league of legends a quick look at keystone masteries
League of Legends‘ 2015 ranked season has concluded, and Riot Games has released a plethora of changes in time for the Preseason. These changes include updates to the Marksman class, new items, and tweaks to sight-control. However, what I will be focusing on today is the changes made to masteries; specifically, which Keystone mastery to select. No longer will you have one page for every role, and what you take can change on the different champions taken in the game.
Before we jump into the Keystone masteries, I wanted to give a brief idea on my experience with League of Legends. I’ve been playing since way back in Season 2, and finished last season with multiple Diamond accounts. I have also competed in various smaller level tournaments with various degrees of success. My main role is Support (for the most part), but I recently began expanding that into the Jungle role. In coming articles, you will learn more about how I play League of Legends, but without further delay, let’s take a look at the Keystone masteries.
First, we’re going to check out the Ferocity tree Keystone masteries. Previously, the Ferocity tree would have been known as the Offensive tree, so if you are going to take Keystone masteries on this side, you are looking to have more drawn-out battles in order to capitalize on the strongest traits Ferocity has to offer you. Your first option is “Warlord’s Bloodlust”, which makes your critical strikes heal you for 15% of damage dealt, and gives you 20% attack speed for 4 seconds. This mastery is great on Champions that build for critical chance, such as Marksman built around auto-attacks, Yasuo, and Tryndamere. One common mistake I have seen is people taking this mastery on Champions less crit-based, like Ezreal. Your next option is “Fervor of Battle”, which adds bonus physical damage to your auto-attacks, stacking up to 10 times each time you auto-attack or use spells on your target. I tend to use this mastery when using auto-attack based Champions, like Fiora, Jax, Ezreal, Master Yi, and Udyr””Champions that can easily stack this passive. Lastly, we have “Deathfire Touch”, which makes your damaging abilities deal extra damage over time. This is great for poke Champions such as Lux or Ziggs, as well as Champions with damage over time spells, like Brand or Malzahar.
Next up, the Cunning tree. Previously known as the Utility tree, Riot has redesigned this tree to be not just for Support roles, but also Assassins and Mages looking to do burst damage. The first Keystone mastery you’ll have access to in this tree is “Stormraider’s Surge”. Stormraider’s Surge gives you 35% movement speed bonus if you damage an enemy for 30% of their total health within a two-second window. The idea behind this mastery is to use it to escape when using burst Mages like Annie or Syndra after blowing your full combo, or with Champions like Fiora or Riven, to continue chasing a target while your abilities are on cooldown. The next option you have is “Thunderlord’s Decree”, which shocks your target for bonus damage on every third ability use or auto-attack you land. I have found this mastery a bit underwhelming, though it doe work well with Champions like Diana and Talon for burst damage when going all-in. Lastly, “Windspeaker’s Blessing” makes your shields and healing abilities 10% stronger, and applies 15% increased armor and magic resist for 3 seconds on targets you use those abilities on. This mastery is excels on Support Champions like Nami, Sona, and Janna. On Soraka, this tree is extremely broken (in my opinion).
We now move on to the Resolve tree, which closely resembles the old Defense tree. The Keystone masteries in this tree are used for either sustaining through lifesteal, or becoming tankier via damage reduction. The first Keystone mastery in this tree is “Grasp of the Undying”, which lifesteals for 3% of your maximum health (1.5% for ranged) on your next auto-attack, every 4 seconds while in combat. This mastery is great on tanks and bruisers who will be all in the action and are able to auto-attack while fighting. I’ve seen this mastery used to great success with Champions like Mundo, Tahm Kench on top lane, and Maokai. Your next option “Strength of the Ages”, gives you up to 300 bonus health by killing siege minions and large monsters in the jungle. Overall, I have found this to be the weakest Keystone mastery available, and would advise against taking it. The best case scenario I can see for it is with tankier Junglers building for Cinderhulk. This could give you some extra health, but even for those Junglers, I think there are better options. Lastly, but certainly not least, “Bond of Stone” reduces damage by 4%. When near an ally, this bonus doubles to 8%. In addition, 8% of the damage that the nearest allied Champion would take is dealt to you instead. This mastery is especially great with tanky supports like Braum, Taric, Leona, and Tahm Kench. I have also seen it ran to good success with tanky top laners like Malphite, Maokai, and Sion; in other words, Champions that focus on sticking together and participating in teamfights.
While this is just a quick glimpse of what the Keystone masteries can do for you and with what Champions they synergize well with, I’m still experimenting with what mastery pages go best with certain Champions. I’m also planning on releasing a look at what mastery pages to take on Support Champions. My handle in League of Legends is “AmigoSniped”; feel free to add me, and I look forward to playing with you all.
If you have any further questions, don’t forget to comment below!