It seems to be growing increasingly common for people to take the wrong keystone when setting up their ADC Masteries. There’s a fine line on many champions when it comes to taking Fervor of Battle or Warlord’s Bloodlust. It can be tricky. In other cases, some champions benefit from one significantly more from than the other.
If you want to know when the appropriate time to vary your ADC masteries is, we’ll have to go back to square one. What do these masteries do?
ADC Masteries: Warlord’s Bloodlust
Moving or attacking makes an attack Energized. Energized attacks heals for 5% – 40% (based on level) AD and grants 30% movement speed for 0.75 seconds.
If the Energized attack critically strikes, it instead heals for 5% – 40% (based on level)AD × (2 + bonus critical strike damage).
There are certain build paths that make these ADC masteries show their true colors.
For Warlords, one of these items would be Infinity Edge. Infinity Edge not only increases your critical strike chance, which increases the chance of doubling the healing. It also increases bonus critical strike damage to 250%. This will add another .5 to the already 2x bonus healing Warlords provides. If you do a 1000 damage crit, that’s an insane 250 health return. That’s almost like using Summoner Heal.
Other items that synergize with Warlords are the Zeal items, such as Phantom Dancer, Rapidfire Cannon, Statikk Shiv, and Runaan’s Hurricane. Or any item with crit for that matter. The higher your crit chance, the higher the likelihood of you critting on your Warlord’s proc.
When to take Warlords
Always think about incorporating Warlords Bloodlust into your ADC Masteries if you’re playing champions that benefit from crit, specifically Caitlyn. The increased effectiveness of the heal in relation to your critical strike is extremely strong on it’s own. The increased movement speed just adds insult to injury, allowing immobile champions to sneak a little mobility in their kit.
The reason this particularly benefits Caitlyn is because her headshot passive is coded as a crit. If you time Warlords correctly and line it up with headshot, you will secure yourself a win in a trade. The heal is a surprising amount early levels because she is the only champion (aside from Tryndamere) that can critically strike without items.
The movement speed buff adding mobility to champions with low mobility is beneficial for many reasons. It can help you avoid poke, get in range for a trade, or even help escape a gank.
It also increases your potential to attack move much more efficiently. This allows you to gain more distance when kiting back, and close the gap faster when going all in.
This is also the safer of the two ADC masteries, causing it to be the best option in almost every situation.
ADC Masteries: Fervor of Battle
You gain 2 stacks of Fervor for 8 seconds with each basic attack on-hit against an enemy champion, stacking up to 8 stacks. Ranged champions only gain one stack per basic attack.
Each stack of Fervor adds 1 – 8 (based on level) AD for a maximum of 8 – 64 (based on level) AD.
Although Warlords may be the safer of the ADC Masteries, the meta favors Fervor as far as itemization goes.
With Blade of the Ruined King being one of the best items in the game if you’re an ADC, there hasn’t been a better time to be on the Fervor hype train. Blade of the Ruined King first item allows you to purchase lifesteal extremely early, overpowering the early sustain of warlords. The finished product also provides self peel, something you also rely on Warlords for.
One of the items that synergize best with Blade of the Ruined King is Runaan’s Hurricane. This item provides more than enough attack speed to get those Fervor stacks up quickly, even stacking multiple times in one auto should you hit more than one champion.
Fnatic’s ADC Martin “Rekkles” Larsson has shown both Fervor of battle and the items previously stated some love. He also has shown that he has an attachment to the item Frozen Mallet. Although Frozen Mallet isn’t your traditional ADC item, Rekkles has built it in almost every game in the 2017 Spring Split. To be honest, his head is in the right place. With Blade, Runaan’s, and Fervor, adding the Frozen Mallet’s passive slow to the mix is deadly.
There’s simply no way to stop the AD from stacking up.
When to take Fervor
You should thinking about running Fervor in your ADC Masteries when you’re playing champions that are good at getting a lot of auto attacks down in a short succession of time. Screaming the names of champions like Lucian and Tristana.
Lucian’s double shot passive allows him to get 7 stacks of Fervor in a matter of seconds, instantly skyrocketing his AD and allows him to win trades easily. Champions like Tristana with a built in attack speed buffs can also stack Fervor surprisingly fast, allowing her to ramp up damage quickly in extended fights.
Fervor is also a great mastery if you trust your positioning and your ability to stay in the back and do consistent damage in team fights. It is also very beneficial when you’re in lane against a melee support that allows you to get free autos off.
One thing to be wary about is running Fervor when the enemy has a sustain lane. Sustain counters Fervor because sustain lanes will always win extended trades, and that’s what you’re going for when you run Fervor.
Warlord’s vs. Fervor: Champions on the Cusp
Some champions don’t have the versatility that others do. There are some champions like Caitlyn and Lucian that you take the same ADC masteries on every game. Others, you have to switch it up given the circumstances.
Let’s get into a hypothetical where you’re playing Ashe and Thresh into Caitlyn and Nami. Which mastery should you take?
In this scenario: The answer is Warlords.
Although Ashe benefits greatly from Fervor, she would lack necessary sustain to make it through laning. Caitlyn would be able to poke Ashe down with little to no return. If Ashe does
Say the supports were switched. The bot lane is now Ashe and Nami into Caitlyn and Thresh. Which mastery do you take in this case?
The answer is now Fervor. In this lane, you have Nami to help you sustain. This leaves you open to take more aggressive ADC masteries. You will be able to win extended fights due to the bonus AD from fervor, and diminish unfavorable trades with heals. This also allows you to have more reliable damage come late game.
If you’re playing Kog’Maw and you have a team composition built to keep you alive, you’re free to run Fervor. You’re 100% okay with giving up the mobility from Warlords to gain the increased damage from Fervor if you know you have the means to stay alive. If you’re playing him in a comp with minimal amounts of shields and heals, you’re better off going Warlords to keep yourself alive until your can get to the late game.
Another champion running both ADC masteries is Jinx. Jinx’s kit works perfectly with both masteries. She commonly builds crit, and the speed buff helps her lack of mobility. On the other hand, she has a self attack speed increase and very long range autos when her Q is active. This allows her to quickly gain stacks when in close range, and keep them stacked when you’re far away.
For Jinx, which mastery you take is definitely lane reliant. Jinx doesn’t have the best early game. If Jinx finds herself in an unfavorable matchup or lacking sustain against your lane counterpart, Warlords would be your best bet. If you think you can minimize the bleeding, or even win lane. By all means, take Fervor and scale into that late game.
At the end of the day, both ADC masteries are extremely strong and very valuable; but they are only as valuable as your knowledge on when to run Fervor and when to run Warlords.
Now that you know how to properly utilize ADC masteries, check out our Korean ADC Build Runes Guide!