This post is a quick takedown of how to plan your rune needs when building towards a desired stat. I’m going to include links to some outstanding in-depth articles on the fundamentals of equipping Runes, so if you’re unfamiliar with the concept those will be great places to start.
First, if you are new to Runes in Summoners War, please go read this incredibly well done guide for beginners from the Summoners War Sky Arena website. Seriously, it’s a great guide that covers all of the basics about runes.
Second, a more detailed look at min-maxing Runes, really well done and with that lovely thorough testing and mathematical analysis that you and I love can be found here by abs01ut3 in the official Com2US forums.
Reading the first guide while looking at your own monsters and runes, and reading through the second guide while considering the implications should get most of your questions answered.
But the next step is applying all of this to reach your desired goal for a specific monster. That’s what I want to talk about.
Let’s take a single monster and use it as an example for this article.
I’m going to pick Ahman to talk about, although Verdehile would serve just as well. This is the Big Bear Butt blog, and here we be all about dem bears. So Bear it is.
Ahman is the Awakened form of the Light Bearman.
Ahman is a monster that can only be obtained from a Light and Darkness Scroll summon, or be collecting pieces from the Light Bearman Secret Dungeon.
Ahman is a Healing Support unit with a great mix of abilities, and while he is not the best healer in the game, he fills a very solid role on some teams. I use him on my Giants B10 team with Belladeon, I frequently use him on Trial of Ascension (Normal) when I need to get weaker support allies through, and really as a healing tank he’s outstanding considering he’s a 3 star monster when summoned, and can EASILY be fully skilled up by feeding him other Bearman monsters.
What makes Ahman so good, though, is highly dependent on what are considered mid to late game Runes. And therein lies the problem with Ahman.
At max skill level, his #1 ability, the ability that has no cooldown so the one he uses every time everything ELSE is on cooldown, has a 50% chance to Taunt the opponent. Considering all of his other abilities are based on his max health, that means that he is going to be built and runed for high health so he can take those hits he’s taunting off the squishy monsters on your team.
No, that’s all good. That means you are safe planning on using HP% Runes in position 2 and 6.
The problem comes with his core Awakened ability, Crushing Power.
As you can see, Crushing Power is a passive ability, meaning it works all the time, on every attack he makes… as long as that attack was a critical strike.
The shoe drops. To get a 100% certainty that every single time Ahman gets a turn he provides a heal, you will need to Rune Ahman to reach 100% CRI Rate.
To find what your current rate is along with your total health for computing how much that bonus heal is worth, just look at the monster Info screen.
As you can see my Ahman has reached 100% CRI Rate, and my HP (Health) is a total of 29432.
So, every time Ahman attacks the enemy and gets a critical strike, every monster on my team gets 3532 healing.
That ain’t bad.
It all depends on that 100% CRI Rate, though, if you want it to be reliable.
So, how do you plan for what you need?
First, identify what are important. For Ahman, you need to reach 100% CRI Rate as your primary, but anything over 100% is wasted. As your secondary, you want the highest possible health you can get.
That would indicate a few possible rune choices.
Energy runes have a two-piece set bonus of +15% HP. So those will boost your max health, and consequently boost how much YOUR heal is worth.
Blade runes have a two-piece set bonus of +12% CRI Rate. So those can be an early-stage stopgap to bring up your CRI Rate if your substats don’t get the job done. More on substats in a second.
The Runes in slot 2, 4 and 6 each have different special stats they can be. All three can be HP%, DEF%, ATK%, etc.
Each slot also has a special stat that you can ONLY get in that slot.
For example, only slot 2 runes can have SPD. Only slot 6 runes can have accuracy.
And ONLY in slot 4 can one of those special stats be CRI Rate%.
What we want and what the possibilities are write our rune requirements for us. We will want runes in positions 2,4 and 6 that are HP%/CRIRate%/HP%.
Whenever you see rune recommendations, they will usually be in this format of x/x/x and the types of runes.
As an example, For Ahman maybe you’d recommend to a brand new player “Start out with Energy/Blade x2, HP%/CRate%/HP%.
What that means is you’re suggesting they use two Energy runes, four Blade runes (2x the two piece bonus) and that in slot 2 you have a HP% rune, slot 4 you have a CRI Rate% rune and in slot 6 another HP% rune.
That’s all well and good, but the reason we’re discussing Ahman is he’s a special case. He is one of those monsters that has a specific cap we’re shooting for. We have a target we want to reach and a plan for how to get there.
We want 100% Crit.
To know what we need to do we need to know two things. What Ahman’s base Crit Rating is at max level 40 / 6 star, and what the max value our CRI Rate% rune can reach once we level it all the way to +15.
To find Ahman’s base CRI Rate, something you will notice you CANNOT see once you have any CRI Rate runes on him at all, you can find the info on your favorite database website.
My website for choice that I love referring to for everything is the Summoners War Wiki.
By referring to the page for Ahman, you can see his base CRI Rate is 15%.
It also gives you a good idea of the stats of your monster as you level him up, so you can compare him with others for the role you’re using him for (such as maybe a single target nuker attacker) and see if at max level he’s going to be as powerful as others you have as options.
So here we can see we’re starting with 15% CRI Rate, and everything else will have to come from runes.
Our next step is to see how much we can get out of that CRI Rate % slot 4 rune. What it can become is based on one thing; it’s star quality. A 1 star quality rune can be leveled up to +15 just like a 6 star rune, it just has far, FAR lower potential stats.
Here is an extremely useful chart that provides you with the exact values you will get from a given rune based on star quality and stat type;
This chart came from that excellent Min/Maxing Runes guide by abs01ut3 on the Com2US forums I linked to at the beginning of the post.
From that chart you can see that if you get a 6 star CRI Rate% rune, and level it up fully to +15, it will have +58% CRI Rate on it.
Do the math. If base Crit is 15% and the slot 4 rune fully maxed is 58%, you’re at 73%. Even if you had two sets of Blade runes, that only gives you another 24% Crit, leaving you at 97%.
So what do you do?
This is where substats come into play, and also where you start to see the depth and detail this game can have.
You see, every rune has it’s base stat which improves as you level it.
However, as you level a rune, it also acquires BONUS stats. Every time you level a rune to 3, 6, 9 and 12 it acquires a new bonus stat. Completely at random. The only hard and fast rule seems to be that you can’t double up on a stat, so for example a Slot 2 SPD rune won’t proc a SPD bonus stat. Because the stat is already on it, got it?
Okay, so WTF, you’re thinking you get the rune of your dreams to drop, an Energy slot 2 6 star quality rune with HP% on it, but then it’s crap and you can’t use it because after you invest a ton of Mana Crystals in it to level it up, it never procs CRi Rating as a bonus stat, OMG, right?
Well, yeah, kinda. It all depends on if you get enough CRI Rate on other runes as substats to make up for it.
See, there is a way to rig the system in your favor.
Sometimes your runes can drop as or be purchased in the Mystic Shop as a boosted quality, just like World of Warcraft gear. All runes are acquired as level 1 runes with a star rating from 1 to 6, but they also have a color rating.
White runes start with zero bonus stats. Green runes start with 1 bonus stat already on it. Blue runes start with 2 bonus stats. Purple runes start with three bonus stats, and orange runes start with four.
There can ALSO be a bonus stat directly under the core type of rune. It’s not in the bonus stat list, it’s under the rune type itself, like right under the big bold “ATK%” there might be a smaller rune type like “HP%”.
All these extra stats are your substats. The extra stat that might be listed immediately under the stat name will never increase in power. What it be is what it be, bro. You know?
The other runes, the ones a bit lower down and off to the left, those are the bonus stats in the positions you WOULD have gotten them as you leveled up the rune.
When you do level the rune up, when you reach +3, instead of giving you a bonus stat, you instead get one of those substats INCREASED by a solid amount. Which stat is chosen at random each time, but this means that +3% CRI Rate substat on your blue rune, when you hit rank 3 might get boosted to be more powerful. And a blue rune would normally get TWO bonus substats, so you get two chances at having that CRI Rate substat boosted.
Here is an example of a rune that starts at level 1 5 star but is a green quality, and has one substat.
This is where you game the system.
You look for not just a rune that is the type and start quality you want, you also look for one that has the substat you want already on it, knowing that it gives you a chance when leveling it up to get some REALLY tasty CRI Rating bonus.
Let’s take a look at one of my runes, for example.
This is my slot 2 HP% Rune. You can see it’s not Energy or Blade, it’s Violent. I’ll talk about that in a second.
The important this is to look at the substats. In this case, I have +6% CRI Rate from this rune, and that came from this rune starting with CRI Rate already on it, and then getting boosted again while leveling.
I have another rune with a substat of +11% CRI Rating. That one I really hit the jackpot on, bt it happened because I knew to look for a rune that already had the right substat on it, and in that case it started out as orange quality so I had FOUR chances for CRI Rate to be the stat that got boosted… and it actually happened 3 times. So glorious.
This rune is only level +12, and can continue to be leveled to +15. However, +12 is the last rank that you get a bonus stat, so it’s the last rank where your substats have a chance to get boosted. That’s why I stopped there for right now. Well, that and I forgot I wasn’t done leveling it yet, lol.
See, when you reach your final 3 level multiplier at +15, instead of boosting a substat or getting a new one, your MAIN stat gets boosted a lot instead. In this case, when that Violent slot 3 rune reaches level 15, it’s going to be worth 160 Defense, as you saw on that leveling chart up above. Great, especially for a tanking healer, but not critical right this second.
So those are all the fundamentals for planning out your rune goals.
In this case, you might have to start out with three sets of Blade runes for that +36% CRI Rate, but as you get better runes with solid CRI Rate substats, you can begin to switch runes out.
Now, why am I running Violent Energy?
Because Violent is considered the backbone Rune set of end game, with that great bonus chance at getting an extra turn, and when you heal your team for 3000+ health PER MONSTER every time you attack, getting an extra turn is just… beautiful. I’ve seen Ahman pop off three attacks on his turn and top everyone to full, and it’s just wonderful. Add that in to his taunt on skill 1, and multiple strikes in a turn give an even better chance to pull an enemy off of a weaker buddy.
The problem with Violent runes is you can only get them from the Magic Shop, or as drops from the Dragons dungeon. Dragons rune farming is where it’s all about, but to get there you have to get your Giants rune farming locked down first and farm some sweet runes there. Starter runes, but still solid ones like Fatal and Energy.
See, Energy and Blade runes are easy to farm, coming as they do from Garen Forest, Kabir Ruins and the Giants dungeon. That being said, If you have to use all Blade sets to get to the CRI Rate requirement, your max health will suffer for it, reducing the amount of the heal you’re getting.
This is exactly why you’ll see most people recommend Ahman as a powerful mid to late game niche healer. By the time you are able to get the Violent runes with the CRI Rate substats to get the most use out of his abilities, you’re already well past Giants and the regular campaign.
This makes other healers such as Belladeon, Colleen and Rakaja far more useful in the beginning, being easy to get and max skill up, but using easier to acquire rune sets to get the most out of them.
Find out the base stat for the Awakened monster, what stats are most needed to maximize the effectiveness of the skills that matter to you, what main runes can have those stats and by how much, what rune types can give you set bonuses to help, and finally what substats you need as well.
You might think my Ahman is pretty good. max level 6 star monster, optimal rune set with Violent/Energy, 100% Crit and almost 30,000 health.
What if I were to tell you that the top Ahman I’ve seen on the global server has all that, but with a max health of over 36000 health?
That extra 6000 health is all from substats. He not only has the CRI Rate% on his substats, but he has lots of HP% in his subs as well.
I did good on mine, but I didn’t take it anywhere near as far as it could go. And the higher that max health, the higher the heal every single team member gets per strike.
I hope that this has been helpful to you. I really do. There is a lot of pleasure to be had in carefully planning out a goal to max the power of a monster for what you want it to do.
Most of my runes were bought over several months from the Magic Shop. I knew what perfect runes I was looking for, and when I saw that 5 star HP% slot 2 Violent rune in blue condition with CRI Rate subs, I snapped that SOB up no matter that it was 400,000 Mana Crystals or more. Because I knew that there rune was like solid gold for my Ahman.
I guess it’s like the rush a dedicated antique collector feels seeing that perfect piece in crappy condition in the back of someone’s barn. You know what it is and what it’s worth, and that makes the acquisition all the more satisfying.
Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!