Posts Tagged ‘armor’



Have you been stacking Warmogs in Season 3? Don’t worry, so has everyone! Let’s see what Xypherous has to say about the changes to resistances in Season 3!

I’m actually a fan of health being the primary defensive stat – mostly because health has severely intrinsic features that resistances don’t, that lets it be more easily controlled.

For example:

1. Health doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of lifesteal type effects – or the secondary effects of an opponent’s abilities.

2. Raw health isn’t multiplicative with other healing or regeneration effects – allowing it to be effective without drastically multiplying in value with other effects (self heals, shields and the like.)

3. Health is a more obvious indicator of high durability than resistances – just due to how basic UIs work.

4. Because of high health per level gains, the relative effectiveness of health is far more temporary than resistances – This is just a natural fallout of our stat per level gains, not an intrinsic advantage of health.

For example, let’s take the following case here:

You have a Bruiser with 1000 health, 300 armor fighting an AD carry, versus a Bruiser with 2000 Health and 100 armor.

1. % Armor Penetration is more effective in the first case than the second as % armor penetration values go up – values start to skew drastically as % armor penetration goes beyond ~20% or so, relatively neutral for low values of % armor penetration.
2. However, Life Steal – is far more effective in the second case – whereas it is completely destroyed in the first case.
3. The Bruiser’s life steal / shield statistics are also neutral in the second case – whereas they are multiplied in the first case.

Thus, the AD carry or any damage dealer actually has multiple paths to deal with a high health target than they did – because the other defensive aspects of the bruisers *aren’t* being multiplied or their own secondary defensive statistic (lifesteal) isn’t being diminished as well.

The flip side of this is that Flat Armor Penetration, the primary statistic of assassins, can be weaker and still be as effective versus Bruisers because of their ability to negate a far larger portion of armor.

Naturally, this has the flipside of making certain resistance focused tanks weaker – but that’s something I feel like we should solve on resistance based tanks. So please, if there’s a particular resistance based tank that feels weak, let us know.

Let’s take another example, in lane:

Let’s say I’m fighting a primary physical damage dealer, whose probably itemized some sort of flat penetration. I have something like 800 health and 50 armor. How much gold do I need to spend to double my life-span?

Well, I could buy 800 health and have another 1200 effective health! Success!
2. Or I build 150 armor and have another 1200 effective health!

However, let’s take a look at how things change when the game continues – as the game continues, the relative contribution of that armor to my health levels doesn’t decay mostly because our game awards much more health per level than armor per level. In fact, by the time I’m level 8 or so, I’ll probably have 1200 base health – and thus that 800 health is only increasing my effective at a lower ratio.

However, that 150 armor advantage is “still there”.

Note this isn’t an intrinsic advantage of health versus armor – just a side effect of how we award stats per level – but it does mean that the relative advantage of health in this case is temporary – rather than one that persists through the game.




Interesting forum quotes:



About Warmog Stacking*:


Xyph, can you tell us what you plan to do about the warmogs spam currently?


Xyph*: Not actually certain it’s as big of a problem as the current environment thinks it is. Warmog’s isn’t really efficient in terms of gaining raw health per gold if you do the math on it. Buying any combination of ruby crystal items, for example, will net you more health than gold than buying Warmog’s.



Why Armor feels underwhelming*:


I mean it seems pretty much any champion that’s relevant has a pen/shred function or scales off health. Whether it be Xin, J4, Darius, Olaf, etc. Yes, health feels better to buy, but that’s primarily due to resistances feeling less so.


Xyph*: I totally agree with you – it became more and more obvious to me that armor was too cheap when we started throwing armor shred on basically everyone that wasn’t a carry because none of them could scale to late game when people built optimally.
Like, Darius, who deals 3 types of damage, phys/magic/true also has 25% armor shred because he didn’t do enough damage late game. Like what? That to me was the warning sign of ‘hey, there’s probably something deeper rooted that’s wrong.’



Burst Mages vs Health Stacking*:


Well, my thought on the prevailance of Health is that (seems to, anyway) hurts mages more than anyone, especially burst mages. A lot of the time you can’t keep up with the rate at which everyone is buying health, and once you blow your combo to not much effect, you’re a sitting duck (the inherent problem with burst mages, it’s true, but at least with resistances you could buy some magic pen. Health penetration not so much).


Xyph*: Yes, burst mages do get hit when health becomes the dominant statistic – mostly because, it turns out that health is a pretty good substitute for magic resistance when the going gets rough.
There’s various implications of that – but that’s why you see things like Liandry or DFG existing. We’re doing an AP pass next patch to help mages out – and after that we can start looking at specific characters if they still feel weak.



Armor shred on Champion Kits*:


Then couldn’t the likely culprit be the residual effects of S2 balance work transitioning into S3 ? Just throwing out some food for thought, that all the items may indeed be balanced but certain champion kits make them stronger than intended (namely those with high arm pen/shred as well as those who scale off health to a lesser degree)


Xyph*: Some of it is probably some residual effects from S2 balance, I definitely agree. We’ll be looking at that when we get the chance. I think we can convert some of the % shred on some characters to flat shreds, for example.
Somewhere, in my unspoken secret dreams, I’d like to rip Kayle’s passive off and give her her old one back.



Rammus in Season 3*:


So what are your plans for champions like Rammus? His passive is completely based around buying armor, which you nerfed 2-fold through cost and effectiveness……..I remember you quoting something like “burning 1 champion to save a hundred” in a Heimer thread, it just seem like this is your go-to philosophy way too much and in the ends turns out to be maybe a dozen or so champions getting burned.


Xyph*: Rammus’ problems I think stem from Jungle changes more than anything else. It’s pretty hard to tell with him specifically. The increased health itemization should have helped him be generally tankier.
Rammus isn’t really a resistance based character. Skarner, while he’s not a tank, is a far better example of a resistance based character – because almost everything he is depends on that shield. Udyr is similar.
Typically, strong repeatable shield champions or champions with shields at their core are resistance based characters, because their health pool is actually several times larger than it seems.



Deathfire’s Grasp in Season 3*:


On the subject of DFG, morello mentioned that if he could take it out of the game completely, he would (this was before the S3 rework). Do you agree with him on that?


Xyph*: I disagree with that – but I mean, sometimes late at night, I think I’ve actually gutted DFG. It used to be a 50% current health nuke. Now it’s merely 15% max health. I’m not actually sure whether the new DFG in any way, shape or form resembles the power / scope that the old DFG had.



Giant’s Belt, Item diversity*: 


What do you think of the versatility of giant’s belt? It builds into warmogs, mallet, randuins, sunfire, rylai’s, there really is no reason not to get it. You can’t go wrong because it’s a cheap way to make yourself immovable in lane until you farm up whatever you want while also having no risk associated with it. You can’t build it “wrong” because it can evolve to fill any role.


Xyph*: The strength of the various health components are actually on our radar – I agree with you that it’s probably too safe of an item when unfinished right now. It’s something we’re going to address next patch and then take another look at afterwards to see if it needs further work.



Reducing enemy’s Attack Speed:


Because tanks literally have a cap with what we can diminish from a carry 20-40% attack speed. SO why do carries get to counter half of our gear and tanks just get items to mitigate Berzerker Greaves?


Xyph*: It’s actually multiplicatively reducing. The attack speed slows that you get lower their total attack speed by a percentage. Which means that a combination of Randuin’s + Frozen heart will lower opposing carry DPS by 40% if you’re being attacked.



Tower diving with early Warmog’s:


What is the best way to siege a tower in a 5v5 situation? Assuming it is still early into the game, you only have about 3-4k worth of gold to work with. Your team is already ahead of the other team by about 500 gold a player because of the global pressure. You could buy 1500 gold worth of armor and another 1500 worth of mr, OR you could just buy warmogs and have innate sustain with tower diving health. Now when you get into that first 5v5 situation at about 10-15 minutes (AGES earlier than it used to be), you can use the lead you have and effectively dive tower.


Xyph*: Somewhat agree with the tower diving case. Recall in season 2, we tuned towers to have less damage but more armor penetration to stop tower diving. With the re-evaluation of armor and health availability, this is why I’ve said that we probably need to go back and re-evaluate this particular ratio.



Mages vs AD Assassins in Season 3:


You can already see this, with AD casters displacing AP mids. When you can have an AD burst caster and an AP burst caster, you just pick the better one! It used to be the case that you needed one or the other, but now they are in direct competition and you just pick the better champion and ignore the other.


Xyph*: AD Casters displace AP mids because the AD Caster versus AP mid matchup is so lopsided in favor of AD Casters because the AP caster has no strategic itemization path to build. They are forced to take true damage for the entire laning phase.



Void Staff and Last Whisper, Balance Issues*:


The biggest problem is that LW/VS are still core items that are fantastic for damage, and are *NOT* being used as counters to armor/MR. They’re being used just willy nilly because they’re so overpowered right now.


Xyph*: Yeah – it’s something that has been running through my head for a while but I’m not sure. Depending on my AD scaling versus base damage ratios – LW/VS may be the only damage add that I have in a lot of cases – aka Mordekaiser syndrome.


 What do you guys think about the changes to resistances in Season 3? Share in the comments below!

Good luck on the Fields of Justice!

The ABC of ADC

January 18th, 2013

adc banner

The ADC is the powerhouse of any team. They are the sustained damage in team fights, they are one of your main tower pushing players and completing an objective such as Baron or Dragon without them is something that will be infinitely harder. This week I’m going to talk about a few different aspects of playing ADC, that while may be obvious to the Pro’s, aren’t necessarily obvious to the low-to-mid Elo players amongst us. Aspects such as: the season 3 Armour Penetration changes, last hitting and positioning. A solid grasp of all three of these parts of playing ADC should give anyone learning the role a good basic understanding of the theoretical and practical sides of playing.

Last Hitting

I have always maintained that out of all the roles in a game, the ADC must have the most technical knowledge of how League of Legends works. They must make the most of every last situation, knowing exactly when to last hit, knowing when to engage and who to focus in a team fight. They are the person that needs to have the highest understanding of the basic fundamentals of the game. The first of these is Last Hitting, that is, getting final bit of damage on to a Minion (or Creep) to kill it, thus earning the player the gold. Last hitting requires the player to know how much basic attack damage they do as well as the damage output level from the enemy Minion wave, so they can avoid letting the Minion die to another Minion.

Practicing Last Hitting is something that is probably the easiest thing to do. You can set up a simple Bot Game and practice away as much as you like, and this is probably the best option for you. Having an understanding of your chosen champion’s attack animation, as well as how it changes as your attack speed increases as well as how it is affected by your ping, is something that can be learnt, for the most part, in practice games. If you take the time to practice the technical aspect of Last Hitting in Bot Games, then when you reach PvP games it will become natural to you, and instead of focusing on the enemy opposition in lane as well as Last Hitting, you can focus your concentration on the enemy.

What benefit does last hitting give me?

Last hitting gives you a huge gold advantage. Getting a kill on a champion without a kill streak gives the killer 300g. Caster minions give 15g and increase at 0.5g every 3 minutes. Melee minions give 20g and also increase at 0.5g every 3 minutes. Siege minions give 40g and increase at 1g every 3 minutes. What this means is, if you kill every single creep spawning from the first 3 waves, you will have gained roughly 355g, which is more than you would gain from a kill, and at this point we’re only 3 minutes into the game. This doesn’t even account for experience gained from killing Minions. If we remember that the amount of gold each minion is worth only increases throughout the course of the game, then it is very clear just how important killing those little minions is. As we see professional players hitting the high hundreds in Minion kills at the end of the game, it’s easy to conclude that they are gaining thousands of gold from this very simple process.

Armour Penetration

When the Pre-Season 3 patch hit, Armour Penetration was given a bit of a reshuffle in how it works. Prior to the patch, flat pen, such as Brutalizer’s +10 ArP would take effect first before ArP percentages such as Last Whisper’s +35% ArP*. What this meant was, if you hit someone with 100 Armour, the Brutalizer would knock it down to 90 Armour and then your Last Whisper would ignore 35% of that, giving an effective armour level of 58.5. What happens now is that the Last Whisper ignores 35% first, knocking it down to 65 armour, then Brutalizers ignores a flat 10 armour giving an effective armour level of 55. This is 3.5 armour less than before. This is just one situation with rather low armour figures and only two items that give armour penetration. What this basically means is we’ve seen a buff to both types of ArP so bruisers and tanks are suddenly slightly more squishy.

*ArP figures used are post-patch for simplicity in comparison.

So what do I do with this information?

Building ArP runes is now a much more viable option compared to before for the ADC. Although simply buying Last Whisper and using ArP runes won’t make you better than before, due to the percent nerfs on ArP items, it does mean building ArP across multiple items is much more effective, such as using ArP runes as well as Last Whisper and Black Cleaver. The most important thing to remember is that nothing is fixed. All that has happened is that ArP in the right situations has become more practical and with items like Black Cleaver there is less of a negative trade between building flat AD and ArP, you can now build both to a greater effect!

Champion Position

As with the rest of the basics covered in this article, positioning is crucial to you been a competent ADC. Correct positioning in the laning phase will allow you to maximise your Minion Kills while avoiding poke from the enemy team, as well as being able to make attacks on the enemy if needed. In team fights, correct positioning will allow you to do the maximum amount of damage without dying. Chaox writes: “ To position well, you need to keep track of all 10 Champions in the game and where they are and what they do.” To read all of Chaox’s generic ADC guide click here, and for a more in depth guide on positioning see YouTube user AwesomeFusion’s video on positioning.

The role of ADC is not an easy one to learn, but is one that is crucial to playing the game at the highest level. I hope throughout this piece I have given some insight into what the basics of ADC are and why you should be doing them. For a more in depth look into the role of ADC, keep an eye out for fellow writer ChefoSLR’s upcoming series on ADC’s.