Building Rune Pages Through the Use of a QQ (Quint Quotient)

Fundamentals, foundations, basics, building blocks, however you put it—it’s the quintessences that form the core of your rune build, hence the name quintessence, after quintessential. Your quint choices are the hardest, simply due to sheer volume of options.


There are two reasons for this.

The first is that quintessences have monopolies on certain types of stats. Spellvamp, lifesteal, movespeed, bonus experience, and reduced death time are only available in quint form, and other runes, such as armor penetration or gold per 10, only available on quints and one other type of rune. If you are going to do GP/10 or movespeed, most notably, you have to go to quints to seriously commit.

The second is that the other types of runes have a limited base of what are considered viable options. Marks have damage, armor, armor pen and magic pen, seals are armor and mana regen, and glyphs are almost always magic resistance. With all the other types of runes there are primary and secondary rune types and almost all of the secondaries are bad. With quintessences, every single type scales well by number.                              

Speaking of scaling, did you know that quintessences scale differently compared to their primary runes? What I mean is, some quints are worth only 2 marks (armor penetration, attack speed) whereas there is a quint (HP regen/5) that is worth more than 6 seals, its primary equivalent?

So, if you’re going to get something in quints you can get somewhere else, make it count. Otherwise you should maybe just get it in another area. Unless, of course, you are getting it to add to the primary, as is frequently the case with flat damage runes.   


Here is a common mistake. I’ve sometimes seen armor penetration quints and flat damage marks. Like so.

So, with this setup, you get 10 armor penetration and 8.5 damage. This is actually kind of weak. This is a mistake. Why? Because the quint quotient (qq) isn’t optimal. Again, a quint quotient is the ratio of a quint to its primary rune. That is, how many of a primary rune does it take to equal its quotient? The level seems obvious and consistent. It is not.

I’ve calculated them so you can see just how good they all are, and decide for yourself. After that, I’ll explain why that previous damage/armor pen setup is ineffective and should change.
Note offensive quints tend to have lower ratios, a notable exception being flat ap (which is why they are always taken). If you wish to go something defensive, some of the quints are practically required (such as getting a decent hp/5). 

So, here we go. Marks first. Note they are in order of highest QQ to lowest QQ: 



So again, let’s say you have flat damage marks and quints and you want to purchase more runes—you want the option to mix flat damage and armor penetration runes. You might think to buy armor pen quints to use instead of flat damage quints. This is not optimal. This only leaves you with 10 armor pen and 8.5 damage.

Instead, buy 7 armor pen marks. Then use 7 armor pen marks, 2 flat damage marks, and 3 flat damage quints. Why? Because of the QQ! Look at it again! A flat damage quint is worth 2.25 damage, which is 2.37 times the value of the .95 damage in flat damage marks. Alas, quints for armor pen are only twice the value of armor pen marks. So, if you use 3 damage quints, 2 damage marks, and 7 armor pen seals, you get 12 arpen and 8.6 damage.

Conversely, you can also get Damage quints, 3 damage marks, and 6 armor pen marks for 9.6 damage and 10 armor pen.

Either way, going armor pen quints + damage marks is bad! Oh, and if you already have damage quints and marks and don't own any armor pen runes and just want to mix, it's only 2870 ip for 7 marks, or 2410 for 6 marks, not 3075 ip like it is for three quints. So, if you want to mix damage and penetration, the QQ shows you can get more buy paying less! You’re welcome.

Today’s eyebrows:


Old Man Eyebrows



  • #15 TreeBurrow

    You left out MPen Glyphs... It only took me 1.8 years to realize...

    This is still an awesome article btw, I always refer back to it...

  • #16 OldManEyeBrows

    Hah. I think they changed since this post went up though so it'd have been out of date!

  • #14 Thaddeusmike

    Anyone else find it interesting that marks fared the worst? The most efficient Quint in a Mark primary was 2.37, worse than the worst in Seals (2.5) or Glyphs (2.45). Not sure what to make of it, just an interesting note.

    Also, there's a typo. Meditation is energy regen, not energy.

  • #12 mrobert5


  • #8 Simenae

    Can someone explain me why you prefer 7 ArPen marks and 2 AD marks over 9 ArPen marks? It doesn't really make sense to me.

  • #9 OldManEyeBrows

    There's no problem with 9 arpen marks at all. I was simply showing that if you want to mix both damage and armor pen, it's bad to use 3 pen quints and 9 damage marks, solely because you can mix the marks to get higher pen or damage. 

    What the QQ ratios show is that damage quints are better than arpen quints, because a damage quint is worth 2.37 damage marks, and arpen quints are only worth 2 arpen marks, and marks are the highest base value runes for these stats. Arpen marks are thus more valuable than damage marks solely when compared to quints.

    Last edited by OldManEyeBrows: 8/22/2012 1:13:37 PM
  • #10 Simenae

    I already understood the the QQ ratio thingy, thank you for the further explanation anyway :)

    Is there any general recommendation for AD carry runes, assuming you don't have any problems with last hitting minions? I'm currently running the 'better' one of your mixes (arpen marks, damage quints) and it works perfectly fine. I wonder if full arpen would deal more damage, though (despite the fact that the AD quints have the higher ratio).

  • #13 BobSasZele

    This specific setup of 7 arpen + 2 ad is designed for the jungle. The total amount of 10 arpen is so that you can hit the smaller camps for practically true damage and the rest is ad so you dont have any excess arpen that is only used outside the jungle. I've seen the oddone use these setups of mixed marks for several junglers. Hope this helps you.

  • #7 Jelleebeen

    This makes things so much easier than swapping runes around and experimenting with the stats.

    Thanks a bunch!

  • #6 BobSasZele

    Always used these quotients, glad that they are now available in written form. Hope more people find out about this and actually start using it.

  • #4 Skip3rd

    I always thought this was obvious. Good that you saw the need to explain though, I'm sure many will benefit from your article.

  • #3 HelplessKitten

    Great article but you should expand more on the monopolized quints like move speed, lifesteal, etc, and what you think about them or what the equivalents are, something more on them than just they exist would be helpful, Otherwise thanks.

  • #5 Douggie

    Except that that's it.  Because they are monopolized stats there is nothing really to compare them to within a rune set up.  The best thing you can do is try to assign a gold value to them, but honestly the specialized quints are just that; specialized and are used in only a select few situations and therefore assigning gold value is meaningless.

    You can't compare something to nothing.  All you can do is ask yourself if you're going to get use out of them.  Besides, the only ones that truly see high level play are Movespeed and GP10 so if you're only looking at competitive level then it's even more of a waste.

    Last edited by Douggie: 8/21/2012 8:16:55 PM
  • #2 mrobert5

    Thank you so much. Charts so helpful. Nice eyebrows, too.

  • #1 anyricto

    I always explained this to my friends and they were totally mindblown :) Nice that you spread the word on this important topic!

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