Legends of Runeterra (LoR) is Riot’s newest CCG.
While we already have a review of the game, we haven’t talked about how much it’s worth as a CCG.
If you want to check out the review and learn how the game is played, check here.
CCGs have various problems which discourage more casual (or free) gamers to play.
The problems are actually amplified in online CCGs.
So, we will tackle those problems now, one by one, and talk about LoR’s place in these problems in general.
Table of Contents
Arguably, one of the biggest problems on online CCGs (and gaming in general) is progression “soft-locked” behind a paywall.
In other words, many CCGs allow players to gain cards and resources for free, but heavily encourage paying to gain more cards. Clash Royale is the best example of this.
LoR takes a place away from all that.
As of the time of this article, Riot announced some changes within the progression system, and the main gist of it that they allow for payers to complete their collection overnight, which was not possible before.
This does seem like a step in the wrong direction, but truth be told, it’s very easy to gain a full collection in the time that Riot intends to release new content through expansions.
The cadence will probably be around 3-4 months for each expansion, and I don’t think you need more than that to have at least 85% of the collection.
Even if you’re really casual and play only for the daily quests, having 50% of the collection is totally possible.
Think of it like any other competitive game that requires you to play a certain amount of games or reach a specific level milestone before you play competitively.
Of course, you can play competitively as soon as you have your first deck.
All in all, LoR is definitely far from being P2W, both due to the above and because of something we will address in the next section.
Closely tied with the above, many CCGs are really imbalanced, with a few cards taking the spotlight and creating a stale meta of 3-4 decks.
Even nerfing these stronger cards, others take the spotlight.
I’m not going to say LoR has perfect balance (there is no such thing after all).
But at least you can build many different decks that are viable.
I recently saw some stats about decks used in really high elo (Diamond Tier for those who know), and players there (who mostly play seriously) played lots of different decks.
There were more than 10 different decks used that were about the same level of power!
Riot has 2 goals that they try to pull in regards to balancing LoR.
The first is that every card in the game has a place in some deck where it performs well, even if it is a niche deck.
The second is that every Champion can realize their dream and have at least 1 deck where they’re viable and strong.
Balance should be no issue, and you will certainly find a deck you like and is viable, even if it’s not meta.
Besides, there is always Riot’s 2 week balancing system, so any real outliers will be nerfed.
This whole balance section also brings us to the next issue at hand:
The scariest word in every CCG, solved by rotating card availability.
LoR doesn’t intend of doing so, nor does Riot want to create a banlist.
I’ll be honest; we don’t know if LoR’s gonna fall victim powercreep, as Riot hasn’t introduced any new content.
Based on their aforementioned goals, it seems impossible to create any serious issue (in regards to powercreep) as for every champion to be able to realize their dream and be viable, old champions have to be just as viable as the new ones.
I will update this section when their new Bilgewater update hits live and share my two cents.
CCGs become stale after a while, mostly due to the genre’s playstyle in general.
That is a serious risk, and it will all depend on you as a player, but a card game that has a huge variety in meta certainly helps against it.
Let me put it this way: in League, you must have a favorite champion, and a bunch of other champions you really like.
I myself like dozens of champions (besides my all-time favorite).
Imagine trying to build a deck for every single one, or even combine some of them!
The choices are endless.
The gameplay also helps as it isn’t the traditional “my turn your turn” CCGs have, rather, each player alternates between attacking and defending, but both players can summon and play spells at all times.
RNG is an issue in all forms of gaming, bite more so in CCGs. Only few genres have more RNG than CCGs.
You just have to accept that there’s always going to be RNG, but I have to say, while I have played many other CCGs (both digital and physical), my defeats in LoR almost always feel like my fault, like I could’ve done more to win, and not a result of RNG.
You can check all my thoughts about RNG here.
LoR is certainly fun, that is for sure.
What I can say for sure as well is that Riot really tries to tackle a lot of the issues that other CCGs have, and is doing so quite well.
If you are a fan of League’s lore, this game will be a fun addition to your list of games.
If you aren’t, and/or are a fan of CCGs, then this is definitely worth a shot.
If you want to get into the world of CCGs and are new/casual, then this game is perfect as you can actually have a good collection without paying, and without needing to grind for endless hours.
Do you agree with my thoughts? Do you have anything to add? If so, just leave a comment down below.
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