LoL Pre-Season 2022: First Strike

First Strike is a whole new rune in League of Legends. What does it do and which champions should take it?
First Strike Rune
First Strike let's you be as aggressive as you want. | © Riot Games

League of Legends pre-season is heading our way next week. Riot has already informed us of the multitude of changes which we will be faced with, but are we really ready for all this new stuff?

Seriously, two new dragons, new items a new bounty system and now a whole new busted rune – First Strike. Today, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into this rune, what it does, when to pick it and hope you feel a little more secure once the pre-season goes live on November 17, 2021.

What is First Strike?

Which Rune Path is First Strike Part of?

First Strike is a whole new rune Riot has decided to create for the Inspiration Rune Path. The Inspiration Rune Path is meant to ‘bend the rules of League of Legends', but hardly anyone used the available runes during their games.

Glacial Augment? Sure, on a few specific champions. Unsealed Spellbook? I guess it’s nice to have from time to time, but most of the time it was also left off the table. Seriously, the only time anyone talked about Unsealed Spellbook was during the inception of this rune, and it was insanely busted.

Do you even know which the third option of the Inspiration Rune path was? Most likely not. Prototype: Omnistone was so solely used that when I told our social media manager and video editor about this keystone, both merely stared at me blankly.

Which Rune is Being Removed for First Strike?

So, going by the previous paragraph, you can probably guess which rune is being removed for 2022. Prototype: Omnistone was never used in solo queue since players just didn’t understand it and well, if Riot ever dared to upgrade it, then this would be the only rune used in pro play.

It was too difficult to manage, hence why Riot has decided to drop it and instead create a whole new rune focusing on damage – a first for the Inspiration Rune Path – and gold.

What does First Strike Do?

First Strike will reward any players who attack first – hence the name First Strike. If you’re the one to engage in a fight, you get rewarded with extra gold, as well as 3 seconds of ‘First Strike’ which means players gain bonus damage dealt as gold.

Basically, you do a ton of damage and get a ton of gold. Simple as that.

This is what Riot has to say about First Strike:

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.
PROJECT Kata splash HD
Kata with this keystone is just stupid. | © Riot Games

Which Champions Should Pick First Strike?

Well, any poke champions will be insanely strong with this rune. Imagine Ezreal auto-attacking constantly with this rune. A simple auto-attack to start off combat, combine it with W and then Q and bam. So much damage and gold.

Of course, all-in champions like Katarina can gain some serious money in the late game as well using a single ultimate. If she manages to hit four or three champions with it, she can easily burst them down. Doesn’t that sound fun, guys?

Junglers like Kha’Zix could also utilize this rune well by jumping in and out of combat to start it off. A gank like this will be even more impactful since the extra gold will get them ahead quicker. Snowball anyone?

The options are endless, and it seems like Riot will definitely have to do some balancing before the rune is proper good. Thankfully, we have two months before the beginning of Season 12, so the balance team can figure it all out until then.