Damage Reduction VS Evasion

Damage Reduction VS Evasion

May 19 Tansie  
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One of the most common questions from BDO players is whether or not you should build Damage Reduction or Evasion.
Although the general answer is: “if you have to ask, build damage reduction”, in this guide we are going to go through the two options in detail and try to give you all of the reasons for and against both builds so you can make a more informed decision.

  • Damage Reduction and Evasion are both defensive (DP) stats you can find on all pieces of armor, some accessories, artifacts, and other gear options.
  • The two stats work in different ways, and when gearing up to PEN Boss Gear, you should take a moment to consider which option is better for you and your class.
  • You will have both stats on your gear, but will specalise in just one of them.
  • Both options are perfectly fine in PVE, this guide will be discussing their effectiveness in PVP.

What is Damage Reduction?

  • Damage Reduction always blocks a percentage of all incoming damage.
  • For example, if you have 30% Damage Reduction and someone hits you with 1,000 damage, you will actually only take 700 damage.

What is Evasion?

  • Evasion is basically a roll of a dice to see whether you will dodge all incoming damage OR take all incoming damage.
  • The dice roll happens every time someone hits you. So skills with a higher amount of hits will, on average, deal more damage to you.
  • This means sometimes you can appear very tanky, and sometimes you can die very easily.

  • Attack Power (AP) is the direct counter to Damage Reduction. Since higher AP means that more damage will be dealt over time.
    • This also means that Damage Reduction builds are stronger against players who sacrifice AP to build accuracy.
  • The Accuracy stat is the direct counter to Evasion. A player with more accuracy will lower your chances of dodging damage.
    • This also means that Evasion builds are stronger against players who mainly build AP.

Below are the evasion and damage reduction boss armors. Ultimately, Dim Tree/Red Rose will be replaced by Fallen God Armor, and Giath/Griffon helmet will be replaced by Labreska Helmet.

Damage Reduction Armors Evasion Armors
Griffon’s Helmet ⇒ Labreska Helmet
Griffon’s Helmet ⇒ Labreska Helmet
icon ⇒  icon
Red Nose Armor ⇒ Fallen God Armor
icon ⇒  icon
Red Nose Armor ⇒ Fallen God Armor
iconUrugon’s Shoes Muskan’s Shoes
Bheg’s Gloves  icon

Leebur’s Gloves

Understanding Hit Rate and Evasion Rate

  • Hit Rate % is your chance of hitting the target
  • Evasion Rate % is the chance of the target completely dodging your attack
  • Hit Rate and Evasion Rate is calculated based on your Accuracy stats, and the target’s Evasion stats

Base Hit Rate with 0 Accuracy = 60%
Base Evasion Rate with 0 Evasion = 40%

Maximum Hit Rate = 100%
Maximum Evasion Rate = 90%

4 Accuracy = 1% Hit Rate
5 Evasion = 1% Evasion Rate

When all classes reach level 50, they have a “base character accuracy” of 383. Every class at level 50 or higher, has exactly 383 Accuracy with no gear on. However, when all classes reach level 50, their “base character evasion” can be anywhere between 283 and 338. Some classes have a higher base character evasion than other classes.

As well as Accuracy converting straight to Hit Rate %, your class skills, addons, and some buffs can give a flat Hit Rate % as well. Evasion works in the same way, with some skills giving Evasion Rate % self buffs, or Hit Rate debuffs.

  • Example 1: Corsair’s Prime: Mareca: Sea Stroll skill has a “All Evasion Rate +12% for 10 sec when using skill” effect. This gives Corsair an additional Evasion Rate of 12%, which is equal to having 60 Evasion.
  • Example 2: Corsair’s Prime: Wave Pout skill has a “All Evasion Rate -9% for 10 sec on hits” effect. This debuff’s Corsair’s target with a -9% Evasion Rate, which is equal to Corsair gaining 9% Hit Rate, or 36 Accuracy.

Despite the name, “Special Attack Evasion Rate” is not linked to Hit Rate or Evasion Rate %. This stat works seperately to avoid Special Attack Bonus Damage (Air/Back/Down attacks and Critical attacks). You can find this stat on items such as “JIN Glorious Crystal of Honor – Special Evasion”

You can find your general stats by going to your inventory (I) then clicking the “My Stats” button. But to work out your Evasion/Accuracy Rate % from your skills, you will need to dive into the skill window, and look at the skills you use in your PVP combos to work this out yourself.

Even though Evasion Rate scales completely linearly, the more you have, the more effective it becomes. For example, going from a 79% Evasion Rate to a 86% Evasion Rate is only a 7% difference. However, with a 79% Evasion Rate, you were taking 21% damage on average, and with an 86% Evasion Rate you are now only taking 14% damage on average. This means you are now blocking 33% of the damage you were taking before.

To help you visualise this better, we are going to compare the two gear sets below with the help of Garmoth.com. Feel free to play with their PVP Hit Rate Calculator to do your own testing.

The build on the left is a Damage Reduction build, and the build on the right is an Evasion build. Both of these builds have around the same AP and Accuracy, but compeletely different defensive stats. You will already notice that it is easier and cheaper to build offensively on a Damage Reduction build.

  • We need to take a look at the Melee/Ranged/Magic Evasion stats.
  • These are the stats that are used to calculate your Evasion Rate, and depends on the target you are being hit by.
  • Every class uses either Melee, Ranged or Magic damage exclusively.
  • If you are against a class that is Melee damage, then your Melee Evasion is used to determine your Evasion Rate % against them.

Melee Damage

Warrior, Guardian, Lahn, Berserker, Shai, Striker, Musa, Maehewa, Mystic, Valkyrie, Kunoichi, Ninja, Nova, Corsair, Drakania

Magic Damage

Hashashin, Sorceress, Tamer, Dark Knight, Wizard, Witch, Sage

Range Damage

Ranger, Archer

When we then put a player with some Accuracy accessories against each of these targets, we see a huge difference in Hit Rate. These examples below are only based on gear, and do not consider the classes’ additional Hit Rate/Evasion Rate buffs and debuffs, or different Base Character Evasion.

Accuracy build VS Damage Reduction build

  • When we have an Accuracy build against a Damage Reduction build, the chance of hitting can be very high. In this example, we will always hit the target with 100% chance.
  • You can see that against a DR target, too much accuracy can end up going to waste. So finding the correct balance between building AP and Accuracy is important.

Accuracy build VS Evasion build

  • In this example, even with an Accuracy build, which is designed to counter Evasion, the Hit Rate is only 72%, meaning that the player has a 27% chance to completely block all your damage.
  • Against an Evasion target, you would have to keep sacrificing AP to build more Accuracy. It is a tough balance for an offensive player, since becoming stronger against one, will make you weaker against the other.

  • In addition, an Evasion player can choose to sacrifice AP to build more Evasion and become tankier. This is done by swapping the necklace for a PEN Sicil Necklace, and the belt for a PEN Centaur’s Belt.

Unfortunately, there is no straightforward equation for working out the relationship between AP and Damage Reduction. So it is hard to know exactly how much Evasion Rate % is needed for Evasion to become superior to Damage Reduction.

DR and Evasion Classes

When considering whether to go for Damage Reduction or Evasion armors, you need to check whether Evasion is even considered viable on your class.

  • Damage reduction has the advantage of being viable on all classes.
  • Evasion is often only good on classes that already have a high base Evasion stat, or certain passives/skills to increase their Evasion Rate %.

If you are one of the classes where Evasion is either really good, or at least viable for you, then you now need to work out if it’s the best option for you and your playstyle.

Even if you are a class where Evasion works well (such as Striker), you don’t HAVE to build Evasion if you don’t feel like it fits your playstyle.

Pros and Cons

Damage Reduction

  • Pro: Damage Reduction is viable on all classes, so if you reroll or tag a lot of different characters, it might be better to stick with DR.
  • Pro: Damage Reduction is consistent. It is not punished as much by classes with 100% Hit Rate skills or Evasion debuffs.
  • Pro: It is much easier and cheaper to build high AP or high Accuracy builds with Damage Reduction, compared to Evasion.
  • Pro: Damage Reduction is more consistent in large scale, since it will always block a percentage of damage. Evasion builds don’t work as well if you are getting hit by multiple targets.
  • Con: Damage Reduction is weak against high AP builds, which tend to be the most common builds.
  • Con: Damage Reduction is less scalable than Evasion. If you want a tanky playstyle, then Evasion is the better option.
  • Con: Damage Reduction doesn’t benefit from extra Evasion stats, as much as Evasion benefits from extra Damage Reduction stats.


  • Pro: Evasion scales well at endgame, and the more Evasion you have, the better it performs.
  • Pro: Evasion tends to be better in endgame PVE because of all monsters having low accuracy.
  • Pro: Evasion works well on certain classes like Striker, who are able to be very tanky with a hybrid evasion build, but can still deal good damage with lower AP.
  • Pro: More Damage Reduction stats will increase your tankiness as an Evasion player, but more Evasion stats in a Damage Reduction build will not be as useful. Making Evasion a better choice if you want a full DP build.
  • Con: High amounts of Evasion is required to begin feeling tanky. You will need at least full PEN Boss Gear with Caphras level 9 or higher to start seeing any results.
  • Con: Evasion builds tend to be more expensive and harder to maintain high AP or Accuracy.
  • Con: Evasion is weaker against classes with high Hit Rate % on their skills or Evasion debuffs.

Example PVP Builds

These are considered endgame/hardcap builds and accessories. Until you reach high AP (301 – 309) you will mainly be going full AP and won’t really be using DR or accuracy accessories. Also, these builds are examples only and there are far more options and different combinations available.

Common Damage Reduction Builds

Offensive Human Damage/Accuracy

This build example is popular on classes that are full glass cannon and is one of the more common builds. Players will reach high AP and then start swapping accessories such as TET Distortion Earrings/Tungrad Earrings, for Dawn Earrings since they are high in accuracy. After reaching high accuracy and high AP, crystals can be swapped for human damage.

Hybrid DR

This build is popular on classes such as Warriors, Berserkers, and Valkyries. It is also viable on many more, who want a little more tankiness and don’t rely on accuracy as much as other classes due to high Hit Rate % on their skills.

Common Evasion Builds

Hybrid Evasion

This build is an example of what gear an evasion player will go for. Evasion players tend to go for PEN Distortion Earrings to make up from the loss of AP by running Kutum. It works very well on classes like Striker and Mystic, since they don’t benefit from extremely high AP as much as other classes do. For more AP instead of Acurracy, run Tungrad Rings instead of Ominous Rings.

If they would like to be tankier, they can swap the belt for a PEN Centaur’s Belt, and the necklace for a PEN Sicil Necklace. However, this would greatly decrease their damage. Finding the right balance between tankiness and still managing to kill other players is where evasion becomes really strong.

Full DP

The aim of the full DP build is to completely disregard all your damage with the goal of becoming very tanky. This build is only common on Shai, or in certain situations, such as a Berserker who wants to be a grab bot. There are different variations of this build, with different goals, but this one is the more consistent version that utilizes both Evasion and Damage Reduction. If you want to go FULL evasion then you would simply swap the Cadry Rings for Hesus Rings.

Final Thoughts

Damage Reduction, AP, Evasion, and Accuracy are always on a neverending loop of countering each other. Building with the sole purpose to counter one of them, with leave you vulnerable to another. This means that the build meta in the game is forever changing as well.

In the current meta, there is far more choice in accuracy accessories, and some players are reaching the final AP brackets, allowing them to start building accuracy with less downsides. At the same time, the amount of Evasion you need to begin to feel tanky is rising. That being said, when you reach endgame and are fighting other players that have started to build more accuracy, players often feel that Evasion is still tankier, or at the very least, on par with Damage Reduction builds, but has the option to build more tanky as needed. On the other side of the coin, Damage Reduction has the option to build more offensively if needed.

The biggest issue with Evasion is that it can have very high highs and very low lows. Coming across an “AP monkey” as an Evasion player can make you feel godlike, but at the same time, if you don’t have enough of it you can suddenly be very squishy.

  • It is recommended to only use Evasion if you have at least PEN Boss Armors with Caphras level 9 or higher. Until then, DR will be tankier in general, since you won’t have enough Evasion for it to be effective.

At the end of the day, the main things you need to consider is whether or not Evasion meets your playstyle and is viable on your class.

  • Evasion often sacrifices damage for tankier builds
  • Damage Reduction often sacrifices tankiness for more offensive builds

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