With the League of Legends Preseason already a few patches in, players are beginning to refine and optimize their findings for rune builds. However, there is still plenty more to think about because as soon as a rune meta rises, changes are inevitable as buffs and nerfs are implemented, so it’s crucial to know your stuff to stay ahead of the curve.
One of the main goals at Mobalytics is to help build and foster the skills which enable players to consistently get better at League of Legends and climb the ladder – this includes being able to recognize and understand the foundations of how to build rune pages. Any player can go to a site and find a decent page to copy, the strongest players are the ones who pave the way by creating them.
This piece aims to demonstrate the thought processes behind how to choose your rune trees according to your role and what your champion wants to do. By its end, we hope that you’ll pick up a thing or two to help improve your game. The included example cases were curated by Mobalytics’s Challenger Coach and analysts. Enjoy!
Unboxing the Runes for Each Role
The new rune system has opened up tons of new gameplay options for every champion and play style. This infographic gives examples of different rune pages for each role and ways to synergize champion kits with the trees.
Top laners will tend to build either tanky as a frontliner, or will opt to look for more damage to either carry or increase their split-push capabilities.
Champs like Maokai who want to lead the frontlines with tankiness and CC should consider opting for Resolve.
- Aftershock can reliably activate due to Maokai’s multiple crowd control options while increasing his damage output and tankiness.
- Font of Life is easily triggered like Aftershock and it synergizes very well with his passive to continually restore health to himself and his allies.
- Secondary: Inspiration gives Maokai delayed free boots to help him engage in the mid game, extra resource replenishment, and a bit of health for more tankiness.
Top laners who want to add an extra punch to their abilities and laning power, like Pantheon, may opt for Sorcery.
- Summon Aery augments Pantheon’s strengths by giving him a consistent damage increase for his Q poke during the laning phase.
- Manaflow Band solves Pantheon’s early game mana issues and allows him to be more aggressive as a result.
- Secondary: Precision makes Pantheon’s fighting ability even more mighty with additional attack damage stats, extra gold and healing off of takedowns, and added punch to his executions.
Although some Junglers may want to go tanky with Resolve, many will look to strengthen their damage output and ganking ability.
Assassin Junglers like Kha’zix pair with Domination incredibly well due to to its ability to give additional burst from using mobility skills and provide snowballing potential.
- Dark Harvest synergizes nicely with Kha’zix’s passive, Unseen Threat, and helps to enable his reset mechanics.
- Sudden Impact improves Kha’s assassination potential and can be reliably activated by Leap (E) or his ultimate, Void Assault.
- Secondary: Precision helps Kha’zix secure killing blows and provides some sustain that can allow him to pull off consecutive ganks.
Junglers like Xin Zhao who look to stick to their target with sustained damage from auto-attacks should opt for Precision.
- Press the Attack makes an ideal pairing with Three Talon Strike (Q), which also activates after the third hit.
- Legend: Alacrity gives extra attack speed to help proc the third hit of Three Talon Strike (Q) and Press the Attack.
- Secondary: Domination’s options provide Xin with additional burst for his dash engage and increased map presence as he gains movement speed from successful ganks.
Mid laners will often benefit from taking trees that boost their power in lane or improve their potential to impact other lanes.
Aurelion Sol, for example, uses the Inspiration tree to help him push his lane more easily and make his ganks stronger.
- Glacial Augment + Hextech GLP-800 combo helps keep his enemies in place, making it easier to land stuns or hit enemies with his stars.
- Minion Dematerializer improves Sol’s ability to shove and roam by allowing him to melt minion waves.
- Secondary: Sorcery provides some ability power but the real draws are the additional upgrades to Sol’s roaming potential.
Assassin Mids like Katarina take Domination in order to gain magic penetration and empowered ability rotations.
- Electrocute, which has a short 3s window, can be easily triggered by Katarina’s quick combos.
- Sudden Impact gives extra magic penetration after her Shunpo (E) to burst down squishies.
- Secondary: Precision really augments Kat’s resets by giving her more execution power and rewarding her with healing and gold after takedowns.
Although ADCs use both abilities and auto-attacks, they tend to primarily lean toward either one as their main damage source.
Ezreal exemplifies the sort of champ that uses runes that align with landing his abilities, using Inspiration gives him some game-changing options.
- Kleptomancy allows Ezreal to easily generates extra gold and consumables due to Mystic Shot’s (Q) safe range.
- Biscuit Delivery gives you even more free consumables to help with Ezreal’s early lane problems, allowing him to spam even more abilities to proc Kleptomancy.
- Secondary: Sorcery empowers Ezreal’s poke and siege by providing mana sustain and making his Q’s hurt even more.
ADCs like Twitch, who rely on right-clicking, greatly benefit from choosing Precision to buff their auto-attacks.
- Press the Attack compliments Twitch’s passive, Deadly Venom and helps build stacks for Contaminate (E).
- Coup de Grace allows Twitch to more consistently finish off his victims that may have otherwise escaped.
- Secondary: Domination makes a great compliment due to its synergy with Twitch’s stealth and his desire to snowball into the late game.
Supports come in a wide range of purposes, so they have tons of viable choices in terms of which runes to choose – we’ve included a page for tanky melee engagers, and another for ranged mages.
Melee Supports like Leona want to maximize their tanky presence with Resolve in order to either engage or protect their ADC partner.
- Aftershock makes Leona nearly unkillable and gives her a nice burst of damage when she engages.
- Font of Life gives her ADC heals in lane and helps her whole team in fights later on.
- Secondary: Domination makes Leona’s engage hit harder and rewards with stats her for contributing to takedowns (which she does easily and often).
Ranged Supports like Lulu want to manipulate the battlefield from afar with their abilities, taking Sorcery will help them cast more spells, with more power.
- Summon Aery can be reliably activated by all of Lulu’s abilities and provides tons of flexibility.
- Manaflow Band gives Lulu more early game impact and additional freedom to play both offensively and defensively.
- Secondary: Inspiration makes a great compliment for Lulu’s kit by providing an improved mana pool and cooldown reduction to her spells and Support item actives
At the end of the day, runes are a big part of finding the middle ground between understanding the patch’s meta (check out this tier list), solidifying your champ pool, and discovering your own play style preferences. Look to play to your champion’s strengths and alleviate their weaknesses, and be able to understand what the other summoners in your match are looking to do with their choices and be able to adjust accordingly.
If your lane opponent takes Arcane Comet, be ready to dance or you’ll need to invest in some magic resist. If your teammate take runes that stack with takedowns, you’ll probably want to help them when possible so they can snowball. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to play.
Thanks for reading!