In Legends of Runeterra, you might be taken by surprise with how some of the game’s mechanics work. Here’s a quick run through of some things you’ll need to know.
From Overwhelm to Barrier, things don’t necessarily work as you’d expect them to in Legends of Runeterra, especially if you’re coming into the game from something like Hearthstone. Here’s our guide of things to look out for.
Legends of Runeterra’s Unusual Interactions
Overwhelm is a weird one
When using units with the Overwhelm ability, you’ll want to keep in mind how they interact with enemy blockers.
As the game makes you well aware, Overwhelm lets you deal leftover damage to the enemy Nexus after you kill a blocker. You should keep in mind, however, that Overwhelming units are the only ones who can continue an attack once an enemy blocker has died off. Usually, for example, you can block with a 1/1 Spiderling and use Glimpse Beyond to both stop the incoming damage as well as get a bonus from killing your own unit (shown by the little blue icon that shows up after the unit is killed. However, do that against Tryndamere or another Overwhelm unit, and they’ll hit your Nexus anyway, so be very careful.
Speaking of Tryndamere, when he’s killed off mid-attack, instead of levelling up and returning to the enemy bench, he’ll just hit you even harder than he otherwise would’ve, so you might not want to cast Vengeance on him and just try to tank the hit.
Barrier doesn’t negate Overwhelm damage either - the Nexus will take damage as if the unit got hit for their health total, just without actually dealing the damage to the unit.
’Strike’ works slightly differently to how you might expect.
In order to ‘Strike’ and activate associated effects, cards like Garen and Katarina must hit the enemy and deal damage, according to the effect’s description.
However, you don’t actually need to deal damage. Whilst getting Frostbitten and dropped to 0 attack power means you can’t Strike, hitting an enemy with Barrier does count as a Strike, even though you’re not dealing damage. This is because you’re technically damaging the Barrier and destroying it.
On top of this, Katarina’s Strike effect triggers before she takes any damage, meaning she’s Recalled to your hand before dying thanks to Quick Attack. Don’t be afraid to toss Katarina into a dire situation - you’ll usually get her to survive if you’re on the offensive.
- 1. Deck Tier List - Legends of Runeterra: Deck Tier List
- 2. Best Decks to Try - Legends of Runeterra: Best Decks to Try
- 3. What do all the Keywords mean? - Legends of Runeterra: Keywords guide - What do they mean?
- 4. Best Budget Decks - Legends of Runeterra: Best Budget Decks (January 2020)
- 5. Expeditions guide - Legends of Runeterra: Expeditions guide
Spell casting order is slightly unintuitive
Spells don’t actually cast in the order they’re played. In the spellcasting phase, spells cast after trigger first.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to cast a big spell or skill, like Yone, Windchaser’s Play effect that stuns 2 enemies. Pretty scary stuff - your opponent will struggle to keep you away on board. They whip out a Deny spell to stop the skill from triggering. Still though, you get the chance to fight back against this with a spell of your own like another Deny. You can Deny their Deny and only the initial spell or skill will trigger.
Everything else about spells works as you’d expect. When casting multiple spells on a single turn, Burst will go off immediately, and Fast will trigger before Slow after your enemy has had a chance to react.
You can get extra Champions on board if you’re sneaky
Usually, the game doesn’t like it when you have multiple versions of the same Champion in play at once. Play one, and the other copy in your hand will turn into a spell. However, there are a few ways to cheat out extra versions.
In our Teemo Mushroom deck guide, we’ve got tips on resurrecting Teemo with The Rekindler, who gives you a copy of the strongest Champion who’s died this game. Along with the likes of Mist’s Call, you can give yourself extra copies of Champions through resurrection synergy.
You can also get extra Champions through the likes of Warmother’s Call, which summons a unit from your deck every single round. Because the units never make it to your hand and thus don’t transform into spells, late-game control decks can build up enough board presence to win with a bunch of scary Tryndameres, for example.
How does Rally work?
Rally wasn’t in the preview patches for Legends of Runeterra. It’s previously been worded as ‘Ready your Attack’. Rally has the same general effect now we’re in the open beta, giving you an attack token if you haven’t already got one available.
Remember though - it doesn’t stack with itself. If you already have an attack token, maybe hit your enemy first before playing out your upgraded Katarina.
Champion cards stay levelled up, even if they die
If you get a Champion levelled up in your deck and they’re killed, don’t worry. Draw another copy and they’ll keep their boosts, even if they have one of the more difficult-to-accomplish level up conditions.
For example, only one Heimerdinger needs to see you summon 12 Power of turrets. The same copy of him needs to see all 12 power, so if it dies before it levels up you’ll have to start all the way from 0. Upgrade one though, and all your others will be upgraded.
Be wary of Double Attack
Don’t let a double-attacking unit hit you directly in the Nexus! If an enemy Lucian or Senna manages to rank up against you, try to block it with anything possible, as the Double Attack will hit you in the Nexus twice.
Slightly unintuitively though, if you block the first attack, the second does not go through and hit the Nexus. You can only hit the same target twice, unless you give your Double Attack unit Overwhelm.
Champions can level up in the middle of attacking animations
When Champions are about to attack and have their upgrade condition satisfied, they can level up before their attack goes off.
For example, if Darius is waiting to strike the enemy, and another unit takes your foe’s Nexus health below 10 while attacking, Darius will become a 10/5 before his attack goes off. The same is true with all Champions who can upgrade mid-phase, including Tryndamere, when killed, and Garen, when Striking.
Recall forces enemies to double up on mana spending and lose buffs
Recall is a handy effect to have, especially if your enemy has a bunch of big units on board. They’ll have to replay them, costing a truckload of mana and turn time. Also, they’ll lose out on buffs put onto units, so if you were facing a big, beefy Zed, they’ll be sent back at their base stats.
Be careful though - Recalling enemy units lets them gain Play effects once more, so don’t Recall something like Rhasa the Sunderer, with its powerful on-play impact.
That’s all for our interactions guide for Legends of Runeterra! We’ve got much more for you to get your teeth into now though - check out our Best Decks page, as well as our Expeditions guide for help on getting those big streaks.