As is usually the case with preseason updates and major patches for League of Legends, there have been several changes to Runes. There’s nothing too game-changing this time around, but there is one entirely new Rune and several changes to pre-existing ones.
In this article, we’ll talk about the new Rune and the recent changes. We’ll also cover which Champions (and Champion types) will benefit from each. Let’s get started!
First Strike Rune
First Strike is the only new Rune this preseason, and it takes the place of Prototype: Omnistone in the Inspiration tree. The inspiration tree has been very hit or miss ever since Kleptomancy’s removal, and First Strike helps fix that.
First Strike benefits Champions that manage to…well, strike first. When a player lands an ability or attack on an enemy before they get hit, they receive 5 gold and the First Strike buff for 3s. The First Strike buff grants 10% bonus damage against Champions, and gives 100% (70% if ranged) of the bonus damage back as gold. However, if an enemy strikes the user first, First Strike is placed on cooldown and can’t be activated for 25–15 seconds, depending on level.
This Rune has already found a place in the meta with Champions like Ezreal and Viktor, since many of these long-range Champions have been desperate for a rune to call their own. Many of the same Champions that once benefited from Kleptomancy will benefit from First Strike as well. The bonus gold is nice, the bonus damage is the main appeal here. Champions that can stay at a safe distance while also doing large amounts of damage are perfect for First Strike.
Major Rune Changes
In addition to First Strike, several other Runes have seen changes this preseason. In total, four Runes changed across patches 11.23 and 11.24. Here’s a rundown of each.
In the 11.23 patch, Glacial Augment received a pretty big change. The Freeze Ray passive got removed, and its main passive changed. The old passive was simply “basic attacks on hit periodically slow enemy Champions”, but now there’s a lot more to it. It now requires the user to immobilize the target before doing anything. Glacial rays spawn after an enemy is immobilized and create frozen lines that slow enemies.
Glacial Augment got a small nerf in the 11.24 patch, which Riot says they hope will only affect its usage on tanks. This nerf only affects the slow amount, decreasing it from 35% to 30%, but the adaptive percentages have increased. The new adaptive percentages are +3% per 100 AP, +4% per 100 bonus AD, and +7% per 10% heal and shield power. By lowering the base slow amount and increasing these adaptive ones that rely on AP, AD, and heal/shield power, tanks will likely be looking for a new Rune to use. Glacial Augment might now be even better on non-tanks, though, so we’ll have to watch out for that.
In an effort to make Lethal Tempo more appealing, Riot made some changes to it in 11.23, then tweaked these changes in 11.24. The 11.23 changes granted attack speed (15% for melee, 5% for ranged) for 6s after hitting an enemy with an auto attack. This stacks up to six times, and when capped grants attack range (50 for melee, 100 for ranged) and raises the attack speed cap to 10.
As of 11.24, Lethal Tempo received a nerf for melee Champions and became slightly better for ranged Champions. For melee Champions, the attack speed per stack has decreased to 13% (up to 78%). For ranged Champions, it has increased to 7% (up to 42%).
Minor Rune Changes
Conqueror only received a minor change in the 11.24 patch. Its adaptive force per stack changed from 2–4 (based on level) to 2–4.5 (based on level), and its duration increased from 4 to 5 seconds. This buff has made Conqueror a much more reliable pick on pretty much every Champion that wants to take it.
Predator received a nerf during 11.24, making it more of a niche pick again instead of a meta one. The maximum move speed it grants decreased from 60% to 45%. Its ramp-up time increased from 1 to 1.5 seconds.
Join the High Ground
It wouldn’t be a League preseason without a bunch of rune changes, some of which are overly complicated. That being said, be sure to experiment with the new changes and see what you like and don’t like.