Guide to Runes – Summoners War

Guide to Runes - Summoners War

Summoners War: Sky Arena by Com2uS

The hardest aspect of Summoners War is rune management. There are a number of great resources (some of which we will link and reference) for helping with this. We hope our insights will help you with your progression and if you have better insight than we do please share and we will update with your comments.

Don’t miss our list of the best monsters in Summoners War we got for you.

Summoners War – Guide to Runes

Please note there are exceptions to everything, the below is generalized but may contain specific examples or exceptions and we will try to note them, feel free to provide more if they extend a thought process, this guide is not meant to list every exception to the rule.

Law of 3s – We use the law of 3s as we call them, no rune should be upgraded beyond their Star Value x 3. I.E 3★ never beyond +9, 4★ never beyond +12, etc.. Likewise once you get to the point you are able to just keep 5★+ runes always take them to +12, evaluating them at +3, +6, +9 (even +12) if you should keep it based on rolls. The point is while getting a rune to +9 is fairly cheap, a +9 doesn’t tell you if the rune is really worth keeping or will truly be an upgrade. +12 it if at each check point it is worth keeping, sell it the minute it stops going well to preserve mana.

Monster/Rune simplification is the idea you use as few monsters as possible in all areas in Summoners War… most players can do all content with 30-40 “core” monsters. You give those monsters (ranked by use and rune types) the best runes possible to ensure little risk in failure and greatest ease in accomplishing tasks quickly. Each month you should re-evaluate your teams and may find certain monsters are no longer as important or have fallen off completely and you can reclaim their runes. This keeps the supply level of quality runes in check with the low drop rates of quality runes. World Boss or “toy/test” monsters are runed with left overs…anything not on a monster at the end of the month should be looked at very closely as to why it is in your inventory. If junk, sell and reinvest that mana. Also if you get a big boost rune, don’t wait for FRR. Spend 50K and swap that rune out, no reason to penalize yourself the use of that rune all month (or longer if you forget you have it).

Tools & Reference

Batman doesn’t fight crime without his utility belt and this game is too complicated without proper tools!

Wikia Rune Guide – This guide for Summoners War offers a ton of knowledge and there is zero reason not to become very intimate with the details of each section of this guide. You need to understand what each set does, what the subs of each rune slot could be and what the MAX each STAT bonus could yield on upgrade before doing anything with runes. Stop, go read and come back if you don’t understand rune basics.

Kakaroto’s SWProxy tool – used to download your runes from the game. We cannot express how grateful everyone who uses this tool is for it. It is a god send and much thanks and praise to Kakaroto. There are lots of video guides on how to set this up. Very sorry for our Asia server peeps as this isn’t working for them due to HTTPs.

Xzandro’s Rune Optimizer – you can download the tool for Windows 10 HERE which will have better performance on FRR. EDIT: Xzan informed us calc is done client side which means no difference in performance compared to windows app on FRR. Xzandro & miha are EU players who created/work on this amazing, amazing tool and tons of praise to them and the rest of the team if we missed anyone!

Focus from here out really is on C3+ stats, if you are lower than that it gives you an idea of what to shoot for.

Support vs DPS

In a very loose sense there are two types of units, Support (Healers/Revivers/Buffers/Strippers/ATB Boosters) and DPS (We hurt people, RAWR) in Summoners War and the rune “needs” of those units vary.

In general:

  • Support units care about SPD/HP/DEF/ACC or RES – Prioritize them in that order, high SPD is the most desirable stat with HP being a close 2nd. Def, ACC or RES are nice bonuses. SPD and HP are both grindable so make sure not to forget to give your supports some R5 love.
  • DPS units care about SPD/ATK or DEF (depends on scaling)/CR/CD/HP…maybe ACC & RES in select cases. This can vary a lot based on team comps but in general CR/CD are the most important stats, reason being is you cannot grind them to a higher value. So the amount of CR/CD you get is all you will ever get (sans converting a stat) and based on baselines below you need good CR/CD subs.

The choices you make on what runes to keep vs sell should follow the needs of the monsters most likely to use them. If you can’t identify a monster that would “LOVE” that rune immediately chances are you shouldn’t keep it.

  • SLOTS 1/3/5 – Because of the fixed nature of the primary stat these runes should never be a question. The runes should be 6★with a minimum of 2 highly desirable subs that have high starting values or 5★ Hero/Legend runes with 3 or more highly desirable subs that have high starting values. Support Units prioritize SPD/HP while DPS units prioritize Spd/CR/CD

The reason for saying “that have high starting values” is because while Legend runes give you a great chance to get those stats up, Hero/Magic do not and you will see below that the needs per rune gets fairly high (We put basic C3/G+ stats IMO)

  • SLOTS 2/4/6 – Since quality drops are a bit harder to get (especially in the set you want if using sets) the requirements are a bit lower given the importance of having the right main stat in each slot being greater than the subs that come with it. The rule however of what subs you want will come into play eventually as you get more and more of these specific runes and your monsters already have it on them. No reason to keep a 6★with a minimum rolls or terrible subs if you already have something better on each of your monsters.

Setting Standards

Benchmarks or Standards for runes in Summoners War are a big help in quickly determining what to keep vs what to sell. As some basic math is involved, here are some general rules:

Remember these are goals for C3/G+, use the best you have and aim for higher, to start the benchmark is better than what you have but the below is to show you what is needed to compete higher…if you keep mediocre you stay mediocre.

Speed is the most important stat you need to make sure is on every rune, there are exceptions but few of them. Both Support and DPS units as general rule need loads of speed (even Shield/Will comps require speed)

Support Markers

Given the variance in types of support monsters this is a bit more subjective in Summoners War and Runes. SPD/HP are top scores…Def/ACC/Res depends on the role they play. 200+ speed is a must as they need to do their job 1st and/or as often as possible. With some monsters needing 30-40K HP and high ACC/Res on top of it the rune requirements can be quite high.

  • SPD as most require 1st turn or to be faster than your/enemy DPS it is imperative to have 200+ speed or frankly speed maybe the only stat that you care about on the monster (ATB Boosters), 20+ on each rune (42/39 on slot 2 if needed) are musts. EDIT: to clarify 20+ is for ATB boosters, other supports may need this same range (for instance competing with 220-240 range Tiana’s) however to reach 200ish speed 10-15 per rune maybe all that you need.
  • HP since in arena/gw def is often unreliable due to ignore def skills that means HP is the best stat you can focus on for survival. Good news is slots 4/6 tend to be HP% runes, bad news is you still need 10% or more on remaining runes to get HP in that tough to 1 shot range.
  • Def/ACC/Res – Depends on unit, in most cases you want RES to prevent def break or cc and ACC if stripper…Def is nice for PVE but not as helpful in PVP.

DPS Markers

Setting aside skill multipliers….Damage = BASE_ATK * (1+ATK%) * (1+CD) using this concept the idea is High CR so you crit ~every~ time and ATK% and CD% should be as HIGH (yet close to equal) as you can get them.

  • SPD in most cases should be a big priority. It doesn’t matter if you hit for 100K dmg if you are dead before you get to move. To complicate it even more, most DPS are 100 speed or slower base. So if we use a “decent” speed of +80 for C3/G+ Shield/Will comps that means your DPS needs 14 Speed per rune to achieve this speed. Speed clear teams that involve ATB boosters and getting 1st turn could mean your DPS needs to be around 210. With 42 speed on Slot 2 you still need 14 Speed per remaining rune. Note there are strategies that don’t involve monsters needing speed, Copper and Imesety for example but those are more the exception than rule.
  • CR should be 85 (elemental advantage is supposedly 15 cr bonus) or 100%, this means an average of 12-17% per slot is needed to make these numbers. If your rune can’t make these numbers you need to really consider selling it. Since Slot 1 cannot have DEF, use this slot to get as high CR/CD as possible for Def scaling monsters…likewise as slot 3 cannot have ATK use this slot to get as high CR/CD as possible for Atk scaling monsters.
  • CD should be 150-200%, this is a bit more complicated a stat but overall the general idea is you should always use SLOT 4 as 6★ CD% (5★ if great subs and you don’t mind making up the CD elsewhere), now if you use a Rage set for the 40% CD bonus you don’t need runes with much CD, which allows either much higher ATK subs or extra HP/Def to be used instead. Outside of Rage, you will need 7-14% per slot to make these numbers.
  • ATK/Def/HP is a bit easier as you can grind it, having said that needs vary based on Base Stat of monster and the scaling they use. I.E. a set on Lushen with 900 base atk will vary compared to Tarq who only has 714. Since slots 2 & 6 are typical ATK% slots, slot 3 cannot have ATK and you get the flat ATK bonus off of slot 1…a good average here is approx. 10% for remaining slots. Apply this same logic for Def/HP if monster scales with those.

Sets vs Broken builds

Summoners War introduces us to two types of sets: Primary Sets (4 Pieces) and Secondary sets (2 Pieces). And within those sets, in general, there are two basic types: Utility and Stat Enhancer.

  • Utility – runes that provide function instead of stat boosts when the set is completed. In general these tend to be more PvP or specific PvE (such as TOAH/HOH) monsters than general PvE ones.
  • Stat Enhancer – only purpose is to add additional boost to stats based on Primary/Secondary set completion. Everything in the game (sans utility shenanigans…looking at you Violent) is a stat check. The concept here is really that they help get your Stats to the point you can pass the check.

It makes perfect sense to think of runes just in these two ways if you look at it purely on paper, MORE is always better right!? And sets give function or some FREE stat increase. It just makes more sense for a DPS to get more ATK or CD from a set than nothing.

However as the game player base in Summoners War grew older, more knowledgeable players started noticing that this was a flawed way to look at things. Maybe Verde doesn’t need to be Violent….Maybe our rune drops keep giving us these amazing runes in an unconventional set for the stats. So people started tinkering and noticed you can achieve a monsters purpose without the use of a primary set or even sets at all. Things like the use of 3 secondary sets to achieve stat or utility needs as well as the use of broken sets started to become a thing outside of nub stupidity.

  • Broken Sets refer to the use of 2 or more runes that do not produce either a stat or utility bonus that normally come from forming a “primary” or “secondary” set.

This is hard for a lot of players because we have been conditioned from the beginning to think of monsters in terms of specific “xyz” sets with certain 2/4/6 pairs with lists and threads everywhere pushing these concepts. Now don’t get us wrong, sets are still better on paper but the issue is that your drops aren’t conducive to finding 60 sets worth of “great” runes. This makes it hard early on to make large jumps in progress and you will hold yourself back if you wait to get perfect sets on everyone or by using mediocre runes just to get a set bonus.

We want to really drive it home that unless your monster requires the utility of a sets’ bonus then you are better off forgetting norms and focusing solely on the stats of your runes. Once you start using your best “X” runes rather than a couple great runes and some meh ones to make a set you will find that you have been holding your monsters back far too long.

As your rune quality grows maybe you can get those stat bonuses from sets too but don’t limit yourself to it. As an example we have 2 monsters…Perna and Tarq. Perna needs Violent/Will for our purposes, Tarq just needs stats…so we use a Slot 6, 6★ Endure ATK% rune on Tarq and free up our Violent runes for Perna. Evaluate a rune based on quality of rolls and not if it makes “set sense”.

More Summoners War Guides

In our Guide-Section you will find more Guides for Summoners War.

Thanks to user ‘VΣΠΘM’ for help creating this guide.

That’s it, if you have any questions or feedback about runes in Summoners War, please feel free to leave a comment.


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