This is a critical aspect of the game. True fact: if you neglect to fill every rune slot in your equipment with the best runes you can find, replace them with better runes every time you find them, and upgrade them relentlessly with runes and rune fragments found while farming the map and especially in the rune-rich floors of the Tower of Trials you will never…I repeat…never do well in this game.
Runes and rune fragments are scattered throughout campaign locations, dungeons, and the Tower of Trials. Runes are meant to be embedded in your gear and will bestow specific powers upon your hero. These include bonuses to your Critical Hit Chance %, Evasion, Health, Experience, and Treasure. There are also various attack and defensive runes that will add a nasty bite to your weapons and your armor.
Which Runes are Best?
Runes, like ability gems and gear, are color-coded. They can be green, blue, purple, or orange. Orange are best. They are also sorted into tiers, from tier one to twenty. The higher tier runes will have greater power potential and the higher tier rune fragments will carry more points for leveling your runes.
There are six attack runes that can be placed in your weapon. They all have a 10% chance of activating in combat. They are:
- Death Cloud
- Flame Blast
- Ice Blast
- Lightning Arc
- Magic Missile
- Poison Touch
The attack rune you select will be usually be based upon what you find and how much damage it can do when fully leveled but your hero class and your fighting style are also factors. As a warrior I have no ranged attacks. For this reason I prefer Lightning Arc and Magic Missile because they allow me to strike enemies at a distance. But that’s just me.
There are three defensive runes that can be placed in your cloak or chest piece. They are:
- Damage Reflection
- Missile Reflection
- Poison Skin
Again, people tend to use the most powerful runes they can find. The time will come, however, when you realize that you like some runes more than others. Equip what works best for you.
Having a good resistance rating limits how long you will be incapacitated after you are hit by a power attack. You’ll recognize a power attack when you see an orange stripe, arc, or circle under your feet as an enemy prepares to strike with a club, kick, or charge.
The best thing to do is to finish the enemy before he initiates the attack. Or you can get out of the way. In some cases, however, you’re just going to get hit. Your resistance score will determine how long you will be on the ground. Check your resistance rating in your hero stats often. If you’re not in the green upgrade your ring or your runes until you are.
Critical Hit Chance %
This is an important rune that can greatly increase the amount of damage that you deal. A critical hit can do many times the damage of a non-critical hit so you want as many of these as you can get! Your critical hit chance does not go above 30% so once you get there you can stop upgrading these runes. At least until your experience level goes up!
This rune will be useful to you whether you are using Auto Play or are playing manually. Having a good evasion score will help you to get out of the way if an enemy is winding up to charge, kick, or clobber you with a club. Evasion runes will help you to dodge both power attacks and standard attacks thereby reducing your overall damage.
These runes have four points and are embedded in your armor or cloak. They will inflict damage on enemies that come too close in the form of poison, fire, lightning, etc.
These runes also have four points and can be embedded in your weapon. Your choice of attack rune will depend upon your fighting style and what works best for you. Attack runes can provide ranged attacks such as lightning, attacks that will affect any enemy in your immediate vicinity like noxious cloud or poison.
These runes will increase the amount of experience you receive when you defeat monsters. As your experience increases you will see a thin line above your ability gems extending from left to right. When it is full you will level up. This will increase your base health but it will also recalibrate your other skills. If your resistance was at 80% before you leveled up it might be 70% afterwards. Gaining experience in Guild of Heroes, as in the real world, is complicated.
These runes increase the amount of gold you’ll find while adventuring. Gold is, of course, a very handy thing to have, especially since update 1.48.6. Leveling your hero is extremely expensive. Greed runes should be a priority. Maybe a top priority. But you won’t bring any of that gold home if you’re dead so don’t neglect your health, resistance, evasion, attack, and defensive runes in blind pursuit of gold.
Tower of Trials
If you are in the market for runes, and you should be, the best place to find them is the Tower of Trials. That’s all they have there, but they have the mother load! The tower now has ninety-two floors. The first four floors reward you with tier-one runes. The next four floors have tier-two runes, and so on. The top four floors contain tier twenty-two runes. Have you ever seen one of these? I haven’t, either.
Each floor has seven rooms that increase in difficulty as you go. You’ll have three minutes to defeat the monsters in each room. If you succeed you will be rewarded with a pile of runes and rune fragments. If you fail three times you’ll have to go back to the first room of the floor and work your way back up. You’ll earn only a fraction of the runes when you run the rooms more than once.
It should come as no surprise that as you ascend the Tower, both the quality of runes and the ferocity of the monsters guarding them increases. If you want to know how powerful your friends really are, ask them how high they have climbed in the Tower.
Insert or Extract Runes
Once you’ve found a rune you’ll want to insert it into your gear. Bring it to the levitating Runecraft guy in town. Drag the gear item you’ll want it in over to “Insert or Extract Runes”. Drag the rune into the appropriate slot and you’re done. Inserting is free, extracting is not.
Upgrading your Runes
The Runecraft guy will also upgrade your runes. Drag the rune or the gear item containing the rune over to “Upgrade Runes”. Drag up to eight rune fragments or runes that you won’t use into the center slots. Click “upgrade” and you’re done!
So now that you appreciate the importance of maintaining and improving your runes I expect to see you standing in front of the Runecraft guy in Grayhaven pretty much all the time!