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Thread: A Practical Rune Guide

  1. #1
    Ironheart
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    A Practical Rune Guide

    A Practical Rune Guide

    I've been mulling this over for a while but I decided to share some overall tips about each rune and how and where I use them, as well as on whom. I will also be sharing some other smaller tips about formation and other topics. This topic will primarily focus on yellow runes and 100 fragment runes, with some light discussion on other lesser runes of value. If you require the basics of rune acquisition and management, there is an excellent guide already written for that which you can and should read before delving into this guide.

    First, before we talk about anything else, let's talk about specific statistics and the value they each bring to the table. I won't just talk about the basic definition, rather exploring what each statistic brings to the table for specific heroes and purposes. It's important to understand the basics and the value of these statistics before we proceed to talk about runes. Without a proper foundation and understanding of statistics, you have no reason to trust what I say about runes, and I want you to at least have some assurance I understand what I am proposing to guide other players on.


    [Physical Attack] - Bread and butter damage statistic for physical heroes. This statistic is very powerful as an early statistic to boost up with runes. As you obtain increasingly better 6-piece set bonuses, this statistic becomes less important because Skill attacks become more frequent, and for heroes like Bloodstorm who maintain high Morale levels, this statistic does not offer full benefit except on the rare occasion you are hit with Calvin's "Will Breaker". Physical Attack does increase Skill damage, but at a reduced ratio compared to Skill Attack.
    [Skill Attack] - This statistic boosts the skill damage of physical damage dealers' skills. This statistic is most helpful on (in order of importance) Adamanti, Cianna, Bloodstorm, and Rhize in PvP. This statistic is imperative for Cianna and Calvin for world bosses.
    [Magic Attack] - Bread and butter damage statistic for mages. This statistic is ALWAYS important for mages.

    [Critical] - This statistic offers a chance to deal extra damage on a physical or skill attack. It offers no discernible benefit to mages. This statistic is best paired with (in order of importance) Adamanti, Cianna, Rhize, or Bloodstorm in PvP. This statistic offers limited benefit against World Bosses above ~140 Critical chance, but is nearly always excellent for Heroic Realm and quest bosses no matter how much you have.
    [Hit Rating] - This statistic is the best overall secondary offensive statistic there is. It is MANDATORY for every mage hero you have to help them blow your enemies to bits. Shayd in particular sees tremendous benefit from high hit rating. You will also want plenty of hit rating on Smoulder and Adamanti due to their AoE capabilities in PvP. It is wise to give hit rating to Calvin and Cianna during World Bosses to ensure their skill attacks land. Many Heroic Realm and quest bosses dodge attacks proficiently and hit rating can be the key to destroying them.
    [Break] - This statistic is powerful but less so than hit rating and less visibly helpful than Critical, so it is often downplayed. However, do not dismiss Break, as it is extremely powerful for one key reason: It prevents blocking, and what does a block do? It prevents your hero from gaining any Morale! Getting through your opponent's Block can be the difference between victory and defeat. This statistic is primarily beneficial for physical damage dealers because of this, but is also beneficial to mages as mages can be blocked during some encounters.
    [Morale] - This statistic is not an obvious statistic, but is important nonetheless. Physical damage heroes are the only heroes who have Morale. Mages have no Morale. Increasing initial Morale with runes can give you a leg up on your opponent at the beginning of a fight, but don't use Morale at the expense of other important statistics. Think of Morale as a "nice-to-have" statistic in most cases instead of a mandatory statistic. Initial Morale above 100 offers only one benefit, and that is higher retained Morale if your hero is hit with Calvin's Will Breaker skill at the beginning of the fight. For heroes who aren't tanks, Morale above 100 is almost assuredly a waste. Morale can be retained in between Skill attacks by achieving 6-piece set bonuses from gear. Heroes that benefit most from Morale are Bloodstorm, Adamanti, Cianna, and Rhize in PvP. Against World Bosses, Cianna, Calvin, and Bloodstorm benefit the most from Morale, however there is a caveat to Morale against World Bosses, and that is sometimes less is better than more. I'll discuss this more in a different section of this guide.

    [Health] - Not much to say here other than you want your tanks to have more than your damage dealers to maximize your effective health, but you also want to make sure your health is balanced. If you don't balance your health values, you leave the weaker heroes vulnerable to attacks that shouldn't have otherwise destroyed them. This is the most important tank statistic and one of the most powerful statistics overall.
    [Physical Defense] - This statistic defends against physical attacks, and is a counter to the Physical Attack statistic. Most useful at early gear levels, this is the 4th most important tank statistic.
    [Skill Defense] - This statistic becomes increasingly more important as set bonuses improve for your opponents in PvP and you face more powerful Heroic Realm and quest bosses. This statistic is particularly beneficial for tanks as well as heroes in the back row to protect against Cianna's Ambush and Rhize's Piercing Thrust.
    [Magic Defense] - This statistic is usually not explicitly required in PvP as most players run only one mage, but can be tremendously beneficial against bosses in Heroic Realm or quests. If you have a tank with decent Intelligence it may be worth boosting their Magic Defense through runes, but overall I find Dodge works just as well or better for preventing magical damage.

    [Resilience] - This statistic is less important at early gear levels, but as both bosses and players add more Critical chance, this statistic can make or break you in fights. For some boss fights, the boss can't be blocked, but will crit often, so swapping out Block for some Resilience can be a crucial factor in success or defeat. Just like Skill Defense, this statistic is particularly beneficial in PvP for tanks as well as heroes in the back row to protect against Cianna's Ambush and Rhize's Piercing Thrust.
    [Dodge] - This statistic is absolutely crucial to success. 2nd only to health as an overall defensive statistic for tanks, this statistic prevents damage, prevents morale gains for your opponent, and in general can make or break your success in fights. It's very much luck-based past a certain number of dodges per fight, but overall this statistic is the one I prize above all others. This statistic is particularly valuable for Blademaster heroes, Shayd, and Bloodstorm as they have 20, 20, and 40 innate dodge, respectively.
    [Block] - A crucial tank statistic, this statistic offers a chance to block a portion of the physical attack damage your hero receives and allows for a counter-attack as well if your blocking hero isn't stunned. The 3rd most important tank statistic, it will also prevent any morale gains for an opposing hero that is blocked during a given round. While this statistic is not as valuable as Dodge, it is a must for any tank and becomes more important as set bonuses improve, due to fewer attacks being required to build enough morale to execute skill attacks.


    [Heroes with Innate Statistic Bonuses]

    [Dodge] - Blademaster Main heroes [20], Shayd [20], Bloodstorm [40]
    [Block] - Warrior Main heroes [20], Valla [20], Saffron [20], Adamanti [20], Alexa [30], Rhize [30]
    [Critical] - Archer Main heroes [20], Dawnbringer [40]
    [Resilience] - Valla [20], Cianna [20], Saffron [20], Adamanti [30]

    [Hit Rating] - Shayd [20], Cianna [20], Smoulder [30]

    [Chance to Counter Attack] - Calvin [??%]
    [Increased Damage as Health Decreases] - Bloodstorm
    100% damage at 75% to 100% HP
    133% damage at 50% to 75% HP
    166% damage at 25% to 50% HP
    200% damage at 0% to 25% HP

    Okay, with that summation of statistics out of the way, let's move on to runes.
    Last edited by Klepto; 10-02-2013 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Ironheart
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    [100 Fragment Runes]

    Let's talk about 100 Fragment runes first. These runes are difficult to obtain but very valuable in their own way. Some of them benefit certain heroes more than others in specific circumstances.

    [Endurance] - +Health, +Morale - L.10 [22000, 140]
    Endurance is a valuable rune for tanks and damage dealers alike. The health is higher than from any other rune in the game, and the Morale helps anyone lead with a devastating skill attack right off the bat at the start of a fight. This rune is particularly valuable for Bloodstorm, Saffron, Adamanti, Rhize, and Cianna in PvP. Against world bosses, Cianna, Bloodstorm, and situationally Calvin are keen on this rune. This rune is less valuable for mages because mages do not benefit from Morale.

    [Vengeance] - +Physical Attack, +Skill Attack - L.10 [5500, 5500]
    Vengeance is a tremendous rune for physical damage dealers. This rune is particularly valuable for Adamanti, Cianna, and Rhize in PvP. For world bosses, this rune is valuable to Cianna and Calvin in particular. Bloodstorm benefits less than other physical damage dealers from this rune because once his Morale is at 100+, he generally stays there unless hit by Calvin's Will Breaker. This rune offers nothing to mages.

    [Reliability] - +Resilience, +Break - L.10 [155, 155]
    This 100 fragment rune is probably the one most will glance over initially, as the other two are immediately impactful and powerful. This is understandable, however Reliability offers you some profound power that is not immediately visible. This rune simultaneously prevents you from surprise damage from critical strikes, and also prevents you from being blocked, guaranteeing full damage hits and morale gains. Increasingly more important as set bonuses improve, this rune is the cherry on top for a good rune setup. Heroes that particularly benefit from this rune are your tanks, characters in the back row who don't want to be crit by Cianna or Rhize, or physical damage dealers like Adamanti who can't afford to be blocked in between skill attacks. This rune is also valuable to Shayd to prevent her from being blocked during World and Heroic Realm bosses, but this is a secondary concern.



    [Yellow Runes]

    [Adept] - +Skill Attack - L.10 [5000]
    This rune is valuable for your heroes who deal out crucial skill damage during a fight. This rune is more valuable to heroes who begin a fight with full or at least high Morale. This is Bloodstorm's favorite rune. Other heroes who might want to use this rune to great effect in PvP are Adamanti, Cianna, and Rhize. This rune is valuable to Cianna and Calvin during World Bosses.

    [Advantage] - +Critical - L.10 [128]
    This rune is valuable to every physical damage dealing hero in PvP, Heroic Realm, and quest boss fights. This rune in combination with set bonuses or innate or Saint statistics can offer some value during World Bosses above ~140 Critical chance, which Dawnbringer has the easiest time of obtaining due to 40 innate Critical chance. Heroes in particular who utilize this rune well in PvP are Adamanti, Bloodstorm, Cianna, and Rhize. This rune offers no discernible benefit to mages.

    [Bane] - +Physical Attack - L.10 [5000]
    This rune is valuable to every physical damage dealing hero, though somewhat less useful on Bloodstorm due to primarily executing Skill attacks. Useful in PvP particularly for Adamanti, Cianna, Rhize, and Calvin, this rune's benefit is increased for heroes who start with low or no Morale. If you have only one offensive rune you can put on a tank, this or Advantage are my personal picks.

    [Burliness] - +Physical Defense - L.10 [4500]
    This rune is a crucial early rune for tanks, and can make or break early game success. Important for mitigating physical attacks from bosses and players alike, this rune helps you rise through the ranks as you strive for bigger and better gear. This rune is also important at later gear levels, but as skill attacks increase, you may find yourself swapping in Flintiness instead.

    [Dexterousness] - +Resilience - L.10 [155]
    This rune is increasingly important for tanks and vulnerable heroes in the back column as gear levels improve and more bosses and players add Critical chance to their repertoire. Not much else to say here other than if you find yourself being beaten down by massive crits, add some Resilience to your rune setup and laugh at the puny damage that follows from your enemies.

    [Flintiness] - +Skill Defense - L.10 [4500]
    This rune is increasingly important for tanks and vulnerable heroes in the back column as gear levels improve and more bosses and players begin fights with high Morale and vicious Skill assaults. This rune can be key to winning specific encounters, so it's wise to have a moderately leveled Flintiness in your rune arsenal as your gear improves.

    [Infalability] - +Break - L.10 [155]
    This rune prevents your heroes from being blocked. Important for ensuring Morale gains, this is important to every physical damage dealer other than perhaps Bloodstorm who should rarely fall below full Morale. Adamanti, Rhize, Cianna, and in specific cases Calvin receive the greatest benefit from Infalability. Mages see limited benefit from this rune against bosses who block magic attacks.
    Last edited by Klepto; 10-26-2013 at 03:20 AM.

  3. #3
    Ironheart
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    [Intenseness] - +Magic Damage - L.10 [5000]
    This rune is critical for every mage hero you have. Nothing more to say here, just do it.

    [Messiness] - +Magic Defense - L.10 [4500]
    Useful primarily against boss encounters with high magic damage output or players with numerous mages in their formation, Messiness is more of a situational rune than a mandatory rune. Tanks will usually benefit most from this rune when it's required. Dodge is arguably just as good at preventing magic damage while also offering protection against physical and skill attacks.

    [Nimbleness] - +Dodge - L.10 [128]
    This rune is primarily beneficial to tanks. Excellent for preventing damage and stopping opponent Morale gains in their tracks, a tank that can't be hit will stay alive for a long time. Heroes that benefit most from Nimbleness are Blademaster heroes, Shayd, and Bloodstorm as they have 20, 20, and 40 innate dodge, respectively.

    [Preciseness] - +Hit Rating - L.10 [155]
    The yang to Nimbleness's yin, Preciseness is crucial for your damage dealers. Imperative to ensure your mages' attacks land, a mage without Preciseness is a mage who will not scare the pants off his (or her) enemies. Preciseness is particularly valuable to Shayd, Smoulder, Adamanti, Cianna, and Rhize in PvP. Against World Bosses, Preciseness is most valuable to Shayd, Cianna, and Calvin.

    [Resistance] - +Block - L.10 [128]
    A most valuable tank rune, Resistance will help you succeed where Dodge fails against physical damage dealers. While this rune can be placed on any hero, your tanks will benefit the most and offer the best protection for your entire team against high skill damage opponents.

    [Righteousness] - +Initial Morale - L.10 [140]
    This rune is key to unlocking the potential of your physical damage dealers. Overshadowed somewhat by the 100 Fragment Endurance rune, Righteousness is still powerful if you're not rolling in Fragments. Level 6 is the optimal level for this rune, and increasing its level beyond that is usually not necessary unless you face many players who lead with Calvin as a Morale-reducing tank. This rune is usually not necessary on tanks and is better utilized on physical damage dealers in the back columns, however there are two exceptions, and they are Bloodstorm and Saffron (who both like Endurance even more). Heroes who benefit the most from this rune in PvP are Adamanti, Cianna, Bloodstorm, and Rhize. Heroes who benefit from this rune against World Bosses are Cianna, Bloodstorm, and situationally, Calvin.

    [Vitality] - +Health - L.10 [20000]
    This rune is no match for Endurance, but as a tank rune for those who aren't rolling in Fragments, it is without parallel. Crucial for tanks and for heroes on the back column of each row in your formation, adding health to your team is imperative to your success. This rune is ideal for mages' health requirements unless you have so many fragments that an Endurance rune is all you need from the Rune Temple.



    [Lesser Runes of Great Importance]

    There are some runes which have value either early on or even retain value as gear levels increase. Some of them are particularly valuable at specific rune levels, which I will discuss the reasoning for.

    [Crusader] level 6 - +45 Morale - At early gear levels, this rune is crucial to Cianna during World Bosses. It is easy to obtain and level up, and allows her to stun at an opportune moment after Calvin has delivered his Will Breaker. This rune is later replaced as your formation naturally evolves with better hero formations and gear levels.

    [Partisan] level 5 - +67 Morale - This rune is crucial to Calvin's success during World Bosses at all gear levels, near as I can determine. This rune allows Calvin to deliver a Will Breaker to the World Boss at just the right time to prevent Thousand Strikes from decimating what's left of your attackers. I cannot stress enough the importance of this rune at this specific rune level.

    [Hawkishness] - When Preciseness isn't available to your mage(s), Hawkishness is a good substitute. Level 7 or above is recommended for this valuable early rune.

    [Agility] - When Nimbleness isn't available, Agility will have to do for your tanks. I find level 8 to be the sweet spot for this rune, though more is always better.

    [Mesa] - A crucial early tank rune, easy to obtain and grants your damage dealers plenty of time to dish out their punishment to those who stand in your way. Replace this with Burliness as soon as you can.

    Runes level 11 to 12
    A quick note about Blue Medals and safe Star level attempts
    Sainting heroes? You can only go so far
    Last edited by Morgan le Fay; 01-12-2014 at 06:22 PM.

  4. #4
    Judgment Revan's Avatar
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    Pretty good guide.

    My saffron still doesn't have a health rune and probably wont will I hit lvl 70 and I just love watching players with 1-1.5 million more power than me trying and failing to get past her.

    Addition: Noticed that you added on the 100 frag runes and endurance is not only less valuable on mages, but probably a near complete waste as well. Also blademaster leader heroes come with a built in 20 dodge.
    Last edited by Revan; 09-13-2013 at 05:13 PM. Reason: do not want to double post

  5. #5
    Ironheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revan View Post
    Addition: Noticed that you added on the 100 frag runes and endurance is not only less valuable on mages, but probably a near complete waste as well. Also blademaster leader heroes come with a built in 20 dodge.
    Endurance is only valuable to Mages because it adds more health than Vitality (I will be discussing this further in the actual guide). I added the innate Dodge for Blademaster heroes to the guide.

  6. #6
    Forum Moderator Morgan le Fay's Avatar
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    Nice guide and very informative.

    World Bosses can be hit with critical attacks. You do need an overall crit rating of about 135+. At time of posting my main can crit WBs up to 154k.

    Forum Moderators are volunteers and are unable to fix in game problems

  7. #7
    Excellent! very nice work and well explained.

    The onlything I can disagree about is physical attack on Blood

    Skill attack damage is a multiplied effect of your physical attack damage plus your skill attack bonus. Therefore physical attack is needed on blood.

    I have tested this out and get more damage with physical attack added in from bloods continuous rage then without it

    Also I have heard a few people get a crit in Wb but we thought it was a fluke because it has not been repeated by the same person.

    My main carries a 141 crit and has for over a month and have never seen a crit
    Last edited by mattp169; 09-13-2013 at 05:30 PM.

  8. #8
    Forum Moderator Morgan le Fay's Avatar
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    Yes physical attack helps increase the power of skill attack. Matt is right there, my own experiments have shown this.

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  9. #9
    Ironheart
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan le Fay View Post
    Nice guide and very informative.

    World Bosses can be hit with critical attacks. You do need an overall crit rating of about 135+. At time of posting my main can crit WBs up to 154k.
    Thank you for this information. I hadn't personally ever pushed over that much critical strike and assumed that they were basically uncrittable.


    Quote Originally Posted by mattp169 View Post
    Excellent! very nice work and well explained.

    The onlything I can disagree about is physical attack on Blood

    Skill attack damage is a multiplied effect of your physical attack damage plus your skill attack bonus. Therefore physical attack is needed on blood.

    I have tested this out and get more damage with physical attack added in from bloods continuous rage then without it
    Fair enough, I'll make a revision on the +Physical Damage portion, but arguably Bloodstorm benefits less from Physical Attack than other heroes. If you have limited rune slots, Adept will always be better than Bane for Bloodstorm.


    Quote Originally Posted by mattp169 View Post
    Also I have heard a few people get a crit in Wb but we thought it was a fluke because it has not been repeated by the same person.

    My main carries a 141 crit and has for over a month and have never seen a crit
    I haven't seen crits on world bosses either but I'm on the fence here.

  10. #10
    Ironheart
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    I added Morale to the Statistics discussion as it is an important yet non-obvious Statistic that plays a key role in the outcome of an encounter.

    Also added are heroes with innate statistics bonuses and lesser runes of great importance.
    Last edited by Klepto; 09-13-2013 at 06:42 PM.

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