The 2017 preseason has finally arrived, and this time around, the big change to look out for is the complete rework of the runes and masteries system. Runes Reforged promises to leave everything up in the air, so we've put together a head start guide on the good, bad, and broken of each rune tree.
Don’t take Fleet Footwork until it gets buffed
In the precision tree, Fleet Footwork comes in to replace Warlord's Bloodlust and has the advantage of scaling with Ability Power as well as Attack Damage, making it viable for champions like Azir or Kayle. With that said, the numbers on it currently are extremely meager compared to the old keystone and you won't be healing a whole lot with it.
For an ADC, the heal capping out at 50 + 10% of your AD is significantly lower than when you got up to 40% of your attack damage as a heal, a value that could double when you crit.
In the early game, the heal is going to feel just as strong as Warlord's, but going into mid and late game, you'll find it to be lacking.
Phase Rush is easier to proc, but not as strong as Stormraider’s
In the sorcery tree, Phase Rush comes into replace Stormraider's Surge, but with a few key differences. Dealing a percentage of a target’s health is no longer needed, and instead, only 3 separate attacks or abilities are required. However, and similarly to Fleet Footwork, it doesn't scale as well as its Season 7 counterpart, capping at 40% movement speed.
Ultimate Hat isn’t as broken as it seems
A lot of players got excited for the Ultimate Hat minor rune, thinking about the possibility of getting their ultimate ability up to 55% or 60% CDR, but we have bad news: it's not THAT good. The cooldown reduction on this mastery stacks multiplicatively with your other sources of CDR, meaning you get diminishing returns. If you have 40% Cooldown Reduction, the rune will increase your ultimate’s cooldown to 49%, and if you have 45%, you'll reach 53%, which is the cap.
Get Kleptomancy on champions like Ezreal and Gangplank
Kleptomancy introduces a completely new concept in runes, giving you the possibility to loot random, small items after attacking enemy champions. Loot includes consumables such as potions, elixirs, and even extra gold bags.
The rune does require you to use an ability and then attack a champion. Luckily for Ezreal and Gangplank, though, their Q abilities count as both. You get huge value out of the rune and can get significantly ahead in your item build just by poking the enemy. Bankplank is back.
Domination is all about burst, and all three Keystones help you achieve this.
You can’t go wrong with Electrocute
Electrocute is the new and improved Thunderlord’s Decree, it does more damage now and has very high scaling, but has more restrictions with proccing it. You need to use 3 separate attacks, 3 distinct abilities, or a mix of both. Morgana’s pool won't cut it on its own.
In case you're unsure what to go for and you want damage, you likely can't go wrong with this mastery. If you’re an early game laner or jungler, look at this as your go-to option.
Predator is bringing back Hecarim
Predator is a new tool for junglers and roaming assassins, giving you a 15 second movement speed buff so you can zoom around the map and then pop opponents when you run into them. The burst isn't as high as Electrocute, but the movement speed is invaluable for roaming.
Remember Homeguard TP Hecarim engages? This keystone allows you to do it anywhere on the map, and the death pony is stronger than ever. He hits targets with his E and the Predator damage all at once, which amounts for a lot of burst.
Aside from Hecarim, we recommend trying it on other junglers that need the movement speed to get in, such as Rengar or heavy roaming mid laners that want to get to a side lane and surprise opponents, such as Lissandra, Talon, or Zed.
On these champions, picking between Electrocute and Predator comes down to playstyle and preference. If you want to dominate lane, Electrocute is best, but if you want to get your side lanes ahead Predator is the way to go.
Dark Harvest is deceptively strong, especially once scaling comes in
Finally there's Dark Harvest, and while this mastery may seem weaker than the other two at first glance, it definitely isn't the case. It starts off slow, but once you get to stacking those souls, you will hit like a truck. By 150 souls, the buff lasts for 300 seconds, giving you full power to set up a play and go for the all in.
We recommend it mainly for junglers who can stack the mastery freely as they clear camps. And on champions such as Ezreal, Rengar, Kha’Zix or Kayne, you can pair Dark Harvest with Duskblade and witness frequent one shots.
Domination is great for Junglers and Supports as a Secondary Path
In the minor runes, Zombie Ward will be an important vision tool, especially for junglers and supports. While Domination might not be suited as a Primary rune path, choosing it as a secondary path can be very effective.
In addition, with Ingenious Hunter you can get up to 40% Cooldown Reduction on active items after 5 takedowns. Add Ruby Sightstone and you can get the cooldown on your Face of the Mountain active down to 24 seconds and Locket of the Iron Solari down to 36 seconds.