Lex Talionis, latin phrase meaning The Law of Retaliation
Lex Talionis is a brilliant item. I feel that it's among the greatest ideas implemented into the game, yet I see it pretty rarely and can barely even remember to buy it myself.
The item is flexible and makes a few item effects just that much more accessible, emphasis on the word accessible. Let's dissect the item, one component/effect at a time.
Lex Talionis is created from the 175g Guardian Ring and 350g Trinket of Restoration by adding a 300g recipe which can be purchased twice after creating the item to upgrade it into a more powerful form.
The cost: 825/1125/1425An item with 3 stages and most expensive component being 350g is extremely accessible. It's even viable to pick up just the 825g non-upgraded version and later you can toss it aside with barely any loss to open up an inventory slot.
Low cost items allow variety into many games and can really increase game depth as long as their amount doesn't become overwhelming and cause unnecessary complexity.
The armor: 3/4/5Early on in the game you won't have too many options for armor and even later on armor items have something of a tendency to not be too easily bought and have other expensive effects to them that may or may not be suitable to your current hero, role and playstyle.
This armor can be crucial for low base armor and low agility heroes, like Pebbles. It's also something easy to buy to negate heavy physical damage from the likes of Monkey King and doesn't force you to invest too heavily for a counter item that you wouldn't otherwise want.
The health regeneration: 2,5/s / 3,5/s / 4,5/sHealth regeneration is another thing that can often be a part of expensive items which have a tendency to be pure survivability, or in the case of Runed Cleaver, made for damage and heavy farming.
Not building anything from a Life Tube or Trinket of Restoration that you pick up only for regen can also feel like a waste so Lex Talionis once again provides accessibility and allows more freedom of choice.
The magic armor: 1/2/3Magic armor isn't the easiest thing to come by and in many games you won't even have a chance of surviving massive burst without it. Mystic Vestments were something of a staple item for most games and they were deemed powerful enough to have the price increased from 400g to 500g.
Magic armor is extremely valuable and now Lex Talionis brings more accessibility and a still somewhat new choice for buying it.
The targeted armor/magic armor debuff: -3, -1/-4, -2/-5, -3Activating the item gives the single target spell to lower armor and magic armor of an enemy unit for 7 seconds. This effect will also be applied to yourself but considering you are making the initiative, it's generally in your favor. The ability has an above average range of 750, a low mana cost of 50 and an acceptable cooldown of 20 seconds.
This effect might sound like it hurts you alot but luckily the item itself has passive bonuses equal to the debuff so you even when you get the debuff on yourself your armor will simply be where it would have been if you didn't have the whole item. It's also amazing how this effect is suitable for about any hero.
Any ganker can make someone an easier target with this and burst damage heroes will just love the effects, a support can decide that they can afford to lose the armor and help the team focus down a target and a carry can go into 1 on 1 situations knowing they have enough armor or higher damage output to get more benefit out of the debuff.