Legends of Runeterra Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Legends of Runeterra RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Legends of Runeterra is a Free-to-Play CCG That Respects Your Time & Money https://www.gameskinny.com/sw3zc/legends-of-runeterra-is-a-free-to-play-ccg-that-respects-your-time-money https://www.gameskinny.com/sw3zc/legends-of-runeterra-is-a-free-to-play-ccg-that-respects-your-time-money Mon, 11 May 2020 15:22:23 -0400 Jonny Foster

Legends of Runeterra (LoR) is a tough game to evaluate reasonably as a card-game fanatic. It’s significantly better than its competitors in so many aspects that it’s difficult not to romanticize it, but I’ll do my best. 

If you haven’t seen or heard of LoR before, it’s a free online collectible card game (CCG). Drawing inspiration from similar titles like Artifact, Hearthstone, and Magic: The Gathering, you’ll play units and spells to try and beat down your opponent’s life total. Legends of Runeterra, however, is based in Riot’s League of Legends universe, so you’re playing Champions and followers and dealing damage to an enemy Nexus. 

The gameplay certainly isn’t run-of-the-mill, either.

There’s a deep initiative system to LoR that passes control back and forth each turn, giving each player far more agency over the flow of the match, unlike more restrictive CCGs that only let you play cards on your own turn. 

There are lots of these small tweaks to the familiar formula that make Legends of Runeterra accessible to all, but exciting enough to keep you playing.

It would take too long to explain all of the mechanics here, but we have some extensive guides on our dedicated LoR page if you’re interested in learning more about how to play the game. 

What really makes Runeterra special, though, is its fine-tuned balance and consumer-friendly monetization. Because there are so many viable decks and interesting combinations between Champions and playstyles, the meta is constantly shifting and evolving. 

As we’ve just had 100+ new cards released in the 1.0 update, it's only a few days before something new is king of the hill, something else is ahead of the pack… only for its counter to rise from the ashes of other decks shortly after. Even once the dust settles, this pattern will inevitably become weeks instead of days.

It’s the closest thing to “balance” that a card game — or any competitive game, for that matter — can accomplish in my opinion. And Riot’s gentle touch with patches definitely plays a part in this.

Rather than making snap decisions or dropping new cards and abandoning ship, they’ve been incredibly clear about their schedule to provide balance changes each month with smaller quality-of-life patches in between.  

Legends of Runeterra’s state of near-equilibrium is only possible thanks to the extremely wallet-friendly monetization strategy that the game employs, though.

A full collection of every card can be unlocked in a reasonable timeframe without spending a cent, while most meta decks can be crafted in a week or so, with many taking much, much less time.

Did I mention Riot's eliminated lootboxes? That’s right, you can craft the exact cards you want for — and I have to stress this explicitly — a reasonable price, with no paid packs in sight. 

There are still free packs earned each week by playing the game, and you can spend real money to unlock cards if you desire, but your progression isn’t reliant on spending piles of cash on lootbox packs, and for that, I cannot praise Riot enough. 

For those wondering, there are a host of personalization options such as themed boards, emotes, card backs, and more to unlock for real money if you want. This Warframe-esque system of “support us, if you want, by buying shiny trinkets” is the perfect monetization strategy for a free-to-play game. 

It makes you feel like the developers actually respect your time, and incentivizes you to keep playing and eventually dip into your wallet — at least it has for me and many others.

While I could talk for hours about the intricacies of why LoR is worth your time, it would be disingenuous to act like everything has been sunshine and roses in Runeterra.  

Early previews of LoR praised it for limiting the amount of real money that players can spend each week, and offering diminishing returns on XP to nudge players into taking a break after grinding for too long. 

Truth be told, this was one of the main reasons why I started playing. 

In one of the final Beta patches, however, Riot removed the spending cap and some of the XP gating. 

While you can easily jump to cynical conclusions about this, these changes have ultimately been healthier for the competitive scene, and the game remains firmly in the free-to-play camp instead of “pay-to-win."

Elsewhere, there were also a few nasty bugs introduced with the Rising Tides expansion — many of which have thankfully been hotfixed — as well as some discrepancies in card text. 

While it’s a real shame the patch wasn’t released in a more polished state, it’s almost impossible to imagine that the COVID-19 outbreak didn’t mess with Riot's playtesting. 

If the Beta patches are anything to go by, though, there’s no doubt that Riot will work diligently to patch up any remaining issues over the coming weeks. 

Speaking of the new expansion, though there are a few cards that will need addressing in future balance patches, it’s comforting to see that the expansion hasn’t completely monopolized the competitive meta of LoR

Long-serving fans of the CCG genre probably shudder when they hear the word “expansion” these days, but the ability to craft cheap yet effective decks remains unchanged, and the newly released cards haven’t swamped the old set out of relevancy. 

It’s clear, then, that any negatives to be found about LoR pale in comparison to the leagues of positivity. 

There are many lingering questions about how long Riot’s model will survive before more nefarious CCG pitfalls take hold, but everything I’ve seen from the Runeterra team so far has given me faith that there are steady hands at the helm. 

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For more on Legends of Runeterra, check out our dedicated page for a range of useful guides aimed at all skill levels!

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Legends of Runeterra Guide: Best Cheap Decks to Climb With https://www.gameskinny.com/6lyzz/legends-of-runeterra-guide-best-cheap-decks-to-climb-with https://www.gameskinny.com/6lyzz/legends-of-runeterra-guide-best-cheap-decks-to-climb-with Tue, 05 May 2020 12:12:12 -0400 Jonny Foster

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Ashe/Garen

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    \n
  • Archetype: Midrange
  • \n
  • Crafting Cost: 22,900 Shards
  • \n
  • Creator: BBG (old list)
  • \n
\n

Finally, this suggestion is a little off-the-wall. Ashe/Garen was a concept that floated around in the final week of the Beta patches, and I think there's a good chance we'll see a similar list make a return. 

\n

This deck has a great matchup against other Demacian Midrange decks, which are extremely popular at the moment. 

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The exact build pictured above is based off the cards that are given during the tutorial and as daily login rewards, so this should be an extremely cheap deck to test out and change as you see fit. 

\n

As with other Midrange decks, the winning strategy is to play strong units as soon as you can and defend them in battle. 

\n

---

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That's it for our best cheap decks to climb with guide. We have loads of additional tips and guides for Legends of Runeterra over on our dedicated page, including a look at how to play Aggro, Midrange, and Control decks!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-43cf3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-43cf3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210253","description":"

Championless Undying

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    \n
  • Archetype: Midrange
  • \n
  • Crafting Cost: 11,100 Shards
  • \n
  • Creator: Mogwai
  • \n
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While Undying decks haven't really seen much interest since the Rising Tides Expansion, this is a very viable budget deck that won't waste any shards or wildcards on Champions. 

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This deck has multiple ways to kill The Undying and bring it back even stronger, and most decks don't have good tools to out-value this strategy. 

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Blighted Caretaker could be one consideration to add from the latest expansion, as it's another way to kill your units to give you more board presence.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-corina-30214.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-corina-30214.png","type":"slide","id":"210309","description":"

Corina Control

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    \n
  • Archetype: Control
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  • Crafting Cost: 18,600 Shards
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  • Creator: Alanzq (full list)
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This is a budget version of Corina Control, which is one of the best Control decks in the meta right now. 

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The full version includes three copies of Vi, three copies of Elise and Commander Ledros, and so on, but this is still a potent budget version.

\n

The idea here is to stall the game with your spells until you can use Commander Ledros and Corina Veraza to quickly put the game to bed.

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One of the main reasons why I'd recommend this deck is because a good chunk of these cards is given to you during the tutorial and the daily login rewards, so most players will already have the majority of a Corina Control core.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-2b720.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-2b720.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210254","description":"

Burn Aggro

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    \n
  • Archetype: Aggro
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  • Crafting Cost: 14,500 Shards
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  • Creator: swim (new list)
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Next up we have an aggressive burn deck that tries to win the game before your opponent can get online. This is an older deck that's been enhanced by the addition of Noxian Fervor and Imperial Demolitionist in the latest expansion.

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There isn't much else to say about this deck; just play cheap units and swing until your opponent's Nexus explodes. 

\n

Some versions of this list have even started cutting Draven, slotting in Transfusion and Statikk Shock instead. This gives the deck even more early kill potential and makes it a budget-friendly deck that can win games quickly. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-d6c6f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-d6c6f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210255","description":"

Kinkou Elusives

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  • Archetype: Midrange/Aggro
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  • Crafting Cost: 18,200 Shards
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  • Creator: swim
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Kinkou Elusives was a staple in the meta during LoR's Beta patches. This deck was relevant for months and with good reason: it's a solid deck that can end games relatively early with decent consistency.

\n

The gameplan is still viable and pretty simple; you use Zed and Elusive units to swing over your opponent's board. 

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At 18,200 shards, this is a reasonably-priced deck that can definitely win you games. Alternative cards include Concussive Palm and Shared Spoils, but this deck can also run effectively without a full playset of Zed if need be.

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More recent versions have been experimenting with a Bilgewater build to utilize Fizz and other new Elusive units, but that's still a little unproven.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-b44cf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/h/e/cheap-deck-b44cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210252","description":"

Climbing in card games (CCGs) can be really rough. Thankfully, Legends of Runeterra competitive decks are rich and diverse, and budget variations of decks can still be viable. 

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With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the best cheap decks to craft in Legends of Runeterra if you're looking to climb the ladder.

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Endure Spiders

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    \n
  • Archetype: Control/Combo
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  • Crafting Cost: 15,500 Shards
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  • Creator: squishyflap (new list)
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First up we have Endure Spiders, a deck that rapidly throws weak units at your opponent before finishing the game with a buffed up They Who Endure combined with Atrocity.

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This strategy worked well in the Beta patches of Runeterra, and the creator has updated the list with some of the new expansion's cards — notably, Neverglade Collector for added chip damage.

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A newer version of the list has started adding in Maokai, but that adds a lot of expense, pushing it out of the "budget" category.

"}]]]>
Legends of Runeterra: Best Cards to Craft From Rising Tides Expansion https://www.gameskinny.com/30dz1/legends-of-runeterra-best-cards-to-craft-from-rising-tides-expansion https://www.gameskinny.com/30dz1/legends-of-runeterra-best-cards-to-craft-from-rising-tides-expansion Thu, 30 Apr 2020 15:55:18 -0400 Jonny Foster

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Secondary Staples

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These final three may not be considered as widely versatile — or at least, not a staple in multiple archetypes — but they're still a flexible option to craft.

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Ember Maiden
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Ember Maiden has been overlooked so far, as everyone is playing Bilgewater decks, but the ability to damage the Nexus on multiple turns being attached to a follower is a big deal, and this card will definitely be relevant when the meta settles. 

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Pool Shark
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Pool Shark is a nice, cheap 1-drop that helps you set up to draw next turn. It's seen a lot of play in early builds of a few archetypes, and the Common rarity means it's cheap to craft.  

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Zap Sprayfin
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Finally, Zap Sprayfin is Rising Tides' equivalent of Shadow Assassin — a staple in many existing decks. It's a relatively cheap Elusive that draws you a card, and this will see play in quite a few Bilgewater decks for that reason.

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---

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That's it for the best cards to craft in Rising Tides. For more on Legends of Runeterra, check out our dedicated page for a range of useful guides aimed at all skill levels!

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Staples Cards

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These three Bilgewater cards are already staples — versatile cards that are must-includes — in multiple archetypes and show no signs of being replaced. They're also all Common rarity, so they're cheap to craft!

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Hired Gun
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Hired Gun has a nice health stat of 3, with a valuable effect of granting the Strongest enemy the Vulnerable keyword. 

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Dreadway Deckhand
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Dreadway Deckhand is the cheapest way of quickly summoning Powder Kegs to increase your damage effects, while also functioning as a psuedo-House Spider (they both summon two bodies for 2 mana, which can be useful to slow down Aggro decks.)

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Make It Rain
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Make It Rain is just a versatile damage spell that can pick off low-health units. When combined with a Powder Keg, it can be really obscene — and it even activates Ezreal's target triggers!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/l/pilfer-e972e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/i/l/pilfer-e972e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210187","description":"

Pilfer Package

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One of the new mechanics added in the Rising Tides Expansion is drawing cards from the enemy's deck. These three cards are all widely used for their ability to pilfer cards from your opponent. 

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Yordle Grifter
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Yordle Grifter is the Allegiance card for the Bilgewater region, which is often worth playing just for the free copy of Warning Shot that it creates — this is an easy way of activating Plunder effects.

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Pilfered Goods
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Pilfered Goods is the star of the show, here. It's a 2-mana spell that can reliably steal two cards off the top of your opponent's deck. What's not to love?

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Black Market Merchant
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Black Market Merchant has a nice effect on its own, pilfering one card from your opponent if the Plunder condition is met. Combined with either of the other two cards in the package, though, and you start to generate some crazy value.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/draw-07aa4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/r/a/draw-07aa4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210186","description":"

Draw Engines

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These cards are all useful at drawing extra cards, which is one of the most powerful tools in any card game. 

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Salvage
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Salvage is perfect for decks that revolve around the Toss and Deep mechanics, but don't discredit it for other Bilgewater builds. The ability to draw two and thin your deck means this is seeing play elsewhere, too.

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Twisted Fate
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Twisted Fate is probably the most versatile Champion currently in the game. His ability to draw, stun, or deal wide damage when played is extremely useful, and he can take over games when he's leveled — which also requires draws. Synergy!

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Pick a Card
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Pick a Card, on top of being Twisted Fate's Champion Spell, is being played in multiple early versions of decks for its incredible draw potential. It might take a turn for the payoff to appear, but drawing four-card on your following turn is not to be taken lightly. 

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These three also synergize nicely with our next group of cards worth crafting: the Pilfer Package.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/d/midrange-0ace9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/i/d/midrange-0ace9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210185","description":"

Marvelous Midrange

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These three cards are already seeing lots of play in Demacian Midrange decks, with very good reason.

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Grizzled Ranger
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Grizzled Ranger has decent stats and the Scout keyword, plus it summons a Loyal Badgerbear when it dies! This essentially gives you a free attack to force out a block from your opponent before swinging with Badgerbear.  

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Loyal Badgerbear
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Loyal Badgerbear has a very solid stat line as a 4/4 for 3-mana, which is unprecedented for Legends of Runeterra without card text that gives it a downside. 

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Genevieve Elmheart
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Genevieve Elmheart is a big combo piece for aggressive Midrange/Scout decks. The +1/+1 buff to your board plus Scout and Challenger keywords makes her extremely potent.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/controls-b5e52.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/controls-b5e52.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210184","description":"

Capital Control

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Next up we have three brilliant Control cards that are seeing play in a variety of decks, even some that focus elsewhere but splash Ionia in for these three. 

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Eye of the Dragon
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Eye of the Dragon is pretty much the perfect card for control decks to push back against aggression. It has great stats for its cost but the Dragonlings it summons help top up your Nexus health nicely.

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Deep Meditation
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Deep Meditation is a decent spell as a 4-mana card that draws two, but it's very easy to get the discount in spell-based control decks, bringing its cost down to an insane 2 mana.

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Concussive Palm
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Concussive Palm functions a lot like Will of Ionia, removing a threat for a turn for 4 mana. The big difference here is that Concussive Palm also summons a unit, which is even better at combating Aggro decks.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/g/aggros-5333d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/g/g/aggros-5333d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"210183","description":"

If you're wondering which cards you should craft from the new Rising Tides Expansion for Legends of Runeterra, you've come to the right place! 

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We have a total of 21 versatile cards that we've hand-picked, guaranteed to give you a fighting chance no matter what your playstyle. 

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Let's jump right in with an aggressive selection.

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Awesome Aggro

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Starting with Aggro cards, these three are already looking like the core of a top meta deck.  

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Swain
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Swain is a slower-paced Aggro card, but he's capable of ending games on his own once you've dealt 12 non-combat damage. His leveled up version can clear an entire board with one attack, which has to be respected.

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Imperial Demolitionist
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Imperial Demolitionist is a fantastic card for Aggro decks, dealing early damage to the enemy Nexus at a cheap cost. Combine this with Crimson Disciple to really make your opponent's eyes water.

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Noxian Fervor
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Last but not least, Noxian Fervor has excellent synergy with Swain as it deals a total of 6 non-combat damage in a single card. It can also be a great counter to an opponent's spell or Challenger unit.

"}]]]>
Legends of Runeterra Beginner's Guide — 6 Things the Tutorial Doesn't Teach You https://www.gameskinny.com/ie0wv/legends-of-runeterra-beginners-guide-6-things-the-tutorial-doesnt-teach-you https://www.gameskinny.com/ie0wv/legends-of-runeterra-beginners-guide-6-things-the-tutorial-doesnt-teach-you Thu, 30 Apr 2020 12:38:49 -0400 Jonny Foster

Legends of Runeterra, despite being a fantastic card game, is a little complex. And though the in-game tutorials are pretty diverse and useful, they don't cover everything. Thankfully, we're here to help! 

This Legends of Runeterra guide tells you six things the tutorial doesn't teach you

Legends of Runeterra Beginner's Guide — 6 Things the Tutorial Doesn't Teach You

#1: Don't Trust Everything You See in Runeterra

Let's start with something Legends of Runeterra's tutorial does teach you: people lie. Yep, that's right, Riot lies to you throughout the tutorial

See that "Decisive Action" card pictured above? Doesn't exist. You can't actually craft it; it exists solely in this tutorial segment. 

See that "Final Spark" card also pictured above? It's actually a 0-mana slow spell that Lux creates once she's leveled up. 

There are also various other spells, units, and card text — champion abilities, especially — that have been created purely for the tutorial. They're just there to teach you the basics, so don't expect to build a deck around anything you see in the tutorials!

#2: What Even is a "Champion Spell"?

Next, let's explain something that's only touched on briefly by the tutorials: Champion Spells. In Legends of Runeterra, you can only play one copy of a champion card at a time.

If you have more copies of that champion in your hand — or you draw into them — while the unit on your board is still alive, the excess copies will be converted into a signature spell: their Champion Spell

In the example above, you can see the Champion Spell for Elise, which is a copy of Crawling Sensation. Note that it has the added line of text: every Champion Spell will shuffle a copy of that champion back into the deck when used. If you summon one Elise, any additional copies in your hand will change into this spell. Once the Elise on your board dies, they'll change back to copies of Elise again.

It's simple once you get used to it, but can definitely be confusing for new players. Now, you can summon multiple copies of a Champion at once, but this is done using revive effects like The Rekindler and Mist's Call

#3: Don't Get Overwhelmed

While there is a tutorial revolving around the Overwhelm mechanic, it misses out something vital that most people will attempt at some point: When a unit with Overwhelm attacks into a unit with Barrier, the defender still takes Nexus damage. 

This may seem counter-intuitive at first, as Barriers are supposed to negate damage, but the nuance lies in the wording. 

The keyword text for Barrier states that it "Negates the next damage the unit would take." The Overwhelm damage is not being dealt to the unit, but to the enemy's Nexus, and this portion of the damage still goes through.  

It's important to remember that Overwhelm damage has to be stopped by removing the attacker in some way, as they'll break right through anything you put in front of them that doesn't have a high health stat. 

#4: No Heal For You! 

Speaking of Barriers, there's another useful piece of information you should know about them: they block Lifesteal effects.

This can be the difference between a win and a loss, so countering Lifesteal units with a Barrier can be extremely helpful. 

In the example above, casting Prismatic Barrier on my Tryndamere will stop my opponent's Darkwater Scourge from healing their Nexus. 

The same effect happens when Barriers clash, such as when your opponent plays Spirit's Refuge, for example. Simply counter with your own Barrier effect and they'll be left without any free healing! 

#5: Limited Deck Space

Decks in Legends of Runeterra have to have exactly 40 cards. If you try to draw once you've run out of cards to draw, you immediately lose the game! This is also known as a "deck out".

If both players run out of cards at the same time — or with the same card effect, such as Veteran Investigator — then the game will end as a tie

This is particularly important to know thanks to the Rising Tides Expansion; lots of new Bilgewater cards have the ability to draw from an opponent's deck, and Maokai has a win condition built specifically around decking you out. 

Don't get caught short. Always keep an eye on how many cards you have left!

#6: Unlimited Power!

Finally, let's finish with one of the newest mechanics added to Legends of Runeterra in Patch 1.0. 

The maximum number of units you can own at the same time is six. If you want to play any more beyond this, you can choose a unit to Obliterate and replace.

You used to be stuck with a board of six units and would have to find a way to remove or kill one before you could play any more, so this might be a little confusing for returning players. 

It's important to note that Obliterate is a keyword in Legends of Runeterra that destroys the card completely, preventing it from being revived later, so choose carefully!

You also won't trigger any Last Breath effects from Obliterating the card you replace, either. 

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There are definitely more advanced things the tutorial also doesn't teach you, so if you're looking for more tips to improve at Legends of Runeterra, look no further than our dedicated guide page

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Legends of Runeterra Guide — How to Play from Behind and When Ahead https://www.gameskinny.com/e77ni/legends-of-runeterra-guide-how-to-play-from-behind-and-when-ahead https://www.gameskinny.com/e77ni/legends-of-runeterra-guide-how-to-play-from-behind-and-when-ahead Tue, 28 Apr 2020 12:18:13 -0400 Jonny Foster

Welcome to another guide in our series on Legends of Runeterra (LoR). To recap: I’m a Masters player on the EUW ladder in Runeterra and want to help the community improve. This guide does require basic knowledge of the game mechanics, but will hopefully, be accessible to all. 

As I touched on at the end of my previous LoR guide on Open Attack, one of the most important decision-swaying factors in a card game is whether you’re ahead or behind.

To put it simply: when playing from behind, you want to take more risks.

By the same metric, when you’re ahead of your opponent, you should play safer. These are pretty sweeping generalizations, of course, and strictly speaking, the “ideal” play is never this simple. But that’s a good place to start. 

What do we actually mean by ahead and behind, though?

When using these terms, we’re describing how likely we are to win given the current state of the board and each player's hand. This fluctuates constantly with matchups, draws, and which cards each player decides to play, but you can get a pretty good idea of your win-probability once you get some decent experience. 

To put it another way, we’re assessing whether we’re closer to meeting our win condition than the opponent is to meeting theirs.

Aggro decks, for instance, win by killing the opponent quickly — usually before turn 7 or turn 8 — but they quickly run out of steam and struggle to defeat decks that can heal and grind out games. 

Above is an example of a fairly popular Aggro deck, and you can see that only one card costs more than 3 mana to play.

If you’re playing against an Aggro deck that’s taken 15 HP off your Nexus by turn 4, then you've fallen pretty far behind. If you still have 10 HP on turn 10 and they only have two cards in hand with an empty field, it’s safe to say you’re probably ahead.

In general, though, you're normally behind when playing against an Aggro deck. The game becomes a race to stabilize your board before you die. 

How should this affect our play, and what do we mean by risks? Well, let’s look at some examples of how to play when ahead and behind to get a better idea of what we mean.

Risky Business

In this first example, we’re ahead while playing a Corina Control mirror match in Masters. For context: when playing against decks (like ours) that don’t summon many units, playing Commander Ledros on turn 9 is pretty much always better than playing Corina Veraza

Our opponent played Corina last turn, which indicates that they didn’t have a Ledros in hand. We played ours in response, putting us firmly in the lead. Our Nexus has higher HP than our opponent’s, we likely have a better hand than them, and we have a better field.  

In this position, we could use Statikk Shock to dig for more burn damage or attack to force them to trade and then replay our Ledros. However, the safest play here is to summon our own Corina. This presents the biggest upfront threat by summoning another attacker and dealing some direct burn damage in the process. 

A good answer to this would be my opponent playing The Ruination, but we don't particularly mind that. We're getting the burn damage in, and we have more in our hand to close out the game. 

In the second example, below, I’m playing the same deck against a Yasuo deck. 

I’m pretty far behind in this game, with less Nexus HP than my opponent, a worse field, and their Yasuo is nearly leveled up. If I can't kill their units or summon more of my own, they will most likely kill me on their next attack.

With the hand I have, playing Commander Ledros feels like the safe play, as I know my opponent likely has Deny and the alternative (The Ruination) would leave me without any units if it's countered. 

This is likely the wrong call, however, and I should take the risk on Ruination. Why? Simply put, Ledros isn’t enough to turn this game in my favor, and I’ve stifled my future turns.

In the position I am in, hoping my opponent has no Deny is certainly a big risk, but the payoff for gambling and successfully killing their board will be a huge swing in my favor.

My opponent ended up using Deny as I feared, so playing Ruination on my turn is also now less valuable as my opponent will have the mana to re-establish a board and finish me off with an Open Attack when I pass back to them.

If I played these two cards in the opposite order, I'd have a better chance of winning than I do in the screenshot above. 

Don't worry if these examples aren't immediately useful, as they are very specific. The main thing to take away from this guide is that when you're ahead, you want to be careful about what cards your opponent might have

Think about what they could do to counter you, and play the least committal card(s) that still help you get your win condition.

When you're behind, you might need to take risks and hope your opponent doesn't have any answers to your cards. Think about whether you can still win without taking these risks, and remember you can't win every game.

Sometimes your opponent will have the perfect hand to beat you, but that's OK. Dust yourself off and move onto the next match. That's the nature of card games! 

If this guide was helpful, why not check out our dedicated page for Legends of Runeterra — we have lots of guides already out, with more coming very soon!

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Legends of Runeterra Deck Archetypes: Aggro, Control, and Midrange https://www.gameskinny.com/h78u2/legends-of-runeterra-deck-archetypes-aggro-control-and-midrange https://www.gameskinny.com/h78u2/legends-of-runeterra-deck-archetypes-aggro-control-and-midrange Tue, 28 Apr 2020 11:57:08 -0400 Jonny Foster

It’s that time again! We’ve got another Legends of Runeterra (LoR) guide for you, this time on the Aggro, Midrange, and Control terms. This guide is aimed at beginners mainly, but check out our series of guides for some more advanced tips if you’re looking for help in your climb to Masters.

So, what do we mean by Aggro, Midrange, and Control? We’ll dive into each a little deeper and give you some pointers on how to play them below, but let’s start with simple definitions.

Aggro decks, as the name would suggest, are early-game aggressive decks. They try to win the game as quickly as possible, usually by dealing direct damage to the opponent’s Nexus and/or by swarming the board with cheap units and overpowering the opponent with wide attacks. 

Midrange decks are often medium-paced decks; they fight for board control and tend to play mana-efficient units each turn. Midrange decks usually win in a similar way to Aggro decks — by summoning lots of units, or creating a “wide board” — but they do so at a balanced speed instead of rushing to win in the early rounds. 

Finally, Control decks are usually the slowest of the three archetypes. They play lots of spells and effects that counter or interrupt an opponent’s gameplan, usually stalling until their win conditions are activated on turn 10 or later. 

These are pretty common Collectible Card Game(CCG) terms and by no means the only recognizable deck archetypes, but we’ll cover some other terms at the end of this guide. 

Now that we have that established, let’s look at some examples of each archetype and what their win conditions are. 

Aggro Decks and How to Play Them

Let’s start with an Aggro deck that’s been popular in LoR for months now: Spider Aggro

Aggro decks in LoR tend to play a mixture of burn and cheap swarm cards, and Spider Aggro is no exception, though it leans more towards the swarm gameplan.

House Spider is probably the best swarm card in the game, while Crowd Favourite is a big threat if it can be played on turn 4 or turn 5 with a wide board to increase its potency. 

This is the most common win condition for the deck, in fact. You want to play cheap units in the first 3-4 turns that are hard to block — such as Arachnoid Horror — or have added burn effects like Legion Saboteur, and then drop Crowd Favourite to help seal the deal. 

Brother’s Bond and Vision should be used to buff units that your opponent doesn’t choose to — or is unable to — block for surprise damage, while Decisive Maneuver combos brilliantly with Crowd Favourite to make the final push for damage.

Something to keep in mind with this Aggro deck, in particular, is that you shouldn’t waste your units by blocking on the turns when you’re defending

Not only does this maintain a wide board for Crowd Favourite’s maximum potential, but the damage potential of Saboteur and Horror are important to end the game quickly. You also don’t care about taking early damage to your own Nexus as you’re trying to kill your opponent as quickly as possible.

Let’s take a look at another Aggro deck: Discard Burn. This one focuses much more on direct burn damage through spells, though the early turns will play out pretty similarly. 

As before, we want to play cheap units that can deal early damage like Legion Saboteur and Boomcrew Rookie, often avoiding blocking so we can use their effects on multiple turns. 

Once we reach turns 3 and 4, however, we want to be playing Draven and Jinx to try and discard our hands, which will level the Jinx and lead to her generating copies of Super Mega Death Rocket!.

Get Excited! is a great card to help thin our hand while also dealing decent damage, and while you may sometimes need to use it to clear big threats, burn spells such as this and Mystic Shot are usually best spent on directly burning down our opponent's Nexus

This is probably the biggest mistake beginners make when playing Aggro decks. It’s very hard at first to ignore your opponent’s units and attacks to focus everything on direct damage, and while this isn’t always the best way to play, it will often be the difference between narrowly winning and losing close games

Midrange Decks and How to Play Them

Bannerman decks are the quintessential Midrange decks of Legends of Runeterra, so we’ll examine them first. 

We say “decks'' here because there are a few very similar versions of the deck running around. The primary focus is to play 37+ Demacian cards to have the best chance of enabling Vanguard Bannerman’s Allegiance ability, and the remaining cards can be selected from a few different regions.

These decks want to summon mana-efficient units each turn (Fleetfeather Tracker on turn 1, War Chefs on 2, Fiora on 3, and so on). They protect their units using Barrier spells to maintain a wide board and get the best use of Bannerman’s ability. 

In the later turns, they play Garen and Cithria the Bold together with Bannerman-buffed units to overwhelm your opponent. That’s it; the deck is pretty simple, as is the Midrange archetype in general, but it’s extremely effective when you stick to their gameplan. 

We’ll also briefly examine a Heimerdinger deck, which may not look like a typical Midrange list as the mana-curve is a little abnormal. The main reason for this is Heimerdinger’s unique ability, which enables us to summon lots of units when we play spells

The best-case scenario for this deck is to have Heimerdinger and multiple copies of Flash of Brilliance in hand on turn 5. This lets us create and summon multiple 3-Power Elusive units, while also generating big spells and replenishing our spell mana. 

Prismatic Barrier is another key 3-mana spell that can be used to protect Heimerdinger and create a valuable Elusive unit, while Succession doubles our unit output. 

Lux helps us fight for more board control as we reach late-game, too, as we can use Final Spark to help clear units off the board while we continue to swarm our field with free Heimerdinger turrets. 

The two Mageseeker cards are also good examples of typical Midrange cards, which provide a large amount of stats for their mana cost, but not much else. 

Control Decks and How to Play Them

As you may have noticed, Ezreal decks are incredibly powerful Control decks in Legends of Runeterra

Ezreal's leveling condition requires you play lots of spells and skills that target your opponent's units. By doing so, you draw out the game until Ezreal can finish the game with his leveled form. 

The general gameplan here is to whittle down your opponent's units by using cards like Mystic Shot and Statikk Shock, while also making use of the Brittle effect on Icevale ArcherHarsh Winds, and other spells to further hinder their combat options.

Ezreal is often not even played until you've targeted eight units, at which point you're looking to play cheap spells such as Rummage or the Mushroom Clouds created by Chump Whump to machine-gun your opponent's Nexus down with Ezreal's ability.

The other Control deck we'll look at is known as Spooky Karma, which combines Karma with cards from the Shadow Isles region. 

Shadow Isles has a lot of excellent tools for controlling the pace of the game and slowing down your opponent. These include damaging spells that also heal your Nexus — Withering Wail and Grasp of the Undying — as well as stall tools such as The Ruination and Frenzied Skitterer

Your gameplan here is to stall the game until turn 10 when Karma can be played to double up on the effectiveness of your Control spells. You don't have to worry about playing Karma early, either, as you have great ways of reviving her if your opponent can kill her, using The Rekindler and Mist's Call

Control decks often win by out-grinding their opponent's resources, and Spooky Karma is a great deck at doing just that.

It can be a little slow, though, and Control decks often have a higher skill floor than other archetypes as you need to know what you can and cannot afford to sacrifice in order to survive until turn 10.

Tempo, Combo, and Mill

Finally, let’s look at some fringe archetypes that don’t quite fall into the primary three categories. 

Tempo Decks

Tempo is often used to describe decks that are somewhere between Midrange and Control. They normally chug along with a reasonable mana-curve until they can swing with a big finisher in a few quick turns. Katarina is a good example of a card that usually works best in Tempo decks.

Combo Decks

Combo decks are usually a form of Control lists. They try to control the pace and drag the game out until they’ve assembled the combo pieces they need to end the game. Karma/Ezreal is a good example of this in LoR.

Mill Decks

Lastly, we have Mill, which isn’t an archetype that currently exists in LoR, but will do soon with the release of Maokai in Patch 1.0. Mill decks try and run your opponent out of cards or cause them to “deck out," which wins you the game instantly.

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Hopefully, this guide helped you, but be sure to check out our dedicated page on Legends of Runeterra — we have lots of guides already out, with more on the way soon!

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Legends of Runeterra Keywords: Attune, Deep, Plunder, Scout, Toss, Vulnerable https://www.gameskinny.com/iyyuh/legends-of-runeterra-keywords-attune-deep-plunder-scout-toss-vulnerable https://www.gameskinny.com/iyyuh/legends-of-runeterra-keywords-attune-deep-plunder-scout-toss-vulnerable Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:52:44 -0400 Jonny Foster

Alongside the new Rising Tides Expansion, Riot has revealed a large number of new Keywords for their cards in Legends of Runeterra.

With so many new effects to learn, we've broken them all down for you below, including how to bed use them. Let's dive straight in!

Legends of Runeterra New Keyword Guide

Attune

We'll start with Attune, one of the simplest new keywords. Units with Attune refill one spell mana when they're summoned

It's interesting that this has been made into a keyword, as it's already an existing effect on Eager Apprentice.

Best Ways To Use Attune

Attune has pretty obvious synergy with spell-heavy decks. Playing a unit with Attune while you have 3 spell mana banked will be a waste, so you want to be casting spells (or not saving any mana between turns.) 

The pictured card, Coral Creatures, has good built-in synergy because it gives you a free spell and the mana to play it, but the random element might make it difficult to fit into a competitive deck. 

Deep

Next up is Deep, which is obvious support for the new Toss mechanic — more on that, later.  

Cards with the Deep keyword gain 3 Power and 3 Health once you've dropped below 15 cards remaining in your deck.

Best Ways To Use Deep

Deep is designed to work with Toss, so playing effects that remove cards from your deck will accelerate your Deep cards towards getting their buff.

This will likely be a fairly slow archetype, though, as getting down to 15 remaining cards will take quite a few turns even with Toss effects, so you're probably going to want to build around a Control shell that stalls out the game

Plunder

Plunder was the new keyword revealed by Riot alongside the upcoming Bilgewater Region. Cards with a Plunder effect will activate upon being played if you've damaged the enemy Nexus this round.

The wording here sounds very specific, so "play" doesn't refer to summoning effects, it's only when played from the hand. 

Best Ways To Use Plunder

We've only seen a few Plunder cards so far, from Freljord and the new Bilgewater region, but it's pretty obvious that they synergize well with spells and effects that can deal direct damage to the opponent's Nexus.

Examples include the newly revealed Ember Maiden, Warning Shot, and Noxian Fervor

You can also activate the Plunder effect after you've used combat to deal damage to the opponent's Nexus. The Overwhelm and Elusive keywords will be especially useful for this, as they're difficult to block without taking damage.  

Scout

Cards with the new Scout keyword will change combat as we know it. Once per roundif only Scout cards are attacking, you retain your attack token.

What this means is that you can essentially attack twice per turn if you have Scout units. There is a caveat, though: the Scout-only attack has to be before your regular attack.

Best Ways To Use Scout

As powerful as this sounds, it can be a double-edged sword. If your opponent has a few high-health blockers, your Scout-only attack might not be better than attacking with all of your units at once. 

The real Scout synergy here comes from Rally effects, such as Tianna Crownguard and Relentless Pursuit. The ideal sequence here would look like: 

  • Attack once with all (or most) of your units.
  • Play a Rally card.
  • Attack once with only your Scout units.
  • Attack a third time with everything.

Using your attacks in this order can force your opponent into trading away their blockers early in the turn, clearing the way for your Scout units to attack with less trouble, before your final big swing. 

As we saw in her reveal, Quinn synergizes perfectly with Scout units. Not only will she summon Valor every time she attacks, but other Scouts will probably be necessary in order to meet her leveling requirements. 

Toss

A card that has the new Toss keyword will Obliterate cards (except champions) from the bottom of your deck. 

Obliterate means the cards are completed destroyed, rather than just killed. This means they cannot be revived later using something like Kalista, and Last Breath effects won't trigger. 

Best Ways To Use Toss

So far, we've seen two reasons to use Toss cards: to synergize with the new Deep keyword and Nautilus or to try and end the game with Maokai. The leveled-up version of Maokai is a win condition in itself, and decks will be built entirely around this concept. 

Combining them will likely be overkill, however, as they're both late-game concepts that require some degree of stall and Control to survive until their win condition can be met.

We've also seen Treasure cards revealed with Nautilus, that have "When Tossed, draw me instead" text. These are powerful tools to add to a Toss deck but need to be created by other cards as they can't be crafted.  

Another card that has been revealed with the new set that has good synergy with Maokai is also Veteran Investigator. By saving this card until your Maokai has leveled up, you can force your opponent to run out of cards faster using Investigator's draw effect.

Vulnerable

A target that has been afflicted with the new Vulnerable keyword can be challenged by any unit, forcing it to block.

Essentially this means that any of your units will gain the Challenger keyword when attacking that specific unit.

Best Ways To Use Vulnerable

So far, one of the only cards we've seen with the Vulnerable keyword is Sejuani, who also Frostbites the target. This means it's perfect for taking down high-attack units for free. 

Of course, you can also use it to take down impactful units that your opponent might not want to block with, such as Boomcrew Rookie or Phantom Prankster

Another card we've seen with the Vulnerable keyword is Chum the Waters, which notably doesn't Frostbite the target. This has great synergy with followers that have the Last Breath keyword. Being able to crash your Cursed Keeper or The Undying into a specific enemy unit will be extremely useful. 

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For more on Legends of Runeterra, check out our dedicated page for a range of useful guides aimed at all skill levels!

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Legends of Runeterra Open Attack: What Is It and When to Use It https://www.gameskinny.com/a3y4j/legends-of-runeterra-open-attack-what-is-it-and-when-to-use-it https://www.gameskinny.com/a3y4j/legends-of-runeterra-open-attack-what-is-it-and-when-to-use-it Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:17:22 -0400 Jonny Foster

Welcome to the second guide in our series of Legends of Runeterra (LoRguides. To recap: I’ve been playing CCGs for years, but I’ve recently hit Masters on the EUW ladder in Runeterra and want to help the community improve. Now, let’s jump into today’s topic: Open Attack.   

Much like my first guide on Initiative,  this guide is intended for intermediate players and beginners, but basic knowledge of the game mechanics is useful. 

Legends of Runeterra has something colloquially known as Open Attack, which is a pretty uncommon concept in other popular CCGs — again, just like the Initiative system, the closest comparison is actually Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Understanding Open Attack is vital to improving at the game, and it requires some advanced knowledge of LoR’s regions and meta decks, but it’s absolutely invaluable to climbing. 

To summarise, briefly: Open Attacking is the action of attacking at the start of your turn, before allowing your opponent the chance to respond to your board

In many other CCGs, attacking ends your turn, making this a pretty poor option if you have anything else in your hand that you could play. 

In LoR, however, you can still spend your mana to summon followers or cast spells after you’ve attacked. This opens up interesting possibilities to outplay your opponent and swing unfavorable matchups in your favor by denying their biggest threats. 

Let's dig in. 

Burst vs. Fast vs. Slow

To utilize Open Attack properly, we need to understand the difference between Slow, Fast, and Burst cards.

Burst and Fast are keywords unique to spell cards in LoR. Burst spells can’t be responded to immediately by your opponent, while Fast spells can only be replied to with Fast or Burst spells (within the same interaction). 

For the sake of discussing Open Attack, we’ll group these together when describing "Fast-speed threats." 

Slow spells can also be responded to with Fast or Burst spells, but they notably cannot be used during combat. They also cannot be used to respond to one of your opponent’s actions. For this reason, Skills generated from units are also considered as Slow-speed threats.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

You can deny some value of your opponent’s Slow-speed threats by attacking with the first action of your turn — or “Open Attacking”.

A good example of this is Arachnoid Sentry, a card that’s popular in Noxus/Ezreal and Noxus/Spider decks. When facing these decks, summoning a unit before attacking is risky, as your most valuable attackers are likely to be stunned. 

In other terms, your opponent is getting a positive trade by stunning one of your potential attackers, while also adding another blocker to the board. This heavily incentivizes you to Open Attack instead of summoning more units at the start of your turn. 

Similarly, Avalanche is a Slow spell that also punishes you for developing more units to the board. Figuring out what Slow threats your opponent might have is key to deciding whether you should Open Attack or not. 

If we examine Fast threats — such as Statikk Shock or Spirit's Refuge — these can threaten your gameplan before or during battle. Against decks that run these cards, therefore, it’s often better to summon additional units, as it creates extra threats for your opponent to worry about during combat.

Harsh Winds is a good example of a Burst-speed threat to watch out for against Freljord decks, too.

Other Factors & an Actionable Example

There are, of course, other reasons why Open Attacking may or may not be the ideal play; let's look at an example. 

In the game above, I'm playing Karma/Ezreal against a Karma/Thresh deck. They have 5 mana to spend, which will almost definitely be spent on a blocker if I decide to play more units. 

More importantly, however, I have a Chempunk Pickpocket on my field. Pickpocket's ability to steal spells is incredibly useful, so taking the chance to Open Attack here is always best.

My opponent is likely going to have to play Withering Wail if they want to stop my attack, which is an excellent trade for me as they can't heal their Nexus above 20, and it would leave me free to develop Karma and start generating free spells without fear of interruption.

The decision of whether or not to Open Attack should also be dictated by how many of their threats have already been used. In the example above, another threat that could stop my attack is Vile Feast.

My opponent had already played one copy of Vile Feast in an earlier turn, though, so playing around the possibility of them having a second copy that early into the game isn't really worth it.  

Vile Feast is also a Fast-speed threat, and Karma/Ezreal isn't a deck that wants to prioritize early damage, so all signs point towards an Open Attack being the ideal play for that example. 

Another key factor to consider is whether you’re ahead of your opponent or behind them in terms of your respective win conditions. This will be the topic of another of our upcoming guides, so be sure to check GameSkinny regularly for more LoR content

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Legends of Runeterra Initiative Guide: What It Is, How It Works https://www.gameskinny.com/bfw4a/legends-of-runeterra-initiative-guide-what-it-is-how-it-works https://www.gameskinny.com/bfw4a/legends-of-runeterra-initiative-guide-what-it-is-how-it-works Mon, 27 Apr 2020 16:01:54 -0400 Jonny Foster

Welcome to our series of Legends of Runeterra guides that explores the ins and outs of Riot Games' F2P CCG. I’m a Master-tier player on the EUW ladder with a long history of playing card games. With that said, let’s jump into our first topic: the Initiative system.   

While this guide is intended for intermediate players and beginners, you should have ideally played through the in-game tutorials to understand the basic game flow. However, I will try to explain most of this topic in enough detail for beginners.

Legends of Runeterra (LoR) has something commonly referred to as Initiative, which functions very differently to other popular CCGs. It’s actually pretty similar to Yu-Gi-Oh!, my first love and the reason why I find LoR’s ruleset so appealing. Artifact also has a similar system, but that’s currently in the graveyard...

Initiative can be a little confusing because, like many CCG terms, it’s unofficial and therefore open to some degree of ambiguity. For the sake of clarity, what I’ll be referring to as Initiative is the way in which control passes back and forth between players in a turn

This can also be referred to as Order of Play.

Understanding Legends of Runeterra: Initiative Guide — What Is It and How Does it Work?

The basic functionality in LoR is that your opponent (effectively) has the opportunity to respond to anything you do, except a Burst spell.

What this means is that playing any card but a Burst spell will pass control over to your opponent.

Playing a Fast or Slow spell gives your opponent the chance to respond with their own spells. Playing a Follower or Champion lets your opponent play anything in their hand that they have sufficient mana for. 

When you attack, your opponent chooses what to block, and then control is passed back to you, allowing you to add any spells you want to the battle. The attack only connects once both players have passed without adding anything else to the combat — more on this, later. 

Now, there are some actions you can take that don’t allow an immediate response. These are summon effects from cards that don’t create a Skill, such as The Rekindler

By comparison, Rhasa the Sunderer has the Play keyword, which creates a Skill that can be interrupted or responded to. 

Of course, playing either is still summoning a Follower, which passes control to your opponent and allows them to summon their own cards or play their spells, so they are still getting a window to respond before you take any further actions.

With that out of the way, let’s focus on some special interactions and how to make use of them. 

Burst Spells and Passing

As we touched on earlier, Burst spells don’t pass control back to your opponent, so you can effectively make changes to your board state before they have a chance to respond. 

One cute way to capitalize on this is by summoning Jury-Rig after your opponent declares an attack. This lets you unexpectedly block something your opponent likely thought was going to deal free damage to your Nexus. 

Another useful Burst interaction is playing combat buffs like Elixir of Wrath on Zed before attacking, which will also buff the Living Shadow that he summons. This gives you two attackers with 5 Power, whereas you’d only buff Zed if you wait until the Living Shadow has been summoned before playing the Elixir.

There’s also a high-level tactic called Burst Passing, which can be used to gain some cheeky advantage. 

Essentially, playing a Burst spell and then passing puts the onus on your opponent to make the first move. In a regular turn, passing without taking an action would be risky as your opponent could pass back to end the turn. 

Burst Passing doesn’t obey these rules, however. Instead, if your opponent doesn’t play anything, their pass will give control back to you again without ending the turn

This may not sound important, but it can be a cunning way to scout for what cards your opponent may have, or bait them into using up their mana, leaving you with a free opportunity to play your cards unencumbered. 

Combat Tricks

Holding onto your spells is often a good idea when you’re on the offensive. For instance, committing to using Spirit’s Refuge before your opponent chooses their blockers is extremely risky, as it gives them information for free and gives them more opportunity to respond

Waiting until they’ve selected blockers before playing your Barrier spell can bait them into sub-optimal blocks, or force them to use their mana preemptively before they even know you have it.

On the flip side, you can use this to your advantage when you’re on defenseIf your opponent takes an odd attack — such as swinging their Karma into your board full of 5+ Power blockers — you know they’re probably looking to play a combat spell. 

In this situation, deciding not to block may be optimal. 

You’ll be trading 4+ Nexus health to deny them the chance to heal using Refuge during this turn, which could be vital to killing them before they’re able to snowball the late game with Karma. 

Another common position can be your opponent attacking with a Darkwater Scourge. Players are often waiting for you to block to make a Death Mark play in this situation. 

If you avoid blocking, their Scourge will die immediately after attacking, denying them the chance to play their combat trick. Of course, this is only a good idea if your opponent has 3+ mana remaining and is actually running Ionia in their deck.

Closing Tips on Initiative and More

Though there's more to Legends of Runeterra's Initiative system, this should be a good starting place to get you thinking about what your opponent can and cannot respond to.

This should guide your decisions moving forward, and always be on your mind when you consider which cards to play.

One related subject — Open Attack — will be receiving its own dedicated guide as its another very important topic that deserves a deeper dive. This will be released soon, so be sure to check back regularly for more helpful LoR tips!

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For more guides on Legends of Runeterra, check out our dedicated page right here — we have lots more content on the way!

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Legends of Runeterra Best Decks: Aggro, Midrange, and Control https://www.gameskinny.com/vj9yh/legends-of-runeterra-best-decks-aggro-midrange-and-control https://www.gameskinny.com/vj9yh/legends-of-runeterra-best-decks-aggro-midrange-and-control Mon, 27 Jan 2020 11:00:55 -0500 Sergey_3847

Legends of Runeterra, a new free-to-play card game from Riot Gamesbased on League of Legends characters, has entered open beta. Naturally, players are already wanting to know which decks are the best decks. 

Each Runeterra deck consists of three card types: champions, units, and spells. Champions are very powerful unit cards that can level up. Units are minions with or without abilities. And spells are helpful magical tools that can be cast during various stages of the match-up.

Below you will find three of the best decks dominating the current Legends of Runeterra meta. These fit into three classical deck archetypes: aggro, midrange, and control.

Best Aggro Deck: Lucian and Hecarim

Champions
Units Spells
3x Lucian 3x Soul Shepherd 3x Fading Memories
3x Hecarim 2x Silverwing Vanguard 1x Radiant Strike
 - 2x Ravenous Butcher 3x Haunted Relic
 - 3x Cursed Keeper 3x Remembrance
 - 2x Fleetfeather Tracker 1x Vile Feast
 - 3x Shark Chariot 2x Back to Back
 - 3x Vanguard Redeemer 3x Glimpse Beyond

 

Deck code: CEBAGAIAGYQRMBYBAUXSUFIHGALTCAQBAECQWAYBAAOSSBACAEAQKKABAEABE

This aggro deck has a progressive plan that you can use to win games almost automatically.

         

Usually, you want to start with Shark Chariot and cast a copy of Fading Memories on it. This will force Shark Chariot to return and attack for another 3 damage.

Then, you can play Soul Shepherd with Haunted Relic and attack with three 2/2 spirits. This combo is especially strong early in the game, when there are not that many blockers.

         

Lucian should be your first champion. When you have at least eight other allies dead, play Hecarim and level it up. When you're out of cards, use Glimpse Beyond and Vanguard Redeemer for draw.

Best Midrange Deck: Elise's Spiderlings

Champions
Units Spells
3x Elise 2x Ravenous Butcher 3x Crawling Sensation
 - 3x Hapless Aristocrat 3x Black Spear
 - 2x Dawnspeakers 3x Glimpse Beyond
 - 3x Chronicler of Ruin  3x Vile Feast
 - 1x Frenzied Skitterer  -
 - 3x Back to Back  -
 - 3x Fleetfeather Tracker  -
 - 3x Cursed Keeper  -
 - 3x Vanguard Redeemer  -
 - 2x Rhasa the Sunderer  -

 

Deck code:

CEBAGAIAGYOSSCABAUUCAKZCEQYDKMICAEAQAHYCAECSGCYBAEAQKOA

The centerpiece of this deck is its champion: the fearsome Elise. Level her quickly, play Hapless Aristocrat and Crawling Sensation. Both are very cheap and summon the required number of spiderlings.

         

Then play Elise alongside Frenzied Skitterer. It not only buffs your spiderlings, but it also reduces the attack power of the blocking units. Use Black Spear and Rhasa the Sunderer to remove unwanted blockers. 

When the path is clear, you can attack the opponent with all your spiderlings for one victorious blow.

         

Best Control Deck: Frostbite Drain

Champions
Units Spells
- 3x Hapless Aristocrat 2x Black Spear
 - 3x Babbling Bjerg 3x Vile Feast
 - 1x Commander Ledros 2x Harsh Winds
 - 2x Warden's Prey 3x Glimpse Beyond
 - 2x Scribe of Sorrows 2x Grasp of the Undying
 - 3x Rhasa the Sunderer 2x The Ruination
 - 3x Avarosan Sentry 3x Avalanche
 - 3x Icevale Archer 1x Withering Wail
 -   2x Vengeance

 

Deck code:

CEBAIAIBAMDQWFAEAECSQIZLGEBACAIBFIDACBIPDI3ACIQSAEBACBI5EE

This control deck doesn't rely on any champions, because it doesn't need to. It has a solid number of removal spells, such as Avalanche, Vengeance, and The Ruination. It comes with several useful smaller units to play early in the game, and a few big ones that can really impact the outcome of the match-up.

         

For example, Commander Ledros removes half of the life points from the enemy Nexus, which allows you to kill your opponent much faster. At the same time, you can heal your own Nexus with the help of Drain spells, such as Grasp of the Undying and Withering Wail.

         

Altogether these cards make up one of the most devastating decks in the current Legends of Runeterra meta. So keep an eye out on it, if you can afford it.

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These were the best decks in the Legends of Runeterra open beta. As the game evolves, we will look at other deck combinations. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on T as it becomes available. 

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