The Path of Champions
Patch 2.19 brings Riot’s Arcane event to Legends of Runeterra!
As part of the event, we’re getting a complete overhaul of the existing PvE labs. The Saltwater Scourge lab has been retired to make way for, “The Path of Champions”.
Despite a lot of similarities between the two labs, progressive deck enhancements, items to attach to and power up your cards, and permanent damage, this new lab is FAR more fleshed out than The Saltwater Scourge or Lab of Legends. The existing powerups and items from the lab will be returning, alongside a bunch of new ones. We will also immediately have access to a WHOPPING 15 playable champions!
It’s clear that the team has put an immense amount of work into this release! When they initially announced the changes coming to PvE labs I was hopeful but this release has blown my expectations out of the water.
The single-player, roguelike, deck builder genre has been blowing up in the past year with popular games like Slay the Spire and Griftlands carving out their niche, from what we’ve seen so far The Path of Champions looks as though it may give these paid games a serious run for their money!
Riot has all but ensured The Path of Champions’ success by incorporating many elements from other titles in the genre such as character progression (known as Reputation), difficulty scaling, unique ‘Relic items’, a story, or ‘campaign’ mode, and much more! The mode will also be released with all new PvE ONLY cards!
I managed to snag a few screenshots for you guys from today’s pre-release streams!
As you can see, these PvE exclusive cards are quite strong! I’m excited to get my hands on them and start earning my Reputation along The Path of Champions!
To start your journey along the path you’ll need to first complete the game’s tutorial and unlock the lab. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to go in and complete your first, special, play-through as Jinx!
This first playthrough is special because the story unfolds with an animated and fully-voiced comic! The other four playable PnZ champs will also have a special story mode for you to complete, but you’ll have to unlock them first!
The new map is different from The Saltwater Scourge as it doesn’t allow you to back-track. Every decision matters in The Path of Champions so choose your route carefully! As you progress along your route you’ll be able to upgrade your deck with new cards, items to enhance the cards, and powerful abilities, remember there are no take-backsies along the path; if you choose an upgrade, you’re stuck with it!
After you’ve completed your first run, the rest of the map will become unlocked and you’ll have access to all three currently available regions Ionia, Bilgewater, and Piltover & Zaun. Riot will be adding more regions and champions to the playable pool in future patches.
You must own two copies of a champion to play them in The Path of Champions
As you complete adventures you’ll earn ‘Reputation’. Reputation is the game’s permanent progression currency which you’ll be able to spend unlocking all kinds of upgrades! There’s a wide range of unlockables like Relic slots, new starting decks, passive power-ups, and even different encounter options!
What ARE Relics? Relics are a new collectible item exclusive to the Path of Champions. You can collect them by completing adventures and they will grant all kinds of different bonuses to your champion! If your Reputation level is high enough you’ll even be able to equip a second Relic! On release, there will be over 20 Relics available and the team intends to add more in the future.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the Relics available at launch
Completing adventures will make all subsequent journeys more difficult, this is a major draw to the game more for more serious players like myself who didn’t find themselves particularly challenged by The Saltwater Scourge or Lab of Legends.
That about wraps up our coverage of The Path of Champions, but there are a few more things you should know!
- Currently, The Path of Champions is free-to-play and it will remain so but Riot is exploring opportunities for premium content.
- Don’t get to attached to your progress, as there are already plans for a progression reset at some point next year.
- There are no current plans for a PvP mode within The Path of Champions
- If you were worried that PvP balance might suffer from a lack of resources, you can let that worry go! The Path of Champions team is largely separate from the PvP team.
The new game mode looks incredibly promising, the addition of the Reputation and Relic mechanics should ensure it always stays fresh and they allow Riot a lot of room to play around and wildly change things up.
If you find yourself struggling with The Path of Champion, keep your eye out for our future content! We intend to release several articles covering all aspects of the new lab!
About the Author
MonteXristo has been playing the game since closed beta and has consistently made it to masters every season he’s been active. His accomplishments include having peaked in the top 20, taking first place in the “Streamer Sideboard Showdown” and being the 24th America’s player to Master in the ‘Guardians of the Ancient” season. When he’s not writing for Mastering Runeterra he keeps his card slinging skills sharp by playing in the “Liga Latinoamericana de Legends of Runeterra”, or LRA, with his team The Wobbly Wombats!