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Damage is outdated (on bruisers), tank bruisers are so hot right now.

This one is gonna be short because this is more of an opinion and suggestion for everyone. Look, melee champions tank all the damage. Why? They're freaking MELEE. They go in first. They're in the front line. They're physically closer to the opponent. What does that mean for melee? It means they're going to die. So they're going to take a lot of damage, which brings me to my point here. Building damage on bruisers has just become an outdated concept because it don't work. When something don't work you don't do it, so as such I've decided to just stop doing it. And it works, it works hella good. HELLA GOOD. 


Well hell if you don't build damage what DO you do? 

Sunfire, Trinity, Wit's end, Frozen heart. All 4 of them offer defensive boosts, and offensive boosts. It's no secret that bruisers tend to have better abilities (well unless you started playing yesterday) and it's never been a well kept secret that CDR makes bruisers get a lot of damage quickly. As such, Frozen heart offers really good damage. Sunfire offers a chunk of protection on top of an aura that can't be turned off. Wit's end gives a massive chunk of magic damage on top of attack speed that makes your sustained damage fly up. Basically, the entire idea here is BUMRUSH sunfire -> wit's end -> trinity/FH -> then get the other one -> maybe get an Omen instead of them.

You'll notice, very quickly, that you're damned hard to kill yet still outputting enough damage to kill people. This is nothing new actually, this is what bruisers used to be 1.5 years ago. What's changed? Nothing. People have just realized "hey remember what we did that worked really well? Why did we stop doing that?" And why DID people stop doing that? Because Riot offered promises of high AD ratios and tons of damage for not building tank. The problem? The promises were a lie.

The promises were a lie? What DO you mean?

All those AD ratios? The high damage? It means nothing. Take for example sunfire. If I'm playing Renekton vs. another Renekton who do you think will win. The Renekton who went BT, or the Renekton who went sunfire? The sunfire Renekton. Who will be more useful in teamfights? Sunfire Renekton. Why? Because A. he lives longer. B. Spending 3000 gold for a 500 increase in damage isn't a good purchase. Gunblade is 3600 and gives a 300 damage direct nuke. Basically, it's simply just not worth it. People have been trying damage bruisers forever and they just fail next to tank bruisers because the item worth simply isn't there. What's more, it detracts from your main job which is tying people up in melee and staying alive to use your innate sustained damage.

AD itemization just sucks for bruisers.

Some people like hexdrinker, it's an okay item. But Maw BLOOOOWS. That leaves one single 1400 gold item to carry an entire specc. Yeah. Doesn't make much sense does it? How do you expect hexdrinker to carry an entire damage bruiser archtype? What the hell is Renekton gonna do after that? Hope the game ends real quick? Compare this to AP bruisers. They can go for MR: Abyssal, Lichbane, Athene's. What's worse, all 3 of those options include very real boosts to things that aren't just "tank or damage." All AD itemization is limited to tank or damage. Abyssal provides an aura to help teammates kill targets. Lichbane makes you move quicker, and helps scale your AP even harder. Athene's effectively removes mana. 

BUT WAIT Maw gives more damage if you're lower on health! Yeah. Flat damage. And not very much of it. Unlike, say, AP items it doesn't scale with anything causing the tiny amount of damage you gain to be insignificant real quick. And going back to my point earlier, if you can output 5.0 AD on a target that's a good job. If you get 20 damage from being low on HP from maw that means you might get 100 more damage on a target. Whoopdeyfreakingdoo. It doesn't alter your playstyle or make you scale harder much like deathfire grasp or lichbane might. And on that topic...

AD itemization offers no multiplicative scaling, no end game.

There's no end goal of getting AD. If I'm an AP bruiser I'll pick up either DFG, or deathcap, or lichbane. Hell I'll probably get 2 of them. If I go AD I can get: .... or .... or even ... there's no end goal here. By end game if I go with the BT/LW/Maw/trinity build I'll pretty much be outputting meh damage and dying quicker than roses in my garden. (I'm a terrible florist!) So what do you do? You maybe get 2 dorans, a brutalizer, trinity, then GA. Then Omen. Then FH. Notice something here? You just went with the build I said earlier, except you used flat AD which doesn't scale well in to end game. What's more, you're far too squishy to be of use in early team fights. 

If I'm playing Renekton and I've had a HELL of a game and I'm 10-2 with BT, and LW, and a GA I'll be going HELL YEAH I'M A BEAST. Except I'm not. And I can only maybe kill one target. And probably not if they went tanky. However that same Renekton with Sunfire/Wit's end/GA (which is cheaper too mind you) can still kill people but he's also good in team fights too. He's very hard to kill and all of a sudden Renekton isn't sucking so hard mid/late game. Note that trinity, a suggested item, continues to scale with base damage which you get from leveling so it's actually pretty brutal late game.

So what makes trinity/wit's end/sunfire/CDR so good?

Two reasons. A. They're tanky. B. They enhance sustained damage. Oh and a third reason, they add magic damage which makes you hard to build against. (I have all this armor now I can tank Xin's... sunfire and wit's end... huh...) What are bruisers known for? Light burst, heavy sustained, heavy tanking. What do these items do? Exactly what bruisers want. They play exactly in to their strengths and enhance them even more. Trinity gives a ton of utility and is pretty much your damage! item. Get trinity later for damage! but for damage get your sunfire/wit's end.

Basically, these items just make it so much easier to win with bruisers because you start to whack on people as a big tanky damage doing tons of sustained damage. What do they do? Turn to fight and try to kill a tanky and eventually run out of damage as you continue to just have infinite pain? You've just built yourself to do your job better.

So what do I expect to come from this?

A dropping of the failed experiment that was buying damage on bruisers. A return to the tanky/tank builds for bruisers and relying on their innate damage. No more silly dorans dorans brutalizer BT builds from bruisers, but rather dorans sunfire wit's end trinity. I expect people to stop trying to build bruisers like AD carry lite, and more like actual bruisers. With bruiser items. Items that enhance tankiness and sustained damage. What's more, I expect top laners to actually start noticing "wait... I can do things late game, suddenly I am empowered!" Champions like Xin Zhao and Olaf go from "yeah they're alright" to "dude he's dominating this team fight!" 

So really, stop building damage and start building tank. 





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  • #104 agentjake4

    Question, if Sunfire > Wit's End > Trinity > FH is the way to go, especially on Xin Zhao as you mentioned, why does your guide on ( include youmuu's and maw?

  • #105 agentjake4

    "Some people like hexdrinker, it's an okay item. But Maw BLOOOOWS. That leaves one single 1400 gold item to carry an entire specc. Yeah. Doesn't make much sense does it? How do you expect hexdrinker to carry an entire damage bruiser archtype?" - The article

    "This is your core build. Kinda probably. It gives you health, magic resist, armor, the starting dorans, etc. I feel as though this is just a solid start on nearly every champion and should really be bought practically every game. Against a heavy physical lane sometimes its best to not build the hexdrinker or hold it off till later but it's probably a good choice for team fights. I recommend it." - The guide (core build refers to Tabi, Dorans, Hexdrinker and Phage)



  • #102 jook2oh

      I've noticed this alot lately.  I think I'll call it the Darius Effect.  When you get ahead of everyone on both teams, what do you build on a Bruiser?  An Infinity's Edge may look tempting, but the damage output depends on you staying alive, and Bruisers tend to be Mele.  So you get something better, a Warmogs.  The only real counter to a Warmogs at present, is all the other team's cooldowns.  But who would waste them on you when your Carry can outdamage you?  Then when he is gone, you can clean them up, because they have no way of beating you.

      I used to hate Darius, because he would do this in every game I played.  Then I beat him on a Teemo once, and felt better about myself.  Then I was forced to play as Renekton at Bot against an Ezreal, got farmed, then got my Warmogs, now I see Darius isn't anything special, he just has "Outdated Damage", aka: "Probably the most built-in damage and cc that anyone should be allowed to have"

      So if you are way ahead, Warmogs, noone can counter you if you have more gold then them, and straight up IE vs Warmogs, you still come out ahead, because you can go for them with impunity and they can do nothing, but hope their team has the cc to hold you off while they attempt to take you down.  Not to mention an IE wont let you take someone down under their own turret, but a Warmogs, all too easy.

      1 Warmogs is like 5 turret blasts to the face, and that, my friends, is an eternity...

    Last edited by jook2oh on 11/6/2012 8:48:20 AM
  • #100 Sabiena

    I've started using this kind of play style again and you're right, why did we get away from this? 

    - Not greedy. Not afraid. 

  • #99 zypre

    Loved this article! I'm definitely gonna go for way more tanky items now! :)

  • #97 thatepicasian

    I love how much you put in this article but I'd still have to disagree. Everyone has different builds for different champs.

    Maw is actually a good item on people like Riven and Renekton and it is a good recommended item. The shield you get and the magic resist. I don't know if you know this but 400 magic defense shield still reduces their damage by your magic resist. So for example you 100 magic resist would still apply to the shield. Maw adds about 28 attack damage when you get to 30% health. By then, your shield would popped up and you would gain 28 attack damage. That's only going to benefit Riven/Renekton/Jax/Lee Sin.

    I don't know how many games you played, but Maw would benefit you more than a Witts End on bruisers. If you know bruisers, you should know most of their damage is based on their abilities, not basic attacks. Witts End only does damage if you do basic attacks, and magic resist still reduces the damage of Witts End. Renekton doesn't need Witts End. Neither does Riven.

    Sunfire cape is a standard build for many bruisers already. I don't know what games you are playing but top bruisers are always building them in my games. Nasus, Renekton, Riven, Lee Sin, Yorick, Xin, etc. You should go test out Maw on Olaf with 30% health. Tell me he doesn't gain a butt load of damage. Witts End isn't meant for bruisers. It never will be. Youmuus will still be the best standard item for any bruiser. CDR, Crit, Attack Speed, Movement Speed, Damage. Everything in one perfect item.

    People do build sunfire and trinity often on top bruisers. Every top ranked Renekton I saw, always had a sunfire. Every top Riven I saw always had a Trinity Force.

  • #101 MerryLane

    Personnally I NEVER seen a Trinity force on a Riven.
    I can't even imagine how it can be good on her? :D

    The utility of Trinity :
    Slow = useless (or really close to useless)
    Mana = useless
    Move speed = useless

    Damage of Trinity ; For this price, get a BT, you will do more damage, even with sheen procs considered.

  • #103 agentjake4

    Also, I dont understand how Youmuu's is supposed to be perfect. You mention that bruisers mostly use abilities, so why would Attack Speed and Crit be useful?


  • #96 fydorm

    This is a nice article. Well thought out, cleanly written, and brings up new points. Hashinshin is the best writer on RoG right now (aside from the occasional rant :P) and I wish the other writers would up their standards. Congrats Hashinshin :)

  • #94 NiNj0e

    So now I am having some sort of doubt, why is it that the Frozen Mallet was not included on your "Bruiser Items"? I mean, it provides so much health, plus if you rush this, chasing becomes so easy, while you're still tanky enough to take a lot of damage...

  • #95 MerryLane

    Sunfire, Trinity, Wit's end, Frozen heart is what he advices right?

    Then the phage is already built into Trinity. Note that the slow being only a plus on bruisers which all have some form of slows or harder cc.
    Sunfire gives the same amount of hp, or so.

    Long story short, the build described by hash isn't a perfect build you should *always* go for.
    (sometimes you'd better get glass canon and carry your teammates for instance).
    But with these 4 items, you get approximately the optimal stats and effects you need for "bruiser". Mallet instead, or on top of, these 4, wouldn't make a huge difference but wouldn't be optimal, that s all.
    (or at least that s what I guess)

    Ps : Frozen mallet looses more and more its place in the meta, before it was so common amongst warmog and atma build (the meta golem one you remember?), then it became more situationnal, and now he is no more than a "usual" item. If the trend goes on, he will be UP.

  • #92 dualkeybladeroxas

    jayce says hai

  • #81 Krunxor

    I just watched you build straight damage on renekton and whine all game. Hypocritical  hashinshin as usual. 

  • #82 Isysar

    Yes. Saw him build his same straight damage Jayce and complain as well. You should generally ignore this guy. 

  • #83 agentjake4

    When did he play? Interested to see guys who are "good enough" to write articles actually play

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