League of Randuin's?



Tue 12th Mar 2013 - 7:34pm

Especially with the buff to BotRK, there has been a lot of talk about how we will see a transition to “League of Randuin’s” because of the item being both overpowered and a great counter to BotRK. The strength of Randuin’s isn’t up for debate, either; some red posts even allude to a possible nerf for the item.

But, in the end, it’s not enough to just know what is a good item or not. Instead, to make the best build choices, you need to know exactly how good an item is so that you can choose what is best in each situation. For bruisers and tanks, the most relevant, popular items to consider in this situation are Randuin’s Omen, Warmog’s Armor and Sunfire Cape.

Against BotRK

Blade of the Ruined King

Before getting into the larger comparison, I’d like to quickly point out why Randuin’s is the “perfect counter” to BotRK for those who don’t know. BotRK has gotten hotfixed, but its general look has stayed the same, as well as its attack speed.

When you are hit by an attack, Randuin’s Cold Steel passive reduces the attacker’s attack speed by 20% for 1.5 seconds. This reduction is calculated after all bonus attack speed has been added in. What this means is that a character with a 1.0 base attack speed that is buffed to 1.4 with BotRK is reduced to 1.12 attack speed when attacking a character with a Randuin’s (or a Warden’s Mail, which has the same passive attack speed reduction).

In other words, even though Randuin’s is reducing attack speed by 20% while BotRK is buffing it 40%, Randuin’s has a larger overall effect, cutting the bonus by 70% (.28 attack speed out of the .4 added).

This is taking place on an item that gives significant armor and HP, so the impressive amount of mitigation it provides overall should be obvious -- it reduces every single aspect of BotRK’s damage-dealing capabilities in one fell swoop. Enough said.

Randuin’s v. Warmog’s v. Sunfire

Randuin's Omen Warmog's Armor Sunfire Cape

As a tank in a game with so much focus on AD lately, what defensive item should you rush? Rather than the general analysis of cost efficiency and arguing each items’ pros and cons, I’m going to do something different in this article.

To save time and space, I’m going to build off of Gentleman Gustaf’s excellent “Resistances and Health” article over at Reign of Gaming. I will be using the formulas he shows to calculate the Effective HP (“EHP”) that each of these items gives you, so if you’d like to understand the nitty gritty behind it, I highly recommend reading that article. Here are the formulas, with PEHP and MEHP standing for effective health against physical and magical attacks, respectively:

PEHP: HP * ([100 + armor] / 100)
MEHP: HP * ([100 + MR] / 100)
EHP: (PEHP + MEHP) / 2

To get some stats and give a real world benchmark, I will calculate these values for a level 10 Jax who has went for both standard runes and masteries that include flat armor seals, flat MR glyphs and 9/21/0 masteries. These masteries include maxed Hardiness, one point of Resistance, maxed Durability/Veteran’s Scars and maxed Juggernaut, which I believe to be a standard page against another AD bruiser. I realize that some people like masteries like Defender and Legendary Armor, but those are more personal preference and not really “standard” choices like what I mention above. However, adding them would, in this situation, give very negligible armor and MR, so it really doesn’t affect the calculations too much.

Given all of these assumptions, our Jax will have 1,483 HP (note that this is with Juggernaut but no items; Juggernaut also applies to items and I do take that into account later), 67.19 armor and 55.31 MR. So, applying that to the items and formulas in question (and rounding) we get:

















To put this into a little more perspective, consider the costs of these items: Randuin’s is 3,100g, Warmog’s is 2,830g and Sunfire is 2,650g (BotRK was 2,850g, now 3,200g).

Part of what makes Randuin’s and Sunfire so good is that, while they provide good defense against AD with armor, their HP both gives better PEHP and provides some buffer against magical attacks. This is one of the reasons why items like Frozen Heart are not seeing much play right now; they don’t have a “catch-all” defensive stat.

As the different EHP values show, Randuin’s is clearly the king of physical defense. At a loss of around 800 MEHP compared to Warmog’s (and only 100 EHP), you gain over 500 PEHP without considering Randuin’s passive (which, as shown before, is incredibly powerful). Sunfire gets a mention for relatively high PEHP at a bargain price point.


So what does this all mean? Well, when you’re rushing an item in lane, your biggest concern is what will help you more effectively win your lane. In other words, you are not looking at EHP so much as what specific defense counters your lane opponent. Sure, Randuin’s doesn’t give as much overall EHP as Warmog’s, but it will shut down an AD opponent far more effectively and you’ll be able to get other items before there is too much major team fighting going on (and it has some HP to hold you over).

This chart might make people confused about where Sunfire stands. Sunfire is a way to rush an item for you to tip the balance in a hard lane. It gives decent EHP values combined with a damaging passive to help in duels. It doesn’t have the same overall utility of Randuin’s or the pure tank of Warmog’s, but it can be the best item to help you get to a later point of the game relatively intact. In other words, it gives a short power spike before being outclassed by late-game tank items, but that power spike can be exactly what you need to turn things around.

The last conclusion is obvious but should still be mentioned: if you’re facing a team with heavy AP or even just an AP opponent in your lane, Sunfire and Randuin’s won’t cut it. An analysis of MR items will have to wait for another article, but rest assured that Warmog’s is a safe all-purpose tank item -- it will never lead you too far astray.

Overall, I strongly suggest that that you start building Randuin’s Omen regularly. Even just a rushed Warden’s Mail in lane can be an incredible defensive tool, and the item has a great build path (two cheap Cloth Armors and a combine cost of 500g). And, even if the item does get changed in the future, hopefully this article has given you a little more insight into what should guide your defensive itemization choices.