"Is my Twisted Fate going to level before Blighted Ravine deals two damage or am I going to lose him?"
"Is my Ember Maiden going to kill my opponent's Eye of the Dragon's dragonling?"
"Is my Leviathan going to kill my opponent or will the Broadbacked Protector save him first?"
Don't know how to answer these questions? You came to the right place.
I am Divinity Of Philosophy, writer of the article “I tried every Roundstart so you don't have to" from last year, and since then I have answered questions about how the game works and has changed with every patch.
The article of today will follow up discussing other rules and isolated cases from the game, so if you want to be up to date of everything so you won't be caught unprepared, keep on following the series "The Metaphysics of Games"!
In Legends of Runeterra, some cards have their effects triggering during the Roundstart. Here is a list of how it works based on the most recent Patch (2.12) and can be altered and edited in case this suffer more alterations.
To understand Roundstart, first you need to know about Player 1 and Player 2, and that the metrics of this is relevant only for Roundstart.
Player 1 (P1) is the one who starts the round with the Attack Token and Player 2 (P2) is the opponent.
Once we know how the Roundstart defines who is P1 and P2, we reach the next step: The order of triggered ability resolution.
We have three different categories for Roundstart:
1. Delayed Effects
2. Board Effects
3. Hand Effects
>These are effects generated by a ability who is going to trigger in a future round.
>First all the Delayed Effects from P1 are resolved in the order that they were created, and then all the Delayed Effects from P2 are resolved in the order that they were created.
>The only exception to this rule is the card The Undying, which will be noted at the end of this article.
>These are effects generated by triggered abilities from Units and Landmarks which are on your board presently.
>The effect must be on your board when the Roundstart begins and also at the time of its resolution. In case it enters or leaves the board during the Roundstart the ability won't trigger.
>First the Board Effects from P1 are resolved, from left to right of your board, then the Board Effects from P2 are resolved, from left to right of P2's board.
>At this moment, the only card that has an effect for Roundstart coming from the hand is the Abominable Guardian;
>He needs to be in your hand when Roundstart begins for the effect to exist;
>He checks if there are 2 Yetis on board only at the resolution of its triggered ability, so Yetis can enter the board during the Roundstart through Warmother's Call or coming from a Landmark such as Emtomb, so if you have two and the Abominable is in your hand since the Roundstart, he will trigger and enter the board;
>First the copies of P1's Abominable Guardian will enter in the order that they are in the player's hand, and after this the ones in P2's hand will enter in the order that they are in their hand;
>His ability won't trigger if you already have six units on board.
>The Undying is an exception to the rule of Delayed Effects. Even though he also has an effect that creates a ability that triggers, he comes back only after the Hand Effects.
>First the copies of P1's The Undying will come back in the order that they died, and then the copies of P2's The Undying will come back in the order that they died.
Once all the steps and resolutions of abilities are finished and have triggered, we have a small checking moment where it is checked if a player lost for any reason during all the resolutions from Roundstart, be it for card draw in an empty deck with Pool Shark in Delayed Effects or be it through lethal damage on opponent with Leviathan on Board Effects. In this check, all the players that have lost during this stage are deemed losers, and in case both players have lost the game ends in a Draw, no matter which player lost first during the stages.
Attention: If a player has 3 life points left, and a Broadbacked Protector and the opponent has a Leviathan, in case the owner of the Broadbacked Protector is P1 he will go first to 6 life points and then will receive 3 damage, staying alive. In case the owner of the Broadbacked Protector is P2, he will first receive 3 damage from Leviathan, going to 0 life points and that will make him lose the game even though he heals 3 afterwards with Broadbacked Protector.
If none of the players lost during the Roundstart stage, the game continues with both players going to the Draw Cards stage, and the round continues normally.
Everything written here was tested using the Patch 2.12 and can have variations with the passing of time. Legends of Runeterra is a digital game and, therefore, all its developers can alter its course and programming according to its evolution.
In case there are any questions, or you want to know more about how the game works you can ask here, in the comments bellow, or send me a message in my Twitter, and also be alert for the next articles from the series Metaphysics of Games.