Legends of Runeterra's latest expansion, Call of the mountain dropped August 26th. And with that came some new champions, new cards, new keywords, and new ways to strategize. I've been playing for the past 9 days since release nonstop, hours on end. I play when I wake up, before I go to sleep, before I run into the market, while I wait in line to enter the market, and before the drive back home. So suffice to say I'm loving the changes made. Could Legends of Runeterra be the greatest CCG ever made? Could it be one of the greatest games ever? Well I think so. And it's only getting better.
When I started playing Legends of Runeterra back in January, I stated boldly that it wasn't just another card game. I summed up my first article about the game stating: "If you’ve been looking for a Card Game to get invested in. This is the game. If you're still hurting after finding out that Elder Scrolls Legends is pretty much done and wanted something new that wasn't Hearthstone. This is the game. If you think Hearthstone is fun, but missing that certain something. Legends of Runterra has it. And this might really be the game for you. I often find myself talking about jumping on a game and sticking with it thought its span and then I fall off. However, there is something different about this game. I think I'm here for as long as it is, and I can't wait to see what the competitive field brings. Because if I can start hitting up tournaments with custom decks via my Mobile Device or Laptop. Then I'm in...I'm all the way in!" And I AM all the way in. All those things came to pass plus some. And every time you think the game is in a good place, it takes it a step further. Something we learned with the Official release of the game and the launch of it's first expansion, Rising Tides.
That expansion gave us over 120 new cards and 6 new keywords the likes of Scout, Vulnerable, and ever easy to achieve Deep. Brought the game to mobile and the community started hosting Competitions. And perhaps they were before, and I was just out of the loop. However, this put the game at the forefront of competitive card players minds and people learned how to build fast paced decks and decks that bent or manipulated the rules. Aggro was king of the heap for a while and then came the nerfs. And that's when control decks took...well control.
And that's what makes LOR feels so good. It's because things can change in an instant and the entire way we play can change from week to week. Riot has been a company with impassioned employees who listen to the community and make changes based off of valid feedback. And the game has helped people the likes of Mogwai, Saucy Mailman, and Silver Fuse rise to the top from streaming obscurity. And that might be a bit over the top, but I know Mogwai has credited LOR for his YouTube subs hitting 1 million. And Saucy credited LOR as the game that has helped him become a Twitch Partner.
And now we have the Call of the Mountain expansion, and it's added something called Celestial cards. Cards that you gain in hand from other cards with the new Keyword "Invoke". Which allows you to pick from 3 different options, and that's 3 out of like 12 or 14 different Celestial Cards. The shit is dope. Then you have Lulu, a card that I wasn't as excited for when she was revealed, but has become one of my favorites having used her. And we're not even going to talk about how much of a GOD Trundle is. Everyone was stoked for A-Sol, a 10 mana, 10/10 with some pretty outrageous effects. I was sitting pretty knowing that Trundle would be king.
And with that said, we now have so much more variety in decks, because there is a play style for everyone. Streamers would have you believe that there is "NO META". That it's so hard to build a "Good Deck". And that's because at the moment there is no few decks to Rule them all. Everyone has a chance at winning and I don't think there is anything wrong with winning or losing based on HOW you played your cards instead of the winning or losing based on the cards you play. This idea that there needs to be a singular TOP deck has always bothered me. And it always will. I think the state the game is in now could definitely be tuned, but it's by are large very balanced. I don't think any match is as fun as A-Sol deck v A-Sol deck.
Matches feel slower paced and moves feel done with more intent. This is more close to actual chess that I feel any other card game has ever been. Next to MTG of course. Combinations of cards are being played that, at least I, have never seen before. It's pretty awesome. I for one have been forced to play a little slower to really get the maximum value out of some of my more favorite cards like Trundle or Nocturn.
Call of the Mountain brought with it variety. And that's not a bad thing. The fact that there are no real top decks is sure to change as nerfs and buffs are sure to come. And I think that's unfortunate. Are some cards a little wonky? Sure. But that's expected, but do they deserve to be stripped. Maybe 1 or 2, but a majority of these new cards are great and fun to play. Legends of Runeterra: Call of the Mountain is out now for PC and Mobile.