When flipping through your various rune builds in League of Legends, chances are you have one, or several, slotted with Fleet Footwork in the Precision rune path. Sure, it’s a popular rune. In fact, most marksmen run it regardless of the situation, and even some non-marksmen, but that doesn’t mean it belongs in the game.
We’re here to tell you why Fleet Footwork doesn’t make any sense.
When the new runes were introduced last fall during the season eight preseason, one of Riot’s major goals was to make sure they felt satisfying and impactful to pick. When locking in a rune, especially a big Keystone rune, it should feel important, and it should embody the theme of the rune path it belongs to.
This is where Fleet Footwork really starts to sound peculiar. Each rune path has an overarching theme, including the Precision path, which is where Fleet Footwork resides. Domination’s theme is burst damage and aggressive plays, Resolve is obviously preventing damage and tanking up, Sorcery bolsters poking and ranged harass, Inspiration rewards rule-breaking, and finally, Precision helps out with repeated and sustained damage, particularly from basic attacks.
So here’s the golden question: How does Fleet Footwork deal at all with sustained, repeated damage? It boosts a single basic attack, it heals the user, and it gives them a speed boost. In other words, it helps your survivability and boosts your dodging capabilities. The only way it can help you in an extended fight is if the fight lasts long enough to fill your charges more than once.
Even if you’re in a fight for that long, which we’ll admit does happen, it still doesn’t enhance your combat in any way. It doesn’t buff your basic attacks or attack speed, and it doesn’t reward you the longer you fight like the other Precision runes. If anything, it belongs in the Resolve rune path due to its health return and speed boost, but even then, it wouldn’t fit very well there, either.
Fleet Footwork is extremely similar to Warlord’s Bloodlust, a Keystone mastery from prior to last preseason. It seems, at least for the most part, like it was created only to fill the void left by Warlord’s rather than to create its own unique option that fits within Precision.
The rune also adds an extremely powerful defensive option for marksmen to run, giving them reliable damage mitigation and taking away from the danger of a high-risk-high-reward role. If it weren’t in the game, or if it were replaced by a better offensive option, marksmen could stand to gain power in other areas—like in the crit-strike department. Maybe then they’d be able to compete with the extremely-diverse bot lane meta that seems to include every type of champion now except marksmen.
Fleet Footwork’s current design also makes it incredibly difficult to balance. If it’s strong enough to make any sort of difference in your playstyle, it’s also strong enough to take over the entire marksmen meta. If it’s weak enough to not make a difference, it’s barely played at all.
There are a ton of possible fixes to try out, including removing the heal for a larger movement speed boost, or perhaps increasing the power of the speed boost the longer you stay in combat.
It can’t hurt to try something though, right? The crit-marksmen situation can’t get much worse, after all.