A new Legends of Runeterra expansion is coming soon, and this is a big one! It is called The Darkin Saga, with Awakening being the first part of it. This set will focus on the Darkin, and it introduces a brand new card type to the game, the Equipment. The expansion was revealed during a live stream, and we're here to recap everything we know so far!


The Stream

In case you wish to watch the stream yourself without any further spoilers, here's the Twitch VoD from the official Legends of Runeterra channel.


What Are the Darkin

As they're the focus of the entire expansion, we need to understand what they are. In Runeterra's lore, Darkin are Ascended who were corrupted by the void, and started ravaging the world. They were eventually sealed in their own weapons as a way to contain them, thanks to help from the Aspect of Twilight (not Zoe, but her predecessor). 

Centuries pass, and various mortals stumble upon those weapons. If the Darkin so chooses, they can grant these mortals power, in turn gaining a semblance of freedom from their prison, forming a symbiotic relationship. However, if a Darkin is strong enough, they can completely overcome their host, thus gaining a new body for themselves. There are three Darkin of note currently in LoL:

  • Aatrox, who has completely overtaken his wielder.
  • Rhaast, who seeks control over Kayn's body, with the latter in control most of the time.
  • Varus, who shares a body with Valmar and Kai, making them the only tri-symbiotic relationship among Darkin.

So far, only Kayn and Rhaast have shown up, as a Runeterran Champion. We expect two of the other Champions for the Darkin Saga to be Aatrox and Varus, but we don't know if they'll show up in Awakening. 


Aatrox, one of the Darkin


Equipment

Awakening marks the introduction of a brand new card type to the game. Equipment cards can best be described as a spell version of Attach units. They can be played on units already on the board, granting them various effects, in addition to the stats. Some other information about Equipment:

  • You cannot play them on their own.
  • Playing an Equipment will pass initiative over to your opponent immediately.
  • If a unit dies, the Equipment will return to you hand and you can play it again.
    • However, if the unit dies the turn the Equipment is played, you'll have to wait until next turn to play it again.
  • You can use Spell Mana to pay for the Equipment's cost, but the stream made it sound like you can only do that once per turn.
  • A unit can only have one Equipment at a time, and it can't have both and Equipment and an Attach unit. Playing an Equipment in this situation will return the attached Equipment/Attach unit to your hand.

Here are the Equipment cards that were revealed during the stream. Treasure of the Sands is generated by a Landmark that we weren't shown on stream but which was later revealed by Riot:

Great Hammers Card Image

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Draconic Bands Card Image

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Jagged Cutlass Card Image

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Buried Armory Card Image

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Treasure of the Sands Card Image

Aside from regular Equipment cards, some of them will also have the Darkin type. Upon playing these you'll be presented the option to play a unit instead, which represents the Darkin trapped in the Equipment. As can be seen with Darkin Ballista, the unit inside, in this case Naganeka of Zuretta, can be far more expensive than the base card with a completely different effect.

The Darkin Ballista Card Image

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Naganeka of Zuretta Card Image


New Runeterran Champion - Kayn

Kayn is the latest champion to join the game. He's a Runeterran Champion, meaning you can put cards from any region into your deck, as long as they fulfill a certain condition. In Kayn's case, that condition is having the Cultist tag, and playing 3 Cultists will automatically draw the Champion. When you play Kayn, he'll Auto-Equip The Darkin Scythe, creating it in your hand if you don't have it.

Kayn Card Image

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The Darkin Scythe Card Image Kayn Card Image

The Shadow Reaper Card Image Kayn's Shadowstep Card Image

Unique to Kayn is the ability to Level Up into 2 different forms. Once he Levels Up, you'll recall him, and playing him will let you transform all copies of him into either Rhaast or The Shadow Assassin. This also means that you may lose him on Level Up if you level him up with a full hand, so be careful with that. 

Rhaast Card Image Corrupted Scythe Card Image The Shadow Assassin Card Image Shadow Scythe Card Image


Other Revealed Cards

These are the rest of the cards that were revealed during the live stream. Momentous Choice was revealed by Riot after the stream.

Forsaken Baccai Card Image

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Ranger-Knight Defector Card Image

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Furious Wielder Card Image

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Tempting Prospect Card Image

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Heedless Resurrection Card Image

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Momentous Choice Card Image

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Are you excited for the new expansion? What do you think of the Darkin and Equipment cards? Let us know down below!