Legends Of Runeterra: What Are Equipment?

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  • What Are Equipment?
  • What Is Auto-Equip?
  • What Is Improvise?
  • What Is Forge?
  • Deckbuilding With Equipment
  • General Tips

Legends of Runeterra’s Awakening expansion saw the release of five new champions and, more interestingly, a few new concepts and keywords. Most of the new champions are closely tied to said new keywords, so once you make sense of the latter, the former will become much clearer and easier to understand.

One of the most important new concepts in the Awakening expansion is Equipment, as it is directly tied to a majority of the new keywords, such as Auto-Equip, Improvise, and Forge. So without further introduction, let’s dive right into what Equipment is and what its related keywords are all about.

What Are Equipment?

When you Equip a unit with Equipment, said unit is granted the Equipment’s stats and keywords. When the Equipped unit dies or leaves play, the Equipment is Recalled as well. In a lot of ways, you can think of Equipment like an existing champion Yuumi, who attaches herself to a unit, granting them her stats and keywords, and is Recalled whenever the unit she is attached to leaves play.

Each piece of Equipment is unique, as some cost one to two mana to play, while others cost four to five mana to play. Some Equipment even have the option to become a fully-fledged unit if enough mana is used to play it, and these are the Darkin Equipment, such as The Darkin Lodestone. You can either spend two mana to Equip a unit with this, or eight mana to summon Horazi (a seven attack, seven health unit with SpellShield). Which one you go with really just depends on the state of the game.

What Is Auto-Equip?

Auto-Equip is a keyword that certain privileged units have, namely Jax and Kayn. All this really means is that you don’t have to spend the mana to Equip these champions with their respective weapons. Instead, they Equip it as soon as they’re played, so in this case, when you play Jax for the first time, he will automatically Equip his The Light of Icathia, and when you play Kayn for the first time, he will automatically Equip his The Darkin Scythe.

If the Equipment is not in your hand or in play, these champions will create their weapons on their own.

Bear in mind that, should either of these champions be removed from combat somehow, their Equipment will be recalled back to your hand, so in order to play their Equipment again, you’ll either have to manually play it (which means spending the mana to do so) or simply play the champion again, and they will automatically Equip the weapon from your hand.

What Is Improvise?

Improvise is one of the more peculiar keywords added in the Awakening expansion. In short, units that have Improvise can choose one of two pieces of Equipment from a depleting pool of eight to Equip themselves with (some units can Improvise other units as well, choosing one of two pieces of Equipment to Equip another unit with, such as Wandering Shepherd).

An important thing to mention regarding Improvise is that, if a unit with Improvise is put into play but not from your hand (if it were summoned, for example), you don't get to choose one of two pieces of Equipment to Equip it with: rather, what it Equips is random (still from a depleting pool of eight Equipment) and you have no control over which one.

Improvise allows you to play a unit and Equip it on the same turn instead of having to take two separate turns to play a unit and a piece of Equipment on it. However, this mechanic is still very much one of randomness, so remember that you may not always get the Equipment you’re looking for due to this randomness.

What Is Forge?

The Forge keyword (not to be confused with Reforge, which is centered around Riven) is basically a way to buff Equipment. If you Forge an allied unit, you give it plus one attack and one health, but if the unit you Forge is Equipped with any type of Equipment, the Equipment receives the buff. This means that, should the unit be removed from play somehow, when the Equipment it wielded is Recalled to your hand, it keeps any buffs it received from Forging.

Generally, you don’t want to Forge units that aren’t Equipped with anything unless you’re in a truly desperate situation that would demand it. Yes, there are a few cards that can destroy Equipment, such as the Shadow Isles-exclusive slow-spell, Quietus, or the Demacia-exclusive slow-spell, Silence and Suppress, but there are far more cards that can kill a unit than cards that can destroy Equipment. As such, it’s better for you to buff the Equipment with Forge so that if the Equipped unit dies, the Forge buff remains.

Deckbuilding With Equipment

Pretty much all regions can utilize Equipment. Granted, some regions are better than others when it comes to this, but they’re nonetheless all decently equipped to cater to an effective Equipment-based deck.

That said, regardless of what region you choose to build your deck around, it may definitely pay to have either Jax and his Weaponmasters, or Kayn and his Cultists built into your deck of choice. The reason for that is simply because these two champions and their supportive cards function extremely well with Equipment and all its related keywords. This is by no means mandatory though, as there is a good number of decks that functions perfectly well without Jax or Kayn (but still use Weaponmasters and Cultists of their respective regions).

General Tips

Learning and adjusting to new keywords can be overwhelming, so let’s lay out some advice for this slew of information:

  • Regular Equipment played from your hand cannot be countered by your opponent (by a Nopeify or Deny, for example). But, it does use up your turn, so once you play your Equipment, it will be your opponent’s turn to play their card(s). Thus, you can’t really use Equipment like burst or focus-spells and get away with playing a bunch of Equipment on the same turn.
  • Only one piece of Equipment can be Equipped by a single unit at a time. If you try and Equip an already-Equipped unit with another piece of Equipment, it will replace it and cause the unit's original Equipment to be recalled back to your hand.

    Doing this, while usually unwise, can actually be a good thing in certain situations. For example, if one of your non-champion units had Demacian Steel Equipped, but you have a Bone Club in your hand that was Forged seven times, playing the Bone Club for all those extra stats is far more worth it than a simple one-attack, one-health Demacian Steel.

  • Sometimes, running Equipment decks with a lot of Improvising cards can leave your hand filled with more Equipment than units to play said Equipment on. If you find that happening frequently, consider running some discard cards, such as Zaunite Urchin or Mechapulverizer, and feel free to discard some of your Equipment if you’ve got too much of it in your hand.
  • Don’t hesitate to Equip non-champion units with Equipment. If you’re running an Equipment-focused deck, you’ll almost always have enough Equipment for your champions. In the same vein, don’t hold on to one specific Equipment for one of your champions if you can play it on a non-champion unit and you are lacking any other Equipment in your hand. It’s not worth sacrificing the tempo you’d gain by doing so.
  • Equipment cannot be silenced. An Equipped unit that is silenced will keep its Equipment Equipped.

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