Each day, millions of players deal with the busiest shopkeeper in the world. He is the man who smiths your swords, patches up your boots, and even conjures your magical staves from out of thin air. He lies on both corners of Summoner’s Rift, serving its combatants without fail, but probably making some ridiculous margins on some of his merchandise – I mean come on, 300 gold for a Cloth Armor? I’ve sewn better out of pennies as a toddler!
But deep within his stash, one piece remains ignored by almost all those who peruse his wares. Only the most adventurous traveler would dare to lay hands upon this charm. I can’t think of a single reason why I would even glance its way, aside from pure accident.
Glimmering through a gap between racks of dulled weaponry, the Ohmwrecker lies untouched.
These days, it’s purchased less than 100 times per day, globally. Think about the hundreds of thousands of games that are played, and yet this item gets no attention, even from the most aggressive tower divers.
I’m sure most of you don’t remember the release of this mythical item. Though now its existence is a joke – if you choose to acknowledge it at all – before its arrival, the Ohmwrecker was dreaded as a frightening enabler of tower dives; no longer could your bastions prevent the relentless pursuit of your enemies. The sadistic and masochistic desires of your opponents would be realized no matter what preventative measures you took.
The Chinese metagame was shocking everybody at the time; the aggression of OMG, World Elite, and other old school rosters dominated the Eastern League of Legends scene. Casters would joke that Chinese players literally did not see turrets. This item was expected to become the nail in the coffin.
Except that’s not what happened at all. Before the item could fade into obscurity, it was already left in the dust. Released in the Preseason of 2013, this item had to compete with some incredible mainstays that we still see commonly today. Statikk Shiv, Iceborn Gauntlet, Ravenous Hydra, Mercurial Scimitar, Muramana, and Runaan’s Hurricane were just some of the unique items to be released at the time. Even more significantly, Sightstone was introduced for the first time to summoners, alongside jungle specific items. League of Legends went through its most drastic item overhaul during this period, and despite the hype train that Ohmwrecker rode into the scene, its cart was quickly derailed soon after leaving the station.
Why doesn’t Ohmwrecker work?
Thinking about it now, Ohmwrecker isn’t as bad as it once was. Before, it build out of Catalyst, giving a bunch of useless base stats to most champions without amplifying tankiness nor damage. Nowadays, it brings a combination of Health, Armor, and Cooldown Reduction, alongside a cute movement speed passive. Most importantly, it still retains the ability to disable towers from attacking for 3 seconds. These stats seem like everything a tank player would want, right?
The first problem is that it doesn’t bring any additional unique raw combat passives or actives. Consider Sunfire Cape and Iceborn Gauntlet; one gives everyone the ability to clear minion waves quickly, while the other gifts a massive spike in damage alongside an area of effect slow. Ohmwrecker won’t help you in the neutral 1v1, and it definitely doesn’t help control minion waves.
Secondly, it’s pretty much useless unless you’re ahead – actually it is useless unless you are ahead. If you are trying to play from behind, you will not be diving their turrets; in fact, you won’t even be close to them. Thus this item is already relegated to half of games, at most. It does not bolster the strength of your own turrets (this may be a good change), but instead just makes a face-roll move even smoother.
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The last thing is that on release, Ohmwrecker gave only Mana and Health, and I’m not sure people have gotten over this. If you wanted to dive turrets back in Season 3, you stacked the hell out of Armor. Turrets didn’t have insane multiplicative damage as they do now. Riot has since amplified this feature because professional players have become much too good at juggling turret aggro. So instead of getting this beautiful Ohmwrecker, a Randuin’s Omen would have given you the same turret diving potential, but also much better combat stats and the ability to shutdown AD carries.
Is there a future for Ohmwrecker?
As it stands, Ohmwrecker has 126% gold efficiency when you are using the passive effect. If you value the active effect of it at all, it seems that this item could be actually pretty amazing on certain tank champions. Resetting the turret damage is amazing for tanky champions, enabling you to sit underneath the turret for ten seconds at a time without too much fear for your own Health.
If Riot adds a defensive counterpart to the active, we could possibly see this item return to some sort of play. Perhaps when used on an allied turret, Ohmwrecker would give 100% increased attack speed and 50% increased damage, or something of the sort; it would prevent and enable turret dives, instead of solely rewarding the aggressor. Granted, stalling metagames are not Riot’s favourite, but if they allowed it, Ziggs-oriented compositions with a defensive Ohmwrecker could mean hour-long games once again.
Of course, the other route of vanishing into nonexistence could also happen. Some crowd favorites like Zephyr and Twin Shadows have fallen into the abyss of item compost, never to be seen again in any mode. I for one, will start building this item, if only out of pity for its existence. We need to treasure every single option we have, or before long, all 5 players will only have a Sunfire Cape, Iceborn Gauntlet, and Spirit Visage to build. Let’s not embark on that darkest timeline, and instead embrace the beauty of the one and only Ohmwrecker.