Black Cleaver is worth the price?

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PeliCloud

Junior Member

09-07-2012

Ok so I never use Black Cleaver because for me it looks too overpriced for what it does. Knowing it costs 2865g and the phantom dancer 2840g.

Ok so the stats that the Black Cleaver gives.: +55 AD & +30% AS . Not that bad but is it worth that much gold?

Ok now the passive : Your basic attacks reduce your target's armor by 15 for 5 seconds (maximum 3 stacks). Ok not bad but seriously this does change the game. It may be good versus armor tanks but.... It's missing something.

Comparison. Phantom dancer : +55% attack speed
+30% critical strike chance
+12% movement speed
Soooooooooooo much better in my opinion for the same price.

That's only my opinion, I'm just curious how much of you thinks the same way than me.
Thanks!


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Velpro

Senior Member

09-07-2012

The only only reason PD is often picked up is because IE is almost ALWAYS picked up.

If IE did not exist, than Black Cleaver would be much more popular.


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67chrome

Senior Member

09-07-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11tinic View Post
Ok so I never use Black Cleaver because for me it looks too overpriced for what it does. Knowing it costs 2865g and the phantom dancer 2840g.

Ok so the stats that the Black Cleaver gives.: +55 AD & +30% AS . Not that bad but is it worth that much gold?

Ok now the passive : Your basic attacks reduce your target's armor by 15 for 5 seconds (maximum 3 stacks). Ok not bad but seriously this does change the game. It may be good versus armor tanks but.... It's missing something.

Comparison. Phantom dancer : +55% attack speed
+30% critical strike chance
+12% movement speed
Soooooooooooo much better in my opinion for the same price.

That's only my opinion, I'm just curious how much of you thinks the same way than me.
Thanks!
Flat penetration is better against units with lower armor. Black Cleaver can also reduce units armor below 0 (you'll need to stack it with skills capable of lowering armor below 0 though). The armor debuff doesn't apply on the same hit you apply it with though, so you'll only get the full 45 armor penetration on the 4th hit. Considering every other source of physical damage on your team also benefits from it you sort of have to take into account the supportive nature of it as well.

But yeah, there is just to much synergy with IE and Phantom to really pick it up in most situations. You'll end up getting more damage faster going cleaver first, but it shifts your strongest game more or less to when you pick it up. The way different armor penetration forms stack mean you'll waste a decent chunk of gold on investing in last whisper in the same build, and as Last Whisper is an all-around more superior armor penetration item that actually counters high armor it places cleaver in an odd spot. (flat penetration is applied before % penetration, so you penetrate a lower percentage and can't push values to negatives). Last Whisper actually becomes more effective than 3 stacks of Black Cleaver at ~110 armor. Considering you don't have to set up your skills with auto-attacks with Last Whisper, most champions get close to 75 armor at level 18 sans-runes anyways, and it's cheaper it ends up being a better armor pen item most of the time; at least in 1 vs. 1 situations.

I'd say it's cost efficient by itself, it just doesn't have much synergy with other items and sort of falls off late game because of it.


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Muspelheim SN

Member

09-07-2012

More technically 40% armor pen and the maximum armor reduction of Black Cleaver break even at about 110 armor.

The actual DPS you get against a single target will depend on your runes and build, as BC has 30% attack speed and 15 more attack damage than Last Whisper.

For example, a lv 18 Ashe with AS boots, PD, IE, BT, BC, a defensive item, and no runes or masteries has, according to the champion builder on leaguecraft, 1065 DPS. Replacing BC with LW yields a much lower 903 DPS, but with 40% armor pen instead of a maximum armor shred of 45. Assuming full stacks of BC, the armor where this DPS breaks even is given by solving 1065*[1-(AR-45)/(AR-45+100)]=903*[1-(AR*.6)/(AR*.6+100)]

Assuming I plugged everything into my calculator right, the equal point is 215.3 armor. Beyond that LW is more effective, before that max stacks BC is more effective. However, BC takes time to get up to its 45 armor shred, so that shifts the balance more in favor of LW, so I'd guess around 190.

Runes and masteries also affect this, as there are flat pen runes and masteries, but only one %pen mastery that stacks with LW to give a total of 46% armor pen instead of 50% like you'd think based on 10% and 40%. Built in armor shred like Corki has will tip the balance in BC's favor and AS or AD steroids will also tip towards BC as its extra AD and AS act as multipliers to those stats.

Still, if you want to kill someone with more than ~200 armor, LW is better. Of course getting 200 armor isn't hard for most bruisers or tanks to get and most teams will have a few of those, so LW is far more popular. I've seen some champions hit 200 armor with just a frozen heart, runes, and masteries.


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Autocthon

Senior Member

09-07-2012

BT is a bruiser item :/

It synergizes with bruiser kits more easily than it does with carry kits simply because bruisers are:

1) More likely to maintain auto attack uptime without needing to reposition
2) Less likely to have other "major" offensive items (that 50AD + 30% AS is one of the highest single item standalone DPS boosts in the game, beaten ONLY by MBR and PD with the possibility of IE)
3) More likely to be attacking squishier targets for whom BC is so great
4) Higher overall AD scalars (carries are unlikely to have more than a 1.0 total AD scalar on their burst)

BTW almost every champ in the game can hit 200 armor with armor runes + Frozen Heart, and ALL (IIRC) champs can have greater than 110 with just a chain vest @18


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SSj Heimerdinger

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Senior Member

09-09-2012

I usually only grab black cleaver if there isn't a champion sporting armor yet or if there's more than 2 squishies on the enemy team(excluding support...so if there was a shaco on the team for example, they most likely would not have a tank or would force support alistar if anything)


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Silly Shinobi

Junior Member

09-09-2012

Think of it like this. You're causing your ad champs on your team to deal true damage to people with less than 45 armor, stacked with your own armor pen a good bit of AD and AS.


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67chrome

Senior Member

09-09-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muspelheim SN View Post
Assuming I plugged everything into my calculator right, the equal point is 215.3 armor. Beyond that LW is more effective, before that max stacks BC is more effective. However, BC takes time to get up to its 45 armor shred, so that shifts the balance more in favor of LW, so I'd guess around 190.

Runes and masteries also affect this, as there are flat pen runes and masteries, but only one %pen mastery that stacks with LW to give a total of 46% armor pen instead of 50% like you'd think based on 10% and 40%. Built in armor shred like Corki has will tip the balance in BC's favor and AS or AD steroids will also tip towards BC as its extra AD and AS act as multipliers to those stats.

Still, if you want to kill someone with more than ~200 armor, LW is better. Of course getting 200 armor isn't hard for most bruisers or tanks to get and most teams will have a few of those, so LW is far more popular. I've seen some champions hit 200 armor with just a frozen heart, runes, and masteries.
Well, Black Cleaver is also more expensive, so it should boost DPS by more. gold is a pretty important factor to, especially in games that don't last long enough for a full build. Which I'm pretty sure is most of them. You need to finish building both to get any armor penetration at all as well, which is something to factor in with the price and wait. If you've already gotten Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer first Black Cleaver is a really solid addition to both though, more damage for phantom and more speed for infinity is a solid boost there. Of course, by then level 18s have anyware from ~60 to ~90 armor (or ~70 to ~100 with just seals/masteries boosting it) so if you need armor penetration that's pretty close to the 110 turning point, and any armor item at all will make Last Whisper's penetration better. Using skills that don't let you smack your enemies with autos first favor it as well.

Like you mentioned with Corki having armor-penetration built in to your kit bumps up the armor enemies need to tip the scales, so would the potential 25 armor penetration you can get from runes or 31 flat penetration you can get from runes and masteries. Having any attack-speed steroids that allows all 3 stacks to be rapidly applied will also aid cleaver's viability, a solid number of physical-damage dealers have one of those as well. On-hit effects help it's viability to, especially things like Spray and Pray.

Inversely, if you play a champion with a %armor penetration steroid or skill the armor needed to reach the tipping point will be lower, making Last Whisper more beneficial more often.

As for actual DPS the way armor and armor penetration works makes the DPS boost by either vary a great deal based on the target; Last Whisper can increase your DPS by as little as 0% (against 0 armor - generally that's only going to happen to minions suffering from some debuff) to as much as 46% against a target with 700 armor (which is more or less the maximum you can get with a level 18 stacking thornmail/frozen hearts and a few +armor runes and masteries - if you can get higher with abilities good for you; though seeing it this high is pretty unrealistic to begin with).

For were I got the numbers Thornmail and Frozen heart boost armor by 100 and 99, respectively. And you have 6 item slots. Base armor is anyware from 60 to 90 and getting an extra boost with runes or masteries could set those on the higher end to 100. 700 armor should cause you to only take 12.5% damage, were 60% of that (420 armor) should cause you to take ~18.2% damage (which ends up being ~46% more).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autocthon View Post
BT is a bruiser item :/

It synergizes with bruiser kits more easily than it does with carry kits simply because bruisers are:

1) More likely to maintain auto attack uptime without needing to reposition
2) Less likely to have other "major" offensive items (that 50AD + 30% AS is one of the highest single item standalone DPS boosts in the game, beaten ONLY by MBR and PD with the possibility of IE)
3) More likely to be attacking squishier targets for whom BC is so great
4) Higher overall AD scalars (carries are unlikely to have more than a 1.0 total AD scalar on their burst)
I'll agree to that. Especially if you pick your items by going for a pure offense and then pure defense item. The only thing Black Cleaver is missing to be the full physical damage package is critical strike chance. Considering building offense and defense scales champion effectiveness the same way building attack damage and attack speed scale champion effectiveness it's a better buy in builds not exclusivly on the DPS side. Black Cleaver can scale in a variety of tanky DPS builds rather well, and it will have pretty sound synergy with items like Frozen Mallet. It scales as well with similar everything items like Triforce as Infinity Edge does with Phantom Dancer too, so there's always that.

The only problem I have here is that Youmuu's increases everything - armor penetration, damage, critical strikes, and has a huge AS steroid in the active - and to put icing on the cake has cooldown reduction as well.



So to summarize: Black Cleaver is a good item well worth its cost, but there are better items that are more viable in more builds more often. If you play against squishy enemies and have flat armor penetration steroids and runes, an attack speed steroid, and on-hit abilities it's a solid buy.