Items Guide – Armor Part 2

Posted: December 2, 2011 by xenocidebrm in Guides, Items

The second part of the guide to Armor items. Had there not been a patch on Tuesday I would have gotten this up sooner. Really. I swear.

Madred’s Razors – Like Madred’s Bloodrazors, you don’t really buy this entirely for the Armor, but its lower price ensures that the Armor will be very useful in taking less damage from the jungle creeps and minions during ganks. Buy it if you’re a jungler, as the recent nerf on its proc ability makes it much less effective in lane (unless you turn it into a Wriggle’s Lantern). This should be the first item you complete if you’re jungling.

How to Counter – A Brutalizer will get you the advantage in damage while your own pair of Madred’s Razors will even the odds.

Ninja Tabi – Yet another item you don’t truly buy for Armor, Ninja Tabi boots are designed to an AD heavy lane or team. As most common AD characters have some form of crowd control and very few teams are pure AD, Mercury’s Treads are almost always better. There are a few exceptions, of course, including Malphite who is commonly used as an anti-AD character. Ninja Tabi have been updated to reduce enemy autoattack damage by 10% instead of giving a dodge bonus, so they remain approximately as useful as they were before: great for anti-AD, but use Mercury’s Treads instead for a more reliable and rounded defense.

How to Counter – Don’t autoattack a person wearing these, or if you have to build an item with On-Hit magic damage like Wit’s End, Malady, or Madred’s Bloodrazor.

Randuin’s Omen – If you’re a top laner or support who decides to head for the gold per 5 item Heart of Gold, this is what you’ll build it into. Randuin’s Omen is the second strongest anti-AD item (next to Frozen Heart) but has incredible utility as well as building out of the valuable Heart of Gold. It gives passive Cooldown Reduction, Health, Health Regeneration, and, of course, Armor. It also gives you an anti-AS passive, slowing attackers who poke at you as well as having an active AoE slow. This item is amazing for anyone without CC as especially good on resistance-based Tanks who benefit from having a better active slow. Buy the parts for it mid game, finish it late game.

How to Counter – Deal magic damage to someone with this item; getting close to someone with this as an AD champion will only spell your doom.

Sunfire Cape – This item is more specialized than people realize. Many players swear by it and it used to be called a “core item” on every tank ever. I have no idea why. It was then nerfed by 5 damage and people now scream it is useless. So much QQ. Anyway, Sunfire Cape is a somewhat overpriced item that gives you Health and Armor, except not really since you can just buy a Chain Vest and Giant’s Belt and have the same exact stats. The only difference is that you pay 800 gold to combine the two items and get a passive that deals 35 AoE magic damage every second. This means it is completely worthless against players unless you have Magic Penetration of some kind. However, for most AP characters this item is a huge waste. Instead, this item is designed for AP Tanks who aren’t building AP anyway. It has two uses: saving item slots for characters, and assisting characters who can’t farm well. Build this item on the following characters and no one else: Alistar, Amumu, Leona, Maokai, Shen, Taric.

How to Counter – Madred’s Bloodrazor cuts right past the extra Health and Armor. Any light Magic Resistance item will stop the magic damage from this item as well; Wit’s End works well in this regard.

Thornmail – Another overpriced Armor item, Thornmail also has a specialized purpose: to stop AD carries from attacking you. It’s great on anyone with a taunt, as its passive returns 30% of autoattack damage you take (before resistances) to the attacker, killing AD carries like nobody’s business. It can also be useful on squishy characters getting AD focused from range or in melee, giving you hefty Armor and a painful incentive to attack someone else. It’s also great against anyone trying to build Life Steal tank. If the AD attacker is building Magic Resist, however, this item will be relatively worthless.

How to Counter – Building heavy Magic Resist will let you ignore the 30% magic damage slung back at you, while On-Hit items will cut right past the enormous Armor bonus. Life Steal items should also be considered, as it is possible to gain more Health back from an attack with Life Steal than you’ll lose with an attack.

Warden’s Mail – Great Armor, great passive Health Regeneration, and the same attack speed-slowing passive as Randuin’s. I don’t know why I don’t see this built more often early game, but it probably has something to do with “LOL U NOOB SUNFIRE CAPE CORE ITEM”. Very efficient and great for a second or third buy even if you don’t turn it into Randuin’s (which you should anyway).

How to Counter – Don’t autoattack someone with this unless you have to. Dealing magic damage instead will make them wish they’d bought a Negatron Cloak instead.

Wriggle’s Lantern – Giving you a better proc than Madred’s Razors as well as a free ward every minute, this item crushes every other item in long term efficiency. If you are a jungler, this is very nearly mandatory, if you are an AD in lane and can afford it (you can) BUY IT. Good Armor, good Life Steal, good Attack Damage, a great passive proc ability and free wards.

How to Counter – Building a B.F. Sword and Vampiric Scepter gives you more damage and almost as much Life Steal for only a little bit more as well as building into the better scaling Bloodthirster. Your own Wriggle’s will put you on even ground.

Zhonya’s Hourglass – Underrated and underused, this unassuming Hourglass gives you the power to annoy the most experienced team. Built out of the efficient Needlessly Large Rod and not-very efficient Chain Vest, it is, I admit, pricy. However, for the cost you get a huge chunk of Armor and Ability Power as well as an invulnerability active ability every 90 seconds. It’s like having a second ultimate and works with any over-time effect that isn’t channeled. That means you can ult onto a team as Kennen/Morgana/Fiddlesticks and use this item to survive. On other characters the effect is diminished but it can be the difference between dying in a teamfight or surviving with a sliver of health. If you need Armor and AP as a semi-squishy caster, this is your item.

How to Counter – You’ll have to figure out some way to force a person with this item to use its active too early or too late. Burst magic damage is preferable, or just grab a movement speed item to stay away from someone with this.

All pictures provided by the League of Legends Wiki.

What Should I Build? Armor Items Edition

1. As Udyr you head top lane and are losing your lane to Wukong. As you are waiting to respawn, you have enough gold to finish your Wriggle’s Lantern from your Madred’s Razors or Ninja Tabi and would like to buy either the Boots or the Lantern. The enemy team is Fizz, Xin Zhao, Lux, Vayne and of course, Wukong. Which item should you buy?

2. Bot lane has fed yet again and Caitlyn is on a rampage with an Infinity Edge, a Bloodthirster, and a Phantom Dancer. What pure Armor item should you buy as Shen to stop her from carrying?

3. The enemy Twitch is fed and has been wandering around with his troll AS-AP build. While you have plenty of Magic Resistance as Malphite, you can’t quite catch him when he comes to poke at you. What Armor item can help you catch Twitch when he comes to harass you?

4. It’s end game and your team keeps getting Aced. However, the enemy Nexus is exposed and you know you can end it if you can just survive and win the next teamfight. However, as Master Yi you find yourself continually focused and killed immediately, although the enemy team always ends up with one champion alive at a sliver of health. With one item slot left and 5000 gold, what item can you buy to secure the win?

5. Jungling as Skarner seemed easy enough, until you found your blue stolen by the enemy Shyvana. Your team doesn’t ward or help you secure Blue or Red Buff, leaving you without mana and a reliable slow to gank. Determined to kill the enemy Tristana on bot lane, what cheap Armor item will leave you with enough mana to gank but still ensure you can slow her without Red Buff?

Bonus: Somehow, you’ve been roped into playing a duo top lane as Olaf with Leona supporting you. The enemy team is super heavy on AD but you still find yourself unable to kill enemies, even with Leona’s help. However, you haven’t built a single armor item and as you go back with 2000 gold you wisely decide to purchase an Armor item. What item do you buy?

  1. Jesse says:

    1 Wriggle’s Lantern
    2 Thornmail
    3 Randuin’s Omen
    4 Zhonya’s Hourglass
    5 Glacial Shroud
    B Thornmail

  2. Capac Amaru says:

    I usually get sunfire cape and abyssal scepter as my last 2 items on fiddlesticks.

  3. Gorgosch says:

    Sunfire Cape was always in my mordkaiser tanky build.
    Worked quite well midgame.

  4. Tyranokhan says:

    1: They got 4 auto-atackers. Ninja tabi
    2: Thornmail, you got taunt
    3: Randuin’s omen to kite him
    4: Guardian angel, to survive the initial burst and then kill them 1by1
    5: glacial shroud, gives you mana and CDR, so you can slow with Q
    6: save 2300 for atma’s impaler, gives damage and armor

  5. nmTd[ says:

    1: As Udyr, Wriggles. That and turtle stance make you an immovable object from lane, you can just shrug off Wukong’s full combo as long as you have creeps to attack. If it was nearly anyone else, I’d say Tabi just so you can get in/out more effectively.
    2: As weird as it sounds, I would say Zhonya’s on Shen. Taunt into active basically becomes 2 second skillshot stun. Plus Shen has decent enough ratios that the AP isn’t entirely wasted.
    3: Oracle’s Elixir. Saying Malphite can’t catch Twitch is just unreasonable. Plus he’s Malphite, Randuins Omen is goddamn core, even if they’re running double AP lanes and jungle Amumu.
    4: Warmog’s. Yi doesn’t need armor if he’s being focused, that’s what Meditate is for.
    5: Wriggles. On-hit procs means less mana spent spell-spamming on creep camps.
    Bonus: Wriggles. More Lifesteal means more harass with your E.

  6. […] Here are the answers to the Damage Items quiz found at the end of the Items Guide – Armor Part 2. […]

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