Summoners War Rune Maximizing Guide
Summoners War Rune Maximizing Guide by Abs01ut3
I’ll cover the topics of advance runing. Note that I will not cover basic rune properties, but the keyword I’ll focus on here is “efficiency”.
Here are some examples of what this guide can do for you:
- Determine if the rune you’re having is worth the power-up or not, thus potentially saving mana.
- Find out the source of high-end runes, and why that pesky Giant refuse to drop you an Endure rune.
- Clarify some conundrums (“maximize strength or cover weakness?”, “endure set + HP% rune or energy set + resist rune?”, “Swift or Violent?”, etc)
- Help you understand the reasoning behind the common advice on rune (“at least 3* rune”, “each rune is only upgrading 3 times the star”, etc) and elaborate if they are valid or can be disputed.
- Help you understand why top players have fewer Fatal/Energy/etc and more Violent/Endure/etc than the average player.
Also, note that (like my other guide) this one will also be lengthy. I’m not one to withhold information, so I just disclose everything I know on the topics. Just try not to rush it and you might actually enjoy the analyses.
Without further ado, let’s start the guide!
P.S: Text colored this way is outdated, before the rune system overhaul. It still contain valuable concepts, and thus it is recommended that you read the old texts before reading the new texts to gain a better understanding, although it is not necessary. Any mention of “Chart XX” refers to the old charts linked below, not the new ones.
Note: This section only comprises of the chart and raw data. The entire interpretations and analyses will be provided on the FAQ below, so don’t be disheartened or overwhelmed if you don’t understand the table right now; You’re not meant to.
- The notation “AA/BB/CC” means initial value / gain per level / final value. Therefore, a 5* Speed rune will give 5 speed at level 1 and gain 2 speed each level, up to the maximum of 39 speed at level 15 (maxed).
- The row header is color-coded to show runes with similar rate. For example, HP%, Atk% and Def% have the same initial value, growth rate and final value.
- The new notation “AA/BB/CC/DD” means initial value / gain per level / value at level 12 / final value. Therefore, a 6* HP% rune will give 11% HP at level 1 and gain 3% HP each level, and will reach 47% at level 12 and 63% at level 15.
- These numbers will be used at FAQ. It suffices to know how we get the numbers. The analysis will be done later on.
- “Pow” shows the power of rune set that gives the related stat bonus. Therefore, HP% has a set that gives 15%.
- “Slot” shows the number of slots required to get the stat bonuses. Therefore, HP%’s set (Energy) needs 2 runes to be functional.
- “Value” is basically Pow/Slot.
- “Pre-6* Ratio” is Value*100/X , where X is the final value of any rune pre-6* in Chart2. This is usually final value of 5* runes, but for critical rate the 5* rune is missing (intentionally), so we take the latest data available. For example, for HP% we use 15*100/43 = 17.4, but for critical rate% we use 12*100/37 = 16.2.
- “6* Ratio” is Value*100/Y, where Y is the final value of 6*.
- X-axis is rune star, and Y-axis is % of 6* rune +15.
- Darker tinted line is post-patch values, and lighter tinted line is pre-patch values.
- Numbers are referring to the darker tinted line for that star level.
- The third line (the straight one) is a trendline.
The old charts are linked here:
Welcome to the FAQ section. Here we’ll try to decipher the ugly looking tables above to answer questions of our own. We will refer to both charts fairly frequently, so I suggest opening the charts on a separate tab for ease of viewing.
List of questions and common beliefs:
- Flat stats are useless at slot 2/4/6.
- You should find at least 3* runes to engrave ASAP. None of the 2* runes and below are worth keeping.
- You should engrave 4* runes and ditch 3* runes whenever you can farm for them, same goes for 5* and 4*, 6* and 5*.
- Each rune is only worth raising to 3 times the number of stars. Therefore, raise a 3* rune to +9 until you can find a 4*, which is worth to +12 at most, and so on.
- Only use 3* rune until you can find a 6* rune to save cost; Don’t use 4* and 5* runes since you will replace them soon after you find 6*.
- How do you find specific 5* and 6* runes?
- Which is better for me, Swift or Violent set?
- I need both accuracy and HP on my unit. Should I go for Focus + HP% rune or Energy + Acc% rune?
- Should I maximize strength or cover the weak stats of my units?
- Why do I see so few Fatal and Energy set used in high-level tier, and disproportionately more Despair, Violent, etc?
- What do you think of the January ’15 rune system overhaul?
- Farming B10 Giant/Dragon requires runes from B10 Giant/Dragon. How can I start farming B10 in the first place then?
- What do you think of all rune sets (including the new sets of Wll, Nemesis, Shield and Revenge) for late game purposes?
- Are rune packs worth buying?
- What are the most common rune templates and combinations?
- How can I get those awesome 20+% sub-stats on the chat channels?
- Is it worth breaking the set bonus?
- I see XXX rune on the magic shop. Should I buy it? / I just got XXX rune from B10 Giant/Dragon. Is it worth using?
- My rune inventory is overflowing from farming Giant / Dragon, but I feel like throwing them away is a waste. How do you decide which ones to keep?
- How do I best make use of rune-related events (power-up stones and rune removal day)?
1. Flat stats are useless at slot 2/4/6.
A: Mostly true. Flat stats on slot 2/4/6 (where you can have the scaling rune option) are severely outclassed by their scaling counterparts. This is especially true when you raise your units to 4* and above, since their higher base stats will allow percentage-based stat to outperform flat stats. There are very few exceptions to this, mainly if the units are still in 2* and 3*, in which case you’re much better off evolving them rather than min-maxing using flat runes. There may exist (though I rather doubt it) units with such a low base stat that you’d prefer a flat over scaling rune. Here’s a simple table showing the threshold under which flat stat is better than scaling stat at max level (15). As you can see, you’ll be hard pressed to find a maxed 5* (and above) unit with such a low base stat.
2. You should find at least 3* runes to engrave ASAP. None of the 2* runes and below are worth keeping.
A: Mostly true. Based on Chart1, we look at the growth rate. Growth rate (the second value) is the most important part here, since that number will be multiplied 9 times, 12 times over as we upgrade them. From there, you can see that almost every rune has a growth rate bump at 3* (eg: HP% growth rate climbs from 1% to 2% per level at 3*). The only exceptions are flat stats (flat HP, Atk, Def, speed) and crit damage (a stat you won’t bother much with when you are still debating between 2* and 3* rune). Even then, I’d argue that 3* rune can be found early enough, and the upgrade cost difference between 2* and 3* is miniscule enough, to always prefer 3* runes and above. If you’re stuck early game, you can power-up your 1* and 2* rune, but +3 is my limit; even +6 is questionable in my opinion.
Of course, come mid-game, none of the 2* runes are worth keeping, however “heroic” or “legendary” the rune may be, because sub-stat gain below 3* is especially atrocious.
3. You should engrave 4* runes and ditch 3* runes whenever you can farm for them, same goes for 5* and 4*, 6* and 5*.
A: NO. Here we’ll make use of a concept called “pit stop“. What is a pit stop? Basically, it’s a rune star that occupies a sweet spot (usually after a growth rate bump). Even more confused? No problem! Let’s try to apply this concept:
- Look at Chart1 for critical rate stats (CRI R%). You can see that at 1* and 2*, the growth rate is only 1%. The final value is also only 18% and 19%. However, once you cross over to 3*, the new growth rate of 2% doublesthe final value to 37%. From here, you can see that it’s worth it to upgrade to 3* immediately for critical rate. But that’s not all. At 4*, the growth rate remains at 2%, so the upgrade from 3* to 4* only upgrade your stat by 1% at all levels. Now think about it: Is it worth it to pay much more in upgrading cost for an extra 1%? If you have unlimited mana, of course the answer is yes, but it is very hard to have more mana than you need in this game, and so you have to budget your spending. For me, I wouldn’t choose a 4* rune for critical rate, even if I have both 3* and 4*, ceteris paribus (all others remain the same). You might also think of the 3* to 5* upgrade to be questionable (2 tier of upgrade cost for 2% stat). Only at 6* do we have another growth bump, making the final value jumps noticeably.
Therefore, for critical rate, there is a sweet spot (pit stop) at 3* and 6*. If I’m starved for mana (as many others do), I would stop (thus the “pit stop” phrase) at 3* rune, ignoring 4* and 5* until I can get my hands on 6*, barring overriding circumstances. These circumstances are if I severely need an extra 1 or 2% (water imp acc and crit% being foremost) or if the 4* and 5* have exceptional sub-stats. I wouldn’t even hesitate to have a +15 3* critical rate rune. Yes, I know it’s against the common sense (max out 3* rune? WTF!!), but the cost you incur to get those +15 at 4* and 5* are HUGE for a mere 1% and 2%.
- Another example (HP%). There is another similar bump at 3*, making it a possible pit stop. But first, let’s look at 4*. It’s another 1% gain, so it’s not worth it. Since there is a growth rate bump before 3* and small upgrade after 3* (typical sweet spot pattern), 3* is a pit stop for HP%. But this is where it’s different: at 5*, you get a 5% increase from 3* to 5*. Even if the growth rate remains at 2%, this might be sufficient to make it a sweet spot, depending on your preferences. And of course, the 6* has another growth rate improvement. Therefore, for HP%, there is a pit stop at 3* and 6*, and possibly at 5*.
Finally understood the “pit stop” concept? Good! Now I’ll outline all the pit stops for your convenience:
- (Flat) HP, Atk, Def: there is no pit stop for flat stats as the growth rate is incremental. Therefore, you need the best runes for slot 1/3/5.
- HP%, Atk%, Def%: there is a pit stop at 3* and 6*, with a possible 5*.
- Spd: there is no pit stop pre-5*, but the upgrade cost difference from 1* and 2* to 3* is small enough to make it a pit stop. Also, this is the only case where there is no growth rate improvement at 6*, so 5* is pretty competitive to 6* here, relative to others. Therefore, there is a pit stop at 3*, 5*, and 6*.
- Critical rate: there is a pit stop at 3* and 6*.
- Critical damage: there is a pit stop at 4* and 6*, with a possible 5*. This is the only case where 3* is NOT a pit stop, since the upgrade to 4* offers a much better deal.
- Acc, Res: there is a pit stop at each of 3*, 5* and 6*, with a possible 4*.
I’ve also designed Chart2 in mind to show you all the pit stops. Any “inefficient” star level has been crossed out from the chart (you can consult Chart1 to see why). Also, each cell is color-coded; the darker the tint, the better a pit stop it is, and vice versa (you can see Speed having its unusual bump at 5*). This also explains why 6* is such a powerful upgrade over 5* runes.
P.S: Higher stars runes will have better sub-stats (tested). Therefore, if you’re lucky and found a good rune (eg: 5* heroic critical rate rune with crit dmg, crit % and HP% sub-stat) then it IS a worthy upgrade and you should switch to it.
A: Depends on the cost/benefit. As of the latest update, many of the pit stops have become less pronounced. Many of the gaps have been filled by Com2Us, resulting in a term I called “linearization”. Let me show you how.
On Chart3, notice the relation between darker tinted line (post-patch) and lighter one (pre-patch), in relation to the trendline. You can immediately see that the post-patch values are much closer in shape to the straight line. The straight line is the trendline, which means that a perfect rune growth across stars have no bumps and no pit stops to speak of; every point is equally efficient. Incidentally, the kinks on the lighter tinted line is perfectly correlated with out pit stops. Where the line is far above the trendline, we have our pit stops. The difference in height between them shows how big the pit stop magnitude is. Just compare any of them, for example on crit%. 3 star crit% rune is far above the trendline, where 4* and 5* is far below. This means that 3* crit% rune is a pit stop, while 4* and 5* runes are comparatively less efficient (look at the depth of the trough in 5* crit% rune). It is exactly the same as our conclusion above. All other stats follow as such.
The darker tinted line, in comparison, is less kinky, which means that it has less potential for pit stops. It’s as if Com2Us dev department wanted to emulate the trendline. Therefore, most pit stops have become less pronounced. However, there is still a marked jump from 5* to 6* runes, and so the benefits of 5* runes are still considerably different from their 6* versions. Also, you can still use pit stops on any point that is above the trendline. For example, 3* HP/Atk/Def runes are more cost-effective than 5*, since one is above the trendline and another is below it. It’s just less noticeable / much more efficient than before. As before, Chart1 is color-coded; the darker it is, the greater the pit stop potential.
Since the runes are more linear in benefits, you could theoretically graduate from 3* rune to 4*, 5*, and so on. However, I still strongly recommend that you first invest in at least 3* runes, then only move 0-1 time before stopping at 6* rune (ie: either move from 3* straight to 6* or only jump once to 4* or 5* on the way). This is because you need to re-upgrade those runes every time you move up, and they don’t come by cheap. You’ll need all those mana (and more) when you handle 6* runes.
4. Each rune is only worth raising to 3 times the number of stars. Therefore, raise a 3* rune to +9 until you can find a 4*, which is worth a +12 at most, and so on.
A: It depends, but mostly NO. Refer to question 3. For 1* and 2* the rule of thumb is valid (although I’m kinda iffy on +6 2* runes). It is also perfectly fine for flat stats, but some tiers have such a nice pit stop that I would +12 them, if not +15 altogether.
A: Much more reason to, but still NO. The cost of moving from 3* +9 rune, to 4* +12 rune, 5* +15 rune, 6* +15 rune is enormous. You’re much better served choosing a rune with good sub-stats and +12 them, even if it’s just a 3 star rune. Having a strong rune in +12 form is much better than spreading out the mana across multiple mediocre ones.
5. Only use 3* rune until you can find a 6* rune to save cost; Don’t use 4* and 5* runes since you will replace them soon after you find 6*.
A: It depends, but mostly NO. Again, refer to question 3.
- This wouldn’t apply to flat stats, for obvious reason.
- Depending on your mana economy, you might want to consider the lighter-tinted cells in Chart2. They don’t have a growth rate increment, but the initial and final value difference might be good enough for you.
- You might want to stop at +12 for certain runes. I have provided the +12 value (it’s the third number from the notation) for you. You might want to compare +12 5* Acc rune with +15 3* Acc rune for your Water Imp, for example.
- Speed rune is perfectly serviceable at 5*. I wouldn’t throw away any 5* Speed rune when I found the 6* version.
- Especially NOT for the critical damage rune. I wouldn’t use 3* critical damage rune in ANY scenario, since whenever you can find 3*, 4* is not far away.
A: No big reason to stick to 3* runes anymore. The star growth has been smoothened out, so you could conceivably stop at 4*, or 5*, etc. They are no longer inefficient (they are closer to the trendline now). The top-left graph in Chart3 shows the post-patch comparison to all rune stars. From there, we can derive several things:
- This wouldn’t apply to flat stats, for obvious reason.
- Since everything is so close together, any +12 of 3*, 4* or 5* would serve you well enough. Note below.
- Notice that speed rune at 5* is so far above the competition. Speed rune is perfectly serviceable at 5*. I wouldn’t throw away any 5* Speed rune when I found the 6* version.
- Extreme min-maxers to cost might want to only choose the rune stars that’s above the trendline (4* for crit damage, 5* for speed, 3* for everything else), but it’s no longer as noticeable.
6. How do you find specific 5* and 6* runes?
A: Here is the comprehensive list of all the methods to obtain them:
- Wishing well (5* and 6* runes of all types, at least rare quality)
- Magic shop (5* and 6* runes of all types and quality. 5* starts appearing more often at level 27, 6* starts appearing more often at level 30)
- Hell boss stages (small chance of 5* runes of mostly normal/magic quality, good source of 3* and 4* pit stop runes. Stage 1-6 can only drop 3* and 4* runes)
- Giant’s Keep (Despair, Energy, Fatal, Blade, Rage, Swift, Focus – top half of the map’s runes (Garen to Hydeni)- of 3* all the way to 6*, mostly rare quality and above. 6* starts dropping at B6)
- Dragon’s Lair (Vampire, Guard, Endure, Violent, Will, Nemesis, Shield, Revenge – bottom half of the map’s runes (Tamor to Faimon) and the new maps (Aiden to Chiruka)- of 3* all the way to 6*, mostly rare quality and above. 6* starts dropping at B6)
- Rune pack for US$ 29.99 (5 runes of 5* – 6* runes of your selected set, at least magic quality and guaranteed one 6* rune among the 5, could be more if you’re lucky)
And as a bonus, here are some some tips on buying runes from the magic shop:
- Magic shop slot expansion helps you to find those runes.
- Refreshing also works, but always max out your magic shop slots before refreshing for maximum efficiency.
- Depending on your budget, not all 5* and 6* runes are worth buying. Priority are given to slot 2/4/6 runes with compatible stat (eg: Endure with Resist, Rage with Atk%), then sub-stat follows.
- Despair and Vampire are especially expensive (upwards of 600k). You might or might not want to buy them.
- Legend runes mean nothing if most of the sub-stat are flat HP, Atk, or Def.
- Focused runes are worth buying (plain 6* Fatal rune with Atk)
- If you’re on the fence, think of what units that rune would be good on. Some stat-set combinations are non-synergistic (Focus-Crit damage) while others can be surprisingly good (Energy-Crit chance for Light Bearman)
7. Which is better for me, Swift or Violent set?
A: It depends. I feel like this is the question where I honestly can’t give you a “rule of thumb” answer. Both have values in late-game. Before I do a pros/cons analysis, let’s examine what we do know and take it a step further.
You know that Swift’s effect is only applied to the base stat. All other speed stats are piled upon this bonus. But do you know that the more speed you stack on your runes, the less “effective” Swift effect is? Let’s compare some numbers.
You are considering outfitting a Megan with the Swift set. She already has 3 speed as a sub-stat from her Focus set. Now, you want to evaluate the effect of Swift (Swift will give 25% of her 97 base speed, or 24.25 extra speed):
- If you take off her Focus set, Swift will give her an extra 24.25/97 = 25% speed (exactly as advertised)
- Taking her Focus set into account, she’ll be at 100 speed (97 base + 3). Swift will now give her an extra 24.25/100 = 24.25% speed.
- Suppose your Focus set consists of a +15 6* speed rune at slot 2. This is 42 extra speed. Swift will now give her 24.25/(97+3+42) = 17.07% extra speed.
As you can see, even though Swift’s effect is static, the more speed you stack, the less pronounced Swift’s effect is. This does not mean that Swift is less useful; it only means its marginal effect is less.
Now, let’s compare it to the Violent set. Violent offers 20% extra turn. The following table will show you how much extra speed Violent gives:
|% of at least 1 extra turn||% of at least 2 extra turns||% of at least 5 extra turns||% cumulative speed boost|
This means that you have 20% chance of acting at least once, 4% chance of acting at least twice, etc. Over time (infinite and averaging), Violent will give you 25% extra speed in the long run.
Now, what does this mean? This means that Violent’s effect is constant, unlike Swift’s. A Violent set will always give you 25% extra speed (in the long run), regardless of how much speed you stack.
Now that you know this information, does that mean Violent is always superior than Swift, given that Violent is always 25% extra speed, while Swift’s 25% is diminished if you invest in even 1 extra speed? The answer is NO.
Here are some arguments that favor Swift:
- Swift is reliable. You do not rely on RNG to decide if you get extra turns or not. Therefore, it’s the stable and reliable option, especially for such crucial role like healers and supports, where you can’t mess up or rely on RNG.
- Swift is the top pick if you absolutely have to move first (attack bar unit or Chloe). You don’t care if you get 1 or 100 extra turns down the road. It’s the first turn that matters, and Swift will absolutely help you with that.
- If your units have big cooldowns, Swift will help you rotate the big skills that much earlier. Violent will risk only spamming basic skill if they get too many turns at once.
- If your units have basic skills that is redundant if chained, Swift is better. An example would be Inferno’s (attack bar inc by 30% on critical) and Pixie’s on solo boss (glancing hit debuff, useless if the boss is already debuffed on the first attack)
- Swift is better if your units have high base speed, for the reasons outlined in question 9 later on.
- Swift is better if your units’ skills scale off speed (eg: Wind magical archer, Wind griffon)
Here are some arguments that favor Violent:
- Violent is volatile. Even though this may be bad, in some cases it can be beneficial for you. For example, if you’re almost dead in AO and you know opponent’s Raoq will move soon, Violent on Ahman means that you have 20% chance to heal twice, which will save your skin from Raoq’s clean up. Meanwhile, Swift on Ahman will do nothing for you if you only heal once and die before your second turn. In this case, a Violent team has a 20% chance of surviving, while a Swift team has 100% chance of losing. Similarly, a lucky Fire Rakshasa chain attack can save you from impending doom.
- Violent has the raw number advantage. No one can argue that over time, or in a long battle, Violent would give you more turns than Swift ever would.
- If your units have big cooldowns, Violent can help you rotate them faster. Getting 3 or 4 extra turns might not make you spam them, but you certainly make those skills come off cooldown just that much faster.
- If your units have a useful basic skill, especially when chained, then even the drawback might not matter as much. An example would be Ahman (heal every hit) and Fire Rakshasa (attack bar decrease every hit)
- Violent is better if your units have low base speed, since the low base doesn’t deprive you of Violent’s benefits.
- Violent is better if your units actually act better later or the second turn. A prominent example is Light Bearman. A Swift Ahman might mean that he will act first in a battle when no one is damaged yet, thus wasting an entire turn, while a Violent Ahman can fit in just nicely after the first round of damage and heal up everyone in time.
8. I need both accuracy and HP on my unit. Should I go for Focus + HP% rune or Energy + Acc% rune?
A: Case-by-case basis. If you need both stats, there are two ways to get them from runes: Set and Main stat.
Suppose I tell you that if you go for bundle A, you will get 40% Acc and 30% HP, and if you go for bundle B you will get 50% Acc and 30% HP. Which bundle would you choose? Obviously, it’s bundle B. But how can we capture this information from the chart? Well, enter the second-half (right part) of Chart2.
The first number we can consider is Value. You can interpret it as the extra stat the set pegs into your runes. So for Fatal set, you can assume that each Fatal rune you assemble will give you 7.5% extra damage (so with a 4-set it’s 30%). Now, this gives you some indication of how much each set gives you, but you also want to know of the set is strong relative to the specific rune.
Here’s where the 3 ratios come in. For now, let’s use the 6* Ratio number. This is the ratio you use if you assume all runes are at 6*. As you can see, the calculation is Value*100/ FinalValue of 6* rune. This means that the set benefits (Value) is on the numerator, and the rune benefits (Final Value of 6* rune) is on the denominator.
The larger a ratio number is, the stronger the set benefit compared to the rune, and vice versa. In other words,if the ratio is large, you should get the set benefits over the rune. This can be either because the set benefit is particularly strong (large numerator), or the specific rune for it is particularly weak (small denominator). This might seem like a meaningless mumbo-jumbo to you, so let’s try out 2 examples:
1. Acc vs HP%. In the 6* Ratio, Acc is 15.6, while HP% is 11.9. Therefore, Acc has a larger ratio, and you should use Focus set and HP% rune. Why is this so? Let’s compare bundle A (3 Focus, 1 HP% rune) with bundle B (3 Energy, 1 Acc% rune). If our theory is correct, bundle A (with Focus and HP% rune) should win.
- Bundle A will give you 60% Acc (20% from Focus x3) and 63% HP (maxed out 6* HP% rune)
- Bundle B will give you 64% Acc (maxed out 6* Acc rune) and 45% HP (15% from Energy x3)
Bundle A gives you 18% extra worth of stats for the cost of 4%. If you are not strapped for runes, you can find a 4% sub-stat much, much easier than you would for 18%.
You might make the argument of “What if I need 100% Acc, or 100% crit rate?” My response to this is that you should do this min-maxing when you still have a blank slate, so you get to fill up the missing stat from sub-stats. Doing this will min-max your units to their absolute peak.
2. Res vs HP% (personal experience). Those who answered my posts (thank you!) will know that I’m raising a 6* Rina for AD and Faimon farming. Right now, I want to make a 100% Res Rina. Obviously, I need to balance between Res and HP. Since Rina’s base Res is 40%, I need another 60% from runes. I can do this with eitherbundle A (Energy x3 with Res slot 6) or bundle B (Endure x2 Energy x1 with HP% slot 6). For both case I can fill the remaining < 20% Res from sub-stat. I’m also not able to afford 6*, so I use Pre-6* Ratio. Here are the comparisons:
- Bundle A will give me 45% HP (15% from Energy x3) and 51% Res (maxed out 5* Res rune)
- Bundle B will give me 66% HP (maxed out 5* HP% rune and 15% from Energy) and 40% Res (20% from Endure x2)
The Pre-6* Ratio for HP% is 14.7 and the ratio for Res is 19.6. Do you think the ratio supports our conclusion? (the theory states that the higher ratio stat should be used as a set bonus, and cover the lower ratio with rune, or bundle B as per the theory)
Which ratio should you use?
- “Pre-6* Ratio” is what you want if you calculate the efficiency using “last pit stop before 6*” policy. This is a 5* to 5* comparison.
- “6* Ratio” uses 6* as denominator, which is your ideal end-game scenario.
Also, some general inferences:
- Blade set is terrible from a min-max point of view. You’re better off with crit rate runes. However, it is the only DPS set for a 2-set, so you’re “forced” to have this if you want to maximize your damage.
- Acc and Res set are the superstars. Focus and Endure runes are exceptionally efficient. This is compounded by the fact that you could overshoot your Acc and Res need (with 6* rune, you only need 21% from sub-stats; any more and you’ve wasted some of them)
- Based on question 6, Endure and Guard set (the darker tinted boxes on the 6* Ratio in Chart2) are only available from Dragon’s Lair. This may force you to use Pre-6* Ratio until much later on.
- Speed rune has an interesting ratio. The growth rate bump occurs at 5* instead of 6*. This means that the denominator (specific rune) is big for Pre-6* Ratio, making for a low Pre-6* Ratio, and vice versa. As expected, Swift set is underwhelming for Pre-6* Ratio, and good for 6* Ratio.
- Speed rune is also a bit iffy. I’ve normalized the bonus to a 100 speed unit. Faster (and slower) units will need a slight adjustment in the calculation, but the result post-change will still be valid.
9. Should I maximize strength or cover the weak stats of my units?
A: Maximize strength, most of the time. This is the easiest question to answer. Your base stat mostly defines your role (nukers such as Lushen typically has high base Atk), and scaling runes work best on high base value. If SW is a game where flat stat runes rule, then my answer might be different, but here, you don’t get as much benefit from multiplying an already low number by a percentage than a high number. This means that Def% rune for your Water Imp won’t do jack. This is especially prominent in Speed. Many players try to equip their Dragon (or other similarly slow units) with Swift set. Now, I’m not saying that they don’t need Speed to do their job, but % of a low number is still a low number. What you can do here is two-fold:
- Invest in speed rune slot 2 and many speed sub-stat. Those are all flat stats, and they don’t care about your low base speed.
- Use attack bar increase units, such as Wind Griffon, Megan, or Verdehile.
The only exception is if you absolutely, 100%, need that particular stat to do the unit’s niche, in which case you just have to suck it up and suffer the inefficiencies. A popular example is Megan. Megan’s 97 speed isn’t particularly good, but Swift is always the best set for her, given her need to go first.
10. Why do I see so few Fatal and Energy set used in high-level tier, and disproportionately more Despair, Violent, etc?
A: Because those stats aren’t easily replicated. Look at the top 100 arena players. Many of them have units with 6* runes, but their sets are different from yours; they might use more despair, violent, and swift, and less fatal and energy. Now, you might ask, why is this so? Should you mimic them and get those sets as well? Does this mean that as soon as you use those sets you will climb arena ladder? Not necessarily!
There are several reasons why they use those runes. The easiest one is of course, because they can have it. The average player simply doesn’t have enough 6* Despair, Violent, and Vampire runes lying around. B10 Dragon is also much harder than B10 Giant to farm, and so Violent, Will, etc sets are harder for new players to obtain. The second reason is a bit more subtle.
These players, with access of 6* runes, can easily have lots of Atk, HP, etc. Let’s compare two players, a top 100 player and our classic average Joe. Both have a attacker monster to fit runes with.
- Our average Joe can only afford 3* runes, so he can only afford three 3* +15 Atk% runes. He will gain 114% Atk.
- Our top 100 arena player can afford 6* runes, and he similarly used three 6* +15 Atk% runes. He will gain 189% Atk.
Now, suppose that both player decide to min-max a bit. A Fatal set for our average Joe will give him 30/214 = 14% extra attack, while a Fatal set for the top 100 arena player will give him 30/289 = 10.4% extra attack. As you can see, with a similar set, average Joe has more to gain relative to the top 100 arena player. To put it another way, the more you stack a stat, the less effective each additional ones are. Another direct example of this is our Swift calculations at question 7.
Knowing this, it is easy to predict why the top players behave as such. They will have a lot of extra HP, Atk, Def (slot 1/3/5 also give a lot at +15 6*), making those sets not as useful. They also get a lot of extra sub-stats, making a 100% crit rate especially easy to reach.
Mathematically, based on Chart2, they operate on 6* Ratio, while we might operate at Pre-6* Ratio (check the numbers: 6* Ratio numbers are lower across the board). As we know from the theory, a lower ratio means the related set is not as favorable. This means that they tend to stay away from these sets and favor sets that have no rune equivalent. What are these? You guessed it: Despair, Vampire and Violent. The only set still going strong is Swift, and that is more due to speed’s strength in arena than due to efficiency itself.
Once the high-tier players have accumulated enough 6* Atk/HP/other stats, they will suffer diminishing returns from stacking more of them. This is when stat-related sets such as Rage, Blade, Fatal, etc fade and Violent, Revenge, etc rise in appeal. Their effects are unique and hard to replicate, and thus these sets have suffered no diminishing returns yet. That’s why you see a Violent Sigmarus instead of Rage Sigmarus.
Knowing this, does this mean that having the same set preferences as top players will make you min-max better? NO. They have their own constraints, and you have your own constraints. They avoid Fatal runes because they have stacked enough Atk, while the same cannot be said for you. Each side has his/her own limitations, and each operates to optimize his/her own situation. When you have stacked more Atk (6* runes), THEN you might want to consider other sets.
11. What do you think of the January ’15 rune system overhaul?
A: Non- pit stops are less of a rip off, but there are still recurring patterns. TBA…..
And so we have come to the end of this guide. Any comments, whether constructive or destructive, are appreciated!