Legends of Runeterra is Riot Games’ collectible card game, set in the same universe as League of Legends. A large part of the champions found in League of Legends have been split across six factions in Legends of Runeterra, namely: Demacia, Freljord, Ionia, Noxus, Piltover and Zaun, Shadow Isles, and Bilgewater. In this article we’ll take a look at the four champions from Piltover and Zaun, their second level, their Champion Spells and any other cards related to them.
Piltover and Zaun are dual city-states. Riot describes Piltover as: “Piltover is a thriving, progressive city overlooking the ocean. Fleets of ships pass through its titanic sea-gates, bringing goods from all over the world. Merchant clans fund incredible endeavors, including artistic follies and architectural monuments to their individual power. With ever more inventors delving into hextech, Piltover has become the destination for the most skilled craftspeople from across Runeterra.”
Zaun’s description reads: “Zaun is a polluted undercity beneath Piltover—once united, they are now separate, symbiotic cultures. Stifled inventors often find their unorthodox research welcomed in Zaun, but reckless industry has rendered whole swathes of the city highly toxic. Even so, thanks to a thriving black market, chemtech, and mechanical augmentation, the people still find ways to prosper.”
Teemo is the cheapest and squishiest champion of all, in Legends of Runeterra. For one mana you get a one attack and one health champion—not something to write home about, per se. But staying true to his character, Teemo doesn’t rely on physical prowess to scale the game in his favor. Upon striking the enemy Nexus, he plants five Poison Puffcaps in the enemy deck. Teemo is Elusive, meaning he can only be blocked by other Elusive units, which help him stack the enemy deck full of Poison Puffcaps.
Poison Puffcaps are Trap cards that stick to an opponent’s card in the deck. Once the opponent draws said card the Trap is activated which, in this case, means that one damage is dealt to the Nexus of the person who drew the card. Important note: these do stack, so it’s possible for one card to have multiple Poison Puffcaps attached to them. They are also key in levelling up Teemo: Once you’ve shuffled fifteen or more Poison Puffcaps into the enemy deck Teemo becomes a 2/2 champion. Additionally, instead of shuffling more Poison Puffcaps into the enemy deck, Teemo starts doubling the amount of them.
A deck with Teemo almost always revolves around the Poison Puffcaps, and you don’t just have to rely on Teemo’s own ability to meet the requirement to level up Teemo. Units like Clump of Whumps, Puffcap Peddler and Chump Whump all help shuffle more of the Trap card into the enemy deck. Teemo’s Champion Spell is in line with this: a simple Burst spell that shuffles five Poison Puffcaps into the enemy deck.
Ezreal likes his spells as well. At three mana, with only one attack power and three health, he won’t be able to rush the enemy Nexus down just by attacking. Instead, Ezreal turns the game in his favor by the Mystic Shots (the ones on the far right, in the picture above) he creates when striking the enemy Nexus. They are Fleeting, meaning they disappear from your hand at the end of the round. Nevertheless, a post-combat two damage for two mana can still deal critical damage to an enemy and tip the scales in your favor for the next round.
Reaching Ezreal’s full potential takes a fair bit of commitment, but it does pay off. Once you’ve targeted eight enemies, using Skills and spells, Ezreal gets the usual +1/+1 buff. The Mystic Shots he creates are still Fleeting, and cost two mana to cast. However, every time you cast any spell, Ezreal deals two damage straight to the enemy Nexus. He turns into a spell slinging menace that chips away at the enemy at lightning speed.
If you already have an Ezreal in play, the next copy of him you draw turns into his Champion Spell: Mystic Shot. It’s not very diverse, but given the goal Ezreal has to hit to level up, it’s pretty effective. This Mystic Shot isn’t Fleeting, and like all other Champion Spells it shuffles a copy of its champion into your deck.
Jinx has the best stat line, especially for her cost, of the Piltover and Zaun champions. It fits the strategy she’s tuned for: Jinx is a hyperaggressive card. With four attack she’s able to kill off most midrange units. The three health she has isn’t much, but thanks to her Quick Attack keyword she strikes before the enemy does, instead of a simultaneous strike, meaning she won’t take any damage if the unit opposing her has four health or less.
When you level up Jinx, her aggression enters the mayhem stage. She’s upgraded to a 5/4 and keeps the Quick Attack keyword. She gets two additional effects though. At the start of the round, she draws you an additional card, refilling your hand somewhat. If you then empty your hand again, level two Jinx gives you a special present: a Super Mega Death Rocket! card. It’s a Slow spell, meaning it can only be cast before units enter combat or after combat has been resolved, and it disappears at the end of the round. Cast it while you can—it’s one of the most powerful spells in the game.
If you have trouble emptying your hand, need a reasonable amount of burst damage, or perhaps are looking for a bit of both, Get Excited! is exactly what you need. Jinx’s Champion Spell does require some sacrifices to be made, but the payoff is considerable when you already have a Jinx on board. It’s a Fast spell, so your opponent can respond to it before the spell is cast.
Heimerdinger is the second-most expensive Piltover and Zaun champion. At the same time, the tiny inventor has the worst stat line relative to his attack power and health. Compare Heimerdinger’s one attack and three health with other five-cost units like Scarmaiden Reaver or even a Funsmith, and Heimerdinger sits at the bottom. But he’s not made for direct combat—Heimerdinger throws his inventions on the field to fight for him. When you cast a spell, Heimerdinger creates the Tech unit that costs as much as the spell did. The Tech unit’s cost is then reduced to zero mana, allowing you to play it immediately.
The Tech cards Heimerdinger creates are key in levelling him up. You need to summon twelve or more attack power worth of Tech cards or, in other words: With Heimerdinger on board, cast twelve mana worth of spells during the game, and play all the Techs you get from it. Heimerdinger then gets a +1/+1 bonus and his ability is upgraded too, providing a +1/+1 bonus to all the Techs he creates during the rest of the game.
Since you likely won’t drag Heimerdinger onto the battlefield, chances are you’ll draw another copy of him during the game. That turns into Heimerdinger’s Champion Spell: Progress Day! It’s one of the most powerful cards in the game, full stop. Drawing three cards and reducing the cost by one mana is good already, but on top of that it’s a Burst spell, preventing your opponent from cancelling its effect. Given that you already have a Heimerdinger in play if you draw the Champion Spell, you’ll also be given a zero mana 8/8 T-Hex to boot.
As she famously says so herself in League of Legends, Vi stands for violence. She definitely lives up to that in Legends of Runeterra. Though weak at first, Vi quickly upgrades as you play cards. Whether she's in play or in your hand, whenever you play another card, Vi gets more attack power. This caps out at a +8 bonus. When powered up, her two keywords come into play. She can decide which enemy faces her when she's on the offense using her Challenger keyword, and with Tough she takes reduced damage. She's a hard-hitting tank.
Increasing Vi's attack power is crucial for her to level up. Once she has dealt ten damage in one punch to a target, she reaches her second level. In it, Vi doesn't get the usual +1+/1 bonus, but instead turns straight up into a unit with ten attack power and six defense. She keeps her Challenger and Tough keywords, but gains another effect: whenever she strikes any unit, she also deals five damage to the enemy Nexus, guaranteed. Mind you, that's a fourth of the starting health of the Nexus, so it's a significant blow.
Vi's Champion Spell, Vault Breaker, is a one-two punch that aims to help Vi get to ten attack power. Though getting a +2 attack power bonus for three mana isn't something to write home about, Vault Breaker has two things going for it. Firstly, it's a Burst Spell, meaning your opponent cannot interact with it and prevent it from triggering. Secondly, it creates a Fleeting copy of itself, allowing you to stack up the damage even further. Its flexibility is powerful.
Images via Riot Games.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.