Is Face of the Mountain a possible viable item for other roles outside support?
Face of the Mountain is one of the three paths for Supports, and it’s usually seen on Leona and sometimes Thresh; however its recent buffs also make it a very strong tank item outside of supports, let’s have a look.
For those who follow me, yes I’m aware that I’ve covered this when Darien built it on Shyvana but I wanted to touch it once again.
In the most recent patch (Patch 4.5 – 3rd of April 2014) Face of the Mountain suffered some changes
Patch Changes to Face of The Mountain
Overall the gold value of the item actually went slightly down mainly because of the gold cost going up, however and despite the health regeneration being toned down, it has been buffed in flat health, up to 500.
500 health is quite a lot, let’s put it in line with other health items:
Face of the Mountain is actually 3rd in terms of health items, in line with Rylai’s and Randuin’s and is just beaten by Warmog’s and Frozen Mallet.
This means it’s actually a very good tank item. Albeit it doesn’t give quite the defensive stats as a Randuin’s with all that armor, it does give a ton of health regeneration and CDR, usually good stats for your tanky Nasus, Shyvana, Mundo, Renekton, Singed, Cho’gath etc.
The Key aspect: Deadly Phalanx
But that’s not all there is to Face of the Mountain, the most important part is its active.
- Face of the Mountain
UNIQUE - DEADLY PHALANX: You shield the target ally for 10% of your maximum health for 4 seconds. After 4 seconds, the shield explodes, dealing magic damage equal to (100% of the target's AD) + (30% of the target's AP), regardless of if the shield remained intact. 60 second cooldown.
The explosion part is irrelevant, what I want to focus on is the active. It scales with 10% of your maximum HP, this means you get an 100 HP shield for each 1000 HP you have.
Now 3000-4000 HP is actually common on some of these super tanks. Giving a teammate the equivalent of a Giant’s belt in health is no laughing matter and I personally think that Face of the Mountain may have its uses if you’re a toplaner and want to protect your carry from incoming burst.
What’s more is that the shield given is also affected by any health increasing ability your champion may have, so abilities like Nasus’ Fury of the Sands, Renekton’s Dominus, Cho’gath’s Feast and Lulu’s Wild Growth do affect the hp value on the shield given.
When do I build it?
Now you might be thinking, well Relic Shield is a pretty useless item for a toplaner to have, you have no one to share the gold income with and that is correct. However if you look at Face of the Mountain’s Build Path, you’ll notice how it builds off of Kindlegem, meaning you can probably just build a Kindlegem and hold on to it until you want to get Face of the Mountain. This is especially useful on someone like Nasus, who can use the CDR but doesn’t really build any item building off of Kindlegem besides Spirit Visage, not to mention that Kindlegem is a rather cheap item for a slot that gives health and CDR.
It may be a good item to build after the first defensive item and to sit on it until the big team fights start, usually this only happens 25-30 minutes in so you’ll have plenty of time.
Also, I'm not suggesting to build this always, I feel it's a niche pick that you can use to save your carries from burst damage, especially if it's AD.
What about Locket of the Iron Solari?
When I last mentioned this item as a possible viable purchase for tanks, people said you’d probably be better off going for a Locket instead. However Locket was just changed on patch 4.5 into a Magic Resistance item. While it still provides a shield, it’s only 230 at level 18 and it requires you to be rather close to the target, whereas Face of the Mountain’s Deadly Phalanx can be targeted.
Locket has its uses, but I think it’s now better suited to handle double/triple AP comps.