Originally Posted by Dragoon14th
im jsut trying to find that sweet spot to hard counter mages that has been uncontested with no true counter (with removal of FON) they are on the rise.
First off, hard-countering an entire class with 1 item is pretty lame. Secondly, mages tend to be useful for the whole "they pressed R and won a team fight", which generally involves dealing widespread damage in an AoE with a possible nasty CC applied in tandem, so the best counter there would likely be an item that grants MR and possibly some CC reduction in an aura, not something that effects cooldowns. When you impact cooldowns, you make champions like Fiora considerably more useless - what with her Lunge and Blade Waltz already having long enough cooldowns to not be there when needed often enough to actually need CDR. Champions you wouldn't impact at all with a CDR aura would be ones like Anivia, who have an on-demand win fights ultimate with only mana costs and enough distance in her burst she can catch a team, burst down a target, and have no use for her abilities when their on extended timers.
Force of Nature being removed only effects tanks and bruisers, it doesn't instantly make mages more viable. Also, Runic Bulwark grants 60 MR, so it's not like there isn't solid tanky MR items available. Runic Bulwark actually offers the MR in an aura as well - which is nice, because most magic damage is inflicted in an area-of-effect or focused on someone that doesn't build tank items. In season 2 Frozen Heart was considered infinity better than Thornmail due to offering an aura that helps your team - which makes Bulwark arguably better in comparison to Force of Nature as well.
For everyone else, the number of magic resistance items has improved. AD champions can get Mercurial Scimitar in addition to Maw of Malmortis and Wit's End. AP champions have the option to get Twin Shadows and Meakial's Crucible in addition to Athene's Unholy Grail and Abyssal Scepter. And as far as pure survivability goes, Spirit Visage has great synergy with Warmog's Armor. As for the complaint on a lack of regeneration items, Spirit Visage's bonus healing effects applies to passive health regeneration (in addition to the Warmog's passive), so you can get plenty of regeneration there.
Beyond that the unique passivies and actives on magic resistance are universally effective against essentially every AP scaling champion - even if they have a lot of magic penetration. Banshee's Veil can block more than a third of a burst rotation, Mercury Treads are still as useful as ever, Hexdrinker/Maw generate an HP shield, Quicksilver Sash /Scimitar can remove just about any debuff in the game - and most of those unique effects are useful regardless of whether you're taking sustained magic damage or burst damage. You know what items aren't? Armor items - armor items more or less exclusively target auto-attackers (sustained damage), offering unique passives that are almost completely worthless against any AD burst.
Finally, flat magic penetration is actually hard-countered by magic resistance, so mages absolutely must get Void Staff to penetrate enough magic resistance to actually make picking up magic resistance a bad idea. And considering the general flow of the game, that's usually major item #3 - which gives you around 80% of a typical game as a period were mages aren't any better at countering magic resistance then they were in season 2. (50 magic penetration against a target with 50 MR will cause you to deal 50% more damage. 50 magic penetration against a target with 200 MR will cause you to deal 20% more damage. That's an exceptionally good dynamic for getting magic resistance to counter mages).
In all, I've never really had trouble counter-building against AP champions. The only ones that are really hard to deal with are the ones that get horrendously fed, though at that point having them not carry their team to victory as an AP Carry would be more a sign of unviability or making game-throwing mistakes over a lack of item counters. The champions that happen to be a pain to counter-build are on-hit champions and especially AD casters, as whatever defenses you grab (outside of health) tends to be halfway useless against such damage outputs.