Whenever I stream and I’m setting up my runes and masteries during champion select, somebody in chat will always ask “why don’t you use mastery pages?”
It’s a fair question. Mastery pages are really convenient. You can name each of your rune pages after a role or champion and set up a mastery page to match. Why on earth wouldn’t I use mastery pages? After all, to the amusement of most viewers, it’s screwed me over a couple times on stream. There’s been more than one occasion where I found myself going 9/0/0 Irelia or AP Vayne due to getting distracted by something like the chat.
So why don’t I use them? Well, let me tell you a little story.
Back when I was a senior in high school I had a history teacher who I’ll refer to as Mr P. Now Mr P was a really cool guy. He was always very interested in his student’s lives, activities, and well-being. Of course, he was a good teacher, but he was a lot more than that to most people who knew him.
I was never really a “teacher’s pet” in high school but I would often find myself spending plenty of time chatting with him between classes. It wasn’t just me, plenty of students would be sure to either get to his class early or stay after late to talk about all sorts of stuff with him. We’d talk about big political happenings, sports, world events, or just the local news. But the thing that really stood out to me (and most other kids he talked to) was no matter what we said, no matter what our opinions were, Mr. P never judged us for our beliefs or opinions. He always gave us a chance to explain our thought process if we disagreed with his political beliefs or if we were talking about something “weird” or “different” to him. I remember this specifically from a couple instances. One being where I talked with him and some others about the internet and how it had the possibility to change the worlds political atmosphere. Another being where I was talking to him about my thought process on what I was going to do with my life, whether I would choose to go to a traditional college or not. No matter what we were talking about, Mr. P would never judge us. He’d simply ask intelligent questions and continue our thought provoking discussions.
But the most interesting discussion we ever had was on the last day of school. Mr. P asked each student to discuss our political beliefs and what we thought about current events. As he saw time slipping away, he stopped our discussion 5 minutes before class ended to give us a bit of advice.
“No matter what your beliefs or opinions are, make sure you know what you believe and why you believe it.”
He told us that being a conservative or liberal doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what it even means. Do you actually believe in the Christian, conservative views of the Republican party or do you only think you do because that’s what you were brought up to believe by your parents? Do you actually know what Social Security is? Do you know why we’re at war in Afghanistan? “If you know and understand these issues, good,” he said. “But if you don’t, look up information. Figure out what’s going on with each issue and what your own opinion is on it.”
Believing in something doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know exactly what that something is. More importantly though, if you do believe in something, make sure you know why. Do you actually believe in that value? In that candidate? In that mastery? Or are you just saying you do because someone else said you should?
I try to live by this and it’s a big reason why I almost never use mastery pages. I tried them out once, but what I found myself doing was simply naming them after each champion I played, pick the “Ahri” mastery page whenever I played Ahri, and never knowing what masteries I was even choosing or why I was choosing them.
There are additional reasons why I don’t use mastery pages. One being you should use different masteries depending on who you’re going up against in lane and how you want to play that lane. Sometimes you want 21/0/9 as a mid laner, sometimes you want 21/9/0 or even 9/21/0. Simply labeling a page “Kassadin” and copying whatever popular Kassadin build you find on whatever popular website, without giving a second thought as to what you’re choosing, is not smart.
Make sure you actually think about your decisions. Runes and Masteries are a big part of League of Legends, simply trusting a random guide on SoloMid.Net may not be the best choice. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever take advice from others, but make sure that you’re thinking for yourself. If you ever want to be an innovator in the meta, or ahead of the curve with your build, or even if you just want to counter your opponent’s champion in lane, you’ll have to ponder every little detail in your champion. Don’t forget to think about your build, how you’ll play the lane, and what runes/masteries you’ll be taking yourself.
You have to think about what you plan on doing and why you’re doing it.