The Frozen Heart is not an extremely popular item right now. The prevalence of manaless champions in competitive top lane as well as an emphasis on more damaging junglers such as Kha’Zix and Evelynn result in an item that gives mana, armor, and CDR being less popular. Since it’s less popular, there are some interactions that either aren’t known or are easily overlooked, yet which can be quite powerful. I’m Eph289 and I’m here to talk about those interactions.
As a quick reminder, Frozen Heart gives the following stats: 100 armor, 400 mana, and 20% cooldown reduction. Its aura reduces the attack speed of nearby enemies within a 700 unit radius by 15%. It costs 2600 gold. Frozen’s Heart’s raw stats give it a gold value of 3433 before the passive is considered (it’s 132% gold-efficient).
In comparison with Sunfire Cape (450 HP and 45 armor for 2650 gold) or Randuin’s Omen (500 HP and 70 armor for 3000 gold), Frozen Heart is more gold-efficient but provides less effective HP in most scenarios. As such, you’ll probably want to buy it as a secondary armor item rather than a core item unless you’re already purchasing lots of flat health first (e.g. Ryze builds a Seraph’s Embrace and Rod of Ages, so it’s fine for him to buy Frozen Heart as the first armor item).
Liandry’s Torment’s unique passive inflicts magic damage over time based on a % of the enemy’s current health. The bonus damage is doubled against movement-impaired units. It’s most commonly purchased on DOT (damage-over-time) mages like Brand or Swain, or on AP bruisers like Elise.
Now, here’s where the interaction with Frozen Heart comes in. The attack speed reduction aura on Frozen Heart counts as a movement impairment—meaning that as long as you stand within 700 units of your target (think around Caitlyn auto-attack range), they’ll receive the doubled burn damage.
Garen’s passive, Perseverance (not to be confused with the mastery of the same name), causes him to regenerate 0.4% of his maximum health every second if he hasn’t taken damage from champions or turrets, or been hit by an ability in the last 9 seconds. Interestingly enough, Garen’s passive is disabled by the Frozen Heart aura. Granted, this isn’t enough to make you want to rush a Frozen Heart versus Garen (the armor is nice, but lackluster without the flat HP of a Sunfire Cape), but it does make the item appealing for prolonged laning phases where both of you are building your second item.
Talon’s passive, Mercy, grants his autoattacks 10% damage to any target that is slowed, stunned, immobilized, or suppressed. Just as with Liandry’s Torment, the Frozen Heart’s aura is considered a “slow” effect, and thus increases the damage of Talon’s auto-attacks on targets affected by the Frozen Heart.
Master Yi’s Highlander
Highlander grants Master Yi immunity to slows and a bunch of bonus attack speed when activated. It DOES work against the attack-speed reduction of Frozen Heart. This means that while Yi is heavily affected by the Frozen Heart due to his reliance on auto-attacks for damage, Highlander removes that limitation.
Similarly to Highlander, the CC-immunity clause of Olaf’s Ragnarok applies to the Frozen Heart aura, which will not lower Olaf’s attack speed while under the effects of Ragnarok.
The Oppression mastery in the defensive tree reduces damage by 3% from targets that have impaired movement. The Frozen Heart aura also applies here, so any enemy within 700 units of your champion will do 3% less damage. This makes this mastery very, very useful on anyone who would buy the Frozen Heart, letting the buyer activate this almost all the time. I’ve brought in a graphic from a piece I did on defensive masteries showing the relative gold value of the Oppression mastery (in terms of how much armor/MR it would take to accomplish the same damage reduction):
For example, a tank with 200 armor who’s hit by a 300 damage auto-attack gains 185 gold worth of armor out of Oppression reducing the incoming auto-attack by 3%. As a point of reference, 185 gold worth of armor is 9.25 armor.
Who benefits from this?
Let’s look at who currently buys a Frozen Heart. AP bruisers or tanks who use mana and benefit from CDR, such as Ryze, Elise, Singed, Amumu, Skarner, Maokai, Cho’Gath, and Malphite are some of the more popular candidates. Other potential users are tanky engage-heavy support champions like Leona, Alistar, and Thresh. While Frozen Heart is expensive, it also provides a lot of utility and particularly CDR. Less popular options include durability-focused Galio, Viktor, Swain, or Gragas builds. You could also buy Frozen Heart on an AD-focused mana-using bruiser who is consistently diving into a teamfight as a second armor item. The armor and aura will help against AD carries and most bruisers benefit from CDR. Examples would include Jarvan IV, Irelia, Nasus, Olaf, Poppy, Xin Zhao, or Jax. Champions that use Liandry’s Torment will benefit heavily from having a Frozen Heart on the team.
Note that some champions listed here such as Brand or Talon don’t usually BUY Frozen Heart, even if they benefit from it. I’m not suggesting you buy Frozen Heart on Brand or Talon. However, if you have either champion on your team, it might not be a bad idea for your jungle Jarvan to build a Frozen Heart over Randuin’s for added synergy if he can skate by with the flat health from Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Banshee’s Veil. He’s Jarvan, he’s helping!
- Frozen Heart’s aura procs the doubled Liandry’s Torment burn against CC’d targets as well as the Oppression damage reduction mastery
- Frozen Heart’s aura does NOT reduce the attack speed of Master Yi and Olaf when they’re using their ultimates
- Frozen Heart’s aura also passively disables Garen’s passive, while Talon’s passive benefits from the aura.
One last note: these results are not just theorycraft. I’ve tested them all in game on this patch to confirm the interaction.