Death’s Dance vs. Bloodthirster – Which One’s Better?

As an AD champion, you rely heavily on physical damage dealt. However, sometimes you just fail to deliver and you underperform in teamfights. This results in you becoming low on health, especially if you are an ADC. 

So, what is the next move for you? Either go back to base and reset the whole play or just stick around the jungle/closest lane and “lifesteal” your HP back. Bloodthirster enables you that, but on the other hand, you have the Death’s Dance that offers enhanced ability haste or casting your abilities on a faster note. 

So, which item should you choose? Stick with us until the end of this guide as we’ll explain both of them and we’ll compare them head-to-head, so you’ll have an insight into their nature!

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Death’s Dance

This is an item that stores damages, along with the post-mitigation damage that is received on your champion. Death’s Dance stores 30% and 10% of the post-mitigation damage, including the shields, which is successively taken as damage over time true damage instead. The item also deals one-third of the stored damage every second.

But the item has another great value, which is healing you for a +175% bonus when a champion dies within 3 seconds of damage during this duration. Also, with the champion dying, Ignore Pain’s remaining damage will be removed. 

This item grants you 55 AD, 45 Armor, and 15% Ability Haste. So, you’ll be able to cast your abilities on a quicker note, you’ll deal more consistent damage, and the tanks will fear you due to the additional Armor that will make you more durable in teamfights.

Death’s Dance costs 3300 gold, so it’s not nearly a cheap item. However, ranged champions used to make very good utilization of it due to the nature of its ex-passive features. 

The initial post-mitigation damage storing was 20% for ranged champions before it got decreased to 10%, which is why ADCs have started to turn more to Bloodthirster. But it’s not like Death’s Dance has been totally overruled by the ADCs, it’s just now that champions like Darius and other strong AD top laners have made good use of this item.


Another legendary item could be found in Bloodthirster. This is an item that has been massively used by ADCs and is most often one of the first items they build. This is because of the lifesteal it provides and the shielding when your champion is in 100% health. 

This item provides your champion with 55 AD, 20% critical chance, and 18% lifesteal. On top of that, when your champion is on 100% HP, the lifesteal is converted to a shield which can go up from 50-320 based on your level. 

However, this shield needs to be maintained in the next 25 seconds or you’ll lose it.

Why is this item vastly overused by ADCs? It’s because they can stack up their shield before teamfights by laning on bot/top, and when they are under pressure or poke damage, these champions can just farm until their HP goes back to normal. 

This is of course if they manage to stay at the same distance. The item itself costs 3400, which is 100 gold more compared to the Death’s Dance. So, which one is better if we put them on the scale?

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Overall Comparison and In-Game Impact

Although these two items are very similar, they do have their differences. One main difference is regarding the passive components of the items. Death’s Dance offers you faster ability haste and is better utilized on champions that rely on their abilities to do a significant amount of damage. 

On the other hand, Bloodthirster is used by champions (mostly ADCs) that build a lot of attack speed and/or auto-attack for most of their damage output.

The bleed passive on Death’s Dance makes it better on melee champions because they are able to “finish” the job in a more successful manner, while ADCs are able to get more use out of the healing from Bloodthirster.

Also, in-game the impact of the Bloodthirster is kind of better because if you enter the teamfight on full health with the shield, it’s like having an extra 350 HP to your health bar. 

Yes, the DoT effect is nice and makes you survive burst slightly, but it seems like its effectiveness isn’t as nearly the same as the one from the BT shield.

In the late game, there are two main differences between these items. BT can offer you a lot more lifesteal apart from the shield, while DD can offer you enhanced Ability Haste, so you’ll be able to cast abilities quicker. 

DD will be much more utilized by Bruisers in the mid/late game, which is when its usage is most successful, while BT will be way more utilized by champions like Jinx or Caitlyn, and ADCs in general.

Prize Comparison

These items are very similar in nature, therefore the price isn’t varying as much. Death’s Dance is 100 gold cheaper, but unlike mages, these items are usually built on different kinds of champions. 

So, the 100 gold won’t make any difference as Bruisers and Assassins tend to build it over BT first, while ADCs tend to build BT first and then have Death’s Dance or Guardian Angel as their last item.

Before the nerfs on Death’s Dance, ADCs were building it first, and then they added BT to their build. This has enhanced both their damage and their healing abilities, making them almost invulnerable in teamfights if they manage to position themselves nicely and kite from a safe distance. 

But now, it seems like both of these items are finding a different value in different kinds of champions, and yet both of them are very utilized!

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Both Death’s Dance and Bloodthirster are items that are worth building in your inventory. Now, the difference is to acknowledge the situation that your champion is in and find out which one is the better choice.

As we mentioned earlier, due to the nature of these items, it shouldn’t be hard for you to divide them into two separate groups. 

  • If you are Bruiser/Assassin and want to be more endurable in teamfights, then the DD is the right choice for you. 
  • If you are an ADC and want to be safe in teamfights thanks to the huge lifesteal and shield that comes on top of your 100% HP, then Bloodthirster is the no-brainer choice for you! 

Either way, you’ll be in for a good game if you know how to properly position yourself and make the best out of these items! 

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