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Riot Games announces details behind League of Legends’ preseason runes update

The runes update in League of Legends will go live in the preseason
Riot Games' runes update in League of Legends goes live in the preseason. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

Riot Games announced Monday the details behind the preseason updates for League of Legends, which includes the revamped runes system, Blue Essence as the new in-game currency, a temporary “Essence Emporium” with exclusive goods, and the new leveling system that will no longer cap players at 30.

The announcement detailed the themes and the roles for the five new paths in the new rune system for Season 8. Three Keystone Runes — which are the most powerful of each path and can only have one chosen at a time — were shared for each path, along with their mechanical functions, names, and artwork except for the Inspiration path, which has the third currently unannounced. Each Keystone Rune also has an accompanying video to visualize what the mechanics will look like in the game.

The Precision path features Press the Attack, which gives players unlimited stack damage when attacking the same champion. Lethal Tempo gives the player a boost of attack speed 1.5 seconds after attacking an enemy champion while also briefly exceeding the attack speed limit. Fleet Footwork. gives stacks each time a player attacks and moves, with the 100th stack giving the next attacking healing and a burst of movement speed.

The Domination path features Electrocute, which deals bonus magic damage when a player hits an enemy champion with three unique attacks or abilities in three seconds. Predator gives a boost of movement speed and causes the next auto-attack or damaging spell to do more damage upon activation. Dark Harvest makes enemy champions, large minions, and monsters to drop soul essence, which can be absorbed and allow the player to deal bonus damage on the next attack based on how much essence they have collected.

The Sorcery path features Summon Aeire, which makes a pet either damage enemies or shield allies when a player uses an ability or attacks a target. Arcane Comet throws a meteor at an enemy champion that gets hit by the player’s spell. Phase Rush gives the player a burst of movement speed when they hit an enemy champion with three unique attacks or abilities.

The Resolve path features Grasp of the Undying, which makes players deal bonus damage, heals, and permanently increases the maximum health per attack every four seconds. Guardian gives a shield to the player and a target ally when the player right-clicks an ally champion. Aftershock gives a boost in defensive stats and deal a burst of damage around them in an area after immobilizing an enemy champion.

The Inspiration path features Glacial Augment, which slows an enemy champion when the player attacks them with a per-unit cool down and shoots a laser that creates a lingering slow-zone when the player slows an enemy champion with an item’s active ability. Summoner Specialist allows players to gain summoner shards when they use summoner spells which can be traded in the shop later for a new summoner spell in the middle of the game.

Some of the runes have already been mentioned but some had different names. Glacial Augment was previously known as Hextech Freeze Ray, and Predator was known as Hunt of the Blood Moon. Players will be able to  specialize in one of the five paths, gaining access to one of the Keystone Runes. The runes and their effects are still works in progress and are subject to change before the preseason patch.

The announcement also explained an emote that will evolve based on how many hours each player puts into the game, as well as the Blue Essence refund breakdown for players who have sunk a lot of IP into the previous rune system.

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