Blade of the Ruined King: OP, Situational, or Useless?

Welcome back to A Different View! I am Gentleman Gustaf, and today, I'll be talking about the newly reworked Blade of the Ruined King, and why you should get it in (some/every/none) of your games!

But don't take my word on it: not two days after this post, Xypherous and FeralPony have said:


But the item is clearly overpowered on live and ruining the game experience!

Most likely. However, I'm more concerned with whether the item feels counterable at this stage. Rest assured though, we're not going to wait on the next patch to fix it. We knew going out that the item could have come out pretty crazy - and watching it over the weekend - it has been pretty crazy at is.

So we'll be hotfixing this as soon as we're comfortable with the server situation (Along with some other bugs.)



In this case - it's a clear sign that BoRK is too strong and its counter is too strong, thus shutting out the large portion of other itemization. It highlights the fact that *both* items are too strong currently, and nerfing the effects of both help equalize the counter vs. uncounted cases closer to provide item variety.


Feral Pony

The item is too cost effective.
We’ll be increasing the cost a bit and we’re shaving a few points off of the AD when you upgrade the item. BotRK is geared towards attack speed and making these changes helps bring it in line and keeps its intended purpose while keeping the unique elements of the item intact and powerful.
As yashinihao mentions earlier this thread a lot of high tier items are cost effective. This inherently isn’t a bad thing but in this case in particular due to the power of the unique effects we really want to keep the power of the item into its unique elements and not be just about the stat efficiency so we’re lowering the cost effectiveness overall a bit. It is currently too effective compared to comparable choices.


AD Carry Item Archetypes

First, I want to talk about what role BotRK is supposed to fill, and whether or not it fills that role. Traditionally, AD Carries had 4 types of damage items, although do not expect to get every one in every game. The first is the pure damage item. This gives you a chunk of AD, and allows you to have good burst damage. On champions with high AD ratios, this is typically Bloodthirster, and on the other champions, it is typically Infinity Edge. The second is the dps item. This item gives you attack speed and crit chance, to increase your damage over time. The third item is the anti-tank item. This item (in some way, typically armor pen) lets you kill tanks faster. Finally, you have your sustain item (typically Bloodthirster).

BotRK - Jack of All Trades?

So where does BotRK fit in? Well, it doesn't have high AD, but it does have an on-hit effect which acts like high AD on auto-attacks. How much is it? Well, on a target with only 1500 health, it will deal 75 on-hit damage at full health, 0 on-hit damage at 0 health, for an average of 37.5. In combination with its flat 30 AD, that is an equivalent of about 67.5 AD, although the 37.5 cannot critically strike or apply to spell damage. As such, just from this, it is at an early disadvantage to Bloodthirster.

However, it also gives sustained damage, in the form of AS. This puts it in competition with items like Phantom Dancer and Statikk Shiv. However, 40% AS accounts JUST for the AS on Statikk Shiv, ignoring the critical chance and passive.

It also gives anti-tank damage, perhaps of a type more suited to the currently prevalent tankiness style: % Health damage.

It also gives sustain, giving 15% Lifesteal, more even than Bloodthirster.

Finally, it gives a slight amount of burst, from its active, which does 15% of max health, and drains as much, and gives MS as well, giving it utility.

So it's hard exactly to classify it as an item. But it gives so much that it's hard to ignore.

DPS Comparisons

Note: My original post assumed 12% Lifesteal for BT, not 18%. Those numbers have since been fixed. BT beats BotRK for lifesteal, although falls behind in damage.

So how does it fare as a first item?

Well, looking at DPS and Lifesteal, it (slightly) beats Bloodthirster assuming a heath of 1500 (the break-even point is about 1200 health). My armor assumptions are irrelevant since we're not considering LW, and all of our relevant damage is physical.

Now of course, this is ignoring Bloodthirster's bonus damage to spells and Blade of the Ruined King's active. So just on those grounds alone, you'd want to rush BT on, say, Graves (for Buckshot and Collateral Damage), but BotRK on, say, Tristana, right? Well, think about how much the active does (15% of maximum health). On a low-health target (1500 health), that's about 225 damage dealt (and 225 healed). What would that 70 AD get you on Graves? About 100 damage on your ult (more for extra targets), and another 50-100 damage per Buckshot. So if you're hitting multiple targets with your Q/R, Bloodthirster looks better, but if you're not, it depends how much you value the heal, and how often your skirmishes occur (BotRK's active has a long cooldown). But Graves is one of the best AD-scaling AD Carries; on most other AD Carries, BotRK looks like at least a competitive choice, if not the strongest choice.

But how does BotRK scale? Intuitively, it will have two forces fighting against each other. On the one hand, the lack of crit scaling will hurt its late game damage. On the other hand, the increasing health of enemy targets will help its late game damage. So which force wins out?

Well, let's see how BT compares to BotRK with 3 common second items, IE and PD and SS. Why those three items? Well, first, because they are the most common second items on AD Carries. But more importantly, we don't NEED to test Last Whisper. Last Whisper amplifies physical damage, and doesn't care how you got it. So Last Whisper is going to affect BT and BotRK equally. All we need to check is if the lack of crit scaling hurts more than the gained % Health damage.

So from the above, we can see that RK scales BETTER with IE than BT does. Why is that, with the lack of crit scaling? BotRK gives AS, which adds multiplicativity. But with PD and SS, BT scales (SLIGHTLY) better (and we'll continue to assume that the AD scaling from abilities cancels out the active). But what if I then tell you that the above numbers still assume that your targets have 1500 health? So what happens when they get, say, Warmog's?

So it starts to look like the health increase is going to outscale the lack of crit multiplicativity! And what happens when you pick up your third item (and assume your enemies get a mere 500 more health)? Surely then the lack of crit multiplicativity will start to come into play?

Except it doesn't. Not only does BotRK outscale BT with IEPD or IESS (crit-maxed builds), but it significantly out-sustains them! But wait, there's more! Look at the last 2 rows of the above chart. BotRK with IEPD or IESS out-scales the damage heavy IEPDLW and IESSLW builds, and they don't even have lifesteal! Now, to be fair, LW costs less, so it's not the most fair comparison, but when you consider that you'd have to spend another 800 gold to get Vamp Scepter, the gold spent is about even, for more damage, more lifesteal (than 0%), and more slot-efficiency, not to mention peel/sustain on demand!

In my opinion, Riot went too far with these buffs. Yes, they wanted to give AD Carries a way to damage tanks, but the efficiency on this item is just too damn high. What's the breakeven point between BT and RK when it comes to your third item? 1750 HP. So the anti-tank item is also better against squishies! And offers peel! And sustain! So get it! And if you don't think you should rush it, note that it doesn't require a pesky BF Sword, so there's none of that saving up in lane! Every component in the item costs 400 gold!

And if that isn't enough for you, consider how teamfights work. Are you, the AD Carry, focusing a target down until it dies? Or are you hitting the safest target? Because if you're doing the latter (which you probably should be), you'll be getting even MORE out of BotRK, because it's based on current health, not max health!

So in general, unless you scale with AD REALLY hard (Graves comes to mind), BotRK is probably a better choice for you. This of course makes me wonder if we'll see the Shotgun of the Ruined King anytime soon...


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  • #118 jacktheplum

    What is the attack speed value used to calculate the DPS in the charts? Is it assuming 0.675 base attack speed with a preexisting 20% bonus attack speed?

  • #116 Satoris

    @Gameguy no, it doesn't seem to have been updated with the hot fix values. And after the hotfix I'm not sure if it's still a viable first/second buy item. Unless it's a heavy bruiser team or something. BT seems to out perform it thoroughly now, but that is entirely based on my own subjective opinion and not any math.

  • #117 GentlemanGustaf

    5 AD, guys. 5 AD.


  • #115 Gameguy301
    Has this comparison been updated with the hot fix values? Is blade of the ruined king still the hero vayne diserves?
    Last edited by Gameguy301 3/9/2013 5:54:17 PM
  • #108 NicknameMy


    Blade of the Ruined King

    Item Cost: 3200
    Recipe Cost: 1000
    +25 Attack Damage
    +40% Attack Speed
    +15% Life Steal

    UNIQUE Passive: Basic attacks deal 5% of the target's current Health in bonus physical damage (max 60 vs. monsters and minions) on hit.
    UNIQUE Active: Deals 15% of target champion's maximum Health (min. 100) as physical damage, heals for the same amount, and steals 30% of the target's Movement Speed for 4 seconds (60 second cooldown). (heal now reduced by enemy armor)

  • #104 Bowsersaur


    So is it better to get IE, BotRK, or BT on Draven?


  • #90 mellored

    Has the black cleaver fallen too far out of style that it's not worth calculating?

  • #91 Spura

    Black cleave counters armor stacking, BOTRK counters health stacking.

  • #89 Spura

    Amazing item on tanks/junglers/tops with AS steroids (Xin Zhao, Udyr, Voli). Udyr+BOTRK+tiger stance = hilarious spike on health stackers.

  • #88 phoenixfire2001

    This doesn't factor in positioning and the limited amount of attacks you get.

    IE is still the best for carries as they have to move in and out of attack range and can't always utilize the full attack speed.

    But yeah, it outclasses BT, mainly because BT is kinda overnerfed and BotRK is slightly too powerful.

    Last edited by phoenixfire2001 3/4/2013 7:49:17 AM
  • #92 GentlemanGustaf

    so explain why in the lcs, bt is a more common first item than ie. just overrated, I guess.

  • #102 Volband

    He said new BotRK outclasses the BT, not IE. IE vs BT is a whole different debate.

    And to answer your question: BT gives you a faster power spike and it's really good on AD-s with good AD scaling skills, like Graves. Ofc when Ashes or Caitlyns (God forbid, Tristanas) rush BT I want to kill myself, but I guess it's all about preference (maybe they want to do all the magic in early mid-game) and/or team comps (maybe they feel that the extra life-steal is crucial and willing to sacrifice damage for it).

  • #87 eleandar

    I thought BoRK additionnal damage was based on target current HP.

    If the breakeven point is at 1750 CURRENT hp, it's really not that different imo.

    Last edited by eleandar 3/4/2013 7:51:12 AM
  • #93 GentlemanGustaf

    to make these numbers more usable to readers, i calculated .05 current health as .025 max health, so as to count the average damage one would do 100-0ing a target. this is actually an under-estimate, because, as usual, whenever i claim an item is super strong, i make my assumptions bad for it and good for other items.

  • #86 PedestrianA

    It should increase the cost, and reduce the AD. Besides, a recurve bow instead of two dagger should be used in its recipe so that it is harder to purchase.

    Seriously, RoG has done the mathcrafts(still gentleman if my memory is correct) of the previous BotRK for a while, even with the result showing that BotRK is just slightly weaker on the scalings, Riot still overbuffs it. Riot probably really hate the Warmog meta....

    Anyway, 1750 breakeven is really ridiculous, I think it should be somewhere around 2.2k....

    Last edited by PedestrianA 3/4/2013 7:19:20 AM
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