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Armor

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Armor is a stat shared by all units, including monsters, and buildings. Increasing armor reduces the physical damage the unit takes. Each champion begins with some armor which increases with level (Thresh Thresh being the only exception). You can gain additional armor from abilities, items, masteries, and runes. Armor stacks additively.

Excluding Thresh Thresh whose base armor does not scale with levels, base armor ranges from 65.5 (Gnar Gnar) to 104.5 (Rammus Rammus) at level 18.

Damage reduction

Incoming physical damage is multiplied by a factor based on the unit's armor:

$${\rm Damage\ multiplier}=\begin{cases} {100 \over 100+{\it Armor}}, & {\rm if\ }{\it Armor} \geq 0\\ 2 - {100 \over 100 - {\it Armor}}, & {\rm otherwise} \end{cases}$$

Examples:

  • 25 armor → ×0.8 incoming physical damage (20% reduction, +25% effective health).
  • 100 armor → ×0.5 incoming physical damage (50% reduction, +100% effective health).
  • −25 armor → ×1.20 incoming physical damage (20% increase, −16.67% effective health).

Stacking armor

Every point of armor requires a unit to take 1% more of its maximum health in physical damage to be killed. This is called effective health.

Example: A unit with 60 armor has 60% more of its maximum health in effective health, so if the unit has 1000 maximum health, it will take 1600 physical damage to kill it.

What this means: by definition, armor does not have diminishing returns in regard of effective hitpoints, because each point increases the unit's effective health against physical damage by 1% of its current actual health whether the unit has 10 armor or 1000 armor. However, health and armor have increasing returns with respect to each other.

Example: A unit starts with 1000 health and 100 armor giving it 2000 effective health. Now, it increases its nominal health from 1000 to 2000, thereby increasing its effective health from 2000 to 4000. Increasing the units armor by 100 at both nominal health levels would yield +1000 effective health and +2000 effective health, respectively. If we were to consider two nominal armor levels and then increase both by a static amount of health, we would see a similar increased return of effective health for the same nominal health.

Therefore, buying only armor is gold inefficient compared to buying the optimal balance of HP and armor. It is important to not stack too much armor compared to HP or else the effective HP will not be optimal.

When a unit's armor is negative because of armor reduction or debuffs, armor has increasing returns with respect to itself This is because negative armor cannot reduce effective health to less than 50% of actual health. A unit with −100 has 66.67% (gains −33.33%) of its maximum health as effective health.

Optimal Efficiency (theoretical)

Note: 'Effective Health' describes the amount of raw damage a champion can receive before dying. It will always be more than or equal to a champion's displayed Health in their Health bar and it can be increased by buying items with extra Health, Armor and Magic Resist. In this article, Effective Health will refer to the amount of raw 'Physical Damage' a champion can take.

In almost all circumstances, champions will have a lot more Health than Armor such that the following inequality will be true: Champion-Health > (Champion-Armor + 100).

If this inequality is true, a single point of Armor will give more 'Effective Health' to that champion than a single point of Health.

If (Health < Armor + 100), 1 point of Health will give more Effective Health than 1 of Armor.

If (Health = Armor + 100), 1 point of Health will give exactly the same amount of Effective Health as 1 point of Armor.

Because of this relationship, theoretically, the way to get the maximum amount of Effective Health from a finite combination of Health and Armor is to ensure that you have exactly 100 more Health than Armor (this is true regardless of how much Health and Armor you actually have).

Example: Given a theoretical situation where you start off with 0 Health and 0 Armor and are given an arbitrary number of stat points (x > 100) each of which you can either use to increase your Health or Armor by 1 point, the way to maximize your Effective Health is to add points to your health until your Health = (Armor + 100) = (0 + 100) = 100, and then split the remaining stat points in half, spend half on your Health and half on your Armor.

It's important to note that this information is purely theoretical and due to limitations from the game from champions' base stats and item stats it is incredibly difficult to acquire enough Armor to satisfy the conditions given above (to the point where players shouldn't attempt to if they are trying to actually win games).

Instead, broadly speaking, items which provide both Health and Armor give a very high amount of Effective Health against Physical Damage compared to items which only provide Health or only provide Armor. These items should be purchased when a player is seeking efficient ways to reduce the physical damage they take by a large amount.

Armor as Scaling

These use the champion's armor to increase the magnitude of the ability. It could involve total or bonus armor. By building armor items, you can receive more benefit and power from these abilities.

Champions

  • Braum Braum's Stand Behind Me.png Stand Behind Me grants armor equal to 15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25 + (10 / 11.5 / 13 / 14.5 / 16% bonus armor) to himself and the target ally for 3 seconds.
  • Leona Leona's Eclipse.png Eclipse grants armor to herself equal to 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 + (20% bonus armor) for 3 seconds, deals damage after that time to units around her, and retains the defensive buff for an additional 3 seconds if any enemy is struck by the blast.
  • Malphite Malphite's Brutal Strikes.png Brutal Strikes passively grants armor to himself equal to 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30% of his total armor.
    • Malphite Malphite's Brutal Strikes.png Brutal Strikes deals 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 + (10% armor) + (10% AP) physical splash damage per basic attack in a 225-radius.
    • Malphite Malphite's Ground Slam.png Ground Slam deals 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 200 + (30% armor) + (20% AP) magic damage.
  • Poppy Poppy's Steadfast Presence.png Steadfast Presence passively grants armor to herself equal to 12% of her total armor, increased to 24% of her total armor while below 40% maximum health.
  • Rammus Rammus's Spiked Shell.png Spiked Shell grants attack damage to himself equal to 25% of his total armor.
    • Rammus Rammus's Defensive Ball Curl.png Defensive Ball Curl increases his armor by 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 for 6 seconds, and deals 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 + (10% armor) magic damage to enemies who basic attack him.
  • Taric Taric's Bravado.png Bravado grants his next two basic attack bonus magic damage equal to 22 - 90 (based on level) (+ 15% bonus armor) after using an ability.
    • Taric Taric's Bastion.png Bastion passively grants himself and his Bastion-marked 10 / 12.5 / 15 / 17.5 / 20% of Taric's armor as bonus armor.
    • Taric Taric's Dazzle.png Dazzle deals 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+ 50% AP) (+ 30% bonus armor) magic damage.
  • Trundle Trundle's Subjugate.png Subjugate steals instantly 20% of the target's armor. He continues to drain an additional 20% the target's armor over 4 second before decaying 4 seconds after the drain completes.

Items

  • Thornmail item.png Thornmail, upon being hit by a basic attack, reflects magic damage back to the attacker equal to 25% of your bonus armor plus 15% of the incoming damage (before being reduced by defenses).
  • Iceborn Gauntlet item.png Iceborn Gauntlet, After using an ability, your next basic attack (on-hit) creates an ICY ZONE around the target for 2 seconds. This zone has a radius of 190 (+ 55% bonus armor) units (1.5 second cooldown).

Increasing armor

Items

Item Cost Amount Availability
Hextech Sweeper item.png Arcane Sweeper2150 Gold25Howling Abyss
Chain Vest item.png Chain Vest800 Gold40Common
Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor300 Gold15Common
Dead Man&#039;s Plate item.png Dead Man's Plate2900 Gold50Common
Frozen Heart item.png Frozen Heart2800 Gold90Common
Glacial Shroud item.png Glacial Shroud1000 Gold25Common
Guardian Angel item.png Guardian Angel2400 Gold60Howling Abyss
Iceborn Gauntlet item.png Iceborn Gauntlet2700 Gold65Common
Moonflair Spellblade item.png Moonflair Spellblade2500 Gold50Howling Abyss
Ninja Tabi item.png Ninja Tabi1100 Gold30Common
Ohmwrecker item.png Ohmwrecker2650 Gold50Summoner's Rift
Randuin&#039;s Omen item.png Randuin's Omen2900 Gold60Common
Raptor Cloak item.png Raptor Cloak1200 Gold40Summoner's Rift
Seeker&#039;s Armguard item.png Seeker's Armguard1200 Gold30Common
Sunfire Cape item.png Sunfire Cape2900 Gold50Common
Talisman of Ascension item.png Talisman of Ascension2500 Gold45Common
Thornmail item.png Thornmail2350 Gold100Common
Warden&#039;s Mail item.png Warden's Mail1000 Gold40Common
Wooglet&#039;s Witchcap item.png Wooglet's Witchcap3500 Gold45Howling Abyss
Zeke&#039;s Harbinger item.png Zeke's Harbinger2350 Gold30Common
Zhonya&#039;s Hourglass item.png Zhonya's Hourglass2900 Gold45Summoner's Rift, Howling Abyss
Zz&#039;Rot Portal item.png Zz'Rot Portal2700 Gold55Summoner's Rift

Champion abilities

Note: Only the armor buff effect of these abilities is shown here, to read more information on each of these abilities, follow the link on each of them.

  • Anivia Anivia's Rebirth.png Rebirth allows her to enter an egg-state for up to 6 seconds upon reaching 0 health. While in this state, she will receive an armor modifier of −40 / −25 / −10 / +5 / +20.
  • Braum Braum's Stand Behind Me.png Stand Behind Me increases armor by 15 / 17.5 / 20 / 22.5 / 25 + (10 / 11.5 / 13 / 14.5 / 16% bonus armor) to himself and the target ally for 3 seconds.
  • Galio Galio's Bulwark.png Bulwark increases an allied champion's armor by 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 for 4 seconds.
  • Gnar Gnar's Rage Gene.png Rage Gene increases his armor by (2 × level) when transform into Mega Gnar Mega Gnar.
  • Garen Garen's Courage.png Courage permanently gains 0.25 bonus armor every time he kills an enemy, up to a maximum of 30.
  • Graves Graves's True Grit.png True Grit increases his armor by 1 / 2 / 3 every second he remains in combat. This bonus stacks up to 10 times. Graves is considered in combat if he has dealt or received damage in the last 3 seconds.
  • Jayce Jayce's Transform- Mercury Hammer.png Transform: Mercury Hammer increases his armor by 5 / 15 / 25 / 35.
  • Kennen Kennen's Lightning Rush.png Lightning Rush increases his armor by 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 for 4 seconds.
  • Leona Leona's Eclipse.png Eclipse increases her armor by 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 + (20% bonus armor) for 3 seconds, deals damage after that time to units around her, and retains the defensive buff for an additional 3 seconds if any enemy is struck by the blast.
  • Malphite Malphite's Brutal Strikes.png Brutal Strikes passively grants armor to himself equal to 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30% of his total armor.
  • Olaf Olaf's Ragnarok.png Ragnarok passively increases his armor by 10 / 20 / 30 when he is not under the effects of Ragnarok.png Ragnarok.
  • Orianna Orianna's Command- Protect.png Command: Protect increases an allied champion's armor by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 for as long as the ball is attached to them.
  • Rammus Rammus's Defensive Ball Curl.png Defensive Ball Curl increases his armor by 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 for 6 seconds, and deals 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 / 55 + (10% armor) magic damage to enemies who basic attack him.
  • Rengar Rengar's Battle Roar.png Battle Roar Rengar lets out a battle roar, damaging enemies increases his armor by 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 for 4 seconds. Rengar gains additional 50% armor for each enemy champion or large monster hit.
  • Sejuani Sejuani's Frost Armor.png Frost Armor grants her 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 bonus armor each times she damages an enemy with an ability or attack for 2 seconds. Subsequent damage will increase the duration by 2 seconds up to a cap of 8 seconds, after where damage will refresh the duration.
  • Shyvana Shyvana's Dragonborn.png Dragonborn passively increases her armor by 5 / 10 / 15 / 20. This bonus is doubled while she is in Dragon Form (20 / 30 / 40).
  • Singed Singed's Insanity Potion.png Insanity Potion increases his armor by 35 / 50 / 80 for 25 seconds.
  • Taric Taric's Shatter.png Shatter passively grants 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 bonus armor to himself and 12% of his total armor to himself and nearby allied champions.
  • Thresh Thresh's Damnation.png Damnation passively generates souls for him to collect, with each soul collected granting 0.75 armor permanently.
  • Trundle Trundle's Subjugate.png Subjugate steals instantly 20% of the target's armor. He continues to drain an additional 20% the target's armor over 4 second before decaying 4 seconds after the drain completes.
  • Wukong Wukong's Stone Skin.png Stone Skin passively grants him 4 / 6 / 8 armor for each nearby enemy champion.
  • Xin Zhao Xin Zhao's Crescent Sweep.png Crescent Sweep increases his armor by 15 / 20 / 25 for each enemy champion hit for 8 seconds.

Masteries

  • Unyielding mastery s4.png Unyielding increases bonus armor and magic resistance by 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5%.
  • Legendary Guardian mastery s4.png Legendary Guardian grants your champion 0.6 / 1.2 / 1.8 / 2.4 / 3 armor and 0.6 / 1.2 / 1.8 / 2.4 / 3 magic resistance for each nearby enemy champion

Runes

Name Type Tier 1 (Lesser) Tier 2 (Normal) Tier 3 (Greater)
Armor Mark

GMarks (1)

X X 0.91

205 IP

Seal

GSeals (1)

0.56

N/A

0.78

1 IP

1

205 IP

Glyph

GGlyphs (1)

X X 0.7

205 IP

Quintessence

GQuintessences (1)

2.37

N/A

3.32

1 IP

4.26

1025 IP

Armor, scaling

(Armor per level)

Mark X X X
Seal

GSeals (2)

X X 0.16 per level (3)

410 IP

Glyph X X X
Quintessence

GQuintessences (2)

X X 0.38 per level (6.84)

1025 IP

Ways to reduce armor

See armor penetration. Note that armor penetration and armor reduction are different.

Armor vs. Health

HP Armor LW VS

Note: The following information also applies to Magic Resist.

It can be helpful to understand the equilibrium between maximum HP and Armor, which is represented in the graph[1] on the right. The equilibrium line represents the point at which your champion will have the highest Effective Health against that damage type, while the smaller lines represent the baseline progression for each kind of champion from level 1-18 without items. You can also see that for a somewhat brief period in the early game HP is the most gold efficient purchase, however this assumes the enemy team will only have one type of damage. The more equal the distribution of physical/magical damage in the enemy team, the more effective will buying HP be.

There are many other factors which can effect whether you should buy more Armor or HP, such as these key examples:

  • Unlike health, increasing armor also makes healing more effective because it takes more effort to remove the unit's health than it does to restore it.
  • HP helps you survive both magic and physical damage. Against a team with mainly burst or just low magical damage HP can be more efficient than MR.
  • Percentage armor reduction in the enemy team tilts the optimal HP:Armor ratio slightly in the favor of HP.
  • Whether or not the enemy is capable of delivering true damage or percent health damage, thus reducing the value of armor and HP stacking respectively.
  • The presence of resist or HP steroids built into your champion's kit, such as in Leona Leona's Eclipse.png Eclipse or Cho&#039;Gath Cho'Gath's Feast.png Feast.
  • Against sustained damage Life steal and healing abilities can be considered as contributing to your maximum HP (while being mostly irrelevant against burst damage).
  • The need to prioritize specific items mainly for their other qualities (regardless of whether or not they contribute towards the ideal balance between HP and resists).

List of champions' armor

The highest and lowest base armor champions
Champion Level Top 5 champions Bottom 5 champions
Level 1 1. Rammus Rammus 31.384 armor 1. Thresh Thresh 16 armor
2. Darius Darius 29.88 armor 2. Orianna Orianna 17.04 armor
3. Sejuani Sejuani 29.54 armor 3. Lux Lux 18.72 armor
4. Skarner Skarner 29.384 armor 4. Kalista Kalista 19.012 armor
4. Vayne Vayne
5. Cho&#039;Gath Cho'Gath 28.88 armor 5. Azir Azir 19.04 armor
5. Heimerdinger Heimerdinger
Level 18 1. Rammus Rammus 104.484 armor 1. Thresh Thresh 16 armor
2. Braum Braum 103.22 armor 2. Gnar Gnar 65.5 armor
3. Darius Darius 97.88 armor 3. Orianna Orianna 68.04 armor
4. Maokai Maokai 96.72 armor 4. Azir Azir 70.04 armor
4. Heimerdinger Heimerdinger
5. Hecarim Hecarim 94.72 armor 5. Zyra Zyra 71.04 armor

Trivia

(Last updated 08/06/2016 on patch 6.11)

  • Armor has a gold value of 20 Gold (300 ÷ 15). This value is derived from the basic item for armor Cloth Armor item.png Cloth Armor.
  • One of the biggest amount of armor any champion can obtain, aside from Thresh Thresh, is 1643.7249 (which reduces physical damage by 94.265%), being a level 18 Malphite Malphite.
  • Having an enemy Trundle Trundle with the same setup use Subjugate.png Subjugate on Malphite Malphite will yield a total of 1936.068227 armor. This is the highest possible finite amount of armor (without using metagame effects—see below), and reduces physical damage by 95.088%.

It is still possible to go higher through metagame functions. If a summoner disconnects from the server and is in the fountain, his champion will gain 1000 armor. With the same setup as above, a disconnected Garen Garen with a disconnected Taric Taric will have approximately 2779 armor. Trundle Trundle cannot exceed this. This reduces physical damage by 96.5%.

Thresh Thresh, with his effectively infinite stacking, can obtain a maximum of 749999.25 armor off his passive alone. With the same set-up as above, he can obtain a total of about 788575 armor, reducing physical damage by 99.9873205%. If he disconnects, he can obtain up to 789626 armor, reducing it by 99.987337%

References

  1. Should you buy Armor or Health?

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