What is lethality in LoL? Understand champions’ attributes

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League of Legends (LoL) is a MOBA from Riot Games. Available for free download on PC, the game offers several items with different attributes for the characters. Thus, players can set up various arsenals to fight their opponents or defend themselves. One of the most questioned and difficult to understand attributes is lethality. Understand, below, how this trait works in champions.

It is worth explaining that some items are better in certain champions than in others. Ability power is used for wizards, armor and magic resistance for tanks, physical damage for damage carriers and assassins, among other possible combinations. Originating in 2017, lethality is converted into fixed armor penetration. In the game, there are four different types of calculation to penetrate or reduce the opponent’s armor: fixed armor reduction, percentage armor reduction, armor penetration (percentage) and lethality.

Fixed Armor Reduction

The target’s armor can be reduced by a fixed amount. This reduction causes the loss of the opponent’s temporary armor. That is, if an enemy has 20 armor and you reduce 20, your opponent would have zero armor. Fixed armor reduction can exceed zero, making the attribute negative, increasing the damage even more.

Percentage Armor Reduction

When a target is hit by a skill or item that reduces its armor by a percentage, all sources of physical damage will be most effective. The Black Cleaver, which has the “Slit” effect, can reduce the opponent’s armor by up to 24%. In other lines, if the opponent has 100 armor, he would lose 24, keeping 76, as shown in the following calculation:

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Current armor = total – (percentage) = 100 – (100 x 24/100) = 100 – 24 = 76.

Percentage Armor Penetration

Unlike reductions, armor penetration is guaranteed only to the champion who applies it. The opponent’s resistance is not reduced steadily or gradually for all physical damage, but only for that of the champion himself. This attribute, which is widely used in damage carriers, is best applied against targets with large amounts of armor. The Mortal Reminder item applies 25% percentage armor penetration. If the calculation is made based on 100 physical resistance, the result will be the number 75. Check below:

Current armor = total – (percentage) = 100 – (100 x 0.25 / 100) = 100 – 25 = 75.


This attribute ignores a fixed value of the character’s armor and cannot exceed zero. This effect works as penetration, being unique to those who inflict it. A method found by Riot to balance the lethality was making it available little by little, reaching the maximum at level 18. All items with the trait present a calculation to know how much lethality you are gaining at a given moment in the game. An item like the Drakthaar Twilight Sword, which grants 21 total lethality, will give a percentage of that before level 18. For calculation purposes, a character at level ten was used as an example. The formula can be seen below:

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.

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