Season 3 Gold Income

I’ve run some numbers and computed rough estimates of how much gold you have to work with.  This is a sort of preparatory step for discussion of item efficiencies, gp10, and Support itemization.  The timing starts with minions, not at literal 0:00.  Minions don’t spawn, and you don’t get gp10, until 1:30.

tl;dr:  Ambient gold is 1000g/10 minutes, perfect CS is 3000g/10 minutes, Runes and Masteries can add about 500g/10 minutes.

Gold Income by Role

These are rough estimates of how much gold is available to a champion per 10 minutes.  Kills, assists, dragons, towers, and Barons are not included.  I’ve also left out gp10 items, because I believe there are some nontrivial valuation decisions that must be made before one can properly talk about how much richer a gp10 item makes you.  I will be posting more on this topic soon.

Farmer:  ~4000g per 10 minutes

Assuming perfect CS, no gold Runes, no gold Masteries:

  • ~3000g per 10 minutes from perfect CS
  • ~1000g per 10 minutes from ambient gold

Jungler:  ~4000g per 10 minutes???

Yeah, that’s a triple-dose of uncertainty.

Stonewall here estimates about 3000g by 11:00:

If so, then adding on ~1000g for ambient gold, that puts junglers at around the level of an ordinary farming champion.

On the other hand, perhaps Stonewall included ambient gold there.  At the very least, it seems like “perfect jungle CS” is even more unlikely than perfect lane CS.

Support:  ~1500g per 10 minutes

Assuming zero CS, Greed 4, Pickpocket, and gold Quints:

  • ~1000g per 10 minutes from ambient gold
  • 120g per 10 minutes from Greed 4
  • ~100g per 10 minutes from Pickpocket (depends heavily on playstyle: theoretical max is 600g per 10 minutes)
  • 180g per 10 minutes from Gold Quints
  • 135g per 10 minutes from Gold Seals


I am omitting gp10 items from this calculation.  Whoa, slow down!  I just saw 50 of you start typing angry comments.  I am omitting gp10 items because I believe it would be better to put them in a more comprehensive item valuation post.  I believe one of the key questions of S3 is which supports should buy how many gp10 items, and which ones.  That said, yes, 5gp10 is 300g per 10 minutes and 4gp10 is 240g per 10 minutes.

How much these gp10 abilities “cost” you depends on how much you value the other stats that come packaged with it.  For a taste, though, I’ll do a quick Philosopher’s Stone example:

Preview:  Philosopher’s Stone as Gold Income

Philosopher’s Stone costs 700g.  It gives ~800g of stats, assuming you value hp5 and mp5 at sticker.  (This is not a trivial assumption.  Would you buy hp5 and mp5 if Philosopher’s Stone didn’t exist?  Don’t get me wrong, Philo Stone is freaking awesome, but there are nontrivial questions here, which is why I’ve omitted gp10 from the above calculations.)  Thus, if we treat those stats as actual money in the bank, we get this sort of situation:

At purchase:  +100g

Gold per 10 minutes:  +300g

See also:   “Soraka will buy another Lucky Pick!”

Gold Sources

This section describes the various sources of gold.  I omit gp10 items, because I believe those are better discussed as part of an item post, but if you want to know, a philosopher’s stone generates 300g per 10 minutes.  Many mid-tier items offer a few hundred gold of “combine efficiency” in the form of “free stats”.

Ambient Gold:  ~1000g per 10 minutes

Everyone gets 16gp10 as ambient gold.  that’s 96g/minute, or 960g per 10 minutes.

Farm:  ~3000g per 10 minutes

This assumes perfect CS.

Greed 4:  120g per 10 minutes

Opportunity cost:  You can pick up about 150g of stats with 4 Mastery points.  I think Greed is quite reasonable, especially on Supports (who don’t want a bunch of pricey AS or Crit from Offense.)

Pickpocket:  ~100g per 10 minutes (depends!)

This depends heavily on how much you autoattack.  But assuming you get 4g per auto (average of ranged and melee), you’d need about 3 hits per minute to match Greed 4.  The theoretical maximum is 600g per 10 minutes, but that would involve melee autoattacking EVERY 5 seconds for 10 straight minutes.

Opportunity cost:  You could get about 40g of stats with 1 Mastery point.  Pickpocket is a great deal in that sense: it takes only a few minutes to surpass the typical Mastery value.

9 Gold Seals:  135g per 10 minutes

Opportunity cost:  You could use those Rune slots to pick up 254g of flat Armor, or 221g of flat mp5, or 125g of flat Health.  Scaling runes are a bit trickier to assign a time index to, but based on some random spectating of mid-Elo games, I’ll go level 6 at 10 minutes, level 12 at 20 minutes, and level 18 at 30 minutes.  That makes scaling mp5 Runes worth about 211g per 10 minutes.

All in all, I don’t like Gold Seals.  I think it’s probably better to just get stats with those runes.  IMO, 254g of Armor at 0:00 is better than 270g of gold after 20 minutes.

3 Gold Quints:  180g per 10 minutes

Opportunity cost:  You could alternately get 256g of flat Armor, or 328g of flat Health, or 327g of flat AP, or 225g of flat mp5, or 269g of mp5 per 10 minutes.

I think Gold Quints are fine, although if there’s a stat you really want, you can quite likely do better with Quints focused on that stat.

9 Gold Seals and 3 Gold Quints:  315g per 10 minutes

If you really want tons of gp10, here you go.  But bear in mind you could start with about 600g of stats, including stats that benefit even lower-scaling champs (like mp5).

Concluding Comment

Items also provide gold.  This is most directly the case with gp10 items, but many mid-tier and high-tier items effectively give you bonus gold in the form of “free stats”.  I plan to post on this in the near future.


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