Playing a tank can feel like a nuisance, more so if that tank has been fed and on a higher XP level. No amount of additional ability power or attack damage stats seems to make a dent in the mountain of defensive statistics the tank boasts. But if you are up against a tank, armor penetration will help you make deficits in the tank’s health bar. But are you supposed to go Serylda’s Grudge or Lord Dominik’s Regards for additional damage?
Both items are extremely effective into tanks, piercing through all their armor. While the stat boosts they provide may seem similar, they fulfill completely different purposes. Lord Dominik’s Regards allows the user to hack down health-prioritizing champions while Serylda’s Grudge is better to gap close on to your enemies. Both of them cannot be used interchangeably and are completely situational.
With the emergence of new tank builds, especially with Sunfire Aegis being overpowered, knowledge of armor penetration is essential. If the enemy has any type of self-heal or sustain, it can be near-impossible to take them down in team fights. That is why stay with me as I explain both the items and the correct situation to buy each of them.
Armor Penetration – How Important Is It?
I already mentioned how tanky builds can almost exclusively be taken down by armor (or magic) penetration only. It does not matter how fed you are because tank champions have some of the best scalings in the game.
Armor penetration allows you to ignore a percentage of the opponent’s armor, regardless of how high or low, it is. As it is a percentage, this stat can be deemed useless if no one on the enemy team has a significant amount of armor. But this means it also scales accordingly if the enemy stacks a lot of armor.
Building armor penetration is not always necessary. In team fights, some compositions do not require killing off the tank before dealing with the damage-dealing carries. Especially compositions having global ultimates like Nocturne or Shen R can just dive onto the back line, ignoring the tank altogether.
Maximum Potential – Who Should Buy It
Everyone does not gain the same worthwhile buying armor penetration. Although that can be somewhat correlated to the enemy champions, champs dealing consistent damage should opt for it more than others.
The marksman class in League of Legends benefits the most from buying armor penetration. This is because each auto attack ignores a portion of the enemy’s armor. Buying these items on bruisers or assassins is not as effective because taking out the frontline is not their job.
For those well-versed with League team fight strategies, you will know having a front-to-back team fight is standard. This means ADCs need to burst down the tank before the team can proceed to the damage dealers.
In many cases, the team with the less beefy tank is usually the loser.
Serylda’s Grudge – Bitter Cold
If you are having trouble catching enemies, Serylda’s Grudge is probably your best bet for scoring some kills.
With a unique passive, Bitter Cold, Serylda’s Grudge slows opponents up to 30%. This will allow you to get on top and lock them down long enough to send them back to the fountain.
The item costs 3200 gold (standard for most legendary items) and is usually built as a 3rd or 4th item.
Besides the slowing passive, Serylda’s Grudge offers a base increase of 45 attack damage, 30 armor penetration, and 20 ability haste.
Ideal Scenarios For Buying
You will want to opt for this item when you are up against champions with multiple dashes or movement speed buffs like Hecarim, Jinx, Akali, etc. Keep attacking them while they chase you to create some distance. You will eventually whittle down their health bars low enough to kill them with an all-in.
Lord Dominik’s Regards – Giant Slayer
Lord Dominik’s Regards is as fancy as its name sounds. If you are having trouble chunking down some tanky units, make sure to have one of these in your inventory for higher killing capability.
Lord Dominik’s Regards’ passive, Giant Slayer, deals additional physical damage against enemy champions with greater max health than your own. If you are an ADC, this plays right into your kit as you lack health but make up for it in attack speed and damage.
This item costs 3000 gold, 200 less compared to Serylda’s Grudge, and is also built as a 3rd or 4th item in most builds.
Lord Dominik’s Regards provides the user with 30 additional attack damage, 20% critical strike chance, and 30% armor penetration.
Ideal Scenarios For Buying
You should definitely be thinking (if not already building) about incorporating this item into your build by the mid-game. As tanks stack up enormous amounts of health, targeting one while also dealing with their carries can seem like a suicide mission.
If you have no stacked up health nor gain a substantial amount through leveling up, make sure to get this item as it will take down your enemies much quicker. This item is not solely built for tanks. Rather, you can use the passive for bruisers, or even assassins who have higher health than you.
Which Should You Go With?
As with everything, what you pick is entirely situational. But as a rule of thumb, remember that Serylda’s Grudge offers you a passive, non-stacking slow that can help chase down elusive enemies. Lord Dominik’s Regards on the other hand deals bonus damage to high-health champions while also providing you an extra critical strike chance.
You can make your decision based on whichever criteria suits you better or whoever is most fed (and possibly their win condition) on the enemy team.
Both items are equally beneficial when purchased in the right circumstances. Serylda’s Grudge might have a slight edge over Lord Dominik’s Regards as it is useful in more situations but that does not mean you shouldn’t assess the situation before going for it.
Sometimes, you might not even need armor penetration if the enemy tank is feeding rather than fed itself. Make sure to understand the pros and cons of each item so you can make those tanks look like caster minions on Summoner’s Rift!