Here's how much cards cost in Legends of Runeterra and how its microtransactions work

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Legends of Runeterra, Riot Games' free-to-play card game based on League of Legends, is headed to open beta tomorrow, but those who pre-registered can jump in now and start slinging cards. But with all collectible card games, like Hearthstone, how much it costs to earn new cards matters a great deal. The open beta has a fully working cash store, giving us our first real peek at just how much money it would cost to buy cards in Legends of Runeterra. Here's a breakdown of all the different currencies in Legends of Runeterra. 

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How Legends of Runeterra's economy works 

Unlike Hearthstone and similar digital card games, Legends of Runeterra doesn't force you to buy booster packs and hope to randomly receive the card you want. Instead, cards can be purchased directly using either premium currency or resources earned through playing various modes like Expeditions, the prologue, and ranked mode.

One thing worth pointing out is that you can only have three copies of a card in your collection. If you receive a fourth copy of a common or rare card, it will be automatically broken down into Shards. If you receive a fourth copy of an epic or champion card, it will be turned into a different card of the same rarity that you do not already own. 

Is Legends of Runeterra's economy fair? 

 While it's only the beginning of open beta, Legends of Runeterra feels very generous—especially when you compare it to other games like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering. Here's a quick overview of why: 

  • There are no booster packs filled with random cards.
  • You can buy the exact card you want directly with either premium currency or crafting resources.
  • A variety of ways to earn in-game resources to craft new cards through quests and the Weekly Vault (more on that below).
  • Extra copies of Epic and Champion cards are converted to a different card of the same quality instead of Shards.

Of course, that doesn't mean that Legends of Runeterra won't go the way of Valve's Artifact, but it's very exciting that Riot Games is pushing back against the frustrating randomness prevalent in most card games. 

We'll have the USD prices ASAP. (Image credit: Riot Games)

Legends of Runeterra coin prices

Coins are Legends of Runeterra's premium currency that can only be bought for real money. They can then be spent on buying specific cards directly (through Wildcards) or on various cosmetics.

Here's how much coins cost:

  • 475 Coins - $5
  • 1000 Coins - $10
  • 2050 Coins - $20
  • 3650 Coins - $35
  • 5350 Coins- $50
  • 11000 Coins $100

These numbers were converted from my local currency to USD and might be slightly inaccurate. I will have an updated price ASAP. 

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Legends of Runeterra Wildcard prices 

Wildcards come in four rarities: common, rare, epic, and champion. Each wildcard can be redeemed directly for a card of the corresponding rarity. Wildcards can be bought for real money or earned as rewards. If you're purchasing Wildcards using coins, be aware that you can only buy so many of each rarity a week. Riot Games has explained that this is to slow down how quickly players can acquire every card in a set and ensure that you always have something to work towards. 

Wildcard prices are:

  • Common Wildcard - 10 coins (maximum purchase of six a week)
  • Rare Wildcard - 30 coins (maximum purchase of six a week)
  • Epic Wildcard - 120 coins (maximum purchase of three a week)
  • Champion Wildcard - 300 coins (maximum purchase of three a week)

Legends of Runeterra starter bundle 

This bundle contains 66 cards, 11 from each Region (LoR's deck types) and costs 1800 coins. It's currently on sale for 75 percent off, however, and can be purchased for 475 coins. If you're okay with spending money, this seems like a no-brainer to any beginning player, especially while it's on sale. 

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Legends of Runeterra board and guardian prices 

One of the main cosmetics you can purchase in Legends of Runeterra are the boards that matches are played on. Using a specific board will change the appearance of your half of the arena. There are six boards of varying styles and each costs 990 coins.

The other main cosmetic you can purchase are Guardians who sit on your board and look cute. There are four different guardians and each costs 590 coins

(Image credit: Riot Games)

Legends of Runeterra Shard costs 

Shards are similar to Hearthstone's Dust, and is a crafting resource earned through completing quests, breaking down unwanted cards, or from the Vault, a weekly chest that levels up and increases the quality of rewards depending on how much you play. Using Shards, you can craft any card. Here's how much cards cost in Shards based on rarity: 

  • Champion cards - 3,000 shards
  • Epic cards - 1,200 shards
  • Rare cards - 300 shards
  • Common cards - 100 shards

How to earn Shards and Wildcards without paying 

Fortunately, Legends of Runeterra has plenty of ways to earn cards without having to reach for your wallet. Here's a quick overview of each one: 

  • The Weekly Vault: This chest is redeemed once per week but levels up based on how much you play that week, increasing the value of its rewards.
  • Daily Quests: Each day you'll receive a new quest with a specific objective like casting spells or winning with a certain deck type. Quests reward experience points to help level up your Weekly Vault.
  • Expeditions: This is Legends of Runeterra's draft mode, which rewards a variety of resources based on well you do.
  • Prologue: This is a one-time set of rewards you earn when you first start playing Legends of Runeterra. To complete each step of the prologue and earn the associated reward all you have to do is earn XP by playing games and completing quests.
Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.