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How to Counter True Damage in League of Legends


Something not too many beginner League of Legends players might not know is that there are multiple different types of damage that champions can deal. While there’s the usual burst damage and damage per second, today we’ll be focusing on true damage. 

That’s right, for all you top lane tank champion mains out there, we’re sure you’ve been looking for ways to counter this dreaded damage type.

Before anything, it’s crucial that you know what true damage even is. After all, you can’t counter something you don’t know. 

Now, there isn’t any way to reliably counter true damage every single time, but there are ways you can reduce the impact on you. Actions like building health, using shields, maintaining high healing abilities, and having someone to watch your back are examples of those said ways.

We’ll be going through several ways you can counter, or at least protect against true damage so you can finally win 1v1s against Master Yi.

Understanding True Damage

Naturally, before you’re able to counter something successfully it’s important that you understand what it is you’re attempting to counter. True damage is a special damage type that bypasses all forms of damage reduction, including armor, magic resist, and shields. 

It is often associated with specific champion abilities, item effects, or runes, and there are several champions in the game that rely on this type of damage to dominate matches. The absence of mitigation makes true damage particularly potent and difficult to counter, requiring players to adopt alternative strategies.

Method #1: Building Health

Building health items is a fundamental approach to counter true damage in League of Legends. Since true damage bypasses resistances, increasing your champion's maximum health becomes crucial for survivability. 

Items like Warmog's Armor provide a substantial health bonus, allowing you to withstand true damage assaults and survive longer in team fights. The passive effect of Warmog's Armor, which grants health regeneration when out of combat, further enhances your sustainability. 

Additionally, Sterak's Gage is another valuable item that not only provides health but also a shield that activates when you take a significant amount of damage, giving you a second chance to turn the fight in your favor.

With that being said, there’s one very crucial thing you have to keep in mind if you don’t want to end up with some extra deaths to your match K/D/A. The fact of the matter is that there are several champion abilities and items that deal true damage based on your health percentage. If you come across such true damage, then building health will be pretty much useless and not at all a good counter.

Method #2: Using Shields

While true damage cannot be reduced, shields can still provide valuable protection against other forms of damage. Champions like Janna, Lulu, or Karma possess abilities that can shield their allies, providing temporary protection against true damage. 

For example, Janna's Eye of the Storm ability grants a shield that absorbs damage and provides bonus attack damage or ability power to the targeted ally. Similarly, Lulu's Help, Pix! ability can shield an ally while also granting them bonus attack damage. These shields can buy crucial seconds for your team to turn the tide of battle. 

Method #3: Using Damage Mitigation Abilities and Items

Damage mitigation is a crucial aspect of countering true damage in League of Legends. While true damage cannot be reduced, utilizing damage mitigation effects can still provide valuable protection against other forms of damage and enhance your overall survivability.

Champions with damage mitigation abilities can significantly reduce incoming damage, making them resilient against true damage and other types of damage. For example, champions like Maokai, Malphite, or Galio have abilities that grant damage reduction or resistance, effectively mitigating the impact of true damage for a limited duration. Timing these abilities correctly can turn the tide of battle and give your team a significant advantage.

Another aspect of damage mitigation comes from items with damage reduction effects. Items like Guardian Angel, Zhonya's Hourglass, or Stopwatch grant invulnerability or stasis, temporarily making you immune to damage. Utilizing these items effectively can negate the impact of true damage abilities, providing a window of opportunity to turn the tables on your opponents. 

Method #4: Maintaining High Healing Opportunities

Sustaining through healing or life steal is another effective method to counter true damage. Champions with healing abilities like Soraka, Nami, or Yuumi can provide valuable support by restoring health to allies, offsetting the true damage inflicted. Their abilities can turn the tides of battle by keeping your team healthy and capable of absorbing the true damage while continuing to fight. 

Additionally, lifestyle items or abilities that grant lifestyle can be useful in countering true damage. Champions like Miss Fortune, Aatrox, or Vladimir can regenerate health during combat by dealing damage or using specific abilities, allowing them to withstand true damage and stay in fights for extended periods.

Basically, the intent is to stay alive long enough to take out the champion dealing true damage to you, and that’s made possible with high healing abilities and life steals. Of course, you can also use the heal summoner spell to get an extra boost of health if you believe it’ll help.

Method #5: Use Burst Damage

Now, you might be wondering what burst damage has to do with another champion dealing true damage to you but hear us out. While true damage cannot be reduced, focusing on burst damage can still be an effective strategy to counter champions dealing true damage. By quickly eliminating these champions, you minimize the amount of time they have to apply true damage and shift the balance of power in your favor. 

Burst damage champions like Zed, Syndra, or Veigar excel in quickly bursting down enemies, making them effective at neutralizing threats that rely heavily on true damage. Timing your abilities and coordinating with your team to burst down the enemy champion dealing true damage can provide a significant advantage in team fights or skirmishes.

Method #6: Have Someone Watch Your Back

Of course, how could we talk about countering anything in League of Legends without also mentioning the fact that you can have a teammate watch your back too? Having a buddy come to your rescue any time you notice the champion with true damage coming for you can be a game changer. 

They can potentially heal you, give you shields, use damage mitigating abilities on you, and even help you in defeating the enemy champion quickly. As they say, two heads are better than one.

What’s next?

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