Here are Legends of Runeterra’s mechanics and keywords

After 10 Years of huge success with League of Legends Riot Games is expanding the universe with Legends of Runeterra. This free-to-play, collectible card game is set in the League of Legends universe and has been designed by Paul Sottosanti. Sottosanti has worked on League of Legends where he designed both the current ranking system and the directed camera. He previously worked with for Wizards of the Coast on Magic: The Gathering.

Being a collectible card game, Legends of Runeterra includes a number of mechanics and keywords. Since we’ve spent some time with Legends of Runeterra, we’ve compiled a list of all of them.

Many of the keywords and mechanics will be familiar to CCG players, albeit with different names.

Legends of Runeterra Keywords


Cards with Elusive are characters that can only be blocked by other characters with Elusive. Think of them as having “Flying” in MtG. Elusive doesn’t come into play on defence.


Characters with Fearsome can only be blocked by characters with 3 or more attack.

Quick Attack

Quick Attack is essentially First Strike. Characters with Quick Attack will deal damage to the enemy first (when attacking). If they deal lethal damage, they will complete combat unscathed.

Quick Attack doesn’t come into play when defending.


Characters with Challenger get to choose which enemy character will block them. This comes in handy in order to keep your attacker alive or to defeat a specific enemy character.


Characters with Regen are restored to full health at the end of each turn.


Like Hearthstone’s Divine Shield, Barrier gives characters one additional hit. In Legends of Runeterra, characters with Barrier lose it if hit and at the end of the round. Barrier isn’t permanent.


Overwhelm is another mechanic similar to one in MtG; Trample. Characters with Overwhelm deal additional damage to the enemy player’s Nexus when blocked.


Ephemeral cards are those that vanish at the end of the turn. Lots of characters in Legends of Runeterra create Ephemeral allies and there’s quite a good deck that can be built around these cards.

Can’t Block

Characters with this one…Can’t Block.


Characters with Tough take one less damage from all sources. A one attack character will deal 0 damage to a character with Tough.


Frostbite reduces a character’s attack to 0 for the duration of a turn.


A stunned character is unable to attack or block for the duration of a turn.


Characters with Lifesteal absorb the damage they deal out and return it to the allied Nexus.


Recall returns a character to the players’ hand.


Fleeting cards are placed into the player’s hand and must be played on that turn or they vanish.


Slow spells are played as an action and can be interrupted or reacted to by the enemy player.


Fast spells are played during combat and can be blocked or reacted to.


Burst spells are instant and can’t be reacted to.

Last Breath

Characters with Last Breath will perform an action when they die. Exactly like Deathrattle in Hearthstone.


Characters with Support provide buffs for the card to their right when attacking.

For more info on Legends of Runeterra, click here.

Legends of Runeterra is a very different kind of collectible card game and from the time I’ve spent playing it already it’s certainly addictive and a lot of fun. Deckbuilding is intricate and very deep, but simple enough that beginners will be able to get to grips with it.

There are some powerful synergies and strategies to be discovered and the fast-pace, back and forth of actually playing is a far cry from other games in the genre.

Riot has certainly created something unique with Legends of Runeterra and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

The first Preview Phase runs from today through October 21.

Legends of Runeterra launches in 2020 for PC and Mobile.

Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevenson
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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