As with any strategy card game, the key to winning and climbing the ranks in Legends of Runeterra is by creating a strong card deck. Your deck should consist of cards that work well together so you can devise an effective attack and defense strategy. This is where building powerful Legends of Runeterra decks is crucial. Whether you’re new to the game or just looking to rank up, it’s always a good idea to look up what’s popular and what other experienced players are using. From there, you can customize your deck on your own.
This guide will help you get a feel of which card combinations work best and for newbies, how to build Legends of Runeterra starter decks.
What Is Legends of Runeterra?
Legends of Runeterra is a digital strategy collectible card game set within the League of Legends’ online battle arena, both developed by Riot Games. It was fully released on April 30 of this year after the game developers launched the beta in October of 2019.
What matters most in this game is your creativity and wit. But half the battle is won if you know how to build the best decks for Legends of Runeterra.
Each deck consists of 40 cards, with every card coming from eight major regions (previously six). We will look at the regions in-depth as we discuss the gameplay and strategy further in the guide. You can have up to six champion cards in each deck and a maximum of three copies per card. “Champions” are powerful cards and if you know how to play them well, they can level up to become even more potent by gaining new abilities to attack your opponent.
When playing Legends of Runeterra, the idea is to build your deck around your choice of Champions. You need to choose “allies” that support your Champions’ abilities so you can deal more damage. So, as you can see, the game is all about making smart picks for your deck because that’s where you will build your strategy around. Building the best Legends of Runeterra decks requires a lot of experimentation and creativity.
How Is It Played?
The game is played on The Board. This is the game’s arena or battlefield. You can customize the appearance of your half of the board by purchasing map skins for better aesthetics. Players take turns to make their moves in each round. One player plays on the attack and the other is on the defense. The attacking player is chosen at random during the first round.
In each round, players draw a card then either play their cards or pass. If both you and your opponent choose to pass, the round immediately ends. Playing cards that use spells will cost you some “Spell Mana,” just like other cards use regular mana. You need to have enough mana points as required by a particular spell card to play it. This is taken from your pool of spell mana — not to be confused with your regular mana pool. If you have unused regular mana remaining toward the end of your turn, this will be converted into spell mana but only up to a maximum of three.
During your turn, you move your “unit” cards from your bench to the battlefield (the board) and if you have units on the board while holding the attack token, it will trigger an attack. Your opponent can then plan their defense. If they don’t have enough strong units to defend, it will cause damage to their nexus health.
So, what are the units? A unit can either be a Follower card or a Champion card. Followers can represent either a character, location, or object from the Runeterra realm.
Each player can only hold up to 10 cards on hand. You can keep six units on your bench and place six units on the board. If you exceed this limit, some of your cards will be destroyed.
If neither you nor your opponent has won after 40 rounds, the game ends with a tie.
Legends of Runeterra Features
Legends of Runeterra has several in-game features that make gameplay super fun and immersive. But first off, the best of the best:
One of the best features of Legends of Runeterra is that you can combine regions to conquer. This is where the eight regions mentioned above come in. We will also explore some of the other cool features of the game below.
To maximize your Legends of Runeterra decks during gameplay, it’s important to understand each region and its style so you can combine them accordingly. This makes the Legends of Runeterra game even more interesting and challenging.
The eight major regions are Shadow Isles, Ionia, Targon, Bilgewater, Piltover & Zaun, Demacia, Noxus, and Freljord.
Each of these regions features a unique strategy and style. As we list the best Legends of Runeterra decks later in the guide, you will notice that they usually contain cards from two different regions. Of course, you can always choose to play strictly from one region, but this gives you a terrible disadvantage. You will have difficulty attacking and defending especially if your opponent has developed a sophisticated strategy with a combined deck.
As a beginner, you start off by exploring one region of your choice. As you begin exploring other regions, you unlock more interesting cards to add to your deck. The seriously fun stuff begins when you grow your collection of new allies, champions, and units. You can then build multiple decks.
Another feature of the game is that every week, a player can unlock one chest from the Vault. What can you expect to find from these chests? Oh, the infinite possibilities! You can get plenty, from common cards to very rare and powerful ones. This is just one simple and, not to mention, free way to grow your collection to build multiple Legends of Runeterra decks.
Players can also occasionally get wildcards, and unlike most card games, Legends of Runeterra wildcards can be turned into anything! You don’t need to guess or fear that you will get some useless card. As you level up, your chances of getting rarer and more powerful cards to increase.
In-Game Purchases: Buy Only What You Need
Again, this particular feature is unique from other strategy card games out there. Buying a set of cards, as in most digital card games, only to find out that you’ve gotten quite a number of redundant or weak cards can be so frustrating! This is not the case with Legends of Runeterra. With the ability to purchase only the cards that you want, it will be easier to build and customize your Legends of Runeterra decks.
Excellent Graphics, Sound Effects, and Animation
It’s not just your typical card game. The game has been designed with high-quality graphics and animation. You don’t just place your cards down and wait for stats to appear on the screen. Watch the battle come to life in every round! You will see the cards move on the board as you attack your opponent, complete with fascinating animatics and sound effects. You will even see and hear the characters in the cards speak and taunt as if you’re playing a full RPG.
Face-Off: Play With Friends
You can also play and challenge your friends within the game. All you need is to add each other using your handles or usernames.
These are just some of the best features of the game. There is plenty more to discover as you explore and rank up.
How to Get Legends of Runeterra on Android and iOS?
To play Legends of Runeterra, all you have to do is download it directly to your mobile device either from the App Store or Play Store. These steps apply to both mobile phones and tablets. Here’s how:
The game is free to download from the App Store. All you have to do is search for “Legends of Runeterra,” tap on Get and enter your Apple ID credentials for the download to start. Once the installation is finished, you will see that the pink icon with the label “LoR” on your home screen.
The size of the app is 438.8 MB so make sure you have enough storage space for it. Your iPhone or iPad needs to be updated to iOS 13 or later.
Make sure that you are logged in with the Google account associated with your Android device. In the Google Play Store app, search for “Legends of Runeterra” and tap on the “Install” button.
The size of the app for Android devices is 85 MB, and your device must be running on version 5.0 or above.
How to Build a Deck on Legends of Runeterra?
Now we get to the serious business: building your Legends of Runeterra decks. This guide will walk you through, from the basics to the more advanced deck-building strategies.
As mentioned above, there are eight regions in the game from where you can start. A deck consists of 40 cards with a maximum of six Champions allowed in each deck.
Pro Tip: to build the best Legends of Runeterra decks, you want to focus on the Champions and their unique abilities rather than from which region they came.
If you are a beginner and are still learning the ropes, pick a region that you like and a Champion from that region. This will be the backbone of your deck, and all strategies will revolve around it. Alternatively, you can decide on a theme or archetype to build your deck around. A theme or an archetype can be something like a Back Alley or an Aggro deck.
Since starting from a region is pretty self-explanatory, let’s look at how you might want to build an Aggro deck.
Picking & Knowing a Strategy
Decide on a strategy. Do you want to pack your deck with minions? Do you want to build a strategy based on spells? Pick your cards based on those. You should also consider the cost of the deck you are building. So, if you are starting on a low budget, then you might want to hold off on the more sophisticated decks until you have collected more powerful cards.
Next, determine the weaknesses of your deck and chosen cards. For an Aggro deck, for example, you need to remember that the longer the game runs, the fewer chances you have of winning. This means you need to pick cards that give you a big advantage early on in the game, but you also need to include cards that will help you last through the later stages.
Tools You Can Use When Building Decks
If you want to try your luck with a deck-building tool, some sites can help you do that. It’s only normal to feel overwhelmed when deciding which cards to pick when you’re starting. After all, Legends of Runeterra has so many cards that it can be confusing, especially for beginners.
RuneterraFire’s Deck Builder is a good example. This tool will create an ideal deck for the play style that you want. It will also pick cards for you based on your mana curve. The tool is simple but smart because it also balances your Legends of Runeterra decks in such a way that you will have enough spell cards and follower cards to increase your odds of winning.
If you already have a deck in mind but are unsure exactly which cards you need, you can simply enter a deck code. Within the same site, you can also navigate to the Community Page where you can see decks created by other users. This will give you an idea of how to create your own.
What Are the Best Legends of Runeterra Decks?
Here, we will look at the decks that have been used by experienced players who found them to be really powerful — when played with the correct strategy, of course.
Best Decks for Beginners
Here are the best beginner decks to jump-start your gaming skills on Legends of Runeterra.
Low-Cost Burn Aggro Starter Deck
Here is one of the best Legends of Runeterra starter decks. This deck is sure to help you gain XP faster and collect more cards. Its goal is to deal direct damage to your opponent’s Nexus health so you can win the game as fast as possible. These types of decks are designed for quick gameplay, which usually only last up to five or six rounds. It combines two regions and does not require any champions.
Regions: PnZ (Piltover & Zaun) and Noxus
- Legion Saboteur
- Precious Pet
- Legion Rearguard
- Legion Granadier
- Crimson Disciple
- Boomcrew Rookie
- Imperial Demolitionist
- Used Cask Salesman
- Mystic Shot
- Get Excited!
- Noxian Fervor
- Statikk Shock
Zed Aggro Deck
This Legends of Runeterra starter deck is built around the Champion, Zed from the Iona region. Your goal when using this deck is to overwhelm your opponent by using creature cards.
Champions: 3 Zeds
- 3 Cithria of Cloudfield
- Vanguard Defender (3 copies)
- 3 Fleetfeather Tracker
- Battlesmith (3 copies)
- 3 Dawnspeakers
- 2 Laurent Protege
- 3 Vanguard Redeemer
- 2 Vanguard Sergeant
- 3 Silverwing Vanguard
- 3 Vanguard Bannerman
- Vanguard Squire (3 copies)
- 1 Radiant Strike
- 2 Deny
- 3 Back to Back
Midrange Demacian Beginner Deck
This deck is also often called the Bannermen Deck. It is focused on buffing and using barriers for defense.
- Cithria of Cloudfield
- Fleetfeather Tracker
- War Chefs
- Brightsteel Protector
- Laurent Protege
- Loyal Badgerbear
- Vanguard Bannerman
- Grizzled Ranger
- Radiant Guardian
- Swifting Lancer
- Cithria the Bold
- Citrus Courier
- Ranger’s Resolve
- Single Combat
- Prismatic Barrier
Best Decks for Advanced Players
These are some Legends of Runeterra decks that top players are using to climb up the ranks.
Use this advanced deck to overwhelm your opponent and surprise them with attacking units in every turn. End them mercilessly with Atrocity, dealing 9+ damage! The trick is to ramp up your mana early on in the game, which will make you more and more powerful as the game progresses. It’s a great deck to play Legends of Runeterra against almost any Targon deck.
Regions: Frejlord and Shadow Isles
- Wyrding Stones
- Avarosan Hearthguard
- She Who Wanders
- Troll Chant
- Unspeakable Horror
- Vile Feast
- Catalyst of Aeons
- Grasp of the Undying
- Withering Wall
- The Ruination
- Warmother’s Call
As the name suggests, this thematic Legends of Runeterra deck is composed of mostly creature cards, and the majority of them are from the new region. This deck is great if you want to deal with deep damage quickly with aggression. Timing is important. You want to wait, take it slow, before you hit hard, and save your mana to stay in the game as long as possible.
Regions: Shadow Isles and Bilgewater
- Drag Dadgers
- Hapless Aristocrat
- Thorny Toad
- Deadbloom Wanderer
- Jaull Junters
- Abyssal Eye
- Devourer of the Depths
- Terror of the Tides
- Vile Feast
- Mist’s Call
- Grasp of the Undying
- Withering Wall
Want to annoy your opponent to death? Well, their death in the game, at least. In this Legends of Runeterra deck, the strategy is to take it slow as the other player tries to defeat you in every turn to no avail. It’s a good strategy to frustrate the opponent and then blow a big attack toward the end. The beginning of the gameplay requires you to defend and save your best moves for last.
Regions: Shadow Isles and Frejlord
- Avarosan Sentry
- Babbling Bjerg
- Commander Ledros
- Unspeakable Horror
- Vile Feast
- Catalyst of Aeons
- Withering Wall
- Harsh Winds
- Revitalizing Roar
- The Ruination
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Best Decks
While each of the best Legends of Runeterra decks listed above is sure to give you significantly better chances of winning and ranking up, they do have their disadvantages. It’s important to understand the weaknesses of your decks to craft a strategy that will work in your favor.
We will focus on the advanced decks since these are the Legends of Runeterra decks that you will really use to climb the ladder.
- It deals very high damage in each turn
- There’s a chance for an epic ending/ final winning move
- You become more powerful as the game progresses
- You need to be extra careful with your mana use throughout the game.
- While it’s powerful against Targon decks, you might struggle with other combination decks.
- You get to play exciting cards from the newest region of the game.
- It deals deep damage quickly,
- You need to master perfect timing because you need to move slow and find the perfect opportunity for a heavy attack.
- The learning curve is slightly steep.
- You need lots of patience to execute this deck’s winning strategy.
- If you like longer gameplay, this is the best Legends of Runeterra deck for you. You get to experience more of the action and enjoy the game as long as you can.
- There’s a chance for an epic ending attack.
- You need to resist the urge to go for attacks for most of the game because the strategy involves a lot of defending.
- If you’re the type that prefers quick gameplay, you might find the strategy for this deck dragging.