Seal Runes Analysis
Last Updated: April 19th 2015




Verdict
  • Top lane: Armor Runes (Against AD) 
  • Mid Lane: Health Runes (Against AP)
  • Bot Lane: Health Runes
  • Jungle: Armor Runes


Here are some sample Champion Stats to be compared in today's analysis:
At level 2, Singed has 645HP and 29 armor.
At level 2, Ashe 553HP and 22.3 armor
At level 2, Janna has 512HP and 20.6 armor


Greater Seal of Armor        -Gives 9 Armor (180 Gold Value)
With this rune, Singed wiill take 6.5% less physical damage than before
With this rune, Ashe wiill take 6.9% less physical damage than before
With this rune, Janna wiill take 7.0% less physical damage than before 


Greater Seal of Health        -Gives 72 Health (192 Gold Value)
With this rune, Singed will have 11.1% more HP
With this rune, Ashe will have 13.0% more HP
With this rune, Janna will have 14.1% more HP


Observations

  • Assuming that the armor runes further block 6% of physical damage, you will have to lose at least 1200HP (72/0.06) to tie with the health runes.
  • Since most champions can deal magic damage, losing 1200HP from physical attacks is not always the case.
  • However, Minions and Turrets also deal physical damage which means the armor runes fair off relatively well against most of the AD classified champions

Analysis

  • Starting with tanky items such as Dorans Shield, Dorans Blade, or Cloth Armor enables your champion to endure about 1700 HP before your champion dies in the first 3 minutes of the game
  • Since losing 1200 or more HP as physical damage make the armor runes more viable, you need to lose at least 1200/1700 = 70% damage as physical.
  • Summoner Spell Ignite does about 10% of your total accumulated HP (not your max HP).  Now, you need to take about 80% of  the total damage as physical for the armor rune to be worth it
  • The following champions do 100% damage as physical: Riven, Renekton(pre 6), Draven, Ashe(pre6), Trundle(pre6), Talon, Garen(pre6), Wukong, Sivir, Tryndamere, and Urgot
  • The rest of the champions do less than 85% of their total damage as physical damage, which makes the health runes the better choice.
  • It is also possible that your champipon dies before accumulating 1200HP, which makes the health runes generally more viable

Conclusion

  • Health runes always prevail over the armor runes except for the champions listed in the above analysis (100% physical damage dealers)
  • Health runes always offer more durability if you die quickly  (dying before losing 1200 combined HP)
  • Health runes are much more flexible than the armor runes but they are also 4 times more expensive in IP


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Now let's explore some of the similar runes, shall we?

Greater Seal of Health Regeneration        - Gives 5 health regeneration per 5 seconds (180g)
  • Ties with Health Runes after 72 seconds
  • With good starting items, you might be able to stay in lane for 144 seconds which has double the strength of  what flat HP runes offer
Greater Seal of Scaling Health        - Gives 216 Health at level 18
  • Breaks-even with the flat health runes at level 6
  • Offers 2 times as much hp of the flat health runes at level 12
  • Offers 3 times as much hp of the flat health runes at level 18
  • Even if you would die at level 3, these runes still contribute as much as half of the flat hp runes

Wow, not bad.  This means they are both strong alternatives.  
Notice how health regeneration runes are superior especially early game when champions stay in lane for long.
The scaling health runes are quite vital for champions you don't build much HP on.


Verdict

Super Early (No Recalls)
  • Greater Seal of Health Regeneration
Early (1~2 Recalls)
  • Greater Seal of Health
Mid/Late (level 6+)
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Health       (I highly recommend this)