League’s new First Strike rune turns damage into gold

By Nicholas James


Oct 20, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Riot Games has been releasing information about its preseason plans heading into 2022. Among the latest details to hit the web are rune reworks that include a brand new rune and some fresh new items.

The big headliner is the new rune, First Strike, that seems to emulate the style of the removed Kleptomancy rune from previous League of Legends seasons.

First Strike brings Kleptomancy back from the grave

At the very bottom of Riot’s Preseason Preview, it details a new rune that rewards a player with bonus damage and extra gold for damaging your opponent before they can damage you. This rune, First Strike, bears great similarity to a removed rune that many players have called to be reinstated, Kleptomancy.

While Kleptomancy allowed you to gain a variety of consumables, its main focus was in gaining gold from well-played harassment in the laning phase in a style that can accelerate many lane bullies. If you damage an enemy champion with an ability or attack before they strike back at you, you gain 12% bonus damage for three seconds, and First Strike converts all of that damage into gold.

This can result in hundreds of gold for an aggressive champion, but should grant less gold than Kleptomancy most of the time. Dealing 200 damage will only net you 24 gold, the equivalent of a ranged minion. This should mean that melee champions have a harder time getting in range to make the reward worth it, unless they’re looking to trade for the full three seconds. Meanwhile, ranged champions can safely activate First Strike before committing to the trade. The community response to First Strike has been overwhelmingly positive, with even professional players celebrating.

Along with First Strike, Riot is bringing changes to Glacial Augment and Lethal Tempo.

Lethal tempo gives attack speed when auto-attacking a champion, stacking up to six times, and at six stacks it grants increased attack range and increases the attack speed cap up to 3.0. Champions able to consistently attack from long range, such as Caitlyn, will be able to turn this rune into serious damage.

Glacial Augment will now create slowing zones when you immobilize a champion, rather than just active items. When you immobilize an enemy, the rune will create three slowing zones that slow enemy champions and reduce their damage to your allies.

The preseason will arrive on patch 11.23.


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