Shields have become an increasingly difficult thing to do deal with in season 12 of League of Legends.
Aside from the champions that can cast shields on everyone (Lulu, Lux, Janna), there are tons of items that passive;y grant shields to the wearer (Immortal Shieldbow, Sterak’s Gage).
The game is now stuffed with shields left and right, so the question has to be asked – what are the best items in LoL against shields?
In this post, I’ll give you the items that directly counter shields in League of Legends.
But I’ll also answer these questions “who can break shields in League?”, “how to counter shields in LoL?”, and “do executes go through shields in LoL?”.
So, let me give you the whole list of anti-shield items in LoL and explain why you need them.
The Best Items Against Shields in League of Legends (Anti-Shield Items)
There are only 2 anti-shield items in LoL – Serpent’s Fang and Shadowflame.
These items work very differently from each other but they both counter shields. Serpent’s Fang is an AD lethality item and is mostly used on assassins. And Shadowflame is an AP magic penetration item meant for mages.
1. Serpent’s Fang – The Ultimate Guide
Serpent’s Fang isn’t the most used item in LoL and many players don’t know what it’s even good for. So, here’s a complete guide to Serpent’s Fang in League of Legends.
What Does Serpent’s Fang Do in LoL?
Besides the 55 bonus attack damage and 12 bonus lethality, Serpent’s Fang gives you the unique passive – Shield Reaver.
And when you deal damage to targets, you reduce their shields by 50% if you’re playing a melee champion and 35% if you’re playing a ranged champion in any possible situation.
Here’s what I mean.
- If the target has a shield at the moment – Serpent’s Fang will immediately reduce the shield by 50% if you’re melee and 35% if you’re ranged for 3 seconds.
- If the target doesn’t have a shield at the moment – Serpent’s Fang will put a debuff on them that will reduce ALL shield gains by 50% if you’re melee and 35% if you’re ranged for 3 seconds.
Here’s an example.
If Ashe has Janna’s shield on her, dealing any damage to Ashe while you have Serpent’s Fang will apply the item’s effect. This includes both abilities and auto-attacks.
And if Ashe doesn’t have a shield, striking her with Serpent’s Fang will reduce the effectiveness of Janna’s next shield on Ashe by 50% or 35%, depending on what you play.
Serpent’s Fang displays an icon next to the damaged enemy champion to help you track it. On melee champions, this icon is in the form of “X”. And on ranged champions, this icon is “/”.
Read Also: The Best Items Against AD Champions
Is Serpent’s Fang a Good Item in LoL?
Serpent’s Fang is the best item against shields for AD champions in LoL. It’s a must-have item for assassins like Zed, Talon, and Qiyana who quickly need to burst down a target and not be stopped by shields.
But Serpent’s Fang can also be good on ranged champion for countering shielding champions.
Serpent’s Fang is a relatively cheap lethality item. You should prioritize building it as a first or second item whenever you have to deal with lots of shields.
This is a great item to counter Lulu, Janna, Seraphine, and other similar champions, but also other items such as Immortal Shieldbow.
Does Serpent’s Fang Work on Morgana’s E: Black Shield?
No, Serpent’s Fang doesn’t counter Morgana’s E: Black Shield. When you strike a target that has the Black Shield on them, Serpent’s Fang will only apply the debuff for future shields (50/30% shield reduction for regular shields).
It will NOT affect the Black Shield at all and it cannot break it.
In other words, Morgana’s Black Shield doesn’t suffer from Serpent’s Fang but it can’t block the debuff for other shields.
For example, if you hit Morgana with Serpent’s Fang and she has Black Shield on, the next shield she receives from Janna will be at 50% or 35% effectiveness, depending on if you’re melee or range.
Does Serpent’s Fang Work on Spell Shields in LoL?
Serpent’s Fang does NOT work against spell and magic shields in League of Legends. This means that you cannot counter items like Maw of Malmortius with Serpent’s Fang.
But you also can’t counter runes that give magic shields such as Nullifying Orb. Serpent’s Fang only works against regular HP shields.
Some champions like Galio have magic shields as spells (his W). Serpent’s Fang also can’t break nor reduce the effectiveness of these spells. So, Galio’s magic shield is immune to Serpent’s Fang.
Read Also: LoL Items That Increase Your Range
2. Shadowflame – The Ultimate Guide
Some players say that Shadowflame is not an anti-shield item in League of Legends and some disagree. In any case, this item does work against shields in the game, so let me explain it properly.
How Does Shadowflame Work in LoL?
Shadowflame is an AP mage item in League of Legends. And upon purchase, it grants you 100 ability power and 200 health.
Additionally, when you deal damage with Shadowflame in your inventory, you get 10 to 20 flat magic penetration based on the target’s current health. The less health your target has, the more magic penetration you get.
And if the target has 1000 HP or less, you get the maximum magic penetration, which is 20.
Similarly, if the target was affected by shields in the last 5 seconds, Shadowflame will give you 20 flat magic penetration.
Keep in mind that Shadowflame does NOT work the same way as Serpent’s Fang. Shadowflame CAN NOT reduce the shields of the enemy champion. Instead, it counters shields by increasing your magic penetration so you would do more damage overall.
The great thing about Shadowflame is the fact that it grants flat magic penetration instead of percentage magic penetration. The difference here is that a flat magic pen ignores the target’s magic resist by the same amount.
For example, if your target has 50 magic resist and you have 20 flat magic penetration, you will deal damage as though your target has only 30 magic resist.
Shadowflame also has an in-game animation. When you deal damage to an enemy champion and get the magic penetration effect, Shadowflame will appear as a purple flame around the target.
That’s how you can easily spot it and monitor it.
Read Also: LoL Items That Apply A Slow Effect
Is Shadowflame a Good item in LoL?
Shadowflames is a good item for aggressive all-in mages and AP assassins such as Vex, LeBlanc, and Ahri. It helps you deal more damage by giving you flat magic penetration.
This magic penetration is increased when the target is on low HP, so it’s a great item for securing champion takedowns.
Shadowflame can also be a great anti-tank item in LoL, so it can be a valuable purchase in many situations.
However, Serpent’s Fang is a better item against shields in LoL overall. It directly counters shields by reducing them while Shadowflame goes another route and grants magic pen instead.
But, it’s the only AP item we have for dealing with shields in LoL!
How to Counter Shields in League of Legends?
Aside from building Serpent’s Fang and Shadowflame, there’s not much you can do against shielding in LoL. Shields are temporary health gains and therefore great against burst damage.
You can wait for the shield to end and then attack the target. Or you can attack a target that doesn’t have a shield.
Countering shields in League of Legends isn’t easy, especially as an AP champion. Yes, Shadowflame grants magic penetration, but it doesn’t actually help you with removing the enemy’s shield.
All in all, if fighting doesn’t work for you against the champion with a shield, try to win another way. Either wait for their cooldowns to end or split push and try to get advantages elsewhere.
And until Riot Games add more anti-shield items in the game, that’s all we can do for now!
Other Popular Questions About Countering Shields
Who Are the Champions that Can Break Shields in LoL?
There are 3 champions in League of Legends that can break shields – Renekton, Blitzcrank, and Rell.
- Renekton’s W: Ruthless Predator – breaks any shield on the target with the first strike if it’s empowered with Renekton’s Fury.
- Blitzcrank’s R: Static Field – upon activation, it destroys all shields in its range before dealing magic damage and silencing the targets.
- Rell’s Q: Shattering Strike – strikes forward and breaks all shields before dealing damage.
Read Also: The Best Items Against AP Champions
Do Executes Go Through Shields in LoL?
Execute abilities in LoL completely ignore shields and go right through them. This means that champions like Pyke and Urgot can always execute enemies with their ultimates, regardless of how big of a shield they have.
And the execution from The Collector item works the same way.
Keep in mind that this also works against structures. For example, Ziggs can destroy a turret with his W – Satchel Charge even if Janna shields the turret.
Read Also: The Best Movement Speed Items in LoL
Does Armor and Magic Resist Apply to Shields in LoL?
Shields are just HP boosts in League of Legends, so they get the same armor and magic resist from the champion they’re on.
In other words, shields act as temporary health. And that’s why items like Shadowflame can counter shields since you get bonus magic penetration against the shields.
Shielding champions weren’t always such a problem in League of Legends. But Riot Games added many items that either passively grant shields or boost the effectiveness of the champion’s shields.
This makes it very difficult to win against these picks because the amount of shields is insane!
This guide was all about the best items against shields in LoL. I hope the post taught you a few new things and helped you figure out how you can counter shielding.
If you want to know more about the anti-shield items in LoL, check out these links: