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Useful tips for players who want to try out LoR’s draft mode.

It’s been a couple of weeks since Legends of Runeterra (LoR) launched on mobile, but that hasn’t stopped a meta from developing. If you’re getting tired of facing the same old flavor of the week netdecks every time you log on to play ranked, LoR has the solution for you: Expedition mode. In addition to challenging your play skills, this mode tests your deck building capabilities (or lack of) in a fun, not so high stakes mode which rewards you based on your performance.

If you haven’t played it before, Expedition is LoR’s version of the draft mode. Players are presented with random cards (not from their collection) to choose from and assemble a deck. With this new deck, players go up against other opponents with drafted decks of their own.

The aim of the mode is to clock in seven wins before you lose two matches in a row. Each time you start an Expedition, you’ll get two trials. If you lose one trial, you’ll get another chance to start again with a fresh deck and victory count.

Like in the other card games, playing this draft mode costs an entry fee. In LoR it is either 2000 shards, 200 gold, or 1 Expedition token (given to you when you unlock the weekly vault). However, if you win enough games, you’ll make back the equivalent of the entry fee and more.

Expedition mode works a little different from regular matches:

 

The mode starts with players picking one of three sets of cards. Each set contains one Champion and two cards from the same region. From the third pick onwards, players select one of three sets of cards. These sets contain two cards each, based on the regions of the cards selected in the previous rounds. These sets of cards will alternate between Synergy and Wild.

Synergy means that the cards will match any archetypes you have previously picked, and Wild will feature random archetypes that may or may not work well with your existing cards. Wild will allow you to pivot the direction of your deck if you feel that you’ve made suboptimal choices, or add a splash of . For the last pick, you’ll get to trade (from a list of 3 cards) one of your cards for another in the corresponding row.

In this mode you have to win seven matches. Except for the final 7th match, where you’ll only get one chance - each match gives you two chances before you lose the trial.

While this game mode seems like it favors the lucky at first, there’s a lot of skill involved in making the cards you have available work for your deck. After each match, you’ll also get the opportunity to adjust your deck by making trades or adding champions and extra cards. This allows you to keep making improvements as well as correct any bad cards you might have drafted. Also, like in regular games - you will still need to outplay your opponents, regardless of the deck matchup.

With all that said, here are some tips to help you with your Expedition.

Removal

In these limited deck formats, strong creatures will be the winning conditions for most players. This is because of the limited card pool, there’s no way to guarantee spell combinations to win the game. The next best thing to use are strong creatures to beat your opponent to a pulp.

But what beats strong creatures? Other strong creatures (if you’re willing to sacrifice them) or creature removal spells. Spells that can deal damage, remove creatures from the game, and so on are all very viable in this mode. When your opponent has no creatures, they usually won’t be able to win.

If you aren’t presented with many removal options, be sure to save them for your opponent’s strongest creatures. Keep this in mind when playing as well - your opponents won’t have the answers to everything, but there’s a chance they’re keeping a useful removal spell in their hand for your creatures - try to play around this by baiting with less valuable creatures or responding with other spells.

Creatures

Speaking of creatures, you’re going to want creatures that are hard for your opponent to deal with. Be it creatures with Elusive, Overwhelm, Fearsome, or just high health. When your creatures are hard for your opponents to deal with without making large sacrifices, the game becomes much easier to win.

Creatures can also function as limited removal spells. For example, look at the 5/1 Trifarian Gloryseeker. Once it’s on the board, your opponent has to take 5 damage each attack, or use another creature to stop it. If they lose a creature in the process doing so, the Gloryseeker has basically functioned as a creature removal spell.

Ease of Execution

Pick cards with conditions that are easy to fulfill: if you draft a card that requires you to discard it to be useful, and you don’t find any other cards to help you discard, it’s not going to be very good. Pick cards with conditions such as - when an ally attacks, or when an ally is summoned, or Last Breath, and more. It’ll be easier to make full use of them.

Trying to build a deck around niche conditions is a double-edged sword (Poison Puffcaps anyone?). While you can end up with a very powerful combo deck, it can also trap you into picking suboptimal cards that are weaker overall. Be wary of this and only commit to a strategy if you’ve got a lot of good cards to execute it.

With all that being said, if a card is strong regardless of its condition, draft it anyway. For example, Devourer of the Depths - 6 mana for a 4/4 with a free removal spell attached is decent, even without its Deep bonus. Once your library thins out, it becomes even stronger.

Mana Curve

Take note of your mana costs. There’s no point having a deck full of powerful 6+ mana creatures if you can’t do anything from turns 1-5 - you might be dead by then. Having a good curve, with more spells around the 3-4 mana mark will make your deck easier to play. Being able to drop a threat 5 rounds in a row is probably better than one large threat that may or may not be immediately dealt with on round 6.

Burst and Fast spells

Burst and fast spells can be very useful. Utilize them to preserve your more powerful creatures during combat, wipe out opponent’s strong creatures, or to deal finishing blows with unblocked attackers.

Starting with a good hand

Mulligan well - you don’t want your 6 mana card in your opening hand if possible. Start with a good number of castable threats. There’s no worse feeling than not having a card to play while your opponent drops a new creature four rounds in a row.

Be wary of your Nexus

Take note of your life total when it starts dropping - you never know when a Decimate might be flying to your head the following round!

Have some faith

Never give up. Each round gets you closer to a chance of you drawing the card you need to turn things around. When you’re struggling in a game, do your best to stay alive for that topdeck moment. You never know, it might be just around the corner!


There’s a lot more to discover in Expedition mode and we hope this guide will help you kickstart that journey. Stay tuned for more Legends of Runeterra content on eGG Network!

Key tips for LoR beginners with experience in other card games.

Legends of Runeterra (LoR) might be one of Riot’s latest games but it’s definitely not the first of its kind. In the past couple of weeks playing the game, we couldn’t help but pick up the similarities and differences between it and other card games - namely Hearthstone (HS) and Magic: The Gathering (MTG). While all three games have their own pros and cons, this article isn’t about which game is better. Instead, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide for people who may have experience in Hearthstone or MTG, and how they can translate that knowledge over to LoR. Pack your decks, and let's head on our journey to Runeterra!

Turns… and Rounds

Let's start off with the obvious: throw out all you know about turns, because LoR does things very differently. First of all, each player’s turn is called a round, and in each round, players take turns casting spells or summoning creatures. Yes, you read that right - both players can play spells or creatures in the same round, as though it was their own ‘turn’ in other card games. Casting a spell will allow your opponent to respond unless you’re casting an uninterruptible spell (more on that later).

Each round also refills the mana and increases it by one for both players, while giving them a card to draw. This unique round-based system makes LoR feel like a faster-paced game compared to HS or MTG.

The only difference between what players can do in a round is indicated by the Attack Token (the floating sword on the right side of the screen), which signifies if that player can attack. The Attack token alternates between both players, with the first player chosen at random. As usual, there are certain cards that grant players the attacking token even when it’s not their turn.

When both players pass their turns - by not performing any actions (due to lack of mana, not having cards to play, or just strategy), the current round ends and the next round begins.

Having these ‘simultaneous’ turn-based rounds means that players can prepare their boards in advance, such as summoning creatures the round before getting the Attack Token, and summoning even more creatures the next round to stack your damage output.

Also, unlike HS or MTG, creatures in this game don’t have ‘Summoning Sickness’ or ‘Exhaustion’ (the inability to attack the turn they are summoned). As long as you have the Attack Token, you can attack with all of your creatures on that round. In your head, you can think of all creatures having 'Charge' (HS) or 'Haste' (MTG).

Creatures and Combat

There are two types of creature cards in LoR - Followers and Champions. They function similarly in the game with the main differences being all Champions having the ability to ‘Level Up’ to become stronger creatures. Because Champions generally have more powerful effects on the game, you can only have one copy of a Champion in play at the same time - if you have another copy in your hand, it turns into that Champion’s spell instead, and you are limited to a maximum of 6 Champions per deck (and 3 per single Champion).

LoR is similar to MTG in the sense that you can only attack your opponent. It is up to defenders to decide on blockers, if any at all. However, unlike MTG, LoR doesn’t allow multiple units to block a single attacker.

Similar to HS, creatures don’t ‘Tap’ when attacking (unlike MTG). Creatures are always ready for combat even if they attacked previously (as though they had ‘Vigilance’) - you don’t have to hold creatures back from attacking if you need blockers the following round. This means you should always be attacking whenever it’s possible and favorable - to maximize the amount of damage you can inflict upon your opponent.

Like HS, damage to your creatures and creatures persist from round to round. They don’t heal unless they have the keyword - Regeneration or are affected by healing spells or abilities. However, returning them to their player’s hand resets the damage they’ve taken. The positioning of your creatures also matters in this game - for example, there are creatures that only buff other creatures to their right in combat.

One thing to note about combat: you can’t cast any spells (even if they are ‘fast’ or ‘burst’) if your opponent passes after declaring your attackers. This quirk caught us off guard during our first few LoR matches, and while it makes sense in terms of gameplay flow, it’s disappointing that you can’t buff your creatures to deal a killing blow when your opponent decides not to block.

Players also cannot respond to creatures being summoned - so if there are creatures already in play with powerful effects when other creatures are summoned, try to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Spells

Speaking of spells, there are three types of spells in Runeterra, each with different speeds: Slow spells are like ‘Sorcery’ spells in MTG - you can only cast them out of combat. Fast spells are similar to ‘Instant’ spells in MTG - they can be cast in and out of combat and can be responded to by other Fast spells. Burst spells are the equivalent of MTG’s ‘Split Second’ spells - they can be cast in and out of combat, and can not be responded to, so they will always resolve before your opponent can react. The spell system here is more complex than HS and simpler than MTG, but the on screen indicators do a good job of breaking things down for players.

You can store up to 3 unspent mana every round - this mana can only be used to cast spells and not summon creatures.

Since your mana replenishes every round, it makes sense to spend all of it before each round ends. You’ll even get a fresh pool of mana if you want to respond to spells the following round.

Similar to HS, LoR has a lot of unique elements not found in MTG. For example, the ability to put into your deck or hand cards not present in the deck, as well as the ability to affect cards that aren’t in play yet (i.e. lowering their mana cost or even buffing their stats). And because it is a digital card game, all this is done automatically, with all the changes shown on screen. It also has its fair share of luck in the game, like HS. Whether or not this is better than ‘mana screw’ or ‘mana flood’ in MTG, that’s for you to decide.


While this isn’t the most exhaustive beginner’s guide to LoR, we hope that it can help HS and MTG players with the transition to Riot’s card game. Stay tuned to eGG Network for more articles and coverage on Legends of Runeterra!

The wait to dive into Runterra is finally over.

Riot Games’ collectible card game based on the League of Legends universe, Legends of Runeterra (LoR), is now officially released. Announced late last year and available as a closed beta earlier this year, the company has pushed out version 1.0 of the game with a brand new expansion (Rising Tides) to boot. For those of you out of the loop, what is LoR?

LoR is a digital collectible card game, where players collect different kinds of cards to build decks and duke it out on a battlefield. In essence, the game involves players taking turns to cast spells and summon minions or champions, with the goal of reducing their opponents’ Nexus health to zero. However, it gets a lot more nuanced than that, thanks to the hundreds of cards available (with the new expansion adding 100+ more to the fray!).

While Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering players will feel right at home playing the game, LoR is also accessible for those who are new to the genre. Mechanics are easy to pick up and well-defined on the cards (hover your mouse cursor or hold your finger on text to read rule meanings) so you can learn the game through playthroughs instead of memorizing rulebooks. It also features in-depth tutorials consisting of bite-sized scenarios to help you understand the flow of a regular match.

LoR has a generous progression system that allows players to easily increase their card collection. All cards are unlocked through gameplay, and you can even narrow down the rewards by choosing a faction you want to play for (this can be switched at any time). But like with other free to play games, you can also spend money to speed up the process. If you prefer drafting and creating new decks on the fly, LoR’s Expedition Mode has got you covered.

For fans of collectible card games and/or League of Legends lore, LoR is a breath of fresh air in the genre. It’s also free to play with cross-platform support, so you'll be able to maintain your account progress on multiple devices.

As a launch exclusive, players who log into LoR before 3pm on 8 May will receive a Moonstruck Poro Guardian to decorate their board. LoR is available now for PC, Android and iOS.

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