Hello guys! Today we gonna take a look at the draft mode in the Legends of Runeterra, in-game it is called, Expedition. It is an interesting format to play and it is a nice play to go away from the constructed mode when you feel like all of your games feel the same and you don't have a particular decklist to try next. The great thing about this draft mode is the way the construction of the deck works and how RNG has been minimized while you still end up with a whole new different every time you play. This is the aspect we gonna focus on today and teach you how you can take this into your advantage while building a deck.
I don't recommend total beginners to play this mode before you get familiar with at least a couple of regions, and also while just playing the game, each week you will get one Expedition Token that you can save for later to play a free run. Consider waiting at least 3 weeks to play so that you can play all 3 of them for free on the same week, which will enable you an Open Play. And that means, free runs for the rest of the weekend with lower rewards. That way you can get a lot more experience playing this mode and it won't cost you much, or even anything at all.
Champion (Region) Picks
At the beginning of the draft, you will always be presented with 2 champion picks. Generally, champions are stronger cards than other followers, and picking the strongest ones would be a logical thing to do. This may be some type of strategy but I look at it in a different way. These two first picks also determine our main regions, note that you can make a deck with more than 2 regions in this mode but the first two picks will make so that the draft options that appear are going to be more frequent in the same regions.
There is also one additional thing that you really need to know when you are drafting your deck. As you can see, every option that we can choose from has a name such as "Scout it out" or "Mega Keg" and these are the names for a group of cards withing those "buckets" that help you create more cohesive decks because those cards are often synergistic with one another. When you add one of these buckets to your deck, the draft will give you cards from that same group more often to make it easier making a deck with a concrete strategy rather than a pile of random cards. Also, depending on which archetype you choose there is one guaranteed option that you will get on the second pick. Here is a list of all archetypes that shows what cards and regions are in which one.
In this example, I chose Terrors From the Deep, and not because Maokai is good (not the best actually) but because now I will get access to more Sea Monsters that use the keyword Deep. I like this the most for one reason. Decks in the draft are smaller than in constructed, you start with 30 cards in your deck and you slowly build up to 39 as you go. Because of this, reaching Deep is significantly easier, and once achieved your cards become so much stronger. Now that doesn't mean you should always go for Sea Monsters, it's just something I prefer.
Here are the second pick options. Because we took Terrors From the Deep we were guaranteed to get Bilgewater as an option. Even though Twisted Fate isn't the ideal champion in Deep/Toss decks it is the best option to get us rolling, plus it gives us one The Beast Below which is a good start. If I went for our chances to end up with a decent deck would be lower and this is why knowing the
archetypes is important.
Synergy and Wild Picks
After two champion picks for the rest of the draft you are presented with Synergy and Wild picks alternately one after the other.
Synergy picks, as the name suggests, help you get synergistic cards and these picks are more likely to offer you archetypes you already chose during your draft. The more you pick the same archetypes, on the later synergy picks it is a higher chance to see those again, when you pick new archetypes from the Wild options those buckets also now have a chance to appear in these picks but with a much lower ratio.
Wild picks operate differently. Each archetype bucket has a value called "Cohesiveness Rating" and this value can be: none, low, medium, or high. A low value means that cards in those archetypes even though they are synergistic with one another they are good on their own and will work with most decks. Higher values mean that these archetypes work best if you have a lot of them from that same archetype. The higher this value is the less chance is that you are going to see these options if you decide to skip them a couple of times, while archetypes with lower cohesiveness will appear more in later picks.
There is also one more value associated with each archetype and it is the "Wild Pick Bonus Ratio". It also goes from none to high and its usually closely associated with the Cohesiveness Rating because the game wants to give you more opportunity to build synergy dependant decks without too much risk so you don't end up with a deck that works only 50% of the time which is kinda nice.
This is why I repeat this again. You need to know the list of archetypes well before going into the Expedition.
After you draft your deck, the last thing you can do is a single Trade Pick. This pick doesn't have any specific rules that I'm aware of, other than that the card offers you can trade for are within your two main regions.
The first thing I look for in these trades is if there is a way I can smooth out my curve and the second thing is if I can improve on card quality. The reason I give priority to a more curve-fitting card than to a potentially higher quality card is that having to skip a turn because of a bad curve and then later play that "good" card later is much worse than playing a mediocre card on a curve.
Now that you started playing, there are some additional picks that will happen along the way. For your first and third win, you are presented with an extra Champion Pick. These picks mostly feature champions you already got and those that have high synergy with the deck. In this case, I got a Nautilus as an option, and since I was building a Sea Monster deck that was a perfect inclusion for the deck. Usually, picking a champion you already got is a bit better because if you draw both of them, you get the bonus flexibility of using the champions spell while the other one is on the board but this was not the case here.
On other wins, you get Trade Picks, also after each loss. And on the sixth win, you get 6 Trade Picks which help you really polish your deck if it already isn't. Keep those two things in mind I already mentioned on the Trade Pick, better curve > high-quality cards.
Each expedition has two trials. Meaning that you have two chances to upgrade your rewards. Only the better run is what matters so if you managed to get 7 wins on the first trial you don't need to play another one unless you want to practice some more. It's a guarantee to get an Epic Capsule even with zero wins. Bonus rewards include Common/Rare Wildcards and from 0 to 2000 Shards and 50 to 1500 XP depending on the number of wins.
When you complete three runs in a week, for the rest of that week you can play so-called "Open Play Expedition" that consists of a single trial and it's free to play. Although rewards are only in XP, so free Capsules or Shards.
That's pretty much it that you need to know about the Expedition. I can say that it is a pretty refreshing way of handling draft format in a card game. Even though the game helps you create those crazy synergistic decks as you would in constructed you still end up with a very different deck each time you play. Now that you are ready to play, load up that archetype list and get to drafting. If you have any questions regarding the Expedition that I didn't cover please leave a comment below.
Thank you for reading!