One of the most confusing things, I believe, for brand new MOBA players is the different types of stats and what they all mean. What do you buy for what and what’s ad and ap? Here we’ll go over all of the relevant stats of League and which items you want to look at for each stat. I recommend reading the abbreviations page before this article because I will be using abbreviations that I list in that page.
Let’s start with the basic big two : AD and AP.
AD – is an offensive stat that usually deals physical damage. Skills that deal physical damage will say so in the skill tip and skills that scale off of AD show their damage numbers in orange. Auto attacks also deal physical damage. The amount of AD you have is shown on the bottom left of your screen next to your champion picture. It is the first stat in that list and is denoted by a little ax symbol. Note that skills and items can sometimes scale off of AD but still deal magic damage. AD is not the exact same as physical damage.
When/why to build AD: Champions that scale off of physical damage obviously will want to build ad. However, there’s some champions that have a bit of a deceptive kit. Champions like Tristana scale with ap on all their skills, yet Tristana is played mostly as an adc in bot lane. Why is this? Let’s break down her kit:
Passive: Increases auto attack range and explosive shot’s cast range per level
Q – Increases Tristana’s basic attack speed depending on skill level
W – Tristana jumps to a target location dealing AoE damage around where she lands
E – Tristana fires a shot dealing damage over time and reducing healing
R – Tristana fires a large shot knocking back all enemies in a line a set distance.
Well, we can see clearly that Tristana is granted a large range on auto attacks depending on her level. This is really strong for ADC’s. The farther back you can attack from the less you have to worry about getting hit. Her Q increases attack speed, also really good for dishing out more ad damage. Her W let’s her escape or catch up to opponents. Her E deals a nice amount of base damage as well as reducing healing. That healing reduction is really nice for reducing lifesteal of other AD champions. That reduction can mean the difference between life or death when stuck in a 1v1. Her R is very good for escapes, and helping her take enemies off her.
So why does Tristana build AD: She has a good range for auto attacking, good attack speed steroid and solid mobility and escapes.
Some examples of really strong AD items: Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge
AP – Is another offensive stat used mostly for mages and generally deals magic damage. Skills that deal magic damage will say so in the skill tip and skills that scale off of AP will have their damage numbers shown in green. AP is used only for skills so knowing when to build AP is a little bit easier to understand. You generally will only want to build AP on champions that have most/all of their skills in AP scaling, because without it, your auto attacks and your spells will do nothing. Looks take a look at a champion example.
Passive – After casting 4 spells, the next offensive spell will stun.
Q – Deals magic damage to a single target. The mana cost is refunded if it kills a target as well as reduces her cooldowns by half.
W – Deals magic damage in a cone.
E – Grants a shield that increases Armor and MR as well as dealing back damage in magic damage to anyone who auto attacks her.
R – Summons a large bear that deals magic damage in an area and then continuously deals damage.
As you can tell Annie deals all magic damage and therefore would want to build AP to optimize her kit. Annie also brings great utility with her kit which is why you see her played a lot in the bot lane as a support role.
Example of strong AP items: DFG, Zhonyas, Rabadon’s Death Cap
Some champions can be built with a combination of AD and AP. These champions usually have some ap scaling but also have reason to auto attack. Examples include: Evelynn, Kayle, Akali and are what we call hybrid champions.
NOTE: In NO way am I trying to enforce you to play any champion a certain way just because of the stats they have. Champions can be built all types of ways and trying new things out in normal games and bot games is always fun to do. The point of this was to give you an idea of why champions are built certain ways, not try to impose a meta onto you.
So those are the 2 big stats to worry about, now onto the other ones. Most of these stats are combined with building AP/AD in order to make a well-rounded damage output.
Attack Speed – This stat will increase the rate at which your champion can auto attack per second. It is mostly used for ADC’s or other AD champions that rely mostly on their auto attacks. (Ex. Aatrox, Vayne really love attack speed). However, there are AP champions that benefit from attack speed too (Ex. Kayle, Warwick). Attack speed items come in 2 different forms: Attack speed with AD and Attack speed with AP. Here are some example of both.
Attack speed AD items: Phantom Dancer, Statikk Shiv, Blade of the Ruined King
Attack speed AP items :Nashor’s tooth, Wit’s end
Magic Resist – This stat reduces the amount of magic damage you will take. Example items include: Spirit visage, Banshee’s Veil, Athene’s unholy grail.
Armor – This stat reduces the amount of damage you take from physical damage. Example items include: Frozen heart, Sunfire cape, thornmail
Magic Penetration – This stat will ignore some of the magic resist of any enemy, allowing you to deal more magic damage. Example items include: Liandry’s torment, void staff
Armor Penetration – This stat will ignore some of the enemy’s armor, allowing you to deal higher physical damage. Example items include: Last whisper, Black Cleaver
Crit chance – Crit chance is an item build on champions that rely on their auto attacks. It is the chance that your champion will crit allowing you to deal 2x the damage. Many crit items will also give either AD or Attack speed. Examples include: Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Statikk Shiv
Health and Health Regeneration – Health is the amount of Hitpoints/hp your champion has. Once it hits zero you die. Health Regeneration is the rate at which you regen health. Some champions have much higher health regen than others. Example of health items: Warmogs, Locket of the iron solari, sunfire cape. Example of health regen boosting items: Spirit Visage, Ravenous Hydra.
Mana and Mana Regeneration – Mana is what most spells use to be cast. Some champions are mana-less or use other resource bars and therefore do not have to worry about mana. Mana regeneration is the rate at which you will regain mana. If you use mana and you run out, you will not be able to cast spells. Some mana boosting items: Frozen heart, Banshee’s veil. Mana Regen items: Athene’s unholy grail, Archangel’s staff.
Note: Usually you do not itemize for mana or health regen. They are usually more used as bonus stats that will help you sustain throughout the game. Most AP champions will buy 1 mana regen item because you do not want to sacrifice too much damage. There are of course exceptions to every case and you should read up on your individual champion for what it builds.
Life steal – Life steal will grant you health back based on the amount of physical damage you deal. Example items: Bloodthirster, BOTRK, Ravenous Hydra
Spell Vamp – Spell vamp will grant you health back based on the amount of magic damage you deal. Example items: hextech revolver, WoTA. Note: Most AP champions, except for a select few, do not build Spell Vamp because they do their damage in a burst rather than sustained damage.
Tenacity – More tenacity ill reduce the effects of CC. This is a great stat to build on initiators and if you feel like you’re getting focused a lot. Tenacity items: Mercury’s Treads, Spirit of the Ancient Golem, Zephyr
Cooldown Reduction – More CDR means your spells will have shorter cooldowns. Note that there is a cap of CDR at 40%, and that CDR will not reduce your summoner spell cooldowns.
Movement speed – Movespeed is the rate at which you move across the map. Movement speed is great for all champions but is seen built on junglers and melee champions as they will need to keep in speed with whoever they are attacking.