A new League of Legends rune called Guardian Soul will give a shield to allies, which could make it particularly useful for support players.
Riot Games’ latest Runes Corner post, released Wednesday, explores the new rune and the many iterations it took to get to this point. When using Guardian Soul, a player can right click an allied champion to mark them. When the ally receives damage while the mark is active, the rune is activated, giving both the ally and the rune holder a decent-sized shield. The rune is most likely going to be utilized by supports or tanks with a team-fighting focus, as it can give a life saving shield during crucial skirmishes.
Initially, the idea was for a rune that shields both the rune holder and an ally that the rune holder “walks into” during the game. Although the idea was solid, too many false positives were apparent, with many players mistakenly activating the shield at inopportune times, putting the rune effect on cooldown. That led to players avoiding allies like the plague, which is not really something Riot wanted to promote.
The next iteration was closer to the mastery Courage of the Colossus, which activates the shield when an immobilizing crowd control ability connects with an enemy champion while an ally is nearby. But the runes team wasn’t completely happy with it, which led to the idea of right-clicking an ally becoming the eventual solution.
Although right-clicking an ally doesn’t exist in the game right now, a round of testing was done with the mechanic added, with some mixed results in terms of accidental activation. Another solution was tested by adding a channel to the shield after right-clicking an ally, which can be canceled with movement. That had the benefit of no more accidental activations, but less responsiveness.
The final decision doesn’t remove accidental activations entirely, but it strikes a happy medium in terms of eliminating the penalty. The rune is far from finished with more improvements in the works, as it still has to address the tendencies of players constantly keeping the mark on their allies just in case they take damage.
Riot has been in the process of overhauling the runes system in League of Legends by combining them with masteries and making them free. News about some of the new runes have tricked out in recent weeks. One will affect flash, while another allows players to go into gold debt to buy items. Another rune enhances a player’s attacking ability, while one lets players throw a meteor at the opponent’s head.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games