State of the Rift: Patch v8.1

LoL Simon “Leoverse” Garnace

League is always in a state of change. And change is good.

Here comes State of the Season, a comprehensive champion and strategy guide geared to help you get those wins on a patch-by-patch basis.

From the upcoming Swain rework to game-changing patch updates, we’ve got you covered on what to expect when you hit that ‘play’ button!

In Patch v8.1, we’ve seen the start of the ranked season and everyone is itching to get those placement matches out of the way. Here’s what’s stylin’ in your friendly neighborhood solo queue.

Never-die marksman build.

Following the buffs to Fleet Footwork, late-game scaling AD carries have now shot in to prominence with a familiar strategy up their sleeve.

The build follows a core with Targon’s Shield as your starting item, and Overheal, Legend: Bloodline and Fleet Footwork from the Precision rune tree.

The improvised strat gives incredible sustain to late-game carries such as Vayne, Tristana, and Kog’maw that desperately need the added survivability throughout the laning phase.

If even more in-game survivability and sustain is needed, hypercarries can run Resolve or Inspiration as a secondary path; with Biscuit Delivery, Stopwatch, Iron Skin, Mirror Shell, and Second Wind as your prospective rune choices.

With the decline of their natural predators in mid-game carries like Ezreal, Miss Fortune, and Jhin, the hypercarries are now given the space and resources to be able to shine later on in the game.

Vayne, specifically, shines in this regard. Given her kit’s ability to self-peel, alongside tanky meta frontliners and enchanter supports, Vayne now has the cushion she needs to be able to shred anyone who stands in her way.

Ardent, anyone?

Kleptomancy: late-game power in mid-game time.

Nasus, Gangplank, Ezreal, Illaoi, Jax. What do they all have in common?

High win-rates and Kleptomancy.

With the introduction of Kleptomancy since Runes Reforged, players have now found the ability to be the optimal keystone of choice for champions who want to build their items as soon as possible. Late-game and mid-game scaling is now made easier with the sheer amount of gold Kleptomancy provides throughout the stages of the game.

Champions like Ezreal and Gangplank are the forefront users of the bandit keystone. Mainly from the fact that they have a low-cooldown and on-hit ability in their Qs, which means that they can safely chip away at their opponent and gain a substantial gold lead by doing so.

However, abilities that proc on-hit isn’t exactly the reason why Kleptomancy is a hit amongst champions. It’s the amount of effective gold one can obtain through the keystone rune and how it speeds up the champion’s power spikes.

Champions who are comfortable with playing passively in the laning phase, like Nasus, Jax, and Illaoi, succeed with the keystone because they traditionally lose the laning phase and by getting Kleptomancy, they gain gold that they would not have obtained otherwise. A few consumables to help ease laning isn’t bad at all, either.

If you let these champions go easy in the laning phase, they will eventually stack up to become their late-game form -- and you do not want to see a God-Staffed Jax raining down on you.

Unsealed: Spellbook

Unsealed Spellbook was underhyped the moment it came out. Every rune looked enticing and fun to play - except for the unflashy and simplistic Unsealed Spellbook.

Now, everyone’s realized how gravely mistaken we all were.

Unsealed Spellbook is a versatile keystone. Need Heal to survive the laning phase but need Ghost for later teamfights? Check. Need to use Flash-Nether Grasp more often? Check. Need the ability to jungle healthily? Check. Want to run Ignite now and help the team with Teleport later? Check.

Unsealed Spellbook’s Summoner Spell cooldown reduction and ability to swap out Summoner Spells  is invaluable to champions who need summoners to excel throughout the game.


Vladimir Heal into Ghost gives Vladimir the safety barrier he needs to survive the early game and wreck teamfights later on.  Malzahar’s reduced Flash cooldown allows his team to create more and more picks in the mid-game to extend gold leads. Sivir’s Heal into Teleport gives her team increased waveclear ability and splitpushing prowess. Heck, even Morgana’s reduced Smite cooldown becomes enough to enable her to become a viable jungler!

Unsealed Spellbook has a tremendous range of versatility added into one’s kit, who knows how else could this rune be picked up in the future?

Ranked Tier List
Now what’s a guide without a tier list, huh?

Patch v8.1, Tier List
Role Top Lane Jungle Mid Lane AD Support
Champion Gangplank, Nasus Evelynn, Shyvana, Warwick Katarina, Malzahar Ezreal, Vayne Alistar, Janna, Lulu



There you have it, a rundown on this patch’s top-of-the-top. Now, with all that you’ve just learned - off you go to the Fields of Justice, summoner. May you not run into solo queue Yasuos and devlish Teemos on your blessed ranked journey!

FUN FACT: You can run Minion Dematerializer on champions like Malzahar and Ezreal to instantly clear minion waves with the increased damage-dealt-to-minions passive.

Images courtesy of Riot Games


Which meta strat do you find...honorable?

Unsealed Spellbook, Perfect Timing Ryze with Zhonya's
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Thank you for voting!
Simon “Leoverse” Garnace
League of Legends Journalist. Freelance writer. Klepto nasus is the best of all time.


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