While doing my different builds for my AP heroes, I've noticed existing builds on the net sometimes (often) combine Sorcerer's Shoes and void staff, and I don't really understand why.

When calculating enemy's effective magic resist, magic resist reduction and penetration is calculated in the following order :

  1. Percentage magic resist reduction
  2. Flat magic resist reduction
  3. Flat magic penetration
  4. Percentage magic penetration

Meaning that if you buy both item, Sorcerer's Shoes only give you 12 penetration if you have void staff. It even goes down to (a little more then) ten if you took the Archaic Knowledge mastery.

Another thing reducing usefulness of void staff is if the Archaic Knowledge mastery. Percentage magic penetration doesn't cumulate, both penetration are calculated one after another: meaning 40% (Void Staff) + 15% (Archaic Knowledge) penetration only gives a total 49% (and not 55%)

So question comes, is it still a useful purchase ? Problem is there aren't many items that reduce or penetrate magic resistance (Abyssal Scepter, Malady, Haunting Guise, Sorcerer's Shoes and Void Staff). Several options come up :

  • Purchase both items (and more if needed)
  • Concentrate on flat penetration and magic resistance reduction
  • Don't take flat penetration (too concentrate on CD reduction or more AP) and buy void staff
  • Try to compensate with runes the lack of penetration I may have if I don't take void staff
  • Ask for teammates to take hero with spells that reduce magic resistance
  • Anything else

I usually abandon void staff and work with Abyssal Scepter + Sorcerer's Shoes, but I'm starting to feel it may not be the best option.


1 Answer 1


For the most part I consider Void Staff to be an item worth considering only if my main targets (AP/AD carries, maybe even the support in rare cases) are stacking magic resist. Generally speaking you should just get Sorceres Shoes and then focus on building AP or other things... HOWEVER:

Some heroes are very much dependent on spell penetration - you can spot these generally from horrible scalings but high base damage. Brand comes to mind - when I play Brand I always rush Sorceres Shoes and Abyssal Scepter. From here on it depends a bit, but I generally always aim for Deathfire Grasp (mana regen, cooldown reduction + more damage) and then get a Void Staff. Brand is simply so dependent on penetrating through magic resist (his passive scales with spell penetration, but not AP) that you have to prioritize that over building tons of AP - especially when you consider that his scalings aren't that great.

I would say for most AP carries you will want the void staff if you're playing against a proper team as their AD/AP carries will get some magic resist at some point if you're doing your job right. However it should not be your immediate item to go for - especially as it is worth more the higher magic resist your opponents have (and they shouldn't have that much early on).

  • Thing is, usually, as an AP hero, I aim for the carries. AP carries don't have much more than Banshee's Veil usually, giving them 50 MR. With just Shoes + scepter, they go -40 MR, which is way enough. So combining with again a void staff will help you take down the 150 MR tank, but won't make much of a difference for the rest will it ? I fell like if I plan to take take void staff, I should take other boots (like Ionian Boots of Lucidity for CD reduction). What do you think ?
    – Dalshim
    Aug 11, 2011 at 16:55
  • I think the answer depends on what you need to do functionally. If you build consists of Sorcerer's shoes and Abyssal Scepter early you certainly don't then need to rush to a Void Staff. Since the staff is % penetration it makes more sense to get it later if you are having trouble taking down enemies. That being said if you are having trouble taking them down why would you sell the Sorcerer's Shoes? I would agree with kastermester generally and consider void staff a "final build" item unless you are having a phenominal game and dont need to build other items for survival.
    – Bravo840
    Aug 11, 2011 at 18:53
  • @Dalshim - first off remember that there is not one single way to build a single champion. You need to look at every game on its own, see which champions and which builds your opponents build and all that. With that said - AP/AD carries on the other team should get way more than 50MR. The veil itself is about that if I recall correct - but don't forget that there's base MR, maybe buffs/auras from the support - and possibly they run MR glyphs as well. Also while you want to focus carries it's not always possible. The other team might have an Irelia focusing you or etc. Aug 13, 2011 at 16:22
  • In general - look at what is going on in the game and run with your builds from there. Most champions and builds depend heavily on one or two core items which you need and from that point on you need to analyze what is happening and progress your build from there. Aug 13, 2011 at 16:23

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