Ideas for a Potential 4th "Stat Shard" Column

I'm personally a big fan of stats being separate from rune trees; it allows for much more freedom of choice pre-game. However, when Stat Shards were announced, as a dirty {{champion:19}} main I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't most hyped about being able to run 9% attack speed twice for that sweet, sweet 18% bonus attack speed at level 1 again, _(back when the AS Shard was 9% instead of 10%)_, this time regardless of which runes I chose. Alas, even though Riot publicly stated that they were tossing around the possibility of a 4th option in each Stat Shard row, it never came into fruition. Personally, I could only come up with 2 reasons why attack speed wouldn't be included twice: 1. _**Too overpowered?**_ While 18% (21% with Legend: Alacrity) bonus attack speed certainly sounds like a lot at level 1, here are a few things to keep in mind: - This was already available when stats were attached to rune trees. Originally, running Precision as your primary tree granted 18% attack speed no matter what your secondary was. Subsequently, _after_ the primary/secondary stat split but _before_ Stat Shards were implemented, 18% was only available with a very niche pairing of Precision + Inspiration. Nevertheless, it was still an option, and for some champions like {{champion:102}}, it was their bread and butter; now, it isn't even an alternative. - In the old Runes and Masteries system from before Season 7, choosing to opt into full attack speed Marks (Reds) and Quintessences in your runes netted you a whopping 28.8% attack speed, boosted to 32.8% most recently by the Season 6 tier 1 Ferocity mastery, Fury. _(I personally started playing during Season 6, but based on information I've found, every set of Mastery Trees had 4-5% attack speed readily available somewhere within them.)_ - However, it would be wrong of me to try to masquerade the fact that once Legend: Alacrity is stacked up, you currently get a total of 27% attack speed (28% after the 1% buff), and you would be able to get 36(/38)% from just your runes alone, which adds up to a seemingly substantial 900 gold value, or even 950 if the Shard stays at 10%, around 15-20 minutes. - The counter-argument I present is the fact that specing into double Adaptive Force in your Stat Shards and running solely the Eyeball Collection rune for damage gives 30 AD or 50 AP once fully stacked, adding up to a 1050/ 1087.6 gold value, respectively. Not only that, Attack Speed is only available from one rune, while Adaptive Damage is potentially available from **7 different runes** if their conditions are being met, and you can run up to 3 of those at the same time. - Just as an example, let's say you're running Domination + Sorcery with Eyeball Collection, Absolute Focus, Gathering storm, and both Adaptive Damage Stat Shards. It's 20 minutes, and you're pretty fed; you just hit level 13 and have Eyeball Collection fully stacked. Assuming you're above 70% health, _you would be getting a total of 61 AD (2135 gold) or 103 AP (2240.25 gold)._ With this already on the table, 950 gold worth of Attack Speed available total as opposed to the lackluster 675 we have now doesn't sound as insane anymore. **TL:DR - Alacrity and 20% Attack speed would still have less gold value than Eyeball Collection and 20 Adaptive Force. Giving up AD for more attack speed would likely become a niche choice that a handful of champions would love, but in a worst-case scenario could become too strong on some champions now that it can potentially be run alongside more damage runes compared to the last time this much attack speed was available within Runes Reforged.** 2. _**It wouldn't make sense to have 4 options in one Stat Shard row and 3 in the other two.**_ - I personally think this is the reasoning behind Riot's omission of a second attack speed Shard, considering having one of your Stat Shard rows literally stick out like a sore thumb wouldn't look too great visually, especially if it was just adding a "niche" stat. However, I've given it a lot of thought and came up with a solution to make sure all 3 rows, Offense, Flex, and Defense, have 4 Shards each. - **Offense:** - If I could choose to bring back one beloved stat that was only directly available in the old rune system, I would have to choose _~~1% crit chance~~_ _**movement speed**_. And no, not _"only out of combat"_ movement speed or _"+10 movement speed if you wait up to 10 minutes for boots,"_ I mean pure, bona fide % bonus movement speed. - In case you're new, in the old rune system you could originally devote 1/4 of your runes to give yourself 4.5% bonus movement speed, which some champions ({{champion:136}} {{champion:69}} {{champion:120}} {{champion:427}} {{champion:75}} {{champion:33}} {{champion:223}} {{champion:19}}) loved dearly. _(Almost any champion could've run % movespeed if they wanted to, this was just off the top of my head based on champions I'm familiar with.) _ - The Celerity rune gave 4% bonus movement speed on release, but because it _also_ gave AD/AP, it quickly became a balance issue; today, it's a shell of its former self, now only making movement speed _bonuses_ slightly stronger. To add insult to injury, the small pool of champions without movement speed bonuses in their kits who _might_ still want this rune for the small amount of bonus movement speed they would at least get from their boots, most notably tanks, want nothing to do with the Sorcery tree. - While the full 4.5% bonus movement speed as an option would be ideal, I could understand it carrying too much weight compared the other Shards, which are closer in power to 2 Quintessences rather than the 3 you would've needed for the full 4.5%; however, even a 3-4% bonus would be a welcome addition to our current lineup of options. - **Flex:** - Flex would gain the aforementioned _**attack speed**_. _On a side note, if these changes ever became more than a dream, The Flex line would finally have an even number of offensive and defensive options._ - **Defense:** - Defense was a tricky one; while i have a giant "% Movespeed Quintessence"-shaped hole in my heart, the choice I would add to _this_ tree took some deeper thought. The main challenge was coming up with an alternative kind of defensive stat that wasn't just HP/Armor/MR. I personally thought the option that made the most sense was _**a small amount of tenacity**_, maybe between 5-10%. - After deciding on tenacity, I soon realized that this Shard would mostly be chosen by tanks... but, there's nothing wrong with that, especially considering this is the Defense row. Tenacity is a valuable defensive stat that, in my opinion, could be more easily obtainable. - Currently, your only options for obtaining tenacity are 2 runes (1 of which is situational), Mercury Treads, and an Elixir of Iron. That's **it**. If a tank, or _anyone_ for that matter, wants to get tenacity without Merc Treads, or wants extra tenacity on top of them, they're required to run Resolve and/or Precision. If they're running Resolve, they have to either give up Overgrowth _(Still a decent rune even though I personally loathe with a passion the direction Riot took with the rune in 8.23; nerfing a tank rune for tanks and buffing it for squishies, **Harrumph.** That's another topic I could spend 5 hours ranting about, but I digress.)_ or Revitalize, both of which are not only core runes on many champions, but also generally outshine Unflinching regardless due to its situational nature, **or** they have to run Precision, and tanks running Precision as their secondary generally default to just running Triumph alongside Legend: Tenacity because there's nothing else in the Precision tree that a tank really wants. _(Edit: Sterak's Fury technically also gives tenacity, but the 3200g price tag makes the item unappealing to anyone who isn't a bruiser looking to shore up their AD while also gaining HP and some anti-burst; nobody is going to drop that much gold if they only want the tenacity after procing the shield.)_ - But despite all of that, against some team compositions, the bonus tenacity from one or both of those runes can definitely be worth it, since the longer you're locked down, the longer you're unable to either peel for your carries or attempt to lock down a pivotal member of the opposing team. (And with how much damage is flying around, now more than ever a tank needs as much up-time as possible, because with no tenacity you can easily get 100-0d in a teamfight during the span of one {{champion:25}} root.) **TL:DR -** I would add a **3-4.5% movespeed speed Shard** to the Offense row, a **second attack speed Shard** to the Flex row, and a **5-10% tenacity Shard** to the Defense row. While it's possible these options maybe just become niche, _(although I doubt it will happen in regards to the % bonus movespeed Shard)_, I for one am always open to more pre-game options to hone my stats towards what i need in a given game or for/against a specific champion. **Thank you for taking the time to read about my thoughts on a potential new row of Stat Shards.** I know it may sound weird, but % Movement Speed Quintessences were something I loved with a passion, and there's been a void ever since their removal. I would run them on almost any champion I played. I definitely have fond memories of having more attack speed from the old runes/early Runes Reforged than we currently have now, but Legend: Alacrity at least mostly makes up for it, even if I'm forced to run precision. You're always told growing up that one person can make a difference, so today I decided I may as well try to make a difference in a game I love dearly. I hope all of you reading this have a wonderful rest of your day. {{sticker:galio-happy}}
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