Legends of Runeterra was developed by Riot Games and the developers released it as a collectible digital card game. You’ll find the game setup just like what you see in other digital card games. Cards are available to players, and there’s an energy reserve that gets increased at the start of each round. By playing cards and spells the energy gets spent. The game involves players attacking their opponents when it gets to their turn and before the next round, players will have their energy reserve refilled. Unlike the standard way it is being done where each player takes a whole round, Legends of Runeterra employs the dedicated rounds method. In this case, players alternate taking actions.
The game adapts some elements of MOBA, a popular similar game such as its playstyle and character’s abilities. Just like MOBA, the aim of the whole game is for you to build deck, play cards and make sure your opponent hit points go down to zero. The gameplay is like this: Each player selects 40 cards and brings them to the match against an opponent. The player takes a turn to play units on the board, cast spells and choose how to attack or defend.
Legends of Runeterra is a simplified version of Magic: The Gathering and many magic tough rules were stripped down to pave way for a more faster and aggressive duel. One of the missing features in Runeterra is the summoning sickness. By this, champions (freshly placed creatures) have the ability to attack once they are bring summoned and they aren’t tapped out. This makes them able to block and defeat when your opponent launches an attack. What this means is that both sides will have to deal with losses and it is left for the more clever player to bait his opponent.
Things could get complicated but Runterra has a way of helping you out. The Oracle’s Eye is your saving grace, and it gives you a view of the board after a certain attack phase or spell has resolved. Like Magic, you can choose the manner in which your units will block enemy attacks. The ability to respond is typical of Legends of Runeterra; it has a gameplay that mimics conversations between players. You have the opportunity to go back and forth, controlling your unit within a single round and responding to your opponent’s actions. The action and reaction create an avenue for a lot of strategies that aren’t present in other games in this genre.
Challenges are available to make you conversant with the various Champions in the game and how their archetypes work. The challenges open up experiences that give you insights into the various types of card passives and decks. You get to enjoy the story that is behind how various champions contend against each other. The Challenge not only exposes you to mechanical knowledge but also the position of each faction and its representative units in the in-game world. This is not without cinematic effects and more.
While challenges have its place in introducing champions, the explanation of mechanics via card text isn’t exactly obvious. You may understand connecting with stronger cards but separate deck mechanics such as going Scout (allowing a second attack round in a turn but can only happen if you go first) or Deep (where your power cards are based on rapidly drawing and discarding others) aren’t explained in practice.
Rewards are evident in the Legends of Runeterra. Whether you’re picking a previously successful strategy or playing expeditions, the game always has something to reward you to push you to gain more experience. You could get addicted to the game but the time spent can be worth it. How? You reap rewards from the time spent on investing and aiming for your future success. These can come in the form of new cards to toy with or the most avid player coming to the drawing board for more.