Legends of Runeterra Guide: How to build your first deck

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

Building your first deck can be a daunting and intimidating task, but it will be a walk in the park if you follow the guidelines set out in this Legends of Runeterra guide to deck-building.

You’ve hopped on the hype train after last week’s launch, completed the tutorial, and are finally ready to create your very first deck. This Legends of Runeterra guide will tell you exactly what you need to know about crafting a deck and fine-tuning it to find easy victories.

Of course, if you’re still put off by the idea of scouring through all the available units and spells to create your own deck, don’t worry about it. Head into AI games, use the premade decks the game has to offer, and follow our Legends of Runeterra guide to mastering the basics.

That being said, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t fully prepared to carefully curate your first-ever Legends of Runeterra deck, so let’s get started.

Having a strong deck with a clear playstyle based around your preferred champion is the first step to becoming a skilled Legends of Runeterra player.

Upon completing the tutorial, winning a few AI games, and claiming your second prologue reward, you’ll finally be given access to your Collection where you can browse every deck, card, and cosmetic you own. The game has kindly provided you with 3 premade decks for if you’re not prepared to build your own yet, so feel free to use those in battle if you’re not up to the task.

To create your own, personal deck, press NEW DECK in the bottom left of the Collection menu and you’ll be taken to the deck builder which contains every card you own. Simply left-click on cards to add them to your deck until you reach the magic number 40.

When looking through your cards, right-click them for more information and hover over highlighted keywords to further understand the mechanics of your units and spells.

What are the rules?

Each deck is made up of exactly 40 cards. You are restricted to a maximum of 6 champion cards and the remainder of the deck is made up of units and spells. You can have 3 duplicates of any card in your deck and it is recommended that you use this as an opportunity to ensure your important cards are drawn to your hand as often and early as possible.

Every card comes from 1 of 7 Runeterra regions:

  • Bilgewater
  • Demacia
  • Freljord
  • Ionia
  • Noxus
  • Piltover & Zaun
  • Shadow Isles

Each region contains 5 champions and you can have a maximum of 2 regions in your deck. If you’d prefer to only use 1 region that is fine but using 2 regions allows you to diversify your playstyle and include a wider range of cards.

How to build your first deck

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

Start off by choosing the champion or region you would like to build your deck around. It’s a bit too early in your Legends of Runeterra journey to understand what each region specializes in and how they impact your playstyle, so it would be far more sensible to just choose your favorite champion/region based on the lore.

It’s important to remember that whatever champion you choose will be the backbone of your deck, so picking units and spells that synergize well with that champion is vital. For example, Jinx levels up when your hand is empty, so you should capitalize on this by grabbing Piltover & Zaun spells and units that use the discard mechanic to create excellent synergy.

One of the most important aspects of building a deck is maintaining a good balance of mana costs through your units and spells. As you develop your skillset and build more specialized decks, you can focus on having a low mana or high mana deck, but for right now you should have a very balanced deck while you continue to learn the basics of the game.

Maintaining a mana cost balance in your deck is all about ensuring you’re not filling up with 9-10 cost cards and are focused mainly on 1-4 cost cards as these will have the biggest impact on the game. It’s good to have a spread of mana costs from low to high, but as games are usually decided early on, and you don’t want to waste your opening turns, it is essential that you have a large number of low-cost cards in your deck.

However, the number one piece of advice for players crafting their first-ever deck is to practice. Pick 40 cards, go into games, and develop your Legends of Runeterra skills.

Building the perfect deck is all about trial and error. If you find some cards are useless, remove them. If you’re being consistently defeated by a certain strategy, find a counter. You’re not going to nail deck-building on your first attempt!

Next. Climbing with Elusives Using no Champions. dark

There are multiple deck templates online for if you’re finding all of this a bit too much and are nervous about the idea of building your deck from scratch.

Head to a site like Mobalytics and scroll through their sample decks until you find one you like, then you can export it straight to your Collection! Copy the export code and press the Import Deck button on your Collection page and it’ll be placed straight into your deck list. If you’re missing some of the cards, they will be highlighted in red and you can craft them with Wildcards or Shards.

However, it is highly recommended that you learn to build your own decks so you can finely-tune your own gameplay, stick to champions you’re familiar with, and become a more well-rounded Legends of Runeterra player!