Boots of the MagiMeditationMeditation
I prefer this start as it gives me ample movement (especially now with the 10% movement speed buff for Gods), mana, and lots of sustain. I do hate to be driven out of lane before I hit 5, and being stocked on potions with Mediation to ensure that you can harass and farm will prevent any obnoxious early returns.
Mid Game Core:
Get your second level of Boots of the Magi
asap, and don't forget to keep stocked on Healing Potion
(you may not wish to continually purchacse Mana Potion
, and that's fine since you have Meditation and are a mindful mage!)
Spear of the Magus
Build your full Spear of the Magus
before completing your third level of Boots of the Magi
. This gives you a nice health boost, some additional power, and early game magic penetration which will allow you to get through some more damage while providing you with useful early game stats.
Warlock's SashWarlock's Sash
Next get that Warlock's Sash built! This will give us plenty of extra magic power, mana, as well as a much needed health boost that will let us get into close range and not squish instantly. It is a more reliable item than Doom Orb
, and since I really don't believe in snowballing unless you are playing with a team you are confident in (remember you will be getting into close range and potentially may die in team fights), I prefer this overall.
Rod of Tahuti
Oh, Rod of Tahuti
! You are our bread and butter massive damage spike. Get this next to complete the core of that which makes you awesome: flinging water from your sleeves to kill enemies.
Against Heavy Magic:
Stone of Gaia
This item is your friend. It scales well with all that health we're heaping upon you with warlock's sash, gives you the highest Magic Defense of any of the other items, and gives you excellent HP and MP regeneration allowing you to sustain in later game team fights and pushes.
You COULD get Magi's Blessing, Hide of Leviathan
, or Void Stone
(or a combination if their casters are so very frightening), but I don't feel any one of them more suitably fills the "screw your casters" slot if it is required. Magi's Blessing can be useful for ulting in to them and avoiding being caught in CC or instantly dieing, but I prefer to rely on Aegis Amulet
or Purification Beads
Against Heavy Physical:
Breastplate of Valor
This fulfils the "screw your Physical Power carries" quite nicely. It is an excellent all-around choice with the additional mana and 20% cooldown reduction. 75 Physical Protection is nothing to scoff at, and will help you if you decide to rush into them and a wave of their creeps (or a tower) with your ult, you suicidal geezer you.
You COULD get Hide of Leviathan
, Hide of the Nemean Lion
, or BOTH if you are extra frightened of them. However, for the amount that their carry should be hitting you, Hide of the Nemean Lion
does not give you much benefit with its passive and you would be losing out on the excellent 20% cooldown reduction that I feel far outweights a bit of damage return. It does however provide you with overall higher defensiveness, so the choice is ultimately yours.
Late Game Core:
Sell that Spear of the Magus
after you've purchased either a situational defensive item, or after you're purchased one of your luxury items. Before you do so, make sure you have enough money to buy the level 3 version outright of...
I know what you're thinking: "Why on earth would you sell a magic penetration item when they STACK SO NICELY?"
My answer to that is simple: real estate space. As one of the squishiest mages, you have other needs than just worrying about your damage output. You also have fantastic utility value, and you want to be sure you are bolstering that at the same time you are sustaining through a team fight which then allows you naturally to output more damage. Therefore: one magic penetration item only, so we choose the biggest one out there.
Gem of Isolation
This lovely little gem of luxury makes it so that ALL of your abilities apply a movement speed debuff, allowing you to be extremely obnoxious with your near spammable Water Cannon
and works fantastically with Crushing Wave
in team fights. Also allows you to escape more readily after ulting into an enemy team. Oh, it also gives you Magic Power, Health, and Mana too.
If it bothers you that He Bo is one of the wimpiest auto attackers next to the arrow minions (and even they are better after the pheonix upgrade), then this is the item for you! It allows your regular attacks to do damge equal 100% of your magical power, after you have cast an ability, but only once every 2 seconds. This means, you get extra rewards from chaining (as long as you can aim and keep up to them when they turn tail and flee). It also gives you the tiniest magic lifesteal as well as magical power and mana.
If you're on a team with other mages or magic-damage oriented characters ( Freya
, [[Hades], etc.) and no one else is interested in getting this, it's an excellent damage boost. Also gives mana and some magical lifesteal. It sits slightly lower in usefulness than the previous two items in my opinion, but has a place when you simply crave more damage and have the team composition to call for it.
Special Note About Situational/Luxury Items:
While I have given reasons for purchasing defensive items, not every person will feel inclined to focus defensively on an offensive caster. Sometimes you are simply playing against a team that hasn't figured out that you are a threat and ignores you. Sometimes you are simply so far ahead, you can outbuild their team with your massive income. In these cases, mixing luxury items and opting away from situational defense items works splendidly.
Any two of the above listed luxury items works in perfect tandem together. My favorite combination is Polynomicon
with Pythagorem's Piece
if you don't need the additional movement speed debuff from Gem of Isolation
. This gives you 25% magic lifesteal, a massive amount of magical power, and gets your Polynomicon
hitting for more.
"Why you no get Chronos' Pendant
"Because the cooldown cap is 30%."
To elaborate on this, if your jungle camps give you 20% and your item gives you 20%, you are at 40% and have a 10% just floating about your person doing nothing. It's inefficient. I prefer to obsessively nab the cooldown buffs when able starting midgame or when I'm roaming/ganking. Your primary ability has a near spammable cooldown to begin with, and unless you are going to focus on building defensively with Breastplate of Valor
, I believe the cooldown item isn't neccesary. I would rather fill that last item slot with a higher magic power item with other utility.
Thankfully, He Bo tends to not be reliant on abilities to keep him relevant due to his inbuilt utility, so taking Meditation early on poses no hindrance to our usefulness later on in the game.
Fantastic for darting about the jungle, increasing your assasin potential, and giving an overall speed boost with an additional 10% passive movement speed. Also lets you be more evasive of skillshots and allows you to focus your Flood Waters on the enemy team rather than on your own movement path.
Useful when you're facing up against initiators who force close-quarters upon you ( Odin
, etc.) and allows you to get off all the damage you can with a quick Waterspout
into a Water Cannon
, pause for two seconds, then either do it again or Crushing Wave
out (and hopefully over the enemy).
If they have a ton of crowd control and it is driving you up the wall, or back to the fountain, get this.
After Completing Your Build:
Potion of Magical Might
Elixir of Power
Elixir of Defense
Buy, use, and rebuy as neccesary.