Last week we kicked off our breakdown of League of Legends’ new Runes Reforged system, covering the Precision and Domination paths! (Read that article here if you missed it.) Today our Preseason series continues, as we take a closer look at two of the three remaining rune paths: Resolve and Sorcery. Once again, we’ll summarize which keystones and runes give the most bang for your buck… while also giving a breakdown of the best runes’ effects. All in all, we aim to clear up confusion with the new system and put you back in the driver’s seat for Season 8 preseason!
Sorcery Path Overview
Good for: Bursty mages and spellcasters…
Best Keystones: Summon Aery, Arcane Comet
The Sorcery Path ends your hunger for mana and empowers your abilities. This tree is also well-suited to enhancing your Movement Speed and providing helpful shields!
Summon Aery is good for short- to mid-range champions who often trade spells or auto attacks, as Aery has a short cooldown to maximise damage. This Keystone is also good for shielding supports since Aery works just like Lulu’s Pix, offering both defensive and offensive bonuses for the shielded ally. This makes it a perfect choice for poking and shielding mages such as Orianna and Karma, as well as harassing champions like Teemo and Jayce.
Arcane Comet is best for champions that have a mid-long range poke that could use some extra punch. It’s a great rune if you’re playing a mid laner with crowd control, like a stun or slow. Some examples would be Xerath or Anivia, as well as high burst AD carries with built-in crowd control, such as Jhin or Miss Fortune.
Aery vs. Comet – Which to Pick?
Aery is powerful early game because of its low cooldown – and unlike Comet it always hits, which makes it more consistent. It also applies damage over time effects, which is pretty important for some champs.
On the other hand, Comet has a higher cooldown and does more damage, but you have a chance to miss. If you have some sort of crowd control and don’t trade damage as often, this Keystone is significantly more powerful than Aery. Arcane Comet can also be compared to Electrocute, but it doesn’t require multiple attacks or abilities to trigger. This makes it easier to apply despite having less damage, so we recommend it on Mages or AD carries who will trade one or two hits, but struggle for a third.
5-Second Rune Summary
In the Sorcery Path, the most obviously powerful runes are “Manaflow Band,” “The Ultimate Hat,” “Scorch,” and “Transcendence.” For the secondary path, we’ll use the Inspiration tree as an example since most Mages want the additional lane sustain and cooldown reduction.
The Ultimate Hat is a great rune for Ultimate-reliant champions. Every time you use your Ult, the cooldown reduction bonus increases – up to a cap of 15% with five uses! This is an incredible pick for champions with game changing abilities such as Orianna or Zilean. When maxed, this rune will make your ‘downtime’ between fights much shorter!
Another rune for extra cooldown reduction on both your abilities and ultimate. And note that the excessive CDR converts into adaptive AP or AD after you’ve hit the cap! Transcendence is very useful for champions that have cooldown-heavy builds, especially on poke- or shield-focused supports. This rune is so good that it creates new build paths for many champions in mid lane.
Scorch is all about lane dominance! It adds a little free damage to all your trades and potential all-ins. If you’re a caster and you rely on your abilities to harass (i.e., almost everyone who uses Sorcery), then it’s good for you.
This is by far one of the best runes in the Sorcery tree, and it’s expected to be tuned down soon. The Ultimate Hat is a powerful alternative for some mages, but Manaflow Band is too good to pass out on. It gives a crazy amount of sustain in the lane phase, which makes it easier to win trades and come out ahead. This rune also opens more pathways for builds, since you don’t need to invest as much in mana or regen.
Resolve Path Overview
Good for: Tanks and Bruisers, and anyone who wants increased survivability.
Best Keystones: Grasp, Aftershock
This is a name we all remember, since the old Grasp was one of the most used runes for top lane players. Now it’s been changed to be a bit more specialized for bruisers and bruiser / tanks. You would wanna pick this as your Keystone if you low sustain in top lane or for tanks that have poor inherent trading power in lane. If you play Poppy, Shen, Darius, Mundo, or similar champions… this is your way on the path!
Aftershock is a must-have for almost all tanks with CC in their kit – it’s the new version of Courage of the Colossus! After applying your crowd control on the enemy, your defences go up momentarily. Then you deal a burst of adaptive damage depending on your AP / AD. Overall, this is perfect for champions who want to jump into the fight and control the enemy!
5-Second Rune Summary
In the Resolve Path, the standout runes are “Font of Life,” “Iron Skin,” and “Second Wind.” The first and second branches should vary based on your lane matchup and champion, but the third branch is usually Second Wind for laners. A couple other niche options:
- Unflinching: Solid choice if you’re reliant on summoner spells to engage, such as Teleport flanks. Champions like Poppy could benefit heavily from this one.
- Demolish: This rune is for amazing if you want to maintain side lane pressure. For instance, this could help Trundle split push and keep pressure on the map.
This is a reworked Bond of Stone, with one big difference… The heal from Font of Life also applies to yourself, making it easier to go for solo plays. This rune is essential for tanky supports like Braum and Leona. All you have to do is slow the enemy and your whole team will get healed when attacking the marked champion. Especially if you have good AoE slows or your team includes a lot of ranged champions to benefit, then this should be your pick!
Here’s a very basic but useful rune. Iron Skin gives a flat +5 armor, but also increases your total armor whenever you restore 20 or more Health – whether from consumables or through shielding. This isn’t flashy, but it very much helps increase your overall tankiness and makes up for the lack of armor runes.
Second Wind restores both a flat and scaling amount of missing health over ten seconds whenever you take damage from an enemy champion. This is a strong early game pickup, especially for difficult lane matchups. The increased sustain means you’ll be able to remain in lane longer and get that critical experience. And one important note: Second Wind will refresh its duration if you’re attacked while already under its effects.
Be In Control!
That concludes Preseason 102, the second entry in our series! Next week we’ll cover the final remaining rune path, Inspiration, as well as give some champion tips. Make sure to read that one so you can climb the ladder and reach your full potential! Thanks for reading, and see you next week!