Author: MMOsite Writer Alexander Hinkley
Giant’s Belt is one of the most important items for any tanky champion on Dominion because it later builds into so many other powerful items such as Frozen Mallet, Sunfire Cape, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, and Randuin’s Omen. If you’re playing a tank then a Giant’s Belt is probably the first item you will want to buy because an extra 380 hit points during the initial battle at the Windmill can spell the difference between life and death and your team capturing the point or losing it. Although Prospector’s Blade adds +200 health among some other stats, Giant’s Belt is actually more useful as a first item for tanks in the long run because of the fact it builds into something and isn’t just wasted dead-end gold.
Mercury’s Treads / Ninja Tabi
Two different items actually fit into this one spot on the list because which of these you choose to buy is highly dependent on what you’re up against. Merc Treads are probably the most useful set of boots on Dominion overall because of the tenacity. Dominion is a game mode with a strong emphasis on team fights so crowd control effects are pretty much everywhere. You’ll especially want to reduce their effect on you when facing a team with several stuns at their disposal and Mercury’s Treads are the easiest and most cost effective way of doing that. On the other hand, if your opponents don’t have many stuns or snares and instead has a more AD-based offense, then you can probably forgo the Treads for a Ninja Tabi instead.
Only available on The Crystal Scar and Twisted Treeline, the Blackfire Torch is a staple for all ability power champions and one of the first items most usually build. It adds a good chunk of bonus ability power, some extra cooldown reduction (which you should be trying to max out every game of Dominion anyway), and also has an extremely strong activated ability that not only deals damage to a targeted enemy but also increases the magic damage dealt to that enemy by twenty percent over the next four seconds. Many players like sitting in the bushes next to your team’s middle capture point and then ambushing you as you walk by with all of their spells preceded by Blackfire Torch’s activated ability. Hitting an enemy with Blackfire Torch is also usually the beginning of an assassination combo for champs like Leblanc and one of the main reasons people hate playing against her so much. The cooldown on it is pretty low too so don’t be shy about using it frequently.
A Void Staff is another offensive item that AP champions will want to build early on due to its magic penetration. Magic pen is very important on Dominion since enough of it effectively allows you to deal true damage to your enemies. Void Staff is also relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other AP items making it easy to rush out early on or to add onto your build as a third or fourth item in mid to late game.
As mentioned above, magic penetration is very important on The Crystal Scar and Liandry’s Torment is another useful item that provides some. Not only does Liandry’s give you +15 magic pen, which can stack nicely with Void Staff and Sorcerer’s Shoes, but also bestows bonuses to ability power as well as health which adds to your survivability. The burn effect it tacks onto your damage inflicting spells is especially effective on champions with traps like Teemo (it also burns people whenever Cho’Gath hits someone with a basic attack while Vorpal Spikes is toggled on which is awesome when you think about it). Liandry’s Torment builds from Haunting Guise which as a tier one item is actually pretty sweet because it does pretty much everything Liandry’s does except for the burn effect.
Frozen Mallet is amazing in Dominion. Its “Icy” passive allows you to continually slow enemies down to the point where they’ll never be able to get away. Frozen Mallet can single-handedly be responsible for securing several kills throughout the game because your opponent simply can’t escape. It can be frustrating when an enemy champion isn’t actually dealing that much damage to you but because you can’t create any distance between you and them, they end up chipping away at you until you simply keel over and die. A Frozen Mallet is especially strong on Vi, who pretty much needs only this item to wreck you thanks to Denting Blows.
Lord Van Damm’s Pillager
The statistical equivalent of Infinity Edge but available only on The Crystal Scar and Twisted Treeline, Van Damm’s Pillager is a frequently built item in dominion. It is very strong in critical hit builds for fairly obvious reasons. Yasuo is the most often played champion in this mode and clearly Van Damm’s Pillager is one of his best items. It’s also good on crit-build Gangplank and pretty much any ADC although most Marksman champions aren’t usually played much on Dominion. Landing a critical hit when you have Lord Van Damm’s Pillager can deal huge amounts of damage and melt your enemies in literally one shot. Not much else really needs to be said about this item.
Thornmail is the quintessential armor item because not only does it protect you with a whopping +100 bonus armor, but it also can completely ruin the AD-based champions on the other team by dealing damage back to them. It’s always funny when your opponent winds up hurting themselves almost as much as they hurt you with each attack. Depending on just how many AD opponents you’re facing on the other team, Thornmail can sometimes help you win the game on its own and at the very least can make it so an AD-reliant champ becomes all but useless against you.
As the counterpart to Summoner’s Rift’s Bloodthirster, Sanguine Blade is another standard item you’ll see on pretty much any AD champ. It’s weaker compared to the Bloodthirster but also doesn’t require you to charge it up by slaying tons of minions. The sanguine Blade is usually one of the first items that bruisers build into on Dominion due to the stacking attack damage and life steal bonuses. It is probably weaker compared to similar items like Ravenous Hydra or Blade of the Ruined King but it is much cheaper (it’s actually one of the cheapest items on this list aside from Giant’s Belt, the boots, and Thornmail). The fact it costs one thousand gold less than Hydra or Blade of the Ruined King means you can get it finished much faster and become a bigger threat early on. Plus nobody said you can’t just build those items later for even more life stealing capabilities.
An item only available on The Crystal Scar and Twisted Treeline, Wooglet’s is by far one of the most popular and one of the strongest items for AP users on Dominion. Wooglet’s is like a combination of Zhonya’s Hourglass and Rabadon’s Deathcap – two of the strongest Summoner’s Rift items in existence. When you think about it, it’s almost overpowered.
Wooglet’s adds +100 bonus ability power which is already among the highest boosts for that stat but then further increases your total AP by +25%. This is a great offensive item. But it’s actually a great defensive item as well because it adds +45 armor and has an activated ability (arguably the main reason people buy it) that places you into stasis for 2.5 seconds, rendering you invulnerable and untargetable. This obviously has a multitude of uses ranging from saving your life to changing the outcome of a close one-on-one duel. For example, if you’re playing a champion with a good amount of burst damage, you can go into stasis right before dying then obliterate an opponent waiting for you to come out before they even have a chance to react. It also combos well with stuff like Morgana’s ultimate ability.