In League of Legends, options of magic resistance items are very limited. For bruisers and tanks, more often than not the choice comes down to making either Spirit Visage or Adaptive Helm. Even then it can be quite confusing as both of these items offer defense in their own unique ways.
The answer as to which one is the better item is not so straightforward. The items offer different statistics and have passive which supplement separate requirements. The effectiveness of these items depends on your champion as well as the enemy team’s champions.
Moreover, you also have to be aware of how your champion interacts with the enemy to get a better understanding of which item is better in a particular situation. For example, if your champion has innate healing abilities by doing damage but you die before getting in range, which item should be made?
We will cover all of these points as well as give a definitive answer as to which item is better. To do so we must take a deeper look into these items and how they function.
Commonly known as the go-to for preventing magic-based damage, Adaptive Helm has seen its glory days quite often in League of Legends.
Adaptive Helm gives your champion a total of 350 bonus health coupled with increased health regeneration of up to 100% base health. You also get a 10% cooldown reduction. As far as magic resist goes, Adaptive Helm also gives 55 magic resist.
Cost and Build Recipe
The total cost of Adaptive Helm is 2800 gold. The build recipe includes a Spectre’s Cowl plus a Null Magic Mantle and a Rejuvenation Bead.
The passive ability of this item, “Adaptive” is the reason it serves a distinct purpose in the game. Taking magic damage from any source gives you a reduction in magic damage from that source for any successive damage in the next 4 seconds.
Adaptive Helm is an excellent defensive tool against champions that have the ability to dish out constant magic damage through abilities or auto-attacks. Since it also supplies a healthy amount of magic resistance, you get a bunch of resistance to magic damage in one item.
Cassiopeia is a prime example to understand how Adaptive Helm functions to reduce incoming damage from the same ability within 4 seconds. Ths reason is that Cassiopeia’s high DPS source is her continuous “Twin Fangs” assault on poisoned targets. When magic damage received by the same ability within 4 seconds is reduced, it includes a new cast of the same ability, for example, “Twin Fangs”.
Moreover, Adaptive Helm also reduces incoming magic damage from overtime damage abilities such as Brands passive, Teemo and Cassiopeia’s poison abilities, etc. The burn damage from Liandrys Torment is also reduced by 20% beyond the first damage tick.
Adaptive Helm reduces incoming damage from area of effect abilities that do overtime damage. For example, Rumble’s ultimate, Katarina’s ultimate, etc all will deal reduced damage to you. The Adaptive passive also reduces damage from modified basic attacks such as Corki’s auto attacks and On-Hit magic damage from Wits End etc.
Spirit Visage is often considered the best component for aggressive healing builds. Its versatility and uses make it viable in almost every role.
Spirit Visage offers much the same statistics as Adaptive Helm. You get 55 magic resist, 10% cooldown reduction, and 100% base health regeneration. The Visage also gives you 450 health.
Cost and Build Recipe
The cost of Spirit Visage is the same as Adaptive Helm i.e 2800 gold. The build recipe is a little different as the components include a Spectre’s Cowl and a Kindle gem.
Spirit Visage’s passive gives you 30% increased healing from all sources. The healing increase is not limited to the self-healing you are able to do., It extends to the external healing you receive from your teammates or from any other source.
The health regeneration of your champion is also increased by that percentage. So in reality you are getting significantly more than just 100% additional base health regeneration. Spirit Visage increases not only your existing health regeneration but also the bonus health regeneration you are getting from the item stats.
The uses of Spirit Visage are quite straightforward. This is the ideal magic resist item for champions that have ways to heal themselves. This can be in the form of any lifesteal or spell vamp and also includes innate healing abilities such as Darkin Kayn’s healing or Darius’s healing from “Decimate”.
Spirit Visage can even be made when you are not facing any particular magic threat. For champions that rely on the ability to outlast their opponents as many bruisers do, this is a core item regardless. Nevertheless, it is ideal to have magic threats to get the maximum use out of this item.
Thanks to the exponential increase in healing this item is also frequently made by ADC champions. ADCs can increase their lifesteal as well as any healing they are getting from their support by making Spirit Visage.
For champions that do have healing in their kits, Spirit Visage’s healing increase works in a multiplicative order with the abilities.
Spirit Visage and Adaptive Helm both give 55 magic resist. Only a few other items in the game are able to match the high amount of magic resist that these items provide.
Both items give a 10% cooldown reduction and 100% base health regeneration. Although, the health regeneration is more than 100% in the case of Spirit Visage as we have already discussed.
Spirit Visage also gives 100 more health points than Adaptive Helm. Therefore, one can argue that it gives more inherent survival statistics than Adaptive Helm.
We have already mentioned the statistics that each of these items gives. It is clear that Spirit Visage is the superior item in terms of Health as well as health regeneration. Now we can move on to comparing them in effectiveness.
Adaptive Helm is the obvious choice for champions that do not have innate healing in their kits and do not benefit from self-healing stats. If your champion does have the ability to heal themselves and the enemy team does not have any consistent or overtime magic damage, Spirit Visage is the better item.
The problem arises in the presence of both self-healing and consistent DPS from the enemy mages. In such a situation the choice between these items depends on your champion. If the champion you are playing has reliable ways to get close to the enemy mage, you still go for Spirit Visage. This is because your increased healing will give you the survivability you need.
Adaptive Helm is made specifically in situations where you are not able to survive. For champions that do not have any dependable ability to gap close such as Darius, Adaptive Helm is often the way to go. Of course, if the enemy team has a high amount of magic damage, you can make both of these items.
After a deep dive into what these items offer it is quite clear that they cater to different requirements. On the surface, they are both providing defense against magic damage, but their unique passives give them separate identities.
Adaptive Helm is significantly more situational than Spirit Visage. The reason behind this is that Adaptive Helm reduces specific types of damage. It is the most effective item for dealing with overtime damage and reducing damage from low cooldown abilities.
Spirit Visage is the best option for survival when the enemy does not have any such damage sources. This is because it gives more survivability due to giving more statistics apart from the increase in healing.
All in all, neither of these items is clearly better than the other because they both offer different types of defensive qualities. They both can be better than the other or worse depending on the game situation. You need to have in-depth knowledge of the champions in the game to understand which item is the correct option to go for.