So everyone knows about the black cleaver, right? Im going to be doing some math to show why stacking black cleavers is/is not Viable.


The Black Cleaver:

  • Legendary item
  • 3000 Gold Cost
  • Builds from The Brutilizer and Ruby Crystal
  • + 200 Health
  • + 50 AD
  • + 10% CDR
  • Unique Passive: 10 Armor Pen
  • Passive: Dealing Physical Damage to an enemy champion reduces their armor by 5% stacking up to 5 times for a total of 25% armor reduction.

Now since this item has been released, I have seen lots of people exploit the armor reduction and get over 100% reduction, which means you are dealing true damage to your target. While this seems OP, and it can be, Stacking black cleavers means you are missing out on other important stats and items such as Crit Chance, Attack Speed, Lifesteal. Also, I see people building this to melt the tank, (you shouldnt focus the tank anyway) and that they lack their damage because of no attack speed and crit chance. Now im going to go into some details in comparing a black cleaver build vs a normal assasin build (Kha or Talon)

Stats from 5 Black Cleavers + Boots

  • + 1000 Health
  • + 250 AD
  • + 40% CDR (Max 40%, You are granted 50% CDR but the game limit is 40%)
  • + 10 Armor Pen (Unique Passive)
  • + 150% Armor Reduction (Passive)

Each time you deal Physical Damage, The stack number only increases by 1 (Max 5) but increases the Armor Reduction by 5% per stack * number of black cleavers owned.

So say Kha here has 350 total AD, and his opponent Rengar has 100 Armor. Kha will reduce his armor by 25% per hit, but his physical damage will only be increased by the armor reduction on his next attack. Which means after 6 autoattacks, Kha is dealing 525 Physical Damage to rengar (per aa).

Countering this type of build: As any league player should know, the best counter to true damage is Health. Building health allows you to take more damage because your armor will be rendered useless.

Stats from Bloodthirster, Black Cleaver, Trinity Force, Ravenous Hydra, Last Whisper, and Boots of Lucitidy

  • + 450 Health
  • + 200 Mana
  • + 245 AD
  • + 30 AP
  • + 30% Attack Speed
  • + 10% Crit Chance
  • + 8% Movespeed
  • Trinity Force's Passive effects
  • + 35% Armor Pen
  • + 25% Armor Reduction (Black Cleaver) 
  • + 30% Lifesteal
  • + 15 HP per 5s
  • Ravenous Hydra's Passive and Active

So Kha here gets to 345 AD, and Rengar still has that 100 Armor. After 6 aa's, Rengars armor is reduced to 40 and Kha's Basic attacks do 172.5 (about). Now you may say that OMG SO MUCH LESS DAMAGE 5 BLACK CLEAVERS OP. No. The attack speed, life steal, crit chance, and move speed, plus the passives from the items make Kha alot burstier, which is much more important. Assasins need BURST, not SUSTAINED DMG. Also the lifesteal can give Kha health back, so depending on how long the fight lasts, Kha can gain more that 1000 health, how much the 5 Black cleavers give.

So at the end of the day, It is really up to the player decision for their build, i just wanted to put some ideas out there. I would say that putting 2 black cleavers on an adc might be good if your team was heavy AD and the adc could put the stacks on quick, but normal builds usually are better.

Please forgive me if i forgot somthing or messed up and please discuss this topic in the comments!

Thanks for reading this blog, Guest!