So, the whole support system has been pretty out of whack lately. Everyone basically forced into Ardent Censor supports, which I suppose is okay.They tend to be easier to play overall anyways, but holy cow why do they get SO MUCH FREE GOLD for doing... Well... Nothing.
Now, looking at Spellthief's and Nomad's... We can all agree you usually get 1 gold coin per wave, or 25g on Coin first upgrade per wave. That's about 25g/30s because a wave spawns every 30s. There's unlucky times where you only get 1 ever other wave, but sometimes you get 2 in 1 wave. It'll average 1 every wave though. Spellthief's on the other hand is 8g per hit, max of 3 hits per 30s or 1 stack every 10s. Basically 8g/10s, BUT you have to make sure to hit every single 10s or else. Plus there's an ICD that was added in with the support item rework so you can only proc it once every 1.25s, no more Sona Q+AA for all 3 stacks done or a Zyra E+Q with a plant for a quick 3 or even dropping a Morg W on two people at once for 2 stacks at once. For high-CD or high-cost mana users like Sona and Morg, the item has really been losing its touch (Though I've had enough people walk back into the Morg W). Even Lulu who used to get all 3 in a single AA can only average 2 if she's lucky with the timing of the last hit from Pix, but that's if she's able to AA. Overall though, even if you maximize it 100% that's 24g/30s. 1 less gold than Nomad's.
Upgrading them both turns into 40g for Nomad, 45g/30s for Spellthief's. You become less punished for not keeping the stacks 100% used when upgrading, but at the same time, the other is still putting forth no effort and getting gold simply for existing. At this point, the item stats also don't mean very much. Both give mana regen, 10% CDR, and 2g/10. Frostfang would have a slight advantage of 20 AP, nearly negligible. So, overall, Nomad's is still providing far more consistent gold for not doing anything other than standing in lane.
So... Maybe I'm just missing something, but when did an extra 24-45 damage during a trade equal to loss of gold? Outside of Brand, I've actually been thinking maybe Nomad's is going to be a go-to when I use Zyra every now and then. Even when I spice it up a little with Lux Nomad's might end up still being the go-to simply because having to risk pushing the lane and opening yourself up to a gank just to match the gold your enemy is getting just for existing and doing absolutely nothing more is crap. Spellthief's used to be a Risk/Reward, gaining damage and having to poke to sustain your gold needs, overall just amplifying what a champ like Brand, Annie, or Zyra already did, but with the ICD added in and Nomad's being so much more reliant without any of the downsides like actually having to interact and possibly pushing a wave or stealing a CS from your ally, Spellthief's seems too unreliable.
What do you guys think? I might have to try out Nomad's Zyra since I always feel like I have so much more gold when using a Nomad's support in comparison to a Spellthief's, even when maximizing the Spellthief's when ever I'm in lane. Plus all the gold off of Kills and Assists you can get after you finish the mini-quest would amplify your gold gain.