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Why Tri? ANALYSIS of Trinity Force

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Senior Member


Have you ever wondered why most bruisers take Triforce? Why you see 6 of them in every dominion game? Well wonder no more! We are gonna take an indepth look at this item.

"Triforce is good cuz it gives you a little bit of everything" - WRONG!!! Champs dont want a bit of everything..they want a lot of the most beneficial things for that particular champ. All champs can strongly utilize certain attributes, make decent use of others, so-so use of yet others, and some are practically useless.
By definition, Triforce is never going to give only the most strongly utilized attributes for any given champ.

The reason Triforce is so good is due to EFFICIENCY. For its gold cost, it gives a TON of stats.

TL;DR - It costs 4070 and gives a whopping 7225 gold worth of benefits (approximately)! Even if some stats are suboptimal and even if a few are practically worthless, the Triforce is still a paragon of efficiency.

Let's break it down:

COST: 4070 gold.

BENEFITS: (note that the gold worth per point of a given attribute are mostly based on the basic items)

30 AP -- 600 gold worth
30 AD - 1200 gold worth
30 AS -- 750 gold worth
15 Crit- 750 gold worth
250 HP - 625 gold worth
250 mana 500 gold worth
12% move ?????
onhit slow ?????
onhit damage ???????
4425 gold of benefits, plus the 3 unknowns.

Lets figure out the Unknowns:

a) Movespeed - 12% MS = 8 quints worth.
Each quint is worth around 80-100gold (4.95 AP = 98ish, 3.4AS = 85, 26HP=70ish, 2.25AD=90, etc)
So, we can reasonably value 12% movespeed as worth about 600-800 gold. We will go with 700.

b) OnHit slow - This is not really possible to numerically analyze. Frozen Mallet snare costs 800g, Phage snare is free, but all completed items usually have an efficiency bonus built in.
Based on efficiency gains of similar items to Phage, I will call this one 300 gold worth. While this is pretty arbitrary, I don't think anyone would argue that it is significantly lower or higher than this (i.e. worth 100g only, or worth 700gold).

c) Onhit damage - This is the BIGGIE!

Lets look at JAX as a typical example of a bruiser that likes Triforce.

Triforce adds 170 damage (at 18) to his initial burst, and he can trigger it about every 2-3 seconds in sustained output due to relatively short cooldowns.
How do we value this exactly? We will convert the TriForce into an AD Value.

Leapstrike adds 1.0 per bonus AD.
Autoattack adds total AD.
Empower adds total AD once again due to attack reset.

That is his burst. So basically we take the 170 triforce proc, divided by 3 = 56.6, noting that this does NOT count crit damage which either autoattack could do, whereas triforce proc cannot.

If you look at sustained damage, the 170 every 2 to 3 seconds is about what 50 AD would provide Jax with, assuming use of skills periodically and about a 1.4 attack speed.

Therefore, the Triforce proc is about equivalent to 50-something AD. Noting that this 'virtual AD' does NOT boost counterstrike OR his 30% armor scale from Ult. Neither of which are huge deals though.

So I would value the triforce proc at about 45 AD equivalent, or 1800g true price (BF Sword gives you a bit of a discount due to being a big item, whereas longsword applies a small penalty)

NOTE: This isn't even a best case analysis. Jax scales decently and so do his skills. Irelia on the other hand has SUCKY scaling and the 160+ damage proc is actually worth even MORE AD equivalent to her because her Bladesurge is her only AD scaling other than Ult, and she has no attack resetter.

Total Benefits = 4425 + 700 movespeed +300 slow proc + 1800 dmg proc = 7225 gold worth of benefits.

So as you can see, the raw efficiency of Triforce is the reason for its success.

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Senior Member


which is why it's useful even on champions like lee sin that don't have mana and don't care about ability power - even though those stats are wasted, it still gives a positive return on the gold spent

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Senior Member


One thing that I'd have to mention as a caveat to this is that these item value calculations aren't as useful indicating efficiency as the numbers may suggest. MOST mid tier or high tier items have pretty good efficiency by the numbers. Just as important, I think, is how well the stats synergize with with the character's kit overall. Triforce is a superior item on tanky bruisers most of the time because it's not a scaling-dependent item. On its own, it provides a TON of (more or less) useful stats and its proc is a huge damage boost for someone with a spammy ability that's building tanky (ie Skarner or Trundle). If, on the other hand, you're playing someone more dps-centric, Triforce is often not the best option. Jax, for example, can be super strong because of the scaling on his passive and his ult passive. He uses EVERY stat in Trinity Force, but not all of them are as important. Gunblade, on the other hand, gives him everything he badly needs and nothing that he doesn't, and the whole things scales with his build.

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Senior Member


Amoc, that is quite true. Maybe I should mention that one would use this info to help determine whether TriForce would be a good idea on a given champion.

For most items, you gain a good 20 to 30% 'efficiency bonus' for completing the item. Clearly triforce is much much better...IF you can use all the stats AND you can use the onhit damage proc.

So, for Champion X you need to determine:

1) Look at your burst damage (if applicable) and see how much the Triforce damage proc is likely worth. This is a factor of your AD scaling on your skills... the more scaling you have, the less useful the Triforce is gonna be, ironically.

1b) Look at your sustain (if applicable) and see how much Triforce proc will benefit you. This is a factor of HOW SPAMMY YOUR SKILLS ARE. A 170 proc every 2 seconds reliably is great! 170 every 6 seconds or so sucks, which is what happens when you tend to FaceRoll when you first engage. i.e. old Xin who gets 1 triforce proc then is basically done for a while.

1c) Look at any other utility or skills that also are based on AD, which the proc wouldnt affect (like Jax's Ult)

These together give you a general idea of what the Damage proc is, which is a LARGE part of the triforce benefit.

2) Look at all the attributes given and start subtracting gold-value for underutiliized stats.

Example: Pantheon

1) Spear, Jump, Autoattack, TriplePoke,Spear in the back is the burst.
170 damage is actually only worth about 25 AD due to the awesome scaling (2.8 spears, 1.0 attack, 3.6 pokey).

1b) Sustained damage is ok due to fast and varied cooldowns of Aegis, Spear, pokey, IF the enemy stands and fights. Panth rarely does much autoattacking as his MegaPokey is very counterproductive for it.

2) Attack Speed is NEAR WORTHLESS on panth. He literally gets 1 autoattack in after his stun and thats it, 80% of the time.
AP is pretty bad. Usable but underutilized for sure.
crit isn't very useful for panth.

So when it comes down to it, TriForce on Panth is pretty mediocre at best.
He loses about 1000g of value on the damage proc, 500g on AS, 500g on crit, 400 on AP.

For 4000g it gives him maybe 4700ish gold of stats. Thats about a 15% efficiency rating which is pretty mediocre and as Amoc stated, other items will tend to be better.