Legends of Runeterra

Game Guide

LoR for Beginners: Decks, Cheap options, ways to get better and the economy!

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In this article, I'll suggest some decks for those taking their first steps in LoR and relate them to game concepts.

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translated by Joey Sticks

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revised by Tabata Marques

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About Legends of Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra is a very friendly cardgame when it comes to resources, as it is very easy to craft decks in a very short time. But, even then, it's nice to have a grasp on how to spend your resources - even more so when you're just starting out at the game.

My goal with this article isn't just to offer cheap decks: I also want to contribute to your evolution as a player. After all, each deck mentioned here presents a fundamental concept of the game, which you will train as you play.


As a result, don't think it's weird if I suggest a deck that might be a bit more expensive. In that case, I'll be trying to focus more on the practice of a game's concept rather than offer another cheap option and, in a certain way, it ends up being interesting for those who have been playing for longer too.

That being said, let's head on to the first suggestion.

Deck Suggestion

Kalista Nocturne

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I imagine those who are reading must be wondering why I picked Kalista Nocturne instead of Elise Aggro, and I will tell you that the answer is just to escape the obvious choice a bit and offer a different path.

Why Kalista Nocturne? It is a cheap deck, with many common rarity cards, and therefore, doesn't require many resources to be crafted. Its biggest difficulties, besides the champions themselves, are only 4 epic cards.

In a general way, it is very simple to learn. It is a deck that counts with an aggressive strategy, and you will want to summon units and hit the enemy Nexus. One of the most basic game plans, and that is one of the reasons it is so great to begin playing LoR with these Aggro decks.

By playing this combination, the player will begin to know the summoning mechanic with Kalista and the Nightfall mechanic with Nocturne and Stygian Onlooker.


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Our next list has many stories to tell. It was born alongside LoR's official release back in the Rising Tides set, and is a deck created by the Brazilian player 4LW, which remains strong and relevant even today in 2023.

Pirates presents the same economic advantage as Kalista Nocturne, with many common cards (with the exception of Zap Sprayfin and Crimson Pigeon, which are both epic cards.). But, here we have a differential to its economy, as LoR gives you 2 Miss Fortunes for free through the initial deck called "Scouts and Scallywags", which brings Miss Fortune and Lucian together, which makes the process of acquiring this list much faster.

When it comes to gameplay, Pirates is another Aggro deck, so your goal is to summon units and attack your enemies with them. On the other hand, it also offers more possibilities of play due to the many skills you can choose with Twisted Fate, and cards with interesting effects such as Marai Warden and Eye of Nagakabouros, which will make you think a bit more when it's time to develop your board in the match.

Another extra ability when compared to the previous deck are the Burn cards - cards that deal direct damage to the Nexus. Decimate and Noxian Fervor are examples of ways to get to know these types of cards as a beginner player.


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We've reached Lurk. For this topic, we leave Aggro aside (even though this deck is still quite aggressive) and we've come to Midrange strategies. Now, we have a deck with a much more recent story, so there's not much to say about it.


Unfortunately, Lurk isn't very friendly in the economic sense. There are many epic cards in this deck, and none of its champions are given freely at the beginning of the game.

About this choice, it was motivated due to the fact we are starting to up our mindset when playing this deck. I know it is common to think Lurk is all about summoning units and attacking, and in a certain way, I don't disagree. But, on the other hand, the deck presents a proposal that I think it is interesting to know to get better as a player.

By playing Lurk, you'll have to work with your top deck, as that is the proposal of this strategy, and consequently, you'll begin planning your plays better, as you'll have to think ahead.

For that, cards such as Call the Pack, Bloodbait and Xer'Sai Caller are important to know how to use well, as they determine your top deck. And, as it is aggressive, the player who is used to playing Aggro will get used to this game style, and will only have to understand that they now need to work with their top deck.

Overwhelm Darius

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This deck was more popular after Puyshpii was champion of the very first Seasonal Championship with Darius Sejuani. Ever since then, this list is kept updated with new cards.

Unlike the Lurk deck, this is a Midrange that offers a bigger economic advantage, as you get 2 Darius and 1 Decisive Maneuver in the starter decks, and it prevents the same advantage of having many common cards for you to craft.

Which knowledge does Overwhelm offer you? By playing Aggro decks, you can summon more than one unit a turn, as units tend to be cheaper, unlike Midrange, which is the style for this Darius Overwhelm deck. In this type of strategy, you end up having a tendency to spend all your mana every turn to summon a single unit, as is the case of the plays Ruthless Raider on turn 2 and then an Iron Ballista on turn 3.

The Midrange player has to understand they'll win the game by getting an advantage through board pressure compared to their opponents. If you and me summon a unit on 3, and you killed my unit and still have yours, we have here a trade which is in your favor.

This is the reason for my choice. Besides being a cheap deck, this list uses cards such as Troll Chant, Battle Fury, Decisive Maneuver and Whirling Death to work the idea of getting advantage through combat trades.

Feel The Rush

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Now, speaking of Control decks, we've reached the most expensive archetypes. So far, we've only talked about offensive strategies, so now it's time for the question... How do I play control? It is a matter of patience. You will rarely be proactive, as your posture is reactive, and, this way, the style you play is up to what your opponent is presenting.

I can sum that up in knowing how to use the pass button. If, for instance, your opponent is using a Pirates deck, observe that they need to develop the board more to attack, and at this time save mana to answer with Avalanche.


A tip for those beginning to play Feel The Rush is to look for cards that grant you an extra empty mana gem, such as Wild Mysticism and Catalyst of Aeons, and be patient when using removals. Find the right time to use Vengeance or Avalanche.

FTR brings you a feel of making big plays with simple actions, has a lower learning curve, and for that, I believe it is a good introduction for control decks.

Swain Norra

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Swain Norra can seem lost in these suggestions as it is a new deck, but, I considered a couple of reasons for this choice.

The Noxus Control archetype - the decks that use Ravenous Flock, Arachnoid Sentry, Disintegrate and Scorched Earth - always comes in and out of the meta. It sprouted in Rising Tides with Swain Twisted Fate and with time new versions came along, such as Draven with Tri-beam Improbulator, and now we have Annie Katarina Ezreal and Swain Norra. Due to this consistency in the meta and the variety of decks, I found it necessary to bring this archetype, as, after all, by crafting cards for this archetype, the player can recycle them in many other lists.

The Swain choice is because of the same reason as FTR, of making big plays with simple actions, which can catch the eye of beginners. There's also the small detail that the game gives you 2 Swains in its initial rewards, which makes this list cheaper.

About Norra instead of Twisted Fate, it was influenced by the rotation that was announcedlink outside website for this Bilgewater champion. Of course, in this same article, I recommended Pirates, which also uses Twisted Fate, but it is much easier to replace this champion in the Pirates deck than to find a replacement for it in Swain Twisted Fate. Norra, however, has a very strong set of cards, and can be played in other decks, and this way I suggest you spend your resources on Norra, because she is a better investment.

It is important to note that Shadow Isles Control decks are usually great against Aggro, whereas the Noxus Control decks can suffer a bit against this archetype. However, this deck is the nightmare of Midrange lists, which once more shows the importance of learning this type of strategy. LoR is a combat-oriented game, and therefore Midrange is very well-placed in the Legends of Runeterra meta.

Final Thoughts

And there you go! I decided to bring 2 suggestions for Aggro, Midrange and Control to vary in game styles and proposals. Of course, I could have said much more. There is a strong presence of Noxus in these suggestions, and that is on purpose: my goal was to show that nowadays Noxus is a very versatile region. It is great to be fond of such a region because you can find your favorite style of deck and use it!

Now it's my turn to ask you a question: which other deck do you recommend to beginners? Why do you recommend it?


See you next time!