The new rune system has been live in League of Legends for a whole week now. It’s opened the door for almost every champion and playstyle to feel viable, or at least a bit stronger, and it’s been heralded in as an overarching success.
Oddly enough, most of the runes, barring their extreme power on a few champions (looking at you, Sona), seem mostly balanced. This has been the biggest shock so far this preseason, as most players suspected a fair share of unbalance to accompany such a massive change.. Despite that balance, though, there are some clear favorites for runes depending on your build.
These five Keystone Runes are the strongest available in each rune path.
1) Resolve: Aftershock
Grasp of the Undying is vastly more popular, due to it being a cranked up version of the old Keystone Mastery, but Aftershock is the more powerful of the two. The reason being that it gives tanks something that they didn’t have before—damage. Even tanks like Zac who had previously been nerfed so hard that their ganks were much less potent can use Aftershock to deal a considerable amount of damage.
Laning tanks like Nautilus and Maokai can use it to trade huge bursts of damage with champions that they otherwise couldn’t contend with. Thanks to the Sorcery and Domination pages, assassins and high damage dealers are back in the meta, but with Aftershock, tanks can still feel very, very strong.
2) Domination: Predator
Electrocute may be the go-to rune for assassins, but that’s a bit of a trap. Electrocute actually doesn’t deal much more damage than the old Thunderlord’s mastery, and it only barely deals more damage in one burst than Predator. Predator has comparable damage, but its real winning quality is the speed boost. 15 seconds of such a massive movement speed buff lets mid laners roam from lane to lane, keeping up map pressure they otherwise couldn’t pull off, and giving junglers extremely potent ganks.
3) Sorcery: Summon Aery
Summon Aery is much more reliable damage when compared to its Arcane Comet counterpart, so mages that would otherwise run the comet have been opting into Aery builds instead. The fact that the rune’s only cooldown is the time it takes Aery to return to its wielder makes it available for almost every skirmish. That provides a lot of harass in lane, and that bonus damage adds up quick.
Mages aren’t the only ones running it, either. Aery is looking like a strong option for the likes of Jhin, Miss Fortune, and others as well.
4) Precision: Press the Attack
It’s harder to choose within the Precision path for the strongest rune, because it’s the most balanced. Each of the three keystones have a place on the right team comp, but Press the Attack is arguably the most reliable. It provides a burst of damage without having to wait for a delay, like Lethal Tempo—and the bonus damage it gives to the rest of your team cannot be undervalued, especially on teams with a lot of single-target priority damage.
5) Inspiration: Kleptomancy
Unlike the other four rune paths, Inspiration doesn’t seem anywhere near balanced at the moment. Unsealed Spellbook seems like it only works in very niche situations, and in all other normal situations, doesn’t get much use. The same can be said for Glacial Augment, where it can be used with item actives, giving some champions more team fight pressure than they’d normally have, but when items are on cooldown, or before you buy one with an active ability, it’s a wasted slot.
Kleptomancy, at least, provides usefulness throughout the entire game, especially for champions that can make the most use of it, like Gangplank and Ezreal. It still isn’t quite worth taking over other rune paths, but if your heart is set on the Inspiration path, Kleptomancy is the best bet.