A quick introduction to the new Inspiration Keystone, First Strike.


Preseason 2022 is right around the corner, and we’re excited to introduce with it a brand new Inspiration Keystone: First Strike.

A First Look at First Strike

The numbers below were shipped to PBE on the 19th. They may already be out of date by the time this article goes live!

Damaging an enemy champion with an attack or ability before they do, or within 0.25s of the start of combat, grants 5 gold and First Strike for 3 seconds, causing your attacks or abilities to deal 12% bonus damage against all champions, and granting (100% melee / 70% Ranged) of bonus damage dealt as gold.

Cooldown: 25-15s (based on level)

First Strike is a new Inspiration Keystone that gives you a huge advantage when you strike an enemy champion first (or, technically, within a very short window time at the start of champion combat). In addition to the extra damage, the extra gold lets you reach item breakpoints at unexpected times. It’s designed for players who want more strategic, long-term output from their runes in addition to an immediate mechanical boost.

To get the most out of it, you’ll need to beat your opponents in a test of reactions to get that initial hit and follow up to deal as much damage as possible during the 3-second buff.

Why the Inspiration Tree

The Inspiration rune tree is designed to be all about creative tools and rule-bending. Many past Inspiration Keystones haven’t really delivered on that and instead became highly specific to particular champion synergies. This didn’t really fit the Inspiration theme: You don’t feel clever when you’re simply doing what’s always best for your champion, after all.

We’re bending our own rules-bending rule a bit (regarding the use of Inspiration Tree) here for First Strike because starting combat is a harder decision to make than the choices most of our other damage-focused runes ask of you. Evaluating whether you might initiate a suboptimal fight to ensure First Strike, versus letting an opponent poke it off you and forfeiting the ability to go on the offensive for at least 15 seconds, isn’t a straightforward choice. A risk like that needs an equivalent reward, and the increased damage you get is clear and appealing.

Removing Prototype: Omnistone

With the introduction of First Strike, Prototype: Omnistone is going to be removed because it never really found its place in most players’ hearts. Its rules and optimizations were too complex and tinkering with it any further risked making it even harder to master. This left us in a tough spot where we couldn’t safely buff it out of fear that it would become a standard in Pro play. While Prototype: Omnistone was a decent option for champions who didn’t really love any one particular Keystone, over time, most have discovered at least a couple that suit them best. And for players who want to opt-out of Keystones altogether, Unsealed Spellbook provides extra access to Summoner Spells, allowing users to spend their Runes power budget in a different system entirely.

Here’s a link to the original article in case you want any additional info.

Confused as to what is going on? Check out our article about the new items and runes in Preseason 2022.

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