League of Legends has introduced a new loot system a few Seasons back. This system only got expanded over the years, with it now including multiple ways of obtaining Hextech loot.
The Chests and their appropriate keys are the two primary ways of doing so. These are the Hextech Chest and the Masterwork Chest. Many players should already know about the Hextech Chests, which are the most common. However, not many will be aware of the Masterwork Chest or what difference there is between the two.
This article comes to help you understand the difference and see which one is better. Though they are essentially the same in design and name, some vast variations might surprise you.
To compare these two Chest types, we will first review their respective drop rates. Then, we will move to availability and wager which is the better choice. So, let’s begin!
Also read: Is League of Legends Still Fun To Play?
The Drop Rates
The Hextech and Masterwork Chests function similarly on the surface. However, one is not like the other in terms of drop rates. The Masterwork Chests, as the name implies, have better and more consistent drop rates across the board. But to best represent this, here are the actual percentages:
Hextech Drop Rates:
- Skin Shard/Ultimate Skin Permanent: 50%
- Champion Shard: 25%
- Ward Skin Shard: 11.5%
- Emote: 10%
- Summoner Icon: 35%
We can see that the Hextech Chest has some somewhat randomized drop rates. You can never be too sure what you’ll get, and with that Summoner Icon percentage being so high – it’s no wonder half of your Chests will end up going to waste. With the difficulty of obtaining keys without paying for them, it can be pretty mind-numbing to get nothing in them.
Hextech Chests also have a chance to contain an additional Hextech Chest and Key, or 10 Mythic Essence. The drop rates are 10% and 4.2%, respectively.
Masterwork Chest Drop Rates:
- Skin Shard/Ultimate Skin Permanent: 70%
- Champion Shard: 0%
- Ward Skin Shard: 10%
- Emote: 10%
- Summoner Icon: 0%
As you can see, Masterwork Chests are hell-bent on giving you skins, whatever that skin may be. You won’t be getting any Champion shards in this Chest, meaning no blue essence at all.
Summoner Icons are also gone, which is a huge relief considering how useless they are to waste a Chest on.
Emotes and Ward Skins still have a drop chance, though very low compared to the 70% Skin drop rates.
Masterwork Chests can contain an additional Masterwork Chest and Key or 5 Mythic Essence. The drop rates stand at 10% and 4.2%, respectively.
Masterwork Chests function a bit differently. With each one you open, you advance your Masterwork Chest milestone. For every five chests opened, you will get some reward – whether that’s Mythic Essence or a Random Skin Shard.
The Skin Shards, in particular, increase in value the more Chests you open, with the final Milestone guaranteeing a 1350 RP skin or higher. The rewards are incredible but are very difficult to obtain since Masterwork Chests rarely drop in Hextech Chests.
Hextech Chests can be purchased for 125 RP each, and the Keys also sell for 125 RP. Hextech Chest and Key bundles will cost you 195 RP. Nothing too much, but not a small price either.
However, Hextech Chests can drop for free each time someone on your team, or you, gets an S rating or higher in a game. Of course, this isn’t infinite and applies to one per Champion. This means that even if I get multiple S rankings on, say, Jax – I will only get a Chest the first time.
Hextech Keys are usually obtained in fragments. Riot awards players with fragments randomly for honors (given and received), leveling up in honor, or by giving players event points to purchase them. Keys are usually much harder to get than Chests, often leaving players (myself included) with dozens of unopened Chests just sitting in their inventory.
Overall, the Hextech Crafting stuff is easy to come by, so I’ll give them a point for availability.
Masterwork Chests, on the other hand, cost 165 each. Keys cannot be purchased individually and are only sold in 225 RP bundles. This makes them a tad more expensive, which is justified by the much more consistent and generally better drop rates.
However, Masterwork Chests cannot be obtained by any means like the ones of the Hextech Chests, making them pretty rare. Masterwork Chests can and do drop from regular Hextech Chests. Despite that, the drop rates for them aren’t that amazing, and you won’t be seeing them often.
Due to them being a rare and unusual sight, outside of outright wasting money, I’d say that Masterwork Chests don’t deserve a point for availability.
Which is Better?
Masterwork Chests are the better overall regarding the loot they contain. With the addition of the milestones, Masterwork Chests can net you some pretty fine skins.
A catch, though, makes me not declare them the winner. Masterwork Chests require you to spend a ton of money to use them often and get said rewards. For the first Milestone alone, you’ll have to spend 1125 RP and another 2250 RP before you get to the following skin-shard Milestone.
This is a massive amount of RP, requiring as much money. This defeats the purpose of Hextech Crafting, which is clearly envisioned to be a way of getting skins without using real money. Hextech Crafting is, in a way, a system of rewards for playing the game and playing it well.
Thus, with how the usual Hextech Chests are the true Hextech experience, I’d say they’re the overall winner here. If Masterwork Chests were either cheaper or obtained in similar means like Hextech ones – I’d easily say they were better.
As it stands, the regular Hextech Crafting is the best way to go, for free.
League of Legends has always had a problem with expensive skins. With Riot’s sinister RP system, which prohibits any reselling and trading and makes you overpay each time you want to buy something – the Hextech Crafting is a welcome sight. Masterwork Chests defeat that purpose, making it expensive even to get loot.
Thus, the free option is always better as it is the only way of circumventing Riot’s invasive and ever more expensive cosmetics system.
I hope you’ve found this article informative and fun to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift!