Countering Thornmail

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SwiftyWillownall

Senior Member

03-25-2013

(Skip to #2 for real question.)

1. Why is Master Yi so unpopular and scoffed for his ADC ability? I'm one of the only people I know who main Yi as an ADC and I do just fine with him. Yet, 99/100 games i play with him as an ADC, the players immediately scoff and call gg before the game even starts. Master Yi is inf act an ADC believe it or not, but 99% of the people don't read his descriptors I guess? I mean, one of the several reasons why meditate got nerfed was so people would be encouraged to play ADC Yi a little bit more than his AP counterpart. Do bad and he sucks for being a melee ADC, do good and he's OP. Those are the only two comments I ever hear but nothing in between about him really being balanced. I think he's fine as is.

Why is Yi so unpopular and does he need a rework to be an effective ADC?
Your ADC doesn't -HAVE- to be ranged.

2. Is there a more cost effective way to counter thornmail than building lifesteal? Thornmail returns 30% of the damage dealt as magical damage. Even if I have enough magic resist to block 50% of that damage, I'm still essentially taking 15% worth of damage from thornmail's original 30% backlash. In other words, most of the time people won't have high magic resistance and has to build at least two separate lifesteal items which is of course going to cost you much more than one thornmail. So technically the advantage goes to the person buying thornmail when it comes to cost vs usefulness, especially when the person with thornmail is an APC like Diana for example.

Taking into account cost effectiveness, is it better to just build two separate items of lifesteal to counter thornmail's passive, or boost up your own magic resistance? Note this is for anyone to counter Thornmail, not just ADC's who will most likely build 2-3 lifesteal items anyways.


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Calibretto9

Senior Member

03-25-2013

I was asking a similar question after a recent game with Fiora where the Garen opponent built a Thornmail. Despite smashing him up until that point it was basically GG from there. Even with the lifesteal from the Hyrda and a Vamp Scepter it wasn't enough to negate the Thornmail damage + the damage the champ is doing to me. I got stomped after that.


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Ezran

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Senior Member

03-25-2013

1. Master Yi, along with other melee ad carries such as Fiora and Tryndamere, have a hard time fitting into the meta of the game. The problem with melee carries is that they need to build damage to carry, yet they are in melee range and thus susceptible to being easily focused and killed. This is why you want your carry to be ranged, because they are much safer than melee carries.
People like AP Yi because he's gimmicky. By this I mean because of the damage of Alpha Strike and the cooldown reset on his ult he has the potential to pentakill enemy teams, much like Katarina. The only problem is that because AP yi relies on Alpha Strike to do 100% of his damage he's a 1-trick pony; if he doesn't get kills he can't reset his Q and doesn't do much damage.

2. Thornmail isn't purchased for the 30% magic damage return. It's built for the 100 armor @ 2000g. It's a better use of a slot to buy Frozen Heart of Randuin's, because the attack speed slow will counter an AD much better than the 30% magic return. Counter Thornmail like you counter any armor stacked item: Armor penetration. You really don't need much lifesteal to counter the magic damage, which is trivial. Bloodthirster + Last Whisper will negate thornmail completely.


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SwiftyWillownall

Senior Member

03-25-2013

What of the critical hit carries that do around 1k damage late game? Returning 30% is 300 damage which isn't trivial at all on those glass cannons. You rely on your lifesteal to keep you alive, but if it's being completely negated by thornmail AND you're still taking extra damage? Armor Pen won't help you survive at all, but rather help you kill yourself faster since you're dealing even more damage. I can see how such things like Frozen Heart would be better though.

How does building Armor Pen counter Thornmail exactly?


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Sephïroth

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Senior Member

03-25-2013

Yi as an ADC is terrible.

Yi as a melee character is good in his own right.

Here's why: ADCs are to sit back and do damage to tanks without getting caught by anyone yet be a constant source of DPS. Yi cannot fill this role. He has to get close to do any damage, and once he is close it is quite simple to jump in and kill him.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not flaming at Yi. I'm flaming, as well as everyone else, at you taking Yi bottom with a Support.


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Ezran

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Senior Member

03-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwiftyWillownall View Post
What of the critical hit carries that do around 1k damage late game? Returning 30% is 300 damage which isn't trivial at all on those glass cannons. You rely on your lifesteal to keep you alive, but if it's being completely negated by thornmail AND you're still taking extra damage? Armor Pen won't help you survive at all, but rather help you kill yourself faster since you're dealing even more damage. I can see how such things like Frozen Heart would be better though.

How does building Armor Pen counter Thornmail exactly?
Okay so let's say you manage to get a 1000 critical on someone wearing thornmail. You lifesteal... let's say 18% + 15% = 33% (Bloodthirster + bork). So they have ~200 armor, which mitigates physical damage by 66%.

Assuming you have no armor penetration you heal ~110hp (33% lifesteal * (1000*.33)) and take 198 magic damage (300 reflected * (~50 MR = 33% reduction). So you take about 90 damage net total, while they take 333 damage.

Assuming you have ~40% armor penetration from LW and runes/masteries they now have 200*.6 = 120 effective armor. So you now heal for ~149hp (33% lifesteal * (1000*.45)) and take 198 damage. They now take 450 damage.

The more armor penetration you stack, the more effective your lifesteal and damage is. The faster you kill them, the less damage they can do to you. The more armor they stack, the more effective an item like last whisper becomes.

100 armor (50% reduction) -> 60 armor (37.5% reduction)
200 armor (67% reduction) -> 120 armor (55% reduction)
300 armor (75% reduction) -> 180 armor (64% reduction)


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ZOMGTURTLE

Senior Member

03-25-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwiftyWillownall View Post
What of the critical hit carries that do around 1k damage late game? Returning 30% is 300 damage which isn't trivial at all on those glass cannons. You rely on your lifesteal to keep you alive, but if it's being completely negated by thornmail AND you're still taking extra damage? Armor Pen won't help you survive at all, but rather help you kill yourself faster since you're dealing even more damage. I can see how such things like Frozen Heart would be better though.

How does building Armor Pen counter Thornmail exactly?
The problem with that line of thinking is that Thornmail's damage return is PRE-mitigation, while lifesteal returns health POST-mitigation. So the more armor you get through, the more life you steal. If, with 0 mitigation, your attack would deal 1000 damage, then you would take the exact same damage whether their armor reduced it to 500 damage to them or 999 damage to them. The difference, obviously, being how fast you kill them and how much life you steal back from every attack.


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Fiiz Khalifa

Senior Member

03-25-2013

honestly, a smart bot lane would wreck a yi early on if they utilize their range and poke him down. if he tried to meditate then throw some cc in if your support has it available. i don't see how yi would even be effective bot lane due to the amount of harass he would take.


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Sylvr

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Senior Member

03-25-2013

The reason Ranged ADCs are preferred over Melee ADC is for safety. Not only in teamfights, but also to take out towers. As a melee ADC, in order to attack a tower (You do the most consistent damage to towers on your team), you have to be right up under it. The problem with this is that, if they take the minion wave out from under you, you have further to run in order to stop getting hit by it. Besides that, most AOEs in the game have a large enough area that they can always hit the minion wave AND you at the same time, whereas, if you were ranged, they'll have to choose one or the other.

Furthermore, a melee ADC can't kite. In order for you to get damage on them, they will always be in range to get damage back on you. That's pretty big. If you build tanky in order to withstand this extra damage that you're always going to be prone to, then you're suddenly doing less damage than your ranged counterparts in addition to STILL being less safe.

As for Thornmail, you're not SUPPOSED to be able to completely counter an item for cheaper than that item costs. For instance, Armor is "countered" by Last Whisper, but not completely. The armor still retains 60% efficiency. The same is true with Thornmail- you can't reasonably expect to spend the same amount of gold or less to completely invalidate the entire item... what would be the point of the item then?