Revised Season 6 Runes/Masteries

When the preseason first started for season 6 of League of Legends, there were sweeping changes to the masteries system. Essentially all of the masteries were changed, and though it was easy enough to theorycraft what setups would be best for each role, it turns out that the vast majority of people just said “fuck thinking, let’s all use Thunderlord’s Decree!” I saw it as a viable choice in some situations, but it was clearly not being used as intended. Yes, it can be used on any champion in any role, but it’s sort of a bitch move when it comes down to it. Just because one thing is OP doesn’t mean you should just use it by default. But that’s my train of thought, perhaps you would prefer the above quoted like of thinking. Either way, I have noted that some of the builds that I was using weren’t that viable or were less-than-optimal, so I have made changes while practicing during the preseason.

I also decided that rather than making rune/mastery pages for roles that I don’t necessarily play (like hybrid champions), I would limit my pages to those that made the most sense: One per lane. This way if I decide to “fill” I will still have a viable set of pages for the role I get stuck playing, even if it isn’t one of my best roles. So the pages I have now reflect those lanes, and I have one flex page that will work for multiple roles. Instead of taking a bunch of screenshots and writing a wall of text, I decided to record a video of my pages and provide further commentary there. So here’s that video, for your viewing pleasure:

That’s all for today kids. If you liked the video, please like, share and subscribe. I’m still working on this whole “build a following on YouTube” thing. Oh, and thanks!

Season 5 Runes and Masteries

Edit 11/13/15: I have updated my mastery pages due to the revamp to the system during the 2016 preseason. You can find those here.

It has come to my attention that for the past couple of years I have received much of my traffic via search engines, specifically pointing to a few posts I made regarding Runes and Masteries in League of Legends. It’s nice to earn the traffic boost, but unfortunately as the game is in a constant state of flux information tends to become less viable as a result. There has also been a recent change to the Defense Mastery Tree, and I have been watching a bunch of videos with advice and tips on the subject, so I have completely redone my pages. As such, I am prepared to share these changes with you, and I will provide links to this article on the other articles that have been getting the most hits, so if you are arriving here via those links, this information should be more viable. With that said, let’s dive right in.

Runes:

For beginners just starting out with the game, you won’t have access to endless rune pages, and they do cost a bit of IP/RP so you might not want to invest right away. If you’ve just hit level 30, there are some basic runes that you should pick up right away that will be viable for all champions. You’ll need a minimum of two pages to cover all champions, and the runes you’ll need are as follows:

9x Attack Damage Marks
9x Magic Penetration Marks
9x Armor Seals
9x Magic Resist Glyphs
9x Ability Power per level Glyphs
3x Attack Damage/Speed Quintessences
3x Ability Power Quintessences

For Attack Damage based champions, you’ll want the Attack Damage Marks, Armor Seals, Magic Resist Glyphs (flat or scaling is up to you), and Attack Damage or Attack Speed Quints.

For Ability Power based champions, you’ll want Magic Penetration Marks, Armor Seals, Ability Power per level Glyphs, and Ability Power Quints.

This will work for all champions, you just need to know if you’re playing someone who is AD or AP based. From there, you can add pages as you like and become more specialized. I have done such specialization, and have settled on 7 rune pages, and 7 mastery pages to compliment them. Since we’re talking Runes for now, we’ll start there.

adcarryrunes
AD Carry Runes

For all AD based champions, this is the basic rune build that I described earlier. AD Marks, Armor Seals, I prefer MR per level Glyphs, and Attack Speed Quints. The early boost to AD and AS will help you last hit and harass during the laning phase, and the Armor and MR will help you sustain their harass. Pretty simple, no? I’ll use this on all carries, but some bruisers in the top lane will benefit from the same setup.

adjunglerrunes
AD Jungler Runes

Admittedly, I don’t play the jungle role much. I did more often in seasons past but I prefer other roles. This is the same setup as the previous rune page, but I swapped out the Attack Speed Quints in favor of Movement Speed Quints. I basically have this page for when I play Hecarim, as his passive benefits from movement speed, and I play him quite often in the top lane. However, I believe most junglers would benefit from the movement speed as this can help them avoid buying boots early, but allow them to get around the map quickly. Still, this is basically my Hecarim page, so you might find it unnecessary.

apcarryrunes
AP Carry Runes

This is my basic AP carry page, for most mid lane champions (aside from the AD assassins, they should run the AD Carry page). It is exactly how I described the basic AP page earlier, however I prefer running Mana Regen Seals as opposed to Armor Seals. I suppose either would work fine, but I like being able to spam abilities more often. Flat AP Quints give you a nice AP boost to start and the AP per level Glyphs will give more as you level keeping your power high. Magic Pen helps with getting though early Magic Resist, stack more MP if they happen to be stacking MR.

apnomanarunes
AP with no mana Runes

I made this page specifically for champions who are Ability Power based but don’t use Mana as a resource. Think champions like Vladimir, Akali or Katarina. I play Vlad pretty often, so I have tailored this for him, mostly. Flat Ability power Quints give you some early base AP, and Magic Pen Marks are standard as well. MR and Armor too, though I have split the Seals between Health per level and Armor. The extra health helps you as you level up, and Vlad has a nice passive that gives more AP per Health and vice versa. On the others, it’s just a little boon to help with sustain.

hybridrunes
Hybrid Runes

In all honesty, I very rarely play hybrid champions. I just had 7 rune pages and needed to fill up the last one, so this was the result. Still, I believe this would be viable on someone like Akali, Jax, or Evelynn who have some hybrid tendencies. I mixed AD Marks with AP Quints, the Health per level and Armor seals, along with Magic Resist per level and Ability Power per level Glyphs. This gives a nice mix of hybrid damage and defensive stats.

tankrunes
Tank Runes

For all of your top lane or jungle tanks, this is what I came up with. It’s full tank, so you’ll notice there are no combat stats (AD or AP). This means it can be used on either AD or AP focused tanks without wasting stats, and will also allow you to focus on combat items first, or just stick with full tank items all around. Armor Marks and partial Armor Seals give you extra early game tankiness. Health Quints give immediate impact, and some scaling Health Seals help during leveling. Round that out with MR per level Glyphs and you’re not taking damage ever.

supportrunes
Support Runes

I found myself getting annoyed with having to use two different Rune pages for when I play support. I play the role quite often, and typically switch between squishy ranged mages like Morgana and beefy tanks like Nautilus or Braum. I was always using the support page for the former, and the tank page for the latter. I have since modified this page so that I can theoretically use it for either type of support, giving stats that should benefit both. So, we start with Hybrid Penetration Marks, which give both Armor and Magic penetration, and allow you to hit harder with basic attacks along with spells. AP Quints help with early damage, as you typically aren’t building AP items til mid-late game. Armor and MR are standard, but I also threw in a few Health per level Seals for extra sustain in lane.

Masteries:

Moving on to Masteries, I have 7 more pages that will directly compliment each of the above Rune pages with the vision I had for each.

adcarrymastery
AD Carry Masteries

I used to run all of my AD carries with 21/0/9 masteries, taking the movement speed and mana regen just to help in lane. That used to work just fine, but I decided that the extra defensive stats would probably help more during early trades and have since switched to the 21/9/0 build you see here. You’re basically picking all of the AD related perks, along with the few points on the right side for extra minion damage and sustain, along with doing more damage to low health targets. In the defense tree you’re getting health and regen, along with less damage taken from minions. Combined with the AD and tank stats from your rune page, you should be sitting pretty.

adjunglermastery
AD Jungler Masteries

This is a similar tree to the first, but is suited more for someone who isn’t building as many AD-centric items, and more tank items. Because of this, we drop the points put into warlord which gives more AD based on bonus AD, and instead put points into Sorcery for extra cooldown reduction, along with a point into Double-Edged Sword. DES provides extra damage at the expense of taking more, but I find that with the tank items/stats you’ll have, it actually benefits you in the long run. In the Defense tree we swap out the health regen for reduced damage from jungle monsters to help with early clears. I should also note that I don’t typically play AP junglers, so in the event that you do, you could make some basic changes to the Offense tree, though I find that most AP junglers are tanks and should use tank masteries. More on those in a bit.

apcarrymastery
AP Carry Masteries

AP carries are going to be more dependent on Utility than Defense, as their abilities typically keep them further from the front lines. You’re going to focus on the right side of the Offense tree, grabbing anything that gives you bonus damage or bonus AP. In the Utility tree, you’ll want mana regen, upgraded biscuits for sustain, and just because of how the tree works, throw a point into move speed and a couple into cooldown reduction on summoner spells. Done and Done.

apnomanamastery
AP with no mana Masteries

Again, for champions like Vladimir, Akali, Katarina, etc who have no mana, you’ll build the same exact page as the previous, but instead of using Utility, use Defense. This keeps you from wasting points on mana regen, and also gives you more tank stats to compliment your rune page. Pretty self explanatory there.

hybridmastery
Hybrid Masteries

As I mentioned earlier I don’t typically play Hybrid champions, so this page was copied directly from a video I was watching. Apparently it is popular on junglers like Nidalee and Evelynn, as it provides both AD for autos on jungle camps, but also AP for when trying to poke/gank with abilities. Either way, I see champions with hybrid kits benefiting from the general them of extra AD/AP plus tank stats, especially when combined with the rune page I set up.

tankmastery
Tank Masteries

The full on 9/21/0 build. The Defense tree was recently changed around, but the biggest change was the removal of one segment and the addition of Adaptive Armor, which gives you 4% bonus MR if you have more Armor, or 4% bonus Armor if you have more MR. Helps keep your defensive stats in order. Otherwise it’s the same first 9 points, but adding in extra Armor and MR where possible, taking Tenacious, Evasive and Oppression, and of course the end ability Legendary Guardian which gives Armor/MR per enemy champ nearby. In Offense it’s just the right side stuff giving extra CDR and some AP. Tank Junglers would also benefit from this tree, especially those who are AP based.

supportymastery
Support Masteries

This is still basically the same Support tree I’ve used for a couple of years. It’s the standard 0/9/21, the 9 points in Defense should look very familiar to you by now. In the Utility tree, I focus on grabbing up mana regen and gold generation, along with CDR, biscuits, and the movement speed buff at the end of the tree. Another big one that was buffed at some point and I wasn’t using for some reason is Inspiration, which gives 20 xp every 10 seconds while near an allied champion that is of higher level. As the Support, you’re going to be under-leveled pretty much the entire game, so this will help pull you back in line, especially when playing from behind.

So there you have it. My updated Runes and Masteries. Hopefully this is more helpful than some of the articles you may have found yourself on.

#leagueoflegends #strategy #metagame #runesandmasteries

Pre-Season 4

There are so many changes coming down the pipe-line for League of Legends that I don’t feel I can adequately go over all of it in a single post. There is a wealth of information over at the official site, and here is a video roundup of the most important bits we know so far:

I really like the focus on helping out Supports. Playing support competitively is something that is easy to understand but difficult to master. I played the majority of my ranked games as a support, and I know how thankless of a job it really is. If your marksman feeds, you are to blame. If no one else buys a ward, you are to blame for lack of vision. Add in the fact that you get no farm, are under-leveled and get less gold for assists than kills, and you’ll see why people aren’t clamoring to be the support. Riot has seen this pattern develop, and are working to fix it. The main part of that fix is coming with a new item slot specifically designed for trinkets, all of which are free and perform different functions all pertaining to vision. Paid upgrades are available for these items later in the game, but it amounts to less gold that is typically spent on wards throughout a game, so now vision is finally everyone’s responsibility!

Changes to the mastery tree and runes are expected each season, as the balance is always tweaked. Information on runes hasn’t been released yet, but the new mastery trees appear to be similar, but with some new tweaks. Adding to the support love, there are masteries that give extra GP5, gold for being in the vicinity of kills (minions included!) and gold for poking enemy champs. It appears getting items will be much easier to do as the support without having to have as much lane dominance.

I am very much looking forward to the changes that are coming. I will be touching back on these changes as they develop.

Rune Update

Edit: This information pertained to old Runes/Masteries. While I am always updating my information on the site, I am aware that search engine queries are pointing at this post due to page rank. For updated Runes and Masteries, follow this link.

Back in May, shortly after Riot introduced ARAM matchmaking, I wrote a post about covering your bases in ARAM. I had a few Rune and Mastery pages set up in a particular way, and said that this would be a semi-optimal for running almost any champion. Granted, there are some champions that require some fine tuning, and ultimately Rune/Mastery builds are a personal choice, but this was a starting guide for people who wanted to be able to play ARAM (or the game in general) semi-efficiently. A base model if you will, that can be fine tuned to anyone’s liking.

I have since changed some of my Rune pages. I have acquired champions and runes in the last few months, also adding a rune page or two to my collection (took advantage of a recent two for one sale). With that said, I am not going into excruciating detail about the changes, but wanted to give an update to what sorts of pages I am using now. These pages were tuned for classic as I have been playing much more ranked lately due to the season coming to an end (now on November 11, after an extension), but are still very viable in ARAM games.

Previously I only had a single attack damage page, and found that I had the need to split those up, as there are AD carries, bruisers, and tanks and they all can use differing builds. With that said, I now have an “AD/Movement”, “Armor Pen” and “Lifesteal” page that would fall under the AD category:

AD/Movement
AD/Movement

This build is exactly as my old AD page, but instead of Armor Pen Quints, it utilizes Movement speed quints. I specifically made this page for Hecarim, as he benefits from Movement Speed more than any other champion, but it can be used on any carry that needs some extra mobility. I actually designated this my Jungler rune page, but I didn’t name it as such.

Armor Penetration
Armor Penetration

This page is the same, but stacks Armor Pen Quints and Marks. Useful on champs who focus penetration or critical strikes such as Darius or Tryndamere/Ashe/Gangplank respectively.

Lifesteal
Lifesteal

This is the AD carry (or Marksmen as they’re called now) page. Lifesteal Quints provide 6% lifesteal out the gate, so rushing lifesteal items for sustain isn’t required. This is great for those aforementioned crit champions so they can focus on building an Infinity Edge first without needing the 800g for a Vampiric Scepter in the meantime.

Next up, I was sold on the idea of mixing runes finally, but only in certain instances. What I mean by mixing runes is having two different effects within the same type of rune on the same page. For example, the above picture has 9 armor seals. An option would be to have 4 armor seals and 5 mana regen seals. I never used to like the idea, because the stats you get from mixing always seemed less beneficial than when you have all 9 runes. My mind was changed when I started playing with rune/mastery combos while trying to build a better tank and better support page. Here’s the results:

Tank
Tank

The trouble I was having with my old tank build is that I had Health Quints and Health per level Seals, with MR and some form of penetration initially. I swapped out the penetration for armor marks because I would need different pen marks depending on if it was an AD or AP focused tank, and I didn’t have the rune pages to support that. After the swap, I felt like there still wasn’t enough armor, so I swapped out a few health seals for armor seals, and now feel I have a rounded amount of health/armor to start, and scaling health/MR for the late game.

Support
Support

My support build was where my experimentation began, as I have ran more ranked games in a support role than anything else. I originally had Magic Pen Marks, Armor Seals, CDR Glyphs and Gold per 5 Quints. This was far from optimal, and I realized it quickly. GP5 is a requirement for supports, as you can’t take farm — it’s for your ADC. I didn’t feel I was getting enough from the Quints, so I added in some seals. I also swapped out the penetration Marks for Armor Marks to make up for it. Then decided that I needed a bit more mana regen for early game, and put in a few mana per 5 seals. The balance seems just right between gold gain and defense/CDR.

Finally, there is only one Mastery page that I added in to the mix that I posted previously (check the link at the top of this post to see my other page setups). It’s a page I labeled Jungler, but was specifically made for Hecarim in the jungle. However, I feel that any jungler can benefit from it, as it focuses defense, sustain and movement speed, all of which help any jungler.

Jungler Masteries
Jungler Masteries

There will probably be more posts like this from me in coming months, as Season 3 officially ends in November, and during the Preseason masteries and runes tend to change, enough to where much of this could become obsolete. Stay tuned for more as the changes unfold.

Covering Your Bases in ARAM

Edit: This information pertained to Season 3 Runes/Masteries. While I am always updating my information on the site, I am aware that search engine queries are pointing at this post due to page rank. For updated Runes and Masteries, follow this link.

As I pointed out in my last post, I own a large percentage of the Champions in League of Legends. When playing any of the game modes that allow you to choose any of the champions (excluding those that were banned), this is a blessing, as you have a large selection of champions to fit many roles, and can help your team comp, pick counters, etc. When playing ARAM, it can be a bit of a hindrance. When your champion is picked for you randomly, you can be at a disadvantage mainly due to the fact that you might not have the optimal runes and masteries set up for a particular champion. ARAM is great because it forces all players into one lane, so there are instant team fights, usually before the minions even spawn, and it forces strange team comps that would be laughed at in Classic. However, this mode also sheds away a bit of the strategy of the traditional game. Due to this fact, the only real strategy in ARAM is how you build your champion in each match. The foundation of this is built upon your Runes and Masteries, and that is what I’m going to cover today.

Runes:

To completely cover your bases, you are going to need 5 rune pages. However, you will only start out with 2 rune pages, and the only way to get more is to buy them (In-game currency or RMT). These pages will allow you to play any role, and will add some benefits to any champion that you play. I label my pages “Armor Pen”, “AP MP5”, “AP Health”, “Straight Defense” and “Support”. I also recommend that new players don’t bother with purchasing runes until you are Summoner level 30, as you will not be able to use the Tier 3 Runes without being maximum level. Either save your IP or buy some champions along the way. To compile these pages, you will need: Marks: Armor (0.91×9 = 8.2 Armor) Armor Pen (1.29×9 = 12 Penetration) Magic Pen (0.87×9 = 7.8 Penetration) Seals: Armor (1.41×9 = 13 Armor) Mana Regen (0.41×9 = 3.7 Mana Regen) Scaling Health (19@level18x9 = 175 Health) Glyphs: Scaling MR (2.7@18×9 = 24 Magic Resist) Scaling AP (3.1@18×9 = 28 Ability Power) Scaling CDR (-1.11@18×9 = -10% Cooldowns) Quintessences: Armor Pen (2.56×3 = 7.7 Penetration) Ability Power (5×3 = 15 Ability Power) Gold per ten (1×3 = 3 gold per 10secs) Health (26×3 = 78 Health) Now some pictures and notes, in that order:

ArmorPenRunes
Armor Penetration Runes

This rune build grants Armor, Magic Resist and Armor Penetration. AD based Champions need Armor Penetration to counter any armor that the enemy team is going to build, and needs Armor and Magic Resist for his/her own defense, as most will be building straight damage items. This allows an early game boost needed to get kills/assists and get gold for later use.

Ability Power and Mana per 5 Runes
Ability Power and Mana per 5 Runes

For the glass cannon caster, this build grants Flat Ability Power, Ability Power per level, Magic Penetration, and Mana Regen. These are the bread and butter stats that casters (some supports can benefit from this build, more on that later) need to get kills and have some sustain. Back line fighters with long range poke, the casters don’t have to worry about building too much defense, and many AP granting items already have some built in defense.

Ability Power and Health Runes
Ability Power and Health Runes

For the AP Bruiser, and especially for those AP Champs that don’t have mana (Akali, etc), this build provides Flat Ability Power, Scaling Magic Resist, Scaling Health and Magic Penetration. This type of champion doesn’t need as much of an early AP boost as much as they need sustain. I choose the scaling MR over the scaling AP here because these champs tend to be melee, and anti-caster, so you’ll need the extra MR.

Straight Defensive Runes
Straight Defensive Runes

This is for the tanks, and you’ll randomly be the tank a time or two, regardless of if you always like to play ADC’s. A tank needs MR, Armor and Health. I chose to stack the scaling health seals and flat health quints to allow for an early boost and extra health every level, and to use Armor marks instead of seals. The loss of a couple of points of armor is more than made up for with the extra health.

Support Runes
Support Runes

This is actually the Support rune build that I use in Classic games. It is still useful in ARAM, and if you are going to play dedicated support, I will still recommend it, although many times when I play Sona or Soraka I choose to get more AP because heals scale off of it and sometimes that works better than this build. Depends on your mood/playstyle. This build gives what supports need to support, including Armor, Magic Penetration, Scaling Cooldown Reduction and Gold per 5. Supports typically don’t get minion or champion kills, so the extra gold helps with buying items. Supports spam their abilities, so CDR is needed, and the Armor and MPen help with pokes on both ends.

Masteries:

To cover all of your bases, I recommend the use of 7 Mastery pages. Thankfully, you can have up to 20 Mastery pages without having to spend a dime on them, so these you can set up as soon as you are Summoner level 30. Until then you won’t have all 30 points to spend, but you can start spending the points before you are maximum level. I have labeled my pages “AD Defense”, “AP Defense”, “AD Tank”, “AP Tank”, “AD Utility”, “AP Utility”, and “Support.”

Attack Damage and Defense
Attack Damage and Defense

This page is for your AD Bruisers, like Pantheon, Kha’zix, Garen, etc. It’s 21/9/0, and provides all of the AD oriented skills in the Offense tree, along with health, armor, and MR in the Defense Tree. This page typically combos with the Armor pen rune page, so that the Penetration and defensive bonuses stack. This page can also be used for ADC’s, if you like a little extra defense for them.

Ability Power and Defense
Ability Power and Defense

This is your AP Bruiser’s mastery page. Someone like Akali or Elise who will benefit from additional AP/Mpen, and also from the Health and Armor/MR. I use this page in conjunction with the AP Health rune page, so that the bonuses stack. These types of champions either don’t have mana or don’t have a need for as much of it, because they aren’t spamming abilities and that’s why we avoid the Utility tree.

Attack Damage Tank
Attack Damage Tank

Typically tanks are more AP based, but there are some that rely on Attack damage and Armor Pen. Tanks like Volibear are a good example, although if you’re using a Bruiser and you end up being the only tank-ish champion on your team, it might be a good idea to build tankier as you will be taking the brunt of the damage. This provides a small amount of CDR and AD/Pen, but mostly gives a defensive boost that the tank will need. Combined with the Straight Defense rune page, you will have plenty of extra health, armor and MR to survive the early team fights and protect your team.

Ability Power Tank
Ability Power Tank

Same as the AD Tank page, but in the offensive tree take points in the extra AP/MPen. This will apply to most tanks, as most tanks are Ability Power based. This will also be combined with the Straight Defense rune page for maximum protection.

Attack Damage and Utility
Attack Damage and Utility

This page is made for ADC’s. It mainly provides offensive boosts, but also gives some mana and mana regen. This helps with sustain and allows you to spam your pokes, with is going to be your primary focus in the game. I combine this page with the Armor Pen runes for maximum harass/damage.

Ability Power and Utility
Ability Power and Utility

Like the AD/Utility page, except for AP casters, who are going to be glass cannons. The offense tree shifts to the right, utility remains the same. Combine this with the AP MP5 page for maximum damage, with AP Health for more sustain.

Support Masteries
Support Masteries

The Support mastery page is also like the Support rune page, I built it for Classic, but it can be used in ARAM. I recommend using this build when you are going to play a true support, I.E. never killing creeps or going for champion kills, only assists. It provides more starting gold, and gold per 5 along with CDR (this combined with the CDR from runes means less items with CDR need to be built, allowing for some AP or other supporty items to be built). Extra movement speed is great for jukes.

General Tips:

Team comp is what makes or breaks ARAM. You will be given 5 random champions, and you won’t know who you are opposing, so take this into account when trading or re-rolling champs. If you can’t stand your champion, offer it up for trade before re-rolling, as someone else might be particularly good with that champ. If you have an all melee team, think about re-rolling for some range. If you have all AD or AP on your team, think about re-rolling for the opposite. You might still get unlucky, but your efforts will not go unnoticed. From there, you can worry about your rune and mastery builds. Let me give you an example: I get into the lobby, and I have Olaf. My team consists of Elise, Shyvanna, Garen and Blitzcrank. We have very little poke, so it would be best that someone re-rolls. I volunteer, and end up with Twitch. We are still an AD heavy team, but we at least have a little more range. At this point I would choose my Armor Pen rune page and my AD/Utility Mastery page. Each game is going to be different, and you won’t necessarily have teammates that know their champions, or work together with trades/re-rolls to get the best possible team comp. But if you practice these steps, you will win more games. Teams that work together win a hell of a lot more than teams full of trolls. If you don’t get a champion you want, don’t rage quit. Stick it out. I have had plenty of games with champs I am not so good with that still ended in victory because I/my team didn’t give up. Keep playing! The more games you play, the better you will get. Happy Gaming!