[Guide] What is a Skill 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 Skill.


Skills, in Legends of Runeterra, are special abilities. For example, when a card reads “Play: Stun an enemy”, and you play said card, its Skill is to Stun an enemy. However, Skills don’t trigger immediately. They queue as if they were Fast spells, meaning your opponent does have a chance to play a card themselves before the Skill goes off, giving an opportunity to mitigate or negate the Skill’s effect.


So when is a cards’ effect a Skill, and when isn’t it? The rule of thumb is: when a unit’s effect directly damages, Recalls or Stuns an enemy, it is a Skill. Frostbiting an enemy is not considered a Skill. The exception to the rule is Minotaur Reckoner, who Stuns the weakest enemy unit automatically at the start of the round. His effect doesn’t queue as a Skill. Below are a few cards that have a Skill, or work with the effect.


Boomcrew Rookie is one of the simpler examples of cards with a Skill. While it doesn’t have any attack power to inflict damage with, its Skill is almost like Overwhelm, as it deals direct damage to the enemy Nexus whenever Boomcrew Rookie takes to the offense. Since the card has four health, chances are it can deal damage a couple of times before dying.


Shady Character is a unique card when it comes to Skills. Its effect doesn’t damage, Recall or Stun enemies, but it’s easy to see why it is considered a Skill nonetheless. If your opponent has a huge follower on board, it would be quite unfair if you could copy it without them having a chance to do anything about it. Nevertheless, most of the times Shady Character’s effect will trigger, with the potential to create powerful board states.


Although Deny itself isn’t a Skill—it’s a Fast spell—it is worth highlighting. The Ionian spell is the best counter not only to other spells, Fast or Slow, it can also directly negate any Skill that’s lined up. While most Skills on their own aren’t necessarily worth countering, Deny can come in handy in the later stages of a match, where countering one Skill could seal the deal.

Images via Riot Games.

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