Patch 7.24 just arrived, and with it came a much needed buff to Fleet Footwork. The keystone was rather underwhelming compared to its Season 7 counterpart, Warlord's Bloodlust, which prompted most AD Carries to default to Press the Attack for sustained damage or instead go Arcane Comet to supplement poke damage on champions such as Varus, Jhin, or even Ashe.
The addition of crit scaling now makes it more attractive for champions that build multiple critical strike items and have been dearly missing out on the lack of a strong healing keystone. Examples include Caitlyn, Tristana, Jinx and Corki, to name a few.
How big is the Fleet Footwork buff?
For the following graphics, we used Caitlyn, one of the main Warlord’s users in season 7 and a champion that has been struggling in the last two patches. We assumed she starts Doran’s Blade, buys a BF Sword at level 5, upgrades to Infinity Edge at level 11, finishes a Last Whisper upgrade at level 16 and a Bloodthirster at level 18.
The new Fleet Footwork outperforms the original version as early as level 3 and outright scales better. With non critical strikes procs, Caitlyn will be getting up to 120 health back from a keystone proc, a vast improvement over 7.23, where she would only get around 60-70 health from activating the keystone.
The crit scaling also allows a champion to heal for an extra 40% if it’s a critical strike, and 60% if the champion lands a critical strike with Infinity Edge in their inventory. Given that Caitlyn builds Infinity Edge as one of her core items, it’s likely heals will reach close to 200 health. Fleet Footwork will now be much stronger on Caitlyn, especially going into mid and late game.
Is Fleet Footwork a viable replacement to Warlord’s Bloodlust?
By now, we have established Fleet Footwork is much stronger on 7.24, but is it as good as the old Warlord’s?
Fleet Footwork seems to out perform Warlord’s until level 17, where they break even. But this is assuming only non crit heals.
Taking crit healing into account, Warlord’s Bloodlust's crit scaling gives the Keystone a lot of late game potency, something that Fleet Footwork’s 40% increase (or 60% with Infinity Edge) just can’t match.
It seems the idea with Fleet Footwork is for the Keystone to avoid giving too much sustain on its own, so that ADC’s will still have to build lifesteal to supplement it instead of being able to ignore lifesteal items, as they could in Season 7. In any case, the keystone is now in a much better spot and won’t feel like a big nerf before late game when compared to Warlord’s Bloodlust.
Special Note: AP Fleet Footwork users
One big difference between Warlord’s Bloodlust and Fleet Footwork is that the latter has an AP ratio, and it was just buffed from 20% to 40%, so we could certainly see some AP champions that rely on auto attacking pick up the rune. With that said, Teemo currently prefers Aery because his poison applies it twice, Kayle uses Press the Attack or Lethal Tempo for her on-hit builds, and Azir’s soldiers don’t proc Fleet Footwork.
Who does this leave? Twisted Fate.
The Card Master has been mainly using Arcane Comet as his go-to Keystone Rune, but Fleet Footwork might now be a good option to help him overcome his low mobility and sustain issues. Fleet Footwork applies on Pick a Card, allowing him to kite back or sideways after proccing it, as well as giving him extra sustain, which is important for a weaker laner.
Champions like Caitlyn, Corki, Jinx and Tristana can now seriously consider Fleet Footwork as a viable alternative to Press the Attack or Arcane Comet. As for Jhin, Fleet Footwork still feels weak on him. Going into late game, due to his unique AD stacking mechanic, Jhin can reach upwards of 600 AD, sometimes even reaching 700 AD. With the old Warlord’s Bloodlust, this meant getting over 600 hp heals, whereas now Jhin will be getting at most 350 hp from Fleet Footwork procs. His current build is focused on poking with lethality items, so Arcane Comet will likely continue to be the go-to option for him.
Disclosure: Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends, is an investor in Blitz Esports.