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Patch 9.3’s marksman item changes, explained

Don’t know what to build now? We can help

Riot Games

ADC items have gotten a complete overhaul thanks to patch 9.3 and, yes, there are a lot of changes.

While the most noticeable shifts for most players will be things like the brand new item, Spear of Shojin, there are plenty of stat changes to get into as well. Most importantly, it appears that critical strike items are back to being a powerful option again, which should effectively be a buff for a lot of different marksmen. As always, this also serves as a buff to other crit champions like Yasuo and Tryndamere as well.

The other big change introduced thanks to this patch are defensive items targeted directly at marksmen. With things like the updated passive on Phantom Dancer that should help them survive burst, to the health that comes with Spear of Shojin, they should have a much easier time surviving after this patch.

For a more detailed breakdown of what’s going on with all these items, let’s take a look at exactly what changed with the game’s biggest attack damage and attack speed items.

Infinity Edge


  • TOTAL COST :: 3400 gold (unchanged)
  • BUILD PATH :: B.F. Sword + Pickaxe + 1225 gold >>> B.F. Sword + Pickaxe + Cloak of Agility + 425 gold
  • ATTACK DAMAGE :: 70 >>> 80
  • [REM] CRIT CHANCE DOUBLER :: No longer doubles critical strike chance
  • [NEW] CRIT DAMAGE INCREASE :: Now increases critical strike damage by 25%
  • [REM] TRUE DAMAGE CONVERSION :: No longer converts 10% of critical strike damage to true damage

These changes should go a long way in helping make Infinity Edge a stronger item. Overall the item gains quite a bit of damage thanks to this patch and it will likely be the new go-to item for any champion that wants their basic attacks to crit.

Essence Reaver


  • TOTAL COST :: 3000 gold >>> 3200 gold
  • BUILD PATH :: B.F. Sword + Caulfield’s Warhammer + Sapphire Crystal + 250 gold >>> Pickaxe + Caulfield’s Warhammer + Cloak of Agility + 425 gold
  • ATTACK DAMAGE :: 75 >>> 60
  • MANA :: No longer grants 300 mana
  • MANA REFUND :: Basic attacks refund ||| 1% >>> 1.5% missing mana
  • REMOVED — ESSENCE FLARE :: Your next basic attack after casting your ultimate no longer grants Essence Flare for 6 seconds, granting 50% attack speed and 20% basic ability cooldown refund on basic attack

These changes mean that Essence Reaver is likely going back to being a very niche item. Champions like Ashe and Xayah may still use it thanks to it granting slightly more mana on basic attacks, but it seems like most other champions will miss the addition of Essence Flare. Also, it probably won’t be useful on champions like Riven anymore either without the passive. But, if you’re a mana hungry ADC who doesn’t quite use enough abilities to get a Manamune, this might still be a good way to go.

Spear of Shojin

New Item

  • TOTAL COST :: 3400 gold
  • BUILD PATH :: B.F. Sword + Kindlegem + Long Sword + 950 gold
  • HEALTH :: 250
  • AWAKENED DRAGON :: Your next basic attack after casting your ultimate grants Awakened Dragon for 6 seconds, granting 50% attack speed and 20% basic ability cooldown refund on basic attack

If some of this seems pretty familiar, that’s because this passive is basically what Essence Reaver’s old passive, Essence Flare, used to do. Thankfully, Riot moved this onto a new item that grants health instead of mana, making it a little more usable for everyone. Champions like Riven that loved the passive, but couldn’t make use of the mana, will probably like this item. Marksmen will enjoy the increased survivability from it, but likely won’t ever build it as their first item. If you’re thinking about getting this one in a game, it’s probably because you need some extra health, but are way up on gold to offset its expensive cost.

Riot Games



  • TOTAL COST :: 2800 gold ⇒ 3100 gold
  • BUILD PATH :: B.F. Sword + Long Sword + Long Sword + Dagger + 550 gold⇒ B.F. Sword + Long Sword + Kircheis Shard + 850 gold
  • ATTACK DAMAGE:: 60 ⇒ 55
  • ATTACK SPEED :: 35% ⇒ 25%
  • NEW ENERGIZED :: Movement and basic attacks generate Energized stacks. At 100 stacks, your next basic attack deals 65 bonus magic damage on-hit and slow the target by 40% decaying over 1 second
  • NEW STORM :: Your other Energized effects are 30% more effective and also slow their targets by 40% decaying over 1 second
  • REMOVED STORM’S EDGE :: No longer causes your next basic attack to critically strike for 140-200% (at 0-30% critical strike chance) and grant 20% bonus movement speed for 0.75 seconds after not basic attacking for a few seconds.

Stormrazor used to be the go-to item for most crit ADCs thanks to its guaranteed critical strikes and cheap price, but as of last patch, neither of those things happen. Now it’s sort of like a single target alternative to Statikk Shiv and it’s something that most champions will only be able to buy if they are very, very far ahead.

Phantom Dancer


  • TOTAL COST :: 2700 gold ⇒ 2600 gold
  • BUILD PATH :: Dagger + Zeal + Dagger + 800 gold ⇒ Dagger + Brawler’s Gloves + Zeal + 700 gold (Zeal’s cost has decreased by 100 gold)
  • ATTACK SPEED :: 45% ⇒ 30%
  • NEW :: LIFELINE :: If you would take damage that would reduce your health below 30%, gain a shield that absorbs up to 240-600 (scaling starts at level 9, ends at level 18) damage for 2 seconds (90 second cooldown)
  • REMOVED :: LAMENT :: No longer decreases damage taken from the last champion you basic attacked by 12%
  • SPECTRAL WALTZ :: Grants unit passthrough and 7% movement speed while within 550 range of a visible enemy champion ⇒ for 2 seconds after basic attacking a champion

Phantom Dancer was once in a very weird place, but now it makes a little more sense in the context of the game. If you’re in a game with a burst character who might kill you, this should be one of the attack speed items you buy. If there aren’t any murderous assassins out there, it could be a good second attack speed item thanks to its passive, especially for champions like Twitch.