Legends of Runeterra, Riot Games’ new card game, is in its second test weekend and this time around it has a draft mode. The mode is called Expedition and it brings a few new ideas to the draft formula from other collectible card games.
As with most draft modes, this mode will start with players building a new deck from random cards. Players choose cards by selecting one of a few different “picks.” Each pick has a random combination of cards selected based on deck archetypes. They may feature cards from different regions, or focus on cards that emphasize things like stunning your enemy’s units or drawing cards from your deck.
When selecting picks throughout the deck-building process you’ll have two different types of picks: Synergy and Wild. Synergy picks will be randomly generated based on your currently selected deck and the archetypes you already have. Wild picks are usually for archetypes you haven’t selected. They can help you add a little bit of flavor to your deck, or maybe give you something so good that you totally change directions.
Once you finish the draft phase, it’s time to start playing. Each Expedition goes until you reach seven wins or two consecutive losses. If you reach six wins, your final game will be sudden death; you either win your seventh or lose, but the Expedition run ends either way.
In between each Expedition match you’ll have a chance to add a few new cards to your deck and switch things around. After some matches, you’ll have the chance to add additional picks to your deck. Other rounds you’ll have a trade round. Trade rounds select random cards from your deck and random cards from a shopkeeper. You have to decide if you want to trade your cards for theirs, or if you want to keep what you’ve got.
If you didn’t get the number of wins you wanted your first time through an Expedition don’t worry, each Expedition comes with two Trials. That means you can draft a deck twice, and go for seven wins twice with just one Expedition. Whichever Trial has the better record after you complete both will determine your rewards.
Speaking of rewards, every Expedition guarantees a Champion card as a reward, no matter how badly you do. But the more wins you get the more chances you have for better rewards, including rarer card packs and more Shards. You can complete three Expeditions a week for rewards, after that you’ll be able to compete in Open Matches, but you won’t get rewards for them.
This is the first time that Expedition mode has been available for public testing, so it’s possible that some of these features could change before the Legends of Runeterra actually releases.