Ionia is an archipelago where its people cross the lines between the physical and spiritual world. The Ionians have always wanted to find balance and live a peaceful life. That peacefulness was interrupted when Noxus invaded. After years of brutal wars, the Ionians recovered their land—but they were never the same. Now, the people are torn between going back to its spiritual practices or getting ready for the next attack.
The Ionia region in Legends of Runeterra offers different styles of play. Overall, these archetypes get better in the late game. Instead of trying to burst down the enemy, this region requires you to play smart while focusing on the big picture.
Synergies in Ionia
There are four archetypes within the Ionia region. Hand buffs add stats to the cards in your hand before summoning them. Control is a late option that’s heavy on spell cards. Summoning uses cheap units, while Deceit tricks enemies into making the wrong plays. The Ionia deck is used for late-game strategies.
Hand buff grants stats to one card in a player’s hand. The easiest way to get extra stats is through Inspiring Mentor. This card is a one mana-cost unit that adds +1|+1 to any other card. Greenglade Elder costs three mana and grants +1|+1 to all allies in hand. Jeweled Protector grants +3|+3 to an ally in hand.
If all of these cards are used, it would grant a +5|+5 buff to any card. The trick is to duplicate that card and there are two ways of doing it. The first and simplest way is by buffing Navori Highwayman. When it’s used, it summons a Navori Brigand with the same stats. The second way is Zephyr Sage, which duplicates any card in hand.
Players who go for a control deck must deny the opponent’s strategy while executing their own. It consists mostly of spells that are used through the game to stop the enemy from using certain cards. Some decks depend heavily on a singular win condition or one card to turn the game around. A control deck can deny a win condition.
The best control card in the entire game is Deny. This is a rare spell that stops any enemy spells or skills. Insight of Ages creates spells in hand. Once the player is Enlightened, it grants two spells. Being Enlightened simply means the player has reached 10 mana.
The key is to combine the control mechanics with attacks.
Like the hand buff deck, a summoning deck works best when one unit is getting the stats. In this case, the best card to buff is the Greendale Duo. This card uses the Elusive keywords and can only be blocked by other Elusive cards, so the damage goes straight to the enemy’s Nexus.
A summoning deck uses cheap cards like Navori Bladescout and Sparring Student. It could also use a card like Windfarer Hatchling that grants +2|+2 to an ally when it’s summoned. Like hand buff, the best course of action is to duplicate the buffed card. In this case, the Dawn and Dusk spell summons two exact copies of an ally. Getting three buffed Greendale Duos is more damage than any enemy can handle.
Deceit is a deck that’s used to fool enemies. The goal is to force the enemy to make the wrong play by changing the conditions at the last minute. Stand United, for example, is a six-mana spell that swaps two allies and grants a barrier to both units. If the enemy is creating a plan to destroy one of your units, just swap it.
Will of Ionia is a spell that recalls a unit that could be an ally or an enemy. This is a good way to deny an attack. Solitary Monk recalls all allies. Those cards will heal from any damage and reset. Ghost can be used for a surprise attack. It grants Elusive to a card for one round. Yone Windchaser, Yasuo’s brother, is a good late card that can stun two enemies.
Champions in Ionia
In LoR, the Ionia region has four champions: Shen, Karma, Yasuo, and Zed. These champions can be divided into two categories: defensive and offensive.
In League of Legends, Shen is often played as a support. This champion is a full support in LoR, however.
Shen grants barrier to an ally. Barrier offers one-time protection that can absorb any amount of damage. Cards like Stand United and Ki Guardian also grant a one-time barrier to an ally. Shen levels up once he’s seen his allies gain barrier four times or more.
A level two Shen grants barrier and an additional +3|+0 stat to an ally. Shen is the best protection for a buff card or carry. This champion fits into a hand buff or summoning deck since these decks focus on giving power to one carry.
Karma could be considered a defensive card. She isn’t a full support like Shen, but she brings utility. Karma isn’t a big carry, so getting her buffed is a waste of resources.
At the end of every turn, Karma creates a random spell in hand. Karma levels up once the player reaches 10 mana and becomes enlightened. Level two Karma double casts the spells on the same target.
Karma works best in a control deck that’s features plenty of spells.
Whether you’re playing League or LoR, dealing with a fed Yasuo is almost impossible. This champion is a hyper carry that can instantly win a game if you play your cards right.
Yasuo attacks before its blocker thanks to quick attack and deals two extra damage when you stun or recall an enemy. Yasuo levels up once you recall or stun six or more units. At level two, Yasuo continues to strike the enemies that are stunned or that get recalled.
This champion works best in a deceit deck. Most of these cards include some type of recall or stun that Yasuo can use.
Zed is another offensive champion from the Ionia region. Like Yasuo, Zed can become a hyper carry if he gets the perfect buffs.
When Zed attacks, he creates a Living Shadow with the same stats. Zed levels up once he and his shadow hit the enemy Nexus two times. At level two, the Living Shadow inherits Zed’s stats and his keywords. The Living Shadows are ephemeral and die once they strike.
Because Zed duplicates on his own, he’s a good card to buff in a hand buff deck. In a summoning deck, Zed can be used to buff an ally.
Best faction synergies
In League’s lore, Ionia and Noxus are sworn enemies. In LoR, these two regions work perfectly together.
Noxus has cards that stun or recall enemies. These can be used in a deck with Yasuo and Katarina as the main carries. To learn more about the Noxus region, click here.
The second faction that works well with Ionia is Freljord, which allows players to reach 10 mana faster. This faction can work with a control deck that uses a lot of spells. If you need a guide about Freljord, click here.