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Take a look at the aggressive pirates of Runeterra's Bilgewater expansion

Watch out. Pirates about. Legends Of Runeterra‘s first expansion comes out this Thursday, packing a new faction, 120 new cards, 11 new champions, and a couple of cosmetic mascots I actually care about for once. Thursday is also when the game sails out of open beta, launching for realises with patch 1.0. It’s coming out for mobile phones on Thursday, too.

Developers Riot Games have already shipped out some info about how the new cards work, so let’s dig in.

This is Runeterra’s big official launch, then, with pirates hopping on board for the fireworks. The Bilgewaterers are aggressive folk. “You win by bombarding your opponent with attacks they just can’t deal with”, Riot say, “and when it’s time to sink or swim, you’ll have all the firepower you need to pull it off.” They’re talking about rush decks, where you try to overwhelm your opponent early on with cheap and plentiful cards.

The six new keywords play into that. Playing cards with “Attune” give you one spell mana, while “Scout” units replenish your attack token if you don’t attack with any other unit type. “Plunder” cards, meanwhile, grant a bonus effect if you play them after damaging your opponent’s nexus. Nice bit of the ol’ thematic resonance, there. It’s neat when card games manage to sneak that in to abstract math tussles.

There are also “Vulnerable” units which can be freely targeted by enemy attackers, “Deep” units which get a +3/+3 stat buff if you’re deck has less than 15 cards in it, and “Toss” cards that help you thin your deck down so your Deep units can actually trigger. You’re summoning horrible sea monsters, is the idea. Again: neat.

You can earn all the new cards just by playing, which Runeterra hands out pretty generously. Even more so, recently.

You can check out the new cards for yourself here, if you fancy some theorycrafting. Here’s a video highlighting Miss Fortune, and her many rascals.

And here are the version 1.0 patch notes in full.

I’m still dipping into Runeterra, while I wait for Artifact 2.0 to cook. I’ve taken to playing aggressive rush decks, because I am impatient. Trying to beat these new pirates with Draven the aggressive axe man could be interesting.

There are also new emotes, which will hopefully toe the same line of playful rudeness as the starting set. The best part of the new stuff is this good boy, though. He’s one of two new mascots that pootle around in the bottom left. The other is an exploding monkey, which is a decent effort, but can’t top this fella.

D’aww. He doesn’t know he’s evil.

Bilgewater will launch on Thursday 30th of April. You can get free cards and expedition tokens just by logging in, so it’s worth popping along.

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Matt Cox

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Matt is the founding member of RPS's youth contingent. He's played more games of Dota than you've had hot dinners.

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