Items Guide – Armor Part 1

Posted: November 19, 2011 by xenocidebrm in Guides, Items

Armor is perhaps the most important statistic in a League of Legends game. Why, you ask? Simple. Armor works against all physical damage. This means that autoattacks, jungle creeps, minions, tower, and physical damage abilities do less damage to you. Compare that to Magic Resistance which only protects against Magic Damage or Health which generally gives you less effective HP than Armor. As such, here’s part 1 of the rundown on Armor items!

Aegis of the Legion – Most people don’t consider this, but the base stats on this item do stack with the aura, giving you far more Armor and Magic Resist than this humble looking item appears to. Still the Health and Damage on it aren’t good enough to justify grabbing this on anyone who isn’t playing support or tank. Grab it early because it falls off quite quickly.

How to Counter – Building better scaling items and playing more conservatively when the player with an Aegis is nearby will let you slip past the early game advantage this item brings.

Atma’s Implier – Yes, the misspelling is intended and it sums up my feelings about this item. Alone, it’s a perfectly fine item, albeit not as cost effective as everyone seems to think it is. The Armor is decent, the Critical Chance is decent, and the Attack Damage is decent, but the cost of this item compared to some of the other Armor, Critical Chance, and Attack Damage items alone is too high. The only way to make this item truly effective is to build Warmog’s Armor and/or Frozen Mallet, leading to Jarvan Syndrome.

How to Counter – If you deal magic damage, just deal more damage. If you are AD, build your own Atma’s or grab a Chain Vest.

Chain Vest – I love this item not because it’s efficient (spoiler: it’s not) but because it packs so much Armor into a single item slot. On characters where I use a lot of half built items, the Chain Vest really stands out as a huge purchase. It also builds into as many items as Cloth Armor does, so don’t feel like it will funnel you into fewer item builds like the Negatron Cloak or Pickaxe.

How to Counter – If you don’t expect a person with a Chain Vest to build too much more armor, grab a Black Cleaver. Otherwise, just grab more Attack Damage. As always, magic damage isn’t affected by Armor and is your best option.

Cloth Armor – Surprisingly, Cloth Armor is more efficient than its brother Chain Vest despite having a lower cost. As such it is ideal for junglers and Armor stackers (Rammus/Malphite). If you have the item slots feel free to stack these as you need two to build into Frozen Heart anyway.

How to Counter – Unless you see someone building towards something specific, assume this will be built into a Wriggle’s Lantern (if on a jungler or AD carry) or a Randuin’s Omen/Frozen Heart. Grab counter items accordingly.

Doran’s Shield – Hands down the worst of the Doran’s items, Doran’s Shield is still super efficient. If you know you’re headed into a lane against AD heavy characters, buy this item. This is especially true for top lane where the sustain this item gives you makes you practically unharassable.

How to Counter – You don’t really counter Doran’s Shield as much as you enjoy the free farm. They will be unharassable, but hopefully they won’t be dealing enough damage to harass you either. Farm up until your next big item and then take them on.

Frozen Heart – A favorite of one of our writers, Atenthirtyone, this item does it all. Lots of Cooldown Reduction, tons of Mana, and, of course, a heap of armor. It even has a wonderful anti-AD passive, slowing all nearby enemy Attack Speed by 20%. If you absolutely, positively have to kill every AD on their team, this is the item to do it with.

How to Counter – If you’re dealing magic damage, you don’t care if someone builds this. If you deal Attack Damage, stay away from this person at all costs. If you can’t, buy more AD and pray. Attack Speed won’t help you all that much against someone with this item, so don’t build On-Hit items to try to counter this.

Glacial Shroud – “But Frozen Heart is so expensive!” you exclaim. Enter Glacial Shroud. For about half the cost, you get most of the stats of Frozen Heart while building towards it. A great second or third item for anti-AD.

How to Counter – Thankfully, it’s not a Frozen Heart yet. Prepare for it to become one by building lots more AD.

Guardian Angel – Alright, let me level with you here. It looks really good. A free respawn and a decent amount of Armor and Magic Resist? Sign me up! And then you look at the price. 2600. A Negatron Cloak, a Chain Vest, and Cloth Armor give more stats for about 1000 less gold. That means you’re paying 1000 for just the passive. Good if you don’t want people to attack you first, I suppose, which means your Armor and Magic Resist go to waste.

How to Counter – Either don’t target this person if they don’t deal lots of damage, or focus this person if they do and make sure they die twice. Once the passive is gone from this item, the champion who owns this item will have effectively 1000 less gold than they had.

Madred’s Bloodrazor – You’re not really buying this for armor, but it’s nice to have along with the enormous Attack Speed boost and percent magic damage passive. Grab it if you’re a jungler, Kog’Maw, or are facing Tanky-DPS teams without a lot of Magic Resistance.

How to Counter – Build some heavy Magic Resistance and laugh at someone who just wasted nearly 4000 gold on this. A Wit’s End will allow you to out-trade damage with a champion boasting Madred’s Bloodrazor for half the cost.

All pictures provided by the League of Legends Wiki.

  1. […] Angel – Not one of my favorite items, as I discussed in the Items Guide – Armor Part 1. Decent Magic Resist and Armor. You pay 1000 gold alone for the passive, however, making this item […]

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