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**Sniperness**:

Wow I'm shocked that everyone so far thinks black cleaver is a better first item. Seriously, it's not. You can do the math for the cost and compare for yourself.

Perhaps you should learn math first?

With armor penetration:

Black Cleaver + Fortitude + Agility > Black Cleaver + Recurve Bow > B.F. Sword + Recurve Bow + Recurve Bow > Black Cleaver + Cloak of Agility > Infinity Edge

Without armor penetration:

Black Cleaver + Fortitude + Agility > Black Cleaver + Recurve Bow > Black Cleaver + Cloak of Agility > B.F. Sword + Recurve Bow + Recurve Bow > Infinity Edge

Black Cleaver + Fortitude + Agility is cheapest. The other 4 are close in cost.

The closest match between item stats is the Black Cleaver + Cloak of Agility and Infinity Edge.

75 damage 18% critical and armor debuff versus 80 damage 20% critical and critical passive.

Hero will have 35 armor penetration and 50% critical. Reasonable stats for level 10 enemy will be 50 armor + 12 with Aegis.

With 50% critical Infinity Edge passive adds 1/6 bonus DPS. After 1 strike with cleaver you get about 10% bonus DPS, after 2 strikes you get about 23% bonus DPS and 27% after 3 strikes.

So with the weakest item combination with Black Cleaver you will still be on par with Edge.

You talk about math but you ignore it completely. Perhaps a few people will understand that at most Infinity Edge's unique passive will add 25% more DPS. Black cleaver on the other hand can add up to 60% DPS (Possibly more, I'm unsure of how this game handles negative armor values). When an enemy hero reaches 200 armor, 5 stacks of armor debuff will equal the passive of Infinity Edge with 100% critical. Moreover, the armor debuff applies for your team as well. This also makes it quicker and thus safer for your team to do certain elite neutral creeps.

Combining armor penetration runes/sunder mastery you will find that as STANDALONE ITEMS Infinity Edge is better than Black Cleaver during EARLY game. However, Black Cleaver is much cheaper than Infinity Edge and so when you add another reasonable DPS item, to fill the gold gap, it will edge out over Infinity Edge at any point of the game.

To reiterate, WITH OR WITHOUT ARMOR PENETRATION RUNES BLACK CLEAVER IS BETTER THAN INFINITY EDGE. A few heroes may want the Edge because they either are guaranteed criticals or need criticals do something else. However, if those heroes wanted better DPS (For themselves AND the team) they too would get Black Cleaver.