Legends of Runeterra: 5 important gameplay tips for beginners

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

Make the strongest possible start to your Legends of Runeterra journey with these 5 important gameplay tips for beginners guiding you along the way.

Starting off in a new game is always difficult, especially when that game is as complicated and detailed as Legends of Runeterra. In terms of game genres, card games are one of the toughest to pick up and challenging to master, so it’s essential that you develop your knowledge of the game from the very start using advice from pros, guides, and these 5 tips.

First of all, you may want to visit some of our earlier guides if you’re a complete Legends of Runeterra novice, the most important of which being “How to get started”. Then, read “How to master the basics” as this will go hand in hand with our 5 important gameplay tips.

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Finally, you should be ready to play game after game and defeat enemy after enemy in both PvP and AI games. Be sure to carefully curate your first-ever Legends of Runeterra deck and practice against bots until you feel comfortable with your gameplay.

It’s important to make a mental note of these 5 tips and use them throughout your time on Legends of Runeterra as they’ll be helpful whether you’re facing the AI or at the very top of the ranked ladder.

1) Focus on gaining an advantage in the early rounds

At the very beginning of your Legends of Runeterra career, it would be wise to avoid crafting strictly late game decks or specialized compositions until you’ve learned more about the game and mastered the basic mechanics. Instead, you should build basic decks filled with cards that you understand fully and can use well together.

As a result, you will be playing as standard as possible and it is essential that you use the early rounds to gain an advantage over your opponent. This does not necessarily mean damaging their Nexus or having more cards on the board, but rather having the upper hand before heading towards the vital mid game stages.

Therefore, when you’re offered the opportunity to replace your opening four cards at the start of the game, be sure to shift the available cards in your favor by grabbing as many 1-3 mana cost cards as possible early on, removing any that are above 4 mana.

From there, spend your mana wisely to always have a counter to your opponent’s moves, while also forcing them to take unnecessary damage from your low cost cards. Starting off the game strong forces your opponent onto the back foot and gives you the momentum when pushing into the game-deciding mid game rounds.

2) Play around your champion

When building a deck, selecting your favorite or the most powerful champion is the perfect place to start. When playing with that deck, playing around your champion’s strengths and weaknesses is essential. For example, if you were to pick Jinx, crafting a deck with several Discard mechanics or low cost units will aid in allowing her to Level Up (Jinx Level Up: I see your hand is empty).

When in game, make the most of your high power, high health champion by surrounding them with sacrificial units who can block for them and offer distractions, allowing your main damage source to wreak havoc.

Your champion is your most powerful unit and your win condition in a standard, starter deck, so it is vital that you value them above every other card and focus on utilizing them to win the game.

3) Don’t feel forced to attack or block

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

Possibly the most important gameplay tip in Legends of Runeterra is to avoid losing important cards due to unnecessary attacking or blocking. Take a look at what units are on the board and calculate whether attacking/blocking is likely to destroy your unit before making a decision.

While maintaining a healthy Nexus is the key to victory, sometimes it is worth taking Nexus damage to keep your important units alive. On the other hand, often you can opt not to attack your opponent in order to retain your cards for later rounds when you can deal even more damage or block a powerful enemy unit.

4) Manage your mana carefully

Just like in League of Legends, your mana bar is an important resource and must be used efficiently if you want to come out on top in your matchup. Throughout every Legends of Runeterra game, you will have to make tough choices. Your mana dictates your options and which are the smartest to make.

Is it worth spending all of your mana on a high cost card? Should you summon your champion instead of 4 low cost units? This all depends on how much mana you have available and the situation on the board. React to your opponent’s moves, find intelligent solutions to problems, but most importantly, spend your mana wisely.

5) Don’t dive straight into PvP

Bot games are boring. There are no stakes, no pride in victory, and no real challenge.

Unless you’re a beginner.

If you’re a beginner Legends of Runeterra player, AI games are vital to mastering the basics of the game, learning the intricacies of your deck, and becoming familiar with the enormous number of cards in the game. We all just want to jump straight into PvP games and feel tested, but don’t be afraid to relax against the AI until you’re completely confident with your skill level.

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After mastering the basics and taking a mental note of these 5 gameplay tips, you are ready to dive into PvP and experiment with new decks. Learning the mechanics and nailing them down in your memory is the first step of many to becoming a master Legends of Runeterra player.