A common practice in TCGs is to separate cards into colors. These colors allow us to organize the game, and detail, objectively, what each card set should have in terms of effects and mechanics, without every single color having everything at the same time.
This practice is a main theme in Magic: The Gathering, and it was later translated into digital card games, such as Hearthstone classes. In Runeterra, they took the shape of regions.
In Runeterra's universe, we have the great continent of Valoran, where the League of Legends champions live. Each place has its own culture, religion, story and peculiarities. These traits are translated into the effects, artworks and mechanics of the cards with these respective regions in Legends of Runeterra.
This article is for you, who has just begun playing Runeterra, and wants to understand the main traits of each region a bit more. We'll show you their detailed profiles, analyzing everything you need to know to start exploring every inch of Runeterra.
Demacia is a heavily militarized kingdom, where discipline and order are the main virtues citizens strive to achieve. Its main physical traits are the green pastures, clear and always blue sky, and forests full of Petricite, a mineral that absorbs magic.
Demacia would be the perfect place for you to live, if it wasn't for its troubled relationship with magic. The great city of Demacia was created as a refuge for those who didn't want contact with mages and Runeterra's magic. However, as the entire universe is full of magic, no matter where you go, Demacia is constantly in conflict with itself. Progress isn't easily achieved without the help of mages, and for this reason, Demacia risks becoming a forgotten realm, frozen in time behind its isolated walls, while the rest of the world breathes magic.
Values: Honor & Justice.
Game mechanics: In Demacia, you'll find strong and precise units that together form an army in which each unit depends on one another to reach their goals. Demacian warriors are loyal and will do anything to help their allies stay alive during battle, be it through the toughness of their shields, or the strength of their swords.
As this region tries to avoid using magic as much as it can, its spells are, most of them, represented by sword strikes, war cries and the use of Petricite. Demacians are proficient riders and use diverse mounts, from horses to harpies, and even moose, giant Dogs and Dragons.
Another main trait in this region is the Formidable keyword: your Formidable units strike with their health stats instead of their attack stats.
Demacia can also curse their enemies with the Suppression curse.
Freljord is a cold, hostile region where you must be strong to survive the dense snow lands and the unending winter. This region is in constant civil war between the three great northern tribes: the Avarosans, the Winter's Claw and the Frostguard.
Those that are born in the Freljord are born ready for war. There, you'll find the most bloodthirsty, unstoppable warriors in all of Runeterra. Freljord is also the home for ferocious creatures like the Yetis, and all types of snow monsters, but it is also where you'll find Poros, the cutest creatures in all of Runeterra.
You may only survive this place if you're strong, are in harmony with its nature spirits and dominate ice, so you can use it against your enemies.
Values: Brute Strength & Perseverance.
Game mechanics: In Freljord, everything is about brute strength - your units will always be stronger than your opponent's. However, on the other side, you'll also always be slower than them due to the snow and the ice. Freljordians always try to keep themselves alive at any cost, sometimes even refusing to die, and, if your opponents give you enough time to warm up, they'll suffer the consequences.
Freljord has in its arsenal the elemental power of ice: your spells will literally Frostbite your enemies, or strengthen your tribe with the power of nature.
In Freljord, there are all kinds of natural disasters, such as avalanches and earthquakes, which are perfect to defeat entire enemy armies.
Another main mechanic in this region is mana acceleration through cards that grant you empty mana gems, such as Winter's Touch.
Noxus is an unstoppable expansionist empire, feared across Runeterra, but it is also a place that respects those who are strong enough to defend themselves on their own.
Noxians love magic, and welcome those who have talent in it. Maybe one day they'll use it for the good of the Empire.
Even though it is a welcoming and fair place for those who fight for their ideals, Noxian leaders are cruel and corrupt. They abuse the great warring power they have and use it to subjugate other Runeterra nations. Like so, Noxians are in constant contradiction about what's morally right and wrong.
Values: Domination & War.
Game mechanics: In Noxus, you'll find talented, brutal warriors that worship war. For Noxians, you can only dominate, or be dominated. They might not be the best warriors in Runeterra, but they certainly have the best weapons.
This region has in its arsenal great weapons of war like ships, ballistas and catapults - not to mention mages that use their own spells in battle.
Magic is Noxus' main weapon. There, you'll use your spells against your enemy, always with the intention to kill. The most powerful Noxus mages are the hemomancers, which have learned the obscure art of bringing the dead back to life. By slaving them, they build an everlasting, bloodthirsty army of war zombies.
Another main mechanic in this region is the Deathless keyword, newly released to the game. Deathless allies, when they die, return to life with only 1 health, lose their Deathless keyword, and are Stunned.
Ionia is a cluster of islands far from the continent that is bursting with magic. The Ionian civilization respects and worships nature at all costs. It is the home to ninjas, samurai monks and mages with incomprehensible spiritual powers.
In Ionia, you'll find peaceful people, but, recently, because of the great Noxus invasion, Ionians were finally forced to use their strength to defend their lands.
Ionia is where you'll find the highest concentration of the Vastaya, a race of humanoid magical beings with animal traits that lives among humans.
Values: Nature & Harmony.
Game mechanics: Ionia is where we find units that appear to be harmless, but that carry strong effects that control the game. Ionians don't win through force, but rather the harmony between the power of each card, and the spells this region has.
Don't be mistaken: in Ionia you'll also find Elusive units, which elude the battlefield and always attack and assassinate their targets without leaving any traces of their presence behind.
Ionian spells are the best when the matter is preventing your opponent from being aggressive. You can heal yourself, Stun and counter enemy spells with Ionian spells.
Another main mechanic in this region is the ability to Recall units to your hand, or to your opponent's hand.
In Ionia, you'll also find Coins, which allow you to stack mana in your hand to set up expensive plays during your turn.
The Shadow Isles were once called the Blessed Isles, and were home to the old kingdom of Camavor and its ruler, Viego. Due to his desperation when trying to bring his beloved wife back to life, Viego cursed Camavor accidentally with a black mist, causing a great magical cataclysm and transforming this region into the Shadow Isles.
The spiritual and the material world get mixed up in the mist; the dead start walking again, thirsty for the vital force of those who are still living, which, in turn, end up perishing as well. If you die in the Shadow Isles, you'll be condemned to wander eternally through these lands as an evil specter.
Only a select few have been able to visit this place and return alive.
The black mist spreads through Runeterra every year, going deeper and deeper into the continent, and bringing more and more victims to its army of dead ghouls.
Values: Death & Rebirth.
Game mechanics: Shadow Isles is the home for those who have already passed, so your units don't care about having to die to reach their goal: consuming more vital force. You'll have at your disposal spells that drain your opponent's health, or that cleave their soul immediately.
As you can't die in the mist, specters go from the spiritual world to the material one and vice versa, to keep on feeding their endless hunger for death.
In Shadow Isles, you'll always have everything you need to kill your opponents, but there is always a price: your allies. To ruin the enemy defenses, many times you'll need to sacrifice your own allied units for the greater good - but don't worry, their souls will be consumed wisely!
Another main mechanic in this region is the new keyword, Deathless.
Piltover & Zaun
Piltover & Zaun are sister towns, and have a symbiotic relationship. Piltover stands over the surface, and Zaun stands right below it.
Piltover is the home of the aristocratic elite, and the academic inventors. In the search of progress and technology, this rich part of this region spares no efforts. Zaun is the home of freedom, where ambitious inventors live, and is also the poorest part of this region, which has its own rules. There, you'll find a rich culture that lives off the opportunities Piltover ends up throwing in the trash. In Piltover, you need to have power and money to reach your goals. In Zaun, where there is a will, there is a way.
Zaun is where you can innovate and practice magic "illegally", sell and buy whatever you want, and even sabotage those you don't trust. As for Piltover, you need to be secretive with your inventions and keep just a few friends, because it is impossible to predict when you'll be sabotaged in the political game this part of town thrives on.
Values: Progress & Opportunities.
Game mechanics: In Runeterra, these two cities work together to reach their goals. Piltover & Zaun doesn't have any strong warriors, or powerful mages - its inhabitants live off Hextech, a type of magic mixed with technology.
Zaunites and Pilties are the best when the matter is creating cards to adapt to adverse situations. There, you'll find everything - from powerful weapons to clones, and even Cats in giant suits of armor.
Pilties have a lot of money, so you can expect to draw countless cards. As for Zaunites, they find everything in their clandestine markets, so you can expect to use spells from all places in Runeterra.
Piltover & Zaun is a wild place. There, you feel like you can do whatever you want - but be careful: it is not always easy to pilot decks in this region. For this, you always need to think on your feet and keep an eye out for possibilities.
Another mechanic in Piltover & Zaun is Updraft: You shuffle a card in your hand into your deck, reducing its cost by 1 mana.
Bilgewater is a lawless cluster of islands that has its own rules. There, you'll find everything you can imagine, from great riches to Sea Monsters and many, but many pirates.
Bilgewater is a refuge for those who are running from something, or owe some money and don't want to be found. There, we also find merchandise from across the world always at your disposal, if you have the money to pay.
Apart from this, Bilgewater has a very rich and diversified culture, and a strong presence of the religion that worships the Motion goddess, Nagakabouros. Those who are not involved with suspicious activities are usually taking care of their own business in the rich local market scene, or adventuring freely through the seas looking for new opportunities.
Values: Fortune & Motion.
Game mechanics: Bilgewater was the first region released to the game besides the other 6 base regions.
In Bilgewater, we find aggressive pirates who like to dominate their enemies early in the match. It is the combo region: you always need one extra card up your sleeve to set up your plays.
Nothing there is free, but that isn't an issue when your allies create money, which, in the form of mana, helps you play all the cards in you need on the board. And, if you run out of money, Bilgewater natives are masters at stealing cards from their opponents as well.
It is also the home of the Marai, an underwater civilization which is closely related to magic. At the bottom of the ocean, Sea Monsters will also be at your disposal to devour your enemies. If you're tired of the chaos, you can pray to Nagakabouros, because she will challenge your enemies to a mighty test of strength.
Another main mechanic in this region is the Powder Kegs, a card that increases the damage of your spells and skills.
Mount Targon is the highest peak in Runeterra. Actually, very few can comprehend how tall this mountain is, but, even then, many gather courage enough to climb it.
Targon is a mysterious region full of legends about beings from other worlds and celestial entities. It is also the home of tribes that worship the sun, the Solari, and the tribe that worship the moon, the Lunari. They don't get along, as you can imagine.
Travelers that come from the seven corners of Runeterra go to Targon to climb the mountain and achieve spiritual enlightenment. Not all succeed, but those who go through the threshold and pass the mountain's test end up becoming heroes in stories told across Runeterra.
Values: Power & Enlightenment.
Game mechanics: Targon was the second region released to the game besides the six base regions.
Targon is the home for those who search for enlightenment, want to create gigantic Celestial beings coming straight from Targon's Peak, or from the blessings you collect while you climb the mountain.
Targon spells are the best when the matter is protecting your allies, healing damaged units, or granting a lot of strength and health for those who need the most. Targon warriors aren't strong when they enter the battlefield, but they get more and more unstoppable throughout the match as they climb the mountain.
Solari are strong during the daybreak, and, for this reason, should always be the first cards you play in your turns. Lunari are strong at nightfall, and for this reason, it's best to play them last.
You'll find Dragons wandering through Targon's mountains as well, and all kinds of mighty Celestial creatures. They'll all be full of magic to help you throughout your matches.
In Targon, everything is about you, and how you can become stronger with the powers the mountain can offer you. Your opponent will struggle with your Stuns and will be uncapable of stopping your climb. In the end, your allies will always be the biggest units on the board.
Another main mechanic in Targon are the Shackles Curses.
Shurima was a powerful, great Empire that stood in the middle of the scalding sands of Runeterra's desert region. In the past, this region was involved in endless wars between their artificial gods, the Ascended, and creatures of the Void.
This region was once the most ancient and powerful region of all, and almost dominated an entire continent, but it is nothing more than a bunch of nomads wandering the desert now. Many Shurimans have taken up suspicious practices, becoming mercenaries and raiders, to survive.
Even though they are traumatized by the war, the Shuriman people have never lost hope, because there are rumors that the ancient Ascended emperor, Azir, has returned.
Values: Glory & Ascension.
Game mechanics: Shurima was the third region to be released to the game, besides the six base regions.
Shurima is the champion region. There, you'll find everything you need to glorify and make your champions as strong as possible. Everything you have, and play, centers around them. The Ascended can even level up twice!
In the desert sands, we can find priceless treasures that will arm your allies with the most legendary weapons in all of Runeterra.
Shurima is the home of the most powerful mages in Runeterra, the Chronomancers, which control the flow of time and allow you to Predict which cards you'll draw next turn. But don't be careless, or you might be targeted by Lurkers, Void creatures that attack in groups through the desert sands.
Landmarks represent part of the ruins of the ancient Shuriman empire; these cards aren't units or spells, but magical places that will guide you to victory through their passive effects on the board.
Another main mechanic in this region are Nidalee's Ambush cards. This mechanic allows you to play units as Ambush units for just 2 mana as Shadow in the Brush, and will give you a spell that represents that unit so you can transform them into their original form. Once they're on the board, you can pay for the price of their Ambush spells to activate each unit's respective Ambush effect. Complicated, isn't it?
Bandle City is a magical land that stands in a magical plane parallel to Runeterra, or at least that is what it appears to be - no one knows for sure. What we know is that it is the home of the Yordles, and all magical creatures.
In Bandle City, everything is alive; from the grass to the trees, to paper, ceramics, vegetables, everything! You can only get to Bandle City through magical portals scattered across Runeterra. Everything that comes from the portals can also come back, so it is easy to find magical artifacts scattered around as well.
Yordles are the Bandle City's natives; cute, immortal magical creatures that look like they came from a cartoon. Most of them are extremely innocent and don't seem to know the difference between danger and play. After all, they apparently can't even die.
Color: Light Green/ Greenish Yellow.
Values: Portals & Adventure.
Game mechanics: Bandle City was the fourth and last region to be released to the game, apart from the six base regions.
Bandle City is the region that takes after all other regions. Since you can cross Runeterra just by going through a Bandle City portal, you'll find multiregion allies all the time. This will allow you to play with more than two regions in your deck.
Yordles are your biggest allies because they are numerous and are everywhere. You can be sure that, even if you are not focusing on playing with them, they will show up for you. Don't worry, though: they may be small, but they fill your board quickly to help you fight.
Bandle City is the only region that focuses on disrupting your opponent's plays. By playing with Yordles, you can increase the cost of your opponent's cards, or force them to discard cards in their hand.
If the Faeries, Yordles, and other magical beings aren't enough, you can cast portals to summon an ally from anywhere in Runeterra to help you in battle.
Bandle City doesn't have many mechanics of its own because this region focuses on playing with cards from other regions by using Bandle City cards.
Bandle City is also the region that has the Mecha Yordles.
If you read this far, now you know everything about the identity of each region in Legends of Runeterra!
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