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Legends of Runeterra launches this week, adds new set of cards

Play some pirate cards from Bilgewater

Legends of Runeterra card backs Image: Riot Games
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

After three months in open beta, Legends of Runeterra officially launches later this week. Riot Games’ strategy card game based on League of Legends will leave beta on Thursday, April 30. A new patch on Tuesday, April 28, brings with it a new set of cards and Bilgewater, a pirate-themed region. Mobile versions of the card game launch sometime between Tuesday and Thursday.

The new card set, labeled Rising Tides, adds new cards to existing regions as well as adding Bilgewater as its own region. The expansion adds 11 Champions, six keywords, one new cosmetic board, two new cosmetic guardians, one new region, updated region roads for existing regions, new card backs, new emotes, and over 120 new cards.

The new region and keywords promise to shake up the Legends of Runeterra meta. Deep is a new keyword that buffs your card when your deck has fewer than 15 cards left. When attacking with only Scout keyword cards, you can attack again that turn. Enemies can force cards with the Vulnerable keyword to block their attack. Attune cards refill a single mana when you summon them. Cards with Plunder abilities activate if you attack the enemy Nexus, and Toss abilities obliterate non-champion cards from the bottom of your deck.

Legends of Runeterra Rising Tides set
All the new features in Rising Tides
Image: Riot Games

Riot has partnered with several sites, like mobalytics, to reveal the full list of cards prior to release.

The mobile version of Legends of Runeterra comes to both Android and iOS devices sometime this week. According to Riot, it will start pushing the mobile apps to their stores after the 1.0 patch hits PC servers on Tuesday. Riot warns that the mobile app may not be available in all regions for up to 48 hours.

To incentivize players to log in daily, Riot will give cards away. New Legends of Runeterra players — including those that participated in the beta — get a reward for the first seven days they log into the game. The rewards range from powerful cards to Expedition tokens. On the final day, players can pick up a new deck and two Ashe champion cards.

With the launch, Riot is also resetting the ranked season. Starting April 29, players can begin a new seasonal grind with the Season of Plunder. Existing ranked players will lose some progress in the transition to the new season due to a partial LP reset.

Legends of Runeterra Rising Tides board
The new cosmetic board, Slaughter Docks
Image: Riot Games

Riot is also making changes to Expeditions — our favorite part of Legends of Runeterra. To compensate for the new cards, players can now roll eight new archetypes based on the new Rising Tide and Bilgewater cards. Rising Tide cards will temporarily be more likely to drop during Expeditions, so players can test them out.

In addition to some minor UI and game flow changes, players also have new cosmetic items to pick from. Players can now buy card backs to customize their decks, two adorable new pets to sit on the side of their boards, and a new, pirate-themed board called Slaughter Docks (seen above). Players who want to pick up a new card back without spending money can finish the new levels of the Region Roads to pick up that region’s card back.

Riot plans to continue to update Legends of Runeterra with new cards and sets.

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