League of Legends

Cleaver vs Triforce on Bruisers: Response to LS

LeagueofLegends6 - Cleaver vs Triforce on Bruisers: Response to LS

Skippable Intro: Hello! I never make posts but I've been watching a lot of LS recently and hearing him talk about cleaver vs triforce on champs like Sett etc. Last night on his LCK stream I heard him ask chat for someone to run the numbers on it. So I did! I tried to make a video but my computer lags too much to stream. See the numbers and arguments below.

Numbers: I went into practice tool as Sett (w conqueror, last stand, and AD runes). Numbers took 5 minutes to get, anyone wondering about item efficiency should always do this. Made Sett lvl 9 with Q max (about the time you get 1st item) and made a practice dummy with the same hp and resists as Sett on first item (1600hp and 70 armor). I chose these values because LS says that cleaver is bad when your opponent doesn't stack armor. These are Sett's base values with no added armor, so it should favor triforce.

Next, I tested several trade patterns vs the dummy and recorded the numbers with triforce then with cleaver. The trade patterns were as follows:

  • Short trade: AA QQ

  • Basic Combo: E AA QQ W

  • Extended Trade: E AA QQ (then AA until Q is back off cd. This was 2 AA's for cleaver and 3 AA's for triforce) QQ W

  • Extended trade w R: E AA QQ AA R (then AA until Q is back off cd. This was AA for triforce and just A for cleaver) QQ W

  • DPS: This is just auto attacking, and Q'ing off cooldown until the longterm dps levels out

LMK if these test trades are stupid, I don't actually play Sett.


  • Short trade: 657 TF, 615 BC

  • Basic combo: 844 TF, 818 BC

  • Extended trade: 1956 TF, 1789 BC

  • Extended w R: 2040 TF, 2010 BC

  • Just DPS: 205 TF, 185 BC

Analysis of Results: -Attack speed on TF made a big difference for Extended Trade (an extra AA) and a big difference for DPS. In both situations where attack speed has high impact, TF did about 10% more damage. -The spell blade proc caused the short trade to deal about 6-7% more damage with TF -Basic combo and extended trade w R were negligibly different, implying sheen proc makes TF win short trades and attack speed makes TF win long trades but BC has decent parity in medium trades, or extended trades where you cant manage perfect auto dps (due to ulting in this case, or kiting in real games)


Further notes on efficiency: Obviously, TF deals more damage (vs low armor opponents). But, it comes at the cost of 733 gold and 150 hp. 150 HP makes Sett approximately 10% tankier at the time he completes his first item. So, TF is in effect gaining 10% dps in optimal situations at the cost of 10% tankiness and 733 gold.

Opinions: It annoys me to hear LS flame people for building cleaver and defend that statement with the rational that triforce does more damage. Obviously it does more damage. But do you want to delay your next item by 700 gold to get at most 10% more damage (and usually less)? Do you want to be 10% squishier on your first item? I mean the answer can go either way, it depends on what your role is in the game (damage is better for 1v1 and bursting backline, tankiness better for frontlining and surviving ganks). It's more complicated than just if your opponent is building armor or not, or if you have AD teammates or not (this analysis has ignored #'s related to shredding for teammates).

For the record I'm an LS fan. But he often makes a fallacy when he says "as X variable changes, Y becomes more favorable. Therefore Y is favorable if and only if X is that specific state." The second sentence does NOT follow from the first statement. LS'd BC vs TF argument is an example of this fallacy. Yes, BC becomes more favorable when the opponents stack armor and you have AD teammates. No, that is not the only time it is favorable. Before arguing that TF is better bc it deals more damage, you need to decide if you even want that much more damage at the cost of gold and hp.

Thank you for reading. I don't make content but I've coached a decent D1 collegiate team in the US for the last 2 years. Itemization is tbh a really minor thing that almost never makes or breaks a game. But it IS the easiest thing to point out and change/min-max which makes coaches harp on it haha. On an unrelated note, LS is totally right about liandries ezreal but you can test that yourself.

tl;dr: Yes, Trinity force does up to 10% more damage in optimal scenarios (Cleaver achieves damage parity in some scenarios). But, Trinity force costs an extra 700 gold and 150 hp and sometimes thats more valuable than the damage. The decision depends on more than just armor stacking and having ad teammates.

Source: Original link

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