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AP runes?

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So, I've been messing around with Kass and Anivia and Veigar (For the lolz) and stuff... Every time I face an enemy team caster (Or Galio, I lol'd that time) with AP runes (I think flat) I see that it boosts their early game so much it's ridiculous.

So, I haz no idea how to build an AP rune book.. When I'm playing a caster I go
HP quints
MP/5 yellows
CDR blues
Mpen reds

Is it worth to change any of these for AP runes? Are they even useful?;o

PS: I know that flat AP runes won't really help my late game, but neither will mp/5.. And these guys seem to have an awesome early game so they don't get screwed later..

OFFLINE   2Radon

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Yeah I fought an AP rune Galio. He freaking destroyed us for quite some time, but his allys were all noobs so we won anyway.
Sona with AP runes is similar too, and if you manage to get 1 or 2 kills early with AP rune Veigar, you already snowball and destroy everyone, seriously.
Though I think for serious games proper runepages with MP5/lvl and Penetration are better.
Also full Crit Chance page is same for DPS like AP for casters. Especially Trynd, Yi and Sion. I've seen DPS Janna once with that, it was the worst lane I've ever got harassed in.
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OFFLINE   guest142

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Galio can take ~70% HP of two enemies at level 4 when he uses AP Runes. I guess Annie could work very similar (anybody with two nukes, really). Just make sure to end the game quickly or at least get enough of a lead. I wouldn't compare it to crit-pages though. Yes, Yi or Sion can probably 3-hit many characters in a level 1 fight with lucky crits, but that's still luck.

OFFLINE   RobertMeta

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You can get blue AP runes if you really like them, loosing your 5% CDR. Yellow, no way, your mp5/level is the best, red and quints, magic penetration all the way.

Magic penetration scales the entire game and with your damage, as well as being a HUGE boost early game. You can get 14 via runes... 30 is the base and stable for most... so right off the bat, it reduces 30 to 16... lets see the diff... 76.9% damage applied with 30 MR, 86.2% applied with 16 MR (due to your penetration)... nearly 10% more damage at level 1.


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I don't know why would you get AP runes on Galio. Magic resistance grants just a bit less ability power.
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OFFLINE   bagelx

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Yea, I don't think it's just the AP runes making the main diff, it's combination with the Magic Pen runes they have probably. Which is totally killer in the early game. And don't forget mana/regen and masteries, letting them spam spells. I mean, if i get 100 extra mana to spam off an other spell, that should trump either increase from AP or magic pentration over the course of 800-900 HP anyways.

OFFLINE   Antibreeder


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Personally for most casters I generally use MP/5/level blues. Never been impressed with 5% CDR (though have them as well). If MP isn't an issue or there is passives that benefit from AP (teemo, cho, etc), I use AP/level blues since they give you ~1.5 AP per level, which is just short of half a tome at lvl6.

CDR is only really useful for champs that can spam their abilities all game, like Katarina. For casters with MP it's basically weakening your early~mid game laning/harassing for a mediocre edge later on. If you spend a large portion of the game being more limited by MP than by timers, the CDR doesn't fully help (especially if you could have kept your lane enemy starved for XP/gold in the laning phase and less useful for the other team in big fights).

Flat AP runes can give you 14~15 AP at the start of the game. M. pen quints give 5.67 that should only be adjusting your total damage by 1-3%. The more magic resistance they stack the less increase the penetration will add, which is compared with the relative decreasing returns of AP with skill level.**

Think about it like this:
If your early game can get a 3% increase in damage from the added flat AP it gives you about the same bonus to damage against champs as the m. pen would, while also boosting your damage to all minions. Late game, if that same flat AP can give you around a 1% increase in damage it should give you about the same final damage as the m. pen quints would to a high MR target. You're often times always better off going for AP assuming you have spells that can benefit from it, if your spells benefit from AD or are static, m. pen.
Annie benefits from flat AP (because all her abilities benefit from AP)
Katarina benefits from m. pen (because she uses AP and AD for her abilities)

Magic Resistance works by MR/(100+MR)
A base 30 MR would give you ~23% magic reduction.
A base of 25 MR (-5 quints) would reduce that to ~20% reduction.
Were you to use marks it would be -9 so 21 MR gives ~17% reduction.
Marks and quints could give -14 ~14% reduction.
So you probably won't be getting more than 3% increased damage from your quints at the start of the game.

The higher the base MR the less benefit you'll get out of them
MR of 100 gives you 50% reduction
MR of 95 gives ~49% reduction
MR of 200 gives you ~67% reduction
MR of 195 gives you ~66% reduction

So by late game you're really only seeing a 1% increase out of the m. pen.

Compare this to the ~15 AP, which even given pretty low ratios will give you at least 3 damage all game, or for higher ratios that could be another 10-37 damage, which should at least be around a 1% increase end game.

OFFLINE   bagelx

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Ok, I don't know about this math .... you are kinda comparing the effectiveness of 1 quint to 9 glyphs (or else I don't know where u keep getting 3% from)?
If they do use marks, then they get a 6% increased dmg from magic spells right (23% to 17%), compared that to Glyphs (0.9 ap) = total 8.1 AP. After ratio, say 0.7 on a skill, then that's only 5.6 increase dmg. And most early level skills damage for around Galio 60/115/170, shunpo 90/120/150, dark binding 80/135/190.
So say average 120, a 5.6 increased dmg = only 4.7%. So worse than the Mpen runes!

Now, like you suggested, in late game, the MR they have, the less effective Mpen is. Well, so is the AP!!
Because 2 things: they'll be resisting more of your magic spells anyways (which is what your AP enhances), and the dmg increase % is more insignificant to your base spell dmg now (ie. that same 5.6 increase dmg vs your lvl 5 spell doing like 300 dmg)

And lastly, I don't know about you, but even in late games, only tanks will have that much MR (130+).
Most squishies will have like less than 80 MR throughout the early/mid game.

Mpen seems to be better by a bit early game and probably more so towards end of the game, as AP scales worse.

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I run galio with the glyph AP runes because you need the seals as mp5 unless your gonna take clarity/mp5 item and I'd rather get dorans ring so I have more HP mp5 and ap long as you repeatedly hit them with gust you'll slowly knock their life away and even if you don't get their life down the healer will be seriously hurting for mana if they don't split up/have clarity.
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OFFLINE   The ShadowBeaver


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i actually tested both on kassadin, and its very much depending on your elo. like 100-200 games after i dinged 30. (talking normal qeue here, not ranked). I really prefered the AP runes for quints and glyphs with m.pen marks and regen/5 seals. reason being that with imp ignite and dorans ring your above 40 AP already at level 1. or ofc go for an elixir and just rape faces. but kassadin mid with 40-50 AP before you even get teleport can pretty much kill any other mid withing 2-4 null spheres.
so lower elo kassadin can destroy entire games with sick early game pwnage. however as the elo rises and you face more complex team setups and organized people you simply cant teleport in and rape shit even with a 10-0 score at level 10. you will get shut down and you will become ineffective, at which point your gonna need that M.pen to blast away the heavy tanks and the countering m.res.

OFFLINE   Antibreeder


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Math is comparing (3) m. pen quints to (3) AP quints, the 3% is taking from the expected maximum effect three m. pen quints will have on your damage and then just showing you should have a matching minimum increase from AP quints, i.e. best case for m. pen it matches flat AP, but in general flat AP quints are better.

Marks you would still likely go with m. pen since it is the primary rune over AP marks since they would be secondary rune. So baseline you will likely roll with 8.5 m. pen from marks (which is why I included the comparison between m. pen marks alone and m. pen marks+quints. I can compare the effectiveness of AP marks to m. pen marks later, though that is not what I was showing.

Now for your second comparison, true while a single enemy stacking MR makes your m. pen and AP both relatively less valuable your AP value is more important against minions as well as many buffs (Soraka/Nid heals, Morg/Annie/Janna bubbles). I'm saying that the m. pen from quints will give you comparable (if not inferior) damage to flat AP quints, WITH THE EXCEPTION that flat AP affects your farming ability and buffs, subsequently making flat AP superior.

A simplified example:
Magic Missile deals 10 damage
I can either increase the damage by 10% to deal 11 damage
I can increase m. pen to ignore 10% of their defense.

So I cast Magic Missile on the enemy with 10% magic reduction, in both cases I end up dealing 10 damage to the target, however, I deal 11 damage to creeps with AP, but only 10 damage with m. pen. Or say I have a shield spell that can now block an additional point of damage from AP, but gains nothing from m. pen.

Taking your examples with m. pen marks and then either AP or m. pen quints:
Shunpo is 90~210 damage with 0.75 AP modifier.
With m. pen at level 1 Shunpo deals ~86% damage, 90*0.86=77.4 damage
With flat AP it would deal 83% damage that's (90+15*0.75)*0.83=84.0 damage
AP wins

Now for level 5 Shunpo
AP wins again

Now for level 5 Shunpo against high MR targets (100 MR)
(210)*[1-(100-14)/(100-14+100)=210*0.537=112.77 damage
(210+15*0.75)*[1-(100-9)/(100-9+100)=221.25*0.524=115.94 damage
AP wins again

Now for level 5 Shunpo with 200 AP against a low MR target
So with 200 AP on Kat, flat AP is now only ~1.5 damage less damage.

Now for level 5 Shunpo with 200 AP against a high MR target
So now AP is over a point of damage ahead of m. pen.

So as you can see AP is often dealing more damage for many of these comparisons and eventually the two become pretty interchangeable AGAINST CHAMPS, however, AP still deals more damage to creeps and affects buffs.

Now this is also just theory crafting for maximizing magic damage for Shunpo. We all know that Kat has abilities that can scale with either AP or AD so in many cases m. pen will do you better than flat AP, but I was merely responding to a specific example you listed.

I need to bounce but when I get back I can run the math for some other common spells, which will generally show AP being superior early~mid game AND then it being comparable to m. pen against champs (with AP still being superior to minions).

Again, this isn't really opinion. This is hard math showing in what situations how flat AP compares to m. pen. You can run the values yourself for your champ and figure out which is superior.

OFFLINE   bagelx

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Ok, the key thing is that you are comparing Quints for Magic pen and AP.
That's because Magic pen quints sucks compared to AP quints.
Like seriously, 5.7 MR pen is so little compared to 15 AP.

Now you compare the best types of each, and you should see AP won't have the advantage you are talking about:
Greater Mark of Insight +0.95 magic penetration
Greater Glyph of Potency +0.9 ability power

So my argument still stands, that Mpen seems to be more effective or around the same anyways as AP for damage spells against champions (if you get the best rune type of each - Mark and Glyph). And as your calcs show, most likely better in the longer game.

Yes, AP can be used for heal and many other spells, whereas Mpen is only for damage, so it wins there. But those champs that have it for support spells, won't really be focusing on spell dmg anyways.

PS. If you didn't notice, certain runes types for certain stats are horrible.

OFFLINE   Antibreeder


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Yes I am comparing flat AP quints to m. pen quints, which I explicitly limited my argument to m. pen quints in the first post. Many guides still posit m. pen quints over AP quints, so this still seems ambiguous.

I see no benefit in comparing primary m. pen Marks to primary AP Glyphs. They are non-exclusive so you could just utilize both.

My math shows that a ratio of 4.95/1.89=2.62 generally gives you better returns with AP. I can rerun the math for multiple instances and you'll likely find an even lower amount of AP can compete against m. pen. I wasn't even discounting for Archaic Knowledge, which further reduces m. pen's effectiveness. This would be in direct conflict with your claim since I am showing that at best m. pen matches AP, but often is inferior given comparable ratios.

Again, AP affects your damage for minions as well, so this affects your farming ability, which is applicable to all casters, not just buffers/supports.

P.S. I've been using Riot's nomenclature to designate the runes by their stats. Each rune has a primary and two secondary ratings, this is visible on all marks/glyphs/seals if you hold the cursor over them. M. pen is primary Marks (basically any directly offensive stat save AP), which is why they are common. AP (CDR and MR as well) is primary glyphs. Basically all defense and utility stats are primary seals.

OFFLINE   bagelx

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Yea ... you're the only one who limited the argument to Quint for M.pen for some reason ...
The OP of this thread is asking if AP is useful and he should switch some his other runes (including m.pen) to AP.
And the answer would be: probably not switch out m.pen if he's going for dmg to champs.

Yes, I agreed with you that M.Pen has no effect vs minions or for non-dmg spells.
But you haven't addressed the fact that M.pen beats AP in the long run as well (in most cases).


Dmg spell vs Champs:
M.pen marks beats AP glyphs (the best rune type for AP) in the early game, and beats AP even more as the game goes on.
Unless the enemy has high MR (over 100 say), which in that case, I don't know which is better, haven't done the math.

Vs minions, or support spells:
M.pen doesn't do anything ... period.

OFFLINE   Antibreeder


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I limited my mathematical arugment to Quints because that is the only rune option that faces constant ambiguity because it lacks primary and secondary designations.

What ambiguity is there besides quints? We know that AP is a primary Glyph so it depends on playstyle to choose between MP, AP, or CDR (which I already expressed my own).

We know that m. pen is primary Marks, so it will obviously have an advantage over any secondary options. Trying to compare blues to reds when neither is exclusive makes absolutely no sense. What do you gain by comparing runes that you can use in combination to each other with?

My math shows your argument is negligible. Throughout the entire game, magic penetration's damage increase is negligible and single digits (in most cases). Best case you're doing a couple more damage to champions, most cases you're just dealing equal or less damage to everyone.

Magic penetration follows a Laffer curve (concave graph, with an unrealistic equilibrium point).
Early game, AP gives you more of a percentage increase in damage (ie, the lower the base damage of the spell, the larger the flat AP increase is).
Late game, against targets with high magic resistance you face substantially discounted returns from magic penetration (ie 9 m. pen vs 30 MR is ignoring 30% of their defense, 9 m. pen vs 90 MR is only ignoring 10% of their defense). Note that Archaic Knowledge and Void Staff ignore a percent of MR and hold constant penetration, not relative penetration like flat m. pen does.

You're not using math, you're using flawed intuition that I am disproving.

Magic penetration is a mediocre attribute that provides significantly less of an increase in damage than people would like you to assume. Early game when it gives you the best returns, but abilities have such low base values that AP is proportionally superior. Late game when it gives you significantly less returns and AP is superior. In the middle m. pen and AP are often interchangeable for damage, except AP is useful early game, late game, and farming.

AP, on the other hand, isn't nearly as limited throughout the games and has alternative uses.

The only situation where m. pen is unambiguously superior to AP is when you already have large quantities of AP already against targets who have zero magic resistance items/runes, ie only in games with incompetent players that can't react appropriately.

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