Hey guys I was just hoping to get some feedback, what do you prefer and which do you think is better for an AD carry? I currently use Arpen but am thinking about going to flat AD for better farm. Let me know what you think!
Hello friend. I feel the feedback given below will fit for an AD carry as well as it does for the top lane bruisers I'm speaking with experience from.
I used Armor Pen for the longest time because the prevailing theory was that you wanted to do as close to true damage as possible. I recently (within the last few weeks) switched to flat AD runes because I noticed myself losing trades to champions who went flat AD runes. Flat AD helps with last hitting, that 15 AD from Quints and Marks makes it a cake walk, and significantly increases your ability to trade and come out on top.
As Riven, I was running ArPen Marks, Flat Armor Seals, Mres/lvl Glyphs, ArPen Quints. My masteries were 21/9/0. I switched to flat AD Marks, and flat AD Quints. Masteries are now 9/21/0, and I literally feel overpowered with this setup. (Perhaps as an AD carry you wouldn't want to run 9/21/0 as your support can help you maintain with 21/9/0.) An experienced and intelligent Renekton is probably the hardest lane matchup for Riven and I have no problem out trading a Renekton at level 3 now as long as I shield dash before he can Ruthless Predator me. The defensive masteries allow you to take a significantly larger amount of damage while still hitting like a truck, as well as helps keep you at higher health while escaping jungle ganks. Just last night (albeit a normal draft game) I was faced against an Amumu/Trynd combo top 1v2. I somehow went 5/0/1 by 15m just with smart trading and juking, intelligent use of my shield, and jungle ganks from GP. This isn't even delving into the versatility it can provide you with your starting builds. I think this can allude to how strong AD runes would be for an AD carry. A Kog'Maw with flat AD runes will hurt ALOT once he starts dishing out harass with BAB activated.
On a last note about flat AD vs ArPen, I feel like items like Last Whisper make ArPen runes obsolete. If an enemy gets enough armor that you need penetration, the 27.5 or 30.5(?) ArPen you can achieve from 21/9/0 + ArPen runes still isn't going to be enough anyways because it's not a percentage like Last Whisper. I don't think ArPen runes are useless by any stretch of the word, but I do feel that you can actively feel how flat AD out shines ArPen runes early and mid game.
TL;DR In my experience, Armor Pen seems oriented towards and more beneficial for junglers, and flat AD outshines ArPen for laning for it's intense benefit towards last hitting and stronger trades. Give it a shot and try it for yourself, you'll feel the difference immediately. Level 1 - 3 flat AD runes give you a massive advantage over those lacking them and the strength never really dies off 4 - 10. Also, try last hitting with 60 AD vs 75. BIG difference.
There is no clear cut win across the board. Flat AD for Riven is grossly superior due to her absurdly good scaling. But in the mention of Kog'maw, his best Marks are actually Magic Pen, due to the nature of his W being magic damage, which is the far bigger contribution to your damage.
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Awhhh that's too bad):. I already bought Flat AD reds, but on the bright side, only costed 1845IP for all of them and will be good for champs like Udyr/Riven that scale in ridiculous ways. Anyways, say you're playing Ezreal. His Mystic Shot does 35+(1.00 AD) at level 1, so flat AD would seemingly be stronger, BUT when taken into account that you can reach 31 flat Arpen at level 1 (3 points in Sunder, Arpen reds+Quints) you will be doing TRUE damage on most AD carries (Damn you, Graves!) until around level 6. When choosing AD vs Arpen, I think the deciding factor is choosing enhanced farming over enhanced harrassing. For tops, I personally think AD reds+Arpen quints gets the job done the best. 10 Arpen from your quints makes the enemy top's flat armor yellows insignificant.