Excited for Arcane Season 2? Try Legends of Runeterra!

The Arcane Season 2 trailer just dropped, and many people are very excited. You might be tempted to hop into the game that started it all, League of Legends, to channel your excitement and learn about the world. However, it’s no secret that League of Legends online play is quite toxic. But have no fear, there is a single-player experience set in the world of Runeterra that will immerse you in the world and characters: Legends of Runeterra.

Legends of Runeterra is an online card game with cards based on characters and abilities from the League of Legends world. While there is a PVP option, the story mode Path of Champions recently got an update. It’s a great way to interact with the characters. Starting with Jinx, Path of Champions, will have you take a starting deck through many branching paths with a loose story about each character interacting with the world.

If you’re craving a video game to dig into while you wait for the latest season of Arcane, I highly recommend Legends of Runeterra.

A game board in Legends of Runeterra.

The Start of Something Legendary

Legends of Runeterra can be a bit overwhelming at first, but the best way to get into it is to just hop in. With game mechanics similar to Hearthstone, you’ll pilot a deck in an attempt to deal enough damage to the other side.

With each turn in Legends of Runeterra, you’ll gain one cumulative mana that can be used to play spells and units. Each spell and unit costs a certain amount, and you’ll have to budget mana to play the cards you want on each turn. If you don’t spend all of your mana on a turn, some of it will get converted to spell mana for the next turn. This is an additional pool of mana to use, but only for spells. 

Each card also has keywords and abilities that govern how they work. There are many abilities and a lot of keywords, but right-clicking an image or a keyword usually gives you a description of how it works. After you’ve played a unit, you can select which units to attack or block with.

As complicated as it might sound, it’s actually quite simple to pick up. Each time I’ve played Legends of Runeterra, even after long breaks, I always find myself getting back into the swing of things very quickly.

Jinx's constellation in the Path of Champions Constellation System

Runeterra Path of Champions

The Path of Champions is the single-player mode of Legends of Runeterra. While Legends of Runeterra does have PVP, Path of Champions lets you take a starting deck themed around a champion and progress through the world of Runeterra. 

In the Path of Champions, you’ll start with Jinx as she takes a stroll through Piltover and Zaun. Playing in the path of champions will put you on a map with a fight against another champion at the end and several fights and events in between. Events can range from anything from choosing cards, to shopping for new cards, to getting items to augment how cards work.

After reaching the end of a path, you’ll have a chance to level up your rank with your Champion through the Constellation system. The Constellation system allows players to earn powerful buffs to make your journey through the Path of Champions easier with a selected character.

The Path of Champions is a great way to get your feet wet, as it will slowly introduce new cards and new abilities to you as you play. This takes the pressure off of actually building a deck. Instead, you play through a curated experience where you can make choices about how to improve your deck without too much stress.

When it comes to unlocking new champions to play after Jinx, this can be a bit finicky. You won’t be able to play all the champions at once and will instead have to unlock them. Generally, you will get materials that will unlock different champions by playing more, though you can spend money to buy coins and unlock champions. Legends of Runeterra can be completely free to play, however, and there’s a lot to enjoy without spending any money.

The full artwork and description of Jinx's base card in Runeterra.

The Plot Thickens

The heart of Legends of Runeterra is not just the gameplay but the cards themselves. Each card features beautiful artwork, not only of champions but also of characters in the world. From street urchins, to bartenders, to crime bosses, Legends of Runeterra gives a peek at the beating heart of Runeterra.

Each starting deck in the Path of Champions generally pairs a Champion up with their recruits. This lets you see Jinx with her scrapyard constructions and undercity folk, Ekko with his scrappy underdogs, Caitlin with her enforcers, and more.

Each card also has in-depth descriptions of what is going on in the cards that can immerse you even more in the world. If you loved Arcane, you’ll be delighted at how the cards flesh out your understanding of the world so lovingly rendered in the show. For those of you new to League of Legends entirely, Legends of Runeterra will also give you more context for the endpoint of each origin story being told in Arcane.

Beyond the story told in the card art and descriptions, the characters in Legends of Runeterra talk to each other! Playing a card might cue a line of dialogue from your characters on the field as they give you a glimpse of their lives. This escalates when you play champions with significant connections to each other. For example, playing the sisters Jinx and Vi on the board can set them up to say different things to each other, depending on if they’re allies (on your side of the board) or enemies (on opposite sides).

The world map in Runterra's Path of Champions game mode

Jumping Right Into Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra is a great way to hop back into the world of Runeterra if you’re craving more after the Arcane Season 2 trailer. Path of Champions is a great way to see your favorite champions in action and learn more about the world and characters.

It’s pretty easy to hop into Legends of Runeterra and start playing without worrying too much about currencies and deck building. While the interface can be confusing at times, it is easier to understand after a while of playing and is very intuitive. The game has many cosmetics you can buy using real money, but I have mostly found it unnecessary.

I hope you have fun exploring Legends of Runeterra and the Path of Champions! There’s no better time to hop in and start learning than now.

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