Legends of Runeterra Guide: How to master the basics

Legends of Runeterra. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games.
Legends of Runeterra. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

Legends of Runeterra has officially launched and new players are flocking to the game and starting their journey. Here is our Legends of Runeterra guide to mastering the basics before heading into PvP games.

It’s been just under a week since Legends of Runeterra celebrated its launch day and the full game became available on PC and mobile devices. If you’re looking to get started, then this Legends of Runeterra guide to mastering the basics is perfect for you!

However, if you’re still unsure as to whether Legends of Runeterra is the game for you, check out these 5 reasons why you should start playing Riot’s card game right now. Once you’ve been convinced by that, check out this guide on how to get started.

Before you can jump into Player v Player action, you’ll need to complete the tutorial in which you’ll learn everything you need to know about the basics of Legends of Runeterra. If you didn’t pay any attention to the tutorial or need a recap, here’s our Legends of Runeterra guide to mastering the basics.

Utilize AI games to master these 7 key aspects of Legends of Runeterra before heading into PvP.

Legends of Runeterra.
Legends of Runeterra. Photo Courtesy of Riot Games. /

How to win

It really doesn’t get any more basic than this. How do you win a game of Legends of Runeterra?

Both players begin the game with 20 Nexus Health and in order to claim victory, you must reduce your opponent’s Nexus Health to 0. It’s a lot harder than it sounds though, as you’ll have to draw cards, summon cards, destroy your opponent’s cards, and make quick decisions to secure the win.


In that case, how do you attack the enemy Nexus? Well, in order to attack you must summon a card from your hand and place them onto the board during your attacking phase. Your opponent then has the option to block your attacker, but if they choose not to, you will attack the enemy Nexus directly.

If your opponent does choose to block you, the two cards will face off on the board and the card that comes out on top is determined by the Power and Health stats of both cards.

The Power stat is the number on the bottom left of a card, and this represents how much damage that card will inflict on its opponent. The Health stat is the number on the bottom right of a card, and this represents how much damage that card can take before it is destroyed.


Champions are the strongest cards in Legends of Runeterra, not only because they usually have greater Power and Health stats than Follower cards, but because they can Level Up if certain conditions are met.

For example, the Jinx champion card will Level Up if the player’s hand is completely empty. When champions Level Up, their stats are increased. In Jinx’s case, her Power increases from 4 to 5 and her Health increases from 3 to 4.

Each Champion card has its own “special” spell that will replace duplicate Champion cards if that Champion is summoned onto the board. Jinx’s special spell is Get Excited! which deals 3 damage to anything on the board when you discard 1 card. Upon using Get Excited!, one Jinx card is shuffled into your deck, which is the same for any Champion and their special spell in Legends of Runeterra.

Due to the fact that Champion cards are so powerful, players are limited to just 6 Champion cards in their 40 card deck. On top of that, only one Champion card of its kind can be on your side of the board at any time. You can’t summon 2 Jinxes!


The opposite of attacking is blocking, a skill you can utilize to negate your opponents attacks on your Nexus and potentially remove some of their cards from the board.

In your defensive turn, you have the opportunity to block your opponent’s attack after they have placed their cards on the board. You can pick which of your previously summoned cards will block the oncoming attack, so be sure to match them in a way that does the least damage to your cards/Nexus and the most damage to your opponent.

To do this, block with cards that have enough Power to destroy the opponents cards while also having enough Health to survive the attack.


Followers are like Champions, but much weaker and you can have several of the same Follower on the board at once; these cards will be your main source of damage throughout your Legends of Runeterra journey. Some Followers will have special mechanics that allow them to influence the board in some way when played, summoned, or destroyed.

Once again, check the bottom left of the card for the Follower’s Power and the bottom right for its Health. Each deck is limited to 3 duplicates of a single Follower.


The resource used to cast spells and summon cards is Mana. At the beginning of the game you have 1 mana and this increases by 1 every round to a maximum of 10. At the end of each round, your Mana “bar” will refill.

Every unit and spell in Legends of Runeterra has a mana cost located in the top left corner of the card, this number is how much it costs to summon the unit or cast the spell from your hand. Unit cards can only be played with normal mana, but Spells can use Spell Mana which can be located below your normal mana bar.

If you end a round without spending all your mana, you will receive 1 Spell Mana which can be spent in the following rounds on Spells. You can store a maximum of 3 Spell Mana at any time.


Outside of units, Spells are the only remaining card types in Legends of Runeterra. Instead of being summoned, Spells are played directly from your hand and their action effects the board either instantly (Burst Spells) or after allowing your opponent to respond (Fast and Slow Spells).

Burst Spells can be cast instantly at any point during your turn and do not allow your opponent to react.

Fast Spells can be played at any point during your turn and your opponent can react with their own spells.

Slow Spells can be played outside of combat during your turn, only when not reacting to an enemy spell, and your opponent can respond. Unlike the other Spell types, only one Slow Spell can be played at a time.

dark. Next. How to get started and win your first LoR battles

New players are jumping on the Legends of Runeterra hype train right now to challenge the very best in Riot Games’ new card game. Get the better of them by mastering the basics and improving your game knowledge with this Legends of Runeterra guide.