Best starter decks - Legends of Runeterra

Legends of Runeterra can be a little daunting to get into when you're trying to figure out your early decks, but we can help with a fine collection of effective starter decks.

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It’s been a bit of time already since Legends of Runeterra launched in Open Beta on PC, bringing all the characters and lore of League of Legends to a digital card game. Players have been up and down and all around putting the best decks together with the collections of champions, regions, spells, and allies, and that probably makes getting started a little daunting to new players. Where do you begin? Well, what we’re here to help with that. We’ve taken the liberty of scouring for some good, cheap decks to start you off on the right foot as you get going in Legends of Runeterra. With these decks and their various playstyles, you’ll have what you need to level up and gain access to even more complex deck building.

Last updated on May 14, 2020 at 8:00PM PT.

Best Legends of Runeterra Starter Decks

Each of the decks below comes at a relatively low cost, but assumes you've at least gone through the tutorial levels to collect the rewards associated with them. Regardless, these decks also suggest which region you should level to collect any missing cards, as well as the codes you can use to import the decks into your available collection.

Be sure you know how to import deck codes to easily access all of the decks in this guide!

Noxian Shadow Isle Spider Swarm Deck

Turning Elise into her Level 2 Spider Queen form will get your early deck play going hard and heavy with the Spider Swarm deck
Turning Elise into her Level 2 Spider Queen form will get your early deck play going hard and heavy with the Spider Swarm deck.

Deck Code: CEAAECABAMGA6EYXEYVS4NYIAECQCGY5FAVTCMRVAICACAYCBELDKBABAURCMKJW

This deck is the easiest of all decks to put together because you literally should have it as one of your three starting decks after you complete tutorials and get on your way. So, what puts this up over other premade starter decks in the game? Well, it’s got great options for both early and late game. With Elise and a mix of low cost Noxian and Shadow Isles spiders and spells to damage opponent minions or your own, you should have resources to build her up into her Spider Queen form quickly, sacrifice some minions to summon Vilemaw, buff a myriad of spider minions to make them overwhelming and Fearsome, and more. Meanwhile, Crowd Favorite and Darius should give you some cushion in the late game to finish off the enemy Nexus if things drag on.

Noxian Shadow Isle Spider Swarm Decklist
Card Mana Cost Card Name xQty
1 (Spell) Blade's Edge x2
1 (Ally) Hapless Aristocrat x2
1 (Ally) Legion Rearguard x2
1 (Ally) Precious Pet x2
2 (Spell) Black Spear x1
2 (Champion) Elise x2
2 (Spell) Glimpse Beyond x2
2 (Ally) House Spider x2
2 (Spell) Vile Feast x2
3 (Ally) Arachnoid Sentry x2
3 (Spell) Fresh Offerings x2
3 (Spell) Might x2
3 (Spell) Noxian Guillotine x1
3 (Ally) Phantom Prankster x1
3 (Ally) The Undying x1
4 (Ally) Crowd Favorite x1
5 (Ally) Arachnoid Host x2
5 (Spell) Decimate x1
5 (Spell) Grasp of the Undying x1
5 (Spell) Withering Wail x2
6 (Spell) Brood Awakening x2
6 (Champion) Darius x2
6 (Spell) Reckoning x1
7 (Spell) Vengeance x2

Zed Katarina Rally Recall Deck

Katarina's constant recall and rally abilities are at the core of this aptly named Rally Recall deck.
Katarina's constant recall and rally abilities are at the core of this aptly named Rally Recall deck, but Zed, some Noxians, and a few Elusives will back her up.

Deck Code: CEBAGAICBELDCBQBAMGBAGRFFAVAEAQBAMBBGAYBAIDBUOIBAMAQGBAZG4

This is a relatively easy-to-build aggro Noxus Ionia deck from player F2K Control. The tough part will be getting multiple Katarinas, but you start with two Zeds from your starter decks, so as long as you level up the Noxian region on your games, you could build the resources through level-ups or luck out and draw a Kata or two on your way through the weekly Vault Chests. Now the primary goal of this particular deck is to find Katarina early, power her up into her leveled-up form, and utilize her Recall and Rally capabilities as much as possible.

Every time Katarina strikes, you can her back into your deck. If you summon her again, Rally means you get an attack token and can strike your opponent again with her and other units on the board. Pair this with Elusive units that can only be countered via spells or other Elusive units and you’ll be troublesome early, but Deny should help mitigate threats as well. Zed and the other allies are here as well to stack damage and make sure you’re hitting your opponent hard and fast multiple times per turn, but Katarina is the star of the show.

Zed Katarina Rally Recall Deck List
Card Mana Cost Card Name xQty.
1 (Spell) Ghost x3
1 (Ally) Inspiring Mentor x2
1 (Ally) Legion Rearguard x3
1 (Ally) Legion Saboteur x3
2 (Spell) Brothers' Bond x1
2 (Ally) Greenglade Duo x2
2 (Ally) House Spider x1
2 (Ally) Legion Grenadier x3
2 (Ally) Trifarian Hopeful x3
3 (Spell) Culling Strike x1
3 (Champion) Katarina x3
3 (Spell) Might x2
3 (Ally) Reckless Trifarian x3
3 (Ally) Shadow Assassin x2
3 (Champion) Zed x3
4 (Spell) Deny x3
5 (Spell) Decimate x2

Garen Demacian Elites Deck

Garen and his band of Demacian Elites and Vanguards serve eachother well when you can play various combinations of them together.
Garen and his band of Demacian Elites and Vanguards serve eachother well when you can play various combinations of them together.

Deck Code: CEAQQAIAAECAMFBCEQTTMAQCAEBBUMIFAEAAGCYSDUXQCAQBAADQY

Courtesy of the popular decks on RankedBoost, the Demacian Elite cards in Legends of Runeterra feature a number of unique properties that will benefit each if you put them together the right way, and this deck relies entirely on them to route your foes from beginning to end with their synergies. Battlesmiths, Laurent Blademasters, and Vanguard Bannermen will give your summoned units extra attack and defense. Vanguard Squires and Dauntless Vanguards can be played on the cheap. Finally, Garen and Judgement will allow you to use one attacker to blow away multiple foes.

It’s a straightforward deck to be sure, but with so many easy synergies at hand, it can also be quite reliable throughout the game. This is also a deck that you can collect the cards for extremely quickly with very few resources. Just play through Demacia’s region unlocks, pick up your chests, and you’ll probably have what you need for this deck without much issue in no time.

Garen Demacian Elites Deck List
Card Mana Cost Card Name xQty.
1 (Ally) Cithria of Cloudfield x3
1 (Ally) Fleetfeather Tracker x2
1 (Ally) Inspiring Mentor x2
1 (Spell) Radiant Strike x2
2 (Ally) Battlesmith x3
2 (Ally) Vanguard Defender x3
3 (Ally) Laurent Protege x2
3 (Spell) Succession x2
3 (Ally) Vanguard Redeemer x3
3 (Ally) Vanguard Sergeant x3
4 (Spell) Deny x2
4 (Ally) Laurent Bladekeeper x2
4 (Ally) Silverwing Vanguard x3
4 (Ally) Vanguard Bannerman x3
4 (Ally) Vanguard Squire x3
5 (Champion) Garen x1
8 (Spell) Judgement x1

Freljord Ionian Elusive Buffs Deck

A hefty collection of Elusives, buff, denies, and protection lies at the heart of this combo of Freljord and Ionian cards.
A hefty collection of Elusives, buff, denies, and protection lies at the heart of this combo of Freljord and Ionian cards.

Deck Code: CEBAIAIBAQERMKIHAEBAEBQ2FAWDCOICAEAQECICAEAQOMIBAEAQEHQ

This is another deck that you should have most of the tools for right from the beginning. Getting three Braums together might be slightly troublesome, but otherwise this deck from JonesAF can be played in a hurry. The goal with this deck is to lean hard into Elusives and also power the heck out of them with the likes of the Averosan Hearthguard, the Inspiring Mentor, the Omen Hawk, and Elixir of Iron. What’s more, use of Braum and Stalking Wolf, with their Challenger abilities to pull would-be defenders, Deny to block spells, and Will of Ionia to pull your best cards out of harm’s way will keep your opponent solidly under control from attempts to thwart your Elusive aggression. Go between leveling Freljord and Ionia to pick up the few cards you need to collect for this deck fairly quickly, but likely focus Freljord for Braum.

Freljord Ionian Elusive Buffs Deck List
Card Mana Cost Card Name xQty.
1 (Spell) Elixir of Iron x3
1 (Ally) Inspiring Mentor x3
1 (Ally) Omen Hawk x3
2 (Ally) Greenglade Duo x3
2 (Ally) Navori Conspirator x3
2 (Ally) Stalking Wolf x2
3 (Champion) Braum x3
3 (Ally) Shadow Assassin x3
3 (Champion) Zed x2
4 (Ally) Babbling Bjerg x2
4 (Spell) Deny x3
4 (Ally) Kinkou Lifeblade x3
4 (Spell) Will of Ionia x3
5 (Ally) Avarosan Hearthguard x3
7 (Ally) The Emyrean x1

And that’s it for now. Each of these decks can be built with relatively little time in the game, so just play through to get the one you want put together and work your way over to other more opportunistic or experimental decks when you feel like it! Be sure to check back for further updates or check out our other Legends of Runeterra guides to help you along your way through other aspects of the game.

News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he's not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he's searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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