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Can anyone give me any advice on what runes I should buy? I know there are quite a few guides out there but they don't really leave any room for experimentation.

Every stat you can get from a rune you can get from quints, marks, seals or glyphs. I want to mix my runes up and try some stuff but how do I know which kind of runes are most optimal for a certain stat?

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Any champion in particular do you want to know ? –  Michel Apr 8 '12 at 5:28
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4 Answers

I had the same problem as you a while back, you should check this out:

Marks - Red

  • S-Rank: ArP, MrP
  • A-Rank: AS, CrC, AD, ArP&MrP
  • B-Rank: MR, Armor
  • C-Rank: AP/lvl, MP5, Mana/lvl, CrD, AD/lvl, AP, HP/lvl
  • F-Rank: HP, Mana, CDR, MR/lvl

Seals - Yellow

  • S-Rank: Armor
  • A-Rank: MP5/lvl, HP/lvl, MP5
  • B-Rank: Armor/lvl, HP, AP/lvl
  • C-Rank: +%HP, Mana/lvl, HP5/lvl, HP5, MR/lvl, AS, EP5, EP5/lvl, AP, GP10
  • F-Rank: CrC, AD, Mana, MR, CDR, AD/lvl, CrD

Glyphs - Blue

  • S-Rank: MR, AP/lvl, MR/lvl
  • A-Rank: CDR, MP5/lvl, AP
  • B-Rank: CDR/lvl, Energy, Mana/lvl, Mana
  • C-Rank: Energy/lvl, MP5, AS, HP/lvl, Armor
  • F-Rank: MrP, CrC, AD, HP5, HP, AD/lvl, CrD

Quintessences

  • S-Rank: AP
  • A-Rank: MS, ArP, AD, HP, HP5, Armor, MR, Life Steal
  • B-Rank: MrP, Energy, GP10, AS, CrC, CDR, Spell Vamp, ArP&MrP
  • C-Rank: AP/lvl, HP/lvl, MP5/lvl, MP5, EP5, Mana, CDR/lvl, +EXP, -Time dead, +%HP
  • F-Rank: Mana/lvl, CrD, MR/lvl, AD/lvl, Armor/lvl, HP5/lvl

These are the rune tiers and you should pick runes from the S, A or B rank to get the most out of your runes.

I hope this helped!

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I don't agree with AS marks at A-RANK. –  Michel Apr 8 '12 at 6:06
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The runes you want vary with what position. Attack damage champions typically want AD or Armour Pen marks/quints, with armour seals and mr blues. Mages want Magic pen runes, with ap or ap per level runes, depending whether or not you want to be stronger early or late game. Junglers typically run armour pen/attack speed marks/quints. Attack speed marks/ movement speed quints is also a common choice on some junglers such as Pheonix Udyr. Typically, you want to have 3-5 stats in your rune pages. If you have more than 5, you really aren't gaining much benefict from the runes, and having less than 3 causes you to use runes that aren't that efficeint for the stat you want.

Personally, I find tier 2 runes not beneficial to buy, since the increase in stats from tier 1-2 is not worth the price of the tier 2 runes' ip price.

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Every rune can be primary or secondary. When the rune is primary it's effect is greater. So essentially you want to use primary runes about 90% of the time. The only exception to this rule is Quintessencses, they do not have primary or secondary traits and usually carry superior stats to their other rune counterparts. However, you can only have 3 of them.

Generally speaking:

Marks (Reds): Physical Attack Related

Seals (Yellows): Defense Related

Glyphs (Blues): Magic Related

Quints (Purples): Anything

Here is a list of the primary runes from the LoL Wiki:

Primary Marks:

Alacrity (Attack Speed)
Desolation (Armor Penetration)
Furor (Critical Damage)
Insight (Magic Penetration)
Malice (Critical Chance)
Might (Attack Damage per level)
Strength (Attack Damage)
Destruction (Armor Penetration / Magic Penetration) 

Primary Seals:

Avarice (Secondary, Gold / 10 sec)
Clarity (Mana Regen / 5 sec per level)
Defense (Armor per level)
Endurance (Health %)
Fortitude (Health)
Lucidity (Energy Regen / 5 sec per level)
Meditation (Energy Regen / 5 sec)
Regeneration (Health Regen / 5 sec per level)
Replenishment (Mana Regen / 5 sec)
Resilience (Armor)
Vigor (Health Regen / 5 sec)
Vitality (Health per level) 

Primary Glyphs:

Acumen (Energy)
Celerity (Cooldown Reduction per level)
Focus (Cooldown Reduction)
Force (Ability Power per level)
Intellect (Mana)
Knowledge (Mana per level)
Potency (Ability Power)
Sapience (Energy per level)
Shielding (Magic Resist per level)
Warding (Magic Resist) 

Examples:

  1. Shen: I usually rune Magic Pen Marks (Primary) Armor Seals (Primary) Magic Resist Glyphs (Primary) and Movement Speed Quints.

  2. Ashe: I usually rune Armor Pen Marks (Primary) Mana Per Level Seals (Primary) Cool-down Reduction Glyphs (Primary) and Movement Speed Quints.

Some general rules to follow when planning your rune pages:

  1. Usually players don't buy runes until they reach summoner level 20 and they can buy tier 3 runes. Tier 1 and tier 2 runes are weaker and are generally a waste of IP.

  2. Buy runes that can be used in multiple different builds. For example, a good place to start would be to buy Armor Pen and Magic Pen marks, they can be used on any champion. Armor seals are also a good way to go, because any champion can benefit from a small armor boost.

  3. Try to almost always make sure the runes you are buying are primary for that type. The exception being maybe a character like Tryndamere who benefits greatly from critical strike runes. Then you can stack your rune page with one type, but it is very rare that you can't make an effective rune page with primary runes.

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It matters what kind of champs you are playing and how you are playing them. My support runs are:

  • 28 AP at level 18
  • 5.3 AP
  • 5.3 Gold per 10

This is so I don't have to take creep kills, so the carry can have all the creeps. But it just matters what you prefer!

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