Runes are Summoners War’s version of gear. Like in most video games, gear is where significant extra power comes from that allows you succeed. The better runes you have the easier time you will have in dungeons and arena battles that you should be participating in every day. Also, you will definitely need them to succeed in Cairos Dungeons and acquire essence for awakening your monsters.
Leveling up your runes will let you farm safer, grant you more XP, and get you more bonus map dropped monsters as you farm.
Every monster on this site has a suggested rune section that you can refer to. Some players will also suggested different runes in the comments that they use for unique battles.
Warning: Just because there are suggested runes for an individual monsters on its own, doesn’t mean those are the most complimentary runes for that monster when he is fighting with a team. Hopefully the explanation of the runes below will help you understand them more and create synchronizing with your runes across a team.
Details and Use Cases for all Runes
|Rune Name||Set Pieces Required||Set Effect||Location||Description||When to Use|
|Energy||2||HP +15%||Garen Forest|
|- The increase is based on the monster's base HP. |
- Grants a +15% HP increase per Energy set equipped. (+45% HP with 3 sets)
|For tank units with high base HP|
|Fatal||4||Attack Power +35%||Mt. Siz|
|- The increase is based on the monster's base Attack.||For early game attack units, or early or late game Bomb units|
|Blade||2||Critical Rate 12%||Kabir Ruins|
|- Increases the chance of landing a critical hit|
- Grants +12% Critical Rate increase per Blade set equipped. (+36% CRI with 3 sets)
|For boosting damage dealt to the enemy that causes contact (bomb damage is not affected by Crit Chance)|
|Swift||4||Attack Speed +25%||Mt. White Ragon|
|- The increase is based on the monster's base speed.||For support units that buff or heal your team, or for units that do damage depending on speed|
|Focus||2||Accuracy +20%||Telain Forest|
|- Reduces the chance of a skill effect being resisted|
- Grants a +20% Accuracy increase per Focus set equipped (+60% Accuracy with 3 sets)
|For units that require a bump in accuracy|
|Guard||2||Defense +15%||Hydeni Ruins|
|- The increase is based on the monster's base Defense.|
- Grants a +15% Defense increase per Guard set Equipeed (+45% Defense with 3 sets)
|For units that have high base defense or do damage according to defense.|
|Endure||2||Resistance +20%||Tamor Desert|
|- Increases the chances of resisting an enemy debuff being applied to your monster|
- Grants +20% reistance increase per Endure set equipped. (60% Resistance with 3 sets)
|For units that require a bump in resistance|
|Shield||2||Ally Shield 3 turns (15% of HP)||Vrofagus Ruins|
|- All allies get a shield worth 15% of runed monster's base HP (45% HP with 3 sets).|
- The shield amount will stack when multiple monsters are equipped with shield rune (225% HP at Max if 5 monsters use 3 sets each).
- This shield is a removable buff.
- The shild will reactivate when a new wave starts (Secret Dungeons excluded), but does not reactivate after revival.
|To give protection to all your units corresponding to the amount of runes you have. Used like energy runes except in Arena to support allies for a certain period of time.|
|Revenge||2||Counterattack +15%||Faimon Volcano|
|- Counterattacks with first skill, dealing 75% of its orginial damage when attacked with 15% chance (45% chance with 3 sets)|
- "Additional Turn" effects won't be triggered when counterattacking.
- Turns aren't used up when counterattacing.
- First skill effect and passive skill are activated on counterattack unless stated otherwise in the skill description. Despair and Vampire rune effects can also activate.
|To let the unit have chance of countering the opposing unit that attacked it with it's first skill. For units that have high damage output on their first skill or have a special effect.|
|Will||2||Immunity +1 turn||Aiden Forest|
|- Grants immunity for 1 turn per set equipped at the start of the battle (3 turns with 3 sets).|
- This immunity is removable buff
- The rune's effect will reactivate when a new wave starts (Secret Dungeons excluded), but won't reactivate if monster is revived.
|For units that require 1 turn without being stunned, defense broken or oblivioned.|
|Nemesis||2||ATK Gauge +4% (for every 7% HP lost)||Ferun Castle|
|- The attack gauge increases by 4% per set equipped for every 7% HP lost (12% increase with 3 sets). |
- Multi-hit attacks must each take 7% HP at least to activate the run.
- Doesn't work with continuous damage or any skill that sacrifices your monster HP.
|For tank units that have a passive that activates each turn.|
|Vampire||4||Life Drain +35%||Mt.Runar|
|- Recovers HP by 35% of the damage dealt.|
- This recovery is not effected by passives that affect recovery (eg. Grego, Lexy)
- Stack with skill that drains HP (eg. Lapis, Verdehile).
- Doesn't work with continuous damage or any skill that is a percentage of enemy's HP (eg. Sigmarus' third skill).
|For high damage output units that are used to farm. Generally used on farming units that have AoE.|
|Destroy||2||30% of the damage dealt will reduce up to 4% of the enemy's Max HP||Chiruka Remains|
|- Up to 60% of the enemy's Max HP can be reduced permanently in battle (The enemy's Max HP can't go below 40% of its original value)|
- Destroy effects only apply once per turn and not per hit.
- Destroy runes don't increase the damage you dealt. It only reduces the enemy's Max HP based on the damage you dealt up to 4% of the enemy's Max HP (12% of the enemy's Max HP with 3 sets).
|For drawn-out fights with monsters like Camilla, Rina & Khmun|
|Despair||4||Stun Rate +25%||Giant's Keep||- Adds a 25% chance stun to all skills that deal damage immediately (e.g. mounting bombs do not activate despair effect).|
- Despair stun chance is independent from inherent skills stun chance. i.e. It adds another roll.
- Despair stuns cannot be resisted (except Immunity).
- Multi-hit skills have a chance to activate despair stuns on each hit.
|Used with monsters that hit multiple enemies.|
|Violent||4||Get Extra Turn +22%||Dragon's Lair||- Adds a 22% chance on getting an extra turn when using any active skill.|
- Each subsequent consecutive additional turn has a 45% reduced chance of activation than the previous chance. (22%, 13.2%, 7.9%, ...)
|Rage||4||Critical Damage +40%||Necropolis||- Increases Critical Damage the opponent receives by 40%.|
- Critical Damage scales with damage based on Attack, HP, Opponent's HP, Speed or Defense.
|For attack monsters late game and HP Scaling Nukers|
|Fight||2||Allies' ATK 8%||Craft Building||- Increases Attack of all allies by 8% of their base attack|
|Determination||2||Allies' DEF 8%||Craft Building||- Increases Defense of all allies by 8% of their base defense|
|Enhance||2||Allies' HP 8%||Craft Building||- Increases HP of all allies by 8% of their base HP|
|Accuracy||2||Allies' ACC 10%||Craft Building||- Increases Accuracy of all allies by 10%|
|Tolerance||2||Allies' RES 10%||Craft Building||- Increases Resistance of all allies by 10%|
Rune Stats Explained
Atk% – Increases the damage output
HP% – Increases the amount of damage a monster can take (increases overall monster health)
Def% – Reduces the amount of damage taken
Spd – Increases the rate of turns for the monster
Acc% – Increases the chance of landing a debuff or removing a buff
Res% – Decreases the chance of receiving a debuff or having a buff removed by the enemy
CritRate% – Increase the chance of multiplying the base attack with CritDmg%
CritDmg% – Increases the damage output when applying a critical strike on the enemy
If you are not understand the abbreviations players are using when talking about runes, read about Summoners War Slang.
Rune Best Practices
Elements are sorted through their corresponding color.
CritDmg or Atk% in Slot 4 (Excluding bomb units)
- Below 75% CritRate, use Atk%
- Above 75% CritRte, use CritDmg%
Acc% or Res% in slot 6 can easily be replaced with their base stat (Atk% or HP% or Def%) if there is enough acquired through sub-stats or leader skills (only applies to late game users). This can also apply to Endure and Focus.
Def% and Guard runes are not used very often even if their highest base stat is defense. This is because certain units have an ignore ability effect which can greatly reduce their survivability. Instead, this is replaced by HP% to maintain their tanking abilities. It’s only used when your unit does damage according to defense.
Violent runes can replace majority of units 4 slot rune set and 2 slot as it will work on 99.99% of all units. Despair and Revenge runes may also apply but is not advised as it may not benefit the unit as much as other runes.
Swift runes may be used as both simple and advance set ups depending on the location of where your unit will perform.
Units that do damage according to speed should only be runed Speed if you have high enough speed or else you will not be able to see the difference between Speed and attack, therefore sacrificing the damage of other skills.
Prefix Stats – In addition to main and sub-stats, Runes will on occasion come with a prefix stat. These stats are the same kinds found in main and sub-stats, and can not have the same effect as the main and sub-stats. Additionally, prefix stats cannot be upgraded through the power up process. Runes with prefix stats usually come with a a special title.
Each individual rune slot has a particular group of stats that will ALWAYS be on that rune no matter what set it is. I will give you all the possible stats per SLOT. Slots 2,4,6 have a special side stat which is specifically for that rune slot which you cannot get from any other slot.
Keep in mind all the best players normally use % over flat defense or offense because it scales much better so always try to go for % over flat numbers.
The top SW players on Twitch will use % over flat defense or offense, but those runes scale much better.
Powering Up Runes
At the cost of mana stones, Runes can be powered up, increasing the strength of their effect. How much of an increase depends on the grade of a Rune, with higher grades generally offering more of an increase. This sectionlists the cost of powering-up runes.
Runes can be powered up a maximum of fifteen times. When powering up Runes, the chance of a successful power-up will depend on the Rune level. Powering up a rune from +1 to +3 has a 100% success rate which will go down successively with each level.
Below is a crowd sourced record of successes and tries.
There are five different rarity levels of runes:
- Common – White (0)
- Magic – Green (3)
- Rare – Blue (6)
- Hero – Purple (9)
- Legendary – Orange (12)
The higher the rarity,
the more secondary effects the Rune will start with. For instance, a common Rune has no extra effects, magic has one, a rare has two, and so on.
The following table illustrates the number of secondary effects possible for each rarity.
Runes can be found at any of the above rarities, although they can still be powered up with Mana Stones in order to reach the next grade. In general, Runes change rarities every three levels, or at intervals of 3/6/9/12. However, if a rune is found at higher rarity than Common (white Runes), switching to the next rarity will not take place until the specific level associated with that rarity is reached. So a level 0 Magic rune, when powered-up to level 3, will not upgrade rarity until level 6.
If a rune with a higher rarity than normal for its level is powered up, then at +3, +6 etc. it will upgrade preexisting secondary effects. If more than one is present, which effect is upgraded is chosen randomly. This occurs until the rune is at the correct rarity for its level, at which point it will begin to receive new secondary effects up to a maximum of four. E.g. a Magic Rune with a secondary effect of +4 speed will always upgrade the preexisting secondary effect (speed) at a powerup level of +3, whereas a Common Rune with no secondary effects will create a new secondary effect every three powerups up to and including +12, and will never upgrade an existing one. In the same way, a Legendary Rune (already with four secondary effects) will spend every third powerup upgrading existing secondary effects, and will never create a new one.
The following table illustrates the number of total upgrades to secondary effects possible for each rarity.
i.e. A +9 Magic rune would have had a total of 1 upgrade to its secondary effects, whereas a +9 Legendary rune would have had a total of 3 upgrades to its secondary effects.
Note that +15 never adds a upgrade for secondary stats. Instead, it gives a big bonus to the primary.
Important Rules Regarding Runes
Never buy White / Green runes unless you’re desperately in need of the bonus or Set Buff and the Set Buff must belong to a 4 piece rune set, Rage / Swift / Violent etc.
The reason for this rule is simply because when you level up the rune you will get a random substat. If you purchase a white rune and raise it to 12 and the substats you gained are +20 Att , +20 Def, +200 hp + 5% def and +8% resist , then that doesn’t seem to impressive and its actually really poor.
Now if you purchased a blue (rare) rune with Att% and Hp% Substats well then guess what? Those stats until level 6 (when a rune becomes Rare) are the only substats that will increase! Imagine buying a Blue rune with 5% Att and from levels 1-6 it became a 15% Att substat! Thats great!!!
Rune slots 1/3/5 are 100% substat based.
Those flat bonuses aren’t worth much at all. Look for 2-3 substats that are beneficial to what your monster needs when purchasing slots 1/3/5.
Yes this is a thing. If you guys have ever purchased a rune that looks like this, Imgur  the bonus below the primary stat is a “fake” substat. Now what I mean by this is that, THAT substat will never increase. It cannot be level’d up so be careful when purchasing these. For example if you’re looking for high hp% substats and the rune has a fake substat of 5% hp, well then thats not a rune you need since its hp value will never go up.
If multiple monsters have shield runes equipped, the created shield total amount will be based on the one with the highest base HP.
Revenge runes cannot counterattack a counterattack.