Armor and Penetration in Paragon

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This article is going to cover Armor and Armor Penetration (Pen) mechanics in Paragon. How damage is reduced depending on Armor and Pen and how much Card Points to invest into Armor for maximum sustain. Let’s go…

Damage Reduction and Leveling Up

From the Paragon Community Kit it is known that Damage received by a hero is reduced like this:

Reduction = FRR​/(100 + FRR ​+ 10(DHL​­-1))

  • FRR – Defender’s Armor – Attacker’s Pen
  • DHL – Defending Hero’s Level

So each level up you have bigger DHL value in the discriminator. The resulting damage reduction should decrease. But…

– But I know for sure each hero has their own Armor that increases with each level.

That’s correct. That armor adds to the “Defender’s Armor” mentioned above for FRR.

Fighters/Tanks start with 22 Armor and end on level 15 with 55.6 while all the other heroes start with 11 and end with 27.8

And taking that into account we gonna see something like this:

So if we are not investing anything to Armor, Tanks and Fighters will be at about 18% of damage reduction and other Heroes will sit at around 10%.

Though if you add let’s say 5 Card points (110 Armor) graphs will look like this:

– Wait, why the numbers are going down?.

That’s how formula works. As I mentioned above the more level you have the less damage reduction your armor does. Without any armor this is mitigated by a slight armor increase each level (see again the 1st chart) but as soon as you add any armor cards you will end up with your damage reduction fading out as you level up.

– Well… OK. Glad that we are not leveling up above 15 level.

Armor vs. Pen

Moving along.

Only delta b/w Armor and Pen matters

In other words it is the same thing if you have no Armor and an attacker has no Pen or if you have 176 Armor (8 CP) and enemy has the same 176 Pen (11 CP).

– OK, what if Pen is higher than Armor?

Nothing special.

Pen higher than Armor has no effect

Or in other words, Damage reduction can’t be lower than 0. (c) your Cap.

Keep in mind though that each hero has their own armor therefore having Pen slightly higher than Armor can make sense. E.g. Steel has 26.6 Armor (Energy and Physical) at level 15 and with 110 Armor from cards you need to invest 9CP (144 Pen) to achieve 0% of damage reduction.

Investing 8CP (128 Pen) will result in FRR​=8.6 or ~3.46% of damage reduction.

Damage Reduction Depending on Armor-Pen

As we stated above the only thing matters is the difference between Armor and Pen. Armor is own Hero Armor that increases with level and Armor received from Cards.

So for tough guys like SteelSevarog etc. the graph will go like this:

For all other heroes it will go like this

And as you can see the most noticeable difference is b/w 0 and 100 points. Above 150 points of delta b/w Armor and Pen and especially on level 15 all types of heroes are nearly equal in terms of how damage is reduced based on Armor and Pen.

– OK but these are all boring numbers. What do they mean in practice?

In practice it means that you actually need Pen cards for all heroes dealing damage to enemy heroes. So almost all except maybe Muriel. Even in case your enemy does not invest into armor they gonna have at least 10% of damage reduction (see above). This in turn means that as soon as you hit damage numbers around 100 you would want to spend one Card Point into Pen since the same investment into damage after reduction will result in less final numbers. Exact numbers varies from Hero to Hero and will be added separately.

The other practical thing is regarding use of Armor. Early levels it worth investing 1-2 points into Armor


  1. Damage reduction fades with hero level
  2. Damage is reduced based on delta b/w Defender’s Armor and Attacker’s Pen
  3. Pen higher than Armor has no effect
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