I've recently been picking up top-laners again and enjoying the battle of attrition that goes on there. After experimenting with various mastery set ups, one of the things that intrigued me most was the effectiveness of the two masteries, Tough Skin and Indomitable. Both reduce incoming damage and considering the fact that minions are a significant portion of early game damage, it stands to reason that negating that portion heftily will have a considerable impact on your ability to trade early game.
Needless to say, I looked at the numbers and have them ready to share with you today, complete with conclusions and opinions. There's even a video version for those who prefer the audio-visual experience.
Read on for more!
The Video Version
Before we get on to the written version - here's the video version for those of you who enjoy your content in this format.
So there are two masteries we need to worry about - one reduces damage from minions and the other reduces damage from all sources. Since we're focusing on top lane bruisers - I'll be looking at how effective this is at level 1. Bruisers will likely have an armor of ~39. Why? Because the average base starting armor for bruisers is around 20. They'll get 6 from Hardiness and 13 from Armor Seals - giving us a level 1 armor value of 39. I'll also be looking at the effectiveness for other champions. Mages usually start off at around 20 or much lower depending on the champion. So I'll be using values of 20 and 13 armor respectively.
In the interest of analysing the scalability to late game - I'll also be looking at the effectiveness when you have 100 armor. On with the graphs! It'll be a lot clearer once you see the graphs and I can explain more later on in the article.
The following is the graph for 39 armor, i.e. the effective increase in armor for a bruiser who is fully specced into Tough Skin and Indomitable.
As you can see, it's extremely effective against minion damage. For reference, a melee minion does 12 damage at level 1 and a caster minion does 25 damage at level 1. As you can see the effective armor increase against minions is extremely high, going over 100. However how does this compare against just champions? ie. Only Indomitable - Tough Skin does not apply to champions!
Once again, you see that it gives you around 5 extra armor when the enemy is hitting you for 70-80 which is a realistic amount at level 1. Once again this mastery proves to be extremely efficient.
How about for a mage? Mages start at around 20 armor as stated above. Let's take a look.
As you can see - it's a reduced effective increase. This can be attributed to the apparent diminishing returns of armor stacking. However it's still a significant increase.
Let's have a gander at resistance increase just against their enemy - who will likely be dealing around 55 physical damage and greater magical damage. Remember Indomitable works on both physical and magical damage.
Once again, you see that it is a increase that is just under 5.
I'll include the graphs for a squishy mage at 13 starting armor just so you get an idea of how the data changes with armor values.
And without tough skin..
Late game - you'll have more armor and the enemies will be dealing more damage. However you are less likely to be taking damage from minions and it will not be as significant. So here is the graph for effective resistance increase at 100 Armor/Magic Resist. So the following is the effective increase with only Indomitable - since Tough Skin will not be of significance at this point in the game.
Once again, you see that it is a decent amount and that it is much more effective against smaller quantities of damage meaning that it is very effective against champions who deal DoT damage - since they occur in small ticks.
You can watch the video version above for more detailed explanations on all of the above.
After seeing the data above and the explanations (more detailed explanations can be found within the video) - I firmly believe that the defence tree has better options than the offence tree for the likes of AD bruisers. Short of taking 21/9 on champions like Riven or Tryndamere, I always use 9/21 for bruisers now. The benefits of the defence tree far outweigh the offence tree and reducing incoming damage helps a lot early game. The utility provided from the rest of the defence tree is also very desirable, with bonuses like movement speed, CC reduction, health regeneration and increased health. You can start off with "invisible armor" that fools your opponent and you will take minion damage as though you had ~130 armor. Psychologically and physically, this is both demoralising to your opponent and beneficial to you.
If you want a deeper analysis of this, you can watch the video version which has a lot more "insight" as I talk a lot more about each graph and what it means, giving examples.
tl'dr: I like Indomitable - numbers show that it's strong.
I hope you found the analysis of these masteries interesting. Thanks for reading :)
If you enjoy reading the article - I'd really appreciate you clicking the up arrow - thank you in advance!
If you guys have any questions, feedback, suggestions, propositions or anything else you'd like to say:
- Feel free to join me in the "A DIFFerent View" chatroom on the NA server in the LoL Client