League of Legends rune guide for different roles and playstyles

Learn about runes for different playstyles, across jungle, top, mid, and the bot lane.

LoL runes
Image via Riot Games

In League of Legends, there’s a wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to your in-game runes.

There are five different paths, but players can sometimes feel pressured by the presence of runes. To truly use what a League of Legends champion has to offer, runes need to fit the role, the character being played, and the player’s playstyle.

Here’s what you need to know about runes for each position in League of Legends.

Top lane runes

Top lane is the most isolated position, but as such, it allows the player to be in control of the laning phase and is opened toward many different picks and playstyles. Players can choose to play a tank and slowly farm toward late-game sustainability or play aggressively with bruisers.

Runes for tanks

The safest picks for a top laner are true tanks such as Nasus and Garen. These champions require slow play with steady farming through the laning phase and focus on taking the damage for the team, protecting the carries and holding the frontline in teamfights.

To fit this playstyle, top lane tanks go the best with the Resolve path since it focuses on giving a champion higher sustain over time. With Resolve, your health, armor, and magic resist increase. And picking the Demolish rune will also help with easier pushing and tower control in the lane. As a secondary tree, Precision will add more to sustain and allow the tank to move on the frontlines more freely.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Runes for bruisers

If you’re looking for a more aggressive playstyle with champions such as Fiora or Pantheon, the rune situation changes. This sort of playstyle requires runes that will help you deal more damage and take control of the top lane through trades and kills.

This is exactly what the Precision path will offer with its Conqueror keystone rune. A bruiser is expected to be tanky too, though, so the rest of the path will help add to the sustain as long as you’re taking down enemies at the same time. Similarly, Resolve tree will give more sustain in trade-offs and will also make for easier tower destruction.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Another option for the secondary path in this playstyle is Domination. These runes give healing based on takedowns and damage dealt.

Runes for AP and AD damage dealers

If you’re confident about giving up the sustain and rushing through top purely with damage, make sure your runes are in line with that thinking. AP champions, like Ryze and Vladimir, or AD champs, like Vayne and Quinn, that are played in the top lane call for damage burst from the beginning, poke, and overall dominance over the opponent. What your team loses by not having a high-sustain top laner needs to be balanced with the damage dealt.

AP dealers will want to go for the Sorcery path to gain more poke damage and CDR, to which Inspiration will add more as a secondary path. Movement runes help with easier roam and more sufficient movement in lane trades. If the champion relies heavily on mana, picking Manaflow Band instead of Nimbus Cloak is a good idea.

Screengrab via Mobafire

The goal with AD damage dealers is practically the same. Irelia, Yasuo, or Vayne ask for the Precision path. Any of the offered keystones work with this playstyle since they focus on damage dealing. Fleet Footwork is a good general pick since it helps you stay alive in trade-offs. Most AD champions shine with attack speed and lifesteal, which is what Precision and Domination (secondary) paths are offering—and what your rune picks should be focused on.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Mid lane runes

Mid laners are carries, meaning they’re the ones who, alongside ADCs, need to take the enemies down. Mid lane is played dynamically with a lot of poke in the lane along with participation in fights for jungle objectives.

Runes for AP mid

From that perspective, runes need to be built for the highest burst potential, which is done with the Domination path. Together with Inspiration as the second pick, these runes give higher damage output and necessary resources for dealing with the poke damage coming from the enemy.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Runes for AD mid

The playstyle of AD champions in the mid lane doesn’t differ much from AP champs. As such, runes follow the same, dominant main path. But taking Precision as the secondary path generally fits this role more for easier takedowns. Champions like Talon and Zed can also profit more from the Ultimate Hunter rune so they can spam their ultimates more often.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Bot lane runes

Runes for ADCs

Just like with top laners, ADCs focus on damage output, attack speed, and lifesteal, so they also fit with the Precision path. Again, all keystones work just as good, so feel free to pick what you feel suits your champion the most, whether it’s Jinx, Kai’Sa, or Caitlyn. For an easier laning phase, it’s recommended to pick Inspiration second.

Screengrab via Mobafire

If you’re playing with a support that will provide you with heals, it’s not a bad idea to pick Overheal instead of Triumph for a little bit more sustain.

Runes for supports

Your bot lane duo will be grateful if you pick a tanky support to protect your carry and control the fights. Runes that fit champions like Nautilus, Blitzcrank, and Leona fall under the Resolve path that, besides sustain, strengthens supports’ engaging abilities. As a secondary path, Inspiration will provide assets for an easier laning phase.

Screengrab via Mobafire

If tankiness isn’t your forte and you’d rather go for more poke-oriented champions like Morgana or Janna, you should pick the Sorcery path. Sorcery allows you to get the most out of the poke with more damage and mana. Inspiration is a good secondary path to choose for almost any role, including this one. But if the picked champion heals and shields, Resolve is a good alternative. Additionally, if you’re looking to grab kills and play dominating support, feel free to pick Domination, too. It’s a versatile role.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Jungle runes

Taking on the role of jungler means you need to be able to quickly clear your camps and help the laners win or defend their lanes, whether you do it with the burst from damage outputers or sustain and crowd control from tankier champions.

Runes for jungle bruisers

Are Elise, Ekko, and Xin Zhao among your favorite jungle picks? Do you like being the jungler who can carry the team as a dominant force? If yes, then these runes are for you. A dominant force calls for the Domination path, which, paired with Sorcery, makes for fast movement in the jungle and high damage for ganks.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Runes for jungle tanks

If, however, you’d rather be a force that no one can kill and will make sure the backline stays safe, Resolve is the path to go. It’ll make under-tower ganks easier and the jungler a lot tankier. Tanky junglers like Zac go well with Inspiration as a secondary path, but Sorcery is a good choice for mobile champions like Dr. Mundo.

Screengrab via Mobafire

Remember that runes are here to be customized to suit you and your champion the best. There’s no such thing as a standard rune page. But these pages present a great starting point for further variations and will help you find your own version—or they’ll simply be what you need when you autofill for a role you’re not experienced at.