[Guide] What is Overwhelm in Legends of Runeterra?


There are many cards in Legends of Runeterra, and each have their own stats and effects to make them unique. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the card game genre, to learn all these effects. That’s why we’re dissecting all the keywords in a series of guides. In this one we’re taking a look at Overwhelm.


Overwhelm is one of the most aggressive keywords in Legends of Runeterra. When you’re on the offense, and your unit with Overwhelm kills an enemy, the difference between your unit’s attack power and the enemies health is dealt as damage directly to the enemy Nexus. So, for example, if your unit with five attack power kills an enemy unit with three health, two damage is inflicted upon the enemy Nexus.


There is a very unintuitive interaction between Overwhelm and Barrier. While Barrier reads “Negates the next damage the unit would take”, Overwhelm ignores that when calculating Nexus damage. You don’t protect your Nexus by giving your unit Barrier. If, in the example we gave earlier, the enemy would give their three-health unit Barrier, their Nexus would still be hit for two damage. Below are a couple of example cards that have the Overwhelm keyword.


Mighty Poro is the second strongest poro card in the game, after Heart of the Fluft. Three mana for a unit with three attack and three health isn’t horrible, and trades off decently with most units of the same cost. If you’re very fond of the card, you can consider including a Braum in your deck—at his second level, whenever he survives damage, Braum summons a Mighty Poro.


The Freljord hosts a much more frightening card with Overwhelm too: Alpha Wildclaw. It’s a pretty straightforward card. It costs quite a bit—at six mana, it’s almost always the main subject of your turn—but boasts good stats, especially good attack power. There are few cards that won’t die to its damage unless protected by a Barrier. When you’re on the offense, Alpha Wildclaw is almost certain to hurt the enemy Nexus.


There’s always a bigger fish, the saying dictates, but Captain Farron is about as big as it gets in Legends of Runeterra. The Noxian warrior is the most expensive card with Overwhelm, and has the highest attack power and highest health values of all cards bearing the keyword. He doubles down on his aggression by replacing all your cards in hand with copies of Decimate: a five mana Slow spell, which deals four damage to the enemy Nexus directly.


Images via Riot Games.

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