Friendly Debate: Max Health vs Damage Reduction

I love to experiment with gear combos and such and thought I’d ask
IYO, is it better to go with Max Health or Damage Reduction?

With the increase to damage reduction and health regen, and being that there are several items out now that have both I’m leaning more toward damage reduction.

It’s all relative of course, I’ve been playing Eldrid lately so something like Rejuvenating Ekkuni Scalemail ( +8.4% damage reduction, +7 Health regen ) stacked with normal health regen on Eldrid works amazing, over just adding health.

Just thought I’d throw this out there and see what everyone thinks?

So one of the most important thing in the game is the ability to stay in the lane and fight. So being able to take shots and not have to leave the lane is really important. With that being said, it all depends on what character you’re playing. If you are playing Shayne, max health is useless because you want to focus shield. But since you are focusing on Eldrid, go with max health stats. I really like adding the 0 shard health regen on them, extra 14 health per sec.

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When your health and shield combined tops 3200. Subtract from that number depending on healing recieved and regen

It depends. Damage reduction is wasted on most assassins, who benefit greatly from max health due to their relatively low starting health and quick engagements. It’s pretty good on tanky characters, because it means they are easier to heal. Especially if you have a shield and/or a pocket healer, you can get some sizable bonus health from the damage reduction.


Kinda funny, I just thought about this the other day and came to a conclusion that damage reduction is better than max health for a couple of reasons.

  1. damage reduction will reduce the damage done by Shield & health. Which is huge if you have a lot of shield like shayne or you gear up that kinda way.

  2. the more health you have… the more pain it is for healers to heal you.

After doing some numbers from a damage reduction gear and health gear, the damage reduction gear won by letting you take some extra damage. Not by a landslide but it was a bit better. Take less damage and have a decent HP pool that support can heal, that’s what you will want.

I guess the best nuanced argument is that max health is a fixed stat where as damage reduction is a percentage. If you start at low health, the max health may be better because the percent is greater. For example, if you have 1000 base health, 280 health is an extra 28%. But if you have a giant health pool already, 280 is probably nothing.


There was a topic not terribly long ago where people were discussing the recent increased damage reduction and how it affected health. Someone did the math and posted the numbers in relation to how much extra life it was providing.

I’ve been trying to locate it, but I am not having any luck. It was a topic regarding shields, and the end result was exactly how much damage you have to do to kill a Boldur when you factor in damage reduction and shield.

It was crazy high by the way. I’ll keep looking.

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Max Health to low healthcharacters
Damage Reduction to high health characters?


I like having both, plus a regen item. Tankiness is very important in this game, sometimes significantly more important than DPS

For tankier characters like kelvin, Montana, Shayne and Gal the damage reduction is better but for the squishy assassins health is better since it has less to mitigate from their small health pools. negating 20% of damage from a 1600 health character is less beneficial then say 20% from a 3000 health character.

lets take 100 damage as a base per strike. 100 - 15% is 85 per hit now so 85x 20 = 1700 while 100x 20 = 2000. With the damage reduction the squishy will die but with health he can achieve 2090 with a max vest and live with only one item as opposed to the 2-3 items needed for the 15%. Add in another 210 from a purple item and you get 2300 health.

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True… :slight_smile: I had Gally in mind the whole time. Go full damage reduction on el Dragon and conquer the world!

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I recently made a post about damage reduction and lots of MATH and NUMBERS.
Quite long, but it might be worth a read for you.

Here is the TL;DR in case you can not be bothered to read the entire thing.

TL;DR So what can we make of this?
Basically, get Damage Reduction for a character that can sustain itself, but you can not rely on constantly having a support. However, it is common for it to clash with other stats in one way or another.
If you can get overshields one way or another damage reduction is the only stat that helps improving it.

Hmm. Even on non-Eldrid characters I’ll usually take Max Health and Health Regen. Often my third item will be Reload Speed with Regen as a secondary stat but increasing Shield Recharge Delay, because frankly it gives a fair bit more survivability.

Sometimes damage reduction can be useful, because it indirectly increases Healing Received and Shield Recharge Rate, when you run the numbers.

Using Flawed Eldrid gear on non-Eldrid characters is actually sometimes a fairly good idea, if you’ve no other negative stats you’re willing to use. The only one I hesitate with is -Shield Capacity because that decreases Overshield capacity as well, which can be a problem.