LoL Guide: Masteries, Runes, and Summoner Spells

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Published: May 30, 2017 - Last Updated: Feb 29, 2024

Before a game of League of Legends even starts, there’s a number of things that players can do to set themselves up for success. Things like masteries, runes, and even summoner spells may seem insignificant at first. But they all add up to make for a game-winning performance.


Think of masteries as League’s talent system. Players get 30 mastery points that they can allocate to different bonuses. There are three mastery trees:

Every tree takes up a total of 21 mastery points. Usually, players to pick one primary branch to invest their points into and then supplement it with a few perks from another mastery tree. Most of these are minor gameplay tweaks, such as getting 5% increase in attacks speed or a slight bump to your ability damage.


The real game changers are the Keystones. Keystones are the ultimate talents that can be unlocked at the end of every mastery trees. They offer significant benefits that can very well alter a champion’s playstyle. Each mastery tree has three Keystones that players can choose from.


For the Ferocity tree, there are the following Keystones:


For the Cunning tree, there are the following Keystones:


For the Resolve tree, there are the following Keystones:

In a game of League of Legends, it’s vital to have the right masteries. Professional League of Legends players are constantly looking for ways to optimize their masteries because when push comes to shove even little things can be the difference between winning and losing,


Runes are very similar to masteries in that they also offer slight power-ups. But they’re also a lot more straightforward. You won’t find any game-altering effects or subtle mechanics here—just raw stat boosts. Runes can be divided into:

Every player has a rune page with 9 slots for marks, 9 slots for seals, 9 slots for glyphs, and 3 slots for quintessences.

In theory, marks sharpen your offensive stats, seals bolster your defenses, glyphs improve abilities, and quintessences add utility. But there are many different runes in League of Legends, and you can easily find seals that will increase your damage output or glyphs that will grant protection. The only real difference is that quintessences offer sizeable bonuses while other runes grant smaller advantages.

Once again, a proper rune selection can make or break a game. You can tailor your rune page to specific champions or even particular in-game situations. For example, if the enemy team is built around physical damage, you can very well skip magic resistances runes in favor of armor. Or if you want to become a glass cannon, you can replace your protective runes with choices that highlight your offensive capabilities.

Every League of Legends game is played with runes. Picking a wrong rune page or even forgetting your runes altogether puts you at a significant disadvantage. In general, high-level players strive to min/max their rune pages and often use them in combination with masteries to get the most value out of them.

Summoner Spells

The final and the most noticeable thing that players can do before the game starts is choosing summoner spells. Every player gets to pick two summoner spells—powerful abilities with long cooldowns that can alter your playstyle. You can use these abilities to outplay your opponents, to protect yourself and your allies, or even to perform your role properly.

There are the following summoner spells in League of Legends:

The way you use your summoner spells is what separates good players from great ones. Even in a competitive setting, pros can whiff Flashes, Heal too late, or mistime Teleports. Proper summoner spell usage requires in-game knowledge, on-the-fly thinking, and even teamwork.


As you can see, there are many aspects that can influence how a LoL match goes before it even starts. It’s a game of inches, really. So the next time you see a pro taking over a game of League of Legends, ask yourself how much of it was due to him making smart mastery and rune choices or outplaying his opponents with summoner spells.

ESB Staff
ESB Staff

Since: August 10, 2015

At we are a group of independent journalists with one big passion: Esports. We've been following the industry and have contributed to its growth since 2015.

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