Lethality In League Of Legends Explained: How It Works

league of legends lethality

League of Legends is a game that deals with many different statistics that allow different characters to have unique properties and ways to deal with their enemies.

These stats include things like attack damage, ability haste, ability power, and armor penetration.

With the Season 7 update, the game received a couple of new additions, which had balance as one of the primary focuses.

One of the most notable changes was the fact that Flat Armor Penetration was replaced by something called Lethality, which now plays a big role in how the game works. The reason behind this change was the fact that the game’s balance was a bit unfair with the use of flat armor penetration, which allowed champions to ‘snowball’ their way towards victory.

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Lethality is the improved version of that with a couple of differences and you’d usually see it on champions like Assassins and some support characters.

So, how does Lethality work in League of Legends, and what is the best way to both use and defend against it? We’ve created a thorough guide to explain these things to you so that you don’t have to waste your time on trial and error. Let’s get started!

What is Lethality in LoL?

Lethality, as briefly explained above, was added as a replacement for Flat Armor Penetration for balancing purposes, as the latter was deemed too broken and allowed enemies to kill players too easily.

Lethality reduces enemy armor based on an amount which is determined by the scaling effect applied to your character’s champion level. An important thing to note is that enemy armor, with Lethality, cannot be reduced below the property of 0.

Lethality grants flat armor penetration with this formula: Flat Armor Penetration = LETHALITY × (0.6 + 0.4 × level ÷ 18).

The meaning of those numbers and symbols is that at level 1, the players will have approximately 60% of armor penetration based on what lethality items give them. Once you level up, this rate increases 0.4 times per level up, and it is further divided by 18.

Lethality works additively and as mentioned, it cannot drop a player’s armor below the number of 0. This is a major change in balance, as before Lethality you could damage armor even below 0 and it entered negative amounts.

An easy example of this would be to go with an even number of levels, like 10. If you have two Lethality items with a value of 18 at level 10, the calculations using the game’s formula will make the total flat armor penetration approximately 29.599.

The effect applies to the target alongside bonus armor penetration as the two stats work closely.

Another example is that if a champion that you’re fighting has 60 armor and you have 40 Lethality, the stats would erase the exact number of armor from the enemy and leave them with only 20 remaining armor as a result.

So, in easy words, the number of your Lethality points will erase the exact amount of armor from the enemy – nothing more, nothing less.

And it usually works as a sister stat alongside bonus armor penetration, so if you have 20 bonus armor and 20 Lethality, the enemy will first suffer from the 30 bonus armor penetration and then the 20 Lethality afterward.

Now that we have the explanation out of the way, here’s a list of items that grant Lethality in League of Legends:

I. Youmuu’s Ghostblade

  • Lethality: 18
  • Cost: 3000g

II. Prowler’s Claw

  • Lethality: 18
  • Cost: 3200g

III. Duskblade of Drakthar

  • Lethality: 18
  • Cost: 3200g

IV. Edge of Night

  • Lethality: 10
  • Cost: 2900g

V. Eclipse

  • Lethality: 18
  • Cost: 3200g

VI. The Collector

  • Lethality: 12
  • Cost: 3000g

VII. Serpent’s Fang

  • Lethality: 18
  • Cost: 2600g

VIII. Umbral Glaive

  • Lethality: 12
  • Cost: 2600g

The most common class that uses Lethality items are Assassins since their job is to seek out enemies and hit them where it hurts. But some other characters can benefit from it too, such as Jhin and Draven.

So, you can use it however you like if you want to experiment, as your personal playstyle matters too at the end of the day. The only thing to keep in mind is that Lethality is not very useful against opponents who have too much armor.

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And that’s it for our guide on what Lethality in League of Legends is! We hope that you found it helpful and we’re here to answer any questions that you have. While you’re here, don’t forget to check out some of our other helpful gaming guides too.

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