To set this scene: you’re playing as an ADC and hiding just behind your tanks, free-firing towards enemy opponents when all of a sudden, an enemy jungler attacks you, killing you in less than three seconds.
You may be wondering, how did they kill me so fast? Then you open up the scoreboard and see the lethality items used. Although, this leads to further questions such as what is lethality?
To help you understand what lethality means, we have created a complete guide explaining the term and how it works.
What Is Lethality?
In Season 7, League of Legends presented a new figure. This change was implemented to substitute the flat armor penetration.
Below, you will find the formula that grants you flat armor penetration.
- Flat Armor Penetration = LETHALITY x (0.6 + 0.4 x level % 18)
Hence, in Season 7, the previous flat armor penetration was transformed and changed into what we see now as Lethality statistics.
The name was changed in order to straighten out any confusion within the League of Legends gaming community.
Since the previous name was called ‘flat armor penetration’, it implied that it was only applicable to targets wearing armor.
However, it’s important to note that some items will only enhance particular champions.
For instance, consider ability power– this is utilized by wizards, magic resistance on tanks, armor, assassins, and physical damage towards damage carriers.
In 2017, Lethality originated and was transformed into fixed armor penetration.
Within League of Legends, four types of calculations can be used to penetrate or reduce any opponent’s armor: fixed armor reduction, Lethality, percentage armor reduction, and armor penetration.
We will discuss these terms in the coming sections, don’t worry!
Fixed Armor Reduction
When utilizing fixed armor reduction, an opponent’s armor can be reduced to a specific amount.
Resulting in the loss of an opponent’s temp armor. For instance, if they have 20 arms, and then you reduce this by 20, your enemy will be left standing naked with 0 armor.
Likewise, you have even exceeded fixed armor reduction past zero, making the attribute in negative figures, further increasing damage.
Percentage Armor Reduction
If you manage to create a direct target shot by either an item that minimizes the percentage of the armor of a specific amount or a skill, then it will result in more effective physical damage.
For instance, let’s consider the Black Cleaver. It contains a ‘Slit’ effect which deducts the opponent’s champion’s armor by 24%.
If they were to have 100 armor, then 24 would be lost and 76 armor would be left.
Below, you will find the calculation:
- Current armor = total – (percentage) = 100 – (100 x 24/100) = 100 – 24 = 76
Percentage Armor Penetration
Contrary to fixed armor reduction and percentage armor reduction, armor penetration is dependent on the champion who employs it.
The enemy’s resistance won’t be reduced steadily or gradually regarding the physical damage, but rather for the champion himself.
This is a feature imposed in damage carriers and is superior when harnessed against opponents featuring large amounts of armor.
An item known as Mortal Reminder implements an armor penetration of 25%. If fighting against an opponent with a physical resistance of 100, then the results will be 75.
Below, you will find the calculation:
- Current armor = total – (percentage) = 100 – (100 x 0.25 / 100) = 100 – 25 = 75
League Of Legends Lethality
Lethality does not take into account the fixed values pertaining to the opponent’s champion’s armor, and it can’t go past a figure of zero. Here, it works as penetration; although, it all depends on the champion (see also ‘How Many Champions Are In League Of Legends?‘) imposing it.
The game’s developer, Riot, equalizes the Lethality in League of Legends by only allowing a little at a time to be available, whereby at level 18 you reach the maximum Lethality.
If you have an item that contains this special trait, then you will be provided with a calculation to determine how much Lethality you have gained.
For instance, consider Duskblade of Draktharr, it enables a Lethality of 21 in total, providing you with this percentage before you reach level 18.
If your character were a level 10, then the formula would look something like this:
- Fixed Armor Penetration = lethality x (0.6 + 0.4 x level / 18) = 21 x (0.6 + 0.4 x 10/18) = 21 x (0.6 + 0.4 x 0, 55) = 21 x (0.6 + 0.22) = 21 x 0.82 = 17.2
An Even Closer Look At Lethality – How Does it Work?
To put it simply, Lethality is all to do with armor penetration. Essentially, this could be looked at as negative armor.
Therefore, the amount of Lethality you contain would be the amount removed from your opponent’s armor.
Here is an example: imagine you’re up against Vanyne. Now, Vayne has an armor of 60, while you have a Lethality of 40.
This implies that for you, Vayne will only have armor of 20.
The Lethality of 40 that you take away, takes an armor of 40 from the opponent, but this is restricted to 40 (since this is all you have).
Moreover, if you were fighting a Rammus, who has an armor of 500. For you, Rammus would only have a total armor of 460 since you have a Lethality of 40.
Hence, this Lethality of 40 gets rid of the armor of 40 from the armor of 500, leaving him with only 460.
Whatever the circumstances, getting killed by a one-shot when playing League of Legends is the most frustrating thing ever.
If you’re fairly new to the game, you may be wondering how this can happen, or whether or not they are simply overpowered. However, it all comes down to Lethality.
The amount of Lethality you have determines your opponents armor penetration. Hopefully, this guide has informed you about Lethality in League of Legends (see also ‘What Type Of Game Is League Of Legends?‘).