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Nov 19, 2017

What are the best rune setups for Season 8 and Preseason?

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Hi everyone! With the advent of Patch 7.22 masteries are gone and runes are upgraded to a whole new level. There's a good amount of diversity in what's viable and what's not, but let's go over the major keystones and setups to discuss what's best in the current meta!


Hi everyone! With the advent of Patch 7.22 masteries are gone and runes are upgraded to a whole new level. There's a good amount of diversity in what's viable and what's not, but let's go over the major keystones and setups to discuss what's best in the current meta!

Below, we've focused on the major archtypes. If you have questions on a specific champion or just want to theorycraft out some good changes, feel free to comment below!

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Burst Damage Assassins

Champion Examples: Katarina, Ekko

Primary Tree: Domination
  • Electrocute - This is the main keystone that assassins use. It's consistent and does not need to time to build up like Dark Harvest. That allows it to scale well into the late game. Dark Harvest is meant to be a ramped up cheese keystone, but late game your ranged marksmen will probably be taking all the farm.
  • Sudden Impact - This is the rune you want to take for any burst damage assassin (who has some sort of gap closer). Cheap shot is better for ranged burst casters with crowd control if they have no gap closers.
  • Eyeball Collection - This is the only damage rune on this level and obviously the one you want to take.
  • Relentless Hunter - This works extremely well for champions like Katarina and Zed, whereas someone with multiple gap closers like Akali may opt for Ravenous Hunter for the lifesteal instead.
Secondary Tree #1: Sorcery
  • Celerity - This scales well when you combine it with Relentless Hunter from the Domination tree, and gives you even more gap-closing ability.
  • Scorch - Nice bonus damage and an excellent single rune value.

Burst Damage Bruisers and Certain Assassins

Champion Examples: Riven, Zed, Akali, Kha'Zix, Kayn, Lee Sin

Primary Tree: Domination
  • Same tree as for burst assassins above, and same reasons.

Secondary Tree #2: Precision
  • Triumph and Coup De Grace - These allow for additional snowball power for the trade-off of reduced poke damage and movement speed.

All in all, there's definitely some flexibility in the rune setup for burst casters on the Relentless Hunter/Ravenous Hunter line and the secondary tree. However, as long as you grab those first three you're good to go.

Caster Masteries (Burst or Sustain)

Champion Examples: Ahri, Syndra, Ryze, Brand

Primary Tree: Sorcery
  • Summon Aery - If you have any sort of ranged ability to poke, Summon Aery is by far the strongest keystone in the game right now. It's likely getting nerfed on the PBE, and after that it'll probably be about even with Arcane Comet. However, until then it's extremely good.
  • The Ultimate Hat - Most casters have some sort of very value ultimate with relatively high cooldowns. If that's the case, pick up The Ultimate Hat. If not, Manaflow Band is also viable.
  • Absolute Focus/Scorch - These are just nice damage bonuses on top of what you already have.
Secondary Tree: Domination
  • Sudden Impact/Cheap Shot - Depending on if you have a dash or a CC, you'll want to pick up one of these for burst damage. If you have both, the dash one is slightly better since it doesn't rely on landing a crowd control spell first.
    • Alternatively, Eyeball Collection also works if you don't have a dash or reliable crowd control.
  • Ravenous Hunter - This one just happens to the best out of the three if you have long range casting ability but is nothing special.
This rune setup can also be used for supports that focus on damage like Brand (he'd go with Eyeball Collection or Cheap Shot).


Champion Examples: Lucian, Vayne, Caitlyn, Fiora, Kled

Primary Tree: Precision
  • Press the Attack: This is the keystone that almost every marksman will use if they have a large number of offensive spells at their disposal.
    • Lethal Tempo: Certain auto-attack "burst" champions like Twitch or Jinx (mostly Twitch) benefit incredibly well from this keystone.
  • Triumph: There's not much competition on this level, and Triumph just happens to be the only one worth taking.
  • Legend: Alacrity: Similar to Triumph, this is one is just an obvious pick. It happens to be quite good though.
  • Coup De Grace: Against a tank heavy line-up Cut Down might work, but otherwise this is the go-to for this level.
Secondary Tree: Domination
  • Taste of Blood: Straight-forward built-in lifesteal
  • Eyeball Collection: Allows for snowballing harder. If you're playing a heavy ability based marksman like Lucian, Ravenous Hunter can work as well.
Some people have experimented with the Inspiration and Resolve trees similar to the old masteries, but almost everyone is pretty settled into Domination as a secondary since it scales well with what marksman need the most.

Melee Tanks

Champion Examples: Shen, Maokai, Thresh

Primary Tree: Resolve
  • Grasp of the Undying: This keystone mastery works best in lane since it's consistent and helps you trade.
    • Offensive supports like Leona work best with Aftershock since she jumps into the fray.
    • Defensive supports like Braum work best with Guardian since he's likely going to be jumping to his marksman to help peel.
  • Unflinching: This mastery helps your laning presence greatly, but for late game some players opt for Font of Life as it does help during team fights a lot more.
  • Iron Skin: This rune and Conditioning are approximately the same power, but Iron Skin helps your lane phase while Conditioning is more for late game scaling.
  • Overgrowth: This rune is extremely good and should be gotten almost every time, especially if you scale off health.
Secondary Tree: Sorcery
  • Nullifying Orb: This one is the main reason why tanks opt to pick up Sorcery as a secondary tree. It provides a decent sized magic shield that allows you to duel more effectively against ranged caster bullies.
  • Scorch: This stacks well with Grasp of the Undying for some better bust trades.

Alternative Secondary Tree: Inspiration
  • Future's Market/Magical Footwear: If you're playing support you'll likely want one of these to supplement your gold income.
  • Celestial Body/Cosmic Insight: Which one of these two you take will likely depend on how aggressive you want to be early, but again it would only be for support players bruisers.
Overall, people are complaining tanks are in a poor spot right now. However, they're actually performing the best out of the top laners after the mastery changes and scale incredibly well.

Support Enchanters

Champion Examples: Janna, Lulu, Sona

Primary Tree: Sorcery
  • Summon Aery - This rune is just far too powerful right now and works well both offensively and defensively.
  • Manaflow Band: This rune works well for the majority of enchanters, but some may opt to pick up The Ultimate Hat if they happen to have particularly high cooldowns.
  • Transcendence: This rune is especially important on support champions, which tend to accidentally go over the CDR cap, especially late game.
  • Gathering Storm: This one isn't particularly important, and even Waterwalking can be a decent substitute.
Secondary Tree: Inspiration
  • Future's Market: Some players opt for Magical Footwear instead, but I think both are pretty decent runes for supports. Biscuit Delivery isn't all that important.
  • Cosmic Insight: I personally really like this one and don't really see any other reason to take the other two for most champions.
If Summon Aery gets nerfed both offensively and defensively we might see a shift over more towards the Inspiration Tree, but as it stands Sorcery is a much better primary choice for almost every caster.


This season has a ton of flexibility when it comes to picking runes, and there's no longer an "I don't have runes set up for that role" excuse when it comes to picking champions.

Meanwhile, there are certainly other rune setups unique to certain strategies I haven't covered above (Kleptomancy Ezreal comes to mind) and feel free to ask below if you think there's a major one I should really go over or if you just want to know what runes to use a specific champion!

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