We know one of the best parts of Legends of Runeterra is getting to see your favorite champs in a whole new light, but the champions of LoR are more than just some cool new art and some flashy attacks. Each champion is unique, but there are some basic elements that tie them all together. If you're curious about the unique powers of each region's chosen champs, be sure to explore the Regions of Runeterra. For now, it's time to get back to basics.
The thing that separates a standard unit from a champion are the level-up conditions. Think of these like mini quests. Whether it's watching your allies perish or landing a specific number of hits on the enemy Nexus, fulfilling these conditions will see a boost in not only your champion's stats, but some potentially awesome new abilities as well!
Let's take a look at Katarina. The Sinister Blade's level-up condition is that she's struck and is then Recalled (psst. If you want a refresher on what Recall does, check out this article on Keywords).
When you fulfill a level up condition, the level up occurs at burst speed. This can lead to some interesting effects. For example, let's say Katarina attacks, and your opponent fires a burst spell that turns her Ephemeral. Because it's a burst spell, it resolves immediately. Oh no! Ephemeral means that Katarina will perish! Not so fast there, player. When Katarina strikes, she will Recall, cleansing her of all status changes and afflicted keywords. Not only is your champion saved, you've just triggered her level-up condition.
What happens after one copy of a champ has leveled up?
Rejoice! Once you've leveled up a champion, all subsequently summoned champions will come onto the board leveled up and ready to win! (Pssst. That means that if, through some wizardry, you have multiple copies of a champion on the board and their level-up conditions are met, they'll all level up at once! Scary!)
Remember how we said each level-up is unique? We weren't lying! However, one thing that all your champions receive (aside from a sick new pose) is a stat boost. In our example, Katarina has gained +1/+1 to her power and health.
Boom! Just like that, Katarina is transformed. Leveled-up, she gains the added Rally keyword, hitting with speed, power, and most importantly...an attack token. Enemies beware!
Champion Spell Cards
Look. We can definitely see the appeal of sending an entire back line's worth of bright eyed Garens charging at your opponents, but we do enjoy a fair fight here. Under normal circumstances, you can only have one copy of a particular champion on your back line. If you draw another copy of that champ, it will transform into a Champion Spell Card. These special cards don't just possess nifty, magical effects however. Once cast, the spell card will add another copy of the champion back into your deck. It's a win-win, so go win win!
"Hold on. You said under normal circumstances," we can hear you say, but this is Runeterra! This is a world of magic and might! So while you can normally only have one copy of a champion on the board at a time, who knows what shifty spells may help you bend the rules.
Single Copy vs. Global Copy Conditions
Each card is full of hidden details. No, not the finer points of Braum's glorious mustache. We're talking about the wording in each champions level-up conditions. Let's take a look at another lady who likes to get her point across.
Grand Duelist Fiora's level up condition is "I've killed 2 enemies." When a card refers to itself in the first person, the level-up conditions only affect that single copy of the card until they level up. Say she's already killed one opponent, but then that copy of Fiora is defeated. When you summon a new copy, her kill count resets. However, if this new copy of Fiora manages to best two foes, all future copies of her will come onto the field leveled up.
Now, let's take a look at professional cool kid, Ezreal.
His level-up condition is "You've targeted enemy units 8+ times." This is a global level up condition, and by global, we mean across the world of Runeterra encompassed in a single match. So long as you've targeted enemy units eight times, or more, all copies of Ezreal in your deck will come to play leveled-up and ready to cause some trouble. The best part is, Ezreal doesn't even need to be on the field! Global conditions happen with or without the champion in-play.