One goal every player in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has is to create the best build possible by carrying exceptional weapons and being a strong, versatile fighter. The best way to enhance your weapons – aside from upgrading them of course – is to enhance them with equippable runes. These runes can be bought, looted from chests, or taken off the dead bodies of elites or Zealots.
A plethora of runes exist that run the gamut in terms of buffs and rarity, and there are some exceptional weapon runes in each category. The focus here largely won’t be on the rare, highly potent diamond runes, though you can learn more about them and discover how to find those by reading this guide. But while this list will primarily highlight great weapon runes that are more common, there were a few diamond runes just too awesome to leave out. These will be listed at the bottom of the melee and ranged categories.
Updated June 9, 2023, by Sean Murray: Runes can make or break your build in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, so we’ve refreshed this guide with breakout tips and shortened it slightly to be easier to read.
You only want the best of the best for your build and the runes in this guide will explore some of the best options, specifically for more ranged and melee-focused builds.
Minor Rune Of Rage
The Minor Rune of Rage adds +2.4 attack to your weapon and is great for heavy or light melee builds. It’s a quick and easy way to provide a little extra firepower to your weapon. The extra attack damage can go a long way, especially if you choose to stack this by using multiples of this fairly common rune.
Rune Of Haste
The Rune of Haste makes your swings even faster, and many prefer to use this for the relatively slower two-handed weapon builds to take down various types of enemies. These include weapons such as Spears, Dane Axes, and Greatswords that tend to be a bit more sluggish when wielded.
The addition of this rune can give it the extra kick it needs to make it worthwhile for you to put your daggers and smaller weapons aside and favor the heavier artillery instead.
The Drengligr Rune is one of the better (common) runes in the game and allows you to do +4.0 Elite damage – which means it’s inflicted on any opponent with a gold name above their heads. While not on the level of bosses, Elites are stronger varieties of more standard foes.
With this equalizer, you’ll be able to diminish their power somewhat and take them down a peg or two; defeating them more quickly and with greater ease.
Minor Flanking Rune
The Flanking Rune is perfect if you fancy swiftness or frequent dodging, or if you prefer sneakier stealth eliminations from behind. It will allow you to do +5.0 back damage, which will usually inflict quite a bit of damage on your average baddie.
If you like to face your opponents head-on then this is probably not for you, but those who prefer a stealthier assassin style of play will get a lot out of this one.
Rune Of Force
If you prefer to charge into the fray with a two-handed weapon, then the Rune of Force is what you need. It will allow you to deal +4.0 heavy damage and with many of these already-potent weapons, it could kill lesser enemies in a single hit or two.
That is one perk that many players can’t pass up as they seek to create heavier, overpowered builds and brawling tank-like fighters.
Minor Rune Of Agility
The Minor Rune of Agility was made for those who fancy charging into battle with one-handed weapons such as axes, flails, daggers, and hammers. It laces weapons with +3.0 light damage, and it is a great addition for those who prefer a faster playstyle as small, quick hits will now reduce an opponent’s health even more.
This can be useful as it allows for both speed and relative strength, making for a slightly more dynamic fighter.
Rune Of Tactics
Some players heavily rely on their abilities to take off chunks of health, especially when it comes to elite opponents, bosses, and legendary animals. The Rune of Tactics will enable you to do +6.0 ability damage and it can make a huge difference in the middle of a close fight.
Those who like fighting in style with abilities, especially when inflicting poison and fire, should get a lot out of this.
With some of the better abilities at least, this rune will make those one-hit deathblows more likely and allow players to spam abilities more effectively.
Curative Guard Rune
Parrying is an important part of Valhalla’s combat as it allows you to stop your opponent’s attack and stun them at the same time. You can make this ability even more useful with the Curative Guard Rune.
With this item, you restore some health every time you perform a parry. The positives of this are obvious as it’s always good to have more health, especially as food can sometimes be hard to find. Therefore, if you find yourself pulling off a lot of parries, seek this rune out.
Chained Swiftness Rune
The speed of Eivor’s strikes varies based on the weapon they’re using. Yet, if you prefer to hit quickly, then it’s not just the blade you should consider. You should also acquire the Chained Swiftness Rune. This rune increases your speed after every successful strike you land.
The boost only goes up to ten, but you probably don’t need more than that anyway.
To maximize its impact, place the rune in an already quick weapon like a dagger.
Chained Fury Rune
Turning now to the more coveted diamond varieties, this rare rune is truly worth seeking out with its ability to amplify the damage of an already stout weapon. Having a weapon juiced up in attack power, which stacks up to ten times, can make a huge impact in battle and quickly delete even some of the more stubborn and strong foes.
This one can particularly excel with smaller, swifter one-handed weapons, as players will be able to stack this attack increase even faster and really pile on the damage.
Fire Execution Rune
Though it doesn’t directly boost any particular stat, the aptly named Fire Execution Rune can really turn up the temperature in the heat of battle. It laces the already-powerful heavy hits with some added and extended fire damage, setting fallen foes on fire.
Combine this with some powerful weaponry, and Eivor can be a killing machine that can inflict damage in a multitude of ways. A few heavy blows can quickly turn the battlefield into a death zone that can spread and damage multiple enemies.
Overwhelmed Perfection Rune
There are a handful of diamond runes that instantly boost Eivor in one way or another when surrounded by multiple foes, but this one is an especially good fit when swinging around a weapon in a chaotic skirmish.
Landing more frequent criticals on multiple pursuing enemies can turn Eivor into both an offensive and defensive beast, as they’ll be able to fend more bodies off more effectively.
This one should definitely be considered for raids and fortress assaults in particular.
Greater Headhunter Rune
When you’re wielding a bow, your natural instinct will be to aim for the head, which is a good tactic. However, while one arrow in the head is enough to kill weaker enemies, the strong ones will persevere.
That is why a boost to your headshot damage is always welcome, which is what the Great Headhunter Rune provides. To be more specific, it adds 2.3 damage to your headshots. So, firing an arrow into somebodies skull will be more effective.
Greater Rune Of Perfection
The Great Rune of Perfection grants you +8.0 critical chance, which is perfect for anyone looking to inflict kill shots with a ranged weapon. It gives you a greater chance to deal extra damage to your opponent, which is always useful, especially when employing stealth and when targeting those beefier, more stubborn enemies.
The Shadow Rune is useful on ranged weapons as these are often used when sneaking around forts or other restricted areas where it’s more ideal to keep Eivor hidden. It enhances your bow with +6.0 more stealth damage which nicely complements those sneakier pursuits and picking off tougher foes from afar.
It may not seem like much on the surface but over time this stealth-enhancer can allow you to more effectively thin the ranks of fortified areas, and inflict some pain on the otherwise grueling Elites and Zealots.
Rune Of Tactics
The Rune of Tactics is useful on both ranged and melee weapons because both make use of abilities and it allows you to do +6.0 damage. It’s also handy in that this potent rune can be assigned to your bow, while you keep the melee weapon slots open for more direct offense-boosting runes.
Again, this one is perfect if you favor damage-over-time abilities like fire or poison, as well as when using area-of-effect attacks like Mark of Death to send a volley of powerful arrows at an opponent.
Minor Flanking Rune
When you are stealthily sneaking around an area you will often shoot opponents in the back with your bow. This is where the Minor Flanking Rune comes into play as it will increase your back damage by +5.0.
Most fortresses and encampments will have soldiers guarding gates and standing in towers, so once you make your way inside you can utilize this rune to pick off the more potent, well-equipped fighters keeping watch.
“Stunning” in AC Valhalla refers to a powerful hit that staggers and incapacitates them for a moment by knocking them partially to the ground. This rune, which offers +4.0 to stun, is great to use if you have acquired the useful skill Bow Stun Finisher as you can use them in tandem to completely take out your opponents.
It won’t require you to take more than two shots and can be a great help if you weren’t quite on the mark.
One of the best abilities you can use with your bow is Ranged Fire Strike as it will ignite your bows for a certain amount of time. Those who like to use this in combat prefer to add this rune to their weapon called the Combustion Rune.
It will add +2.7 fire damage and even if you don’t have this ability unlocked, your arrow can still be ignited by using nearby torches.
Heavy Fury Rune
Ranged fighters would do well to equip this rune to their bows in the later stages of the game, as this is usually when players will be laced with a heavy load of armor and other items.
The Heavy Fury Rune is uniquely great as it enhances and complements ranged play while also favoring heavier, more close-ranged brawlers. It’s also useful in that it can be further augmented by simply getting heavier as you go, giving it a fairly high ceiling.
Blunt Joint Rune
Firing at targets from afar often entails aiming for weak points, as players have greater control over what area they can strike. This is especially true for the more accurate, zooming features found in Predator Bows. As such, the ability to be rewarded by increasing stun with weak point hits, as this rune does, is quite useful.
Eivor can truly become a deadly assassin form a distance when lacing their bow with this rune, as it’ll further disrupt and damage targets in the crosshairs.
Next: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Complete Guide And Walkthrough