Difference between revisions of "Rune"

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(the minor run has +30. in stacking it's a major (+41), not minor (+41))
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|Restoration||[[Bleeding]], [[Crippled]]
|Restoration||[[Bleeding]], [[Crippled]]
{{bug|All condition reduction runes reduce the length of bleeding.}}
== Acquisition ==
== Acquisition ==

Revision as of 20:04, 22 January 2008

Disambiguous.png This article is about runes used on armor. For the rune used on bags, see Rune of Holding.


A rune is a kind of upgrade item that is applied to a character's armor. They differ from Insignia, the other kind of armor upgrade, in that runes add a suffix modifier to the armor, whereas insignia add a prefix modifier. Both runes and Insignias can be applied to single piece of armor. One piece of armor can hold only one rune.


Most runes come in three levels of potency: Minor, Major and Superior. You can easily tell a rune's potency by its appearance: a minor rune looks like a small scrap of parchment, a major rune is a large parchment square, and a superior rune is a large scroll. Once identified, the potency will be noted in the rune's name, for example, "Rune of Major Vigor."

Some runes have only a single level of potency; see the notes on these runes below under Types.


Some runes can be used by all professions, others are profession-specific. You can easily tell a rune's linked profession by its appearance; see the table at right for the symbol that matches each profession. Profession-specific runes also note the linked profession in their name, even before being identified.


Prof. Minor Major Superior
All Rune Vigor Minor.png Rune Vigor Major.png Rune Vigor Sup.png
Warrior-icon.png Rune Warrior Minor.png Rune Warrior Major.png Rune Warrior Sup.png
Ranger-icon.png Rune Ranger Minor.png Rune Ranger Major.png Rune Ranger Sup.png
Monk-icon.png Rune Monk Minor.png Rune Monk Major.png Rune Monk Sup.png
Necromancer-icon.png Rune Necro Minor.png Rune Necro Major.png Rune Necro Sup.png
Mesmer-icon.png Rune Mesmer Minor.png Rune Mesmer Major.png Rune Mesmer Sup.png
Elementalist-icon.png Rune Elementalist Minor.png Rune Elementalist Major.png Rune Elementalist Sup.png
Assassin-icon.png Rune Assassin Minor.png Rune Assassin Major.png Rune Assassin Sup.png
Ritualist-icon.png Rune Ritualist Minor.png Rune Ritualist Major.png Rune Ritualist Sup.png
Paragon-icon.png Rune Paragon Minor.png Rune Paragon Major.png Rune Paragon Superior.png
Dervish-icon.png Rune Dervish Minor.png Rune Dervish Major.png Rune Dervish Superior.png

There are four distinct types of runes, each providing a different kind of inherent effect.

Attribute Runes
These runes provide a bonus to a single attribute such as Fire Magic or Strength. Major and Superior attribute runes also lower your maximum health.
NOTE: Health penalties on these runes do stack. If you use multiple runes of the same attribute, you will only get the benefit of the highest one, but the health penalties of them all. See section on stacking below.
  • Usability: Profession-specific - can only use attribute runes for attributes of your primary profession (e.g. a N/R can use Curses runes but not Marksmanship runes)
  • Campaign: Same as profession (e.g. Ranger runes are Core items; Dervish runes are Nightfall items)
  • Effects:
Potency Minor Major Superior
Attribute +1 +2 +3
Health no change -35 -75
Absorption Runes
These runes provide damage reduction against physical damage. See the Absorption article for details on damage reduction.
  • Usable by: Warrior only
  • Campaign: Core
  • Effects:
Potency Minor Major Superior
Reduces physical damage by: 1 2 3
Stat Bonus Runes
These runes provide a bonus to either a player's Health or Energy.
NOTE: Runes of Vitae and Attunement are single-potency runes; they use the Minor rune icon and are equivalent to Minor runes for acquisition purposes. These two runes' benefits are also stackable, unlike other runes.
  • Usable by: All professions
  • Campaign: Core
  • Effects:
Rune Minor Major Superior
Vigor Health +30 Health +41 Health +50
Vitae Health +10 n/a n/a
Attunement Energy +2 n/a n/a
Condition Reducing Runes
These runes grant a 20% reduction in the duration of certain conditions suffered by your character.
NOTE: All of these runes are single-potency; they use the Major rune icon, are found in purple salvage armor, and cost 1,000 faction to unlock at a Priest of Balthazar.
  • Usable by: All professions
  • Campaign: Nightfall
  • Effects:
Rune Conditions reduced
Clarity Blind, Weakness
Purity Disease, Poison
Recovery Dazed, Deep Wound
Restoration Bleeding, Crippled
Bug.png Bug! All condition reduction runes reduce the length of bleeding.


Runes are found as components on Salvage Armor obtained as loot. The rarity of the item indicates what type of rune and/or insignia the armor holds:

  • White armor contains no special components.
  • Blue armor contains a Minor Rune, an armor Insignia, or one of each.
  • Purple armor is guaranteed to contain a Major Rune (and may also contain an Insignia).
  • Gold armor is guaranteed to contain a Superior Rune (and may also contain an Insignia).

You have the choice of either identifying or salvaging the armor first; both methods have their advantages.

  • Identify first: By identifying the armor first, you guarantee that whatever components are contained in the armor will be unlocked for your account. Identifying first also allows you to choose which component to salvage (or to salvage to crafting materials); because there is a chance of destroying the armor when you salvage a component from it, this makes sure you can get the component you want.
  • Salvage first: If you salvage before identifying, you will not be able to choose which component to salvage - this means there is a chance to destroy the armor and salvage a component you don't want. However, salvaging first allows you to obtain an unidentified rune. As mentioned above, you can tell a rune's potency and profession by its appearance alone; if you already have all runes of that potency and profession unlocked, you can trade the unidentified rune to other players who still need those unlocks.

Whether you salvage first or second, you must use an Expert Salvage Kit or Superior Salvage Kit to extract the armor components. If you identified first, a dialog window will allow you to select which component you want to salvage, as well as inform you of the % chance that the rest of the armor will be destroyed. If the armor survives, you can then salvage the second component from it (if it has one) or salvage it into crafting materials.

In PvE, runes can be sold to and purchased from Rune Traders in cities. The traders only sell runes that other players have sold to them, so runes that are in high demand and runes from newly-released expansions may not always be in stock. Also, traders only deal in already-identified runes, so you will not be able to unlock runes by buying them from the rune trader.

In PvP, runes can be unlocked by trading in Balthazar Faction at a Priest of Balthazar. The Minor level of a rune costs 1,000 faction, Major 1,500, and Superior 2,000, and you must unlock them in sequence from least to most powerful: Minor->Major->Superior. Note that this only unlocks the rune; you will not receive an actual rune in your inventory. You can then use the PvP Equipment interface to craft PvP armor using your unlocked runes.


To use a rune, double-click it and then click on the piece of armor you want to apply it to. Each armor piece can only hold a single rune. You can replace a rune with a different one by applying the new rune to the piece of armor that already has one - a dialog will ask you to confirm the replacement.

You can expert salvage armor that you have attached a rune to in order to recover the rune, in a process identical to that for obtaining runes from salvage armor. The % chance of retaining the armor after salvaging the rune will be lower than that for salvage armor, however.

Note: As with all other items obtained from character creation, starter armor and PvP armor cannot be salvaged, so runes applied to them cannot be recovered. However, collector's armor can be salvaged, so runes applied to collector's pieces can be recovered.


Runes of Vitae and Attunement are stackable, meaning you receive cumulative effects from wearing more than one at a time. All other runes are non-stackable within their own type: you can only receive the benefit of the highest potency rune equipped. However, health penalties from all equipped runes will stack.

Stacking Example: If you attach a Rune of Vitae (+10 health) to your chest armor and another to your head armor, you will receive +20 health. If you then attach another to your hand armor, the bonus will increase to +30 health. If you then attach a Rune of Major Vigor (+41 health) to your leg armor, the total bonus will be +71 health. (Adding a second Minor Vigor will not increase your health further, because Vigor runes are non-stacking.)

Non-Stacking Example: If you attach a Rune of Minor Curses (+1 Curses) to your chest armor and another to your head armor, you will only gain a bonus of +1 Curses. If you then attach a Rune of Major Curses to your hand armor, you will only gain a bonus of +2 Curses; the two minor runes will effectively be overridden by the higher-potency rune. If you replace one of the Minor runes with a Rune of Superior Curses, it will override the Major rune to give you +3 Curses; however, you will take the health penalties from both the Major and Superior runes, for a total of -110 health.

Runes stack with most bonuses from other sources, including inherent armor bonuses, armor Insignias, weapon upgrades and Inscriptions, Blessings, and skill effects.

  • A Warrior equipped with a full set of Knight's Insignia (damage reduction -3) and a Rune of Superior Absorption will have a total damage reduction of -6.
  • A Necromancer wearing a Wicked Scar Pattern (+1 Curses) with a Rune of Superior Curses applied to it would have total of +4 Curses. Using Awaken the Blood would boost this to a total bonus of +6 Curses.
  • A full set of Survivor Insignia (Health +40), a Rune of Superior Vigor (Health +50), four Runes of Vitae (Health +10 each), and a Hale staff of Fortitude (max. Health +60) will give a total bonus of +190 health.

Historical Notes

Prior to the April 26, 2006 Update, purple and gold dropped salvage armor did not indicate the magnitude of the rune (Superior/Major/Minor) they contained. Because of this, be aware that purple and gold salvage armor created before this date does not necessarily contain a major or superior rune. To protect yourself from this when trading, insist that the person salvage the rune from the armor and only trade for the rune itself.

Prior to the June 1, 2006 Update, Major attribute runes had a -50 health penalty. Runes that existed before this date keep the higher penalty, and cannot be sold to Rune Traders.

Prior to the November 2, 2006 Update, the Condition-reducing runes used the icon for a Minor rune, even though they were only found on purple salvage armor. Runes that existed before this date keep the Minor icon and cannot be sold to Rune Traders.