Riot Games designer Jo “Fearless” Graylock gave a more detailed overview of the themes for each of the five rune paths in anticipation of the rune updates coming to League of Legends in the preseason.
In the new system, in which runes and masteries were are combined and made free, players will be able to choose two paths for their runes, specializing in the primary path with a Keystone Rune and three non-Keystone choices, and a secondary path with three non-Keystone Runes. Fearless said the design of the paths are made explicitly to enable players to choose based on what they want to do. It will differ from the current rendition of maximizing statistical or mechanical efficiency, which pigeonholes players into rather singular builds for each champion.
The Sorcery path is for players to amplify their spell casting and ability power, giving players chances to get a couple of free-casts to deal more damage. Mage champions in the mid lane will most likely want to choose this as their primary path, as it looks like it will allow them to deal more damage with higher efficiency.
The Resolve path is for players to become durable and tanky front-liners, focused on staying alive and keeping the damage dealers alive. The new Ruined King’s Tribute — which heals the champion every four seconds when attack enemy champions or large monsters — is a good example of what kind of runes will be in this path.
The Precision path is for players who want to out-mechanic their opponents with more attack speed and chances to deal more damage in a small window of time. The runes in this path will allow players to get bursts of damage and movement speed, making it a good fit for attack damage assassins or AD Carries, which will allow them to move in and out.
The Domination path is for players who focus on chasing fleeing enemies and executing them. The new Hunt of the Blood Moon rune, which gives the champion a boost of movement speed and extra damage for their auto attacks or abilities for a set amount of time when activated, will be featured in this path. It will likely be popular with champions like Zed or Talon, who benefit from the added mobility.
The Inspiration path is the most unique, as it is designed for players to cheat set rules of the game in order to get an edge. The Summoner Specialist Keystone Rune, which allows players to literally change their summoner spells in the middle of the game through the store, will be part of this path and will have more choices that give players who choose this path as their primary one to outwit their opponents.
The paths are still very much a work in progress, and changes to themes, names, or other details are still on the table. The new rune system is planned to hit the Public Beta Environment “fairly soon” in order to maximize testing time before it goes live, meaning the system will remain in the PBE for some time.