Legends of Runeterra: Beginner’s Guide

The long-awaited, free-to-play digital collectible card game (CCG), Legends Of Runeterra, was released on the 29th of April, 2020 by Riot Games. Ever since the open beta version of the game was widely released in January, and received a positive response, the gaming community had been eagerly looking forward to the game’s official release. The League of Legends spin-off has generally received favorable reviews from players and received praise for its innovative and exciting duels. The improvised reward system in the game has been acclaimed as well.

Featuring dynamic turn phases, over 300 cards to collect, and 24 formidable champions, the game is remarkably more complex compared to its contemporaries. Legends of Runeterra offers four different tutorials when you first start playing, but given the immense scope and complexity of the game, it’s understandable that a number of players find it daunting to familiarize themselves with the unique mechanics of the game. Therefore, we are bringing you an all-new beginner’s guide to Legends of Runeterra, to help you understand all the aspects of the game better.

Legends of Runeterra: Beginner's Guide


Legends of Runeterra: Beginner’s Guide

You have a lot to gain by properly going through the first four tutorials that Legends of Runeterra offers you when you first start playing it. Each of those tutorials will introduce you to a specific level-up mechanic of a champion. Apart from this, you will get to know some interesting tidbits of information about each champion, and traded bards between competing champions.

Although these four tutorials obviously will not be covering everything you need to know, playing through them will give you some good first-time experience. You will need it to prepare for playing solo through the game after this point. There are formidable tutorial matches you can play against each of the 24 champions. In that way, their strengths and weaknesses will slowly become apparent to you.


When you go up against AI or real players, you cannot be assured to draw the champion or get a chance to test it out. Therefore, you can look at the tutorial matches as a golden opportunity to observe your valiant heroes get leveled up and take down the enemy Nexus, all in a risk-free environment.

Slow, Fast and Burst Spells

We should first mention that you can only cast spells outside the actual battles. If one player casts a Slow spell, his or her opponent will be able to counter with a Fast or Burst spell. You cannot counter a Slow spell with another Slow spell.

You will be able to cast Fast spells in any phase, even in a combat situation. These spells will give your opponent the ability to counter-attack with a Fast or Burst spell.

Lastly, Burst spells will immediately resolve, depriving your opponent of any opportunity to launch a counter-attack. Also, using a Burst spell will not relinquish your turn to the opponent. Therefore, you can continue to cast spells or summon a unit.

The speed is an important deciding factor to consider when comparing two spells performing the same function. Obviously, it’s advisable to slot the faster of the two spells in your deck. This will give you a significant advantage in gaining the upper hand over your opponents.

Familiarize Yourself With the Keywords

Keywords are extremely important to understand the essential concepts of Legends of Runeterra. You can find these unique effects as a part of the cards’ descriptions. You can also receive them from champions and followers in the game. Right-clicking will fill the screen with the card, and you can check the particular effect for more details.

Given below is a complete list of keywords in the Legends of Runeterra.

  • Allegiance: Any card with this effect will activate if it comes from the same region of Runeterra as the top card of your deck. Regions rather than class or race are the basis of classifying cards in the game. This provides the opportunity for different playstyles even if all cards in the deck belong to the same region.
  • Barrier: This effect neutralizes the damage that would be caused by the next attack. It lasts only for a single turn.
  • Challenger: This will allow you to drag an enemy unit onto the battlefield and concentrate your attacks on the now exposed targets standing at the back. The gameplay in Legends of Runeterra tends to be favorable for defenders, so you can use this effect to wreak some serious havoc upon their defensive tactics.
  • Double Attack: You can use this effect to strike right before and after an attack against its blocker.
  • Enlightened: You receive a max mana gem every turn and, there are also cards that will give you empty mana gems. Once you have obtained 10 max mana gems, the Enlightened effect will be activated.
  • Elusive: Hostile spells and attacks will target characters possessing this effect. But when they are attacking, only other Elusive units will be able to block them.
  • Ephemeral: As a result of this, the unit will die after it attacks or the turn ends.
  • Fearsome: The attacks of characters with this effect are so strong that only enemies with three or more Power will be able to block them.
  • Frostbite: This will set the Power of a unit to zero. You can increase this value using spells or effects, even on the same turn.
  • Lifesteal: If a unit possesses this effect, then the damage dealt by, it will heal the Nexus instead of the card.
  • Nexus Strike: If a unit attacks the Nexus, this effect will be activated. It’s a slightly tricky one because the Nexus cannot be targeted with a direct attack.
  • Overwhelm: When this effect is activated, the Nexus will receive any excess damage caused by the unit.
  • Quick Attack: This will enable you to attack first before your enemy blocks. This, however, will only work during the attack phase and not during blocking. If the Quick Attack manages to take down an enemy, the unit will be spared of any damage. You can use this advantageously to help glass cannons get unscathed through the rage of combat.
  • Slow, Fast, and Burst Spells: These have already been covered above.
  • Support: If you attack with a support unit, this will cause the unit to be buffed towards its right. It will, however, only work when the said unit is attacking.
  • Fleeting: If a card has this effect, it will be discarded from the hand when the round comes to an end. If you don’t want to lose the card, you will have to make sure that you have the mana to spend them.
  • Obliterate: This will completely remove from the game. You cannot revive cards with this effect from the graveyard since they lack their Last Breaths trigger.
  • Rally: Although this wasn’t a keyword initially, it was later considered one since a number of cards possess it. This will help you obtain an attack token if you do not already have one. If this happens after you declare an attack, you will receive another set of attacks during your own turn. If it happens during your enemy’s turn, you will receive a new surprise round of attacks. You can use this for unlimited times during the same turn.
  • Scout: This has been added after the official release of the game. This will help you can an extra attack with Scout units when they attack for the first time, in each round. It can be very helpful if you can arrange for your board to comprise exclusively of Scouts. If not, you can send in their units first to gain the advantages of the effect.
  • Vulnerable: This is another new keyword added after the official launch of Legends of Runeterra. Opposing units will challenge any unit with this effect, and blocking it will be their only choice. You can use this to take down cards that are reluctant to block, such as Elusive units or Heimerdinger.
  • Toss: This is yet another new keyword introduced after the official release of the game. Using this, you can destroy all of the non-Champion cards from the bottom of your deck. It will give you a better chance of finding your Champions. Do be wary, because trying to use it on an empty deck will result in you losing. You can also use this to enable strategies with the latest Shadow Isle champion, Maokai.
  • Plunder: This keyword, too, was introduced after the official release of Legends of Runeterra. If you destroyed the enemy’s Nexus in that very round, this effect would be activated in a card when you play it from hand. Even certain kinds of odd damage, such as Teemo Shrooms activating, can trigger this. You will find it featured mainly in Bilgewater and Freljord. Both combat and effect damage can enable it.
  • Deep: This is the fifth keyword to be introduced after the official launch of the game. You will find it in the depths of Bilgewater. This will enable you to gain +3/+3 if your deck has 15 cards or less. You can synergize with the Toss keyword to play longer games and empty your deck as soon as possible. This will help you utilize these large units and blitz your enemies devastatingly with this tactic. You will still be considered Deep if cards are added to your deck after you activate the requirements.
  • Attune: This is the last of the new keywords added after the official release of Legends of Runeterra. Summoning a card with this effect will refill one spell mana. You will get the opportunity to add more cheap spells if you give your units a comparatively soft rebate after you summon them. You may consider this keyword if you wish to combo more cards together in one turn.

Try to Make the Best Use of Phases

The concept of phases in Legends of Runeterra is rather different than that in other games in this genre. Every round will feature an offensive and defensive player, and multiple turns will be provided to them during that round. Every player can play one card except for Burst spells, after which it will be the opponent’s turn again. The roles are swapped in each round, and that goes on until a Nexus is taken care of.

The back-and-forth nature of the game does now let the turn end just after an attack. Rather, you can summon any units you wish and attack with all kinds of spells until the attacking player uses their attack token. After that, the gameplay continues as before.

This does give you some interesting choices to consider. For example, you can choose to attack straight away during your turn, negating any counterplay from a potentially lethal spell or unit that could block damage. In a similar manner, you can prevent your enemy from making an immediate attack by clearing selected important targets. This will hamper your opponent’s speed as they try to get their own cards into the game.

Well, that’s it for now. We could go on and on about this exciting game, but let us stop here and let you experience it on your own first. We hope our guide proves helpful as you venture out into the adventurous world of Legends of Runeterra. If you have any queries or feedback, feel free to comment down below with your Name and E-mail ID. Likewise, check out our iPhone Tips and TricksPC tips and tricks, and Android Tips and Tricks for more such tips and tricks. We urge you to participate in the $150 giveaway by subscribing to our YouTube Channel. Happy Gaming!

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