The Hidden Potential of Experience Runes


“I don’t want to watch it, give me a summary.”


“Wait, really?”


“Why is that?”


“Well, duh.  That’s not that useful, I’d rather have AP quints.”


A champion with Quintessences of Ability Power can clear the first minion wave and get 105 gold.
A champion with Quintessences of Experience can do the same…and level up.

That’s right, the champion who decided he really needed that extra 14.85 Ability Power is severely regretting his decision.  Quintessences of Ability Power don’t mean much when you only have one skill available.  Not to mention, your lane opponent just reached level 2 and is able to spam her Noxious Blast/Twin Fang combo.

The usefulness of being a higher level than your opponent will vary from situation to situation.  However, it would seem that the greatest strength of Experience Quintessences lies in being able to be a level higher than your opponent, one minion wave earlier.


(Green = instances where a champion will level up without having to wait for another minion wave to spawn)

Minion deaths needed to level up in a solo-lane:

Solo EXP Runes


It would seem that the greatest benefit of having Experience Quintessences in a solo-lane is the ability to reach level 2 after clearing the first minion wave, while your opponent will still be level 1.  Being able to level up one wave earlier at levels 5, 8, 9, etc. can also be beneficial.  However, these instances are less guaranteed, as one will frequently miss the experience from minion waves as the game goes on.

Minion deaths needed to level up in a duo-lane:

Duo EXP Runes


The benefits of Experience Quintessences in a duo-lane are apparent at levels 3, 4, and every level from 7 onward.  At every single one of these instances (if the two champions have been splitting the minion experience evenly) the champion(s) with Experience Quintessences will level up one minion wave earlier.


There are plenty of champion match-ups where being a single level above your opponent can mean all the difference.  One can take advantage of this by choosing Quintessences of Experience and benefiting from the 6% bonus to incoming EXP. On the other hand, if one fails to make use of their early level advantage, their upper-hand is lost the instant their opponent’s level matches their own. The instances where the level advantage can be granted are vital in determining whether to take Experience Runes or not.  If one is up against a champion with Experience Runes, they should do their best to catch up to their opponent, and keep the following levels in mind:

Experience Quintessences in a solo-lane will let one reach the following levels one minion wave sooner:
2, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, and 17.

Experience Quintessences in a duo-lane will let one reach the following levels one minion wave sooner:
3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18.

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is best known for his YouTube series, "LoL Math." He also isn't sure whether to refer to himself in third-person or first-person. I hope you enjoy my articles!

  • alonsocabezas

    Nice post! but I have a question, Do I have to use 3 experience quints to reach level 2 in a solo lane?

    • TrampolineTales

      Assuming no other sources of experience, yes.

      • LeagueofDraven

        So add the mighty Zilean to the equation.

  • Soondun

    i think the real use of experience runes are in the jungle, where you can get lvl 3 with buffcamp – wolves – wraiths if you dont wanna get utility masteries. or you can pair them with utility to completely negate the jungle experience disadvantage. what do you think? is it worth it

  • Way of Darkness (Basinator)

    For me as a non-native english speaker it is sometimes a bit hard to follow your speech. Can you include english subtitles?

  • Shannon

    Are they effective in the jungle?

  • Marcel_Mauss

    You should check out my brief discussion of experience masteries on Reddit:

  • poisoned sin

    How do Experience Runes affect utility mastery using junglers? How many camps do they have to clear til they get level six? And does it allow them to keep up with the solo lanes?

  • Pingback: Thoughts on Experience runes | League Of Progress

  • Kari

    This is a horrible idea. This website continues to post articles with really bad advice, promoting them as viable, or even superior, options.

    You are sacrificing way too much for a cheese strategy that is easily avoidable, especially if they LoLNexus you before the match.

    • MrKoala

      It clearly states in the article that it is very situational and actually detrimental if you aren’t able to make use of the level advantage. They are merely providing alternative strategies and options going into a game. They do the math and show exactly why and how these can be affective and even show when it isn’t affective. It’s not like the article said that experience runes are 100% better all the time.

    • Mitcho

      Whenever people research a champion, it is always one specified build path, one rune setup, and one mastery page. Unless you have someone particularly good at theorycrafting, you don’t get any diversity. These articles are helping people figure out how to think outside the guides. Yes, AP quints are a good and safe option, and typically will never be a bad choice on an AP Carry. But, if you have a champion who gets a huge powerspike at level 6, then the EXP quints might become favored. Take Annie for instance. At level 6 she can burst a champion to nothing. Getting her to 6 early might be a very good tactical decision. Maybe if you know you will be pushed to your turret, you can grab the exp runes to stay the same or even ahead in levels, depending on your champion.

      That all said, Exp quints are not an every game decision, and some champions would indeed shoot themselves in the foot for choosing this over ap. This article is not trying to say NEW META, just trying to give insight to alternative choices.

  • Sudunem

    This would only be a good idea if you have some kind of level 2, level 3, or level 6 all-in planned. Even so, you’re giving up a lot of other things to get that fast level-up. If you’re not doing anything with that level advantage, then it’s not worth it. Since the author left it very vague as to when it’d actually be a good idea to do this, let me take a stab at it:

    1) AD carries: Almost universally bad because you’re giving up lifesteal or AD quints. Leveling up to 3 faster is not that great for most AD carries.
    2) Supports: Could be good if you’re playing an aggressive support like Alistar or Leona. Does mean giving up survivability, movespeed, or gold quints. Meh, has potential.
    3) Assassins: If you’re Kha’Zix, Zed, Fizz, or anyone else that can get a quick kill with a faster level 2, this has potential.
    4) Certain AD casters: Kha’Zix, Zed, Renekton, Riven, and possibly Darius or Garen or Pantheon could be good with this.
    5) Toplane tanks: No way. Singed needs movespeed and most of them have pretty low kill potential. Not worth it.
    6) Mids who need 6 to kill. Not worth it. You’re not out to kill the other guy, and if you are, you want to hit level 6 first, and EXP quints don’t help with that as much as using your pre-6 skills to push the other guy out, which means AP.
    7) Passive farming mids (TF, Anivia, Karthus, etc.) Still not worth it because you don’t use the level advantage.
    8) Junglers-could be good since there’s not much XP in the jungle these days. Not sure if worth sacrificing your typical quints.

  • Pingback: Me Mid | Le potentiel caché des runes d’expérience - Me Mid

  • YaSloom

    After reading this i went on and tried experience runes and masteries on Kassadin. Best thing i have ever done :D

    • MrKoala

      Yea it sounds really good on assassins who usually scale better with levels than statsand can often get a kill with just 2 or 3 skills.

  • oggy87

    I recently did some testing on this and found that 2/4 points in the experience mastery (a 2,5% increase) allowed me to reach lvl2 on the first wave. Seems there have been some changes made to minion xp since the 58,88/29,44 numbers were added to the wiki.

    Or maybe I’ve missed something, in which case someone please enlighten me.

  • Khichira

    This was really great thanks a bunch! Exp quint runes are the way forward!

  • The Taco Man

    Question: Do the minion deaths correspond to the order the minions enter the lane?