League of Legends is all about efficiency. An item often misused in that context is Liandry’s Torment. While it is amazingly strong, it is not a good choice for a lot of champions. Especially in lower brackets, people often buy it without really thinking too much about it.
What makes Liandry’s Torment good?
The %-burn of the item is amazingly strong on its own. It burns 6% of the enemy current health over 3 seconds. That amount is doubled when the enemy’s movement is impaired; this can be achieved with crowd control provided by your champion’s kit or usage of Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. The bonus upgrades the damage to a whopping 12% in 3 seconds. This means 4.8% of current hitpoints as true damage when you run the 40% magic pen of Void Staff and treat the penetration as true damage. Note that Rylai’s only burns for half of the time Liandry’s does.
- Enemy itemization: Liandry’s is obviously very good against health-heavy builds, for example against Mundo or Volibear. You have to look out for magic resistance though: it does not work as well if the enemy has built up a lot of magic resistance before you get the appropriate amount of magic penetration.
- Your itemization: Liandry’s Torment is not a good choice when you go for an AP/burst heavy build. Sure, the magic penetration and AP are still nice for that, but the most useful part of the item is a damage-over-time-effect and not really useful when you want to kill someone as fast as possible.
- Your champion’s abilities: This is the most important point. Liandry’s is only efficient when you can apply the effect well – that means often and paired with movement control. It is for example not really a good buy on Kassadin because he wants to kill an enemy as fast as possible with only three skills that can activate the effect on relatively long cooldowns. Champions like Vladimir which utilize low cooldowns to apply the effect more often make much better use of the item.
You can create entire builds focused on abusing Liandry’s burn; this works best with tanky builds like Mercury Treads/Liandry’s Torment/Rylai’s Crystal Scepter/Sunfire Cape/Abyssal Scepter/Thornmail for AP/magic pen utilizing tanks like Amumu and Tank-Katarina, but I will focus on casters specializing in damage output in this article.
Who uses Liandry’s Torment well?
Now that you know a little bit more about the item, I’d like to present some champions which use Liandry’s very well.
Being played a lot in competitive gaming, Kayle is maybe the most famous example. Righteous Fury has a special interaction with the effect: Liandry’s burn is applied to all targets hit by the damage of the spell. That makes it very easy for Kayle to apply the damage since she only needs to autoattack after activating Righteous Fury and Kayle builds that specialize in tank killing/DPS go for cooldown reduction anyways. Additionally she is able to double the burn damage when using Judgment due to the slow.
Elise is another famous and important example. The fact that her damage relies almost only on %-damage gives her great synergy with Lynadry’s Torment. Not only does the burn add a lot of damage to her strong poke and burst, but also the magic penetration: Elise can evolve into an unkillable destruction machine with just Liandry’s and tanky items like sunfire cape or abyssal scepter. She is able to apply the burn continuously over relatively long range; additionally, she is able to earn the bonus damage of the burn with her stun.
Currently only rarely played, Brand is a grand example for synergy with Liandry’s Torment. The key element is the fact that his passive reactivates Liandry’s burn effect with every damage tick, essentially extending its duration to over 6 seconds, more than doubling the time. This works very well with Brands synergy with Rylai’s Crystal Scepter as well, since its slowing effect is applied the same way. I’d go so far as to say that Brands synergy with these two items is extremely underrated and that he could be played on the highest level if a player would take the time to master his complex spell interactions.
While being played slightly more often, Swain has huge potential synergy with Liandry’s Torment as well. His Torment and Decrepify utilize the same mechanic that makes the effect so strong on Brand. Additionally, Swain has a snare with Nevermove that is slightly more reliable than Brands stun combination, giving skilled players the additional damage on the burn without the usage of Rylai’s Crystal Scepter.
Everything in Anivias kit is hugely benefits from Liandry’s: movement impairment on two of her spells doubles the damage, her ultimate enables her to easily apply the burn multiple times; the synergy also makes the field much more dangerous since you take the doubled % damage as long as you stay in the area of effect. Anivia is often built relatively tanky as well since defensive stats are a huge bonus to her passive; therefore the HP on Liandry’s is more than just a nice bonus.
A more famous example is the combination of Liandry’s Torments and Zyra’s plants. Every attack of these activates the burn effect; the slowing plants created by Rampant Growth and Grasping Roots even apply the doubled damage due to the slow. This makes it possible for Zyra to easily apply Liandry’s over and over, especially when she hits multiples spells or crowd control effects.
Zac is in a similar situation as Elise: he already has strong %-scaling in his kit, utilizing low cooldown and a slow. This leads to his use of Liandry’s Torment being extremely efficient. He also makes extremely good use of the health given by the item since his passive makes really strong use of it and he should be built tanky with his low range initiation capabilities anyways.
With Rumble being the king of the slows in season 2, his synergy with the item is obvious. He is able to apply it permanently and makes extremely good use of the bonus damage even without Rylai’s Crystal Scepter due to his slow-heavy kit. His flamethrower and ultimate allow him to apply Liandry’s in a very big area of effect. The health helps to feed a tanky build, and both the magic penetration and ability power are fitting stats as well. Rumble should never be built without Liandry’s – even when built on tank, it’s a lot of potential damage even without additional items.
Another unconventional example would be Amumu. While it is currently popular to go for as much utility and tankyness on junglers as possible in competitive play, more damage-focused builds can be really effective in Solo/Duo-Queue. Amumu can apply Liandry’s burn very easily with his constant AoE damage. He can use his W just to apply Liandry’s and then turn it off again, which saves mana as well. The only problem is: Amumu already has strong %-based damage on his W, does he really need even more? You can argue that this is not necessary, but when the enemy runs Volibear top and Mundo jungle you should think about it.
Other champions with strong synergy are Cassiopeia and Malzahar.
Who doesn’t use Liandry’s well?
After showing some examples for champions which use Liandry’s well, I’d also like to point out some examples of champions who do not. It is easier to present these in groups since multiple champions share the same problems. A big group of champions is focused on burst. When you go for kills as quick as possible, you cannot wait for the burn effect to do something, especially since it gets lower with every bit of damage dealt. The following champions focus on fast kills and should not get Liandry’s: Kassadin, Katarina (if built on Burst/Full AP), Fizz, Twisted Fate, Veigar, Lux, Diana, Galio, LeBlanc, Syndra, Xerath
Another group of casters could use it somewhat well while not applying it very often due to their cooldowns. In this case, Liandry’s Torment could still be worth its money, but only when paired with cooldown reduction: Ahri, Lux, Twisted Fate, Ziggs
The last group I’d like to point out could apply Liandry’s often, but simply scales really well with AP. While Liandry’s provides a nice load of AP and magic penetration, other items simply use that inventory slot much more efficiently for other stats these champions need. Karthus, Akali, Annie, Diana, Orianna
To get Liandry’s or not to get Liandry’s is not an easy question since the item has incredible synergy potential. A lot of factors play into this decision, making it an important part of itemization. It is rarely a really bad buy, but to get the most out of your gold each player should try to factor in these points when deciding to purchase it or not. I hope this article is helpful for this purpose – good luck in your next game with Liandry’s on summoners rift!