Chauster Analysis of the Patch 4.5 Rune Changes

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I will be discussing the state of runes following patch 4.5 and my opinions on their intended uses/impacts

Seals
Greater Seal of armor – Armor reduced to 1 from 1.41
Greater Seal of health – Health increased to 8 from 5.35

Armor seals were used almost universally in League of Legends. Every single position spammed armor Seals because there was no viable alternative. You could choose 13 armor or 45 HP. If you ever measured the EHP difference, it would be blatantly obvious that you always choose the armor over the HP. With the combined nerf of armor and buffing of HP, players can now make a choice to whether or not they need resist over flat HP. The way I see the current Seal situation is that a set of flat armor seals give a total of 9% survivability, whereas the set of HP seals generally gives over 10% survivability due to the bulk majority of champions starting with less than 720 HP (assuming ADC with Doran blade start at level 1). Without getting too specific, getting flat HP seals is generally better than the armor seals.

Greater Seal of scaling armor – Scaling Armor increased to 3 (at level 18) from 2.7
Greater Seal of scaling health – Scaling Health increased to 24 (at level 18) from 19.44

There were numerous buffs to the scaling runes for Seals. For the bottom lane/duo lane, none of the scaling changes make a difference. Bottom lane is all about control from level 1. Whoever has more stats at level 1 is going to abuse that advantage and immediately snowball the lane. If you are running scaling runes you will be denied CS and lose all lane presence. Although you will scale better naturally, the gold and pressure loss from losing lane should outbalance the minuscule gains. Outside of the duo lane, other lanes can easily benefit from the scaling changes. Stronger early junglers can easily swap out anywhere from half to their entire Seal set for scaling runes as long as they stay healthy while clearing. For mid laners who have at least two health potions or run flask, it becomes incredibly easy to run scaling health runes as you already equalize the flat HP Seals by level 6. Mid lane is a hard lane to play over aggressive in hopes of denying 1v1, so a passive player can easily get by.

Top lane is completely different from the other lanes. The matchups are far more diverse as some lanes are poke heavy or all-in heavy, but the kicker is that it is easy to avoid losing lane as long as you play carefully. This opens up the use of Seals to scaling armor and health runes because many matchups are not played to their potential until the level 3 or 4 marker. At this point, many players won’t be too terribly behind in stats and can utilize slightly inferior runes to scale for the late game.

Greater Seal of health regeneration – Health Regeneration increased to .56 from .43

Since HP seals are generally better than armor seals early game, it is best to compare HP regeneration to flat HP. A full set of regeneration seals will net someone 60 health per minute versus flat HP only netting a flat amount of 72 HP. If your matchup dictates that you win early and can control lane throughout, it is best to go with the flat HP to guarantee all-ins go in your favor. For losing matchups where you want to farm until you can overtake the lane, it is best to go HP regeneration and just avoid being forced into terrible all in attempts.

Glyphs

Greater Glyph of scaling CDR – Scaling CDR increased to 1.67% (at level 18) from 1.11%
Greater Glyph of scaling magic resist – Scaling MR increased to 3 (at level 18) from 2.7

I personally dislike runes with no combat ability early game. If you are unable to fight at level 1 or 2 because you have scaling runes, your lane will be run over and you might never regain control of the game if the enemy plays correctly. CDR is one of the more useless stats in that regard. Having 15% CDR at level 18 versus someone who ran 13 flat magic resist at level 1 spells out a bad time for the laning phase. The only time I would run scaling CDR glyphs is if the lane I was playing in was a free farm lane AND my champion scaled very well with CDR. Scaling magic resist on the other hand can work well for team members who are not constantly in battle against an AP opponent but will have to resist against it later in the game (against double AP as a jungler, duo laner, etc).

Greater Glyph of mana regeneration – Mana Regen increased to .33 from .31

Mana regen is a lot like CDR, it is a useless combat stat as it gives no advantage in an all in. The only reason mana regen has any perks is the potential to spam, which is negated by the fact that chalice and tear are both commonly bought items that are more than enough to sustain mana costs. The changes did nothing.

Quintessences

Greater Quintessences of CDR – CDR increased to 2.5% from 1.67%
Greater Quintessences of Scaling CDR – Scaling CDR increased to 5% (at level 18) from 2.5%

See above. “I personally dislike runes with no combat ability early game. If you are unable to fight at level 1 or 2 because you have scaling runes, your lane will be run over and you might never regain control of the game if the enemy plays correctly. ” If you are put into a free farm lane, feel free to scale to late game with scaling runes.

Greater Quintessence of attack speed – Attack Speed increased to 4.5% from 3.4%

The nerfs to life steal made it so that people can second guess their quint choices. Attack speed is a good choice for ADC because it allows them to do everything they do in lane more efficiently. Harassing, CSing, kiting-all of these actions are increased with increased attack speed. Since the attack speed will eventually scale with PD/shiv, it is a good idea to buy attack speed quints on non AD casters.

Greater Quintessence of Life Steal – Life Steal reduced to 1.5% from 2%

The nerf to life steal does not really change anything. The only thing this nerf outlines is how overused life steal runes were before the nerf as it now makes players second guess their quint choices. The biggest abusers of life steal quints were ADCs in the bottom lane, and this lane is almost always dictated by who has the better all-in potential. Sustain is a small part of the lane, and becomes moot once lifesteal is acquired from the first base back. People should have stopped relying on life steal quints the moment Doran Blade lost its 3% life steal stat. The whole point of life steal quints should be to avoid the necessary vampiric scepter in order to rush to Infinity Edge ASAP.

These are my opinions on the recent rune changes. Let me know how your opinions differ and what you think is best!

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by Steve Chau, on April 7, 2014