Optimizing your item purchases against AD champions in League of Legends is never easy. The task is very delicate because, unlike AP champions, physical damage dealers can either go for a raw AD build, a crit build, or a lethality build.

Needless to say, different items counter each of those three builds.

Generally speaking, the two key stats you want to build against AD champions are bonus health and armor. The more health you build the more you have to work with. And the more armor you stack the less damage AD champions do to you.

However, here’s a list of the best items against AD in LoL based on how effective they are. Take a look.

These Are the Best Items to Build Against AD Champions:

Death’s Dance

Death's Dance item

Death’s Dance is perhaps the greatest defensive item an AD fighter can build against other physical damage dealers.

First of all, the stats that Death’s Dance grants are all great – bonus AD, ability haste, and armor. But its passive what’s key here.

Death’s Dance makes it so you take 30% less damage from all sources. And instead, that 30% is taken as true damage over 3 seconds. But if your enemy dies during those 3 seconds, you don’t take damage at all and you even receive bonus healing.

In other words, you basically take 30% less damage all the time and even heal yourself if you keep on fighting and taking your enemies down. The item makes it impossible for you to get one-shot, so it also counters burst damage.

This item is ideal for melee bruisers such as Hecarim, Olaf, or Wukong.

Gargoyle Stoneplate

Gargoyle Stoneplate item

Gargoyle Stoneplate is a fantastic tank item that not too many players build. It’s quite expensive but also very effective at countering both physical and magic damage dealers.

This item grants a lot of armor as well as magic resist. And when an enemy champion damages you, it also increases your overall armor and magic resist. 

However, what makes Gargoyle Stoneplate an exceptional item for tanks is the active which grants a huge heal based on your bonus health. And depending on which champion you use it, the shield can be equal to your total health (sometimes over 2000 or 3000 HP).

This shield makes it difficult for enemy AD champions to bring you down and they’ll need so much extra time to do so. So always build Gargoyle Stoneplate on tanks such as Ornn, Cho’Gath, or Zac.

Read Also: Top 10 Best Items Against Tanks


Thornmail item

Thornmail is usually the item with the biggest priority when optimizing your itemization against AD champions. Its bonuses are simply invaluable. 

For starters, Thornmail grants a lot of armor and bonus health, your two most important stats for countering AD champions. 

But also, Thornmail allows you to passively deal bonus magic damage to enemy champions when they attack you. And it puts the Grevious Wounds effect on them.

Because of this, Thornmail is an essential item against ADCs. Almost all of their damage comes from auto-attacks. So while auto-attacking you, they actually damage themselves and lower their self-healing (especially important if they build lifesteal items).

Thornmail can be built on any champion, but you usually see it on tanks.

Read Also: The Best Items Against Mordekaiser

Frozen Heart 

Frozen Heart

Frozen Heart is the second priority item players usually build against AD in League of Legends. And often in combination with Thornmail.

Besides the fact that it gives the most amount of armor you can possibly get from a single item, it also has a very useful passive.

Frozen Heart reduces the damage you take from enemy auto-attacks based on your maximum health (the more max health the more damage reduction). But it also slows down the attack speed of all enemy champions nearby. 

And by receiving fewer basic attacks overall, you take even less damage from AD champions. This is why the item is a must against marksmen or AD bruisers that rely on their auto-attacks for dealing damage (Irelia, Yasuo, Yone).

 Since the item also increases your mana, it’s ideal for tanks such as Cho’Gath. But it’s sometimes even built on mages such as Veigar and Ryze to counter physical damage dealers.

Read Also: The Best Mythic Items for AP Mages

Randuin’s Omen

Randuin's Omen item

Even though Randuin’s Omen is a pretty good item against AD champions overall, it specifically counters critical strike damage and builds.

Just like Frozen Heart, Randuin’s Omen reduces the damage you take from auto-attacks. And that’s because it builds with Warden’s Mail, the component item that grants this effect.

But on top of this, Randuin’s Omen lowers the overall damage you take from critical strikes. This is very important when playing against champions like Yasuo and Yone, but also ADCs with crit builds such as Tristana or Lucian.

And lastly, Randuin’s Omen even has an active that slows down all enemies nearby. So it can help melee champions keep their targets crowd controlled for much longer.

Zhonya’s Hourglass

Zhonya's Hourglass item

Zhonya’s Hourglass is the most valuable defensive item that AP champions have for countering AD champions.

First, Zhonya’s Hourglass has great components because you can use Stopwatch once and buy Seeker’s Armguard to help you become more defensive during the laning phase.

But second, once upgraded and fully stacked, Zhonya’s Hourglass gives you enough bonus armor as well as the Stasis effect which is a counter to many AD champions.

Since this item grants bonus ability power, it’s usually only built on AP mages and assassins.

Read Also: The Best Items Against AP Champions

Plated Steelcaps

Plated Steelcaps item

Even though Plated Steelcaps is a popular item in LoL, a lot of players forget about it when they need to counter AD champions.

Plated Steelcaps is the best item against AD damage in the early game. And it should be a priority for any champion, including mid laners and ADCs.

Besides the bonus armor, Plated Steelcaps lowers the damage you take from basic attacks. And in the early game, this makes a huge impact. It allows you to trade much more effectively against your AD lane opponent, so I can’t help but recommend them

Other Useful Items Against AD

Now, different items can help you combat AD champions based on the role or champion you play.

For example, building Rod of Ages can help you a lot when you’re playing a mage against an AD mid laner. The bonus health really improves your overall safety, especially in the early game. And of course, you want to prioritize Seeker’s Armguard and Zhonya’s Hourglass.

Similarly, if you’re a tank, items like Heartsteel and Warmog’s Armor are excellent for surviving physical damage. Even though they don’t give bonus armor, the amount of health they grant is simply great.

Read Also: How to Counter True Damage in League of Legends?


When trying to optimize your build against certain champions in LoL, it’s important to go for the key stats first and for the effects second. 

For example, if you’re up against AD assassins such as Zed, you should stack as much armor and health as possible but you should also purchase Zhonya’s Hourglass as early as possible.

And so, figure out what type of champion you’re up against first, and then decide which of the items you see above should be your first purchase.

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Last Update: March 2, 2024