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BUILD GUIDE: Runes - A New Player's Guide by Skullkid2424

by Skullkid2424 (last updated over a year ago)

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Runes

Introduction

Hello there. This is a meta guide on introducing players to runes, including what they do and which ones are good generic purchases. It is aimed at newer players or players who do not yet have a basic set of runes. This guide will not go into specific champions and niche rune pages, but rather is going to attempt to cover most champions with a few generic runepages.

If you already have several sets of runes, then this guide probably won't be much use to you. Pass this on to players who are just starting the game, just hitting level 20, or are level 30 and are looking to purchase a their first full set of runes. Smurfs may also find this guide useful.

What are runes?

Runes are items that you can purchase outside of an individual game, and will affect your champion's stats in game. There are 3 different tiers of runes. Tier 1 runes are for all summoners. Tier 2 runes require summoner level 10. Tier 3 runes require summoner level 20. There are 4 types of runes:

  • Marks, sometimes known as reds, are primarily offense runes.
  • Seals, sometimes known as yellows, are primarily defensive runes.
  • Glyphs, sometimes known as blues, are primarily magic runes.
  • Quintessences, known as quints, which are much more powerful and have a wide array of stats.

You can use the runes that you own to create a customized Runepage. A runepage consists of 9 marks, 9 seals, 9 glyphs, and 3 quints. You can have multiple runepages (every summoner begins with 2), but only one can be active at a time. Runepages can be purchased from the store using IP or RP. Players can also get runepages from recruiting other players using their referral link. Using a rune on one page does NOT exclude it from being used on another page (for example, if you have 1 movement speed quint, you can use it on your tank page and your mage page). There are 30 rune slots on a runepage, and each summoner level grants you a new rune slot. The below picture shows which rune slot unlocks at each level.

[http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110626215227/leagueoflegends/images/0/01/Runebook_levels.png]
(Image taken from the lol wikia, originally uploaded by Tehfake)


Runes can be obtained in a few ways:

  • Runes are primarily purchased from the store for IP. You cannot purchase runes with RP, so that you cannot "pay-to-win".
  • There have been special holiday runes that can be purchased from the store with IP. Runes have been available during some harrowing (halloween) and snowdown showdown (christmas) events, however runes may or may not be available to purchase in future holidays.
  • Players can combine 2 or 5 runes of the same tier using the rune combiner. This creates a new, randomly generated rune. 2 runes will provide a rune of the same tier. 5 runes will provide a rune of the next tier.
  • There are promotion codes that grant runes. This event has happened once (with razer) to my knowledge.


Rune can give a number of useful stats. A full list of runes can be found here:
http://leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_runes#Full_Runes_List


Each stat has a primary rune type. For example, Armor runes are primary seals (yellow). As such, the armor seals will be stronger than the secondary armor glyphs or armor marks. We often want to stick with primary runes, as they will be the best stats we can get. Not all stats come in all three rune types however, so we may have to accept some secondary runes in certain situations.

Summoner Level 1-19

Perhaps you're new to league of legends. Perhaps you've created a smurf to start leveling up a second account. For whatever reason, you're low level and are looking to purchase some runes to help you out in game.


There are two main strategies when it comes to buying runes. The first strategy is to simply ignore runes until you reach level 20, and can then purchase tier 3 runes. If you want to do this, continue leveling up to level 20 and then look at the next chapter. You'll also want to save up LOTS of IP - try to save up close to 10,000IP to purchase tier 3 runes at level 20.

The second strategy is to purchase a set of 25 tier 1 runes that can boost your gameplay until you reach level 20. Upon reaching level 20, these 25 runes can be combined in the rune combiner to create a single tier 3 rune. Since the rune combiner is random, the rune created may or may not be useful, however it could be worth anywhere from 200 to 2000 IP. I like this path as it gives you the advantage of some runes early on, and a chance to mitigate some of the costs of your level 20 tier 3 rune purchases. If you're interested in this path, then read on.

First thing is first. Tier 1 runes cost less than 10% of their tier 3 counterparts, but provide of 50% of the stats of the tier 3 counterparts. Its a very good deal.

Tier 2 runes cost around 40% of tier 3 runes, but only provide around 75% of the stats. This makes tier 2 runes MUCH less efficient than tier 1 runes. NEVER BUY TIER 2 RUNES. Its a waste. Just use the tier 1 runes, even if you're already past level 10. You'll save tons of IP and still get enough of the stats. So again, NEVER BUY TIER 2 RUNES.




So here is a basic plan which will provide 25 runes to use for levels 1-19. We'll use these runes to create 2 basic runepages, since you start out with only 2 runepages.

Runepage 1 - AP
  • 6x Magic Penetration Marks- (30IP ea)
  • 6x Armor Seals - (15IP ea)
  • 6x Magic Resist Glyphs - (15IP ea)
  • 1x Health Quint or 1x Movement Speed Quint - (165IP)


Runepage 2 - AD
  • 6x Attack Damage Marks- (15IP ea)
  • 6x Armor Seals - (Reuse)
  • 6x Magic Resist Glyphs - (Reuse)
  • 1x Health Quint or 1x Movement Speed Quint - (Reuse)



The total comes out to 615IP. We'll use these two runepages to cover all our champions. Any champion which uses AP and can benefit from the magic penetration should use the first page. Anyone else should use the second page, where the attack damage marks will at the very least help with last hitting. The choice of quint is up to the player. Both of these quints are useful on EVERY champion, and they are both the same price. I personally like movement speed, but theres nothing wrong with going with health either.

You can purchase these runes either all at once, or buy a single rune each level as you open up slots. Either way is fine, but make sure you're getting tier 1 runes. After hitting level 10, the shop may default to tier 2 runes, which we don't want. Make sure that it says tier 1 runes like in this picture.
[http://i.imgur.com/iM34b1U.png]

You'll also want to save up runes as you get closer to level 20. Tier 3 runes are expensive, and you'll want around 10,000IP for them when you hit level 20.



I just hit 20!
First of all, congratulations! You've unlocked tier 3 runes and we can now take the 25 tier 1 runes you have and turn them into a tier 3 rune!

Head to the runepage in your profile. Right click on each rune to remove it from your runepage. Do this with both runepages so they are both empty. The rune combiner won't let us use runes that we currently have assigned to a page to prevent accidents. After you've removed the runes, click the rune combiner button in the bottom right of the page that looks like this [http://i.imgur.com/YYgW4xE.png].


A window will pop up with 5 empty slots surrounding another empty slot in the middle. Pick any 5 of your tier one runes to place around the edge. Click to complete the combination and you'll be rewarded with a tier 2 rune. Repeat with the rest of your tier 1 runes and you should end up with 5 tier 2 runes. We'll combine these 5 runes to create a single tier 3 rune. Wooh! Remember that we spent 615IP originally and got plenty of use out of our tier 1 runes. The tier 3 rune you get can range from 205IP to a whopping 2050IP. You may get lucky, and you may not, but the important thing was getting the use out of our tier 1 runes. Now head to the next chapter to get some basic tier 3 sets!

Summoner Level 20+

So you're already level 20 or above. Good news! You can already purchase and use the highest tier of runes! You may not have unlocked all of the rune slots yet, but we can plan a couple of pages out for you. Assuming you have the two default pages, then I would suggest an AP and AD page.


Runepage 1 - AP
  • 9x Magic Penetration Marks- (410IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Health Quints or 3x Movement Speed Quints - (2050IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 9x Mana regeneration Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Ability Power Quints - (1025IP ea)


Runepage 2 - AD
  • 9x Attack Damage Marks- (205IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (reuse)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (reuse)
  • 3x Health Quints or 3x Movement Speed Quints - (reuse)

Other Options:
  • 9x Armor Penetration Marks - (410IP ea)
  • 3x Attack Damage Quints - (1025IP ea)



So these two pages are very basic. I've laid out some great default pages, and then added a few extra options that you can choose if you want. There are of course, many more runes that you can switch in, but with only two pages I would focus on these. The total cost for the two pages I listed comes out to 15,600 IP. Hopefully you've been saving up a bit, because thats a lot of IP. You could buy several champions with that. But you're going to want runes eventually, and it will really help you in game. If you aren't level 30 yet, then only buy the runes that you have slots for, and then as you level up you'll only need a few hundred IP to fill in the new slots. While these two pages might seem expensive, they work for all champions, so its very cost efficient. If you get more runepages, then you can build more specialized pages which will be better for each champion, but until then, these will do fine.



The "Cheap" Option
For a few players, spending 15,600 IP on runes simply isn't an option. If you play only two games each week, then you'll likely be only getting maybe 400IP each week. That'll take you 9 months to save up for both pages. If you aren't playing the game much, and you don't earn enough IP to make those two basic pages worth it, then this page is for you. This is an extremely rare circumstance. I would recommend 99% of the time that you don't pick this option. I've designed 1 rune page and I've made it as cheap as possible while trying to make it semi-useful for each champion.


Runepage - Cheaper
  • 9x Attack Damage Marks- (205IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Gold Quints - (515IP ea)

We grab the cheapest possible runes in each slot. Attack damage will help every champion last hit. Armor and magic resistance will help every champion live. Gold quints will generate 1 gold every 10 seconds, and we have 3 of them. The extra gold will help you purchase items. This page is as cheap as it tier 3 goes. 7080IP. It will still take a while to purchase, but less than half of the standard pages.

Theres also one more thing we can do to make it cheaper. We can switch down to tier 1 runes. These tier 1 runes cost about 10% of the tier 3 runes, while giving 50% of the effectiveness. You're losing out on a lot of stats by switching down to them, but it will be cheap. There is also no tier 1 gold generation quints, so we'll switch them out for scaling attack damage quints. The cheapest possible runepage is a measly 525IP. Keep in mind that the scaling AD quints really aren't that useful, so I would recommend keeping the tier 3 quints and switching the others down to tier 1 for a compromise (total of 1950IP). Again, this is an extremely rare circumstance that someone wants runes but doesn't have enough time to even earn enough IP for a single page. Fun theory stuff though.

Runepage - Cheapest (Tier 1 Runes)
  • 9x Attack Damage Marks- (15IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (15IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (15IP ea)
  • 3x Scaling Attack Damage Quints - (40IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 3x Gold Quints - (515IP ea)

Rune Page Bundle

Buying a 7 page rune bundle is probably the best purchase of RP that you can make. This gives you 7 runepages for a total of (with the default 2 that everyone has) 9 rune pages, which can cover a much greater range of champions. I'm going to cover a few basic runepages for the main roles, and it will be up to you to decide which champions need a special runepage. We're going to cover AP carries, AP tanks, AD carries, AD bruisers, junglers, and support. This leaves you with 3 pages to specialize as you need them.


Runepage 1 - AP Carry
  • 9x Magic Penetration Marks- (410IP ea)
  • 9x Mana Regeneration Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Ability Power Quints - (1025IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 9x Hybrid Penetration Marks - (820 IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Scaling Mana Regeneration Seals - (205 IP ea)
  • 9x Scaling Ability Power Seals - (410IP ea, secondary)
  • 9x Scaling Ability Power Glyphs - (410IP ea)
  • 3x Movement Speed Quints - (2050IP ea)

Explanation: For an AP carry we want to be dealing damage. This makes magic pen and AP runes pretty valuable. Since we'll likely be fighting against an AP mage as well, Magic Resist glyphs are important to keep us alive. For mages that have mana regen problems, getting either flat or scaling mana regen seals can help. Otherwise, armor seals are always a good pick, especially with the possibility of facing an AD assassin or bruiser in lane. Hybrid penetration marks are very useful if your AP carry can use auto attacks to harass. The tradeoff of a couple magic pen for the armor pen is usually a good deal if you can harass with auto attacks, however they aren't required due to their expensive price.



Runepage 2 - AP Tank
  • 9x Magic Penetration Marks- (410IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Health Quints or 3x Movement Speed Quints - (2050IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 9x Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs (205 IP ea)
  • 3x Ability Power Quints - (1025IP ea)

Explanation: Most tanks deal magic damage with their abilities. Theres also times when AP carries need a tanky start. This page uses the magic penetration to help with damage abilities, and then armor, magic resist, and possibly health to increase tankyness and survivability. The movespeed runes are always useful and are another option.



Runepage 3 - AD Carry
  • 9x Attack Damage Marks- (205IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 2x Lifesteal Quints - (2050IP ea)
  • 1x Attack Damage Quint - (1025IP)

Other Options:
  • 9x Armor Penetration Marks - (410IP ea)
  • 1x Critical Chance Mark - (410IP ea)
  • 3x Mana Regeneration Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 4x Mana Regeneration Glyphs - (410IP ea, secondary)
  • 3x Attack Damage Quints - (1025IP ea)

Explanation: AD carries (Marksmen) want to use their runes to increase their ability to last hit with AD runes. Armor runes are very helpful against the autoattacks of the enemy ADC in lane, and will help you come out ahead in trades. Magic resist glyphs will help you avoid damage from the enemy support. The two lifesteal quints allow you, in combination with a doran's blade, to sustain yourself in lane. Each last hit will heal 5 health and 4% of the damage simply from runes. A single attack damage quint is taken in combination with the attack damage reds to ensure that champions can farm under turret at an early level. An optional single crit chance mark (or glyph) is taken in order to simply be able to crit starting from level 1. The rare crit can happen early on and win a trade and possibly get an early lane advantage.



Runepage 3 - AD Bruiser
  • 9x Attack Damage Marks- (205IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Health Quints or 3x Movement Speed Quints - (2050IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 9x Armor Penetration Marks - (410IP ea)
  • 9x Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Cooldown Reduction Glyphs - (820IP ea)
  • 3x Attack Damage Quints - (1025IP ea)
  • 3x Armor Penetration Quints - (1025IP ea)

Explanation: This page might need to be changed up depending on the bruiser in question. AD helps with last hitting and abilities that scale with AD. Armor penetration can help deal more damage in trades. Armor seals are usually taken since the opponents usually are AD based as well. Magic resist or scaling magic resist glyphs are useful. Use flat if against an AP lane opponent, use scaling if against an AD lane opponent. If you are playing blinds or don't know who is your lane opponent, then a mix of 3-6 scaling and 3-6 flat can cover both fairly well. Cooldown reduction glyphs are another option if you aren't playing against an AP lane opponent. Quints is a personal preference. Attack damage and armor penetration are more offensive. Health and movespeed are always solid choices.



Runepage 4 - Jungler
  • 9x Attack Speed Marks- (410IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Scaling Magic Resist Glyphs - (205IP ea)
  • 3x Movement Speed Quints - (2050IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 9x Attack Damage Marks - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Penetration Marks - (410IP ea)
  • 9x Cooldown Reduction Glyphs - (820IP ea)
  • 3x Attack Speed Quints - (1025IP ea)
  • 3x Attack Damage Quints - (1025IP ea)
  • 3x Armor Penetration Quints - (1025IP ea)

Explanation: The jungling page is very generic, and many junglers may want a specialized page. Attack speed marks help your early clear and synergize well with . Armor is required as it will greatly reduce the damage done by the jungle creatures. Scaling magic resist glyphs are popular as you will only be facing AP damage in ganks early game. Feel free to use 3 or so flat magic resist glyphs if you would prefer a little more defense early. Cooldown reduction glyphs are an option if the enemy team doesn't have much magic damage. Movespeed quints are the most common quints, as they allow for more time farming and less time traveling around the map to camps or ganks. AD, AS, or armor pen quints are also an option, but are usually champion specific. Be sure to research which junglers you have and consider creating unique pages for them.



Runepage 5 - Support
Theres are many viable support champions, and some of them may use a more specialized rune page than this.
  • 9x Magic Penetration Marks- (410IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Seals - (205IP ea)
  • 9x Cooldown Reduction Glyphs - (820IP ea)
  • 3x Gold Quints - (515IP ea)

Other Options:
  • 9x Hybrid Penetration Marks - (820 IP ea)
  • 9x Armor Marks - (205IP ea, secondary)
  • 9x Gold Seals - (410IP ea)
  • 9x Magic Resist Glyphs (210IP ea)
  • 3x Health Quints or Movement Speed Quints - (2050IP ea)
  • 3x Armor Quints - (1025IP ea)

Explanation: There are many champions who can support, and it can be hard to create one page to fit them all. You may want some unique pages if you main support. Magic penetration is useful since most support abilities deal magic damage. Hybrid penetration is especially useful on ranged supports as it makes auto attacks very effective at harassing the enemy champions in lane. Armor seals are almost required due to the damage coming from an AD carry in lane. Magic resist glyphs can be used to lower damage from the enemy support or jungler. Cooldown reduction glyphs are also useful. Gold quints allow for more wards being bought throughout the game. Movespeed quints are always an option. Health or armor quints can be useful on supports who are melee or may go all in. Likewise, armor marks can be very useful for melee supports for reducing damage. Leona in particular does well with armor marks. Gold seals are an option for supports as well, however that requires giving up armor yellows which can be very risky against an AD carry.



Now that you have some generic pages, feel free to roam around the other solomid guides to figure out some champion-specific pages for the champions you love to play and fill in the rest of your pages!

Final Comments

I hope you enjoyed my introduction to runes guide and that you've learned something from it. Feel free to leave a comment with any questions or suggestions. Runes change in popularity over time, so please leave a comment if you believe something is out of date! Thanks for reading!

Comments

October 21, 2013 - 07:53 AM #1

Nice guide :) Helped me a lot for making my pages, I was a little bit lost before !

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