Card Draw in LoR by Region: Differences and Functioning!

Legends of Runeterra

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Card Draw in LoR by Region: Differences and Functioning!

09/26/22 Comment regular icon1 comments

In this article we will talk about card draw in LoR and how this mechanic is distributed across all regions, and also their differences in mechanics.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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There are many types of cards in Legends of Runeterra, as card draw is an essential part of the game's ecosystem. Though it is certain that there is no pattern to card draw, so much so that we have champions, spells, landmarks and followers performing this function, and it is a concept found in all regions, some regions have less card draw and some have more, and that includes also a different functioning.

Card Draw Classification

Let's attribute the idea of "generic card draw" for cases when you draw a card directly from the top of your deck. This way, this is an action that you don't know what you're going to get. On the other hand, we have the idea of "specific card draw" when the draw isn't linked to the top of your deck and you can have an idea of what you're going to get in hand.

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So we can better understand the difference between generic card draw and specific card draw, we can reflect on Eye of Nagakabouros and Pale Cascade. These two cards state "draw" along with a quantity without mentioning what you can acquire, so they are linked to the top of your deck. Different from Leviathan and Revna, the Lorekeeper, which point to what we can acquire by doing the act of drawing a card, as in the Leviathan acquires for you Swain whereas Revna, the Lorekeeper mentions acquiring a unit with 5+ power. Besides, some cards that have the keyword "Plunder" are considered card draws, because they also execute the idea of taking something from a deck and even count for Twisted Fate's level up condition (which is met when this champion sees you draw 9 cards). Another type of card that will be included here will be units that generate card draws, such as Gnar creating a Pokey Stick or Zilean and his Time Bomb.

Card Draw by Region

Shadow Isles

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I can buy that it might seem weird, but Shadow Isles is the region with less card draw - in total sum - because we know that this region ends up being a very efficient region when it comes to card draw. The merit for such a trait goes to Glimpse Beyond, a card that can draw 2, and even serves to extract something positive out of an unfavorable situation. If, for instance, your opponent spent mana and resources to remove your unit and you answer with Glimpse Beyond, we have here now a favorable trade for you - after all, they spent 1 or more cards to remove your unit while you, though you've lost your unit, in the end got 2 more cards in hand. Glimpse Beyond also performs really well with the slay mechanic that this region is famous for, being able to activate other cards' effects and can also be used alongside Spirit Leech, which has the same effect. Let's remind ourselves of

Thresh Nasus

' Golden Age: this deck turned out to be a very aggressive deck because of this idea of working with the slay mechanic and also being aggressive at the same time it created resources, so it hardly ran out of cards even though it was quite aggressive.

Demacia

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This is a case that won't surprise no one: our second to last place is Demacia, with only 5 draws. Historically, the most efficient card of all these 5 is Dragon Chow, because of the synergy it has inside the deck it is usually included in (Dragons) while also being able to quicken the growth of a dragon or Shyvana's level up. Also, I don't believe I am exaggerating when I say it is probably the card that saw most play out of all these 5. Generally, Demacia is a limited region for card draw, being dependent on a matching region to perform this function. Another example are the classic Demacia/Targon Midrange decks such as Dragons, cited previously, Taric Poppy and Pantheon Yuumi.

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These 3 decks take advantage of Demacia units' strength and take Targon cards such as Pale Cascade and Guiding Touch to have some sort of card draw.

Noxus

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Next we have Noxus with 6 cards. I believe Noxus feels the same as Shadow Isles, a region that doesn't have that much card draw, but ends up being very good at efficiency. Throughout the game, the Ashe Leblanc list is possibly the deck with the most card draw raw power that we've ever had in Lor, thanks to cards such as Whispered Words and Trifarian Assessor which were standard in the list. In the case of Whispered Words, it is common to even see it outside of the Reputation archetype. We also find the Discard archetype in Noxus. Even though Grave Physician is the only Noxian discard card draw, these decks in the last expansion no longer run out of cards faster than decks that focus on creating value. We will talk about this more when we mention Piltover&Zaun.

Bandle City

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The yordle region has 7 cards that have card draw, behind Noxus by 1 card. Bandle City is a region that has card creation as one of its biggest strengths, so when it comes to card draw in Bandle City, there's not much to say, but this isn't due to it being a weak spot. When this region was released in the game, Hidden Pathways reduced its cost to 3 mana, easily getting into any Bandle City deck and was a very powerful card. Some nerfs hit this region and this was one of the cards that was hit, altered to reduce its cost to 4 mana - and after that it was forgotten and isn't no longer as powerful. Pokey Stick has a similar history: it is a very powerful card that goes into many decks, but unlike Hidden Pathways, it wasn't nerfed and is still one of the iconic Bandle City cards. A Curious Journey was the expansion that brought Gnar into the game, and he has the effect of creating a Pokey Stick in hand when striking, and of course because of that he ends up being a very strong champion and found its home in many decks. Gnar ended up being nerfed after a while and lost popularity, however it is still a good card because of its ability.

Shurima

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The region of the great Emperor of the Sands is a proud owner of 9 card draw cards. By analyzing all Shurima's card draws, it is noticeable that some have a bigger highlight than others. Preservarium has a great presence, was used in decks such as Sundisk, Lissandra Taliyah and showed up as a 1 off in Renekton Sejuani, Kai'Sa and Akshan Sivir. We can see that all cards that have the effect of generic drawing 2 cards have a bigger highlight than other card draws. Hidden Pathways and Whispered Words showcased this before, and now we have Preservarium.

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Another highlight card is Rite of Calling: guaranteeing a champion in hand is very good, so that's why it is added in many Shurima decks that are strongly dependant on having their champions on board, such as Kai'Sa, Thresh Nasus (or Kindred Nasus), Viego Shurima and Sundisk. Honorable mentions go to Akshan, which besides being a champion that offers a way of drawing a card, also offers other possibilities, being very versatile, and therefore has high popularity in the meta and is played in multiple decks.

Targon

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The region famous for its Aspects can proudly admit to having 11 card draws. In Targon we have a similar context as Bandle City: it is a region focused on creating cards through the Evoke mechanic, and besides that they include champions which work directly with this idea of creating cards/evoking, such as Zoe, Aphelios and Aurelion Sol. Because of that, we may have a hard time highlighting a card draw for this region, and the most similar we have to Bandle City's Pokey Stick and as high in popularity is Pale Cascade and Guiding Touch, as these 2 cards show up in Pantheon Yuumi, Nami Zoe and Aphelios Viktor. Another problem we might find in other Targon's card draws which doesn't happen in the other regions cited above is the fact that the other cards are very pointed to on archetype. For instance, Dragon's Clutch ends up being exclusive to dragon decks or Mystic Vortex that ends up being exclusive to Bard decks, as they cannot be as useful in other decks.

Freljord

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Arriving at Top 4, we have the Northern Icy lands of Freljord. I consider this very interesting, because I believe that Freljord almost fools us like Shadow Isles and Noxus did, but here we tend to believe that this region doesn't have card draw, which is not true - on the contrary: there are many cards that draw, 14 to be more exact; However, many are specific card draws and that makes it very hard for more versatile decks to use them. The only generic card draw in Freljord that you can actually include in your deck is Avarosan Sentry, and at most maybe the cards created by Ashe and Gnar. Speaking of Freljord's specific card draw and their history in the meta, we can highlight Babbling Bjerg as card with combo potential, as it is possible to build your deck around the idea of what you want it to draw, as it was with Trundle Lissandra when Babbling Bjerg brought Spectral Matron or in Midrange decks when you want to buy a champion with it, as you can be certain in deck building that your only 5+ unit in the deck is your champion, such as Sejuani Teemo or Udyr Akshan.

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Another iconic figure is Revna, the Lorekeeper performing well in Timelines decks ever since her release. We can also list Voices of the Old Ones as a very popular card in control decks that work with ramp.

Ionia

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Ionia fills the third position, by having one more card than Freljord, totalling

15 cards

. It is very interesting to see that Ionia has a profile that mixes generic card draw and specific card draw. With specific card draws, we have Deep Meditation which has always had a very strong presence in the Ionia meta decks, and I can recall from memory the glory days of Karma Ezreal and Lee Zoe, both decks that synergize a lot with spells and both included Deep Meditation. Nowadays we have Nami TF Ionia as a powerful spellslinger deck that uses Deep Meditation. With generic card draw, we have the iconic include throughout the history of metas of the famous Shadow Assassin (which already had 2 nerfs). A card that can see a lot of play in Ionian decks similar to Shadow Assassin and that was released recently was Sai'nen Thousand-Tailed.

Bilgewater

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At 2nd place we have Bilgewater, with 20 card draws. Though the existence of Zap Sprayfin and champion drawing cards (The Dreadway and The Syren), most cards that this region has access to are of the generic card draw type. Still, I think it is important to highlight Zap Sprayfin, which historically was always a very present card in Bilgewater decks. We can see that Bilgewater works a lot with the ideal of drawing through your units, as you put a unit on board and this unit guarantees you a card in hand, as is the case of Fortune Croaker, Pool Shark and Twisted Fate. The same goes to cards that have plunder. But, of course, this isn't a rule and we won't exclude spells that have these effects. By the way, for those who played around the launch of Bilgewater, you might remember that Pilfered Goods wreaked havoc on the meta and nowadays we have Eye of Nagakabouros as a very strong and popular card.

Piltover & Zaun

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The biggest winner of the Region with the most Card Draw Tourney is Piltover&Zaun, with

24

cards that have that effect. As Bilgewater, many times they are generic card draws, being able to be used in any deck as is the case of Time Trick and Aloof Travelers. In Piltover&Zaun we have a mix similar to Bilgewater when it comes to drawing cards with units or spells. However, when the matter is drawing units, many times this is correlated to the discard mechanic, which is the case of Zaunite Urchin, Sump Dredger and Jinx. This is very intriguing, after all the discard deck started out as a Draven Jinx version which quickly ran out of cards, as you had the Piltover&Zaun side which wanted to discard stuff and Noxus offering cards to be discarded, but without many conditions. However, when Sion was released, he brought more cards that ask to be discarded, among them Lost Soul, an infinite value card that always renews itself, and with that Draven Jinx became Draven Sion and started to create a lot of value, drawing a lot of cards as the discard effect was also created. About spells, Progress Day! got more visibility as a versatile card inside Piltovan Tellstones and Statikk Shock was always a card very present in removal decks that played alongside Ezreal, such as Ez Draven and Cait Ez.

Final Thoughts

In all there are 115 card draws inside our dear game, and now we know how they are all divided among the regions and how each of them work. I believe this to be an interesting subject, after all this is a side we don't analyze very often. And what about you, what do you think?
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SEJUmilde

Comecei no jogo em Mares Crescentes e sou jogador de Legends Of Runeterra pela Lótus. Sou um amante de sobrepujar, e se fosse possível todo deck que jogo rodaria pelo menos uma Fúria de Batalha, pois não acredito no meta, acredito na magia do sobrepujar.

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