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Lifesteal vs Armor pen. runes

Creator: Sh4dowDancer December 31, 2011 6:11am
Sh4dowDancer
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I am currently using armor penetration marks and quints for my AD carries and I was thinking of changing the quints with lifesteal ones.

With my currect rune setup, I have 31 armor penetration from runes and masteries as well as a +10% penetration from Weapon Expertise . With Doran's Blade, my lifesteal is 6% in total, which doesn't give any great survivability in early game.

So, considering that Weapon Expertise and Sunder already give you a good penetration bonus, should I remove the armor penetration quintessences and add lifesteal ones instead? By doing this I will lose 10 armor penetration but I will start the game with 12% lifesteal. Will this change have a negative or positive impact when playing AD carries?
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All I can say is that it helps Jungle Twitch a lot lol.

In my experience if you go multiple Doran's Blade with lifesteal quints you battle really well early.

I personally think they are a fine alternative late game also provided you get your armor pen item. I can't really vouch for lane since I'm a jungle player.
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I personally think they are a fine alternative late game also provided you get your armor pen item. I can't really vouch for lane since I'm a jungle player.


I usually pick Vayne for an AD carry, who makes good use of the The Black Cleaver (it's in her core set). But, apart from that, would a Graves or an Ashe benefit more from massive early lifesteal, or should I stick in my currect setup?

Also, if I choose to start with 12% lifesteal, would it be possible to replace The Bloodthirster with BC and have better results than full penetration runes and BT?
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Well it depends. If you have non-heal support then you could start with lifesteal for survivability, combined with Doran's Blade or Vampiric Scepter. If you have support with heal like Soraka, then you might consider Armor Pen a better choice.

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Zoki wrote:

Well it depends. If you have non-heal support then you could start with lifesteal for survivability, combined with Doran's Blade or Vampiric Scepter. If you have support with heal like Soraka, then you might consider Armor Pen a better choice.


Starting with no potions in a lane with a no heal support is a massive risk. If you make any mistakes early your lane is screwed.
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Luther3000 wrote:



Starting with no potions in a lane with a no heal support is a massive risk. If you make any mistakes early your lane is screwed.


Yes but 12% lifesteal and 100 hp will help you recover quite fast and stay on lane, even if you take lots of damage.

What do you think about using these runes on solo top champs btw? They seem to fit well in certain champs like Tryndamere or Nasus.
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Yes but 12% lifesteal and 100 hp will help you recover quite fast and stay on lane, even if you take lots of damage.


12% lifesteal is nothing when you don't have any damage. With no heals or potions, f you take significant damage early in the lane you'll simply have to go back and lose probably two levels on your opponents.
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The 12% lifesteal would be good if it was on a ranged champ like ashe or cait, that could last hit minions safely away from the enemy champions. With them their sustain would outlast that of their opponents allowing them to farm more and be stronger in the end.
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The only carry I use them on is Caitlyn, because with quints, a Vamp Scepter and two Doran's Blades you have 24% lifesteal, which with her traps (read: free wards) makes a traditional support less necessary. My team can stick a heavy harasser or assassin in my lane and I'll be just fine.

Other than that, the lower range of other carries makes it much riskier, and a Taric/Soraka would be desirable for sustain, as would ArmPen quints.

Oh, and because percentage-based penetration is applied AFTER flat penetration, if you plan on ever getting a Last Whisper to stack with your mastery, the value of those ArmPen quints and marks will be less. I generally go flat AD marks, LS quints and Last Whisper, though I will repeat it is a very small change and very situational.

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