Home > Original Content > Glory of the Climb – Deathfire Grasp in the Current Meta

Glory of the Climb – Deathfire Grasp in the Current Meta

January 19th, 2013


“With the recalculation of Armor Penetration and the increase in cost of armor, armor is no longer a cost efficient stat to buy to mitigate physical damage. Magic resistance also doesn’t seem to be readily available. All the pro players seem to have come to the conclusion that health is the best mitigation stat of Season 3.” ~ Some caster from IEM Katowice

This is an interesting statement and as we have been seeing lately is becoming more and more true. Warmog’s Armor’s new price is a major culprit to the growing trend of stacking health, even Voyboy gets it on toplane Katarina; so what the hell do we do about it? Well since resistances are generally lower, we need to find more reliable ways to deal bigger amounts of damage, so I propose using Deathfire Grasp and Blade of the Ruined King!

Now, I am not an AD player per se, and also at first glance I feel that BotRK is priced too high (2900 Gold) for what it actually does compared to more attractive items like Black Cleaver, Blood Thirster, and Last Whisper, so I am not going to talk about it.


The Appeal of the New Deathfire Grasp

For people too lazy to click links, the new DFG gives +100 AP, +15% CDR, and Activate: Deal 15% of Max HP as magic damage and increase all magic damage done to target by 20% for 4 seconds.

DFG takes health stacking down quite a few pegs because it gives you everything you need to deal more damage to a high HP target. 15% of their max HP chunks them down harder the more HP they stack, the AP makes all your spells do more damage, especially if they are favoring HP over MR, the debuff makes your unmitigated spells do more damage, and the CDR makes you cast more spells more often. Now, when something sounds too good to be true it usually kind of is, so lets try and run some basic numbers to see if this 3000 gold investment is worth it.


You used Deathfire Grasp! Was it Super Effective?

Looking at Champion stats we know that all Champions start with 30 base MR and if they are a bruiser they get an additional 1.25 MR per level (except in a few cases like Nidalee (.75) and Shen (+0, weird right?)). They will probably also have +17 from Runes and Masteries and +20 from a random Null Magic Mantle. So around mid game (level 11) they have 81 MR giving them 45% damage reduction, and at level 18 they have 95 MR (assuming the random mantle got turned into Mercs) giving them 49% damage reduction. Then assuming standard MPen Marks/Masteries/Sorc Boots you should bring them to 34% and 39% respectively. This reduces DFG’s initial % damage to 9-10% which is pretty good considering the investment. If the target has 3,000 HP you have an item that does 300 damage to them which is like having a 2nd ultimate ability.

Assuming 2x Doran’s Rings, 21 Ap from Runes/Masteries, +1 per level (@11), +100 from DFG, and 5% increased AP from masteries = 170 AP

Compared to 2x Doran’s Rings, 21 Ap from Runes/Masteries, +1 per level (@11), +120 from Dcap, 25% Ap, and 5% increased AP from masteries = 237 AP

Using Annie as an Example after 34% damage reduction:

Example: X base damage + (AP ratio with 170 AP)/(+AP ratio with 237 AP) = (base + 170AP * .34 reduction * .2 DFG increase = total)/(base + 237AP = total) – Winner = which does more damage

Q: level 3 – 165 base + (119 DFG)/(166 Rab) = (187 x .2 x 2 = 448 DFG)/(436 Rab) – Winner DFG (Q has x2 because the Cooldown is less than 4seconds which means you can cast it twice while the DFG buff is active)

W: level 5 – 280 base + (128 DFG)/(178 Rab) = (269 x .2 = 323 DFG)/(302 Rab) – Winner DFG
E : level 1 – Not relevant for example
R :level 2 – 325 base + (119 DFG)/(166 Rab) = (293 x .2 = 352 DFG)/(324 Rab) – Winner DFG

Deathfire_Grasp  VS. warmogs-armor

IT WAS! Thank Jesus it was Super Effective!

As we can see, because of the DFG buff you do 1123 total AP damage compared to the 1062 you would do with a Deathcap. Add in the extra 300 damage you will do with DFG itself and you are looking at 1423/1062 = 34% more damage than with a Deathcap. The downside is that this is all single-target damage and that for the remainder of the fight your dps will be lower than if you had a Deathcap. But concerning these high HP targets you just did 47% of their life in a single burst which should be enough to kill them before they do any serious damage to you or your ADC. Then once the fight becomes a 4v5 your team should be able to reliably clean up, plus you are still a relevant threat even though you do about 12% less damage than if you were cleaning up with a rushed Deathcap. With the 200 gold you save you could also potentially factor in another +25-40 AP by using an Elixir of Brilliance.

Now while this sounds good on paper I want to let everyone know that I have not actually tested this. It also only works on burst champs like Annie, Xerath, Veigar, LeBlanc, Syndra, Brand, and Kassadin. The more pure damage spells you have the better. I would not recommend rushing DFG on more standard AP champions such as Orianna, Anivia, Ryze, Swain, etc because they rely much more on specific itemization to also help fill their more utility-based roles.

Remember Season 3 is a time for experimentation so now is a good time to try things that can be potentially volatile to the meta and reap the ELO benefits!

Love, Dcgreen



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