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Black Cleaver Meta

December 9th, 2012 Leave a comment

Judging from the increase in win% for champions like Pantheon, Talon, and well all AD Casters.  Odds are likely you have encountered a game were one of the before mentioned simply stacked the item and carried the game.   While this is inherently broken we have to take a look at the reasons why this item came to be.

The point of Black Cleaver’s rework was to make an AD Caster item, which was sorely needed.  One that didn’t just proc from auto-attacks.  This was to increase the viability of the AD Caster. How many games in the past did a team lose because a fed Pantheon was unable to carry due to itemization issues?  Too many.

Remember that we are currently in Pre-Season and Riot released many items all out at to balance them out before Season 3 starts.  Just the fact its taken this long to recognize how new Black Cleaver is broken is a testament to how stagnant the meta was, and how under-used the AD Caster was.

Though Black Cleaver should never have been stackable, it is.  Just the stats of the item made many players assume it was Unique. (One of the reasons it took so long to figure out how broken it was.) While currently the item has no real counters to itemize against it we can take another hard look at Locket and maybe Crucible.

*Locket = Shields
*Crucible = Cleanse (minus Suppression) and Heal.

While these items are certainly not a counter to Black Cleaver stacking; These items until Black Cleaver is nerfed might be the go-to item to try and keep your teammates alive.

Armor reduction > %Armorpen > Flat Armorpen

With 1 Black Cleaver, and 1 Last Whisper, and 1 in Armor Pen% Mastery that’s roughly 60% Armor Pen, and then all the Flat Armor Pen is applied. Which is anywhere between 15 and 114 depending on runes and how much Armor Penetration is stacked.  That’s 100% Armor Pen against most champions.

Now the Armor Shred on Black Cleaver has max stacks of 4, however more Black Cleavers increase how fast the stacks accumulate, while giving damage, non-unique flat Armor Pen, Health, and Cool-down Reduction.

On the bright side for those who keep losing to builds like these


Their is hope.

Black Cleaver

  • Armor Penetration changed to Unique
  • Armor Penetration reduced to 10 from 15
  • Passive effect now reduces armor by 6.25% per stack down from 7.5%We just have to hope this isn’t overly nerfed.

This item gives near 100% Armor Pen. It’s broken and every single AD Caster ability resembles Darius’ ult.  These nerfs may completely kill this item completely undoing the purpose of its recent changes.  Riot we get it, you let one slip through, but please don’t nerf this into the ground either.  Just nerf it.


Pre-Patch Max Flat Armor Pen =114
35% from Last Whisper 30% from Black Cleaver, 8% from Mastery = 58.14% Multiplicatively

Post-Patch Max Flat Armor Pen=54

35% from Last Whisper, 25% from Black Cleaver, 8% from Mastery = 55.15% Multiplicatively

Categories: LoL News, PBE News Tags: , ,
  • Guest

    im a guest

  • Qvantum

    or just buff armor back ? :P

  • Frank Sinatra
  • person


    obviously you have no been playing league of legends since the last patch has come out. any top lane champion can stack those builds they should (ex. Riven, Panth{mid}, Talon{mid}, Jayce) those are just a few that make that item extremely broken and even AD carries have been building the item to do true damage after LW, just because you hate on TSM does not mean you shouldn’t acknowledge the valid point an article is making. You have just showed how small minded people can be, and they are right, Riot will nerf it into the ground and then balance it two weeks later.

  • zyrog

    Darius’ ult*

  • kopdra

    they do not stack you get 1 point of the passive per black clever you have, people only getting more then 1 because you get multiple stacks from 1 hit

  • BadAtLeague

    All they need to do is change the Armor Penetration passive into a unique, VIOLA!

  • Guest

    This article uses a lot of words to say nothing, seems slightly uneducated on the subject also.

  • Yarumasi

    Not sure why you wouldn’t add LW in there. It stacks. BC’s passive does not either. Though the stats are great, still not worth stacking BC more than 2 at least.

  • Bkid

    You forgot to mention the armor reduction also caps at 25% now (unless they took that out from the last time I was on the PBE).