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League of Legends Build Guide Author Kklawm

Explaining Masteries - [IN CONSTRUCTION]

Kklawm Last updated on May 4, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 0

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 9

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hi There! After posting on General Forums, I decided that I had too many important things to explain, for the thread to die. I feel this way because I have not found, with the aid of Google, any site which properly explains or categorizes the masteries. I love Mobafire for looking up guides about pretty much any hero I play, but it a constant annoyance to me to see excellent, well thought out guides showing poor choices in Masteries.

I realize that is a bold statement but it is with some merit, there are some talents which are, frankly, absolutely awful and should never be seen.

So I made this list of talents, I want people to know what constitutes a 'bad' mastery, what makes a questionable mastery great, and explain everything using a useful global points form.


Because most Masteries can be explained in this simple numerical term. Any calculations I use will be rounded to the nearest whole number, and I'll be using this equation to base my point or gold cost on:

(([Base Mastery Stat] / [Base Item Stat]) * [Base Item Gold]) / [Mastery Point Ammount]

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Tier 1 - Offense Tree


3 Points
2% Critical Strike

Comparing it to a Brawler's Gloves it provides a flat increase to critical strike chance. Be sensible when choosing this, as some heroes obviously prefer critical strike over others.

Worth 33 Gold


1 Point
Cripple has 10 Magic and Armor Reduction, is 0.5 second longer

This is a very straight forward talent further improved by it being in Tier 1. Basically, if you have cripple, get this. Even at level 1, with no Magic Resistance on your enemy, this would actually improve the damage you do.


Plentiful Bounty

1 Point
Grants 5 Gold on using Smite, Reduced Cooldown by 5 Seconds

This one has a calculable value, since it gives you gold. Assuming, over a period of twenty minutes, you use this every 80 seconds (not 70 since that's unrealistic). Then it's definitely worth obtaining for Junglers. The value is the gold you recieve after 20 minutes (using it every 80 seconds)

Worth 75 Gold by 20 Minutes

Archmage's Savvy

3 Points
You get 0.6 Ability Power per Level

Comparing it to a Amplifying Tome it provides a gradual increase in Ability Power, the set back to this is, by the time it is useful (at level 18) most heroes have something like Rabadon's Deathcap making this a less exciting ammount. For this reason the gold value is set in the middle of its two extremes, seeing as that is when you'll see maximum benefits from this talent. It variates from being worth 13 gold to 78 gold by the way.

Usually Worth 46 Gold

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Tier 2 - Offense Tree


4 Points
3% Cooldown Reduction

Comparing it to the recipe component of Kindle Gem. What does this mean? It means Cooldown Reduction is much rarer than a basic stat, and that the value on this skill is a little smaller than it should be. Cooldown Reduction is on heaps of items, but mostly final recipes. Even better, it is additive, which means it stacks great. Just remember %40 is the maximum Cooldown Reduction you can have.

Worth more than 28 Gold


4 Points
4% Attack Speed

Comparing it to Dagger Gem. Another reasonably straight forward stat, another one for AD carries and the like. An excellent way for AD Carries to get further into the Offensive Tree.

Worth 28 Gold

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Tier 3 - Offense Tree

Burning Embers

1 Point
When on Cooldown, you recieve 10 Ability Power

When compared to an Amplifying Tome you realise just how worthwhile this is to get no matter what when you have ignite and are an AP caster. That means, after using Ignite, you get half an Amplifying Tome, even at level one. In comparison, Archmage's Savvy gives the same bonus... at level 18... for only one talent point.

Worth 218 Gold

Archaic Knowledge

1 Point
15% Magic Penetration

Magic Penetration Percentage is very hard to get, the only recipe having it is Void Staff. This means I have based my value off of it. The value below will make your head spin, but it has a lot of problems. Firstly, it doesn't work well with any form of Flat magic penetration. That means Runes, Abyssal Mask, Sorcerer's Shoes and so on work badly with this talent.

This is because Flat Magic Penetration reduces resistance before Magic Penetration Percentage, so if you remove nearly all of their magic resist (the typical late game champion having 50 from Banshee's Veil), Penetration Percentage removes 15% of not much at all. Also, at level 1, with no Magic Resistance it does nothing at all.

Secondly, with a Void Staff it doesn't do 55% Magic Penetration, it does 49% magic Penetration.

I've been saying that it is a questionable talent, but frankly, even at 10 magic resistance, it is STILL worth 56 gold (in comparison to the recipe portion of Sorcerer's Shoes.

So get it!!!

Worth Less Than 375 Gold


3 Points
6 Armor Penetration

There's no way I can accurately price this stat. Why? Because there are only six items, all end game items, which have armor reduction or penetration of any sort. This means this ability is extremely valuable, especially since it's a set value, which means it's great at level 1 (all Champion have some base armor) scales well to end-game and is hard to get.

It also affects AD based spells, if you didn't want incentive enough.


Offensive Mastery

2 Points
4 Attack Damage to Minions

Comparing it to a Long Sword, however you need to remember this is only for minons, hence basically a jungling mastery. Of most note though, is it's the superior talent, not only clearing the jungle quicker, but being worth more per stat point than Defensive Mastery. If possible, consider getting this on your Jungle Champion.

Worth 83 Gold on minions

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Tier 4 - Offense Tree

Brute Force

3 Points
3 Attack Damage

Again compared to a Long Sword, but this is much more valuable than Offenive Mastery, for only a slight nerf to the ammount given you get an excellent offensive talent, worthwhile the whole game.

Worth 42 Gold

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Tier 5- Offense Tree


3 Points
Increased Damage on Critical Strike by 10%

There's only one item which increases Critical Damage Infinity Edge, anad I'm not going to compare this to that. If you are going to become a Crit stacking champion, this skill is a must, otherwise it is a must-not.


Improved Rally

1 Point
20-70 Ability Power, and 5 seconds longer duration on Rally

The actual ability Rally is pretty bad. It either needs a complete rework or a shorter cooldown. However, if you have a way to make it work for you this could be the extra oomph you need!


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Final Tier - Offense Tree


1 Point
Increases Attack and Magic Damage by 5%

This skill is on of the most confusing in the game. This isn't as good as it seems to start off. The 5% Attack Damage only affects your base damage, which means it's at a set level peaking at level 18. For attack damage spells, it in fact double dips, since your base damage scales, your AD spell also gets a slight boost. It also gives an extra 5% damage on the set portion of the spell. So if the spell did 300+50%AD, you get the AD with your increased 5% base damage, as well as 300+5% damage on the spell.

For magic abilities, it scales the base damage of the ability rather than your ability power (or its scaling aspect). So if you are Corki your phosphorous bomb will do (280+5%)(at level 5)+50% Ability Power. So it's 5% extra damage on spells and doesn't effect Ability Power at all.

Is it good or bad? Well surprisingly, it's pretty decent, comparing it to a Long Sword for Corki, it is worth 106 gold at level 1, and 211 gold at level 18. That isn't including its extra scaling on all of Corki's base spells, three of which scale with AP, two of which scale with AD (his ult scals on both).

Some people consider Havoc lackluster, but without the spell scaling spell component, it is still excellent for AD carries. It's too hard for an AP carry to get this far in the tree, and the magic damage is more for Champions like Corki who weirdly have spells which are magic and scale on AP, don't build AP and want extra oomph. If you have AD spells, even better, it double-scales for over 5% extra damage on your spells.

Highly Recommended

Usually Worth more than 159 Gold

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Tier 1 - Defensive Tree

Mender's Faith

1 Point
30 second Cooldown Reduction on Heal

This is a very straight forward Mastery and is obviously worth getting if you have heal.



3 Points
6 Magic Resistance

Nice and straight forward comparison to Null-Magic Mantle, making it another mastery worth 33 gold.

Worth 33 Gold


1 Point
2 Minute 400 Health Buff and 30 Seconds less on Revive

The only problem with Revive, even with this mastery, is its terrible cooldown. This is a good Mastery though.



3 Points
6 Armor

Another very simple talent based on Cloth Armor. The best thing about these talents are that they're excellent early game.

Worth 33 Gold

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Tier 2 - Defensive Tree

Strength of Spirit

3 Points
1% of Mana becomes HP/5

The best news about this skill is it scales with mana. This is excellent for the laning phase, and remains descent for any champion with mana until you near end-game. Make sure if you have a champion without mana to not get this. Even Sion with 200 starting mana gets 2HP/5. This is worth 19 gold, and he only has 200 mana! It ends up earning even Sion 60 gold with no mana items.

With Regrowth Pendant, I based my figure off of a level 1 Ryze with Mana Crystal. Why? Because Health Regen, which is godly early game, tapers off nearer to end game. It is still worth much more than the figure below.

Worth lots more than 49 Gold


4 Points
2% Dodge

This skill could be a real surprise! You see, it costs four points and doesn't even stack well, I based my figure off the recipe portion of Ninja Tabi. Whilst Dodge is a hard skill to stack, you need to ask yourself: Do you want to? Armor is also an excellent skill for Physical Attacks, and it stacks additively. More on this in Nimbleness...

Worth 8 Gold

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Tier 3 - Defensive Tree

Defensive Mastery

2 Points
2 Less Damage from Minions

For me the immediate comparison is between this and Offensive Mastery, both of which are primarily Jungling skills. Basing my values off of the damage reduction from Cloth Armor, the idea was to calculate how much damage this reduces in comparion:

Cloth Armor: gives 9.85% for a level 3 warwick with base armor 26.5
The firs values are without Cloth Armor, the second with.
13 gold / 11 gold
Blue Golem:
22 gold / 21 gold
Red Lizard:
22 gold / 21 gold
2 Golems:
37 gold / 32 gold
40 gold / 35 gold
Lesser Wraith:
69 gold / 60 gold
Great Wolf: <Excludes Crit>
93 gold / 81 gold
4 Young Lizards:
134 gold / 117 gold
2 Wolves: <Excludes Crit>
134 gold / 117 gold

80 gold / 70 gold

These numbers continue to degrade as you obtain more armor.

The value is inaccurate, as damage receieved depends on what you kill first, how fast you kill them, your base level armor, their critical chance and so on. This skill is least useful where it needs to be most useful, namely the red buff, blue buff and dragon. Those are also the mobs who take the longest time (most damage receieved), so my calculation is more favourable than the actual value of the skill.

Don't make that turn you off getting it as a jungler: defensive jungling is still descent. What I would advise (if you've checked below at Harden Skin) is to use the extra mitigation you have from this skill to buy offensive jungling items if at all possible. Since this scales very badly with the mitigation provided by armor.

Offensive Mastery beats it hands down.

Worth Less Than 80 Gold on Minions


1 Point
10% Movement Speed for 10 Seconds after Dodging

Alright! This skill is the only reason you should spend points in Evasion. That skill, even with the rarity of Dodge (because of its rarity: it doesn't stack well), approaches useless. Basically it's an all or nothing mastery. You NEED to get Greater Seal of Evasion, maybe even Greater Quintessence of Evasion. The reason is simple: this skill is useless if it doesn't proc:

2% (Evasion)
1 in 50 attacks proc
8.62% (Seals, Evasion)
1 in 12 attacks proc
13.03% (Seals, Quints, Evasion)
1 in 8 attacks proc
13.76% (Tabi, Evasion)
1 in 7 attacks proc
19.58% (Tabi, Seals, Evasion)
1 in 5 attacks proc
23.46 (Tabi, Seals, Quints, Evasion)
1 in 4 attacks proc

I can tell you safely, even as a tank, you're dead after 50 hits, not looking really good at 12. You need to build dodge to make this good. Don't rely on a lucky proc, games aren't won on lucky procs.

IF you get Nimbleness, you need to build for it.

With the exception of these Champions, who have spells which make them perfectly suited to this talent:

Jax - max at %18 Counterstrike
Nidalee - %10 Cougar
Sivir - max at %25 Fleet of Foot
Udyr - max at %9 by switching forms

I have based the calculation off of the recipe portion of Zeal. I explain the reasoning behind this in Quickness (Utility - Tier 4).

When Active Worth 469 Gold

Harden Skin

4 Points
Blocks 2 Physical Damage

It took some careful thought, and some misinterpreting of the effectiveness of Cloth Armor on my part to realize this skill is so hard to figure out. I have used predictions to better evaluate this skill.

Basically the more armor you have, the less useful it is. Below is some thought processes:

Lets say a level 1 Anivia attacks a Fiddlesticks for 51 damage. With your base armor damage reduction, you'd mitigate an extra 3.27% damage. With a Cloth Armor, you'd only mitigate 2.23%, on its own mitigating a massive 11.86% Without the cloth armor its worth 28 gold, with it is worth 19 gold.

Now if we have a level 8 Caitlynn with a Last Whisper, against a Cho'Gath with a Aegis of the Legion you're blocking an extra 1.46 damage, for a total 1.31% mitigation. An extra Cloth Armor would have netted an extra 7.2% mitigation, for a gold value of 18 gold.

To put my opinion in one sentence: this is a bad skill. Perhaps this is a skill for Dodge or otherwise squishy Champions, for a tank, it gets in the way of your armor mitigating damage, and ends up being useless. If you are going to take damage, this scales horribly late game, and is barely useful early game. Best perhaps for a jungler who receives small-continual damage from monsters.

Less Than 28 Gold