Welcome back to League Weekly! This week we will be going over the changes to the mastery trees in s4 and what they mean. I'll be breaking this entry into 3 pieces. One for the offense tree, one for the defense tree, and one for the utility tree. There is a lot of subtle changes that actually have a pretty large presence in game. I'm going to try and point out the overall logic behind the new masteries and hopefully arm you with the knowledge to adapt to S4.
The offense tree is essentially the same. There is more a re-arrangement than a rework here, but the result produced is pretty huge. If you remember last season offense masteries it was 9 points for AS, scaling AD, and %ArP. This basically served as a way for people with heavy potential damage to scale decently while building essentially tanky. With the changes to offense tree this season, Riot made it more enticing for someone looking to scale through the game to invest deeper into the tree. They made this even more possible with the way that they re-arranged the defense tree. It may not be too crazy to go 21 offense Irelia. It would even be a decent Idea to go with a 15/15 on bruisers now.
This was the main focus of the offense tree changes. If you're looking to do and build damage all game, you're going to need to invest in your masteries. No more can you go 9 points in offense, build a brutalizer, and do a relevant amount of damage all game stacking different sources of ArP. On the flip side, ArP built into kits has become that much more valuable. For some roles 21 offense isn't going anywhere anytime soon. If you are a bruiser however, you will have a lot more flexibility to change your game up depending on the situation of your lane/game.
Another big change to the offense tree is the combination of %ArP and Mpen to 1 mastery. This alone has opened up all new possibilities for hybrid damage champions. People like Evelyn, Shyvana, Teemo, Mundo. They have all received a huge boost in damage potential by being able to achieve dual penetration without having to invest 25+ points into offense. Add in the new masteries that give a stacking %dmg increase on abilities when you hit someone with an auto attack and vice versa, and you have yourself a new glimmer of hope for the fading hybrid champions.
The defensive tree is almost like the offense tree except flipped. More of your late game scaling masteries are in the earlier tiers of the tree. However the change isn't nearly as drastic as the offense tree. It almost seems like Riot did the changes they did in the earlier tiers of the defense tree to accommodate the re-arrangement of the offense tree. There's a few things that need pointing out in the earlier teirs defensive tree this season.
1. Veterans scars is flat hp that builds into juggernaut for 3% hp at 9 points.
2. Enchanted armor got moved to teir 1.
3. You can only get 5 early flat resistances by investing 11+ points.
Like I was saying, I feel like Riot made a lot of these changes to accommodate the new offensive tree. With the new defense tree you can go 21 offense and build tanky without committing complete late game suicide. It's important to take note that enchanted armor increases only BONUS armor/mr. Still a decent couple of points if you plan on building tanky. You can get +5 armor at the 3rd tier of the tree for 3 points. If you buy just 1 armor item you will get +5 armor out of these 2 points easily, albeit later in the game.
There is a bunch of different things to go over in the later branches of the tree so I'm going to try and expedite the process here.
- Reinforced Armor and Evasive T4
10% reduced damage from crits can easily add up to a lot of mitigated damage. That's 30 damage taken off of a 300 crit. Evasive kind of pales in comparison to Reinforced Armor. No where near as enticing as its counter-part. 4% off of a Gragas full combo can save you some pain, but not as significant. (Think 40 for every 1000 damage.)
- Perseverance and Second Wind. T4&5
In my opinion, health regen is a very underrated stat. Perseverance is actually a pretty ridiculous amount of regen when you couple it with the regen in T1. The fact that it builds into Second Wind makes it a much more enticing route for built in sustain champions(Olaf) or even if you plan on building a blade.
- Runic Shield
Is trash after level 1.
- Tenacious and Legendary Guardian. T5&6
Legendary Guardian always has been a great mastery, and continues the trend today. There's not much to it beyond that. I'm not quite sure why they renamed this, but don't confuse it with Tenacious which is probably my favorite mastery. 4 points for +4/+2 armor/mr in a team fight. This can add up to 20 armor and 10 mr. That is a ton of stats to come out of your masteries at all. I always take this mastery if I'm that deep into the tree.
The utility tree was for the most part left alone. Tweak here and there, and they swapped the movement speed masteries. I'm just going to list the things that stick out in rapid succession as there's not much worth explaining here.
- Strength of Spirit is back in low tiers (Regen based on max mana.)
- Potion masteries seem decent, not sure if they are worth the points yet though.
- The gp10 mastery actually gives you less gold than in s3, but there are more ways to get gold for "free" deeper in the tree.
In an overall look at the situation, it seems like Riot is really pushing us towards adapting game to game with masteries. Be sure you are looking at your mastery page in every champion select. There are more and more specific paths available for certain different champions with every change to the masteries. Get in there and pick your way around until you find what fits your own playstyle in that particular game. Maybe you'll catch the edge you need to win.
I'm excited to watch the season develop and the metas emerge. I hope you are too. I hope my articles are arming you with the knowledge you need to succeed in S4. I apologize for getting this article out late. I don't know if I have any regular readers, but you deserve better. I will continue to bring you content and discussion about whats going on around you in League of Legends. I'm still concentrating on different aspects of S4 right now, but please comment and tell me what YOU want to hear. My last article had 90+ views last time I looked so I know you're out there! Don't be shy! I want to know what my audience wants so that I can give it to you. Comment if you have anything to say at all, I love discussion and review.