At its core, League of Legends is a game of numbers. Behind the striking character designs, powerful abilities, and stunning visual effects are stats that make the game work. And while most LoL stats are fairly straightforward, it’s still possible to get confused due to their sheer volume.
So if you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is Tenacity? What is the CDR cap? And what the hell do AD and AP stand for?” then read on!
Most stats can be broken down into three categories: offensive, defensive, ability.
Offensive stats strengthen a champion’s brawling potential without factoring in abilities or summoner spells. They include:
- Attack damage (AD): affects the damage of your basic attacks.
- Attack speed (AS): affects the rate at which a champion can use basic attacks.
- Critical strike chance (Crit): affects the chance that a champion’s basic attack will critically strike and deal increased damage.
- Critical strike damage: affects how much damage your critical strikes do.
- Life steal (LS): affects the percentage of a champion’s basic attack damage that is returned to the attacker as health.
- Armor penetration (Armor pen): interacts with a defensive stat—armor—to determine what value of it is ignored when dealing physical damage.
- Range: a measurement of how far a champion’s basic attacks or abilities can reach.
Defensive stats add survivability and protect champions from basic attacks, spells, and other damage sources. They include:
- Armor: determines how much damage a champion takes from basic attacks and physical abilities.
- Health (HP): determines how many hit points a champion has.
- Health regeneration: determines the rate at which champions replenish their health.
- Magic resistance (MR): determines how much damage a champion takes from magical abilities.
- Tenacity: reduces the duration of disables and crowd control effects.
Ability stats enhance a champion’s spells. They include:
- Ability power (AP): determines how effective certain (usually magical) spells are.
- Cooldown reduction (CDR): affects the rate at which spells go off cooldown. The maximum amount of CDR you can get in League of Legends is 45%, meaning that when you reach that value, you can use your spells almost twice as often compared to a champion with no cooldown reduction.
- Magic penetration: interacts with a defensive stat—magic resistance—to determine what value of it is ignored when dealing magical damage.
- Mana: determines how many mana points a champion has.
- Mana regeneration: determines the rate at which champions replenish their mana.
- Spell vamp: affects the percentage of a champion’s ability damage that is returned to the caster as health.
Some stats are distinct enough that they don’t belong to any particular category.
For example, movement speed affects the speed at which champions move around the map.
Another unique stat is energy. Some champions use energy as an alternative to mana. You can distinguish energy-based champions by the yellow bar under their health bar (contrary to the blue bar for mana). Unlike mana, energy is constantly replenished at a high rate, making it impossible to run out of it over time. However, the maximum amount of energy is 200, and there’s no way to raise that cap. Additionally, items can’t influence the energy replenishment rate, although there are runes and buffs that can make energy regenerate faster.
A concept that is deeply connected to stats is scaling. Scaling determines the rate at which champion’s abilities gain in power, depending on either stats or levels. For example, most offensive abilities scale with either AD or AP, which means that the more attack damage or ability power you have, the stronger your spells are.
Scaling can also be used as a broader term when talking about champions. For example, a champion that scales well has abilities or basic attacks that improve at a much higher rate, compared to other champions in the game. This is usually compensated for by significant weaknesses in the early stages of the game.
In a similar fashion, scaling also applies to items. An item that scales well is an item that is useful throughout the entirety of the game or has synergy with other items.
The most natural way to increase your stats is by gaining experience. Every champion has base stats—set values that slightly improve when a champion levels up. This process is done automatically and requires no significant input from the player.
A more interactive way of boosting your stats is by using gold to buy items. Most League of Legends items offer stat bonuses that help champions power up.
Finally, you can raise stats by getting buffs from neutral monsters like Red Brambleback (red), Blue Sentinel (blue), Elemental Dragons, or Baron Nashor.
Knowing what stats do and how they affect different champions is paramount to understanding League of Legends. Players constantly look for ways to earn more gold, get better items or otherwise maximize their stats. In the end, LoL is a game of numbers. And a champion with higher numbers usually wins.