Riot Games announced a brand new digital card game set in the League of Legends universe last night, as part of the 10 year anniversary of the most popular MOBA on the planet. That game is Legends of Runeterra, and it’s got some key differences that set it apart from other digital card games like Hearthstone.
Champions Become Legends
With League of Legends already having a wealth of Champions to choose from, it only made sense for Riot Games to translate those over to Legends of Runeterra as the Legends themselves. Other digital card games such as Gwent have characters from the series they’re based on as cards in, Geralt for example. However, the Champions of League of Legends each have their own gear sets and abilities, meaning that a lot of what can be found in the popular MOBA is now part of this spin-off card game.
Within matches, Legends can be levelled up and become stronger, but that will only happen when the right opportunity presents itself. This is almost certainly based on the mechanic of levelling up within each match of League of Legends, adding abilities to a champion as you do so. This mechanic feels fresh in the digital card game genre, and adds a layer of complexity that could become the focus of multiple decks.
Instead of card types, such as monsters, humans, and magic, in Legends of Runeterra you have regions. Each Legend is associated with their own region, and the cards from that region are the people who have pledged to help that Legend. Players will be able to combine regions in order to create unique combinations of cards, and all of this is steeped in a new world built for Runeterra.
Each Round Sees Both Players Use Cards
Most digital card games stick to the format of one player placing cards at a time. In Runeterra however, both players will be using cards in each round. For every round of a match, players will either be playing in offence, or defence. If your opponent places a Legend, you can do so too, but if they don’t, then you’re stuck doing nothing as well. This unique way of playing rounds is sure to add even more strategy to the way Runeterra is played.
This even extends to how players plan attacks. It may make more sense to attack with the cards you have first, rather than place more cards and allow your opponent to build a defence for the attack you were saving for the end of your turn.
While the details on this are pretty light right now, it seems as though players can look into the future at possible outcomes for their moves. If a player isn’t sure about placing a card, they can use Oracle’s Eye to see a forecast of the future, which may or may not be that accurate given how the enemy player will react. This is yet another new mechanic that will make strategy the heart of the game.
A Card Game To Watch
Runeterra is set to change the way we play digital card games in a number of ways, but it still has all the same aspects you’d expect to find in one. For example, there is a ranked multiplayer mode where players can earn rare rewards, and an in-game currency that will allow players to purchase the cards they want from any region.
More unique mechanics are on their way to Runeterra, such as time-limited explorations that will open up new cards for players to use, and a weekly vault mechanic that offers strange new cards up for use. It’s possible to pre-register for Runeterra right now, let us know if you’re looking forward to playing it.