Welcome, summoners! Runes are an extremely significant factor in victory on the fields of justice. Because of this, I thought I might try my hand at educating fellow players on the subject. To simplify this guide, I will be writing exclusively about Tier 3 runes. Tier 1 and Tier 2 runes are unfit for truly competitive gameplay; I would recomend against purchasing them.

Why Make your Own Guide?

While this wiki has its own page about runes, it doesn't go to lengths to explain the relationships between runes themselves and live gameplay, nor does it attempt to recommend runes or propose a plan for deciding what runes you should actually be fitting into your rune pages.

I will, in fact, be borrowing a great deal of information from the existing rune and list of runes pages here on the wikia, if only to make it easier and faster for me to complete this guide.

Rune Basics

The common knowledge of runes.

Primary and Secondary Rune Status

Each of the rune groups is particularly suited to providing the most effect for only a few types of bonuses. If it's not primary, providing the most bonus of any type of rune, it's secondary.

  • Marks are best suited for penetration (all types), attack damage, attack speed, critical strike, and critical damage bonuses. They represent the offense quadrant of the rune page, and primarily serve physical damage purposes.
  • Seals are best suited for regeneration (all types), armor, and health bonuses. They represent the defense quadrant of the rune page. Seals offer strengths in relatively few categories when you eliminate per level and garbage* (*opinion) runes, so they only truly primarily (triple adverb combo) serve for armor and health bonuses.
  • Glyphs are best suited for ability power, magic resist, cooldown reduction, and mana bonuses. They represent the magical quadrant of the rune page, and primarily serve spell-oriented purposes.
  • Quintessences offer bonuses in all possible categories. They are best* suited to augment a primary choice in one of the other quadrants. The most* remarkable quintessences are the quintessences of movement speed, offering a bonus that no other runes provide, and which make a significant difference in gameplay if used correctly.

Life steal, spell vamp, experience %, and reduced revival time can also only be found on quintessences. Gold per 10 runes can be found on quintessences and seals. These runes in isolation, by themselves, lacking synergy with other rune slots (repetition for emphasis), tend to, more often than not, be a weak, if not invisible, bonus to your champion. Experience % runes lose effect entirely at level 18, and provide an arguably irrelevant bonus anyway - a complete waste*. Reduced revival time only helps you when you die, and your quintessences could have helped you not die in the first place. Worse yet, if you never die, you never get any bonus from using them. Lifesteal and spell vamp are weak (lifesteal quints were nerfed, and spell vamp requires you to keep casting spells), while gold per 10 loses all effect once you have a full build (nothing left to spend money on). Of this misfit lot, gold per 10 is probably the best*.

"Tertiary" Rune Status

While the runebook does not recognize a full heirarchy of bonuses, it's important to realize which secondary runes are better or worse than others. The worse secondary rune can be thought of as a "tertiary" rune, since it provides a lesser bonus. This is particularly useful when trying to optimize a rune page.

Limit Your Types of Bonuses

The four separate areas of the rune page each have their own specialty. Your limit for types of bonuses should be, accordingly, four. If your rune page exceeds four types of bonuses, it is apparent that you are spreading your bonuses too thin. Even though you might be getting the most out of any particular rune slot, if the combined total effect (read: synergy) of your rune page is literally "a whole lot of nothing", where your bonuses are too spread out to provide a meaningful impact on your gameplay, then you are wasting your time. While I recommend this rule for 99% of cases, your rune page goals and specific champion synergies may definitely allow for it to be broken. You should be able to answer the question, "What does it do?" quickly and briefly. If you cannot tell someone else what your rune page is supposed to do, without much thought, and without going into harsh detail, you may want to reconsider your rune page.

Advanced Rune Concepts

It's nice if you know that the shiny yellow bricks make it harder for GangplankSquare Captain Shooty Face to kill you, but that doesn't matter if you're up against VeigarSquare The Shortest Incarnation of Evil Imaginable, LeBlancSquare That One Woman That Cheats By Calling Her Twin Sister for Help, or even GangplankSquare Captain Shooty Face himself (because of Grog-Soaked Blade Grog-Soaked Blade and Cannon Barrage Cannon Barrage). It also doesn't help if you have power coming to you with per level runes, but you're dueling and going all-in like you have your opponent's (likely flat) runes, at level 3.

This section will bring to light some of the ambient background knowledge, things you would know if you cared to pay any attention to them.

Let's get started.

  • Attack speed doesn't help you if you can't get your target to let you hit them. Also, if they're letting you hit them in a fight, a.) they think they can kill you, b.) they think you're going to die before them (someone else will kill you, and if you can't see them, then you might want to run away, or c.) they are underestimating your power. For these reasons, despite the power of attack speed runes, they're really not as powerful against enemy champions as you might think they are. The DPS bonus is easily felt by UdyrSquare junglers, against monsters, of course.
  • Healing abilities do not benefit from magic penetration. When creating a rune page for GalioSquare champions NamiSquare with SorakaSquare healing VladimirSquare abilities, you may decide to choose magic penetration as a way to deal more reliable damage with champions whose ability power scalings are below par for whatever reason. However, that takes a healing or shielding ability completely out of consideration. You may want to consider this heavily when looking to rune-up your champions for battle. Perhaps the versatility of ability power outweighs the potential benefit of runing for a scarce stat like magic penetration.
  • Getting the last hit on minions is a significant part of your gold income (in a lane), especially early game. I'm looking at you, SwainSquare Swain. If your champion absolutely sucks at something as simple as last-hitting, especially when you're pushed and forced to compete with your turret for gold, maybe you don't want that full ability power rune page. Maybe you want some attack damage on your caster because of this. Before you go, "Why would I build attack damage on my magic damage mage?" ask yourself whether or not you're okay with the enemy laner having 500 more gold than you, even if you don't die - even if you kill him a few times (NasusSquare *cough* *cough*). That negligible little number on the far right of the scoreboard could mean the difference between winning and losing (*cough* NasusSquare Nasus *cough*). While we're talking about the scoreboard, don't forget about Dominus the Death Lotus number Chum the Waters on Static Field the Final Spark far Phoenix Stance other right, too.
  • Understand the random number generator before you start messing with it. This applies to critical strike chance. Until you reach 100% critical strike chance, you are rolling attacks at only a chance to critically strike. The reliability afforded by critical strike chance runes, is, then, a non-factor. You should avoid praying to the RNG God if you can help it, because reliability, the very opposite, is what shaped the meta. Also, make sure you have something to crit with first...As a damage modifier, critical strike chance only helps you when you have Parrrley damage to Steel Tempest modify. If that damage is irregular or tied to an ability, you may want to consider how long it will take you to properly utilize the runes you think you want to bring into the match.
  • Those champions with the red health bars (purple in colorblind mode) want to kill you. So, you might want to have a plan of attack (pun intended) for keeping them from being successful. If your champion is AniviaSquare particularly ZileanSquare prone to EzrealSquare dying LuxSquare early, you may want to bolster your defense from the start. Doran's items are good at providing a death buffer for the first few minutes, but they probably won't save you all by themselves. Decide if you or your champion could use a little extra security, letting someone else get flamed for giving up first blood, at the cost of true power: damage, the ability to make your opponents give up first blood.
  • How long will your "advantage" last? Depending on your champion and your build and your opponents' champions and their builds, how long are your runes really going to shine? Do they even need to shine that long? Do they only shine for Sword of the Divine item three seconds or three critical strikes every once in a while? Your runes can change the game you're playing, or they can fade into the background. Your runes can be the reason you won, or they can be the reason you lost. Your runes are literally the big half of what makes you different from any other player in that particular match (or this particular region/game, if you ignore the statistics which easily make you one of hundreds of people doing things in a certain way, if not more), alongside masteries and Flash summoner Ignite spells (really, the other 10 just don't see the same amount of play). Most importantly, however...how much do they shine, anyway? Does it even matter? I think I struggle sometimes when it comes to flat vs. per level, when I'm only really getting a tiny bonus compared to my enemy with flat, and only after a long period of already being in the game.
  • Generally, the more you're going to buy on items, the less your runes matter. Make your runes important. Don't waive this precaution unless you have a good reason to continue to build a stat far and well beyond the point where it wouldn't matter if you had critical damage runes on your AP caster. (How much is 36 AP if Veigar has 1000?)

So...What Does It Do? It Does THIS!

Sometimes the best rune pages are the ones with the least types of bonuses. It may seem particularly uninspired to look at a rune page that does only one thing, but can you argue that it doesn't do that one thing very well? Probably not. Some may even say that a rune page with only one type of bonus is stupid*, because you lose out on the primary power of the secondary quadrants. This is part of the fun and strategy of runes. You will find things that work well, and things that don't. Blindly following someone else's strategy (cough cough Worlds cough cough LCS cough), without having an intimiate knowledge of that setup (which probably revolves around a certain playstyle and only works particularly well with certain champions, etc.), is just asking for failure.

When you want results, go with something you're familiar with. Not familiar with it? Then go play Normal Draft! (pretty please?)

Let's take a step back from hardcore planning, and pro strats, and tryharding, to dumb things down and enjoy the simplicity of maintaining a single goal for our rune page:

Legacy Name Limitations Statistic Bonus Gold Value Scarcity
Malice MSGQ +20% Critical Strike Chance 1000G 8 Items
Strength MSGQ +22 Attack Damage 800G 23 Items
Might MSGQ +52 Attack Damage @18 1850G 23 Items
Force MSGQ +85 Ability Power @18 1800G 25 Items
Furor MSGQ +45% Critical Damage N/A 1 Item
Potency MSGQ +36 Ability Power 750G 25 Items
Knowledge MSGQ +833 Mana @18 1650G 7 Items
Intellect MSGQ +329 Mana 650G 7 Items
Alacrity MSGQ +41% Attack Speed 1200G 13 Items
Focus MSGQ +20% Cooldown Reduction N/A 26 Items
Celerity GQ +30% Cooldown Reduction @18 N/A 26 Items
Resilience MSGQ +36 Armor 700G 10 Items
Shielding MSGQ +74 Magic Resist @18 1450G 11 Items
Defense SQ +47 Armor @18 900G 10 Items
Insight MGQ +20 Magic Penetration N/A 3 Items
Desolation MQ +19 Armor Penetration N/A 3 Items
Vitality MSGQ +537 Health @18 1400G 19 Items
Fortitude MSGQ +205 Health 500G 19 Items
Clarity SGQ +34 Mana Regen per 5 @18 2000G 9 Items
Replenishment MSGQ +12.75 Mana Regen per 5 750G 9 Items
Vigor SGQ +15.5 Health Regen per 5 550G 8 Items
Regeneration SQ +33 Health Regen per 5 @18 1150G 8 Items
Endurance SQ +9% Max Health 14G ~ 2550G 8 Items
Destruction MQ +13 Armor Penetration & + 9.5 Magic Penetration N/A 6 Items
Warding MSGQ +38 Magic Resist 750G 11 Items
Acumen GQ +36 Energy N/A 0 Items
Meditation SQ +10 Energy Regen per 5 N/A 0 Items
Lucidity S +10 Energy Regen per 5 @18 N/A 0 Items
Sapience G +26 Energy @ 18 N/A 0 Items

Any rune page built like this may not offer maximum efficiency for each rune slot, but it will do at least one thing well. That's all you can really ask of any rune page. You can emphasize a strength, or attempt to cover a weakness. Perhaps seeing this table is influence enough to try it out, or perhaps you would prefer to just make your champion a little better than itself all around.

The Biggest Bang for Your Buck

DISCLAIMER: Preseason changes have affected the values per point of mana regeneration in yet-undocumented ways. The following was written before the changes, and cannot be held to the present conditions of the live game.

In case you were curious, the following runes provide the highest possible gold value of a rune page, within reason (because %health runes and absurd health stacking is NOT within reason):

  • GMarks (3) 9x Greater Mark of Scaling Attack Damage,
  • GSeals (2) 9x Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration,
  • GGlyphs (4) 9x Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power,
  • Quintessences (4) 3x Greater Quintessence of Scaling Mana Regeneration

...for a grand total of 22 Attack Damage, 28 Ability Power, and 24 Mana Regen per 5, at level 18, valued at a total of 2841G. Mind you, I think gold efficiency is more an art than a science, and I hope you have something to do with all of that mana regeneration. The problem with the true value of mana regeneration is that it doesn't matter until you're out of mana. Mana regen kicks in the moment you have space in your mana pool to fill, but it doesn't really help you until you're out - at which point all of your spells' cooldowns are now directly tied to how fast you can regenerate the cost. That said, this doesn't look like a completely awful JaxSquare Jax or EzrealSquare Ezreal rune page, maybe JayceSquare Jayce, PantheonSquare Pantheon, or KayleSquare Kayle could work with it; using these with GangplankSquare Gangplank or Jarvan IVSquare Jarvan IV would be a huge stretch, and MalphiteSquare Malphite, SwainSquare Swain, UdyrSquare Udyr, Twisted FateSquare Twisted Fate, and Xin ZhaoSquare Xin Zhao would probably rather find a different way to fix their mana, or just deal with having to manage it tightly.

Oh, and because these are scaling runes, they could never be taken to the jungle...except by ShacoSquare Shaco, because he's awesome. (ShacoSquare Shaco's Jack in the Box Jack in the Box allows ShacoSquare Shaco to jungle (and I didn't say very well) with literally any runes.)

The biggest bang for your buck gets a bit different when you're looking at the start of the game:

  • GMarks (2) 9x Greater Mark of Attack Speed,
  • GSeals (3) 9x Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration,
  • GGlyphs (3) 9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist,
  • Quintessences (3) 3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed

...for a grand total of 28.5% Attack Speed, 12.06 Magic Resist, and 3.69 Mana Regeneration per 5, valued at a total of 1317.6G. Attack speed is pretty powerful, even when dealing with the secondary runes. Since the buff to the attack speed quintessences, they provide the most gold value of any flat stat quintessence. This was just fine for me, since I was already using attack speed runes as a general jungle solution. Again we see the probably-overvalued mana regeneration runes, but this time just in the seals. Magic resist glyphs are only a tiny bit more valuable than flat ability power glyphs, but are commonly used to fend off early magic spell harass, and so see play much more often than the ability power alternative to the blue magical rocks. That, and maybe people are using a bland, lifeless rune page because they're afraid of harassment by teammates or they doubt their ability to handle damage when it finds them.

As for who could make the most out of this rune page...either KayleSquare Kayle or a really aggressive SwainSquare Swain early game...and it would probably be a bad idea in both cases.

Runes on a Budget

I don't think it's an IP-restriction that keeps probably well over half* of runes unused, but if you happen to be new to this "rune" thing, or actually don't have a lot to throw around because you buy champions with IP often, then you're probably going to want only a few runes that work well most of the time, and regardless of who they are being used on.

  • GMarks (2) 15% Attack speed
  • GMarks (1) 8.5 Attack damage
  • GMarks (1) 8.2 Armor
  • GMarks (1) 12 Armor Penetration
  • GMarks (1) 7.8 Magic Penetration (yes, the diversity for rune icons is truly staggering)
  • GSeals (1) 9 Armor (still very popular despite the nerf)
  • GSeals (3) 72 Health (personal recommedation, remember that Ignite Ignite is a thing}})
  • GSeals (2) 12 Health per level [216 @18] (recently buffed, it's a good extra layer (216 health is more than 10% of most champions' level 18 health) if you don't need early help, also Ignite Ignite)
  • GSeals (3) 6.7 Magic resist
  • GGlyphs (3) 12.06 Magic resist
  • GGlyphs (3) 10.71 Ability power
  • GGlyphs (2) .833% Cooldown reduction per level [15% @18] (cooldowns only really matter as the game goes on, and you get a lot of it from these if you want items that don't give CDR)
  • GGlyphs (1) 6.3 Armor
  • GGlyphs (1) 101.25 Mana (an extra cast or two early game, maybe the one that matters)
  • Quintessences (3) 78 Health (pretty standard, general use, high impact early game rune)
  • Quintessences (1) 6.75 Attack damage
  • Quintessences (3) 14.85 Ability power
  • Quintessences (3) or GreaterQuintessenceofSugarRush 4.5% Movement speed (because it only matters who's faster, not how fast you are)
  • Quintessences (1) 13.78 Armor
  • Quintessences (3) 12 Magic resist
  • Quintessences (3) 13.5% Attack speed

You'll notice that most of those are flat runes. That's because a general setup is going to see a bunch of different champions and situations, and you can't go wrong with power right from the start.

If you're on a super tight budget, I would recommend the following rune page for literally everyone ever:

Super general rune page
  • GMarks (2) Attack speed marks (more responsive last hitting, and weaving basic attacks into skirmishes and poking is super important)
  • GSeals (3) Health seals (personal favorite over the common armor seals; I've seen some people going 4/5 and mixing it up between them)
  • GGlyphs (3) Magic resist glyphs (they're valuable and serve a worthwhile purpose for the slot)
  • Quintessences (3) Health quintessences (because more health)
  • Quintessences (3) or GreaterQuintessenceofSugarRush Movement speed quintessences (if you don't think health is all that great)

I suppose these guidelines for a budget also include those of us not blessed with 20 rune pages. I'm not saying you need 20 rune pages to play competitively, but it helps a lot..especially in solo queue, when you have no idea what your teammates will let you have. In a party queue of 5, you could even have 20 rune pages set up for just your role - top lane, jungle, etc. - to meet the needs of the champion you picked to counter the enemy. With solo queue, though, it's really all just up in the air, and you'll find yourself scrambling to have a "kinda alright" rune setup for every role. It's not ideal, but this is solo queue we're talking about.

Legacy Rune Names

If you wanna be cool, you gotta know what the names were before they were simplified. You gotta.

Legacy Name Statistic Bonus
Malice Critical Strike Chance
Strength Attack Damage
Might Attack Damage Per Level
Force Ability Power Per Level
Potency Ability Power
Fortitude Health
Vitality Health Per Level
Desolation Armor Penetration
Destruction Armor Penetration and Magic Penetration
Warding Magic Resist
Shielding Magic Resist Per Level
Alacrity Attack Speed
Furor Critical Damage
Clarity Mana Regen Per 5 Per Level
Knowledge Mana
Intellect Mana Per Level
Endurance Max Health
Vampirism Lifesteal
Transmutation Spell vamp
Mana Regen Replenishment
Insight Magic Penetration
Sapience Energy Per Level
Lucidity Energy Regen Per Level
Meditation Energy Regen
Swiftness Movement Speed
Avarice Gold Per 10
Regeneration Health Regen Per Level
Vigor Health Regeneration
Resilience Armor
Defense Armor Per Level
Focus Cooldown Reduction
Celerity Cooldown Reduction Per Level
Acumen Energy
Revival Reduced Time Dead
Wisdom Experience
Evasion Dodge (removed)
Haste Attack Speed Per Level (removed)
Precision Armor Penetration Per Level (removed)
Brilliance Magic Penetration Per Level (removed)
Brutality Critical Strike Chance Per Level (removed)
Carnage Critical Damage Per Level (removed)

You may have noticed that Furor and Alacrity have been recycled since the rune name change as Furor item Furor and Alacrity item Alacrity. The Ionian Boots of Lucidity item Ionian Boots of Lucidity existed at the same time as the glyphs for energy regen per level, and the summoner spell Clarity Clarity existed at the same time as the runes for mana regen per level.

Champion-Related Tips

So you figured out what you have to work with, and now you want to start being a bit more hardcore about this one special champion that you like. I've developed some strategies and have done some theorycrafting for strategies with different champions, so perhaps I can share that wisdom and curiosity with you. This entire guide is about sharing my alleged wisdom, but this gets quite a bit more specific.

SwainSquare Swain

This guy is pretty much a hard-counter to anyone that has to fight inside his range (I've had particularly good results against ZedSquare Zed and Twisted FateSquare Twisted Fate in the mid lane). Swain finds a target and throws everything at them, usually tearing them to pieces even if he dies thanks to damage over time. His ability power ratios are pretty mediocre, but SwainSquare Swain's Ravenous Flock Ravenous Flock is what makes the world of difference when choosing between ability power and magic penetration on your runes for damage. The base damage is significant for a continuous effect, but the AP ratio is terrible. It also happens to heal based off of damage. For these reasons, magic penetration is super potent on Swain. I would recommend the full 20 MPen on runes, and health seals to survive enemy chunking. Taking 21/9/0 gives you extra chunk power, and taking the AD masteries Brute Force mastery 2014.png Brute Force and Martial Mastery along with Butcher mastery 2014.png Butcher and Feast mastery 2014.png Feast gives you a great deal of last-hit power compared to base SwainSquare Swain. A Doran's Blade item Doran's Blade offers some sustain and additional last-hit power compared to Doran's Ring item Doran's Ring, which doesn't do any good if you can't last hit and end up using your abilities to try to do so (which costs more mana than the ring is ever going to regenerate!).

Seven attack damage, of course, doesn't make your abilities hit any harder, and other players may harass you for getting AD on Swain. These are just preventative measures against "going oom and being unable to do much of anything", which is guaranteed if Doran's Ring item Doran's Ring doesn't net you a kill, force the enemy to recall, or have them doubting their ability to safely trade with you.

YasuoSquare Yasuo

If you're taking the standard Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv & Infinity Edge item Infinity Edge route, you can take three seals and four marks for critical strike chance, totaling 4.98% crit chance. Altogether, this puts you at 99.96% crit chance, with a .04% chance to not crit. It's simply the rune setup with the least impact, leaving the rest of the rune page for something else of your choosing. If you choose to use the rest of the page for critical damage, taking the critical chance in marks instead of quintessences saves you about 1640 IP over using two crit chance quints (which would force you to use the more expensive, 820 IP critical damage marks). In either case, that leaves enough room for +34% critical damage, or about 1/3 extra AD on critical strikes (not for Way of the Wanderer Yasuo, but before his reduction is calculated). A full critical strike page (20%) offers some issues for players looking to max critical strike chance, leaving you at 90% with IE (the same as IE and Shiv, coincidentally), or pushing you overboard with anything better. This does offer remarkably greater build diversity, however, as Yasuo's particular brand of carry power may not be well met by all. Any rune build involving heavy scale modifiers like these will leave you remarkably weak and frail early game, but will pay off with a more powerful late game. You could also just run a full critdmg page, but I think the difference between 34% and 45% critical damage is outweighed by the difference between 90% and 99.96% critical strike chance. Don't quote me on that.

Any attempts to build a stronger early game will result in a relatively weaker late game. As Yasuo innately starts as one of the league's weakest champions, if not the weakest himself, this may be a tough choice to make. If it weren't for Way of the Wanderer Resolve's shield, Yasuo would have no early game at all. Think about it, and make the most of it to avoid feeding or losing farm early game.

PantheonSquare Pantheon

PantheonSquare Pantheon has remarkably high bonus attack damage scaling, especially with Heartseeker Strike Heartseeker Strike which deals (base damage * 6 + 360% Bonus AD) to champions. For these reasons, I would recommend against armor penetration runes. Any champion with high scaling abilities should be avoiding penetration stats from runes, which should only be reserved for champions with high base damages and relatively low scaling. Flat armor penetration loses effect against targets with high armor when compared to attack damage, and you shouldn't necessarily be planning for your targets (especially your lane opponent) to try to get by without much armor. Pantheon is one of few champions whose damage scaling creates this scenario. For comparison, Infinite Duress Infinite Duress and Dragon's Rage Dragon's Rage have only a (+200% Bonus AD) ratio, and they are ultimate abilities.

Generally, the more you're going to buy on items, the less your runes matter. If your six item build is five items with AD and boots, you're probably going to see greater returns from flat armor penetration...after a few items...and only a marginally better return. So if you're some kind of fighter assassin, with a Randuin's Omen item defensive item or Spirit Visage item two, you're still probably going to want more damage.

Most melee champions see an enormous power and sustain boost with Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra, and PantheonSquare Pantheon is no exception. Gogo gadget split-push!

RenektonSquare Renekton

I'm going to try to prevent my bias from affecting what I have to say about RenektonSquare Renekton. For your information, I have played more matches with this champion than any other. Now that I've said that, Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra is an insta-buy. Before any other item in the game, Renekton sees a greater payout from this item than anything else, and possibly more than any other champion. You should probably already be aware of his special interaction with the item's (and Tiamat item Tiamat's) active ability, but if you aren't, allow me to explain. Ruthless Predator Ruthless Predator's animation prevents RenektonSquare Renekton from taking other actions. The stun on the target, being only .75 seconds (or 1.5 seconds while empowered), is not that much longer than the amount of time it takes to regain control of your champion. This has been referred to as a "self-stun" or, more appropriately, "self-suppress" by players with a mind to speak out against this kind of problem. Ravenous Hydra item Crescent, the active ability of Tiamat item Tiamat and Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra, interrupts the animation of Ruthless Predator Ruthless Predator, but not the damage or stun on the target, giving you more time to use against your opponent. This results in safer trades and nasty powerful combos that the other guy can't just Mercury's Treads item walk away from.

Ruthless Predator Ruthless Predator also strikes two or three times, dealing base (+150% Total AD) or (+225% Total AD) damage to the primary target, and (120% or 180% Total AD, down to 40% or 60% at the edge) damage to everything in a small radius around the target when equipped with Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra, returning health based on lifesteal from all damage dealt and adding to his AoE damage on top of Cull the Meek Cull the Meek and Slice Slice and Dice (and Dominus Dominus, if you activated that before going in for a combo). Add (100% Total AD, down to 60% at the edge) damage for using Ravenous Hydra item Crescent. That's a lot of AoE damage, and a lot of sustain.

Alone, Ravenous Hydra item Crescent heals for 12% of damage dealt. Cull the Meek Cull the Meek only heals for 5% (10% while empowered) of the damage dealt. Using Ravenous Hydra item Crescent immediately before Cull the Meek Cull the Meek, instead of the other way around, ensures a greater health return, most of the time, when there are no champions around. It would only be possible to gain less health if Ravenous Hydra item Cleave's activation killed enough minions to prevent you from gaining much health from Cull the Meek Cull the Meek. In any case, you're trying to maximize "overkill damage", the amount of damage you deal that exceeds the amount of damage necessary to kill any given target. You can't hit something after it's dead, so having more overkill damage means you've stolen as much life (or, in this case, overlife/unlife) as you can. Most of the time, Ravenous Hydra item Crescent deals less damage than Cull the Meek Cull the Meek, leaving more things just barely alive to be dealt greater overkill damage.

The area damage and sustain synergizes with RenektonSquare Renekton very well. Soooooo...since this isn't a guide for RenektonSquare Renekton, but a guide about runes, why all the hassle about this guy's abilities?

If you take the information I've doled out here into account, you should start the game with Rejuvenation Bead item Rejuvenation BeadRejuvenation Bead item Rejuvenation BeadHealth Potion item 3, picking up Tiamat item Tiamat and Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra as soon as possible, regardless of the rest of your build. RenektonSquare Renekton's damage ratios suggest a more reliable return from armor penetration runes over attack damage runes, but now your early game is locked into relatively passive play in order to take advantage of Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra as soon as possible. I compensate for this, personally, through passive play itself, but you may wish to adjust your runes and masteries for this.

The big speech was just to persuade you to be purchasing Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra, every game, always, in the first place. I don't know why it isn't a 100% purchase on him, statistically, but maybe you see now why it should be. Or maybe you disagree. I would love to talk about it, but not here. This is a rune discussion blog.

TryndamereSquare Tryndamere

This guy is a bag of cats. I've seen players rushing Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv, players rushing Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King, more traditional players rushing Infinity Edge item Infinity Edge, and every once in a while I'll see an early Ravenous Hydra item Ravenous Hydra, not necessarily in that order of popularity. Most of the time, Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King wins. But why? Tryndamere has 0% critical strike chance by himself, like the rest of the champions of the league, until he hits something. How fast he hits something, or if that something dies, determines how much critical strike chance he gets. For these reasons, attack speed runes are potent. For the same reasons, critical strike chance runes are NOT potent—they synergize with having critical strike chance, but you don't have any (as previously mentioned) until you hit something. Without attack speed, you're pulling a remarkable 55% critical strike chance after you make it all the way to 100 fury, at your base attack speed (slow), with base attack damage (plus Bloodlust Bloodlust's passive AD bonus). In order to hit a target more than once, then, it better not be moving Mocking Shout or be moving Blade of the Ruined King item very slowly. Regardless, activating Bloodlust Bloodlust puts you back at square one again...where attack speed will reign supreme.

Critical damage runes, while fun to look at and more fun to see in action, give a 0% raw damage increase at 0 fury and a meager 12% DPS increase at 100 fury (full page). Attack speed runes would provide an 18% increase in DPS over critical strike runes at 0 fury, and a 23% increase in DPS over critical strike runes at 100 fury, at level 1. In fact, attack speed runes provide more damage than critical strike runes all the way up to 1.35 attacks per second (+100% bonus attack speed without runes, including per level stats (+50% attack speed @18)) at 0 fury, or all the way up to 1.85 attacks per second (+175% bonus attack speed without runes, including per level stats(+125% attack speed @18)) at 100 fury. The more critical strike chance you get from other sources, the better attack speed runes are compared to critical strike chance runes. You might be saying, "Well, the critical strike chance would be better if I was buying lots of attack speed," (the vice-versa argument) but I already did those calculations! If you make it to level 13 (about 20 minutes in), and your only items are Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King and Berserker's Greaves item Berserker's Greaves, you win! At that point, critical strike chance runes are better (and I hope you're being carried, because you have the gold of a feeding support).

That's enough math for one champion.

I guess I'll just leave this here, since I've run out of steam and have been holding onto it long enough.