Sigbog has been playing League of Legends since Season 1 and is currently a Grandmaster level jungler.
Introduction to Hextech Crafting and Skin Shards
As you probably already know, Hextech Crafting is the system in League of Legends that allows all players to get a chance at almost any skin. When getting an S rank or higher in your party (any player in your party) you can get a chest. You can only get one chest per week and can have a maximum of four chests waiting to be earned. You can also only earn one chest per champion per season. Chests require keys to open. Keys are granted randomly and tend to be tied to the Honor system. Receiving many honors and reaching higher honor levels will certainly grant you a lot of keys. Upon opening the chest you can get champion shards, skin shards, wards shards, gems, blue/orange essence, emotes, or another chest and key,
This article focuses on skin shards. Skin shards are fractions of skins, and you can do three things with them:
- Upgrade the skin shard to a permanent skin by paying orange essence
- Disenchant the skin shard to receive orange essence
- Re-roll three skin shards into a random skin
Different value skins will cost different amounts of orange essence and will grant different amounts of orange essence if disenchanted. However, the quality of the skin does not impact the value of the skin if you re-roll three skin shards into a permanent skin. This leaves a lot of opportunity for optimizing the system based on your desires.
Maximizing RP Value
If your goal is to have the biggest and most valuable collection of skins in League of Legends, Hextech Crafting can be a tricky thing to sort out. Obviously, skins you care about and will use frequently are probably most important, but beyond that what should you do?
The general goal of this guide is to help you maximize your RP value gained per Orange Essence spent so that your collection is as valuable as possible. A huge premium is placed on high-value skins with the cost of RP gained per orange essence spent over double the lower skins. Throw in re-rolling shards into permanent skins, and you can get a fairly complicated mix.
The Quick Rundown of Managing Skin Shards
Riot puts a huge premium on higher value skins, making you choose between getting high-value skins at a poor conversion rate from orange essence to RP, or getting a much better conversion rate claiming less desirable skins.
- BEST VALUE - Re-roll 520rp Skins into Permanent Skins: Re-roll 3x 520rp value skins [~2.8RP per orange essence]
- GREAT VALUE - Upgrade 520rp Skins to Permanent: Claim 520rp value skins [~2.4RP per orange essence]
- GOOD VALUE - Re-roll or Claim 750rp Skins: Re-roll 750rp value skins [~2RP per orange essence] Claim 750rp value skins [~1.7RP per orange essence]
- NEUTRAL VALUE - Re-roll or Claim 975rp Skins: Claim or Re-roll 975rp value skins [~1.5RP per orange essence each]
- DO NOT Re-roll high-value skins, this is a huge waste! You'll be earning less than 1 RP per orange essence, and with no added benefit to the rarity of the skin, you re-roll to!
Claiming high-value skins is also generally not a good deal, however, these are the coolest skins and obviously the right decision if it's a skin you really want. You end up getting about 1.0 to 1.3 RP per orange essence when you claim high-value skins, which is not too bad all things considered.
Orange Essence Costs Compared to Skin RP Value
|Skin Value||Disenchant Orange Essence Value||Upgrade Orange Essence Cost|
Everything 1350rp and higher is best to disenchant unless it’s a skin you really want. As mentioned, you will get up to 2x the RP value by disenchanting these skins. Upgrading legendary skin shards only nets you 1.1RP per orange essence and if for some silly reason you re-roll 3x into a permanent skin you’ll only be getting about 0.4RP per orange essence.
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However, re-rolling and claiming 520RP skin shards may be the best value, but that would leave you with a lot of extra essences. That might be good if you upgrade the occasional higher value skin shard, but you'll need to find a balance.
Re-Rolling Into Permanent Skins Worth About 900RP
In my figures, I’m averaging about 900RP value per re-roll for a permanent skin. This includes assigning a 200rp value to 100 orange essence drops (Generally, I try to stay above that rate) and also the occasional drop of a chest+key (worth 195rp, not valuing what I get out of the chest)
As you can see, generally you get more RP per orange essence spent if you claim 520rp skins with the exception of re-rolling 3x520rp skin shards.
However, the efficiency of re-rolling is a big question. I don’t expect the rate to be much lower than what I’ve seen, but it could be higher. Because you can’t roll a permanent skin you already own, your re-roll could be worth more if you take more low-value skins out of the pool. There are 2 likely scenarios:
- The randomization rolls your value based on pre-determined rates for RP costs, and then assigns a skin to it. Meaning you have an X% chance to get a 520rp skin, Y% chance at a 750rp skin, etc. And as long as you have unowned 520rp skins, you always have the same chance at getting a 520rp skin.
- The randomization rolls your value based on pre-determined rates for rarity groupings, and then assigns a skin to it. Meaning you have an X% chance to get an ultimate skin, Y% chance at a legendary skin, etc. And as long as you have unowned legendary skin, you always have the same chance at a legendary skin. The key difference here is that Riot groups everything below Epic into "Other". In this scenario, owning more 520rp skins gives you a higher chance at non-520rp skins in the "Other" group which contains skins up to 975rp.
- The randomization comes from a pool based on unowned skins. The fewer 520rp skins you own, the less likely you are to get a 520rp skin.
I expect #1 to be the case, but I can dream can’t I? I would love to hear from someone who owns every 520rp skin as to what happens when they re-roll 3x skin shards. At that point (as expensive as it is) re-rolling may have incredible value. However, #2 could be likely as well, which would make a large 520rp skin collection lead to much more valuable rolls in Hextech Crafting. I've been tracking my re-rolls over time, and the results are pretty promising so far.
Re-Roll RP Value
Results Look Good?
This data took place over the course of 40 re-rolls of permanent skins. Simultaneously I increased my collection of low RP value skins significantly as per the strategy I highlighted earlier in this guide. The RP value I've gained per re-roll has steadily increased during this time from about 800 or 900 RP. This may imply that the formula Riot uses for outputting permanent skins from a re-roll does indeed take into account your existing collection in a manner that can be influenced over time.
It could also just be noise! I'll keep updating over time.
JaySpace on August 31, 2020:
Great article. I'd been using some of these strats for skins but it was useful having the charts for RP values per essense.
Do you think it's worth it to buy skins directly when they're X-% off? Does that decision change based on % discount they are? I've been buying skins directly when they're 60% or more discounted, but it'd be nice to validate that decision with numbers.