I'm wondering when it's better to buy another item instead of last whisper if your enemy has a lot of armor.

These aren't exact numbers but let's say malphite reaches 800 armor and has 85% damage reduction from physical damage. Getting a last whisper reduces his armor to 800 - 35% = 520 armor. That is still around 75+ % damage reduction.

Wouldn't it be more useful to get another item that increases your damage further? Since he has to stack huge amounts of armor, wouldn't a wits end be better?

Or the old madred's razor?

  • 1
    The title for this question is a little confusing - could it be rephrased as something like "Is there an armor breakpoint for the Last Whisper?"
    – two bugs
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 14:17
  • The formula for damage multiplayer is: if ( armor >= 0 ) dmg_mult = armor/( 100 + armor ) else dmg_mult = 2 - 100/( 100 - armor ) hope that helps
    – Itay Sela
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


These aren't exact numbers but let's say malphite reaches 800 armor and has 85% damage reduction from physical damage. Getting a last whisper reduces his armor to 800 - 35% = 520 armor. That is still around 75+ % damage reduction.

First we should correct this math, just for the sake of completeness. A character with 800 armor takes .11 damage for each 1 physical damage they would normally be dealt, which is 89% damage reduction. So to start with, if you have 100 AD you'll instead hit for 11 damage per shot.

So in the above example, what is the effect of a Bloodthirster versus a Last Whisper? Bloodthirster adds 80 AD, so that brings us to 180. How much difference does this make? 11% of 180 is about 20, so you spent 3500 gold to increase your damage by 9.

Last Whisper will reduce the target's armor against your physical damage to 520, as you said. To start with, this means that instead of taking 11% of damage dealt, he'll be taking about 16%. It will also increase your 100 AD character to 140, which means you'll be dealing about 22 damage per shot, or 11 more damage. Not a huge increase over Bloodthirster, but 800 is an absurd amount of armor.

Foregoing physical damage altogether with Wit's End is a reasonable option, especially since 800 armor means your opponent probably didn't build anything but Thornmails and Frozen Hearts. Increasing your damage by up to 42 ain't bad, and the defensive stats aren't awful, but consider that the rest of the enemy team likely isn't also building all armor, and will still get chunked by physical damage. Most AD carries don't deal a substantial amount of magic damage, so the MR shred isn't great, and now your abilities are less powerful against people whose builds aren't completely stupid and designed to target you specifically. Not to mention that if your team picked reasonably at all, you should have a good mix of damage, and poor Malphite with all armor and no health or MR will get absolutely destroyed by someone else while you go to town on the rest of their team.

Edit adding info from comments:

This Reddit thread details the difference in damage value between adding either Last Whisper or Blade of the Ruined King at varying AD, armor, and health levels. It found that LW will mainly be more effective than BotRK if (a) you build crit, (b) you have physical damage abilities, and/or (c) your opponent is building lots of armor, but not much health.

  • Just a quick correction in the math there, the algorithm for damage reduction is 100/(100+armor). Which means 800 armor leads to a damage multiplier of .11111 which means around 88.89% reduction. The damage multiplier following the penetration is .16129 or 83.8% reduction.
    – nukeforum
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:53
  • Hm, apparently I misunderstood how armor works. Was under the impression that each 100 armor doubled your effective health. Will correct.
    – gwj17
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:57
  • 1
    This reddit thread pretty much does the job to show which is better when. Summed up to Going back to our 500AD/400AR example, the bonus damage is on average about 59 damage per auto, meaning LW is more effective on anything under around 3700HP. Plus ARpen also affects abilities, while BotRK is strictly AA-boosting. Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 17:09
  • @JonathanDrapeau That's what i was looking for. The damage per hit is higher with LW most of the time. So most of the time it's better to get LW to kill tanks then something else. It's even a pretty cheap item. Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 12:25
  • @JonathanDrapeau Done.
    – gwj17
    Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 13:37

The League of Legends wiki page for Last Whisper shows this chart. It's still accurate.

It's hard to concisely describe the contents, but essentially, LW is more efficient for higher opponent armor values and lower total AD values.

This chart shows the increase in damage via the armor penetration on LW for values of armor.

Edit: The images are showing up small apparently, so here's the article they're from: http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/Last_Whisper. The images are below the stat/availability block. Click them to see the full-size images.

  • @JonathanDrapeau They're actually quite large for me. Are you viewing on mobile?
    – nukeforum
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:41
  • They're also appearing very low resolution for me. Your first image is 200x107px and the second is 200x124px. Did you link to a thumbnail?
    – gwj17
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:51
  • I linked to the full sized images. I'll add the link to the wiki page just to be safe.
    – nukeforum
    Commented Oct 7, 2015 at 16:54

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