Legends of Runeterra devs explain Expeditions, the new draft mode coming in this week’s preview patch

The action kicks off on Nov. 14.

Screengrab via Riot Games

Riot Games introduced a new draft mode debuting with the second preview patch of the upcoming digital card game Legends of Runeterra yesterday. And it looks to be everything diehard card slingers wished for.

LoR developers released a trailer today that breaks down everything there is to know about the Expeditions, including the drafting details, how the tournament works, and the much-anticipated rewards.

What is Expeditions mode?

Similar to Hearthstone’s Arena, players will build a deck from scratch and then compete in a tournament-style battle against opponents. The more opponents you take out, the farther you’ll progress and the better rewards you’ll earn.

How does the draft work?

Screengrab via Riot Games

Players entering Expeditions will draft from a set of random cards that you don’t own, picking from three options in each round.

“Every pick offers a different random combination of champions, units, and spells,” Riot said. “The cards in each pick are bundled together based on deck archetypes.”

There are over 20 archetypes that players can choose from when drafting, using them as a template for the deck or mixing them up to create new strategies. The Disruption archetype, for example, stuns and recalls enemy units to halt the opponent’s progress. Scrapheap, on the other hand, focuses on cycling through your cards aggressively until the player lands the perfect play.

Players will start by drafting a couple of champions at the beginning of their deck creation. Then, each round begins to alternate between Synergy and Wild picks.

Synergy picks offer you cards based on the archetypes you’ve previously chosen, so you can expand on the strategy you’re already leaning toward. But Wild picks offer archetypes that are completely different from what you’re building. This can either enhance your deck for the better or persuade you into switching up your strategy.

Adapt your deck along the way

Screengrab via Riot Games

Expeditions breaks away from Hearthstone’s Arena mode by allowing you to make changes to your deck after every match. LoR will offer players additional champion picks in between games, allowing for smart adjustments that can carry you to the end. And trade picks help you swap out cards that aren’t working for better options.

“Trade what you have for what you need, refining your strategy with every swap,” Riot said. “You can smooth out your mana curve, pick up some much-needed Spell support, or double down with multiple tried-and-true cards, even breaking the normal limit of three copies.”

Rewards and the end of your Expedition

Screengrab via Riot Games

Your Expeditions trial continues until you win seven matches or lose two consecutive ones. After six wins, players enter sudden death in a final battle where the winner takes all. And if the first trial doesn’t go well, players have a second chance to try and hit seven wins or start over. This is a forgiving system that allows players of all skill levels to make a comeback after one failure. 

After you complete both trials, or retire early, players collect their winnings.

“The rewards can be bountiful and the more you win, the better they’ll be,” Riot said. “No matter how you do, you’ll always receive at least one champion. But win enough matches, and your rewards can fully fund your next expedition as well.”

Expeditions, along with the second preview patch, will launch on Thursday, Nov. 14.