Which Season 6 Masteries Should You Use?

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Introduction

Welcome to the Patch 5.22! For the official start of the preseason, Riot graced us with a massive mastery system overhaul in classic Riot fashion. As such, all your masteries are reset. This means you’ll likely see some people playing without any masteries on over the next couple of days.
Luckily, you’re a frequent visitor of Nerfplz.com, which means you won’t be one of them. Instead, you’ll be adequately equipped with the knowledge that not only do you have masteries, but that you also understand them as well!
Let’s dive right in.

Marksmen Masteries

As the champion class with the most changes this time around, I thought it best to start with these. You’ll definitely want to start with the offensive (red) tree first as your main job is to dish out the big crits.

Standard Marksman Page

Many of the masteries are relatively straightforward, so I’ll focus on the mastery points that require exclusive choices.

Ferocity

Fury vs Sorcery: Obvious choice for Marksmen. Go Fury.
 
Double-Edged Sword vs Feast: For Marksmen, you’ll likely want to pick up Feast over Double-Edged Sword. Feast gives you extra early game sustain, whereas Double-Edged Sword won’t be useful until late game where staying alive is more important than a bit of extra damage. On the other hand, if you’re just looking to do as much damage as possible and are confident, feel free to get sword.
Vampirism vs Natural Talent: These are both lackluster early game, but Vampirism offers a tiny bit more survivability late game for relatively little in the way of damage sacrifice. Lifesteal is affected by armor, so ignoring that, the stat efficiency actually leans a little more towards Natural Talent between two equal HP champions. That being said, Vampirism still seems the better selection based on late game marksman needs.
Bounty Hunter vs Oppressor: Bounty Hunter is the clear winner in this case for the majority of scenarios. A high CC type champion like Ashe will find Oppressor more useful during early to mid game, but its uses are still limited.
Battering Blows vs Piercing Thoughts: Battering blows for AD champions.
Warlord’s Bloodlust vs Fervor of Battle vs Deathfire Torch: 
  • Warlord’s Bloodlust [Critical strikes heal for 15% and grant 20% aspd for 4 sec]: Ashe’s autos no longer counter as “criticals” so don’t auto default to this just for her. Meanwhile, if you need survivability, this point increases your late game survivability drastically if you play mostly crit based marksmen. On a side note, this also works incredibly well with champions like Pantheon, Yasuo, and Tryndamere.
  • Fervor of Battle [Basic Attacks add 1-8 damage vs champs]: This one is good on highly auto-attack based champions or champions that don’t build much crit. It’s also much more reliable, so if you’re not the gambling type, this point is likely going to be your go-to.
  • Deathfire Touch [Bonus Attack Damage Over Time via spells] – This one doesn’t work too well on marksmen. Save it for the spellcasters.

Cunning vs Resolve

Most marksmen will elect Cunning over Resolve. Resolve is better on champions that build defensive items, whereas Cunning gives more immediate benefits.
Wanderer vs Savagery: Proactive players will want Wanderer, whereas most others will want Savagery. Wanderer also only works when out of combat, so it’s not as useful unless your CS is perfect.
Runic Affinity vs Secret Stash: The Secret Stash mastery grants you biscuits which will be better early game, and the Runic Affinity extends your red buff, which is better mid to late game. This one could swing either way depending on your personal style.
Merciless vs Meditation: Merciless FOR SURE.
Bandit vs Dangerous Game: This one’s another toss-up. Bandit is better for early to mid game, whereas Dangerous Game allows for more outplay potential.

AP Mid Laner Masteries

Standard AP Caster

As I’ve covered the majority of the offensive spells above, I’ll focus mainly on the masteries that are specific to casters in this section.
Overall, the standard “Ferocity” based masteries work better than the “Cunning” based masteries if you’re winning since they scale harder. However, the masteries below are also perfectly viable.

“Burst” AP Caster

The masteries above trade out Ferocity’s 7% magic penetration and extra ignite for a max 8.4 magic penetration and flat damage scaling burst damage every three spells.

Overall, in a drawn out fight the Ferocity masteries will deal more damage, but in a fast 1v1 burst fight, the Cunning Masteries are superior.

For AD based mid laners such as Zed or Talon, the above mastery pages work if you just switch Piercing Thoughts over to Battering Blows.

Support Masteries

AP Poke Supports

As you can see, this page is basically the same as the AP sustained damage mastery page, except the “last hitting” masteries are swapped for their counterparts and the 5% heal on kill/assist is replaced with the gold generation mastery.

Ranged Utility Supports

Supports like Soraka, Janna, and even Alistar benefit greatly from the set-up below. Windspeaker’s Blessing grants a massive resistance buff to all allies healed or shielded, Meanwhile, Runic Armor in the resolve tree also gives you an excellent boost on heal.
If you’re specifically playing Alistar however, I’d swap out the first tier Resolve “Recovery” mastery with “Unyielding” since his in-lane heal is already very good.

Tanky Support Masteries

The most interesting mastery choice in this case is likely “Strength of the Ages” vs “Bond of Stone”. Strength of the Ages makes you individually much stronger much sooner, but Bond of Stone is more useful late game as a passive form of peel and extra source of damage reduction for your carries.

Jungler Masteries

AD Jungler Masteries

For the most part, the masteries below should be as expected. The one thing that might throw you off is the selection between “Fervor of Battle” and “Deathfire Touch”. Deathfire will help your ganks a bit more, but Fervor of Battle will be more useful for you after teamfights start breaking out.

Tank Jungler Masteries

With a tank jungler, your primary purpose is centered around utility and initiation/peeling power. This means that foregoing the scaling damage masteries doesn’t hurt much, which is why you can elect to pick masteries that increase your jungle sustain and clear time instead.

The main point of decision making in this mastery page is at the bottom of the resolve mastery. “Strength of Ages” allows you to scale up faster and also allows you to dive early towers. Meanwhile, “Bond of Stone” gives your team more passive peeling power.

Even if you’re an AP based champion, I think picking Fury over Sorcery in the Ferocity tree allows you to clear much faster. Additionally, as a supportive type champion, you’ll likely be building more tank than AP, which means the percentage bonus will be very low.

Top Lane Masteries

Top lane is an extremely varied set of masteries. For the most part tanky top laners with heavy CC generally pick up the page below. This set-up works well with champions like Irelia, Darius, or Renekton that can make use of the huge number of self-healing buffs available to them.
Meanwhile, if you’re playing an extremely high burst auto-attacker like Fiora, Wukong, or Jayce, the below page could potentially be extremely fun with the “Stormraider’s Surge” mastery, granting 35% movement speed if you can deal at least 30% of a champion’s max health within 2 seconds.

All in all, there are plenty of viable masteries for top lane depending on which champion you happen to be playing along with with what kind of play style you want to use during the course of the match.

Conclusions

It’s still early in the season (2 days to be precise), so by no means take the sample masteries above as law. Experiment with your own personal preferred playstyles and see what works best for your unique method of madness.
The final tier masteries are all incredibly interesting and seem like they can make or break champions in unique ways.