Legends of Runeterra Expeditions Guide: Champions Tier List
UPDATED FOR PATCH 1.1
When a player embarks on a new expedition trial, the very first decision he has to make is to pick two Champions for his deck. This choice is quite important as it will guide a whole draft in a particular direction.
The Expeditions mode algorithm offers a player new choices based on the cards he has already included in his deck during previous picks. So, knowing the criteria by which to select your starting champions comes a long way. The tier list presented in this article is a tool to help with that crucial drafting decision.
- This guide is intended for newer players who have not yet had a chance to experience every archetype and champion in Expeditions mode.
- The tier list below evaluates each LoR champion card in a ‘first pick scenario’ only.
- Expeditions mode offers a player card choices within certain pre-built archetypes and their card pools. So, we have to think of champions as of staples from certain archetypes. The quality of those archetypes associated with a particular champion affect the tier list and our grades.
- As you score more and more wins in a trial, you will also add new champions to your draft deck. However, at those later stages many more factors affect your pick decisions than in the pure ‘first pick scenario’. By then, the deck will dictate your choice – in particular, synergy and mana curve will be crucial to consider. As such, the lines drawn by the ‘first pick’ tier list can become blurry.
The Tier List of Champions
Compiling the list, for each champion we took two parameters into account: 1) base value of a champion; 2) the quality of the champion’s archetypes in Expeditions.
Here’s the grading scale that was used to rate the ‘Base Value’ of each champion:
- 5.0: The best of the best, pick every time you see it;
- 4.0: A bomb, but not unbeatable;
- 3.0: Good, perfectly playable champion;
- 2.0: Low-end playable;
- 1.0: Avoid this champion.
After the ‘Base Value’ grade for each champion was determined, we then added or subtracted a few points from it depending on the playability of the champion’s archetypes. Those ‘Archetype Modifiers’ are ranging from -1.0 to +1.0 points. The resulting ‘Final Grade’ is then used to assign a ‘tier’ to each champion.
|Champion||Base Value Grade||Archetype 1||Archetype 2||Archetype Modifier||Final Grade|
|TWISTED FATE||4.0||First to the Draw||Smash and Grab||1.0||5.0|
|ZED||4.0||Discipline||Shadows and Dust||0.5||4.5|
|VI||4.0||Smash and Grab||0.5||4.5|
|SEJUANI||4.0||Raiding Party||Suit Up||0.5||4.5|
|HECARIM||4.0||Shadows and Dust||0.5||4.5|
|GAREN||4.0||Demacian Steel||Crimson Guard||0.5||4.5|
|GANGPLANK||4.0||Raiding Party||Mega Keg||0.5||4.5|
|FIORA||4.0||Suit Up||Shield Wall||0.5||4.5|
|NAUTILUS||4.0||Terrors from the Deep||0||4.0|
|QUINN||3.0||Scout it Out||Relentless||0.5||3.5|
|MISS FORTUNE||3.0||Scout it Out||0.5||3.5|
|MAOKAI||3.0||Terrors from the Deep||Ancient Evil||0||3.0|
|LEE SIN||3.0||Spell Slingers||0||3.0|
|VLADIMIR||2.0||Battle Scars||Crimson Guard||0||2.0|
|TEEMO||2.0||Shroom and Boom||Totall Recall||-0.5||1.5|
|EZREAL||2.0||Cloning Program||Death’s Door||0||2.0|
|BRAUM||2.0||Battle Scars||Fluft and Tuft||-1.0||1.0|
Disclaimer No.1: Expedition is a fairly diverse and well-balanced game mode, and any champion – even the one in Tier F – can carry the deck to 7 wins. Tier list reflects only a relative strength, while it is your deckbuilding and piloting skills what matters the most.
Disclaimer No.2: The order of champions within each tier is random and doesn’t matter.
Zed, Vi, Sejuani, Lux, Heimerdinger, Hecarim, Garen, Gangplank, Fiora
Tryndamere, Thresh, Swain, Nautilus, Karma, Kalista
Quinn, Miss Fortune, Elise, Draven
Shen, Maokai, Lucian, Lee Sin, Jinx, Darius, Anivia
Yasuo, Fizz, Ashe
Vladimir, Teemo, Katarina, Ezreal, Braum
The Role of Champion Cards in Expeditions
There is a notable difference in how the players generally think about champions in Expeditions as compared to the constructed mode experience.
In the regular deck-building, the LoR heroes are very often the central figures for each particular deck. A champion card is essentially the core of its deck’s game plan. For example, Ezreal Combo builds aim to stall the game, evolve the champion card, and then close out the match using a bunch of cheap spells that trigger Ez’s special ability for direct Nexus damage. Without The Prodigal Explorer himself, the win would never be possible.
However, in Expeditions champions play a role that is much more humble. Don’t get me wrong, Fiora would still be a threat and one of the best cards in your deck. And just as in Constructed, you would surely have a few ways to protect her during duels and make the combat phase hell for your opponent. Still, Fiora would more often act as a pure value card rather than a core engine.
Part of the reason here is purely mathematical – in Expeditions, you start off with just 2 champions within 30-card deck (1:14 ratio). As you play you get additional picks and may end up with 4 champions in 36 cards total (1:8). In constructed, dedicated decks play 6 champions within 40 cards (less than 1:6 ratio) – and that is not even accounting for additional card draw and selection. Put simply, there are not as many champions in your Expedition deck so their role in the game plan of a draft deck is different.
There’s no rule without an exception, but basic guideline here should sound like this. Think of your champions in Expeditions as of huge bombs that raise the power level of your deck significantly – however, they also rarely to make or break your run. Don’t overestimate their importance!
Thus we conclude our overview of Runeterra champions in a draft environment. Expeditions are a great way to learn the game and build up your collection, so hopefully our tier list will help with your trials. Please, feel free to share your thoughts on the tier list and good luck in your next Expedition!