Mastering the Precision Keystones - A League of Legends Guide
Sat 9th Jan 2021 - 8:00am
As most of you know, winning a game of League starts well before you load onto the Rift. It starts in Draft Phase and more importantly, it starts with your Runes and Masteries you select. Today we’re starting off a series of guides to help you master each of the Rune sets in League of Legends. We’re starting with the Precision Tree today and we’re focusing on all the details you need to know about each of the Keystones!
Precision Keystone: Press the Attack
Basic attacks against enemy Champions apply a stack for 4 seconds, stacking up to 3 times with the duration refreshing upon applying another stack. Attacking a new Champion removes all stacks from the previous target. The third stack consumes all previous stacks to deal 40-180 (based on level) bonus adaptive damage and render the target Exposed for 6 second. This causes them to take 8%-12% (based on level) increased damage from all subsequent sources
- Great for bursting down a target in 2v2 situations due to the Exposed debuff.
- Low Cooldown so can be played around and used aggressively.
- Awesome on aggressive laners like Lucian, Renekton, Irelia, Camille, and Pantheon.
- Fantastic Primary Tree for due to the Legend Runes, Triumph, and Coup de Grace.
- Doesn’t scale as well as other Precision Runes
- Lacks utility and requires targets to be within AA-range.
- Not great in extended or multi-target fights due to stacks falling off upon switching targets.
When to Take PTA
- If you’re playing a Lane Dominant pick. (Lucian, Pantheon, Camille)
- If your Champion has a natural way to synergize with the Exposed burst window. (AA-Resets like Lucian passive, Camille Q, Sett Q)
- When your Jungler is playing to your lane. (Be it Top, Mid, or Bot.) PTA gives offers excellent kill potential on Ganks via the Exposed debuff. Coupling it, and two forms of damage from yourself and your Jungler, you increased your short fight potential
- When you have a range advantage. Consider Marksmen vs. Melee matchups in Top or Mid.
When to Not Take PTA
- When you’re wanting to scale. Though PTA can increase one’s lane presence, if your Champion’s goal and primary identity is to scale into late game, you want to avoid taking PTA and instead opt for another Keystone that synergizes with your late game potential. The one exclusion to this regard is Vayne, whose passive inherently synergizes with PTA’s potential and allows her to come online earlier.
- Your Champion’s kit lacks a way to abuse AA-resets.
- Exposed Champions will receive bonus damage from non-Champion including Minions and Turrets
- Effects that let you apply more than one on-hit effect per attack will also apply additional stacks of Press the Attack, e.g. Lucian’s Lightslinger, Renekton’s Ruthless Predator, and Shyvana’s Twin Bite.
- The attack that procs Press the Attack does not benefit from the increased damage. However, any damage of time or follow-up effects that come with the basic attack will be affected, e.g. Darius’ Hemorrhage, Teemo’s Toxic Shot, and Illaoi’s Tentacle Slam.
- PTA’s damage amplifier stacks multiplicatively with Abyssal Mask
Champions That Use PTA Well:
Irelia, Vayne, Renekton, Kled, Camille, Pantheon, Jax, Miss Fortune, Lucian, Talon, and Quinn
Precision Keystone: Lethal Tempo
Passive: After 1.5 seconds, upon damaging an enemy Champion you gain 40%-110% bonus attack speed and your attack speed cap is increased for 3 seconds. Attack a Champion while the effect is active extends the duration to 6 seconds.
Lethal Tempo Strengths:
- Excellent in extended team fights, especially for shredding frontline within tight chokepoints.
- Great for establishing lane priority. By proccing Lethal Tempo, you can utilize the extend attack speed to auto-attack the wave to push and establish priority.
- Great throughout the game from early to late.
- Excellent for comps that like to go all-in.
Lethal Tempo’s Weaknesses:
- You must stay in fights to utilize the attack speed effectively.
- Open area fighting/easily disengaged situations. If your opponents are outside of your range, you cannot capitalize on the potential of this rune.
- Bad against poke comps. Poke comps typically have a range advantage and only commit to all-in fights after they’ve worn down their opponents. Lethal Tempo users typically suffer against this style of play since they’ll proc LT in poke situations and then not have it once the follow-up fight is initiated.
When to Take Lethal Tempo:
- When your kit revolves around auto-attacking.
- When you’re wanting an aggressive pattern of play and your Champion possesses decent defensive tools.
- When you need to shred tanks within a front to back style team
When to Not Take Lethal Tempo:
- When your team thrives on short bursts.
- When your lane is dictated by all-ins.
- If you’re a melee Champion, since you’ll rarely benefit from Lethal Tempos effectives as you’ll be a primary target of team focus.
- The user’s attack speed cap is increased to 90.0 for the duration, however this value is far beyond the technical limit for attack speed.
- The effect is able to remove Sion’s Glory in Death attack speed cap but is not unable to remove Jhin or Graves’s
- Lethal Tempo is not activated if the damage is entirely mitigated by effects such as Sivir’s Spell Shield or Taric’s invulnerability.
- Lethal Tempo can be activated by simply dealing damage.
Champions That Use Lethal Tempo Well:
Azir, Corki, Ashe, Sivir, Twitch, Kog’maw
Precision Keystone: Fleet Footwork
Unique - Energized: Moving and basic attacking generates Energize stacks up to 100.
Fleet Footwork: When fully Energized, your next basic attack heals you for 3-60 based on level (+30% bonus AD/AP) and grants 20% bonus movement speed for 1 second. Against Minions, the healing is 100% effectives when melee, 20% for range.
Fleet Footwork’s Strengths:
- Great for sustaining through lane phase to reach level and item spikes.
- Great for spacing and engaging or disengaging trades. Using the movement speed buff, you can weave in and out of range to land abilities and/or avoid damage.
- Scales with AP so great for Champions that want to start Doran’s Ring.
Fleet Footwork’s Weaknesses:
- Scales horribly. This is a rune meant to help you survive early game and its effect is often negligible in late-game situations.
- Poor in 2v2 situations. 2v2s are dictated by burst and damage and this rune provides neither.
- Poor for all-in trades which are, again, dictated by burst and damage and this provides neither.
When to Take Fleet Footwork:
- Against poke lanes or lanes that just generally out-range you.
- Great for short trade lanes.
- Great vs skillshot matchups as melee, as you can weave around the skillshots with the bonus movement speed and naturally sustain from the energize effect.
- If you want an extended/scaling laning phase.
When to Not Take Fleet Footwork:
- When you have solo-kill potential.
- Playing for early 2v2/Gank Setup. Fleet lacks early game combat potential and weakens 2v2s. If your Jungler/Duo wants early priority and expects you to fight with them, Fleet is a poor option.
- In lanes where you naturally win trades.
- In lanes where fights are extended for longer periods. Especially in aggressive melee vs. melee matchups.
- Each basic attack generates 6 Energize stacks while 1 is generated for every 24 in-game units traveled. This includes but is not limited to simple movement using dashes, blinks, or being displaced to another location.
Champions That Use Fleet Footwork Well:
Akali, Kassadin, Caitlyn, Yasuo, Gnar, Corki, Sylas
Precision Keystone: Conqueror
Passive: Basic attacks on-damage against enemy Champions grant stacks of Conqueror. (2 for melee, 1 for ranged) Abilities and spells always grant 2.
Each stack of Conqueror grants 1.2-3 (based on level) bonus Attack Damage or 2-5 (based on level) Ability Power (Adaptive) for 6 seconds, stacking up to 12 times for a maximum of 14.4-36 (based on level) bonus AD or 24-60 (based on level) AP.
When fully stacked, Conqueror heals for 9% (melee)/6% (ranged) of the post-mitigation damage dealt to enemy Champions. The buff refreshes upon dealing damage to enemy Champions with attacks or abilities.
Persistent damage and ongoing sources of damage will grant/refresh stacks only once every 5 seconds. Spells and effects that deal default damage will not grant any stacks.
(TL;DR. Stack it to 12 by auto-ing and hitting abilities to gain a healing effect as you keep fighting.)
- Great for extended fights. Even fights that extend beyond the initial point of contact. Simply maintaining your stacks against any opponent is effective in utilizing this rune.
- Stacks apply even as you switch targets.
- Great against heavy frontline since you’ll be able to stack quickly off of their bulk.
- Scales very well into the late game
- Harder to utilize early game as it requires heavy commitment to stack and can often lead to you leaving yourself vulnerable.
- If your Champion lacks mobility it is harder to utilize. If your opponent disengages, you want dashes/gap closers to get back into range to maintain your stacks
When to Take Conqueror:
- If your Champion excels at sticking to a target.
- If your Champion has great sustained damage, especially if they’re auto-attack focused.
- Great in Melee vs. Melee situations as you’ll be constantly trading autos back and forth, thus stacking Conqueror quickly.
When to Not Take Conqueror:
- You have a weak laning phase. Though Conqueror is a scaling rune and synergizes with builds later, if your Champion already possesses an abysmal laning phase (Kassadin) then opting for a rune that mitigates that weakness is more beneficial.
- If you don’t believe you can reliably get 12 stacks. For example, if you’re the lone Melee on your team, you’ll often be the first focused down in a fight. Or the enemy team possesses a heavy amount of disengage/hard-CC to stop you.
- You’re matched against a lot of squishy opponents. Conqueror is great in extended situations, so if you’re just going to burst down your opponents, you might as well opt for runes like Electrocute or PTA that better strive for that goal.
- If you’re heavily out-ranged. If you’re poked down before you can even get into a fight to start stacking Conqueror, you’re likely not going to benefit from the rune at all.
- Conqueror’s stacking can only occur once per basic attack or ability cast.
- Item effects that are not castable (Sunfire Aegis/Liandry’s Anguish) cannot stack or refresh Conqueror
- Conqueror does not stack if the attack is ‘dodged’ (Jax) or missed if the user is blinded. However, it will stack if the attack is ‘blocked’ (Shen W)
Champions That Use Conqueror Well:
Jax, Irelia, Garen, Aphelios, Samira, Cassiopeia, Akali, Olaf, Sett, Master Yi, Udyr
After all that, you should have a better idea when to opt in for each of the Precision Tree’s Keystones. And throughout this piece, you may have seen some Keystones can be flexed onto multiple Champions, and that’s a great reminder to always be adaptive during your Draft Phase. You want to always put yourself in position to better overcome your current enemy, and not just blindly follow a cookie-cutter build because it has the highest win-rate.
Yes, Conqueror on Irelia might be the most common option for her, but there are situations where if you take Press the Attack, you can steamroll a game. The same goes for someone like Akali. She may stack and utilize Conqueror well, but if her opponent is poke heavy, opting for Fleet Footwork can help her survive until kill potential is greater.
With all that said, stay flexible Summoners. And I look forward to continuing this piece with you next time as we cover the Secondary Runes within the Precision Tree.