Welcome to League of Legends Season 8

In Esports by MoeLeave a Comment

At 11:59 PM on November 7th, League of Legends Season 7 came to a close. Most players seem to be in agreement that Season 7 was not one of the game’s better years. Issues particularly revolving around bot-lane affected the entire season negatively. Early on, marksmen were so weak that players were regularly picking AP carry champions for the AD carry role. And once this was sorted, it was largely thanks to the emergence of the absurdly powerful Ardent Censer — an item that allowed certain support champions to support their carries better than they had any right to. The stale Ardent Censer meta actually carried over into Worlds 2017, defining the entire tournament.

Suffice it to say that many of us are extremely excited to leave Season 7 behind and look forward to Season 8. And one day into pre-season (the 2-month gap between the end of S7 and the start of S8), things are looking great. I’ve had a chance to wrap my head around many of the changes that have already taken place with Patch 7.22 (the first of many pre-season patches), so I’m going to give a brief and simplified explanation of what’s changed here, as well as take a bit of time to discuss possible builds with the Runes Reforged system.

(If you’ve already read over the patch notes, you might want to skip down to the discussion surrounding runes and possible builds. The first part of this article will mainly summarize the central points of Patch 7.22.)

Goodbye, Masteries

It’s actually a bit sad, but masteries no longer exist. After many seasons of carefully picking masteries before each game (or forgetting to set the right ones, screwing yourself over), it’s time to say goodbye. No more Thunderlord’s Decree, no more Warlord’s Bloodlust.

Here’s the good news: the new Runes Reforged system more than makes up for the lack of masteries. This new system is essentially a combination of masteries and the old runes. In fact, the main rune you pick for each build is called a Keystone rune. One of them is even called Grasp of the Undying, and is essentially the same as the old mastery. So this new system isn’t all that foreign, and the masteries we know and love aren’t entirely gone.

While the new system may sound overwhelming at first, it’s actually simple and makes a lot of sense. Each build starts with picking a Keystone rune from one of five trees: Precision, Domination, Sorcery, Resolve, or Inspiration. Then, you pick three minor runes from the same tree (for each of these you’ll have three choices). Lastly, you choose a secondary tree, and pick two minor runes from that one — much like how we used to put 12 mastery points into a secondary tree.

The runes provide a ton of variety, and most of them have powerful effects/stats. I’m not going to explain them here as there are too many, but you’ll see a few examples further down in this article when I discuss a few builds. All in all, though, it’s safe to say that the new rune system has (at least for now) injected tons of fun into League of Legends in the form of theory-crafting. What goes on outside of the game is no longer stale and repetitive. With so many rune options, you’ll likely have two or three builds for each champion depending on who you’re facing each game.

Did I mention that every single rune is free? I bet some of you have been holding your breath hoping you won’t have to save up to actually get the runes you want. Fortunately, Riot has decided to make all runes free and available to everyone immediately, so go and experiment to your heart’s content!

Goodbye, Influence Points

The other big change that’s been introduced with Patch 7.22 is the removal of Influence Points. All IP has now been converted to Blue Essence, which will now be the primary in-game currency of League of Legends. Blue Essence will affect your loot shards the same way as it did throughout S7, though it will now also be used for purchasing things in the store that you would have previously bought with IP. Riot Points and Orange Essence remain unchanged.

Almost everybody should be receiving a massive amount of Blue Essence immediately as all IP is converted to BE and all things that were purchased with IP in the past are refunded. I personally received 19K BE, but I was one of the ones to get less because I’m newer to the game. For a limited time, you’ll be able to spend your BE in a special store that lets you buy wards, chromas, emotes, and more with BE — things that usually require RP. This store will be open until November 27th, so don’t wait too long if you’d like to get something.

I’m a fan of this change, because it simplifies an unnecessarily complicated currency system. The general streamlining of much of the LoL client’s functions has been needed for quite some time, as things have become increasingly confusing, especially to new players.

That said, it’s not clear yet whether this new system benefits us more than the previous one from a value standpoint. It seems to me that it’s mostly the same, but only time will tell whether or not we’re going to have an easier or harder time getting our hands on things we want with the new system. If you have an opinion on this, I’d love to hear what you think. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the article!

Level Past 30

Another big change — and one that’s an essential part of the new currency system — is that we can all now level past 30. And apparently there’s no level cap whatsoever. We’ll all be able to level infinitely! It’s going to be funny seeing people that are level 1000 or higher a year or two from now. Generally, this is a welcome addition to the game as there’s satisfaction in leveling up.

Leveling up is also the new way to gain in-game money. Things like “First Win of the Day” will reward XP now instead of money. Once you level up, you’ll receive a capsule that will almost always contain a champion shard, which can then be disenchanted for BE. Apparently, certain milestones like Level 50, 75 or 100 will also offer special rewards that will signify your progress, like emotes or ward skins.

Again, it’s hard to say whether we’ll be gaining more or less in-game money with this new system, but there’s no denying that it’s more satisfying to level up and gain money than simply earn a certain amount of IP after each game. Personally, I’m looking forward to never seeing “Level 30” beside my IGN again!

Builds, builds, builds

Now that I’ve gone over the central points of Patch 7.22, it’s time to look at some of these new runes and discuss some possible builds. I’ve only spent 4 or 5 hours with the new system, and these builds are entirely my own, so don’t expect anything incredible! One thing’s for sure, though: theory-crafting with the new system is a ton of fun, and it’s unlikely that there will ever be any one obviously right way of building a certain champion.

Extreme Burst Assassin Build

I made this rune page for Zed, one of my main champions. I’m sure this or something very similar will work well for most assassins, particularly if playing mid. The build is focused almost entirely on burst, and the burst is delicious. The Keystone — Electrocute — is the new version of Thunderlord’s Decree. Combined with Sudden Impact, which increases Lethality/Magic Penetration upon dashing, and Scorch, which causes burn damage upon landing an ability, the damage is sudden and overwhelming.

A couple minor runes I included to benefit Zed’s playstyle are Relentless Hunter and The Ultimate Hat. Relentless Hunter allows you to roam the map quicker, while The Ultimate Hat increasingly reduces the cooldown of your Ultimate. As you can see, the new rune system features some runes that are reminiscent of old masteries, and some that are new and unlike anything we’ve had before.

$$$ Build

This page, which I aptly named BankPlank, was made for one of my favorite champions — Gangplank. It’s the most fun and crazy build I’ve tried thus far, and is designed for champions that are weak early on and rely on making money quickly to hit certain power spikes. It’s Keystone — Kleptomancy — is a riot (pun intended). It’ll give you a substantial amount of extra gold, and very often random consumables, too. My first game using Kletomancy had me struggling to find room in my inventory for all the potions and trinkets I was getting for free. (And yes, Mana pots and Stealth Wards are items you can get!)

Some other unique runes that I chose from the Inspiration tree are Perfect Timing and Future’s Market. Perfect Timing gives you a one-time-use Zhonya’s Hourglass in the form of Stopwatch. Once Stopwatch is used, it turns into Broken Stopwatch, which then builds into Zhonya’s Hourglass, Guardian Angel, or Gargoyle Stoneplate. Future’s Market, on the other hand, allows you to buy items you can’t necessarily afford yet. Going into debt isn’t a great idea for most champions, but for a champion that is desperately saving up for certain items needed for game-changing power spikes, this rune is incredible. What’s a bit of debt if you can get your Infinity Edge 5 minutes early?

Beefy Bruiser Build

This page was made for Galio, who I personally call Daddio, hence the name.

Uh, anyway… The focus of the build is benefiting Galio’s incredible Crowd Control abilities while also boosting his tankiness and survivability. The Keystone — Aftershock — is much like Courage of the Colossus. It activates once you immobilize an enemy champion, making you much tankier, and then after a short time unleashes a burst of damage, too. Conditioning and Overgrowth are simple runes that simply make you much more tanky, and Perfect Timing is great with Galio because it can build into either Stoneplate or Zhonya’s, both of which benefit him greatly. Approach Velocity and Font of Life, on the other hand, further improve the effects of landing your CC.

All in all, this page (or something similar) is extremely powerful if you’re playing a tanky champion that loves to knock opponents around. You’ll be a terrifying force in every team-fight, totally dictating how things go.

High DPS Marksman Build

Based on what I’ve seen so far, the Precision tree is currently the most powerful. The marksmen that utilize these runes have been tearing the rift up, with more Movement Speed and Attack Speed than ever before. I made this specific page for Kindred, who benefits massively from high Attack Speed. Lethal Tempo, the Keystone rune, allows you to actually go beyond the usual Attack Speed cap. Legend: Alacrity works extremely well with this, as it grants you permanent Attack Speed with each takedown (i.e., kill, assist, or tower kill). The rest of the runes are pretty self-explanatory.

I absolutely annihilated the enemy team with this build. I was melting tanks left and right, and with Triumph, Ravenous Hunter, and Lamb’s Respite (Kindred’s Ultimate), I was extremely difficult to take down. Most importantly, playing with these runes was fun. The same can be said of all the builds I’m sharing here. Even though they’re hardly refined, I haven’t had so much fun playing League of Legends in ages.

That’s all I’ve got right now, but I’m sure I’ll have a whole new set of rune pages soon enough. If you’re not into theory-crafting, I’m sure sites like MobaFire have tons of great builds for you to try. Either way, League of Legends has — for now — become far more interesting than it was throughout Season 7. Everyone I’ve talked to has been having a great time, and each LoL streamer I’ve watched has been laughing and smiling more than ever. If this first day of pre-season is any indication of how Season 8 is going to be, I think we’re in for a real treat.

See you on the Rift, Summoners!

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Moe
Founder & Editor-In-Chief

I’m a happily married 24 year old dude living in western Canada. I started Obilisk by myself in 2017 — something I’m extremely proud of.


Non-gaming things that I love: philosophy, which was my university major; photography (check out my Instagram!); sports, especially soccer; and all sorts of fiction, from old-school novels like Lord of the Rings to modern-day anime like Naruto.


Also, The Witcher 3 is the greatest game ever made.


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