Legends of Runeterra tier list: every Legends of Runeterra champion ranked

Discover the greatest champion choices in our Legends of Runeterra tier list

It’s not easy to establish a definitive Legends of Runeterra tier list, or an expedition Legends of Runeterra tier list for that matter. But that’s because Riot Games’ deck builder isn’t your typical card game. More than Hearthstone, or even Gwent, it focuses around Champions, and the synergies they create when combined with each other. With 35 Champions, split across seven different regions, there are a lot of combinations to consider. But even with that many on offer, there are some clear choices that rise to the top of the meta.

Legends of Runeterra also has a special arena mode, which is a little like Gaunter O’Dimm’s arena in Gwent. When you enter the mode, you have to build a deck by first choosing from a random selection of Champions, and then a random selection of other cards from their regions. For this reason, an expedition Legends of Runeterra tier list has to take into account their base versatility, and solo strength.

Expeditions throws so many strategies out of the window, and so a Champion being able to compliment almost any deck becomes important. Choosing the right Champions is tough, but with our Legends of Runeterra expeditions tier list, and our Legends of Runterra tier list for regular play, we hope to make your decisions a little easier.

here are the best champions in legends of runeterra:

how do champions work in legends of runeterra?

If you’ve played other deck builders, Champions in Legends of Runeterra can seem a little confusing at first. Are they leaders? Do you need to have them? How many regions can I split them between? These are all valid questions, but to show you a Legends of Runeterra tier list, first you need to know the long and short of how Champions work:

  • You can have up to six Champions in a deck
  • You can split those Champions between one or two regions of your choice
  • You can take up to three copies of each Champion, but when you have one alive on the board, the others will turn into spell cards (until that version is defeated)
  • You don’t have to play with Champions

One of the coolest things about this game, which we noted in our Legends of Runeterra review, is how it plays on the deck builder formula, creating a huge amount of synergy with its various Champion combinations. Champions are the focal point of the game, and generally you build your deck around them, fulfilling the level-up conditions required to give them a hefty buff.

These buffs vary from powerful magic abilities, as with Ashe, to literally winning the game, in the case of Fiora. So the key to choosing Champions is finding who compliments who, and which regions offer the best other units to facilitate and keep them alive. This is a key consideration to take into account when looking at our Legends of Runeterra tier list.

Legends of runeterra tier list: meta champions

Ranking the biggest and boldest into a Legends of Runeterra tier list is no easy feat, and this guide recognises the inherent difficultly in rating Champions individually, in a game which is heavily focused around how Champions combine together. We’ve tried to make these choices with both an appreciation of how well these Champions synergise generally, but also how powerful they are on their lonesome. In no particular order:

s-TIER

Fiora

Abilities

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent

Level up conditions

  • Using Fiora to kill two enemies

As one of only two Champions who can literally win the game with their ability, Fiora is extremely strong. Keep her alive, kill four enemies, and it’s game, set, match.

ezreal

abilities

  • Elusive: Can only be blocked by other Elusive units.
  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve targeted enemy units with spells or attacks eight times.

The potent combination of Ezreal lies in being Elusive, allowing him to easily hit the enemy nexus, and that everytime he does, you get a free direct damage spell. This grants even more power when you are using a spell heavy deck.

elise

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You have at least three spider when a round starts.

She may be relatively weak, but Elise’s small cost, and low level up conditions – considering how easy spiders are to summon – allow her to make a massive impact on the early game. Elise grants spiders Fearsome and Challenger, meaning they are both harder to block, and can choose their opponents, making them pretty damn scary.

miss fortune

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Miss Fortune was present when you attacked four times.

In the right deck, this gun-toting pirate can be nigh on unstoppable, damaging both the enemy nexus, and all battling enemies, even when she isn’t battling herself. Her low cost means she can make a big impact on the early game, getting damage in before you have time to respond.

heimerdinger

ABILITIES

  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve summoned at least 12 turrets (have cast 12 spells).

Alongside Yasuo and Elise, Heimerdinger is one of the few Champions capable of running a solo build. As you play spells, he gain zero cost units with a range of abilities, allowing you to defend as he builds power, and the unit summons become stronger. By the end he’s effectively drowning you in incredibly powerful free units.

draven

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve used Spinning Axe twice in combat.

Aggression is Draven’s middle name, and his Quick Attacks and Spinning Axe buff ability allow him to turn most fights to your favour. He is the centrepiece of one of the most popular decks out there, Draven Burn which can be found in our guide of Legends of Runterra decks.

yasuo

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Stun: This unit cannot act this round.
  • Recall: This unit is returned to the hand and buffs are removed.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve Stunned or Recalled at least five units.

The ability to immediately attack any unit that is stunned or recalled makes Yasuo a bit of a monster. Yasuo stun decks, running him as a solo Champion, are both very popular, and tough to play against. If buffed he can be very hard to counter, as he deletes every unit the statuses are applied to.

vi

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Tough: You can tank one additional damage.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When Vi strikes with at least 10 power.

Tough units can be difficult to deal with on a normal day, but Vi multiplies that tenfold, buffing as you play cards. You can also quicken her level up condition by using spells to increase her attack. The fact she deals five damage to the nexus, even when not hitting it directly, and can choose her opponents with Challenger, is downright monstrous. Though she was debuffed slightly in the most recent patch, she can still make a real dent in the enemy.

KARMA

ABILITIES

  • Enlightened: When you hit 10 mana a turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you are Enlightened.

The ability to create a basically limitless supply of spells, means that Karma synergises wonderfully with other Champions, and even if not, she just gives you more tactical options with which to approach situations. You might be in a tight spot, then suddenly, she creates just the spell you need. Though Karma’s cost was raised slightly in the most recent patch, she is still an excellent Champion.

a-tier

Ashe

ABILITIES

  • Frostbite: Reduces an enemy’s power to zero.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve used Frostbite five times during a game.

Frostbite is a powerful ability, and Ashe is the heart of the Frostbite deck. Due to her leveling everytime you play Frostbite, often when you finally summon her, she’ll level up straight away. When used in tandem with some spells, her ability to prevent Frostbitten enemies blocking can quite easily win you the game.

Quinn

ABILITIES

  • Scout: These units can attack once before your other units.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Quinn was present when you attacked four times.

Due to the fact that Scout units can attack twice a turn, Quinn can level up super quickly, and alongside the other Demacian Scouts, many of whom have Challenger, she can really control the flow of the battle. She also synergises perfectly with Miss Fortune, helping to level up her damage dealing super quick.

Braum

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Braum has lived through 10 damage.

Regeneration is powerful, but when you cross it with Challenger, and a damage-survival based level up condition, you have a mighty Champion. Braum is cheap to summon, quick to level up, and once he does you effectively have a free unit every turn, and Champion to tank damage.

Hecarim

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.
  • Ephemeral: These units will die at the end of the round, or when they strike.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve attacked with at least seven Ephemeral units.

Arguably the strongest Shadow Isle’s Champion, Hecarim’s ability to summon two decent units every time you play him is strong. He’s also not that hard to level up if you use other Shadow Isles units to summon Ephemeral units, and spells to create them. Hecarim was also buffed slightly in the most recent patch.

Sejuani

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.
  • Frostbite: Reduces an enemy’s power to zero.
  • Vulnerable: You can choose who this unit blocks.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve damaged the enemy nexus five times in a game.

The second mainstay of the Frostbite deck, Sejuani has saved our skin more times than we can count, reducing a powerful unit to zero, and placing it firmly in the firing line. She synergises incredibly with Ashe, and can level up throughout the game, so when you play her, she’ll already have her powerful ability.

Garen

ABILITIES

  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Garen has struck twice.

The cheap and cheerful Garen gives you a lot for his cost; an easy level up condition, Regeneration, and the ability to attack, even when it’s your opponent’s turn. This is an amazing ability for any aggressive player who doesn’t want to give their opponent a chance to breathe.

ZED

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Zed and his Living Shadow have struck the nexus twice overall.

With Quick Attacks, his ability to summon a Living Shadow, and his easy level up conditions, Zed brings a lot of utility for his small price. It’s true that he might be less effective in the later rounds of a match due to his small health pool, but he can certainly make a dent at the beginning.

KATARINA

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.
  • Recall: This unit is returned to the hand and buffs are removed.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Katarina has struck once.

The ability to be recalled everytime you attack is good in some ways, and can keep your Champion safe in between turns, but replaying Katarina over and over can become a bit of a mana sink. While she does bring benefits like the ability to attack whenever, and the direct damage spell Blade’s Edge, it only just about offsets the repeated mana you are spending on her.

TWISTED FATE

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Twisted Fate was present when you drew at least eight cards.

Destiny Cards bring a lot of utility to the match, serving multiple functions such as damaging all enemies by one, stunning an enemy, or damaging the nexus. If you have a deck optimised around drawing cards, Twisted Fate can level up quickly, and then will basically give you three free spells a round, which synergises brilliantly with Lee Sin, or Fizz, or Heimerdinger.

b-tier

tryndamere

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.
  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When Tryndamere dies.

While impressive, Tryndamere is a bit of a one trick pony. Admittedly, it’s a super impressive trick, where instead of dying he will level up. But because of his huge cost, by the time you get around to playing him, the effect he can actually have on the game seems somewhat pointless in comparison to others you could play. He’s basically overkill.

kalista

ABILITIES

  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Kalista was present when at least four allies died.

Though her level up condition can be fulfilled very quickly with the right deck, i.e spiders, and her cost is small, her actual Champion ability isn’t ridiculously strong. There isn’t much to prevent you targeting Kalista, and once she’s dead, her bonded ally will be too.

nautilus

ABILITIES

  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.
  • Tough: You can tank one additional damage.
  • Toss: You mulligan a non-Champion card using an ability or spell.
  • Deep: You have +3/+3 on this unit and 15 or fewer cards left in your deck.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You have 15 or fewer cards left in your deck, and Nautilus has at least +3/+3.

Though this walking dreadnought has a terrifying stat line, and is Tough to kill, he doesn’t synergise especially well with other Champions, except Maokai. If you want to level up Nautilus you’ll have to become Deep, and that’s a lot of work for one Champion.

maokai

ABILITIES

  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.
  • Toss: You mulligan a non-Champion card using an ability or spell.
  • Obliterate: Completely remove from the game, and skip Last Breath abilities.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When 25 units have died, or 25 cards have been tossed this game.

The ability to summon a Sapling each round is great, and Maokai’s ability, like Fiora, will basically win you the game if you can activate it. But to do that, you’ll have to toss 25 cards, and that’s a lot of work to do, and a lot of cards to get jettison before he becomes effective.

ANIVIA

ABILITIES

  • Enlightened: When you hit 10 mana a turn.
  • Last Breath: This occurs when the unit dies.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’re enlightened.

The ability to resurrect is very impressive, but though her cost was lowered slightly, we’re not sure it’s enough to make her a whole lot more viable – though she’s certainly seeing a lot more play now than she was before.

Fizz

ABILITIES

  • Elusive: Can only be blocked by other Elusive units.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve cast at least six spells this game.

In the right deck, or play with Twisted Fate or Karma, Fizz can be very powerful. But it also only takes one turn without playing a spell for him to die, due to his tiny health pool. In that sense, he’s a bit of an all or nothing Champion.

Swain

ABILITIES

  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.
  • Stun: This unit cannot act this round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve done 12 damage with spells or abilities this game.

While relatively easy to level up with the effect-based damage of spells and abilities, Swain isn’t super powerful. In terms of his Stun ability, he basically does the same thing as a Minotaur, and without Overwhelm, it can be hard for him to hit the enemy nexus to get his Nexus Strike effect.

gangplank

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve damaged the nexus in five separate rounds.

This powerful pirate can be ridiculously strong with the right deck, and when using Powder Kegs effectively to strengthen all abilities and magic, But our issue with Gangplank is that he takes awhile to level up, so his power often won’t be felt until the late game, when it has less impact, or the match is already a foregone conclusion.

C-TIER

LEE SIN

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Barrier: Absorbs any damage on one occasion.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve cast at least seven spells this game.

There are fewer things greater in life than Dragon’s Rage kicking an enemy into their own nexus, but Lee Sin requires a little too much work to be wholly viable, or to keep alive. He does synergise well with spell casters, but it’s a large mana and card cost to get him Challenger and Barrier every turn.

lux

ABILITIES

  • Barrier: Absorbs damage on one occasion.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Lux was present when you cast six mana worth of spells.

Barrier is a strong ability, but it only works once, and this leaves Lux falling by the wayside in comparison to other strong spell Champions like Ezreal, Heimerdinger, and Karma. She is easy to level up, but you are  rarely going to splurge on a six mana spell in a game, as it would cost you the increased versatility of cheaper spells.

lucian

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Double Attack: You strike both before the enemy, and at the same time.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Lucian was present when at least four allies died (or when Senna died).

While a good early game unit to get a couple of attacks in, Lucian is quickly outpaced by other stronger Champions. Rather than leveling up on any death, like Thresh, his allies have to die for him to get stronger, which is a bit of an inconvenience for Demacia, a region where units are generally not as expendable.

darius

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • The enemy nexus has 10 or less health.

He’s basically just a really strong unit to give you power at an opportune time, when the enemy has 10 or less health left. But in the end, not much sets him apart from other strong units at his price point. He’s convenient to play if his level up conditions are met, but basing one of your strategies around waiting for those stars to align seems counter intuitive.

shen

ABILITIES

  • Barrier: Absorbs damage on one occasion.
  • Support: When played to the left of a unit.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Shen was present when allies were given Barrier either through abilities and spells.

While Shen is good for granting barrier to supported allies, who protects the protector? When a unit supports, they have to be played alongside, and just as with Ashe sometimes, this can leave him incredibly exposed. If you manage to keep Shen alive through four attack phases, we’ll be very impressed. His power and health were recently increased, but not by enough to put him in the next tier.

VLADIMIR

ABILITIES

  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When at least six allies have survived damage.

In some cases, hurting your own units can be good, as with strengthening Freijord’s scar warriors, but in the end, damage is still damage. When you play Vladimir you are hurting yourself, and while it may gain you attack power, that’s irrelevant if you don’t have Overwhelm, and can’t survive attack or block phases. His recent buff has lifted him from D-tier to C-tier, as he now drains the nexus instead of just damaging it, but he’s still not that great in the face of other Champions.

d-tier

jinx

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When your hand is empty.

While Jinx is very powerful, and has a great ability in ‘Super Mega Death Rocket’ her level up condition means you have to put yourself at a severe disadvantage. Emptying your hand severely limits your options and ability to respond to your opponent, and while it might represent Jinx’s all or nothing fighting approach, it can leave you in a tight spot.

Teemo

ABILITIES

  • Elusive: Can only be blocked by other Elusive units.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve planted at least 15 Poison Puffcaps, either through abilities of spells.

Though extremely cute, the sheer randomness of Teemo’s ability, and his tiny health pool make him a tough pick. We’ve had players put 30 Poisonous Puffcaps in our deck before, and due to their randomness, we’d defeated the opponent before any of them had even appeared. It’s a strong ability, but only when it works, and that’s the difficulty with strategies based upon luck.

Thresh

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Thresh was present for the deaths of at least six units on either side.

Like Tryndamere, Thresh seems to us like a bit of one trick pony, except this trick isn’t actually that useful in the scheme of things. By the time you’ve played Thresh and completed his level up conditions, you’ll already be in a position in terms of mana to play as many Champions as you want. Though I’m sure there are many strategies he is key to, having a Champion who is basically the glorified summoner of another Champion, seems like a waste to us.

legends of runeterra expeditions tier list

We decided to make a Legends of Runeterra expeditions tier list, for the mode where you fight opponents one after the other to earn glory and riches. Expeditions is a lot like Gaunter O’Dimm’s arena from Gwent, where you pay a currency to enter, and gain rewards depending on when you bow out. But like most things in Runeterra, it’s a gamble, not in the least because you build a deck on the fly, choosing Champions due to their base effectiveness and versatility, and these improvised decks really changed who is useful. So in no specific order, here is our Legends of Runeterra Expeditions tier list:

S-tier

Heimerdinger

ABILITIES

  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve summoned at least 12 turrets (have cast 12 spells).

Heimerdinger’s synergy with spell-casting makes him perfect for Expeditions, summoning units to defend your nexus while strengthening them with every new spell you cast.

draven

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve used Spinning Axe twice in combat.

As with the base game, Draven’s Spinning Axe ability as well as he Quick Attack, give him huge versatility, allowing you to win pretty much any relatively even engagement.

Ezreal

ABILITIES

  • Elusive: Can only be blocked by other Elusive units.
  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve targeted enemy units with spells or attacks eight times.

Ezreal also synergises well with spells, allowing you to deal quick, effective damage to enemy nexus. Also Elusive units can be hard to answer in Expeditions depending on what people choose.

Fiora

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Using Fiora to kill two enemies

Fiora is simple to use, so perfect for Expeditions. Just build an entire deck around keeping her alive while she hits the kill count, and the game will be yours.

KARMA

ABILITIES

  • Enlightened: When you hit 10 mana a turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you are Enlightened.

Karma’s to feed you spells can give you a great deal of the versatility that your Expedition deck might lack, helping you to deal with unexpected foes you’ll be ranged against. Karma’s cost was recently increased, but she is still an amazing Champion.

VI

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Tough: You can tank one additional damage.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When Vi strikes with at least 10 power.

Vi is just a strong base unit, capable of tanking damage while also building strength with whatever units you have. With Challenger thrown in, she can be versatile no matter what’s in your deck. Though she was debuffed slightly in the most recent patch, she can still make a real dent in the enemy.

MISS FORTUNE

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Miss Fortune was present when you attacked four times.

Miss Fortune is cheap and easy to level, giving you a way to both damage enemies and the nexus without too much assembly being required.

a-tier

hecarim

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.
  • Ephemeral: These units will die at the end of the round, or when they strike.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve attacked with at least seven Ephemeral units.

Hecarim’s ability to summon two decent expendable units everytime he attacks, while also moving towards his level up condition, makes him a very useful unit to have, even if he’s on his own. Hecarim was also buffed slightly in the most recent patch.

ZED

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Zed and his Living Shadow have struck the nexus twice overall.

Zed is basically a cheaper Hecarim, and despite his low health, can bring you a lot of early game value with both his summon, his Quick Attack ability, and his easy level up condition.

KATARINA

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.
  • Recall: This unit is returned to the hand and buffs are removed.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Katarina has struck once.

Katarina is both fairly cheap, and like Ezreal, can give you a good versatile source of direct damage in the form of Blade’s Edge. She can also add an element of aggression to your build, letting you attack even when your enemy is blocking once she’s leveled.

GAREN

ABILITIES

  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Garen has struck twice.

Not many units have regeneration, and most have to level to earn it, so Garen can be very useful, tanking damage as he levels up. Like Katarina, he can also add some more aggression to your build, letting you attack whenever.

BRAUM

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Braum has lived through 10 damage.

Braum is just a loveable Norse moustache-man, but he’s also easy to level, has regeneration, and once he does level, can supply you with a steady source of Mighty Poros; decent units with Overwhelm.

KALISTA

ABILITIES

  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Kalista was present when at least four allies died.

When faced with the unpredictability of Expeditions, Kalista’s easy leveling condition, cheap cost, and Fearsome ability can make her very versatile. She’s perhaps one of the fastest Champions to level in the game, which can give you a head-start against any opponent.

TRYNDAMERE

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.
  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When Tryndamere dies.

I mentioned earlier that Tryndamere is a one trick pony, but it’s a trick which is actually very effective in Expeditions. Nobody wants to go near Tryndamere, because they know killing him will do nothing, but also you can’t afford not to block him. In that sense, he can be a very effective battlefield presence.

B-tier

ASHE

ABILITIES

  • Frostbite: Reduces an enemy’s power to zero.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve used Frostbite five times during a game.

When she doesn’t have a deck worth of Frosbite spells and units around her, Ashe becomes less effective. But because she levels with a single thing, you can sometimes build Expedition decks around her. And if not she can still Frostbite the strongest enemy in combat, which is no small thing.

FIZZ

ABILITIES

  • Elusive: Can only be blocked by other Elusive units.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve cast at least six spells this game.

Though he is weak, Fizz’s ability to strengthen with spells and summon a fairly powerful unit, make him quite versatile. The fact that he also becomes practically immortal with every spell cast makes him a better version of Lee Sin in the right circumstances.

YASUO

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Stun: This unit cannot act this round.
  • Recall: This unit is returned to the hand and buffs are removed.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve Stunned or Recalled at least five units.

In a similar way to Ashe, if you don’t have a source of Stun or Recall, Yasuo’s effectiveness reduces greatly. But the fact he can also synergise around two simple things, can help you build a deck on the fly.

SEJUANI

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.
  • Frostbite: Reduces an enemy’s power to zero.
  • Vulnerable: You can choose who this unit blocks.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve damaged the enemy nexus five times in a game.

Without Frostbite in support, Sejuani becomes less useful. She can still be a great late game trump card, considering she levels anytime you strike the nexus, and her ability to nullify an enemy unit is still decent.

DARIUS

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • The enemy nexus has 10 or less health.

What makes Darius not that good in the base game, is what makes him okay in Expeditions. He is just a decent source of damage and Overwhelm, and while that’s not especially versatile, it can be useful in a deck.

ELISE

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You have at least three spider when a round starts.

When surrounded by a deck of spiders, Elise is god-like, but without them, she really isn’t effective at all. If you can build an Expeditions deck with some spiders, she’s definitely a good pick, but if you can’t bring many, or any, she’s probably not worth it.

SHEN

ABILITIES

  • Barrier: Absorbs damage on one occasion.
  • Support: When played to the left of a unit.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Shen was present when allies were given Barrier either through abilities and spells.

When Champions are taken away from their perfect decks, Shen suddenly has a little more versatility. The ability to Barrier any ally once a round can be great for protecting whatever strategy you’re building on the fly, especially if you also have a way to protect Shen. His power and health were recently increased, but not by enough to put him in the next tier.

c-rank

LUX

ABILITIES

  • Barrier: Absorbs damage on one occasion.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Lux was present when you cast six mana worth of spells.

Lux is versatile in the sense that she levels with spells, and Final Spark does good damage. But the fact you have to spend six or more mana to get it kind of kills the varied use of your mana in game.

MAOKAI

ABILITIES

  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.
  • Toss: You mulligan a non-Champion card using an ability or spell.
  • Obliterate: Completely remove from the game, and skip Last Breath abilities.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When 25 units have died, or 25 cards have been tossed this game.

Maokai’s ability is probably second only to Fiora’s in terms of power, but it takes a very specific deck to achieve it, one that you probably won’t be able to get in Expeditions without weakening yourself to the point of defeat. He does still summon a sapling each turn though.

SWAIN

ABILITIES

  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.
  • Stun: This unit cannot act this round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve done 12 damage with spells or abilities this game.

When you don’t have a deck of units with non-combat damage based abilities, Swain is a lot harder to use effectively. You can’t guarantee exactly what cards you’ll get in Expedition, and without that source of damage, Swain is just a decent unit.

THRESH

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Thresh was present for the deaths of at least six units on either side.

Challenger can be useful, and the ability to summon a Champion is more effective in Expeditions, since you only start with two. But the real question is what’s the worth in spending an entire Champion slot on a Champion just to do that?

TWISTED FATE

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Twisted Fate was present when you drew at least eight cards.

Twisted Fate’s Destiny Cards can grant you a good deal of versatility in terms of spell effects, but that’s only if you can get him leveled up, either through units with card drawing abilities, or by keeping him alive for eight turns. Either way, that’s kind hard, and a lot to invest for the sake of one Champion.

ANIVIA

ABILITIES

  • Enlightened: When you hit 10 mana a turn.
  • Last Breath: This occurs when the unit dies.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’re enlightened.

Anivia would be great if it cost relatively little, so making it a worthwhile investment in revival throughout a match. But by the time you play Anivia, it will be both outclassed in terms of damage and health. Like Sejuani, it can be a good late game trump card once leveled, but having to wait until them is the real issue.

GANGPLANK

ABILITIES

  • Overwhelm: Additional damage is dealt to the enemy nexus.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve damaged the nexus in five separate rounds.

Gangplank does have a powerful ability to strengthen magic and damage with Powder Kegs, but he can take quite awhile to level, especially if, as with Swain, you might not have the appropriate units and spells to damage the nexus frequently. Without that, his effectiveness as a base unit is slightly more limited.

VLADIMIR

ABILITIES

  • Regeneration: You heal at the end of each round.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When at least six allies have survived damage.

For the price you have to pay to get Regeneration, we really don’t think Vladimir is worth it. If on the fly you can synergise him with some units who strengthen with damage, he might be worth it, but in the end, damage is still damage. His recent buff has lifted him from D-tier to C-tier, as he now drains the nexus instead of just damaging it, but he’s still not that great in the face of other Champions.

d-tier

TEEMO

ABILITIES

  • Elusive: Can only be blocked by other Elusive units.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When you’ve planted at least 15 Poison Puffcaps, either through abilities of spells.

Just as with the normal mode, Teemo’s Poison Puffcaps are entirely luck based, and often can lose you a match due to that randomness. Also as you might expect from a cute tiny animal on a battlefield, he’s quite hard to keep alive.

QUINN

ABILITIES

  • Scout: These units can attack once before your other units.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Quinn was present when you attacked four times.

With the right deck behind her, Quinn can be a force of nature, but you’re unlikely to get an ideal selection in Expeditions. Without other Scout units to help her level, and Challenger to help her control engagements, Quinn isn’t always the best choice.

JINX

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Fleeting: Costs zero to play, but will vanish if not played that turn.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • When your hand is empty.

Just as with the normal mode, Jinx level up condition requiring you empty your hand can put you at a big disadvantage, even if it does give you her powerful Super Mega Death Rocket! Without that she still has a decent Quick Attack, but that’s all.

NAUTILUS

ABILITIES

  • Fearsome: You can only be blocked by units of three power and more.
  • Tough: You can tank one additional damage.
  • Toss: You mulligan a non-Champion card using an ability or spell.
  • Deep: You have +3/+3 on this unit and 15 or fewer cards left in your deck.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You have 15 or fewer cards left in your deck, and Nautilus has at least +3/+3.

For Nautilus to be successful, he requires a specific deck behind him, one that he’s unlikely to get in Expeditions. His Deep condition also requires you to toss a lot of cards, which requires specific units and spells. He does still have a strong stat line for tanking damage though.

LEE SIN

ABILITIES

  • Challenger: When you attack you can choose an opponent.
  • Barrier: Absorbs any damage on one occasion.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • You’ve cast at least seven spells this game.

Without his synergy with Karma, or another spell producing Champion, which you might not get in Expeditions, Lee Sin is a worse version of Fizz. He will give you some versatility as you cast spells, but will be very hard to level up and keep alive until he levels up.

LUCIAN

ABILITIES

  • Quick Attack: You strike before your enemy.
  • Double Attack: You strike both before the enemy, and at the same time.

LEVEL UP CONDITIONS

  • Lucian was present when at least four allies died (or when Senna died).

Lucian can bring some early game value, but in the end his level up condition is a worse version of Thresh. Demacia is a region that doesn’t really have many expendable units, so the fact Lucien requires allied deaths to reach full potential is a bit of a problem. You could synergise him with the Shadow Isles, but then you may as well go with Kalista or Thresh instead.

And that’s all the Champions!

If you want to check out Legends of Runeterra for yourself, or put our tier list to the test, you can find the game on Google Play and the App Store. Also if you’re a bit stumped on what to pick deck wise, be sure to browse our Legends of Runeterra update guide, and our Legends of Runeterra news guide!

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