The Blackfire Renaissance is overrated (RIOTNOMEEEE)

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konfetarius

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Initial testing results because I got bored and suspected a PLACEBO EFFECT snuck in by the gnome. RiotNome, confirm/deny plz?

1. BFT procs twice per regular application. It does 1.75% damage a tiny fraction of a second after the initial spell damage hit, then another 1.75% about a second later. The BFT "burn" graphic/debuff icon persists almost a second after the second tic does it's damage.

2. BFT seems to have an unlisted modifier which diminishes its power for DoT and AoE coded spells. Evidence:

A. Annie - Q (single target) generates 2 BFT procs, drains 2 BFT charges. W (AoE) generates 1 BFT proc, drains 1 BFT charge.
B. Cassiopea - Q (3 tic poison) generates 3 BFT Procs, drains 3 BFT charges. E (single target spell explicitly coded as AoE for Rylai purposes) generates 1 BFT Proc, drains 1 BFT charge.
C. Malzahar - E (4 tic dot) generates 4 BFT Procs, drains 4 BFT charges.

For DoTs like Cass Q you would expect, by description, 5 BFT procs (first deals 3 seconds of poison damage, then at the end another 2 procs of BFT by getting it refreshed with the last spell DoT tick and lasting full 2 seconds). In practice, this is wrong in two ways - the last proc of the DoT seems to count as the first proc of BFT, which essentially subtracts 1 proc from BFT burn at the end; and the fact that this is coded as a DoT means BFT only does one proc in general, which means it subtracts 2 BFT procs from the end. This pattern holds with every DoT I tried.

Notably, with Caitlin Trap (a 3 tic DoT over 1.5 seconds), it only seems to proc twice, consuming 2 procs. Which fits the pattern of it proccing at ~0.1 seconds and ~1.1(?)ish second.

Conclusions: BFT is weaker than one would assume by description. For example, we believed that Brand would get 6 seconds of BFT proc with his passive, resulting in staggering 1.7% * 6 (4 passive burn seconds, 2 post burn seconds) + 8% = 18.5% max health damage for every fully completed nuke. In practice, it's 1.7% * 4 + 8% = 14%.

This is still very impressive for Brand, and Brand is still awesome with BFT, but consider another common user like Syndra or Zyra. Syndra gets gets diminished effect on all her spells with exception of her ultimate, which means she essentially gets +1.75% max health damage appended to her Q, W, and E. Which, truth be told, is not quite the godmode that is anticipated, a boost of +17 damage per 1000 enemy health; so against a typical 2000 health target it's worth maybe 50 AP.

*Note, that is still good. Simple cost efficiency example: You get Hunting Guise, then what?
1. Spend 2335 gold on BFT for 55 AP, 20% CDR, the proc that is worth 17 damage per 1000 health per second.
2. Spend 2200 gold on Morrelonomicon, 75 AP, 20% CDR, mana regeneration, its passive.

Unless you super need the mana regen/passive, is the proc worth 20 AP? Let's take the most extreme example, Le Blonk, with her 3.76 AP ratio on full combo and preference for prejudiced burst. The 20 ap gives her, thus slightly under 80 damage. Against a 2000 HP squishy, for whom Le Blanc will readily get at least 3.5% max health burn (and more due to double proc nature of Q/E) get 70 life worth of damage. Deathcap multiplier, Lichbane proc push this more in favor of AP, but Le Blonk double procs (and enemies with more than 2000 HP) push this back in favor of BFT.

You could argue that a better comparison with Athene's Grail, which sacrifices a bit more AP for notable more mana regeneration and delicious 40 magic resist, but that's a different discussion.

All in all, this suggests RiotNome tuned the BFT to not be dramatically ahead of its alternatives in terms of cost efficient damage increase; and depending on champion/match up, alternatives are still valid outside concerns of slot efficiency. The biggest buff from BFT comes to specialist mages like Brand and Cassiopea which are extraordinarily good at 100% BFT burn up time, for others you have to weigh whenever a marginal increase in damage is essentially worth not grabbing the mana regen* and tertiary utility of the three codex alternatives (Nashors*, Athenes, Morello),



TLDR - The biggest buff for mages that ultimately came with BFT is that it convinced a lot more people to incorporate Hunting Guise into their builds, which is the true increase in damage people are seeing across from mages. This was RiotNome's most important victory with this item for Dominion mage viability, outside specific interactions (Amumu is total bull****; Brand's a pretty cool guy), BFT in and of itself is not really that overpowered and shouldn't dictate mage balance as strongly as I suspected before. Though, notably, it's also not that weak on burst mages like Le Blonk like I thought.

The secondary buff is that it is a slot efficiency buff for full 6 item build mages (Morrelonomicon merged with HG? Yes, please!), but that's a fringe case for most Dominion games as that is rather very late game.

P.S. - before snide jackasses like inFe eD show up, yes, this was a whole lot of time and effort wasted to effectively come to the conclusion of "Keep doing what you are doing now." But it gave me peace of mind, so I don't regret it.

P.S.S. - Morello's vs Athenes - Morello + Null mantle is 20 less MR than Athenes, but 15 more AP, same cost. I'd argue that 20 MR is worth more than 15 AP, and that the slot efficiency of having the said 40 MR on an an item of such utility overweight's Morrello 400 gold advantage in rushability. If you are looking for an alternative to BFT upgrade after HG, Athenes is your man. Cup. Thing. Unless you really need that anti-heal passive.


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UPfreely

Senior Member

03-14-2013

i'd gladly trade it for liandries


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Nyx87

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Senior Member

03-14-2013

Good post. Things to also take into consideration is that with the pen changes, Haunting Guise is no longer a dead buy late game and giving it an upgrade path makes it the "brutalizer" for mages. Is it overrated? For the most part yes, there are mages that can forgo BFT for quite some time and just getting its components( I am guilty of rushing BFT on Diana when it's not needed). But some absolutely abuse it's passive(brand and cassio as you listed but also Swain and Zyra). So for them it can be worth the rush. To me it is similar to Black Cleaver now, keep it in components until you really need that late game edge.


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ricedream5

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by konfetarius View Post

TLDR - The biggest buff for mages that ultimately came with BFT is that it convinced a lot more people to incorporate Hunting Guise into their builds, which is the true increase in damage people are seeing across from amges. This was RiotNome's most important victory with this item for Dominion mage viability, outside specific interactions (Amumu is total bull****; Brand's a pretty cool guy), BFT in and of itself is not really that overpowered and shouldn't dictate mage balance as strongly as I suspected before. Though, notably, it's also not that weak on burst mages like Le Blonk like I thought.
Agreed ^^

Next step is to see how incredibly strong Void is for raw damage nowadays.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Well, let's do another quick arithmetic and find out if it's rushworthy given the most basic alternatives: Void Staff, Wooglets, Abyssal, Lichbane. Back to Le Blonk the AP lady! Let's orient around level 12 (first major item completion).

Items: Prospector Ring (40 AP), Hunting Guise (25 AP, 15 MPEN), Sorc Shoes (15 MPEN).
Masteries: 21 offense (+12 AP, +5% AP, 8% MPEN).
Runes: (14 mpen via marks/quints, rest defensive runes)

Le Blank:
5 Point Q - 330 base, 0.9 AP scaling
2 Point R - 412 base, 1.125 AP scaling
1 Point W - 85 base, .6 AP scaling
4 Point E - 230 base, 1.0 AP scaling

So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 81AP = 1320ish damage.

Wooglet's at this point costs another 3.5k gold, so we are comparing 6 paths:
1. Wooglet (duh)
2. BFT (2335 gold + 1 blasting wand purchase)
3. Void (2200 + 1 Blasting Wand + 1 amp tome purchase)
4. Abyssal (2560 + blasting wand purchase)
5. Lichbane (3000 + amp tome purchase)
6. DFG (3100 + amp tome purchase)

Wooglet path
So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 230AP = 1860 damage or 41% increase (+armor, + stasis)

BFT path
So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 180AP = 1680 damage or 27% increase (+20% CDR, +burn proc, which against a let's say a 2k hp target and 4 charges +140 damage)

Throw in the burn proc with the assumption, it becomes = 1820 damage or 37% damage increase. So vs wooglets, it's basically CDR vs Stasis/Armor. While Wooglets scales all subsequent APs faster, BFT scales with enemy HP. And, quite frankly, after you get one you are very likely to go for the other, so it doesn't matter.

Void Staff path
(this one a bit trickier)
So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 217AP = 1813 damage or 37% increase (+35% penetration).

This is where it gets interesting. Remember, with above rune/item set up, you already have 8% penetration and 44 flat mpen. So against targets under 50MR, you don't really care - Void Staff is a competitive damage increase to other two options, but offers nothing else.

Let's try 74 MR, shall we? This is the lowest breakpoint before mpen is "wasted" with Voidstaff. And it amounts to... +24% damage, multiplicative with all existing AP/bases/Stormrelic/BFT. So, at 74 MR, which is basically every single bruiser/tank/assassins is going to have with just 1 MR item and MR runes by this point, Void Staff already stomps the competition. Squishies might not have this much MR this early, but if tank has Bulwark, they also might.

Let's try 150 MR, shall we? That's +33% damage increase from penetration, so it wins even harder the more MR you see.

Abyssal Scepter path
(this one a bit trickier)
So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 217AP = 1813 damage or 37% increase (+20 magic reduction, +45magic resist).

Let's try 68 MR, shall we? This is the lowest breakpoint before mpen is "wasted" with Abyssal. Abyssal penetration amounts to... +24% damage. Same as Void staff, actually, but at slightly lower threshold, and with a sexy 45 MR boost for yourself. Nice?

Let's try at 100 MR. Uh oh, +14% damage now. A lot weaker. But MR and it's a team damage steroid, so still worth it.

Let's try 150 MR. +10%. Bummer. But, again, MR and team damage boost.

Lichbane Path (the triiickiest)
So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 185 AP = 1700 damage or 28% increase (+MS, +lichbane proc). Lichbane proc translates into 75 + .75 * 185 = 213 magic damage. So....

One Proc: 1913 damage or 44% increase

Two Procs: 2126 damage or 61% increase

Three Procs: 2339 damage or 77% increase

Practically speaking, you will get only 1-2 procs per rotation, let's assume you are pro and it's 2 (honestly, that is already slowing down your QWE rotation for the licbhane increase). This means Lichbane, as a rush item, is actually highly competitive to Void Staff/Abyssal with a major caveat - you might not get the proc off at all, making this a generic fail of an item; or you might get a proc off against a poor soul dumb enough to still have base MR to be penetrated into 0 by your core build penetration, which translates into by far the HIGHEST damage increase of all rush items. And this is based off Le Blank's super ratios, who already gets a relatively low boost from Lichbane. Nifty, eh? Otherwise, it is mostly competitive with Void Staff for raw damage.

But, again, remember the following for this item: You need to actually be able to get the procs off; it loses to Void staff once enemies start stacking MR, and Lichbane performance can rapidly decay the more you stagger your rotation to fit in Lichbane procs. (as in, if you are not casting spells as soon as they come off cooldown; or if you are interrupting burst of QWE for sake of sneaking in an additional lichbane proc, etc.)

DFG Path
So, 1027 base damage + 3.625 * 236 AP = 1882 damage or 42% increase (+10% CDR, +active cast which is 15% max health and 20% damage amp).

Against a 2k HP target, the damage active adds +300 damage, then amplifies the rest of the damage by +20%.
Which results in total burst of 2558 burst damage.

So, pretty nice for dunking 1 target, as expected. Beats out 3 lichbane procs; and AP boost is actually comparable to Wooglet at this stage. Aaand the damage amp affects all magic damage done by your team.

TLDR: Post your core flat pen build, your next item choices are:

1. Wooglets if you want best defense active + armor. The quintessential survival method.
2. BFT/Athenes if you want CDR and some specific balance in terms of mana/MR/damage. The quintessential utility/DPS (if your cooldown array allows it) pick up.
3. Void Staff if your enemies aren't ****ing retarded and are getting MR. This is the quintessential selfish damage option.
4. Abyssal for a hybrid of some of the above. It competes with Void Staff at low MR for damage, but provides sexy counter-MR boost for yourself. So Abyssal essentially the best way to win AP squishy duels; but it also provides your team with a decent damage boost, especially against targets that aren't stacking MR. So a situational, but surprisingly effective item as it gives you survivability, team damage support, and potentially Void Staff level damage increase.
5. Lichbane is if your enemies are retarded and aren't getting MR. This is the inverse of Void Staff, it will add obscene base damage pre-mitigation, but if they rapidly stacked MR, you are not going to feel as big of a power bump as from the far more practical Void Staff rush. And, again, remember, this is a highly technical item that requires a higher degree of mechanical skill and knowledge of your specific champion's ideal spellcast rotations. It potentially adds the most damage depending on a whole crapton of variables, but it can very well fall short of expectations starting with your enemies misebehaving, transitioning to your champion selection/skill order, and ending with your own derps.
6. Deathfire Grasp if you want AP comparable to a Wooglets rush, with a side of some CDR and the hardest hitting single target killing active. Was a bit surprised at how much better it is than Lichbane, actually. Obviously relies on perfect comboing, but on the bright side, the damage amp affects all magic damage your team does, so it has some applications for melting stuff that is otherwise unmeltable in multiple AP compositions

On the plus side, if you don't care about rotations and are aiming to just end someone without waiting for a second set of cooldowns, staggering is perfectly acceptable way to make use of Lichbane 3 back to back procs scenario. Assuming you don't get killed for trying to drag out your burst/CC combo over 4 seconds.


P.S. - Nyx, I disagree that BFT is same as cleaver. It is significantly better. At least, relative to its competitors, it doesn't get royally screwed like Cleaver does.


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ricedream5

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Interesting. That was some quick calculations there.

I do think you should note that for champions with high base damage, low ratios (e.g. Zyra plants, AP Kog, Lux) MPen is even stronger for pure damage.
I think mage itemization is pretty damn awesome now depending on what you want. Wooglets for trollactive/AP, Void for pure damage vs bruisers/tanks, BFT for CDR, Rylai/Sweeper for health/utility.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Meh. To be absolutely honest, Rylai rush shouldn't be on the table for anyone. Mages need the major items first to keep up with damage before they can afford to start putting gold towards utility of the slow. In other words, I think that the Rylai slow is essentially late game luxury.

Sweeper, however, is OP enough utility (Active, CDR, *and* MS) to consider being a rush item where Rylai falls short. Rod of Ages and Tear are of a similiar purpose for champions that essentially scale with mana at diferent points of investment (first major rush item vs a minor detour item; good balance there IMO).


*Edit: After I get unsick, I'll throw in comparison with Lichbane. DFG not really interested, as I've done it before compared to Void staff. It's basically a hybrid between Void Staff and BFT for cost, with most of the damage boost tied up in the active (but it doesn't actually beat out Void staff in any significant degree). Strictly late mage item for multiplicative scaling after you got your other major multipliers in place.


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Redeemed In Fire

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by konfetarius View Post
P.S.S. - Morello's vs Athenes - Morello + Null mantle is 20 less MR than Athenes, but 15 more AP, same cost. I'd argue that 20 MR is worth more than 15 AP, and that the slot efficiency of having the said 40 MR on an an item of such utility overweight's Morrello 400 gold advantage in rushability. If you are looking for an alternative to BFT upgrade after HG, Athenes is your man. Cup. Thing. Unless you really need that anti-heal passive.
Or a 35 AP/40 Mr difference. And on champions that don't care about living longer, I'd rather have the AP.


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konfetarius

Senior Member

03-14-2013

Personal preference wise, sure. Practical power wise, no. The 40 MR can and will be the difference between Annie 100-0ing you without retaliation, and you know, actual retaliation. Ditto for dying to splash damage from Amumu AoE and the like. Or getting CC'd before you complete your combo. Assuming perfect positioning/play scenario from yourself doesn't compete with assuming you will get outplayed or ambushed or that you will plain ol' **** up.

This is true even at the highest levels of competition, let alone the derpitude that is solo queu.


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Nyx87

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Senior Member

03-14-2013

I should probably clarify what i meant by similar to Black cleaver, I'm tired and at work. In terms of whether to complete Guise into BFT or Brut into Cleaver, you should be asking "are there other items i need now that will have more of an impact?", "do these components build into something better?" and "can i fully utilize this item?"

Though side by side, Cleaver vs BFT? Yeah BFT blows it out of the water.


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