Legends Of Runeterra is a free-to-play digital collectible card game developed by Riot Games. It is a spinoff based on the lore and characters in Riot Games’ very own popular MOBA game League Of Legends.

It’s been in closed beta for a while, but it’s been available for download on Android (Google Play Store), iOS (Apple App Store), and PC (from the official website), since 29 April 2020.

In my in-depth review of the game, I found Legends Of Runeterra to be an accessible title that even those who are not familiar with either League Of Legends, or digital card games in general, can still very much enjoy.

How To Play Legends Of Runeterra

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Riot Games have made it so that Legends Of Runeterra is easy to pick and play, with the intuitive and surprisingly fun tutorials more than enough to teach any new players the basics of the game.

Battles are simple: two players face off, attacking and blocking with champions and followers (and spells in between) to deplete their opponent’s Nexus points (health points). A single deck can have a maximum of 40 cards, but only a total of six champions, so you’ll have to fill the remaining with followers (normal units) and spells.

Each player can either attack or block during their respective turns. The attack token will switch from player to player, and the player who doesn’t have it in any given turn must prepare to block the player’s attack attempt (if they choose to do so). You can also Pass your turn, as sometimes it’s better to wait and take advantage of whichever (attack or block) is more in your favour, or to wait for your Mana to build up to put better cards into play.

In order to use a card (be it champions, followers or spells), players need to put them into play from their hand. If they’re in your hand, they’re useless (other than Burst Spells, but we’ll get to that later). They all require Mana (or energy points) to put them into play, with each card requiring a different amount of Mana to put into play. Your Mana will replenish and increase every round as the attack token exchanges between players.

Legends Of Runeterra Spells

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Spells in Legends Of Runeterra work just like they do in any other card game, but it’s important to understand the limitations and advantages of each Spell card category, of which there are several.

These include:

  • Burst Spells: Burst spells can be played at any time and activated instantly. The advantage is that your opponent will not be able to react or counter them.
  • Fast Spells: These spells can also be played at any time and activated almost instantly. However, unlike Burst Spells, your opponent can react or counter the effects of these cards by playing their own Fast or Burst spells.
  • Slow Spells: These spells can only be played outside of combat, which means that they can’t be put into play during attacking and blocking phases. Just like Fast Spells, your opponent can react to and counter these cards.
  • Fleeting Spells: These spells’ effects are temporary and will disappear if unused at the end of the turn.

Legends Of Runeterra Keywords

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Another important mechanic in Legends Of Runeterra is the unique keywords assigned to specific champions and followers which comes with special effects/abilities. To see the effects/abilities these keywords have, you can always touch or click on that particular keyword during gameplay.

It’s vital to note that keywords are unique to certain regions from where the cards come from. For instance, the Frostbite keyword is unique to cards from the Freljord region, which is why many champions and units from that region will have special effects and advantages that relate to Frostbite.

Check out the list of available keywords in the game so far below:

Image Name Effect
Allegiance Allegiance When an Allegiance unit is summoned, it receives its bonus if the top card of your deck is from the same region.
Attune Attune When summoned, refill one mana.
Barrier Barrier Prevents the next instance of damage the unit would receive. Only usable in one round.
Capture Capture A captured unit is removed from play until the Captor is removed too.
Challenger Challenger Challenger units can force any enemy unit to block their attack.
Deep Deep When your deck has 15 or fewer cards, the unit gains +3/+3.
Drain Drain Deal damage and heal your Nexus.
Elusive Elusive Can only be blocked by another elusive unit.
Enlightened Enlightened Once you reach 10 mana, cards with Enlightened on the board gain their permanent effects.
Ephemeral Ephemeral The unit dies once it strikes or the round ends.
Fearsome Fearsome Can only be blocked by units exceeding 3 or more power.
Frostbite Frostbite Sets a unit’s power to 0 for the round.
Nexus Strike Nexus Strike Effects occur when your unit strikes the enemy Nexus.
Obliterate Obliterate Completely removes specified cards from the game.
Overwhelm Overwhelm Overkill damage is applied to the enemy Nexus.
Toss1 Plunder Plunder ability is triggered if you damaged the enemy Nexus.
Rally Rally If you don’t have an attack token, you gain one.
Support Support Grants an effect to the unit to the right of the Support, if it is attacking.
Toss1 Toss Obliterates selected non-champion cards from the bottom of your deck.
Tough Tough Receives one less damage from all sources.

League Of Runeterra Regions

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There are currently only seven regions in Legends Of Runeterra, but Riot Games is already working to add more in the future, with Bilgewater being the latest addition at launch.

  • Demacia is a region of noble warriors, and the game’s starting deck for players, which is perfect for those new to Legends Of Runeterra. Its champions include Fiora, Garen, Lucian, Lux and Quinn.
  • Freljord is a snowy region that’s all about weakening your opponents with Frostbite, which reduces their attack capability to zero. Its champions include Anivia, Ashe, Braum, Sejuani and Tryndamere.
  • Ionia is all about sneaky tactics and spells, forcing your opponents to recall their cards to their hands. Its champions include Karma, Lee Sin, Shen, Yasuo, and Zed.
  • Noxus is filled with glass cannons, defined by non-stop aggression and high attack power. Its champions include Darius, Draven, Katarina, Swain, and Vladimir.
  • Piltover & Zaun boasts spell-casters with complex abilities. Its champions include Ezreal, Heimerdinger, Jinx, Teemo, and VI.

  • Shadow Isles involves a playstyle that revolves around sacrificing and reviving units. Its champions include Elise, Hecarim, Kalista, Maokai, and Thresh.
  • Bilgewater is for those that love risky plays that can pay off big time. Its champions include Fizz, Gangplank, Miss Fortune, Nautilus and Twisted Fate.

NEXT: The Best Decks So Far


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