Don’t have enough card games vying for your time yet? Riot Games has just released Legends of Runeterra, a card game that features your favorite League of Legends characters duking it out in a decidedly more relaxed environment.
Legends of Runeterra shares quite a bit of DNA with other card games like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone, but there are some key differences to keep in mind when you begin your trek through the tutorial. Riot doesn’t make everything clear immediately, but we’re here to help!
Play the Tutorials After the Tutorials
Legends of Runeterra starts with four tutorials that teach you the basics of the card game. Once the four matches are completed, you’re dropped into the game proper, and you can take what little you learned into matches with other players.
However, that’s a really bad idea. You don’t really understand the different champions and the first set of tutorials barely scratch the surface of what Runeterra has to offer. Thankfully, there’s another set of tutorials that get into the nitty-gritty of various champions. Make sure to play them before heading out into the world of multiplayer. You even get other rewards for completing them!
Rounds Are Different in Runeterra
If you’ve played a collectible card game, most of how Legends of Runeterra plays will be familiar to you. The big difference in this title is how rounds work. Rounds keep going until both players pass, so that means both sides can place cards and spells down to their heart’s content, provided they have the mana to pull it off. Players can generally counter anything their opponent is doing, as well. It takes a bit getting used to as most card games don’t have this same turn flow, but you’ll have it down pat once you’re done with the tutorials.
Spells Also Play a Little Differently
To accommodate this new round system, spells are also a little different in Legends of Runeterra. There are a few different spell “speeds,” that will affect when you can cast a spell and how an opponent can react. Burst spells can be used at any time and the opponent can’t counter them. Fast spells can also be played at any time, but the opponent can reply with other Fast and Burst spells. Finally, Slow spells can only be played outside of combat and can be warded off by the opponent.
While this is covered in the initial tutorial rounds, it can easily slip your mind, especially if you play decks without too many spells.
Microtransactions Are Pretty Fair
Riot wants to make money after all, but you don’t need to invest in-game currency and random booster packs to be competitive like in Hearthstone. Legends of Runeterra does not feature random booster packs in the typical sense. In terms of items you can buy with real money, Riot offers bundles that tell you what cards are available in them already. This takes a lot of luck (and by extension the predatory nature of trading card games) out of the equation and makes sure that players that don’t want to spend can still be competitive.
In Fact, You Don’t Need to Buy Anything
While buying bundles and wildcards to redeem for missing parts of your deck can get you what you need a bit faster, there’s no real need to invest a lot of money into Runeterra right away. Or ever, really, if things keep going the way they are. The game offers plenty of in-game rewards right from the get-go, including Shards and other resources. You can easily help you get the cards you want within a reasonable timeframe or at the very least, with little effort.
The Prologue set of rewards gives you tons of cards to try out, and the Weekly Chest levels up with your experience and offers cards and resources to fill out your collection. After that? Well, there are Expeditions.
Expeditions Will Get You Huge Rewards
Expeditions are the draft mode of Legends of Runeterra, with its own unique twist. You’ll create decks from random cards and attempt to win at matches with what you have. You’re guaranteed to win cards and other rewards, so you do have to pay a small fee (whether that’s the in-game currency or premium coins), but it’s always with the cost of admission. The caveat is that you can only play three Expeditions a week for rewards, so it limits just how quickly you can grow your collection.
With an Expedition, you’re given two chances to win as many games as possible, and you’ll get rewards based on your highest number of wins in either Trial. So if you go on a perfect win streak in Trial 1, you can quit while you’re ahead and get the rewards early!
Keywords Are the Key to Victory
Keywords in Legends of Runeterra are the game’s way of telling you what effects a card may have, without spelling it out every time. For example, a Barrier will block one attack before breaking, and Overwhelm will allow you to deal whatever leftover damage from an attack to the Nexus.
There are a lot of keywords, so it’ll take time to learn them all. You can check what a keyword is in-game by right-clicking on the word when looking at a card. Helpful!