10

Pretty straight forward:why would you want to use one Crit-Rune in your Runepage(giving <1% Crit Chance)?

I have seen this from AD Carry players where it made atleast some sense,but there are also Supports (like Green Tea in this match) using this and I can not really imagine why less than 1% chance to land a critical strike would be better than have a bit more sustained damage.

You do not really benefit from it early game(in contrary,it might even deny you last hits when you get a critical hit while pushing as AD Carry) and as a Support player,you do not get any item with critical hit chance on it and relying on <1% chance does not seem to be worth that rune slot to me.Yet they use these runes and given that players like Green Tea are playing in great tournaments,they want to optimize everything they can so there has to be a point I miss out.

  • 4
    As an aside, although I could be wrong as I've been out of the LoL scene for a while so maybe it's changed, or I misunderstood to begin with, but I've heard that Crit chance in LoL isn't just a flat rate. A 0.25% crit chance doesn't mean you have 0.25% chance to crit every time you auto attack. For every subsequent auto attack you perform without critting, the crit chance gets scaled up, until you do Crit, then resets to your base value. So for example with 0.25% crit chance you have 0.25% chance to crit on your first AA, 0.37% on 2nd AA, 0.48% on 3rd etc... until you crit, then back to 0.25%. – MLeFevre Sep 24 '14 at 13:24
  • Just to clarify abit further as it seems that is the way crits still work, a 1% crit would theoretically mean you have a chance of critting 1 time in 100 AA's, but as you gain chance every time you don't crit, it happens more frequently than that, say 1 in 50 (very rough figure to demonstrate the point), so it has more worth. I imagine the theory is very early game you rarely crit at all when just farming, but the crit chance is still building up. Come lvl ~4 when harass starts more frequent/jungler gank, the crit chance has built up to 3-5%, a lucky crit then could immediately win the lane. – MLeFevre Sep 25 '14 at 7:00
  • 3
    Does any one could give a exact formula of how this scales up? E.g by what factor crit chance increases as long as you do not crit? I have never heard of that before and I would definitely change some of my rune pages!:0 – teair Sep 25 '14 at 7:09
  • @MLeFevre then why not use a glyph as a crit rune? this way i normaly sacrifice a little MR and not AD. – DropDeadSander - EUW Sep 25 '14 at 9:56
  • @PhilippSander they seem to be the most efficient ones(primary runes): leagueoflegends.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_runes#Critical_Chance – teair Sep 25 '14 at 10:01
8

It's basically just for the luck factor. With one crit rune you won't give up too much sustained damage, but you'll still have the ability to crit.

Now this possibility (although it's very unlikely to happen soon) can be really game-changing. A Random Crit can make the difference between getting or missing a kill, and a single kill can change the outcome of a Lane completely.

Also this can confuse the enemy. It's completely unpredictable whether someone will crit or not and because of the low crit chance, most people assume that he won't crit.

So basically: It's simply a "luck" while not giving up too much sustained damage.

  • 2
    You missed one of the very KEY points in taking a single crit. MLeFevre described it in his comment, but again crit chance scales up each hit you take without getting a crit so that single crit room effectively gives you a much higher chance overall than just that base value. Part of your reasoning for the point to do is is correct though. – dphil Sep 24 '14 at 18:52
11

This doesn't explain entirely why pros use one crit rune, but it does explain why the one crit rune has more worth than most people think.

As far as I know, Crit chance in LoL doesn't follow the conventional way people think about % chance.

At 50% crit chance for example, you'd assume that every auto attack is like flipping a coin, and you'd have 50% chance to crit, and 50% chance to not, so if you attacked 10 times you'd expect to have 50% chance to crit every time. LoL uses something called pseudo-random distribution, it used to work the old 'coin toss' way, but that was changed pretty early on in 2011, here are the patch notes when it was changed to use the new system.

Here's a link to where Xypherous talks about it a bit:

Well, theoretically, I suppose you could "crit-farm" if the enemy champions cooperated enough to stand there so you could charge crits on them.

I hope that your opponent would be unwilling to do that for a very long period of time.

Answer: PRNG accounts for target selections.

So what does all this mean? If Tristana was attacking Ezreal, and she had 10% crit chance, for every auto attack she doesn't crit, her crit chance increases slightly until she does, and then resets. There's probably a formula somewhere to demonstrate this, but I imagine Riot uses their own constants, so i'll give a rough guide to what I mean.

1st Auto attack - 10% chance to crit
2nd Auto attack - 12% chance to crit
3rd Auto attack - 15% chance to crit
4th Auto attack - 18% chance to crit
5th Auto attack - 20% chance to crit
6th Auto attack - 24% chance to crit **Crit on Ezreal**
7th Auto attack - 10% chance to crit
8th Auto attack - 12% chance to crit
etc....

There's a nice post on the Dota forums showing more accurate math, if you're interested, I believe they use the same kind of system for crits.

As to why Pros take one crit rune, my current guess is as I said in my comment

I imagine the theory is very early game you rarely crit at all when just farming, but the crit chance is still building up. Come lvl ~4 when harass starts more frequent/jungler gank, the crit chance has built up to 3-5%, a lucky crit then could immediately win the lane.

and as Xypherous states

The system never guarantees a critical or a dodge, ever. It simply attempts to nudge the percentages in favor of it.

so obviously if you went into the game with 0% crit chance, you'll never crit. But if you take at least 1% crit chance, you're actually likely to crit more than 1% of the time.

Edit: Just to clarify

All figures I've made up are to demonstrate this point, do not take them as exact or even 'near' values, personally I'd imagine they would be much less than I stated, but you can't really tell unless you know Riot's exact method of determining them.

Edit 2:

It's worth noting that this system (whether or not Riot also make use of this, I don't know) applies both ways, as Mikey Mouse pointed out, which is also demonstrated on that Dota forum link earlier in this answer.

So if you had 10% critical hit chance, you get lucky and you keep on getting critical hit after critical hit, your chances to get another would actually drop each time, to try and balance this out. An example of this occurrence can be seen in the graph I've nicked from the DOTA source.

enter image description here

If you compare this to the coin toss example, by using pseudo-random distribution instead it's actually working against you, trying to make you crit less often to compensate for your super lucky streak.

  • This is interesting. I've never thought about this before, but after giving it 20 seconds though, would it work the other way around too? If Tristana crit EZ on her first hit would it start reducing her 10% until she didn't crit? – Mikey Mouse Sep 25 '14 at 11:19
  • @MikeyMouse Maybe, it depends how Riot have implemented it. Essentially I think the system aims to try and give the same amount of critical hit occurrences as before, with a tiny bias to giving more. But in theory, if you had 99% crit chance (for example) each successive crit after the first auto-attack would slightly reduce your crit chance each time to try and balance this out. So you'd not crit 'sooner' than by conventional luck. There could also be timeouts, say if you go for 1 minute without attacking anything, your crit chance is reset to your base value, it's hard to tell. – MLeFevre Sep 25 '14 at 11:27
  • @MikeyMouse editing & added abit more for you at the end of my answer – MLeFevre Sep 25 '14 at 11:40
  • Yeah, that explains it. I imagine doing it the other way round is even more important. They really don't want an unskilled player with 10% crit to kill someone way more skilled and geared, just because she pulled of a one in a thousand crit streak. – Mikey Mouse Sep 25 '14 at 12:44
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    @Bob2Chiv Correct, all the system does is try to control the randomness factor, with a tiny bias towards being pro-crit. It tries to prevent the guy that bought 20% crit chance from going ages without a crit due to being very unlucky, or the opposite, get super lucky and get loads of crits in a row. It essentially tries to balance out the 'luck factor' of something that could be random. Next time someone spews a 'OMFG lucky crit' at you, you could reply "Err, its not luck actually, the pseudo-random distribution algorithm determined it was a fair to give me a critical hit." – MLeFevre Sep 25 '14 at 13:15
5

While the other answers do describe why the professionals take a single critical chance mark, none of them state the effectiveness of the strategy.

Currently, Maokai has the highest level 1 base attack damage of 61.3. If he gets a critical hit, he will deal (assuming no other bonuses) 122.6 damage.

A single critical hit chance mark gives 0.93% chance of a critical hit. This means that for a level 1 Maokai, this mark is worth about 61.3*0.0093 = 0.57 AD over time. The flat attack damage mark gives a 0.93 AD, in contrast. This is the effective worth of the critical hit chance mark.

Since either 0.93 AD or an average 0.57 AD (or less to 0.38 AD on lvl 1 Orianna) doesn't make much difference, many pro players will 'sacrifice' the loss of 0.36 to 0.55 AD (or other Mark stats) for the quite game-impactful chance at a critical hit.

Remember, without any critical hit chance, you will never get a critical hit. Also, runes in general aren't particularly game changing, but one critical hit - obtained with luck, can be.

(NOTE: The reason I am focusing on level 1 stats is two-fold.

  1. Champions who want critical hits will build items for it - which makes the 0.93% immaterial
  2. Critical hits have the most impact at level 1, where 40 - 61 extra damage (no matter how infrequent) is huge because of lower armor levels and lower health pools.

Also, in the game you linked, Blitzcrank never got a critical hit throughout the duration of the 22.5 minute game - which helps demonstrate how 1% is infrequent)

2

It is very cost-efficient. Adding another typical rune doesn't bring that much to your stats and build, but this one rune that adds 1% is actually a huge gain compared to what you sacrifice in exchange.

It is based on luck, definitely. As a support, it adds a small chance of dealing huge damage when harassing your opponent, and as an ADC, it might just help to crit in end game, or CS early on.

It is personal preference; they like doing this because after a tremendous number of games, that crit can actually help you win a game. If you would rather rely on another safe rune, do it; it won't affect you that much.

2

While many of the other answerers touched on the significance of a crit early game, none of them explained why it is so efficient. If not for this efficiency and if it really was under 1% chance to crit someone, NOBODY would do it. As User MLeFevre stated:

As an aside, although I could be wrong as I've been out of the LoL scene for a while so maybe it's changed, or I misunderstood to begin with, but I've heard that Crit chance in LoL isn't just a flat rate. A 0.25% crit chance doesn't mean you have 0.25% chance to crit every time you auto attack. For every subsequent auto attack you perform without critting, the crit chance gets scaled up, until you do Crit, then resets to your base value. So for example with 0.25% crit chance you have 0.25% chance to crit on your first AA, 0.37% on 2nd AA, 0.48% on 3rd etc... until you crit, then back to 0.25%.

Without this little bit, there wouldn't be enough justification in order to do the single crit. Sure that surprise crit would be useful but at under 1% chance it's not worth trading the consistency of another stat for it. The reason it's worthwhile is that each auto will bring up the crit rate so it's going to average MUCH higher than 1%. I'm guessing closer to 3% but it could be even higher. I can't do the math for this right now but maybe someone else could if they desired.

  • I've heard this before, but from what I recall, it still averages out to the given critical percent chance, but I'm not sure. Riot added this as a method to combat streaks of intense bad luck (and I thought good luck streaks as well). With some references you may be able to convince me, but for now - I'm skeptical that this will have the effect stated here (3% chance instead of 1% chance). – Bob2Chiv Sep 24 '14 at 19:26
  • do you have an official source for this? AFAIK there is no such method in the game and yes the .93% crit do make up the value of the missing rune. – Jutschge Sep 24 '14 at 20:05
  • @Bob2Chiv It tries to average you out to 50% crit. If you have higher than 50% crit it will push it down. if you have lower than 50% crit, it will push crit % down. – dphil Sep 24 '14 at 20:06
  • I'm sorry, I don't think I understand what you are saying. Do you have an example or a source for this claim? – Bob2Chiv Sep 24 '14 at 20:24
  • @Bob2Chiv It's been a pretty widely excepted mechanic. I'm at work right now though and so don't have time to browse for a source. – dphil Sep 24 '14 at 20:44

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