League of Legends Season 12 is introducing one new keystone rune — named First Strike, it will be the first damage rune in the Inspiration tree, opening up opportunities for carries to farm big damage and gold off the keystone.
League of Legends’ inspiration rune tree has been a contentious one since the Runes Reforged update in Season 8.
Kleptomancy, Prototype: Omnistone — there’s been plenty of contentious picks. The latter, however, will finally be removed in Season 12, being replaced by a new keystone called First Strike.
Here’s how the new keystone will work in League of Legends Season 12, and what champions will best utilize First Strike in-game.
New First Strike rune in League of Legends: Stats & how it works
First Strike was described as being “designed for players who want more strategic, long-term output from their runes in addition to an immediate mechanical boost,” said senior game designer John ‘Sotere’ Frank.
Here is the description Riot provided for First Strike: “Damaging an enemy champion with an attack or ability before they do, or within 0.25s of the start of combat, grants 5 gold and First Strike for 3 seconds, causing your attacks or abilities to deal 12% bonus damage against all champions, and granting (100% melee / 70% Ranged) of bonus damage dealt as gold.”
In essence, if you initiate combat, you will do bonus damage, and that extra damage you do will also be converted into gold once combat is done.
If you get engaged on first, your First Strike will be disabled. You can also only proc it once every 20 seconds or so — it has a scaling cooldown of 25 to 15 seconds based on level.
However, if you’re a duelist that likes to initiate in lane (and late-game), you can farm a lot of money off First Strike.
“To get the most out of it, you’ll need to beat your opponents in a test of reactions to get that initial hit and follow up to deal as much damage as possible during the 3-second buff,” Sotere said.
What did First Strike replace in League of Legends?
First Strike will be replacing Inspiration keystone Prototype: Omnistone, which has barely seen play since its introduction in Season 10.
“While Prototype: Omnistone was a decent option for champions who didn’t really love any one particular Keystone, over time, most have discovered at least a couple that suit them best,” Sotere said.
Best League of Legends champions to use First Strike on
Riot said First Strike is “great for artillery champions who can land their spells first, as well as for assassins who do their entire damage output within a short amount of time.”
It’s less of a poke rune — like Kleptomancy was — because you only have a short window to do damage to make the most of it.
Mages like Xerath and Syndra could get some great use out of First Strike, given they can engage from afar and then burst down enemies with the rest of their kits.
Most assassins will find great use out of First Strike too, especially those who can engage without getting hit. Zed, Talon, and potentially LeBlanc can dish out big damage — and earn big money — off the rune.
The First Strike keystone will be available on live servers as of League of Legends patch 11.23, which is due to drop on November 17.
Other runes like Glacial Augment and Lethal Tempo are also being reworked in Season 12, so be sure to check out those changes too.
Additional reporting by Dexerto’s Andrew Amos