Legends of Runeterra: Is It Pay to Win?

Riot has always been aware of their free to play games being kept at a level where grinding is rewarded, as well as spending money. But is their popular game Legends of Runeterra a pay to win game?

Collectable card games are notorious for being heavy on the bank. Games such as Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh all become an expensive hobby quickly for the beginner.

To avoid the same ideas happening in LoR, Riot employed the same system in League of Legends with a way to pay your way or to grind for it. This has proven to be successful in the past, but does it hold up in the modern age of card games?

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How much do cards cost in LoR?

In total there are 973 unique collectable cards in the game which will need 3 of each in order to reach a full collection. These cards are also categorised into rarities, with the rarer cards costing more than the easily collected. These rarities are called: Commons, Rares, Epics, and Champions.

Shards and Wildcards are used as currencies in the game to craft cards. Both of these can be earned by grinding but wildcards can also be purchased with IRL money. It is faster to pay for wildcards but the choice to grind is also there which gives players a way to play without paying.

Prices and amounts of coins in Legends of Runeterra
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Coins are also purchasable and prices range from £4.99 to £49.99. Coins are used to buy cosmetic goods (such as the little poro beside you) or kickstart items such as a starter bundle with a selection of cards. Limited amounts of wildcards can also be purchased daily.

How long will it take to get to a full collection without paying?

Taking full advantage of weekly chests, first wins of the day and expeditions will have a player reach full collection in around four months. This of course depends on how much time is put into the game and whether ranked games are played.

Levelling up can be done faster by challenging friends as well. By playing with a friend added to your Riot account, both the player and friend will be rewarded with XP which is valuable to level up. Levelling up also provides players with more unlocked cards which are useful to craft later on.

Is LoR really pay to win?

Whilst Riot's Legends of Runeterra attempts to avoid the pay to win gameplay that puts so many fans off of games, the way in which you can pay for cards puts a divide within the community.

Fans who pay for wildcards will see a sharp increase in their wins with the better cards they get faster. However, fans who decide to grind will take far longer to get to a similar stage.

Purple Wildcard from Legends of Runeterra
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So although LoR is not a pay to win game, the way in which it is styled means that paying does get your farther faster with much less frustration. A more enjoyable experience comes from paying to play better.

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