Runes to Win #2: The Essential Rune Kit for LoLPros!
The most common mistake that players make when they first start playing League of Legends is making sh*tty runepages. Having a good set of runepages may boost your ability by up to 100-150 Elo just because of early/end game advantages they confer: as a solo, you will have an easier time winning your lane; as a jungler, you will have faster clear times and will clear with higher health; as a support, you will be able to more effectively help your team; and as a carry, you will have the tools to ensure domination of your lane and your game. You should be buying runes as soon as you hit level 20. Holding back on your rune purchases will hold you back in the game. So below, I’ve created a list of runes that players should buy, as well as the relative order you should purchase them in.
Unlike many LoL players who give rune advice to new players, I do not advocate the usage of Tier 1/2 runes before level 20. In addition to the fact that they are weaker than Tier 3 runes, new players do not have enough runes unlocked for them to make an effective difference in gameplay, especially since one "mistake" in lane will be enough to nullify the marginal advantage given by a runepage over a laning counterpart. It is better instead to spend your IP on champions or to save up IP for your early rune purchases.
Level 20 Kit
Total cost: 8610 IP
When you’re level 20, you’re going to be playing on a budget. Chances are, you don’t know how to last hit yet, and are still figuring the game out. The level 20 basic runepage is designed to be a cookie cutter page that can be used effectively on 100% of champions, and to patch up these core problems while you are still learning the game. It stresses the laning phase and the early game with flat survivability, as well as extra damage for extra last hitting and winning what would otherwise be even matchups in lane. In addition, the runes listed below have extremely low IP costs – 205IP for each rune, and 1025IP each for quintessences. Yes, this is the absolute cheapest runepage that IP can buy that is actually effective in low level games.
- Attack Damage Reds (1845 IP/8.5 AD) - Extra power for the newbie.
- Armor Yellows (1845 IP/13 Armor) – Armor runes are the most basic runes you can buy in the game. They are literally good on every single champion if you do not have a better set to use.
- Flat Magic Resist Blues (1845 IP/12 MR) - Most players prefer flat MR for the laning phase.
- Attack Damage Quints (3075 IP/7.75 AD) - Same as the marks. Extra last hitting power and laning ability.
Your first rune page should look like this when you have bought everything:
Other notes for level 20s: Forget penetration for now. Keep in mind the common LoL adage “Win lane, win game.” You can’t win a lane if you don’t farm, and attack damage helps your farming abilities far more than penetration does. When you think about the cost of this runepage, keep this in mind: Would you rather pay 6300IP for a champion you’ll play a dozen times, or 8610IP that you will use on every champion?
Total cost: 10455 IP
Generic runepages should be the name of the game here. The purpose of the bronze kit is to fill out your second (and/or third) runepage so you can have a "strong" runepage for 90% of the champions in the game. It is not for optimizing the efficiency of a particular champion more than to give yourself an edge over the competition. You will hopefully have the Level 20 and Bronze Kits completed by the time you are able to start playing ranked games.
- Magic Pen Reds (3690 IP/8.55 MPen) – These will make the difference at early levels when everybody automatically reduces your damage by over 20%. Once you buy these, you will see why magic pen are the go-to runes for almost every AP carry player.
- Scaling Magic Resist Blues (1845 IP/24.3 MR@18) - If you're not worried about getting bursted down during the laning phase, scaling MR is the way to go.
- Flat MP5 Yellows (1845 IP/3.69 MP5) - For that extra MP5 sustain in lane.
- Ability Power Quints (3075 IP/14.85 AP) - A year ago I would have put HP quints here instead but with the changing metagame it appears that early game trading is now the name of the game. AP quints are now da popularz.
Total cost: 11835 IP
In the Bronze Kit, we attempted to give a good runepage for all the champions in LoL. The goal of the Silver Kit is not to specialize but rather to add versatility to rune selection. Instead of having one static runepage for each lane, players will have the choice to pick between runes.
For example: Should I go pure AD or should I mix armor pen in the mix? Should I use scaling MP5 in case I don't get blue buff? You should experiment to find out what runes work for you!
- Armor Pen Reds (3690 IP/14.94 Arpen) – Adds versatility to your bruisers, especially those that have skills that synergize with penetration; Wukong, Olaf, etc.
- Scaling MP5 Yellows (1845 IP/10.53 MP5@18) – Scaling MP5 used to be a big hit when I first started playing a few years ago, but since most AP carries now get blue buff in lane flat MP5 is more useful in the current meta. Pick one or both depending on how often you get blue at your skill level.
- Extra Runepage (6300 IP) – Yes. You need at least one more. The more runepages you have, the better of a player you will be. As an alternative, the 7 runepage bundle is probably the best RP purchase you can make in the store if you're the kind of person who is willing to pay to get a leg up in the game. I am assuming that if you have played LoL long enough to have the free 3rd runepage you are already have all of the runes in the Silver Kit.
Total cost: 25980 IP
These are runes that are more champion specific, but not so specific that you can only use them for one or two champions. I’ve also dumped most of the expensive runes here. The purchase of these runes can be used interchangeably with the platinum kits listed below due to cost, especialy if you specialize in one or two roles.
- Extra Runepage (6300 IP) – The more you have, the more action you will get. I can personally vouch that chicks are digging my Elo and runepages.
- HP Quints (6150 IP/78 HP) - Although they aren't as popular as they used to be, HP quints are worth 3 extra autoattacks during a level 1 fight.
- Movement Speed Quints (6150 IP/4.5% MS) – I’ve always thought of these as overrated considering how you can make up for 4.5% with masteries and items. The LoL community seems to hold MS quints in high regard, even though they are only truly effective on a handful of champions.
- Flat CDR Blues (7380 IP/5.85% CDR) - Cooldown is always nice zz
- Dodge yellows lol jk
Platinum Kit - Jungler/Bruiser
Total cost: 15990 IP
Listen up kids, specialty runes are expensive.
- Attack Speed Reds (3690 IP) - I lost a Mundo 1v1 mirror match once only because the other guy had these. No lie.
- Lifesteal Quints (6150 IP) – I can't vouch for these personally because I don't own them, but Stonewall thinks they’re part of the essential master jungling kit. Note: These are the only runes in this article I have not tested or own.
- HP5 Quints (6150 IP) - For champions with weaker sustain, these babies will let you regenerate like a motherf*cker.
Other random runepages you can make:
Platinum Kit - AP Carry
Total cost: 10455 IP
- Scaling AP Blues (3690 IP/27.54 AP@18) - Ever wanted to crush the enemy AP in midgame? Here's the solution!
- Scaling HP Yellows (3690 IP/174.96 HP@18) - These synergize well with squishy champions, or those that synergize well with health (Vladimir).
- Magic Pen Quints (3075 IP/6.54 Mpen) – Somewhere out there, there is an asshole who wants to see the world burn. Mpen quints are the solution to this problem.
Platinum Kit - AD Carry
Total cost: 6765 IP
- Attack Speed Blues (3690 IP/5.76% AS) - For sadistic players that enjoy crushing their competition.
- Arpen Quints (3075 IP/9.99 Arpen) - The go-to AD carry rune before the meta shifted. They are still just as strong as AD runes, see previous ADV posts for proof.
Platinum Kit - Support
Total cost: 7080 IP
- Armor Reds (1845 IP/8.19 Armor) – In any other role, putting armor in your marks is a complete waste of your slot unless you’re trolling with a +32/+40 armor runepage; however, you’re not supposed to be doing heavy damage, so extra survivability is essential, especially on weak sustain supports.
- Gold per 10 Quints (1545 IP/3 GP10) – Essential for all supports.
- Gold per 10 Yellows (3690 IP/2.25 GP10) – Great for sustain supports, not always for kill lanes.
Final Kit + (Unofficial) Core Rune Tier List
Usefulness of runes going from left to right.
Yes, runes are expensive, but the investment is worth it. If you have most of the runes I have listed above, you should be able to make an effective rune page for almost every single champion in the game. Exceptions include champions which may require specific runepages such as Akali and Ryze; however, they will not be significantly impacted if you use a combination of the above runes.
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