Sucks, but to be expected. The UA wasn't clear on that point so its at least nice that it gets specified here.
It also feels ike a missed opportunity. Feels like being able to engrave runes on your allies' gear would be a cool way to offer support, but that you would just be able to tap into them much better than them,ya know? Maybe that kind of thing would work for a Bard of Fashion or something? Give minor buffs through magical embroidery!
I'm thinking that might be what I end up making the 7th level ability if I end up doing a complete redesign. Seems appropriate for around that level, and it would mean less stuff competing for your reactions.
And yes, that cloud rune might as well be a straight copy of the fey warlock 6th level ability, albeit you don't teleport. It is also similar to the drunken master monk ability and the mastermind rogue one, all of which are also 6+ level abilities. I'm not sure where ANY of their thinking was on the runes specifically. Again, I love the class conceptually, but it really needed one more pass.