Breaking the Meta: AD Carry Builds (Pt. 1; AD Caster-Carries)

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Breaking the Meta: AD Carry builds

For a long time, AD carry builds have been relatively cemented: you get your IE, you get your PD, you get your LW, and you get your BT. Articles about AD Carry builds take this for granted: it’s not ‘what are my item options?’, it’s ‘why do I get LW over BT?’. If you look at most guides on, the variation in builds comes down to ‘how early do I get my LW, after Zeal, or after Phantom Dancer?’

And how was this trinity of AD Carry items (IE/PD/LW) determined to be optimal? Through average AD Carry stats. If you look at all of the AD Carry stats, the items that consistently give the most damage are those three. All the other items are too specific.

To an extent, this makes sense. In solo queue, it’s hard to build teams on the fly, so you deal in approximations: we need magic damage and burst, so we get an AP carry. We need tower damage and steady team fight damage, so we get an AD Carry. We need an initiator, so grab a tank. But obviously, these are not general rules. Ashe can initiate, and so can Gragas or Morgana. Cassiopeia and Ryze have sustained damage, while Graves has a ton of burst (then again, Graves has a ton of everything).

So with respect to builds, this means everybody builds the same. If you need to know 4 or 5 AD Carries, having to think about multiple builds and how they rely on your enemies’ builds is stressful and complicated. But IE/PD/LW? That’s easy.

And simple variations are easy. Morgana and Kennen have ults that keep going when they Zhonya’s, so Zhonya’s is good. But how do you know when BC might beat LW? On what champions? Against what champions? When is BT a better choice earlier? When is Trinity Force good? Is it good on anybody with a low cooldown ability? Then why not Vayne?

Over this and my next couple of posts, I will go over some alternative AD Carry builds that are superior to IE/PD/LW -here’s the key part- on SPECIFIC champions.


First, I want to go through the viable AD items. I think it is reasonable to narrow the pool down to: Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, Black Cleaver, Bloodthirster, Trinity Force, Youmuu’s Ghostblade. I’ve excluded Maw of Malmortius, because on AD carries, it is more of a defensive item than an offensive one, since its passive won’t get much use. On the AS side, there’s basically Phantom Dancer. Why does Phantom Dancer hold the privileged spot among AS items? First, most of the other items which give attack speed give either AP, or some sort of magic-damage on-hit effect. Second, Phantom Dancer gives Movement Speed, which helps with kiting.

Oh, and a warning. This post is long. Really, really long. I've put the math in spoilers, and even then, it's not so much the math as the results. The math is relatively easy, though, although it took some research to figure out what level I'd be when I had enough gold for various benchmarks, which was important for knowing what level each skill was, as well as AD/AS stats and average enemy armor.

As well, I have limited this post to three champions: 2 AD carries with heavy AD caster elements, and one with no AD scaling aside from auto attacks (to serve as a spoiler for the next post). Had I included all of the champions, it would have been even more ludicrously long.

Tristana - The Mobile Artillery

Tristana is a very interesting champion. If you max her W and E early, she has very high burst. However, if you don’t snowball, her lack of AD scaling on her abilities gives her weak mid-game damage, especially since her W is no longer safe to use offensively. Finally, Tristana’s late game is ridiculous, as she becomes untouchable. Not only is her late game range 703 (only beaten by Kog’Maw’s 710), but she has a jump which resets on a kill or an assist (you WILL notice this), and an AoE knockback. With even a little bit of protection, she can stay alive through most team fights, and she has the best AS steroid of any AD Carry, to boot. Her late game damage is almost on par with Vayne’s or Kog’Maw’s, and she is far safer than either of them. In my opinion, the only things that hold Tristana back from being supremely overpowered is having her DoT/Heal Reduction and one of her nukes be the same, and having no AD ratios. Even with these things being considered, she is supremely powerful.

This gives me two ideas, item-wise. First, I immediately feel that anything which boosts her early/middle game is beneficial. Second, I feel that her range, jump, and ult make Move speed less important. So if there are any mid-game damage items, I want to consider incorporating them into her build.

Here's the math:

So, let’s assume you’re a Tristana with Doran’s and Berserker’s Greaves. What’s your first big purchase Typically, that will be B.F. Sword. Assuming you’re not building Trinity Force (cooldowns to long), that means that given the items above, you should be starting with either the standard B.F. Sword, or a Brutalizer. How do they stack up in dps?

It turns out that Brutalizer, despite being cheaper, actually gives you about the same dps as BF (if you add another half of a long sword to make up the gold difference, they are even), and that’s not even counting the CDR. If it seems wrong that an auto attack with Brutalizer does only 5 damage less than one with BF Sword, don’t forget the Armor Pen.

Now that you have your BF Sword or Brutalizer, what are you building next? In a standard AD Carry build, you’ll get your pickaxe, bringing your build cost up to 2625 (discounting Doran’s/boots). Two readily accessible items cost about that much: Youmuu’s Ghostblade and Black Cleaver. Finally, you could start on Ghostblade once you have B.F. Sword.

As you can see, the best DPS items are Black Cleaver (if you manage to maintain 2 or 3 stacks) and Youmuu’s Ghostblade. Beyond that, at the level of Black Cleaver (with 0 or 1 stacks) are BF + Brutalizer and BF + Pickaxe (building towards IE).

Hold on, Gentleman Gustaf, are you saying the best first item on Tristana is Black Cleaver or Youmuu’s Ghostblade?  But nobody builds those!

Black Cleaver is rather uniquely powerful on Tristana and a few other champions. The weakness of Black Cleaver is that most abilities do not apply the armor debuff. As such, champions with abilities want to hold their abilities until after they’ve auto attacked multiple times. Worse, champions with AoE abilities have no reasonable way to spread out the debuff before their skill-use. Tristana has no physical damage skills, and as such, does not suffer from this problem.

Youmuu’s Ghostblade, on the other hand, is just a really strong item. It gives 30 AD (1100 gold), 20 Armor Pen (560 gold), 15 Crit Strike (692 gold), and 15 CDR (501 gold), for a sum total of 2853. The active gives you 50 Attack Speed (1312 gold) and 20 Move Speed (696 gold), or 2008 gold. For comparison, Phantom Dancer gives 55 AS (1443 gold), 30 Crit Strike (1383 gold), and 12 Movement Speed (418 gold), for a total of 3245 gold. Youmuu’s Ghostblade almost beats Phantom Dancer just from its basic stats, and gives a very strong active (almost as strong as Phantom Dancer itself, minus the Crit Strike).

As well, because they offer flat Armor Pen, Youmuu’s Ghostblade and Black Cleaver are very good mid-game items, offsetting Tristana’s mid-game weakness. But how do they scale into the late game? Very well, it turns out. Assuming IE, and choosing two of Black Cleaver, Last Whisper, Phantom Dancer, and Youmuu’s Ghostblade, we get the following 6 options (accounting for # of BC stacks and Armor, 45 options):

At 100 armor, the strongest combinations are: 1 stack BC+YG, 2 stack BC+PD, and PD+YG, with LW+YG trailing shortly behind with 3 stack BC+LW. So by replacing LW with BC, PD with YG, or both, or by replacing LW with YG, we get more damage than IE+PD+LW, at basically all numbers of stacks above 0, with one exception for BC+PD, which requires at least one stack to beat IE+PD+LW, and for BC+LW, which requires 2 just to be even..

At 150 armor, the same items prevail, with PD+YG, LW+YG, BC+YG (1+ stacks), BC+PD (2+stacks), or BC+LW (3 stacks) beating out PD+LW. At 200 armor, BC+LW requires 3 stacks, while BC+YG requires 2+ stacks, while PD+YG is still even with PD+LW, and LW+YG beats it. That’s a lot of acronyms, but basically, there are a lot of builds out there which beat PD+LW, for Tristana.

If you want a build that strictly dominates IE+PD+LW, go for IE+YG+LW, as it beats it at every level of armor. On the other hand, if you have more freedom to focus down targets, IE+YG+BC is an insanely strong build, and YG and BC are really strong mid-game items, so you could even rush one of them for mid-game/laning strength. As long as you keep it at 1 stack half of the time (that is, you attack each target twice) on targets above 150 Armor, or, at 2 stacks half of the time (that is, you attack each target thrice) on targets above 200 Armor, it is about the same as IE+PD+LW. Any extra stacks are just bonus damage at that point. IE+BC+PD requires an average of one more stack to beat out IE+PD+LW; this seems a bit excessive, confirming our previous math that you can’t just replace LW with Black Cleaver.


So what do I recommend? Build standard on Tristana, with 2 caveats. One, exchange your PD for a YG every game where you don’t think fights will last ages. Since damage early in a team fight is more valuable than damage later, the extra damage you’ll get in the first 4 seconds of the team-fight will benefit you greatly (potentially killing somebody). As such, I find that this makes Black Cleaver a VERY reasonable choice, as with fewer people trying to kill you, it’s easier to focus one target. However, LW is still excellent at this point, and often better. The lack of the constant Movement Speed should not be a problem in sacrificing PD, either, because your range, jump, and ult already are a lot of protection with good positioning, and you have its active for the beginning of a fight (when you most need mobility).

Finally, I think the way that YG puts out damage is much more like a team fight. In team fights, you spend part of the fight kiting but not attacking much (and thus not needing much attack speed), and a short window of a few seconds COMPLETELY UNLOADING on everybody. This is even more exaggerated by Tristana’s jump, which allows her to get enough distance to not have to worry about kiting for a time.

One caveat:

By getting BC or YG early over IE, you are buying slightly earlier power at the expense of slightly later power. Given the following numbers, you may still want to rush IE,  if you don't think you could abuse your early game strength to get an advantage.


Caitlyn - The Ranged Bumblebee

Caitlyn, on the other hand, is just an automatic sniper all game. She is aggressive, dominant, and in your face. I would avoid Black Cleaver on her because her spell damage would not benefit much from the debuffs. I would also avoid Trinity Force, because of cooldowns. This leaves us with IE, LW, PD, and YG.

Time for more math!

Since Cait is all about poke and spell damage, not extended engages, I’ll ignore PD as a first item. So at the 1650 gold level, we once again have B.F. Sword or Brutalizer:

These items are (again) about even, and Caitlyn’s cooldowns are long enough that the CDR won’t really mean anything but slightly faster ults. From there, we have several options. We can (from Brutalizer) build a BF/Pickaxe (for IE), or we can finish Youmuu’s and get a Pickaxe. From B.F. Sword, we can either finish IE, or buy a Last Whisper.

LW+BF and BF+Pickaxe+Brutalizer are about the same, although LW will pull ahead with the natural increase of armor, while the other build will get IE first. There are benefits to both, but unless you see a lot of early armor, the faster IE is better. Speaking of IE, IE does about 125 less damage in burst, but 30 more in dps. So if you’re doing a lot of poking, go with one of the above builds. If you want the dps, though, you can’t go wrong with IE, because Crits are OP, but Youmuu’s Ghostblade has higher burst and higher DPS (with your active). With the active down, your DPS is much lower, but since most of Caitlyn’s damage is poke, this shouldn’t hurt too much.

Whichever route you take to get there, which late game build is best?

At 100 Armor,

In sheer poke and burst, LW+YG wins. Your auto attacks, Q, and R all do much more.
In a short fight (4 seconds), PD+YG wins, by almost 100 dps. However, this will only just make up the burst difference on LW+YG (by about 60), and will beat LW+PD’s short-fight dps by about 200.
In a longer, extended fight, PD+YG will continue to beat out LW+YG, and will only start to lose to LW+PD after another 16 seconds.

At 150 Armor,

LW+YG wins in poke/burst again.
In a short fight (4 seconds), PD+YG may have the higher dps, but not enough to beat out LW+YG’s burst. It will, however, beat LW+PD.
In a longer, extended fight, PD+YG will beat out LW+YG given another 2 seconds (6 seconds total). However, LW/PD will start to beat out PD+YG after another 1 second (5 seconds total).

At 200 armor,

LW+YG wins in poke/burst again.
In a short fight (4 seconds), LW+YG holds its burst advantage vs both other builds.
In longer fights, it will take PD+YG 8 more seconds (12 seconds total) to beat LW+YG. It will take LW+PD only 2 seconds more (6 seconds total).

All in all, it is really hard to make a judgment call between these two. If you are poking a lot and having many short skirmishes, it seems that LW+YG will win out. Vs low armor targets, PD+YG wins every team-fight, but vs medium armor targets, it loses once the team-fights drag on for too long. Vs mid-high targets, LW+PD beats out both over time. This choice will depend a lot of compositions. I tend to play Caitlyn as more of an AD caster who specializes in forcing a target away or killing them, to secure several early dragons. As such, I prefer burst items over dps items. I will always get IE+LW, and then decide between sustained damage (PD) and burst damage (YG).

Since the late game builds are a bit hard to distinguish, how are the mid-game builds?

Assuming 100 armor,

For burst, LW wins by over 125 over YG, and 300 over PD

It takes PD 4-5 seconds to beat LW, and it takes YG 1-2 seconds to beat PD.

Unless the fight goes on past 10 seconds, YG beats PD at 100 armor. It takes PD

It seems that YG has the advantage, losing only slightly in burst, and quickly making it up in any fight.

Assuming 150 armor,

For burst, LW beats PD by about 300, and YG by about 170

YG surpasses LW in about 3 seconds of dps, and then LW passes YG back after a total of 7-8 seconds.

It takes PD about 8 seconds to beat LW and YG.


YG seems to be the clear victor here, having more up front damage against squishy and tanky targets alike, and only getting beaten by the others if the fight runs really long. LW wins burst, and PD wins over long periods. As such, I recommend getting IE + YG and one of either LW or PD, preferably LW.

Graves - Up Close and Personal

Graves may not play at all like Caitlyn; if Caitlyn is the ranged aspect of Tristana, Graves is the early game of Tristana, in your face, bursting you down, and not caring. Unlike Tristana, his burst doesn't scale into the late game. However, Graves' abilities are much like Caitlyn's in that he has a lot of AD caster abilities. As such, I will ignore BC on him, as well.

Who has two thumbs and likes math? Gentleman Gustaf!

As before, we start off by comparing Brutalizer and B.F. Sword:

Brutalizer doesn't just break even, it actually gives you (slightly) better burst, and is cheaper.

From there, we can go with Youmuu's, BF + Brutalizer, or BF + Pickaxe:

BF+Brut wins in burst, Youmuu's wins if the fight is longer than 2 seconds and shorter than 19 seconds, and BF + Pickaxe gets you a faster IE. As long as you avoid extended trades, Youmuu's gives you an advantage, and with a champion like Graves who really wants to go for the kill, Youmuu's can pay off a lot. If you're in a poke lane, and not a kill lane, BF + Brutalizer may be better.

The next major checkpoint compares IE, Youmuu's + Pickaxe, and Brutalizer + BF + Pickaxe:


Once again, Brutalizer + AD seems to really dominate the burst graph. However, Youmuu's beats it after 1 second of auto attacking. IE loses to Youmuu's in burst and in 4 second dps, but passes Youmuu's after about 6 seconds of dps.

So there are a number of routes, depending on whether you want more burst or sustained damage.

Next comes mid-game builds. IE is listed first, but as we saw above, Youmuu's could come first. However, IE is a necessity for AD Carry builds.


IE + LW has the highest burst, but it only takes one second of auto attacking for YG to pass it.

And while IE + PD has the highest sustained damage, it takes a 9-10 second fight for that to beat out IE+YG. Extra damage 10 seconds into a team-fight isn't worth the extra burst it may take to kill somebody.

Looking at late game builds, we can also see the superiority of YG.

At 100 Armor,

IE+PD+YG may have the lowest burst, but compared with IE+LW+PD, makes that up in one second of auto attacking, and gains an additional 270 damage over the next 3 seconds. It also makes up the burst advantage IE+LW+YG has, and continues to have stellar dps after YGs active ends.

IE+LW+YG has the highest burst, and also high early dps; LW+PD doesn't beat it until 7 seconds into the fight. Again, a little extra damage after the fight is mostly over isn't worth the burst you get.

At 150 Armor,

IE+PD+YG has the lowest burst , and doesn't make it up until 7 seconds into the fight, compared with IE+LW+YG. It is always lower than IE+LW+PD.

IE+LW+YG has better burst than IE+LW+PD, but loses in damage after 6 seconds.

Moreover, in each of these calculations have overlooked one important thing; CDR. At level 18, the cooldown on Graves' Q is 8 seconds. The builds which have PD in them tend to pass IE+LW+YG at some point AFTER 6 seconds into the fight. With 20% CDR, this is right when Graves will be getting his Q back up early. This adds at least another 2 seconds to the strength of IE+LW+YG. Moreover, Graves E will be up more consistently, allowing it to be used more for repositioning, as opposed to just for the buff.


So on Graves, I recommend getting IE+YG, with either LW or PD (Preferably LW). The order is really flexible, as long as you get IE first or second. Why YG so good on him? Compare PD/YG. YG has Armor Pen and AD, so everything you do will hit harder. You chunk somebody for ludicrous burst, and get to attacking. But PD has higher AS than you do. No fear, hit that active, and now you're doing more DPS than PD could dream of (with your AD/Pen). You pull even farther ahead, and then the active wears off. Now your dps is lower, so PD starts to catch up. After 2 seconds, PD is really starting to pull close. But wait! Your Q is up early because of CDR. Right when PD was starting to catch up, you lay on more AoE hurt, and you can probably afford to get up even closer for more damage, since most people are dead by now. Not only that, but you're getting your second dash a whole second earlier, and maybe, just maybe, when it's down to the last two people and their last man standing is diving on you to kill you, you'll have an extra smokescreen to juke him for the kill.

But Gentleman Gustaf, that was way too long!

If that was too long for you even with the spoiler, here's a super TL;DR, just this once.

Ghostblade is better than PD on any champion who has a lot of AD scaling abilities.

Black Cleaver is better than LW on any champion who doesn't have any AD scaling abilities (and relies mostly on auto attacks). This spoiler isn't just math; it's an actual spoiler for my next article.

So given that Black Cleaver is better than LW on any champion who doesn't have any AD scaling abilities, who else may benefit from BC over LW? Two such champions will be featured in my next post, and will build similarly to Tristana.


Ghostblade + BC combine well to stop high armor targets from ignoring your damage. As such, champions who like BC may also like Ghostblade in combination with BC, even if they don't like it separately. This build is similar, at least in penetration, to the Haunting Guise/Abyssal Scepter/Sorc Shoes build. Oh, and it's even better with Armor Pen runes, so for extra damage, turn your marks into Pen instead of AD and just get better at last-hitting already.

However, if these choices are too radically different from standard builds for your liking, I offer similar, but more standard builds. If your champion has a lot of AD scaling abilities or already has AS buffs and mobility, LW is better as your second item over PD. Otherwise, PD is the better choice.

Here's this post in video form!

And here's the song of the day:



  • #69 valkyrieex

    Great read. Would you mind posting the equations along with the graphs in your third article? Seeing the variables that are changing in each iteration would be very useful.

  • #68 sgtcolon

    Great read as always Gustaf.

    I play a lot of AD too. For a while now, not every game but when it feels warranted, I've bought a Brutaliser (particularly on the more AD caster oriented ADCs) if I felt like it would help me against the tank line in mid game or simply to dominate my lane more. However, I normally sold it mid-late game and replaced it with Last Whisper, I've never tried building it into YG. Very interesting indeed. I particularly like the duality of the active, which potentially could be used as a means of escape or repositioning if necessary (as well as the ideal offensive use). Will certainly have to test it out. The use of BC on some champs like Trist and Kog I've also been a fan of for a while (since someone's post on here about LW vs. BC actually), but the one champ that really sold me on this is Varus. His skill-set works so well with BC as it encourages you to stack auto-attacks before you use his skills with pretty devastating results. In light of your calculations with YG, and Varus' semi AD caster nature, I think he'll be truly awesome with BC and YG. I shall be testing this tonight!

    P.s. Not sure that calculations would help drastically with proving this, but I've recently had a lot of success with changing up the defensive items. Randuin's Omen is actually great on ADs, not only does it increase your tankiness (HP/Armour), but it really helps you to kite if anyone manages to get onto you. Also Frozen Mallet, again this is a fantastic item for kiting and while not strictly defensive, 700 HP is not to be sniffed at. Also, 2 instead of 1 defensive items (either sacrificing lifesteal or LW probably) opens up a world of options, particularly for shorter ranged ADs, and I think this might be seen a lot more in the future if the holy AD trinity sees any more mobility nerfs.

    P.p.s. Would just point out that Madred's Bloodrazor is not that bad on Kog'Maw as a first item. You basically rush Dorans, Beserkers, Vampiric Scepter, Madreds, Pick Axe first (don't get Recurve Bow until last as you need the upfront AD from pickaxe/madreds for better trading). It is a struggle sometimes waiting for the gold to complete it, but you are very good at dueling, pushing and controlling buffs in the mean time. I normally then build IE as my 2nd major item, I should probably also mention that I actually use the hybrid MPen/Arm Pen marks/quints, as well as masteries, when I do this too!

    Last edited by sgtcolon: 10/15/2012 2:59:09 AM
  • #66 Waaargh

    Gustav, thanks for grinding all the numbers, it would take quite some time to work them to such detail. Also, good job coming up with the idea for this article. It's fine theoricrafting.

  • #64 Dondy1

    about the question who's similar to tristana: sivir is probably the most similar, she basically needs no further AS with her AS steroid and AA reset. she also doesn't need much MS because of her passive and her ult.

    --- EDIT (tl;dr'd the upper part)

    i don't understand why you wouldn't want avarice blade as first item (after boots,3hpots) on tristana, it simply makes your whole build 600-750g more gold efficient without gimping your early game much if at all (you don't scale with anything really until lv7+). though i have to say that crit chance (esp. lower amounts like from runes) make trading early a pretty tough gamble.

    Last edited by Dondy1: 9/29/2012 8:45:55 AM
  • #54 Ingilmo

    When calculating DPS for Tristana, did you take into account that attack speed is hard capped at 2,5 / second? I did some calculations myself and found that with the 90% AS buff from her Q, a combination of 3 stacks BC and activated YG hits that cap so you lose some DPS. On the other hand, with just PD + Q she stays barely under it. In fact, at 200 AR my spreadsheet sees IE/PD/LW slightly above IE/BC(3)/YG(active).

  • #56 GentlemanGustaf

    How did you calculate AS?

    Her base AS is .658
    Her /lvl increase is .0301
    Masteries give you .04
    Berserker's Greaves gives .25
    Black Cleaver gives .3
    Ghostblade gives .5
    Q gives you .9

    If you drop Ghostblade and BC, but add PD, you get:

    .658(*1+.0301*17+.04+.25+.55+.9) = 2.14

    You say you got just under 2.5 with PD + Q. I'm guessing you took her level 18 Attack Speed and multiplied it by 1+.9(Q)+.55(PD)+.04(masteries), for a total of 2.44, since you said you got just under 2.5. Attack speed increases are applied to your base (lvl 1) attack speed, not your level 18 attack speed. It also seems like your calculations are missing Berserker's Greaves.

    So to recap, the proper equation is




    Last edited by GentlemanGustaf: 9/28/2012 6:47:27 PM
  • #62 Ingilmo

    You're right on both accounts - I didn't know that I had to multiply the item bonuses to the level 1 AS value. (I used to think that "base AS" did include /lvl increases. Should have read lolwiki a bit more thoroughly.) And I certainly should include Zerker's. Looks like I have to redo my math. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • #63 GentlemanGustaf

    No problem. That's why people like me are here, so everybody else doesn't have to learn all the math of the game to be able to think about the game :D

  • #53 DrDeathDealer

    Great post, I have always enjoyed your theory-crafting and careful math. I'm hoping you can do some work on Draven for your next post. He is my favorite and most-used AD and I've been trying to work out the best items for him. He has strong AD scaling and a MS/AS buff. Would this give YG and IE higher? He also excels at small trades and poke so that is why BT can be so strong early on. Would really appreciate your thoughts on Draven. Looking forward to your future work with the AD's.

  • #58 GentlemanGustaf

    You'll see Draven for sure. I had a lot of calls for Varus and Draven, and to everybody who asked for it, I am listening. I did a lot of work learning the ins and outs of these champions, what their combos are, and how they play in team-fights to see how I'd want to build them.

    A) I think they are very strong.

    B) I now know how to math them semi-efficiently. I still feel they suffer from more potential error than other champions, but I would no longer be embarrassed of any math I put up.

  • #47 exacerberus

    I almost died reading through all of this article and its spoilers, but I must admit is was interesting.

    I must say that you totally sold me on the early Brutalizer on carries with good AD scaling abilities... Bruta + IE + whatever seems a really solid path.

    I still think that LW overal is better than BC on many AD carries (MF, Ashe, Sivir, Ezreal, Graves) just because of the AD ratios of their abilities, and probably stronger -at least lategame- even on some less obvious champs (Trist, Twitch, maybe Cait), simply because you aren't always gonna be so lucky to have free, undisturbed dps against the enemy carries. Even then, by the time you are hitting them for the 4th time they would already be dead or close to that; and % ArPen is also a powerful preemptive GTFO to any enemy tank hypothesis to stack 250+ armor to counter you. Additionally, the more total AS you have, the more % AS (and thus your total DPS) is gonna be chomped away by enemy Frozen Heart aura/ Randuin's active. So I think that LW will remain a solid AD choice no matter what on most of the AD carries. Yet BC is hands-down better than LW on Vayne, and likely on Kog/Corki too in extended fights.

    On the fun side, looking at the useless, forgotten carries, I'd like to know if Trinity + Gunblade combo is better than BT + PD on Varus (taken for granted IE + LW or BC); or if Yomuu's better than LW on Draven (assuming IE + PD).

    Anyway in this article you still might have overlooked a bit the advantage of more movement speed bonuses for orb-walking/repositioning during teamfights (outside of the 4-8 secs of YG's active). But yeah, in this meta of AD carries with dashes, maybe mov speed in not that much valuable anymore (not sure though).

  • #61 GentlemanGustaf

    I agree with you about BC. Thus far, I have only suggested BC on one champion: Tristana. I did the math for Caitlyn/Graves, but didn't even bother including it, as it's SO much lower.

    Additionally, the more total AS you have, the more % AS (and thus your total DPS) is gonna be chomped away by enemy Frozen Heart aura/ Randuin's active. This is actually false. Frozen heart reduces your dps by 20%. It doesn't matter if this DPS comes from AD or AS or crit chance or crit damage.

    As for movement speed, if you look at the three champions I suggested YG on, they all have high range or repositioning tools or both. If, for example, Kog got higher damage from YG, I probably wouldn't recommend it on him anyway. Also, it's only 4 seconds; ranged champions can't extend the active ability. Movement Speed is still valuable on these champs, but I'd rather have 20% for 4 seconds than 12% always, since you have a jump/dash for those panic moments.

    I'll look at Trinity Force/Gunblade, but:

    1. I'd be so surprised.
    2. That's an EXPENSIVE build if you have IE already.
  • #67 exacerberus

    Thanks for the clarifications (I wasn't sure about 20% AS aura).

    I tried a bit YG on Trist and I must say it's really powerful (I've been surprised by how effective it is); thanks for pointing me out the active duration only increases with melee attacks, somehow I've always overlooked that (shame on me). Overall BC is very good too (great vs squishies, but I kinda miss LW when some Malph/Mao dives into my team and their carries are not easily reachable targets).

    About the Triforce/GB stuff, yeah, that's insanely expensive stuff, you'd never get Berserker's Graves + IE + BC + GB + TF in the average length of a game (but maybe on some extended games one could get the big 3 items + the Sheen or Zeal, it's around 12,5k gold); I'm not saying it's a viable item path (and it wouldn't matter anyway cause Varus is not a reliable enough carry), I'm just curious if, with the doubled AP ratio buff this Blighted Quiver got, is now viable to stack AP on Varus. But yeah, I told you, it was just for fun, you don't have to feel compelled to do the math ^_^

  • #46 Isysar

    Just wanted to mention that I gave Gustaf the idea of looking into the efficiency of Black Cleaver on Tristana. Great post. 

    And then he did the madness of looking at YG?! And that it might actually be awesome on some champions?! O.o 

  • #59 GentlemanGustaf

    You asked, and I delivered. I don't like BC alone, but in combination with other flat Pen items, it is very strong.

  • #65 Isysar

    You did sir and I really appreciate it. Makes me want to play more Tristana. Question for your though; what about BC on Twitch? Does his ult still apply the debuff to all targets? Also, what about BC on Varus and are you still sold on the idea that BC on Corki is a bad idea, even though BC + a full duration Gatling Gun reduces armor by 85? 

  • #45 qsquat

    Hey Gustaf,

    You mention that replacing PD with YG is good on Tristana because it strengthens her mid game. This is actually a really cool idea, but I am still a bit skeptical. PD gives twice as much crit chance as YG does. I'm unsure if crit chance was included in your math, but we all know crit is a broken stat. How much of a difference does the loss of 15% crit chance make?

    Also, when playing Tristana, when would you recommend to buy Avarice Blade? I understand going Brutalizer into IE into BC, but is avarice blade built first? or bought with YG? G10 are often very strong items if you build them into something, so I'd think it would be built first, but would it delay your build too much before mid game?

    Lastly, are the Tristana stats with AD marks or Crit chance marks? What marks would you recommend when using this build?

    Last edited by qsquat: 9/27/2012 2:25:08 PM
  • #60 GentlemanGustaf

    I'll answer your last question first. I did the math with AD marks, because it would be easier for some people to swallow without TOO many changes. If I say 'hey, if you change EVERYTHING, it's awesome', people who don't believe me about one thing won't do any of them. If I propose them all separately, however...But this build is actually even better if you switch to Crit Chance Marks (makes up for some of what you lose from downgrading to Ghostblade from PD). Armor Pen Marks are also quite strong with this build.

    I don't build Avarice Blade until I can get YG, and until after I have IE. I'm not getting it for the gold, I'm getting it for YG's active, essentially. I'd rather have wards in that slot, because Avarice Blade gives pretty weak stats.

    PD may give twice as much crit, and I'll be the first one to extol the virtues of Crit. However, 15% crit vs 30 AD and 20 Armor Pen and 15% CDR isn't even close to a fair trade. The actual tradeoff doesn't come until your active wears out.

  • #43 scrtwpnx

    if i play fiora as a carry for fun, i generally go zerkers, brutalizer, executioner's calling, brutalizer into ghostblade, black cleaver, brutalizer, infinity edge. i run armor pen marks and ms quints. you end up having around 95 armor pen (BC at max stacks), essentially doing true dmg to carries. i take executioner's calling for the ignite effect, so i can run ghost and flash, offering two escapes. i've yet to try this on a real adc. you could run armor pen quints if u feel you dont' need the extra ms, bringing your armor pen to 105, with BC at max stacks.

    Last edited by scrtwpnx: 9/27/2012 10:50:29 AM
  • #38 Naketsu

    Youmuu's active only synergizes with Close ranged Auto attacks, wich means that usually Phantom-LW or Phantom-Black Cleaver is better.


    Last edited by Naketsu: 9/27/2012 8:26:43 AM
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