Season 3 Effective Health for Tanks (Armor vs Health vs Penetration)
TL;DR just click the attachment, it speaks for itself. Health is generally safer than Armor, Armor Pen can cut your effective Health in half.
This chart will show you your Effective Health based on what Items you buy. As an example, I used Lee Sin at (level 18) whom everyone loves dearly.
I've included 5 Tank items into the analysis. A general build would be 3 Tank items, 2 Damage Items, and your Boots, or some hybrid variation. Remember that even though this is Lee Sin, the stats don't vary so much from Champ to Champ. The message is still clear. Rune setups won't drastically change results.
Questions answered by this study:
Which stat should I build?
How punishing is it to build Armor into a Black Cleaver + Last Whisper? (Answer is: Very)
I need 2 or 3 endgame Tank Items, what do I get?
Opposing team has no BC or LW? If you're confident it won't be built, Thornmail/Randuins could work.
Opposing team is AP Heavy?
Opposing team has an AP going a full Penetration Build
Relevant Stats of Items Studied:
Warmog's: +1000 HP
Randuin's Omen: +500 HP, +70 Armor
Thornmail: +100 Armor
Frozen Mallet: +700 HP, +30 Attack Damage
Runic Bulwark: +400 HP, +30 Armor, +60 Magic Resist
The Black Cleaver: 25% Armor Pen at 4 stacks, 10 Flat ArPen
Last Whisper: 35% ArPen
Sorc Boots: 15 Magic Pen
Haunting Guise: 15 Magic Pen
Abyssal Scepter: 20 MR Reduction
-Black Cleaver and Last Whisper together nearly cuts Effective Health in half.
-Versus someone with a BC and LW, Warmogg's (on it's own) trumps Randuin's Omen.
But, when paired with Bulwark and Frozen Mallet, Randuins slightly trumps Warmogg's at Physical EH. However, you will have about 800 to 1000 more Effective Health vs AP Champions with the Warmogg's.
-Thornmail (100Ar) and Frozen Heart (90 Ar) are the hardest hit items in s3. Do not build these vs Armor Pen builds.
-Don't stack Warmogg's. 2 Warmogg's + Randuins is better than 3 Warmogg's Physically. Warmogg's + Randuins + Frozen Mallet seems the best alternative if you aren't worried about magic damage.
-Decide when Bulwark is worth it. It's Expensive, Warmogg's is cheap. It will gimp you Physically a bit but help your allies. I wish it gave more HP or Armor. You can lose over 500 Physical EH going this. I usually save it for late-game. Using mixed MR Blues like I do promotes this for late-game as well.
-Armor Pen punishes building Armor much more than Magic Pen punishes MR. As a result, Items are still unbalanced. You should never be afraid to build Bulwark into a full Magic Pen mage, but you should fear Randuins and Thornmail into an Armor Pen build.
-HP is more valuable early-game, which is why a Frozen Mallet or even just a Giants Belt is good after your opening items (Wriggles and Boots on Lee). Don't rush a Thornmail. It may be good for a few minutes, but expect the Armor Pen down the road.
Feb 24, 2013
Additional Knowledge now that we're deeper into season 3:
1) The Black Cleaver craze is dying down, it is now pretty safe to build Armor, and it's actually better in most situations. When there isn't a ton of Armor Pen present on the enemy team, a good rule of thumb is to keep your Resistance to health ratio pretty even. e.g. at 1500 HP, aiming for up to 150 Armor or Magic Resist is good to do. 150 Armor is a bit high but off the top of your head during a game, it's easy to remember.
2) Now that Giants Belt has been nerfed to 380 HP, it is less cost efficient stat wise, but actually better in the sense that you don't overbuild HP as much as you would when it was at 400 or 500 Health.
3) Try not to build more than one pure-HP High-tier item, for example a Warmogs and a Frozen Mallet is overkill. It's rough getting the ratio spot on due to the fact that only the Bulwark and Guardian Angel give both resistance stats.
4) Sometimes it is ok to build Bulwark if there is already one on your team (when the most fed enemy is an AP or there are 2 strong AP's.) Don't build your teams second Bulwark if Maokai for example is the enemy Jungler, unless he built some crazy AP build.
5) Having at least an Aegis on the team is usually wise. If the Mid laning has been passive, get it. If the enemy Mid has been denied farm and behind, I wouldn't bother. Against double-AP teams, you'll probably need it anyway in the late-game if it gets there. My favorite champ to get Bulwark on as a core item is Skarner. Tanks with a Shield Ability benefit most. a 250 HP shield (esp. a low cooldown one like Skarner/Udyr) is worth much more with Resistances.
6) I usually only get the Warmogs if the AD/Magic damage is pretty even on the enemy team, or on Champions whom's kits are built for it such as Dr. Mundo.
You forgot regeneration. Regeneration builds can be really huge. (I think 30hp per sec is possible)
Probably even more than that, I don't mess with tank builds that much.
Warmogs + spirit visage, then build health + resistance or armor depending on team.
Possible builds for regeneration
warmogs + spirit visage + (merc treads) + runic bulwark + banshee + w/e
warmogs + spirit visage + (ninja tabi) + locket of solari + randuin + w/e (usually atmas)
tl;dr Warmog's is best?
In reality you won't always have LW and TBC fully applied. Not everyone gets LW, and it takes some time for all the stacks on TBC to be applied.
Yes regen is nice, but unless you're someone like Maokai (people are starting to realize how awesome he is) I don't see it helping in a 15 second teamfight. I just wanted to study for myself how ridiculous armor pen is and thought I'd share it, there's no reason to do that much math and save it all for myself.
And yes, Warmogg's would be your safest bet. But, if there's no cleaver champs on the enemy team, I'd definitely still consider a Randuins.
The thing is, the more HP you have, the more valuable armor becomes. You can find a Graph of this (just search) that can tell you what would benefit you more at a given level of armor or HP.
What someone really need's to do is make 3 more Graphs of Armor to HP ratio (not sure how to do this myself):
-Hp/Armor ratio when someone has Last Whisper
-same but Black Cleaver instead
-same, against someone with BC and LW
short answer: EHP is stat that tells nothing about how you are tanky. for example if enemy team is jayce, poppy, warwick, malzahar and vayne they will deal so much % of your max hp as some type of damage that the less hp and the more armor/resist you have the more you will be tanky. so the best way to itemize tank is to counter enemy team.
While mathcrafting is fun, I usually find LoL to be far too dynamic to be able to determine a build just based off of pre-match calculations.
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