Legends of Runeterra design director explains the absence of a graveyard mechanic in the upcoming digital card game

“Once it’s in the game, we’re really unlikely to take it out.”

Legends of Runeterra Riot Games
Image via Riot Games Legends of Runeterra

The graveyard has been a staple in card games for decades. Used spells and minions are discarded to a barren wasteland in hopes of being resurrected for another use. While the mechanic is certainly fun, a Legends of Runeterra developer explained why it’s missing from the digital card game.

LoR design director Andrew “Umbrage” Yip addressed the lack of graveyard mechanics in Riot Games’ upcoming venture, according to Surrender at 20 mod Spideraxe’s tweet today. Though Umbrage enjoys using the mechanic in other games, like Magic: The Gathering, the dev outlined his beliefs on why it may not work for LoR.

While raising something from the dead may be a “resonant fantasy,” Umbrage says, LoR can create satisfying value cards in other ways. The developer referenced Hearthstone abilities like Echo, which allows a card to be played multiple times in one turn, as an effective alternative to the graveyard mechanic.

And since LoR is a digital card game, Umbrage explains that a graveyard could take up the “limited visual real estate” on the interface.

“Once it’s in the game, we’re really unlikely to take it out,” Umbrage said. “This means we have to really love the mechanic and think we’ll love it forever, and potentially more than other mechanics that could use that same real estate.”

Although it doesn’t seem like graveyards are completely out of the picture, LoR developers are taking a cautious approach to adding in a mechanic that may be irreversible.

Image via Riot Games

A release date for LoR hasn’t been revealed yet, but a closed beta will launch in early 2020. The official launch will come “later” in the year.