Preseason Preview: Runes
The second major update coming to League of Legends' preseason introduces a new keystone and changes some old ones; let’s break down the changes.
First Strike - New Keystone
The newest keystone debuting in the preseason is First Strike:
- Upon damaging an enemy champion within 0.25 seconds of entering champion combat, gain 5 gold and First Strike for 3 seconds, causing you to deal 10% bonus damage against champions and gain gold equivalent to the bonus damage dealt (100% for melee champions, 70% for ranged). This ability has a cooldown ranging from 25-15 seconds, based on champion level.
First Strike works in a similar fashion to Kleptomancy, an old keystone which granted gold and items for landing abilities and auto-attacks. However, unlike Kleptomancy which was best utilised by poke champions, First Strike amplifies burst damage dealt over a short period of time and grants gold based on the damage done. This will be an interesting alternative to Electrocute as it sacrifices some burst damage in favour of gold, and will be optimally used if champions can consistently proc it during the laning phase to maximise the gold generation.
Considering First Strike only procs if you damage an enemy champion within 0.25 seconds of entering champion combat, it’s important you react quickly if you are the one being engaged upon. 5 gold is instantly granted upon proccing First Strike, while the gold from the bonus damage is granted once the effect has ended.
First Strike will also be replacing Omnistone, which was a niche and rarely seen keystone that struggled to find its place in the meta outside of being a fun gimmick.
Lethal Tempo will also be receiving a rework in the preseason:
- Gain 15% (Melee) or 5% (Ranged) Attack Speed for 6 seconds upon damaging an enemy champion with a basic attack. This effect stacks up to 90% (Melee) or 30% (Ranged). While this effect is fully stacked, your attack speed can exceed the 2.5 cap and you gain 50 (Melee) or 100 (Ranged) attack range.
Although Lethal Tempo has a 6 second duration, it does not have a cooldown meaning it is possible to constantly refresh the duration by continuously auto attacking. You also don’t lose all your stacks instantly, as you will rapidly cycle through each stack before dropping to the next one, meaning it is possible to refresh your stacks if you can land another basic attack during this time. If you are able to generate and maintain max stacks during a team fight, your attack speed and range will be devastating and will allow you to shred through targets from afar. Considering your attack speed can exceed the cap, Lethal Tempo can work particularly well on ADCs when paired with an enchanter who can buff your attack speed (such as Lulu’s W or Ardent Censer).
However, it’s important to note you can only produce one stack per basic attack even if that basic attack damages multiple champions. In addition, this keystone may not be particularly effective in the early game when you don’t have a lot of attack damage to take advantage of the increased attack speed.
The final keystone to receive changes is Glacial Augment:
- Immobilizing an enemy champion will cause 3 glacial rays to emanate from them towards you and other nearby champions, creating frozen zones which last for 3 seconds + 100% of the immobilization effect’s duration. These zones slow enemies and reduce their damage dealt to allies (not including your champion). This has a 25 second cooldown.
This iteration of Glacial Augment is much more utility focused and will shine in team fights, as it creates frozen zones covering a good amount of space that enemies will have to play around. The slow provided by these zones will make it easier to continue a CC chain on a locked down enemy, but has eclectic benefits as it can also be used to help disengage from enemies or save your allies thanks to the reduced damage reduction.
The rays that emanate from your target are shot out in random directions if there are no other enemy champions nearby; if there are other enemy champions that are in range of your target, the rays will shoot toward the other enemy champions. However, even if multiple champions are hit by your immobilizing ability, Glacial Augment will still only proc once.