Thanks to its rework, now Doran’s Shield gives a third option for Adc in choosing what starting item they could buy.
Let’s take a look to Doran’s Shield current stats.
A quick compare to Doran’s Blade tell us that they give same health amount and Doran’s Shield make easier to farm under turret thanks to the 5 flat AD on hit; in term of sustain, even if Doran’s Blade give 8 AD and 3% lifesteal, it’s passive granted health sustain over time, and also an extra potion.
Nontheless, Doran’s Blade ensure sustain only when you are using autos, which does not happen always for sure; Doran’s Shield instead, confer sustain no matter what. You may find an hard lane (Lucian/Ashe/Karma/Zyra) and not being able to constantly autoing will reduce Doran’s Blade benefits.
Doran’s Shield instead grants 6 HP per 5 seconds, which means that in a minute it confer 12 * 6 = 72 HP; now, if we look at unique passive also, and we assume that it will be always active during a minute, Doran’s Shield will grant you 192 HP per minute. You have only to stay in lane, without even constantly autoing.
Does this make Doran’s Shield better than Doran’s Blade?
Let’s picture level 3 Varus. He will have 58.2 base AD + 8.5 from runes, so close to 67 AD. At this point he will be healing 2.01 health per auto attack when hitting minions and his attack speed will be 0.69 (0.85 if his passive is active after killing a minion).
Over a 5 second period this means between 3-4 auto attacks (let’s assume passive is always up so it’s 4) which means 8 health. On the other hand, over that same period, Shield granted 6 health. But in order for Doran’s Blade Varus to match Doran’s Shield he needs to be permanently auto attacking, which isn’t always what you want to do, given that you will start pushing the lane and open yourself up to ganks.
So even in the ideal scenario where you don’t poke the opponent, Doran’s Blade BARELY beats Shield in terms of sustain.
But do not forget that Doran’s Shield do not scale. It may be better in early game, but Doran’s Blade granted 3% lifesteal, so as you get items during the game, it will heal more.
In conclusion, Doran’s Shield should be your starting item if you know you will get bullied in lane (out ranged or againts poke support) and you will not push that much; it will help you to “survive” the lane phase