Black Cleaver Vs. Last Whisper & Zeal

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Eledhan

Senior Member

02-03-2011

Please note that this is an analysis to determine whether Black Cleaver or Last Whisper & Zeal is better as an armor penetration/reduction item set. The governing statistics will be how many attacks it takes to break even, and how much total damage is dealt at various armor values.

Attempting to calculate DPS between the two concepts is nearly impossible since it depends on the champion being used as well as which abilities/buffs they might have applied at the time. DPS is a mis-leading statistic anyway, since many champions who would want these builds have physical damage abilities in addition to their auto-attacks.


Some important things to note when viewing the analysis...

1) Damage output from champion abilities have not been considered in this analysis.
2) Base AD of 120 was used for the champion AD stat
3) Auto attacks are assumed to be un-modified by champion passive abilities (Ashe, Twisted Fate, etc.)
4) Infinity Edge is assumed to be in the attacking champion's inventory.
5) Armor Pen Marks and Quints are assumed, as well as the Armor Pen mastery
6) Critical Chance, Attack Damage, Critical Bonus Damage, and % of base AD masteries are all assumed to be in use.
7) Last Whisper and Zeal cost 3485g and Black Cleaver cost 3065g (13.70% difference)
8) Calculations were made based on 4 consecutive attacks so BC stacks could get to maximum.

Quote:
Findings
The break even point is the first attack at which BC deals more average damage per attack than LWZ.
Percentage difference in total damage dealt after 4 attacks

At 50 target armor
Break Even = 2nd Attack
BC deals 0.50% more total damage than LWZ

At 75 target armor
Break Even = 3rd Attack
BC deals 0.37% more total damage than LWZ

At 100 target armor
Break Even = 4th Attack
LWZ deals 7.75% more total damage than BC

At 200 target armor
BC never breaks even on single attack average damage
LWZ deals 28.36% more total damage than BC

I believe that the results above indicate that the following would be the most efficient use of funds:

Quote:
1) If your target has less than 75 armor, you should buy a Brutalizer to meet your armor penetration needs.
2) If your target has 100 or more armor, Black Cleaver takes too long to break even when compared to Last Whisper and Zeal.

Conclusion - Use Brutalizer and/or Ghostblade to meet your armor pen needs when targets have 75 or less armor. Use LWZ to penetrate target armor that exceeds 75. The reason that BC shouldn't be chosen for its armor reduction stacking is because it's window of efficiency is only between about 50 and 75 armor for the target...this window is simply too small to justify spending 3065 gold on without the upward potential you get from LWZ in the form of upgrading to PD and increasing Apen from % penetration instead of flat reduction.
I would love to hear any thoughts the community might have!

Happy Summoning!

Attachment 113089


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Gunflame

Senior Member

02-03-2011

What's the cost of black clever? what's the cost of lwz?


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DrDragun

Senior Member

02-03-2011

LWZ is 3485g, BC is 3065g (14% more gold)

What did you use for champion base damage for this analysis? With higher values for base damage (say around 120) then the higher values of armor reduction (at low target armor) and attackspeed on Black Cleaver will give it more of an advantage.


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Valhirien

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Senior Member

02-03-2011

LW = 2290, zeal = 1195, total 3485
cleaver = 3065


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imhuge

Senior Member

02-03-2011

Black Cleaver should be better for Baron at least
Cleaver might be the better choice on Tryndamere

The crit chance from Zeal is a 26% dps increase for the calculation so I guess that's why Cleaver is so weak here
Infinity Edge just scales too well versus armor reduction, Cleaver might even lose in a 30 armor case


EDIT: for new results

looks like Cleaver is rarely worth it
80 is about the minimum late game and any support with +armor skills or Aegis will make it higher

running armor pen Marks and flat AD Quints is somewhat common, maybe that should be compared too


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Eledhan

Senior Member

02-03-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDragun View Post
LWZ is 3485g, BC is 3065g (14% more gold)

What did you use for champion base damage for this analysis? With higher values for base damage (say around 120) then the higher values of armor reduction (at low target armor) and attackspeed on Black Cleaver will give it more of an advantage.
I used Ashe's base AD at level 15.

I followed your suggestion and tried the exact same thing with 120 AD, and it turns out that the LWZ actually gets even better, not worse, since the average damage % increase due to IE's passive is so high with crit chance.


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TasLoL

Senior Member

02-03-2011

you did take into account BC stacks right?


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Eledhan

Senior Member

02-03-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by imhuge View Post
Black Cleaver should be better for Baron at least
Building simply to kill Baron a few seconds faster is not the greatest idea. I'd rather build to win enemy encounters.

Quote:
Cleaver might be the better choice on Tryndamere
Not necessarily...he already kills so quickly that it would probably be a waste. However, an analysis for each champion is outside the scope of this thread.

Quote:
The crit chance from Zeal is a 26% dps increase for the calculation so I guess that's why Cleaver is so weak here
It's actually only 16% increase from crit chance. You're going to deal 100% (before armor of course) of your AD regardless of crit chance. The % increase to average damage due to crit chance can only be calculated on the critical damage bonus %, which in this case is 160%. 1.6*10% is 16% average DPS increase.

Quote:
Infinity Edge just scales too well versus armor reduction, Cleaver might even lose in a 30 armor case
The reality is that there are so few situations where you will fight against a champion who has under 50 armor by the time you have built IE and BC. I didn't go below 50 for this exact reason.


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Drakantus

Senior Member

02-03-2011

Black cleaver also increases your team's physical damage to the target. Black cleaver's effect benefits things like pantheon's spear while last whisper does not.

Black cleaver's effect stacks completely with rune/item(bratalizer)/mastery armor penetration, while last whisper's effect is diminished somewhat and doesn't stack as nicely. How do the numbers look if you assume the champion has full armor pen reds, armor pen masteries, and a brutalizer?


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Eledhan

Senior Member

02-03-2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by TasLoL View Post
you did take into account BC stacks right?
Yes. I ran the calculations for each attack starting with 0 stack for the first, 1 for the second, 2 for the third, and 3 for the fourth. BC never dealt more damage in a single attack than LWZ did...even at max stacks.

You can view the spreadsheet to see all the calculations.