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League of Legends : Armor and Mres

Armor and Magic Resistance mechanics in League of Legends:
Calculation formula, armor and mres penetration system, true damage.
20 Feb 2015

How do armor and magic resistance work in League of Legends?

ARMOR AND MAGIC RESISTANCE CALCULATIONS

Armor and Magic Resistance mechanics are the cornerstones of League of Legends and we will explain how they work in this guide. They work similarly thus we will consider them both at once. Armor and Magic Resistance are characteristics that all units have. They reduce incoming damage each from a particular source (physical and magic accordingly) by percentage. We will combine these two terms into a single one: “resistance” for convenience reasons. Each point of resistance requires an attacker to do 1% extra damage to a target to make a kill. For example, champion with 50 armor and 1000 health needs 1500 physical damage in total to be slain. This means effective health of that champion was increased from 1000 HP to 1500 HP against physical attacks. There is simple formula using which you can calculate reduction on your own.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS ARMOR AND MAGIC RESISTANCE CALCULATION FORMULA:

armor and magic resistance multiplier formula

Examples with real numbers:

25 resistance: 80% incoming damage leads to 20% reduction and 125% total effective health

50 resistance: 66% incoming damage leads to 33% reduction and 150% total effective health

100 resistance: 50% incoming damage leads to 50% reduction and 200% total effective health

200 resistance: 33% incoming damage leads to 67% reduction and 300% total effective health

300 resistance: 25% incoming damage leads to 75% reduction and 400% total effective health

CHAMPIONS WITH THE HIGHEST / LOWEST BASE ARMOR

Despite that LoL armor and LoL magic resistance working similarly there is a difference in starting points. Each champion starts with 16-35 armor (to cut it short melee champions get more armor while ranged less) and it grows up with each level up to 65-97 at 18 level ( Gnar LoL Armor Gnar has 65,5 armor and Maokai Armor League of Legends Maokai 96,7).

The only champion who doesn’t gain armor per level is  Thresh Armor system Thresh due to his passive ability Thresh Damnation Icon Damnation which increases his armor for collected soul instead.

Magic resistance starting point always equals 30 and only melee champions gain it per level. However there are a few exceptions among melee champions whose magic resistance does not increase with level up: Yasuo Magic Resist Yasuo, Kassadin Magic Resist Kassadin, Poppy magic resist Poppy, Maokai Magic Resist MaokaiShen Magic Resist Shen, Singed Magic Resist Singed. Champions who are able to change their forms from melee to ranged and back also do not gain magic resistance per level, e.g Nidalee Magic Resist Nidalee or Jayce Magic Resist Jayce.

Armor and Magic Resistance are working great with shields since they increase their effectiveness, e.g. 250 HP shield on 100 MR would provide 500 effective health against magic damage.

BEST LEAGUE OF LEGENDS ARMOR ITEM

If you want to build strictly defensively to increase your survivability recommended item for armor is: Randuin's Omen Icon Randuin’s Omen.

BEST LEAGUE OF LEGENDS MAGIC RESISTANCE ITEM

If you want to build strictly defensively to increase your survivability recommended item for armor is: Blade of The Ruined King Icon Banshee’s Veil.

ARMOR / MAGIC RESISTNACE VERSUS HEALTH

If during League of Legends games you don’t always know what to buy armor / magic resistance or health to spend gold effectively you may use this graph to make decision:

lol armor vs health

Examples showing how you can use this graph for calculations in League of Legends:

  • At 50 armor / magic resistance you should have at least 1100 HP
  • At 100 armor / magic resistance you should have at least 1500 HP
  • At 150 armor / magic resistance you should have at least 1900 HP
  • At 200 armor / magic resistance you should have at least 2400 HP

 If you have no defensive items yet most times it would be better to start with health item first. However at champion levels above 10 you should consider buying armor / magic resistance (check graph).

 

ARMOR PENETRATION AND MAGIC PENETRATION

Apart from items that provide resistances there are items that counter armor and magic resistance of your enemy. Such items have armor penetration or magic penetration record on them.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS PENETRATION FORMULA:

There are two kinds of penetration in League of Legends: percentage and flat. Percentage penetration always goes first in calculations.

Example: Imagine that a champion who has Last Whisper Armor Penetration Last whisper (provides 35% armor penetration) and The Brutalizer Armor penThe Brutalizer (provides 10 flat armor penetration) attacks a target who has 200 armor. Champion would attack as if the target had 200*0,65-10=120 armor. If we use formula listed above we can calculate that champion would deal 45% of his total physical damage instead of 33% that he would have dealt if he had no penetration at all.

Percentage penetration stacks multiplicatively. It can be roughly described as each successive source gives less effect than it’s absolute value, e.g 35% magic penetration from Void Staff Magic Penetration Void Staff and 6% from Devastating Strike Mastery Devastating strike mastery lead to 100-0,65*0,94=39% magic penetration (not 41% as if it would stack additively). You can check it yourself by opening champion sheet in game (hotkey “C“).

Penetration in LoL allows you to do true damage to the enemy but not more than that. If you have 40 flat armor penetration and your enemy has 30 armor, you’re still going to do damage as if the enemy has 0 armor (not -10).

ARMOR PENETRATION IN JUNGLE

Armor of most monsters jungle varies from 6 to 15 therefore it’s better to have attack damage runes.

Mastery Devastating Strike Mastery Devastating strike gives up to 6% of armor and magic penetration.

Apart from items and masteries you can receive resistance penetration from runes.

Armor penetration doesn’t work on turrets.

ARMOR PENETRATION VERSUS ATTACK DAMAGE IN LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

There is instructional video about difference between attack damage and armor penetration in League of Legends with detailed numbers and calculations. We recommend you to watch it.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS ARMOR PENETRATION BUILD / ITEM LIST:

Items that provide armor penetration in LoL are: The Brutalizer Armor pen The Brutalizer, The Black Cleaver Armor penetration The Black Cleaver, Yomuu's Ghostblade Icon Youmuu’s Ghostblade, Last Whisper Armor Penetration Last Whisper.

Abilities that provide armor penetration in LoL are: Darius Apprehend Icon Apprehend Darius Armor penetration system (up to 25% armor penetration at 5 rank), Yasuo Last Breath Icon Last Breath Yasuo Armor penetration system (50% armor penetration to bonus armor).

ARMOR PENETRATION LIMIT / CAP IN LEAGUE OF LEGENDS IS:

49 flat armor penetration: 19 from runes, 10 from The Brutalizer Armor pen The Brutalizer, 10 from The Black Cleaver Armor penetration The Black Cleaver and 20 from Yomuu's Ghostblade Icon Youmuu’s Ghostblade.

39% armor penetration:  Last Whisper Armor Penetration Last Whisper and Devastating Strike Mastery Devastating strike.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS MAGIC PENETRATION BUILD / ITEM LIST:

Items that provide magic penetration in League of Legends are: Haunting Guise Magic Pen Haunting Guise, Liandry's Torment Magic penetration Liandry’s TormentVoid Staff Magic Penetration Void Staff, Sorcer's Shoes Penetration Sorcerer’s Shoes.

There are no abilities that provide magic penetration.

ARMOR PENETRATION LIMIT / CAP IN LEAGUE OF LEGENDS IS:

45 flat magic penetration: 20 from runes, 10 from Haunting Guise Magic Pen Haunting Guise or Liandry's Torment Magic penetration Liandry’s Torment and Sorcer's Shoes Penetration Sorcerer’s Shoes.

39% armor penetration:  Void Staff Magic Penetration Void Staff and Devastating Strike Mastery Devastating strike.

 

 

ARMOR AND MAGIC RESISTANCE REDUCTION

Aside from penetration there are armor and magic resistance reduction in LoL. You can get only magic resistance reduction of flat type from items. There are two differences between reduction and flat penetration: reduction goes first in calculations and it works globally (it decreases stats of the target and all allies deal increased damage while penetration helps only you).

Example: Imagine that Ryze Magic reduction Ryze who has Abyssal Scepter Magic Resistance Reduction Abyssal Scepter (provides 20 magic reduction aura), Haunting Guise Magic Pen Haunting Guise (provides 10 flat magic penetration) and Void Staff Magic Penetration Void Staff (provides 35% magic penetration) casts Ryze Spell Flux magic reduction rank 5 Spell Flux ( 24 magic reduction) attacks a target who has 184 magic resistance. Champion would deal damage as if the target had (160-20-24)*0,65-10=81 magic resistance. If we use formula listed above we can calculate that champion would deal 55% of his total magic damage instead of 38% in case he had no penetration and reduction at all.

There are no items in League of Legends that provide armor reduction.

ITEMS THAT PROVIDE MAGIC RESISTANCE REDUCTION ARE:

Abyssal Scepter Magic Resistance Reduction Abyssal Scepter, Wit's End magic resistance reduction Wit’s End.

Abilities that provide flat reduction of armor are: Corki Gatling Gun Armor Reduction Gatling Gun Corki Armor Reduction (up to 40 armor reduction at 5 rank), Nasus Spirit Fire Armor Reduction Spirit Fire Nasus Armor Reduction (up to 40 armor reduction at 5 rank), Rammus Taunt Armor Reduction Puncturing Taunt Rammus Armor Reduction (up to 30 armor reduction at 5 rank), Taric Shatter Armor Reduction Shatter Taric Armor Reduction (up to 25 + 5% of Taric’s armor in armor reduction at 5 rank).

Abilities that provide percentage reduction of armor are: Dragon Strike Reduction Dragon Strike Jarvan Armor Reduction (up to 26% reduction at 5 rank), Slice and Dice Reduction Slice and Dice Renekton Armor Reduction (up to 35% reduction at 5 rank), Sion Ultimate Armor Reduction Roar of the Slayer Sion Armor Reduction(20% armor reduction), Urgot Corrosive Charge Armor Reduction Noxian Corrosive Charge Urgot Armor Reduction (up to 20% reduction at 5 rank), Denting Blows Reduction Denting Blows Vi Armor Reduction (20% armor reduction), Xin Zhao Challenge Armor Reduction Challenge Xin Zhao Armor Reduction (15% armor reduction)Crushing Blow Reduction Crushing Blow Wukong Armor Reduction (up to 30% armor reduction at 5 rank).

Abilities that provide flat reduction of magic resistance are: Ryze Spell Flux magic reduction Spell Flux Ryze Magic reduction (up to 24 magic resistance reduction at 5 rank), Fiddlesticks Dread Magic Reduction Dread Fiddlesticks Magic Reduction (10 magic resistance reduction when Fiddlesticks deals magic damage or casts Fiddlesticks Terrify Icon Terrify on a target), Amumu Cursed Touch Reduction Cursed Touch Amumu Magic Reduction on hit (up to 25 magic resistance reduction on auto attack).

Ability that provides percentage reduction of magic resistance is Karthus Wall of Pain magic resistance reduction Wall of Pain Karthus Magic Reduction (15% reduction). 

Abilities that provide both percentage reduction of armor and magic resistance are: Holy Fervor Armor and Mres reduction Holy Fervor Kayle Armor and Magic reduction (up to 15% reduction on 5th hit), Kog Maw Armor and Magic Reduction Caustic Spittle Kog'Maw Armor and Magic Reduction (up to 28% reduction at 5 rank)Trundle Ultimate Magic and Armor Reduction Subjugate Trundle Armor or Magic Reduction on hit (up to 40% reduction)Jayce Mercury Transform Transform: Mercury Cannon Jayce Armor and Magic Reduction on hit (up to 25% reduction at 4 rank).

 

TRUE DAMAGE DEFENITION

There is a type of damage which allows to ignore resistances of a target or any other form of damage reduction e.g. Alistar Ultimate Alistar‘s  Alistar Ultimate against true damage Unbreakable Will.

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS CHAMPIONS WHO DEAL TRUE DAMAGE:

League of Legends champions who deal true damage with auto attacks:

  •  Hextech Shrapnel Shells True Damage Hextech Shrapnel Shells Corki True Damage Corki
  •  Irelia Hiten Style Hiten Style Irelia Hiten Style True Damage Irelia
  •  Twitch Deadly Venom True Damage Deadly Venom Twitch Deadly Venom True Damage Twitch
  •  Vayne Silver Bolts True Damage Silver Bolts Vayne Icon Vayne
  •  Wuju Style icon Wuju Style Kayle Armor and Magic reduction Master Yi

Champions who deal true damage with abilities:

  •  Orb of Deception Icon Orb of Deception Ahri Icon Ahri
  • Cho Gath Feast Icon Feast Cho Gath Icon Cho’Gath
  • Noxian Guilliotine Icon Noxian Guillotine Darius Icon Darius
  •  Kog Maw Passive Icon Icathian Surprise Kog Maw Icon Kog’Maw
  •  Nunu Style icon Consume Nunu Icon Nunu
  •  Olaf Reckless Swing True Damage Reckless Swing Olaf Reckless Swing True Damage Olaf
  •  Furious Bite Icon Furious Bite Rek Sai True Damage Rek’Sai
  •  Organic Deconstruction P Organic Deconstruction Vel Koz Icon Vel’Koz
  •  Rise of the Thorns Icon Rise of the Thorns Zyra Icon Zyra

Summoner spells Ignite Icon Ignite and Smite Icon Smite also deal true damage.

DOES TRUE DAMAGE IGNORE SHIELDS?

You need to know that true damage doesn’t penetrate spell or ordinary shields, e.g. Cho Gath Icon Cho’Gath’s Cho Gath Feast Icon Feast won’t deal damage to Nocturne Icon Nocturne if he has Nocturne Shroud of Darkness Icon Shroud of Darkness effect. Ignite Icon Ignite is an exception and can’t be blocked by spell shields however it would be absorbed by any ordinary shield, e.g. Lee Sin Icon Lee Sin’s Lee Sin Safeguard ICon Safeguard

RED BUFF TRUE DAMAGE

Red Brambleback provides Crest of insight icon Crest of Sinders buff for 120 seconds which makes your auto attacks slow enemy movement speed by 8-15% for melee champions and 5-10% for ranged champions. Slow amount depends on level of champion and increases two times at 6 and 11 levels. Also Crest of insight icon Crest of Sinders makes target burn for 3 seconds dealing 8 + 2 x level true damage per second. If the buff holder is slain, this buff is transfered to the killer. In this case, duration is refreshed. Additionally regenerates 1% of maximum HP every 5 seconds.

HOW SPELL VAMP / LIFE STEAL INTERACT WITH TRUE DAMAGE

Spell vamp works with any ability which deals true damage however life steal has no interaction with true damage at all.

CAN TRUE DAMAGE CRIT?

No, true damage can’t deal critical strikes.

DOES EXHAUST AFFECT TRUE DAMAGE?

No, true damage can’t be reduced.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. 605

    Nice guide, it’s good to know certain HP when you have to buy armor or magic resistance. Also seems like you don’t need to know much about lol armor mechanics: if you see lots of armor – buy last whisper, magic resist – void staff. If you see few – then it’s up to you to buy Brutalizer or Haunting Guise.

  2. Morty

    I rush 100 armor when i’m playing at top against ad top laner, especially if i have sustain. Very often it allows me to dominate the lane.

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