
  • But this can also be valued by reference to flat MPen, at given MR values for opponents:
    • 120g of flat MPen versus 30 MR targets (2.4 flat MPen)
    • 200g of flat MPen versus 50 MR targets (4 flat MPen)
    • 280g of flat MPen versus 70 MR targets (5.6 flat MPen)

Havoc (3):  .67% general damage/point.

  • I’ve computed this very roughly, using Annie and Caitlyn as my DPS mage and ADC examples.  I gave them abilities/items roughly appropriate for levels 6, 12, and 18, then computed how much AP or AD they’d have to buy to replicate the Havoc damage boost.
    • Annie:
      • 39g of AP at level 6 (assuming 50 AP)
      • 78g of AP at level 12 (assuming 100 AP)
      • 96g of AP at level 18 (assuming 200 AP)
    • Caitlyn:
      • 23g of AD at level 6 (assuming 2x Doran’s Blades)
      • 39g of AD at level 12 (assuming 2x Doran’s, Zerkers, BF Sword)
      • 54g of AD at level 18 (assuming 2x Doran’s, Zerkers, IE, Zeal)
  • I’m surprised to see Caitlyn getting so much less from this.  I don’t think I’ve done the math wrong.  I also don’t think Caitlyn gains THAT much from abilities: she’s pretty close to a pure right-clicker.
  • On the other hand, I’m using a very rough measure; 96g and 54g are in the same general ballpark at this (limited) level of precision.

Lethality (2):  +2.5% crit damage/point (+5%/point for melee)

  • Using something like the Havoc approximation, albeit even rougher:
    • 13g/point at level 6
    • 22g/point at level 12
    • 60g/point at level 18

Lethality → Frenzy (1):  Crit → +10% AS for 2 seconds.

  • 10% AS is worth about 330g.  However, if you aren’t Tryndamere, you probably don’t have a crit rate of at at least once per 2 seconds until fairly late in the game.
  • I’ll call it half as good as actual, constant AS, to get a very rough number on here.  In that case, it’s worth like 165g.

Brute Force (2):  +1.5 AD/point.

  • 60g/point.
  • 120g with 2 points invested.

Mental Force (3):  +2 AP/point

  • 44g/point.  Perhaps balanced in that mages are more mid-game than ADCs?
  • 132g with 3 points invested.

Spellsword (1):  Basic attacks deal 5% AP as magic damage.

  • An extremely rough valuation follows.
    • If you have a 3.0 burst ratio on your AP, then every point of AP is worth 3 raw damage.  If you have 50 AP, then you’re getting about 2.5 points of bonus damage per autoattack.  If you get off 4 autoattacks per fight (per use of your burst), then you’re increasing your damage by about 10, which would normally require a bit more than 3 AP.  3 AP costs 66g.
  • This is all about estimation, though; I personally find it quite hard to get in autoattacks with most mages.
  • If you look to the lategame, when you have 500 AP, then you might be talking about an extra 25 damage per autoattack; if you get in 4 autoattacks, that’s 100 bonus damage per teamfight.
  • Almost surely great on hybrids such as Teemo or Kayle, who build AS and AP.

Sunder (3):  +2/3.5/5 Flat ArPen.

  • It’s hard to value this directly, because not many items give flat ArPen.
  • Last Whisper sells % ArPen for about 31g per 1%.
  • If the enemy has 50 Armor, then 2 flat ArPen is 4% ArPen, which would cost you about 120g.  (The subsequent levels only grant 1.5 ArPen, and are worth about 93g/point.)
  • Using the above estimate, and averaging it over three points, it grants ArPen worth about 100g/point.
  • This is a dicey comparison, though, because (1) LW is a lategame item (2) effective % ArPen is going to be much lower against the sorts of highly-armored enemies that LW is supposed to be cost-efficient again.  So me telling you “this is a GREAT deal compared to LW” is really suspect in that LW is a terrible deal against low-Armor enemies.
  • I defer to people who are well-versed in ADC damage math.
  • Okay, if I have to come up with something, I’ll use Runes (Marks, specifically) and compare ArPen with MPen.  (Problematic because everyone gets Armor as they level, but not necessarily MR.)  That gives a rate of about 34g per 1 point of flat ArPen, or 60g/point (averaged over the 3 points).

Archmage (4):  +1.25% AP/point.

  • Worth .63 AP/point per 50 AP that you have.
  • .63 AP is worth about 14g.
  • Also, for every Blasting Wand (+40 AP) you buy, you get a free 11g of AP.
  • At face value, this is a terrible Mastery.
  • However, if you often end up slot-limited as a mage, then this is nice in that it lets you cram in a bit of extra AP.

Executioner (1):  +5% damage to targets below 50% health.

  • Nice for last-hitting.
  • I’ve roughly valued this using the same methodology as used in Havoc.  This is generous, because I’m pretending it always applies (you could try cutting the values in half to correct for this) … although of course it only applies when targets are below 50%.
    • Annie:
      • 288g of AP at level 6
      • 583g of AP at level 12
      • 719g of AP at level 18
    • Caitlyn:
      • 171g of AD at level 6
      • 296g of AD at level 12
      • 402g of AD at level 18

Defense Tree

General Comments:
Defense seems very … consistent.  If you throw random points at the board, you generally get 30g/point.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the Tenacity-esque Masteries, Relentless and Tenacious.  Tenacity is a VERY cheap stat in the shop: 35 Tenacity is practically given away on Merc Treads.  I’m initially disinclined to advocate blowing a Mastery point on 5 Tenacity.  Perhaps, though, there are some Champions who really love Tenacity and consider it much more valuable than the shopkeeper’s asking price.  (As always, note the distinction between value and price.)  The other big issue is Unyielding/Block.  It’s somewhat difficult to value these, but I think they’re pretty strong if you expect to be autoattacked a lot.

Summoner’s Resolve (1):

  • Cleanse:  Disable reduction period increased by 1s.
  • Heal:  +5 health/level (13g/level, or 96g at level 6)
  • Smite: 10 free gold per use
  • Barrier: Shield strength +20 (20 health is worth about 52g.)

Perseverance (3):  Grants “up to” 2hp5/point, depending on missing health.

  • I’m going to assume for valuation purposes that on average it’s 1hp5/point.  In that case, it’s worth about 36g/point, and 108g at 3 points.

Durability (4):  +1.5 Health/point/level.

  • 4g/point at level 1.
  • 23g/point at level 6.
  • 31g/point at level 8.
  • 47g/point at level 12.
  • 70g/point at level 18.
  • 280g at level 18 with 4 points invested.

Durability → Veteran’s Scars (1):  +30 Health.

  • 78g of Health.  At level 1, too!
  • But let’s do a per-point average, assuming 4 points of Durability:
    • 19g/point at level 1.
    • 34g/point at level 6.
    • 47g/point at level 10.
    • 53g/point at level 12.
    • 72g/point at level 18.
  • This makes these five points (Durability 4 + Scars) actually only sort of mediocre, gold-wise.
  • To venture briefly into that strategic territory I said I would respectfully aim to avoid: 30 HP at level 1 is actually a pretty large boost.

Tough Skin (2):  Reduce damage from monsters by 1/level.

  • No clue how to value this.  If you buy armor mostly for the jungle, then sure, it’s worth taking this; it will probably outperform actual armor.

Tough Skin → Bladed Armor (1):  Returns 6 damage to monsters each attack.

  • Not sure how to value this.

Hardiness (3):  +2/3.5/5 Armor.

  • 40g of Armor from the first point.
  • 30g of Armor from the second point.
  • 30g of Armor from the third point.
  • With 3 points invested, you’re getting 100g of Armor, at a rate of about 33g/point.

Resistance (3):  +2/3.5/5 MR.

  • 40g of MR from the first point.
  • 30g of MR from the second point.
  • 30g of MR from the third point.
  • With 3 points invested, you’re getting 100g of MR, at a rate of about 33g/point.

Unyielding (2):  Take 1 point less damage from champions per point invested.

  • If you’re getting autoattacked a lot, this is worth several points of armor.

Unyielding → Block (1):  Reduce enemy champion basic attack damage by 3.

  • If you take Unyielding, then you definitely want Block as well.

Relentless (2):  7.5% slow effectiveness reduction per point

  • On Boots of Swiftness, this slow effectiveness reduction ability costs about 6.4g/point.
  • Using that valuation, this is worth 48g/point.
  • Of course, all one-item valuations are inherently problematic.  But yes.  This Mastery is arguably a better deal on slow reduction than you get from Swifties.  I say arguably in part because the Movespeed on Swifties could be considered especially strong, given that being a little faster than someone is really useful (movespeed is in part a relative stat.)

Safeguard (1):  Take 5% less damage from tower shots.

  • This is pretty hard to value.  You could treat it as bonus health for engagements during which you tower-dive, I suppose.
  • Since it’s so hard to precisely value, I’m going to try to put a ceiling on it.  Let’s compare it with just having 20 bonus health (which is a lot better than just taking 20 less damage in one or two tower-diving engagements).  20 bonus health is worth about 50g.  That’s good but not great.
  • Overall, I think this is only really for champs who dive a lot.

Tenacious (3):  5 Tenacity/point (except that it stacks multiplicatively, rather than actually raising Tenacity by 5.)

  • In Merc Treads form, Tenacity costs about 2g/point.  So 5 Tenacity can be roughly valued at 10g.  That’s pretty bad.
  • On the other hand, gold-valuation of a rare, mostly-binary stat like Tenacity is inherently suspect.
  • It is true that you get a better deal on Tenacity through Merc Treads than through this Mastery.  However, if you consider Merc Treads Tenacity to be a fantastic deal, then this might still be a great Mastery choice.
  • Ideal valuation approach: decide how much you’d pay for slot-free 35 Tenacity in the shop.  Divide that number by 7.  That’s the per-point value of this Mastery.  (Slightly less if you’re going to be stacking it with Merc Treads, since it stacks multiplicatively.)

Juggernaut (3):  Increases max health by 1.5%/2.75%/4%.

  • I can think of two main ways to value this (ignoring a third, more complex option involving resistances and junk): first, we can ask how much it increases base health, and second, we can ask about the value of the bonus health we’ll get from buying Health items in the shop with this.
  • It gives +1.5% at 1 point invested and 1.25% extra for each additional point.  For these figures, I’m going to assume 3 points invested (so 4% bonus health).
  • Base Health:  the average Champion starts with about 500 health and gains about 80 health per level.  Health costs about 2.6g/point in the shop.  So, using a typical champion’s stats to do a per-level analysis:
    • 20g/point of health at level 1
    • 28g/point of health at level 4
    • 34g/point of health at level 6
    • 48g/point of health at level 12
    • 67g/point of health at level 18
  • Health version: rather than using these base health numbers (determined by level), you can also just ask “how much does it give me per 500 health I have (from items, levels, or whatever)?”
    • Juggernaut gives you about 17g/point per 500 health you have.
    • So if you spend 1000g on hp (that’s about 385 hp), you get about 13g of bonus health per point invested.

Defender (1):  +1 Armor and +1 MR per nearby enemy champion.

  • Well, this is pretty easy:
    • 40g of armor/MR with one enemy champion nearby
    • 80g with 2
    • 120g with 3
    • 160g with 4
    • 200g with 5
  • I am roughly estimating this by assuming you have 1 nearby enemy at level 6, 3 at level 12, and 5 at level 18.
    • Using these assumptions:
    • 40g at level 6
    • 120g at level 12
    • 200g at level 18
  • But this is only a rough estimate.
  • In lanephase, it’s likely that most of the incoming damage is either physical or magic, and thus Defender isn’t quite as useful as it would be against a 50/50 split.
  • Likewise, there’s an argument that resistances aren’t equally valuable to many character types: e.g., MR is arguably not worth its sticker price for tanks, because they aren’t burst-mage targets to begin with.
  • Still, a very fine Mastery.
  • I wonder if it can be used to spot invisible enemy champs lurking in bushes or whatever?  Do you need vision to trigger the bonus?

Legendary Armor (4):  1.25%/point bonus MR/Armor.

  • The value of this depends, obviously, on how much bonus MR and Armor you have.  I’ll give the Armor numbers below; the MR numbers are identical (but remember you get both.)
    • 3g/point at 10 Armor
    • 5g/point at 20 Armor
    • 8g/point at 30 Armor
    • 10g/point at 40 Armor
    • 13g/point at 50 Armor
    • 15g/point at 60 Armor
    • 18g/point at 70 Armor
    • 23g/point at 90 Armor
    • 25g/point at 100 Armor
    • 28g/point at 110 Armor
    • 30g/point at 120 Armor
    • 33g/point at 130 Armor
    • 35g/point at 140 Armor
    • 38g/point at 150 Armor
    • 50g/point at 200 Armor
    • 63g/point at 250 Armor
    • 75g/point at 300 Armor
  • So at 50 MR and 50 Armor, which costs about 2000g, you’re getting about 25g of stats.  That’s … actually somewhat unimpressive.  And that’s a generous estimate of resistances at level 6/10 minutes.
  • However, if you really love resistances, and buy them by the bucketload from the shop, and you in fact value Armor and MR above their “market price”, then this might be good for you.

Good Hands (1):  Reduces death timer by 10%.

  • No idea how to value this gold-wise.  So, I’ll step briefly into the treacherous realm of gameplay and strategy (disclaimer: no diamond badge, etc.)
  • If your death timer is 30s, you’re up 3s faster than usual.  This might actually be pretty nice in some situations: one person can potentially buy a few seconds for the rest of the team to revive and save a tower or the nexus.

Reinforced Armor (1):  Reduces critical strike damage taken by 10%.

  • I’ll say this: if you take Block, you probably want this as well, to fend off the carries.

Honor Guard (1):  Reduce all damage taken by 3%.

  • With this, your “health lost” formula is:
    • Incoming damage * (Resistances multiplier) * (97%)
  • So we can approximate this as a 3% increase in health.  If it usually takes 100 damage to kill you, it now takes 103%.  (Exception: true damage, I think, is unaffected even by stuff like this.  So adjust for the percent of health you expect to lose to ignites/Darius/Cho/whatever.)
  • Let’s start with applying this to base health.  Most champs have 500 base health and gain 80 per level.  That means, ignoring items and other sources of health, this is worth:
    • 45g at level 1
    • 76g at level 6
    • 114g at level 12
    • 151g at level 18
  • This is prety nice!  You can also think of it as increasing the value of health items by 3%:
    • +8g of bonus Health for every 100 Health you buy.

Utility Tree

General Comments:
This remains the “gold tree”: it’s good for anyone who wants pure gold more than raw stats.  That means most traditional 0-CSers.  Meditation remains crazy-good.  Wanderer seems like something of a trap unless you’re a “mobility shoes every game” type of Champion.  Nimble is amazing.  I’m also quite fond of Biscuiteer/Explorer: prime examples of why sometimes a little boost right at the start can be more valuable than a larger boost later.  If you’re a character who wants both Spell Vamp and Life Steal, Vampirism is one of the very best Masteries in the game.

Summoner’s Insight (1):

  • Revive: Bonus Health for 2 minutes on revive.
    • I don’t know how much it gives.  Until I do, no idea how good or valuable this is.
  • Teleport:  Cast time reduced by .5 seconds.
    • Good for teleport escapes.
  • Flash:  -15s Cooldown
    • I think of Flash as a spell you save in reserve, so it’s likely to be sitting around on cooldown for 30 seconds or so.  How good this is depends on how often you run into those “3s til flash OH MAN” situations.
  • Clarity:  Mana restored increased by 25%
    • Approximate as part of a potion?
  • Clairvoyance:  additional vision of revealed enemy champs.
    • I think this is pretty cool.

Wanderer (3):  +.66% movespeed/point when out of combat

  • This can be roughly compared to Mobility Boots.
  • Mobility Boots grant +60 flat MS when out of combat.  You pay about 370g for that ability, so you could say you’re paying about 6.2g for each point of out-of-combat movespeed.
  • If you have 400 movespeed, then .66% translates to about 2.6 flat MS.
  • Using the valuation described above, this would cost about 16g/point.
  • The usual note about movespeed applies: sometimes, you just REALLY want to be a LITTLE faster.

Meditation (3):  +1 mp5/point

  • 60g/point!
  • Amazing.  Especially because it’s front-loaded, and mana is most critical early (tends to be discounted in higher-tier items).

Improved Recall (1):  Recall is 1s faster

  • Does what it says it does.

Scout (1):  Wards gain 25% increased vision range for the first 2 seconds after placing them.

  • I guess you could use this in combination with Sightstone or whatever to do some nice “tactical warding” (where you throw down a ward not to protect a lane from ganks but to get a burst of vision for an impending/ongoing fight).

Mastermind (3):  Reduces Summoner Spell cooldowns by 4/7/10%.

  • It would be absurd to try to value this with a gold price.  The best I could do would be to compare it to Eleisa’s Miracle … but that’s a very complex bit of valuation, given that when you buy Eleisa’s:
    • You’re getting hp5 and mp5, stats which tend to be discounted at higher level item tiers
    • You’re giving up 5gp10
    • You’re erasing the resale penalty for gp10 items
    • You’re also getting that weird “disappearing item” ability
    • and in conclusion, I decline to try to value it based on an Eleisa’s comparison.  It doesn’t help that Eleisa’s grants it only for specific Summoner Spells.
  • I suppose I’ll just offer this bit of strategic commentary: this is good if you have a spammable spell (like CV) that you’re prone to using whenever it comes off CD.  If you have spells that you tend to leave at “ready” status for long periods of time, this isn’t perhaps that good (because you’ll get those spells once per teamfight, no matter what, and they’ll sit idle in between).

Expanded Mind (3):  4/7/10 mana per level.

  • The first point:
    • 8g of mana at level 1
    • 32g of mana at level 4
    • 48g of mana at level 6
    • 92g of mana at level 12
    • 144g of mana at level 18
  • If you have 3 points invested:
    • 7g/point of mana at level 1
    • 40g/point of mana at level 6
    • 80g/point of mana at level 12
    • 120g/point of mana at level 18
  • All in all, it’s not terrible.  On the other hand, mana scarcity tends to be a bigger problem in the early game, so I’m wary of Masteries that promise tons of mana lategame.

Artificer (2):  Reduce item active CDR by 7.5%/point.

  • My issue with this is that most items have a “once per teamfight” CD.  I don’t see a lot of benefit in going from a 60s cooldown to a 50s cooldown: either way, it’s once per teamfight.

Strength of Spirit (3):  Gain “up to” 1hp5/point per each 400 maximum mana.

  • Proper evaluation delayed pending determination of how this works.
  • I’m going to assume that it gives you something like .01 hp5 per 1% health missing (like a “Health Chalice”), in which case on average it might give about .5hp5.
  • The average champion has 200 base mana and gains about 40 mana per level.  So SoS gives you:
    • 11g/point of hp5 at level 1
    • 20g/point of hp5 at level 6
    • 31g/point of hp5 at level 12
    • 41g/point of hp5 at level 18
  • For every 100 mana you buy, you get about 5g of bonus hp5.  So every Sapphire Crystal gives a free 10g of hp5.
  • All in all: kinda meh, especially since flat hp5 gets a lot worse once lanephase ends.  I don’t really understand what’s going on with this Mastery.

Biscuiteer (1):  Start the game with a biscuit that restores 80 health and 50 mana over 10 seconds.

  • That’s roughly half of a health potion and half of a mana potion.  Valued that way, it’s worth a respectable 35g.
  • However, the ability to expand starting gold is great.  Also, potions are kind of OP at early levels, and arguably worth more than what the shop charges.  (If you aren’t getting bursted, then restoring 150 health is more or less the same as having 150 health — most of a Ruby Crystal and more than a Doran’s.)
  • I think this is a very strong point.

Biscuiteer → Explorer (1):  Start the game with a ward that lasts for a minute.

  • You could roughly value this as a third of a ward (25g).  That’s pretty decent.  It’s also great to have a ward right at the start.
    • An example of where 1 minute of warding might be even better than this “third of a ward” estimate implies: early jungle brawls.  Sometimes you use wards not as an “anti-gank lane security camera” but to get vision over a bush for a crucial minute or so during which you’re invading or provoking a level 1 fight.  Used this way, a 1-minute ward is just as valuable as a 3-minute ward.
  • Like Biscuiteer, a fine Mastery point.

Greed (4):  .5gp10 per point.

  • .5gp10 is 3 gold per minute, or 30 gold per 10 minutes:
    • 30g/point at 10 minutes
    • 60g/point at 20 minutes
    • 90g/point at 30 minutes
  • That’s actually kind of lackluster, IMO: most Masteries give you a bigger payoff by 10 minutes.  A lot of Masteries give you a bigger payoff right at the start of the game, in fact.
  • Counterpoint: for some low-scaling champions, gold is more valuable than stats.  These champions do not value most stats at their shop prices.  For these champions, pure gold is superior, because it can buy things like items with actives or wards.
  • Additionally, pure gold is nice in that you can choose to spend it however you like.  Adaptability is strong.  (On the other hand, there’s a downside here too:  you can’t just buy “1 point of AP” at the shop; you have to buy them in packages, and it takes a while for gp10 to produce enough gold to pick up that first package.)
  • All in all, it’s not bad on low-scaling champions who don’t much want the other Masteries.

Wealth (2):  +25g/point at the start.

  • 25g isn’t bad as Mastery values go.
  • It’s also really nice to get that gold up-front, as it can unlock entirely new starting item choices.

Runic Affinity (1):  Increases buff durations by 20%.

  • Great if you’re a mid and you get blue regularly.  Questionable otherwise, as I don’t believe it works on Baron Buff.

Awareness (4):  Increases XP gain by 1.25%.

  • I can’t really put a gold value on it.  Levels DO give you stats, but this kind of thing isn’t normally going to lead to you permanently having a level advantage.
  • If you can leverage those few seconds where you are higher-level than your lane opponent, this is great: it can lead to kills, or at least pushing the enemy out.

Vampirism (3):  +1 LS, +1 Spell Vamp per point.

  • 1 Lifesteal usually costs about 40g/point.
  • I don’t really know how to value spell vamp; the combine efficiency on Hextech Revolver makes it “free”.
    • A spellvamp quint gives 2% spellvamp; a LS quint gives 2% lifesteal.  This Mastery also gives them out in equal amounts.  I think it’s safe to say that it’s as valuable as LS, at least in a broad sense.
  • So if you want either Vampirism or Spell Vamp, it’s worth 40g/point.
  • If you want BOTH, then it’s worth 80g/point.
  • Note, though, that LS/Spellvamp scale with your DPS, so it’s a little weak early.  There are some Masteries that give only 30g of stats per point, but those stats are awesome early.

Pickpocket (1):  Autoattacks on enemy champs give 3g each (5g if melee).  5 second cooldown.

  • This reaches the average gold/point value for Masteries very quickly.
  • It also provides actual gold, which is nice on champions who don’t really need stats but just want to buy item abilities/wards/etc.; see the “Greed” discussion.
  • Speaking of Greed, this outperforms Greed if you autoattack more than once per minute.

Intelligence (3):  2% CDR/point

  • 60g/point of CDR.  Very nice indeed.

Nimble (1):  3% movement speed boost

  • If you have 400 MS, then this is a free 12 MS.  That would normally cost you about 168g!
  • It’s even better than the gold value indicates, because there’s a critical difference between being a little faster than your enemy and being a little slower.

3 thoughts on “Season 3 Masteries Valuation Write-up

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