New masteries for season 3! Some masteries are the same! Some are the same and got moved! Some are the same and their numbers changed! Some were removed! And some are brand stinkin' new!
Let's start with the trees as a whole. The trees aren't final as of this posting, but I anticipate they will mostly remain the same.
Offense is cut-and-dried and the least changed. It is all position and number tweaks with two new masteries. Frenzy grants 10% attack speed for two seconds after getting a critical hit. Spellsword adds 5% of your ability power to basic attacks. That mastery alone is very interesting, but trust me, the tree as a whole has not changed much for those getting 21 points in it. The biggest change overall is that attack speed and cooldowns got moved to the first line, with scaling damage and AP moving to the second. While stronger and worth more overall than the old single points, they take a bit to scale. The main point is no free 3 damage for minimal commitment for mages or anyone else.
Penetration % is now 8, not 10. When combined with a Last Whisper or Void Staff it totals 40% (they are 35 now instead of 40).
Executioner was buffed to 5% damage to targets below 50% health.
Like Offense, this tree isn't fun to dip into either, with the first line being junk. The four points for durability (the health required for Veteran's Scars) are in the first line, with Scars remaining in the 2nd. Armor and MR are in the 2nd line, but they scale 2-3.5-5 now. Early jungle masteries Tough Skin and Bladed Armor are the same. Indomitable is now Unyielding and only applies to champions, not minions or monsters. If you get both Unyielding points you get Block in the next line, which blocks 3 damage of every basic attack, which is fabulous. There's a slow reducer and turret damage reducer, both unimpressive. The slow reducer doesn't reduce the duration, but the amount. Still, 15% of a 30% slow is 4.5%, so if you have 350 movespeed, 30% is 105 and 25.5% is 89.25. Seems better to concentrate on health and tenacity instead. And that's just slows--the other kinds of cc you still need tenacity for. On the same line as Block is Tenacious, which is 3 points for 5% tenacity each. Juggernaut, the previous end mastery in defense, is here also, scaling 1.5-2.75-4% in three points. The second to last line has a bunch of junk, full good hands for 1 point, some weak armor/mr buffs, and reduced crit damage. Reinforced armor, the crit damage reducer, is interesting in that it lops off 10% of damage taken from critical strikes--that means the entire hit. So instead of taking 200% or 250% damage (or 255 on carries, etc.), you'd take 180% or 225%. This is very niche though, as crit is for late game versus carries and most jungles and tops don't rely on crit. Just remember to take it versus Tryndamere and melee carries!
Rounding it off is Honor Guard. In Season 2 this mastery gave .5% damage reduction each point with 3 points max. This one goes up to 3% for one point.
If you take Unyielding, Block, Doran's Shield (its active is unique), and Honor Guard, you get 11 points off each basic attack, then 3% lopped off that.
It's no secret that this is the new go-to tree for most champions and roles. The reason for this is because in offense 1 point gets your 1% attack speed or cooldown, in defense it gets you 1.5 health per level, and here, it gets you mana regen. Meditation has been brought to the first line, and for simply 3 points in the tree you can get 3mp5. And the second line gives you 10% off your summoner cooldowns, no matter who you are, and no matter which tree you have 21 points in. Mages will love this obviously as it reduces the cooldown on flash and ignite.
Also interesting to note on the first line is Wanderer, which gives 2% movespeed out of combat--manaless junglers will want to take this unless they're taking armor pen in offense over summt'sIoner cooldowns and buff duration, which is in the same spot. It will also compliment roaming supports and Boots of Mobility supports like Blitz or Ali.
On line two we also have flat mana, with no energy added this time--you must take all of it to get to Strength of Spirit, in the next line. Artificer, which was discussed last week, is here also. It gives 7.5/15% reduction to item cooldowns. Again, mages and supports. It will also work with Lantern though...
Greed, Wealth, and Awareness are in the same spots. Wealth grants 25 gold each instead of 20. Line three contains the biscuit, which restores 80 hp/50 mana, and is required to get line four's Explorer's ward, which only lasts 60 seconds. Great for early game invades and aggression, supports will love this and a few junglers may wish to get it too. Vampirism now gives lifesteal and spellvamp both, 1 of each per point. but is moved down to line four.
On line five is Pickpocket, which gives gold for using basic attacks on enemy champs. 6% cooldown remains where it is. The 21st point is for Nimble, which straight up just gives you 3% movespeed.
On to roles then.
This is pretty simple. In Offense, you'll be taking the mastery point if you take exhaust or ignite, and you'll get all 15 points in the 2nd column from the left. That leaves 5 points. You'll want to get the lethality/frenzy bonus, though it's designed for bruisers--that 10% attack speed will be better at late game than anything else. That leaves you with 2 points, both of which must be decided before the fourth line. You can take extra turret damage, 2% cooldown, or an extra 1.33% total damage.
As usual, it's very stale.
The other 9 points are down to whether you are a utility or a defense person. If you want Veteran's Scars, you can have a very similar 9 points defense as you did last season. But in utility, you can get a reduction on Flash, 3 mp5 (on the first line!), and another 10% off both your summoner spells. What you do with the other 2 points doesn't matter too much.
Possibilities for AD Carry: 21/9/0, 21/0/9, 23/0/7 (below).
With the exception of atypical mastery champs like Galio or Ryze, another no brainer, especially now that you can't dip to get MR. 17 points on the third column to the right. As wth AD, there are two dumb points to spend before line four. Havoc/Butcher/Deadliness/Destruction are what you have to work with. Utility is flash CD, mana regen on first line, reduced summoner spells, and buff duration. If it's Katarina or Morde and you're taking the 9, you'll take Scars and then 4 points in armor/mr.
Note that if you want that Spellblade Mastery with only 21 points in Offense you have to give up 1.5 AP to get it. Possibilities for mids: 21/9/0, 9/21/0, 21/0/9 (below).
For jungle you can always go the classic 0/21/9. Going 9/21/0 makes you give up more than buff duration, as it's important to note that the summoner cooldown points in Utility would put Smite as a 63 second cooldown instead of 70, which is a jungle-changer.
How you use your utility points isn't hard to decide. For your defense points there is some wiggle room. The new jungle is harder, so tough skin and bladed armor are more important. You'll want the smite buff, you'll have to take a point in health or regen to get the 2nd line, and that makes five. Then you'll want the 6 points in armor and mr, taking you to 11. Unyielding and block are essential as a top and they are the best points in this tree. After you level up your machete build, these are still important for teamfights. Later game, these points will do more than Veteran's Scars will for you--at level 10, you'll have 90 from Scars and the Durability points before it. Every autoattack is deducted five points of damage and every other source of damage is reduced by two. It will add up to the health. And jungle minions aren't dealt with by having a big health pool.
Juggernaut is more health for fewer points, though there is a midrange where it is worth less. But you don't have to use as many points in it. Tenacious is great through all phases of the game. Honor guard is the final point and strongest.
The 2nd to last line is not very good, though Defender is nice for later game. You could give up one point of Resistance and swap the always on two MR (which jungle doesn't effect) for one point of each per champion in range.
Again, pretty simple, not much tweaking. There's a lot of junk in this tree but some of the points are very obvious.
Early game, I notice that early wards to prevent or assist counterjungling. It takes 13 points to get to the free 1-minute Explorer's Ward. The free Biscuit is required to get this, and it takes 8 points to get to the biscuit, and you'll obviously want Runic Affinity if you're jungling--that leaves two other points for you to decide besides the obvious points. So, you can go 17/13 for this or you can also go 15/15: 2 more points gets you 2% of lifesteal AND spellvamp. Also, you can still get the lovely masteries Block and Tenacious. You'll be giving up a couple points in MR and the end point, Honor Guard, and the Juggernaut points.
So, it comes to this: do you want Honor Guard, MR, and health, or do you want a 80 health/50 mana biscuit, a 60-second ward, lifesteal and spellvamp, and some other stuff such as Gp10, mana, or active cooldown. Unless you're planning to make some plays or really need the vision, the 21 points in defense are generally worth more.
Possible pages: 9/21/0, 0/17/13, 0/15/15, 9/9/12, 9/12/9, 0/21/9 (below, for a manauser). Recommend getting 21 in defense on most junglers.
Top bruisers can still go 9/21/0. Most of the reasoning for this is found in the previous section.
A top like Rumble can still go 9/21/0 in similar fashion to Season 2.
Possibilities for top are 9/21/0 and 0/21/9, but mainly the latter. Some atypical mastery champs I looked at. Singed I couldn't see a different build for--he wanted to the movespeed in Utility and it's not here now. Jayce can still go 19/11/0, but that is not as strong and he may need to be adjusted to 14/16/0 or 14/13/3 or 15/0/15. Jax could perhaps take 15/0/15 as well for the 3% lifesteal/spellvamp. Irelia sometimes went 9/14/7 to get mana regen and the move speed in defense, but there is no movespeed in defense anymore, and it only takes 3 points to get into mana regen in utility. But that means you'd be 9/18/3 and to take 3 mana regen over Honor Guard and a couple of points in Tenacious or Juggernaut seems to foolish. Also, Akali players will have to change their runes quite a bit.
Typical 9/21/0 page:
This tree has changed the most. Like last season, supports will have a lot of options for masteries, though it will be less enticing to only get 12 or 13 points in it anymore. Furthermore, what you actually get can vary from game to game on the same champion. Mana regen and summoner cooldowns are givens, but you have to know a lot more about what you're planning on building. Before taking artificer, biscuit, or the free ward, ask yourself how much GP10 you'll be getting from items/runes/masteries, and whether you play on getting any activated abilities.
To get pickpocket requires 17 points. All that's left past that is 6% cooldown and 3% movespeed (Nimble), which is really, really good for when you want to get sightstone and a gp10 before getting any boots. If your base movespeed is 310, it is now 340, and that mastery will give you 10.2 movespeed (assuming no other buffs), which is 2/5 of a first pair of boots. That would put you at 350 movespeed at the beginning of the game.
Possibilities for support include 9/0/21, 0/9/21, 1/0/29, 1/1/28, 0/1/29, 0/0/30, 1/7/22, 1/13/16, 0/14/16, etc. 5/0/25 shown below.
- AD masteries for AD Carries are underwhelming and not much of an improvement
- AP Carry Masteries are also about the same, but better compared to the AD changes
- Defense Tree is great, but not for dipping. The best masteries are on the fourth line. Honor guard is powerful
- Utility is excellent. Mana regen on the first line, summoner cooldowns on the second. Mids, Jungles, and Carries will dip in here a lot. Every line is alive and exciting
- Supports have tons of options, to the point of having more than one setup for the same champion due to matchups. Artificer alone forces you to plan your build pregame
- There are some unique new abilities such as Spellblade, Tenacious and Pickpocket that will change how champions can build
- Offense changed the least, Defense and Utility changed the most. Utility improved the most
In one sense, the masteries haven't changed. It's plenty obvious what masteries people should be going, and which ones are strong or not. The nature of the trees and what people will take by role is similar also. Support is still flexible, Mages and Carries will go 21 in offense, Tops will take 21 in defense. The real changes are in buffs or nerfs to role. As has been said repeatedly, mages are about the same, ad carries got nerfed, bruisers got buffed a little, junglers got buffed some, and supports got buffed a lot. The mastery changes show this explicitly. You don't have to figure out what to do--that won't be hard. Just make sure you know what to go and that you are highly familiar with your choices and what you'll be facing.
Old Man Eyebrows
This week's eyebrows: