The Brut change is a necessary response to the penetration changes

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Talith PA

Senior Member

12-14-2012

is what someone tried to tell me, and I imagine that it might make sense to a lot of players after getting cleaved last patch.

So I sat down, thought about builds and at what point in the game they are powerful, looked at numbers for season 2 and season 3, and wanted to see for myself if that was the case or not.

Thinking that the flat penetration on brutalizer needs a nerf is an easy assumption to make when you think about the changed priority of the penetration system on paper, but then when you notice that armor penetration runes all got hit and the % penetration mastery was reduced you will see that you are actually doing less damage throughout the game compared to season 2 until you finally spend another 1663 gold on cleaver or 2135 gold on whisper (the superior selfish damage item), in which case the over-tuned % penetration goes to work.

Opening brutalizer first in S3 is weaker in all cases compared to S2, even with the different penetration order.

In season 3, a brutalizer with 15 armor penetration using 0 additional flat penetration from runes and masteries but using the % penetration from masteries provides you with less than 1 armor pen over season 2 with the same setup on targets with more than 30 armor, and breaks even at 75 armor. If you add any additional flat armor penetration from runes or masteries then the season 2 setup beats the pre-nerf season 3 setup against all targets.

With that aside, the main problem with cleaver and whisper, as stated by Xypherous, is their % penetration is too high - their values were tuned to preseason armor. Because both of their values are too high, their stacked case gets even sillier. If whisper was the only item in the game with % penetration it might be fine at 35% (although I think it should be 30%, void staff too), but because cleaver is also a % penetration item (that everyone on the team benefits from) and you gain defensive stats at the same time you negate defensive stats, their stacked case becomes abusive.

Because the % penetration is too high right now, it makes flat penetration once you acquire the % penetration too powerful. In all cases you are worse off than before until you complete either cleaver or whisper.

After the % penetration, I maintain that the most offensive stat on cleaver is the health and not the flat penetration. The idea of becoming more durable while negating durability is stupid. One of your best offensive items shouldn't simultaneously be a great defensive item. It's the reason the movement speed was gutted on phantom dancer and why zhonya's ring got split into hourglass and deathcap.

Instead of being an early game AD item or an itemization path that punishes lower amounts of armor at the cost of higher raw damage, brutalizer and its upgrades are this weird set of items you want only after you have percentage penetration (which one of the items give) and that is just terrible.

The game would be much better off removing the health from cleaver completely and replacing the ruby crystal with a pickaxe in the recipe, possibly even removing an additional 2.5 - 5% from the total shred but stacking faster; unless perhaps the champions with frree penetration and shreds on their kits get looked at.

This allows you to have an almost similar early game with brutalizer as before but allows for something interesting when deciding what your next item may be- when you purchase a pickaxe for additional damage you then have the option of considering whether you would like to upgrade to cleaver and be a team player or be more selfish with the pickaxe and purchase a last whisper instead. In this manner getting early flat penetration doesn't feel absolutely terrible until you get % penetration, and the combination of cleaver + whisper + flat penetration builds don't feel so ridiculous to deal with as a tank since tank levels of armor actually protect you against it now (the reduced total % penetration) and that champion appropriately dies when looked at because he has no health or resistances at all.

TLDR: % Pen too high, health on cleaver is bull****. Flat pen nerfs were tackling the problem wrong.


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BeefJerkyHunter

Senior Member

12-14-2012

With the global penetration gone, the Last Whisper may not be nearly as obnoxious now.


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Orphane

Senior Member

12-14-2012

I didn't think the flat pen on Brutalizer or Black Cleaver needed nerfing, to be honest. Making Cleaver unique as well as the reduction of the shred passive alongside the removal of the Dominion 12% arpen aura would probably have been sufficient to bring armor penetration in line.

And yeah, I think given the swap to penetration order Last Whisper should probably have had its % penetration lowered to 30% since there's no downside to getting both flat and % pen now - in fact, you are obligated to do so because flat pen got hit hard.


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MyDeadGrandma

Senior Member

12-14-2012

Imagine balance problems are a condemned building about to be demolished.
Now imagine the crew of the wrecking ball assigned to this building are drunk and swinging about wildly, hitting every building in the street except this one.

You are now up to date on Riot's live balance team's strategy.


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Redenbacher

Senior Member

12-14-2012

Well, at least I know I'm not alone on the subject. Good analysis, and I think it hits the nail right on the head.

I've said it once before, but I'll repeat myself here: The health on The Black Cleaver does not make sense in the context of big ticket damage items.

AD Carries: Infinity Edge. High amount of AD per gold. Unique passive improves the value of current and future AD and Critical Strike chance. No health.
AP Carries: Rabadon's Deathcap. Tremendous amount of AP per gold, in addition to improving the value of all current and future AP. No health.
AD Casters: The Black Cleaver. Huge armor reduction that benefits team and keeps AD Caster relevant late-game. Provides all stats relevant to an AD Caster. Adds health.

It's inconsistency with other itemization decisions is the item's biggest issue.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

12-14-2012

That's hardly entirely accurate. Infinity Edge allows life steal to scale. Deathcap adds armor and the best defensive active in the game.


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Talith PA

Senior Member

12-14-2012

That is witchcap konf.


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DiscworldDeath

Senior Member

12-14-2012

The EUW chat just had a small discussion about it.

Some points, from both sides (though I think everyone is in agreement, just put the emphasis elsewhere):

1. The goal was to make AD Casters have a late game - their late game IS better, at least on SR. They do get to transition to late game.
2. They are forced into one build. Xypherous often discussed that if you make an amazing item, you often have to nerf all champions who build it so they won't be OP when they get it, but that then requires them to build the item they've been balanced around to not be UP. This is what it seems to be at - AD Casters now have a build they must adhere to. There are items they must get.

If they get these items, they'll be somewhat stronger late game than they were before. But if not, they'd be weaker, and they seem to be weaker early-mid game regardless.

3. Resistances have been made more expensive as well, so they get less penetration early/mid, but the opponents usually have less defenses as well.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

12-14-2012

Quote:
That is witchcap konf.
Meh, are we talking in the context of dominion or LoL as a whole :/

Quote:
3. Resistances have been made more expensive as well, so they get less penetration early/mid, but the opponents usually have less defenses as well.
Armor was nerfed far less than flat pen was. Brutalizer rush build path lost 12 armor pen points. Chain vest is 20 gold more expensive and lost 5 armor.


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Nyx87

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Senior Member

12-14-2012

Brutalizer as a whole is an extremely powerful item that definitely needs looking at, but nerfing the ArPen might have been the wrong thing to hit. Though I will say that you didn't rush Brut just for the ArPen, but also for the AD and CDR.

Quote:
After the % penetration, I maintain that the most offensive stat on cleaver is the health and not the flat penetration. The idea of becoming more durable while negating durability is stupid.
What i find offensive about it is the inclusion of health makes it an extremely favorable item for tanky DPS and therefore hurts AD squishy casters like Talon who don't really care about the HP. J4 picks up cleaver loves the extra HP, Talon picks it up and says "Who put this Ruby in my Cleaver?"

Food for thought, both AD and AP casters can build Tripen now (Brut/Ghostblade/Cleaver vs Sorc Shoes/Haunting Guise/Abyssal) however, the AD route gives far more CDR than the AP route, which gives [s]none[/s] 10%(derp, forgot BFT). [spoiler]WHY CAN'T I DO STRIKETHROUGH[/spoiler] ....I quit BBC.....


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