How to learn League of Legends stats and items

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Stats and items in League of Legends

League of Legends is a complex game when it comes to possibilities, there is a lot of runes and items, and with an item limit of 6 you must know for sure what you want to build, so knowing what the stats in the items actually do can help you to understand more why certain items are favorable for certain champions.

There are 25 stats in League of Legends, and they are divided into 4 different categories: OffensiveDefensiveUtility, and Other. Offensive as the name suggests will have stats related to damage and armor penetration, defensive will group stats about armor, health, and so on, utility and others will have everything else.

What every stat in League of Legends is for

25 different stats are quite a bit! But it shouldn't be that hard to understand or get a grasp of what they are for, some stats have an alternative for another damage type(like armor penetration and magic penetration), and most of them do exactly what they are named after.

Before we get started it is essential to know what are the damage types in League, and those are three: physical damagemagic damage, and true damage.

  • Physical damage: Most basic attacks and AD(we will get in this one below) scaling abilities are physical damage. Physical damage is just a name to categorize what is damage associated with physical contacts, like a punch for example.
  • Magic damage: It is basically exactly the same as physical damage, but instead of AD we will use AP, and instead of damages associated with physical contacts, it is for non-physical, such as magic or supernatural forces
  • True damage: A damage that will bypass any defense, the damage will ignore any damage reduction and any damage amplification, unless otherwise stated.

Other(the category) stats are most basic stuff, being experience, gold generation, movement speed, and range, there's not a lot to them so they won't be in a list below.

League of Legends stats

Offensive stats in League of Legends

There are 11 offensive stats in League. 

  • Ability power: The popular AP is an offensive stat used usually by mages, it will increase the power of champion spells that deal AP damage. Ability power won't increase with level up, and every champion starts with 0, it is also worth noticing that AP isn't exclusive to magic damage.
  • Armor penetration: The amount of armor that will be reduced before applying damage, this is useful against characters with a high value of armor.
  • Attack damage: Also know as AD, will provide scaling to skills that require it and it is the initial damage value of basic attacks.
  • Attack speed: How fast your character will attack
  • Critical strike chance: The percentage of chance to inflict a critical attack
  • Critical strike damage: The scale of the damage that a critical strike will be
  • Life steal: When you attack someone and get health back it is due to life steal, it is the percentage of health you will heal with each attack, life steal is for basic attacks
  • Magic penetration: Similar to armor penetration, it is the amount of magic resistance that will be reduced before applying the damage
  • Omnivamp: The percentage of damage done that will be healed, omnivamp applies to all three types of damage while life steal will only heal from physical basic attacks
  • Physical vamp: Percentage of physical damage returned to a champion as health
  • Spell vamp: Percentage of ability damage returned to a champion as health

The above should provide a clear base about the offensive stats, physical vamp, and spell vamp may seem off, they are often considered subtypes of vamp rather than being "own" stats so do not worry about the lack of consistency, having a clue about how they work is everything you need.

Defensive stats in League of Legends

There are 7 defensive stats in League.

  • Armor: Used to reduce physical damage you will receive
  • Heal and shield power: Often used by support characters, this stat will increase the strength of heal and shields
  • Health: Your health points are also a stat that can be increased
  • Health regeneration: Used to make your health points recover faster
  • Magic resistance: The same as armor, but it is used to reduce magic damage rather than physical damage
  • Tenacity: The percentage of duration reduction to disables you will receive
  • Slow resist: Same as tenacity but for slows, and instead of duration it will reduce the slow strength

The defensive stats are indeed more clear, if you've played the game for a while you may already know all of them, maybe with a bit of doubt for tenacity, it will basically reduce crowd control effects.

Utility stats in League of Legends

Utility is a category for the stats which will help your champion in a way or another but doesn't directly affect offensive or defensive aspects of your character

  • Ability haste: It is used to make your champion able to use abilities faster, reducing their cooldown up to around 83%(500 ability haste)
  • Energy and mana: Maximum amount of energy or mana which is used to cast abilities
  • Energy/mana regeneration: How fast your energy or mana will regenerate

This is everything for utility. Energy and mana are very similar, energy is the yellow bar you will find in champions like Lee Sin, it has some differences but they work in similar ways.

League of Legends stats in practice

So you have a basic overview of the status you will see around League, but how you pick them in the game by choosing the correct items? How to know that a certain status is useless for a specific champion?

The most important thing to do is to not be focused on the items or stats, but on the champion that you are playing and in the champion your enemies are playing, or who is the most powerful enemy champion in a later fight. You know what stats your enemies are going for by taking a look at the items they have and it is a way of going around items in the game.

If the enemy team has a very powerful Nasus, with a lot of kills, who bought items increasing armor, like Randuin's Omen, and your skills scale with AD, it will make sense for you to buy armor penetration items, knowing that the armor penetration stat will reduce the enemy champion resistance grant by their item, but if the enemy team is doing something very different, and none of them have such items, what is the point of getting your armor penetration item if they are in your build for that reason?

You can definitely get in-depth knowledge about the stats and the mathematical formulas behind them, but the basic understanding of how they work should be alright to start thinking in-game about the items you are buying and the reason behind it.

A lot of tweaks in-game can be made about the ideal items you are going for in a game, and how good are those tweaks will depend on your understanding of the game, and its current state.

How items work in League of Legends

Items are a large topic because there is a lot of them and they will define how good your champion is(along with your champion level and runes), items are divided into five different categories in League: starter, basic, epic, legendary and mythic.

  • Starter items cannot be used to make other items, and you often will buy them at the start of the game and sell them later on.
  • Basic items are different than starter items, as they will be used as components to build more powerful items.
  • Epic items are items that you will need components to make, and yet they still will be components to other items.
  • Legendary items cannot be used to build another item.
  • And last, mythic items, each one of them will have a mythic passive(something a legendary item doesn't have).

As it may look like, legendary and mythic are very powerful items, but also the most expensive ones, using other items as components to build them. In a usual League game, you will often buy some starter items(like potions) at the start of the game and basic ones, and then you will start building into the epic, legendary and mythic ones, you always will have a mythic item and it is often built first.

Items can give your champion stats and effects, some effects are passive and some will be active, requiring you to use the item.

How do I know what item to buy in League of Legends?

Often players will search for builds, a set of items and runes, to follow during the game, and those are often the items used by players in a higher rank with a lot of experience in a champion.

The game also now has an improved item recommendation system, and it will recommend you items that are good to fight the opponents you are against.

There is a lot of websites to get a base build from or streamers where you can see what is working for them, and with an overview of the stats you should be able to start tweaking and playing around with the items by yourself, you can also use training mode to do your own tests, and something not too covered here are the item effects, they are a lot and some very unique and powerful in the game, but if you are around League for a while, you should know most of them.

In the end, there should be no pressure to find a perfect build, how good you play your champion and the fun you have in the game(if any) is the most important factor unless you are playing on a challenger rank where (almost) every mistake would be punished.

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