Why is Ruined King so much more popular than Bloodrazor ever was?
There WAS a point where Bloodrazor was really good on a lot of champs. Then people adapted to it. Now BotRK is here and synergizes more with the people who like to use it, so it's harder to adapt to without everyone buying Randuins/FH.
Think of it this way TC:
MBR existed at a time when building armor and magic resist is efficient. A simple FON (2610g) can easily counter MBR (3800g). And it's quite awkward that its HP shred is in magic damage. Building it on an ADC instead of the usual BT-IE-PD-LW-GA is a waste of gold for an inefficent passive. Building it on an AD bruiser won't work either, as he may need to sacrifice tankiness for a utility or two he won't need (the passive or the AS). At best, it's almost only efficient to build MBR with either an on-hit or a hybrid champion.
Let's now go to present-day:
S3 is the time of armor/magic penetration dominance, hence the health-stacking meta. With Warmog's Armor running around uncheck, HP shred is being called again to service. Et voila! the revamped BoRK is here. AD, AS, life steal, HP shred on AD, and an almost-identical DFG active, all rolled into one, in a price of 600g lower than its predecessor. HP shred on physical damage means it goes well with ADCs and AD bruisers alike. The active is the cherry on top. And with the health-stacking meta still running rampant, combining BoRK with penetration dominance (LW, BC) is the way to go.
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Cheaper, scales with armor penetration, active, and people stack more health now.
Physical damage is mitigated as well, that's not why MBR was such a rare buy (for smart people). As far as typical carries are concerned, where Bloodrazor fell short is that the proc didn't crit or apply lifesteal so it doesn't actually end up being better than something that gives AD. Bloodrazor was better as a damage source for tanky AS bruisers, they just tended to prefer Trinity Force or Wit's End or whatever.
BotRK still has the same problem on AD carries, that the proc doesn't apply crit/lifesteal, but it's way cheaper, the active ability is stupidly good, and it can also serve as your lifesteal item. The push toward health and away from armor/MR for defense doesn't hurt either.
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Also the passive is underrated, especially for adcs.
To want nothing is to have everything.
It's cheaper, it deals physical damage so the user's arpen makes it more effective and it's got a strong passive.
Also everyone is stacking health lately.
On top of what was already said, it also has a fantastic build path.
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It was a split damage item, but wasn't good for split damage champions. It could have been a niche pick like Thornmail is if it wasn't overpriced too. It was only good on champions who made really good use of the on-hit, or if the other team all had 3000+ health and weren't putting MR in front of it, otherwise there were other items that did more damage, and that's what it boils down to. When you have one of the most expensive items in the game and it's almost all-out damage, it should generally be one of the most damaging items in the game, not a highly situational pick that is outclassed by cheaper items any other time.
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When you have one of the most expensive items in the game and it's almost all-out damage, it should generally be one of the most damaging items in the game, not a highly situational pick that is outclassed by cheaper items any other time.
It was the most damaging item, just nothing else. Trinity Force has the Phage proc and movespeed going for it. Wit's End was half the price and gives twice as much MR (as Bloodrazor gave Armor). Bloodrazor was only damage... and on the one role that regularly builds nothing but damage? With a core build that includes 250% crits 55% of the time, raw AD simply out-damages the Bloodrazor proc.
"Pokey and the man."