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When should you buy Shieldbreaker


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When the enemy team don't have a lot of AGI carries and are mostly STR/INT heroes, but still excluding push lineups as they will typically stack physical armor (and going glass cannon against them is a terrible idea).

Shieldbreaker is also a mid-game item whereas Riftshards is a late game item. Physical damage carries that are reliant on snowballing mid-game e.g. Drunken, MK, Tremble, Nomad can put Shieldbreaker to use reliably. Usually, this means you want Lvl 1 Shieldbreaker picked up by 25min at the latest since it loses effectiveness late game when most heroes have higher armor. And it's true that Shieldbreaker is more niche than Riftshards. It's certainly not something you want to pick up on your TDL/Chronos/Magebane etc. 

Edited by AgentZer0
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Thx for the replies, but i guess what i was really wondering is wheter shieldbreaker will do more dmg on average in certain heroes compared to riftshards cuz like you said shieldbreaker seems more like a mid-game item compared to riftshards that is more late game.

 

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40 minutes ago, GiveUpBra said:

Thx for the replies, but i guess what i was really wondering is wheter shieldbreaker will do more dmg on average in certain heroes compared to riftshards cuz like you said shieldbreaker seems more like a mid-game item compared to riftshards that is more late game.

 

Well... yeah if Shieldbreaker doesn't allow those heroes like MK/DM/Tremble/Nomad to deal more consistent damage than a Riftshards during the mid-game then there wouldn't be much point to suggesting it lol. In terms of the math, Riftshards will usually start doing more consistent damage than Shieldbreaker once hero armor values become higher (as it diminishes the -armor effect of Shieldbreaker) especially towards late game. You'll also notice heroes like MK/DM/Tremble who can effectively utilize Shieldbreakers possess physical damage spells/-armor spells that are further augmented by the -armor effect of Shieldbreaker. This means they get to do more damage thanks to Shieldbreaker, but not necessarily just from greater auto attack damage. The synergy between a hero's kit and Shieldbreaker's -armor effect helps determine if it's a worthwhile pickup in the first place. Once it's late game, enemy armor values would be at a point where Shieldbreaker just isn't as effective anymore. So basically, Shieldbreaker only works effectively for a certain pool of heroes, and even then you should pick it up around 25-min latest - or not pick it up at all.

 

Edited by AgentZer0
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11 hours ago, AgentZer0 said:

Well... yeah if Shieldbreaker doesn't allow those heroes like MK/DM/Tremble/Nomad to deal more consistent damage than a Riftshards during the mid-game then there wouldn't be much point to suggesting it lol. In terms of the math, Riftshards will usually start doing more consistent damage than Shieldbreaker once hero armor values become higher (as it diminishes the -armor effect of Shieldbreaker) especially towards late game. You'll also notice heroes like MK/DM/Tremble who can effectively utilize Shieldbreakers possess physical damage spells/-armor spells that are further augmented by the -armor effect of Shieldbreaker. This means they get to do more damage thanks to Shieldbreaker, but not necessarily just from greater auto attack damage. The synergy between a hero's kit and Shieldbreaker's -armor effect helps determine if it's a worthwhile pickup in the first place. Once it's late game, enemy armor values would be at a point where Shieldbreaker just isn't as effective anymore. So basically, Shieldbreaker only works effectively for a certain pool of heroes, and even then you should pick it up around 25-min latest - or not pick it up at all.

 

I agree man ! like if your vs Gb Riptide Etc heroes there is no point really in getting a SB where Gb and Rip will be running around with 30+. I allways just go for a simple Harkons to take down the Agility carrys

 

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When is it worth buying shield breaker over something else? In very rare scenarios if you ask me. On heroes like Grinex or Panda - you would think that it would be perfect... but there are 2-3 items that are much better (atleast). I'd say that SB is only worth on Silhouette due to the fact that at lvl 3 it works on towers and she can do the rat strat more efficient.

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3 hours ago, Diabetis said:

When is it worth buying shield breaker over something else? In very rare scenarios if you ask me. On heroes like Grinex or Panda - you would think that it would be perfect... but there are 2-3 items that are much better (atleast). I'd say that SB is only worth on Silhouette due to the fact that at lvl 3 it works on towers and she can do the rat strat more efficient.

Ehh you're not wrong on all counts. I suggested physical damage semi-carries like MK/DM/Tremble etc. that can use Shieldbreaker well but it's true in practice you're still better off with other items that grant also mobility/survivability in addition to damage e.g. Shroud/Firebrand etc. Having Lex Talionis in game also negates the need for Shieldbreaker since those heroes can have nearly the same -armor effect for much cheaper.

That said, Silhouette is actually the perfect example of a hard carry able to put Shieldbreaker to really good use - I still Game 1 of Hon Tour World Finals (2014?) between BMG and MRR where MRR's Silhouette not picking up a damage item like Shieldbreaker really hurted the team - but you'd still need to time it well in between other core items e.g. Null/PK/Geos etc.

 

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On 3/14/2021 at 5:12 AM, GiveUpBra said:

Thx for the replies, but i guess what i was really wondering is wheter shieldbreaker will do more dmg on average in certain heroes compared to riftshards cuz like you said shieldbreaker seems more like a mid-game item compared to riftshards that is more late game.

 

Macrohard did a formula on old hon forums. @MacroHard

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4 hours ago, Froschbein said:

shieIdbreaker is for destroying buiIdings, riftshards for kiIIing heroes

Don't spread dense misinfo based on an items single property and feeling that's the way it is. It's not. You're uninformed. You're not getting the whole picture.

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1 hour ago, twoscoopsREE said:

Don't spread dense misinfo based on an items single property and feeling that's the way it is. It's not. You're uninformed. You're not getting the whole picture.

😮

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Hey @GiveUpBra

TL;DR: Personally I think shieldbreaker is better than other damage items if the enemy has below 10 armor (or your team can put the enemy below 10 armor)

Armor in hon follows the formula

Quote

Damage reduction = ((0.06 * armor) / (1 + 0.06 * armor)) * 100, if Armor ≥ 0

This can also be reexpressed according to the below function

(0.06 x)/(1 + 0.06 x)×100

When we plot this, we see that damage reduction from armor follows a hyperbolic function.

desmos-graph.png

Let's zoom further in around origo to have an actual informative graph:

desmos-graph-2.png

Now this is much easier to interpret. On this graph, the amount of armour you have is on the x-axis and the y-axis your damage reduction in % at a given amount of armor.

We see that for physical damage reduction, armor is most effective at low amounts and starts to get less effective the more armour you have. For instance, at 20 armor you have 55% physical damage reduction and at 40 armor you get 70% physical damage reduction. So from 0 to 20 armor, you get an effective damage reduction of 55%, however from 20 to 40 armor you gain only 25% additional physical damage reduction.

Now, what does this tell us? It tells us that armor penetration from e.g. a shieldbreaker is most effective if the enemy has already low armour. Examples:

  • If your enemy has 40 armour and 70% physical damage reduction, and he gets -6 armour from shieldbreaker debuff, he will have 67.1% physical damage reduction at 34 armor. This is almost no change at all! Only 2.9% increased effective physical damage taken
  • If your enemy has 20 armour and 55% physical damage reduction, then -6 armour from shieldbreaker, he will have 45.6% physical damage reduction at 14 armour. This is a 9.4% increased effective physical damage taken. Approx. 3 times more than the previous example
  • Now let's say your enemy has no armor items at all, and at a base armor of 5. He has 23.0% physical damage reduction at this amount. Shieldbreaker debuff puts him at -1 armor, corresponding to -6% physical damage reduction. Not only was effective damage taken increased by 23% from removing his armor to 0, he now also takes an additional 6% increased physical damage. So in total your physical damage against this enemy was increased by 29%!

So, consider picking up armor penetration if your opponents have already low armor. Some guy in this thread pointed out an enemy team with many strength and intelligence heroes tend to have low armor since they usually don't build agility items (which grants 0.14 armor per point). This is correct, however remember that it is rather easy to pick up armor from items in hon. Agility heroes tend to gather high armor through agility, in which case armor penetration is usually not worth going after.

If you have heroes in your team that have abilities that can reduce opponents armour, such as gunblade's ultimate or andromeda's aurora, items that grant armour penetration becomes extra attractive, and explained by the graph.

This is also why shieldbreaker is considered good against towers, since they have rather low armor. Tier 3 and 4 towers only have 6 armor, where armor penetration provides a high damage increase (buff tower armor already Elementuser!?!?)

TL;DR: Personally I think shieldbreaker is better than other damage items if the enemy has below 10 armor (or your team can put the enemy below 10 armor)

 

Sources: the hon wiki https://hon.gamepedia.com/Armor and also an older forum post from elementuser 

 

Edited by gillesberg
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5 hours ago, gillesberg said:

Hey @GiveUpBra

TL;DR: Personally I think shieldbreaker is better than other damage items if the enemy has below 10 armor (or your team can put the enemy below 10 armor)

Armor in hon follows the formula

This can also be reexpressed according to the below function

(0.06 x)/(1 + 0.06 x)×100

When we plot this, we see that damage reduction from armor follows a hyperbolic function.

desmos-graph.png

Let's zoom further in around origo to have an actual informative graph:

desmos-graph-2.png

Now this is much easier to interpret. On this graph, the amount of armour you have is on the x-axis and the y-axis your damage reduction in % at a given amount of armor.

We see that for physical damage reduction, armor is most effective at low amounts and starts to get less effective the more armour you have. For instance, at 20 armor you have 55% physical damage reduction and at 40 armor you get 70% physical damage reduction. So from 0 to 20 armor, you get an effective damage reduction of 55%, however from 20 to 40 armor you gain only 25% additional physical damage reduction.

Now, what does this tell us? It tells us that armor penetration from e.g. a shieldbreaker is most effective if the enemy has already low armour. Examples:

  • If your enemy has 40 armour and 70% physical damage reduction, and he gets -6 armour from shieldbreaker debuff, he will have 67.1% physical damage reduction at 34 armor. This is almost no change at all! Only 2.9% increased effective physical damage taken
  • If your enemy has 20 armour and 55% physical damage reduction, then -6 armour from shieldbreaker, he will have 45.6% physical damage reduction at 14 armour. This is a 9.4% increased effective physical damage taken. Approx. 3 times more than the previous example
  • Now let's say your enemy has no armor items at all, and at a base armor of 5. He has 23.0% physical damage reduction at this amount. Shieldbreaker debuff puts him at -1 armor, corresponding to -6% physical damage reduction. Not only was effective damage taken increased by 23% from removing his armor to 0, he now also takes an additional 6% increased physical damage. So in total your physical damage against this enemy was increased by 29%!

So, consider picking up armor penetration if your opponents have already low armor. Some guy in this thread pointed out an enemy team with many strength and intelligence heroes tend to have low armor since they usually don't build agility items (which grants 0.14 armor per point). This is correct, however remember that it is rather easy to pick up armor from items in hon. Agility heroes tend to gather high armor through agility, in which case armor penetration is usually not worth going after.

If you have heroes in your team that have abilities that can reduce opponents armour, such as gunblade's ultimate or andromeda's aurora, items that grant armour penetration becomes extra attractive, and explained by the graph.

This is also why shieldbreaker is considered good against towers, since they have rather low armor. Tier 3 and 4 towers only have 6 armor, where armor penetration provides a high damage increase (buff tower armor already Elementuser!?!?)

TL;DR: Personally I think shieldbreaker is better than other damage items if the enemy has below 10 armor (or your team can put the enemy below 10 armor)

 

Sources: the hon wiki https://hon.gamepedia.com/Armor and also an older forum post from elementuser 

 

This is a very thorough analysis, my hats off to you sir! 

I just want to include a note that ties things even more to practice: ballpark avg. hero armor on a team starts to go pass 10 armor at around 25-30min game (usually the distribution is such that there are 1-2 heroes with >10 armor (AGI carry/Bulwark carrier), 1-2 heroes with ~7-10 armor (priority 2-3 farmers), and 1-2 heroes with 5-7 armor etc. (supports) at around such a time stamp), so use your best judgment to determine whether a Shieldbreaker would still make sense at different points of the game.

Edited by AgentZer0
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Just now, gillesberg said:

Hey @GiveUpBra

TL;DR: Personally I think shieldbreaker is better than other damage items if the enemy has below 10 armor (or your team can put the enemy below 10 armor)

Armor in hon follows the formula

This can also be reexpressed according to the below function

(0.06 x)/(1 + 0.06 x)×100

When we plot this, we see that damage reduction from armor follows a hyperbolic function.

desmos-graph.png

Let's zoom further in around origo to have an actual informative graph:

desmos-graph-2.png

Now this is much easier to interpret. On this graph, the amount of armour you have is on the x-axis and the y-axis your damage reduction in % at a given amount of armor.

We see that for physical damage reduction, armor is most effective at low amounts and starts to get less effective the more armour you have. For instance, at 20 armor you have 55% physical damage reduction and at 40 armor you get 70% physical damage reduction. So from 0 to 20 armor, you get an effective damage reduction of 55%, however from 20 to 40 armor you gain only 25% additional physical damage reduction.

Now, what does this tell us? It tells us that armor penetration from e.g. a shieldbreaker is most effective if the enemy has already low armour. Examples:

  • If your enemy has 40 armour and 70% physical damage reduction, and he gets -6 armour from shieldbreaker debuff, he will have 67.1% physical damage reduction at 34 armor. This is almost no change at all! Only 2.9% increased effective physical damage taken
  • If your enemy has 20 armour and 55% physical damage reduction, then -6 armour from shieldbreaker, he will have 45.6% physical damage reduction at 14 armour. This is a 9.4% increased effective physical damage taken. Approx. 3 times more than the previous example
  • Now let's say your enemy has no armor items at all, and at a base armor of 5. He has 23.0% physical damage reduction at this amount. Shieldbreaker debuff puts him at -1 armor, corresponding to -6% physical damage reduction. Not only was effective damage taken increased by 23% from removing his armor to 0, he now also takes an additional 6% increased physical damage. So in total your physical damage against this enemy was increased by 29%!

So, consider picking up armor penetration if your opponents have already low armor. Some guy in this thread pointed out an enemy team with many strength and intelligence heroes tend to have low armor since they usually don't build agility items (which grants 0.14 armor per point). This is correct, however remember that it is rather easy to pick up armor from items in hon. Agility heroes tend to gather high armor through agility, in which case armor penetration is usually not worth going after.

If you have heroes in your team that have abilities that can reduce opponents armour, such as gunblade's ultimate or andromeda's aurora, items that grant armour penetration becomes extra attractive, and explained by the graph.

This is also why shieldbreaker is considered good against towers, since they have rather low armor. Tier 3 and 4 towers only have 6 armor, where armor penetration provides a high damage increase (buff tower armor already Elementuser!?!?)

TL;DR: Personally I think shieldbreaker is better than other damage items if the enemy has below 10 armor (or your team can put the enemy below 10 armor)

 

Sources: the hon wiki https://hon.gamepedia.com/Armor and also an older forum post from elementuser 

 

Thank you for the elaborated reply, im thinking that for the current meta SB is pretty useless, can only be picked early mid game, at the cost of sacrificing a slot for other items like shroud or pk that will allow for better ganking aswell, plus its very easy to get some extra armor or void for supports making SB strong point not very good.

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@AgentZero and @GiveUpBra

I agree with your conclusions. The armor debuff from shieldbreaker is not very attractive on its own in the current meta, being gated behind 5600 gold for -6 armor. You will probably not aquire this amount of gold before the 25-30 minute mark, in which case the enemy team have probably already picked up some armor items/auras et cetera. Shieldbreaker however also gives some damage, but nothing that stands out in comparison to other damage items. Shieldbreaker is definitely a niche item which I would only pick up if I have a pestilence/demented shaman in my team. Or I'm playing gunblade mid with a 10 kill streak at 20 minutes, where shieldbreaker 3 allows me to basically oneshot people in the ultimate.

I think shield breaker would benefit from having its price and base damage lowered, and in comparison grant a higher armor reduction debuff. This would make it a good pickup in the midgame for certain heroes.

 

 

 

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Just a minor correction, it's 4600 gold and provides -8 armor for that amount, along with the +55 damage that should not be forgotten.

The item is not meant to be picked up by main hard-carries (aside from some exceptions such as Silhouette, etc); but rather meant to serve as a mid-tier item, and it definitely has its place, and very important one in the game (at least when it comes to my particular playstyle). 

I usually play off-lane role as Scout or Grinex and I don't remember a game where I haven't picked up that item. By far I have experimented and tried many items, in ranked play and in practice mode, and I found Shieldbreaker to have the highest spike DPS out of all the items in the shop for its price range.

Sure, many other items are better (on a hard-carry), but as an off-lane hero with 300-400 gpm at best during a match, I can't really be too picky about the items I buy. I don't have the luxury to buy high-tier items, and I have to settle for low-mid tier items; and let me tell you that - Shieldbreaker is at the top of the list when it comes for what items should I buy.

It also should be noted that not many heroes are able to reach 15-20+ armor during a game, from what I've seen in this chat you are mostly looking at hard-carries, but most supports/semi-carries/gankers won't reach those armor values and are vulnerable to Shieldbreaker, and in conjunction with Lex Talionis it can get crazy.

Edited by Lunarios
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Fair point, although you just mentioned the only 2 heroes i would consider getting shieldbreaker on besides Pesti since they both already have invi thus they can already gank pretty easily, and thats only if they go suicide lane.

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It's a very specific item, much like Grimoire of Power, Madfred's Brass Knuckles, Twin Blades, Lex Talionis. 

Some items are picked up on a regular basis such as Boots, Cleaver, Dawnbringer, etc. and some items have a more reserved place in the hero pool, I'm sure that there are a few more heroes except those 2 that the item works well on, but that's the way it is - not every item should be picked up by everyone and that's ok

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This item is effect when all of your damage output is full of physical and your enemy have less than 10 armour. Can be consider of busted item rather than DPS.

Most ppl pick it for grinex or nomad, but the heroes best used it I saw until now is Kane and gunblade

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Cases are rare when shieldbreaker is a decent pickup.

Maybe making it ignore a % of the enemies armor (similar to the spellshards approach) would make it more viable. I much rather pickup a cheap Lex + a different damage item than a shieldbreaker.

Edited by hegelsohn
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I personally don't see the weakness of the item that much, as to me the item is very strong as it is, but maybe its just because of my specific playstyle that benefits greatly from this item. I wouldn't be against changing it to % of enemies armor as it would be very useful late-game as well, and not mainly mid-game.

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Its not that the item is weak nor useless, but it does seem there are better choices, even for heroes like panda you are probably much better with PK, Sol's Bulwark, Shrunken even when hes fully based on Physical abilities.

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Correct. Grinex is also one of my favorite suicide heroes. However, if you really purchase the full sb item including recipts after having a good early game, you are basically done as you have no survivability and no farming potential. Getting SH after SB is often a real mess therefor I stopped getting sb early (or leave it at lvl 1) to get sh asap.

It is decent if you can get it really early into the game but you could as well get a cheap lex and a sh/pk/bulwark or whatever item instead. 

Also, if you pick it up on a  carry (nomad was pretty popular to pick it) you basically have to sell it as some point as it scales terribly into late game (which is why I proposed making it a % armor reduction instead) and you lose quite some cash..

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