One for Hipsters: The Devil Build

Tried to insert Sunfire Cape too, but the resolution was too small

Hello there folks, I hope you're enjoying the recent featured game mode - One for all, mirror match. I'm pretty sure you've already seen many weird builds with various success, and I'm going to present you one of them. You can already see two core items on the image above and the third one is Sunfire Cape. I'm will explain the item choices in this article and what the build is all about.


The Devil or burning build if you prefer is a tank build for champions whose main source of damage is physical. Contains 2 offensive items - Spirit of the Elder Lizard and Liandry's Torment to let you deal same or even more damage to enemies than the typical build while being almost unkillable. For defensive items it usually has Sunfire Cape as first item followed by Randuin's Omen and it sometimes includes Thornmail. The typical build is:

-> -> -> ->

The Synergy

Why these items? Well, considering you're playing a game mode where everyone has the same champion, you can easily build a defensive items against the enemy and become insanely hard to kill. The less magical damage the champion has, the more pointless is building magic resists is. The build exploits this lack of magic resistance. It has:

  • 25(+lvl) magical damage per second (Sunfire)
  • 2% of the target's current health per second for 3 seconds, double damage if target has impaired movement (Liandry's)
  • 14 + (2 × level) bonus true damage over 3 seconds (SotEL)
  • On being hit by basic attacks, returns 30% of damage, before any reductions such as armor, as magic damage.
  • Randuin's and the slow on being AA / active to double the damage of Liandry's

And the huge amount of additional tank stats:

  • 215 armor
  • 1250 hp


Let's assume we're using the build on Zed:

Zed's damage is all physical with the exception of his passive. No one is going to build magic resist when only few % of the damage you take is magical. So you can build armor/hp and become a meatshield when everyone else usually build full damage and penetration with Randuin's as 3rd or 4th item. Thanks to no armor (except from runes and base stats) you should be able to deal pretty good amount of damage even without building offensive items.

However, the moment enemy starts to build some armor, you will suffer due to lack of penetration. You can be pretty much ignored, that's when you start to build super cheap offensive item like the Spirit of the Elder Lizard. The true damage can deal quite a lot from a single Q you hit and the fact the effect doesn't diminish per target makes is pretty good for poking. The 4th item is Liandry's Torment and while the AP is completely wasted, the magic penetration, health and passive will boost your damage by a huge amount. However, all I said was just a theory so I'll try to back it up with some math.

I'm going to compare the damage of Devil Build and a Zed with Last Whisper, Tiamat and Vampiric scepter (5k gold) instead of SotEL and Liandry's (4,9k gold). At this point both Zed's should have 18 lvl. I did not include any runes and masteries in the math.

Additional notes to the math in spoiler:

  • Q 2nd is damage after the Q passed through the enemy
  • The time between each tick is one second.
  • Liandry's deal damage immediately, when SotEL does it after one second
  • Tick #0 is initial damage, it also includes Liandry's proc.
  • Tick #3 is the last tick of the true damage from SotEL
  • Hydra is replacement for BotRK, because in this game mode he rarely can AA. Having more AD is much better.

You can easily see that Devil build does more damage than going typical AD items for Zed as long as you let the ticks deal full damage. The more hp enemy got the more effective the build is thanks to Liandry's passive. It's not really effective when the target's health is low already but it can be worked around with a change of playstyle.

You've become tank  so you want to be on the front line and you will have plenty of opportunities use the burn damage in it's best conditions. In teamfights you can also space your abilities to apply more ticks over time easily achieving around 500 damage on each person which is 1/5 of their HP. Don't forget about more damage coming from Sunfire Cape (31.3 magic damage per second) and Zed's passive in case enemy is below 50% hp. You don't really have burst but the power hidden in tons of small numbers easily makes you equal with those who run glass cannon builds.

Champions who can use the build

These guys love it:

Can be built on:


Build progress for each champion:

You don't have to buy full item immediately. Many times it's just better to buy some components for further items if you need to. You need armor immediately? Then buy that Chain Vest you will use later for the Thornmail. You can allow yourself for some damage? Get Spirit of the Elder Lizard etc.

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