Armor Pen vs Flat AD (Runes)

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NaginataX

Senior Member

01-16-2013

*Before downrating, please actually READ the guide and judge it based on it's face value. This is NOT a guide talking about masteries, passives, items, etc...simply RUNES! Thank you and enjoy the guide! ^_^*

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So the question repeatedly comes up, "Which is better for early game damage? Flat AD, or Armor Pen?" I took the liberty of doing the math to make life a little easier for everyone else out there. For those who don't enjoy the tedium of math, feel free to jump to the BOLD sections for the key points! As of the current game mechanics, Armor is calculated as such:

Damage multiplier = 100 / (100 + Armor) if Armor ≥ 0

For simplicity's sake, I won't be touching on the Armor Pen calculations since we are only factoring in Armor Pen runes, and not items which may include % reduction and the like. We will also not be considering masteries which could also have a significant effect since we are simply testing ONLY runes.

I decided to pit two potential matchups, Twitch and Graves against one another factoring in their base stats at lvl 1, assuming Twitch is doing the attacking and Graves is taking the damage. We will also assume that the runes are used to their maximum effectiveness (meaning armor runes will only count for the 9 seals, and AD and Armor Pen will be used for the marks and quints in each scenario)

Scenario #1: Going with Armor Pen

9 marks x 1.28 AP per rune = 11.52 AP from marks
3 quints x 2.56 AP per quint = 7.68 AP from quints
Total = 19.2 AP

Graves starts with 15 base Armor
9 seals x 1.41 Armor per rune = 12.69 Armor from seals
Total = 27.69 Armor @ lvl 1

When you subtract the AP from Grave's starting armor, we get this equation:
27.69 - 19.2 = 8.49 Armor

Using the armor formula and what we know, we can calculate the following:
100 / (100 + 8.49) = .92 or 92% incoming damage or 8% damage reduction (depending on how you want to look at it!)

Twitch starts with 49 AD
49 * 0.08 = 3.92 damage mitigated by Grave's armor
49 - 3.92 = 45.08 damage

So going full AP marks and quints will yield 45.08 damage on Graves at lvl 1 per autoattack!

Scenario #2: Going with AD

9 marks x 0.95 AD per rune = 8.55 AD from marks
3 quints x 2.25 AD per quint = 6.75 AD from quints
Twitch's base AD = 49
Total = 64.3 AD @ lvl 1

Graves starts with 15 base Armor
9 seals x 1.41 Armor per rune = 12.69 Armor from seals
Total = 27.69 Armor @ lvl 1

Since no AP is being considered, we proceed with the armor calculation:
100 / (100 + 27.69) = .78 or 78% incoming damage or 22% damage reduction (again, depending on how you wish to view it)

64.3 * 0.22 = 14.146 damage mitigated by Grave's Armor
64.3 - 14.146 = 50.154 total damage per hit @ lvl 1!

So going full AD marks and quints will yield 50.154 damage on Graves at lvl 1 per autoattack!

Conclusion

All things being held constant and only factoring in champions stats at lvl 1 with their rune selection, Attack Damage runes out perform Armor Penetration runes early game! Feel free to use this guide when deciding on your rune choices and if there's enough feedback I'd be happy to make additional guides comparing late-game impact of rune choices, AP values, and more! Thanks for taking the time to view my guide and don't forgot to thumbs-up if you feel that this may be of help to others! Best of luck with your games and may your penta-kills be numerous!

*Thank you to the summoners at Leagueoflegends.wikia.com for providing the statistical figures!*


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ExecutionerKen

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Senior Member

01-17-2013

Huge calculation mistake for not considering 8% armor pen from mastery as well as the possibility to gain 6 armor from defensive tree

Also, Graves' passive is not taken into account.


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NaginataX

Senior Member

01-17-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExecutionerKen View Post
Huge calculation mistake for not considering 8% armor pen from mastery as well as the possibility to gain 6 armor from defensive tree

Also, Graves' passive is not taken into account.
Again to reiterate, masteries were NOT taken into consideration. This is purely runes which is also why I did not factor in Grave's OR Twitch's passive. Please re-read my post (paragraph 2 to be exact) if you have any further questions/critiques.


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corallein

Senior Member

01-17-2013

Ignoring Graves' passive is fine, since that's unique to him. But you NEED to consider masteries, and should also consider possible level 1 items (Longsword).

Standard AD carry masteries is 21/9, which gives an additional 3.67 AD, 5 ArPen, 5 armor, and 8% ArPen at level 1.
Twitch also starts at 52 AD at level 1, not 49, and Graves starts with 18.2 armor.
Also, you should consider the combination of ArPen marks and AD quints instead of (or in addition to) full ArPen, since the former is far more common.

With that, the numbers at level 1 are:
55.78 for ArPen + AD
57.50 for AD + AD
53.41 for ArPen + ArPen


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NaginataX

Senior Member

01-19-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by corallein View Post
Ignoring Graves' passive is fine, since that's unique to him. But you NEED to consider masteries, and should also consider possible level 1 items (Longsword).
I intend on doing a more elaborate guide at a later time but for simplicity's sake, I just wanted to illustrate the difference between the two. The variable I was testing was simply runes and I didn't want to muddy that by throwing in everything else yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corallein View Post
Twitch also starts at 52 AD at level 1, not 49, and Graves starts with 18.2 armor.
Took my stats from http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wik...ion_statistics so it's possible they may be outdated if the site hasn't kept up with the recent patches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corallein View Post
Also, you should consider the combination of ArPen marks and AD quints instead of (or in addition to) full ArPen, since the former is far more common.

With that, the numbers at level 1 are:
55.78 for ArPen + AD
57.50 for AD + AD
53.41 for ArPen + ArPen
True, but if AD is on the high end, Armor Pen is on the low end, then any combination of the two would end up somewhere in the middle and your math solidifies this. I'd like to do the math to show the late-game implications of going full Armor Pen and combination of Armor Pen and AD, but I wanted to see what the reception to this guide would be before investing any additional time/effort into it (and unfortunately it seems the main point of the guide is being lost so I'm reconsidering if doing any additional guides is really going to be worth it or not)


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powwder

Senior Member

01-19-2013

ad, ad is better only because it will help you last hit better


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NaginataX

Senior Member

01-19-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by powwder View Post
ad, ad is better only because it will help you last hit better
It will actually do more damage to opposing champs (initially) but yes, last hitting will be significantly easier as well.


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FrazzledMelon

Senior Member

04-08-2013

I realize this post is a bit old, but it's worth adding on since there was never any discussion of what happens beyond level 1. Not really looking to start a discussion - this is just for posterity if someone happens to come across this thread when searching.

I'll stick with Twitch, and assume 21/9/0 ADC masteries and a Doran's or Longsword start for additional +10 AD. Also assume defender has 30 base armor at level 1, which is pretty typical with seals and Hardiness. Based on this, with full AD marks and quints, you will do about 4% more net damage per AA at level 1 vs. full Ar Pen, with slight variations depending on champ.

At level 6, with the typical increases in per-level AD and Armor, and assuming Twitch now has a Pickaxe, the Ar Pen setup is starting to do slightly more damage ~1%+. If we assume a BF Sword instead of Pickaxe, the Ar Pen setup will be doing ~3%+ extra damage per AA.

What about late game, say with a BT, IE and LW? Against a tank with 200 Armor, the Ar Pen setup will do 5% extra damage per AA. Against a squishy with 85 armor, it will do about 10% extra.