What is Legends of Runeterra?
Riot Game's collectable card game, which takes place on Runeterra, the setting of the wildly successful MOBA, League of Legends.There are 1000 competitive card games on the market. Why should I play this one?
Only you can answer that, of course, but here are a couple reasons you may be interested:You're a fan of LoL
-- The game expands on the world of Runeterra, showing new faces, giving a more in-depth look at old ones, and showcasing interactions you can't get in LoL. So you don't have to actually play LoL to enjoy it's lore.You're tired of buying randomized card packs
-- One of the big pushes for the LoR team is getting rid of paid randomized packs. There are still randomized loot chests in the game, however these cannot be purchased
. They can only
be received by playing the game, completing quests, etc. etc.
Any money you spend on the game will be used to purchase specific cards, or more commonly, customizations (emotes, boards, card backs). So, you will always
know what you're getting when you spend money.You're looking for well-polished, beautiful artwork
-- The polish and art quality of LoR is, in my opinion, extremely high. None of the art is recycled or taken from existing assets. It's all made fresh for LoR. It's not all perfect of course, but Riot clearly has the funds to back this up. On top of the static artwork, cards frequently have beautiful special VFX. Cards also have multiple voice lines and special dialogue interactions with each other. I read somewhere (but cannot confirm), that upwards of 1800 voice-over lines are in the game at present.You want a card game that plays like a mix of Hearthstone, Magic: the Gathering, and Shadowverse (with its own unique mechanics as well)
-- That's a pretty specific desire, but that's pretty much how I think this game plays.You're interested in a frequently-changing meta:
The developers have stated that their wish is to put out monthly patches to address the meta so that the meta is never too 'solved'. So far, this has been true. Patches typically drop every two weeks, with a smaller patch following a content drop and a balance patch following 2 weeks after that.Wait, please explain what you mean about it being a mix of Hearthstone, Magic, and Shadowverse?
I won't go into a ton of detail on how the game is played! You can learn that yourself. Here are some very basics though:How is it similar to Hearthstone?
The mana system is very similar. Cards cost mana to play, with more powerful cards costing more mana. You start turn one with 1 mana. On turn two you get 2 mana.
This continues until you have 10 mana, at which point you start every subsequent turn with 10 mana.
One difference is that you can bank up to 3 unused Mana between turns which can only be used to cast spells (as opposed to playing units).
This means some spells cost over 10 mana, and require you to not spend all your mana every turn in order to play.How is it similar to Shadowverse?
In the game there are dozens of Champion cards. These depict characters that are playable in LoL. They are generally powerful win conditions which you are meant to build your deck around.
Each Champion has two sides, although a few have three: one which you play from your hand, and a Leveled Up side which they switch to when certain conditions are met. The rare third side is like a mega-power up. Keeping track of how you close you and your opponent's Champions are to Leveling Up is an important strategic element of LoR.How is it similar to Magic?
Like Magic, each turn consists of input from both players. One side gets priority and can play a card. Once they play a card, their opponent can also play a card. This means each turn consists of input from multiple plays.
There are also four different speeds of Spells: Slow, Fast, Burst, and Focus, each with it's own rules on when it can be played and whether an opponent can put another spell on the stack before yours resolves.
Lastly combat is fairly similar to Magic. It consists of 3 phases: Declaring Attackers, Declaring Blockers, and Dealing Damage. Fast, Focus, and Burst spells can be played in different phases, meaning 'combat tricks' are a vital component of the game.
Also similarly to magic the Defending player chooses how to assign combat damage. This means that you cannot (normally) directly attack an enemy unit.How do I build a deck?
There are currently six 'Regions' in the game and every card corresponds to one of these Regions.
A deck can be made up of cards from a single faction OR a combination of any two factions. Generally, the Regions you're playing will be determined by the Champions that you're trying to win with.
The Regions are as follows:Demacia
- A proud nation, Demacia abhors the use of magic. The nation is heavily caste-based, with a noble Elite ruling over a peasant class. They are currently led by King Jarvan IV.
Example Champions: Garen, Fiora, Lucian, Lux
Playstyle: Demacia has a focus on buffing/protecting its units and choosing Defenders. Most similar to White in Magic or Paladin in Hearthstone.Noxus
- A country is founded on the principle 'Might Makes Right', Noxus is a harsh meritocracy where the cunning and strong rise to the top by crushing their opposition. Ruled by a Triumvirate of Darius, Swain, and LeBlanc.
Example Champions: Darius, Draven, Katarina, Vladimir
Playstyle: Aggressive units with high attack and lower health. Some spells damage your own units. Most similar to Hearthstone's Warrior class.Freljord
- The frozen north is home to a variety of disparate tribes. Freljordians value self-sufficiency and tradition. The most powerful tribe in the area is the Averosan tribe, led by Queen Ashe and King Tryndamere.
Example Champions: Anivia, Ashe, Braum, Tryndamere
Playstyle: Freljordian cards are generally centered around defense. Many cards reduce the attack power of opponents or survive large amounts of damage. They also have a mana-ramping subtheme. Most similar to Druid in Hearthstone.Ionia
: Inspired by East Asian countries, Ionia is an island nation of many provinces. If you're looking for ninjas and samurai you'll find them here. Ionians value balance and live harmoniously with nature. They recently fought a war to avoid annexation by Noxus and it is currently unclear what their political structure looks like.
Example Champions: Karma, Shen, Yasuo, Zed
Playstyle: Ionian cards focus on shifting card positions around, bouncing them back to hand, countering attacks, stunning enemies, and generally being tricky to target. Closest I could think of would be an evasion-focused aggressive Blue deck.Piltover & Zaun
: Piltover is the city of progress. It seeks to build, experiment, and ultimately sell new technology. Zaun is Piltover's twin, constructed in a deep chasm underneath the former. Typically more... unsavoury experimentation goes on in Zaun. The two cities are inextricably linked and one wouldn't exist without the other. They are ruled by 8 mercantile clans.
Example Champions: Ezreal, Heimerdinger, Jinx, Teemo
Playstyle: P&Z have a variety of direct damage, discard effects, and is the most RNG region. Very Red from MtG inspired.The Shadow Isles
: Formerly a paradise called the Blessed Isles, a disaster brought on by human error has twisted this land into a nightmarish land of undead abominations and monsters. Few live here, and those that do don't last long.
Example Champions: Elise, Hecarim, Kalista, Thresh
Playstyle: The Shadow Isles focus on death. Many cards sacrifice their own units or resurrect the fallen with some direct damage as well. Extremely Black/Warlock flavoured.Bildgewater
: Bilgewater is a place of new beginnings and those that come parley with death for a chance at that opportunity. Control massive sea monsters and plunder the enemy deck to send your opponent to a watery grave.
Example Champions: Fizz, Miss Fortune, Nautilus, Twisted Fate
Playstyle: Bilgewater has lots of card draw and abilities that activate after damaging the enemy Nexus. Also, if you like making huge creatures, this is the place to go.Targon
: Mount Targon is the mightiest peak in Runeterra, a towering peak of sun-baked rock amid a range of summits unmatched in scale anywhere else in the world. Located far from civilization, Mount Targon is utterly remote and all but impossible to reach save by the most determined seeker.
Example Champions: Aurelion Sol, Aphelios, Leona, Zoe
Playstyle: Targon focuses on playing cards in certain orders to activate special abilities and tapping into the universe's power to summon powerful Celestial cards.Shurima
: The empire of Shurima was once a thriving civilization that spanned a vast desert. After an era of growth and prosperity, the fall fall of its gleaming capital left the empire in ruins. Now, the tribes are stirred by whispers from the heart of the desert: the city of Shurima has risen risen again.
Example Champions: Azir, Nasus, Renekton, Sivir
Playstyle: Shurima focuses a lot on Landmarks (unit buildings), deck manipulation, and overwhelming enemies by creating units on attacking turns.A List of Less Intuitive Rules or Facts
1. You may have a maximum of 6 units or landmarks in play at any given time
2. If you Level Up a Champion, all copies of that Champion still in your deck will also Level Up
3. Multiple instances of Barrier on the same unit are redundant and Barrier on lasts on the turn it was played
4. REMEMBER that Quick Attack, Overwhelm, and Elusive only work on the offensive!
5. Your Nexus Health cannot go above 20
6. After Round 40, the game ends in a tie
7. Spells take mana from your spell mana reserve before they take mana from your regular reserve
8. If you put a Champion in play, and other copies in your hand turn into their specific spell
9. It is possible for you to have multiple copies of the same champion on the board at the same time (Through effects such as Warmother's Call)
10. If you would draw a card when your deck is empty, you lose the gameHelp! The priority system is confusing. I don't understand how rounds work.
Yes, it is confusing. You're not alone in thinking that.
Here is a helpful infographic (spoilered for large). Please note that this is an older image and didn't have the Focus spell speed added. Focus spells can be played anytime on your turn, but cannot be played during combat or as a response to an enemy spell, skill, or action.
How do I earn rewards? How is XP acquired and used?
The economy of Legends of Runeterra is incredibly giving. You're main source of card acquisition comes from your weekly Vault. By playing the game and completing daily or weekly quests, you earn XP towards leveling up your Vault. On Vault day, you get all the contents of your Vault and begin earning for your next Vault.
In addition to the Vault, you can also apply earned XP to a Region track. These are Region specific tracks that provide rewards tied to that Region. For example, you finish a daily quest that gives you 1,000 XP. That 1,000 XP goes towards leveling up your Vault and advancing your current Region track. Rewards from the Region track are immediate and are more plentiful to start.
There's no right formula for which Region to pursue, that's usually a personal preference. The general rule of thumb is to level them to 8 to start, since that's when you get your first free Champion. But you don't have to do that. If you love one Region and want more cards, just stick in that Region until you've maxed it out.Is that it? What about Coins, Shards, and Essence?
Coins are acquired by spending real money in the game. Typically you only need coins if there are cosmetics you want to buy. Cosmetics include card backs, emotes, pets, and game boards. You can buy Wild Cards, which are a resource you can spend to acquire a specific card. I would highly recommend you don't buy any Wild Cards, as the game is extremely generous about giving away cards, but that's up to you.
Shards are the equivalent of Arcane Dust from Hearthstone. Basically, you can spend Shards to craft a card for your collection. You gain Shards by opening a duplicate of a card in your collection. If you have 3 copies of a card, a fourth copy will automatically be converted to Shards for you.
Essence is a special currency used to create prismatic borders for your cards. This is the equivalent of gold cards in Hearthstone or shiny/foil cards in Pokemon. It's purely cosmetic and doesn't affect gameplay. You can only earn Essence by completing special weekly quests. These quests often drop a chest that lets you choose one of 3 cards to convert ALL copies of into prismatic. You'll can then spend any Essence on cards to prismatic, just like Shards.
A few final notes on the economy of the game. You shouldn't need to spend money in the game. It can't be understated just how generous the economy is to players and it's not uncommon to have every card in the game after 4-6 months of playing. The biggest lynchpin will be Champion cards, since often you'll be building decks around them.
Fortunately, the game has duplicate protection for Epic and Champion cards. That means if you unlock an Epic or Champion card, you'll be guaranteed to never get a copy of a card you already have 3 copies of. This protection even applies to Region rewards. If for example, you're in the Demacia Region track and you've unlocked all of the Demacia Champions. Then you unlock a Champion card while leveling up the Region track, the game will reward you with a Champion from another Region.
All in all, you'll probably only ever want to spend money on cosmetics, or buying event passes that pop up occasionally.Wow, that's a lot of info. Is that it?
No, I didn't touch on things like Tournaments, Labs, Gauntlets, Event Passes, Spectate Mode, Quests, Hero Mastery, and Ranking up. But don't worry, a lot of that stuff is explained in-game and pretty straight forward. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the thread. We'll be more than happy to answer you.Alright I'm ready to play! How can I add you?
There's a button in the top right to add friends. The people below are alright with you adding them!Penny Arcade Name
: Legends of Runeterra Name
Let me know if you want to get added into the above list or if you think there's anything that should be added to the OP!