App of the Month - Legends of Runeterra

Games 07.09.2020

Legends of Runeterra is a trading card game (TCG) for PC, Android and iOS. It’s developed by Riot Games, the studio behind the massive MOBA hit League of Legends (LoL). With Hearthstone, Artifact and Magic there are lots of TCG to choose from. So what makes Legends of Runeterra stick out? Is it worth investing your time in? Here’s everything you need to know.

Legends of Runeterra - How does it work?

Let’s talk about the most important part of any game first: the rules. Runeterra is a 1v1 card game. The goal is to reduce the opponent’s 20-points-life-force (their nexus) to zero. For that you’ve got exactly 40 cards in your deck, consisting of Champions, Followers and Spells.

Champions are the most powerful cards in the game, LoL players will recognise the characters. Each of them has a unique condition, that, once met, lets the champion level up and get stronger. Champions and Followers are basically all units with attack and defence values. Spells come in three different speeds, some of them can be used as responses to the opponent’s actions. Playing cards costs mana, you get one mana point per round.

Each player gets either the attack or defend token. If the defender does not place units to block the opponent’s attack, their nexus will take direct damage. Some cards allow for two attack tokens to be present at the same time as well. So there’s room for dynamic strategies and different approaches.

Speaking of strategies, a balanced deck is always important in a TCG. Runeterra categorizes every card in regions, each region featuring its own approach to winning the game. Here’s the twist: You can combine two regions in your deck. That adds another dimension to deck building and strategy.

Is it Pay2Win?

Runeterra is a free game, but often with TCGs, they can feel like they are secretly Pay2Win. If you don’t pay for a bunch of booster packs, you won’t get the strongest cards, hence you can’t win at some point against paying opponents. In order to avoid that, there are no blind booster packs to purchase. Loot boxes do exist, but they are free.

There are microtransactions, still. A limited number of so-called “wildcards” can be purchased per week. Those you can exchange for whatever card you want to have. So every card is attainable just by playing the game itself. But keep in mind. If you don’t want to spend real money, you have to grind. Compared to other games of this genre, though, the grind is not as severe.

How to build a good deck

A balanced deck is always key to winning in a TCG. With its unique attack and defence system, as well as the different regions, Runeterra makes this aspect especially important. At the beginning you should focus on the champions, those are the key cards in your deck and determine the strategy you want to pursue.

Braum, for instance, is your champion of choice if you want to defend your way to victory. Lux on the other side uses spells to outmanoeuvre the enemy, while Darius prefers to give his opponents the final blow. You can add up to six Champions to your deck, so there’s enough space to experiment and see what combination is the best for your unique play style.

Since mana is a key mechanic in the game, you should always keep the mana curve in mind. It describes the cost of your cards. You can’t fill your deck with high-cost cards only. They may be powerful, but you’ll have lost the match before you have enough mana to even play them. Another approach would be to always have low-cost cards to your disposal, basically rushing your opponent to victory. This strategy is fast and fun, but will most likely fail, the longer a match takes..

Sets, expansions and meta changes

New updates bring new cards and of course a new meta as well. The developers have already released the first expansion, which is part of a bigger set and has brought on a new region with its distinct cards and strategic opportunities.

There’s no 100% firm update schedule, but the developers want to release new cards roughly every two months. Since Runeterra is still a pretty young game, all sorts of changes to the meta are to be expected. But that also means joining now will give you a competitive edge over any newcomers.

How to get it

With paysafecard, you can easily get Legends of Runeterra in the Google Play Store and you do not need a bank account or credit card! Just sign up here and jump into the game: